Saturday, November 29, 2008


Sorry I'm late with this....I took another fall again Thanksgiving evening, this time right on the knee that I'd previously injured. I never, ever bruise, but this time my knee turned a nice shade of yuckie, and I have a black (really, it's black!) bruise on my back. My computer is in the basement and it's a painful journey right now. But, I found a great quote for Thanksgiving weekend.....

So long as we love we serve;
So long as we are loved by others,
I would almost say that we are indipensable;
And no man is useless while he has a friend.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who'd A Thunk??

I haven't posted lately because I have had one of those weeks. Last week I threw out my back lifting a load of wet, heavy clothes from the washing machine. It developed into sciatica which hurts like the dickens! (My sympathies to anyone who suffers with it!)

Anyway, since walking and standing were so difficult, on Saturday night I told the boys I wasn't cooking and took them out for a burger. On the way back into the house I was going up the steps when my knee (which already suffers with arthritis) collapsed on me. I found myself falling backwards, banging into all sorts of garage type junk on the way down, crashing into AJ, and finally landing underneath the front of the van. Glamorous, no?

Now my poor old knee was wrenched and barely supported me. I've resorted to using a cane and needing my boys and husband to pick up the slack in getting ready for Thanksgiving. It's been AWFUL since, as you know, there's a ton of things to do in getting ready for the big day. Plus, we're having seven guests for dinner.

Yesterday, as my husband was cleaning and getting some things ready for me, I apologized yet again for not being able to do much to help. He said that my job was to get better and then said these sweet words to me: "This is showing me how much you do around here. I had no idea how much you do for us, and how hard you work!"

It made me feel so warm and good. I know a lot of you mothers out there probably feel as I do that you don't really do all that much....a lot of grunt work. But my husband showed me that my role in this family is important and needed. What a great Thanksgiving gift!

So, even in a rough situation, there's a silver lining! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008


May we never let the things we can't have, or don't have, or shouldn't have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have. As we value our happiness let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.
Richard L. Evans

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Here is a fun recipe we really like, so I got the recipe from my mother and am sharing it. They taste like gourmet peanut butter cups. I'm warning you, this makes a TON so you may want to cut it in half, or plan on sending some to work with your husband or to pass out to neighbors and friends. Here you go!


2 lb peanut butter
1 lb butter or margarine, softened
3 1-lb boxes powdered sugar

Knead all of the above together. If too hard or crumbly, add a little
extra butter. Form into balls (about the size of a small walnut).

Melt together:

1 square paraffin
2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz each)
(toothpicks and wax paper)

Melt chocolate and paraffin in double boiler. Using toothpicks, dip balls into mixture and place on wax paper to dry.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A House Full of Boys

My youngest son Kevin is turning ... gulp! ... seventeen tomorrow. I can't believe my baby is going to be that old! Where has the time gone?

He had a birthday party today. Had eight of his bestest buddies over to hang in the basement, eat chips, pizza and soda and, of course, play six hours of video games. It was a great time. I left them alone and made mother of the year from Kevin.

The thing is, sometimes as a mother you worry about who their friends will be, what they'll be like and if they'll be a bad influence. I am happy to say that Kevin's friends are terrific. Nice, polite, wonderful young men and women. I enjoyed each and every one of them. It made me feel so good that he has such friends.

I guess you have to trust that your children will pick friends that will be good for them. Today I saw that my trust paid off.

Friday, November 14, 2008


There are two kinds of light -- the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.
James Thurber

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Thanksgiving Afternoon

Her mother always told her that God never gave you more than you could handle. Ivy wasn’t so sure that was true. She didn’t have anything cataclysmic in her life, but sometimes the loneliness was so heavy she couldn’t breathe. Looking down at her Thanksgiving dinner it was unbearable.

“Dinner for two,” she’d told the woman at the restaurant just so they wouldn’t think she was spending the holiday alone. But truthfully, who would buy a take-out dinner on Thanksgiving if they weren’t alone?

She leaned back in her chair and stared out the window. It was late afternoon. Families would be gathering around their tables enjoying each other’s company and the fragrance of a meal prepared with love and companionship.

Her mother’s death had hit Ivy hard, and she was ill prepared for a life spent in so much of her own company. At 57 most of her friends were settled with families. Oh sure, they’d make room for her if she’d asked, but she felt uncomfortable in the role of the friend with “nowhere else to go.”

If only her marriage hadn’t failed. That was a long time ago, Ivy thought and shook her head. No use crying over spilt milk.

Gauging the amount of daylight left Ivy decided to take a walk. Riding down to the lobby of her building in the elevator, the doors opened to find a large group of men and women laughing and talking as they waited for her to exit so they could go up to their own celebrations. Working her way through them Ivy was aware that they took no notice of her. Invisible, she thought as she left the building.

The lights in the homes and apartment windows were beginning to turn on as Ivy made her way down the city blocks. She could smell roasting turkey and hear the sounds of football games and cheering as she walked. As isolated as she felt, it was somewhat comforting to know that life went on as normal around her.

She stopped in front of an older building that had been renovated a couple of years earlier. The stonework was dark and worn looking, and the buyer had left as much of the original as possible. Large stone steps led up to double doors with etched glass that glowed behind them. It was a lovely building.

Standing and admiring it she could see the front window was slightly open allowing some of the cold air into the house, but also letting the sounds of some lively music to drift out to where she stood. It sounded Celtic, it’s melody bright and full of joy. A smile spread across her face as she listened and wondered about who lived there.

As she turned to start on her walk again a van pulled up and a large group of people began spilling out. Ivy stopped to wait for them. Four children ranging in age from about six to fourteen piled out of the back and two women and a man followed barking orders as they began unloading. Several people came through the double doors offering assistance.

Tucking her hands into her pockets Ivy watched in amusement. Never having been part of a large family it fascinated her. She envied big extended families and had always hoped to have one of her own someday. Making her way through them one of the women thrust a basket in her arms without looking at her.

“That one goes in the kitchen,” she said. “And be careful, it’s breakable.”

“But ... “ Ivy stammered.

The woman looked up. “Did my lazy sister send you out to help instead of coming herself?”

“No.” Ivy shook her head. “I’ll take it.”

The woman called over the youngest boy and gave him a bottle of soda to carry in.

“Take care not to drop it, Aidan,” she said.

The boy, with red hair and freckles, looked up at Ivy with a sweet smile and took her hand. Pulling on her he lead her up the steps.

It was more crowded inside than out, if that was possible, dozens of conversations ebbing and flowing around her. No one would notice a stranger carrying in a basket of goodies. She relaxed a little at the thought.

A young man came along and took her coat while someone else pushed a glass of punch in her hand. She wandered around a bit dazed at the number of people crowded into the apartment which, although large and airy, still felt as if it’s walls were bursting.

Ivy made her way to the front room whose lights and music had first caught her attention. A tall pine was situated in the corner bare and ready to be trimmed. She wondered if it was part of their Thanksgiving tradition to decorate it after the meal. The music was still on and the sound made her feel somewhat expectant.

Standing at the window Ivy looked out. The streetlights were beginning to come on as darkness settled deeper on the city.

“Not much of a view, is it?”

A deep male voice broke her reverie and she turned around. He looked to be about the same age as Ivy, his hair and goatee turning a soft grey. His face was kind, the eyes sympathetic, but there was a questioning look to his countenance.

He jerked his head back over his shoulder. “A couple of my children and grandkids told me about the beautiful stranger in our midst,” he said. “Most of them think you are a friend of mine.”

Hot with embarrassment Ivy stood speechless for a moment before setting her glass down on the table beside the tree.

“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice thick with shame. “It was a mistake. I was walking past and someone gave me a basket to bring in and ... “

She shrugged helplessly. “I’m so sorry. I never meant to intrude.”

“You’re not.” He smiled at her. “We’re a pretty big group and it’s easy to get swept away with all the activity around here.”

He walked over to stand beside her. Looking down at her she felt as if he could see inside her before he turned his attention outside the window.

“Like I said, it’s not much of a view. But then when I bought this place I wasn’t interested in that. I only wanted somewhere my entire family could gather together. What’s your name?”


“Ivy.” She liked the way he said it. “I’m Sean; pleased to meet you.”

He cocked his head and regarded her for a moment. “Would you like to join us for Thanksgiving dinner?”

“I couldn’t!” she cried, embarrassed again at how she came to be standing there.

“You don’t like turkey?”

“It’s not that,” she shook her head.

“You have nothing to be thankful for?”

Breaking eye contact with him she looked down.

“No matter what our circumstances we all have much to be grateful for this holiday. If we are lonely, or afraid or sick or hurting, we all have one thing in common,” he said touching her lightly on the shoulder.

Looking back up at him she asked, “We do?”

Sean nodded and smiled again. “Someone loved us enough to give us the ultimate gift. He understands everything we feel and is always there for us. He gave us life. He gave us hope.”

Placing his arm around her shoulders he steered her to where the family was gathered and waiting.

“Listen, we all have things we’re not happy with. But this Thanksgiving let’s be thankful for new friends that enter our lives, shall we?”

Ivy smiled back at him as he brought her where two large tables had been set up; children at one, adults at the other.

He stood at the head of the adult’s table as the patriarch of the family, an empty place setting next to his. Looking at all the faces turned to her Ivy felt nervous until she felt Sean’s comforting arm give her a reassuring squeeze.

“Happy Thanksgiving,” he said to his family.

He turned to her his eyes warm. “Please welcome my friend, Ivy.”

Friday, November 7, 2008


Tho’ much is taken, much abides.
And tho’ we are not now
that strength which in old days
moved earth and heaven;
that which we are
we are.

From Ulysses
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Check It Out

One of my favorite authors is Maeve Binchy, an Irish writer with a unique take on everyday life. On her website she has a button you can click on to go to a short story which she changes periodically.

The current story is entitled The Legendary Apple Pie and is such a cute story! Very short, less than 1,000 words; it will strike a chord with anyone who has dealt with a potential mother-in-law....

Enough said. Now, go check it out!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

What a great Halloween we had this year. It was actually nice weather--the first since we moved here in 2000. We had fun carving pumpkins, eating Taco Soup (a Mullis family tradition) and scarfing out on candy in-between trick or treaters! Here are some photos of us!The Jack O-Lantirns

Sheriff Mullis

Mad Scientist AJ!!!!

Balteshazar the Mighty!