Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday report part II

12-31-09 vacation brain

Since the weather was not agreeable to outside snowman making or sledding this year, we had to occupy ourselves indoors. Activities included a Scrabble competition and “gingerbread house” building and playing with the cat who is very playful at age 6 months.

I was terrible at Scrabble, since my spelling is poor, as you know by reading my blogs. However, the longer we played, I did show signs of improvement with my score. I even won a game or two. I was still using 3-4 letter words, but I started placing them to get double and triple letter points.

When creating my “gingerbread house”, since I had my fill of sweets by then, I decided to keep my hands away from the candy and build my house for the birds and squirrels. I used mostly seeds to decorate my house.

On Sunday we had a small gathering of 16 for a luncheon to celebrate Mom and Dad’s 60th Wedding anniversary which was a few days before Christmas. We took our family pictures then since we were all out of our PJ’s and sweat pants that day.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Report part I

12-30-09 vacation brain
The weather forecast the week of Christmas looked dismal here in the Midwest. Rain, ice and snow were predicted on top of the 15 inches of snow we already had on the ground in Des Moines.

Luckily Greg was able to drive to Des Moines on Monday evening and telecommute for the two days before our vacation, so at least we knew the two of us would be together for Christmas.

We were on notice to see if my brother-in-law would be able to fly into Des Moines Thursday late afternoon, and then we were waiting to see if we three would be able to drive up to northern Iowa to meet up with the rest of the family.

As it turned out, Hunt did not come to Des Moines and Greg and I did beat the ice storm and drove to Charles City Thursday mid day in rain. Our weather on Christmas day was a mix of rain, ice and snow and the seven of us, minus Hunt, were able to carry on our family traditions.

One new surprise came after our Christmas morning breakfast, as we finished up at the table, my niece and nephew excused themselves for a few minutes. When they returned they were dressed in “elf” costumes and proceeded to get the gifts out from under the tree and sorted into our individual piles by our designated seats.

They even had an outfit for the cat, but he didn’t much like the reindeer hat.

This year, a new tradition began with Christopher being in charge of cooking the turkey and he also made a wonderful sweet-potato dish. We ate well with my sister's potatoes and the addition of Mom's dressing and frozen summer sweet corn, and her Creme de Menthe pie for dessert.

(PS: Chris will never let you take a "normal" picture of him... he is always making faces!... also he has learned to cook to survive on his own... he continues to work out daily and has kept his Marine physique over the last year. Boy does he have some muscle.)

continued tomorrow....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hello Cousins

"CJ breaks ice with bare hands in Iowa"
12-29-09 vacation brain
I’m back in Des Moines on Monday afternoon, but still on vacation for another week! I will be blogging about the holidays at some point…… to keep my cousins updated about us here in Iowa..... maybe tomorrow, but tonight my head is still swimming from just returning from the Avatar movie this evening.

Greg and I attended along with nephew CJ, who returned to Des Moines with us this afternoon.We are planning to continue working on the basement project which CJ helped us with last February….. one more wall to waterproof and paint.

Here is a special post for my cousins out in Oregon.
I have only two cousins, where as Greg has 53 or so first cousins.

Photo was dated 1960, our second train trip out to visit relatives in Oregon. I was almost 5 years old and I do remember this trip on the train.

Interesting to note here that my sister and I were not dressed a like. Although it looks like our shirts might be the same.

I was very shy at this age, and my cousin Diane scared me.... she would give me great big "bear hugs".... and squeeze me too tight! Notice I am holding my kitty stuffed animal. I felt safer if Kitty was with me.

More silliness from CJ.... does this look like a future History PHD? Yes, I think he will make a wonderful eccentric professor some day!

Monday, December 28, 2009

ART surprise for Kelley!

12-28-09 vacation brain

I was so excited to conjure up a Christmas ART surprise for my friend Kelley. Kelley has always been so supportive of my art and wants me to paint her things for her house, (which I have done in the past).... And she has recently asked for some of my new art, but always wants “three” of everything....and I didn't think I would have time for several months to create something in threes for her. BUT I changed my mind.

So I decided that I would ask her husband and three kids if they wanted to give some of my new artwork to Kelley as Christmas gifts from them. I secretly emailed her daughter, Elizabeth, who is in college and made the arrangements.

Sorry the picture didn't turn out well. Each is 8x8 inch framed.

I did three leaf pictures, one representing each of her kids.

A Maple leaf: for Elizabeth, colorful and beautiful
An Oak leaf: for middle child Michael since he is solid, helpful and I think reliable (at least as far as a 16 year old can be)
A Ginkgo leaf: for Ben the youngest (my Godson), since he is creative and unique.

On Wednesday before Christmas, Elizabeth snuck over here to pick them up....I was patiently waiting to see if Kelley was going to like these new paintings! She sent me an email late Christmas day and yes, the surprise was a success! I'm happy I could help make her happy!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Enjoying the moment

I'll be taking a break from my blog.... to enjoy some Christmas moments with my family for a few days.

"Fear NOT, for behold I bring you tidings of great JOY!....
PEACE on Earth, goodwill towards mankind

Sending LOVE and PEACE out to YOU ALL and the whole world!
..... Judy

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Spirit of Christmas past

12-24-09 reminiscing brain

Just for the fun of it today.... pictures from Christmas past.

We sisters were dressed alike for many years.

My Chatty-Cathy doll, which I still have. We each got one, mine red dress, my sister's had a blue dress.

Christmas times with niece and nephew:

Christmas 1991: Greg age 26, Vivian 60?

Our first Christmas in our house 1993:

Christmas 2007 at the State Park resort:

Christmas 2009 will be in Iowa. Safe travels to all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Birthday

12-23-09 celebrating brain

Another December birthday, this time niece Sarah!

Young Sarah:

Sarah- I'll be seeing you in a few days.... I hope our time will be filled with gut wrenching laughter! You know the kind I like.... which starts with me doing something silly and then we laugh, then I laugh at us laughing... then I roll on the floor.... then you decide you are now too mature for me?

What can I say, my wonderful niece brings out the best in me!

Young lady Sarah:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

judy and JULIA

12-22-09 culinary brain
A Christmas story to illustrate why I don’t spend much time in the kitchen:

After enjoying the movie about Julia Childs (Julie and Julia) on Saturday evening, I felt motivated to do some Christmas baking Sunday. After Ann, Sue and I had finished the movie on Saturday, we couldn’t help ourselves and we were having fun by all talking like Julia Childs.

Sunday afternoon, since I was alone in the house, I again got into the spirit of Julia Childs by imitating her voice some more and I pretended I was giving a cooking demonstration. I was having a grand old time spending time being silly with myself! I seem to be good at that.

I decide to prepare our traditional family Christmas Eve special dessert, Creme De Menthe Pie. You’ll find the recipe below. First, I started with a cup of milk and sampling a few (at least 10) of the Oreo Cookies, making sure they were fresh enough…. They were “splendid”!

Then next step is to melt the marshmallows with milk in a double boiler as you can see here. I was doubling the recipe to make two pies instead of one and all was doing well, until I realized that I had quadrupled the milk amount instead of doubling the amount.

No problem, I got a larger bowl, and I had enough marshmallows and ingredients to do this, except for the whipping cream.

Luckily there is a period in this recipe where you need to let this mixture cool, so I had time to take the quick walk back over the to grocery store, for the second time in one hour to retrieve more cream.

After I returned and was trying to get the liqueur amount correct to quadruple the recipe, the phone rang. I was still channeling Julia Childs and when I saw it was a telemarketer, I couldn’t resist answering the phone in her voice. “Hel..loooooow, you’re going to have to jingle me back, I’m in the kitchen baking a Cremmmm DE Mennnnthe pie”…… Then I had to hang up because I started to laugh and couldn’t keep in character any longer.

Now where was I? Had I added 14 or 16 Tablespoons of Creme de Menthe? Oh well a few more splashes won’t hurt!

Since I didn’t have four pie tins, I ended up putting some in muffin tins, which actually works well for cute little individual servings.

Finally all was done, two pies went into the freezer and the rest to chill outside on the recycling bind, because “there was no room at the inn”… as I opened the backdoor I was startled by a baby opossum eating Big Head’s cat food. He was surprised by me also. No harm done, he scurried away.

The main part that keeps me from enjoying kitchen time, is the clean up time, which this time consisted of me having to wipe off splattered whipping cream from the kitchen wall and window, and tackling the pile of dishes.

By then I was coming down from my sugar high, and it felt like it was time for bed, however it was only 6:30PM. I wasn’t hungry for dinner, so ate an apple to purge my gallbladder from all that fat I had digested in the last few hours.

One last step, after the pies had set up for a time, you must not forget to add the final touch of red……. cherries on top. “Bon Appetite!”

Sticky Note to Self: Even though you are now intrigued by Julia Childs, do NOT try anything like this again for at least a few more months.

(click on picture to enlarge)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas in the bag

12-21-09 creative brain
One of my best ideas, ever, came to me a few years back….. well, it could be at least 10 years ago…. I don’t remember now for sure.

My Christmas’s in Florida (pre-Greg) in the late 80’s, were all about abundance…. We all got carried away spoiling my young nephew and niece, during those years of materialism and excess.

The presents would be piled high around the tree and each year we kept saying we were going to cut back. After all the presents were opened, I’d sit there looking at a huge pile of wrapping paper and think…. What a waste.

So finally I did something about it. One year I bought some Christmas fabric on sale in January and made some simple bags. All I did was to just sew up three sides and leave one opened end. Or you can use the fold and only have to sew two sides… Don’t worry about hemming or anything fancy like that. Then just tie off the top with ribbon.

That first year I let my family keep the bags their presents were wrapped in, and I made more…. Then my mom made some…. And soon over a few years, we all had enough bags among us, to never have to use paper wrapping again. We exchange and recycle our fun cloth wrapping bags each year.

Clean up is easy around our house now!
Merry Christmas to planet Earth!

And yes, I decorate my large fig tree instead of putting up a real Christmas tree. I spray some pine scent from a bottle and it can even smell like Christmas without all the fuss. After all, we are always traveling elsewhere over Christmas, so no need to go over board here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Missing Greg Blues

12-20-09 breaking Sabbath brain
Special Sunday Edition: "Keeping busy"

It was snowing again in Iowa this morning! Light at first, then heavy... enough to get another inch. The snow stopped by noon, when I walked home from church.

It’s been 14 days since I’ve seen Greg! Wow, this is a long stretch for us, since our holiday travel plans together to Ohio didn’t work out last week for me due to the snow. We’ll survive and be extra happy to see each other later this week. I then get to be with him for then next two weeks..... that's the plan anyway.

So all this alone time away from Greg, has given me extra time to work on other projects.

Yesterday I restarted some cleaning projects that had stalled a few months ago. I filled six large “Santa” bags, (i.e. garbage bags) for donation, mostly clothes, AND I feel we still have more that could easily leave our closets. I need to learn to not hang onto things for so long. This accumulation is insane.

Then Saturday afternoon, I was distracted by fun activities with Ann. We did a few shopping errands, visited an “over the top” light display in Grimes....

....then we were locked out of my house. A trip to three of the neighbors who have our extra keys, finally found someone home and we added neighbor Sue to our evening plans. Ann had left over party food from Friday, so we THREE GALS, watched the movie "Julie and Julia"... and we ate, drank, and were merry!

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. We played the game of counting the times the word “butter” was spoken. We came up with 13 or 14. We also ended up watching all of Saturday Night Live and a few of the skits had Ann levitating off the couch, some with laughter some with repulsion…. One skit had two guys kissing (french) and Ann’s reaction to this was a priceless moment.

Today, I’ll still be working on sending out more Christmas cards! Maybe walking over to the store to get some supplies to do some baking. I might be in the mood after watching Julia Childs at work, but I’ll be using my mom’s recipe for Cream de Mint pie!

PS: On Friday evening I had dinner over at Vivian and Clyde's house and I helped them get their Christmas tree up and decorated. That picture didn't turn out well enough to post.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December by the numbers

12-19-09 counting brain
THREE crows doing the roof top shuffle-

FIVE squirrels on a backyard scavenger hunt for sunflower seeds-

TWO cardinals, a pair: one brilliant red, one muted, flit at the bird feeders-

ONE stray cat, named “Big Head”, eats outside my back door-

As for me, I’m sitting alone in the sunroom and the above list is my December *entertainment.

I'm patiently waiting for December 21, the official start of winter AND the shortest daylight..... I celebrate because this means the daylight will NOW begin to lengthen! December 21st means I've made it through the downhill stretch and things will only get brighter towards spring!

*Also entertained by holiday dinner-out with NINE neighbor ladies this week.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Family and sheep status

12-18-09 playful brain

I colored this picture for my sister, and this is another blog is for her! Jan has had a stressful December. Their family dog died at age 11, and her mother-in-law fell and is in the hospital.... but I know my sister will do everything in her power to make it Home to Iowa for Christmas!

*What do you get when you cross a sinus infection with bad eyes?
Answer: A colorful sheep-- because there are no black sheep in this family!

*(inside joke)

PS: I watched White Christmas DVD this last weekend... and love how the younger sister is named "Judy"!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Living in the Middle

12-17-09 remembering brain
PS: I wrote this in 1998, and I believe it still is relevant today. Our challenges continue, sadly, much has not changed.

“Living in the Middle”
by Judy Sebern Beachy

Excerpts from “Judy’s Journal” an unpublished manuscript of rambling thoughts.

December 20, 1998
The headlines of the Des Moines Register Newspaper today (as probably every paper in the nation, if not the world) read “Clinton Impeached”. This is a very sad, dark day for our country. Yet, is there a chance light and hope could come out of this mess in the end? Is there a lesson to be learned?

I find it so ironic that our society (the media, music, fashion, etc…) which has been so infatuated and saturated with sex for so many decades, is now impeaching our President for lying about his sexual affairs. Can this situation help open our eyes to our society’s decadence?

In my Sunday church class, the topic we have been discussing for several weeks now has been ethics. So today, we had a lively discussion of impeachment as well as the bombing of Iraq, which took place this week. As one would expect in a group discussion, there were many differing opinions, however, the common thread was the feelings of dismay, frustration, futility and sadness shared by us all.

Thank goodness today’s sermon (Reflections on Candlelight/Dr. Sam Massey) offered some comfort to me. In his sermon, Sam reminded us, about the Christmas Eve celebration and the traditional candlelight service. The sanctuary lights are turned off. As we sit in total darkness, one candle is lit, and the light is passed from person to person. The individual candles become eliminated one by one. The room starts to glow in the light, however, there still remains some darkness and shadows………always…...……………always some darkness.

This is the world we live in; one filled with both darkness and light, one filled with Democrats and Republicans, war and peace, wealth and poverty, saints and sinners, and a world celebrating the birth of Jesus at the same time participating in the consumerism of Santa Claus.

This is our challenge today- living in the middle. But, hasn’t it always been this way throughout time? In the New Year of 1999, I’ll try to remember this comforting thought, whenever I light a candle.

John 1 (5): “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas preparations

12-16-09 holiday brain

I've been in a good Christmas spirit now, since all of my shopping was completed by December 5th. The Christmas letter has been done for weeks now, although we still need to mail more of them out.

All decorating has been done. Keeping it simple here at the Des Moines house as well as the KC house. In Des Moines, I like to decorate with *snowmen, so these decorations stay up until end of January. Although, the Nativity scene must be out somewhere, usually on the dinning room table.

This is a painting I had done several years ago, inspired by Christmas eve service.

I'll post the story tomorrow.

*NOTE: I do NOT collect snowmen, I only have a few, AND I do not need anymore, so don't take this blog as a call to buy me more snowmen. If you are looking for a gift idea, a gift card from Hobby Lobby would be wonderful!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reindeer games

12-15-09 silly brain

That’s a crock!”

a. Ann’s winter boots.
b. 3 year old nephews amazement when spotting an alligator
c. Greg’s remark after he debunks an email hoax. (always check your sources!)
d. Judy attempts to make soup
e. Judy discovers the real words to ** “Grandma got run over by a reindeer”

The answer really is…. (f) All of the above, but today I was marveling at my attempt to make squash soup in my crock pot.

**NOTE: I only recently learned a few years ago that the words were “grandma got runned over by a reindeer walking home from OUR house Christmas Eve”…..

I swear as a kid I heard it to be, and believed that the words were….. “grandma got runned over by a reindeer walking home from the OUT house Christmas Eve”….. it sounded like a country song, so I just assumed they had an “outhouse”….. I think my version is funnier.

I guess as a kid I like “potty” humor… anything with an outhouse had to be funny!

And I have to admit that the my squash soup is the color of something you’d find in a baby’s diaper… but it tastes good with enough curry added.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jolly old breasts

12-14-09 HO HO HO brain
Admit it……. I’m not the only women with this problem…come on….raise your hand.

For some reason, I hate bra shopping, and thus I’ve been wearing old worn out bras, which need to be thrown out in the trash.

I don’t quite understand myself, the past I struggled to find a bra I liked which actually fit my petite breasts. However, five years ago or so, thanks to my niece, I found a perfect one for me at VS. (padded of course, now you know Judy’s secret) … so I bought two….. when those two started to wear out, I bought a third one to put in the mix. Of course now that’s been at least 3 years ago.

Greg keeps telling me….”Judy we can afford new bras”…..

So finally, I bit the bullet and went shopping for myself and found the replacement model thanks to info from my God-daughter Chelsea, who worked at VS this summer. Merry Christmas to myself! Now I suppose I should take that same philosophy and address the raggedy underwear in my draw.

Ladies….. time to fess up....You too are still wearing some panties that needed to be replace at least a year or two ago! It’s time to take some bold action. A New Year is approaching, why not start fresh with some new undergarments!

Sticky Note to Self #101: you can afford some new underwear, and while you are shopping, pick up some extra to donate to the women’s shelter.

FYI for my Dad: "VS" means Victoria's Secret..... but maybe he knows that since his good buddy Amy works there.

*NOTE: my new bra's are the "mullet" type bra..... You know, like the mullet hair style of the 80's (short in front, long in back).... or as my friend Ann says.... "business up front, party in the back"...

My new bras are "business on the outside, party on the inside"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thanks to my sister

12-13-09 grateful brain

Special Sunday edition:
To thank my sister for giving me the gift of a special nephew and niece, both born in December....

Here is a special Christmas Music for you Jan!

PS: IF Obama was Snoopy, he's get ridiculed for "toasting" with his enemy, even on Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Birthday

12-12-09 celebrating brain
It's my nephew's birthday today. I can't believe he is 25 years old today!
I'll be seeing him over the holidays in a few short weeks!

Christopher was born in Florida, so it was my joy of spending Christmas for many years down visiting my sister and her family. Mom, Dad, and I would spend 2 to 3 weeks there, avoiding the cold of Iowa. Family time on the beach was wonderful. (This was pre-Greg). Sadly, Greg got only one year to spend in Florida with us, then my sister's family moved to Tennessee.

Here is one of my favorite pictures. I'm guessing around 1989. Wow, seems like a lifetime ago!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mammogram Part 2

12-11-09 gray matter of brain

Lately, it seems like there is an epidemic of non-invasive breast cancer. It seems of all the breast cancer data I collect in a day, at least half the cases are breast in-situ disease. I noted this increase just in the last 3 to 5 years or so.

Is there something causing this increase in women today? Hormone replacement?, The Pill use? Our diets? Our sedentary life style? Or could it be simply from better technology and improved mammogram equipment?

No one has the exact answers on these questions. Could the increase use of mammograms themselves be a risk with the increase exposure to radiation?

Breast cancer and mammogram recommendations; OLD versus the NEW recommendations are very complicated and fraught with emotion. On one hand it seems logical if you find something “early” like pre-cancerous breast disease and treat it, all will be well. But what if that pre-cancerous breast disease is no urgent threat and may never evolve into invasive cancer….. have we burdened ourselves over nothing, have we allowed fear to make ourselves over react and over treat?

Well, I’m blabbering on, with really no wise counsel for you all.

However, I will say, in the past I have purposely stretched the time between my mammograms out from 12 months, to 18moths and often two years. So this year, I am NOT getting a mammogram in 2009, I will probably wait until late summer of next year.

For women in their 50’s with no risk factors, research does prove that having mammograms every two years is reasonable.

However, I do believe it is important to get a baseline mammogram at age 40, and earlier if you do have any type of risk factors in your family….. or even for the reason of obtaining some peace of mind for yourself.

My friend Robin was diagnosis with advanced breast cancer at age 40, which was not palpable on self breast exam. Her life was saved because of this detection, so I do believe in baseline mammograms. It's a big expense for the population to burden, but young lives are saved, and who can put a price on that?

AND I still believe in self breast examinations. Women and men both need to be aware and actively engaged in monitoring their own health and be familiar with their own bodies inside and out.

I believe two key factors in staying healthy are:

1. Know your body, know what is normal so you can identify changes that occur, and be your own advocate.

2. Find a doctor you are comfortable with and develop a close working relationship, so together you can come up with a plan that is best for your specific health situation. Good two-way communication is worth striving for in a doctor patient relationship.

Remember it’s always been and still is- “the practice” of medicine. Question everything and ask for 2nd opinions if your instincts tell you something is not right.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Thursday night: Reclusive brain

I’m just getting ready for bed when I looked in the mirror while brushing my teeth and about scared myself to death. What a scum-bag I am this week. I realized I haven’t washed my hair since Sunday!!

This is what I turn into when Greg is not around and I’m stranded in the house all week due to the snow….

Why shower? Why even get out of my sweat pants? Dirty hair?... just put on a hat. Well, actually I did soaked in a hot bath most evenings this week. It’s a great why to relieve sore muscles from doing some of the shoveling. I’m so glad I hired the driveway to be plowed out. With this much snow, I couldn’t have done it myself.

I am going to venture out tomorrow, so I will be taking a shower and washing my hair!

PS: Hi to Greg in Ohio without me!

Mammograms Part 1 of 2

12-10-09 complex brain

I am a “vibrant” 54 year old and I’m due for my annual mammogram this month. What am I going to do?..... schedule one before Christmas? or skip this year?

The back story about me- which affects my decision making is:

I’m a *former hypochondriac. While I attended nursing school for 1.5 years, back in the mid 1970’s, every new disease we would study, I would begin to feel like I was experiencing the symptoms. Logically I knew I did not have that particular disease, but I, none the less, was always acutely aware what my body was doing and feeling.

Even in graduate school, while studying nutrition and food science, I suspected that I was suffering from one vitamin deficiency or another. When I started working in the cancer research field, I was also on high alert for any changes in my body which might indicate a developing cancer.

My top three paranoid fears were:
1) Pancreatic cancer; since survival rates are dismal.
2) Ovarian cancer; since the symptoms are vague and often diagnosis is found after the cancer has already spread throughout the abdomen. Stage 4
3) Cancer in-situ of the breast (pre-cancer, non-invasive, intra-ductal breast cancer)

You’re probably bewildered why I would put a pre-cancerous disease on my list…..The reasoning is that the treatment of this disease has been and still is controversial, and the significance of in-situ disease of the breast has not been agreed upon.

Over my 26 year involvement with cancer data collection, I have attended many conferences and listened to differing opinions of non-invasive breast cancer.

Some feel this type of “in-situ” disease comes and goes in our bodies. Our natural immune systems can help of fight off pre-cancer cells every day.

Some feel in-situ disease is a sign of a developing cancer, while others believe a person can live with this for decades and not be bother.

I have personally know four women who where diagnosed with in-situ cancer; two chose to have the small spot removed, then were given radiation treatments; the other two went full out and had both breasts removed and reconstructed. Not an easy surgery.

What would I do if I were diagnosed with in-situ breast cancer? ….. My fear was that I would just want to wait and do nothing…… a strange plan coming from a hypochondriac like I was.

Continued tomorrow

*Former: I’m not totally sure why I am no longer am a hypochondriac, or when this transformation happened. I believe it has something to do with me no longer fearing death. And that has been a slow process of me growing in faith and connecting on a deeper spiritual level. (Totally another blog topic for later)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday night

My driveway is pretty cleared out now, thanks to hired hand. There was no way I could have dug myself out of this one. Of course the bottom of the driveway is full again due to one pass of the city plow, but I'll worry about that tomorrow. I'm not doing anywhere.

I was invited down to neighbors for soup dinner. I took corn bread. It's very cold out.... and a neighbor, who shall remain nameless.... actually went out into his hot tub with wind chill below zero! His wife and I declined the invitation to join him.

I'm crazy, but not that crazy!
I had to take a picture for him!

snow pictures

click pictures to enlarge.
Drifts are up to my waist.
Wind still blowing, so more drifting!

snow Snow SNOW

12-9-09 sleepless brain
Des Moines has been dumped on- Tuesday all day it snowed and into the night. Now today we have blizzard warnings since all this fluffy snow is blowing about. I woke up at 3:00AM to the sound of freight train winds.... can't sleep so decided to get up at 5:00AM..... I hate when sleeplessness visits me.

I'm not leaving the house today! But I'm lucky to live in a neighborhood that is has a high walkability score. Only 1/2 block away we have a good locally own restaurant and I walked there Tuesday night to get a pizza to bring home which fed me last night and will be my lunch today. At 5:30PM, I was the only one in the restaurant. They were begging me to say and eat, just for the company. I doubt if anyone else came all night long.

While my pizza order was being made, I walked another 1/2 block to the grocery store. My cupboards were bare, since Greg and I are due to leave town for a trip to Ohio, but our trip is now being postponed until maybe we can leave on Thursday.

It was actually kind of fun being out in the snow Tuesday night, when only a few brave souls are out. I would never get the car out in all this snow, but I'll bundle up and walk without hesitation.

I love this song from White Christmas.... and this time of year, I try to entice Greg into singing along with me. Greg sings well, I sing off key, but that doesn't stop me!

Unfortunately today, I'm in a crabby mood, even this clip only slightly puts a smile on my face. It's a snow day here, but when you work out of your home office, there is always work that can be done.

This is going to be a long day........

PS: I forgot to mention the -6 degree wind chill this morning......

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Pearl Habor story

12-8-09 honoring brain
Yesterday, I talked about what Pearl Harbor Day means to Greg and I, however the day is also important to my family for other reasons. My Mother's relative, I believe it was her cousin, Ray Wilson, was killed that day on the USS Arizona ship.

Mom's aunt, Reca, was the grandmother of Ray.... so not sure of the official name for that type of relative. As a child, I grew up knowing this and remembered that we had some of Ray's navy hats and clothes in our basement. Ray was a thin guy, as I suppose most young men of that era were.

I remember wearing his navy jacket and hat once in Jr. High as a costume and it fit me perfect.

This picture I scanned from some material my Mother has included in one of the scrap books she has made for me.

Here is Web site: on Pearl Harbor where you can find list of those who died.

One day, I would like to go to Hawaii to see the memorial there of the Arizona ship. Hummmmm.... looking at the picture of Ray, I'm wondering if he had blue eyes like me, perhaps this is who I get my nose from.