Christmas Crafting

What is more fun than decorating for the holidays? Creating new items to make your spaces look even more beautiful. I am a Pinterest junkie. There, I’ve said it. They say admitting it is the first step to recovery but I don’t want to recover! I LOVE Pinterest! When I can’t think of a project to do or how I want to proceed with a new project, I check out all the fun and exciting things on Pinterest and get inspired. 

I have created gobs of projects from home decor and home renovation to new recipes based on my Pinterest addiction. Yes  it most definitely is an addiction. Lately though, it’s like about the holidays. 

I love decorating for the holidays but I love creating new decorations even more! Last year we made giant lollipops for the yard from pool noodles and colorful duct tape. So cute! This year my hot glue gun and I are all about wreaths. I’ve made several and I love them. 

Such a neat idea, right? Believe me they have to be simple for me to try them. It’s a Styrofoam wreath form covered with about 100 different sized shatterproof ornaments. I especially even have the burned fingers and a blister to prove I made these. 

I absolutely adore these wreaths. I’ve made 4 so far and have at least 1 more to go. I also love hanging home creations on canvas up for something a little different for this time of year. I created a “oh holy  night” picture that didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted it to, but I sort of rushed it. I could redo it but I think I’m just being tough on myself. The artist is always the one to see the biggest flaws in their wi r just after all. For the most part though, I like it. It’s canvas that’s painted then I used Gabriel glue to do the rest. Overall, I’m satisfied with the results and would love to do this again with another song. Maybe for Valentines day…

I’ve also been busy repainting my dresser and now painting a brick wall in my kitchen. I have way too much brick in this house and want to update my house to bring it into the 21st century. There is never a time when a project isn’t being done around here. Maybe someday though… Then what will I do with my time? Just  bake? Nah, there will always be something that needs to be painted. Of that, I’m sure. Till my next project is completed I bid you peace. 

Ciao!

Deirdre

When Your Babies Grow Up

I’ve been thinking a great deal about when my kids were little these last few days. I remember bringing them home from the hospital and wondering who each would become as they got older. As parents, we all have hopes and dreams for our precious children. Some of those dreams may be realized but often times those are our own dreams unrealized. Some parents seem to live vicariously through their children trying to release their own dreams often to be disappointed later when their children become who they are truly meant to become.

When my children were brand new, I held them each in my arms and wondered at the amazing miracle that had been bestowed upon me. I had become a mom not just once once, but four times! God must trust me a lot, I thought. I had a job to do to raise them and to do a decent job is a daunting thought for anyone. When I brought my first daughter home, I couldn’t believe they let me leave with her. What did I know about being a mom? I was 26 and married, and a nurse, but what if she was truly sick? What if she had cancer? How would I know? Yes, that was my thought when she was 4 days old. She and I cried in the rocking chair in her room as I thought this. I was so scared that something would or could happen to my precious baby girl and I couldn’t protect her. 

That baby girl is 20 now and no, she never had anything we couldn’t handle. She has had plenty of battles to face, but she has come out of them stronger and better. She’s one strong and amazing young woman. She is my fighter. I’m proud of her and the woman she is becoming.

My second daughter was always the worker. Even as an infant she knew her own mind and didn’t hesitate to make it known. She was not an easy infant but as she learned to speak very early, she used her large vocabulary to assert herself and she quietly worked for what she wanted. She is my worker bee and peace maker.

My third child was born a girl and grew up as a girl, but never felt comfortable as one. If you aren’t familiar with the term transgender, in today’s society it refers to one born as one gender but feels like the other gender. In other words, they feel like they were given the wrong one at birth. This is my third child, born a daughter, now my son. He is sweet, hilarious and so talented! His artwork is incredible and his ability to figure out music on the piano is amazing! 

And before anyone judges my child or me, step into his shoes for a moment. Would you choose a life where you were different from your peers? No you certainly wouldn’t. You wouldn’t choose to live in a body that didn’t fit who you felt like you were on the inside either. Before you judge others, think of the life they are living. My sweet, funny, shy teenager would never choose to be judged or ridiculed because this isn’t really a choice. It is who he is, not who he chose to be. He is shy and doesn’t enjoy drawing attention to himself. I am proud of my son who used to be my daughter. I am proud of who he is and who he will become down the road. 

My last son is all boy. He was born that way. He is just 9.5 years old and is rambunctious and sweet, wild and snuggly, crazy and huggable all at the same time. You can let him outside with clean clothes on and he will come in filthy 5 minutes later. He has my heart. He drives me crazy. He is a conundrum. What will life bring him down the road? Who knows, but I will do my best to raise him to be the best man he can be. 

Children are a wonder. God’s gift for us to raise and cherish. We are blessed to share life with them and have them. I am truly blessed to have my four amazing kids. How incredible and special each one is and how unique yet similar they are too! It still amazes me when I look at them that they are mine. I will always see them as those little sweet baby faces. I will always remember the sleepless nights and 2 hour feeds, but they’ve grown up so fast. Where did that time go?

Muffins Aplenty

I’ve been in the kitchen a lot lately and I’ve been in the mood for making muffins. I really love baking from scratch and my family loves when I do. Sometimes I start with a box mix and doctor it up, but most of the time I make things from scratch.

Lately, I’ve made pumpkin crumble muffins with a cinnamon crumble in top. Yummy! These were such a big hit that next time, which may be tomorrow, I’ll make them by adding chocolate chips in some of them for the kids. They’ll gobble those right up! And they couldn’t be easier. 

Another one that got big kudos from my kids was my all time favorite muffin, Apple cinnamon strusel muffins. These are loaded with tiny chunks of apple and cinnamon. It only takes one Apple and they are so simple to make. My kids probably would like less Apple but that’s my favorite part. 

Nothing beats the homemade variety of this one, but you can also use the box of cinnamon strusel muffins and add one finely diced and peeled Apple. Depending on which recipe you use, you will have delicious muffins within 30 minutes! Fresh and hot out of the oven to go with a cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk. What could be better. 

There are so many recipes out there and do many things you can put into a basic muffin recipe. I’ve decided to simply be creative. Of course, now it’s pumpkin season and my family loves their pumpkin so we will have lots of those for a while. I love fruit in my muffins so I’ll make peach, strawberry, blueberry, zucchini, lemon, raspberry, you name it. The sky is the limit! Nothing is better than a little muffin made with love!

Fall Has Arrived

It’s that time of year when school is back in full swing and the weather begins to turn cooler. It’s fall! This is one of my favorite times of year, before it gets too cold. 

I am a lover of warm weather and sunshine, but when the autumn chill hits the air, I love to snuggle under my blanket, grab my cup of coffee, and write. Watching the world around me change each day gives me new life and brings about new things to write about.

Have you ever looked at the leaves on an overcast day? The leaves changing color becoming so vibrant in the coolness of dusk or more vibrant still when it rains softly.  What a beauty to behold!

Fall also brings about Halloween which in our house means festivities and decorations. I used to go all out and then life got in the way. Well my friends, Pinterest and I have become good friends and I have plans for this year! We even hope to have one of our parties since my biggest Halloween fan, my 15 year old, will have practice for a show on Halloween itself. Let the good times roll.

Another thing I’ve always loved about fall is the food. Comfort food. Chili and cornbread. I make the best cornbread. It’s sweet and tastes like heaven. Caramel apples, fruit cobblers, bread puddings. And there’s football and my favorite sport, hockey! God bless my St. Louis Blues! 

So as we begin this fall, take a moment to think about what you are grateful for. I have so much. No, ibdont have everything, but I have the most important things life has to offer. I have my health, my family and my friends. Let’s make this fall a fall to remember. 

The Drive of Life

My Hubs is a huge car fan.  He particularly loves old, British cars and very expensive, exotic cars.  He isn’t a muscle car kind of guy, but he certainly can appreciate them.  Over the many years I have known this man, I have learned many things about cars and have come to appreciate them myself, not to the extent that he does, of course, but I do appreciate them.  He is known around here as the “Tire Guru”, meaning, if you need any advice on which set of tires you should get for your car, he’s your man.  He can tell which kind of tires are on a car by the marks left in the snow, for heaven’s sake.  He has also been known to leave notes on cars for those poor souls who have low tire pressure, or those who have had the misfortune of having their tires put on backwards.  Yes, for those of you who were not aware, certain types of tires can be put on backwards making their purpose in life, well, impossible.  They can’t whisk away the water for instance if they are on incorrectly.  I have learned this from Hubs.  I am “in the know”!

I promise, though, I won’t write about my very minimal car knowledge, but let’s just say, I have enough to get by.  Actually, the normal routine of cars around here goes something like this.  I ask a question which seems like a simple car question.  What I get instead of a simple answer is a complete dissertation of the mechanical workings of whatever part of the damn car I asked about.  Hubs, in return for his extraordinary effort, gets my “deer in caught in the headlights” look.  He has completely lost me by the second or third sentence most times.  I just wanted the simple answer, but God bless him for trying.  Our son could identify all Ford Mustangs, regardless of year, by the time he was two or three.  He could identify most brands shortly after that, making Daddy one proud papa. Again, I digress.

This post is about what drives us in our lives. For some people it seems to be about success.  For others, it’s about religion, still others, family.  What makes people tick?  What drives us in our lives?  I have met so many people and yet, each person I meet is uniquely different.  I guess because of that, I can only tell you my thoughts and tell you what drives me.  Some days I have to admit, I don’t seem to have any drive at all, but in the end, here I am, so something drives me.

I am and I’ve always been a people pleaser.  I love to make others happy.  My mother always taught me that giving was much better than receiving because you get so much more back.  She also saw in me that I was a giver.  I have to admit that I like to receive, too.  Who doesn’t?  But in my work, I find that giving my time to others is what brings me the most happiness in life.  Selfishness is something that makes me crazy.  I abhor it, yet I find myself being selfish at times.  They always say that the traits you dislike in others are usually the ones you need to work on.  I guess they’re right on that one.  I’m selfish when it comes to time and attention from my Hubs.  He really is the best.  While I have been so ill these last few months, he has been my rock.  I’ve realized that as long as he is there, I’m happy and satisfied.  I won’t say we always get along.  We are human, but we understand each other so well, that just by communicating, all is well in the world.

My faith is also very important to me.  Let me tell you, it’s been tested quite a lot over the years, but no matter what, I always come back, and never once have I questioned God’s existence.  I know that God is a loving and forgiving God.  I know that I am a sinner and I pray every single day for forgiveness for my sins.  I sure hope he hears those prayers.  I have not been a perfect Catholic, but I am a repentant soul just trying to do the best I can and trying to do a little better each day.  I’ll never be perfect.  I don’t get to church everyday or anywhere near it.  In the last month and a half, due to my illness, I haven’t been at all.  I long to get back to the choir.  I miss it.  The point is, regardless of how many times I go to church, I still try my best to live my faith and to teach it to my children.  I often times feel like I have failed doing a good job in that department.  I haven’t lived up to the standards I set for myself.  That being said, my faith still drives me to do better and to try harder.

My family drives me to be successful and to be a good role model.  I don’t always succeed but I keep my head up and keep on going.  Hubs and I have done our best to provide for our family, to create a safe home, to create a happy home.  It’s been a very difficult and rocky struggle throughout the years, but we finally have achieved a home environment that is something that we are proud of.  We have always loved our family very much, but for much of our married life, there were struggles.  This life is a hard one and like I always say, I am a work in progress.  We all are.  Hubs and I used to fight over stupid things that didn’t really matter.  I finally realized that it was me that was instigating the madness.  There was no reason for it.  It was me trying to live in a house where everything was perfect.  The reality was, we needed a home that was lived in and not so perfect.  I had to realize that I was the problem.  That’s really hard to do, but once I did it, our lives began to transform.  Now, our house is a home of love and imperfection and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Now, I’m working on my impatience.  I have the drive to fix it because of the love I have for my family, but the struggle is undeniably difficult at times, especially when I’m tired and not feeling well and dealing with a 9 year old who is also tired and won’t give up the battle. Ugh!

If only I could get in a car, a really nice car, and drive off to be serviced for my own imperfections… Well, nice thought that is, but I will continue to strive to fix me.  Right now, I’m still recovering from that blasted surgery and it’s complications.  I know once I am able to get out and about again, I will get a new outlook too.  I’ve had far too much time in my house this summer, but I’m feeling much better and ready to have some good times.  I’m ready to build up my strength and get back to work again.  So, that’s my story.  What drives you?

The Interview

wp-1464846922347.jpgThe coffee was brewing as she cooked her scrambled eggs with great purpose.  She was going to get this interview right this morning.  She would nail it.  She shooed Penelope off the table as the feline neared the house plant.  Dani knew that poinsettias were a danger if eaten by cats and if anything happened to Penelope, well, she would be devastated.

Dani dressed in her new blue blouse and navy flared skirt, but she would skip the big belt today, as they might find that a bit overkill for an interview. She had to turn it down just a little bit. she thought. She straightened her curly hair and added mascara and liner to her eyes with just the right pop of pink lipstick and her makeup was done. Professional but not frumpy! Excellent!

All set and evidently ready to knock them dead!  Well, figuratively speaking, of course.  Dani felt like she was on top of the world as she grabbed the keys to the old Jetta and locked the door behind her.  This was the first day of the rest of her life, and she was ready for it!


This is part of The Blog Propellant’s prompt , Words, Words, Words in which we are given a list of words and bidden to use them in a story of 150-200 words.  Today’s words are: Scrambled eggs, purpose, house plant, danger, skip, evidently.  This is such a blast.  I love being given prompts and then writing a quick short story.  Fiction is such a blast to write.  Hope you enjoyed it.

A Kinder Sort of World

th.jpgAt work today, I was met first with a challenge.  I went to the department I was to be in for the day.  No problem there.  I was met by 2 of the department’s nurses, neither of whom was the one which I was scheduled to train with, but both were willing to help me.  What a great feeling, a feeling of being wanted.  I was delighted to be welcomed with such warmth by these two nurses and this didn’t stop there.

I went to lunch on my own.  I like to do this most days because I like to blog or read some of your great posts, but today, I had to charge my rapidly dying phone.  For some reason, my phone was losing it’s charge at an exponential rate of maybe, say, light speed.  I have no idea why this was happening, but it was.  I was waiting for one particular phone call and as my phone was already down to 23% when I left for lunch, I thought giving it my lunch hour just might help.  It did, a little bit.  So much for reading and blogging though.

When I got back from lunch, however, I got to meet the person I planned on meeting initially, this morning.  We shall call her Tessa.  She reminds me of a Tessa.  She is absolutely one of the most helpful human beings I have ever met.  At first, I observed her, like I always begin my training, but then, I asked if I could try something to be helpful.  She let me!  She actually let me work on some of the tasks and the morning nurse let me room patients all by my little lonesome.  I’m on cloud nine right now.  I actually feel less like a complete and utter burden and more like a slightly mostly insignificantly helpful human!  Yes, I did stuff, people!  Me, I did stuff, today!  I wasn’t completely worthless at work!

Even the physicians are awesome in this group.  They are kind and patient.  I apologized immediately for anything that I may get wrong today or in the future as well as for asking a billion questions, but I’m a float nurse.  I have to know how everyone works.  That’s the beauty of what I do.  I am a nomad in the clinic setting.  I take my bag of important information that I acquire with me from day to day, office to office.  I carry it everywhere.  I’m portable and so are my skills.

I will get this job to work well for me, just as I will find my niche in working this job.  So far, I absolutely love it.  I haven’t been this happy in a job for a very long time.  I still can’t believe that it took me so long to make this decision to move here from home health, but I thank God daily for leading me on this new journey.  With such kind people surrounding me, my world is a kinder sort of place.

Where Did All the Funny Guys Go?

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What is it with most comedians these days? Do they all believe they have to use foul language and inappropriate material? I love a good comedian but seriously, what is with them these days?

I can take a bit of language and I’m certainly no prude, but watching some of today’s comics is just plain raunchy. What has happened to our society? Have we become so stupid that we don’t understand anything subtle or any of the nuances of humor?

Back in the days when humor was really funny, there may have been some foul language or potty humor, shall we say, but comics could keep an audience’s attention with more than that. They had funny anecdotes that had great timing. It’s always about the delivery. There are still a few excellent comics out there, but they seem to be so hard to find. Where did they go? I, personally would rather watch someone delivering funny stories that my family can watch.

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I know there was only one Robin Williams and my God we were blessed to have him. He was my absolute favorite funny man. He could read the phone book and make people cry from laughter. Was he sometimes inappropriate? Yes, but not always. Did he use foul language? Again, yes, but didn’t need to in order to make us laugh. Oh, how we need more people like him.  Where did all the funny men go?

Blank Looks

Image result for blank looksShe stared at the plate set before her.  It was the weirdest conglomeration of food she’d ever seen.  The blank look on Kate’s face must have elicited the response of giggles from her husband.  He had done this on purpose, but she really would never know.  The kids were to have chosen the meal for Mother’s Day breakfast, but little did Kate know that her darling husband, Ryan had assisted them in the choosing. The girls were elated to have made mommy breakfast in bed.

As she choked down chocolate cake, scrambled eggs, some fruit salad consisting of strawberries and bananas, and some leftover pork chop from the night before with peach compote, Kate thought of how lucky she was to have such a beautiful family.  She relished the thought of this happening every year, but knew this may be the last year.  She had been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and had just undergone her bilateral mastectomy 2 weeks before.  She couldn’t think of her little girls growing up without her.  She had a will to live that was fiercely strong.

Her girls, Ella, aged 4 and Emma, aged 2, were her life.  She was so blessed to have them as well as having the most loving and supportive husband.  Ryan worked so hard so she could stay at home with the girls.  How had she not felt the lump? Why did she stop doing the stupid monthly self breast exams?

Tomorrow she would start the radiation and next week her chemo would begin.  She knew how sick she would be from both.  She didn’t like to think about it, but she did think about it.  Of course she thought about it.  She was normal, for God’s sake.  And she prayed every day.  She prayed for healing.  She wasn’t sure how her girls were going to handle all this change.  She looked up at her husband.  Now it was his face that was blank.

“Honey, what’s the matter?” she asked him gently reaching for his hand.

“It’s just that I could tell by looking at your lovely face what you were thinking about.  You are so beautiful.  I want you to know that I will always love you.  I will always be here for you and we will get through this.  I love you, honey.  I love you with all my heart.  I know that you are scared and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t, but honestly, you’re going to make it.”

“Thank you,” was all she could manage to say between the tears streaming down her face.  The blank look was gone between both of them.  There love had lasted through these last 20 years of high school, college and the rest.  Their’s was a love that would stand the test of time.  If time was what God and medicine would give them.

And Sometimes Things Just Happen

20160512_184944.jpgSometimes I just don’t understand little boys.  I love my little boy very much, but there are those times when I just simply don’t understand his behaviour or that of his friends.  Most of the time, I just don’t understand the behaviour of his friends simply because I know my child’s mind. I know how his mind works, as it is so similar to my own.  There are some things that are more like my husband, of course, but for the most part, I see myself in my son.

I see this gentle boy who is fair and just struggling with injustices and abstracts at his current age of 9.  I see a rough and tumble, let’s-get-filthy-outside child who doesn’t always know how to deal with the finer points of conflicts and simply gets angry and upset, then comes inside, slamming the front door.  He tells me part of the story and I have to investigate if I feel like the infraction warrants it, or simply talk him through the tough stuff and let him know it will be alright.  It’s me that he turns to when things get difficult and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world.

My son is just newly 9.  He turned 9 one month ago.  He’s a young one in his class age-wise, but he knows more mature subject matter simply due to the fact that he has 3 older teenage sisters and his best friend is is 13.  His best friend lives next door and they have been fairly inseparable all the years we’ve been here, since the boy was just 8 months old.

I’ve decided that boys are weird.  They play strangely and they fight in a strange way too.  Many is the day, well, truth be known, most days, the boys will start playing Minecraft, then it’s outside, then back in for the X-Box and a sports game, then outside for another game, maybe some basketball, then ride the bikes, then back inside for something else.  At least once or twice during this time, the boys will separate and go their separate ways, one close to tears or slamming a door.  It’s those moments when it’s mom to the rescue.  I’m sure my friend and mom to my boy’s friend is the same as me.

I get the boy to divulge the problem, we discuss, settle the problem whenever possible and go on about our day.  About 45 minutes to an hour later, the boys are together again.  It’s weird, but it works for them.  I always worry about my boy, but I’m getting over it now.  I’m learning that he’s growing into a “big kid” now and is able to fight his own battles much easier.  He’s growing up too fast.

I admit I’m his mom, but I’m really proud of this little boy.  In 3rd grade, there was a project where all the kids had to write something positive about all their classmates.  It was a project about filling everyone’s buckets full.  A little girl in his class wrote that my boy “always has a smile and always helps others.” What a sweet and wonderful thing to read about him.  He is a good boy with a big heart, but he’s still one of those strange little boys who does weird things.