Monday, December 31, 2012

Thoughts on blogging ...

I am borrowing an article for this post.  It was written by Marko Saric.  One of my favorite things this year was moving forward with my blog, Henningsen Happenings.  I love to blog and I was not sure why.  Here are l0 good reasons to try it!



10 good reasons blogging should be your New Year’s Resolution

New Year’s Eve is a time to look back at the past, and more importantly, look forward to the new year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes you want to make and time to make sure to follow through.
A New Year’s resolution is a goal someone sets out to accomplish in the new year. Here are 10 good reasons why having a blog should be your New Year’s resolution.

1. Great writing practice

Blogging is writing. If you like writing, having a blog will help you improve and become a better writer.

2. Boosts your career prospects

A blog is like a shop window where you showcase your talents and build your reputation. It can open doors to new opportunities and improve your career prospects. It can be considered an extended CV and can help you get a new job.

3. Improves your finances

A blog can become a source of income. It can help pay your bills, improve your finances, get you out of debt and save money. See how to earn your first $500 by blogging.

4. Builds your network

With blogging you start a conversation and connect with other people. This builds you a network of potential friends and business partners.

5. It is your creative outlet

Blogging is a creative activity. Whatever is on your mind, whatever ideas you might have, a blog is a creative outlet for you to share your ideas and creativity.

6. Makes you read

Being in the blogging industry makes you read a lot – read other blogs, read books, read comments. It opens your mind to new ideas and inspires you to do more.

7. Gets eyeballs on your work

If you are an artist or just want to spread your ideas and influence, blogging opens the doors to the whole world for you and gives you a wider audience. It allows good work to get shared and be spread, it can get you constructive criticism and gets you noticed.

8. It is your personal journal

Blogging is like keeping a journal of moments that you can look back at and revive the awesome memories or see the progress you have made.

9. Helps you help others

Blogging can be seen as a form for volunteerism. You choose to spend your time creating content that can help, inspire, educate, and/or entertain many other people.

10. Allows you more time with family

Blogging is usually done from home, it is done independently, and it doesn’t go through corporations. It can also be done on the go. This allows you more time to spend on things that matter to you, for example your family and friends.

Blogging is a good way to spend your time

All in all blogging is a good distraction and a good way to pass the time productively.
You learn something new, you get educated and improve yourself. You become more organized, get better at time management, become more independent and watch less television.

Happy Blogging!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What are you doing in 2013?

Do you have something special you will be doing in 2013?  Share it here!

Each year I do some special projects, some of them that I have done in the past are:

Sponsor a child through Compassion or World Vision.
Operation Christmas Child.
Sponsor a missionary.
Prayer partners.
Support local pregnancy crisis center.
T & T Book Club
Wellness Center member.

All of these are great projects to take part in and I like to regroup each year trying to be choosy on how much I take part in - there is work of course - my job - and our church.  These two take priority on our time.   At this point we have been attending our new church for over one year but have not become highly involved.  I did help with VBS and have been added to the substitute Sunday School teachers list.  I loved both of those areas!

The other things I choose to take part in, in 2013,  can be done simultaneously, for instance I plan to:

Continue monthly financial support of one missionary at Youth for Christ in SW Kansas and for our local pregnancy crisis center - Heart Choices.   Automatic deducts from our checking acct. so pretty easily done.

T & T Book Club - monthly reading with my sister in our own book club.  Fun!!

Fit Walk - sponsored by our city and the local parks and recreation group.  Free!  Calls for about 2.5 miles of walking every day - or bicycling, swimming, etc.   A very big and scary undertaking.  Want to try.

Reading - mixing it up with daily devotions, book reads, and Bible reading.  Including in this category regular visits to my local library.  Tentatively I might attend the monthly book club at the library.  It is a read what you want to and share about it book club.

Nutri-System weight loss program.

Flower gardening in pots.

Monthly RACK (random act of Christmas Kindness)  hmmm.... should I rename it since it's not Christmas?   Find a chance to do something nice unexpectedly for someone.  See a need, fill it.

Gratitude Journal - as mentioned in previous posts - A daily recording of something to be thankful for with weekly pictures or drawings.   Taken from a Pinterest pin called 365 Days of Gratitude.

Another similar find - from Pinterest - but sounds like a fun thing to try.  Keeping track of special memories - throwing them in the Memory Jar - and then on New Year's Eve review them!

Facebook, Pinterest, and my blog Henningsen Happenings.

Good Reads - Good way to keep track of what you are reading and intend to read!

These are the things I will fill my time with - focusing on prayer and my relationship with The Lord.

One last thing - As I have been losing some weight and exercising, lifting weights, walking, jogging, etc. I have learned I CAN DO new things.  In 2013 I want to try more new things.  I know it will include golf (my stocking was filled with hot pink golf balls, a golfers glove and personal towel!)

Take my challenge to share your plan for 2013 here or on your own blog - but leave a link back here!  I would love to see what others are planning! 

Coming soon to my blog . . . My New Year's REVOLUTION . . .


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Teri's Favorite Things for 2012

Remember the days of Oprah's Favorite Things?  They were called the most "coveted tickets" ever. To be in the audience that day in November when the bells start jingling and Harpo Elves come streaming in - is a dream come true!!  Oprah would spend the next hour lavishing the lucky guests with all of the things that she had come to love in the previous year.  Bath products, shoes, purses, jewelry, candies, special foods, boots, slippers, work out clothes, pajamas, sheets, ipads, kindles, refrigerators, vacations, and oh yes the enfamous "you get a car and you get a car and you get a car . . ."  Keys to sporty little red cars under everyone's chairs.

My sister Tami and I started our own "Favorite Things" right along with Oprah.  We even shared a gift from our favorites list with each other for several years.  Obviously we didn't have the budget that Oprah did - but nonetheless - it's a wonderful thing when you are blessed enough to find your very own list of favorite things year after year.

2012 has been a big year for my family - making the move to a new home and a new city.  I have shared many of the blessings along the way.  As we close out another year I would like to share with you my TOP TEN Favorite Things for 2012 . . . and who knows maybe you will find some of them under your chair!!

Bring out the elves . . .
#1 - Roses - never have been able to grow them!
#2 - NutriSystem's Beef and Wedge Potatoes
#3 - Ipod Shuffle!  Plugs into the tread mill!  Christmas from my children!
#4 - Schechers Tennis Shoes - Great for walking!
#5 - Blogging! - Need to take a class!
#6 - Pinterest  -  Need to take a class!
#7 - Bath and Body Cashmere Bouquet
#8 - Red Birds - Had one visit me - read about it here
#9 - Size 18W Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans - doesn't sound like every girl's dream to be a size 18 - but it's only going to get better!
#10 - New coffee mugs!  They are so elegant, and pretty and dainty!  Christmas from my children.

Personalized Holiday Spirit Glass Coffee Mug Set - 4679

Join me in the fun and write out your Top Ten things from 2012.  You notice I didn't mention family and friends - of which I am very thankful - and they are at the top of a whole other list - things I can't do without!  It is fun, however, to think of some of the small things that have made your life easier or made you smile - and so I'm sharing mine with you.

Take some time to reflect and come back and leave a link in the comments section!  I'd love to see what others have discovered in 2012!

Blessings found in simple things.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Home Tour

                                           Welcome to our Home!
This is the first time I have ever hung a wreath on my front door.  In our previous home there was not room. So it was fun to be able to hang this OLD wreath with a newly made bow

Remember my little red bird friend Ozzie from previous posts?  He is gone now - so I had to find a little keepsake to remind me of him! Our hospital gift shop has the neatest things!

Not part of the decor - but part of the prep for Christmas.  My sister-in-law and I found these "Princess Bags" on Pinterest.  Check out for more great ideas!  We hope the four littlest granddaughters will enjoy them!  Pink is Cinderella, Dark green/Purple is Ariel, Light green/Purple is Tinkerbell, and Blue/Yellow is Snow White!

35 year old Nativity Set - A tradition
 Dining room table
Our souvenir from our "let's take off and see where we end up" trip this last Fall.
Elk Festival in Estes Park, Colorado - sure did bring us some JOY!!
Santa collection in our family room
My little tree - nothing spectacular - but it holds every ornament my children have ever made.  Found a quote online that says - "The most beautiful Christmas Tree is every Christmas Tree".

Here's a little mis-matched corner.  This is the "retro" kitchen in our basement - nicely done in green vinyl and gold countertops.  I had to throw in a touch of Christmas.  Can't be Christmas at my house without the snowmen my mom made for me and my two sisters many years ago!  Also have an array of stocking stuffers I'm collecting to add to stockings tonight!  Then Christmas - come on over . . . I'm ready!

                                                                   It's SNOWING!!!

                                       Thank you for taking a walk through my holiday home. 

                                                                   Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent Blog Tour - Martha and Me

Welcome blogger world!  Merry Christmas!  My family affectionately calls me Martha Stewart or Martha from the Bible (Mary and Martha story) because I sometimes tend to overthink and overplan things.  And worry about useless things.  Whether it be cleaning, or planning to clean, decorating, or planning to decorate, I can get a little wrapped up in it.  I find myself surfing to occasionally. 

But here's the real truth . . . Most of the time I don't have the desire nor the "means" to decorate, cook, or exist Martha Stewart-style.  I think she is wonderful and I forgive her for her time away (behind bars).  That was just a little oops in my opinion.  And I also get much grief about my opinion on that from my family as well.  So being the good sport that I can be - here is a little Christmas fun at Martha's expense and mine ...

Martha Stewart's Holiday Planning List

December 1
Blanch carcass from Thanksgiving turkey. Spray paint gold, turn upside down and use as a sleigh to hold Christmas Cards.

December 2
Have Mormon Tabernacle Choir record outgoing Christmas message for answering machine.

December 3
Using candlewick and hand gilded miniature pine cones, fashion cat-o-nine-tails. Flog Gardener.  

December 4
Repaint Sistine Chapel ceiling ecru, with mocha trim.

December 5
Get new eyeglasses. Grind lenses myself.

December 6
Fax family Christmas newsletter to Pulitzer committee for consideration.

December 7
Debug WindowsNT.  

December 10
Align carpets to adjust for curvature of Earth.

December 11
Lay Faberge egg.

December 12
Take Dog apart. Disinfect. Reassemble.

December 13
Collect Dentures. They make excellent pastry cutters, particularly for decorative pie crusts.

December 14
Install plumbing in gingerbread house.

December 15
Replace air in mini-van tires with Glade "holiday scents" in case tires are shot out at mall.

December 17
Child proof the Christmas tree with garland of razor wire.

December 19
Adjust legs of chairs so each Christmas dinner guest will be same height when sitting at his or her assigned seat.

December 20
Dip sheep and cows in egg whites and roll in confectioner's sugar to add a festive sparkle to the pasture.

December 21
Drain city reservoir; refill with mulled cider, orange slices and cinnamon sticks.

December 22
Float votive candles in toilet tank.

December 23
Seed clouds for white Christmas.

December 24
Do my annual good deed. Go to several stores. Be seen engaged in last minute Christmas shopping, thus making many people feel less inadequate than they really are.

December 25
Bear son. Swaddle. Lay in color coordinated manger scented with homemade potpourri.

December 26
Organize spice racks by genus and phylum.

December 27
Build snowman in exact likeness of God.

December 31
New Year's Eve! Give staff their resolutions. Call a friend in each time zone of the world as the clock strikes midnight in that country.

Respectively borrowed from this web site - travel here for more Christmas jokes!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Office Christmas Party - Pins #3 and #4 - Holiday Pin It/Do It Challenge

Deck the hall with boughs of holly . . . . fa la la la la la la la la

And that is what I have done - With a swag of greenery and holly berries - a lantern - some mirrors - my Santa collection - and some glowing candlelight - the table is scaped!

In 2008 my daughter got married and I took some quick lessons on floral arranging from a dear friend and saved some bucks by making the flowers myself.  Table arrangements, pew bows, bride's bouquet, attendants bouquets, and a little touch here and there . . . It was one of the most fun things I have ever done!!!  After the wedding I had accumulated a little "wedding store" all my own.  Purchased several totes for storage and now I have a cupboard of "on loan" supplies if anyone needs such a thing.  Three sizes of mirrors, calla lilly candles, rose bowls, square bowls, votive candle holders, etc.  So putting a tablescape together for my office Christmas party was actually kind of easy.

With the help of Pinterest I quickly came up with the idea for my Christmas Tablescape.

                                                 Original pin by Sweet Something Design

My version
I have always wanted to have a lantern for different decorating ideas.  Purchased this one online from Hobby Lobby.  Inexpensive swag from Hobby Lobby also.  One spool of wired ribbon made big bows for this tablescape, for my front door wreath, and for my childhood sled that decorates my front door.  All ideas from Pinterest!  Don't you just love Pinterest??
Add 12 medium sized mirrors from the wedding leftovers and red chargers with my white china and it's a party!!

Each guests plate contained a miniature lantern favor filled with  chocolate mints.

And for my last pin we topped off the meal with Died and Gone to Heaven Trifle

The office party was a great success and an evening filled with fun and laughs.  My toast to the ladies at the meal went like this and afterall sharing from the heart - God's love - is the best Christmas gift:

"I want to give a special toast tonight and share with you that I've had a special blessing the last two weeks as I have prepared for tonight.  Something special happens when you like to entertain and be all fussy for people you care about - you actually have an opportunity to think about those people as you work!  I found myself thinking about each one of you individually as I made vintage stars for you that you will see later, and as I thought about the food and the little favors - about what each one of you likes - what makes you laugh - I thought about your families and all that has happened in the past year - I remembered some of the laughs we have shared and a few tears - and I was thankful in my heart that you are the 7 other people I spend my days with.   So I SAID that this evening was my gift to you for Christmas - but it turns out - it was also my gift to myself."

Blessings in co-workers/friends.

                              And surprise!  When I arrived home the day of our party - this beautiful
                             live Christmas greenery adorned our mailboxes - A gift from the office gang!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Office Christmas Party - Pin #1 and #2 - Holiday Pin It/Do It Challenge

The prep work is half the fun, right?   For me it is!  I work in an office and supervise 10 women and this year for Christmas I wanted to try something different!  We normally celebrate at the home of one of the gals and have snacks and gifts, or we have just put aside the work and exchanged gifts over our lunch hour.  This year I'm the one with the new home and so I invited the ladies to a fancy smancy sit down Christmas Celebration served by me!

For the Holiday Pin It/Do It Challenge - as a timid pinner - I promised to share four pins!  This is the first two of 4 pins I will be doing for my Christmas party.

Food right?  Every good party has to have some food!  My menu for the Dec. 11th event is:

                         Poor Man's Steak - Recipe  below
                         Cheesy Potato Casserole
                         Green Bean Casserole/CrockPot Corn
                         Acini De Pepi Salad
                         Relish Tray
                         Trifle Dessert - Pictures to follow later

My recipe for the steak is:
3-4 pounds of ground beef
1/3 cups of cracker crumbs
1 1/3 cups of milk
Mix and put in jelly roll pan - partially freeze - cut into squares.
Flour pieces, and brown in butter.
Place in 9 x 13 pan.
Cover with mushroom soup diluted with 1 1/2 soup cans of apple juice.
Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.

Check out a variation of the recipe here - one of my pins for December!

I will be serving my vegetables in my crock-pot buffet server.  Check it out here.   This is pin #2.  My buffet server was a gift from the office ladies last year - so I can hardly wait to use it at my party this year!  I am planning two vegies and so in the third crockpot server I am going to make some yummy cinnamon apple cider to enjoy with our meal!

Good company and good food . . . what else is needed you say???

Well of course, said Sandra Lee, a beautiful Christmas tablescape!

Tune back in soon for pins #3 and #4 - decorating the table and table favors!!

The Holiday Pin It/Do It Challenge is sponsored by Trish at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity! Thank you Trish!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Twelve Days of Dental Work

Some of you know that I recently acted like a big girl - made a dental appointment at a new clinic with a wonderful woman dentist and amazing staff.  As always when I visit the dentist . . . mayhem reigns for about two weeks after  - If you know the song - sing my blog!

Laying awake recently with a throbbing tooth ache, this blog came to me, that in itself is very funny to me.  Maybe I had taken one too many ibuprofens back to back . . .

So - in honor of the holiday season . . . turn up the tune to "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . ." and read or sing along:

On the first trip to the dentist the hygienist gave to me - a bright shiny new toothbrush!

Also on the first trip the dentist gave to me - Two tubes of toothpaste - and a bright shiny new toothbrush!

Before I left that day I was happy to receive - 3 hours of "nitrous" - two tubes of toothpaste and a bright shiny new toothbrush!

Now can't forget the 4th thing - a cleaning was to be done - 3 hours of  "nitrous" - two tubes of toothpaste and a bright shiny new toothbrush.

And one more thing on the first trip - 5 x - er - rays - fourth was a cleaning - 3 hours of "gas" - 2 tubes of tooth paste and a bright shiney new toothbrush.

Went home and got a toothache, developed lots of pain - 6 advil hourly, 5 x - er - rays, 4th was the cleaning, 3 hours of "gas" please - 2 tubes of toothpaste and a bright shiny new toothbrush.

On the 7th day post dentist I was headed back - 6 advil hourly, 5 x-er-rays, don't need another cleaning, 3 hours of "gas" please,  2 tubes of toothpaste and a very pretty temporary crown.

Sadly, still had more pain, my tooth was hurting bad -  8 phone calls to dentist - 7 trips to see her - 6 advil hourly - 5 x-er-rays, still don't need a cleaning, love to have the "gas" please - two ice cold teeth tests - and one very very angry aching tooth!

On the 9th day post my dentist - still fighting through the pain - 9 prayers for healing - 8 phone calls to dentist - 7 trips to see her - 6 advil hourly - more x-er-rays - 4 days leaving early - 3 times impressions - 2 crying moments - and still one very very angry tooth!

Well 10 days is my limit - of messing with the pain - 9 more prayers for healing - 8 bottles of advil - 7 crying moments - 6 advil hourly - now a 3D x-ray - 4 days leaving early - 3 tanks of gas - 2 supportive sisters - and 1 very very angry aching tooth!

11 weeks til Christmas - what am I gonna do - 10 days was my limit - 9 phone calls later - 8 days Clindamycin - 7 sleepless hours - 6 advil hourly - NO CHARGE FOR 3-D  - 4 times calling mom - 3 times telling husband  - 2 supportive kids - and a root canal is scheduled very soon!

12 hours til I go there - can't wait now for some relief - 11 weeks til Christmas - 10 minutes brushing - 9 minutes flossing - 8 dollars worth of mouth wash - 7 sleepless hours - 6 advil hourly - thank God no more x-rays - 4 times calling mom - husband tired of whining - 2 hours post root canal - and I have a very very happy tooth!!

Haha - - - Blessings still in finding a great dentist and clinic full of kind and caring people.  I may have exagerated a few parts - but still a lot of truth in "my version".

Now about that tooth implant . . . maybe next year!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving with the Konda's

One of my favorite things for 2012 (theme for another blog coming soon) was spending several weekends at our daughter and son-in-laws' home in Topeka. Actually this has been on my favorite things list since 2008 when they were married.  They have a beautiful home, and they make us feel very comfortable when we visit.

This Thanksgiving we arrived on Friday evening to a wonderful meal on the table. A new recipe for pork chops - fantastic - check it out here.  Great pre-Thanksgiving Meal! Kristi our granddaughter joined us.  We spent the evening relaxing and catching up. 

Saturday morning began early for our daughter Casey, as she headed to basketball practice with her high school girls team.  Kristi and I did one of OUR favorite things - headed for a pedicure and a manicure.  We have a quiet little shop not far from the house and very soon we had glamorous holiday red glittering nails!  We hurried home to help Casey finish up the Thanksgiving meal - which was packed full of tradition - turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, crock pot corn, green bean casserole, relishes, rolls, and two pies!  Pumpkin and Coconut Cream! The family was all round the table - Ben, our grandson and his fiance, Angie joining us.   The afternoon was spent at the mall. Who can resist buy 3 get 3 free at Bath and Body Works?  That evening we laughed and laughed at ourselves and each other over a new game for me - Cranium.  It's a must have on the Christmas list for our big family when we have Christmas this year.  Add the other half of the family from Texas - and you will hear the Henningsen's for blocks!

    Beautiful Thanksgiving Table

From Coach Konda to gracious hostess all in a morning's work . . .

Sunday was a special day - Tracy and Casey had surprised us earlier in the year with tickets to the Chiefs vs. Broncos game!  Perfect weather for the game!  We had a quick breakfast and were off to cheer on the Bronc . . . I mean CHIEFS!!  And Peyton Manning!   It was a good game
 and a lot of fun! 

Chiefs vs. Broncos!!

 Casey, Mom and Dad

The weekend sadly came to an end as we left the game and grabbed supper at a little restaurant called Twisters.  On to Topeka and then back home again.

Couldn't write about the family without mentioning the pets!  Molly is a 5 year old Beagle/Pug mix sweetheart and of course our Dodger.  Not sure what the two of them do when we leave them home alone - - not sure they even like each other - - but Molly is gracious and puts up with Dodger for the most part. 

Our family is such a great blessing to us!  Our son Todd and our daughter Casey and all the new family that they have added to us - we love them every one!

George Burns has a famous quote - It goes like this . . .

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” 

Obviously, he meant it to be funny, and poke fun - in a George Burns kind of way . . . but George ... I am more than thankful for my loving, caring, close-knit family in several other cities!!

Blessings found in family and holidays together.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I need to introduce you to the little boy of our family.  Dodger is a 10 year old Boston Terrier.  I have spent a lot of time talking about the big dog of the family, Roy.  Dodger is a house dog as you can tell by his picture and he is very loved and spoiled.  He, however, greets the 110 pound Roy with all of the excitement he can in his less than 20 pound body every day after work.  He jumps on him and paws at his face.  The big dog just waits patiently.  He understands little dog is neurotic that way.

I won't spend time teaching you about Boston Terriers.  You can google the breed if you are interested.   I will share with you the "tails/tales" of Dodger though.   He truly has had 9 lives.

We ended up with Dodger much to the dismay of my husband and daughter.  We had to say goodbye to our family pet, Pepper the Boston Terrier, and within two weeks I had picked out and brought home another to fill the empty spot.  Now as I look back, I know it wasn't fair to the rest of the family who wasn't ready yet, and I was actually just beginning to go through empty nest as our last child was soon to leave home.  So . . . all in all . . . everyone would say it was a great idea I had :)  
Dodger has been the most loving pet.

I hope that somewhere out there a Boston pet owner reads this because they can truly appreciate how "they" are.  Dodger first ate enough of the sofa cushion stuffing to nearly cause him to have open abdominal surgery to remove it . . . fortunately mega-enemas worked the trick by the veterinarian.  Then one night Dodger got skimmish as I was vacuuming and threw himself against the dresser handle and split his side open.  Called for 18 staples under anesthesia.  The little mutt's cork-screw tail grew into his backside causing him great pain - had to be amputated.  He was lost one day for six hours.  We cried.  He came running in the back door thankfully.  Most recently he stopped eating and stopped being "neurotic" that's a bad sign for a Boston . . . off to the vet again . . . IV's, x-rays, more IV's, antibiotics, more x-rays and a week later open abdominal surgery to remove a piece of rubber toy.  Along with a few more minor things like getting his own paw stuck in his collar, being afraid of laundry baskets, and hiding when I raise my voice, his life has been uneventful :) 

We love him because he listens to us and understands our words, he requires fleece blankets to sleep with, he prefers to sleep between us, he can travel to the Rocky Mountains and follow us wherever we go, he snuggles especially with our daughter and our granddaughter, he waits patiently for our empty plates, he is truly devoted to us. 

Everybody should have a Boston.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


"But Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. You heard what Linus was saying out there. Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too. We should just be thankful for being together. I think that's what they mean by 'Thanksgiving,'
Charlie Brown."


Although in my mind, Halloween officially kicks off the Holiday Season... Thanksgiving certainly is the beginning of that special time of year!  I have learned this Autumn to appreciate it.  IT being Autumn.  Summer is by far my favorite time of year.  Guess it's because it is generally dirt-free - And in a like manner - Spring is my least favorite because it means showers and mud - Winter - well you just have to love it with the holidays, and movies, and hot tea, and good friends, and Christmas music, and cozy blankets.  So Fall just normally went unnoticed by me - just a quick break from Dog Days of Summer to hey let's go Christmas shopping. 

Being in a different home and a different town this Autumn season is probably why I took the time to notice the change in the new trees, in the new neighborhood, the city parks, etc.  I have been walking the country roads and also watching the change of seasons.  Learned it is much nicer to walk the dog with it being 70-80 degrees than when it was still 99 degrees at 10 p.m. 

I don't decorate my home for fall - don't own any decorations.  This year I purchased a wreath for the door and a rug for the floor. 

Outside flower pots (one of my favorite things in life) are disposed of, moved to the shed, and ready for winter.  Patio furniture tucked away in a nearby shed.  Autumn has arrived and winter now closely behind.

And now I get reflective - - - it should really be called the Season of Reflection for me - from now until the New Year.  What was good this year?  What was bad this year?  Did I get things done I set out to do?  Is it a year I would like to forget?  Or one of my best? 

As I write this blog I can hear our granddaughter in the basement with a friend "playing restaurant".  I was down there just a bit ago for coffee and an ice cream sandwich, make believe of course.  We have had her with us for what will be 5 days and celebrated her birthday in a big way!   Husband is in the basement watching K State Basketball.  Dogs are resting comfortably in their new homes.  I am planning a menu for Thanksgiving Day.  My father-in-law and his friend and my dad are coming for lunch that day.  A small, quiet group. We are traveling to our daughters for Thanksgiving celebration on the weekend and Chief's football game!    Family is planning to come for Christmas.  Health abounds for the most part for all of my family. 

So you see, I am appreciating the season I tend to forget, knowing that I am blessed many times over.  If you are reading this, I pray for you to have a great Thanksgiving with family and friends.  Find some time for yourself to "reflect" and count your many blessings . . . go ahead . . . name them one by one . . . (right here on my blog if you'd like!)

AND if you would like to join me in carrying on with a thankful heart in 2013 read about one of the projects I am looking forward to in the New Year!!

Project for 2013

The Gratitude Journal came from Pinterest and had a different look but that's the fun of Pinterest, it's all about ideas and creating and re-creating from those ideas!  The original journal was entitled 365 Things I Am Grateful For in 2013.  My sister and her daughter, and I will be keeping similar journals for 2013.  My aim is to record at least a journal entry each day of something I'm thankful for or blessed by each day and then use pictures and words to decorate journal pages with whatever is on my mind for the week.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Roy runs free ...

The "Gray Ghost"

“When people visit my farm they often envision their dog, finally off-leash in acres of safely fenced countryside, running like Lassie in a television show, leaping over fallen tree trunks, shiny-eyed with joy at the chance to run free in the country . . . "
(author unknown)

Always looking for a quote that says just what I'm picturing and this one does it beautifully.  As of recently, I have started to let the big dog off his leash out in the country, to see if he would stay close by.  As much as I can say he has learned to "heel" he still occasionally gently pulls on me and it can at times feel like l00 pounds right on my lower back. a moment of frustration I hurled his leash in the air and I said just go for it Roy!  And surprisingly enough, he didn't stray very far from me. 

The next day I decided to nicely and rationally remove his leash as we got out of town and let him have free roam.  I kept talking to him and hollering for him from time to time but he lumbered up over the ditches and into fields, down the sides of the road, stopping to sniff and smell.  Then he would come running to catch up with me.  He didn't seem to notice cars and trucks that went by.  He certainly didn't try chasing any.  He did proudly bring me the leg of something . . . quite proud he was . . . and it entertained him a while, but then was soon left along the road side as he came running to catch up with me.

Soon a two mile walk was over for me and I felt much better knowing that Roy had also had a two mile walk/run and I could tell he came home tired and ready to chill.  No arguing when he got "home" and turned into his own yard. 

For a city girl who never "did" dogs until recently (amazing what happens to you when all of the kids leave home)and to have this big animal besides in my life - still amazes me. 
 Winter is coming so I fear that our walks won't happen as often and with the time change I know I'll have to take the "gray ghost" out before dark for fear I will lose him completely.  Weims are called that and it's fitting - their striking gray coat can blend totally in with the dusk and they disappear from sight! 

Grateful for a walk in the countryside and what animals bring to our lives.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Timid little pinner ...

I am making plans already for a busy holiday season - but will enjoy every minute of it!  I am hosting my office crew at my house on December 11 at 6 p.m. for a sit down meal with gift exchange.  I will be posting my ideas for table scape - party favors - and the food!  So I am commiting to four pins!Sure have found some wonderful ideas on Pinterest!   Meanwhile if anyone wants to throw out a good Christmas activity as entertainment - let me know! 

Happy Pinning!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

No sew Pin It Do It project!

October Pin-It-Do-It Challenge . . . finishing up in November maybe??  I did have some delay in getting my second challenge finished up - but reporting in now that I am done!

For my second project in the October Pin-It Do-It Challenge started by Trish @ Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity  I am doing a more Teri-friendly project - and even though I did enjoy my trial at the sewing machine - these tied fleece blankets are a special craft for me!

My granddaughter was my first recipient of a tied fleece blanket 10 years ago!  And as noted in this picture below from a recent trip we took with her - she still carries the "pink blankie"  Her dad, my son Todd, picked out the material and I gave it a whirl.  I loved it so much and felt like such a "seamstress" that I made everyone I knew one - yes - that year I made 35 blankets.  This included one for each of the 5 family dogs too!

Recently, when Elaine was at my house, she found two pieces of fleece in my sewing drawer and said "Grandma I want a new blanket".  I have made her 3 already in these ten years - but I thought - why not another?  So . . . that will be my project this time!

I am trying a new method though.

I found it at and it involves a new way to tie the ends!   I will include pictures when I finish up!

Off to "no sew"!

Pink blankie is piled on top of the suitcase, back pack, and purse.  Has made many many trips!

Material for the next "blankie"  Hot pink flowers and peace signs!
Original pin looked like this:

And this picture shows the new twist or should I say tie for creating the above look.  Very good job of demonstrating this on her website!

Finished Product!

Elaine's new blanket - just in time for her birthday!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mitchell Scott ...

Mitch is my nephew (Tami from Just One More Thing)'s son.  Mitch and his sisters Amy and Amanda, my sister Deb's four children (Wade, Ali, Ashton, Lane) plus our own two Todd and Casey make up the "grand kids" and cousins on this side of the family.  I have special stories I love to tell about each one and so in honor of Mitch's birthday which is TODAY . . . I am going to reminisce . . .

The first 10 years of Mitch's life he lived a ways from me . . . but not so far that I didn't see him several times a year and it became a yearly ritual for me to take my kids and go visit over "spring break" at school.  I know my kids sure enjoyed it and I think we all did! 

Then there was the morning when I got the call from my sister Tami - "Mitch(first grade at the time?) was on his bike and he was hit by a truck" - - - well... I'm sure she didn't say it JUST like that - but that is what I heard - and I remember I was instantly panicked and equally relieved to hear that his bike was the only thing hurt . . . I cried with relief.

Then Mitch and his family moved within 12 miles of our home. . . so the next couple of years were great fun - going to orchestra concerts, watching Boy Scout projects - special events at school and one very fun almost daily event - coffee with my sister . . . oh no wait . . . that wasn't what Mitch will remember - - - it was this:


Todd's Polaris that stayed in the garage.  As an employee of Bos Motor Sports my son Todd, in college at Fort Hays State University, quickly grabbed on to one of these "toys" and while he was away at college - the rest of us had fun riding it!!  Especially Mitch.  He would come over with his mom and his little sister, Amanda, almost every night after school and shyly ask if he could ride the 4-wheeler.  And we always responded  - sure  - take it slow.  We had an empty lot attached to our property - made for a great race track!! (take it slow - - RIGGGGHHT). 

Mitch lived further from us for the rest of his school days but I still enjoyed watching him grow up - having fun with his cousins - learning to do just about anything his dad could do - which is just about everything - and attending his graduation bash - which was a great time!

Now he joins the family line of Tigers!!  Fort Hays is one of the colleges that many of our family members have attended and he is making us all proud as a firefighter, nurse, concrete plant worker and employee of the eye retrieval bank which does amazing work in organ donation!  Guess you can tell I'm a proud aunt! 

But I have to go back a few years - specifically 22 years ago to the day that this is posting - - - The day Mitch is born . . . like I say many fond memories that surround Mitch!  Of course  - what do you do when a new baby is born into the family - you pack up the car and visit, right??  That's just what we did - that afternoon we loaded up our kids and headed up to St. Paul, Nebraska to see Mitchell Scott.   Now on this short two hour journey, we were enjoying the thrill of already having children - fighting in the car!!!  "Mom he is touching me . . . Mom she's on my side . . . Mom he's looking at me . . . Mom!!! . . ."  Well we lost our patience as you can imagine - and as usually happened - stopped to spank the guilty child . . . and usually it was the big brother . . . Todd.  My husband got out and was headed around to have a "stern" talk with the son - and as he opened the door and still not sure how he noticed - but being the good husband/father - he noted that there was a pile of something under the car - fuel leaking - - - what could it be??  So . . . the story goes that instead of Todd getting swatted a few times - we realized what was really important and headed back to the nearby town to see what could be done!  After 2-3 hours sitting in a small countryside town at a gas station - - - we had a new fuel pump and we were off to see Mitch! 

Happy Birthday Mitch!  Looking forward to many more great memories!

Every family has a story that it tells itself, that it passes on to the children and grandchildren. The story grows over the years, mutates, some parts are sharpened, others dropped, and there is often debate about what really happened. But even with these different sides of the same story, there is still agreement that this is the family story. And in the absence of other narratives, it becomes the flagpole that
 the family hangs its identity from. 
 A. M. Homes

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Girls night out ...

Nearly 54 and 76 years old and a new first!  My husband had a "stag" supper to go to last night and so I invited my mom to go to supper with me.  She came to Beloit about 6 p.m. and we went out to a very fancy meal at the local Dairy Queen!  We sat and talked and I said "would you like to come over and watch a Hallmark movie?"  And to my much surprise - she said sure!

Now some would think so what is the big deal - but for me it was an extra special night.  My mom has always lived within a half an hour from me - but still yet - we had never had a movie night just her and I.  Mom isn't big on TV - nor movies - so I was so excited!

Thankful every day - that I have my parents and they enjoy good health.  It's one of the biggest blessings - possibly #1 - that I have been given.

Praise The Lord for this and for Hallmark Holiday Movies!

So we broke out the decaf coffee and shared a Nutri-System dessert bar and enjoyed ...

Hallmark Movie Channel's  -  "Growing the Big One"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

All I Want for Christmas is my missing right molar ...

Who would have EVER thought I'd be writing to promote dental health??  Life is sure full of surprises!

The Burden of Oral Disease

Oral health is often taken for granted, but it is an essential part of our everyday lives. Good oral health enhances our ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and convey our feelings and emotions through facial expressions. However, oral diseases, which range from cavities to oral cancer, cause pain and disability for millions of Americans each year. For example,
  • Tooth decay (cavities) is a common, preventable problem for people of all ages. For children, untreated cavities can cause pain, dysfunction, school absences, difficulty concentrating, and poor appearance—problems that greatly affect a child's quality of life and ability to succeed. Children from lower-income families often do not receive timely treatment for tooth decay, and they are more likely to suffer from these problems.
    Tooth decay is also a problem for many adults, and adults and children of some racial and ethnic groups experience more untreated decay.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection caused by bacteria that gets under the gum tissue and begins to destroy the gums and bone. Teeth become loose, chewing becomes difficult, and teeth may have to be extracted. Gum disease also may be connected to damage elsewhere in the body; recent studies link oral infections with diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature, low-weight births. Further research is under way to examine these connections.  

(Above article from the CDC web site.)

My story began back as a child at the age of 4 mom took me to the dentist and I had 13 cavities.  Mom said I breezed through getting those fixed.  I don't remember it thankfully.  I had a sickening fear every six months when it was time to go - and it wasn't helped by an old-time gruff dentist who popped me in the mouth and told me "you are making a mountain out of a molehill".  Being the 1960's no one argued with a doctor - funny - I can picture me if that had happened to one of my kids - I think I might have swung back.  Pulled teeth, braces, etc. and I vowed when I left home - no more dentists for me.  That didn't work well for me.  Have only been to dentists now for toothaches that four advil every four hours (an overdose by the way) won't handle.   3 dry sockets.  More rude dentists.

I kept hearing more about sedation dentistry.  I am very embarrassed about a missing tooth I have that shows when I really laugh.  I began to fear that I was going to lose all my teeth.  So - when on a recent trip to Texas and yet another tooth broke apart - I immediately got on the ipad and looked up a female dentist I had heard of in a nearby town.  She was also a girl from my home town originally and had played basketball with my daughter from time to time - so I was drawn to her to perhaps be the answer for me!  The next day before I landed back in Kansas the office called me - was kind on the phone and set me up with an appt. fully understanding my fears and needs.

Two visits now and I have had one crown, 5 fillings, multiple xrays, and a teeth cleaning.  Have been introduced to sedation dentistry and love it.  Most of all - people who are kind and caring.  The absence of fear I think might be a huge pain killer itself!!!  But I'll keep the "laughing gas" too!

Blessings in finding a new dentist.  I can have a pretty smile and a healthier lifestyle.

Not advertising for anyone special - just the things I have picked for my new healthier routine.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


The title probably makes you wonder huh??  Hours of sisters getting together?? hours of sisters fighting??? No - it was a five hour readathon - shared with me by my sister Tami.  If you follow our blogs you have heard of the Dewey 24 hour Readathon and the upcoming T & T Autumn Readathon but today was just a special spur of the moment idea we had.   Here is how it worked:

Up at 7 a.m. and coffee on.

Post on Facebook messenger to Tami that the Hallmark Channel is playing Christmas movies all day long and at 7 a.m. was Debbie Macomber's Call Me Mrs. Miracle.  Since our Dec. T & T selection is the new Debbie Macomber Christmas Book - An Angel at the Table - we decided to read via our e-readers for the first hour on this new book.  Tami uses a Nook and I use a Kindle on my Ipad. 

With a Readathon you have challenges on the hour or fun activities to give you a break from reading and to keep you awake and alert.

8 a.m. - we answered the question from the book - What do you hope for the New Year?  Not surprising that our hopes and prayers are for family!  Tami put out a challenge for the next hour to pin to Pinterest a favorite childhood book or two onto our Childhood Memories board.  What fun!

9 a.m. - Books are posted to Pinterest and included - Bobbsey Twins and Key to the Treasure as well The Wednesday Witch and Harriet the Spy!

10 a.m. - Tami asked "where is your favorite reading spot?"  Take a picture and post it! 
We both sent pictures of a comfy chair with an ottoman stacked with books, coffee and jammies!

11 a.m. - I shared a great You Tube video of Mannheim Steamroller's Deck the Halls!!  Tami and I hope to be front and center at the Mannheim Christmas Concert Dec. 18th in Salina!!

And for the last hour Tami asked for a list of favorite Christmas books and favorite Christmas movies.  These are the favs:  Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber, Shepherd's Abiding by Jan Karon, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, and a little Golden Book called The Animals Christmas Eve!  Movies included some great ones:  Home Alone, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Disney Christmas Carol, Polar Express, Jingle all the Way, A Christmas Visitor and Angel in the Family. 

Noon came way to quick for me - I had such a fun morning.  We asked each other - what is the best thing about a readathon and we both admitted it is just so nice to have a legitimate reason for sitting and reading!!!   But as you can see - it is much more than just reading - it is sharing yourself with others you care about.  Many new friends can be made.  And Tami and I always have fun discussing anything books and anything Christmas!

But wait - there is still more - PRIZES!!!   I presented 3 and Tami presented 3 - and the benefit of having only two participating - you win all the prizes!  I have included pictures below!

Blessings in a morning spent reading and sharing - Blessings in a sister.

Tami's prizes!

    A favorite Christmas Movie!                                

                                                                                      Home crafted potholders by Tami!    

  Mini-card holder and tissue holder by Tami!
Teri's prizes!