Friday, December 31, 2010

Call Me!

Ben here, it's New Year's Eve and the hoomans are what else is new? I haven't seen them much the last month. They leave me here, by myself a lot. I'm really not old enough to be left alone but they put a bowl of water out and a few crunchies and expect me to amuse myself.

To tell you the truth, it's kinda nice to be alone after last week's big blowout. The Grandkids were all here, there were toys to step over, movies and games everywhere and it was hard to catch my 40 winks. If it wasn't for the extra food and snackies I would have complained.

The hoomans have started taking down some of the Christmas stuff so I know what's next and it won't be pretty. Every year about this time they run out of money. I know this for a fact because we run out of good food. They eat salad and chicken breast and broiled fish. I just wish they would budget their money better so we didn't have to do the starvation thing every year. But no, I'm just the dog so I don't have a vote. 

I want to wish all my readers a very Happy New Year and if any of you might like a house guest the next few weeks, I'm available! Just call me on my cell...555-1212!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quieting the Voices

I had an accident last week that involved a big ham and a crisper drawer. You guessed it, it fell from the top shelf and crashed down on the bottom crisper. Yep, it broke. I was unloading the groceries from one of my many runs to the store to stock up for the holidays. The fridge looked like we were preparing for a famine and I just kept remembering one more thing I needed. Every trip to town was another opportunity to add to the stash. While the kids were all here over Christmas, I had to move the juice to get to the milk to get the container of half and half wedged in the back left corner. Every nook and cranny was filled to the brim with cheesecake or jello salad, brisket marinating waiting to be cooked or spiral ham leftover for sandwiches. Hash brown casserole, leftover dressing, cheese balls and breakfast is a maze of bowls and containers, only I know how to find things. I would even say it's dangerous to open my fridge during the holidays!

So yesterday we went shopping for a new freezer. I'm not certain we NEED a freezer, we already have a side by side and a small chest freezer. Really it's just certain times of the year they are stuffed to the gills. Summertime and the holidays being the worst. If I try to add one more thing, the doors won't shut!

The voices in my head tell me I have to buy things that are on sale or else. I blame my Mom, she followed the same rules and when I was growing up we had two large chest freezers plus the two fridges, one in the house and the other on the service porch. It may have been a 50's thing, or a Missouri thing, or maybe it was a Depression thing. Every summer my parents would either can or freeze from the garden. Then every fall they would add a hog and a side of beef. Week by week the freezer would receive package after package of hamburger on sale, pork chops too good to pass up and roasts that begged to be taken home at 89 cents a pound!

I'm trying to be reasonable and tell myself two people do not need a large freezer. There's no chance of a famine anytime soon predicted for NW Arkansas. My grocery stores are open 24 hours a day so I could get my hands on a ham or a brisket or a turkey anytime I need one. For right now, I'm able to put a muzzle on the VOICES!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I had a GREAT time at Grandmas!

Grand and Great, Ewan is both of those things to Mom and I! Our visit to Great Grandma Risley was a treat for all of us. Jamestown is Mom's home now and they make it feel like Grandma's house in many ways. While we were there, Ewan looked at her Christmas cards, rode around on her lap and even had some lemonade and a little snack. I wish he had been here last week when Santa made a special stop at Jamestown's Christmas Party. As much like any family gathering I had ever attended, there were dozens of families who were joining with loved ones. The staff prepared a feast for us...cakes, cookies, candies...sandwiches, appetizers and even a chocolate fountain! We were entertained with Christmas carols and HuLa Dancing...the many children that were there to visit Grandmas and Grandpas were THRILLED when SANTA made his surprise visit with lots of presents for the residents. Nursing homes are changing for the better. So many now make a concentrated effort to provide a home atmosphere with quality health care. If you haven't visited a dear Aunt or Great Grandma yet, there's still time to wish her a Merry Christmas with a special visit. Make the time to go, it will brighten your day and theirs!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sad and Blue

I'm a little lost today, the kids went back to Texas and the house is so dang quiet I can hear the clock ticking. As tired as I am I should appreciate the quietness, but it's a lonely "it will be 6 months before we see them again" feeling in the pit of my stomach. Ewan adds to the tummy ache when he says "I love you Nanny" and wants me to come home with them...three is just the cutest age! The cousins had the bestest time ever getting acquainted and playing with cars and Iphones! Jackson and Ewan are 13 years apart, but you can see in this picture they were having fun!

I'm going to leave the trees up until after New Year's Day, I always hate to take down the decorations. It makes the house look so plain and nothing is sparkly anymore! The transition from the holidays to the reality of at least 3 more months of cold bleak weather is enough to get me down if I let it. Along the way we'll have some snow and ice to add a little excitement to the days though! I've been watching for Walmart or Target to put their sleds out. Our Texas Grandson's have never had the pleasure of sledding so I sure want them to be prepared. Last week when I went into town I stopped at our local Ace Hardware Store, Garners and sure enough...there they were, a big stack of blue, orange and lime green "saucers." Ready and waiting for the first snowfall of the season, I bought 2, so we are prepared!

Hubby is off this week so we are planning a few fun things and some naps to get our batteries recharged! It's been pretty hectic here on Granny Mountain so blogging has taken a back seat. I have lots of pictures to share, they are in the camera....setting on the counter at Grandmas! You can see my brain needs a few days to recover...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Silly Billy Gene

This picture was taken years ago after Christmas dinner at Mom's. Whoever took it thought it would be funny to get our "best sides" in a group picture. That's me, my mother-in-law and Mom. We are a silly bunch and I thought I would try to put a smile on your face by sharing some of the one's that we have taken through the years.
Here we go...
Mom~Christmas 1982
The women in the family love to get something sparkly to wear!
Stephanie~11 and Amy~3 Christmas 1981
It's in their blood to ham it up!
This is the Chief Ham, His Hamness, Grandpa!
Me~Christmas 1993
"Ohhh, this is too much!"
This is Hubby's Popeye Face, he does this one in a lot of pictures!
We are also an excitable bunch, much enthusiaum no matter what the present may be!
Hubby~Christmas 2000 in Texas
He wanted to brag to everyone that he went swimming on Christmas!
Amy~Christmas 1985
Great picture to show to her son when he's older!
Hubby or Napoleon?
This is where Hubby gets Popeye Face...from his Dad!
Hubby with his "purty face!"
Even our cat "Smudgy" was a clown!
Ok, I had to get permission from our daughter Stephanie to share this one! In defense, she WAS on cold medicine and she was doing her best to keep Jackson amused during all of the present opening on Christmas morning 1994.
This may be my favorite...the players are seated left to right, my Mom, my Mother in Law and my Father in Law. The gift is from us...a bread machine. Dad T.'s is saying, "Maybe now I'll finally get some hot bread!" Look at Mom T.'s face...then look at my Mom's!
Hey, it was funny!
Ewan~Christmas 2007
The Silly Billy gene is alive and well in the future generation!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Present for ME!

I received a present in the mail, the gift card I won from
So excited... $100 to spend on something special! It's that time of year when I see a million things I LOVE, then re-focus and tell myself I need to shop for others.  When I found out I was the lucky winner, I asked Hubby to look over Macy's website with me, choosing something we'd both enjoy. After a few minutes of Internet shopping he said, "You just pick something you like, I'll love it too." He's a KEEPER!

There are lots of things I think I'd like. This has been on my Wish List for awhile, just not certain where I'd put it in my tiny kitchen.

A new handbag is another great idea! But I have one under the tree waiting for me to open already...

One of the new flat surface chargers would be nice. I run around with a DEAD phone half the time!

I'm leaning toward a new set of flatwear. Practical, can be enjoyed a LONG TIME and shiny...yep, think I will order these today! Go over to visit Jacqueline  for some EYE CANDY and while you're there, be sure and tell her how nice you think she is for the wonderful giveaway!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New and Improved

Well, here's the new furniture. After all the searching we bought the same color, the main difference is that the new sofas have reclining seats. We are really loving that feature!

The tree in the living room has the "Joke Gifts," the ones that are so fun to buy! This year there's all kinds of good finds, one actually alongside the road. The rules of the joke gifts are thrift store, garage sale, re~gift or even better...dumpster diving!

I have a busy week ahead of me with a couple parties, baking and candy making.

The woodland bears are ready though, they have Santa's Box full of fun things for Ewan! Old fashioned toys like tic tac toe and paddle ball. I'm betting he likes the slide puzzle the best, at only 3 he's a number boy...very schmart! 

Blogging has to take a back seat to all of the activities right now, I appreciate the fact that some of you aren't lolly gagging like me and are busy posting great recipes for me to try over the holidays. In fact, I'm looking at them right now and planning my menus!

Monday, December 20, 2010


This time of year my heart begins to swell when I think of the blessings in our lives, family and good health at the top of my list. We live in a small town and even now are protected somewhat from the cruel realities of the World. Until you open your eyes and see there are those who are hurting right now.

We have one, yes only one homeless man that we see around town. He pulls a little grocery cart, like the ones our Grandmothers used to carry their groceries home from the neighborhood store. I see him and my heart goes out to his plight. I don't know how he reached this point, maybe a broken heart or a broken spirit. He's the age that he could very easily be a Viet Nam Veteran. Or maybe life just hasn't been as kind to him. 

This week as I baked cookies for neighbors, mailmen and the many who care for my Mom at Jamestown... I kept thinking about him. I wondered who he had in the world that he should be spending Christmas with? If he still had his parents, if he has brothers or sisters that he once shared the joys of the Season.

One little box of cookies and he wasn't hard to find, he's usually on the corner of Poplar and 8th. Reaching out felt good. His name is Mark.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Simple and Sweet

~Illustrations by Susan Branch~
I'm glad there's a list to follow with directions clear and plain how to improve the quality of my life. Daddy always called such things "Horse Sense," but sometimes when it's down in BLACK & WHITE we pay attention!

It's 5 sleeps, 15 hours and 38 minutes until Christmas Eve and all across the world we are planning our menus. Susan Branch cookbooks are among my favorites simply for the art alone, but her outlook on life lifts me up! She remains a child in her heart even though the outside is all grown up and in my case...may be getting a little wrinkly!

Her Christmas cookbook is my favorite, chocked to the brim with glad tidings and happy's a primer on how to have Happy Holidays. Recipes galore, I'm hard pressed to say there is a favorite but maybe this one...

Simple and sweet, it makes you smile! No matter what you make this week, if it's someone's favorite then you are following Susan's rules...
From the Heart!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Forever Friend?

My SISTER-in-law is thinking about getting a dog. Just thinking...not sure...I'm trying to convince her it's a good idea....I think. It's no secret that we love our Ben. He was a rescue, years ago to heal our daughter's broken heart. He came into our life skinny and neglected, and within a week he was sleeping on our couch and I was preparing breakfast for him to order!

Terry said she doesn't want to turn into one of those people who talk about their dogs like they are children. Good luck with that, in no time at all you are talking for them....
"Ben says he's hungry!"
"Ben says he wants to go for a ride in the car!"
"Ben says he wants a bite of that steak!"

He's a senior citizen now, in fact his hearing is gone but he still watches me and knows what I'm saying.
"Where's Daddy Ben?"
"Are you hungry sweetie pie?"
"Let's go for a walkie!"

Ten years and he knows our every movement. He knows when it's time for Jerry to come home, he knows
Saturday morning after coffee and paper he has a long walk. He especially knows summertime routine when we are getting ready to go out on the boat...his FAVORITE thing!

So I'm telling my SISTER-in-law it's a good idea, but it's a decision only she can make. There are vet bills and haircuts, toys and beds, leashes and collars. There are fences and gates, bowls and placemats, brushes and Kongs. There are times when you can strangle them for barking or peeing or chewing something up. But they work their way into your heart in no time just like kids. They know you as well as your spouse, and they forgive you like no human ever can. God made dogs for us to enjoy. He made them for us to care for and in turn they heal a broken heart and add so much to our lives. I'm voting "YES!" Let's hear what you think she should do....

*If you are thinking about adding a Forever Friend to your family, please visit the Humane Shelter or the many rescue groups in your community who have hundreds of pets just waiting for you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Woodland Tree

The little woodland tree that sits in the dining room is close to being a Charlie Brown tree. Sparse and plain, with only a minimum of lights, it's my favorite of the three we put up every year. The ornaments are brown and twiggy; pine cones that Daddy picked up in the woods for me years ago, honeysuckle heart wreaths and birds of all kinds.

Sitting underneath waiting for Christmas to come are the Boyd's Bears that were Amy's when she was a little girl. The Easter Rabbit and a lone Christmas Mouse keep each other company until Santa arrives...

Feather birds, even chickens roost on the branches...

A pretty little Cardinal sets in a nest...

A Blue Jay eyes a Christmas plum...

Santas line up on this sideboard...

The oldest is a Santa bell from my husband's first Christmas in 1951. We bought many of the little wooden ornaments when we lived in California in the early 1970's, they were 10 cents each...on sale of course! Every year we add more and now I have to pick and choose favorites to have enough room on this table. I love the Santa in the Ark, do you spot it on the left?

We have tall Santas and short Santas, fat Santas and skinny Santas...about every kind of Santa you can imagine! The little Santa frames hold a pictures of our GRANDsons!

Every Christmas when I unpack these, they are new joy and many happy memories of Christmases long ago!
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