Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Countdown

We’re back home in Pennsylvania from our family vacation in Orlando. With 9 of us on the trip, including 3 generations and ages 1 to 74, it was quite the trip. We had a wonderful time and great weather, even a little cool at times. We did everything from swimming and water slides to Sea World, Legoland, and Downtown Disney! I think we would all admit and agree that by the last two days we were all getting tired and a little cranky.

As much as I enjoyed the time away with children, grandchildren and parents – I am really happy to be home. I’m 54 years old, but I’m still continuing to learn things about myself:

1. As much as I love my whole family, I wouldn’t want to live with them for any more than 6 days in a row at a time! And that’s OK!

2. I get very tired a lot quicker than I did 20 years ago. And that’s OK!

3. Even when on vacation, I still end up cooking and cleaning! Partly because I like to and partly because I guess that’s still my job. And that’s OK!

4. Be sure to take a lot of pictures because by next year I’ll probably forget half the stuff we did! And that’s OK!

I have 17 month old Baby Leanna home with me until Wednesday since her mother had to work at Air Force Reserves this week. Because I was well organized with Christmas before I left I had most of my decorating finished and I bought several Christmas gifts while in Florida.

With 20 days until Christmas, I keep myself organized and on schedule so that this month is enjoyable for me and not filled with stress. I’ll give a daily tip up until Christmas morning that may be helpful to you and I’ll let you know what I get done each day. Follow along on my other website blog for twice weekly articles. Be sure to sign in and follow my site so you don’t miss any of my tips that will be posted in my Daily Happy Thoughts.

20 Days Before Christmas – I finished decorating my last of 6 Christmas trees and the nutcracker collection was set out on the living room side table.

Tip: Eliminate whatever is unnecessary. Every day life and events don’t come to a standstill just because Christmas is around the corner. You can only do so much. If it’s not necessary, don’t stress yourself by trying to do too much in such a short time.

For lots of tips, advice, and ideas, including pictures and simple recipes, my book will help you “Put Peace and Joy Back into Your Christmas”! Take a look here!

Leave me a comment and tell me your best tip for reducing stress during the Holidays. Every little tip helps!

Sign in to follow my other website for Women Over 50 at  The Art of Living These Best Years of Your Life!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Been Here, Done This – Sort Of

Well, it’s this happy grandma’s 3rd day at staying with my three Pennsylvania grandchildren while their parents are away. I’m taking care of my 7 and 6 year old grandsons and 1 year old granddaughter, along with their dog. I got here Monday afternoon and my son and his wife will be home tomorrow afternoon. All I can say is – How did I do this 23 years ago? I guess the quick answer to that would be - Because it was 23 years ago! While that’s partially true, there is so much more to it.
For the last couple of days I’ve been comparing this experience with that of being a young mother with two sons also 16 months apart. As I got the two boys ready for school this morning, and they were outside waiting for the bus, I just had this flashback of my own two sons. It was a deja vu moment! But when my boys were young and I was a young mother, I was also working as an insurance agent and owner of my own agency. I was extremely busy, but I didn’t really think about it. I guess as a young woman and mother you just take for granted the fortune and joys and stress and hardships that you live. I didn’t think about how difficult being a working mother was. My husband and I were (and are) partners in business and in life and we ”just did it”! I also sat on several local boards, worked out (as in exercised) quite a bit, worked in my office at least 40 hours a week, and did everything possible with my boys. They were in wrestling, cross country, track, and of course all the academic functions and events. My husband and I were very involved parents and I don’t think we ever missed an event. To think back and remember all this now is overwhelming to me. If I had to do all that now I think I would curl up in a fetal position and cry!
So I’ve been thinking about this. Why do I feel so overwhelmed by this now when I obviously am very capable of handling it. And I’ve come to a conclusion and an answer: I’ve already done that and now my prize to myself is, I don’t have to do it anymore! Back then it was just what my life was. It was the plan and the progression and now I’m on to Part Two.
As I wrote about in my article, “Design Your Life to be What You Want”, we make the life we have. Whether consciously or unconsciously. The choices we make at each step determines the following step. We all have the ability to choose the direction of that track. Yes, unforseen events can derail us, but it’s then up to us to get it back on track.
Now, back to the present. The track I’m on now is to be a good and loving and very happy grandma. I am very willing to be the caregiver for temporary time periods, but I would not want to do this again full time. In addion to the boys, I also have their one year old sister, little Leanna.

Needless to say, I am busy and tired this week. If I HAD to do this full time due to some unforseen event, yes I could. This is not my current plan or track. I adore these beautiful grandchildren and want them to remember me as a good and loving grandma. When I leave here tomorrow evening and go back home to my husband, my house and my current normal every day activities, I’ll be so appreciative of it all.
I can look back and remember the first part of my life and appreciate how the hard work has paid off and gave me what I have now in my second half. I can also greatly appreciate that now in Part Two I have gorgeous grandchildren that I have the good fortune to spend time with. Then I get to go back to my well deserved current life that is now more about doing for me instead of a full time life of doing for others. And I don’t feel guilty for that at all!

I'm also at:  Would love to visit with you over there, too!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Over 50 and Happy

My new site is coming along.  I have been working very long hours on setting this up and figuring it out.  I've become obsessed!  I'm not even sure why I'm so obsessed with this, except to say that this is all I've been thinking about all hours of the day and night for several weeks now.  I have so many ideas and thoughts that I want to put into this new site and the more research I do the more I realize how hungry Women Over 50 are to get more information and support for depression, menopause, divorce, empty nest, etc.  I want to encourage and offer some support and I'm so passionate about it.  Even my husband is wondering what in the world has gotten in to me!  I haven't turned on the TV for days, which isn't like me at all.  I'm just so involved in reading and studying, not to mention trying to figure out this Wordpress system of site building.  That's been a whole course of it's own!  
This whole process has made me realize how important it is to have a passion for something, especially as we get older.  It makes you discover a purpose and offers an excitement to looking forward to each day.
I have finally been able to get my sign- in box up on my new site so women can sign in to receive Newsletters with blog posts, daily quotes and sayings, and happiness tips.  I'm actually working on an E-Book that I'm writing about Health and Fitness for Real Women Over 50.  That could be a while down the road before that's ready to go.
Please stop over and visit my new "house".  I'm ready to show it off a little, but still have more "furniture" and "decorating" to do.

I also want to get back to visiting all of you, my great blogging friends out there!  I'm sorry I've been so neglectful.  Please forgive me and don't give up on me.  I just don't have enough hours in the day and I know I try to take on too much - but I'm happy !  Now I have my Spokane kids coming tomorrow for 2 weeks so things aren't going to slow down for a while yet.
Talk to you all again real soon, I hope!

Monday, August 15, 2011

No More Bad Hair Days

No More Bad Hair Days

Click title above to visit my new website and read all about it!  I'm working on a lot more to come,, but it's been a very time consuming project.
I'm currently working on a sign-in page where you can sign up to receive email newsletters, along with tips and quotes on "Being Happy Over 50" .  As you all know, I'm just a regular ole' Grandma that isn't extremely computer tech savvy, so it takes me a little while to figure these things out.  But I'm having so much fun and I'm so excited to see where this new road can lead and excited to possibly support, help, and guide "real" women over 50" in having the best 2nd half of their life that's possible!
I sincerely don't want to lose touch with the very good friends I've made at my Blogger "home".  Theresa, DJan, Val, Rae, Denise, Debbie, Judy; Mariah, Vee, Connie, Marydon, and I could go on and on.  In fact, it's because of all of you that I truly have come to appreciate how blessed and happy I am at age 53.  I also realize that there are so many women out there that don't have such support, blessings, self esteem, and joy in their lives.  And they can!  It's there for all of us!
So thanks to all of you.  I may even call on some of you from time to time to guest blog for me.  You all have so much to offer "women of a certain age".
I'll be talking to you again soon.
Hugs and Stay Happy,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's a Bumpy Ride with Kids!

This was posted on Facebook by my DIL describing their day yesterday!  I'm so glad I'm the grandma and not the mother.  I found out about all of this after the fact and once everything was calmed down and fine.  I would have been a basket case if I had to deal with this:

What a day! Things started wonderful. Got up and to the gym by 8:30. Ran 4 miles. Came home. Got the baby up so Austin could take her to the gym child watch.  Discovered that she had taken her diaper halfway off and was playing in her poop! Tubby time! Cleaning her with the shower on. She falls. Starts crying. I say "It's ok peanut. You just got scared"   Flip her over and start rinsing the soap off her. Feel the back of her head and there, lodged in her head is the metal hair strainer!  I thought maybe it was stuck in her hair. Nope, there's the blood!   ER here we come! I freaked out. Didn't know what to do, but knew enough not to pull it out myself!  She had to get a staple. She was such a big girl though. We had to put her on my lap to take her to the hospital and she laid on her belly smiling and waving to her daddy the whole time!   The nurses and docs at IRMC were absolutely amazing though! We were out of there in 20 min.   So, then, I think she figures "oh well, I already have a staple in my head... let's see about this walking thing" and she took her first steps! 

Then she freaking falls... and her head starts bleeding again!!! I am so happy she is in bed sleeping for the night! I need a padded room for this one!!!  It was definitely scary, but I have to say that I have the most amazing family. Austin basically flew us to the hospital and the boys got out the door an d into the car quicker than I could have imagined. My goodness I love my family. I truly am so blessed   As for me, I am loading the dishwasher and hitting the hay! 

My comment later in the evening:
What a day! The upside?! You're not bored and you know your family can work well together in a small crisis! Hope you have a calm Sunday! Love you all!!

Oh My!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh Deer!!

This has been just a beautiful summer!  Yes, it's hot, but I'm loving it.  It feels so good to wake up at 6:00 in the morning, walk three miles from 7 to 8 with a tank top and shorts on, then sit on the back deck at 8:15 with my cup of coffee!  It was 72 degrees at 7:00 this morning!  I love it!
I worked in my garden until a little after noon and then it was just too hot to be working out there any longer.  I think it got up to 96 degrees, but it is so pretty out!  Now it's 6:30 pm and it is still 90 degrees.  WOW!!

OK, now that you have a full weather report,  here is what I saw the other morning at 5:30 when I got up to get ready for my morning walk.  I've lived on the lake for 7 years now and this is the first time I ever saw the deer swimming in the lake.  I guess they're hot, too!

They were a family, with the mom and dad washing the two babies!  I took the pictures from the window because I was afraid if I opened the door to step out onto the deck I would scare them away!  It was the most amazing site.  I get so mad at them when they eat my flowers in the middle of the night, but you can't get mad at them after seeing this!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fun in the Sun

It is hot!! But I'm not complaining!  I promised that in the midst of ice and snow and below freezing temperatures last winter, I would not complain when the heat came in the summer. Here we are and I am true to my word.
Little Miss Leanna is visiting for a few days while her Mommy is a week in Pittsburgh for her annual Air Force Reserve training.

She has a good time with Grampy Bobby doing things she wouldn't be allowed to do at home or with Mommy around!

She hates when Grammy Nina puts those darn cute clips in her unruly hair!

Ready to walk any day!

 She's finally taking a nap, so I'm going to try to catch up a little.  I know my blogging has really gotten behind this summer.  This summer seems especially full for us.  I barely have time to write anything and my enjoyable blog reading has really suffered.  A person can only do so much!

Last Saturday, July 2nd, we had our annual 4th of July party.  It was a beautiful day, as most of our summer has been, we had a great attendance of friends and family and plenty of good food.  

My brother in law, John, on the left, was designated grill cook.  He did a great job!  John and his wife, my sister in law Debbie, came from Cincinnati, as did my brother, Chuck, and his wife, Jill.  This is my cousin Fred on the right.  Two days after our party, Fred and my cousin Susie, his wife, became first time grandparents of twin boys!

cousins Frank and Betty

l-r: son Austin, cousin Fred, cousin Steve, DIL Melissa, cousin Betty

Cousin Mark with my brother's dog, Frankie

Look behind Mark in the above picture to the bank on the other side of the lake.  That is where the fireworks were set off that evening.  We have a beautiful front row seat to the fireworks show right in front of us!  

My good friend, Paula, along with her daughter, Marielle, and Marielle's newly adopted twin daughters from Africa.

It was also Leanna's first birthday on June 28, so we celebrated while we had the gathering of friends and family.  I got her a Tinkerbell cake because she sort of got nicknamed "tinks" when she was a very young baby due to the odor that such a cute little thing could put out!

She thoroughly enjoyed her first birthday cake!

And was very happy to share with Big GG (Great Grandpa, my dad)

This post for today is done and she's still sleeping!  It felt good to sit for a while and write in quiet!  Maybe I can even get another load of clothes folded if I hurry up!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Caylee's Law

I have 4th of July pictures and lots to tell you about my fun and happy long holiday weekend.  The weekend was filled with loving family and friends and much laughing.  More on this later.

But today I have to comment on the sad sad life that the Anthony family is living right now.
Being the grandmother of a 1 year old granddaughter and a 2 year old granddaughter, I just can't even imagine what Cindy Anthony may be going through!  Then to also be the mother of the person that is probably responsible for the death of this precious little girl!?  How do you deal with that?
I'm not happy about the jury's decision on this.  I feel there was sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to find her guilty of at least manslaughter.  I also feel sure that Casey will still live a life of hell, whether it be behind bars or not and her judgment day will come in another form.
Something good must come of this and I feel that passing Caylee's Law would be one good thing.  This would make it a crime for a parent or guardian not notifying law enforcement of a missing child in a timely manner:

Caylee's Law, contact your Senator and Representative: there should be a new federal law created called Caylee's Law that will make it a federal offense for a parent or guardian to not notify law enforcement of a child going missing in a timely manner.
Let's keep another case like Caylee Anthony out of the courts.

If you agree, please sign the petition I have posted at the top of my sidebar.  Keep Caylee's voice alive!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reunion Over

I'm back.  You wouldn't think a little six hour one way trip to Cincinnati and two nights of parties would wear a person out, but  it did.  I guess when it's your 35th class reunion, age makes a little difference to old party animals!  All went very well, though, and it was a lot of fun.  I just don't know how much fun I can take!  I really enjoyed seeing my best friend, Melinda, whom I haven't seen for over five years.  Melinda, her sweet and beautiful 18 year old daughter, Michelle, and I stayed together at a Marriott Towne Place Suites.
  It was very nice.  It was more like a condo than a hotel.  We had such a good visit and talks.  It's just like we saw each other a month ago.  The sign of a true friendship!  We spent time at the mall, going out to eat with our mothers and Michelle, drinking wine and just talking.
Friday night was a get together with our class at a local tavern.
Me on left, Melinda on right

Saturday  Melinda wanted to get her hair done, so we decided to also get our make-up done together.  It was a fun girlfriend time together!  
 Saturday evening was a little more dressy affair.  
Blurry again.  I need a new camera!  What a shame because our make-up looked really good!

We had a good time and it was so much fun to see old friends.  I think because of facebook, I felt like I knew 
some people better now than I did 35 years ago.
We were back "home" by midnight, but I guess we just couldn't get relaxed enough to fall asleep right away.  The next morning I woke up with a start at 11:00!  I couldn't believe it!  I had to also wake up Melinda and Michelle.  We were supposed to meet our mothers again for brunch at 11!  Wow!  I haven't slept that late for years.  We changed brunch time to noon!
Mom and I headed back to my brother's house after lunch, where we had a nice rest, a great dinner with family (my sister in law is a great cook), watched movies and had a good sleep.  Then we got on the road Monday morning back to the woods of Pennsylvania.  When I first got married and moved to Pennsylvania I loved going back to Cincinnati and almost dreaded coming back home to my small little back woods town.  Now it's flipped.  I love coming back to my slower (well, debatable), definitely quieter, calmer little life!  
I entered the gate to my community and drove up the long road toward my house.
It was fun to go back to high school memories, but there's no place like home!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Party and Be Happy!

Just a quick update.  I know I've been MIA lately.  This will have to be a quick short one, though.  I'm getting ready and packing to leave in the morning for Cincinnati for my 35th class reunion.  I'm most excited to meet up with my best friend that now lives in California.  She's flying in to Cincinnati tomorrow and we'll be staying 3 nights in a hotel suite and I can't wait to see her and catch up.
My mother is going with me so that I'm not driving the 6 hour drive alone.  She'll stay with my brother for a night and then with an old friend for two nights.  This should be a fun getaway.  It's just so much work to make the preparations to get going.  Thanks to a very good friend of mine, I have jewelry and shoes all ready to go with the new dress I bought.  I got my hair trimmed and color touched up today.  Got eyebrows and lip waxed.  Got some new make-up and a pedicure.  Pictures will come later, I promise.  I'm thinking right about now that this might be the last reunion I go to.  It's a lot of work to get fixed up!  It does make you feel pretty good, though.
Last Saturday we attended a beautiful wedding out in the woods of Pennsylvania at an Art School/Gallery.  Sounds a little strange, I know.  We thought so at first, too.  But it was an outside wedding in these beautiful gardens and a gazebo and the weather was absolutely perfect!  Here are some pictures

The groom is a very good friend of Austin, my oldest son.  His mother is the same very good friend of mine that helped me with shoes and jewelry.

Here's Hubby and I during the outdoor reception.  We were all dressed up and lookin' good and the setting was beautiful and I'm so sorry the picture came out blurry!

I'll be back home on Monday evening from my girl's getaway/reunion and then on Thursday I have family starting to arrive to my house for a big 4th of July party that we're having here on next Saturday.
I was starting to get a little overwhelmed and nervous the other day trying to get ready for all of this, and then I talked to myself and reminded me that this was all good stuff.  Just breath, relax, and enjoy the good life.  My self lecture worked and I woke up yesterday morning feeling renewed and energetic and sat with my early morning coffee and watched my birds.

I'll be in touch next week, with pictures and a reunion report, as soon as I get a chance!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

No Lazy Days of Summer Here

Not enough hours in the day!  I still have so much outside work to do.  I'm still trimming and cleaning out my cotoneaster bushes and it's taking up way too much time.  
Last week Mom and I found our way to this Amish greenhouse that we had heard about and they had the biggest baskets of flowers I have ever seen for $15.00 each.  I asked the cute little Amish girl how they get them so big and she told me in her sweet little Amish accent voice, "They just grow".

This pot of these little yellow flowers was about $1.50!

I hung this huge basket next to my blue and pink seating area.  See my previous post.

Over the weekend, Mom and I took a little road trip to Pittsburgh to help Spring clean my girlfriend's mother's house.  Her mother and my mother were very good friends years ago, and the four of us have reunited recently.  See post about this here.  My friend's mother had a stroke a couple of years ago and just isn't able to keep up with her house by herself.  So my girlfriend arranged for a Spring Cleaning Party with family and friends jumping in with scrub buckets and food.  Mom and I drove the 4 hours to get there Saturday morning and spent the night in a very nice room at a Country Inns and Suites.  We cleaned again on Sunday and got back on the road for the trip home by 3:00.  It was fun!  Really!

I'm cleaning the light fixture in the master bath.  With a smile!

Hubby couldn't quite understand why we would be willing to do this when I keep saying how much work I have to do around here.  We did it because they asked!
We also stopped at an outlet mall before coming home.  I've been looking for a dress for my upcoming 35th year class reunion coming up next weekend in Cincinnati.  I wanted something classy, but sexy, but not too revealing, that fit well but not too tight, oh my!  And I think I found it!  We went into Dress Barn and I wasn't hopeful because I had been to a Dress Barn years and years ago and was not impressed.  Well, this one was a nice store with very nice clothes. 

Here it is.  I'll be sure to get a picture the night of the reunion.

I also found this cute little pink top and had to get it, too.

This weekend we have a wedding to go to on Saturday.  Sunday we'll have the 3 grandkids here and are going to brunch for Father's Day.  On Thursday I leave for Cincinnati to meet up with my best friend that now lives in California and we'll be going to our class reunion get togethers on Friday and Saturday nights.  I'll come home on Monday and then on Saturday the 2nd, we're having a 4th of July party here.  
For someone (me) that likes to just stay home and putz around the house, I don't know why I let myself get so    busy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Days On The Lake

Here is my new summer schedule;  if it's nice and warm I work outside, if it's raining I work inside.  Today is an inside day.  It's only 59 degrees and pouring.  At 7:00 this morning, though, it was warm and dry and I started a morning walk routine with a neighbor friend.  We walked for an hour at a pretty good pace and a lot of hills. We're going to try to do this every morning.  It felt good and to do it that early doesn't make it seem like it's interrupting my day at all.

I was able to work outside yesterday afternoon.  I've been trimming these darn cotton easters (that's what I'm told by a neighbor that they are) and they are a pain to take care of and keep looking nice and neat.  I'm giving them a real good haircut to clean up all the weeds and dead limbs.  These bushes line our driveway in the front of the house and they can grow wild real fast if you just let them go.

 I'm half tempted to have them all torn out and just plant more grass.  I'm sure, though, once I get them all neatened up again I'll be satisfied with them.  In the fall they get red berries on them and actually can be very pretty. I wanted to get more work done on these today, but that's not going to happen.

I wasn't able to get much of anything done over the weekend because my three little mini storms, named Logan, Landen, and Leanna were here.  We actually had Leanna since Thursday night.  We brought her home with us after going to Landen's pre-school graduation.
He had a cute little ceremony, complete with lunch for parents and grandparents.  Landen was so excited to have us there and all his little friends were glad to meet Landen's "Bobby".  That's what Landen calls his grandpa and since he considers "his Bobby" to be his best friend he talks about him all the time.  By the end of graduation all the little graduates were calling him "Bobby" too.  So cute!!  Bobby also got a kick out of it.

So Leanna came home with us since it was going to be DIL's Air Force Reserve weekend.  Little Miss Leanna just keeps getting cuter and cuter and is just the best baby.  Hubby and I kept commenting all weekend about how much her looks are reminding us so much of her daddy as a baby!  Just so amazing how that works!

On Saturday, Austin came up with the two boys and then he left for a bachelor party of a good friend.  The boys swam in the lake and went out in the kayak with "their Bobby" for the first time this season.  They loved it.  They feel like such big boys in the water now since they've been taking swim lessons at the Y.

It was great to see the kids, but as usual after they are here for a few days, I was exhausted by the time they left on Sunday afternoon.

Dad's boat was delivered to our dock on Sunday afternoon.  Since last night was such a warm and beautiful  evening Mom and Dad came over and we took a little "wine sunset cruise".

Pulling away from the dock

View of the back of our house

headed down the lake

Sun setting on the way back

Sun behind the trees

Now I'm relaxed and refreshed and ready for the next day.


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