Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Give Me Strength

What my goal should be.
All that I can manage at the moment.
A lot of stuff happened this last 12-13 months, and it made me a little bit crazy. 
The very latest thing that threw me for a loop was this cold/bronchitis situation. Having a healthy body helps with having a healthy mind. And I am sure that the opposite is also true. 
At the moment I am dealing with strength.  As a step counter and walker, I am having big issues with not having the energy nor strength to walk anywhere near my walking goals. I know that one of the so-called “cures” of what ails me is rest, but sitting in a chair or lying in bed is not in my being. 
I know that my strength will return when I have conquered this illness. 
But in the meantime, it makes me a bit crazy.πŸ€ͺ

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Too Much


  Being ill anytime is the pits (or any other word you want to fill in here). But being ill during Christmas can actually be relaxing. Gosh, I never thought that I would say that😳
For many years now Christmas has been on the back burner of my life. My Dutch family never made too much of a deal of gift-giving at this time, since the Dutch Sinterklaas on December 5 was always the highpoint of the season. I especially fell right into that when our only son was born on December 6, 1983. Sinterklaas and his birthday one day apart, that was about all of the gifting I wanted to handle. I must say that I did look forward to the multitude of gifts I received from my seventh grade students on the last week of school before the long Christmas vacation each of my 37 years of teaching. Each year the food gifts were tastier and the other gifts were tackier, but my hub will tell you that I kept count and that I wrote and mailed thank you notes to each of those kids.
This year we had no gifts. Don’t feel sad or sorry for me or my small family. None of the three of us (and the three dogs) needs or even wants anything but good health and a peaceful life. 
In fact, as far as I am concerned, I am ready to get back to my Year of the Clear 2018 and get rid of everything that is “cluttering” up my life. Too many collections! Too many things to dust! Too much on my mind!
But first I need to get over this cough and bronchitis, get back to my 10,000 steps a day, and then I can tackle the “too muches.”

Friday, December 22, 2017

My Momma's Memories of Christmas

Christmas Memories
By Virginia Darline Ridge Chapman (May 7, 1925 -October 20, 2015)
My momma wrote a blog her last few years of a very long life. She never included these Christmas memories, so I will do that for her. Momma's memories were published in her local newspaper back in December 1981.
"Being 7 years old with Christmas only a few days away is always an exciting time. And it was no different back in 1932, except it was during the Depression and there was very little money at home.
My father was a dirt farmer who had only 40 acres to support his seven children, that was until my mother gave birth to twins a week before Christmas. The twins were delivered by a mid-wife with the assistance of my mother's friend and my father. The mid-wife received a pig and a sack of flour for her services.
My two older sisters, who were 13 and 15, decorated the house the best they could for Christmas. I can remember red and green crepe paper streamers draped around the room. There was also a big red Christmas bell. My sisters and brothers cut down a cedar tree from the woods and decorated it with homemade ornaments. My sisters also cooked the Christmas dinner by instructions from my mother who was still weak and too busy with the babies to be of much help.
Santa Claus even came that year. When people in town heard about the babies, they made sure Santa stopped at our house with a new toy for each child and plenty of candy, fruit, and nuts to fill the stockings. I received a storybook and a bracelet.
I'll never forget these sweet memories. We were poor in material things, but very rich in love. My parents always gave us the best they could, and their love made up for the difference."

Sunday, December 10, 2017


No need for mistletoe.  
Fifty years ago--Punch bowls were out, punch cards were in.

While initiating my Year of the Clear and trying to sort through some love letters and less important correspondence from ages gone by, I ran across three letters to my husband written in 1968. All three of the letters were introductory letters from young ladies eager to have a chance to meet the then 22 year old handsome young Dutch man I have known for 40 years (and married me in 1980).

In one of the sort of "mail order bride" letters, the young mademoiselle mentioned their match on Operation Match. I just chuckled and looked forward to finding out more of this "match up." Guess what? He said that he had ZERO recollection of those letters or of Operation Match. So I cleared the deck and tossed the letters into the trash. 

As my curiosity can rarely be curbed, I decided to see if Google could enlighten me about Operation Match. According to my research, a couple of Harvard students in 1965 decided that blind dates and such meeting situations were not working for them is searching for a mate. One sharp guy came up with the idea of using computer data from a questionnaire to match up "couples." A questionnaire (150 questions) was filled in and a $3.00 fee for processing was collected from each participant. After a week or so, each participant would receive in the mail a list of five or six matches with contact info. 

It is obvious that either my hubby (or his mother or his sister) had filled in the questionnaire and had paid the fee. Thus, these three young ladies had been "matched" with him.  He insists that he does not remember a single thing about all this, but I find it to be very interesting. 

Operation Match was the very first computer social/dating/match. And all of this was even before the introduction of PC's (Personal Computers) in 1975!

I took some time yesterday to read through the 150 questions (75 for the participant and 75 for the participant to fill in about his/ her "ideal" mate.) Many questions would be seen as "sexist" (not sexy) or elitist today in 2017, but what should I have expected? These were written by Harvard male students in the late 1960's.πŸ™„

What an Operation (match)πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Happy Birthday, DrivingDutchman❤️

I always saw the birth of our only son as a Sinterklaas gift. He was born early morning December 6 after the day that millions of Nederlanders yearly celebrate Sinterklaas's gift evening (December 5).

He didn't want to wait for Dr. B. to show up for the scheduled C-section at 7:30 am. When my water broke an hour or so earlier, the medical staff put me on an intravenous drip to slow everything down until they were ready. That is just the opposite of the usual experience most mothers have when giving birth. Usually everyone wants to get through this birthing as quickly as possible.

When I called my husband to tell him that things could be moving quicker than we thought, he raced to the hospital. And all three of us then waited until the staff arrived and THEY were ready for a delivery.

After the Dutch doctor said to me in English, "It's a Boy!" my husband (who was waiting outside the delivery room) was prepared to keep an eye on his baby. He had heard too many stories about babies being swapped at birth. He did not know that there was only one other baby in the hospital that day, and that other baby was a girl. 😊

Our "pride and joy" (DrivingDutchman) was born 34 years ago. Yesterday he spent the day with his father doing what they both like to do--Driving fast cars and this time on a real racetrack (Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas). 

Like Father, Like Son❤️

Happy Birthday, Jan😘😘😘

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I Don't Cook Thanksgiving Dinner

Actually, I don't think that I have ever cooked a complete Thanksgiving dinner. When I lived in The Netherlands, we somehow found a Holiday Inn or an invitation to a work colleague's home on this special feast day. Since returning to the US in 2006, we have hosted family potluck Thanksgivings or visited with our adult son and eaten with him.

Although I don't like to cook, I can prepare a reasonable version of sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole (Campbell mushroom soup variety), and pecan pie. I'll be preparing and taking the two casseroles to dinner at my youngest brother's home tomorrow, since that is what my sweet sister-in-law requested that I bring. We will leave the turkey and ham to the grill guy in the family, and then see what my SIL cooks up for the rest. It is never a disappointment at their house for any meal.

For you non-southerners who wonder what we eat for Thanksgiving dinner down South, here is a good news article. Southern Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow❣️I still need to shop for groceries. You think that the shops will be busy today?πŸ™„

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It's Not Okay

If all people come out and say that they have all done it, does that make it okay (right, normal, accepted, forgiven, legal, permitted, moral)?

Remember the biggest excuse that you ever gave when you were young was, "everyone else is doing it." Back then it was maybe staying out late or letting your hair grow or wearing frayed jeans. Today it may be borrowing your friend's Netflix or driving 10 or miles above the speed limit or spending way too much time "socializing" with strangers on social media.

But does it make the act right just because it has become the norm? I hate to open the "news" each morning to find out who else has done what "everyone else is doing or has done."