Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Can I Have This Dance?

Yesterday on the Veterans Day holiday, my WWII father-in-law Raymond left this world to join Jessie, his sweetheart of 71 years.

Jessie and Raymond, Now Together Forever

We do not grieve for him as we all knew when Jessie passed last June that Raymond would be impatient to once again be by his wife's side.

All his life Raymond loved to dance, and it was at a dance club in Dallas Texas back in 1947 that he asked a shy girl (sitting far back at a table with her friends) to come dance with him. 

The music was lively, so Jessie said yes. Due to a paralyzed arm  (which was injured by the doctor at birth) Jessie seldom danced to slow songs because she could not lift her paralyzed arm to a slow dance position.

When the fast dance ended, Raymond did his best to keep the pretty stranger on the dance floor with him for a slow dance. 

Jessie would have none of it, and she told Raymond she did not dance slow dances! 

Now Raymond prided himself on his dancing prowess (and of course he thought he could change her mind) so he smugly asked, "Why not?"

Jessie's quick response was to point to her limp right arm and retort (in 1947 language), "I'm crippled!"

And an amused Raymond (who grew up with his beloved deaf older brother) shot right back, "Isn't everyone?"

They danced.

Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Colorful Outdoor Pots For The Holiday Season

Are your potted plants losing their color and life as mine are? 

I was looking for inspiration down in McKinney Texas the other day and the plants outside the shop My Favorite Room drew my attention.

Potted Plants Outside My Favorite Room

The shop owner always manages to pick just the right time to add a few new seasonal plants to the year-round boxwoods and ivy in front of her shop.

Here the purple and green cabbages and the yellow mums are growing in fuller just as the peppers are starting to fade away...

No matter how I try, our front entry doesn't have the northern exposure that seems to provide the perfect light and temperature to keep potted plants as happy as these plants seem to be no matter the season.

Yet, despite past failures *sigh* I plan to try once again to perk up our outside pots this season. 

Please let me know if you have a favorite outdoor plant that will add some color to outdoor pots in an east side exposure and thrive for the holiday season.

Thanks for dropping by!

Joining Here:
Home And Garden Thursday

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Favorite Photo Sunday...The Story Behind The Photo

Here's my favorite photo this week...

Would You Believe She's Almost 45?

Oldest Daughter as Dolly Parton!  

She even got her husband (at 6 foot 5 he had to stoop down to get in the picture) to grow a beard and dress as Dolly's favorite singing partner Kenny Rogers...

And then they did a lip sync to Dolly and Kenny's recording of Islands In The Stream and made a video to share with all their family and friends. 

This photo is an inspiration for me because Oldest Daughter doesn't really like to wear make up or put herself "out there" usually.  

She chose to do different this year. It's an example I plan to follow.

Do you see the joy on her face in these photos? I do. Joy is what I aspire to next year and why not start now? Joy comes when you loosen up a little and let yourself try new things. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday Finds...Finding More Space

We met with a realtor this week and now the idea of selling our house is getting real!

The "one in, one out" rule doesn't work for us since we're trying to clear our house out as much as possible...less clutter looks like more space, right?

My 'thrifty and frugal' blogging friend Laura, over at Harvest Lane Cottage, claims she regains a square foot of real estate space for every shopping bag full of stuff that goes out of her door. We all can use more space right?

Now seldom does illness come with a benefit, but a weight loss of 70 pounds has been one Wild Bill appreciates. Some of his dress clothes just had to go! 

We started with Bill's closet and also cleared off some shelves in the garage. I estimate we regained 9 square feet of real estate.

Out this week

  • Eight men's button up dress shirts (3 sq feet)
  • One barely worn sports coat (1 sq ft)
  • Two large boxes of garage stuff -- work gloves, boxes of nails, power drill, etc. (4 sq feet)
  • Bag: women's clothes, household goods, a 3-tier shelf (1 sq ft)

Where Did It Go? 

We have a friend, Henry, who is heavily involved with local chapters of military veterans' service organizations like the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) to name a few. 
  • For the clothes: We asked Henry if he knew any vets (short on cash) who might be in need of 'Big and Tall' dress clothes. Sadly, Henry assured us there are more than a few in the local area. 
  • For the tools etc: We had lots of rain a year or so back and one of the veterans' organizations was flooded twice! They are working on repairing the facility. Henry also took the two boxes of garage stuff to help in the rebuilding.
  • Everything else: Went to the Goodwill.

If you need inspiration on recovering your space, check out Laura's blog and start tracking how much space you regain in your home. 

If you're interested in saving money, check out Laura's post called Forty Ways To Use It Up And Wear It Out.

Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Halloweens Past...Cuz I'd Rather Be Merry Than Scary This Year

Halloween is almost here and we have a bushel basket full of candy, but just haven't taken the time to decorate for Halloween like I've always done in the past. 

It seems like I just want to get through Halloween so I can get into Christmas. 

Yeah, I'll say it...

I'm not feeling Halloween this year!

So I thought I'd put up some photos of "Halloweens Past" so you wouldn't think I'm a complete grump. 

These pictures are all from other years when the Halloween spirit was with me.

I know my Halloween spirit will come back...just not this year. 

This year I'll breathe a sigh of relief on November 1st and make a bee-line for Christmas. I'd rather be Merry than Scary this year!

Maybe it's because 2018 has been a hard year for us...too many losses. The future looks bright, but the recent past has taken a toll. 

This year I'm not going to black out my teeth or put on a costume, but I will wear this T-Shirt, give out candy, and admire all the little ones who come to the door. 

Then on November 1st, fall and Halloween are gone and I hope my mood brightens. I really can't wait for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 2019 to get here.

I've even picked my "word" for 2019... it's JOY.  I hope to find all the joy in 2019 that we missed out on in 2018, and I hope you do too.

Thanks for dropping by!
(And Happy Halloween To You)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Dogs Prove...You Can Pick Your Family!

Here's the latest two to join Youngest Daughter's family... 

Lucy, a "portly" dachshund came first. She was abandoned by her previous family when they asked the vet to put her to sleep rather than pay for an operation she needed. 

Zoe, half Lucy's size now, was just a little bitty thing when Youngest Daughter and family fostered her for what was to be a short time! 

Right away the whole family fell in love with Zoe and soon a "Foster-Fail" turned into a happy adoption.

These two dogs have quickly become part of the family and it's hard to remember when they weren't here. They have found their place as it should be...

They will never take the place of the two terriers that were a part of Youngest Daughter's life for so long, just as new members of all families create their own place when they join too.

We will always remember Bailey Girl...who left just before her 16th year.

And...we will always remember Mr. Wrigs who followed Bailey out soon after Lucy was adopted.

Car Ride Mid-2000's
Bailey was always the boss until it came to car rides

Wrigley was abused and fearful when he was adopted, and it took a few years before he overcame his fear. He finally found his calling in life when little Lily was born. 

He seemed to believe he was put on this earth to keep his little sister safe...

And, safe he kept her through the years...

Then at the end, sister Lily was there to snuggle him and say goodbye the day he peacefully left this earth...

Sometimes all it takes is a glance to know you're family. 

As the song goes...just one look, that's all it took.

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday Finds...At Target's Dollar Spot

Target pulls me in to their "Dollar Spot" section every time because I always have to look, don't you?

They know what they're doing by putting the Dollar Spot right by the front door!

In the Dollar Spot, everything is usually priced at $1 or $3, and I often find answers to my problems right in this little section of Target. 

For instance, this little $3 faux wood charger solved the problem of the messy bird. 

Can't you can see the guilt written all over her little messy face? 

Her nest sits on top of the bottle-dryer-turned-glass-holder. She was always dropping little pieces of her nest unto the white Lazy Susan that holds the glasses near the refrigerator water dispenser.

Until I saw the faux wood charger at the Dollar Spot, I was thinking of painting the Lazy Susan white - yet again - but this time with a glossy paint that could be washed. 

Now...I'm not a "glossy paint" person so that shows you how desperate I was getting!

But, as you can see, the dark wood charger hides any little pieces of nest that might drop off accidentally...

To tell you the truth, until I did this post and read that sales tag, I didn't realize the faux wood circle was meant to be a charger to use under place settings at the table! 

I'm thinking that would really be cute too. Happy Weekend to you!

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Grateful For Prayers And Blessings

Sometimes you get a second chance. Sometimes prayers are answered. Sometimes even a miracle unfolds.

On Thursday, Sept 27th, I would have told you that miracles only happen for other people...not for us. 

But my mind changed the next day when, on Friday the 28th, Wild Bill and I were at the oncologist's office anxiously awaiting the results of his latest PET scan. The results were nothing less than miraculous for us!

The first baseline scan (done last May) showed Bill had 4th stage terminal cancer with a devastating prognosis of 8 to 12 months. 

On June 6th, after reviewing that PET scan report, the Oncology Clinic doctors stated radiation and surgery (to shrink and eradicate Bill's cancer) were no longer an option! They immediately cancelled the "radiation and chemo, then surgery" treatment plan.

The Oncology Clinic offered only an every-other-week, intensive 3-day chemotherapy treatment that would, at best, retard the inevitable spread of cancer and possibly give Bill the full 12 months, instead of just the 8 months.

Our daughters discussed the situation and Youngest Daughter flew in early the very next morning after that horrible diagnosis. 

Youngest Daughter came right to the hospital to be with us as we said our last goodbyes to Bill's mother who subsequently died that afternoon. 

Before Bill's mother Jessie died, from right there in the hospital room, Youngest Daughter arranged a 2nd opinion appointment for Bill the following week at MD Anderson Cancer Center of Houston. 

I truly believe that hopeful conversation penetrated Jessie's coma and helped ease her passing. 

Jessie, even though she had slipped into a coma right after she chose to have all life-support removed, had held on for 4 more days! It was as if she was waiting to hear better news for her beloved only child.

Youngest Daughter Helping Drive To MD Anderson

Unfortunately, the 2nd opinion doctor at MD Anderson concurred with the original diagnosis and prognosis. He was kind, but sent us home with advice to make the most of the time Bill had left.

That takes us back to Friday the 28th and the results of the latest PET scan. The hope was, at best, the cancer hadn't spread too much more. 

The doctor, just returned from a trip to bury his own father, had pulled the report up and sat there silently staring at his computer. 

Finally he broke the silence with "WOW!" and read us the report findings...stopping right in the middle of the reading to say it's very rare a doctor gets to tell a patient such good news...

The intensive chemo, which was only expected to retard the growth of cancer, has basically had a phenomenal effect on it. There is no activity in the tumors in the three organs and Bill's lymph nodes show minimal activity. One lymph node that had registered 9.4 in the first scan now registers 2.1, while most of the others show no activity at all!

OK...We know that Wild Bill isn't out of the woods yet...but it's been exactly 4 months today, and for the first time we feel like we have hope. 

We want to thank you, all our blog friends, who kept us in your prayers. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts! 

Thank you to our three daughters and their husbands who've spent countless hours sharing our burden, listening to our fears, helping us make plans and contingencies.

And again...thank you to Youngest! We could not have made it through the funeral, or to Houston, without your helpful hand to steady us.

And most of all, a sweet thank you to my "cross-wearing" mother-in-law Jessie, who no doubt gave them hell to pay and probably stomped across those "pearly gates" after hearing her son was expected to join her very soon!

I now know she is our angel...an angel who crossed over on a mission to change the course of her son's dreaded disease. At that point, I'm sure not even Jesus could tell dear Jessie no.

Thank you all for your prayers...
And thanks for dropping by!

Wonderful Wednesday

Post Note: 

My wish is that our story might bring hope to someone else who may be struggling today. Nana Diana's recent post is a prayer request for a friend. If you can, please drop by Nana Diana Takes A Break today.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

"How To" Scarecrow From Let's Add Sprinkles

Since I was speaking of making scarecrows in my last post, I thought you might like the instructions for this adorable scarecrow makeover by Katie at Let's Add Sprinkles

Katie started with an old, store-bought scarecrow that had seen better days and made it into this truly special little creature. In her post, Katie kindly takes you through her step-by-step process. 

I know Henny (over at Henny Penny Lane) has been thinking about making a scarecrow, so when I saw Katie's latest creation I thought of Henny...and all of you too of course!

Katie has also announced the next Texas Bloggers' blog tour, which is starting this Monday. I had to pass this time, but I'm always glad to help spread the word for my fellow Texans!

You can see how Katie made that cute little scarecrow and get all the details on the Fall In Love With Texas blog tour HERE.

Thanks for dropping by!