Thursday, December 31, 2015

Day Thirty One of Blogging Challenge

What a great year it has been!!  The first year (2014) of widowhood  (is that a word) is kind of a fog!  So many things to learn about, so many emotions to deal with, decisions to make, etc.  This second year (2015) has been a little different...I have thrown myself into a whirl wind of kids teasingly have said they need an appointment to see me! So for my final blog of the 31 day challenge, let me give a review of the past year.

Laura and Sara
    Started this great year with these two sweet girls asking me to officiate at their wedding if and when gay marriage became legal in the United States! I was very honored by their request and had a research job ahead of me to figure out how to get certified!

Colin in purple
Got to attend many swim meets to watch my grandson compete with his high school team. He graduates this year so this will be the end of many years of watching him swim!
At Quilt Con  with Kay and Andrea
In February, I went to Quilt Con (a convention dedicated to the Modern Quilt Movement) in Austin, TX with daughter Andrea and friend Kay. Got to meet one of our Art Quilters Around The World members from India, Shruti.
Jay and Shruti Dandekar
March introduced me to the Fort Worth Theater Scene.  Dick and I would go occasionally but I have become a real fan this year!  I have become good friends with a lady here at the Villas where I live who has Season tickets to several theaters and has been very generous inviting me to several productions.
Stage West Theater, Fort Worth, Texas
Texas Weather: We had snow in March!
My patio
April brought Easter with most of my Easter Egg hunt this year!
Family selfie
April also brought Andrea's birthday....I went to her home in McKinney to spend time with her...great plans foiled when I took a tumble outside of the DMA and had my first ambulance ride!
April-trip to La Grange with gal pals to the Texas Quilt Museum.
SAQA members with Judith Comfort- Art quilter
In May I joined the YMCA...have a plan to work out and a couple of classes to attend.
Five minutes from my condo
June brought the Supreme Court decision declaring Gay Marriage legal! I had gotten licensed and married Sara and Laura! A beautiful occasion!!

July-spent Fourth of July with Andrea so we missed the usual big show at Botanical Gardens

August/September brought our big trip to two daughters, my granddaughter and I....spent just over two weeks...taking the ferry from Bellingham Washington to Juneau, Alaska...flew to Fairbanks...train down to Anchorage, going through Denali, Talkeetna, and beautiful landscape everywhere! And we had a goal of spreading Dick's ashes at many memorable places he and I had visited.
Our Dick Dodds' Farewell Tour T-Shirts on the Alaskan Ferry
From Grizzlies...
Denali Glaciers...we saw it all!!
September/ Trinity Valley Quilt Show...I had five entries and got four ribbons! I feel pretty good about that!

This was my Auction Entry which won a first place, but I didn't get a picture with the ribbon.
October was a time to finish up several quilts..I had done one for the SAQA online Auction...was doing one for a lady who is writing a book about the USA Space Program,
and several others for my Art Quilters Around The World and studioQ challenges.
SAQA Auction
studioQ- The Tear 
studioQ - Van Gogh's "Chair"
And Halloween...Andrea and I went to a Halloween Party! First time in years!
Remember...It is all in the make up!!

November-my birthday...I partied several times!
With Friends
And more friends

And family!

My grown up Grandkids!

studioQ at Christmas lunch together
Adult coloring books were a big hit!

What a great year!  And I have really enjoyed blogging this month!  I plan to continue blogging...not EVERYDAY but I will try for a couple times a week.  I am going to pick up my Memory Mondays blog again....I think I left off with my Sophomore year in college! Now there is an opportunity for pure boredom...following my life antics!

     A new year begins tomorrow....looking forward to what exciting events will happen in 2016! But I think I will need to slow down a little...I've been a little too busy!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day Thirty of Blogging Challenge

My Minion Tee shirt from Alaska
      I have become a big Minion fan in the past year!  So much so that my kids got this tee shirt for me when we were in Alaska this past summer! There are always so many "Minionisms"posted on Facebook; I have been "saving" them and have quite a folder of them going....Hmmmm! I think I see a source for new blog topics starting next year!
       Realizing this is my next to the last entry for this challenge, I have already been giving some thought to my last one. And, as it is not only the last challenge blog, but also the last day of the year, I feel obligated to really write something outstanding!
       Tune in tomorrow to  read what words of wisdom I have to share with you!!! Or not!! I may just bore you to Death!!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Day Twenty Nine of Blogging Challenge

December 29. 1963

      Fifty-two years ago today I married my soulmate.  We had only known each other for a short period of time, but enough to feel getting married was the right thing to do.  Many years later, we would equate much of our life with living in a pinball machine, bouncing around never knowing what happens  next. But always ending up with.."Well that turned out good, didn't it!"
     We married; we had two wonderful babies; we lived in five different states; we lived in nine different domiciles; we traveled to all fifty states and two foreign countries (Canada and Mexico); and we celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary! Whew! 
      And all of it seemed to have happened just last year...just yesterday. Time is such a weird say "fifty" sounds  like forever, but having lived it, it wasn't long enough! 

Day Twenty Eight of Blogging Challenge

The End of Christmas 2015!
     And now the dismantling begins! As much as everyone loves decorating for Christmas, I don't know a single person who enjoys the putting it all away for the year! The one upside to the process is how much bigger my space looks when I get it all stored away!
     This is not the blog I had written in the middle of the night last night when I couldn't sleep, but it is much more cheerful than that one was!  I would not want any of you who read my blog to be exposed to my middle of the night ramblings!!!  Be thankful I came to my senses before posting!
     Now to go pack it away...and think about what tomorrow's blog might bring!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Day Twenty Seven of Blogging Challenge

      Last night was kind of rough around here! Now, at my house, we just got rain but East and North, a tornado touched down near I-30 and GB Toll road. And another in Rockwall County, possibly more. I read this morning that eight people had been killed...such a tragedy!
     Tornadoes the end of  December!  And half a dozen people I know are having really bad allergy attacks (including myself)... Coughing and laryngitis!  Still, all my near and dear were safe last night when Mother Nature came roaring through! For that I am thankful!
I-30 and George Bush
A home NE of Dallas

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Day Twenty Six of Blogging Challenge


Everyone colors!
Even my SIL!
     Yesterday, Christmas, was such a fun day! As I had blogged before, we hang stockings for Santa to fill! This year Santa was inspired to put adult coloring books and markers in all the girls' stockings. What a hit! They had to share with my SIL and grandson; Santa should have given them their own!!!
      After stockings and the unwrapping of a few gifts we had a very tasty Christmas dinner... The main course being a pork loin which actually came out looking like the picture from Pinterest where my daughter got the recipe.

Our yummy pork loin!
           Then after eating, we finished unwrapping gifts and had our choice of desserts...cherry crisp, blackberry cobbler, and/or chocolate pie. An hour or so of card playing....and the day was over. We divided up the leftovers and everyone went home. Great time had by all!!!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Day Twenty Five of Blogging Challenge

2015 Christmas Cookies!
     Merry Christmas to all!!!! I hope you are all having as great a time as I am! We did get this year's Christmas cookies made. Yesterday my daughter from McKinney and I went to the Kimbell to see the Callibotte exhibit. Then to the Botanical Gardens to enjoy this beautiful weather. The temperature has been 70+ for the high for several days. I think that is about to come to an end in a day or two and get cold! I had rolled my little cactus farm out but will have to get them back in then.
      Today, my other daughter, SIL, and two grands will be over for Christmas Dinner, the traditional treasure trove of stockings, and the gift exchange! Again traditionally, stockings will be stuffed in the following manner...first a large orange (click on orange to read where that tradition comes from) goes in the toe, then each stocking will receive a magazine the interest level matching the owner; lots if a variety of candies and what ever gadgets Santa can find, and the traditional travel size lotions, toothpaste, deodorant, etc!!! Last, a candy cane stuck in the top!

      Our Christmas dinner menu this year: 
       Bacon- wrapped roasted pork loin, scalloped potatoes, broccoli rice casserole, hot rolls, two kinds of fruit jello..dark cherry and lime with cream cheese and pineapple. And for dessert, a choice of chocolate cream pie, cherry crisp, or blackberry cobbler! Oh, and Christmas cookies! 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Day Twenty Four of Blogging Challenge

      When my sister's first grandchild was three or four years old (about thirty years ago!) she decided to make him a needle point stocking. Sadly, she was diagnosed with brain cancer, and, although she lived for two years after, she was not able to finish the stocking. I volunteered to finish it for her, of course. Knowing nothing about needle point, I persevered and and got 'er done! Little did I know at the time that this was the start of something grand!
      My sister's four kids went on to have a total of eight grand kids. On Dick's side of the family, we have two nieces and one nephew and they have a total of five kids.  Then Dick's sister had twins who are of the same age as our grandchildren, so I couldn't leave them out! And of course we have two grandchildren! So I have made a total of seventeen needlepoint stockings! And not one of them are  the same!

My grandkids needlepoint stockings
My grandkids with their stockings....a Senior in High School and a Senior in College!
     Now my sister's grand kids have started to have babies...we have seven and two on the way!! And who knows where that will all stop with all the other original stocking owners! I didn't get started with this generation, thank goodness!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day Twenty Three of Blogging Challenge

     When my WOW group met last Saturday, one of the things we did was to share Christmas memories! Now we are all of a generation to have some pretty old memories, which increased the value of them in my mind!
      The memory I shared was when I must have seven or eight years old. Each Chrisrmtas my mom made sure we appreciated what we had and to instil in us a sense of caring for those less fortunate. So on Christmas Eve, we would load up the car  with food and toys and go visit a family who had much less than we did. On this Christmas Eve, I remember it well, we unloaded the car....they were so happy to receive what we had brought. One of the kids was a little girl my age that I knew from school.
      On the way home I, very seriously, asked why didn't Santa Claus come to their house like he did to ours???  My sister and mom broke out in laughter....thinking I was being cute! I asked what was so funny and my sister, two years older, replied something like, oh, don't be silly; you know there really isn't such a thing as Santa Claus!!!  And that is how I discovered the truth about Santa Claus....on Christmas Eve no less! I promptly broke  out in mom and sister both just felt terrible when they realized I was still a believer! But it was a little too late to change that story around!
      Maybe that is why I started collecting Santa Claus stuff for Christmas keep that jolly old elf alive in my heart!  I have had quite a few more than I have now...I don't have quite the space to display them all!

A Santa Wall Hanging I did several years ago
My Santas on the shelf (no Elf!)
Some of my Santa trays, candy dishes etc. The Santa plate in the front is from my of the few times he shopped himself!!  He got all the women in his life one!
I got this Santa when my first grandchild was born so he is 21 years old! On the stand behind him are two ceramic Santas made by a dear neighbor,Vicki, when we lived in Independence, Missouri for my two girls.  I'll let them have the Santas someday!
And a few of my collection that I have gotten and others have given to me.
And oldest Santa...I won him at an office party given by Dick's office on Elmendorf AFB when I was pregnant with my first baby!  So he is over 50 years old!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Day Twenty Two of Blogging Challenge

     The hanging of Christmas stockings goes back a couple hundred years. Here is a link to the history from the Smithsonian Magazine if you are interested.
     In my family, stockings were a very big deal! Usually, on Christmas morning, we would delve into them before we ate breakfast. And Dick and I carried the tradition on with our girls. Our second Chrisrmas together found us with a 10 month old baby in Alaska where Dick was stationed! I was bound and determined to start and build those family traditions but being as poor as the proverbial church mouse, we couldn't afford to buy a stocking.  So I bought some red, green and white felt fabric and made our baby a stocking!
      Then three and a half years later, we added another adorable baby girl so I made another stocking to match the first one. Time passed; my older daughter got married - another stocking; two grandchildren joined the family- and I decided Dick should have one also! So three more. A year or two later, Dick bought a huge fuzzy stocking for ME!  I guess he thought I needed to have a big one to make up for all those years I didn't have one.
Christmas Stockings
      Can you guess which one is mine???  Last year was my first Christmas without Dick but my sweet girls wanted to make Christmas as normal as possible. So somehow they spirited my humongous stocking away and filled with goodies! Well, I have been informed that "BIG FOOT" is being retired and will be replaced with a more normal- sized stocking for this year! I think it was a little hard to come up with enough stuff to fill it out and I am just fine with that! We still have traditions to carry on!