Sunday, June 21, 2009

One Phone Call Can Change It All

Strange how with one phone call the day can change in a split second.

Yesterday brought just such a call.
As we were preparing to have our family Father's Day celebration one day early I received a phone call from my brother-in-law. It is rare for him to call me so I was a bit suspicious as soon as I answered the phone. But when he immediately told me that he was going to have great difficulty talking to me my heart became heavy. I had no idea what he would tell me, but I knew it wasn't something I wanted to hear.

Nothing could prepare me for what he had to say.

He told me that my sister had had a stroke. He told me that she is in the hospital unable to speak or move most of the right side of her body. I could not comprehend how my sister who is very religious about her exercise habits and has always eaten a very healthy diet could possibly be in this condition. We had just talked to each other on the phone a few days earlier and she sounded happy.

Today is her youngest son's birthday. My heart is breaking for her and her family. I can only imagine how frightening it must be to be unable to speak. I find comfort in knowing that she is in a good hospital and has many friends and her family to be with her now. They believe now that she will be in the hospital for several weeks and is expected to recover what she has lost. I am ready to go be with her as soon as the time is right. I have been advised that the better time to come would be when she is receiving therapy.

We are supposed to be leaving for a short vacation to celebrate our anniversary. There are a lot of things up in the air now. My Mom has begun to receive Hospice care. I am told that with Alzheimer's patients that could mean the end is near, but not necessarily. Of course I know that there is really only one person who knows that for sure. I only tell you these things because I feel it necessary to take a break from doing any new posts. I hope to still be doing some visiting. I guess I also share these things because I would like to ask a favor. If you wouldn't mind including my sister and my Mom in your prayers it would warm my heart more than you will ever know. If I can ever return the favor I will be more than happy to do so. Though I may be away from posting for a while, all of you will remain in my thoughts daily.
~ Thank You ~

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Breaking My Own Rules

Poor Peanut has been a sick doggy this week. After 3 days of little energy, no appetite and a very noisy tummy it was time for a trip to the vet. Not to mention mopping floors and spot cleaning carpets and rugs is getting a bit old, if you get my drift.

Who knew that dogs can get colitis?? I sure didn't. But poor Peanut is suffering from a pretty bad case. No wonder she has been feeling so poorly. Between all the rain and gray days we've been having and worrying about my puppy I have been in a major "blog fog". Too gloomy to take decent pictures and no inspiration for anything to blog about. So, I'm breaking my own rules. While I have declared my blog award free/tag free I am going to participate in a tag. I figure since a reader who lives all the way in Malaysia thought of me the least I could do is respond. So, here goes.

I have been tagged by Royal T Lady to list 6 uninteresting things that make me happy and to pass it on.

Here are the directions:
Blog your 6 items, then pass tag along to 6 other bloggers. They just need to link back to you. Blog their 6 items, tag 6 others and so it goes. Be sure to visit their blogs to inform them that they have been tagged if they would like to participate.

Here we go. You may need a sip of coffee to stay awake now gals.

1. A good hair day. It seems like I am forever messing with my hair in the morning and rarely satisfied with the results. So, on that rare day when it comes out nice it is enough to make me happy all day.

2. Going to bed at night and truly feeling like I did the best I am capable of.

3. Clean kitchen counters. If my counters are cluttered I feel like I start to shut down. My husband and I differ on this so it is a constant battle around here. However, when I do manage to get all the clutter cleared away I am one very happy camper.

4. Scented candles.

5. Babies and small children. Well, actually all of God's smaller creatures. Baby birds, puppies, kittens, etc., etc.

Are you still with me??

6. I would say reading blogs because that makes me very, very happy. But, we know that it is definitely NOT uninteresting. So, let's see . . .
I guess I will have to say that right now it is a very happy day for me when my mom is having a good day. With Alzheimer's we never know what to expect on any given day so if she is having a good day that is enough to put a smile on my face.

Now, since I find it very hard to single out people to tag I will just say that if you would like to participate, please do. If you do, please let me know as I would be very interested in reading your answers.
Thank you for reading along today.
In parting I will leave you with a picture of one of the magnolias blooming in my yard right now. These are one of my favorite things about gardening in the south. Hey, by the way, there is #7. I love when the magnolias bloom.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hydrangea Happiness

Hey Tweet
Yes, Pete.
Have you seen what's new in the backyard?
The hydrangeas are blooming and you know what that means around here, don't you?

How could I forget?

She always gets a little too happy at hydrangea time, doesn't she?

Oh yeah, but let's hope she doesn't expect us to be a part of it.
Yeah, let's.

Drats, I knew we couldn't get out of it that easy.
Just sit still & smile. With a little luck it will be over in no time.

I don't know about that ~ she lit the candles. This could take hours.

Let's hope not, but that candlelight is kinda romantic. Don't you think?
Oh geez, you chicks are all alike.

Well, isn't that pretty?
It's okay, what time is it???

Time for you to relax and be present in the moment.
Oh brother. I'm getting tired of sitting here. Not to mention hungry. Where is the food around here. How can you set a table and not include food??

Is that all you ever think about???
No, but unlike you I don't eat like a bird.
Well, now that you mention it I am getting a little hungry too and I'm getting sleepy.
I hope this is over soon or else I may fly away.

Oh, forget it. I'm too tired to fly.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Memories of D-Day

June 6, 1944


Today I am pausing to reflect on this day in our history.

I hope you will too.

65 years ago was long before my time.

But not his.

My dad played an important part of this moment in history.

From June 7 to September 25, 1944 he participated in the aerial flights dropping ammunition and supplies to the soldiers on the ground. They stood in the open doorways of airplanes as the planes swerved violently as they were being shot at by enemy fire.

He was 21 years old. My youngest son is now 21.

It wasn't until the end of his life that Dad ever talked about his war experiences. He was one of the kindest, gentlest and funniest men I have ever known. When we went through his belongings we came across this old, folded up piece of paper. It is the letter that accompanied his Air Medal for his participation in this time in history. I now have it framed and displayed next to a few remaining photographs and his I.D. bracelet.

I guess because Dad never talked about this time in his life, I rarely brought it up. But, when he was fighting another battle in his life, cancer, I saw the movie "Saving Private Ryan". After seeing it I was really struck by the horrors of what he had been through. I sat down and wrote him a long letter expressing my thanks to him and my never ending appreciation to him for being a perfect father to me and an equally perfect grandfather to my children. My Mom later told me he cried. He also went to see the movie and said it was a very adequate portrayal of what it was really like.

Of course I miss my Dad and always will. But, I will always be glad that I wrote that letter before it was too late.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Little Advance Planning Goes A Long Way

After the yard work was done, the patio had been power washed and the boat had been cleaned, we decided it was time for a break from work. It often seems like there is no end to the jobs that need to be done. Can you relate to that?? Sometimes you just have to stop and take time to enjoy the fruits of your labor safe in the knowledge that the jobs will still be there waiting for you when you come back.

On Sunday afternoon we went out for the first boat ride of the summer. We were happy to be joined by our youngest son and Peanut too.

It was a beautiful day and so relaxing just cruising around for a few hours. But, all too soon the sun was beginning to set and our tummies were beginning to growl. About this time it sure was a good feeling to know that with a little time in the kitchen in the morning our dinner was sitting in the fridge waiting for our return. Now all I had to do was set the table and eat. Woo Hoo!!
All of this advance preparation came about after a visit to my cookbook cupboard.
I think it's time for another edition of From My Cupboard To Your Table.

In this edition, I have chosen this cookbook. It was put out by the Longaberger basket people. This was another thrift shop find.

It is loaded with gorgeous photos.

Mmmm. . . dreamy.

It is also loaded with great tips on everything from stocking your pantry to organizing your drawers to helpful cooking tips.

When I read this note I knew that this was a must try recipe. It also sounded like a perfect recipe to make ahead and keep refrigerated for later.

~click to enlarge~
As an added note I want to share this link .
This is the best method I have come across for poaching chicken that you will be dicing up to be used in salads, casseroles, etc. It is so simple and comes out so moist and flavorful.

When I saw this beautiful, summery salad I knew it was what I was going to serve with the chicken salad.

~click to enlarge~
It also has a pretty impressive note of recommendation.

Dinner is served!!!