Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

There is no way we could take off on our road trip without doing a post to wish you all a Happy New Year! We wish each and every one of you the Blessings of Good Health and Much Happiness in the coming year.

I am going to try to get a few posts in while I am gone, but won't promise anything.

~Jo and J.D.~

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Road Trip

I am taking a little break from my 'To Do List' to do a post. J.D. and I both have our own lists and they are each pretty long. Very early on the morning of the 2nd we will be loading up the car and heading south to the Lake Charles, Louisiana area and then west to Paris, Texas to visit our Rebel Younguns. If I don't make a list I know that I will walk out the door and get 300 miles down the road and think of something that I either left behind or forgot to do. Angela and Nick will be home from Abu Dhabi from the 4th until the 8th. They make the trip every year to visit Warren's grave on his birthday. It will be a particularly difficult visit this year, as Warren would have been 16 years old on this birthday. Angela especially requested that her Daddy be there this year and so we are going. It will also give us the chance to visit with the other children and grandchildren while we are there.

Before heading home we are going to go just a little further west and visit with Greg and his family in Texas for a little while. We haven't seen that new Great Grand Baby, Caden yet, so we are really looking forward to that. I have lots of hugs and kisses saved up for our little Miss Audrey and can't wait to give them to her. While we are there I want to go to the Paris Cemetery and get a picture of a huge monument they have there so I can share it with all of you. It is a monument of Jesus in cowboy boots. I had no idea that Jesus was a Texan and wore cowboy boots, but those people in Paris, Texas seem to think so.

I am going to have another list when we get back. I have blood work that will need done and then a routine visit with our family doctor and a visit to my Diabetic Boot camp to get checked out by my Endocrinologist. My Rhuematologist is going to fix my knee up with Synvisc Injections. It is a gel that he will inject into my knee and is supposed to act as the cushioning that is no longer there. I will get one injection per week for thee weeks in a row. It is supposed to last for 6 months. The nurse from his office called yesterday to let me know that the Synvisc had come in. So I will need to figure out when I can fit these injections into my life. I have mixed feelings about these injections, but the bottom line is that the pain has increased to where it wakes me up most every night and that is after laying there dealing with the pain most nights for a couple of hours before I can fall asleep. It will be a solution to the pain.

Hoping you all are having a blessed week.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Meaningful Monday

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.'

''Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy. The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Homage

For unto us a Child is born,Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

May you be blessed with the peace, the love and the warmth of family and friends which is all part of this wonderful season that is Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Jo and J.D.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Yes, Virginia........

"Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’

Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?"
~Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

In 1897, Frank Church, an editorial writer for The New York Sun, wrote this response to a letter from a young reader. It became one of the most famous editorials in American history.

In 1897, Frank Church, an editorial writer for The New York Sun, wrote this response to a letter from a young reader. It became one of the most famous editorials in American history.

Christmas Eve Eve

What an adventure our Christmas Eve Eve trip to town was yesterday. We left the mountain about 3:30 and headed to town. As we left it was drizzling just a little. I didn't think anything about it because the weather was calling for sleet and freezing rain, but not until after about 8 PM. I figured we would be able to get back home before that started. After all they call the weather channel that we watch "Accu Weather". When we got to Chris and Melody's the only people home was Oop and Riley, everyone else was out doing their thing. One by one, everyone started coming in. When Melody came in she said the roads were a sheet of ice. I still wasn't real concerned about the roads figuring the salt trucks would have plenty of time to work their magic before it was time to head for home.

Tersie and her girls don't live far away, so they didn't have a lot of trouble getting there. Dinner was wonderful, as usual. Melody had prepared a traditional Christmas Dinner. The grandchildren opened their gifts from each other and it was soon time to call it a night and head back to the mountain ridge.

The roads were great all the way except for one exit lane that they forgot to salt. When J.D. applied his brakes we did a little bit of skidding. All in all the trip wasn't bad though. When we turned off of the State Route onto our road for the final leg of the trip, we started the upward and climb and started going sideways. Uhhhh Ohhhh, the county trucks hadn't made their trip up the mountain yet. Thank Heavens for the neighbor at the bottom of the mountain. He came out in his p.j. bottoms to direct J.D. backwards into his drive way. That backward journey of about 50 feet seemed to take forever. We chatted a while with the neighbor and learned that his son had been stuck on divide hill for nearly three hours. Tersie travels over divide hill every day going back and forth to work. The reason it is called "Divide Hill" is because one side of the hill will usually have rain, snow or ice while the other side is clear as a bell. Mr Legg said that there has been so many accidents on the hill due to the ice, that cars weren't able to go anywhere for the past three hours. Tersie must have just made it over before the sleet and freezing rain came.

J.D. and I ended up back tracking to a little village just south of where the kids live and spent the night in a motel. We awoke to rain and 44 degree temperatures this morning. It was quite an adventure and was so very good to get home. J.D. took a spill on the ice last night and then again this morning once we got home. I told him if he keeps that up he will be hobbling around like me before he knows it.

Alley Oop was sharing her My Space with me last night and she had the coolest little signature. I wrote down the info and told her I would have to be copying that one. How cool is this? Have a blessed Christmas Eve and be safe in all of your travels.

merry-christmas_ Made with My Cool Signs.Net

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Thoughts

The merry family gatherings –
The old, the very young;
The strangely lovely way they
Harmonize in carols sung.
For Christmas is tradition time
Traditions that recall
The precious memories down the years,
The sameness of them all.

~Helen Lowrie Marshall
Peace on earth will come to stay,
When we live Christmas every day.
- Helen Steiner Rice

Monday, December 22, 2008

Where Does The Time Go?

I am thinking that I need to sit down and write myself a to-do list. I have a lot to accomplish in just a little bit of time. We will be getting together with our Yankee children and grandchildren Tuesday evening for our Christmas Dinner and for the children to exchange gifts. I will be making a green bean casserole and a sugar free jello and fruit bowl for the diabetics and dieters. Hopefully the weather will work with us so we will be able to make it off of the mountain.

We will be going back to town on Christmas Day to join Chris' family and watch the little ones open their gifts andto have a little quality time with the grandchildren. In the afternoon we will join Tersie and her girls to watch the girls open their gifts and share some quality time with the girls and our grand puppy, Lucy as well. It makes it difficult at holiday time when divorce happens within a family. I remember my mom commenting one year that Alley Oop has had so many Christmas celebrations by the time we get her, she is too tired to enjoy it.

Hopefully we will be able to get off of the mountain and back to town on Christmas morning. We had single digit temperatures last night and it is already up to 15 degrees at 11:00 AM (sounds like a heat wave doesn't it?). They are calling for snow and one of those wonderful winter mixes in the next few days. The snow doesn't concern me, it is when the road gets covered with ice, it can make for quite a trip down the mountain.

As I have been typing this post, my attention has been drawn to the beautiful display going on outside my window. We are having just the slightest bit of snow fall right now. It is absolutely beautiful....... The wind is swirling these tiny little bits of snow all around. As they dance through the air on their journey to the ground they are caught in the rays of the sun to give the impression that instead of snow falling to the ground, it is the tiniest of diamonds. What a magical time of year.

Following Christmas we need to get things together for a trip to Louisiana and Texas to visit with our Rebel children and grandchildren. Before we leave though, we have Britt's birthday on New Years Day and as tradition has it, T~Bear will be coming out to spend New Year's Eve with us. Like I said, I really need to get a to-do list started.

Hoping that you will have a day full of blessings!

Meaningful Monday

A Soldier's Poem

The soldier stood and faced God

which must always come to pass,

He hoped his shoes were shining

just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,

how shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To my church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders

And said, "No Lord, I guess I ain't

because those of us who carry guns

can't always be a saint."

"I've had to work most Sundays

And at times my talk was tough

And sometimes I've been violent

because the world is awful rough."

"But, I never took a penny

that wasn't mine to keep.......

Though I worked a lot of overtime

when the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,

Though at times I shook with fear,

and sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears."

"I know I don't deserve a place

among the people here.

They never wanted me around

except to calm their fears."

"If you've a place for me here, Lord

it needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much.

But, if You don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,

where the saints had often trod.

As the soldier waited quietly

for the judgement of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,

you've borne your burdens well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in HELL."

~Author unknown

Thank you, to all who serve, have served or have died in all branches of the service and from all allied forces. You are supported and appreciated for your sacrifices.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meaningful Monday

The Hug!

It's wonderous what a hug can do.

A hug can cheer you when you're blue.

A hug can say, "I love you so,"

Or, "Gee, I hate to see you go."

A hug is, "Welcome back again."

And, "Great to see you! Where've you been?"

A hug can soothe a small childs pain,

and bring a rainbow after rain.

The hug! There's just no doubt about it-

we scarcely could survive without it!

A hug delights and warms and charms.

It must be why God gave us arms.

A hug can break the language barrier,

and make your travels so much merrier.

No need to fret about your store of 'em,

the more you give, the more there's more of 'em.

So stretch those arms without delay

and give someone a hug today!

-Author Unknown-

May your week be filled with Love, {{HUGS}}, and Happiness.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Your Gifts

Nothing happens by accident......

If one day you wake up
you would find on your bed
a beautifully wrapped gift
with delicate bows.
You would open it
before even washing your face,
curious about what is inside.

Maybe what you find is
something you do not like very much,
then you would put away the box
wondering what to do with the present.

But, if the next day
you find another present,
you would open it also and,
if this time you find something
inside that you really like.

A memory from someone
that is far away,
a piece of beautiful clothing
you saw in a shop window,
the keys to a new car,
a beautiful winter coat,
or just a beautiful flower
from somebody that remembered you.

This happens every day,
but we do not realize it.
Every day when we wake up,
it is there, before us,
a present sent to us by God.
A whole day to use
in the best possible way.

Sometimes it comes with problems,
issues that we do not seem
to be able to solve.
Sometimes it comes with sadness,
deception, even tears.

But other times it comes
full of surprises, happiness,
success and achievements.

What is important is that
every day we receive a present,
wrapped especially for us
while we sleep.
We are presented yet another box
complete with colored bows.

No matter what the day brings,
every morning that we wake up

The present that life gives us.
It is not always what we wish
or what we hope for.
It will be the best for us,
what we need most,
what we have to learn,
what we need to grow.

Open your PRESENT every day,
giving thanks first to the Creator
who gave it to you,
without thinking what is inside the box.
If today you do not receive
the present you wanted,
wait for the next one
and appreciate what you received today.

Open your present with love and enthusiasm,
because one day your dreams
and the life plan for you
will come inside the box,
beautifully wrapped just for you.

Life does not care about what we want,
just about what we need.

And that is good!

May you have a day full of blessings, in which you can feel the loving presence of your Creator, and may the present of every day bring you peace, spiritual growth, and enlightment of all we still have to learn about and the plan life has for us, every day.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It Is All Good

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Chris and Melody celebrated their anniversary in October. Melody had given Chris tickets to the Larry the Cable Guy performance December 5th in Columbus. So they could get an early start and be able to eat before the show, Papaw and I went to town to pick the boys up from school and the sitter's house and took them out to eat. We had a really nice evening with the boys. Riley tried to play with the train, but Seth had different ideas on how he should go about playing with it. Then Riley tried playing with his army guys, but of course he wasn't doing it right and Seth thought he should help. Poor Riley finally gave it up and decided to watch some TV. Guess what...... Seth decided he needed to help Riley with that too. Somewhere in the mix of all that Seth tried to share the love his big brother. Seth loves hard sometimes. As you can see from the pictures, Seth is very camera shy..... NOT!

He is such a little camera hound. When the camera comes out and is aimed it at him, he comes running and is more than willing to offer a close up. The zoom feature isn't needed for Seth's close ups either. Somewhere along the way someone has taught him to say Cheese, which he says with each picture. Most times he wrinkles up his nose and squints his eyes when he says it. The child is a riot and seldom is he predictable.

Sunday afternoon I will be taking T~Bear and Britt Christmas shopping. These two girls are a real treat to shop with. They have an eye for a bargain and know how to get their moneys worth. Usually Chris, Melody and their children go to Kentucky for Christmas, but they have decided to stay at home this year. I am so glad that they won't be on the road during the holidays this year. These weeks leading up to and including Christmas eve and day are my favorite part of the year. Any time spent with the children and grand children is 'All Good'.

Hope your week is full of blessings.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Remembering Our Troops

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,

I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.

I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bless The Children

We had word this morning that our youngest Great Grand Child, Caden is in the hospital for a respiratory infection. Caden is the one that had the blocked intestine and underwent surgery this past summer. Please remember the little guy in your prayers. He has certainly had his share of going to the hospital for no older than he is.

I had an appointment with my Rheumatologist the other day. Since the cortisone injection to my knee only helped for about a month and in the process reeked havoc on my blood sugar levels, he wants to try a series of injections of Synvisc. He is checking with our insurance company to see if they will cover it. I'm not real hopeful on that happening. For the past three years the premiums continue to climb, as the benefits continually to grow fewer. Even if by some stretch of the imagination the insurance will cover the injections, I need to do some serious research on these injections before I allow that needle to be jabbed into my knee. If you have gone throw these injections or know someone that has I would appreciate hearing what you have to say about them. One thing that I am particularly interested in, is about how long it last and if it helps significantly.
May your blessings be many.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

If you recall in my last post I mentioned how I try to put special efforts into not being judgemental of others. That effort was put to the test the other day. J.D. received a phone call to inform him that his ex-sister-in-law, Patsy had suffered a stroke and was in the hospital. To make a long story short there is no love lost between the two of us and when J.D. relayed the information of the phone call to me, I opened my mouth and a judgemental statement fell right out. As soon as it was spoken, in my mind I was groping wildly to grab those words and stuff them back into my mouth. Of course even if I hadn't said the words, having them in my mind was the same as speaking them. I have done quite a lot of soul searching, forgiveness seeking in the mean time and had some lengthy conversations with my Creator.
The word that J.D. received is that Patsy had a stroke that effected the right side of her brain. She has bleeding in her brain and at this time she is in a coma. I don't know if it is a medically induced coma or not. He has received several updates since the first call and the outcome doesn't look too encouraging for her. Please add Patsy and her family to your list of prayers.

I thought that I needed to do a little decorating here at Moodscapes. The sites and sounds of the season has such a magical effect on most people. It reminds us that this is a time of hope for the future. A time of healing for those that carry emotional hurt and pain. A time to recall the happiness that was experienced in the past with loved ones that have traveled on without us. A time for families to gather together and feel the warmth of love that is radiated from that circle of love. These are all gifts of the Christmas Season that can be treasured for a lifetime. You don't have to worry about any of them not fitting, one size fits all. No problem if two of the gifts are the same, all the more warmth and love to revel in. No worry about outgrowing or wearing out these gifts, they are constructed of extremely stretchy and tough material. There is as much joy in giving as there is in receiving these gifts.

May you be blessed abundantly with the true gifts of the season.