Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Highlight 2

Today has been a really nice day. First of all, I slept until 8:00 a.m. which I never do. When I came down to the kitchen the kitchen window was framed in frost, and through it I could see the back deck railing with the greenery and lights and red bows gently covered with yesterday's snow. I stood there and thought how beautiful it was.

At 9:00 a.m. our friend and plumber, Don, came to fix a problem with our water softener. When he was finished I said, "Shall I write you a check now, Don?" To which he said, "Noooo, I was going to be out this way anyway." Don is a good man!

The rest of the day has gone just like that. I made some of what we now call, "Judy's Hearty Soup," which was delicious. I can hear the hum of the washer and dryer as I am getting some laundry done and the dishwasher is full to the brim and my cooking dishes are getting clean.

In between all these wonderful sights and sounds I watched a really nice movie on the Hallmark channel. I don't know if I could count on two hands the number of Hallmark and Lifetime movies I have watched this month. They have been wonderful and filled with love and beauty and romance and Christmas spirit...people caring about people and a spirit of giving.

I think I might be a romantic.

But, to your surprise and mine, I didn't intend to write all these things in this post. The real reason for the post has to do with a beautiful message on a Christmas card we received today from my sister Linda and her husband David.

I put this picture of Linda and David in my post because I wanted you to see them. Every year, for years, they have come to our home to share a part of Christmas day with us and our family, Linda's and my dad, and Linda and David's daughter and her son. I didn't have a picture of Linda and David from Christmas day but this one will do. It is a picture taken on the day of Jackson Toby's baptism in July.

Linda and David's Christmas card was beautiful. But, the most beautiful part of the card was what was personally written.

Tom and Judy,
Thanks for the beautiful time on Christmas Day. We love to see your precious family, and to watch them "in action." There is something very special happening when you are together. Every year we look forward to the hamburger and kidney bean dish.
In His love,
Dave & Linda

I thought that was so nice and how fortunate I am to be in a family that loves and cares and gives with abandon. Thank you Linda and David!

I seem to be working my way backwards through the month and the highlights. Funny, sometimes I read magazines from back to front too. I think I like remembering events and when I write about them I get to revisit them. I am in a happy place today. I can tell because I want to keep writing : )

More is a nice day!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Starting The Christmas Highlights

December was a full month. I am going to start posting some photos and videos (in no particular order) that will mark the highlights of the month and our Christmas season. This little video features our grandson Derek, who is 3 years old, and felt the need to sing a song on Christmas Day. Here are the lyrics as best I understand them. Makes me laugh it is so sweet!

On top of pasketti
All covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball
When somebody sneezed
It rolled off the table
And onto the floor
And then my poor meatball
Went right out the door

With Derek are our grandson Christopher (16) and our grandaughter Amelia (11). I think this boy has a future in music!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

The stockings are hung on the chimney with care

It is 7:30 a.m. and there are two very excited little boys on the phone. Davey and Derek called me to share their fun Christmas morning with me.

I am a lucky gramma!

Somehow leaving them to go clean bathrooms just doesn't seem like something I want to do.

The family will be arriving around 2:00 this afternoon for our gift opening and more family will be coming around 4:00 for our big family dinner.

One of the most fun things this Christmas is I have bought my dad a Christmas stocking. It will be his very first ever Christmas stocking in all his 96 years. I said to him, "I will hang your stocking on the mantle with everyone elses. Yours will be the 18th stocking this year." He said to me, "I want it hung in the middle so I can be surrounded by the whole family."

That is exactly where his stocking is hanging! Right in the middle of the family!

Merry Christmas everyone! Adam, Sara Beth, Joseph, Kallsen and Parker....we miss you so much and wish you were here!

Love from us to you!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Main Street Walhalla SC

Last Thursday, December 11, Tom and I flew to Walhalla, SC to visit our son, Adam and his family. In these videos Sara Beth, Kallsen , Parker, Tom and I are on our way to see Adam perform in The Nutcracker.

Pictures will be following in future posts.

Until then, enjoy the videos showing the main street of a small town in America, Walhalla, SC.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Jackson And Joe Talk On The Phone

Sarah called tonight and said while she was feeding Jackson his cereal Jackson asked if he could talk to Joe. (Sarah has very very good ears) So, I got things set up...meaning I put the phone on speaker, had Joe on skype and hooked up the microphone and speakers so Jackson and Joe could talk.

Now, mind you, Jackson is 5 months old so this is the beginning of the kinds of phone conversations Joe and I have had with Sarah's little boys, Davey and Derek, for a long time. It is now Jackson's turn.

Below are two pictures of Jackson as he was talking to Joe while he was eating his cereal. A video of our conversation follows the pictures. For those of you who don't know, Joe lives in Ireland, and he is Jackson's Godfather.

Jackson listening to Joe

Jackson reaching for the phone

And, now the video...

And, later tonight then, I decorated the mantle in my basement. Merry Christmas everyone! I have never had a mantle to decorate in the basement before. We have lived in this house over 29 years. It is nice to get to do it this year.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Beautiful And Peaceful Christmas Movie

The link below is a link to a Christmas movie that is done by my favorite musical artist, Tami Briggs. I am hoping when you click on the link you will be able to view her beautiful movie and will also visit her website.

It is my pleasure to introduce Tami Briggs Christmas movie! May peace and joy be with all of you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Was There And It Feels Incredible

I received this link in my email and when I played it I was so overtaken with emotion to realize that I was IN the Basilica of St. Peter's with my grandson, Christopher, when he and I visited Italy and Greece in June 2007. I have seen this ceiling and the sculptures and the paintings on the walls. I was there! I don't even know how to describe how it feels. The music and the place temporarily, as I listen and watch, transcend the here and now. Those of you who know me well, know that I tend to live in the moment. But, this little video transports me to another place...a place of beauty.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Buck Stops Here

You just never know what you will see when you sit at our kitchen table. I read something yesterday about .... no, wait a minute. I think it was a power point show I received in my email. It had to do with the importance of touching and being one with nature.

I love living here!

A Good Day

Yesterday was a nice day. It was cold, crisp, sunny and eventful I guess one might say. Tom and I were sitting at the kitchen table talking and Tom casually said, there is a deer in the back yard. Then, he said, "Oh, my goodness, there is a big buck in the back yard!"

We see quite a few doe, but rarely see a buck. The buck we saw yesterday was beautiful and majestic. It was really exciting!

Beautiful buck

I think he is so majestic

We also purchased Tom a new car. He has been driving his late father's car for a number of years and, sadly, it has to be replaced. The heat no longer works and it has been running pretty rough for a while. Minnesota winters just aren't the time for no heat and possible breakdowns and to fix it would have cost more than the value of the car.

So, we bit the bullet and we will keep the memory of the car in a photograph and Tom will get to drive his new car that has lovely heat and doesn't make funny noises that make me think it is going to break down. It is a beautiful car. We chose a Toyota Avalon.

Tom in his dad's car. I think it was a 1992 Cadillac

Tom's new car...2008 Toyota Avalon
Here is a short video of the buck

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brothers Playing

The videos were taken Monday, November 17th. Jackson Toby is 5 months old now and he is a lucky little boy to have such nice brothers.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Great Neighbors

I have been starting to decorate for Christma this weekend as you can see by this first picture. I love the tree in the shadows with the light coming in the curtains. My day was going to get a little more fun though when I looked out the window. I saw my neighbors outside in their yard and to me this presented an opportunity to have some fun.

The story and video follow...................

Scene if my front room where we have the Christmas tree

Ben and Joan out in their yard with their ladder

They are such great neighbors. They are nice, fun, kind, playful, hard workers and good sports! Meet Ben and Joan who live next door to us. I saw them outside today looking like they were about to do some serious business on their house. I couldn't help but find my camera and turn this scene into a little fun. Not only are they all the things I mentioned above, but when our friend, Joe from Ireland was here in June and July, they invited us to dinner and served us a great steak dinner after which we all walked down to the cul de sac and looked at the moon. Now, how nice was that! Yep, Ben and Joan are neighbors you want to have! And, yes, they know I am putting this on my blog. Thanks guys!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Official

(Dante's Prayer) Please click to play

Yep, it's official. I am now fully 65. While I have been 65 since March I have, as of today, completed my "Get down and take care of the old people stuff" stuff. Yep, this morning I had my phone conversation with the Social Security office to apply for retirement benefits.

I will be 66 in March of 2009, but I can start collecting my social security checks starting in January. Where did the time go? How can I feel so young and yet I now qualify as an old person. Every time I write that kind of thing I laugh!

I know that age is just a number. I know that our lives are determined by how we feel on the inside and whether or not we keep our "spirit" alive. In fact, I love my age. I love being 65. I love all the good things that come with being this age. Gosh, I get a senior citizen's discount at Perkins restaurant and drugstores and department stores have senior citizen days which means if we can toddle on in there we can get 15% off lots of stuff we really don't need and some that we do. I love the confidence and wisdom that come with having lived life for this many years.

It was a short 15 minute phone conversation. It dealt with a significant life transition. I had been looking forward to it. It is over now and I feel oddly and happily excited and elated. Does this mean I am finally an adult? Now, that makes me laugh! Somedays I wonder what it will take to make me feel like an adult. This wasn't it!

I think I am going to be waiting and watching for a long time!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It Keeps Getting Better

New email from Kara............WOW WOW AND WOW

"Christopher came home with a letter from his art teacher today letting us know that some of his artwork has been chosen to be on display in the Chaska High School Art Show at the Chan Rec Center. This particluar piece is a casserole dish with a lid to go with the dinnerware set that he made. The show runs from Nov 19 - Jan 1. They are having an opening reception on Nov 20 from 6:30 - 7:30. You are all welcome to come! (Adam - I know you won't be able to make it )"


Email From My Daughter Kara

"A reporter from the Chaska Herald came to the high school yesterday to interview Christopher about his pottery!! He took some pictures, too, of Christopher throwing and one of him and his 50lb pot. How cool is that!?!

I will let you know when the article gets printed!

Kara (the proud mom!)"

Christopher Age 16

My response..........

"WOW WOW AND WOW...........that is terribly exciting and
this is written by the PROUD GRANDMA.........can I put this
on my blog?.............your email? I would really like to!!"

Kara's response......


I am so happy and excited for you Christopher! What wonderful recognition for something you love doing so much!! I love you! Grandma

Early Morning

It is almost 6:30 a.m. and I am up for the day. I woke early. I think it was 4:45 a.m. and I did not go back to sleep. Sometimes, when that happens, I wish I could go back to sleep. Usually I don't. I guess that is OK. It gives me time to think....kind of like when I am at a stoplight.

I think of these things, waking early and stopping at stoplights, as pauses in my day and they give me time to think, contemplate and maybe even figure things out that are on my mind. I see them as opportunities to be in the moment and for the most part I enjoy my own company and internal conversation. (As my family knows, it is not always internal!)

I got a quote in my email this morning that got me to thinking. It made me smile and that is what prompted my early morning thoughts. The quote is....

"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." Carlos Castaneda

It is all about attitude. Life happens especially when we think we have control. Then I think about the old saying, "Control is an illusion!"

As I head into the holiday season I am ever so aware that I hope for some control of things like money, time and mood to name a few. I know I have some control but it is so hard when I start looking at Christmas things in the Christmas section at Target. There is something that happens to me and I think it is the magic of Christmas that still captures me. I look, I touch, I smile, I go into little scenes in my head. I want to buy the feeling I get while I am standing there. Sometimes I do.

The simplest way to say it is, my senses wake up and come alive in a special way standing in the Christmas aisle at Target. I don't ever want to lose the magic. I can't imagine ever losing the magic.

Welcome to my world! Welcome to my early morning world! I am going to get some breakfast now. I am going to get some coffee now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Was Lost But Now Am Found

You know the line, "A funny thing happened on the way to.....?" Well, yesterday a not really funny but a really nice thing happened when I was in Target. I was standing in one of the Christmas decoration aisles looking at things, when I heard someone say, "Judy?" It was spoken so softly I wasn't sure I had heard it. I turned and I saw a woman looking at me. I said, "Yes?" We looked at each other for a few moments and she said, "Do you recognize me?" I said, "No." She said, "It is Eleanor!" Even at that it took me a moment to let it sink in. When it did, I smiled and flew toward her and said, "Ohhhhh, Eleanor!" And, gave her a big hug with many exclamations of happiness and joy to see her!

I have known Eleanor since I was five years old. I haven't seen her for about eight years and between being lost in my own world yesterday and not expecting to see her in this context, I simply didn't recognize her. Do you know what I mean? When you see people out of context it just doesn't register.

We started to talk and then we talked some more and then we talked some more until I bet an hour and a half had gone by while we blocked the Christmas decorations aisle. I learned I had been lost to Eleanor and my other school friends for a number of years. She said my name has come up and they have been wondering where I was, if I was still around and shhhhhhhhhh probably even still alive.

The good news is I am all of those things....I am around and where I have been for twenty nine years, right here in Plymouth, and very much alive!

We exchanged email addresses, promised to get in contact with my other friends, and who knows where that will lead and what will happen next.

Do you know what one of the nicest things about the whole chance meeting was? I said to her, "How on earth did you recognize me? I was standing sideways in the aisle." She said, "It was your hands...something about the way you were holding your hands!" I loved hearing was amazing to me. It was so personal. After all these years she recognized me by the way I was holding my hands.

It was so good to see you Eleanor. Thank you for finding me!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hopes Exceeded Reality

I thought I was out of the woods last night. I thought I was going to wake up this morning after a full night's sleep and start the day with renewed vigor! Have you heard the joke about how to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans!

There is no doubt I am feeling better, but I am not ready to leave the house yet. It is a good thing there are plenty of things for me to do IN the house should I decide to push the envelope a little.

Right now it is going on 7:45 a.m. and I am thinking about the New Adventures party Kara and I were going to have yesterday. It was a party where I was going to share my new CafePress online business and Kara was going to do a short presentation on Coaching. One of the responses we got was, "What a fabulous idea. If I didn't have to teach today I would be there!" That was such great affirmation it has made me smile for the last 24 hours. Thanks Paula! We will schedule the party for another time and hope the timing works out better for people.

You know what? I love to blog. Just sitting here thinking how nice it is to just share life. A post doesn't have to be about anything big or important. It doesn't have to be earth shattering. Most of life is just stuff...stuff that happens..big stuff..little stuff...inconsequential stuff. But, it is worth sharing.

I will invite you to have a cup of coffee with me now. I am having my coffee this morning in my CafePress Tranquility mug. I figured I could use a little tranquility and it seems to be working. I am following my own ideas and advice. If there is something you need, why not hold it in your hands or wear it. Below the picture of the Tranquility mug you will see the CafePress sweatshirt I am wearing this morning, although I look better in the picture than I do this morning. It is just true, sick doesn't look as good as well!

You will see that the sweatshirt has a picture of trees on it. I took this picture in SC a year ago. The sun was shining on the trees and it was so beautiful. For those with a discerning eye maybe you can see a word written at the bottom of the picture. I wanted to put the word Clarity on the picture and I made a mistake when I was doing it and it made me laugh. Clarity came out upside down and backwards. It struck me so funny that I kept it that way.

You know what the beauty of all that is? You have to look in the mirror to see Clarity clearly. It looks perfect in the mirror! Somehow, there is a message in that.

So, that is it for now. Judy's early morning thoughts on a day her hopes exceeded her reality!

Tranquility Mug

Judy wearing her Clarity sweatshirt

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It Feels Good To Feel Good

Today was the day Kara and I were supposed to have our New Adventures party. We had to cancel it due to scheduling conflicts. That actually turned out OK because I was sick. I am feeling better tonight and am really glad.

Whatever it was that got its grip on me, I hope it doesn't get its grip on anybody else. It lasted maybe 36 hours and I have never had such bad stomach cramping outside of childbirth contractions.

It snowed a little bit more today and I just took it easy. It feels good to feel good again!

Friday, November 07, 2008

First Snow Of 2008

It is November 7, 2008 and we are getting our first snowfall of the year. It is what we call "wet snow." It is great snow for making snowmen and snowballs, neither of which I will be doing today because I am sick.

So, when you watch and listen to the video, that is why I sound the way I do and why I might leave out a few words. For example, you might notice that at the end I say something about seeing snow on my neighbor........I left out mentioning their house or roof.

I am glad I am not going to work today. I have on sweats, a turtleneck, snuggy fleece top with a high neck, two pairs of socks and a blanket. I feel warm enough hands are warm and my feet are warm.

I hope you enjoy the video!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

While America Is Voting The Doe Makes Me Smile

What a day today was. It still isn't over. Our local news is televising election pandemonium, hysteria and results. It is an historic election for President this year and an election year that will be talked about for generations to come.

I wonder how many truly historic things I have been alive for. I don't know.

I do know that in the midst of history being made, groceries still need to be bought and planning for the holiday season still must be done. So, today after I voted, I bought both groceries and some Christmas gifts.

And, when I came home, I pulled into the garage and got out of the car to unload the trunk, I saw something that made history seem less important and made life in the moment something to smile about.

Lucky for me I had my camera handy. I hope you enjoy the video!

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Derek as Spiderman, Jackson Toby as little Superman and Davey as Big Superman

Lots has happened in the last few days. First of all, Davey called me on October 29 and was all excited about Halloween. We talked for a bit and then he said he would call me on Halloween and we could say "Good Morning!" I believe I wrote that in my last post.

Well, that happened! It was so great! Punkin (Davey) called me on the morning of Halloween and we talked a bit. It made me smile!

Secondly, my dad called on Friday morning. Friday is the day he usually calls because I often don't work on Fridays. He told me he got to go to Wisconsin to see his younger brother of five years or so which would make him 91. My sister, Linda and her husband Dave, took him. He was glad to see his brother and wife because they have been having some health problems. My dad is like me. If someone is not doing well, I want to see them with my own eyes. It was a short but a good visit.

Thirdly, the video on my digital camera went kaput, so I was in a position where I had to go out to look for a new digital camera with the specifications I knew I would need. Those specifications were that it had to have good quality high resolution pictures and good quality video.

Tom and I shopped yesterday, Saturday, for a camera and I came home with one only to be dissatisfied with it. I took it back today after hours of trying to see if I could make the quality be what I wanted. But, I couldn't.

So, back I went to National Camera with my yesterday's purchase in tow. I think I spent three hours talking with a very nice customer service representative by the name of Mike. Mike and I looked at and tested both the picture and video quality of several cameras. I ended up buying a Canon PowerShot G10, which I think I will be very happy with.

I, also, did some online Christmas shopping which I have not really done before. It was a great experience. I did Christmas shopping and laundry while wearing my sweats! What is wrong with that picture? Absolutely nothing!!

So, all in all, I had a really nice weekend getting some things done that were on my "to do" list, and dealing with and solving the unexpected problem of replacing my digital camera.

Not a very interesting post, but a post about real life and my real life weekend!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Lucky Gramma

Punkin, (Davey age 5) called me tonight. He was all excited about the pumpkin he had made for kindergarten. He made it after a book and he did such a good job. We talked about the pumpkin and his teacher, who he just loves, and Halloween, and his costume and Derek's and Jackson's costumes. He was so happy and excited and he called to share it with me!

He said he would call me on the morning of Halloween and say "Good morning!" He said, "We can say good morning to each other!"

And, then he said "Good night."

And, all I could do was be happy and smile and then maybe cry just a little bit.

I am such a lucky gramma!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Daughter Kara's New Adventure

Yesterday was a big and productive day. Our daughter, Kara, is building a Christian Life Coaching practice, and yesterday was what we will call, "PHOTOS AND VIDEO DAY!"

I got to be the photographer and interviewer and Tom got to be the videographer and Kara got to be the star! Doesn't that sound nice? We had a great day and got everything accomplished that we set out to do.

Below you can see two of the very lovely pictures we took and you can view the video we did.

What a day it was! It was fun, exciting and an exercise in cooperation and teamwork. We learned a lot and we laughed our way through it which makes for a great memory.

Congratulations Kara on your new Christian Life Coaching practice! To visit Kara's website click here

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No Hassle!

It was so great! In the CafePress order I received yesterday, one of the Keepsake boxes had a little knick in it. I didn't like that, so decided I would learn about CafePress's "return and exchange" policy.

I called CafePress this morning, was not put on hold and was put through to a customer service representative immediately. I explained the situation and was told that a new Keepsake box would be shipped to me and would be here by November 3rd.

I then told the nice lady that a mug I had previously ordered had a picture on it that was not even, that it was a little lopsided. A replacement for that will also be sent and will be here by November 3rd.

I was very pleased and impressed and told the nice lady I would let people know how lovely their products are and how easy they are to deal with.

It was a really nice experience and it is a nice thing to know that problems will be corrected and they mean it when they say, SATISFACTION GUARANTEED!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Am So Excited And So Pleased!!

I hardly know what to say. A week ago I ordered some things from my CafePress online store because I want and need to know how the things look, what the quality is, and what it is other people would be getting if they ordered.

I ordered five .. maybe six mugs, two hoodie sweatshirts, two keepsake boxes, and two magnets.

Opening these things was like seeing my world..judy's world..come to life. These are not just things. They are expressions of me, my photography, my thoughts, my feelings and my family (because I made some personalized items for gifts, and anyone can do that by letting me know what they want). I have to tell you it is a spectacular feeling when you see something personal on these items.

One of the keepsake boxes has a tulip on it and the words I LOVE YOU are at the bottom of the tulip. I did a brush effect on the picture of the tulip and it is like looking at art. It takes me right into a lovely place when I look at it and then to hold it is a wonderful feeling. I didn't know how nice it would be! Anybody could buy that for someone they love or for themselves because it is wonderful to love yourself!

It is really hard to describe the feeling I have right now except to say I am excited, pleased and proud of the things I have created, designed and unwrapped today.

I am giving my 96 year old dad a mug for Christmas with one of his favorite pictures on it. The picture is of my two sisters and me when we were little girls. That way he can hold his little girls in his hands every day.

He says many times how he wishes we could be little again. Now he can hold us every day.

Yes, I can honestly say I am proud of my things and that makes me very happy!

This is not meant to be an advertisement but more a sharing of how nice it was to open my things. But, if anyone wants to visit my store.........just go to.......

The link under favorite links will take you right there if you click on it. I guess I have to learn how to put the link in the text yet. That is ok. I will learn.

I am going to go start making some more things now. Man, they are beautiful!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


(Dante's Prayer)

I just watched a movie on Lifetime TV. The name of it was Living Proof with Harry Connick Jr. It was wonderful and inspirational. It was a true story about a Dr. Slamon who did the research and fought for a drug to be used for cancer...primarily women's breast cancer. It made me cheer and it made me cry and it made me think of moments in my life that made me smile and cry in the last few weeks.

Two of those moments happened in South Carolina two weekends ago when we visited our son, Adam and his family. Our grandson, Joseph, who is 12, came to get Tom and me when we were at Chucky Cheese for Parker's 3rd birthday party, to take pictures at one of those photo taking booths. He had a picture taken with Tom and him and with me and him. They were printed out in sketch format and I said, "I am taking these home with me." Joseph said, "No, you're not. I'm keeping them!" And, then when Tom and I were getting ready to go to the airport Joseph left a piece of paper on our luggage and as I walked by it floated off. It was upside down, so I thought I better see what it was. It was a beautiful drawing that Joseph had made of a wolf and he signed it....To Grandma and Grandpa from Joseph and the date.

I went to find Joseph and hug him and kiss his cheek and thank him for his gift. I said, "Joseph, you have to stop doing things to make me cry." Know what he said? "No!" It still makes me smile and it still makes me cry. I love you Joseph!

And, yesterday, a friend and I went over to Sarah's to help with the boys. Derek, who is 3, is in the throes of potty training. He ran around the house naked all day and did such a good job going potty. When it was time for me to go home, Derek came and curled up in my all his lovely little nakedness and said, "I am going to miss you!" Oh, Derek, I will miss you. Yes, I will. And, sweet Davey said, "Can you stay a little longer?" I said, "Yes, I will stay five more minutes." And, I did.

And, as I got ready to go, Sarah, my sweet daughter, laid her head on my chest and said, "When I am the mom, I don't get to have a mom." I said, " I know, I know!" And, I do. She said, "I could get used to this!" moments..........that make me appreciate my life. I have many of them!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Happy Birthday Parker

Happy Birthday Parker! You are a beautiful little boy and so good. You feel things deeply, are so adventurous and have little cheeks that were made to be kissed. I still remember the night you were born. We waited and waited for your dad to call us and tell us you were here and then he finally did and we were so happy. When he got home from the hospital he sent us pictures so we could see you right away. If we could have been there we would have been there to hold you within minutes. As it was we had to wait for just a little while and then we flew from Minnesota all the way to Georgia, and the first time I saw you for real you brought tears to my eyes. I held you and said, "This little boy was born to be held by me!" I might have whispered that because I think there were others who felt the same way. You are loved Parker! Happy Birthday Darling!

Love, Gramma Judy

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My New Adventure.......My Own Online Shop

Hi everyone,

I am setting up a new online business through CafePress. I wanted to
share my excitement with you and my wish to hear your feedback.
I have both apparel and merchandise for sale in the site. I would love
to know what you think of it and what you would like to see.

I am so proud of myself for having done as much as I have done
in only THREE days. It was indeed a learning curve and I have so far
successfully navigated the in's and out's of CafePress on my own!

I am using mostly my own photographs and some from family and
friends. The words on some of the pictures are my own choices and
if you can see the "copy" that is printed beside each item when you
click on it, those are my words as well. My desire is to create a
"feeling" through the words and the items for sale.

I wanted to incorporate the passion I feel for living creatively for
a happy life into something that people could buy to hold or wear
and somehow "feel" something "real" or "good" and simply be
glad and grateful for being who they are or maybe feel their bodies
relax through a simple picture or just one word.

I will also be adding some humor on the apparel and merchandise.
There is much more I want to add!

This could be a one stop shop for your "feeling world" as well as
practical and lovely ideas for gift giving etc.

Someone has already asked me about ordering and if you do it
through me or CafePress. The answer is you do it through CafePress.

The link is.....

I would love to know your thoughts, feelings, ideas on what
you like and what you would like to see me add.

I am going to explore "personalizing" the merchandise with
pictures and/or sayings (your own words) as well

That would require sending me your ideas,
pictures and words via email. For example, if you would
like a picture of you and your pet on a shirt or poster or
card it could be done. If you would like a family picture
on a shirt or other item it could be done. There are
numerous ideas for personalizing.

I have set up a business email for that express purpose.

It is.....

This is so exciting and I hope you visit my new shop and let me know
what you think!

I value your opinions, thoughts, ideas and mostly your SUPPORT

Once again, the new shop address is...


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Morning Phone Call From My Dad

(Beautiful Dreamer) Please click to play

I just got off the phone with my dad. He is 96 years old and I think we........I should say "he" talked for about 45 minutes.

First of all, I think it is wonderful that someone 96 years old has that much to tell his 65 year old daughter and say it with energy and good humor.

The first thing on his list of things to tell me was about going to the community center this last Friday (yesterday) to play in the "pool tournament." Now, what this means is you play and if you lose the game you have to pay a dime, and if you scratch you also have to pay a dime.

I had to ask what "scratch" meant. I learned it is what you call it when you hit the white ball into a pocket. That is not a good thing. So, if you do that in the tournament you also have to pay a dime. I asked him, "Did you win?" He said, "No!" So, he is out at least a couple of dimes.

However, on top of all this fun, he said they also served a free lunch. I said, "It really pays to be a senior!" He agreed. And, of course, if you know my dad you will soon be learning what he had for lunch. Here was the menu. "Judy, they had shredded beef sandwiches, those little round tomato slices, chips, coffee or pop to drink and cookies for dessert." This is not enough information for my dad to share though. "Judy, I thought they were going to be like sloppy joes, but they were shredded beef and they gave you a really big thick beef sandwich!" My dad loves his food and for those of us who have ever watched him fix his plate we also love his food! He makes it look so good!

He also told me that he did his housework on Thursday so he could be ready to go to the tournament on Friday. He said, "I swept the floor, shook the rugs and mowed the front lawn. Oh, and I wiped up the floor too." He said, "I wanted to have a head start being ready for getting to the center for the tournament."

Then he talked about my sister, Linda and her husband David, and how they are going to drive him down to see his brother Ernie and wife Lil. They are having some health problems and he really wants to go see them. They live in Wisconsin and it will be about a 6 hour drive. He no longer drives that distance himself so this is really nice of Linda and David to help him get there.

I told him we were going to visit Adam and his family this week too. I told him it had been almost a year since we have seen them. We said, "Time sure goes by fast!" And, it does. He said, "Well, Judy, give them all a great big hug for me, will you?" I said, "I sure will!"

Then he talked about some friends of his that he has known for maybe 60 years and how they are in nursing homes now. I asked him what that is like for him and how that must be a really big change. Not only has my dad been independent and active but he has had a group of friends that have done things together ever since I can remember. We talked about the Lifeline things you can buy to wear and click on if you fall. We talked about how adult kids worry about things happening to their parents. We had never had this conversation before.

It was a new kind of conversation. Life changes for everyone. I don't know what I think right now. Perhaps, I don't want to know what I feel.

He left me with these words, "Well, Judy, can you feel the great big squeeze I am giving you now?"

I said, "I can! Bye, Dad, I love you!" He said, "I love you too, Judy!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

So Proud

This is Davey (Punkin to me) standing at the bus stop his first day of kindergarten.

That was three weeks ago.

Sarah, his mom, called today to say every Friday a note is sent home with the children explaining what they have done during the week.

This last week they had studied words ending in "at" and numbers 1 - 4. For those who know Davey, you know he is far beyond words ending in "at" and numbers 1 - 4.

There was a second note sent to David WW's parents. Due to David's scholar abilities he has been accepted into a program that will encourage his education and abilities or something like that.

I will have to get my facts straight. I just know I am so proud of him and terribly, terribly happy and pleased that he is in a school that recognizes his gifts and knowledge and has a program that will nurture and nourish his learning.

Sarah said he has not once come home from school talking about being bored. It is all about being social for Davey.

I am proud of you Punkin and I love you! Gramma

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Funny What Touches You In Life

I had a really great day today. I had a good day at work, met a new person (a didactic student of Tom's who loved the book I have put together and hope to publish someday and also loved and "got" the concept behind the new website I am doing) and I had a great lunch and conversation with a friend, who incidentally bought lunch.

Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch?

On top of all that, I watched a show on TV that, to my surprise, brought tears to my eyes. It was the show "The Biggest Loser", a show about weight loss.

This season is featuring families. The winner of the contest tonight would get to make a call home. One family won the contest but gave the prize of the call home to another family who had an autistic child. It still makes me cry.

First of all, it was such a gift to give away the prize. Secondly, when they showed the conversation between the mom and dad and their autistic son it allowed me to be a part of their world with a new understanding of autism and a world that I know so little about.

It was a privilege to be let into their world. It really touched me.

The little boy's name was Rhett, but he thinks of himself as Charlie Brown because his world somehow has to do with colors.

It is a world I don't know anything about and am touched deeply by.

That is all I know right now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dusk And The Setting Sun

I don't think there could be a more beautiful blending of nature than I witnessed last night. Between the time of day being dusk, the setting sun, the water, the flowers, the boats and the gentle path bordered with the split rail fence, I think I may have sensed a little bit of heaven.

Beautiful purple flowers down by the lake

Boats resting for the night

The sun almost touching the weeds

The sun touching the weeds and fence

The sun glorifies just one of the weeds

Saturday, September 20, 2008


(Please click to play Romeo and Juliet)

Today I bought a glider rocker off Craigslist. That isn't the important part about today, but it was a really nice part about today. I have been looking for a glider rocker and this one was a great buy for $20.00. Tom and I took it to the office because that is where I think I will use it. On the way home from the office the sun was setting over the lake. Below are some pictures of the beautiful sunset. I think the beauty of the sunset was the most important part about today. It is always about the sky for me. It is always about the sky!

Sun peeking through the trees over Medicine Lake

Boat reflected in the water at dusk

The sun, water and boat

The sun setting through the weeds

The sun setting under the skywriter

Yes, as nice as the whole day was, this was the beautiful part of the day! How I love the sky!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

For Adam And Sara Beth And Anyone Else....Because I Love You!

Jackson Toby on September 14, 2008....almost 3 months old

I talked to Adam and Sara Beth on the phone tonight. I love them! It has been almost a year since we have seen them and I am reaching the point of no return I miss them so much!

They want to see pictures and videos of Jackson Toby so I am going to do my best to share whatever I have with them. Ask and ye shall receive!!

The videos in this post are in no particular order and they were all taken Sunday, September 14, at our house.

One video will be of Jackson having the hiccups which I think is really quite intimate. I love this little video!

Another will be of Davey saying, "Step away from the fire!", as Josh is lighting Amelia's birthday candles and Sarah says "Hi, Joe!" at the end. Joe is our dear friend and as much a family member as anyone, not to mention he is Jackson Toby's Godfather.

And, the other will be of Davey, my little Punkin, loving his little brother Jackson Toby.

Monday, September 15, 2008

One Of Yesterday's Hallmark Moments

This is one of yesterday's precious moments from Amelia's birthday party yesterday.

My dad, who is 96 years old was rocking Jackson Toby and I asked him to talk to Jackson. You can hear the sounds of the family in the other room.

Amelia especially wanted her great grandpa to be here yesterday. She told her mom, Kara, that when great grandpa talks to you it is like being hugged. Isn't that a nice thought!

There is always something special for me about being in this room rocking a baby and hearing the sounds of the family in the background. I got a precious moment yesterday too. Mine is only recorded in my heart!

These are my hallmark moments!

The Birthday House

Our house has been the birthday house the last three weekends.

August 30th was our grandson, Christopher's, birthday and he wanted his family birthday celebration here. The following weekend we had my dad's family birthday party here and yesterday our granddaughter, Amelia, had her family birthday party here.

We have a family tradition that my dad started many years ago of reading birthday, anniversary or "just because" cards out loud. Yep, from the time you can read you get to read your cards out loud while the family looks on. Cards are to be enjoyed and I really love that tradition.

When I said goodbye to Davey yesterday he made me laugh. He asked me, "Why did Amelia invite us to her birthday?" I told him, "Because she wanted all of us to be together for her birthday." Davey then said to Sarah, his mom, "Mom, next year I want to have my birthday party with everyone at gramma's house!"

So, I guess we have a new tradition now. It is nice to be the gramma who has the birthday house!

Below is a video of Amelia reading the card we gave her. Happy Birthday, honey! We love you!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad's birthday was September 1st and today, September 6, 2008 I hosted a birthday party for him. He turned 96 years old! Man, we had food. I had bbq meatballs, my special beans, ham, cheese, buns, carrots, cucumbers, dip for the vegetables, chips, salsa, cheese dip, pop and coffee. Sarah brought her delicious Asian salad. Kara brought cold tuna noodle. Linda and Paula brought fruit and cake. Oh, and I had red jello with cool whip. Nobody, absolutely nobody went hungry and most of the food went.

You have no idea how important all this is! You see, my mother taught me a rule about feeding company. It goes like this. If you have food left over they didn't like it. If you don't have food left over you didn't have enough. Makes me laugh. In spite of all that I light a candle for my mom every single holiday and birthday gathering I have at my house and today was no exception.

It was a great day! The weather was fallish and cool so the children could play outside and the adults could sit on the deck and talk. There were 24 members of our family here today and two neighborhood children who dropped by and stayed for a few hours. It made us all laugh!

Below are some pictures of some of the people who were here today and two videos that I hope will make Adam, Sara Beth, Joseph, Kallsen and Parker feel like they can enjoy the party too from South Carolina. We sure missed you guys and wish you could have been here!

My dad really enjoyed the day and Jackson Toby, who is 10 weeks old now, was broken into the family big time!

Happy Birthday Dad! We love you!

My dad celebrating his 96th birthday at my house today. He is the oldest member of our family. He is holding Jackson Toby who is the youngest member of our family....96 years of family are represented in this picture

I love this cropped version of the above picture. It shows my dad's hands and Jackson Toby's hands

Grandma and Great Grandpa. Jackson toby, who is in Great Grandpa's arms is the focus of my attention

My sister, Linda, with our dad

Dave holding Jackson Toby

Cousin Josh holding Jackson Toby

Cousin Amelia holding Jackson Toby

My sister, Linda, my dad and me at the end of the day

Did I mention we also had peanut M & M's and peanut butter M & M's ?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jackson Toby Close Up

At the end of Sarah and Dave's garage sale yesterday I got to spend some more time with little Jackson Toby. I was able to capture some of his sweetness as he sat in his bouncy seat and played with the little musical toy. He just loved it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Full Day Yesterday

Yesterday was a full day. As a result of the hail storm on Memorial Day this spring our roof had what was called unrepairable damage. After working on the necessary paperwork for a few weeks I got all the paperwork submitted to the right people and the roofers arrived yesterday morning at 7:45 a.m.

While they were working on the roof I went over to Sarah and Dave's house to help with their garage sale. It was a hot, sunny, humid day but that did not stop the people from coming. I guess it is like "Have a sale and they will come!" And, come they did!

While I was doing a little cleaning and looking for some things to contribute to the sale I found a box that had some things from my high school years I guess. There is no date on something I wrote but I laughed right out loud when I got toward the end. (You will have to click on it to get a larger image in order to read it). I also found a pencil sketch I had done of my mother, which made me smile. I remember doing it, and thinking it was not good at all, but it sure is nice to have. It is always like running into her when I find things like this.

And, one of the best parts of yesterday was I got to take care of Jackson Toby all day. It was a total Gramma and Jackson Toby day! I got to feed him, change him, talk to him, play with him, hold him and nap with him curled up next to me in the bed. I will see if any of the pictures Sarah took of our nap turned out and put one up later.

The roofers hard at work

Have a sale and they will come

The paper I found that made me laugh

The pencil sketch I did of my mom

Jackson Toby on August 21, 2008