Hey friends, hope you are all keeping warm in this deep freeze winter (or haven’t drowned in our ‘monsoons’) and I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas filled with good food, family, friends, and lots of laughter, all components of a great Christmas.
I pray the Lord will bless each of you with a New Year filled with good health and the opportunities to fulfill your dreams; Happy New Year. Let us remember those we have lost and keep them warm in our hearts and fondest memories and celebrate friends and family that we have gained this past year, praising God for all His blessings.
Christmas here at Grandma Pat’s house will be on Saturday (28th) due to conflicting work schedules of different kids; you all know how that goes – but if all, or at least most, can come home for a family ‘get-together’, it will be Christmas no matter what the date. I will be cooking and cleaning all week (well cooking anyway) getting ready to enjoy all the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids, with a few friends thrown in. I am eagerly anticipating a day filled with hugs-n-kisses, lots of laughter (and maybe a few tears) and enough love to last me throughout the coming year.
I was a little worried about Frank and Donna making it here; when I talked to them, it was either snowing or raining ‘cats-n-dogs’ and I wasn’t sure they could get off the side of that mountain they live on down in Lewis County, KY. Donna always brings a big cheese ball for us; she makes a really good one. Mike told me to ask her, if she didn’t think they would make it up, could she, maybe, send the cheese ball up by mail. I won’t repeat exactly what she said but to paraphrase it, not bloody likely Mike. We have such a compassionate family, ha. (As someone once told me, “Support Bacteria, it is the only culture some of us have!)
Sam and Cyndi are both cooking down at the Moasis (if I didn’t spell that right, sorry Mo) from 11 to 3 days and Friday and Saturday evenings; we can always use another good source of food. Cyndi said business was picking up as the word gets around that they are open. Welcome back Mo.
My niece told me that her daughter was learning to play the trumpet and sent me this little joke. “Little Johnny was practicing the violin in the living room while his father was trying to read in the den. The family dog was lying in the den beside him and as the screeching sounds of Johnny’s violin reached his ears, he began to howl loudly. The father listened to the dog and the violin as long as he could stand it. Then he jumped up, slammed his paper to the floor and yelled, “For pity’s sake Johnny, can’t you play something the dog doesn’t know.”
I laugh every time I think of that little joke remembering how the boys brought their various instruments home to practice. The dogs, cats, and I all appreciated, with great relief, when they gave up the instruments. Thankfully none of the three took up the drums and I don’t live with (or have to listen to) the ‘grands’, and ‘great-grands’ beginning practices – it is so nice to be a grandparent (most times.) I really do love music but hated to hear the first screeching and/or banging of the beginning practices.
The Carter family (Michael, Dana, Lily, and Dani) has safely returned from their Florida winter vacation; Dana said it was in the 80s the whole time they were there (I am sure she is thinking about that with today’s temperatures.) She told me they had all been sick while there but enjoyed it anyway (I think she was ready to go back.)
Charlotte and Phil Kroening went to Indianapolis for a few days over the holidays to celebrate with family. Charlotte’s surgeries (two eyes and one hand) went well but she said one eye was still bothering her.
Bobby and Mel Brundige enjoyed Mel’s parents, Tracy and Jim Harcrow (Jim is a preacher too) visiting with them over the holiday. Since Bobby had to work Christmas Eve, Jim led the service at our church for him. They are really nice people and we all appreciated that he stepped up to fill in for Bobby for our Christmas Eve service. I especially appreciate Jim; he is the only one that sings lower than I do (frogsville), and Tracy likes my hats (so how could you not love her.) Tracy hates to fly but since that is the only way she gets to dote on baby Emma, she does it anyway. Lovely folks and we are always happy to see them with they come in. Mel’s brother Baker (military) got leave to come in too – they had a wonderful Christmas.
Betty Williams had an automobile accident that totaled the car but praised God that she didn’t get hurt. Husband Tom told her that he didn’t see how she could total the car and not even need a bandaid. Betty told him that God took care of her; we all thanked God for that.
The Kuyper children (Brooklyn, Makenzie, and Emma) and the Stroud children (Miley, Masin, and Maria) all went to visit relatives for the days after school break until Christmas Eve. I am sure Savannah and Jamie missed all six of them but I am also sure they enjoyed the quiet time. Quiet time is something that is very rare with six kids, two dogs, and a kitten, in the house.
On Saturday (22nd), Mary Martin’s family (a big bunch) all gathered at Mike and Mary’s to celebrate an early Christmas. Mary said it was so great that they had all came and that they had a wonderful time. She asked us to be sure to pray for Ike Harlow (sister Judy’s husband) as he is doing very poorly; Emmy (Judy’s daughter) and her daughter Emmaline, brought Ike and Judy over.
Last Wednesday Mary attended grandson’s, Landon and Weston’s, Christmas program at Aberdeen Methodist Child Care Center; Mary said it was fantastic, full of the Holy Spirit, and so cute she shed several tears; the best one she had ever attended. She went to Elijah’s program at SCES and she said it was good too but awfully crowded; she and Mike had to stand up for the program.
Here are a couple of little tips I thought you might be able to use: Use a meat baster to ‘squeeze’ your pancake batter onto the hot griddle (or skillet) and you will have perfectly shaped pancakes every time; to keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with them; if you accidentally over-salt a dish while it is still cooking (really, like you would do it on purpose), drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant ‘fix-me-up’; brush some beaten egg white over piecrust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish. Every little tip helps (who said an old dog can’t learn new tricks!)
Our ‘Prayer Request’ time had a lot of praises this week especially for God’s wonderful provisions for our needs, for travelers back safe, for loving families, and for some unspoken blessings and petitions. On the petition side of the list: Ike Harlow, Julie’s friend Peggy (not Eckerty) who is having a knee replacement, Joy and Eldric Hazeldean, Mary Davenport, Nancy Ledbetter (virus), Dion Cannon, families that have lost loved ones this past year (several in our church [Carters, Millers, Rayles, Bruces and Floods]), Howard and Reva Bragg (Howard is out of hospital but still not doing well), some unspoken requests (God knows), for unsaved family and friends, service personnel (both military and missionaries), Jordan Walker (severely injured [paralyzed] in a football accident), Wilma Turner (severe arthritis), Michael Carter (exploring the ‘call to preach’), our country’s leaders, Emmett church, Peggy Eckerty’s family (several having medical problems), and for all spiritual leaders adhering to the truth of the Gospel; we lift all these praises and petitions up to the God; thank you Lord.
The Carr family went to Hamilton Sunday for an early Christmas celebration with Cyndi’s family, the Barretts; they had a good time. Cyndi’s mom Fern could use a few prayers for better health as you are talking to the Lord this week. Fern is a lovely woman who has a lot of medical issues.
My sister, Phyllis, down in St. Petersburg, Florida, called me this morning to let me know my Christmas card would be late. When I told her how cold it was up here, she said, “My I really feel for you; I’ve got both air conditioners going.” I almost hung up on her. Remember what I said about ‘compassionate’ family.
The Bengals won the game against the Vikings Sunday; Ana Slover and I talk to each other several times during the game. We both squealed at the score, 44 to 14, wow, hoodey! We are in the Playoffs. Bengals play the Ravens this Sunday’ that should be a nail-biter.
I got a card and a lovely letter from Jack and Juanita Brown last week; they are both doing well. After Jack’s cancer and heart surgeries, and an, ‘all’s good’ two year checkup, they are praising God. Juanita said Jack still doesn’t have much energy (understandable under the circumstances) but doing pretty good. They wanted to say hello to all their family and friends in the county and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.
The little ones next door (Brooklyn, Miley, and Makenzie) did some shopping at Santa’s Workshop at SCES and brought me the cutest presents: a blinking snowman, a sparkling reindeer ornament, and a greatest grandma plaque. They are all the sweetest kids and I love them bunches, even when they are noisy.
Pat Lanman brought out the most beautiful, and delicious, fruit basket for me from the newspaper crew. I have been munching on fruit and nuts all week; thanks kids, I really appreciate such a lovely gift. I made real orange juice for breakfast this morning for the first time in many years, yummy.
Talked to Wilma earlier this week and she said she just wasn’t getting around much; she has been in a lot of pain from her arthritis. She said she has another doctor’s appointment soon but thinks she is just going to have to learn how to live with it. Daughter Rita Jones told me that she hopes they can find a pain medicine that will alleviate some of Wilma’s discomfort.
Debbie Turner got a new pressure cooker (electric) and she is cooking up a storm. I told her I absolutely love mine (old-fashioned kind) and use it at least once a week. It is a healthier way of cooking and makes the meat (and anything else) so tender and tasty…and faster too.
A thought: ‘a clear conscience is usually the sign of a poor memory’ and ‘if you can’t change your mind…are you sure you still have one.’ Don’t you just love these little tidbits? Of course, most of them are aimed at me, told to me by family and friends.
Until we talk again, may the Lord bless and keep you save from harm under the shadow of His wings, and a Blessed Happy New Year to you!
Well friends, as usual when it comes to anything technical, I can screw it up; I actually sent this batch of news to the paper on December 23rd but didn’t notice that it did not go through (e-mail) to the paper. Anyhow, I will just add a few little tidbits and send it out again (and check to see that it gets there.)
Not an excuse but an explanation; right after I sent the column in, I got busy cooking for our family Christmas dinner and completely forgot to check and make sure the column went in properly.
Pursuant to that thought, I almost broke my arm patting myself on the back; this year I was totally prepared (dinner-wise) and was able to sit back and visit with the family for the whole day. It has taken me a long time to accomplish that so please excuse a little bragging. Most of the time the cook spends a large part of the day cooking and then is too tired to really enjoy all the family.
For years (I kid you not, years), I have been trying to organize the big holiday dinner where I wasn’t in the kitchen cooking while the family visited. It took nine crock-pots and a low turned oven, but I did it…and it turned out perfectly. Good thing I was prepared too because dinner was scheduled for about noon but most everyone got here at ten…and they were hungry.
We had Christmas dinner at 10:30 (all I had to do was make the gravy and dinner was on the table); it was tender, tasty, and, all-in-all, a successful event. I may need another tube of Ben-Gay for my stretched out arm (back-patting you know) but I just don’t sweat the small stuff any more.
Most of Wilma’s family came in to her place to celebrate the holiday with her and brought the dinner with them. She told me she had 18 there, the kids sat on the floor and everyone else, wherever they could find a spot. Wilma was ecstatic that they had all come in to celebrate with her and was still bubbling over when I talked to her two days later.
The Bengals beat the Vikings and since this is a week later, I can tell you (as if you don’t already know), this past Sunday they beat the Ravens and will play the Chargers this Sunday in their first playoff game of this season. Ana and I are holding our breath and crossing our fingers that it won’t be blacked-out (lack of ticket sales) this week; if it is, we will be seriously upset.
Our birthdays in January are: Howard Hazeldean on the 3rd, Eldric Hazeldean on the 8th (Howard’s dad), Matt Bruns on the 10th, Peggy Eckerty on the 15th, Shyla Prince on the 17th, and Jessie Bruce on the 19th. We pray each of you will have your special day filled with love and laughter (and good food) and that the year that follows will be filled with many sweet blessings from God; Happy Birthday.
Until we meet again, may God bless you and keep you safe from harm.