Thursday, November 10, 2011

Christmas Thoughts

I have the Christmas bug.  That time of year where you get to try to figure out what others want for Christmas. 

Last year, I couldn't shop or enjoy the season because of Chemo.  This holds barred.  (Funny expression that one...)  My sister's family has their group put what they want on  It is fun to see what everyone's interests are.  I have already picked what I'm getting for everyone in that group except for my sister...sigh.  I never understood why Daryl made the statement years ago that if he were to be hung, he wanted them to send Carol for the rope.  Now I am getting it...She has so many irons in the fire that it is hard for her to finish anything.  (Now Carol, I mean that in the nicest way...8-)  Of course, like me, she probably has everything she needs and can't think of what to put out there.

We bought a new Thomas Kincaide Christmas tree this year and opened the box and stood it up for a couple of days to see how we liked it and Shadow tried to eat it and threw up.  Now we aren't even sure we can put it out because of Shadow.  Sigh.  It's really a cool tree.  All the decorations are already on it with 4 ribbons going from top to bottom with pictures that Thomas Kincaide painted.  It's a seven foot tree.  Perfect for the living room.  It takes 5 minutes to pop it up.  Tom is thinking about buying some of that spray stuff that keeps cats away.  I don't think they know my cat but we shall see if that works.

I am really  having a hard time trying to figure out what to get Tom.  He needs to get busy and tell me what he wants.  I hate trying to guess what to get him.  We usually pick out our presents and tell each other.  8-)  I hate suprises.  I used to open all my Christmas presents very carefully and then retape them every year so that I wouldn't be surprised when I opened them on Christmas.   I wanted to make sure that if I didn't like it, I didn't let anyone know that I didn't like it.  My face has always been an open book and if anyone were looking carefully, they would know, if I wasn't careful.

I also made the reservations for our TX trip this year.  We are quite excited about the road trip and seeing family after the hard year is over.  We will get there on the 23rd and leave on the 26th.  It will be fun to get hugs from everyone. 

OK, enough is some Max for today:

"Family Expectations

By Max Lucado

I will be your father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18

Many of us have a fantasy that our family will be like the Waltons, an expectation that our friends will be members of our family. Jesus didn’t have that expectation. Look how Jesus defined his family: “My true brother and sister and mother are those who do what God wants” (Mark 3:35).

When Jesus’ brother didn’t share his convictions, he didn’t try to force them. He recognized that his spiritual family could give him what his physical family didn’t…

We can’t control how our family responds to us.  Our hands are tied.  We have to move beyond that expectation that if we do good, people will treat us right. The fact is they may and they may not.

Let God give you what your family doesn’t.

And don’t lose heart. God still changes families."

By Grace Alone -


Monday, November 7, 2011

Raising a Gazebo

Whew...I had a couple of really euphoric days and now I am back to that 'even' keel that is so desired in life.  You want to be happy but not THAT happy.  8-)  So, I am currently cancer free and that is really wonderful.  I love the whole body pet scan.  It is instant peace of mind that you don't have any tumors growing anywhere.  Praise God for great insurance so I can have that kind of peace of mind.  8-)

Tom started working on the gazebo this weekend.  As those of you who have been following this process know, we tore down the old gazebo about a month ago due to rottage (Is that a word?   Sounds like a word to me so I'm gonna use it...) and ordered a new one.  Then I spray painted the slab as shown in the picture below:

This weekend, Tom started by putting up the posts which required him to buy a new hammer drill to accomplish the drilling into the cement slab.  (Smart move on his part...he said it made his job WAY easier.  There's always a good reason to buy a new tool.  I just love that he knows what to do with them.) 

We worked together getting the gazebo 'raised' after he got the posts installed.  We make quite a good team when we work together.  We had the radio on and we were singing to it and laughing as we made fun of songs.  (One song was "You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille" and he always says "Loose Wheel" instead of Lucille.  Funny guy...Anyway, here are some picks as progress was made. 

Here are all 8 posts put in with the top decorative pieces installed. 

He tried to run out of my picture taking view but I'm faster with a camera than he can run.  8-)

In the picture below, we had added the railings.

Here we had added the decorative finishing to the top.

Here is our good neighbor, Tom.  He built a pond in his backyard about 4 years ago and it is his obsession.  He is always puttering around at it.  He is going to help Tom with the roof next weekend. 

Here is a little Max for today:

"Revamped Expectations

By Max Lucado

The ways of God are without fault. Psalm 18:30

It’s not easy when God doesn’t do what we want, is it? Never has been. Never will be. But faith is the conviction that God knows more than we do about this life and He will get us through it.
Remember, disappointment is cured by revamped expectations.
I like the story about the fellow who went to the pet store in search of a singing parakeet. Seems he was a bachelor and his house was too quiet. The store owner had just the bird for him, so the man bought it.
The next day the bachelor came home from work to a house full of music. He went to the cage to feed the bird and noticed for the first time that the parakeet had only one leg.
He felt cheated. So he called and complained.

“What do you want,” the store owner responded, “a bird who can sing or a bird who can dance?”
Good question for times of disappointment."

By Grace Alone -