Saturday, December 24, 2011

A peaceful Christmas

It is the day before Christmas Day, which would make it Christmas Eve, I suppose. I have not endured one ounce of stress during this holiday season. So many changes have taken place in our celebrations for Christmas over the past 2 or 3 years. Of course, this year, I have my sister the thank for most of the stress-free Christmas day. She has invited us to her home for a lovely meal, and just good family fellowship, being able to visit with my nieces, whom I don't get to see nearly as much as I would enjoy.

We used to buy, and buy, and buy some more for this eventful day. Until one point my sister and I said to each other... "why are we doing this to ourselves"? Is this what Christmas is all about? Spending all this hard-earned money on gifts that we "hope" someone else will appreciate and enjoy?

A few years ago, back in 2005 on December 19th, I had finished my 37th radiation treatment. I was completely exhausted, and I remember calling my sister and asking her if it would be ok if we just did a "grab-bag" gift pile with each person attending the event bringing a $5 gift, wrapped, and ready to put under the tree. This turned out to be a lot of fun. You didn't know who you were buying for, and it seemed to take some of the pressure off, worrying about "so-and-so" liking what they got. I mean, it was only $5. And you would be surprised as to the creativity of our family in what they could come up with for $5. So, we did this for a few years. Then we decided, really, do we need to do this at all? We're all old now, and don't need the added expense of buying anything at all. If you have ever considered doing something like this, be prepared for the long-reaching effects this will have on your perspective of Christmas.

The very first year, we only exchanged cards among the family members. (Bought gifts for Daddy, cuz, well that's just the way it is. Sorry, can't let the day go by without gifts for the man who played Santa for us all our lives. Anyhow, Daddy always gives us very generous gifts, written on pieces of paper, that go to the bank, and make us all very giddy with excitement as to how we should "enjoy" it. So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.) My husband and I did not exchange gifts either... and let me just tell you, that first year was "culture shock". But, again, if you attempt this at home, it kind of grows on you. It makes you wonder why on earth we make ourselves completely nutsy-in-the-head shopping until we want to reach out and throttle some little old lady, counting out her change in line in front of us... and about 30 other people in line behind us? Is this what Christmas is really all about? Getting the good deal, the best price, the biggest gift, the better gift than "so-and-so" gave someone? Seriously?

So... here's to another peaceful Christmas! I excitedly look forward to being with my husband, Dad, my sister and my brother-in-law and my two nieces, and their significant others. I know it will be a relaxed, most enjoyable time. A time of remembering those who are no longer with us... a time of missing those who cannot be with us (due to other obligations and can't be there)... and a time of making new memories... and hearing the sweet sounds of everyones laughter. I love to hear everyone in my family laugh. It is the sweetest, most pleasant sound. It makes me wonder what it must have been like for Mary to hear the very first giggle out of her son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe it is a sound she remembered all her life long.

Merry Christmas... and blessings beyond your comprehension. May the real reason YOU celebrate this day bring you joy and peace.

Penny Sue

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deep sigh of relief!

Well, I'm happy to say it was relatively simple to revert back to my old blogspot design. I have absolutely no idea how it was changed to a different design, don't know, don't care... but I'm just very happy that it's back to how it was a few posts ago.

Life here in PA has been, well, wet. It's December 22nd, and it's pouring outside. And much to my dismay, today is officially the first day of winter. Yipes. I suppose we are fortunate that this rain is not snow, for fear that we would not be able to dig ourselves out from underneath it all.

I've been living a rather withdrawn, quiet and domestic life over the past year or so. Mostly not sharing anything on blogspot, as I figure no one out there really gives a hoot about the boring life of a slightly-over-middle-aged woman's groaning pains. Even in real life, I have become somewhat of a recluse. I don't go anywhere, I don't do anything out-of-the-ordinary, and I don't have much of a life.

All of this saddens me, as I realize every day from the events that go on around me, how very fragile life is. It is one simple breath that hangs us in the balance between the present moment and eternity. So, I'm doing some soul searching, and I'm trying to pull myself up by the bootstraps of life, and find something worth doing.

I've been stuck in "stalled" mode for what seems to be a horribly long time. There are so many things I want to do with my life. I just celebrated my 49th birthday last Saturday, and over this past week, I have found myself realizing that I am well past the half-way point of living. And that is if I'm allowed the luxury of living a long and healthy life. At this point in my life, I actually find that to be a bit doubtful as well. Anyhow, to move from stalled into at least first gear (God help me if I find reverse) and pick something and work at it until it is complete. Difficult to do in my life. Some things I could pick will cost us money that we just cannot afford right now. The husband has been unemployeed since April of this year. We are currently not in a secure financial position, and things are getting worse, not better. And of course, with the holidays, well, it just kind of stinks. OK, I'm done whining. Oh speaking of wine... I meant to get myself a glass to help me get sleepy. I'm wide awake, the husband is upstairs snoring to rattle the rafters, and I'm staring at the shadows on the walls in our bedroom. I shall return in a moment....

OK, I'm sipping a nice, slightly chilled glass of Chardonnay. That's better.

The projects that have been in continual motion, or continual haultedness are too numerious to count. My husband has made it his mission to "finish" the kitchen. Needless to say, after 14 years of not really having much of a kitchen to look at, very soon it will be close to being done. I have photos of before, and need to take after shots. However, as thrilled as I was with his interest in working on finishing up the kitchen, the fact that he chose the week before Thanksgiving and at this present day it is still a project in motion, has been the bone of contention between us for a few, shall I say, conversations. Nothing serious, just frustration. And I swear ever time I make something to eat, it has a bit of extra crunch to it from the sheetrock mud, or even perhaps dried paint. Not sure... and I try not to think about it.

My organizational skills are somewhat challenged since I've been married. I used to be a comfortably organized, normally neat, can-find-it-when-I-need-it kind of person. Not in a Marth Stewart kind of way, when you open drawers and doors, there is absolutely not one inch of space wasted, and everything is so anally organized, it's painful to look at. The day I said "I do", that all went out the window. I think being organized is just a dream that I'm going to have to take to my grave with me. I always say to my husband, "What's taken me literally hours to do to have "something" look this good, takes you a matter of less than 5 minutes to undo." I cannot win. I will never win. Or will I?

Piles of crap sit everywhere. Some of them have been in place for so long, or burried beneath new crap, that I have no idea what the devil is in the pile to begin with. Piles of crap should have places to go. Like the trash, a thrift store, or an attic. But that would be too easy. Maybe that is where I will start. Getting rid of some piles. Of course, if I do this, you do realize that I will inevitably throw away at least one piece of paper that should not have ever seen the light of day to begin with.

While most people are droaning on about all they have to do before Christmas day gets here... I shall go to sleep tonight with visions of paper shreds dancing in me head.

Good night all, Sweet dreams... tomorrow is a new day for me to screw up in some way or another. LOL!

Penny Sue

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

OK... what the heck???

Does anyone know how I get my "old" blogspot format/look/design back? I have no idea what has happened to my blog, but it looks like crap. I have chosen different formats at the top of the page, but it doesn't go back to my original setup. Can anyone out there in blogland help me out? PLEASE! Thanks in advance.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Fixed!

YAY! Our computer is fixed. Woo-hoo! I'm so thankful to my dear hubby for spending almost the entire day trying/failing/trying and finally contacting Mircosoft for support to fix our laptop computer. This means that I can now upload photos and post to blogspot again. I'm so excited! I've been dealing with this virus for so long, feeling ill and all and not being able to communicate the way that I want to. Photos are a huge part of the blogland... and I'm back to the land of the living! Woo-hoo again! "See you all soon"!

Penny Sue

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It happened again....

Well, the flood in 2006 was supposed to be an every 100 year flood, but it repeated itself with a vengence in 2011. The Susquehanna River in North Eastern PA flooded its banks... with terror. The devestation is unreal. My heart just hurts because of the pain this thing called "water" is bringing to the lives of those I love. Hugs, PS

Monday, September 5, 2011

Feeling better... mostly

Many things have been going on in my life over the past month. However, one thing that has shown improvement is the pain I've endured in my back. I was able to get a rather good quality back support/brace and it has helped tremendously. Thankful for this!

The weather is becoming a concern once again. We just endured a flash flood a week ago to the day, and now more rain is coming. I am just hoping that we don't get so much that our community suffers as they did the last week. We were without power for 3-4 days, local businesses were closed, and major roads out of our little borough were impassable. We were quite cut off from most civilization outside of our little town. Hoping for the best in a bad situation that is on its way.

God bless your day, even if it's with sunshine in your hearts..

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gathering the scattered bits of my life...

Well, another beautiful day has come and gone, and I'm still here. Grace and mercy are very present in my life.

I'm making plans for attending my precious niece's wedding coming up in a couple of months. Trying to make hotel reservations online, however, the prices quoted are COMPLETELY off from the prices being charged. Does anyone know if hotels charge you per adult person, or just for the room? I'm really confused. There is a $30 difference.

Today - August 21, 2011 -
Today, I'm going to try to stop smoking. I really need to stop this bad habit. Stress brought it back to my life, and now, I need to learn to deal with my stress in a better fashion. Not cigarettes.

Since Saturday in the wee hours of the morning... I have been in pretty nasty pain. I have no idea what brought it on. My husband believes it to be muscular. All I know is that I can hardly move, due to the pain in my back. Yesterday, I did see some improvement, but this morning, after an uncomfortable night's sleep, I'm not doing so well. I spoke with my Dad yesterday, and the pain that I was describing to him made him wonder if I was passing a kidney stone. He has had several in his medical history. I just hope that's not it. If the pain doesn't go away in a couple of days, I will be going to the doctor, or if worse comes to worse, the ER for the hospital. If you think of it, just say a little prayer for me... that it's nothing serious, and that it will pass soon. (No play on words... not hoping for a stone to pass!)

Well, I need to get going on my day.

Penny Sue

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A million little reasons....

I'm working on my shop.... again. Well, IN my shop. I'm having some difficulty focusing on what to do first... or for that matter, second, third or (yep, you guessed it) fourth. I go out to the shop... on a really nice, sunny day... and I don't know where to start, and I go outside and wash the windows, and hose off the outside of the building. Oh well, I'll get it figured out soon enough.

Oh yeah, and I'm trying (still) to fix the computer. Still cannot upload photos. A huge amount of my .exe files are missing or corrupt. I have no idea what to do. When I put in the cd to try to reinstall the operation software, I'm not able to get it to install. I'm thinking it's gonna be a blitz... with me wiping out the hard drive, and starting from "itch". It's not gonna be pretty.

I've been working in the veggie gardens, flower beds, house, shop and my part-time job, gardens, house, shop, job, gardens, house shop and job. Oh... I said that already. Just kidding. But that's just the way it is.

Hope everyone is surviving this really wierd weather, no matter where you are living... I'm sure it's wierd.

Penny Sue

Friday, July 22, 2011

Here I am again... right back where I started...

Well, it's been what, 3+ months??? And I still don't have our computer fixed. Not sure why this chore falls on my, other than the hubby says he doesn't know what he's doing. Well, I'm not really sure I buy that. However, he did purchase a copy of Norton, and we have yet to "execute" the file, since the program to run .exe files has been corrupted... for everything. If'n I ever get this mass-technological problem solved, my technology will be ancient and will need to be replaced. I've got photos to upload, and I haven't done that because we cannot upload photos in order to post them anywhere. It kind of reminds me of the commercial on TV where the memory in the camera is full, and everyone "in memory" is worried about being deleted. Well, that is soon to be my camera. If I had the ability to cross my fingers for good fortune and type at the same time, I surely would.

As usual, life is crazy busy, and I've been discouraged to write on blogspot, for the main factor that I cannot post photos. However, my lingo should be stunning enough, don't you think?

God bless and hugs, Penny Sue

Friday, April 15, 2011

Don't it just figure...

I'm really starting to get into working in the shop, as well as stuff around the house... and now my computer is giving me fits... again. I feel a reformat coming on. I'll have to look into it. I can't get my pictures to upload from the camera because some file is missing from the windows files. And we don't know where the cd is with the installation files to reinstall. I just can't win! Hugs, PS

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Work, work, work it out Baby!!!

I've been out in the shop working for a few hours at a time, and I've been given even more inspiration with some sad news from my husband tonight. I might just need to open very soon and try to earn some money. Whatever happens, it's what the Lord wants for our lives. Just wanted to stay on the map here... and let you know that I have before and after pictures to share... as soon as the "after" picture part is done with my work out there. I've been working on a "we're in transition" message to post on the door to the shop so that people understand that things are going to be different from what they remember (if they remember). Will share more when I know what's going on.

Share with ya'll soon! Hugs, Penny Sue

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sick Day today

I caught a nasty cold last night and feel rather yucky today. I decided some self-indulgence was in order. I stopped at Wee-Bee Flowers in Hallstead, PA... and the lovely Jill Aldrich allowed me to hand pick what flowers I wanted, and arranged them for me so that all I had to do was put them in a vase when I got home. I did NOT feel like doing this myself. Aren't they just gorgeous? Jill and Penny (her right-hand gal) do absolute magic with any kind of live floral. I'm so glad I went. I almost feel better. At least I am enjoying my view. Stop by Wee-Bee Flowers in the Hallstead Plaza, as well as on facebook... and tell 'em I sent ya ;)

Along with my flowers, I came home and was exhausted, so I made myself a nice hot cup of coffee to enjoy with the truffles I bought from Pure Pennsylvania made by Chocolates by Leopold (located in Montrose, PA). The truffles are "Espresso Truffles" covered in dark or milk chocolate. The little decoration on the top of the truffles are tiny roasted half espresso beans. I bought six of each dark and milk chocolate. So far, I've been able to be satisfied with one of each. Can you say YUM? Pure Pennsylvania is under new ownership by a lovely lady named Becky. She has some very amazing ideas for the business she now owns. She's a very warm, friendly, and energetic woman. Stop by and see her and visit for a moment (also on facebook). Tell her I sent ya ;)

I put my little treasures in a gathering on one of my old wooden kitchen chairs. Almost magazine worthy eh? Maybe I should start a new publication called "Indulgence" and write about all the different ways we can indulge our many senses and feelings. So many things in this life that God created for our enjoyment and pleasure. Flowers, chocolate and coffee are just at the top of my list. :)

So, all in all, I believe I accomplished what I set out to do today as I was running errands and feeling poorly. I managed to purchase a few things that bring me so very much joy and comfort that I desparately needed today.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's late... and I'm sleepy

Just wanted to say that I'm hoping everyone is enjoying the precious beginning of a new year. If you haven't been to my other blog, go to "Come Join Our Table". I'm trying to do better with how frequently I post on both.

One of my projects is my hutch, and I haven't gotten very far with it. Mostly because I have so many other things to do and work on. I'm still hoping to have it done by the end of the month.

This pic was taken with a flash... and it makes the color look much brighter than it really is, as the paint reflects the light with its semi-gloss finish. The color is a slightly smoky lavender. The name of it is "Giggles"... isn't that sweet? (I'd love the job of naming paint colors!)

This is a pic without the flash. And this is a piece of my china, which also was given to me from my Mom. It's a lot more true to the color.

Hopefully I'll get to work more on it this week.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Monday.

Hugs all around,
Penny Sue