Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007- almost over . . .

I don't feel like an old lady . . . but decades ago when I thought about me in the 21st century, I thought about someone else. An old lady. Maybe not an elderly lady, but definitely old. Ha! So it's almost 2008 and though I look my age I still feel like 'a girl'!! It's funny how things are when you're living inside your skin, and behind your eyes. Hmm. So I guess I AM still myself after all these years!

Oh, check out the sillies on my "Just for Fun" blog. (Good (clean) New Years jokes are hard to come by I've found. There are lots of Christmas funnies, though, if you scroll down -- and if you haven't read them already.) Thanks to Laura, my blog coach, you can just hit Just for Fun and you're there.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy 1st Birthday, Caroline Elizabeth Huffman!!!

It's Dec. 28, 2007. That means it's your FIRST birthday!! Have a wonderful one!

For those of you who don't know who this little lady is, well, she is my great niece. . . the granddaughter of my dear twin, Peggy. Peggy passed away in 1989. . . so she is not here to play with, care for, and know little Caroline. ('Course I don't know what people can know in heaven.) Anyway, the dearest lady in the world, though, Robin Palmer Jones, can and does play with, help care for, and know little sweetie-baby. She is really Caroline's grandmother. And the mother who raised my niece and nephew since they were little bitty.

Hats off to Grandmother Robin - who goes by Ra Ra. (spelling?), and Papa -- Emory. And John and Elizabeth, Caroline's parents, and Caetyn, and Cap and Lindsey, Caroline's 2 aunts and uncle - on the Jones' side. They're down in San Antonio celebrating!!!!

Happy birthday, sweet girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-edit -- OH! I didn't give credit to the wonderful Huffman family - Caroline's grandparents, etc., on John's side. I couldn't have asked for better in-laws for my dear niece. !!!!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My ICE review . . .

Today my mother, my daughter and I went to ICE at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. If it’s called something more than ICE I don’t know. Anyway, in a previous post I balked at the price of the tickets ($20) to see it, or I should say, ‘experience it’. I think I’m still balking, but only a little. Actually it was quite impressive. . . and unlike anything I’ve ever done. First we put on these heavy coats to wear during our walk through it. As we’re getting ready to go in I say something to a worker about how they must always be cold, working there like that. She said, ‘yes, they keep it at 9 degrees in there. I could hardly believe it. 9 degrees!! Then when we were in there it FELT like 9 degrees. Fortunately there was no wind chill factor!
There were some beautiful ice sculptures. The first room was a Santa motif, the second was a nativitiy scene with a huge beautiful angel, and the third room was filled with darling penguins, and 2 slides that people could go down (we didn’t). Everything was made in ice. And yes it was pretty impressive.
I don’t know if I’ll go next year, though. Well, unless they charge about $12, or less.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

So that was Christmas...

It’s over.
The house is a mess.
I’m still in my robe.
I may stay in my robe all day. Now that is nice. . . the fact that I can. mm.
And while I do I’ll be smiling - thinking about the wonderful day yesterday. It was wonderful. Emotional, yes, without my dear dad who died Dec. 30 of last year. Thoughts of him, and memories filled the day, but that helped make it wonderful.
We had our traditional Carmack breakfast that Sam cooked. That was after the stockings were emptied and the gifts were opened.
Then the afternoon to enjoy the gifts and the down time. Then around 4:15 we started getting ready for Christmas dinner. W and L made the dressing (the one with fritos I made for Thanksgiving), and we put in the chicken, cooked the broccoli cheese dish, Grandmother brought her fruit salad - that makes us always think of Cap ---- and at 6-iish we ate it all. Yum.
Yum.
Did I say YUM?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Here we go ....



To help celebrate the last remnants of Christmas I've included a zany picture that I just found out how to take.
AND I've included a link to my favorite daughter's blog.
laura.
Here's my favorite son's, too.
will
Merry rest-of-Christmas!

Christmas morning . . .

Santa just finished filling the stockings. He used to do it late at night, but now that the chil'n stay up late he gets up early and fills them. And it's really nice. The house is quiet. And he can enjoy the quiet, which he is doing right now.

Last night we went to Bear Valley and enjoyed 'A Night in Bethlehem' service. It was awesome. Will, Laura and I sang in the 'choir', leading the crowd in Christmas carols. Fun.
Then we came home, Mother came over and joined us as we ate some snack supper - with hot spiced cider, then yummy Christmas treats for dessert. Then we piled up in the car and drove around to see Christmas lights. So Fun. We went through a "Texas Christmas" neighborhood in Bedford. Laura showed us where that was. So very, very cute.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I should have called . . .

I thought about it, but I didn't do it. . . . call the Star Telegram and tell them about the Christmas village in the Lonestar Antique Mall Tea Room. It has two trains running through it . . . and it has Elvis' Graceland, and an Ace Hardware shop, a McDonald's, a whole Grinch type village in it, and a Habitat for Humanity house being worked on. And a whole lot more. I really should have called the newspaper to see if they would come out and do a story on it - and that it was free - FREE - to the public.

I emphasize the free part because I just got tickets for the ICE thing at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center and Resort. My mother, daughter and I are going this Thursday, Dec. 27, at 1:30. It will not be a cheap outing. $20 a ticket!!!! That does not include any food or drink. $20!!!! My dear mother had been wanting to go and I said, "Yes, let's!" I thought we'd just go the Gaylord Texan and eat there and see it while we were there. I did not know you had to PAY to see it. Oh well, I thought. I can put out five bucks or so for this. And then I saw the price of the tickets! --- When I told Sam he was aghast (interesting word). He thought that surely that included a meal. We had been to the Gaylord Texan and we both knew that it would have had to have been a small meal, but a meal nonetheless. Well, no meal. What with tax, our seeing the ice sculptures will cost about $65! It better be good!!!

On a merrier note, Christmas is in 2 days!
I'm ready.

Oh, that village at Lonestar that can be seen FREE - is a MINIATURE village.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas carols . . .

I assume people know things that I know. Right now I’m thinking of Christmas carols. As I was playing in the tea room yesterday a young mother and her little girl came over to watch me as I played. (That’s always an interesting happening.) They came over so the little girl could see me as I finished playing “Jingle Bells”. Prior to that I had played other children’s Christmas songs, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Santa Claus is coming to Town”, and “Frosty, the Snowman”. I thought, hmm, I should play yet another children’s song. I asked the mother if they knew “Away in a Manger”. She said, no, they weren’t familiar with that one. I began playing it and the young mother said she recognized it a little and she tried humming along.

Another time I played “O Holy Night” and when I finished and was going on the the next song, a young woman of about 20 came over and asked me the name of that ‘sad song’ I had just finished playing. She really liked it and said she had never heard it. When I told her it was “O Holy Night” she said something like, “Oh, well I really liked it.”

Both of these instances had me dropping my jaw (fortunately not visibly). I must be out of touch with the world today. I thought everyone knew those songs. . . and I find it very sad that they do not.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Random thoughts . . .

I’m thinking . . .
Alan Keyes is weird. I used to like thim. Now I think he’s a helium-talking wacko. (That may be a little harsh.)
Mike Huckabee MAY be a real presidential contender. The jury is really still out on that, though.
Mitt Romney has seemed to flip flop on so many issues. That’s not too impressive. Also, I just learned that he went to the president of the Mormon church, Gordon Hinckley, to see if he ought to run for president.
I am definitely for a woman president. But NOT for Hillary Clinton. NOT NOT NOT.
Julie Zuefeldt is a FANTASTIC speaker, and a GREAT PERSON all around. I'm a big fan. Hmm. Maybe SHE should run for president?

If you haven't done my survey on my "Just for Fun" blog, please do it! And read the jokes, etc., especially if you're needing a chuckle. -- It's under my Friends and Family section - lower left of here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Check out . . .

Check out my survey on "Just for Fun" -- which is listed on the lower left - under 'Friends and Family'. Also enjoy the jokes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Spider bites . . .

I had some spider bites but now they're better. I noticed them about 2 weeks ago.
I had 1 bite on my neck (right side), 2 bites on the outer part of my right ear, 3 bites where my neck and ear meet, 3 bites on my head, and 1 bite on my chin (lower right corner). At least Sam and I are thinking they were spider bites. They were definitely some kind of bite. They didn't itch, they just hurt (kind of a burning sensation). In two of the places (chin and ear) there are scabs.
I'm telling you this now because, well, I wanted to write something on this blog. Bored, I guess. . . and that's what I was thinking about . And I had forgotten to tell you about it.
So now you know.
And yes, the spider must have been in my bed. I usually sleep on my right side, so I guess that critter just crawled right up and started biting.

CREEPY.

P. S. Don't forget to go to my' Just for Fun' blog ---on the left listed under 'Friends and Family'. It has some Christmas humor that I like.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

She's back!

No more days TLCH. She's home!!!!!!

It was an ordeal at the airport today - took A LOT longer for her to go through customs than anticipated (her traveling companion and friend, Hunter, lost his baggage (BOTH pieces) which caused the delay) - but oh, was it good to see her. We'd made big signs and then we were screaming and hugging, and well, we would have made a scene - but since we were the only ones left at the airport (well, not totally) it wasn't much of a scene.

Anyway, Laura and Will and Bailey and Allison (who were the gang at the airport) went to Echo, the 18-20 something church group meeting. The house is quiet again. But it won't be for long. And I'm so glad. I love having W&L's friends hanging out here. Everyone's home from college - and Italy- so they can join Will and Bailey at the Carmacks'. Life is sweet.

P.S. I just found that I sold a very nice corner cabinet in my booth at the antique mall. That feels really good.
Not as good as Laura being home, though.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

One!

One day TLCH!

Here's my thought - it's just one thought - but it is not short:
Every year at this time I think of my first Christmas. Not in 1952, but in 1970, the year I graduated from high school. I had been to a Christian weekend retreat the preceding spring in Weslaco, Texas. Prior to that I had struggled with my faith. It seemed foolish to believe in Jesus as I’d been taught. I mean, you couldn’t see him. And some folks didn’t believe him, so why should I? And yet, I could NOT not. There is a definite misery in doubt. At least there was for me. But at that retreat I remember surrendering. That’s really what it was . . . a giving in. Long story short, my life changed.

I remember being at my Grandmother Jennie’s house that Christmas in Kaufman, Texas. I remember thinking, everything is the same, and yet everything is different. . . for me.

Rather than write more about it, I’ll just copy and paste the words to the song I wrote about it. It’s a shameless plug I know . . but I so believe these words were inspired:

“My First Christmas”

We hang the tinsel on the tree
And mail the cards to friends and family
We do the things that we have done before
But this year Christmas means so much more

This is my first Christmas since I decided to believe
This is my first Christmas since I decided to receive
The greatest gift from heaven and that the world will ever know
When God gave Jesus . . . on that first Christmas . . . long ago.

I love the carols now for what they mean
And my heart swells when I see the manger scene
This year Christmas is different than it was
This year Christmas means more because. . .

This is my first Christmas since I decided to believe
This is my first Christmas since I decided to receive
The greatest gift from heaven and that the world will ever know
When God gave Jesus . . . on that first Christmas . . . long ago.

Friday, December 14, 2007

SURVEY!!!

Take my survey - at the left of this post.
Do it!
Please.

2 days left . . .

Yes, there are just 2 days left TLCH!!
Day after tomorrow!

Two things I think:
1) It's hard to think profound thoughts sometimes. . . . I'm trying . . .
2) jungle Red nail polish by Estee Lauder is fun to wear for the holidays.

It was easy to think the second thought.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Threeeeeeeee!

Threeeeeeeee days TLCH!
I am so excited.

Here are 3 random thoughts:
1) Oklahoma City has ice everywhere, but we're good board members. We made it up here. . . ah, but we'll leave early tomorrow afternoon because more bad weather is coming.
2) I may not have presents wrapped under the tree, but I do have presents bought. Just so you know. (Don't go looking for them.)
3) There is a madness about Christmas time, but I've gotten to where I kind of like it. And I certainly like the fact that it celebrates Christ's birth. He changed history . . . in case you didn't know. . . and he so changed my life. Before he did that I was, well, a witch with a capital B. (I know, you didn't expect me to say that. Seriously, my sister used to tell me that I didn't have a nice thing to say about anybody. She was right. Christ indeed changed my heart. Oh my.)

Tomorrow I'll have 2 thoughts - to commemorate 2 days TLCH. Then one. Then I won't have to think. Laura will be here and she can think for me.
I'm tired again. . . and getting silly.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Big Four . . .

4 days TLCH*!!!

4 random things I’ve discovered:
1) Red Hot and Blue’s onion rings are the best onion rings I’ve ever tasted.
2) Cottage Care is really one of the best maid services in the world And it is a wonderful thing that I can have them come every now and then to clean my house. (There is NOTHING like coming home to a clean house.)
3) Ken Follett is a really good fiction suspense writer, though he uses the ‘f’ word every now and then. Good grief. I wish he wouldn’t do that.
4) I used to like Karen Carpenter's voice so much. Now I hear it and I think it is too syrupy sweet. I guess we all evolve. (I was very sad when she died so young years ago.)

Have a great day.

*Till Laura Comes Home

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

5

5 days TLCH.

5 things I've learned this week:
1) our auto mechanic tells people to never buy a Volkswagen. Hmm. He said people are always bringing them in to get worked on. They need so much maintenance and are always having problems. Also the Volkswagen place is the only place where the oil can be changed. --- Rats. I liked Volkswagens.
2) one should never leave a car with a sun roof parked for a long period of time under tree branches. Somehow the leaves end up in a part of the sun roof and then, well, something happens that can - long story short - ruin the computer in the car. Live and learn.
3) the movie THE GOLDEN COMPASS did not do as well this weekend as its producers thought it would. I have yet to hear from someone other than a paid critic how it was.
4) those Jimmy Dean ‘fully cooked’ sausage patties that you zap in the microwave aren’t nearly as tasty as the ones you cook yourself. Oh, and Owens sausage is the BEST. (My dear dad would never eat anything but Owens.)
5) those Salvation Army people who ring the bells to get donations ARE paid. I had thought they were just volunteers. (And I think it’s great that they’re paid, by the way.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Third blog?

I just started a third blog - on this, my day off. I've listed it in my Family and Friends column on the left. I know you're busy, but when you get a chance check it out. It's called "Why Not Believe?"

6

6 days TLCH!

Well, my monster week is over and today I'm 'off'. Feels good.
And it's very cold outside. So it's good that I'm inside.
Starting sentences with 'And' and 'So' kind of go against my credentials of an English degree and being an English teacher for four years before I married. Yeah. Most people go through their rebellion when they're in their teens. I waited till I was over the hill.

So what's new? Well, I found out last week that I'm going to be the great aunt to a precious little boy who was born in Viet Nam last July. His new parents, Jennifer and Ryan Tompkins, are opening up their home to him, so he can have a chance at life. What a blessed fella he is. They will go get him in about 4 months I think. The link to their blog is http://www.texastompkins.blogspot.com/ You can read about it all - and see his picture there. You'll want to pinch his cheeks but you can't. It's just a picture.

What else is new? Tomorrow Rob, Caroline, April, Lee and lots more people from Bear Valley will leave for India. They'll be working with an orphanage for aids victims there. (I think that's right.) Pray for them . . . for safety, good health, and of course, effectiveness in their mission.

Have a good day.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

One week from today . . .

. . . Laura will be home. . . and we'll be ready. No surprise party - she'll be too exhausted for that - but we'll have a relaxed celebration (oxymoron?) , as we walk her upstairs to her room - that still hasn't been remodeled -- so she can go to sleep. Or we might escort her to the den when she can watch tivoed 'The Office'. . . or . . . whatever. It will be HER DAY. The next morning bright and early we'll start cooking and cleaning, running errands, and doing all the other chores that I've waited till she got home to have her do. . . you know, so she'll feel at home. jus kidn.

As for me, right now I'm dead tired. Yesterday Sam and I traveled to and from OK City for the bank Christmas party, where I played my little keyboard. Today I go to the Diamond Oaks Country Club in Haltom City for a North Richland Hills Baptist Church Sunday School department Christmas party. I'm taking my trusty keyboard with amp and will play background music, then accompany a soloist giving a mini-concert. It should be fun. . . but I will be so glad when it will be over. It will mean that my monster week - which really HAS been fun, albeit tiring - is over. I will probably get in my car and go get something really unhealthy to eat- to celebrate. . . like peanut m&ms and a diet coke. (I'm planning my evening.) Then I will get home, get comfortable and go to bed - till Tuesday. Really. I've decided to declare Monday off. I know you might be jealous . . . would that you could declare a day off. Must be nice, huh? Well, I do live a dream life, remember. Someone's got to live it. I was happy to oblige. Happy. Happy.

I'm getting silly. That tells me that I am VERY tired.

One week TLCH . . . just writing that perks me up.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Nine, Eight . . .

EIGHT DAYS - EIGHT DAYS! TLCH*!!!
*Till Laura Comes Home!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Huckabee . . .

Huckabee is surprising everyone. He really MAY be a contender for the presidency. That is amazing. And so exciting if you ask me. And you don't have to ask me. . . this is MY blog!

TEN . . .

Ten days TLCH*!!! (including today)

The party's over . . . and it was so fun, if I do say so. There were 24 people in all, all decked out in their Christmas attire. The food from La Hacienda Ranch was incredible. The Sneaky Santa game was great. I got a large scented candle, Circle E Candles 'Bird of Paradise' scent, which I was told is their most popular scent. I'm burning it now. Oh my. Very nice. Sam got some tools and Will got some tools, also (after stealing them). They were all wowed by our house, particularly our bathroom. Some said they were going to come back with their towels and 'go for a bath'! I told them to call first.

That's my report.
Have a good day.

*Till Laura Comes Home

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Eleven days . . .

Eleven days - that's if you count today, TLCH*. And, of course, today COUNTS! It's a beautiful day! I'm hosting a big party tonight - and I have my tables set. I have my pitchers for tea - sweet and unsweet - out. I have my house relatively clean. I have my paper towels in the bathroom so everyone won't share their germs on my pretty Christmas towels. They can just look at them. And I'm taking a break right now. (I LOVE BREAKS.) Pretty soon I'll get go get some cookies for dessert. I would bake them myself but I don't want people to get used to that sort of thing. I ought to get some pralines because that's what's good after Mexican food. Well, they must be. Pralines are always sold at the registers at Mexican restaurants. (And I love a good praline.) Did I tell you La Hacienda Ranch is catering? Oh my. We'll be stuffed tonight. Oh, after we eat we have that Sneaky Santa thing - whatever you call it - where you draws numbers, pick a gift, and then someone can steal it from you. Talk about fun -- and stealing at the same time!

Break time's up.
Have a great day.

*Till Laura Comes Home.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Twelve Days

I'm not singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
I'm singing, "The Twelve Days till Laura --- Comes Home."
I can't wait.

I CAN'T WAIT.
Well, I'll have to for twelve days.
Tomorrow it will be eleven.

Good thing I'm busy this week.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Some other stuff . . .

Hillary is starting 'the fun' - of attacking Obama. And this may be her downfall.

The people have spoken: Chavez in Venezuela will NOT be president for life. Hurray.

Rob Bell made the CNN website. (I was going to delete my bookmark of CNN, I'm glad I hadn't YET.) (Actually he didn't MAKE the website. He's ON the website.)

The Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines (who I think is the absolute LEAST talented of the trio (the sisters I think ARE talented)) is making news again. She's urging folks to give money to 3 convicted murderers in Arkansas- for their appeal, or something. Actually it might be a good thing she's doing. Who knows.

This Is The Week That Will Be

Decades ago there was a TV show called "That Was The Week That Was". It was a cute look at the past week and included a cute commentary on one or two of the happenings. Well, I'm looking forward with my week - next week I'll look backwards - and am not feeling too 'cute' about the coming days. It will be one of those monster weeks. My writing about it here, hopefully, will help me get it in perspective.

I have four 'gigs' this week - where I go and play Christmas music for Christmas parties. One of those parties I will be singing as well as playing, which ups the stress level considerably (though, I do love the singing part, while I'm doing it). It happened that I got these 'gigs' because I play at the Lonestar Tea Room, and last summer folks 'booked' me way in advance to play at their holiday parties. Lo and behold all of the parties happen to happen in the same week. At the time (last summer) I just smiled and thought, "Whoa, the first week of December will be busy for me."

Well, now it's the first week of December.

Okay, not only do I have these gigs, but I also am hosting the Lonestar (mall and tea room) Christmas party Thursday night here at my house. 26 folks will be in attendance. Fortunately we're having it catered by La Hacienda Ranch (mm), so I won't be cooking. (or paying, Lonestar is footing the bill.) Why did I do this to myself on this busy week? Well, at the time I booked it I thought, no big deal. it will be catered, and I've been telling these folks that I got my house remodeled and they need to come see it, etc, so why not do it Dec. 6? (Note to self: next year remember this year and don't do it again.)

Also I'm taking my Mother to Canton Wednesday for her annual Christmas bridge party. I really - REALLY - want to do this - even though this is a wild week. Actually I kind of want to do this BECAUSE this is a wild week. Getting away for several hours - from what I could be doing here - is a certain therapy for me. Or you could call it an escape. Anyway, while Mother is playing bridge with her good friends I'll be shopping around Canton, and just well, being by myself... which I love. For lunch I'll be eating with the bridge ladies. Fun and yum. Oh, and just so you know, Mother did not ask me to take her. She knew I was busy this week. I was the one who brought it up and wanted to do it. In fact, I insisted.

Hmm. What else? Nothing?

So the week's not so bad. In fact, it sounds exciting. And just writing about it makes it seem manageable. And to think, I don't have finals to study for, and I don't have little children (however darling) to lug around. And for sure, I DO have a big, beautiful home (in my opinion) to share with folks, and I do have a certain talent to share with folks (I've finally quit saying, 'it's nothing.'). Wow. I AM blessed.
Blessed beyond measure.

Now what was I complaining about?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

No brag, just fact . . .

My son has an INCREDIBLE talent in music. I can hear him playing the banjo right now, and my jaw is dropping. Also, he’s been playing keyboard Sunday mornings at our church. Sometimes he plays guitar or banjo there also. When he was just a young thing I had no idea of his gift. Goes to show ya - ya never know what lies beneath a lovable face.

My daughter has more hutzpah than most folks I know. On her own she did everything one has to do to study in Italy. . . and now she’s there - been there since August. And this summer, if all goes as she would like, she will work in a museum in Connecticut. Lo and behold she’s done all the stuff that she has needed to apply for that position. (I didn’t even know about that position.) ('Course she may decide to do something else. But the world is her oyster. (I'm thinking that is a good expression?)

Oh and my husband knows how to do most anything. Example: he always knows WAY more about the computer (particularly Macs, but even PCs) than the guys that sell them. Me- I can barely do this blog-thing.

Speaking of me, I rearranged my booth in my antique mall. I didn’t add anything new, well, except a little bit of Christmas stuff, but that was a few weeks ago. Anyway, I started selling lots more things! I overheard one customer say, ‘”Oh, she’s got a bunch of new stuff!” I just smiled.

No brag, just fact.