Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013, You Weren't So Bad After All

Hello and welcome Through My Back Door. I am so glad you chose to spend the last of 2013 with me. We have had a little discussion, 2013 and I, and I am happy to say it wasn't all bad. We spent a lot of  good times together too. I think it started in January when Sandi came over to visit and pick up her high boy. She was back in February along with Nicole to get another one.Also Angela and Holly along with their families dropped by to visit.

 Then in came March and a  trip to Williamsburg, a place I love to visit, with Dodd and Renda. What a good time we had and I as usual learned a lot. Dodd teaches history and always has interesting little tidbits to share.
We had a wonderful time and they brought me home in time to go to visit Beth and Ryan with Deb and Michael. They took us to this neat pizza place(they know lots of unique places to eat, and we love going to them)
Beth was pregnant with Amelia who wasn't due until August. We didn't have any idea she would come so early.I love this brick street. I have enjoyed visiting Springfield since they have lived there.
Deb and I had a trip planned to West Virginia, in May, to visit Sandi but didn't get to go because  Curtis took a quick turn for the worse. After 6&1/2 years of being ill, he was called home. It was so much harder than I ever anticipated, it would be, because he hadn't known us for a long time. Actually the last time he called me by name was in July of 2012, on his birthday, and it had been years before that. Then in September of 2012 it appeared he recognized Beth and Amanda as he told them to back up(back to back, as they had always done this growing up to see who was taller) and see who was "the biggest". Needless to say we all just cried.I firmly believe these moments were gifts from God. Our family celebrated his life by the children and grands, even Andrew,doing the eulogy. I was so proud of them.

Of course we had planned a trip to the beach in June, but Amelia disrupted Deb and Michael going. They took off to Il and stayed with Beth and Ryan for a couple of weeks.Dodd, Renda, and I went on without them. Amelia gave us all a scare, but again God blessed us and she is thriving and happy.
 Our first 4 Generation picture, in the NICU. We were all so happy and thankful to God
Here she is this week with her first gift from Santa! See, 2013, I can't be mad at you, you have not been all bad at all. I am so grateful for this little girl, and cannot wait to make cookies with her.
In July I got to meet my friend Linda Rebtoy from Ohio. She and I had met on a decorating forum and became friends. She and her daughter Carrie met Deb and I for lunch and a wonderful visit. We are looking forward to getting together again.
We made a few trips back and forth to Il when ever Michael's schedule allowed. I took a couple of girl trips and then in the fall we went back to the beach. This time Andrew, Mollie, Amanda and Clay got to go. What a wonderful time we had. There is just something about seeing the vast ocean through children's eyes. We had fun on the Pirate Ship and the high light of that trip was Amanda won the Mama's  hula hoop contest.lol
Now it does my heart good to see her looking so good and so happy.
After coming home from the beach I hit a bumpy road. My fur baby was sick and was diagnosed with renal failure. He lived 9 days and you all know that story, so we won't go into it again.
November brought yet another girl trip with my card group. It was perfect timing for me as my heart was broken. Then came the holidays, another trip to Il and to St Louis, and they were perfect.I had all my children and grands with the exception of Olivia here for Christmas, and you can't ask for more than that.
So 2013, I have looked on you with disdain,  but after seeing this in writing, you weren't so bad to me after all.In fact you were a good friend, I just didn't see through the grief. I apologize to you and think instead of the heartache from the losses, I will celebrate the good things that happened through out your reign. There was a lot more good than bad and oh my the good could have ended bad. So I thank you 2013 for not being all bad, for being so good in fact. I am happy we are parting on good terms, because this is forever. But go forth knowing I forgive you and in fact will remember you with warm feelings. And thank you my blogging friends for coming Through My Back Door where life is good. Even when I think it isn't.
PS: Stay safe tonight New Years Eve
PSS:I am looking forward to 2014, are you?
PSSS: Lets vow to pray harder for our blogging friends who are still going through some of the most difficult times

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013 Is Left To Memory

Good afternoon and it is so good to see you coming Through My Back Door. Come on in and have a cup of coffee and your choice of pumpkin or cherry pie, or a slice of stack cake. I got one made and have to split it 3 ways.lol (I will make another soon) Now we are finishing up the Kona coffee. You could be having this.
Have you ever heard of this? I had not. It is well known in my family and friends, that I like strong coffee. I want to know I have drunk a cup when I drink it.lol Curt and Lindsey got me this and I will use it in the mornings. I think it is so funny and it says it is the Worlds Strongest Coffee!
Most of you know I had been busy since before Thanksgiving. After coming home from St Louis on the 4th of December I hit the road running and had a party or somewhere to go or company every night through Christmas Day. Now it is truly "Silent Night" here. I am just enjoying having all the decorations put away and my house back. (If you remember I put them up right after I lost Dasko and it was time they came down.)
This was the first Christmas in forever that everyone was home except Olivia. We missed her and hope next year she is here too. Seth came in from Chicago, Douglas, Anastasia and Gabe from Chattanooga, Beth and Ryan with Amelia from Il, Curt and Lindsey from Nashville, so you can see how hard it is for us all to get here. My house is small but all 22 of us got in here, and had a wonderful time. Douglas moved furniture and it is a mess, but was so nice to be able to sit around and talk and laugh. Seth and Dustin entertained us with music. Mollie loved it and danced her little heart out.
It was so much fun seeing these guys enjoying themselves and reminiscing.

I told you I had made a stack cake. Here is a picture.
I got so many wonderful gifts from my family. They are entirely too good to me, but this has to be a favorite.
It is full of thoughts and memories of every member of my family. I open 2 a day and I cannot even begin to express the emotions I felt when they gave this to me. I don't cry very easily,(unless I am talking about Dasko or Curtis) but I cried when they presented this to me. I have opened 4 so far and will share the one I opened today. It was from Andrew and said "I like to play cars with you." Is that not so sweet? (I have no pictures of him here,and don't know HOW that happened) I will enjoy this for a long time. I will share some of them with you from time to time.
I took my decorations down yesterday and got my house back.  I am playing with the mantle.(What is new you ask?)lol I love these big chargers Sandi found and brought to me.  I wanted to use 2 of them, but this is subject to change.
I want to share some kind words from a customer who shops at the Hen. Her name is Dania(I am not sure of the spelling, but hopefully she will forgive me) She is one of the sweetest people I have met working out there. During the  Christmas Open House, she asked me about Curtis and when I told her that he had died, she felt bad for asking. She shouldn't have as she had no way knowing. Later while she was still there, she over heard another customer talking about my loss of Dasko that week. She came and hugged me and said she just KNEW 2014 was going to be a year of new beginnings for me. She has no idea how much her statement touched me. So Dania thank you for your words of hope. SO many in blogland have gone through or are still going through some very difficult times this year, so I am giving you the words Dania gave me. It is going to be a year of new beginnings for a lot of us. I am so happy you came Through My Back Door where life is good.
PS: A big thank you to all of you who sent me Christmas cards and pictures. I appreciated them so much. I am sorry to say I didn't send any this year. Nor last. I will do better next year
PSS: I am so grateful for all the friends I have made Through My Back Door and hope you continue to visit. Most of all I want you to feel good when you leave.
PSSS: Do you see my blog fairy has already changed my blog? She is such a blessing to me. You know if I could have one far out wish, it would be to meet her in person as she works so hard to make me look good. I say far out because she is in the UK and I don't fly!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas From My Back Door To Yours

I just wanted to get on here and thank each of you for visiting Through My Back Door.

 I want to thank you for sharing lots of cups of coffee with me, while I ramble. For going on my trips with me, for loving my family, for laughing with me, crying with me, but most of all for your prayers this past year. It has been a hard year losing loved ones, but we are so happy we have this little miracle baby.
Your prayers were heard. We are all healthy and everyone will be here for Christmas except Olivia. God is so good and in His name I wish all of you a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ahhh, The Joys of Christmas

Good Monday morning and welcome Through My Back Door. It is so good to have you drop by for coffee this morning. It is Kona. I don't know but DD has kind of lost its flavor for me. I found this Kona at Marshalls and I love it. Am I the only one who feels DD has gone down? Deb doesn't. Maybe it is just me. Anyway I know its Monday and I am not doing laundry. Again.lol It will get done, just not today. My friend Sandi has come and gone. Time flies when you are having fun. Friday we stayed home all day in our pj's as it was rainy and dreary. That night we had to dress and go to Debs for dinner, as Lisa and Cindy were driving up from Athens and Sweetwater. After a delicious supper of soup and homemade bread we went to the livingroom for cake and coffee. What a wonderful evening we had. Debs house is beautifully decorated as you can imagine. Saturday we went to Clinton as she wanted a lantern like Carol got me. She found a few things, I didn't get anything. I have no room.lol When we came home there was a package on my porch. I wasn't expecting anything, so I couldn't wait to see what it was. It was from my friends Pam and Frank Hendrix. (They have a blog, just haven't updated it in a while) Oh my! You won't believe the goodies in it. I was soooooo excited as I tore into it.
This pinkeep is beautiful. Pam made it. They are not only the most talented people I know, but they have to be the most generous.
The pinkeep. I will share the other goodies in this little cupboard too. The oil lamps were a gift from Curtis. The marbles, are antique and  Curt and Seth played with them when they were little. Okay I will confess. My rottie Hillary ate a  hole in the carpet behind the couch. Curt and Seth loved it! It was perfect to play marbles and they were both upset when we replaced the carpet.lol The shoes we bought and the little red tennis shoes were Curts. I can still see him wearing those and I thought he was the cutest. The pewter candlesticks and the crocks were just things we bought.
A close up of the pin keep. See the bone buttons she is wearing?

This sign was in there too. Of course Frank made it. He said he made it for me when they had visited me and I used this expression. It is something I say often. Probably too often.
It says, "It is what it is". That became associated with me and I even have a casserole dish, given to me by Sharon that says it!
Little white house ornaments and another homemade Moravian star. I love their stars.
Then there was this gorgeous sheep. Yes they made it it. It is covered in real wool. I immediately placed it in the manger. I love it. So see why I was so excited? Wow! See why I say they are so generous?
I want to share my favorite picture of my  twig tree.
See my OLM snowman. Everyone recognizes her work.(her genius) Ignore my house shoes.lol
I will show you a few more Christmas from around the house.
I have to change the greenery every 5-6 days.lol
Do you see the woolie angel from Trace?
Several months ago Sandi found me some pewter chargers and she brought them to me.
We played with them. The Christmas dishes looked good in them and so did the mustard ones. Even the paper plates looked good in them.lol I now have to find a place to store them, but don't you love them?
Well I have to get busy. Mollie  and Amanda are coming by. I have to wrap a few more gifts, and assemble my stack cake this morning. But I am so glad you came Through My Back Door where life is good and the Joys of Christmas are evident.
PS: Thank you for the prayers for Angela. Her procedure worked.
PSS: There are other bloggers, however who need your prayers. Will you pray for them?
PSSS: How about joining me over on FB to share in the gifts I am giving myself everyday until Christmas> I would love to have you join in.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Just Warms My Heart

Good afternoon and come on in Through My Back Door. We are having White Christmas coffee, from Door County, coffee today. Also have a piece of nut bread or some fudge. Or both!lol  I am so happy to see you today as Christmas makes you want to visit with friends and family, doesn't it?
Where do you want to sit? Here is fine and you will be warm.
 Before we go any further let me clarify I KNOW the true meaning of Christmas as do you, but this post is about fun, decorating and enjoying time with good friends. Jesus is the reason we celebrate and I believe with all of my heart, that He wants us to be hospitable, enjoy friends, and love the season. I believe He likes to see us full of joy and Christmas fills me with it. It always has. Now I have to admit this has been a bit different. Our family hasn't had the privilege of Curtis being home in 7 Christmases, but he was "there". Know what I mean? We did his Christmas and saw, when he could have food he had dinner from home.(We couldn't bring him out) So, this year we don't have that privilege. It is different. It hurts but we are realists and know we have to make the best of it. God has blessed our family so much, I will NOT dwell on the sad. So on to why Christmas warms my heart. I love decorations. I love lights.(Remember when I did the post on the over use of love and awesome? Well we are ignoring it today.LOL) I love the sappy Hallmark Movies, I love the Christmas Carols sung over and over again, it just warms my heart. I love the cooking, the baking, the wrapping. Well I got a little carried away there, I do NOT like wrapping and I am not good at it.lol This year my trip to St Louis was just exactly what I needed to get me in the spirit.Remember I  said I felt I was in a Christmas Village.Saturday night I went to see my daughter in law Renda's, production of "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus." Wow it put me in the Christmas mood!! Last night I was invited by my friend Susie Blaizer to go to the Tennessee Theatre to see White Christmas. Oh what joy. I love(there goes that word again) that awesome (lol) movie! It is better on the big screen than on my tv. I left there with my heart truly being warm in the Christmas spirit. People were saying to one another, "Merry Christmas", it was magical.Friday night I went to a Christmas party and came away with a whole new perspective on the 12 Days of Christmas. Okay, you want to hear my confession? I have always hated that song. I knew it had Christian meaning, just never knew what it was. Well when Nita Buell Black gave the explanation, I took it to heart. Wow! Now I like it. Sometimes we just  need to be enlightened. So, yes I have been busy and yes I enjoy it. There are several more parties and get togethers planned and I am looking forward to them all.
I sure miss this boy being in the middle of all the festivities. He can never be replaced.
I will share some random decorations around the house.
Yes, Michael carved the santa and yes Deb painted it. I am so blessed to have these. Also my portrait of Mother, sent to me by by my friend and fellow blogger, Marshal. She is a favorite.
Well I am so happy you have come Through My Back Door where life is good and I hope your heart is just a bit warmer after our visit. Why don't you make it a special heart warming season for someone?
PS: I have a special prayer request and bloggers I know we pray. My friend Dottie's son in having some serious eye problems. He is a young man and needs his vision. Will you help pray for a miracle?
PSS: Angela's procedure worked! See God hears us
PSSS: I am having company this week if the weather cooperates. I am so excited. Sandi(Daybreak Place) is coming for a visit. We are so hoping the weather permits it. Know what we have for breakfast when we visit one another? Do you give? Yep, BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!!lol and NO it isn't ever either of our birthdays!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Meet Me In St Louis!

Come on in and get a cup of Christmas Tradition coffee and lets visit. I will share with you where I have been. It has been a wonderful time and I am now ready to stay home and finish getting ready for Christmas. Over a week ago Deb and I left to go to Beths. It was during the time all the bad weather was moving in our direction and we were torn about what to do. The baby sitter needed to be off for Thanksgiving, so we had no choice but to go. So off we went! We had absolutely no trouble, it turned out to be a beautiful day when we left Nashville to go on to Illinois. What fun we had with Amelia. She is growing  and the happiest baby! Laughs out loud and coos, and is just a joy to keep. Deb and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner because they both had to work on Thanksgiving Day.  So we had two Thanksgivings. Our family one had been on the Saturday before.We got home last night and what a difference a day makes. We spent Tuesday and Tuesday night in St Louis, and today it is icy and 28*!
I want to share some pictures from our St Louis stay. Beth surprised us with a suite at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel. It was beautiful. The best part it was in walking distance of some quaint shops and restaurants. We had such a good time and Amelia was an angel Apparently she too, likes girl trips.lol
Here is the hotel and it was decorated so pretty. I was just in awe. The country mouse went to the city.
A view from one of our windows. It was just beautiful.
We walked to lunch. We ate at a place called Culpeppers. I had a hamburger, that was delicious.
This is it. The building was beautiful. Afterwards we took a walk and just looked around.
I love these street lights. They are so pretty and even prettier at night.
This is a row of homes on the street. Aren't they just gorgeous? I think I could live there.lol
We went to the Candy store, Bessingers! Oh the chocolate was delicious. I found all the merchants and shop keepers to be so friendly.
Amelia loved the walking. she was so good, never once cried and we were out and about nearly all day.
We went to the Arches too and toured the museum, Deb and I chose not to go up in them this time.
This lady was finishing up the Gingerbread House in the lobby.
It was so festive you had to get into the Christmas spirit.
Some outside and inside
shots at the hotel
We ate Italian for dinner. One of the best meals I have had. Scallops and shrimp pasta. Ummmmmm. Afterward we went to The Cup and got cupcakes to take back for dessert. Hey after all that walking, we deserved this. Amelia went to bed and we sat around and talked and laughed like we hadn't seen one another in ages. Then we ate these. Can you guess which one was mine?
You are right if you guessed the peppermint! It was red velvet cake and peppermint icing. Oh my! Beth chose the pumpkin one and Deb the Gingerbread. They were delicious and I certainly could eat one now.
Yesterday morning we went to A French restaurant for Crepes for breakfast.

They were as good as they look. We were sitting here, eating these delicious crepes, drinking coffee, listening to Christmas music, and looking outside at this.
I told the girls I felt like I was in a snow village.
Well I hope you enjoyed the visit to St Louis with us. Next time I want to share some more trip pictures, plus some Christmas here. You know I am always glad when you come Through My Back Door where life is good.
PS: Lets promise not to get so busy that we forget the real reason we celebrate Christmas, okay.
PSS: Please continue to pray for our friend Angela. She needs to get well and we know God can heal
PSSS: I hope your days before Christmas are filled with more love and joy and much less stress