Sunday, December 4, 2016

Wish List

Miss Emilie and the toy catalog
"I want this and this and this........"            
  So cute!

Big brother made a wish list too!

Emilie and Tommy, 2016 Christmas Card photo

Oh, the sweet innocence of children.
 That I could have their simple faith, free spirits, pure imagination,and untarnished souls.

 I wish I could turn back time, but there's no do-overs!

A Christmas long ago, when my life was simpler 
My son Gary was about 12,
my daughters Julie 6, and Amy 5.

My son with his kids, about 10 years ago.

I  sometimes wish for things I can't have.
My son to come back,  for now he's spending Christmas in Heaven.
I wish for Heroin to stop taking lives, ruining lives.
 I wish to be told I'm cancer-free, and a cure for cancer to be found.
I wish for our country to find harmony, that this great land would be healed.,
 and for peace in the world. It seems impossible.

  But here's what I do have, so much more than I deserve :
  •  peace, comfort, unconditional love from the Lord, 
  •  love to and from my loved ones, dear family and friends I'm so blessed to have.
  •  healthy lifestyle, contented mind, and good, medical care of fantastic doctors and nurses!
  •  fun, simple pleasures, a full life with grandchildren, music. 
  •  a home and a garden
  •  safety, security and protection - living in the United States, how fortunate we are!
  •  work I love,  a business I enjoy and wonderful customers.
For helpful info and support for Heroin addiction, 

I'm so lucky to have a beautiful family and grandchildren to love!

 It seems I really have it all, after all!  When I stop and think about it,
 When I have an attitude of gratitude, I realize how very blessed I am.
 So this Christmas I am feeling joy and intend to spread it all around!

I want peace on earth - that song is stuck in my head! one of my favorite Christmas songs!
Let there be peace on Earth...
and let it begin with me. 

Dear God,
     Please give me wisdom to help other bereaved parents and loved ones.
 Continue to supply me with the strength to live beyond cancer with grace.
 To have faith in you, Lord, to believe that you're healing me.
      Help me show love, understanding, tolerance and patience
 for people who may be different or think differently from me,
 in these difficult times when there's much disagreement and disturbing news.
 Enable me to firmly speak the real truth, when it is helpful.
 not to argue, but share what I believe, when it is important.

So I pray that God will teach me what to do,
show me what I should learn from becoming a survivor
 and a bereaved parent,and from being a mother,
a grandmother, an American.
 Help me to live better, and make a positive difference
 in the lives of all those around me.
      Thank you, my Heavenly Father, especially at Christmastime,
 for giving us your son, who showed us how to live and love,
 and gave me and my son eternal life,
                               In Jesus name,  Amen
Please leave me a comment if you have a minute. I don't know if anyone is reading my blog.
 Thanks so much!
           Merry Christmas!       
Love, Linda 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall Glory

Fall glory, time changed, kids pretending in their dressup disquises, lots of candy. collecting bright colored leaves. acorns. Winterberry loaded! Cutting down dead plants, finishing up outdoor  paint jobs and chores, getting out warmer clothes-put away summer garb. bring in the tropical plants, and herbs that I want to save, (whoops- early frost got a couple of them).

my back doorstep decor 

Thank you, Mother Young, for my pretty fall mug!

Someone's cute vintage decor I spotted on my travels
 Seasons change and so do I. Don't really want it to be over, (the fall)   But I do love the upcoming holidays.
October whirlwind of fun events! Put up first Christmas tree for a neighbor, very early I'd say!!

 Now it's November.  Bleak and cloudy gray days, dark at the school-bus stop each morning, like the middle of the night.   No wait ! Now the time changed and it will be more light. Better get out some warm jackets though!.  But gorgeous fall blue skies some days- it's not all dreary.
 Getting a mammogram  later this month, see if there are any changes.  Butternut squash soup. Mild and sweet, easy to eat.  Last year, it was all I wanted when I was on Chemo treatments.
 Pumpkin pie, it's time to make one!
 Don't you love fall?

   Love, Linda

Friday, October 21, 2016

It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

   Every month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month for me.
So, I put on my pink bracelets,  wear my pink hats, and clothes.
I feel like I want to go to a conference and get revved up, meet some other women, who've been through breast cancer.  Now that I'm done treatment, my hair's grown back, side effects are improved  and my life is "back to normal", (sort of),   Although I frequent the doctor's offices, and there are no signs of recurrence  I'm feeling very emotional, sensitive and a little lost, off center. I know that these feelings are typical. It's been a pretty traumatic couple of years.
 I am learning to go on, move on.  I will not live in fear, but look for joy instead.

   Got out my pumpkins, and fall wreaths, Put up decorations outside, pulled out some spent plants, put away some spring and summer ornaments and decor, getting ready for fall.  Enjoying the cooler temps, this was a long hot summer. I'm pushing myself, to embrace the changing seasons, life goes on, the cycle of life is constant,  and changes are not always bad.

    Had a great end of summer  Lead East, a huge 50's event, lots of fun.
 Loved the music, fifties outfits, beautiful and rare,unusual cars.
 I saw lots of old friends and made some new ones.
They don't know how much it meant to me, to make those connections and memories.

50's Amphicar, very reare
Me and my sweet friend Flo
 A darling lady who grew up in the fifties, 
and dresses in charming vintage outfits for the event.
Ron and Sally, best dancers at Lead East!  They wear gorgeous matching vintage outfts!
Fabulous old cars! 

Accapella Groups are all over the place and there is Karaoke too.

Me and  Kathy, a fellow vendor at Lead East 2016

My boys!   The Whiptones, a young acapella group from Whippany, NJ
I've been following these boys since they debuted at Lead East a few years ago. 
They were still in high school then, but now are attending college,
 scattered around the country.  Evenso, they all traveled back home for Lead East!  
They just made a new CD, and they sound better than ever!  

The Past Prom Queens, from Lead East
Ladies from 18-88, all dressed up in fifties gowns!  
 Ah, we were lost in the 50's and then back to reality- crazy times we're in now!
But we had one last summer fling at Wildwood, and it was the first time I got to the shore this season.
My big family had some bridal showers, and a wedding, now another one coming up. It's so nice to see the young people getting married. Two of my nephews got married, so now I have two more lovely new nieces to love.   My little granddaughter was flower girl.  I also have a new baby nephew.
 Life is good, family is everything, and I think I appreciate it all more than ever now.
Isn't Miss Emilie  adorable? 
 That's my  beautiful sister, Beverly,  in the yellow dress, Mother of the Groom

 Hoping my antiques booth will start to pick up.
 I sell vintage, and I have a few antiques and modern collectibles too.
 Summer shoppers were few,  probably because the building had no air conditioning.
 Fall weather is more inviting!  Now we're geting excited for the holidays!
My shop is crammed with a little something for everyone!  It changes constantly.
My booth, B20, at Carnival of Collectables, in my hometown, Sicklerville, N.J. 
 The Antiques and Art Mall is only about 2 years old, and the have  over 100 vendors.  

 I have nice collection of  Little Golden Books and collectible toys and games

  Next, I look  forward to  baking pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, and apple delights!
 Then before we know it, we'll be baking Christmas cookies.

Happy Fall Y'all!    
Get your mammograms. 
 And please get out there and vote!  

Love, Linda

Friday, August 5, 2016

A year already?

I just can't believe it's been one year since we said goodbye. 
A year since I lost my son Gary. His ashes sit in a beautiful urn on my daughter's mantle. 
Now, every family occasion, every holiday, every special day, and every ordinary day is tinged 
with a little sadness, and sorrow, that  he is missed, he is missing, and he will not ever be with 
us again,  That will never change. Until we see him again one day in Glory.  

    Yesterday,on the  first anniversary of his death,  I filled this locket with some of his ashes
for his grandmother.  We didn't give my Mother-in-law one after the funeral, because she was very against cremation.  But when Grandma saw us weating these lovely lockets, she said she'd like to have one too. So Amy got one for her, and wanted to present it to her on the anniversary of the day he died.  Both daughters were working, so my daughter asked me to scoop out some of the ashes and fill the vial for the jewelry.
    This exquisite urn has a permanant special place on Julie's mantle, and each holiday, we decorate around it.  Carefully I took it down, and I opened the urn for the first time.   It felt so peculiar to be doing this.
    I didn't know what to expect, how I would feel doing this.  It might be somewhat difficult, sacrosanct. but with love, I somehow did it.  Of course I shed  a few tears, it was an unusual and emotional experience. All the while, talking to him, despite knowing he isn't  really here, I filled that little silver heart with a little bit of my son's cremated remains.  It was another part of the mourning process.

 Here is just one of the a family's  favorite snapshots of my kids, 
at Grandma's house, seated at the piano.

 Dear God,
     Thank you for giving me the strength and desire  to keep going and living without my boy.
Thank you for giving me such peace, and always being there for me. For turning my heartbreak
into more love and deeper understanding of life and death. Oh, I've learned so much about what really matters.
      I am so grateful that my daughters, my mother, his other grandmother, and all his aunts and
cousins, and many other family members and friends who let me know that they loved him too,
and they remember him. A mother wants to know that her child is not forgotten.
      I thank you,  Lord Jesus, for loving Gary too, for saving him, for taking him home,
for healing him, and for the assurance that I will be with him again one day, forever.
     Thank you for my sweet memories and the wonderful years I had with my child.
     I was blessed, and I know it.
     Help me to continue to grow in faith and learn ways to help other parents who have lost their children.
        In Jesus name, Amen

       I often pray this prayer, especially nowadays.

And I cling to this image of Jesus holding my son.

I think I'll upgrade his memorial site, on the funeral home's obituary page, so I can upload more photos.  I'll post the URL, when I accomplish that.

Gary and his son, Gary III, about 2000-01

Love, Linda 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tommy's Sixth!

 We had a ball making Tommy's sixth birthday party lotsa fun with a Star Wars theme
 Julie found many  great ideas for funny food recipes and  labels, and  we wore character t-shirts.
 Tommy is an amazing kid, and he's turning six!   I get to spend much of my time with him,
as I am his granny-nanny! I've said before, this is the best job in the world,
and it keeps me young, smart and fit too!
 We had "Han Salsa" ,   "Pizza the Hutt",   "Padme Pasta Salad", and more goodies!
I  made lightsabers.  You melt colored chocolate pellets and paint pretzel sticks. Aren't they cute?

They are simple, tasty, and super fun.

 And  fruit kababs-- aka Obi Wan Kabob-ies!

 And some healthy snacks too

For party favors, Julie spray painted the ends of bubble wands and they were light-sabers

We made Yoda soda.  Mix equal parts limeade, lemon-lime soda and orange juice.

Cheese Balls became thermal detonators!

My daughter Amy was princess Leia.  She made this dress, using fabric adhesive, because she doesn't sew.

It was really good for me to celebrate a joyous ocassion with my family and friends.

                                                                  Wookie Cookies

 Boba and Jango  Fett,  aka Birthday Boy and Dad. 
100 degrees and he insisted on wearing a costume!  
Yoda is my favorite  Star Wars character! Who is yours?

  1. May the force be with you!  

A truism!  
One of my favorite quotes 
 May the Force be with you!

Of course you know the real force that is with me is Jesus! 
But we enjoy the fiction, and movies, and merriment!  

 Love, Linda

Friday, July 15, 2016

Making something out of "nothing".

   What can I make for dinner?  There's no food in the freezer, except my homemade bread crumbs.  There's just one egg left.

A-ha, I know!    I got some canned goods from a friends kitchen I cleaned out!
 Hot diggity, there's a can of salmon and some vegetables.
So, I ran out to the garden for some herbs.

I didn't drain the salmon, just mashed it.    I like the "juice"  for moist patties.
I added some chopped onion, fresh parsley and chopped chives.

 Mixed in my last egg., and a cup or so of bread crumbs.
  Preheated  the skillet, added some olive oil.
 Formed patties, browned for several minutes on each side.

While they were browning, I found some leftover peas and warmed them ,
Found a can  of tomatoes and stewed them.
 I  added a can of triple succotash,  1 Tablespoon  of  cornstarch, and a bit of sugar.

 I whipped up some instant mashed potatoes and added some  tangy ranch dressing
and chives to "doctor them up".

Turned into a pretty nice supper after all!
 So,  always keep some canned goods on hand for lean times, 
and get creative with spices and herbs, sauces and condiments.

I learned I can always make something, even though I think there is "nothing."

The trick is to use what you have, instead of running out to the diner 
and spending money that's needed for bills. 
You can make thrifty, tasty meals in minutes
with a little  imagination and stuff from the cupboard.

 Tomorrow night, I have to see what I can dream up with no eggs,  and no canned goods.
Oh that's right, it's Tommy's birthday party and I will eat over my daughter's house!  

See, not to worry!  I will always have enough.
 Doesn't the Good Book say,  not to worry, 
He takes care of the little birdies, surely He will take care of me?. 

 Love, Linda