The Eve Of A New Year

In a few hours it's going to be 2010. Are you ready? I am! I'm looking for GREAT THINGS to happen in 2010!!

The past year, 2009, has been a year of learning. It has been the beginning of healing. . . I say the beginning, because I have a long way to go yet, but for the first time I actually feel like I have the tools I need and am getting somewhere.

Of course, this all goes back to learning. Learning about different healing modalities. Learning what works. . . and a whole lot of what doesn't.

Learning about working on the internet and writing for the internet. Learning about all kinds of different self-help available. Learning about self-limiting beliefs. Learning about all kinds of interesting things, at least to me.

Learning, learning, learning. And may I never stop learning! Anyone who stops learning is at best static, and at worst, going backwards. We're either in growth or decline. I want to be growing until the day I die.

But the next step is to TAKE ACTION. For me 2008 & 2009 have been intense learning years, and while I have a lot I still need to learn about a lot of things, it's time to combine that with taking action.

And it's time to think on what specific actions I want to work on this year, and what my specific goals should be. Spiritual, personal, health, business - all kinds of things to think about!

Hope you are ready for a new year, and here's hoping 2010 will be the best we've ever had!

A New "Lord of the Dance"?

We don't watch "Britian's Got Talent" obviously. Mostly because it's not on any of our channels, ha, ha. But someone sent this video to Jess who sent it to me, and it made me laugh out loud. So I hunted it up on Youtube, and now you can see it too.

>>> 01-01-10 >>> The trouble with using other people's videos.... all of a sudden all the ones of the first performance I thought were so funny have disabled the embedding on Youtube. So here's another pretty good one, of their final performance:

Watch out Michael Flatley, Stavros Flatley & son may be the new Lords of the Dance!

Pizza Anyone?

I'm working away sorting out pictures, and came across this one of the pizza delivery guy getting ready to go to work. . .

Shhhh... don't tell him I put his picture on here!

Time To Tidy Up

There's not much of 2009 left, and it just hit me this morning, bam! That means I need to get my pictures and other files on my computer tidied up and sorted out so I'll be ready to make new ones for 2010.

That's especially true for my pictures. When I take them off the camera and put them onto the computer, I put each group into a folder. Later I sort the pictures into categories, to make it easier to find the ones I might want later.

Unfortunately, I have a tendency to get WAY behind on the sorting part, so I'm trying to catch up with that.

Then I need to take the new external hard drive out of the box... the one I bought at the same time I got my laptop... and hook it up and back up everything. Then I can set the computer to do automatic back-ups again. My present back-up drive is full, so I haven't been able to do that.

Blog posts and info, business stuff... all kinds of folders need backed up and then new folders made for 2010.

I also ordered a copy of Windows 7 today. Actually, I get it free as part of the deal when I bought my laptop. I don't even have to pay shipping and handling.

Once I get that, I hope to hire one of Jonathan's friends to install it on my laptop, then set up a secure wireless network for me so I can finally swap files between my computers. It would make things ever so much easier!!

I also need to erase the Office 2007 programs I put on my desktop since they're going to go defunct after I open them a few more times, and get the older programs put back on. Too bad. Guess I'll just have to remember how to use both versions.

I also need to find my Photoshop disk and install that program on my laptop. It has as much power as my desktop, so no reason I can't use it to edit photos. In fact, since it has a 15.6 inch edge-to-edge HD+ wide screen, it will probably be even better. I know the colors certainly look more vibrant and crisp on the laptops screen than they do on the CRT monitor with my desktop computer.

AND I also need to hook up a different printer. Right now I don't have a color printer (why doesn't anyone mention if you don't use an inkjet printer on a regular basis the heads will clog up and ruin the printer?). Jess got a new printer, so I'm getting his old one to use. It sucks up ink like a dessicated sponge, but it will be nice to have a color printer handy for snail mail.

I'm going to be lucky if I can get all that finished this week and be ready to rock and roll the first week of the new year.

I may need more to time to tidy up my computers!

What An Imagination!

Yesterday I had a Skype call with Richard and Ellie. When we first tried Skype, Ellie wasn't too sure about her "Sussern Mama" showing up on her Dad's computer and talking to her. She was pretty shy and it would take a long time for her to warm up and get going.

I'd say those days are pretty well over. Now it doesn't take long for Ellie to start talking and telling me about what's happening in her life.

She had a new toy camera to show me yesterday, and a new Sesame Street sort of dolly, Abby. She had her dad set Abby up beside the computer screen so she'd be "sitting by Sussern Mama", and then she proceeded to tell me to "Say Cheese" and took a picture of me and Abby.

Then she had to show me how she drives, and told me that she and Abby drove to the store not once, but THREE times, and Abby drove home because Ellie was tired, and they bought lots of Play-doh. In fact, they bought so much Play-doh that Ellie had plenty to send to me and Sussern Grandpa and Uncle Geek as presents.

She does this with one of her imaginative games of throwing a present. Richard and Chrystie have no idea how she came up with this game, just one day she started giving out presents! When we're doing the Skype thing, it works with the present going right through their webcam and in and out of my webcam into my waiting hands.

"Open it!" commands Ellie.
"What is it?" says I.
And then it's Play-Doh, or food, or toys or any number of things!

Like I said, what an imagination! I smile and laugh a lot at her stories.

It sounds like she had a good Christmas time, with being in a play at school and at church, and playing with her friends and relatives, and generally enjoying Christmas.

That's the upside of her surgery being postponed. Since her surgery is now scheduled for January 26, 2010, she was able to do all the Christmas stuff. If it had remained January 5th, her Christmas activities and visiting would have beeen curtailed in an effort to be sure she didn't catch any "bug" before surgery.

And from what Chrystie says, all the arrangments are in place again for flying to Vancouver, the surgery, home and then down to Florida for Ellie to have therapy.

After that, we hopefully won't need an imagination to see Ellie walking much better!

I guess it's Christmas!

There's no nice white Christmas here. It looks kind of bleak and dreary.

In fact it brings to mind a twist on Poe's poem . . . Once upon a Christmas dreary, while I pondered weak and weary. . .

Thankfully though the weather may be gray, windy and wet, it's snug and warm inside! There's the aroma of fresh-baked bread, fresh-baked pumpkin pie, chicken cooking. . . at least we'll eat well!

The wild birds are feasting at the feeders. . .

And the farm critters have been fed, and are out grazing.

The King is in his counting house (the dining area) counting out his money. . . Jonathan gave him another handfull of quarters, so he's sorting them by states.

The Queen is in her office, eating homemade bread and honey. . . (okay, so I'm on the computer, but I had homemade bread and hot chocolate for breakfast!)

The maid. . . well, no maid. How about a Jester? He's in the basement, either playing computer games or working on models.

So it's a pretty quiet Christmas. I know it is the only Christmas in my adult life where I have done absolutely NOTHING in the way of decorating and buying presents and all that sort of thing.

Oh well, I agree with Mother Teresa:

"It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you…. Yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.” —Mother Teresa"

Hope you are having a happy Christmas.

Windy, VERY windy, with a little rain thrown in. . .

There you have it - the weather report for our part of the world. We have a severe weather advisory for high winds. We've had some rain. Snow, however, is not on the agenda. Now aren't you just totally thrilled and excited to know all that?

Jess and I actually went to Huntsville today. He needs a new printer and scanner for work, and Staples had one on sale he wanted to look at. We checked it out, bought it, and brought it home. He'll take it to the office on Monday.

We also stopped at Tractor Supply, Lowe's and Gander Mountain, trying to find another item he wanted. We actually saw several varieties, but haven't figured out how we could move and install something that weighs 800 pounds in our basement.

On the bright side, we stopped at Applebee's for lunch. I greatly enjoyed one of their Oriental Chicken Salads. Jess went for the Southwest version.

There was a lot of traffic. Hmmmm, I guess that could be because tomorrow is a holiday.

So speaking of tomorrow, well by mutual agreements with many relatives, no gifts were exchanged. Here at home there is also no tree or any other Christmas decorations at our house, and absolutely nothing to go under a tree or put in stockings or anything else. I mean, I truly have not bought a thing or done a thing to celebrate a holiday.

I do plan to cook a decent meal tomorrow, and promised to make hot chocolate for breakfast, but I do have to wonder. . . how is it on holidays the women are still working while the men sit around and watch tv or play on the computer?

I remember at Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings at my grandmother's house, the guys would be in the living room watching football or parades on tv, and the women would first be cooking, then cleaning up. It didn't seem right to me then, and it still doesn't. But the facts are, if it's going to get done, usually it's the women who are going to have to do it.

So it seems if the woman of the house does nothing about a holiday, well, then it just won't get done. No baking. No candy making. No buying presents. No mailing cards. No decorating. No whatever.

It's kind of depressing.

As far as I can tell, the so called woman's liberation movement has accomplished this: women are now free to work outside the home. But that doesn't seem to excuse them from doing the work INSIDE the home as well, or even that the two adults now both working will split the work needed done at home. So in effect, it just means most women now essentially have two jobs, so more work and responsibilities than they ever had.

Gosh, I just feel so warm and fuzzy to be a liberated woman.

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Ever do something that seemed like a really good idea.. but wasn't?

I'm a pro at that sort of thing.

Like I got the bright idea to use the installation disk for Office that came with my laptop and put the program on my desktop computer, so I could have the same version of Word and Excel on both computers.

The only problem is once I got it installed, the program asked for the serial number, which I DID have. Only trouble is a message popped up informing me the program had already been used, and obviously they don't want you to use it again, so after "x" number of times, the program won't work any more.

Great. Instead of making things easier, I've complicated them, because now I'll have to UNinstall that set of programs, try to find the installation disks I had for the older versions, and REinstall them. Boo, hiss. You pay enough for these programs you'd think they'd let you put it on another of your own computers.

Another one of my "seemed like a good idea at the time" was to buy a set of headphones that will plug into the jack on the telephone. They work okay with the regular telephones, but when I use them with my cell phone, I get a lot of static.

Worse, when I try to use it with Jess's cell phone, like tonight when I wanted to listen to a training call, the phone would disconnect just as soon as it connected. Dial, ring, connect, disconnect. Unplugged the headset, and the call went through fine. Well, rats.

Then I got the bright idea to do a "12 Days Of Christmas, Country Style" for the Rural Ramblings blog. Well, I like the post I ended up with, but it sure took a lot more time than I envisioned when I first got into it.

But it seemed like a good idea at the time. . . yeah, I get a lot of those.

What was I thinking?

I got my usual chores done this morning, and was ready to sit down and get to work on the laptop computer.

Then I got this idea. . . always dangerous.

I decided I wanted to do the "12 Days of Christmas" lyrics, country style, for the Rural Ramblings blog. So instead of going to work, I went back to the desktop computer to play.

What was I thinking?!!! This is a BIG project!

I've got 9 days done, which means I have 3 to go if my math is correct.

Guess I'd better get back to work. It's taking so much time, I imagine it will be my last Rural Ramblings post for the week.

Hmmmm, now what should I do for the 10th day?

Are You Entitled?

Jonathan comes home with some interesting stories after a day of delivering pizzas. Last night he told me one of the more bizarre. Well, the kind that makes you shake your head and wonder about people.

It seems that he had a delivery to one of the posher neighborhoods. The slip said, "Deliver to the back door."

Well, the only time these delivery guys are allowed to take a pizza to the "back door" is if that door happens to be on the side, or somehow well-lit and in view of the road. It's one of the company policies for safety.

So he tried knocking at the front door.
No answer.

Then some woman came out from behind the house and told him to come round to the back. Okay, he'll stretch it a bit and do that.

Now you caught that, right? The woman is already OUTSIDE.

But she went back inside, and then she and her husband INSISTED that Jonathan should come inside and put the pizza on the counter.

He told them he was sorry, but it was against the company policy for the delivery people to go inside a private residence.

They continued to insist, and told him he wouldn't get paid if he didn't bring the pizza INSIDE.

He continued to tell them he was sorry, but he wasn't allowed to do that, couldn't they just step to the door and take the pizza?

Well, no, golly, it sseems like they felt they were entitled to have their pizza delivered right to their kitchen counter.

Eventually they called the store to complain to the manager, who informed them that she was sorry, but that is indeed the company policy - for safety reasons the delivery people are NOT supposed to go inside.

They continued to rant and rave, and the guy even went so far to tell her the pizza was COLD, which I guess he is a kinetic or something, because he never touched the pizza so how did he know that?

Since the store was really busy, just to cut things short, the manager told Jonathan to just give them the pizza for free.

It boggles my mind that someone believes they are entitled to:
  1. Have someone delivering food bring it in their house and sit it on the kitchen counter.
  2. Complain because a delivery person wanted to keep to the safety rules of the company and hand them their food at the door.
  3. Lie and complain the food is cold when they have NO idea whether or not that is the case, and thereby get free food.

So I guess if you have enough brass, you can throw a fit and get your food for free. Because, after all, they're living in a posh neighborhood, so must feel they are "upper class" and thereby entitled.

Personally, I think what they're REALLY entitled too is a good swift kick in the behind.

More Than One Life To Live

I know there’s a soap opera called “One Life To Live.” But the fact is, I feel like I’ve lived several lives already. I often think or even say, “Oh, that was back in another life.” It’s usually when I'm thinking about something in the past that is so totally different from my present life that it seems in no way connected to it.

I’ve been thinking about these changes a lot lately. I’ll no doubt be doing even more of it as I become more and more involved in the healing process I’m learning, as it involves a healing of the heart, a spiritual healing. The more I learn, the more I can see how many radical changes there have been in my life and I can also see how many places I’m so totally messed up and have wrong thinking.

Here’s an example. I’m not sure I can trace the exact path that got me there, but I suspect it has a lot to do with being taught you should think of other people first, and it’s selfish to think of yourself, and I internalized all that and moved on to where my mind said, “You pray only for other people. You do NOT pray for your own needs.”

Seriously. I could not pray for myself, because in my mind, that was selfish. You’re only supposed to pray for other people. You can’t ask God to help you or bless you or whatever, because it would be selfish to do that.

Yeah, I know. Totally warped. In reality, it’s more like when you get on a plane, and hear the flight attendant’s speech about oxygen masks, “Put on your own mask before attempting to help others, even small children.” Why? Because if you don’t help yourself first, you might get in such bad shape you won’t be *able* to help others.

I could expound on this and more. I could talk about how much I’ve been learning, and changes I’ve been making. But not now. Cause right now what I’m REALLY wondering is, “How far am I willing to bare my soul, so to speak?” And further, “Does anyone really want to hear it anyway?” I might shatter quite a few illusions, or maybe it’s a matter of too much information.

After all, a lot of family members read this, like my kids.

I’ve even considered writing anonymously on a different blog. If no one read it, fine. But then again, maybe it would help someone else on their journey of transformation. Cause in the past couple of years while I’ve been learning about ways to make a living online, I’ve also been led towards side paths on self-help, self-realization, self-empowerment… I’m not sure what to call it.

No, I’m not talking about New Age mumbo-jumbo. Some things I’ve learned may sound “far out” at first, but they’re all based in science and a belief in God. You can talk about quantum physics, neuroscience, healing, the law of attraction, and on and on… it all comes back to the source… God.

There are just so many things in my head and heart, and so much changing. I feel in such a state of flux, and feel like yet another person is emerging. Sometimes I slip back to my "old ways", but mostly I’m moving forward, and I feel like things are coalescing and speeding up. I really believe 2010 is going to be a great year in a whole lot of ways.

The question is, how much do I want to share about why and how?

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

It’s Jess’s week to teach Sunday School. (He and another guy teach on alternate Sundays.) Since he was super busy this week, what with a load of work, choir practice Wednesday night, and the church Christmas program and Christmas dinner on Thursday night, he's having to do all his studying today.

Evidently the lesson has references to Christmas songs in it, as he asked me to find the lyrics for a couple of them. It was in my search for the second song I got really interested. They lyrics of “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I’ve loved his poetry since I was a child and first came across it in an old book someone gave me, but I didn’t know the story behind this particular poem and subsequent song made from it. Here’s the poem as it was originally written:

"Christmas Bells"

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

I’d be willing to bet you’ve never heard it sung with all those verses. More likely this traditional version is what you've heard or sung:

In case you haven’t guessed from the words of the original poem, it was written during the Civil War. And from what I’ve read, it seems the feelings behind this song were about three years in the making. While the whole nation was living through the tragedy of the Civil War, the Longfellow house was hit with its own tragedies.

In the summer of 1861, the Longfellow family was living in the Craigie House overlooking the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was a hot summer, and Longfellow’s wife, Fanny, decided to trim the hair of their 7-year old little girl to remove some of the weight of it, and hopefully allow her to be more comfortable.

As mother’s sometimes do, she wanted to save a few of the curls. She got a bar of sealing wax, and melted it with a candle, so she could preserve them. What she didn’t notice was a few drops of the wax dripped onto her light-weight summer dress.

About that time a breeze blew through the window, and ignited the wax on her dress, causing it to burst into flames. Fanny ran into the nearby library, trying to spare her children the sight of their mother in flames. Longfellow was in the library and tried to put out the flames with a small throw rug. The rug wasn’t big enough to do the job, so he threw his arms about his wife, trying to extinguish the flames.

Talk about love in action.

Longfellow’s face, arms and hands were severely burned. Fanny died the next day, and Henry Longfellow was too ill from his own burns to be able to attend the funeral.

The first Christmas after Fanny's death, Longfellow wrote, "How inexpressibly sad are all holidays." The following year, December 25th 1862, he wrote in his journal, “’A merry Christmas' say the children, but that is no more for me."

But tragedy wasn’t done with the Longfellow family. Almost a year later, Longfellow received word that his oldest son Charles, a lieutenant in the Army of the Potomac, had been severely wounded with a bullet passing under his shoulder blades and taking off one of the spinal processes. However, he did NOT die, so contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t his son’s death that spurred Longfellow to write “Christmas Bells.”

However, I’d guess it’s safe to say that his wife’s death, his son’s serious injury, and the Civil War as a whole were much in Henry Longfellow’s mind when he wrote the poem on Christmas Day of 1864. Though the song speaks of despair, in the end it offers hope.

The music for the Christmas carol, “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” came from John Baptiste Calkin. He rearranged the verses of “Christmas Bells” and left out the two with more direct references to the Civil War.

The traditional music and verses were used in the above rendition of the carol, which is quite nice. However, while searching for a video, I came across a little different version I reallly like. It's sung by the group, Casting Crowns.

That's what we need not just at Christmas, but all year long,
"Peace on earth,
good will to men."

All I want for Christmas. . .

Well, all I want for Christmas, I guess I've already got. I certainly haven't thought of anything I would put on a gift list. In fact, we're all kind of non-Christmas at our house this year. It seems to be a non-event. I'm not sure why. But right now it's one week until Christmas, and -
  • There are NO Christmas decorations anywhere to be found.
  • There are NO Christmas presents anywhere to be found.
  • Thare are NO Christmas cards being mailed.
  • There are NO plans to remedy the above.
A bunch of Scrooges? Maybe.
Perhaps we're all Grinches? Maybe.
An over-reaction to the commercialization of Christmas? Maybe.

For whatever reason, it seems no one here can get in the spirit of the season. For myself, I would have to say I feel more sadness than joy this time of year.

Sure, you hear that Jesus is the reason for the season. If you can go to Christmas services, I guess you might feel that more. If I had a church home, I might feel that more. But for various reasons, I don't.

And, well, we don't really KNOW when his birthday is, now do we? I mean, historically it can't be pinpointed to an exact year, let alone an exact date. So instead of going crazy just at Christmas and Easter, well, why not a passion for Jesus all year long?

So it seems Christmas isn't on our calendar this year. I think it's just going to be another day off, like having an extra Saturday. Maybe next year will be different, but this year, I'm not doing Christmas.

Have a nice day.


I put this picture up on Rural Ramblings as a "Gateway into another dimension". . .

Gateway into another dimension?

Then I did a little work in Photoshop.

Actually, I didn't really do much but change the hue & saturation, and get rid of the tree branches. I didn't even notice the lighter areas to the left of the "wormhole" until I did that. Is it an alien being? A spaceship? Something in a parallel universe?

I don't know, but it's fun and it looks cool.

I just want it to work. . .

To tell you the truth, there’s a whole lot of things in life that I just don’t care HOW they work. All I care about is that when I need them, they DO work.

I don’t know anything about fixing cars. I just want to be able to get in my car, and it works RELIABLY. It gets me where I want to go without breaking down.

I don’t know anything about fixing computers. I just want to be able to turn it on, and it works RELIABLY. It does what I need it to do without breaking down. (And if there’s a glitch, at least make it a simple one that my in-house or my Canadian consultant can easily diagnose and tell me how to fix it.)

I don’t know anything about fixing the heating and air conditioning system. I just want to be able to turn that thermostat on, and it’s hot or cold as needed. Again, RELIABLY. Granted, there’s usually a glitch getting the furnace started every fall, but for the most part, it’s been pretty good. And we have a good repairman to call if there’s a problem.

There’s just a whole lot of things I use every day that I can’t fix on my own. I reckon that’s modern living for you. If we were back “long ago”, we’d be using a horse and buggy instead of a car, and we’d have to know how to take care of the horse and buggy on our own. (Except I think even then, the services of a blacksmith were needed!) There wouldn’t be a computer, the fireplace/stove would provide heat and you'd have to hope for a breeze to provide cooling.

But I don’t want to be a pioneer. I want my creature comforts. And yes, I’m spoiled and want my communication system to work too. I don’t use the telephone much. I’m more of a writer than a talker. Besides, with email, you can send it off at your convenience, and the other party can read it at THEIR convenience. Nice for both parties.

Well, for a week or so I’ve been getting messages from Mediacom about how they are going to upgrade the email system. I guess they made the change yesterday, and so far, it’s just a mess.

I haven’t got ANY of my mail from about noon yesterday to 6 or 7pm, and what I’m getting now I KNOW is only a fraction of what I should be getting.

I haven’t been able to SEND email since yesterday morning.

They’ve got a new web-mail interface. I guess they’re trying to copy Yahoo, and have a home page, and there’s a button on it you click to get to the email. The really annoying part is that every time you click anything, it opens a new window. And I’ve only been able to get into the webmail a few times. Most of the time the new window times out. Pretty soon there’s half a dozen windows open and still no mail!

And even if you do get to the email, it’s still the same problem. The email isn’t coming through..

I called this morning and they’ve got a canned message saying that there are delays in people getting mail and sending mail, the technicians are working on it, and thank you for your patience.

Who said I was patient? I am NOT patient.

Here’s what I think.

  1. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Cause gee, now it IS broke. If they’d left things alone I’d still be getting my email!
  2. If I wanted a newsy home page for webmail, I’d just use my Yahoo email address all the time. And guess what? It’s FREE. I just want to go straight to my email, thank you very much, and forget this other crap.
  3. I frequently see or hear Mediacom advertising for phone service. Now there’s a big joke. My land line works pretty reliably. I don’t have to worry if I’m going to be able to use the phone. It takes an ice storm or something taking down the lines before there’s a problem most of the time. But problems with my Mediacom service? That happens all too frequently. NO WAY I'd ever trust them for my phone service.

I just want it to work.

What EVERY Star Wars Fan Needs!

Use the (chop)forks Luke, use the forks!"

Gotta love the guys at Who else would think up something like Star Wars Chop Sabers?

Or how about this Tauntaun sleeping bag?

You can "slumber in the belly of the beast," and they were even "thoughtful" (crazy?) enough to have "printed internal intestines." A little over-the-top realistic, perhaps?
They have all kinds of things Star Wars, like a "Force Trainer", cookbook, R2D2 trashcan, lightsaber laser pointer, and how about this?

Your very own R2D2 peppermill! Now how cool is THAT?

Gotta love Geeks!

Christmas Dinners & Broken Eyeglasses

Well, yesterday we had our annual dusting of snow. It looked pretty cool (literally and figuratively). I went out and took a bunch of pictures. Toby liked that because it meant while I walked around in the woods, he got to run all over creation.

Jess went in to work yesterday morning, and it took him an hour to get there because of some road closings and detours. It’s just as well it wasn’t a regular work day, or there would have been numerous wrecks. People in the south get all rattled when they see snow. Just the forecast of snow puts them in a panic - QUICK! Go to the grocery store and buy milk and bread!!!

Anyway, tomorrow morning I plan on putting a bunch of the pictures up on the site.

Jonathan came home sick from work Friday, and hasn’t stirred out of the house all weekend. That means I was on my own going to the grocery store for the second week in a row. Bummer! I think he’s feeling a little better this evening, and says he’s hopeful he can make it to work tomorrow.

Jess attended a Christmas dinner after morning church services. It was for the “older folks” Sunday School classes. They were doing some story telling about past years at church, which I think Jess really enjoyed. There are several older than he is, and have been at the church longer.

Yesterday my eyeglasses fell apart. Literally. In two pieces – a lens and earpiece on one side, and a lens, earpiece and nose piece on the other. It’s such a tiny little connection between one side/end of the nosepiece and a tiny little section of the wire around the lens that it connects to. Jonathan tried to use some of his special model stuff to mend it. It “cured” overnight, and I put them on this morning.

So I tried wearing them while driving to the store, and did all right until the first time my glasses were slipping down my nose and I forgot and pushed them up. They immediately fell apart again. Fortunately, I had very gingerly put my clip-on sunglasses on them, so they held the two sides together until I got to the store.

Guess the cure didn’t cure my glasses.

Well, I found an old pair of eyeglasses that are all in one piece, sort of. There’s a crack over an inch long down the middle of one lens, and the end of one of the ear pieces is broken off and just a sharp metal piece sticking out. I wrapped that in lots of tape, and am just peering around the crack. So it looks like a crackpot world to me. (No wise cracks!)

Guess I’ll call the eye doctor’s office tomorrow.

Time For A Family Update

When I put up the post with Jess’s NASCAR birthday card, I noticed it’s been almost a month since I posted any real updates on what’s going on around here. I know everyone is busy, and many people even “more busy” with getting ready for Christmas.

Well, we’re no exception to that “being busy” phenomenon.

We had a super great time in Florida visiting with family. What a blessing it is to all get together over Thanksgiving. It works out so well with Randy having a room, and Jess and I having a room, at the missions complex. They’re nice rooms, economical, in a beautiful area, and close to the Sanford’s house. That means we all get to visit, but not all squished into one house 24 hours a day for the duration of the visit. 9 people in a 3-bedroom house would be a bit much!

And we have such wonderful visits. It’s so nice that not only do we have great family with Randy and all the Sanfords, but their extended family is pretty special too! We love Dave’s Mom, Lucille, and his sister, Becky, and her husband Dave. They’re just good people, fun to be around, and to have such a big house full of people and no fusses or tensions in the family… did I mention how blessed we all are?

We even got to say hello to the “special friends” of Lee, Emily and Ryan. Lee’s girlfriend, Danielle, was there quite a bit. We had an especially good time visiting Friday evening around the campfire in the woods by the Sanford house. (Chilly, but fun!)

Moving from the far south on up to the far north, the Kroeker-Boggs clan stay crazy busy, too. Chrystie has her own blog many of you read so I’ll only mention here that they really need your prayers! This bit about having a surgery date all set up for Ellie, and plane tickets and a rental place in Florida all set up, plus Chrystie taking leave from her job, and then what happens? The neurosurgeon and team change the date from the 5th to the 19th of January, then that doesn’t work either, and now it’s all up in the air, well! That sucks! (I actually hate that expression, but somehow it seems so appropriate for this situation.)

So anytime you think of them, pray that the arrangements all work out for Ellie to have her surgery before the middle of January, and work out soon so they can quit stressing about it! It’s more than enough to have on your mind that your child is having surgery without having to worry if all the arrangements made to accommodate the surgery and subsequent therapy are all going to work out.

Here on the homefront, Jess has been swamped with work since clear back after returning from our vacation at Panama City Beach in Florida. That’s a mixed blessing. It’s good he has work, and it’s good he’ll get more money, but sometimes it gets to be a little too much of a “good thing” and he starts to stress a bit. I’m thinking by the end of next year, it will be high time for him to retire.

Even working at Domino’s can keep a person busy! Jonathan works full time, and often even gets in some over time. With the economy still, shall we say, less than stellar, that’s a blessing. He even does a little work on the side now and then, getting commissions for painting models used in tabletop war games. With work and visiting friends and carting Mom to the grocery store or post office, he stays busy too!

As for me, one set of training is winding down, but I’ve still got a couple more going strong. One is a new set of seminars on healing, and I’m really excited about that. I’m hoping to learn some great things!

Besides training, I have to do the actual work of putting all this training to use, plus the usual household and farm chores. Yeah, I stay busy, too. Unfortunately, all this cold, rainy weather we've been having lately makes things difficult. It’s got my peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain in my feet) stirred up, making it hard to walk sometimes. And of course, the thoracic neuralgia and fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are all aggravated too.

But I’ve got great hopes that 2010 is going to be a stupendous year on all fronts! I’m looking for a whole lot of things to “gel” and improvements all over the place. So as "they" say (whoever "they" are!), hang on to your hat and get ready to rock and roll, cause before you know it 2010 is going to be here!

Are you ready?

Another Birthday Greeting For Jesse

When we were in Florida visiting with the Sanfords and Randy and all over Thanksgiving, the Sanfords had a birthday card for Jess. Emily picked it out, and she and Deb were especially excited to give it to Jess because "it fit him so well."

I'm not sure which one of the dudes is Jess, or who the second guy is. Maybe one of his buddies who likes NASCAR? Randy? Maybe even my dad, since he enjoys NASCAR. No telling!

Whoever these two good old boys are, now you know how the term 'NASCAR' came to be.