Thursday, September 30, 2010


So I was never all that wild about the bookcase layout I had previously, so I changed it up and made a new banner while I was at it. The picture is of me with my Grandma. Isn't it so sweet & precious?
She was a teeny Ukrainian woman who made amazing pirogies. She would fry them in about 4 inches of fat and serve them to us for breakfast. Oh mercy were they good. Her name was Anna, but my Pupup called her Ann. I didn't know her name was actually Anna until I had my daughter, and Grandma gave me a cross necklace to keep & give to her someday. Her name was on the back of it.
I need to write out her biography sometime. She lived through the Depression, had a giant brain tumor surgically removed and was a devout Catholic. She was amazing. I miss her like crazy; she died right after Little Christmas seven (eight?) years ago. Her death was so perfect, which I know sounds crazy, but it was. Her health was declining for years, with osteoporosis stooping her slim frame. After a few 'incidents' and falls at her home, my father and aunt moved her from her house to live here. My folks got her settled in their guest room, and began making plans to accommodate her needs. I remember how I felt when my Dad talked about putting a safety bar in the tub so she would have something to grasp. I knew she wouldn't need it, because I knew she was going to die. I was keenly aware of these being her last days. Why God revealed this to me, I don't know, but I was the only one who knew that I'm aware of. I thought it would be a month, but not much longer than that. She lived for ten days after she moved in. She was able to be with us in her last days, after years of living several hours away. I went to the house nearly every day, and she got to really know my kids. Maybe that's why God let me in on the secret, so I would visit as much as possible.
My family celebrates Little Christmas, also known as Epiphany. We get together and eat lots of good Ukee food like halupke (stuffed cabbage), pirogies and fried whiting. My Irish/German/Scotch/Awesome mother was the one who initiated this tradition, first as a way to get together and give gifts that had been forgotten in a closet at Christmas. It has become one of my most favorite celebrations, keeping my father's family heritage alive. I think my Mom is incredible for so fully embracing the culture she married in to. (She even learned to make Ukrainian Easter eggs, which I will have to post about another time - amazing!)
So we celebrated that Little Christmas, and my Grandma was quietly thrilled. She loved being there with all of the family and although she was under 90 pounds and had little appetite, she loved the food.
My Grandma passed away quietly of congestive heart failure, in a comfortable chair in my father's living room. She died after spending ten days with the family that loved her deeply. She died at peace, and was welcomed into Heaven by the Jesus she loved. It was perfect.

Celebrity Addiction

Comedian Greg Giraldo dead of overdose

Between this and all the LiLo drama, I am constantly reminded of how hard it is to get and stay clean and sober. I can't imagine doing it in the fishbowl of Hollywood, although that environment seems to breed this kind of lifestyle in the first place. I found this list of celebrities who've died from prescription drug overdose, whether accidentally or intentionally: 18 Celebrities. Here's another list of Notable People who've died from alcoholism or complications from alcohol use: Alcoholism. And one more of celebrities who've die from alcohol: More Celebrities.

I find it fascinating & disturbing & heartbreaking.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Crap at my Parent's House

I read a lot of useless web sites, and this is one of them. I think we can all relate to something on this site, as we all have a parent or grandparent who has something inexplicable in their house. Imagine my sheer delight, however, when my Little Sister sent me the link to this posting...

This is hilarious to Little Sister and I for the simple reason that our parents own the exact. same. pillow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This & That

Homemade Pop Tarts - How good do these look?! I'm thinking of a whole grain flour with pumpkin butter.... mmmmmm.

Halloween Decorating Ideas - I love the idea of putting moustaches on my family pictures. I don't even need it to be Halloween, I just think it would be hilarious any time.

Somoas Bars - This is also that same Crepes of Wrath blogger I linked to above, but really, her recipes look so amazing that I'm double-dipping. And really just indulge me because I've been reading blog recipes all night. I've run out of couch activities while recuperating and I'm bored as Jello and simply need to amuse myself. Anyhoo, if you've ever had a Somoa cookie from the Girl Scouts (formerly Caramel Delights), then I don't need to tell you how good these bars are going to be. I can't wait to try my hand at these!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Writing Prompt: 10 reasons why you're glad it's Fall.

From Mama Kat: 10 Reasons Why You're Glad it's Fall

1. Jeans - I really really ♥ jeans. I would wear them every day of my life if I could.
2. Pumpkins - Every year I take pictures of the kids in a pumpkin patch. One of my favorite traditions.
3. Christmas Prep - We started Christmas shopping a few weeks ago. I love making my spreadsheet & lists and getting all the gifts decided on & bought. I'll have our cards done & sent usually just after Thanksgiving. Then I'll start filling my freezer with cookies. I love having specific tasks with an end date to them.
4. Hiking - I love it any time of year, but the Fall is truly the most beautiful time to get out into His creation.
5. Survivor - New season, yay!
6. Change of Season - Some people get SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, when winter comes. I am nearly the opposite, as I get really happy when the cold weather comes. Maybe it's the twisty writer in me, but there is just nothing better than a cold, wet, dark autumn day.
7. Pie. No explanation needed.
8. School - I thrive on routine and schedules, so I really look forward to school starting up again.
9. Bible Study & 10. Care Ring - These two groups don't meet over the summer, and I miss them terribly!

This & That

The Farm Chicks - This gal Serena works for Country Living Magazine and I so love her. She embodies all things country & farmy & good to me, and I'm devouring her blog.

Country Living - The Princess is selling magazine subscriptions and I gave in and ordered one. I've been well-behaved with our finances lately (see next link) and I'm working to cut out any expenses that we don't need. So this goes against that, being that I certainly don't need a magazine. But I gave in & made my daughter very happy, so that's that. Anyhoo, I am excited about this magazine. I'm looking forward to reading every bit of it, and then cutting out pictures to go in my journal. Christin inspired me recently with some fresh ideas on journaling, and I'm excited to try. I don't do much handwritten journaling anymore because carpal tunnel makes my hand cramp terribly. But I love that kind of expression so I'm going to try it.

Steven Curtis Chapman - The Man surprised me with tickets to go see SCC! It'll be a road trip too, since the venue is a few hours away. I'm already researching hiking & flea markets for the area in case we can get there early & have time for other things.

Surgery Update: I'm still recovering, and the ENT was not exaggerating when he said I would need a week to recover. This has been much harder than I could have imagined. I forgot to mention earlier that he did not send me home 'packed'. He said that he doesn't do that unless the bleeding is really excessive. So that's good, but the bad news is that I did come home with those splints that are holding my new septum in place, and they feel about as good as you're imagining right now. My post-op appointment is Wednesday afternoon, where they'll take those out. They warned me to take pain relievers ahead of time and have someone drive me home. So I have that to look forward to.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quick Surgery Update

The surgery went perfectly. I have plastic splints up there to hold my new septum in place. I feel like death. That is all.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


So tomorrow is the day of my surgery. Dent dent dennnnnn. I'm pretty much dreading it, not in a horrific or fearful way, but in a not wanting to go through this because it's going to suck way. I have this thing about needles. I'm aware that it's all in my head, but it's like an autonomic response of some kind. I get sweaty and swoony when I know they're about to put that IV needle in.
I got some awesome answers to prayer though, which I'm excited to share. My first concern was that I had no one to 'be me' all day. It's not like my job is all that difficult, but we have three children attending three different schools. My second concern was that we would not know my surgery time until the night before, so coordinating people to help out would be in a pending-state for days on end. I am a planner, and this made me Cray. Zee. I have to make lists and plans and graphs that I can point at with a laser when I do anything, and not being able to do that was super frustrating.
So in comes all my awesome friends who prayed for all these issues. I got the phone call two minutes into the two hour window that the hospital said they would call in, and was pleased to hear that I needed to be at the hospital at 9:30am. I may or may not have done some sort of happy dance at this point. That time slot means that I don't need to be dropping kids off at friends' houses at some ungodly hour. The Man and I can drop them off at their schools with plenty of time to get to the hospital. Yay God!
So, off we go. I know I will come home 'packed'. *shudder* I plan to spend a lot of time watching tv or annoying my Facebook friends. I am determined not to get sucked into any of those games though, no matter how much my sister says she loves FarmVille. The last thing I need is a virtual farm to be in charge of. I can just picture Shay's Giant OCD Farm.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bucks County Folk Art

My very talented sister-in-law Jill has finally opened her Etsy shop! Go check it out - her wood carvings are really detailed & beautiful. I had never even heard of needle-felting until she posted about it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You are getting sleepy.....

{Yes, that is a picture of a sleepy Jesus in bunny slippers. And it totally kills me, so I had to share it.}
I keep thinking that I'm going to magically find time to write now that the kids are in school. But somehow this is not the case. I've been running from one place to the next, and our evenings are just plain nuts. The two nights that the kids have soccer practice are especially hairy.
It's 10pm, I finally have a quiet house in which to work.... and I'm instead going to go to bed. Which, for anyone who knows me, is just completely out of character. I normally go to bed at midnight, and usually watch tv for a half hour before falling asleep. Maybe I'm changing without even meaning to? I just know that this old girl is Ti. Errrrd. I've been walking almost every day with a friend, and we do about 3.7 miles. I've lost a few pounds (squee!) and am feeling really good health-wise. But by the end of the day, I am beat!
I will make time to write though! I will! Just not tonight. *yawn*

Monday, September 13, 2010

This & That

Ten Important Things I've Learned About Blogging, by Ree Drummond. You may know her as the Pioneer Woman. I've posted the recipe to her Sleepin In Omelette before. She has a cookbook out right now that I very much want to buy, but alas, I own too many cookbooks already and really can't justify it.

Bucks County Folk Art - This is my sister-in-law's blog, and she is amazingly talented. Go check her out! She has an Etsy shop in the works, and I'll be sure to post the link to it when she has it ready to open.

Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young Singing Pants on the Ground - Truly hilarious! (Note: Cursing in the comments underneath, don't scroll down.)