Monthly Archives: December 2015


So there was this HUGE oak tree once upon a time, but it rotted out and so my parents had to cut it down, so I got this idea to make Christmas tree ornaments out of it. So I had Mom save me one of the smaller branches and we dried it out in the oven (low temperature oven of course!), and then my wife cut the branch and painted on it. Well I was discussing the ornaments with my Mom and she said wouldn’t it be lovely if we could find pictures of you and your siblings in the tree/by the tree to modgepodge to the back of the ornaments? So I was rummaging through the photos I have and it brought back so many wonderful PAIN FREE memories.

There were pictures from when we collecting clothes, pictures from when we did Easter baskets for the shut ins at church, when I graduated high school, our first house, when we moved, Thanksgivings, Christmases, and the spawn of Satan looking innocent (she isn’t by the way). I took a few pictures and scanned them a posted them on Facebook, I try not to do a whole lot of them just because its Facebook. I scanned a couple more just so I would have a digital copy, and I am going to download all the pictures to a flashdrive later so I have a 2nd copy. Always make backups.

I love looking at all the smiles, the joy, I have some pictures I’m talking in and I laugh because I look the same now. Some things never change. I think of all the pictures with my sister Karen in and how those are treasured memories because we’ll never get another Christmas with her. Her birthday is in 2 days and it will be spent in Heaven again this year. I remember how I always called her my early Christmas present. Karen and I had our differences, but she was my sister and I loved her.

My siblings and I fight but we always make up. We always have each others’ backs. We learned from a very early age that while we might fight and disagree we were family and family protect each other. We are here to love each other and be there for one another. I’m excited for Christmas and being with the family, having the joy, the laughter and the FOOD. You all know how much I enjoy the FOOD!


So I have this Nutcracker Ballet Music Diorama that poor Clara broke off. I don’t even remember how I accident broke Clara last year, I think I just hit it wrong…I mean I get really excited! Anyhow…so we pulled it out and it needed to be fixed, so I pull out the superglue and I carefully put a small dot and then I carefully find the right position so she will still be able to turn with the music. Here comes the fun part, I realize I don’t have anything to brace her while the glue dries, so I’m looking and looking and what do my eyes see why yes I think that will work…a CLEMENTINE! YUP! I used an orange! It worked perfectly too.

Sometimes you gotta use what you have, and speaking of clementines, they are really good this year, some years are better than others. We got a box for me and I gobbled them up, so last week we got a bigger box for me to hopefully last me longer than a couple of days. I love this time of year for the fresh citrus. Reminds me of when we went to visit my Great Aunt and Great Uncle down in Florida and they let us pick fresh grapefruits out of their backyard and they were sooo good, and HUGE.

There are certain childhood memories you just will always remember for one reason or another and that trip down to Florida at Christmas to see Great Aunt Margaret and Great Uncle Andy is one of them. We saw the lights at Disney World, we saw Great Uncle Andy at Olive Garden because that’s where he worked as a greeter. Great Uncle Andy made me eggplant Parmesan that was out of this world good, just like they make in Italy and we picked fresh grapefruit out of their backyard to name just a few things.

The holidays are upon us time for family and craziness of the hustle and bustle. Just remember to take time to breathe. Sometimes we forget to slow down, enjoy the lights, enjoy our family and remember the reason for the season.

Country Song in the making

Don’t ask me why I got thinking about this while I was playing Cookie Jam…because I really don’t know. I was thinking about my upcoming appointment with my spinal specialist and I realized that my spinal recovery has the makings of a really good country song. I mean nothing has gone as planned! I really am laughing, I know you can’t hear me, but I am. Seriously, everything should have healed properly because if you looked at my post operative notes everything healed just as it should have, I didn’t have any infections, all the hardware is still perfectly aligned. Everything went well. The surgery went well, the physical therapy went well, but my body just didn’t want to fuse…why no one really knows it just happens like that some times. Hence why I think I have the makings for a really good country song! I think I might have just snorted there a bit! Yeah, I admit it I laugh so hard I snort sometimes, my wife thinks its cute, makes her laugh.

Then we do another surgery, it goes well and I get a blood clot that almost kills me. I mean really this has all the makings for a number one song! I’m telling you! Now if only I was friends with a country artist I could get some royalties! I am so going to tell the spinal specialist this week about my idea for a country song and I know he’s going to laugh at me, but it should make him laugh. I try to make all the doctors laugh unless I’m really frustrated and then I’m in no mood for that and they know I mean business! If I’m not joking with them, they know they are in trouble!

Life’s short, you gotta laugh, otherwise it turns into a number one song on the country list…..

Rabbit, Cat and Brussel Sprouts

So yesterday the rabbit, the cat and I were hanging out you know normal day on the homestead… I decide to go check the mail, put the shoes on which is always fun. See most people don’t think about the simple things like putting shoes on, but since I can’t bend over like a normal person I have the aid to put my socks on, the aid to grab things and yes even a really long shoe horn. I also have magnetic closures on my shoes so I don’t have to tie the laces because, I can’t bend over! So I get the shoes on, then it was cold yesterday which it has been unseasonably warm here, so I get the scarf and the jacket and I get all bundled up because the Coumadin makes me colder than I normally am, so I look like I should be ready to go play in the snow, but nope just a short walk to the mailbox….

So I walk out to the mailbox no mail. I walk back to the front door I think to myself oh I should go look at the Brussel Sprouts… I walk back to what’s left of this year’s garden. I see the broccoli plants are looking good I make a mental note to tell the wife she has another piece of broccoli that needs to be cut off, and I look at the Brussel Sprouts, they are still looking healthy, not ready yet, but still going strong. I turn around to walk back to the house and I start to lose my balance. I counter-act me falling backwards somehow, not even sure how…So now my heart is racing, and I just stand for a minute. As soon as I am sure I am steady enough to walk the few feet to the front door I carefully walk back to the front door, go back inside, strip the scarf and the jacket off and sit down. I text my wife about how I almost fell into the Brussel Sprouts and how I can only imagine how that 911 call would have gone…..

“I need some help, I’ve fallen into the Brussel Sprouts and I can’t get up.”
“Ummm…Ma’am..where are you?”
“Outside my house, in what’s left of this year’s garden.”
“Okay, please give me the address so I can send assistance.”

I swear….I get hurt in the stupidest ways…….So then last night when I was sitting with my feet up I realize my ankle is swollen, so I guess I must have twisted it somehow. So I say to Jenna if I had a dollar for every time I twisted my ankle, I wouldn’t have student loan debt. She starts laughing at me, and goes the bad part is a) you’re not joking and b) you actually have a real world application for the money…..

Yup that’s my life! I am always thinking of real world applications for everything! Today we’re going to finish getting ready for Christmas because it’s 6 days away and it will be here before we know it!


All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth! LOL Not really I’m good in that department, but do you remember the simpler time when we only wanted toys? I mean sure we wanted a LONG list of toys, but somehow the demands of Christmas seem simpler when you are a kid. This picture pretty much sums up what I really want for Christmas.


I’m actually happy that we are having the family over for Christmas, I am making caramel corn, which is SOOO good! I am such a foodie! Which is funny since I’ve been losing all this weight this year! Trust me I am still a mean cook/baker in the kitchen! I can’t wait to have the niece and nephew over to unwrap gifts, the giggles, the questions, the smiles and everything in between. We’ll have lots of food and fun. My family enjoys being together and we get silly that’s for sure. A couple years ago we bought my Dad a titanium Star Trek spork as a present and he told my Mom he would miss her but he had to report to Star Fleet Academy now, we LAUGHED. He was so excited over his spork.

That’s my family, we are nerdy, we are philosophical. Dinner conversations can lead to what if the world was flat and Columbus fell off, or if Newton never had an apple fall on his head and discovered gravity, what if Neil Armstrong never made it to the moon or water didn’t freeze at 32 degrees. We’ll talk about why the grass is green and the sky is blue, and why black exists or does it… Conversations can jump from one topic to the next easily and often if you don’t understand the link between one subject to the next you can get lost, but that’s part of the fun. One minute you might be talking about the sky being blue, the next it’s why all the red shirts on Star Trek always die. Never can tell!

I’m just really happy to be here to spend Christmas with my family. I am grateful for another day to enjoy the time. Sure would it be nice to have the medical bills paid off? ABSOLUTELY! However I would rather enjoy being alive with the people I love and live one day at a time. We’ll keep chipping away at the medical bills, they will get paid just maybe not all at once.


So growing up we had an interesting household when it came to food and cooking. My Dad is vegetarian, my Mom is not. So we often would have one meat main course and one vegetarian main course and the side dishes were usually vegetarian to make it easier. So I learned to cook with vegetable broth verses chicken stock, I learned to read labels to look for ingredients like lard. I was taught to be careful on which spoon went with which pot, etc.

So when I met my wife who has an allergy to MSG (monosodium glutamate) which most people will recognize as the stuff they add to Chinese food I didn’t have a problem reading labels to make sure the ingredients in the food I cooked for her didn’t have MSG in them. What surprised me is HOW MUCH of our food has MSG in it! WOW! What a shocker! So now several years later she is also gluten free so I’m reading labels for gluten and MSG.

We went grocery shopping yesterday and the store didn’t carry Cream of Wheat which obviously was for me not her! LOL As a child my family cooked a lot of oatmeal UGH!! like DOUBLE UGH, like can I virtual throw up?? I of course ate it because sometimes you don’t get a choice as a kid. We ate grits, I was good, we ate cream of wheat I was happy. Oatmeal even to this day as cooked cereal I do not like it. Now if you give me an Oatmeal Cream Pie, I’ll eat it, if you give me an Oatmeal cookie I’ll eat it. Mom puts Oatmeal in her meatloaf, that’s good. Somehow just plain ole cooked oatmeal makes my stomach turn. Don’t know why, and if I have to eat it I will, but not my favorite.

We also were talking yesterday about how I pretty much don’t eat scrambled eggs like I did before my blood clot, and I haven’t made them for Jenna either. I used to make them frequently, but that was also what I made the morning of my blood clot. I know that’s more of a mental thing than anything else. I also know that I got out of the habit of fixing her breakfast everyday because right after the blood clot I was so weak I couldn’t do it, and now she’s so used to doing it herself she just does it.

Christmas is a week away and I’m looking forward to all the yummy food we’ll have next week. Jenna got the small tree up yesterday, part of the village up and it’s starting too look a bit like Christmas in here. Now to do the rest of the cleaning this weekend and we’ll be set.

O Christmas Tree

Hopefully we can get the Christmas Tree up today. It’s been a weird holiday season. I think all the warm weather has been throwing me off, oh yeah and the blood clot…I mean it’s really put a damper on how much I can do. You wouldn’t think so, but somehow this little tiny thing..okay maybe its not so tiny, but you get the drift sucks the life out of me on a regular basis. So Jenna is off today so the plan is to get the tree up and decorate for Christmas and right now I’m like can I go take a nap? She’s not awake yet and I’m ready for bed again..

I enjoy Christmas. It’s a time for family, it’s a time for dressing up the cat. Oh yeah I said it. Oh you want photographic proof or it didn’t happen… Okay…..

Oh yeah I dress her up! The Santa Hat and beard was one of my favorites! The sweater was too small which was a bummer you can see we learned and started buying her bigger clothes! HAHAHA Oh yeah, I can learn from my mistakes! I always buy after Christmas for her because I like to buy the clothes when its on sale. I love Creme, but I can’t bring myself to pay $15.99 for a shirt she will wear for a few minutes before she decides she is going to plot my demise again. I mean the cat loves me THANK GOODNESS! Seriously I stopped keeping track of the number of times this cat has probably plotted to kill me. However she has never bit me, or scratched me, now my wife she was trying to help her out of a shirt once and she tried to bite her….which just proves the cat loves me more. Maybe she just puts up with my shenanigans more……