Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!, Another Wadder and Phylly is Coming Back with the Princess Pants

Yep.  The top I started yesterday is on the floor in the sewing room until I remove some pins and toss it.  It came out WAY BAGGY in the front, and the way the instructions said to finish the yoke was insane!  It's back to Sure-fit Designs for a simple shell top with, maybe, a few pleats in the front.  Or maybe pin-tucks.  I don't really know how to allow for pin-tucks though in the pattern.  You just sew them in with a special foot, if I remember right.

Phylly and I had lunch at a restaurant we haven't been to before (for lunch) called Johnny Carino's.  The salad was very good along with a luncheon portion or Chicken Fettucini, bread and dipping oil.  BUT what was really great -- and I think a BRILLIANT idea -- was the miniature desserts they had.  OH, OH, OH!!!  I just remembered I took a picture.  Hold on......................

HOW DARLING ARE THOSE?????  A baby cheesecake and a baby tiramisu.  Believe it or not, I left about one-third of the cheesecake for my DESM diet.  I was SO PROUD OF ME!!!

Next time, I'm getting the tiramisu because I love the baby cup it is in.

After lunch, I had to stop by my eye doctor's office in the Mall to see why one of my eyes was half blood red.  Turns out it is nothing.  He said I could have broken a tiny blood vessel when I sneezed or lifted something heavy or, or, or ................  He said they don't really know.

So here it is -- New Year's Eve -- and I am all by myself.  Jerry and I never do anything anyway.  The last place we want to be is on the roads.  I will celebrate when Phylly comes over tomorrow since she is off work for the holiday.  She is bringing her SFD Princess Pant pattern and the pants, so we will try to make a video.  Get ready to laugh!

Happy New Year to you all, and I look forward to blogging with you in 2013.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Notes and Other Stuff

Today's sermon was titled "How Can You Make Next Year The BEST Year of Your Life?".

I sure did want to know the answer to that.  The answer was quite simple actually.  "You say so!"

Hebrews 13:18 says Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.  That is VERY reassuring considering that our Government is about as stable as a one-legged stool!  If I wasn't a Christian, and I didn't truly believe in God and the Word, I don't think I could get out of bed in the morning.  I would probably be taking all kinds of pills and smoking weird stuff to try to stay content like so many people do.  I am SO THANKFUL that my parents raised me to know about God and that they were strict and watchful and laid down the law at home.  It taught me to work hard, be honest and appreciative.  Valuable life lessons indeed.

I received a phone call from my sister -- my OTHER sister (the one that doesn't lie to me) -- shortly after the sermon started this morning, so I missed most of it.  Basically, it was about SAYING what we want according to the Word and believing we receive it.  Be POSITIVE, and EXPECT good things to happen.  I will TRY!  I believe I shall have to quit turning on the news to accomplish that, however.

I am making a new pattern.  The pattern is marked "EASY".  Evidently, the definition of "easy" has changed since I learned it, and it really means "EXTREMELY HARD AND NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE -- DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!"  And, no, it isn't a Silhouette Pattern.  It is the same Butterick I just showed you pictures of a few days ago, but it is the solid blue version in the picture on the left.   I spent TWO HOURS today trying to figure out how to put the pleats in at the top of it.  I took pictures, but I'm not in the mood to mess with them right now, and the blouse isn't done yet.  Give me a day or two.

Other than that, I haven't done much at all today.  I needed Margaret or Phylly to come over and entertain me.  I talked to Jerry a few times, but that just makes me miss him.  I hope he comes back to get me soon.

I did get an interesting text from my daughter saying she found cheap airline rates to fly John and Hollie home from Alaska.  Hollie is working and about to start college, so I don't know how they can come home now.  We will see.

It is nice having my daughter call and talk to me again, although she is still on the same merry-go-round.  I will keep praying for my baby.  I love her so!  Have I ever told you that she is a nurse at the heart hospital?  She is an AMAZING nurse.  No matter how mad she gets at me, and no matter how long we go without seeing each other, I KNOW that if I ever was really sick or in the hospital, she would be there and nothing on Earth could stop her.  The "nurse" in her takes over, and she forgets all that other junk.

Tomorrow, we can all practice the new SAY WHAT YOU WANT sermon as we watch our infantile congress lead us over the fiscal cliff.  God is still in control of MY LIFE.  How about yours?  Our corporation is called 3-J Enterprises, Inc.  The J's are Jesus, Jerry and Joy -- in that order.  So it is HIS business, and HE has always blessed it beyond what we ever imagined.

Stay with me next year as I blog day to day, and I will share with you all the amazing things God does in our business and our lives.

Until soon,

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, December 29, 2012

You're My BEST Friend!

I was checking out Aga's jewelry Facebook page, and she had this video posted.  It is SO ADORABLE.  You may have seen it before.  I watched it over and over.

I LOVE the way the little boy CAREFULLY -- as though it may explode if not treated with the tenderest of touches -- lays down the loop handle of the leash.  The dog doesn't move his feet at all until the little boy comes back, and the dog looks around to be sure the boy is safe.  Such loyalty -- such devotion -- such trust -- in both of them.  What a shame the child will grow up to learn what a mess the world is beyond he and his beloved companion.

Today was fun with Phylly.  We talked about making a video, and we were going to make a video, but Phylly did not bring her Sure-fit Designs pants pattern that she had made into a princess seam pant.  She did bring the pants though.  The pants look REALLY GOOD on her.  The princess seam down the center back leg allows you to take the pant in under the butt for an FBA (Flat Butt Adjustment).  I was going to take a picture of the pants on her, but I forgot.  We got busy talking and working on our patterns, and the next thing we knew, we had to go to lunch -- and then we had to go to the Hancock's "20% Off Your Entire Purchase" sale -- and then she had to pack up her stuff and go home.  It seems like she was here only 20 minutes!

I had a surprise visit from my friend, Margaret this evening.  We compared our family Christmas stories and other stuff.  She was wearing one of the earring sets I made for her.  They looked great on her, but Margaret looks great in everything.

I should have taken a picture of her in her new earrings!  Goodness.  Where was my picture-taking gene today???

Tonight, I am tired.  I don't have my Elliptical here, and I didn't bounce on the trampoline today because I was wearing boots, and I was afraid the heels might puncture the netting on the tramp.  I have taken them off now, but I'm not ready to remove this laptop from my lap yet.  I will jump for a minute or two before bedtime. 

Tomorrow is Sunday, so I will watch my favorite preacher in the morning.  Jerry isn't here, but he will watch at our other house.  After that, I will cut out another new blouse.  It is really different.  I spent hours P&P'ing it today with the high round back alteration, the full bust alteration and the sway back alteration.  It SHOULD fit perfectly, but you never know until it is done.  Paper just never will fit like fabric does.

I hope my sewing friends out there are sewing!

Send me some pictures, and I will share them, or send me a link to your blog.  There is a "comment" section below.  You have to have a Yahoo or Google or ? password.  I hate that Blogger requires that.  It is still easier than other blogs where you have to read totally illegible letters that spell absolutely nothing and figure out what number is carved into an old tree stump and type them in two boxes in order to leave a comment.  By the time I get the wrong answer three times, I just give up!

I'm going to make some drapes and valances soon.  I may even start another quilt.  Time will tell.

Hugs, Joy

Friday, December 28, 2012

Funshine, New Blouse and a Surprise Visit

Yes!  The sun is shining today.  So much better.  I am so much more energized than I was yesterday with the gray skies.  I've been running all day like the Everready Bunny.  I've washed the clothes, cleaned up some of the Christmas decorations and I have finished my latest "muslin" that is actually a very wearable blouse.  I took pictures for you, of course.

You have to know the story first.  I found a darling jacket at JC Penney's when I was Christmas shopping for our Mom's.  I was in what I consider the "Granny Department", but I kept finding the cutest things for myself there.  Now, that I have lost -- drum roll ........................

on my DESM diet -- a total of TEN POUNDS,  I can now put on a garment in the store, and it fits me in the neck and the waist and the belly and the hip.  What a DElight.  I brought home so many new garments for myself that my credit card is probably having a nervous breakdown.  Yep, I'm down from 157 to 147.  And that means I lost even through Christmas.  That shows you how much we aren't included in the family festivities. 

ANYWAY, I found a darling jacket which you will see in a minute, but the blouse they had hanging next to it that was supposed to MATCH it, did not match it at all.  It was quite a bit off, and I couldn't believe it was a set.  Therefore, I bought just the jacket and decided I would make my own blouse to match.  Next problem was WHICH blouse.  I went through my zillion patterns, and I came up with Butterick 5610.

I decided to make the white/black version with the inverted pleats down the front and straigh hem.  I first, of course, had to make a muslin.

So here is the muslin made out of some cute navy blue fabric I found in my stash.

You can't really tell there are inverted pleats in this picture, so I took this picture for you:

I decided I didn't want the pleats to open up over my belly, so I sewed them up from the hem to my waist.  I think this will look better on the red blouse I'm going to make.

And here is a pic of the little-bit-too-big armhole for my PR friends:

Here is a picture of this blouse UNDER the jacket so I can see if it is a good style for the jacket:

I think it looks fine, so I put up the two pieces of red fabric I purchased to see if they matched good enough.  I think they both look good.

The second one is a shiny satin, and the first one is a linen look with little lines running through it.  The one in the store was a strange bright pink color.

And what was the surprise???  I had an unexpected visit from my daughter, and we got to talk -- well, I got to listen -- for over four hours.  I think she may have missed her Mom a bit over the last year.  I sure did miss her!  Things aren't all better by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a start.  You never quit loving your kids no matter what they do.

Gotta go.  Gotta sew.  One more blouse, at least, before next year!

Hugs, Joy

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sad Sky and Play Day Coming

Helloooooooooo everybody!  I've been blue all day long.  Not the color blue, the feeling blue -- you know -- sad, melancholy, unmotivated -- blue.  They should really call it "black" because it better describes it.  Blue is a cheerful color and the color of the sky.  Come to think of it, that is actually the problem.  It has been cloudy all day long, and cloudy days always affect me that way.  So, I guess "gray" would be the right color.

What I need is some SUNSHINE!  It has been really cold here.  I don't know how John and Hollie can stand 40 below in Alaska.  It doesn't even seem possible that people could live where it is that cold!

I am sewing.  I am almost done with a simple top I am making.  I'll take a picture of it tomorrow.  Funny.  It has trees with snow on the branches and little gold balls.  Don't guess I will be wearing it now since Christmas is over.  It was just a muslin, but it turned out. 

Phylly is coming over Saturday for a play day.  MAYBE, I'll remember to do a short video for you.  I have no idea what we could demonstrate, but maybe we will think of something.  She is making pants with princess seams, and they are not cooperating.  I don't know what I'll be working on.  The red coat is still hanging on the dress form waiting for more tweaking.  I lost interest in finishing it after I bought the $60 coat from JC Penney's.

I know.  I will have Phylly model her pants BEFORE and AFTER fitting.  She always makes them big enough to fit a gorilla, and she is just a little lady.  I'm cheering myself up just thinking about it!

Think I'll see if I can figure out how to get the big TV on.  There are only about FIVE remotes to pick from.   Wish me luck!

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Jesus! and New Nifty Notion Video

Well, here it is -- Christmas morning.  Our Christmas morning used to look like the picture above.  Not anymore.  Jerry and I are alone enjoying the peace and quiet.  Our family -- sister, brother, sil, daughter, her dh, granddaughter, nephew, and probably some more, did have a Christmas get-together last night, but we were not invited.

Jerry and I spent Christmas Eve watching Batman.  I HATE Batman movies, but guys like them.  Neither one of us could understand half the words, but it doesn't really matter.  Bad guy vs. good guy and a bunch of impossible feats.  I am a very realistic person, and I don't enjoy phony movies.  I thought the last Bond-James-Bond movie (the first one with Daniel what's-his-name in it) was really good because Bond actually got hurt in it.

Another HUGE disappointment in our life occurred last night.  You know I have been spending time with one of my sisters who had supposedly repented from her alcohol and illegal drug past.  I am totally NOT into that lifestyle at all, and I never have been.  Everyone in my family knows it too.  If it wasn't for the drugs and alcohol, we would be a whole, happy family.  Bad choices affect everyone though -- like it or not.

Of course, I am to blame for the condition of this family due to my inability to be more tolerant.  You know -- like the Government -- politically correct.  I flunk that test every time, I admit.  I have been advised to just "forgive and forget" and play nice with the offenders.  After all, I'm supposed to be the "Christian". 

I can forgive -- I can't forget -- and I will steer a wide path around addicts, family or not.  That doesn't mean I don't love them.  That means I won't play like their lifestyle is okay, and I won't believe the lies -- the CONSTANT lies.  The lie this time was that my sister was having us over to her house Christmas day because she and her son were going to my daughter's house Christmas Eve.  We aren't allowed at my daughter's house (her husband's edict), so we understood that perfectly, and we thought it was so kind and generous of my sister to invite us over for Christmas day at her house.

Last night, out of the blue, we received (via a text message) the information that Christmas Eve was NOT at my daughter's house -- it was really at my sister's house!  Hope you can follow that -- if you even care, lol.  Therefore, we should have been included since we aren't forbidden to come to my sister's house.  But no.  My sister lied to us.  She can look me straight in the eye and lie her guts out.  NO WONDER she has to drink and smoke pot!!!  You have to bury that conscience somehow, don't you?  She was given a total of $260 to help with expenses.  Guess what she bought with it???  Clue:  It wasn't food.

And neither my sister or my daughter read this blog, so this isn't to them.  This is to those of you who know me and understand this roller coaster I've been on for so many years with my family.  I had posted about how great Christmas was going to be, and sadly, it didn't happen.  No happy pictures.  No happy stories to tell. 

The part where my daughter came over a few days ago, of course, was wonderful.  HOWEVER, she didn't tell me the truth either.  She just avoided it.  She has always defended her Aunt and joined with her in her activities -- MUCH to my dismay.  Started when my daughter was just 11 years old.  Hence, I've had a VERY hard time having a relationship with this sister.  

But, ALAS!  God is still in Heaven.  Jesus is still Lord of Lords, King of Kings and Master of Everything!  I have Jerry, and I am blessed beyond measure.  I am grateful for my very dear friends who love me anyway.  Life goes on, and God isn't through with this family as long as there is breath left in them.  And this day is about Jesus.  It is HIS birthday!
Here's the BEST PART of this Christmas.  Jerry and I met Phylly and her husband, Roger, for lunch yesterday at The Rib Crib.  It is about half-way between our homes.  Jerry and Roger found out they have guns and bullet-making in common and they talked the whole time.  Phylly and I exchanged our Christmas gifts.  I was totally surprised and ecstatic over my gifts -- all handmade by Phylly.  I did a new Nifty Notions video so you all can see.  Here is the link:

I was trying to talk not-so-loud in this video because Jerry was in the other room trying to work on a wheelchair order.  Hope you can understand what I am saying.  I will add the video to my tutorial list on the side bar.

It is sooooooo cold here today.  Wind chill of 10 degrees.  Jerry keeps letting the cats in, and I keep letting them back out.  He thinks they are cold like he is.  I keep showing him their thick, hairy coats.  They don't want to be in here.  They are outdoor cats.  They are in the garage, and they have two padded, cozy beds, so don't feel too sorry for them.

I have to go.  I hope your Christmas Day was AMAZING, SURPRISING and WONDERFUL!!!  We are very thankful for all the blessings in our life -- each other -- our friends -- our health -- and even our family who loves us occasionally. 

God Bless!

Hugs, Joy

Friday, December 21, 2012

The BEST of times, the WORST of times.

Today was an emotional rollercoaster for me.  You just never know what is going to happen totally out of the blue when you LEAST expect it.  If you have followed my blog for very long, you know that our children don't claim us.  Haven't heard from either one of them in over a year, and haven't seen one for five years.  I would think we were the world's most awful parents except that I hear the same story over and over from so many people.

About 2:00 -- after I had gotten home from my free lunch with Phylly -- I received a text from my granddaughter.  It said, "Mom has left Christmas presents on your front porch."

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  That was very shocking and surprising and wonderous, in that it made me wonder what was up.  I took it to be a peace offering, so I texted back for her to tell her Mom to come back because I wanted to see her.  In five minutes, my daughter was IN MY ARMS for a long, satisfying hug.  She looked so beautiful today.  I couldn't get over how pretty she is.  Her hair has grown out a lot.  She had on the prettiest chandelier pearl earrings and a pearl necklace.  She was wearing a pretty bulky sweater and black jeans with boots.  She looked so pretty! 

I was so thrilled to see her, I didn't even open the presents she had left.  I forgot all about them.  We talked for almost two hours.  It got pretty rough a few times, and when she left it wasn't on good terms.  All that back-crap got tossed around, and it just causes hurt.   I remember it all one way -- she remembers it all another way.  I was heartsick when she left -- wondering again -- but this time I wondered how much time would go by before I heard from her again.  I immediately started praying, as I always do.  God can do anything.  I can do nothing.  God heard me real fast today because in just a short while she called me, and she was happy and apologetic and said she loved me, and we would stay in touch.  THANK YOU, GOD!

The worst of the day is what all she told me about my grandson.  He has been in and out of trouble a lot in the last few years, and we are so worried about him.  I think it was yesterday, he was beaten badly with the butt of a gun over a drug deal gone bad -- or something along those lines -- don't care to know details -- and his parents have had to leave him on his own.  They have helped over and over, as parents do, but it has come time to turn him over to God, and let him pay the consequences of his actions.  Meanwhile, Jerry and I pray daily for God's supernatural protection and DIVINE guidance.  This is a brilliant child with great promise, but he has gotten mixed up with the wrong people.  I'm so glad my God is bigger than all of that! 

Jerry and I received $130 gift card to Longhorn.  It is a real nice steak restaurant that we like to go to.  Jerry and I went there last night with friends who also had a gift card.  KNOWING we had the gift card, I ordered the most expensive steak, a bottle of wine and dessert -- which I shared with all 4 at the table for my DESM diet -- and I greatly enjoyed every bite.  That's it on the right.  Some kind of apple/cinnamon creation.  However, when it came time to pay, Jerry somehow forgot about the gift card and paid with our credit card.

SOOOOOOO, I decided to take Phylly to Longhorn for lunch today so I could use the gift card or, at least, part of it.  Our waiter wasn't the brightest penny-in-the-pack if you get my drift.  We waited over 45 minutes for our lunch to be served.  Phylly had come from work, and she only has an hour -- although I do own the company, and she does get special compensation when with me, but .....  I don't want to take too much advantage of that.  She does have a boss at the store who expects her to be there.

At some point, a guy came to our table and asked how everything was.  I simply stated that it was very good, but it took over 45 minutes to get it.  He said he was sorry, and he disappeared.  A little bit later he came back, and he started saying something to Phylly.  I couldn't understand everything he said, but then he turned to me and started apologizing to me.  I explained about her job, and said the food was good.  He left.  A little bit later our waiter -- Paul -- returned.  I asked for our bill.  He informed me that both meals had been comped.  (I hear you laughing, Margaret!)  I guess the other guy had said that, but I didn't catch it.  ANYHOW, I still have the $130 gift card!  I may have to eat there every day until I go back home to Kingston.

Yesterday was our company lunch.  I got to sit next to the best Store Manager in the world, Lu.  She is beautiful and an awesome employee.  She has gorgeous waist-length red hair you can't see in this picture.

We love her, as you can see!

She and her husband just lost  a son in a tragic automobile accident a few weeks ago.  I don't know how she could muster up a smile for me.

The food was awesome as you can see in the picture I had Paula pose for.  She is another treasured long-time employee.  I think that was Jambalaya Pasta.  It was a great time, and the cheesecake BOOK menu was really something.  Every kind of cheesecake you can imagine.  Most got theirs to go.  Jerry and I split one for my DESM diet.  YUMMO!

Better go.  We are watching a series called Jericho now.  Jerry has probably fallen asleep waiting for me.  He just asked me a little while ago what I wanted for Christmas.  I told him I already had everything I wanted.  Then he got an email about that laptop I dropped -- remember it? -- and they want $350 to repair it.  I told him THAT would be my Christmas present.  He accepted the offer.

Until soon.

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Let it Snow, NOT Blow

I am sitting in my recliner in the den listening to the wind HOWL outside.  We have had so many gorgeous days here that the sound outside is shocking.  Sounds like a springtime thunderstorm.  It isn't very cold, and I don't hear any rain.  Our office Christmas lunch is tomorrow, and I hope the weather isn't 50-mile-an-hour wind gusts!  I'm not one of those people that looks good after being blown across a parking lot.  Since I am the owner of the company, I'd like to look half-way sane when I walk into the restaurant instead of like an electrocuted Albert Einstein! 

Let me see......  What did I do today? 

OH!  I talked to my sister, Judy, for a long time this morning, and I'm glad I did.  I found out that she NEVER wears necklaces or earrings because she can't stand the weight of them.  Since I spent hours and hours making her a necklace and two sets of earrings, I had to start over on her.

It is SO HARD to get the perfect gift for someone.  Even Jerry.  He is SO PICKY about socks.  He has about 60 pair of this one certain kind of socks we bought probably over 10 years ago at Dillard's.  They are Gold Toe and they are called Juarez (or something like that).  Evidently, Jerry is the only man on Earth that cares for them, so Gold Toe quit making them long ago.  Jerry's socks are sooooooooooooooo old, most of them have holes in them and they are faded from being washed ten thousand times.  Every time I buy him new socks, he won't even try them on.  He says he only likes that one kind.  WELL, GUESS WHAT?  Jerry is getting socks for Christmas -- like it or not.  I'm tired of folding worn out socks. 

The label on the gift says: " To:  Jerry    Please don't complain until you at least try these on!"  I didn't put who the gift was from, but since I'm the only one who even gives him a gift, it won't be too hard to figure out.  (-;

After I talked to my sister, I went to lunch at a little Mexican restaurant.  Then I went to Hobby Lobby where I found two really cute theater-style pics to hang in our movie room in Kingston.  I think most homes these days have a movie room, so those pictures are fun.  If they weren't in the trunk of my car right now, I would take a picture for you.  I also went to the fabric department to find some fabric to match my new COLORED jeans.  I am THRILLED that colored jeans are back in style because I love them!  Our dress code at work says you can wear any color jeans but blue as long as they don't have holes or raveled hems.  For some reason the term "blue jeans" seems to indicate one should dress as a total slob.  If Jerry had his way, the employees would dress in business attire.  I don't want to dress that way, so the employees don't have to. 

I came home after that, washed my 3 new pieces of fabric, folded some clothes, wrapped the socks, made a bracelet and earrings for myself to match the orange tee I was wearing, made dinner, prepared a new Butterick pattern with all necessary alterations, and now I'm typing this.  A nice quiet day.

Here's the orange jewelry:

I love the way this set turned out.  The flat orange beads had holes in the center, and I strung the gold round bead inside each one. 
I'm headin' to bed where, hopefully, the wind isn't quite so loud!  It is scary because it rattles something at the top of the chimney and makes a loud bangy noise, and I know it isn't Santa comin' down!
Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Friends, Gifts and Surprise Calls from Alaska!

Hello everyone.

I'm a few days behind in Bloggerland.  Actually, I figured everyone is so busy right now, they really don't care if I do a blog post or not.  So much going on with Christmas preparations. 

Phylly and I got together for lunch today at our used-to-be favorite restaurant, TGI Friday's.  It was really good for a long time, but the last few times we went the manager was different every time.  The last time we went the newest manager came over to inform us that the rules had all changed and ALL the other managers had been fired.  He was a jerk, and neither one of us liked him.  We decided we just wouldn't go back.

Today, however, we decided we would go back to see if that mean manager had been fired yet, and maybe a nice one had come on board.  Phylly and I ate there so much we knew the guy at the front desk, and he knew us.  When we walked in today, a different man was there.  We asked about the other guy.  We were told that he had a stroke and was in bad shape.  SO SAD! 

Our favorite waitress, Ashley, was on duty today, and even though we weren't in her section, she told the girl waiting on us to be sure we got our FREE chips and salsa.  Phylly and I had decided we weren't even going to bring that up today as it always sends the manager into convulsions.  The thing is, about a year ago there was a promotion at TGIF's.  If you gave them your life history and filled out a card, you were promised FREE chips and salsa every time you came in.  Well, Phylly and I don't just forget a deal like that.  TGIF did forget it, or change it, and I guess we were the only two on the planet that actually cared.  Ashley cares too, and that's why we like her.  I stuck with my DESM diet and removed the top bun from my Cheeseburger and ate only about 4 french fries that I didn't realize came with the burger.

Last night, Margaret and I went out for dinner at Outback.  We had our usual Mixed Grill with Mahi, Shrimp and Scallops.  It was delightful!  We exchanged our Christmas gifts and talked and talked and talked.  She gave me a tall mug -- the kind you put hot chocolate or fancy coffee in -- and it says "You Are Special" and "You Are Loved".  She also gave me one of those cute little notepads that has the elastic strap around it that you can keep in a small pocket in your purse.  It says, "The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength". 

Love them both.  THANK YOU, MARGARET!!!

Tomorrow is a free day, so I am going to finish wrapping gifts.  I need to do some baking for Christmas day at my sister's.  I am so looking forward to it.  It is such a blessing to have my sister back in my life.  She is a very generous and loving person.  I want to find her something really special for a Christmas gift, but she has everything in the world in the way of nic-nacs and kitchen tools and clothes.  I think everyone does when they reach 60 years old.  I'm easy though.  Give me fabric or notions.


Hollie.  All the way from Alaska where it is now FORTY below zero!  We talked for nearly an hour, and we have planned out her and John's whole future.  We have decided -- she and I -- that they can build a house on the five acres next to us.  I can home school all of their children.  Hollie can be a Dental Hygenist (?) or Dentist (she isn't sure yet), and John can take over Family Medical Supply (our business). 


I told him we had planned his whole life, and he said Hollie told him.  He thought it was a great idea.  They both called to thank me for the Christmas gifts I sent.  They arrived there today.  He also told me that he may be going to Arizona for five weeks because they are changing his job.  Can't the Army make up it's mind??!!  At least, it isn't 40 degrees below zero in Arizona.  It's the complete opposite.  I grew up in Arizona, so I know all about that.

I better go.  I'm sure there is something I need to be doing.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's a Glorious Sunday!

Jerry is here, and I am here, and the weather is gorgeous once again.  I've been outside raking up leaves.  I enjoy doing that even though Jerry keeps telling me I am wasting my time.  I think of it as aerobic exercise.

The Mr. and Mrs. across the street are playing basketball, and I was wishing they would invite me over even though I probably could not make a basket if my life depended on it.  Seems like more fun than jumping on the trampoline in my living room.

Who knew rabbits played basketball???

One of these days I'm going to do a blogpost on the INSANE clipart I get sometimes when I search for a picture.  I put in "basketball" and I got this rabbit playing basketball.  There was a duck, there were dogs and there were bears -- all playing basketball!

Okay.  I better get to the sermon notes before I get too far gone.

The sermon this morning was "God's Gifts to You", and it was concerning what he has done for us to help us overcome or prevent depression.  Depression is caused by great disappointment or betrayal.  So true!  I can sure vouch for that.  If you cannot get rid of the resentment, then you are building an inescapable prison around yourself.

The solution is really very easy.  Forgive!  Let it go!  Get on with your life -- you and God -- and let Him handle the other people.  You cannot choose what OTHER PEOPLE may say or do to you, but you do have the ability to choose your reaction to it!  You cannot choose what happens TO YOU, but you can choose what happens IN YOU.

STOP being controlled by circumstances and conditions.  God will make a way because HE IS THE WAY-MAKER!

Failure always surrounds the birth of a miracle.  If you can't endure the failure, you will never experience the miracle.  Noone can hurt you without your consent. 

Now that is what Hagee said.  This is me:  I'm not so sure about that last comment that "noone can hurt you without your consent".  I don't think that is true at all, unless your heart is made of stone, and you care about only yourself.  How you REACT to it, of course, is a choice.  I agree with that.

Hagee again:  God is the Maker, Mediator and Master.  He will have the last word concerning what happens to you, if you let Him.  RECEIVING God's love and the ability to GIVE God's love, are two different things.  The ability to give must be learned and practiced. 

I must get ready to go to church FOR REAL tonight.  Our good friends Robert and Deanna are in the Christmas program at their church tonight.  They have invited us many times, and we are so excited to get to go.  I just hope I can sit on the front row.  That is where I LOVE to be.  I like to be able to see into their eyes.  I am a people-watcher, you know.  I am prepared to sit on the back row, however.  It is a very big church.

God Bless You and Hugs,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I KNOW The Answer and Shopping

What answer?  The answer to "What could we have possibly done to prevent all the children from being murdered in Connecticut?" as I heard some newscaster say. 

#1:  Put God back into our government.

#2:  Put God, prayer and the 10 Commandments back into our schools.

#3:  Get rid of horrific video games that cause our children to spend thousands of hours shooting people.

#4:  QUIT!!!  QUIT!!!   QUIT!!! murdering babies in the womb.  HOW ON EARTH are our children to have any respect for life when it is perfectly okay to torture and murder a full grown baby up to the day of its live birth in the womb??? 

My question is why do all the "freedom of choice" people CARE that children are murdered.  They think it is perfectly fine to murder millions of them every year. 


And that is my opinion on that subject, not that anyone asked.

And now on to a happier subject.  Christmas shopping.

Yesterday, I was on my own.  The same thing happened this year as happens every year.  I am SUPPOSED to be shopping for my Mom's birthday, my Mom's Christmas, Jerry's Mom's Christmas and a few other people.  I never go shopping for myself because I am always home sewing.  But when I go shopping for those other people, clothes seem to just jump off the racks and into my arms.  I'm not kidding. 

When I first arrived at JC Penney's, I rushed right over to the jeans department where the jeans I wear are located.  I like just one certain kind, and I am lucky to ever find even one pair, never mind several.  Yesterday, I found 8 pair in my size -- my NEW size that is!  I took the armload to the cashier cubicle and waited in line.  While waiting, I did my usual "stand and stare in disbelief" at the tattoos and body-piercings on the clerks.  One clerk -- who seemed to be the boss of the other clerks -- was a young, thin blonde girl.  She had on a short sleeved tee shirt that showed off her MANY tattoos that appeared to be some kind of oriental writing.  I wondered what on earth they might say, and I wanted to ask her, but she didn't wait on me.  I could not imagine why a pretty, young American girl would want Chinese writing all over her arms.

OH!  That didn't hold a candle though to the one I saw later on when I was at Hancock's.  Hancock's was VERY busy.  Seems like a lot of people are sewing something for Christmas.  There was a very large lady waiting in line next to me at the cutting table.  I would say probably about 300 pounds.  She must have been very proud of her cleavage as most of it was showing.  Not only was her cleavage showing, there was a -- and I SWEAR I am NOT making this up -- pink, purple and yellow cat face tattoo staring at everyone at the top of her cleavage -- as big as my hand, or bigger.  Just the head of a cat.  Put a big boob on either side of this guy, and you'll have the picture. 

Back to JC Penney's.  You won't believe what I bought.  I had run out to the car to put all the jeans in my trunk, and then ran back into the store to buy actual gifts for someone else.  What did I behold?  A rack with coats on it marked 30% off.  You know I just made a red coat for myself, but I'm not wearing it because I need to take it in a bit.  I decided to go look at one of the coats.  It was black wool with a detachable brown fake fur collar.  It was only $60 after the markdown.  I spent way more than that on the coat I made!  I decided to try it on just to assure myself that my coat was much better.  I put it on and found a mirror.  About that time, a man older than myself walked up to me and said, "That coat looks really nice on you."  He said he was looking for a coat for his wife.  I told him how much it was, and I took him over to the rack to pick out the size he needed.  Guess what his wife is getting for Christmas?  And, yes, I bought one too.  For $60, I couldn't pass it up.

So I STILL had not bought a gift for anyone else.  I asked the clerk to hold the coat, and I went off to buy gifts for our Mom's.  My Mom is 85, and Jerry's Mom is 92, so I was shopping in the granny department.  I decided to try on a few things to see if they seemed too big or too small, and I was delighted to find out that they actually fit me perfect -- round back -- high hip -- high shoulder -- and all.  I bought about 10 things for Jerry's Mom -- 4 things for my Mom -- and some more for myself.  I had so many clothes hanging over my arm, I could hardly hold them up.  I had to have the clerk hold my purchases while I went out and got my car and drove it up practically to the cash register!

I thought that would have been about all I had to do, and I sure was glad because I was exhausted by the time I got back to my house.  By the time this morning got here though, I remembered some more people I needed to get something for.  Jerry was here and off today because we were suppose to go to Kingfisher, but didn't, so I asked him if he would give me a day and help me shop.  I LOVE when he comes with me.  It is like having a human clothing rack follow you all around.  Very cool!

I had a real good idea this morning to prevent shopping wars.  I asked him to please let my gift from him be a day for me without questioning where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do.  I imitated him getting mad at me because I wanted to go to a store I had not mentioned before we left the house.  He laughed and said I should be an actress because I imitate him so good.

It was a GREAT idea, and it worked beautifully.  He never argued about a thing all day long.  He was really sweet and patient.  He was SO SWEET, and SO PATIENT, look what we came home with tonight from the new Dick's Sporting Goods store:

We HAD to have these because they match the camo pants I just made for myself at Thanksgiving.  Jerry understood perfectly even though he does not have matching camo pants and does not want any.

I better go.  Time to watch some more episodes of the old TV series we found called Jericho.  It is about nuclear war coming to America.  Quite educational as to what one should do to be prepared.

Hugs, Joy

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Heavenly Garden


Another sunny day has appeared in the sunrise this morning, and I am trying to figure out exactly how much to haul up North to our other house for my trip today.  Plus, am I going to go alone, or go with Jerry.  If I go alone, the trip is SO ORGANIZED and structured.  If I go with Jerry, there is always the "are you going to bring all of that" argument.  If we both go, then there is an extra car up there.  Such decisions.

And when I opened my front door this morning I found these guys also enjoying the wonderful sunshine.  All those girls and only two boys.  Strange how the animal kingdom works.  The girls did not seem the least bit impressed with their ugly wooers.

Tomorrow is the Christmas program at Countrywood where Jerry's 92-year old Mom lives in the Memory Unit.  I doubt she knows what day it is, never mind what season, but she will love that we come.  She loves to get hugs and give hugs, and  I'm pretty sure that for a moment during a hug her mind clears and she knows we are her family and that we love her.  She speaks very little these days, but she looks deep into our eyes when we speak to her.  When we walk away to leave, she watches every single step we take  and follows as fast as she can to try to catch up.  We quickly slip through the locked door before she reaches it.  When she reaches the door, she tries to push the numbers on the keypad like she saw us doing, but she can't get the door to open.  Then she stares out the window until our car disappears in the distance.  She is such a precious lady, and she is very loved by the staff at Countrywood.  I know God has a beautiful garden prepared for her in Heaven that puts Mom's prize-winning gardens here on Earth to shame.

I better get ready for my trip. 

Have a WONDERFUL day. 

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Belly Laugh and See What I Made Today

This one makes you feel happy!  How precious is the innocence of a baby.  No worries and no depression and no stress.  Oh, to be like that again.  Thanks, Deanna, for this one.

That sure is a long link, isn't it?  I need to learn how to just have the Youtube screen come up.  I tried, but couldn't figure it out today.  Maybe it isn't Youtube.

I decided to put the sewing away until I get back to our other house, and I set up all my jewelry-making equipment today.  I wanted to make something to wear with my new black/white blouse.  Actually, it is silver and white on black.  It was practically impossible to get a good picture of this, so you'll have to add your imagination to the pics.

This is SO much prettier than it looks in this picture. It is Sterling Silver, for one thing, and you can't tell that in the pic. 

I made the bracelet first, and it wasn't too complicated.

Then I wanted to make matching earrings, and I really couldn't remember the rules for that, so I experimented.  I broke a lot of wire and a crimp, but I finally came up with these earrings.  The wraps are a little crooked on the one earring, but I doubt anyone in the whole world is going to notice it unless I wear them in the presence of Aga, the teacher.  I may try to fix that tomorrow when I'm not so tired.

THEN, I had 2 of the sparkly sterling silver balls left and decided to try another style of earring, and I came up with these.  They are very cute too. 

All of these pieces are WAY different than anything I own.  That is why I am so glad I learned to make my own jewelry.  PLUS, the silver matches my black fabric perfectly.  I took a pic of that too, but I had to put little scraps of the fabric together, and the picture is awful.  You get the idea though.  Picture SHINY sterling silver -- not yellow.

That's it for today.  Tomorrow is the Kingston office Christmas lunch at Gecko's Mexican Food.  Not what I would have chosen.  I don't think the employees wanted to drive very far, and this place is practically next door to our store.  It is very good and I know all the employees there.  Doesn't seem very Christmassy though.

Headin down to get in my PJ's and watch something on my laptop.

Hugs, Joy

Monday, December 10, 2012

File 13, Sprinklers and TV Series

We waited for File 13 - a shredder company - to show up this morning.  They said they would arrive at 8 AM.  They arrived at 11:15 AM.  I was on the phone with one of the guys for 20 minutes telling him the same directions over and over and over and over.  What is with men and directions!?  They FINALLY showed up with a very big truck and removed 184 file boxes from the barn .  The charge is 15 cents per pound, and they don't weigh the boxes until they get back to File 13 Headquarters -- or whatever you call it.  They drove 100 miles to get here.   There were two guys, and they turned out to be very nice and work extremely hard.  I snapped a pic, of course.

They carried 184 packed boxes down into that truck from upstairs in our barn.  On the right you can see the white file boxes up in the "loft".  That is just a very small section showing in the picture.  The boxes weight between 35 and 40 pounds, and the guy is carrying 3 at a time!!!  By the end of the two hours, the guy could barely lift one.  I felt sorry for him.  He was exhausted.  The other guy worked inside the truck.  Now that we know this company exists, we can have them out yearly instead of after six years of storage.

As soon as these guys were done -- two hours later -- Jerry had to leave to go to our other house because it is supposed to be 19 degrees tonight.  He was afraid the sprinkler system would freeze.  He said there was ice all over the yard when he arrived there this evening.  The sprinklers had come on in the night.

Soooooooo, I'm all alone trying to figure out how Windows 8 works.  Actually, I have figured out a lot of it -- and I am pretty sure I am never going to like it.  Jerry can put Windows 7 back on this for me if I want him to, but I'm afraid I will just be behind on technology if I do that.  It is supposed to be good for your brain to always be learning new things -- or so they say.

I watched the latest two episodes of Hart of Dixie tonight on this computer, and I am sad to say that the writers have turned this cute show into total trash.  Everyone is sleeping with everyone, and the personalities change moment by moment.  "I love you", "I hate you", "I love you", "I hate you", "Wait-I'm not sure who I love".  INSANE!  How on earth are our children supposed to ever learn about a Godly, well-adjusted, committed relationship?!

Jerry and I did find another cute show to watch on Netflix.  An old TV Series that ended in 2007 or 2008 called Wildfire.  It is about a young woman and her race horse.  I think there were 52 episodes.  We watched it night after night after night.  We would watch 4 episodes some nights.  It was a wonderful date each night because we both really liked the show.  Parts of it were really stupid, but overall, it was a great series.  If you like horses, check it out.
 guess I better get ready for bed.  It is SO dark and SO quiet here in the woods.  Makes me want to be underneath some covers!

Hugs, Joy