Tuesday, January 27, 2009


This story is a great tribute to hard working hands, they are so important in the caring and raising of children and comforting of my family. I know mine are always exhausted at the end of the day, but I am glad to have touched the ones I love. It is also one of the things I miss the most about my sister is touching her --we were very touchy with each other and always noticed that our hands were very similar looking, even our handwriting was identical. There is such a huge connection between the hands and the heart. Read on:

Grandma's Hands:

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands. When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. 'Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking,' she said in a clear voice strong. 'I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,' I explained to her.

'Have you ever looked at your hands,' she asked. 'I mean really looked at your hands?' I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story: 'Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

'They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer.

They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.

They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

'They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent.

They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.

Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

'They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body.

They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw.

And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

'These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.'

I will never look at my hands the same again.

But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

-- Author Unknown

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mom for president?

Christopher decided the other day when we were discussing the new President, that I would make a good president because I am such a good cook, apparently that is the criteria of a nine year old boy. They have had some good meals lately and since I have been cooking for 20 years now I have a few dishes that just keep getting better. I take pride in cooking nearly every night using fresh ingredients, and am glad he appreciates it.  To name a few family favorites: Spaghetti with bolognese sauce, chicken fajitas, sweet and sour chicken, pulled pork, my version of philly cheesesteaks and the tried and true homemade pizza, which is becoming a Friday night ritual: see below
I usually do a traditional and then always do one of my freestyle pizzas with all sorts of different toppings, this one had grilled chicken, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, red peppers onions, fresh tomatoes and some asiago cheese. it takes a long time to prepare but I am usually drinking wine while I am creating and it just keeps getting better.

I enjoy getting creative and forcing myself to use what is in the house, the other night I sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic and chicken threw in some cream of mushroom soup and sour cream served it over noodles and it was a hit, of course the boys always want to know the name of whatever dish they are getting, this one didn't have an official title.

Jim and I can't figure out why the boys don't like my meatloaf, we both love it, the boys don't have a choice , I guess it will grow on them.

It's sweet how little boys view things, if only the president could cook the enemies a nice meal the world would be a more peaceful place, what else is more important than a full tummy?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tied up in knots

Picture this: Bryan needs to leave for his football banquet in 10 minutes, his ride is on the way he is standing there looking at me: "Can you tie my neck for me?" I have not a clue, I am a woman, not in my repertoire. Jim is caught in traffic and it is not exactly something that you can be talked through on the phone. We think run to the neighbors, no luck. Panic is setting in. His coach is a tough guy and will not be pleased if he walks in looking anything but perfect. Not to mention the embarassment.

What does my son's generation think of next --the internet! Of course, so we both run down to the computer fire it up, the clock is ticking and search Youtube for a "How to" video, it doesn't disappoint, there it is as simple as can be step by step. We had to rewind the tricky parts a few times, and were laughing hysterically through most of it , but we managed to get a reasonably presentable knot. It definitely wasn't perfect , but I don't think we will ever forget that moment. He runs upstairs and his friends are waiting in the driveway, off he goes! Whew.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My New Retreat

My amazing husband was at his best remodeling our bathroom check out his work:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January has been good to me

Even though it is gloomy and cold out, I was thinking January is a very good month for me because some of my very favorite people were born in January!

In Date order:

January 2: My Grandma Millie who was such a wonderful lady, she taught me you can be tough and feminine at the same time, and was so generous to all her grandkids.

January 3: Karla, my very best friend in Florida, she was my boss but became my close friend through so many tough times in our lives, pregnancies, births, deaths, her husbands bout with cancer. She was understanding and supportive through it all, she made being a working mother bearable and treated my kids like they were her nephews. We had so many great walks and fun parties and not to mention 40 hours a week for 15 years of work!

January 7: My sister-in-law (more like a sister) Jeaneen, we also have been through every imaginable and unimaginable life event together, and still manage to take time to have fun together. I definitely cherish our friendship.

January 10: A new friend (for 5 years and counting) Susan, she was a breath of NY when I moved up to the south, the minute I met her I knew she was my kind of people. A great and thoughtful friend and always good for a laugh or a strong opinion!

January 14 (or 17): I am having a mental block on which day it is, Wendy, my best buddy from our formative years, one I will never let go of! SO glad we reconnected and picked up where we left off after almost 20 years of drifting apart, we never forgot about each other but forgot to make time. We won't do that again!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all the lovely ladies in my life!