Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011



When I had my third child, I thought that was the hardest year of my life. One in 3rd, one in Kinder and a tiny baby that all I did was nurse...I felt like I circled the school and hovered over her crib.

I have done many hard times.  I have lost a parent, I have lost good friends, I have been poor and I have lost at love.

It's interesting how you believe the storm that you are enduring is the worst storm you have every endured.  It's only when looking back that you can see how that very endurance has polished you as a person.

As I reflect over this past year and how I have spent my time and energy I am amazed.  Perhaps THIS was the hardest year of my life.  So much destruction that it made my heart hurt.  But under the rubble is a home that I have dreamt of all my life.  Out of the ashes grows a rose.

Our children are adults now and spending time with them is beyond fun.  My precious little light lives just down the street.  I love my family more every year and I have the best of friends, many that I have known since I was a little girl.

But more than anything, all this living I'm doing is along side a person that I love more than anything in the world, so in fact...I have actually won at love.

I remind myself..

The oak lives in the acorn the eagle in the egg...and fire polishes gold. we come! PURA VIDA!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


This year is no different than last year or the year before when it came to the Wishing Ball.

Well...a few things changed...some of us are older and some of us had so much that we were left with nothing much left to wish for.

Even though Betty is four and can't write down her own wish...make no mistake she knows exactly what she wants for 2012.  She is practical and I really like that about her.

I sincerely hope and believe that sometime within 2012 she most certainly will have

her very own flashlight.

I hope every one's wishes come true...especially mine...they were good ones!

We shall see!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


The day every little girl dreams of is the day she chooses her wedding gown. Yesterday, that day came for baby bo peep and it was a wonderful day indeed.

It began with mani/pedi, a few errands and a fun lunch inside a steamy pizzeria.  Then on to the main event.  Beforehand, she had gone to the dress store and chosen several to try on in front of us.

Her biggest fans (minus the men fans of course) were sitting in comfy chairs below a stage with a large circle of mirrors so that the dresses could be viewed from all sides.

Ooos and aaaas as she stepped onto the stage and fluffed out the trains for us all to see.  There was lots of laughter, comments, jokes and fun...until....


Suddenly, it sinks in...this is the dress we will see her in this summer as she becomes the wife of the man she has loved since she was 14.

The precious girl helping her in the fitting room is a psychology major and points out to her that all the dresses she has tried on she "likes", but this is the only dress she says she "loves". 

It is the one.

Tears fill my eyes, I can't help but imagine on the other side of the mirror all her other fans that are present.

Mattie...for whom she is named.
Beatrice...for whom she is named.
Some who only were able to touch her tiny newborn hand.
Grace, Carrie, and others who knew her before she came to this earth.

We all sit beneath her as she twirls if she is 6 playing dress up...wide brown eyes...beautiful olive skin...and a huge tomboy smile.

Yes...this is the dress...this is the one.

As tradition has it, she went to the front and paid for it with a generous gift from her Grandmother who will have her own private showing another day.

And soon, the dress will be worn...just once...but unforgettably,

as she becomes more than just our daughter, sister and friend...

she will become his bride.

Friday, December 23, 2011


My mental shenanigan for the day

It is Christmas
I will get back to life and routine sometime in the very near future which includes bouncy ball and row machine...but for the next few days...

Lazy mornings
Frenzied (yet fun) afternoons of loose ends
More nights by the fire with my very very most favorite man in the world

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

When I looked out our frozen window to see how much snow there was, the first thing I saw was was a tiny little bird perched on a frozen twig...they, the bird and the twig, were swaying in the wind.

The ground is white but a few random grasses can be seen. 
Seeds that have made it through the summer to offer a meager meal on this day.

But just below the surface is a mediocre meal of seeds not eaten and some bread left over from a warmer day.  It won't be the most delicious thing to eat, but it is there still.

And to the storm....


Peanut butter, oranges, sunflower seeds and raw peanuts scattered about the yard


The birds never worry...they trust they will be cared for....they eat what is provided

why can't we?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


A few days back there was a promise of a very cool story to be told today.  Today is my 14th wedding anniversary and these events are REAL and when that promise was made, it took on more magic than I could ever have expected. 

The story is long.  I will try to be brief and allow the pictures help tell it...use your imagination to add your own emotion to this special story.

Price of gold is going up!  (down since then, but on that day and others before...UP!)  That's when I get a big idea to sell some gold to start my "pool fund".  I gathered up some things that I had not worn in a very long time, found a place I trusted, and began the plan.  First step...Gold Widget, Excel Chart, Weighing--- what I thought I could part with.

Of course I realize I cannot build a pool with $'s just a goal! 

Computer crash the day before Thanksgiving that leaves me so flustered!
I can't work for days that turn into nearly a week!

 I decide to sew a pillow out of a new dishtowel thinking it would bring me some peace.
Walk away..take a deep breath and just sew a pillow! 
It needs some old buttons!  Where is that old button tin (the one I've had for years!)?

I finally find it and interestingly enough find some peace's in a drawer and why I put it there during our move I'm not sure.

I have scratched around in this old button box a dozen times, but today...I find a treasure that must have been there all along.  A tiny gold wedding band wrapped with some tape showing that it was too big.  It must have slipped off the finger of whoever owned the button box long ago...she was probably trying to find buttons to sew on her husband's shirt.  Can you imagine her sadness to have never found her wedding ring?

So I decide that I am going to take this gold ring, sell it and buy B a statue for his herb garden and surprise him on our anniversary.  The loss of her ring will take on a new face as it lives on in our garden as a stone angel.

(This is the extraordinary part)
While B is in a meeting, I sneak to the gold store and sell the ring.
Later, we go to a home design center and without going into details, I discover that the money is no longer in my pocket.  I am in hope that I left it in the car, but sad to find it is not there. 

Just in case....I walk back in to the service desk and say to a clerk who is checking someone else out...

"What do you think the chances are, in this time of the season, that  if someone were to find some cash they just might do the right thing and turn it in?"  The woman in front of me says, "I would", the clerk says "I would too" and I add..."that's why I'm even asking...because so would I."

 The clerk says "let's just say a little prayer that they will" I begin to write down my name and number and say..."if they don't then Merry Christmas to them because hopefully it fell into the hands of someone who needed it more than me."

Another clerk that had been on the phone and hearing some of our conversation walked up and said...

"Can you describe it"

....all of us standing there were in amazement of what had just happened and our eyes filled with tears.

I don't know if I can really explain wasn't the money...but just the fact that someone did the right thing and welded the faith of four strangers.   These were lives and past lives drawn together by a little gold ring that belonged to someone who probably had a broken heart over the loss...and I believe she was in the mix too.
So there is some statuary somewhere that will soon become part of a lovely garden

That was meant to be purchased with a little gold ring and the right thing.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Ok, O.K....I KNOW!  I (we) have a nutcracker obsession!  But how could you not when you see the whimsy and complete magic!  Let me introduce you to the new guys on the mantel...or there about.

Completely expected...that I would find yet another...only he stands guard in the bedroom in which his outfit matches...all pink and plum and sparkly!

Nice Surprise...leave it to Coach Been to find one holding a basketball his first year to officially "belong to our family"...thanks Coach Been!  Nice shorts!

Completely UNEXPECTED!  Wow...what a sweet gesture and wonderful surprise to add
three new ones from Ms. Chris.


Wine and Cheese Man

Not only were these very nice gifts just as Nutcrackers...they actually reflect the things we love

good food...good wine...friends....
birds and otherwise!


Friday, December 16, 2011


Below is an excerpt from peep's blog which cracked me up because of the unusual things my kids would ask for for Christmas.

Grace: What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?
Betty: A fireplace in my bedroom

Baby peep can be heard from a near distance as she's watching tv (commercials..especially during the season) saying..."I want that...I want that...I want that...out loud to herself.  Who knows what it is that she's getting exposed to and why in the world would she want a fireplace in her bedroom?

But the one that takes the cake for me and still makes me laugh is when my son sat in Santa's lap in a public place and asked for an ear wax removal kit.

I can't exactly remember, but I think Santa came through.


Get any kazoos!
You see...I had planned on mostly my entire family being here beginning today and celebrating over the weekend for our family Christmas.

Me and peep #1 had a great weekend planned.
Green Chile Stew
Mimosa (when in doubt)
and...big surprise...

A real live sleigh with jingle bells, lights, and drawn by Clydesdale Horses so we could all load up and travel through our little town singing carols.

You see....out of my whole family, I am the only one that remains in our little home town.  It's hard to get to and frankly no one really wants to which became obvious when almost everyone cancelled.

I peep's HS team will play state football at the Cowboy Stadium...don't blame him for missing and he didn't know they would make it when he said he'd come.

Sister Peep's son is in a basketball tournament and her girls are still in class at college.

Other peeps are willing but why do all this for just a few when they had things they could do too?

Yesterday, I was so happy and drove to another town to load up on the groceries and planned to spend today cooking my heart away, listening to music and anticipating the first car driving up to my house!

I looked at a few places for some instruments that would aid in our voices...drums, tambourines and I thought it might be hysterical for a few of us to have a kazoo...even though it really might scare those horses...but so might we.

So...this morning, I put away all the hot sauce and wondered about those 10 avocados and was just thankful that I didn't buy any kazoos.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011



Ok...I admit I'm a deadline pest, but it seems like it's the only way to really get things done around here.

Funny thing is that we bought this scale (and others) at an auction a couple of summers ago where it lived in our garage thinking that we would "build" our kitchen around it when we built our house.  Plans were to build when peep graduated college but we were given the awesome opportunity to purchase 822 instead.

The scales were always going to be part of our kitchen to accurately weigh sugar, flour and butter when making pound cakes.  For the past several months they have been in this corner all alone and for the life of me I cannot understand why I was the only one who could see that they needed shelves and to be surrounded by a whole bunch of useless white dishes.

Finally I convinced hubby to add the shelves.  In September.  We thought about it, looked at pictures, looked at wood, looked at corbels, had Rick come for an estimate, bought corbels to do ourselves and before you knew it, September was December and that's when I used the old deadline thing that works for me from time to time.

"My family is coming for Christmas on the you suppose it could possibly be done by then?"  You must ask this sweetly/sternly.  Folks are pretty busy around here.

Scales are in our house because hub is a Libra and that's what I collect for him in his behalf.  But I must admit that I am glad that I used the deadline thing because isn't it obvious this looks amazing.
And my entire family really will be here the 17th and this scale area will be very useful to us.

We have lots of weighing to do!

Monday, December 12, 2011


(best viewed by full screen--use toggle key to enlarge)

Last night I was watching Warren Buffet on Fox News and he was telling a story about his children.

"I did not build my wealth for them to inherit it," says he. 

His 3 children must have been very ???? (angry) (disappointed) when he gave the vast majority of his multi-billion dollar fortune to Bill Gates...who he referred to as his 3rd son.


But what I was most intrigued with in the conversation, is that his children all only had a high school diploma, never mind the fact they could all have doctorates if their hours at college could add up.

What he and I have in common is this...a belief that an education beyond high school is secondary to a great work ethic and a creative mind!

America is the great country that it is because if you possess

1.  A decent ability to communicate
2.  A grasp of the English language
3.  A bit of whimsy and honesty
4.  G.U.T.S.

you can become a very rich person.  Interestingly enough...all those who honor that way of thinking would consider themselves being rich in a way that money was not the measure.

Case in point...for all those people who love to have a fire but

1.  Don't have a fireplace
2.  Don't like the mess
3.  Fear termites

This channel is for you.  There is a channel called The Fireplace Channel. can put this on your gigantic big screen tv and feel as if you are cozied right up to a crackling romantic blazing fire.

America Rocks!


A big fat cozy romantic fire all day long in your own living room courtesy of someone who

Thought. Outside. The. Box.

DEAR MR. NAPKIN HEAD did it to me again. 

Just when I had a very fun night planned to attend a KC and the Sunshine Band (nearly) rockin' the Christmas Tree night....after a most wonderful Nutcracker ballet....I stopped off for a snackipoo...

at sister friend's house and we had a glass of wine or two while we waited on the club to open.
I must admit we had our doubts when the start time was 9:45 in Arlington and the comments contained snippets such as Wrinkle Ranch....

While we waited...we trekked on upstairs-- full of olives in 8 ways and cheese in watch you in

The Holiday

oh my....Mr. Napkin Head

You make a girl(s) wanna stay home under the cuddly down comforters on a cold chilly winter night and forget all about dance plans in some far off town...too late...too cold...too potentially less interesting

than watching you make Cameron Diaz and others in the immediate vicinity


Friday, December 9, 2011


Last year I was annoyed to find out that for our "fun" at family Christmas we were going to see the Nutcracker at the Bass Hall in Fort Worth.


I sat throught that performance as if I was 8 and a ballerina wannabe, but glad I was over 21 and could go to the CHAMPAGNE BAR!

It was truly breathtaking and spectacular...but I am not hard to amaze. head out to take Peep and BoPeep and two sister friends who live in the area.
I cannot wait to watch little Betty watch this!  I fear since it's a matinee she might fall asleep.

This year at TML in Fort Worth we went to a party where the David Whiteman Experience was the entertainment and all I can say is WOW!  Big Band...big sound...I didn't even care when the trombone player's spit flew out of his horn onto me...of course...I might have had a cocktail and didn't care about such things.

So...I looked him up...took me a long time to google him because I couldn't remember his actual name, but I finally did and guess what!!!  The band is performing in Arlington....SATURDAY.NIGHT.

Whoa!  Nutcracker AND The David Whiteman Experience? 

Can we say heaven????

However, I must admit that when I read the reviews of the kind of stabbed me right in the heart.

8/1/2011 I think the commonly referred nicknames used do the place more than adequate justice. They include:
Wrinkle Ranch
Menopause Mansion
Club Geritol
Jurassic Park
Alzheimer Acres
I'm sure I'll someday be a regular... Once I hit retirement age and wear Depends...


Ok...I choose Club's the least of the bad!  Because we all know those who take Geritol have tons of energy.  Hmmm... a Geritol and Champagne Cocktail.....

I might need a driver too!  Home James!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Look out comes a dynamic kitchen duo!

Today, the menu features a hand made gingerbread home

decorated with love and imagination

Miss BoPeep puts on the shingles with some yummy sugar icing...hard not to lick that spoon

No plain ole cookies for Santa at this house...oh no!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011



At least not in front on anyone but ME!

Thanks sis for a glimpse into my own private exercise room and a cold hard reminder of exactly why I do not attend Zumba classes with all the pretty young things at the O Center.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Psalm 91:11-12

 "For He will give His angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone."

The Bible is full of verses that more than suggest that we are surrounded by our very own servants in the heavenly realm.

We are known.

The number of our days are exact, the hairs on our heads are counted one by one.

God says that He cares for us more than the sparrows of the field and they are given every single thing they need to live each day perfectly without want.

It is my prayer each day that the angels who guard my children and those I love the most will be present in their lives.  To take care of them and guide the path they are on.  To wrap them in a hedge of protection.

And sometimes you might just be an angel to someone in need and never even know it.

Say a prayer, light a candle, take a meal, share a look, do the right thing.

This blog is in honor of the person who returned my cash to the customer service desk when you could have kept it for yourself.  I wish you could know the whole story of the big picture in which you are the hero.

Friday, December 2, 2011


We shall have peace


When we first purchased 822, we filled at least 4 city trucks with loads of stuff.  But we came across some real treasures.

This Nativity is one of my favorite things because it contains the simple message of Christmas.  Parents who adore their child and 3 wisemen who are seeking the Light and Lord of the World.

A wire cross, the page of an old hymn from Miss Berry's house, prayer beads from Greece, a rosary our son brought me from Mexico...tied together with some twine with a message....

Wise men still seek him....


Thursday, December 1, 2011


And did I mention Nutcrackers?

I love having more than one fireplace! 
Nature on one
Stockings upstairs
and Nutcrackers galore!

Gotta love those who crack the nuts!

we have an army

of very fancy and lively wooden men who represent all kinds of things
this one is an artist!

Ironically....we bought this beekeeper while visiting B's missionary Aunt and Uncle in Germany...did we somehow know that 822 was going to have a huge wild beehive?
The other two are very sentimental as they are hand carved by my good windmill friend Orville Latham. 

hmmmm....a Nutcracker holding a Nutcracker...that's a little obsessive don't you think?
Oh wait...nevermind.


This is a special year....the first Christmas at 822 and many things went into the ideas for my pink holiday living room.

First of all...nature.

This summer when the baby owls hatched this is exactly what they looked like, so when I found these poufs of fur at Pier 1....they spoke to me...yep...just like on the commercial! 

I took an old hymn book and shredded some Christmas songs and filled this nest.  These signify our children.
This baby peep sitting in its own nest is Betty...the empty one is hope for more just like her!
These two strong bucks are the men in our daughter's lives...Coach Been and a prayer for Grace.

One night when Miss Jena was driving home she spoke a question..."God..why am I in this family's life?"  As she turned into the drive of her home a shooting star fell to the ground as if it was right in front of her.

I like that!  She is a very precious glittery shiny star for sure!
I am the white snow covered tree with three red birds nesting in my branches

B is the big strong cedar standing over those big strong bucks!

I have had these ornaments for years....Mr. Crescent Moon has an owl sitting on his tip.

And this snow angel holds a white coyote

Me and B...swinging in our tree

B gave this ornament to me with my new GLG initials engraved in it BEFORE we were married.

Faith....and here we still are...I'm surprised he didn't engrave 822.

It has been more fun to dig out all the old stuff.  Because we were in the process of moving and rennovating we didn't decorate last year.  I didn't realize how much I missed it.

So far....4 trees, 3 snow village sections, two mantels and one gingerbread house with tasty treats made by
Betty and B