Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Tree, Kitties, and Me


The days are going by much too fast for me, but then they seem to do that the older I get.  I'm slowly getting everything ready for Christmas.  Are you ready?

The trees were finished yesterday and there are a few things that will be tweaked as the days go by.  Things added and maybe a few eliminated too.  I'm finding that less is more this year.  

I didn't put out my entire Santa and Snowmen collections, just a few were put on top of the entertainment center.  I need to find a new tree skirt to complete the tree.  The one I had last year was no where to be found.

I love Christmas music and have been enjoying listening to a few favorite CD's.  My sugar-free hot chocolate supply is about gone so that needs to be put on my shopping list.



My daughter has been busy decorating her house and has had a little audience as she works in the kitchen.  See the trio at the door?  They are part of a group of 5 kittens that were moved by their mother to her house in the spring.  The one in the background is Orphan, so named because her mother more or less abandoned her and she took up with the 5 kittens. 


Uncle CT is still around helping take care of them although the kittens are nearly grown by now.  That is Uncle CT in the middle.  Lil Stormy is in front and Orphan is in the back.


I knew this would happen.  Kim fell in love with them all, but Lil Stormy wormed his way into her heart and was the first one she could pet after many weeks, maybe months, of coaxing.  I told her that Lil Stormy would be wanting to come into the house and she said no, not gonna happen.  

Well, guess what?  How can you say no to that sweet little face?  I couldn't either.  We are both soft touches when it comes to our fur babies.  He comes in to visit when she's home in the evenings and weekends, but goes outside the rest of the time. 

As for me, I am still coughing some but otherwise am doing better.  I had to go to the eye clinic Monday for another shot in my eye for macular degeneration.

That isn't much fun but the worst part is getting my eyes dilated and it's hard to see for quite awhile.  I managed to drive to the mall and stopped in at Barnes and Noble and the Cafe Court to wait until I could see better.  The selfie was just me goofing around.  I'd thought to take a pic of my sad looking eye, but it didn't turn out.

You might as well laugh at yourself and have fun when you can.  I  made the gal that took the eye x-rays laugh.  She told me to put my chin on the bar and I said, "which one?"  She then proceeded to talk about the joys of getting older and having everything start to sag, although I'm sure she was much younger than I am.  I didn't tell her that it only gets better, haha!

Then the doctor came in with the same old joke he tells me every time I see him.  Something about telling my husband that I needed to give up vacuuming, that it wasn't good for my health.  The man needs a new joke book for Christmas!

What are you asking Santa for Christmas?  Anything special?  We have told our children that we need to downsize and don't need a thing.  Really, we don't.  I realize more everyday that I need to stop accumulating stuff.  I love dishes for instance, but I have more than enough now.  Now books are maybe the one thing that I can't stop bringing home.  But I do donate many that I've read and won't read again.

I'll hope to visit soon!  Being under the weather for so long put me way behind on things.  I still need to finish my shopping and wrapping.  Maybe a trip to the Amish country will be made to purchase some of their delicious candies and breads.   All those yummy things that I'm not supposed to eat!  

Happy Wednesday to you!
xo Cheryl

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Catching Up


It's been a while since my last post and although I strive to be upbeat, I also believe in keeping it real.  So I'll begin with saying the past few weeks haven't exactly been my finest, healthwise.  I've struggled with vertigo, a bad cough which is still lingering and various other ailments.

I even had to go to the Emergency Room this past Saturday night.  You know how it is, something always seems to happen over the weekend or at night when there aren't any doctors available.


I think I'm on the upswing now even though some things still need to improve.  At least there were a few good days here and there the past few weeks and we took advantage of them and went to Branson.  

Silver Dollar City at Branson is a must-see for me during the Christmas season which begins the first weekend in November.  They had added 1.5 million lights to the already 4 million this year and it was just fabulous.  I love Christmas lights and I was like a kid again gazing in awe at everything. 

There were several archways covered in lights like the photo above.
 

As I wasn't feeling the best, I didn't try to walk down the hills toward the back of the park as in years past, but I think I saw most of the new lights as they seemed to be mainly in the mid-park section.   Do you see the suspended tree in the photo above?

I can't begin to describe the beauty of SDC decked out for Christmas and if you ever go, be sure to stay after dark as it is indeed a sight to behold!


Our condo already had a tree up and decorated.  The weather was nice during the time we were there and just chilly enough at night to have a fire going in the fireplace.
 

One morning the fog was still hanging over the lake and it made a pretty sight.  I love fog if I don't have to drive in it!  
 

Here's a photo taken from inside of the fog on the lake.  I think this was the morning we were leaving to go back home.  You can see by the shadows on the deck that the sun was breaking through the fog.
 

I love Branson but it's always good to get home and back with our sweet fur-kids.  Stormy missed us and she has been keeping close to me when she knows I don't feel good.  

My Christmas trees are still in the boxes just waiting to be opened and put together and decorated and I'm behind on shopping too.  It will get done even if a bit late this year.  Our daughter wants to have Christmas dinner at her house this year.  We'll have our gift exchange on Christmas eve here. 

Hopefully I'll get back to visiting and posting more regular soon.  I do hope all of you are staying well and having fun getting ready for the holidays.

Happy Tuesday to you!
xo Cheryl

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!


"But now, on Thanksgiving, we still have the November
sun, and the clear deep blue of the sky, and the white glory
of the stars, and the loving-kindness of friends, just as our
forefathers had.  If only we can preserve the real things--
the love of man and woman, the peace of an evening by the 
fire, the sweetness of music, and the gay sound of children's
voices--we shall not have to hear the sound of the world
disintegrating into chaos."
 
~Gladys Taber, The Book of Stillmeadow
 

The turkey is in the oven, the rolls are rising and the pies are made.  Next, I'll peel the potatoes and put together the garden salad and fix some green beans.  Daughter is making the dressing at house and will bring it.  Son came in last night and he will get to carve the turkey for me when it is done and cooled down.  
 
The rest of this post is a repeat from last year.  I need to get those potatoes peeled!  

This Thanksgiving finds me thankful for so many things....I would have a very lengthy blog post if I tried to list them all.  As always, I am thankful for all my blogging friends.  I am wishing each one of you a very happy Thanksgiving Day and weekend!  And to those who live outside of the USA, I wish you a happy day and weekend ahead.

Love,
Cheryl

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving is a week away!


We have clear skies with chilly temperatures this morning.  I'm fixing myself a cup of sugar free hot chocolate and sitting down to make out my shopping list for Thanksgiving next week. 

I'm running a bit behind this year in preparations as I've had a flare-up of vertigo and costochondritis again this week.  The vertigo is much better today and Advil has been helping the chest pain tremendously.

My menu for Thanksgiving is the usual turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans or corn, garden salad, and rolls.  I used to fix extra dishes such as a fruit salad and scalloped oysters, but we just don't need that much food.  I'll fix a pie or two and I'm  hoping I can find the recipe for the sugar free pumpkin pie I used to make for my dad who was diabetic.

Do you fix the traditional turkey dinner or will you skip the cooking and go out to eat this year?  



My daughter got started on blood pressure meds this week and I'm hoping that will help bring those numbers down soon.  She stayed home from work a few days to rest...doctor's orders. 

She's ready to begin decorating for Christmas when she has the time and energy.  As much as I love fall, I'm already getting a bit tired of the orange pumpkins and decor around the house and am thinking about getting the trees out, but will probably wait until after Thanksgiving.  Do you put your tree up before Thanksgiving?  I've seen a few already up and shining brightly in the windows as we drive by at night.





The Pioneer Woman has her new Christmas line of dishes out at Wallyworld.  They are very pretty and oh so tempting, but I don't need more dishes and I still love my Pfaltzgraff Winterberry plates and mugs. 

Do you have Ree's new cookbook?  I'm going to put that on my wish list this year.  It looks interesting and I have a few of her other cookbooks.  Even though I don't cook like I used to, I love to read cookbooks! 



I'm wondering if the squirrel has a nest in this tree.  It's interesting to me to see all the squirrel nests that have been built high up in the trees.  They are much more noticeable once the leaves begin falling.

With the vertigo and being lazy, I haven't been able to fluff my nest as I'd hoped to do.  The painting will most likely have to wait until spring.  I do want to make a few other changes but they won't be as time consuming as painting would be.

 
Such is my life these days.  Exciting, huh?   Trying to get well and puttering around with one thing or another, but not accomplishing very much.  I've been limiting my time on the computer due to the vertigo, so that means I've visited less in blogland and am lucky to get one post a week done.  I'm also hoping to be well enough to take a little road trip soon.

When I get the laundry caught up today, I'm going out to shop for the Thanksgiving turkey.  I have a recurring dream that the day has arrived and I haven't yet bought the turkey.  lol!  That's actually never happened, but I still have the dream each year. 

Happy Thursday to you!

xo Cheryl

Friday, November 10, 2017

Changing Trees and Changing Plans


Let's hop in the car and take a drive and check out a few pretty fall trees and I'll tell you about my week.  

It's a cloudy day on the afternoon of this drive last Tuesday but it was still an enjoyable day as I had spent the 3 previous days trying to breathe without pain in the center of my chest.  I have had this 2 or 3 times before and it is called costochondritis which is an inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage.

Sleeping was impossible the first night and I stayed in my recliner as lying down worsened the pain.  The second day was only slightly better as the Advil began to kick in.  By the third day, I was beginning to breathe easier.  

And on Tuesday, I was feeling good enough to get out of the house and go for a drive.  While I was out and about, I needed to stop for a few things.  BG and I were planning a little getaway for Friday through Monday.   


On Wednesday, my daughter called and asked if I would come take her to the doctor's office.  Her blood pressure was 142/122 and she had called the office and they told her to get there asap.  

After she got to the office and had her bp taken there, the numbers were down slightly.  They made her wait awhile and took it again and the numbers were down to a more reasonable range.  

An appointment was made for her for early next week.  They will decide the next route to take.  In the meantime, they want her to try to eliminate as much stress as possible.   Which is easier said than done with her responsibilities at work and constantly dealing with staffing issues.

I've stayed with her the last 2 nights, to be on the safe side.  She stayed home from work yesterday and rested.  Her blood pressure is still running too high but not quite in the critical range.  I'm not quite sure why they didn't go ahead and start her on blood pressure medicine.


We were supposed to be on the road to Branson today, which I hinted about in my last post.  But we didn't feel comfortable about leaving town while worrying about our daughter.  That wouldn't make for a very enjoyable time.  

So on to plan B...we'll go to Branson another time.  Daughter is going to work for awhile today and BG and I are going to the Big Town this afternoon to look for some warm, fire retardant clothes for him to wear to work this winter. 


I drove through our park this week and saw a few pretty red trees.  At least they looked red with my sunglasses on.  When I took my sunglasses off, the color wasn't all that great.  So, I held my sunglasses up to my camera lens and clicked.  The above photo is the result.  Have you tried to do this?  I know I learned to hold a sieve in front of my lens to get a sparkly look.  What other tricks to I need to learn?  If you know of something fun, please share!  :)

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day and I won't be posting again until next week.  I want to say Thank You to all the veterans who have helped to keep our country free.  God bless our veterans and God bless America!

Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Few Fall Trees and Etc.


We are still seeing a few pretty trees in our area. 


My favorite trees are those that are a shade of red.  


Our neighbor's trees are prettier than ours but the colors aren't quite as vibrant this year as in others.  

I was sad to see a For Sale sign posted in the neighbor's front yard yesterday.  The woman who lives there broke her hip some time ago and has been in a care facility since.  She lost her husband a few years ago and lived alone.  I know she hoped to be able to come back home.  


This is our huge oak tree in the Back 6.  Most years, the color of the leaves turn a beautiful shade of deep, dark red.  But like most of the trees this year, it doesn't have much color.  

I wish someone were standing in front of the tree in order to give you an idea of just how big the tree is.  There was another just like it to the right and one year a bad storm blew it down.  The storm was so bad that BG and I went to the basement and were looking out the window and saw it fall.  After the storm passed, we could see that the trunk of the tree was hollow.

* * * * * * * * 
After my doctor's appointment yesterday...which was good, by the way.  Doctor was proud of my blood sugar numbers and I've lost 6 pounds.  To be honest, I can't tell it.  I did mention the vertigo and we think the cause is most likely nasal congestion caused by allergies.  

Back to yesterday...I went to the Big Town after the appointment to look for some comfortable shoes to walk in when I go shopping or go to Branson.  Hint, hint.  :)  Wish I could wear my Skecher's flip flops all year long.  After trying on around 2 dozen pairs of shoes, I finally found a pair that were comfortable.  They are a Skecher shoe that is sort of like a tennis shoe.  Do you have a favorite brand of shoe? 

One of the stores I went to was playing Christmas music.  Really?  Already?  I think I said it out loud, too.  I still think most businesses just skip right over Thanksgiving.  

The weather is chilly one day and warm the next.  I turned on the a/c in the car yesterday.  It's a little chillier today, but this weekend is supposed to be in the 70's.  I hope BG will help me this weekend to pull out the dead and dying flowers and put away flower pots.  I also want to transplant some lilacs that are coming up around the main bush and plant a couple of little redbud trees that have sprouted up in a flower bed.

Do you have big plans for the weekend?  Hope you have a nice one.

Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

First Day of November Thoughts



It was November...
the month of crimson sunsets,
parting birds, 
deep, sad hymns of the sea,
passionate wind songs in the pines.
~L. M. Montgomery
 
I reluctantly turned the page on the calendar over and said goodbye to October.  Where did the month go?  Time seems to pass ever more swiftly these days.

November 1 was my older brother's birthday.  He would have been 75 today.  It's hard to wrap my mind around that and I find myself wondering what he would have been doing and what he would look like at that age had he lived.  He passed away at age 49 while he was still relatively young...at least it seems to me now...and so strong and handsome.  Well, until the ravages of ALS took over his body.  He was a good brother and I still miss him so much.  As I also miss my younger brother and parents.  

November seems to be a month when I miss my birth family most.  Maybe it's because one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving, is coming soon and, for many years, it was a time when all the family would gather around my grandmother's table for a delicious turkey dinner and lively conversation. 

I think about the loved ones who attended those holiday celebrations and most of them are gone now.  And I often think now of things that I wish I could ask them.  Things I've forgotten or didn't think to ask when I had the chance. 


During the past week when I was feeling bad with a bout of vertigo, I thought of many things while I was sitting still in my recliner.   And before I go any further, I will say that I am almost back to normal.  I still have to be careful and not turn my head too fast.  Thank you for the good thoughts and advice in my last post.

One of the things that I thought of was how much I have to be thankful for as we head toward Thanksgiving.  Truly.  In spite of feeling lonely at times for my loved ones who are no longer here, I know that I am blessed for having had them in my life.  I am blessed for having a loving husband and children to share holidays with now.  And I'm blessed to live in this beautiful country that I love.

I will close by saying that I hope your November is filled with happy and healthy days.  It's the time for snuggling under a warm throw and reading a good book while sipping on a cup of hot coffee or tea, if you prefer.   Which do you like best...tea or coffee? 

Happy Wednesday to you!
xo Cheryl 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Happy Friday!


There are a few pretty trees in our town.  This one is in our park.  It helped to have the sun hitting it just right as I drove by the other evening.  

Missouri isn't windy like Kansas and Oklahoma, but we have our moments.  It seems like every fall, the wind will pick up for at least a week or two and this year is no exception.  I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that most of the above pretty leaves have fallen since I took that photo.

Some very good news...BG's results from the stress test and echocardiogram came back good.  Thank you for your prayers.  

My news...I suffered a terrible dizzy spell Thursday afternoon.  I wasn't home and had to call BG to come get me as I didn't want to risk driving.  I could barely walk.  Don't know what set this off, but it really scared me.   

I was really stopped up, from allergies I suppose, and had a hard time breathing through my nose.  Perhaps this triggered the dizziness.  After taking some Sudafed, I began to feel a little better.

My head still feels a little wonky and I am in the recliner writing this post in the wee hours.  I'm afraid to move very much and afraid to go lie down.  Keeping my head propped up and not moving it helps.  

So, if you hear rumors that I was seen around town staggering, I haven't been chugging down the wine!  ☺  Hopefully I'll be able to catch a few winks soon and wake up good as new. 

Take care and enjoy this last weekend of October.  Whew, I can't believe it is the last weekend!  Where did this month go?

Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tuesday's This and That




We've been alternating between the a/c and the heat the past several days.  It's really chilly today and the wind has picked up as it usually does in the fall.  Since I last posted, we've had 2 nice rains.  

My daughter and I went to the Big Town last Friday as she had a meeting that afternoon.  We did a bit of shopping and it started to sprinkle on us as we left for home.  The few raindrops didn't last long and it was odd to see a rainbow in the east and the sun shining brightly again in the west.  I captured part of the fast fading rainbow as we stopped for a soda on the way.


Our son came in Friday night for the weekend.  Our daughter and her friend, Mike, were going to Hermann for the day Saturday, so we (hubby, son and I) decided to get in the car and take a little day trip, too.


We ended up in a little town called Cole Camp which has a bit of a German heritage.  The town's population is only around a 1000 and has several quaint houses and buildings.  They host several festivals there.  The shop in the photo above has 3 stories of interesting merchandise.  


Just down the street, a new shop has opened with a wine bar on one side and a gift shop on the other.  Another shop I peeked into was even smaller, just one room with a coffee bar, a few tables for sitting, and shelves filled with antique dishes and whatnots. 

  
We got there a little late in the afternoon and didn't have time to check out all the shops before they closed, but I'll be going back again.  I hadn't been there in over 30 years since our son was in a Punt, Pass and Kick competition and the town is even more charming than I remembered. 

They have a German eatery which I wanted to try but it wasn't open yet, so we opted for the pizzaria.  Yum!  I have to say it was unanimous among the 3 of us that it was some of the best pizza we've ever had!  


This tree lives in Cole Camp.  It was a nice warm, but very windy day.  Almost too warm.  And that brought in a lot of rain Saturday night.  The trees in our area don't have a lot of pretty color this year.  A few are very pretty, but most will go from green to brown.  Our daughter said the trees around Hermann are just brown.  

How are the trees looking in your area?  
 
 
Yesterday, BG had a stress test done along with an echocardiogram and another little test that I can't remember what the name of it was.  It took a while for all of that to get done.  By the time we got home, we were both ready for a nap.

If I had known how long I would be waiting in the waiting room, I would have gone out shopping.  :)  I read every magazine of which there were few for women and read the news on my phone until the battery got too low.  

I would stand up and gaze out the window and one time in the restroom before going back out to the waiting room, I decided to amuse myself by taking a couple of selfies.  

After a closer look at the photo I put in my last post of BG and I at the wedding, I decided that I needed to remember to hold my chin out in order not to emphasize the double chin and sagging neck.  And sucking in the cheeks might help too.  No?  lol!     

Well, after sitting down and thinking about it all, I decided that nothing will stop the aging process.  Expensive creams might help a bit, but sagging chins, lines, wrinkles and crepey skin are something most of us will have in time.  Staying in good health, in as much is possible, is want I want to do for as long as I can.  And BG, too, of course.  

I saw some very unhealthy looking folks coming into the heart diagnostic center.  I wondered what caused that.  I'm beginning to become more of a believer in eating right and exercise.  The latter is something I need to work on.  I've always liked veggies and fruit, but I know that I've consumed too many sugary drinks.  Now, I've cut out the sugar due to the onset of Type 2 diabetes.     

We haven't heard anything back yet from BG's doctor, so we're thinking no news is good news as far as his test results go.  Hopefully nothing too drastic was found.

Btw, I used Orton editing in PicMonkey for my selfie photo.  I liked the color better.  What is your favorite photo editing site?  

Happy Tuesday to you!
xo Cheryl

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Weekend and a Wedding


Most of the time, I have no idea what I'm going to write about when I sit down with the laptop and begin a blog post.  Oh, I might have a few things I want to mention but usually I'm flying by the seat of my pants.  Today is no exception.

I'll begin with the weekend.  We went to a wedding Saturday in the Big Town.  It was a very warm day.  The bride was beautiful and the park setting was just right for the couple.  The wedding was at 3 pm and the reception started with the cocktail hour at 5 pm followed by dinner and dancing.  There must have been 200 or so at the reception which was held in a large banquet hall.   

Both of my SIL's were at the wedding and we were saying that the time we spent pressing clothes and getting ready lasted longer than the ceremony.  ☺  

Speaking of clothes, I saw everything from jeans to cocktail dresses.  I wore black pants with a royal blue silky top and black sandals plus a black shoulder bag.  Jewelry was silver hoops and a silver necklace with multi-colored jewels.  BG wore a gray shirt with black pants.  We took his tie along but hardly any of the men wore one so it (the tie) stayed in the car.     

The little ring bearer got too scared to walk down the aisle, so his father, who is the brother of the bride, picked him up and carried him.  He then handed the ring over to the pastor who passed it on to the best man.  The pastor had a cute sense of humor and made us all laugh a few times. 


The bride's dress was beautiful and the first photo is of her and her dad, the middle photo is the bride and groom and I blurred their faces as I don't like to show faces unless I have permission.  The third photo is BG and moi.  I was so aggravated that day as I couldn't do a thing with my hair.  On top of that, it was windy so I sprayed it good and that, of course, flattens it down.  Oh well.  

We had a great time and we had lots of good food to eat at the wedding dinner.  I'll confess now that I didn't think about my blood sugar levels when I was eating and even had a piece of wedding cake.

My SIL and I didn't think we were going to get wedding cake because it was a long drawn out affair with dinner and some dancing before the cutting of the cake at 8 pm.  All the while, we were watching the weather on radar on my phone.  We had a big rain complete with red cells and a tornado watch on the way to our area, but we finally got to eat cake and left for home before it got too bad. 

I talked a few minutes with the bride's mother before we left.  She was savoring every minute of her daughter's special day and enjoying seeing so many of their family and friends.  BG and I also enjoyed seeing several people that we only see these days at special occasions.  

It seems like folks don't visit anymore like they used to do.   I wonder why that is?   It's really kind of sad that people don't get together except for weddings and funerals, I think. 

Well, this post has gone on far longer than I meant for it to.  Even though I didn't have a post planned out, I still meant to write about more than a wedding.  

I have things I need to be working on in the house, but as I told a blog friend, I'd rather get out and enjoy Mother Nature's fall decor.  The house work will always be there, autumn won't.  So, a little day-tripping is in order today.  Enjoy your day, too.

Happy Wednesday to you!
xo Cheryl