Saturday, December 31, 2011

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone so quickly.  It has been quite a year.  As I prepared to write this post I tried to reflect on the past 12 months.  There have been a lot of changes, some wonderful new experiences and some tragic losses.

I’m not for making New Years Resolutions – they tend to just be a reminder of failure J    Although, I always strive each year to gain more patience.  It often eludes me but I do think I am a bit better in this area than in past years.  I guess it’s a work in progress.

I’ve learned
- that being stubborn can have its price.
- it’s never to late to try something new.
- sometimes the simplest of gestures can mean the most.
- There are times when you just need to let some things go - And that's OK. 

This blog has been such a positive experience for me.   I have interacted with some wonderful people and made some very special connections.  I have discovered that what may appear to be a random thought can often create a relationship that has multiple benefits.  Though blogging I have learned a lot of things.  There are many people dealing with the same issues and we have been able to help each other.    There are many different forms and stages of caregiving and often when you are the most frustrated, someone steps forward to share their experiences.  Being able to share, vent, rant (if needed) is an invaluable tool. 

I so appreciate each and every one of you who take the time to visit here and leave a comment.   Thank you so much for your coming along for the ride with me.

Health, Hope, and Happiness to each of you in 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's the result that counts

Well, it appears I am not the only funny knitter.  After reading the comments I have quite a few new members for my O.K.A. group. 

The "thigh" method is no stranger than the "armpit" method some of you referenced in your comments.   And Pat knits the most beautiful things and she's a thigh knitter too.  

And its not how you do it that matters - its the end result that counts.  Maybe someday I will learn to hold the needles differently and be able to knit something fun with those crazy circular needles. 

But for now I will carry on with my (apparently not so rare) technique.  This is the chemo cap I finished knitting today for a family friend.

I'm getting closer to narrowing down a new rug design, so I will probably be putting the knitting needles away for awhile.  I can't stand not having a project, so when I get stuck I dig out the needles and yarn until I figure something out. 

I'm a little behind on commenting and responding to emails.  I will get caught up eventually.  I think my brain is still on lazy vacation mode.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I need to confess

They say the hardest part is admitting it.  So often we keep the most shameful parts of ourselves secret.  Too ashamed to bring the nasty thing to the light.

Fear holds us back - fear of the mocking and being shunned.

But then one brave soul steps forward to publicly announce their problem.  At first you are horrified but eventually you come to the realization that their brave confession could help bring a dark secret to the surface.  Soon others start to admit that they too are afflicted.

Thanks to the bravery of Andrea, I am now ready to say it out loud . . . . . I need to join O . K . A  (Odd Knitters Anonymous)

Hello, My name is Kim and I knit funny

There . . . . .  I've said it.   Whew,  what a relief.   Until Andrea's confession, I thought I was all alone.  I have never seen anyone knit like me before.  The resulting product looks the same as everyone else, but I hold the needles "funny".  I jab one needle into my leg and hold it there.  Once it's nicely wedged in place I just move the yarn with that hand.  I have no idea where I picked up this stupid habit.  (Meg, Stop Laughing)

I can't knit any other way.  I've tried holding those stupid needles tons of different ways.  Nope.   I've tried the circular needles.  Nope.   And forget trying to knit with those crazy 4 little double pointed things.  Nope.    It's MADNESS

So are there any other people out there who need to join Odd Knitters Anonymous with me and Andrea ?  I wonder what the 12 steps would be for this program . . . . .

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The aftermath

This picture kind if sums up how I have been the past 2 days. 

Once Christmas Day passed my enthusiasm level took a nose dive.  I have been lazy, lazy, lazy. 

And is doesn't help that all the yummy holiday cooking is still lingering around.  I have been "grazing" for days.  If I'm not careful I will be waddling back to work next week. 

I think every visitor who came here this week brought some baked goods.  It is everywhere and it is so good.  I tried to resist but it is just not humanly possible to know there are peanut butter balls or homemande donuts in the house and not eat them.

I thought we better take a break from turkey leftovers today so I made a clam chowder.  Mmmmm.  Mom even had a big bowl.  That is one of the upsides of this Alzheimers thing -  Mom has forgotten she was a picky eater and now tries most things I make. Tomorrow I'm thinking a turkey rice casserole. 

I'm a little restless tonight so I was browsing pinterest looking for inspiration for a new rug.  I need to have something done for mid February.  But nothing grabbed my attention so I'll hope maybe tomorrow I will have more luck.  I think I'll knit something tonight until I figure out a rug.

I think the title of this post should have been "random thoughts" - Gee I'm all over the place tonight.

Thank you for all your comments on my last post.  I'm glad you all understood how special that little ribbon is to me.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Blessings

We had a wonderful day full of so many Christmas blessings.   Starting last evening we hosted some friends after the church service.  Good friends, food and laughter - a great start.

By the time we went to bed we were about ready to drop.  Tired but a happy tired.

Santa  found all of us, even little Millie.

One of the greatest blessings of the day was that Mom was in a great mood.  There were even a few funny moments from her.  This is rare and was a lovely gift for me.   We had a morning visit from my cousin Mike (you know - the boy who killed Santa for me) and he brought a cake. 

I had Christmas Dinner ready at around 1 pm.  I cooked a 20 lb turkey and all the fixings.  Yes, I said 20 lbs - for the 3 of us.  Lol  But that means I get a couple of days off from cooking.  Mom ate a huge plate of food.  Another rare treat, as her appetite is not the best anymore.  She seemed to be on her best behavior for me today and I was so grateful.

I want to show you my most special Christmas present.  Two weeks ago when I picked up Mom at day care the supervisor handed me this package with instructions not to open until Christmas.

Despite being curious, I wanted to wait.  I knew this was going to be special.  Their project that week was to make something special for their loved ones.  I am blessed that the staff at Mom's program are caring enough to think of something like this.   What was held inside this little package ?

A simple little beaded bookmark.   A few beads on a simple white ribbon.  But it was enough to bring me to tears.  It has been so long since Mom has participated in holidays, the fact that I knew she actually made this has made it so special. 

Sometimes it just the little things that make a day special - like a small gesture from an angel.   I hope you all had a blessed day and have some angels in your life.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry  Christmas

from our house to yours

Friday, December 23, 2011

A White Christmas

This is what I woke up to this morning.

 Nothing better than a White Christmas

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Batteries not included

I'm officially on Christmas vacation.  So this morning, instead of sleeping in (which was what I really wanted to do) I jumped out of bed early and started knocking things off the list.

I was organized and I had a plan.  That in itself was like a minor Christmas miracle.

I took Mom to her Adult Day Care program and came back and grabbed Auntie and we headed out to tackle THE LIST.  I was like the Energizer Bunny - I just kept going and going and going. 

And conveniently near lunch time we ended up near Bella's Cafe, so I convinced Auntie to buy me lunch.  (Convenient or a devious plan on my part ? Hmmmm)   We had a lovely lunch and patted ourselves on the back a lot for all that we had accomplished so far.

We continued shopping until 1:30 pm and then I dropped her at home and she wrapped and bagged and I delivered.  This took the rest of the afternoon.  As soon as I finish this post I have to go to the grocery store - - -  That's it.  I think I'm done.   Maybe I shouldn't say it out loud just in case.   But I "think" I have thought of everything.

If I'm right (please, please, please) then all that will be left to do tomorrow is have my annual pre-Christmas lunch date with friends at the tavern.

So my dear friends, it appears as if my goal of not visiting any stores on Dec. 24 is going to happen.  A first for me.   I think I feel some of that holiday "zen" happening. 

I'll close with a picture of my last hooking project.  I don't think I ever showed the finshed product.  I delivered it to its recipient this morning.  I hope she likes it.

I hope you all get that last burst of "energizer bunny"
and experience a little holiday zen.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

As it draws nearer . . . .

Several blog posts today reminded me that it is indeed December 20th

The big day is approaching very quickly.

So I thought I would show you how that makes me feel . . . .

So very relaxed and zen-like


Come on people - I hope none of you believe that crap

This is actually closer to the truth . . .

There are still a list of gifts to buy, wrap, deliver.

There are still things to bake.

There are still ideas for the hard-to-buy-for that I am hoping will pop magically into my head.

There are annoying, crabby, pushy people in the stores that I want to run down with my cart.
(Hmmm, Is it possible I am one of them . . . . . . )

My dream of starting vacation at 4:30pm today is not going to happen.

Plan B - Noon tomorrow (fingers crossed)

This is starting to look plausible . . . .

Ho, Ho, Friggin Ho

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What matters . . . . .

This weekend was full of reminders of what this holiday season should be for everyone.  Its not about shopping, spending, and driving yourself crazy trying to do everything perfectly.

What should be the focus is spending quality time with family and friends.  And that is exactly how I spent my weekend. 

Saturday I travelled to Truro for a family cookie exchange.  I listened to Christmas music in the car for my hour drive and had a lovely afternoon visiting with the Jones family.  My cousin hosted and prepared some appetizers and cider and of course, the table full of cookies.  We talked and laughed and spent way too much time trying to complete what appeared to be a very simple little puzzle.  Nine pieces . . .   How hard could it be ?  Well, according to the box there were approximately 300,000 wrong combinations.  Well, we never did solve it.  (The key has to be in the double club piece . . . .)  It was frustratingly fun though. 

I drove back home, singing Christmas carols all the way, to arrive at party #2.  My friend's family hosts an annual Christmas Family & Friends Extravaganza the Saturday before Christmas.  Their home is always packed with people and there is just no end to the food.  Huge pots of chili, seafood chowder, meatballs, rice, noodles, sweet and sour pork.  Then a fruit/cheese and dessert spread on the dining room table.  And lots of Gloria's famous divinity fudge (my favorite).    I'm sure I gained 5 pounds just this weekend.

The perfect end to Saturday night was coming home to discover my favorite movie was on TV -  It's A Wonderful Life.  I'm sure I have seen this movie 100 times, but I can't resist it.  I love those old Christmas movies - the cheesier and hokier the better. 

AND FINALLY - - -  I decorated my Christmas tree this morning.  Yippee - now it actually feels like Christmas in this house. 

And in a tradition that began after losing a beloved uncle about 15 years ago - I hid the "Christmas Frog" within the branches of the tree.   Can you see him ?

Just a few more close ups of the tree.  My overall tree shots were all blurry.  I'll try again another day.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A little Christmas Spirit

It was bound to happen.  Three Christmas parties in 2 days has let a little Christmas spirit creep in to my previous Grinchy heart.

Last night's staff party was great.  The meal was excellent, the performance was very funny and the company was entertaining. 

Now it is a road trip to the Jones Family Christmas Cookie exchange. And as a bonus, the weather is perfect for travelling this time of year.  I think these look great and passed inspection/taste test from Auntie.  (She is quite a critic, so I consider these good cookies)

It has been a few months since I have seen them and I am really looking forward to it.  Then this evening is supper with a group of great friends.  Busy day but all good.  Spending a day with all the people I love. 

CHEERS  (yes there might even be a few opportunities tonight to raise a glass)  wink

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Santa

I think the first thing on my Santa's wish list this year is a few extra days between now and the 25th.  Do you think Santa can deliver that ??  Not likely I suppose.  My tree has been up since Saturday and still has not been decorated.  I plan (hope) to start that tomorrow in between baking cookies. 

It is definately time to put myself into 2nd gear and push forward.   I have tomorrow off and have a list of to - do's

The rest of the weekend is jammed packed with 3 parties.  Our staff party is tomorrow evening - a local dinner theatre production with a hip of beef buffet.  Then two back to back events Saturday.  I am looking forward to a little fun.

It has been a week that has dampened our Christmas spirit at work.  Earlier this week we lost a long time employee suddenly.  Such a tragedy at any time yet it seems so much worse this time of year.  The funeral service is tomorrow afternoon.  Not exactly a good lead in to a holiday party.  The mood will certainly be more subdued than in the past.

So that is what is happening around here.  Wish me luck with my cookies tomorrow. 

P.S.  Santa, it would be great if you sent an elf to decorate my tree while I sleep tonight.  Just thought I'd throw that out there.    Isn't there a saying that "ask and you shall receive"?  Just testing, in case Michael was wrong and you ARE real . . . . . . .

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chatting on Patrice's Porch

Today I thought I would join Patrice for Chats on the Farmhouse Porch.  Each week Patrice posts some get-to-know-each-other questions.   

  1. Where is your favorite place to think, reflect, or pray?
I think my favorite spot to think is near the water.  It doesn't matter if it's the ocean, lake or a river.  I just feel better when I can look out at the water.  The sounds of the water lapping up on the rocks is just so soothing to me.  It always makes me feel better.  Someday I'm going to retire on a beach.

2.    Did you believe in Santa as a kid?

YES.  Even though I was terrified to sit on his knee, I did believe.  You know those pictures you see with the little kids screaming in fear on Santa's lap - - that was me.  LOL  I still remember my cousin Michael telling me he wasn't real.  I ran to my grandfather crying and sobbing, begging him to tell me that Michael was lying.  Grandpa was NOT impressed with him.    When Michael and his wife had their first child, I held her in the hospital and told her in a few years I was going to tell her what her Daddy told me.  Michael roared laughing and told his wife from now on to refer to me as "Crazy Aunt Kim" around the baby so she wouldn't believe anything I said.  Can you imagine??  He told me I can tell her on her 18th birthday.  I have 7 years to wait.

3.   What's your favorite kind of Christmas cookie? You can add a recipe if you have time.

Hmmm, all cookies are good, but I look forward to the coconut cherry surprise balls and gingerbread.  I also make a mean nutmeg log.

4.    Did you grow up around any of your grandparents?

My Father's parents were gone but I saw my Mom's parents every day growing up.  I think they were my most important influences in life.  I was the only grandchild so I spent a lot of time with them.  They each taught me things that have carried me through life.

5.     What's your favorite winter sport-skiing, skating,sledding, other(?) ? If you are in a warm place, what is your favorite winter sport to watch when the Winter Olympics are televised?

I skated a lot as a child and we lived near a great sledding hill.  Not a big fan of climbing back up the hill though. (haha)   I tried skiing twice.  (Once for a guy)  It is not for me.  I still don't understand why sensible people would strap sticks to their feet and hurl themselves down a mountain. . . . . . . . Lol

Since we are being honest here - I'll confess - I'm the kind of winter sport girl who gets dressed up in a cute ski / skate outfit and then sits by the roaring fire with a drink and a plate of food.    Love the outfits - hate the winter activity.   

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I feel a little more Christmassy now.  Attending the performance of the Nutcracker Ballet was a great idea.  I went with my friend Teri and her Mom.  We had some special little girl's in the performance.

The youngest was one of the mice and later a dancing gingerbread.  Her sister was one of the toy soldiers.  They looked adorable and did a fantastic job. 

I was impressed with the whole production.  Very professional and well done.  And some of those ballerina's were just amazing.  Not bad for a small little town.

Before the performance started we did a little shopping in downtown Sackville.  I found this great little carrier.  It looks perfect for when you have to take treats somewhere this time of year.

When I got home I discovered the beautiful pointsettia garden (in the first photo) had been delivered.   And one of Mom's Home Care workers stopped by and delivered this cute little mug with greenery.

He makes one for each of his clients, as many of them live alone and don't have a Christmas tree anymore so they enjoy the little wisps of real greenery.  It is so sweet and thoughtful. 

And the last (but certainly not least) bit of Christmas spirit I found this weekend . . .

A bottle of Chocolate Vodka Martini

Now that's some Christmas Spirit - Right . . . . .

I'm thinking garnishing the glass with a peppermint patty or maybe a mini candy cane

I'll let you know my review after I "test" it tonight. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Remember - Be Nice

Sometimes we all need a little reminder to be nice.  Everyday stress plus all this holiday hoopla can take a toll on the nerves and common sense.

And especially at this time of year (you know, with Santa watching and all) we should all be on our best behavior :)

Do you remember in a post earlier this week I mentioned getting low on a pretty piece of plaid wool?  Well, last night I got a message from a friend that she found a piece of it in her stash and was willing to part with it.  Another example of the generosity of hooker friends.

So on my lunch hour I stopped in to pick it up (before she changed her mind  LOL).  As I was leaving I mentioned I was on my way to a local store to raise heck about an trouble-filled purchase.   I was all wound up and loaded-for-bear.   And then she hits me with this . . . . . "Now Kim, Be Nice"     Dang it.  Don't you hate it when someone is right ?   (And I had a really good rant all worked out for the store manager too)   And even worse, she had to remind me to be nice after just giving me a kind, nice gesture.  Sheesh, sometimes I need a bonk on the head. 

As I left and was driving to the store I realized I was smiling.  I looked down at that pretty piece of wool on the seat next to me and giggled all the way to the store.  And as I arrived in the parking lot I was repeating "Now Kim, Be Nice"    So I WAS and got my issues all straightened out.  Sometimes we all need a little reminder to be nice. 

Tomorrow I am going to see the Nutcracker Ballet.  That should help with the Christmas Spirit.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hello Sunshine

I had a lovely surprise last evening when I got home - A blog award.   And who doesn't like to receive an award ?  I'd like to thank the Academy....    Well, actually I'd like to thank Andrea from the blog Maybe It's Just Me.  Andrea writes a very funny and honest blog.  It is worth a trip over to visit her.

She has passed on the Sunshine Award.  I think its just the nicest compliment if someone thinks you are like Sunshine !  "The Sunshine Blog Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blogosphere".  How great is that !  Thank you so much Andrea.

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.  (Thank you Andrea)

2. Answer the following questions below.

3. And pass the award to 10 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.

Here are my answers:

Favorite color? It changes, but lately I'm drawn to reds and golds

Favorite animal?   Ahhh, I would be in big trouble if I didn't say Millie the Wonder Dog

Favorite number?

Favorite drink? coffee or a martini with 3 olives or a nice glass of dry red

Facebook or Twitter?   Facebook.  I've never twittered or tweeted or whatever it is you do :)

Your passion?  Hmm, so many - but taking care of my family is probably #1

Giving or getting presents? Can't I say both ?  Giving the perfect gift is a great feeling - but getting is good too, right

Favorite day? Thursday

Favorite flower?  Sunflowers.  They always look so cheery

Now for the last part I am going to cheat on the rules a little bit.  I'm not going to specifically name 10 blogs to pass the award on to.  (Last time I got in a little trouble)  Plus it is just too hard to select just 10 fabulous bloggers because you are all great.   So I will offer the award to my 10 most recent followers.  Feel free to grab the award and pass it on.

Spread a little sunshine

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Still looking. . .

I'm in need of a little smack on the head from the Christmas Spirit Fairy. 

A lot of you are decorating and baking etc.  I'm still waiting for the spirit.  Even loading up the ipod with Christmas music hasn't worked yet.

I think I got smacked in the head by the Bah Humbug Fairy this year.  Lol

Clearly it should be obvious to you by now that I am lacking a good post idea tonight.  Instead - you get Random Kim.  (Sorry)

I hooked a little tonight on another little gift mat.  I am down to the end of this piece of plaid wool.  I now consider each strip to be a little piece of gold, since it will be awhile before I order more from Heavens to Betsy. 

I think this is one of those color issues with photos.  It looks better in person.  The colors compliment each other better than it appears.  Trust me.

Is it just me or does it feel more like Thursday than Tuesday?  

Maybe this is the kind of Christmas spirit that will kick start me . . . . .  Just sayin

Saturday, December 3, 2011

You can call me Jill

Last evening was the 2nd time our Women's Dinner Club met.  This month 12 ladies met to enjoy a night of stories, laughs, fellowship, wine and great food.

 This has turned out to be such an enjoyable event. I went home with a sore face from laughing so hard.  Part of the humor was due to the theme of the month.  Our menu was "Asian Flair".  And as we got seated around the beautiful dining room table we noticed something was missing........silverware.  Yes, you guessed it - - we had to eat the entire meal with chopsticks.

As you can imagine, this led to all sorts of fun.  We had one "pro" in our midst who had studied in China for several months.  She attempted to teach us and then she laughed at us - a lot.  It's not as easy as it looks.

During the appetizer portion, while we were all just chatting in the living room, I noticed the lady next to me called me Jill.  Well, we were all in a big conversation and I just let it go.  Later in the evening someone across the table asked me a question, using my name.  Then the other lady realized and said, "Oh I've been calling you Jill all night".  I said, Oh thats OK, you can call me Jill.  We all laughed and it kind of became a "thing" for the rest of the night. 

So it begs the question - When someone you have just recently met calls you by the wrong name, do you correct them ??  Do you let it go once ?  But then if you don't correct it and it goes on for too long, can you correct it then ?

Several years ago I met a woman at a function.  The next time I saw her she called me Susan.  It was just a hello in passing so I let it go.  Then it happened again.  Well, I let it go before so maybe it was too late to correct it now (thats what I told myself)  About a year later I was at an event with Auntie.  This woman again says "Hi Susan".   Auntie scrunched up her face and whispered "Did she just say Susan ?"  I grabbed her by the arm, pulled her along and said "Just go with it - Its gone on for 2 years now."  LOL

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hooking and Cooking

I have another holiday rug started.  I hope this one turns out nice as I have it planned for a special family lady.  Here is a little peek

I like it so far.  If it turns out really nice I wouldn't mind making another.  I usually don't have success hooking the same pattern twice.  It my notorious short attention span - I lose interest quickly once its done. 

Now, as promised, here is the Gumdrop Cake recipe.  I can't believe how many of you commented that you had never heard of this cake.  It is such a staple this time of year around here.   I did ask a few more questions about the mystery of the green gumdrops. 

Some of the family say that the green gumgrops have a stronger minty flavor than the other colors and that may be why she didn't use too many. 

Susan suggested that green candies make you amorous........LOL  Well I don't know about that but I doubt that was Grandma's reason for omitting them.  She thought my grandfather was the "cats pyjamas" so if Susan's theory was true, she would have used ALL green.

Here is the recipe: 
1 cup butter or margarine
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp each vanilla, lemon, almond extract
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
16 ounces gumdrops - cut in half or thirds

(save 1/2 cup of the flour to toss the gumdrops in - otherwise the gumdrops will all sink to the bottom)

Bake at 325 for an hour and a half.

Try it - you'll like it.