The “In Between” Days

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Hi, All!

Here we are in the ‘In Between’ days – those days in between Christmas and New Year. Hope all of you are well and rested from all the hustle and bustle of Christmas and are looking forward to a NEW year, filled with all sorts of hopes and expectations.

It’s been relatively quiet here, no snow- just cold (in the 30’s most days). Christmas was spent with immediate family enjoying a large dinner together and watching each other open presents. This has been a ‘laid-back’ holiday for us; some people celebrate wild, exciting days – we have one long, mellow Christmas. I’m exploring the new features of a new George Foreman grill (my old Black & Decker died a few weeks ago after 4 good years of service). I tried hamburgers on it last night and learned to cut the cooking time by a few minutes compared to the old Black & Decker model; it will take some getting used to the “George”, as this one is a lot larger, takes up a great deal more counter space (and in my ‘galley’ kitchen, space is a huge premium!), and has more ‘bells & whistles’.

We are now looking towards the New Year in a few days; for me, it’s spent doing just about the same as any other holiday-cooking and relaxing. We’re not big “party” people here, so I very well might be one of the ‘old fogies’ who choose to go to bed instead of ‘watching the ball come down’ on tv, but that’s OK, too. I partied enough in my younger years, now ‘party’ for me is staying up late (read that as past 1 a.m.).

Nothing big or exciting to report; my car battery seems to be on it’s last legs as it stranded my 1 1/2 yr. old grandson and I at the local Post Office Friday for 1 1/2 hours while waiting for AAA to come jump start my car. Again this morning right after jumping in to go to church, it refused to start, which required a jump start from my husband’s car. I foresee a new battery being purchased tomorrow! If it’s one thing I truly depend on, it’s my car. It’s been a year of ‘little things’ going wrong, but Praise the Lord, we’re in good health, not starving, and looking forward to a new year filled with new chances, opportunities, and possible blessings.

Wishing you all “HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2008!”

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Just a quick note-I’m waiting for contact from my friend, the ‘head nurse’ who’s going to Ghana again January 2 and has said she will take the 15 newly-finished afghans with her. She said the next actual trip with the doctors, nurses, etc. will be some time in April or May. Since she is now officially retired from her job as Doctor’s Assistant with our scoliosis doctor, I’m having difficulty arranging for pickup of said afghans. If I don’t hear from her by Tuesday, Jan. 2nd, they will have to wait until sometime in April/May for delivery. Who knows how many more afghans we’ll get completed by then!?

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Published in: on December 30, 2007 at 2:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Whew!

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Today is another ‘day after’ day-one of those days where you get to relax (just a little), take a deep breath and sigh a big “Whew!” because you’ve made it through ‘another one’…one of those daunting, exhausting ‘things’ you had to/needed to do. Last night was our Family Christmas Gathering for my special needs group. We estimated there were approximately 80 people attending and it went wonderfully. Of course there were little ‘glitches’ like the microphone wouldn’t work (seems there was a small child who snuck behind the curtain and unplugged it!), we didn’t have enough seats/places set and had to quickly remedy that, but all in all, it turned out just great. Our ‘kids’ sang, their faces beaming huge smiles, the parents and caregivers commented on what a nice time was had by all; we didn’t run out of food, no one went away hungry (certainly not I!).

In today’s emails I received a much-awaited photo of the last Ghana trip in November. (I was hoping for more photos, but this will do). I do not have any details on the patient (no name, age, etc.) but was glad to be able to furnish a photo of one of our afghans being used to all those wonderful, generous people who worked on creating squares for this project.

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(click on photo to enlarge)

Along with this project I have been asked to write an article for the orthopedic group’s newsletter; the same group who makes all these trips each year. It is to be a shared article along with Dr. Boachi’s (the head doctor who founded the Orthopedic group/trips/etc. to Ghana) Clinical assistant in New York; her name is Lindy. Bettye Wright, the head nurse who hand delivers the finished afghans for us has asked if we would write about how we both became involved in helping these children and how the “Ghana Project” came about. Bettye will be returning to Ghana January 4th and a team will join her later in April or May. I now have 11 afghans done and offered to deliver them to her to be taken when she goes in January and she said she would; that will make a total of 40 afghans so far. I’m very pleased and proud of all those who helped in these efforts (that doesn’t mean I’m quitting…by any means!). When the article is published in their newsletter and on their web page, I’ll let you know. (Didn’t I say, earlier this year, that it seemed to be a year of me growing and doing things I would NEVER have imagined doing?) I’m learning to not think about the challenges but just saying “Yes, I’ll do it!” and then watching what the Lord has in store for me next. So far it’s been a very exciting, exhilarating year for me, full of challenges, changes and new adventures. Makes me kind of excited to see what NEXT year will bring! (Look out, world, it’s a bolder, more confident version of the old Pammie!)

Other than the above, my life is finally slowing down just a little. We lived through my middle son getting his car stuck in a snow bank/ditch last night (he walked home…it was only a few blocks). He’s fine, his car is fine…Mom & Dad were a little shook up, but all’s well with that. Tomorrow is (hopefully) the last of the Christmas presents and grocery shopping. I pretty well have an idea of what I’m going out there for, so (hopefully) it will be quick. Hoping our weather holds; it’s been chilly: anywhere from the ‘teens 12-15 degrees F. to a balmy 39 and sunny (today). The roads are clear of snow, but there’s a good one to two feet of snow n the front yard. It wouldn’t be Michigan without a White Christmas!

I’ll let you go for now and go back to sewing more squares together for afghan #12 (for this trip). Hope you are enjoying the Christmas season, taking a little time to stop and enjoy the blessings that come each day.

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on December 20, 2007 at 9:42 pm  Comments (1)  

Slowly Catching Up…

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Well, now that we’re into the Christmas Season “officially”, I can finally report that we got the tree up, the fireplace decorated with lighted garlands and manger scene, stockings hung on the mantle and a lighted wreath in the window. I’m FINALLY in the Christmas mood! As most of the Northern states, Michigan was also hit with a big snow blizzard late Saturday/early Sunday. We spent the day inside (church is 1/2 hour away down a rather nasty dirt road; nasty when it snows, anyway). All in all, I’d say we got a good foot of snow. Youngest son is slowly getting better; my husband is not. He went to the doctor’s today and got a hefty dose of antibiotics to kick this really bad sinus infection. Today was another ‘day at home with the family’, as all schools were closed and my husband took a sick day. I spent the day rather productively (for a change) by beginning my Christmas baking. Made a double batch of thumbprint cookies and then a double batch of my husband’s favorite: Gingersnaps. There are still many other cookies & cookie recipes to follow: Russian Tea Cakes, frosted sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, Potato chip cookies (ever have them? Yum!) and a few others. My baking abilities will only be limited by my energies and babysitting my grandson. (I’ve learned…when he’s here, it’s not a good idea to plan a large project that might distract me from my appointed duties as Watch Guardian of the ‘little man’. There’s nothing faster than a 1 year old who knows he’s NOT being watched! They can find so very many different and unusual things to get into!

Been busy, also, catching up on afghans (as if I do anything else, eh?) Finished putting together numbers 10 & 11, still have to crochet the borders, then they’ll be done. That will make 50 & 51 afghans, total, that have been made for the project. I can’t even imagine how many of those little squares that would make that I’ve sewn together (30 per afghan times 50/51??? Too mind-boggling for me!)

As to Christmas shopping, well-that’s still to be seen (or, in the offing…like “after Friday/payday”). In years past my husband and boys would ask me to put together a ‘wish list’ and I would comply. I’m not hard to please, the usual request was ‘slippers’, which would make them all groan: “Not SLIPPERS, AGAIN???” This year I don’t really NEED slippers! I’m hoping for a hand-held vacuum cleaner (you know, those little things sometimes called “The Bullet” or some such ridiculous name), as mine sort of died (at least, it won’t hold a charge anymore!). Also in years past I’ve asked for helpful things like new cookie sheets, or a pizza cutter. I really don’t have a ‘list’ this year…I would say that makes me extra ‘blessed’, as I “have” and don’t really ‘need‘!

Have been warming up my piano-playing for the upcoming Christmas Gathering of my special needs adults group this Wednesday. We ‘were’ going to use a CD for them to sing with, but at the last minute the other leader chose to have me play the songs, instead. There’s nothing I love more than the Christmas Gathering of my ‘kids’ (they’re all ages, some older than me, but all either mentally or physically challenged, or both). It’s been 14 years now that I’ve volunteered with them (once a week, on Wednesdays) and it’s such a joy to see them sing; they put their whole hearts into it! We have approximately 45 ‘regulars’.  They’re doing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, “Joy to the World” and a rather contemporary song called “Make Me Glad“. I’m not much for contemporary Christian music, but this song has wonderful words and ministers to all who hear it. It ought to be another great evening with my ‘kids’.

That’s about it around here, for now. Hoping that you are enjoying this Season of Blessings with your loved ones. Stay warm and try to see the blessings in every moment of every day. This is the only life we have…we might as well sing and enjoy it!

Hugs;

Pammie

Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Share!

 

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Ok, I’ll admit…this is not ‘exactly’ a post, but just had to share this photo of my grandson. He was being too cute so GrammiePammie grabbed the camera. He’s 1 1/2 now and full of continual excitement at everything around him; Christmas lights get an immediate “Oooooooooo!” (that’s said with wide-eyed wonder and pointing finger…when’s the last time YOU got that excited over Christmas lights?) He’s learning new words-betcha didn’t know that cows go “Baa-OOOOOOOO!” (HIS cows do!) I love all the fun of seeing the word through his eyes; his gorgeous sky-blue eyes! Can ya tell I’m one proud grandma?

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 1:30 pm  Comments (3)  

Another Update…

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Yesterday was one of those ‘many varied things happening’ days; ever have one of those? Most of what I had planned for the day got totally turned around, but that’s OK…we managed. Youngest son stayed home from school; it seems his pneumonia was worse. Trip to doctor found that the lungs and pneumonia were gone-he’s picked up some OTHER sort of ‘germ’; he’s coughing, stuffed up-the whole nine yards. Diagnosis? No meds, just rest, fluids,Tylenol for aches, cough drops if needed…not even a re-check in a week! Amazing!

Felt sorry for my husband, as he had taken an extra ‘vacation’ day off from work and was just planning on hanging around the house, relaxing. (Now, you KNOW that never works!) The night before, our oldest son called to say that his electricity wasn’t working and his furnace had cut out, too….great! Husband went over and managed to get them both working…YAY! (My Hero!) Yesterday morning, son called again to say that they both were off, again! He had to go to work, so husband went over to his house to see what’s what. It seems that somehow, his outside electric connection was only putting out half of the electricity on one of the two connections, so husband called the electric co. and told them to come check it out. (good thing my husband works for the Phone Company and knows electricity, eh?) They came and found the problem; had to install a new line to his house as the old one was ‘fried’ (their term) now son has heat and lights again! YAY NUMBER 2!!!

Last night was my monthly Knit Night with a great group of ladies. I only see them once a month, so I don’t get any information about what’s going on with them, ahead of time. (This is not the same group I started, but a group of ladies who all go to the same church and invited me to join their group last year). I was told to NOT bring a dish/snack to pass, as is our usual fare. When I got there, the hostess had made a wonderful dinner for all of us, complete with linens, china, fancy glassware, etc. What a treat! This is the THIRD fancy dinner I’ve been to this month! WAHOO! She had homemade lasagna, garlic bread and salad and a HUGE selection of baked desserts (I was good…had one Snickerdoodle cookie). To top off the evening they had me sit down and then proceeded to dump out a large garbage bag on the floor in front of me. These ladies had a contest (unbeknown to me) to see who could knit/crochet the most 7 inch squares in a month to give to “The Ghana Project”! There were 101 squares of all colors and yarns! I now KNOW that I have my work cut out for me in the near future. Call me the Stitchin’ Queen, as I’ll be stitching these squares together for quite awhile. I’m guessing, with their squares, I now have enough to make about 6-7 more afghans-how great is that!? What a blessing!

On one last note, one of my dear friends: “Momma” is one of these people who always has all her Christmas decorations up on time or early. As she knows me too well, she knows that I’m the one who is just about the very LAST person to get anything up…especially the tree (one year we actually put it up on Christmas eve, as that was the only time I had free to do it!) So far this year I have managed to put out three little snowmen and I have the dining-room tree BOX in the dining-room! HEY, that’s a START! (for me, that’s a GOOD Start!) Who knows WHEN we’ll actually get all the other ‘stuff’ up………..sigh.

Gotta run; today is grocery shopping! Have a great day; it’s in the 30’s here, snow on the ground but not on the roads, and it’s SUNNY!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on December 8, 2007 at 11:33 am  Comments (2)  

Life’s Blessings, Big and Small

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The past week or so has been a good lesson in appreciation of the little blessings in life. Starting with last Sunday night, middle son & I went to his company’s Christmas dinner held at a very nice local restaurant. I can’t even remember when was the last time I had really good prime rib…this was excellent! The place, the company, the food – it was all very nice, and the best part? My son ended up winning two awards from his company! One was for having the most “perfect shops” of anyone in the whole lower Michigan district. (a “perfect shop” is when a person who is employed by a company that uses Secret Shoppers sends their employee to ‘shop’ in your store. If the employee does an exemplary job for the entire time the Secret Shopper is dealing with them, they are awarded a Secret Shop.) My son had 5 perfect shops in the past 3 months; that’s something to be proud of. They then went on to more awards and he also won one of three special awards the company is just starting to use, something called a “Raving Fan” award. When a customer mentions to a manager that they thought an employee went out of their way to help them, this creates a “Raving Fan”, thus the award of the same name. In this case a customer was in the checkout lane next to my son and mentioned to a manager how much they enjoyed having him as a check-out person THEN the person behind them piped in and said: “I agree! I love having him as my checkout person! He’s very friendly, helpful, etc.”; that created TWO raving fans! This award was given as a iron-on patch for their aprons, so yesterday I ironed it on his apron for him. He wasn’t too happy with me-said he actually wanted to just keep the patch (could be that because there were only 3 in his whole store, he might have felt a bit embarassed being singled out like that? Maybe…) I thought it interesting, though, that last night when he came home from work, he was singing a different tune! It seems that a District manager was in the store yesterday, saw him with the patch and liked it so much that he photographed him wearing the apron with the patch! To top that off, my son ended up getting another “Perfect Shop” last night, starting out the new ‘season’ for more of the same – the District Manager was very pleased because they’ve now upped the requirements for a ‘perfect shop’ and he STILL got one…to say I’m a very proud Mom would be an understatement at this time! I thought the best part of it all was when, in the car on the way home from the big, fancy Christmas dinner he said to me: “Mom, I’m so glad I have this job…I love it!” (Couldn’t be a happier mom here, either!)

My second blessing of this post is to tell you I did the ‘big’ speech for the Ladie’s Fellowship at church Tuesday night and actually didn’t get nervous! (well…perhaps just a little…I didn’t FEEL nervous, but at one point I happened to notice my hand on the podium was shaking as I was trying to keep my place on the page, so I guess my head was calm but my body was doing it’s own thing!). At least I didn’t cry, which is what I THOUGHT I would do (I usually do, if I’m nervous enough); I did choke up just a bit but caught it in time, cleared my throat and plowed on. Seems they liked it, a lot, so I was happy. That was one big event that’s now done!

Point #3 on the blessings: just got back from the hospital for x-rays for my youngest. He’s been battling Pneumonia since the week before Thanksgiving (he spent the whole of that week in his jammies) and as of yesterday the doctor said it wasn’t getting better but seemed to be getting a bit worse! That scared me some, but I didn’t let him know it. We went to the hospital for a chest x-ray and it seems his lungs are clear! She’s having him continue using the inhaler and returning again in a week for another check. I’m sure hoping that it’s going away; he’s just not his usual bouncy self. Has spent most of this time kind of down, and coughing a lot; I sure will be glad to see him feeling better (he’s even lost 3 lbs. from no appetite due to the upset stomach from coughing). At least the LUNGS are clear now!!! That’s a big blessing!

Oh, I also threw my back out a little Tuesday when lifting my grandson. “Doan’s Back Pills” and I are best friends again. It’s doing better today and I’m not in big pain like I was yesterday (another blessing). I don’t have the baby again until tomorrow so I’ve been taking advantage of the ‘off time’ from babysitting and resting my back as much as possible. Got quite a bit of knitting done while resting (WHAT? You actually didn’t think I’d just SIT, did you???)

I think that about wraps up all the ‘what’s been happening around here”. The weather is our typical Michigan winter weather – very unpredictable. Yesterday it was in the 30’s, today it’s 14! Oh well…Spring will come some time in the future.

Enjoy your day;

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on December 6, 2007 at 6:30 pm  Comments (2)