Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Family Christmas - Sunday, December 26

Delia is ten this Christmas and Grandma tried to find something she could use to make an experiment. Those pickle jars will come in handy now... Ho,ho,ho!

 Every ten year old should get soap for Christmas, right? They made me stop buying socks...
 Fiesta makes its annual appearance at our festivities. I got a cinnabar mug, too. Thank you, Tracy.
 Just try to slow down a two-year-old when she sees something interesting. She will really work up a sweat.

 More of our decorating strategies: cards, photos and don't forget the Christmas lights around the walls.
 Dad is slightly suspicious of the peanut pillow or is it the photographer?
 Tracy explains all: the peanut pillow will help with the neck ache. Pillow is washable and hand made. Good job, Tracy.
 One of our favorite photos of 2010. I can still feel the love.
The Kids.
 The Parents.
 A gift certificate for yarn at The Nest. I know what makes these girls happy.
We had a GOOD time.

Strother Elves Christmas 2010 Update-Preparation for Christmas

It's cold, but there is no snow. Can Christmas be so far away?
 the Strother Elves contemplate the work to be done. Oh yeah. Delia and Tracy decorated the tree before they went outside to scout the deer location.
 Make that KEITH and Delia went outside; it appears that Tracy had some catching up to do. She donated the jacket Delia wore outside.

 This picture of Stan was taken by Linda or Sandy during the week before Christmas when I had to be in school. He is sitting in the recliner enjoying USA network programs -see the wvu snuggie on his left?

 Traditions. And photos. We got lots of them!
 The Christmas Tree at Sun Valley 2010 - complete with vintage tree skirt and stockings to be hung by the "chimney" with care...
Just the facts, Ma'am. And, of course, the pictures!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Blessings - Alabama

I stand here lookin' up at the stars tonight,
how can one man have so much in life

As I look around me, what a picture it paints,
I'm much more than lucky, I oughta give my thanks

There's food on the table, a log on the fire,
and in my woman's eyes there's love and desire

The blessings, sent from above, oh, the blessings, a life full of love

When I look around I can see, all that's been given me,
so lift my eyes up to the sky

I wanna give my thanks for the blessings

Sometimes I fall asleep at the end of the day
and I forget to thank you, I'm ashamed to say

But as I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep

I know you can hear me here on Earth,
thank you for giving me more than I deserve

The blessings,
sent from above, oh, the blessings,
a life full of love

When I look around I can see, all that's been given me,
so lift my eyes up to the sky

'Cause I wanna give my thanks for the blessings

when I look around, I can see, all that's been given me

So, I lift my eyes up to the sky,
'cause I wanna give my thanks for the blessings

The blessings, oh, the blessings...

Merry Christmas 2010, Family!
I love ya all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Gentle readers.
Today is the official beginning of Winter here in the northern hemishpere.
Also, the last day for students at my school (until next year - about two weeks).
I'm going to post some photos from my school computer, since the computer at home is acting up.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday - The last reeealy good shopping day before Christmas.


We are watching Sorcerer's Apprentice, instead of another endless Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean.

I tried to get the cork out of the Merlot. No luck. Drinking Kahlua instead. So, if this is slightly disjointed or out of focus, I won't be able to tell until I read it tomorrow.

Best belly laugh of the day: The Miller's Christmas Card - you kept the best photo. I want to pass it along. Please, send it to me either on the blog or by email. You have inspired me to make the obligatory Christmas letter. I have some Christmas stationary... I also have Maxine's "It won't matter in 100 years, and it barely matters now!" stationary. Guess which one I pick for this year's letter to friends and relatives...

On the national scene: DADT has passed the Senate by 65 to 31 with Manchin not there to vote and Rockefeller voting yes.

On the homefront: Kim will come tomorrow.
We are cocooning. Did the chores: garbage, laundry, obligatory TV and facebook, dishes, ignored the bills, the letters to answer, the cleaning...

Forecast for tomorrow: Sunday -December 19 - regular winter day, nothing special. Shop, if ya can...
Monday - regular school day - awwww shucks...
Tuesday - maybe some snow - school again...
Wednesday - I gotta go no matter how high the snow gets...
Thursday - Freedom
Friday - Christmas Eve

Hope to hear from all of you before too long. Marietta, Mo-town, NYC, Phoenix and of course D.C. and any other place you lurkers are lurking... North Pole, etc.
See ya.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snow Day - yippee!

Lake Effect Snow... what other kind is there? The weatherman should have called it "heart attack" snow - heavy, wet, good for snowmen and snow ball fights. 6 inches on the deck accumulated from the weekend... about 3 inches on the driveay at 9a.m. today. I swept and it was slush underneath. Too heavy to brush away. Still falling in big wet flakes.
Linda and Sandy may come, if they can get out of their respective roads - this morning the word was "icy" - not coming until roads get better... I don't blame them. This old 50 has been scraped. The plow flew by @ 9a.m.
I'm going to take a nap (or I wish I could take a nap) Depends [how punny I am.]

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Snowy Sunday in West Virginia

Dad's Christmas Tree with Dad in the mirror December 5, 2010

Our front door with the porch lights on. Thanks Strother Elves for figuring out how to hang the lights AND open the door.

Our Deer welcoming the neighbor's deer - they are far away, over the hill in the next lawn...

Our front door w/o the porch lights on.

The deck before the snow started falling again, tonight.

  ..  ..  .. Hours and hours of Harry Potter today on ABC family. Augh! (For those of us who have memory and can remember the details with out seeing it over and over and over. But I digress.)
Delia: putting the tree together after Thanksgiving.
 .. .. .. This weekend has been very nice: Trisha and Zoey came "over" from their home "on the River" and had a nice long visit. We enjoyed Zoey's discoveries - or rather re-discoveries: the "Wheel", the purple letters on the refrigerator, the toys, in the cabinet, the Christmas truck and the Christmas Radio-Flyer wagon, Grandpa Stan's church, trinkets in the dish on Grandma's dresser... you get the picture. Who can keep up with a two year old? Her Mom did very nicely. Me? I just enjoyed them.
 ... .. ..Trisha gave me a precious hour and a half - that stretched into two, to get some shopping done: Rx and mail pick-up, groceries - by then I was worn out. She stayed with Dad and did some Elf stuff to cheer up his room and make my decorating easier. We'll continue that later on this month ;-)
  ..  .. .. It's snowing again. The sun set about an hour and a half ago, then I took some photos with out the flash so I could post them. Now I'm waiting for the battery on the camera to charge.
.. .. .. .. The little tree from Grandma Freda's Christmas looks pretty good on those lamp tables. Our caregivers thought we needed a topper, so they put the angel on top. But we'll change that when Delia finds the appropriate star. The Dickens Village is partially appearing - the rest is still in the closet. I haven't decided on the best venue for their display. No drilling in the bookcases! Therefore, no lights in the village. Poor lamplighter, can't even set fire to the thatched roofs; I haven't found him. (I wonder if I gave him away??? He was always the last to leave the shelf in its old home.)
 . . . . . Zoey really enjoyed the "three little people" - she put them on the "mountain" under the tree. That old VCR ate the VCR tape that Trisha was going to use to entertain the Z-miester. I will have to get my minions together- then we can create a"fireplace with fake fire" and entertainment center [a.k.a DVD/VCR music and place to show sideshows] under the living room Sharp aqueous. We can hang stockings from the old TV there too...    Ah - world enough and time...elves and tape and ingenuity...
 . . . . Doesn't appear, at this time, to be enough wintery weather to keep us home for a snow day. Although we can always hope ;)
 . .  . .  I'm looking forward to the posting from Edgehill House to see the Strother's Christmas Tree. Perhaps the rest of you will take the hint?
I'm going to get the battery from the wall and hope I can load a picture or two now. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Traditional Thanksgiving Day is coming to a close.

Rain. That's how the day presented itself. Grey. Foggy. And totally too warm for November.

My one foray into the daylight was a short trek to the newspaper box. Red umbrella, light jacket and me, huff'n puffin' back up the driveway.

Leah, who called yesterday, Trisha, Susie, Kim, and Barbara who all called today - had gobble, gobble wishes and stories. Tracy sent her love via f/b, too.

Yesterday, Sandy helped me rig up some colorful lights on the deck and set up the bk porch for Saturday's overflow...  Today, Trisha called, still ill with the bad sore throat and coughing. Maybe not coming Saturday. She really feels bad and sounds bad. We'll know more tomorrow and Saturday morning.

Dad suffered through the day in good spirits despite the fact that I was his sole caretaker. We didn't do too badly - We watched the Parade, the Dog Show and random Burn Notices. I crock potted some meatballs and sauce - which we eventually ate for dinner.

I picked the wrong day to dust and run the sweeper - too dark, too soon.  Better luck on another day.

Cold air is on the way. I swear it snowed on the deck Wednesday evening already.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I've decided. I want to be famous like Sarah Palin!

Oh boy. Things must really be crazy for me to post that in my title. Or not.

Think about it: I am a woman. I am registered Republican. I vote regularly. I speak to my students, colleagues, administrators and the public when called upon.  I could get a soap box (the internet) and do some free advice giving...

I have children (who also have children.) I am a college graduate with a degree in education w/ majors in English and social studies, too. I have a Master's Degree in Social Studies education. I could write a BOOK.

I have had the same husband for 41 years. I have experiences in LIFE and death. I know what life is like in nursing homes. I have experience with our private health care system and our government run health care. I've dealt with Medicare, funeral homes, and insurance companies. I know what it's like to be management and union. I'm still in the workforce.

I've flown in commercial airplanes, but not since 911. I know what its like to be comfortable in life and to be on the verge of losing everything. I have travelled across the country a couple of times - east to west and back north to south and back.
I have shot a gun. I have driven on mountain roads, back roads, superhighways and crowded highways. I read magazines: Saudi Arabia World, National Geographic, occasionally Newsweek. I read newspapers (mostly local.) I can be outspoken. I may take up a cause and raise money to find a cure.

My home state is beautiful. From my front porch, I can see West Virginia. And from my desk, I can see anywhere in the world.

Now, why wouldn't I make a good contrast to Sarah Palin? The media could put me right up there on TV every time they give her three minutes of free attention. I could talk about IMHO anything: Parkinson's, stem cell research, caregivers, parenting, religion, and oh yeah, the government. Also I have opinions on "flying after 911", education and America, testing in America, just get me started.

Currently, my kids don't dance; but they can learn. They do other fascinating things and are polar opposites - much more publicity for me....
The BOOK could be one like Hilary's or "W"'s - it really won't matter, because the media will push it and I'll be out of debt.
BTW, I went to the basement (of the Estate) to get out the seasonal decorations. I put them back after 2 out of three strings of lights didn't work. Time to rethink this decorating stuff.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In case you didn't notice the passing of time...

Another week has gone. [Work has its positives, but this week, I did not get the work completed I must do - the stress is delayed until tomorrow - Monday - when I must go hide somewhere and DO THE WORK.]

 Friday, after school, I stopped by the old house to check out the mailbox. I saw from the curb -  the curtains pulled back and the blinds open. So, I ventured inside. There I discovered, pleasantly, that Jeff had pulled down the old ceilings and replaced them with our stockpile of new ceiling - very white and very nice. We have three new lights - two in the living room and one in the dining room.  New ceiling, new lights now the reverse needs care - pack up old lights and get the old ceiling out-a-there... A never ending cycle of w-o-r-k... I didn't go to the attic to get stuff for the tree.

Saturday -- Saturday, Dad and I stayed home and I did little chores: washed laundry, fixed food 3 times, cleaned up the kitchen again, again again... carried the garbage to the curbside. Paid Jeff for putting up the ceiling. Jeff says he has a contact in the fire department that may help with the basement stuff. We'll see. Thinking all the time: how will we celebrate the holidays this year.. maybe I'll go to the attic on Sunday ...

Today, however, the day was splendiferous: sunny, temps in the 60's, no too much wind, enough shiny sun to dry the newly washed car (formerly a Sunday tradition, here at the Estate.)
Kim came - what a God Send. She turned Stan twice... washed his hair and fed him, although he didn't eat much. And I tried to get some outside work done. I got the Rx from Rite Aide, shopped for some little stuff, tried to screw-up the courage to spend money on another tree.. just can't seem to justify the outlay. Nothing fits my criteria: cheap, pretty, easy to assemble and put away.. already got that.

I couldn't go to the attic. I got stopped on the second floor by an overwhelming sense of doom. I am going crazy trying to figure out how to empty that place, keep from losing anything of "sentimental" value, and repurposing that stuff over here for a while...

tonight, Sandy's daughter dropped by with food for dinner - Sandy's family had T-Day today. Sandy asked me Friday if that would be alright. Thank God for random people.

I think of Cousin Susie daily. I hope things are ok there. I will write (to her) this week. I will! No one should have to struggle alone - unless he or she is the Unibomber...and they caught him. 
I think I have a case of SAD. Don't worry, I know how to stop it. I'm just wallowing right now - it is the season, you know. Pecan Pie, Bread n Butter and applebutter, you get the picture.

I don't sleep through the night - ever. Last night I dreamed about the student whose Mother told me she needed an extension on her 7th grade geography project completion date, because she had been "molested" and Mom could give me the paperwork from the hospital if I needed it. I was standing in the cafeteria trying to get into the office to check in, when she and her two kids stopped me... for real.

And that's only one of the nightmares related to work. I don't want to think about what my brain deals with at night when it thinks about "home". But, everyone has problems and mine are mine. I don't want yours. No fair asking to trade. However, if you are inclined to share, I'll listen. I probably can't DO anything, but I can appreciate the struggle. And time just keeps on zipping by.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Due to an ice cream spill in the kitchen...

Due to an ice cream spill in the kitchen, yesterday's post of mundane things has been cancelled. Technology hates me. Even plastic bags are plotting against me. Maybe today will be ?better?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Part 4; More intriging stuff from our trip to Moundsville

 Some of our gang, with the docent, outside - standing on the bridge just below the mound.
 Same gang, different perspective.
 The diorama inside the museum - big plexiglass container.

 More description of the mound - inside out...
 Kids love skulls.
 Nice view of the tree beside the mound, don't cha think.
 I have proof that Mrs. Cooper was on the job that day. Thank you Pam for walking to the top with all those guys. I don't know how you got back down... there were no handrails and the steps sloped down...
Peck's bad boyz.

Part Three: The HLC pictures from the Moundsville Museum

 The fancy gravy boat may be like the one left in Mrs. Skidmore's too-tall-to-reach kitchen cabinet by her heirs. The cup and saucer may be the pattern on Grandma's under-the-sink-to-catch-the-scouring-pad crockery. I used to think that was just one odd cup, but I have discovered others...
 A plethora of designs. I did not see a tall tea pitcher with a stick handle (like the creamer with the stick handle).
 Just a sampling of designs from HLC. There are many more in the plate room at the factory. I wonder if...

I know that platter. I've taken pork chops from it at New Year's many times. It's still in Mom's cupboard.
More pictures to follow...