Friday, December 30, 2011

Another Year is Almost Gone

Another year is almost gone and I am wondering if I have used it wisely. It is so good to have you come by tonight. The wind is blowing and it sounds colder than it really is. I have the fireplace and the coffee on. It is the last of the White Christmas, so lets have a cup and reflect on our year that leaves us tomorrow. Can you believe it is going to be 2012? I just can't grasp it for some reason. My Mother was born in 1912, married late and had me later in life. I remember her always giving her birthdate, 12-29-12, and if she were still living she would be 100 years old this year. Anyway, I cannot look back on 2011 as a year I would like to forget, even though a lot of things have happened, that I wish hadn't. This is a leap year, so my granddaughter Olivia will have a real birthday this year. That is exciting for She will be 20.
The year 2011 was exciting as I met several blogging and forum friends.
Then some more came to visit me.
Sue and her husband came from Fla. She is Prim Sues Heart and Home.
Libby and her husband from W. Va. she is Rusty Shed Prims and a fantastic craftsman.
Carla Herron and her husband from Il.Carla has a wonderful PT,called our Humble Home.You can visit it from mine. Sandi Stevens  came from W. Va.Sandi has a well known PT, Daybreak Place and her home has been in a magazine and will be in a prim book coming out this year.
Then I got to meet Angie Phillips, Thru Nana's Window, her daughter Holly and Granddaughter Darbee.
I also met Patty Sumner, My Mountain Blessings. We just didn't get any pictures. I was also blessed to have Pam and Frank Hendrix come visit. They are Civil Folks. (They are truly civil folks, but that is the name of their blog)

I look back and don't know how I was so blessed to meet so many of our blogging buddies. Hopefully this year there will be more meetings and visiting. I have found blogging friends to be so real. We blog about our families, our lives and we feel we know one another. And we do.
 Another 2011 good thing brought Gabe into our lives. He is a happy baby and healthy. Curt got engaged to Lindsay. We went to Il to see Beth and Ryan. We went to the beach for a week. We had our girl trip to Pigeon Forge in September. I went back for a week end with some friends. Life has been good. Then, there has been adversity too. Amanda's breast cancer, my friend Carols cancer diagnosis, and my break in.
In spite of all of this I look back say, "Thank you Lord, for this year." The adversity has made me stronger. I am learning to turn my eyes directly on Him, to look for strength. The year 2012 will be a mystery to us until this time next year. There will be some good times, sad times, and hard times. Hopefully the good will outweigh the bad. I for one believe they will. I am looking toward 2012 for new beginnings. For healing, for a new family member, for trips, for meeting more of my blogging friends, and a year of love and laughter.
Well all my decorations are down and put away. I have been tweaking and retweaking and re-retweaking! Do you do that? Here is my mantle now. Sandi kept saying center the Spinner. Well centering the Spinner was not as easy as just driving a nail. I had to remove  screws, fill holes, and paint. However I did it and I just wish it had been my idea.
Tell me the truth. What do you think? I like it.
The table in front of the couch. I actually dried the pomegranates.
Here is where I moved the XXX stitch. I did this myself and it has to be where I can see, I really did it. lol
I really hope I can get this blanket chest stripped this year.
Well that gives you a hint of what I have been doing. I will share more later.
It is my prayer that each of you have a wonderful New Year, and I pray I will use this coming year wisely. I have loved having you all come Through My Back Door where life is good.
PS: Today was the end of an era.The speckled Hen, closed its door here.
She will open in downtown Clinton in a few weeks. I will show you pictures soon. It was sad when the "closed" sign was turned for the last time today. However a new journey in a new store front is about to begin.(It really isn't a new building, it is an old building. It is just new to her)
PSS:I want to leave you with my picture of the year. You know I love Rotties. Well my friend Kathy Trout does too. She is a tiny woman and her rotties are two of the biggest ones I have seen. I absolutely love this picture.It shows the true gentleness of these dogs.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another Wonderful Christmas

Another wonderful Christmas, Through My Back Door. It is so good to see you this rainy morning here in East Tn. You know the coffee is on, plain old DD, so you can have a Christmas mug or a redware. It is your choice, and please, please, please, eat some of these sweets. I am so happy you are visiting and will let me share my wonderful Christmas with you. I am not talking about gifts, although there were a lot of those. I am going to share one in particular with you later. Do you know this was the first time in years everyone was together under my roof? All three of my children and everyone of my grands and all of my greats. It was WONDERFUL!  I loved it. Of course it was loud and chaotic, but that is the way it is supposed to be isn't it? Seth brought his girlfriend and her son. He and Andrew got along great. We had so much food and everyone had a wonderful time. There were 23 of us in this little house. Doug came early as always and helped me cook. Our Christmas actually began on Thursday, when Debs family did Christmas for Lindsay, Curt's fiance.(Remember they are getting married this summer) Good food and gifts. One thing happens when any of us get together and that is a lot of laughter. Lindsay fits right in. We love her.
She lives in Missouri and went home to be with her family on Christmas. For many years my sister in law,(I only have one) and her daughter have hosted a Crowe women luncheon before Christmas. We went to that on Friday. Again food and laughter.
On Christmas eve we all went back down there for our Christmas together. We have spent every Christmas Eve together for all of her married life. (I was in the family a few years before her.)
Some day I'll share how she and my brother in law met. (Curtis only had one brother, no sisters. Marg and I are both only children. Get the picture? We are like sisters) Anyway, we again had so much fun, so much food, and it was wonderful. Her three children and their families, as well as two of mine and their families were all there. Wow! Then Sunday morning church. Michael, the worlds best son in law, wanted me to go with them, so I did. Their pastor preached the BEST Christmas sermon I have ever heard. It was on the gift of forgiveness. After church we went to Debs for their family Christmas.More finger foods, (Chik f la, as Beth requested because they aren't in Il) more gifts, and lots of laughter. Then at 5:30 everyone came to my house. So see why it was wonderful? All of these reasons are not the whole reason it was wonderful. Beth and Ryan came in from Il. We hadn't had them home for Christmas in a while and that was WONDERFUL for them to be here.
Our Little princess, Mollie, she had been going strong all day. My house is the last stop.
Remember Gabe, my little preemie? He was 3 month early last January. Well he is a strong healthy little boy. This is his mommy, Anastasia. Mollie loved his red hair, and kept rubbing it.
 The back of Andrews head!lol. (The bag under the chair is what he keeps his dinosaurs in at my house)We were so busy talking this year we didn't take many pictures. The cousins had so much catching up to do.
 We took this picture at the end, when almost everyone had left.
Deb, Olivia, me, Beth and Renda. Lindsay and Amanda had left already.
I want to share one particular gift I was given. A calendar of memories Amanda made. It has birthdays, special days, etc.

That just shows you a couple of months. Do you see why I love that gift? It is the gift that keeps on giving. There were lots of other gifts and I loved them all. I am happy to report that I now have a beautiful new emerald ring,(which I will wear all the time) thanks to Beth and Ryan. Remember when I was burglarized they took every ring I owned? (All my mothers and grandmothers.) BTW Dodd got me a safe I don't have anything to put in it now, but I have
As you can see, Christmas was wonderful Through My Back Door. But the best gift any of us had was this beautiful girl felt good, looked good, and enjoyed every minute too.
 This shows you for yourself.
That is my beautiful daughter in law, Renda with her. You, my friends, have been so faithful in your prayers, I wanted you to see for yourself. Yes that is her hair, she hasn't lost it yet.
This is a fun picture. Mollie and Andrew are all about Beth and Ryan when they are here. Of course they eat that up. Here is picture of Mollie fighting Ryan for his (not the best pix of B&R, but I think it is so cute)
Well my friends, thank you letting me share my Wonderful Christmas with you. I have enjoyed every minute of it. Yes, I did get everything done, in spite of all of my socializing. Thank you too, for coming Through My Back Door, where life is good.
PS: You know something has to be wrong with me. I ALWAYS take my decorations down  the day after Christmas. But you know what? They are still up! I know, it is so unlike me. I slipped off with my friend Dottie to Chico's yesterday instead. Oh well I am off to a good start with my socialization. Last night Curt wanted me to come spend the night and play cards. So I spent the night at Debs. I am having friends in New Years Eve, I may leave them up! If I do, you may not see me in blogland anymore. My kids will think I have lost it, and have me committed!lol
PSS:This is the santa I got this year from the worlds best son in law, aka, the woodcarver.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas and God Bless Each of You

Merry Christmas and come on in Through My Back Door. I have White Christmas coffee on, and you know where the cups and plates are so help yourself. Plates, because we have so many choices of cookies and snacks, I know you will find something you like. I am so happy you came by. This will probably be our last visit until after Christmas, so lets set by the fireplace, eat, drink our coffee and visit. Would you like that? I certainly do. Well, it is 5 days until Christmas and me being the procrastinator I am, have some wrapping to do and two gifts to buy! I am embarrassed, but, it is what it I was beating myself up for it until I realized I have been too busy socializing to get my "doings" done.!lol I think I may have to join Socializers Anonymous. I have been to about three parties last week and the week before. Sunday my sweet aunt Annie, my cousin Shirley and her husband and another couple came to supper. Shirley and I alternate hosting and it was my year. I love having them and we have so much fun. We eat and laugh and laugh and eat. Then we eat some more. Shirley is a graphic artist and she made me the most wonderful scrap book for Christmas. It pictures of some of my blog posts. I love it and will treasure it forever.
This picture doesn't begin to do it justice. I am going to learn to take better pictures and that is a promise.
This is such a neat album, I wish I could show you better. I didn't even know she read my blog. I will have to watch it!lol I am 12 years older than her, but we are so much alike it is scary. We are both left handed, both collect antiques, and we both like the same things. We are always saying to one another whether its a "thing" or clothes. "I have one just like that."
Last night I hosted my card group party. We have been playing together for 28 years and still have fun.
Regina and Linda having a laugh.
Fran and Regina waiting for their turn.
Linda and Dasko having a serious conversation. I think he is telling her, he is afraid he isn't getting anything for Christmas. In our group of 7, there are 2 Lindas, 2 Reginas, and 2 Bettys. Isn't that weird? I enjoyed having them last night and we had such a good time. Everyone brings finger foods and the variety  always shocks us.
See I would rather be doing this than what I should be! Well today my only sister in law came for lunch and a quiet visit. We ate, drank Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, and talked while the carols played. We were both so relaxed and rejuvenated when she left.
SOOO, after she left, I decided I would go get the gifts I needed, grocery shop, and come home and wrap. Well, it didn't exactly happen that way. My friend Dottie had called earlier, so on my way I called her and she said she was on her way to Marshalls, as was I. We met up, shopped there, ran to a book store that was going out of business, decided to stop at Cheddars and have an early supper. Can you guess the rest of the story? Bet you can. lol I will get it done, I will wrap, and Christmas dinner will be ready by 5:30  Christmas Day. I can't help it I love being with friends and doing things. I am blessed to have so many friends and family. I am also blessed to be a part of the blogging world. Some of my procrastination is your fault. I HAVE to look at all of your decorations. Then I have to go change mine and it goes on and on. Well as this Christmas is coming to an end. I wish each and everyone of you a blessed time with your family and friends. Some of us have loved ones who for various reasons can't be with us this year. Some of us will have family who are there in body, although their minds have faded and they don't know they are there, but you will. Some of us are missing loved ones who have passed away. But let us remember who they were, how we are richer for having them in our lives and let us celebrate the Birth of Jesus with a loving spirit. Merry Christmas.
PS: Beth is fine and Amanda is doing well. Thank you again for your prayers. I am going to leave you with a few of my favorite Christmas vignettes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Prim Friends Are The Best

And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. It is so good to have you visit this evening. I have White Christmas coffee on and we will have some Christmas cookies with it. Come in and lets talk, okay? The reason we have cookies is this special little boy came yesterday and we made cookies. I have done this with all of my grandchildren over the years.
This is the finished batch. He just wanted sprinkles, no icing. That took too
BTW, his shirt says, Life of the Party! We ate cookies, drank hot chocolate with marshmallows, and snuggled on the couch and read books. He loves The Crippled Lamb. He looked at me with those big eyes and said, "Mamaw, we can do this every Christmas if you want to." My heart overflowed with joy. I do love that little boy.
Well all of you know about Amanda and her breast cancer, but yesterday they found a suspicious spot during Beth's MRI. It is all too much I can't comprehend it. We are praying it is nothing.Will you pray too?
Well I had a Christmas luncheon today and when I came home, there was a box on my porch. I couldn't imagine what it was. Well it was from a blogging buddy,Shirlee at
Farmhouse Ponderings.
It was full of the most wonderful goodies. Well with the week we have had here, Amanda starting chemo Tuesday, Beths MRI, you have no idea what a blessing this was. I was stunned, as well as deeply touched. Thank you Shirlee. Below are the pictures. Is that pin keep not just beautiful?
Good smelling melts. Oh my.
See those pretty candles. They are
so pretty and look so real. I am in awe.
Wooden candy canes.
Here is the bag they were in on the  tree.
 Then if all of this wasn't enough she sent me this beautiful tile
It says it all doesn't it? I have to show you the beautiful card too.
I love cards. Shirlee there aren't enough words to express my thanks. There just aren't.
Now if this wasn't enough, my friend Carla Herron, who lives in Il sent me this today too. I am just overwhelmed! Wouldn't you be? I am so not deserving of these beautiful gifts, but I am grateful.
My beautiful pinkeep from Carla.
Carla and I met on a forum. She doesn't live too far from Beth and we met there one time and have met a couple more times since then. I consider her one of my Isn't is amazing how many of us the prim world has brought together? I never knew what blessing lay ahead when I joined a forum and started blogging. In addition to that I received some beautiful Christmas cards from some blogging friends today too. I haven't even sent mine. I am so far behind. I will get it all done though, I promise. I just had to share my goodies from Shirlee. They are so wonderful. Shirlee lives in Ky and wants to move where it is cold and has a lot of snow. She is such a kind, generous person I am praying if that is Gods will for her, it all works out.
Well thanks for coming Through My Back Door where life is good.
PS: Life is short, so I hope each of you take some time to slow down, and enjoy time with those you love during this special time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Cow Bell

Good two Mondays before Christmas everyone. I should be busy, and I have been, but in cleaning I dusted "The" cow bell and it brought back so many memories. I just had to stop and do a blog. Before I begin to tell you about it, get your coffee, and it is White Christmas. I LOVE this coffee. Would you like to sit by the fireplace? The Christmas tree lights are on just for you. Is the music too loud? I really am happy you came and want you to be comfortable. Dasko will leave you alone in a minute, he is happy to see you too. Okay back to THE cow Most of you know by now I was an only child and my Daddy spoiled me rotten. He was a little man and I have outweighed him at his top weight for 30
This is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us. Well, anyway I would go hunting with him, go to the well machine with him, and even help him dress the rabbits and squirrels he got.(I don't think my children know this) I called the line on cleaning Well, he always like antiques too and of course my Mother didn't. She liked new and updated and everything was flowered. That's another blog, but needless to say there are no flowers in any of my decor! Although my Mother and I were very close and very similar, the difference was vast in our decorating.
 Any way my Daddy was always finding me things. I had my heart set on a cow bell. We couldn't find one any where. One day I heard my door open, thought it was one of the kids and heard , clang, clang, clang coming down the hall into the kitchen. It was my Daddy wearing this around his neck, and grinning from ear to ear.
It just overwhelmed me with memories when I dusted it. Isn't that what a lot of Christmas is? Memories. I know a lot of people don't have happy memories of Christmas, and it makes me so sad to think that. I am so blessed to have them and my children are too. They, also have created happy memories for their children.
One more Daddy story. After I got married and had children, we always went to Mother and Daddys Christmas Day. My grandparents would be there and who ever else needed somewhere to go.No matter what time we got there my Daddy was on the porch to meet us and always said,"Where have you been? You should have been here 30 minutes ago!" He wasn't teasing either. He couldn't wait for us to get there for, that is when Christmas began. I get my love of it from him.
I have been tweaking. Again. Looking at everyones Christmas decorations just inspires me. I copied this idea from Pam.(Civil Folks)
A few Christmas pillows.
I love my rottie! I have lots of  rottie Christmas ornies I haven't used in a while. Next year I may just do a rottie tree. That wouldn't be too prim would it? lol
Well, it has been great having you come Through My Back Door where life is good.
PS: This is what is on my front door  on the inside.
PSS: I just couldn't close without thanking you again for your prayers. Chemo begins tomorrow