Friday, December 31, 2010

Gifts from Heaven

About five years ago..I took my Aunt a Christmas cactus as a gift.  It was in full bloom and lovely.  She lived in an apartment and had done away with the traditional large Christmas tree.  I thought the plant would bring a little color to her Christmas.  She was very good with plants.  Over the years the plant thrived in the window of her living room.  It was bright green and put on so much new growth.  Each year she would look for the signs of blooms.  They never came.  So for five years this plant grew like crazy but wouldn't bloom.  She tried everything, she consulted friends, she looked online for tips, she repotted she fertilized....still no blooms. 

She asked me several times to bring the plant to my home, thinking maybe I could do something and get the plant to bloom again.  I never brought the plant home until after she passed away in October.

I moved the plant being as careful as I could. No matter how careful you are...pieces get broken easily. I brought it inside when the weather began to get cool here in Florida. 

A few weeks ago I began to see signs of buds.  I couldn't believe it.  I thought it would be great if this bloomed in time for Christmas.  The first bloom opened on Christmas Eve.  More blooms on Christmas Day.

I feel it was her way of telling me Merry Christmas all the way from heaven.

It was one of my favorite gifts.

Carol-the gardener

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My Hubz carved these from some pumpkins we had left from Fall.  We enjoyed them Christmas Day.

Carol-the gardener

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Evening with Mr. Pistol Britches.

This and so much more all took place in one night.  We made cookies, Santa beard bubbles, he even tried to teach me how to play the Wii.  Then, he received an e mail from Santa.  From the PNP...I hope all  of you out there that have little ones have seen the Portable North Pole app going around.  You enter your childs names and some info about them, then some pics and soon they receive an email from the Jolly ole man himself.  I wish you could have seen his eyes.  I almost cried, I felt like a child again.

I love being a MeMe!  I really do! 

Carol-the gardener
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas inside and out! 2010

Merry Christmas from our home to yours.  I wish you all a joy filled Christmas one filled with laughter and love...maybe some surprises. 

Remember to hug someone you love too tight.  Tell them you adore them, you won't regret it.

Carol-the gardener

Monday, December 20, 2010

Meet me on Monday

Thanks Java for hosting...I don't think I always tell you that.  I know everyone has so much going on this time of the year, but you always come through, even though you haven't been feeling well.


1. What will your Christmas dinner consist of?

2. Do you watch commercials or flip through the channels?

3. How long will you leave your Christmas decorations up?

4. What movie makes you cry every time you watch it?

5. Do you have a Facebook?

Ok, my answers:
1.  What will your Christmas dinner consist of?
For the past few years it has been standing rib roast, or grilled steak.  We are usually so burned out from the Turkey and dressing we like something different.  Always cheesecake for dessert.  I make mashed potatoes or a potato casserole, and some sort of veggie.  Normally I make everything, everyone is too busy to help and bring anything.
2.  Do you watch commercials or flip through the channels?
I don't like commercials.  I prefer watching HBO where their are no commercials, or ff through them.
I especially hate car commercials...they are so loud...they make me nervous. Some commercials though are just great ...I mean these...

3.  How long will you leave your Christmas decorations up?
Depends, sometimes we leave them up until after New Years day.  Really, whenever I feel like taking them down.

4.  What movie makes you cry every time you watch it? 

The Color Purple
5.  Do you have a Facebook account?

yes, I do...I really enjoy it..I have found lots of old friends, of course current friends, and long lost co workers.  Fun place to see others photos, see some funny things and just catch up in general.
If you love someone, show them.  Tell them.  Give them the time they sometimes need and deserve.  Be kind.  It's free.
Carol-the gardener

Friday, December 17, 2010

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Christmas Cheese Commercial

Ok, this only makes sense if you watch the previous post as well. The power of Cheese!

Carol-the gardener

The Power Of Cheese

Never underestimate the power of cheese.  One of my favorites.  I just had to share.
Carol-the gardener

My little tinsel tree

I wanted to share with you all the background and the story of this little Tinsel Tree.  This tree was my my Memommie's tree.  I can remember when I was a little girl this tree was in their living room.  I guess it was the latest and greatest kind of a tree.  The tree is sliver tinsel of course, and it fits into a base that is electric and spins around.  It didn't have lights on it.  It did have a light that had four colors divided on a wheel that rotated and projected onto the silver tree the vivid colors.  The best I can remember it was red, blue, green and gold.   As the color wheel would spin the little silver tree would change colors and we thought it magical.  I believe the brand is a Shiny Brite.

My Memom put large glass blue ornaments all around the tree for years.  As the years went by the ornaments began to break or the color began to chip whatever.  She asked my Grand Daddy to go and get some more to make up for the ones she had lost so she could get the tree ready...Christmas was coming.  My Grand Daddy was glad to do so, my Memommie never drove a car, so he did all the running about.  When he returned from the store, he had ornaments, but they weren't blue, they were green.   My Grand Daddy was color blind.  My Memom never said a word but just placed them about as if it were meant to be.  In my mind this tree was large maybe six feet or so and I loved the way the tinsel sparkled. 

A few years ago, she gave the tree to me.  The base no longer turns, we can't find the light projector.  Each year I gently take the tinsel branches out of their sleeves and place them into the holes drilled into a worn wood center.  Each year more of the tinsel falls off even though I'm as gentle as can be.  In reality the tree is only about 4 feet or so tall.  I hang bright neon colored ornaments on it now.  If I ever find a light projector...I'm buying it.

It isn't the little tree, or the silver stiff tinsel.  It is the memories that are unpacked and put on display every year.  It's the sounds, smells and the love that comes with it.  Good things sometimes come in small packages.

Sing a Christmas song today, hug someone you love.  Smile and say, "Merry Christmas" to a stranger.

Carol-the gardener

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone from our house to yours!!!

My first attempt to use the movie maker on my lap top. I hope it works and you guys like it. Merry Christmas to Everyone!  Click on the black screen to open.  I've loved all of your photos so much.  It's interesting to see so many different trees, lights, ribbons much talent out there.

Carol-the gardener

My First Christmas Movie of our Home 2010

I am attempting to make a movie of our home. I will update when I learn how to merge the outdoor photos with these. Anyway, I have seen so many beautiful photos from all of you. You have let me into your homes, and now here is a little piece of our world. I hope you enjoy them. Merry Christmas!

Carol-the gardener
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trees, Stockings and I'm ready!

I think I'm finally finished decorating!

I've decorated three trees.  Hung the stockings.  I have all the other decorations scattered about the house.

Now, it's time to share some photos with you.
Our tree in the Family Room

The Grandchildren's tree

Children's Ornaments I've collected for 30 years

Nativity from Israel.  Made of Olive Wood.

My Memommie's Tinsel Tree

Our Gingerbread House.  We make one every year with Mr. Pistol Britches

Stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

Father Christmas

My Kitchen table

Closer view

Add caption

On the bar in our Kitchen


Every year as I unwrap my Memommie's Tinsel tree, I am amazed how much smaller it is than I remember it to be.  Every year more of the tinsel falls off.  It is really specail to me, not sure how old it is but probably 60-70 years old.  A Shiny Brite Tinsel Tree....

Me smiling!  I had the greatest Memommie ever!

Not sure what to do....I miss my children.

I'm all over the place.  I am having extremely disturbing dreams again.  No one really I want to share them with, you don't want to bring others down at Christmas time. I'm wondering if I need to start counseling again.

I dream of my Aunt's death over and over and wake so upset, crying and feeling as if I have literally just relived the entire day.  I know it is a dream but my emotional side of my brain doesn't.  The rest of the day I feel sad, drained, emotionally wiped out.  Then I started having nightmares that really bad things/life threatening things were happening to my Grandsons, to my daughter.  I awake in a panic, I was trying to save them...only to realize it is a dream.

I wonder why all this is happening.  I am trying too hard to go on with life? I try so hard to go what she would want me to do.  She would want me making cookies, and decorating, she would want me to be doing the same kinds of things I did last year.  She was always so complimentary on my efforts.

The real truth, I still have a broken heart for so many reasons ya'll.  First, I miss her beyond belief.  I still pick up the phone to call her, I can not delete her from my contacts on SKYPE or my shutterfly account.  I can't call her to get the tips on my Memommie's homemade Coconut Cake I so wanted to make this year.  I don't want to whine...I want to suck it up and carry this family on...on to where she would want us to be.  Every one is so busy flying here, and there, can't seem to fit it in.  My children don't seem to need or want their Mother anymore.  Well maybe my daughter.  I will go ahead and admit to you all that I feel cheated in our relationship.  I want more time with her.  If I should pass early like my Dad there is so much I want her to know, to have learned from me.  Wow...I've been holding that in for a long time.

She has no idea how much this weighs on my heart.  I realize she is now a Mommy and it isn't all about me.  She has the type of job, she carries her patients with her, she just doesn't walk away.  When she is off she is with her son and husband.  I guess I feel I am behaving like a spoiled brat.  She is supposed to be grown, independent right?  I'm just being selfish.

I have never had anyone to be there to make or give me a good Christmas in a long time.  You know the one where you can't wait till you can get home, see everyone, hugs everywhere.  My Daddy passed away in 1982 and our family fell apart. There were no more family dinners, get togethers, birthday parties, except when I planned them.  I have been recently appointed the "gatekeeper" of the family by my Aunt Liz who is the keeper of all family secrets.  How did all this responsibility fall on me?  My sister lives in Georgia so that is that.  I am honored to receive the title and as soon as I can I'm going over to spend some quality time with her having a porch talk.  Let me just say this...all this... is too much to pick up at age 22.  I would give anything to have a Mother, Aunts, sisters, daughters, nieces, nephews gathering in my kitchen sharing laughter and recipes.  I feel it is up to me to host these type things and let this family know they matter to me.  You can't let an entire family die because key members are now in Heaven.

I'm trying.  Sometimes I feel like giving up.  Now I'm having these terrible nightmares and I'm working on so many relationships, I forgot which ones need what.  Seems like to me everyone is out for themselves and don't want to mesh the family as generations before us did.  You lets just skip it and order pizza or take a cruise.  I just don't get it.

Recently I started just thinking about me, what I want.  I want my children.  I had them, raised them, kept them warm safe and dry.  Loved them, took care of them.  I want my children back!

I had children with a man who had no respect for me and by example taught my kids to have none for me either.  I tried to make it work, but it didn't and I had to get out. I'm tired of being punished by the past. Now I have a loving husband but my children, I really don't know if they love or care for me at all.  I believe my daughter loves me.  I wonder what she would say to me... if she thought I would never know or be hurt by it.   So see ...everyone has their own set of burdens to bear.  I am hoping and praying for a miracle.  I'm hoping they will realize marriage is hard at best. 

I was brought up in a generation where you just loved your parents and especially Grandparents and visited them often.  My Grandparents words were like gold.  I feel this generation is different.  So busy acquiring this and that to impress whomever.  Always rushing around.  No time to talk, just text or leave a voice mail.  It frustrates me!

My daughter stays so busy with a 5 year old, and nursing, and family duties.... I just never see to have Mother daughter time with her and I guess I pout about that.  I need/want to teach her so many things, pass important things on to her, I would like to leave this earth with her thinking she liked me.  I do wonder if this will ever happen.  Or will I leave this earth with her never knowing me as a person.  Never knowing how much I wanted her companionship. today... I get really discouraged.  One son is very hard for me to relate to and understand how he is living his life.  My middle son just seems to be angry with me but I don't know why.  It is my fault I stayed married to their Father for way too long.  I tolerated his disrespect and poor behavior to me in front of my children.  There was a time when I felt like a no one and a nothing.  I thank God that time has passed but at what cost?  I miss my children so badly, I want them to be happy, I want to be their Mom and enjoy them being adults who knows maybe I have something important to say to them.  I don't know why but I feel like I will not live a long lifetime.  Maybe/hopefully I'll be wrong. 

Most days I can put it behind me....go on doing what I need to do.  I pray things will come around and change and be better but days like this one... I don't know.  It is hard to mesh two families even after 17 years.  I don't have those answers.  I did the best I could at the time.

Does anyone have any advice?  I've tried reaching my son...but it never seems to turn out well.  The middle one I've tried as well but he is so involved in building his new home he doesn't have time for anyone or anything much.  My daughter is so very special to me, I prayed so hard for her, I really want to be closer.  It seems each time I see her she is dashing in to drop off Mr. Pistol Britches, or rushing somewhere to get something.

I just wish she could see inside my heart.  I wish I could somehow hold her hand, we could close our eyes and I could feel her feelings and she could feel mine.  That would be cool.  I don't think that is going to happen.  We can't even have a  phone conversation that isn't interrupted.

I know I've deal with a great sudden loss and it has made me think so much about the end.  Have I done enough?  I'll just say a prayer and keep one foot going in front of the other.  Maybe things will get better.  Maybe one day my children will realize they are the only really good things I have to show for my life.  I just chose the wrong man to be their Father very unwise.  I was young, had all the faith things would change, be better I could give them a good life and we would be a happy family.  I could MAKE it work.  That didn't happen.  Will it ever?  Choices in life are hard.  I don't regret leaving him, I regret I ever married him and had children with him.  I regret I stayed and they saw and heard what they saw and heard.  I regret not having a child with my husband.  He would have been a great Daddy.  I would have loved to have had at least one child I could have felt harmony in raising them.

Thinking deep tonight.  Praying I sleep without disturbing nightmares.  I pray I wake refreshed and encouraged.  I see how my little Pistol Britches looks at me and he sees nothing but good. My oldest Grandson, the one who just turned 13, also feels that I'm pretty cool. They both look at me and smile always. That is something to hold on to right?  I have much to live up to. So much I want to pass down to them.  How do I bridge these gaps?  I feel like Humpty Dumpty at times.  I suppose everyone goes through it.

I pray I start finding some answers somewhere and quick....hopefully, I'll pull myself together.

Carol-the gardener

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meet me on Monday


1. How do you order your steak?

2. Are you superstitious about anything?

3. Who is your best friend (not including your spouse)?

4. When is the last time your wore a dress (for the guys...a suit)?

5. Do you have any trips scheduled?

My Answers:

1.  How do you order your steak?

I like my steak medium rare.  I usually don't get it that way unless we are at home.   That is one reason I really never order steak out. I think they are always overcooked.  We make such a better one here at home, plus, I really don't like red meat that often.

2.  Are you superstitious about anything?

Not really...I do the knock on wood thing but not really superstitious.  I do believe in Karma.

3.  Who is your best friend (not including your spouse)? 

My best friend's name is Cheryl.  She has been my true blue stick like glue friend for almost 20 years now.  She is one of those friends you are blessed to find in a lifetime.  Her friendship doesn't come with attitude, or is just always there.  I am grateful to have found her.  When things are good, I love to share them with her.  When things are bad, I can always count on her to be there to bring me back to center.  I truly love her like a sister.

My toes, Cheryl's toes
 4.  When is the last time you wore a dress?

Last Saturday night as a matter of fact.  It was our Anniversary and I decided to really dress up for the Hubz, black dress, pearls, heels the works.  I love wearing dresses.  I will admit I wear them more in the summer time, but there is something about a nice dress and heels that I love and always will.  Nothing like a LBD for this time of year.


5.  Do you have any trips scheduled?

Not really.  We usually go to the beach each May so as far as I know that would be the next trip.  Maybe some local ones but nothing planned today.

Thanks to Java for hosting.  Hope all of you are getting all of your shopping and baking and wrapping done.  I'm trying.  I'll have pictures to show you hopefully on Wednesday.

If you love someone, tell them.  Be kind to one another.  It's free.  Do something nice today, just because you can.

Carol-the gardener

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Steve Harvey introduction to Jesus

I love Steve Harvey and thought it fitting with today being Sunday...I'd like to share this with you.  Thoughts???

Carol-the gardener

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

John Lennon's death, 30 years later

Sorry this is so late...I've been keeping a under the weather baby. Mr. Pistol Britches isn't feeling well and needs...NEEEEEDZ...his MeMe.

I was just thinking about John Lennon and the loss of such a talented person just because one person is crazy. Still sad to me.

Carol-the gardener

Wordless Wednesday

If a picture paints a thousand words...

this is a painting of my heart.  My daughter and Mr. Pistol Britches about to be in a local Christmas Parade.

Carol-the gardener

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Meet me on Monday


1. What is your favorite kind of cheese?

2. What size is your bed?

3. What is your most overused phrase?

4. Green or purple grapes?

5. Shower, morning or night?

My answers....

My favorite kind of cheese?  You cannot be serious!  That is like asking me which is my favorite Grand child!  I love all kinds of cheese.  Havarti, Swiss, Monterrey jack, cheddar, feta, mozzarella, ricotta oh gosh I could go on and on.

Our bed is a King size and I will never willingly go to any other size bed ever.  I love my bed.  If you ever want to know about a Tempur Pedic Mattress .... I'm your girl. 

My most overused phrase?  Probably Oh Dear Lord in Heaven!  followed by..... I'm just say'in.  My sister hates when I say that!  I'm just say'in!!! ha ha ha

Green grapes!  Reminds me of being a child.  I always had plenty of green grapes in the spring/summer.  Yum!

Shower in the morning ....bath at night.  I love everything to do with being/getting clean.  I love soaps/gels/lotions/pajamas, shampoos, conditioner...I just love it.

Well...that's it for me.  Now I have to see what your answers are. 

Hug someone you love today ...way way to tight.  Look them in the eye and say, "Have I told you lately that I love you?"  Watch the smile come.

Have a great Monday!

Carol-the gardener