Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day Three Hundred Sixty Five 2011

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.  ~Dorothy Day      

No matter what year is on my calendar, God has always blessed me with everything I need--physical blessings of food, clothing, shelter, family--and best of all, spiritual blessings of forgiveness and the hope of Heaven. Wishing you all a happy new year that is blessed with food for the body and food for the soul.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day Three Hundred Sixty Four 2011

Happiness is a trip to Cream City for a tasty ice cream cone and then climbing inside the trains at the depot on a TGIF. Life is good! Happy TGIF, everyone.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day Three Hundred Sixty Three 2011

Snack! A glass of boiled custard with a generous dollop (or two) of Cool Whip that I eat with a spoon. It's just better that way. I know I need to lose five (or six) pounds, but not today. That's what new year's resolutions are for, right?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day Three Hundred Sixty One 2011

"All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I went for a walk
On a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day."
- Mammas and Pappas, California Dreamin

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day Three Hundred Sixty 2011

All good things must come to an end. I don't know who said that or why it "must" be, but it seems to be true. Our whirlwind Christmastime came to a close this evening with the departure of daughter Kelly, son in law Kerry and grandpeep Knox, as we shared some yummy drinks at Starbucks before they hit the road back home. Neil and I came home to a very quiet house. We miss the buzz but always feel blessed for the opportunity to spend the holidays with family. Thankfully, there is plenty to keep me busy this evening (laundry and the tree is coming down), so maybe I won't miss everybody so much. Yeah, right.

Day Three Hundred Fifty Nine 2011

My family enjoyed our annual Christmas get-together this evening at my sister Ann's and her husband Terry's house. There were 21 peeps in attendance. We enjoyed a fabulous feast of turkey and ham with all the delicious trimmings. After dinner, we played a mean game of Dirty Santa which is always fun. And of course it's always a treat to get to visit with nieces and nephews we don't get to see very often. The picture here is of my 90 year old mother surrounded by her grandchildren and great grandchildren (with three missing in action this year). Ann and Terry are always gracious hosts. They know how to deck the halls. Christmas is everywhere in their home. Thanks, Ann and Terry for hosting again! What a blessing it is to be able to be together with loved ones on Christmas Day! Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty Eight 2011

We had ourselves a merry little Christmas. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, too! From the Ranft, Myers, and Kimbrough Families.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty Seven 2011

"Christmas is a time of little time.
How we get there is a mystery.
Racing madly mall-to-mall, we climb
Into fields of sunlit harmony.
Shopping, cooking, clearing walks and yards,
Trimming house and tree while working, too;
Making phone calls, wrapping, writing cards,
As all worn out we do what we must do
So that this day of joy might joy renew."
- Nicholas Gordon

(Hubby Neil and I braved Wal-Mart today for some last-minute shopping, as did the rest of the free world--and this picture is the view from our parking space, seemingly in a galaxy far far away from the store. I think we finally got it together. My feet hurt.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty Six 2011

Grand daughter Shelby has been playing the Wii version of the video game ‘Zelda’ this week at my house. She’s been playing for quite some time. She also has the Nintendo DS version. This week, she’s been making huge leaps in the game, and when that happens, you just can’t quit. This is literally all she did Tuesday and again today, except for a break for lunch and the occasional bathroom break. And maybe once to eat a Nutty Buddy. Amazingly, her brother Elijah has been content to sit by her side and watch her play. He gets just as excited as she does when she finally conquers something. He has even helped her out at times when she couldn’t quite get it done. I can only hope that  playing the quest game creates new brain cells (problem solving) and doesn’t destroy them. At any rate, these two are having great fun in the process.
PS~Looks like I jumped the gun yesterday on the shortest day of the year.  Hubby Neil says it is today.  So Happy Winter Solstice, y'all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty Five 2011

"So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!"
- Susan Cooper, The Shortest Day

Wishing my brother in law, Terry Sissom, a very happy 55th birthday!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty Four 2011

The Christmas party at my mom's assisted living home was a blast tonight. We were serenaded with holiday tunes by the karaoke guy, enjoyed ham and biscuits, hash brown casserole, green beans and cobbler for dessert, and Santa Claus dropped by to hand out gifts for the kids and the residents, including snow globes which always bring happiness and joy (right, Jane?) as you can see by the look on grandson Elijah's face. We had a great time together visiting my mom, who is never ready for the party to end.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty Three 2011

"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!"   
~~Charles Dickens

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty Two 2011

Grandson Knox travels well (so far). Hubby Neil, daughter Kelly and I went to our fave Mexican restaurant for supper this evening, and Knox didn't bat an eyelash. This is in sharp contrast to an hour or so earlier when he was having a gas attack and was not a happy camper. The life of a newborn...and some older people I know, too.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty One 2011

Granny's Christmas Peeps! The Sweetest Gifts Under The Tree!

Day Three Hundred Fifty 2011

Daughter Holly celebrated her 33rd birthday today. We enjoyed Thai food at Ocha Deli for her birthday dinner. Her birthday cake was her traditional favorite, a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake—chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate cake. She received lots of cool presents and cards. Can’t believe our almost-Christmas baby is 33. Happy Birthday, Holly! You are one of my sweetest blessings. I love you more than you can ever know.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty Nine 2011

The Christmas tree finally got decorated last night. Our brief flirtation with LED Christmas lights ended in a parting of the ways. Back to the store they go and good riddance. Talk about a dim bulb! I’d rather be merry and bright. It is Christmas time after all. Today, my grandpeeps Shelby and Elijah donned their reindeer antlers for me and posed for a picture in front of the tree. Elijah helped me unpack the nutcrackers. He loves those things and got them all set up.  Neil and I are beginning to check off items on the wish lists. So it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty Eight 2011

"Everyday is a cause for celebration." Anonymous
(Today was a day to celebrate the December sunshine and 70 degree temperature!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty Seven 2011

Neil and I cut our Christmas tree today at the tree farm. Neil did the actual cutting. I stood there and watched. It’s an eight, maybe nine foot white pine, not too fat, not too skinny. We bought some new big white LED lights for the tree this year. I’m not a big fan of LED lights, but we thought we’d shake things up a bit. The tree now stands in our living room, waiting to be adorned. Neil is the official stringer of lights. He’d rather be doing anything else, like sticking sharp objects into his eyeballs, so stay tuned. This could take a while.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty Six 2011

What happened to the forecast of sunshine today? It’s been overcast and cold all day, and then the rains came down after lunch time. The Cookeville Christmas parade—twice rescheduled because of rain the past two Mondays—will go on as planned for this evening in spite of the soggy conditions. It’s now or never. We’re running out of Mondays between now and Christmas. (And please don’t ask me why the town can’t have the parade on any other day of the week…..)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty Five 2011

Our weekend with newest grandpeep, Knox, is about to come to an end. Seems like most of the pictures I’ve taken of him he’s sleeping, but I did catch him in a big yawn this evening. And the Kimbrough family posed for a snapshot just before son in law Kerry had to head off to work. Neil and I have had a blast helping to take care of him. We’ll miss him when we get home. I know our arms will feel empty without that sweet little bundle of love to hold.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty Four 2011

Neil and I are enjoying spending time with grandson Knox this weekend. He’s had lots of visitors today, but being only eight days old, his main focus is a full tummy and plenty of shut eye. He got a bath this afternoon (screamed from start to finish) and his mom decked him out in his dinosaur camos and bunny slippers. Cute, yet secure in his manhood. Go, Knox!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty Three 2011

Neil and I get to spend time with one week old grandson Knox this weekend. Son in law Kerry had to head back to work, and daughter Kelly was ready for some help/company. First time we’ve seen him since he was born last Friday. Neil and I are in grandparent heaven.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty Two 2011

"That's no December sky!
Surely 'tis June
Holds now her state on high
Queen of the noon.

Only the tree-tops bare
Crowning the hill,
Clear-cut in perfect air,
Warn us that still

Winter, the aged chief,
Mighty in power,
Exiles the tender leaf,
Exiles the flower."
- Robert Fuller Murray (1863-1894), A December Day

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty One 2011

Here today. Gone today. Big huge fat flakes of wet snow came down hard at lunch time today, coating windshields and grass, which sent a panic through the county school system. Kids went home at one o’clock. The snow was gone about a half hour later. Best to err on the side of caution, of course. It was beautiful while it lasted.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty 2011

"We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light."  ~Mary Dunbar

(picture taken 11.17.11 cell phone camera)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day Three Hundred Thirty Nine 2011

A three-day-old Krispy Kreme doughnut and a glass of cold milk—comfort snack on a soggy Monday afternoon. Busy day winding down. Still raining. I may need some more comfort before this day ends.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day Three Hundred Thirty Eight 2011

Neil and I used to decorate the front of the house like this each Christmas. Then the bushes grew up and hid the porch rail, so we quit hanging the garland. Two summers ago, we finally got rid of all those huge bushes. Yesterday, Neil dug out the garland and bows (that date back to the eighties) from their exile in the far reaches of the attic and voila! Aren’t we festive.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day Three Hundred Thirty Seven 2011

My Aunt Joy Brown turns 97 on December 4. She celebrated this evening at the party her friend Jo has been throwing in her honor for many years now. It seems like half the town comes to celebrate with her, but her favorite guests by far are her two sons (and one of her grandsons this year), who come all the way from California and Texas. We have a great meal at Helen’s Restaurant, then Aunt Joy is regaled with songs and poems written just for her. Then she gets up and entertains us, belting out songs while she jams on the keyboard. And then she tap dances (while holding onto a chair for some support). You have to see it to believe it. I only hope I’m still alive at the age of 97. Happy Birthday, Aunt Joy! Like I always say, I want to be just like you when I grow up!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day Three Hundred Thirty Six 2011

Hello, Knox! Welcome to the world! He arrived at 4:08 A.M., and weighted 7 pounds and 15 ounces. He has lots of dark hair and the cutest dimples. In the first pictures, he’s wearing a Santa hat one of the OB nurses knitted. Mom and Dad and grandparents are thrilled to have this little guy in our lives. He’s cute as a bug and looks a lot like his mom when she was born. Mom and child are doing well. What a blessing!