Friday, December 12, 2014

Well, I was wrong...they did manage to pass a spending bill just hours before a government shutdown.   I haven't read what cuts the final bill included but at least they got something to the Senate before a shutdown.  I'll give them that much.

I'm so glad today is Friday.  I have so much to do this weekend.  Ron has to work tomorrow so that will give me time to wrap presents and finish a little shopping.  Then Ron and I are bell ringers at the mall for the Salvation Army tomorrow night.  We also have a dinner and a party to go to on Sunday.  It's going to be a busy weekend.

It feels like Christmas but it's just going by so fast!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Spending Bill

I absolutely hate politics.  The older I get the more I hate it.  I’m wondering where we will stand this evening if Congress is unable to approve a spending bill.  There are several trade-offs embedded in the $1.1 trillion spending bill that the Democrat and Republican negotiators unveiled Tuesday in an effort to keep the federal government functioning past Thursday.

One trade-off I do not support is the changes that would allow the wealthy to donate up to $777,600, from the current $97,200, to the national party committees.  This country is already run by big corporations and the wealthy.  This would further silence the average American from having a voice in our government.  I support campaign reform but this is going in the wrong direction.

Banks also won a rollback of a section of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law related to derivatives trading.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) blasted the changes to Dodd-Frank. “We all need to stand and fight this giveaway to the most powerful banks in this country,” she said. “These are the same banks that nearly broke the economy in 2008 and destroyed millions of jobs.”

Michelle Obama’s school nutrition effort was also targeted.  States would get the option to let schools skip out on rules requiring serving whole grains while the defense industry secured new funding for F-35s fighters the Pentagon didn’t even ask for,
I can’t wait to see if these mental giants can reach some kind of resolution before they shut down the government.  Today should be interesting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas with Jesus

My most memorable Christmas occurred in 1956, when I was about six years old. The town where we lived had a naval base, sort of the last remaining remnant of World War II. My oldest brother, Butch, was about sixteen or seventeen.

One Christmas Eve he came home telling our Mom and Dad he had just seen a young sailor walking all alone down town. He told them he had almost stopped and invited him home for Christmas. Mama and Daddy asked, “Why didn’t you?”

“Really?" Butch replied. “Well, maybe I can still find him.”
Butch quickly left to go look for the sailor while I sat by the window pondering about what I’d just overheard. Not long before this, my grandmother had told me the story of Jesus going to three homes as a stranger. At the first two he was turned away but at the third he was welcomed and the family had shared what little they had with the stranger.

So here I sat with my seven-year-old brain quickly concluding that the sailor was Jesus and that my very own big brother had recognized this fact and invited him to our house for Christmas.
I waited by the window for what seemed a very long time when suddenly the old white Studebaker appeared in the driveway. Butch walked toward the house followed by a young sailor not much older.

Mom and Dad welcomed the young man to our house and though he looked a bit confused at first, he soon relaxed and made himself at home. Mama explained to him that the entire family would be going to Christmas Eve service at church and he was more than welcome to join us.

So off we went, Mama, Dad, Butch, Mike, Jesus and me. I made myself comfortable right by his side. Sometime during the service I fell asleep and was later told that our guest had carried me to the car. When we returned home and as the tradition in our family, we were each allowed to select one gift to open.

I was worried about our guest not having a gift so I asked Mom if she thought Daddy would mind if I gave the embroidered handkerchief I had made for him to the young sailor. I had embroidered the initial “S” for Simpson on the starched white cloth but thought it could just as easily stand for sailor.

Mom said she didn’t think he would mind and so I gave my gift to our special guest.

We never did see the young sailor again, but I always wondered what became of him or if he remembered the family who welcomed him for Christmas when he was just a stranger.

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's A Wonderful Life

Well another whirl wind weekend.  Last week was so busy I was glad to get it over.  I had a colonoscopy on Friday and after Ron viewed the pictures of my colon I told him he can honestly say he knows me inside and out!  Don't have to repeat this for another 5 years.

As much as people hate having this procedure it beats the heck out of dying from colon cancer.  Both Ron's and my father died of colon cancer.  Had it been caught early they both probably would have lived another 20 years.  So, it is something we take very seriously and it is one of the most curable cancers if caught early.

We celebrated my daughters (plural) birthdays Saturday night.  Had a great time with them.  I got them T-shirts that say Thing 1 and Thing 2 along with things they really wanted.  I can't believe they are 44 years old.  It seems like yesterday they were just five years old and refusing to let anyone sing happy birthday to them.

Jamie & Julie age 2

Right now the world is looking pretty wonderful to me.  Ron is doing well, Mike is doing well, my daughters are healthy and I'm free of pain.  Life is really good!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Too busy for Christmas

Well, I'm sorta started preparing for Christmas.  I have gifts purchased but not wrapped.  We put up our Christmas tree and that's about as far as I've gotten.  

This week is just full of appointments.  Saw the doctor Monday and had lost another 6 pounds.  I was kind of shocked because I really am not trying.  I've lost 36 pounds since June 11.  

I had a dentist appointment this morning and I have a colonoscopy scheduled for Friday.  But it will be good to have all this stuff behind me then I can get back to wrapping gifts and having fun.

Our annual Golf Cart parade was this past Monday and again people out did themselves.  In spite of the cold weather we had a great turn out and I was very aware that this would be my last parade.  Bitter sweet!

Monday, December 1, 2014

We had a very nice Thanksgiving.  My daughter Jamie couldn't wait to give me one of my Christmas presents and when she did I just busted out in tears.

When my daughters were young I told them about the Christmas when I was about 10 years old and I had asked for a Pink Ponytail Scrapbook.  Every little girl my age was collecting Ponytail and I wanted this so bad.  Well, Christmas day came and there was nothing Ponytail under the tree.  Instead I got a red baseball autograph book.  I was so disappointed but I tried to hide it from my mother.

So, anyway this is what my daughter found on Ebay....she had been searching for 7 years.

 I immediately burst into tears because I was so touched.  I guess it was the reaction she was looking for......

Anyone else remember Pontytail?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My most memorable Thanksgiving

I have eaten Thanksgiving dinner at least 64 times in my life but I never had a Thanksgiving like the one I had in 1982.  My parents had moved to Poteau, Oklahoma about 150 miles from my home.  Myself and my two 12 year old's were there along with my brother Mike and my older brother and his then 11 year old daughter came as well.  In addition to all the human beings we brought our dog and my niece's hamster.  It was quite the menagerie.  

Well, my mother was in charge of the meal, as usual, and I was trying to do my duty as the cook's helper.  My mom would get rather frazzled when she was cooking for an army and especially as important a meal as Thanksgiving.  So I knew it was best to wait until I got my orders before just diving in to help.  

Well, the turkey had been in the oven since breakfast but I noticed there was no roasted turkey smell wafting through the house but my mom seemed to have things under control and who was I to intervene.   So I got the table set and everything was ready for the main act when my mother let out a scream that her turkey was still seems the oven was broken the whole time.  

So with my mother in tears and somehow making this all my father's fault for moving her to Poteau in the first place my older brother quickly got the phone book to see if there was anyplace open where he could get a Thanksgiving dinner.  The Black Angus Restaurant was open and Butch immediately drove there and purchased a Thanksgiving dinner for 12.  Help was on the way.....that us until my brother (who is anything but agile) managed to spill the entire meal in the car complete with giblet gravy. While he was in the car trying to scrape the meal off the seats and floor board another scream was heard only this time from a younger set of pipes.  It seems my dog ate my niece's hamster or at the very least mauled it to death.

A considerable amount of time lapsed before we were all gathered around the table eating dinner.  The offending dog banished to the back yard and the rest of us trying to pick around the floor mat fuzz for the best turkey pieces.