I get tired…and THEN…

Well, it looks like I got tired of blogging…have not done any since March!  WOW!!!  I am thinking about setting up deadlines for myself – so I will continue to blog on a daily basis…by making each day have a theme or an idea & writing something.  So, let’s see what happens…

I have found that it is good to be positive…but, I do get tired, and have my moments (OK, sometimes more than just moments) and am negative…or, at least, grumpy.  Hormones.  Husband.  Kids.  Chores.  Work.  ‘Nuff said.

I just need to vent a bit…and then all is fine.  So, here’s a blog.  You don’t have to read it.

I get tired of having one vehicle…because it’s my “freedom” that is limited.  Yes, I do walk…but you cannot walk everywhere.  (Well, you could, but there are time limitations to things…)  I do appreciate the help from my son – and how “redneck” I look driving his pick-up truck.  But let’s not mention the bumper sticker…made quite an interesting lunch hour in the faculty room one day!  Of course, I also get tired of car payments…not quite a year and then the mini-van will officially be ours.  We need a reliable used vehicle…and I can probably buy a bridge to go with it, right?  HA HA!

I get tired of always picking up and cleaning up…and trash…and dishes…and nagging…Laundry does not bother me AS LONG AS dirty piles are not all over the floor AND the clean folded piles are put away (neatly?)…and don’t ask me at 11pm to do a load or 2 when you’ve sat around all day long – and could have asked earlier OR done it yourself.  Then again, I guess I live in a house that is lived in – a home.  No fancy magazine pictures or white glove inspections.  Just push the cat or dog off the chair or sofa and have a seat:)

I get tired of lugging the vacuum all over…if everyone pitched in (it’s an easy chore), I would not get tired.

I really don’t mind taking care of the cat and dog – they depend on us…they need food and water.  The dog needs his walks.  But, I know how to be responsible…have to make my offspring learn a lesson or 2 or 3.  One son has a snake – he DEFINITELY cares for THAT!  (I will drive to the pet store to buy feeder mice.  EWWWW!)

I get tired of being the friend who is always there and is the shoulder to lean on and the ears that are open for listening…because it is rarely reciprocated.  So sorry if I hurt feelings…but that is truly the way it is.  BUT, I always will be THAT FRIEND – because that is the person that I AM.  Period.  So I carry my problems on my own shoulders – with my hubby.

I get tired of making all the plans or coming up with the ideas for get-togethers…but, if I don’t or my hubby doesn’t, no one else will…sad, but true…Cannot even remember a recent time when a friend invited us to a BBQ or Applebee’s or a neighborhood place to just “hang” and catch up with each other!  BUT…now my older boys are enjoying Sunday BBQs together – so we have them!!!  Boy, can we laugh!!!  And we do have friends who have an annual pool party – we can always count on them and that date:)   (NOTE:  Life is too short not to make time for your family and friends.  Just sayin.’)  (Ironic…as I write this, America’s song “Sister Golden Hair” is playing – that’s a nickname one of my dearest friends of all time called me…and he went to heaven way too soon…tears still fill my eyes whenever I think of him…God Bless.)

Family?  Well, let’s not go there…that makes me tired, too.  At least my hubby, me, & our brood of 8 children make a nice crowd:)  (One sentence:  I will say that we are lucky enough to have some of the best COUSINS ever!!!)

I get tired thinking and worrying about my mother…and upset that I cannot see her enough…goes back to the vehicle issue.  Keep praying.

I do get tired from work – but because it’s night shift.  I am blessed – it’s a good job with good pay, and it is not hard…and I will continue to learn and take training as it comes.  With the way things are, being employed is a blessing…too many people have no work.  I love those moments when I am trying to sleep or already napping and one of my kids (there’s no age limit) crawls into the bed with me…and sometimes it will be several kids…(and maybe the cat & dog, too)…LOVE!!!

I get tired of the every day things – as we all do.   Kids squabbling with each other…bills to pay…telemarketers calling – and bill collectors, too… and cantankerous neighbors.

I am very tired of my mouth – no smile at all…but my anxiety overtakes me…I freeze even thinking about calling a dental office…and I NEED to have dentures by August – I have something that may add to my load, but will be a DREAM COME TRUE for me!  Pray.

I DON’T get tired of going to the pool…I like to swim and play in the water…I like to see family and friends…and I LOVE the snack bar – Kyle’s Kitchen.

I DON’T get tired of crocheting…and shopping for yarn:)  That’s my therapy:)  (I have 4 projects “in the works” right now.)

I DON’T get tired of taking pictures…capturing the memories of our lives…good, bad, silly, sad…

I DON’T get tired of favorite old movies, TV shows, and songs….children’s books that I have read a hundred times.   (“Sweet Caroline” is playing…how can you NOT sing along?)

I DON’T get tired of ice cream.   Or coffee.  OHHH…coffee ice cream!  Chocolate:)

I DON’T get tired of holding my hubby’s hand…EVER….

I WAS tired when I was pregnant – BUT – I never tired of the miracle of pregnancy and birth…and the joyous, wondrous, marvelous FIRST YEAR…”the precious touch of a little child.”

I do get tired of men’s/women’s hassles and restrictions when it comes to religion and churches…but I never get tired of GOD…for God is truly great!!!

AMEN.

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Bamboozled!!!

      A play on words!  Just finished the arduous task of TRYING to remove bamboo from our side yard…really big, strong bamboo – big as the houses and trees in the neighborhood…not the small stems now sold in stores for good luck…believe me, our bamboo is not full of good luck!  It’s full of strong big roots that are really hard to remove…and bamboos shoots continuing to come up all spring and summer!  The bamboo is bamboozling us, that’s for sure!

     Began the task back in the fall…but the boys got sidetracked and started to make a fort.

     A couple weeks ago the weather turned nice and our neighbor and his live-in friend/roommate (yes, I am trying to be polite and politically correct) started to clean up the side yard.  And made a large pile of bamboo – after cutting even more down.  They spent several more hours another day getting it ready for the trash…and the trash persosn left a note that it has to be bundled…but they did take what was at the curb.

    So, yesterday was beautiful, and I had time, and I really want to use our side yard…for playtime and barbecues, and relaxing, and all that good stuff.  My muscles weren’t too happy with me last night.  John gave me an Alleve (or is it Aleve?): thanks, honey!  The hubby and one of my sons did come to my aid, praise be.  We have most of it all bagged or bundled and tied.  We have a large load…if the trash persons won’t take it, I will worry then…there’s still plenty of bamboo growing…it’s in 3 or 4 yards along the fence line…it’s tough stuff!

     But now I can focus on our small patch of outdoors…as can our neighbor…told my hubby that he wants to grow tomatoes and peppers…he used to grow tomatoes when we first moved in, but then stopped.  My son asked me if I was going to plant grass seed or buy sod….hmmmm…NO…too many people and animals…no chance…it will be mulch. There is some ivy creeping over from the neighbor’s yard…I LOVE ivy! (My hubby doesn’t.  Why do I?  Not sure…partly childhood memories?  It was out front in the first house I lived in…I like the greens and the shapes of the leaves.  And it survives.)  But I don’t think it will cover our entire side yard…that will take years, I think. Going to look for some picnic tables/benches.  Fill up the sandbox…do you think a 6 (almost 7 year old) will still enjoy a sandbox?  I do.  (Then again, it’s hard watching my baby grow up…but that would fill a whole blog.)

    Planning on a flower garden out front, and another tree, and putting some stones in where we walk from the driveway to the steps…it’s only a few feet, but right now, it’s all dirt, which means it’s mud come the rainy days…looking for another tree, too…and then some chairs, etc…only 4 (pretty pathetic) white plastic chairs left…and a new small flagholder and decorative flags (means a trip to Booth’s Corner).  Hubby was checking out the BBQ grilles at Kmart yesterday…I saw that look in his eyes, that glimmer…but I don’t think we need a new grille, do we?  (And is it grill or grille?  OK…I will get the dictionary out…in a minute…oh, yes, I still use that book…can you believe it?  Dare I admit that I don’t know how to use spell check?  In our house, Meg and I usually ARE spell check;))

      So, HAPPY SPRING!!!  Just whatever you do, don’t bring me any bamboo…I have had enough!  I have been bamboozled!!!

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Rome wasn’t built in a day!

    So much for keeping up with blogging on a weekly basis, even a monthly basis…daily?  In what century?   (Yes, I know: I am undisciplined.)

     Anyway…got the full-time position that I had previously tried for, but was passed over…so life’s going to change for me and the entire family.  But not overnight.  I have not even started on my assigned shift/platoon yet…and already I have been flooded with questions and advice…and I do appreciate it, but please give me – and us – some time to make the adjustments.  Thanks so much!

     Do the kids have a chore chart ready? Not yet…yes, they will have to accept MORE responsibilities…but that won’t work until they accept the ones that they already had – but never bother to complete on a regular basis.  (So who did the chores?  Yes, dear old mom…hey, I put the recyclables at the curb this morning for pick up after completing my 10 hr shift at work…Shall I use the kids’ line – “But it’s not my job!”)  Yes, it’s my fault…because arguing and nagging with the kids usually takes way longer than the time it takes to do the actual chore…and I am all for getting things done & not wasting time…get it?  Although it does bother me – and it is sexist – but with all the “men” in my house – I still end up taking out the trash!  And the neighbors have commented on it…oh, well…My kitchen could be completely filled with trash & recyclables…the kids would climb over to get to the bathroom and to the fridges…yes, we have 2 fridges…and the dog would continue his daily feast from the trash…cuz mom will eventually clean it all up and then mop the floor and yell for a good five minutes and then say a few prayers to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

     Have I adjusted to the night shift and sleeping?  NO…that till take TIME…the human body needs 4 to 6 weeks to accept change, and I think it’s even longer the older we get!  Week 1:  I worked 5 8 hour shifts (11p-7am) and also put in 5 days as a substitute teacher, approximately 25-30 hrs…I had to leave a little early one day…I was a ZOMBIE by Friday afternoon…went to bed at 6pm…got up at 10am on Saturday…TIRED!!!  Week 2:  3 10 hr shifts (overnights) and 2 5 hr shifts (evenings) for my 40 hrs.  Not as bad…one half day as a sub…Week 3 begins on Sunday March 11…should get on my 4 10 hr shifts per week, with alternating day shift on Fridays…then we shall see how life goes…so please get back to me later.

     Plans?  Will finish the school year out as a sub…won’t be too many days…the school year is quickly passing by!  Being successful as a full-time employee is the goal.  Working on a budget with the hubby: we are both employed full-time…WOW!  Making family time fit in:)  Making the kids accept more active roles in the functioning of our household.  (Now that’s a CHALLENGE!!!)

    Continue volunteering as a religion teacher.  Confirmation went very well on Monday March 5.  Enjoyed meeting the bishop.

     Continue “hooking.”  Crocheting is my therapy…so I will also continue shopping on-line with Goodwill.  🙂

     EXPECTATIONS:  Must set them up for myself and my children.  And stick to them.  Of others?  Give me some time…Rome wasn’t built in a day!

    

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Taking a Break…

Well, I am 50 now;)  Celebrated at Applebee’s on Saturday the 4th; my b-day is the 5th.  There were 18 of us in 3 booths – lots of chatting & laughter, half-price appetizers & yummy drinks.  I had a “mucho” red apple sangria, then a berry sangria.  MMMMM!!!!  Some of us went over to The Milmont Inn (The Mont – a neighborhood corner bar) afterward…Hubby & I didn’t stay there too late.  It was very crowded.

How does it feel to be 50?  I think that is sounds strange when you say that it is HALF A CENTURY.  WOW!  But, it is just a number, and, right now, does not FEEL like anything…I am still busy with my life – and raising kids!  My baby is only 6 years old, so the idea of an “Empty Nest” is not in the near future…That’s fine with me.  Sure, I am OLD to my kids…that’s normal.  At this point, 30 is still OLD to them!  (And very young to me!!!)

So, my dear hubby took 10 days off from his f/t job for a “Winter Break.”  He deserves it.  So, I figured that some time together, as well as some family time, was a good idea.  I did not sign up for any shifts after I worked on my birthday, 3/11pm.  Hey, I don’t like football, so missing the Super Bowl does not upset me, and I can catch up with all the commercials later.    I did get a few calls (for both my p/t positions) – but I held up and said “No.”  (Never an easy task for me – I always end up saying “Yes.”)  Except I would have worked on Wednesday, but no one needed me for that day…and I added today’s shift (7a/3p) because it means that we can still all be home for dinner and get ready for the school week.

So, what have we done?  Well, not too much…but that’s good for us;)  “R&R” as they say…We could have focused on the house & put a big dent in the “TO DO LIST” – but we did not.  We did all the basics – take care of the kids, the meals, the everyday stuff (laundry & dishes & straightening up).  We caught up on some TV – learning about “Viggle” from Action News.  (I cannot “Viggle” – I do not have an i-phone.)

We went to Harrah’s Casino (Chester) with family members.  We gambled a bit, had lunch, gambled a bit more, & got home as the kids got in from school.

The hubby & I headed to Atlantic City on Thursday afternoon – to Harrah’s.  I had received a “Complimentary Night” for signing up at the casino in Chester, so we decided to use it.  Our “older kids” would take care of the younger ones, and it was easier since it was the end of the school week.  (Comp Nights could only be booked Sun-Th nights.)  We have never, ever done this…if we go away, it is with the kids or for an occasion, never to just “Get out of Dodge” for an escape.  In fact, the hubby was waiting for me to back out…and he told my one son that he would go without me!

We were lucky and had two beautiful February days – sunny and in the 50s, although it did get cooler and cloudier as we headed home on Friday afternoon.  We packed LIGHTLY – as in one bag for both of us.  And I took my crocheting along.  We were teasing at home with our one son…saying that we would not be leaving our room, so we only packed underwear.  Chuckle:)  We SHOULD have packed water bottles and snacks…will do that next time.  I did “smuggle” in a small bottle of wine (the casinos do not encourage BYOB) & John paid the high prices at the vending machine for a few munchies.  It was $13.00 for “Room Tax” and $5.00 for parking.  If we wanted to “upgrade” our room (we were given the “Harbor View”), it would have been either $30.00 or $60.00.  No, thanks anyway.

We checked in and relaxed for “Happy Hour” in our room #1232.  Note:  they do not provide many TV channels at all…guess they want you to be gambling, right?  Ordering movies was expensive – to us, but I guess cheaper than actually going to the theater.  Still not interested.  Yes, I took pictures of the room, including the bathroom.  It’s a habit of mine – mainly because it’s a novelty for us.  The kids tease me for it.  I think I would still do it – even if we went to hotels all the time.  You can look back later & remember your stay.

No kids.  No schedule.  No obligations.  We were two adults.  Two adults with time on our hands.  WOW!!!  The hubby and I were not too sure how to handle this.

Dinner…decided to stay at Harrah’s and have a break from driving.  EXPENSIVE.  VERY.  There is a buffet, but I did not feel like a buffet.  Walked around…saw THE POOL…looked very nice.  Did not pack our suits.  Next time.  (Maybe 3 or 4 people in the pool…everyone else was either sleeping in the lounge chairs or talking amongst themselves.)

Bill’s Bar & Burgers…or Bill’s Burgers & Bar…either way, it was Bill’s.  More our speed, but still high-priced.  No platters.  Just burgers.  Anything else was extra.  GEEZ!  Wouldn’t ya think they could throw in a lousy bag of chips for an $8.00 burger?  Or a stupid pickle slice? NO WAY!!!  So, we ordered sweet potato fries (I missed the cranberry dip that The Coffee Station puts with theirs) and onion rings.  I had water; the hubby had a diet soda.  Drinks…what a joke!  There were SHOTS  (yes, SHOTS) that cost $10.00.  WHAT?

So, we played the slots for awhile…we tend to look for the penny machines, and the “progressive” ones, too…definitely not big gamblers, are we?  But you have to be careful – there can be “minimum bets” involved, especially on “New Games.”  You have to bet 30 or 40 cents…what?  Anyway, I did manage to win $20.00 on a penny machine, which put us at “even” for the amount that we both put into gambling.  Not bad.

Choosing a snack to take back to the room was a challenge…the cappuccino place was expensive (WAWA & Swiss Farms taste much better), and even though I was REALLY CRAVING something SWEET, nothing appealed to me – and were even LESS appealing when I saw the prices!  We ended up at The Pretzel Factory (in a small corner called AT THE SHORE) and bought a small box of “rivets” and 2 sweet dips.  My wine made me happy;) 

Not even sure of the TV shows that we watched…we did see Carol Burnett on Conan…she is one of my faves! (And Conan’s, too.)

The hubby teases me – I HATE the DARK hotel rooms…where’s the night light?  (Keep one of the bathroom lights on!)  Funny thing – we did not set an alarm – YET…we both woke up at 6:30am – school routine!  Roll over…back to sleep…zzzzzz…

Coffee…pack up (that was easy & quick!)…check out…

OH!  Wait!!!  You can tell that we do not travel much…were amazed at the BEST BUY EXPRESS vending machine on the hotel main floor…need an i-phone, DSi, Kindle, or other elctronic gadget?  Sure, in a vending machine!  WOW!  (OK – YES – I took a picture to show the kids!)

Headed over to the boardwalk…struck by the contrast in AC…it’s either all glitz & glamour (the casinos) or stark reality: soup kitchens, homeless people, churches, small businesses obviously struggling to keep afloat in the area, houses falling apart.

We parked at The Showboat’s outdoor parking area and walked up to the beach…which is small.  The water’s edge was blocked by the sand mountains at the edge of the boardwalk…protecting the boardwalk from storms, I would guess.  So, we walked up and looked out…waters looked pretty and calm – waves were small.  Happy to smell the ocean and see the sea gulls:)  Surprised by the stray cats living under the boardwalk…all colors and all sizes.  They were not scared of people.  Some slept.  Others just sat and looked.

Trump Taj Mahal…so gaudy and outdated.  Donald, time to redecorate and renovate.  But, we went inside and signed up at the guest services desk.  The Trump is not as friendly and generous as Harrah’s.  You have to gamble before you get your “freebies.”  Well, these two gamblers did not fall for that gimmick – once we learned our lesson.  We went over to the penny slots and spent about an hour – got a free coffee and orange juice.  Checked our progress…only a quarter of the way to the “freebies.”  ($50.00 slot money and $25.00 food money)  Goodbye, Donald…that would have been three more hours and how much money?  REALLY?  We’ll check the other casinos and their reward programs another time.  PLUS, the Taj was so old and dark inside – it needed LIGHT!!!

Walked through The Showboat to head out to the parking lot.  Looked nice.  But I was casinoed out; gambled out.  Time to eat.  And not pay an arm and a leg for it.

So, we headed out of town and took an exit when we saw the sign for The Golden Corral.  I had never been to one, but John and the boys were, and liked the place.  It was worth it.  Lots of good, homemade food…including carrot cake for dessert.  Entered an anniversary sweepstakes to win meals for a year.  I’m there!

Gassed up the van at WAWA (ahhhhhhh…WAWA!!!) – had to remember NOT to get out of the vehicle to pump the gas – LOVE you for that, NEW JERSEY!!!  I bought a 20 oz. coffee for the ride home.

HOME…the kids survived.  The pets survived.  No fire or police calls for our house.  Same old, same old…I picked up shoes, school bags, cups, and trash as I walked through the house, with Ben trying his best to jump up on me for a kiss.  Did they all miss us?  Well, maybe…maybe just a little bit…Did we miss them?  YES…but in a good way…we enjoyed the time away…the time with each other:)

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Different Views

      The one thing that I would really love to have – and my whole family would like to have – is a house of our own…and then the time to turn it into our home…no matter where we are, I do try very hard to make it a home…because home is where the heart is;)  Nothing fancy…we’re not fancy people.  Just something – some place – to work on making OURS…instead of being stuck in the renting rut.  BUT, as long as we have a roof over our heads, I am/we are grateful.

      I had control of the remote in our house the other day.  How that happened, I am not exactly sure…I am not a “TV person” and my hubby and kids usually rule the remote.  I was watching “House Hunters.”  The realtor shows the people three houses/condos, then they decide which one to buy…and for most clients, they have already looked at SEVERAL other properties before the three on the TV show.  I like to see the houses and the prices in the USA…what differences there can be!

    Anyway, my daughter and one son (an 8th grader) joined me and started watching the episodes with me.  Do you know what they noticed?  Well, a few things…1.)  It costs a lot to buy a house/condo.  (Boy, do I know that!!!)  2.) People are really picky!  3.)  People are wasteful.  Yes, kids, you are right.

    Seemed like all the people NEEDED granite counter tops in the kitchens.  Nothing else would do, even if it was a NEW kitchen!  Oh, no, we’ll have to put in GRANITE.  My son asked me WHY?  Heck, I don’t know…I would be happy to have nice counter tops/space to work on in the kitchen…and I have never had a kitchen with an island, which is another “must” for so many people.  And BATHROOMS…seems like every time they walked into a bathroom you would hear “We’ll have to re-do this!”  Why?  Does the toilet, sink, and tub/shower work?  Yes?  Then that’s a good thing.  You can decorate and coordinate your bathroom/powder room without tearing it all up.  Right now, we do have two bathrooms – and they are both plain ugly…but they work.  I buy pretty shower curtains and curtains and colorful towels/bath mats.

     What would we like to have?  More bedrooms…we have been a bit cramped for the last several years…but, we’re family, and we make it work.  CLOSETS.  There are only 3 in the house we are renting…3…for 8 people now – used to be 10 of us…Now that is ridiculous!  Oh, yes…on the TV show, the people all NEEDED walk-in closets…BIG walk in closets…one couple even needed a “tee-shirt wall” in their walk-in closet.  Really?

     A family/play room and a dining room, as well as a living room, and maybe a finished basement – if we could afford it.  Just to give everyone some space, but also give us more room to be together…you should see us in our small kitchen and living/family room…talk about rubbing elbows and sitting on top of each other!  Once again, we’re family…so we make it work…but not always quietly!

     A fenced in yard – small, medium, or large…definitely would be a plus for us.  That’s something we could agree on with some of the people on TV…SOME.

      FLOORS…some demanded only hard wood floors…no laminated flooring or carpeting…or the carpeting would not be the right color.  A nice clean floor is fine with me…and make sure that it is easy to clean: two words – kids & pets.

     Seems like people waste time, and money, and energy…they do.  Some people need that perfect house – and end up working all the time, leaving no time to enjoy the “home” that they want…does that make sense?  Getting rid of counter tops – perfectly good ones – just to have granite…re-doing a bathroom because the tile or color is not right…WASTE.

     If I had a dollar for all the needs and wants of the people looking for houses/condos on the TV show, I would probably have a nice deposit…or a down payment for a house…That’s a nice thought:)

     I cannot change the mistakes we’ve made (about our housing over the years), but I can still dream and plan…because I would really love to have a house of our own – and then I could focus on making it a home – the center for our family, so, even when the kids are grown, they still come back…again and again…and if my hubby and I are blessed with grandshildren, there will be room for sleep-overs.  Lots of them.  Traditions, holiday meals, summer barbecues…HOME.

    

   

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Random Thoughts, That Bucket List, and Other Stuff…

  Maybe it’s the colder air and the windy days that have my mind feeling quite unconnected and lost at times, wandering along wavy paths, slowly coming back to the highway of everyday life.  And I think to myself, “SELF!  You should write some of these things down.”  Then, another thought, another chore to do, a person to pay attention to…no time to write or type.  (Ahhh, type…typing…typing class….wpm…words per minute…lugging that portable typewriter back & forth to college way back when: to TYPE all of my papers…times, they are a-changin’.)

     Wednesday is our community’s recycle day pick up…seems like the last 2 to 3 weeks, Wednesdays have been the windiest days of the weeks…so all of our good intentions to recycle – to save the Earth – are literally being blown away, as bottles and boxes drift along the curbs and streets…Is Mother Nature laughing at our feeble attempts to undo or make up for all the damage that we have done to our wonderful planet Earth?  Maybe…but I will continue to rinse out all of our milk and juice jugs and soda bottles, and keep all the cardboard packaging from our foods…and hope that they will make it to the recycling plant.  And become another bottle or package.  Or the cool looking yard furniture made from plastics.  Kermit, I do like being GREEN:)

     And, while I really like the K-cup coffee machine at work…isn’t it so very wasteful to throw out all those little plastic cups?  Has anyone out there found a “re-use” for them?  I am sure that they will…Remember those film cannisters? (For the 35mm film – yes, film – you used film in the camera!  Pre-digital age…)  People came up with clever “re-uses” for them…Where there’s a will, there’s a way, which means that there is an idea!

    The Bucket List…That Bucket List…does it come from the saying “Kick the bucket?”  And why does that mean die?  I don’t know.  Do I have one?  Not really.  Are there things that I would like to do and/or have?  Sure.  Right now, it’s really necessities that would make my life easier and more stable, more secure.  Our family could really use a second vehicle, and it remains on our “list.”  And we’d really like to stop renting a house and buy one – but that’s a long and hard process with a lousy credit record.  Living life and trying to save money is also a challenge.  One day…than maybe we could consider becoming foster parents…at the very least, I could think about babysitting again, which I love to do:)  Have my own preschool class:)

     My hubby would like to see all 5o states…I would like that, too.  Number 1 on my list: HAWAII.

    Family focus: I would LOVE to have my entire family – children, friends, and extended family & friends – go to Disney World together.  And over to EPCOT.  And Universal Studios.  And Nickelodeon.  And Sea World.  The kit and kaboodle.  That would be truly AWESOME!!!

     Little things: having a meal with family is fun…together – in the same room, at the same table…just makes a great connection…despite complaints and objections!  Had a nice meal with my 4 youngest children the other night at our kitchen table – which is small and well used, and often covered with school papers, coupons, recipe books, cookies, snacks, etc…Even if only a few minutes, we sat there, shared some thoughts, conversation, and laughs – and I think that we managed not to spill anything;)  It made me feel good for the rest of the evening – my hubby could even “feel” my happiness over the phone when he called. 

     My mind is not sure where to go right now…SNOW…in the forecast for tonight…or sleet and freezing rain?  I will have to get an update.  What exactly is the difference between hail, sleet, and freezing rain?  SLEEP…Yes!  I can sleep in tomorrow morning…ahhhh….let it snow;)

     Hibernation = contentment.  The bears have it right.  They really do.  And I find that I do not mind staying in (at home) during the winter months.  Especially when I can crochet.  Get my housework done, let go of the never-ending “TO DO” list…sit down, relax, crochet.  My hibernation.  Even the kids seem more contented in the warmth of our house than running around outside or searching  for friends.  We’ve been catching up on cable TV shows, movies, etc.  It’s nice.  (But come summer – don’t look for us at home!  We’re hardly ever there!)

     Betty White is 90 years old – as of January 17.  God love her!  She wants to meet Robert Redford…don’t you think the guy would take a little time and meet her?  She’s publicly announced it over the years several times…c’mon, Bob, wake up and give her a simple joy in life!!!  (He’s one of my favorites, too.  My brother likes to tease me – “Oh, he’s just a short guy with no talent.”)

     Alan Alda…always have pictured him a s a great father. Strong yet sensitive.  Funny yet wise.  Probably what my father was like…my father died when I was 2.  Yes, I would like to meet Alan Alda.

      And life goes on.

      And I am still one of the unconnected ones: no cell phone.  Makes a good topic for another blog…

      Choo-choo…there goes my train of thought…until another day…Have a Good One:)

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Happy New Year

OK…so it’s been more than a week…but that’s how it goes over the holiday season.  So much to do.  Places to go.  People to see.  And kids are home – hard to get a turn at the computer.  Sleep.  Yes, sleep, glorious sleep: such  a pleasure to get some!

So, I had my holiday meltdown – you know, the “Bah Humbugs” hit…but not for long.  Would not let them get the best of me.  Not worth ruining a beautiful time of the year.  The season does change as you grow from a child to an adult, but, somehow, if you hold onto the magic and the beauty – it makes it all very memorable and valuable.  Sure, there is stress – especially when you try to budget and are always counting every penny of every paycheck, then when you have to work on the holidays…but keep the faith and keep trying…There are angels (both in Heaven and here on  Earth) who will be with you and help you.  BELIEVE.  (I do.)

For once, I did not have a change purse full of pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters…often counted out and used to pay for a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk.  It is money.  No, during this season my change purse was empty.  Every time it got filled up, it was promptly emptied…the Salvation Army’s red kettle took all my change this holiday season.  Maybe not a fortune, but something…and it adds up.  It was (and is) something that I can do.

So, the shopping got done and the presents got wrapped…some before Christmas and some after.  We all got ready for Santa and enjoyed the last days of school and PREP.  Our family continued our tradition of being “untraditional”  for our Christmas  dinner: meatloaf, baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, veggies, rolls and butter.  Christmas Eve was a big Chinese dinner with my hubby’s family and exchanging gifts; I had to work, so I got the left-overs.  Still good!

Very nice surprise on Christmas morning: all eight children were up and here early – to open the gifts before my hubby had to leave for work.  A house full of noise, laughter, and love – what more could a mother want?  It made my heart warm and put a smile on my face – for the whole day and longer!!!  Santa Claus did a pretty good job – did not hear any complaining or see any tears.  Yes!  Even the socks and underwear were appreciated;)

I put in four hours at work, then my dear hubby finished the shift (four more hours).  Dinner with the kids (most of them) and relax.  Merry Christmas!!!

Oh…REWIND…Jeremy celebrated his tenth birthday on December 22.  We had dinner and cake for him.  He got a few gifts and money – which every kid LOVES.  (And spends very quickly.)  I always wondered who would plan to have a baby around the holidays…OOPS!  But, then again, the baby really is in charge…Jeremy was due the first week of January.  So much for that.

Friday, December 23: BINGO!!!  John  and I planned and cooked a holiday buffet for all the bingo players and staff at the Woodlyn Fire Company.  Chris did a great job setting up for us – looked really nice.  Went well.  Baked ziti, meatballs, rolls, cheese, salad and dressing, beverages.  Dessert: homemade bread pudding and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, thanks to the Pillsbury Dough Boy.  HO HO HO!!!

The holiday break was truly that – a break.  Nice to get OUT of the every day routine,  And with the hubby’s work day beginning at noon – NO ALARMS in the morning! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!  Can you tell that we are not morning people?  Watch TV and movies, read, play games, bake, eat, eat some more, and a little more…I did not crochet as much as I would have liked to, but I enjoyed some other things instead.

Friday, December 30: Family get-together and pollyanna exchange.  AND – BEACH TIME!!!  Yes, no matter what the season of the year is, our family is a BEACH FAMILY…so we left a little early so that we could spend time on the beach before our family get-together.  Took pictures…a beautiful day: blue skies and the sun was shining.  A few wet feet…so it goes!   More laughter, eating, drinking, chatting, playing and singing…dinner, dessert, and coffee…Lovely day!  Pollyannas exchanged.  Probably the best gift: “Just Dance 3” (for the Wii game system) for Thomas…BOY!  Have we all had fun giving it a try – and it really does get the heart a-pumping!  It is a work-out!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Just a peaceful evening spent at home…LIKE.

Now, back to the routine and the alarms sounding in the morning.  Just keep the coffee brewing, please.  The tree is still up – I love to wait until after the Epiphany (“Little Christmas”) to take down the tree and all the decorations.  It gives credibility to being a procrastinator, in my opinion.

Looking forward to some clearance shopping once I can save some pennies…love browsing and digging through the holiday clearance racks.  Actually, love browsing and digging through ANY clearance racks.

Resolutions?  Usually not something I do.  But that makes up another blog.

Writing our books yet?  NO.  But we will…WE WILL!  (That’s a cheer for me and Meg.)

Time to embrace January 2012.  Cheers to everyone!!!

February 2012:  My 50th birthday.  Definitely another blog!

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