Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Holidays are Coming

And oh so fast. Where has the year of 2011 gone? I am in full swing not only here at home but also at the Senior Center. We had tree decorating on Monday and what fun. They did a tree decorating contest. I did a tree in the entrance of the building. Took me about 4 hours but well worth my effort I think. The winner will be announced at lunch time on Friday.

This is the tree I did. I chose teal, lime green and purple as those are the colors used in the logo for the senior center. 

Craft day for the month of November was a fun day. Not a lot of ladies but we did Christmas ornaments and they enjoyed themselves. 

They each did 4 ornaments, an elf shoe, a ribbon angel, a paint stick snowman, and a felt birdhouse.

These are the ones we did.  So much fun and everyone did a great job. 

Here are 4 of those that did the craft day this month, each holding one of their ornaments. 

I feel so blessed to be able to work so closely with the seniors of our area. So many of them just remind me so much of my grandparents. They have just so much love and knowledge to share. 

I also work as the Director of the Choir Chimes at the Senior Center and love performing for so many of our shut ins. We have 12 performances to do the month of December. We perform at several of the nursing homes, assisted living centers, Senior Complexes and Day Break which is a respite day care home. If an elderly person can not be left alone and are living with a son or daughter that work they may take them to Day Break for the day. I love how when we perform it brings a smile to so many faces. I would like to mention that most of my group of performers are in their 80's and 90's.

It is funny how when I was younger I always thought I would  continue to enjoy working with children and did have an in home day care for many years. I grew to love those children like they were my own. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever imagined myself with such a special attachment such as working with the seniors of the county. I love volunteering my time and talent to the aging generation and will continue to do it as long as I can. 

I hope that you all are enjoying the start of the Christmas Season. 

I still have lots of decorating to finish and have made a pledge that it will be done by Saturday night. Then I can spend more time crafting and finishing up my Christmas Gifts. 

May I be the first to wish you "Merry Christmas.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

An Early Thanksgiving

Halloween is packed away for the year and now just fall things are out once again. And now the Holidays will truly begin in our home. Tomorrow is an early Thanksgiving celebration with family. But can you believe it will not be the traditional Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings. We are celebrating with Mexican food. Yup you read that right.

Yesterday my grandson graduated from Camp Pendleton Boot Camp and is officially a full Marine. He has dreamed of this since he was a very small child. We are all so proud of him... Here he is the day before graduation enjoying a Dr. Pepper.

My daughter and son-in-law flew out to see him graduate. We were so thankful that Frank could go as 5 days before they were booked to head there my son-in-law suffered another set back after his heart attack in June. He ended up having to have a 5th heart cathe done. He along with the rest of us were so worried they would not let him fly. He got the clearance from his doctor about 14 hours before their plane was to leave.

Here is the proud father after the first hug in 13 weeks.

I was so excited to be able to finally talk to Donald on Thursday afternoon. It has been a long 13 weeks since he gave me a hug and walked out of our house before leaving.

I am so anxious to see all the pictures and can hardly wait till he walks in tomorrow. He is getting the biggest hug from this proud grandma...

Here he is in his dress blues.  My little man has grown into quite a handsome man I think. But of course I think all my grandsons are handsome and all my granddaughters are beautiful.

I look at this picture and it just makes my heart swell with pride.

Now as to why no turkey tomorrow. His other grandma is doing a full Thanksgiving meal for him while he is home so therefore we thought since one of his other favorite meals is tacos we would do a Mexican meal so he will not get too full of turkey and dressing and all the other goodies while home. 

I am getting really itchy to start on my Christmas decorating and just may get started on Wednesday. Got hubby home on Monday so we can do quite a bit of running that is needed and then have to be gone a while Tuesday. The hand chime group is gearing up for the Christmas performances at the various Senior complexes, assisted living homes, and nursing homes so practice we must. I love how it puts a smile on every ones face to hear the Christmas music once again. 

So this week may just be a busy week for me.  So until we meet again
Semper Fidelis

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Has Come To Our Home

It seems like I am quite late in finally getting my Halloween decorations all out and in place. It has been a long last few weeks.

It seems my husband decided to fall off the 6 foot ladder while replacing some gutters. It was an aluminum ladder and decided to just fold and twist catching his leg between the rungs. And being a man he decided that he was fine and did not need to be checked out. Of course I had to go the next morning and borrow my grandsons set of crutches for George. But he still refused to go to the Doctor. His leg was swollen, ankle and knee real badly swollen. A week later after hobbling around  with a crutch he bought a cane. Three days later I finally convinced him he needed to get his knee checked out. No break but a horrible sprain. It has now been three weeks, he is back to work but the ankle and knee is still swollen and very sore.

Needless to say I spent several days playing nurse. Darn if I ever get sick he had better take care of me. I have spent a lot of time over the last 32 years taking care of him.

The trees are dropping leaves fast the last few days and  with George now back at work I have managed to get some fall things done. Plants are potted and back in the house. Several had outgrown their pots over the summer.

And I finally got to the basement and dragged up my Halloween things. I thought I would share a few of my things I decorated with this year.

This is the top of the portable dishwasher. I have several Halloween and fall teapots I use. This just has some shiny garland type fall leaves in it. Both pumpkins came from our garden. We only got 4 from it this year. Not sure what happened. They are, as you can tell not big at all. They were a pie or baking pumpkin which will later be made into pies.

My little ghost bear. I love him. Just a fall arrangement in a pumpkin and a couple small pumpkins by him.

These are some pumpkins I painted several years ago. They were made from pieces of some landscaping ties were had left after making a raised flower bed out back .They were so simple to do and I would love making some out of sections of tree stumps for the front flower beds. Maybe one of these days I will get some done.


This is the fireplace mantle. I can not find the ornaments I had for the tree so just left it fall. The pumpkins are some I made. All 3-D type. The scarecrow came from Hobby Lobby a few years ago. I love the after Halloween sales.

This is a picture of the centerpiece I did as a sample for our "Craft With Karan Day" next week. Was simple and everything in it came from the Dollar tree. I just set it on the mantle to get pictures. After Craft Day on Monday it will go on my kitchen table.

I have more to share but will wait until the week end. I am in high speed on Christmas and have been working on several ornaments which I will start sharing next week.

I am working on ideas for decorating a Christmas Tree for the Senior Center. They have asked if I would take part in the tree decorating contest. I am thinking theme tree just not sure what theme I will do. Any suggestions would be great.

I hope that everyone is enjoying some wonderful fall weather. Cooler today than it has been in over a week. I think our Indian Summer may be over. We have had fog almost every morning for the last several days and many school delays. This is what it looks like out my side door. Taken early when the fog was just lifting .

Have a great week end and enjoy all the beauty of this season

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My First Time Tea Party

This week has been a busy and long one.

I attended a Tea . This was a new experience for me. A wonderful time was had by all. It was in honor of the 25th  Anniversary of a Mural the Senior Center had done on the wall doors between the cafeteria and the gym.

Each table was done by someone different. I had been asked if I would do one. It was fun but ended up at the last minute changing what I planned on doing as I could not find a fresh centerpiece anyplace in with blues, pinks and whites. So my table went fall rather and rather simple instead of lacy and fancy.

They served several kinds of tea, small muffins of all sorts fresh fruit with a fruit topping. and scones. Scones were something that I am sorry to say I had never had. I rather liked them too.  I guess as the old saying goes "you are never to old to learn".

This is a picture of one of the tables done by one of the Volunteers.  They are drivers for the Meals on Wheels program and just great people. It is taken in front of the  Mural or at last a section of it.

I thought I would share a few of the decorated tables. 

I loved the combination she used in table coverings. It was simple but elegant I thought.

One of the fall ones. I loved the idea and it was so simple. A beautifully fall wrapped box with miniature pumpkins and gourds,  with fall berries and fall leaves scattered around and an ivy bowl filled with candy corn and flowers.

I thought this was very nice and I liked that there were two teapots to the table being it was an  eight foot table. Blue and fall seemed to be the colors for the day.

Loved the country look of this table. Beautiful quilted placemats and the tall bee-hive teapot were just so cute. The sugar and creamer were a bee. Very cute I thought . And  of course there just had to be a bear or two tucked in there.

The fall theme was used here on this eight foot table. I loved the colors.

This is the table I did. simple flower arrangement sitting on scattered leaves and leaves scattered on the table.Not as fancy as I had started out to do just  could not find everything I wanted to do. But I was happy with it.

I loved these cups and saucers. They had matching sugar, creamer, teapot, and bowl for your used teabags.

This was simple but very pretty. Notice the tiny teapot setting in front of the arrangement. There were 4 tiny ones around it along with little milk glass bunnies.

.I thought this was very well done. Fall but I loved the layered look of the different table coverings. I thought the pens with the flower on top just sort of added a special touch to the table also.

This is a picture taken during the time we were setting the tea up. It shows a bit more of the mural we were honoring. My sister-in_law is  right in the middle of the picture with the gray sweater jacket as I had invited her to come with me.

I  will in another post share a bit about how the mural came about, and a bit of history of my town. I sure learned a lot more than I had ever heard. Even my sister-in-law learned things she did not know and she was born and raised here.

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful week, enjoying all the fall weather and colors. They are certainly changing fast.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall is in the Air

The leaves are changing and the nights are cool. I am loving having the windows open during the day and letting the fresh breezes  flow through the house. Not much longer and it will be way to cool to air the house for any length of time.

The dogs are enjoying the cooler weather. They love going out and laying on the deck for hours. Of course they love watching all the birds, barking to scare them away . It is if they are saying go away this is my yard.

The summer birds are almost all gone. I still have a couple later leaving hummingbirds coming to the feeders, but if they stay on schedule they will be leaving by this week end. Even the robbins in the yard are few and far between. The blue jays are now coming to the house waiting for the winter feeders to go up.  I have already started stocking up on birdseed, suet cakes, and ears of dried corn for my winter friends.

I have finally got some fall decorating done and  now just need to drag up Halloween things to add to them. I thought today I would share some of my fall decorations with you.

My fall table  decorations. Loved the place mats and sunflowers are such a fun fall decoration. They had matching rugs so  I got two  rugs to use on the floor in front of my stove and  kitchen sink.

Fall flowers in teapot sitting on end table. I love being able to pull out all the doilies my grandmother made and using each fall. Grandma has been gone 51 years and they seem to be close to her again when I use each of them.

My fall tree is hanging above my fireplace. Just orange and white light with fall flowers, pumpkins and scarecrows. I will add Halloween ornaments for October. Halloween will also take over the mantle of the fireplace.

 I love my pumpkin scarecrow.  The wooden pumpkin is one of several I made some time ago. I did enough for all the tables at our Senior Center. They were a hit. So much that over the course of a few days some were smuggled out in someones purse.

Closer up of the tree showing the flowers , pumpkins and one of the scarecrows. 

I have a few more but will add my Halloween items before showing what I have done. 

Enjoy the fall. Remember that the cold, ice  and snow is not far behind  the beauty of this Season

Then we can enjoy the beauty of the winter, 
Until then. 

Happy Fall Y'all

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Walk to End Alzheimer's

This past week end I did a " Walk to End Alzheimer's. This is the first time I have ever participated in anything like this. I donate to many good charity's but just have never tried doing  any thing such as a race or walk. I have bad knees, back, and also  asthma, and  some days just know it would be impossible to walk far. Our son-in-law had signed up to walk with our local Senior Center team. I figured if he can do this after a massive heart attack in  early June and 4 heart surgeries since that I could do it. It was a two  mile walk  or a short walk of 1/4 mile. We did the short one and both felt so good we started off on the 2 mile walk. My dear hubby decided and told me  after we got there he was going to also walk with us. I had thought he was going to take us and go shopping and then come back to get us. What a nice surprise when he said he wanted to walk with us.

It was a beautiful fall day. Leaves just starting to change and the park they were in was beautiful. Funny I have lived in this area for 33 years and had heard this park mentioned several times but had never been there. I decided this was a place I would loved spending more time at.  The program to start the event was nice. One of the Seniors gave a talk on " Living with Alzheimer's" He and his wife have been married 62 years and he has been caring for her throughout her illness. I do not know how he ever did the talk he did.  There was not a dry eye in the crowd. He had to stop a few times himself to gain his composure. To hear some of the things he has and is still going through tore at my heart strings. I have known he and his wife for about 7 years now and they are two of the most caring and loving people I have ever had the privilege to know.

Seeing how Alzheimer's affects not only the person with it but the family and friends of the person really makes a person thankful for good health. As Bob said, Alzheimer's does not effect just the elderly but can effect the young, middle age, man or woman. It takes over your life. He stressed how important these three words are. " I Love You"  and he said make sure you make plenty of memories as some day memories will be all you have.

I thought I would share some of the pictures I took  while walking " Walk to End Alzheimer's"...

These are many of our Seniors from the Senior Center Walk Team. This was during the opening program.

                           Part of the crowd milling around before opening ceremony.

                         My son-in-law Frank and Hubby George.

                       Waiting at bridge to start the walk

First group to cross the bridge. We each had flowers to toss in the water in memory of those who have lost their fight to Alzheimer's.

                    A few of the flowers tossed over to the water.

      Crossing over one of the bridges. Beautiful area of the walk. Just  so peaceful.

We took our time as you can tell. We were in no hurry at all. And we did not even bring up the end. There were several behind us  enjoying the beauty of the park.

This was the first walk for our area and they are planning on making it an annual event. I was surprised at the end of the walk I felt better than I had in weeks. I must have needed the beauty and quietness of nature to revitalize me. And that night I slept better than I have in weeks.

I dedicate this "Walk to End Alzheimer's" and this  post in the memory of my Aunt Margaret who lost her battle with Alzheimer's last April. She will be forever loved and missed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crafting with Seniors

What a fun day Monday.We did a "Craft with Karan Day" at the Senior Center. We had 11 ladies that had signed up and can you believe we had 21 ladies show up. And we only had 15 grapevine wreaths so it was a quick trip to Hobby Lobby for more wreaths. We bought them out of the size we planned on using and had to go up to a larger one for some of the ladies. While on that HL trip we had another couple ladies come in to see if they could do a wreath. We decided we were going to have to limit the class and make sure they sign up in advanve so there are enough supplies bought.

Each lady did their own thing so each wreath had a totally different look to it.  Many of the ladies have never done  crafts and say they are not crafty at all but by gosh I can see they would make great crafters. Just got to convince them and give them some confidence.

                                                  Here are a few pictures I took to share.
The oldest of the ladies in early 80's that came to do a wreath. Her eyes were not too good and she was pretty shaky so she did let another help her. She would place things where she wanted them and we did the gluing etc. 

                                                           This is her finished wreath.

       This is  one of the ladies that says she had never done crafts. I thought her wreath turned out well.

This is another saying she is not crafty. I did suggest that she shorten her scarecrow so it did not stand so high.

                                                  I thought Patty did a great job on hers.

                                       These are several of the ladies showing off what they did.

What a fun day we had and I think they did a wonderful job . Each one did their own thing and I think that each one did well. Many live in Senior High Rise Apartments and will be proud to hang their wreaths on the door to their apartments.

Next month many have already signed up for our craft day. We are doing Halloween centerpieces for their tables. A nd one of the ladies has suggested we get together an extra day and do table decorations for the holidays for the Senior Center  tables. I think it is a great idea. Now to just find a time we can all do it.

                                                I hope you are all having a great week.