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Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Friend

I am so very concerned about her!  She has had one chemo treatment and has started having adverse reactions, which is to be expected. She lives alone and is in her mid seventies. And, I have begun to think that she is not capable of doing this on her own. She is very confused most of the time about her medications and schedules. Her daughter who lives a little more than 100 miles ( 2-1/2 hours drive) from here would like her to live with her for the time being and receive her treatment there. But, of course, she wants to stay in her own home. As time goes by, she may change her mind. And, I sure hope she does. I am so worried about her.

I have spent as much time with her as I possibly can.  And, MSM has become very unhappy with the amount of time, primarily because I have my own health issues. I need to reduce my own stress level. I am counting the days until I can go for my appointment with the Spinal  Specialist. We have gotten a hotel room for the night before since the appointment is early in the day. And, we plan to return home the same day as the anticipated treatment.
We are spending a quiet New Year's Eve here at home with lots of good food/bubblie and munchies to welcome in the New Year.

Be Safe and have Lots of Fun.

Friday, December 30, 2011

What Could Be Better

~ ~ ~ Than a nice cup of hot homemade White Bean and Ham Soup prepared with the ham bone from the Christmas ham.

I had all the ingredients in the house for my selected recipe except for the Herbes de Provence.   At first thought, I wondered if the local grocery store would have some.  Remember, I live in the foothills/mountains!  And, then the light bulb went off in my head.  Within five hundred yards of my house, we have the cutest and greatest spice shop.

This is The Spice Tin 

So, when MSM came in from an errand, I asked him to "walk down the street" and buy some Herbes de Provence. It was so nice because the store is very close and we can buy small portions like one ounce bags. If you are wondering what is in Herbes de Provence and don't want to look it up on the Internet, it is a combination of rosemary, thyme, savory, fennel, basil, lavender and marjoram. I am sure that I will be using more of this herb in different dishes in the future. 

Oh, and yes, the soup turned out to be a favorite and will be repeated. If you are interested in the recipe, you can find it at White Bean and Ham Soup.  It was such a good way to use the ham bone.  We plan to get another ham soon and we will make some Scalloped Potatoes with Ham.  MSM tells me that it is a favorite dish of his.  Happy Cooking.

I hope you are enjoying the last days of 2011.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pretty Boxes

This pretty box is being offered by Dave's Quilt Boxes in a drawing.  He says,"I’ll draw the winner out of my newsletter list on New Year’s Day.  If you know someone who might like a chance at it tell them to go to the blog (Quiltboxes.com) and sign up.  Don’t think of it as reducing your chances of winning think of it as…well, as…well do it for me."  Be sure and check it out.

And, now, here is another pretty box, but with drawers! This is one of my Christmas gifts. We went to pick it up yesterday. I wanted some drawer storage in my little hallway between the linen closet door and the bathroom door.

It is exactly what I had in mind for the location.  I saw it on the Pier 1 website and it was less than $200.  So,  we went to see it in the store.  They only had the store model, so they ordered one for us. We picked it up yesterday!  We placed it just around the corner from the front door. It will be so nice to have a place to put things onto when I come home. You know, someplace to put keys and "all that stuff".  Maybe, even my purse - - - and it can't be seen from the front door window.

I like it !  I like it! And, remember I have some stripes in my living room decor. So, it works really well. By the way, these are the only stripes on the walls in my house. Don't want to overdue it.

I hope your day is going Wonderfully.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where To Begin

I am sure all of you at one time or another have been in situations where you " just-a-keep-a-going " no matter how exhausted you feel. I am so glad that tomorrow I do not have a single thing on my calender. I feel like I would like to stay in bed all day. But, I know that is not going to happen. And, that's OK, because it will be my choice to do that or not.

Christmas Day was a great day with Family, Fun and Food. Such a good day even though I was very tired and "hurting a lot" and this photo with me certainly shows it. But, I wouldn't have missed the day for anything. It was so much fun having my Granddaughter share the day with us and MSM's family. She is such fun and has the natural gift of blending in with all ages and enjoying herself as others enjoy her.


Just look at "my gal" with the little one.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ And then helping in the kitchen.

Need I say, she had a good time, too!


The day after Christmas I spent the entire day at the hospital with my friend while she received her first chemotherapy treatment. Everything went well and she did not get sick until this morning before she went for a follow-up treatment. Yesterday, as I was driving home we saw some beautiful photo ops, but I was only able to get one photo before the deer scampered away. Prior to seeing these deer, we saw about 50 wild turkeys along with five deer among them!

Today, after visiting with neighbors to share coffee and gifts, we went shopping to pick up one of my Christmas gifts that was on "back order".  More on that later.  Again, I was away most of the day. I am very very tired but still able to enjoy the Kennedy Center Honors on TV as I am putting this post together. 

Take Care of Yourself and Others.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve

It was a very nice afternoon and evening. My Granddaughter arrived mid afternoon. And, we were able to have a nice visit before we had a casual buffet dinner and then walked across the street to enjoy the Christmas Eve candlelight service. The church was beautiful with many Poinsettias and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. The attendance was high and the sanctuary and annex were filled with members, friends and family. 

My Granddaughter was welcomed with open arms and many called her by name even though she had never been there before. She really enjoyed the service and the people. The music was wonderful and the church was filled with love, caring and celebration. 

MSM usually sings in the choir, however, he sat with Sara and Me in the sanctuary. Much to my surprise I was able go get a photo of them singing as they sat next to me. I was at the end of the row against the wall and that made it easier to try to take a photo inconspicuously!

More to come later. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas Day.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Smiles

During this Holiday season many people are living with difficulties that are greater than what we find within our own homes and families. It is so important for all of us to remember to be thankful for all the blessings that have come our way. And ~ ~ ~ to reach out to lend a helping hand in whatever way we can.

Yesterday, I spent the day at the hospital  in the Cancer Center  with my friend. The medical staff was excellent in their caring, gentle, understanding, informative and  professional manner.  My friend is dealing with "high risk cancer"! Along with the breast cancer there is area of concern in the hip bone and the liver. Her treatment will be rigorous and extensive. Chemotherapy will start Monday, the day after Christmas and I will be there for her to take her for her first treatment. There are many appointments scheduled for various reasons and her chemo will be every three weeks for six treatments. I am sure there will be some other friends who will help out with transportation. We will all make it work. It was a difficult day, however, I am very happy that I am able to help even with my own limitations.

In a few hours my Granddaughter will be arriving to spend the next two days with us. We are thrilled beyond imagination! I am so blessed to have such a wonderful Christmas. There have been many, many difficult Christmas's in my past. And, I am so very, very blessed this year and I am SO grateful.

I am wishing Each and Every One of You a Very Blessed and Joyous Christmas.

        Remember, if you can - help someone find their smile.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

 It won't be long ~ ~ ~ and it will be a New Year ! ! !  I can hardly believe it ! ! !

Thursday, December 22, 2011

How Cute Is This

This is Christmas Tabletop Confetti ~ ~ ~

They are tiny little packages! I am glad that I did not have to wrap them! We found them at Pier 1 on Monday when we went shopping for the Honey Baked Ham.


This is my little Holiday table and the confetti is fun!

The days are rolling along and I am getting closer to relaxing. This afternoon I am going to be wrapping some gifts which  I always enjoy. In the past I would spend a lot of time being very creative but this year I just want them to be very pretty and the contents much enjoyed.

I am so pleased with my beautiful amaryllis. I picked it up at Walmart only a week and a half ago!


Take Special Care during this busy Holiday Season.

Tomorrow, I will be taking my friend to the Oncologist to review the PET scan and schedule her chemotherapy. Wish her well. Yesterday we had a  "Tuaca Afternoon" and exchanged our gifts. We had fun.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Please Come In And Take A Look

It won't be long and my Fitz and Floyd Santa pitcher will be serving up some nice eggnog. Santa looks so jolly and he is always fun to use during the holidays.

I am so delighted to tell you that my Granddaughter will be sharing the Christmas holiday with us. We expect that she will be able to come on the 24th. We plan on having an early casual dinner with Honey Baked Ham and many side dishes to feast on before going to the  Children's Christmas Pageant at 7 PM. And, then following the service, we can have a little more to eat if we desire. With my present medical situation, I have not been able to do holiday cooking. And, that saddens me. But MSM has been so understanding and we will purchase prepared food. I am looking forward to when I hopefully can do more home cooking and baking!

On Christmas Day we will be going to MSM's daughter's house for Christmas dinner. And, I am so happy that my Granddaughter will be with us, also.

And, now I will share some photos of this years Christmas tree. The decorations are totally different from last year. I call this tree "The Glamour Tree".  All of the decorations are different shades of gold, white and bronze. It is quite stunning and somewhat formal! 


Thanks for visiting.

And, have a nice evening.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Let's Make Some Virtual Snowflakes

Try it!   It takes a little time to know what you are doing with the little animated scissors but once you "get it" take caution  ~  because it can become addictive! This snowflake making technique has big advantages in that you don't have to clean up all the snippets of paper.

I came across this little "time waster"  http://snowflakes.barkleyus.com/  in blogland and thought you might like to spend some of your time doing this instead of sticking with your organized schedule of  Christmas preparation! Have a little fun.

I hope your day is productive ~ HA HA!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It Was A Good Day

In the morning I received a phone call from the scheduling department of Spinal Diagnostics and Treatment Center. Reportedly, their mission is to provide the most modern and up to date diagnoses and treatment for patients with spine disorders. For the past six years they have had an in-house research department. They have scheduled me to see the Medical Director who did his undergraduate work at Stanford University and received his Doctor of Medicine in 1971 from University of California, Irvine. His internship was completed at Orange County Medical Center and Residency at University of California, San Francisco and Board Certification in Anesthesiology in 1976. He received an award from The Best Doctors in America, 2007-2008. His curriculum vitae is very lengthy and impressive. 

At the present time I am scheduled for a consultation and spinal injections on January 10, 2012. Apparently, the diagnostic tests will be completed on that day and the treatment can be initiated. When I say spinal injections, I do not know precisely what type. From my research, there are many different types of treatment. And, this treatment is based on very precise analysis of the spine and symptoms.  For additional info you could check out Spinal Diagnostics and Treatment Center.

Just knowing that I am going forward to pursue some treatment in the near future makes me feel a lot better emotionally.

MSM has been incredibly supportive and has decided that we will travel to the facility the day before the appointment because the appointment is at 9 AM and it takes about 3 hours drive time.

AND, the day ended with a lovely dinner-dance Christmas celebration last night at Snow Flake Lodge Restaurant at Blue Lake Springs for  SIR. This is the second year we have attended this event. MSM has been a member of this organization for retired men for many years. It was a wonderful evening with friends, food, beauty and holiday spirit.

We had a little rain last night and may get more. Last year at this time there was snow on the ground. The weather is so much warmer this holiday season. Snow is starting to fall at the higher elevations. Time will tell!

I hope you are having a Fabulous Holiday season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Step Forward A Step Back

The tree is up and I am down. Well, it is not quite that bad. Sunday was a full day as usual with church, brunch and then a movie later in the evening. Sunday service was the Christmas Cantata which MSM was a part of as a choir member. It was fantastic and the church was decorated with such beauty! I think MSM has been signing in this church choir for over 15 years, longer than any of the current members.

 In the evening it was certainly cold with temperatures in the low 30's when we got home from the movie. It was a strange and silly movie, Jack and Jill with Adam Sandler and Katie Holmes. 

Yesterday, I did nothing. Oh, that is not quite accurate. I went for a routine eye examination and then a quick stop at the grocery store and then - - -  nothing.

Lily has been dressed in her cable knit hoodie sweater these days. So, so cute. No I did not knit it. Maybe, some day I will knit or crochet one for her.  She really loves to get dressed with her sweater. This little photo is from last year when we were having snow at this time.

Today, I have stayed busy all day (probably too busy) and I have an Old Fashioned Pot Roast dinner in the Crock Pot for dinner. Lots of carrots, potatoes, celery and mushrooms. It's a great dinner for a chilly evening. And, of course, there will be some dessert - eggnog  ice cream. Tis the season, right? 

I hope you are Staying Warm and maybe enjoying a fire in the fireplace along with some eggnog!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stay Tuned

The picture is a teaser!   More to come soon!

Friday, I spent the entire day putting up the Christmas tree. I wanted to surprise MSM.  And, I did. He loved it! I have done it alone for so many years, I knew it would be easier to do it myself. Sad, but true.

A few finishing touches and I am ready to use my new camera to take pictures of this years tree. There is still so much more to learn about all the functions in different picture taking settings. As most of you know, photographing a lit Christmas tree can be a challenge.

Stay tuned.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Yes, Christmas Is Coming

And, I am slowly moving through each day with a very distressing pain level. I'm not complaining - just the facts. The problem is my low back, hips, left leg to calf and right leg to knee. The mornings are particularly difficult until my body warms up.

So, as I have mentioned in the past, the time has been coming when I have to seriously look at any options for help that are available. I have contacted the referral office of The Spinal Diagnostics and Treatment Center in Daly City, California, near Stanford University Hospital. And, I have requested the referral paperwork from my Neurologist  for scheduling. There is a possibility that I  may have an appointment before the end of the year. If I can benefit from the anticipated treatment which is "state of the art", I will explain more about the procedures when I know more.

In the meantime, we are doing what we can in regards to the holiday season. Perhaps, we will be able to put the Christmas tree up before the end of the week. The house already looks a little festive with simple things such as holiday linens.

I hope to get caught up with some of my overdue emails. Be assured, I am thinking of all of you. I will blog when I can. 

Enjoy each and every day of your Holiday Season with family and friends.



Some Additional Special Photos


Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Happy Family (2014)

Happy Family (2014)
Grandma Pride

Valentine's Day 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

High School (1957) Friends Of Mine On The Left Live In New York and We Met In Canada In 2011

High School (1957) Friends Of Mine On The Left Live In New York and We Met In Canada In 2011

Bud Mietz

Bud Mietz
1928 - 2014