Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I want to thank all of you, my blogger friends, for giving me one of the most fun years ever! So many of you helped me learn..and of course, as with all of us, there are those special ones that have stolen our hearts with their kindness's that went so far beyond anything we ever expected to find doing something like this.

My very first post was on December 6, 2008! I had accidently found Mary at Little Red House, fell in love with the idea and decided to try it. Little did I know I was heading for a wonderful, creative experience that would introduce me to some of the most wonderful people with like interests, such as home, family, decorating and cooking! And even taking walks in all kinds of weather!

I am sure everyone comes to blogging knowing little about what is in store for them. We bumble and make mistakes and finally break down and ask some kind soul for help! NOT once did I find anything but a willingness to help and from that came friendships that are amazing.
Most of you I will never meet, and one day one of us will just suddenly be gone. Being one of the older ones, :):) it will probably be me. I just want to say this. If and when this happens...I want you all to know that you have been one of the joys of my life.
I have seen new babies, new pets, new husbands, boyfriends, and even new cars and homes! We've lived through tradgedy's of the loss of a loved one, lost pets and heard words that betrayed pain both physically and mentally and stood by feeling helpless with nothing to comfort them with but words on this computer. It was difficult! Some even had close calls with their lives and health.
Yippee! We made it my friend!

And the outpouring of love and sympathy when illness has hit us...the sharing of favorite recipes, the joy of finding a bargain when shopping and of course experienceing the fun of "giving" (which reminds me..I am about to do my first giveaway within a month or so and I am a nervous wreck!) And of course there is the joy of seeing gorgeous homes and dreaming of what it must be like to live in such a home!

We have learned how to make something from nothing and to use what we have and make it into something wonderful! We have seen cozy homes, from mobil homes, to lovely mansions to make us gasp! To find so many that share my interests and...even a few with gray hair which comforted me. This was my first year of going gray... what an experience! *smile* Such words of understanding and compliments got me through it.
Laughing, of course!

We get to visit countries we will never get to visit and learned about the people and the beauty of the way they live and think. (Hello, Christer!)
It's been such an experience and difficult to explain to those who haven't experienced it..
To meet so many women, and a few men, that share their lives and times with us and enrich our lives...there are no words!
A special thanks to Debbi for my beautiful backgrounds! (HUG!) The ones that made us smile and burst out laughing with their stories and talent for telling them! And the photography talent! I have gone shopping and seen the countryside of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and taken exciting rides on the back of a motorcycle at 73 years old! I have gone on walks into bogs and watched snow fall and ..and the list goes on and on! To all of you..what a gift you have given me!

It's been fun! I have learned I can love those I have never met and never will, and the experience has broadened my thinking, and..I am grateful! You all have blessed me so much and I thank you and wish you the happiest of New Years in 2010. See you then! I thank God for each and every one of you~!

*A brand new little great grandson (Rocco) weighing in at 9lbs 11oz. And was born yesterday afternoon. Does the name fit ..or what? *smile* (I got his weight wrong the first time...ah well!)

*I hope Patrick, the father of our seven children and 19 grands and greats, sees all that is happening. I think he does. God is good!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I decided that I had left her wing broken long enough. As with people, I am sure she will have more bumps to break her wing again, but may someone, even if not me, be there to help fix her broken wing.

I finally finished my tree. The ribbon was not easy to find..and besides it gave me time to think about a topper for our tree. A snowy owl. *smile*

I think the ribbon finished it off nicely and makes a difference?

I am in the middle of Christmas preparations, lots of cooking and..YOUNGEST DAUGHTER is on her way home. She said she would be home for Christmas and she is coming!! I am overjoyed! There will be close to 50 for Christmas. Lots of people..lots of fun. "There is always room for one more" as my mother was fond of saying and it seems the family just keeps growing and growing and growing! I am so blessed!

However, my granddaughter got stuck in New York on her way home from we are all waiting...concerned of course. I am sure she will get here..IF on Christmas day. What better present could there be?

Have a beautiful, never to be forgotten Christmas! You are all wonderful and have been a joy beyond discription!
Many hugs, and lots of love,

Merry Christmas and God bless!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


That week, immediately after graduation, Pat joined the Marine Corp and entered boot camp. He finished boot camp in September and went on to other training at Camp Mathews rifle range and eventually was stationed at Camp Pendleton. He was gone all summer and during this time I attended summer school and prepared for school to start again in September. Pat was stationed on Camp Pendleton, more training, and I continued on with school, a slight break and then regular school began. Pat was able to come and see me just a few times as I lived a distance from the base.

Finally it was December..and the time for him to leave was upon us. He was going to Korea. To the front lines. To him it was an me it was not real. It seemed nothing existed between the times I saw him. Nothing. I don't think I realized completely what being sent to Korea meant. I didn't realize they were going to be trying to KILL him over there! Does anyone ever really believe that...totally? Of course, I was a child...

A year seemed an eternity to me. I refused to believe the time would come when he would really leave.

One morning during a few days leave, instead of taking me to school..we drove off into the Laguna Mountains south of San Diego. We drove to the different lodges and were having the time of our lives. It had begun to snow so we reluctantly decided it was time to head home and we started down the mountain driving though meadows edged with tall pines all covered with snow.
The road was deserted and totally covered in white. Pat stopped the car, turned off the engine. The only sound was soft Christmas carols on the radio. He turned it off and we sat watching the drifting snow listening to the sounds of silence in that white, snow covered world, and for that few moments there was truely no one on earth but us. My head was against his chest and I could hear his heart beat.
I will always believe that God gave us that bit of peace, the peace of the innocent, before we had to face the real world.

He was a part of me from that first moment I saw him and whatever the world handed us..we could make it. We were in love.

Christmas was just a couple of days was our last few moments and he gave me his gift. A tiny gold heart with a Marine Corp emblem on it.
And then suddenly, he was gone.
...and the time stretched out before us.
A year to the young is a very long time, war is just a word, and danger is never real.

The tiny locket is in my jewelry box, still shiny and bright with promise. It has been there for 56 years this December ..and today is the day he left for 1952.

Monday, December 21, 2009


It was June 1952. The Korean war was happening. I was 15, and going to be a Junior in high school the following September. The school year was over in just a couple of weeks and I was looking forward to the summer. I was on my way to the school bus, rushing as it was nearly time for the buses to leave from the school..
Suddenly, I saw him. Some people have a word for what happened to me. I believe it is the Italians. I don't know the saying but it means to be "hit by a thunderbolt!" That is exactly what I felt. Like I had been electrically shocked.
*The writing on this very old high school senior photo says "To the only girl in the world..and the sweetest. I love you.

I stopped dead! I didn't move! I didn't breath! The quad was deserted except for him and two cheerleaders from another school. He was holding his books, half sitting on a little wall chatting away with the girls. To this day I don't think I have ever seen a more beautiful boy. When I got myself together I casually walked on past to the line of school buses. I asked my friends who he was and within minutes they had managed to get him to the bus window. They dragged me, red faced, up from the floorboards and that is how I met Patrick. We all talked, or rather they did, but all I can remember is how he looked at me with those beautiful green eyes with the thickest lashes...

A few days later, my friends and I ran into him on the football field and someone wanted a picture of us together. Another moment of total embarrassment when he put his arm around my shoulders and leaned down and whispered sweetly into my ear..."some day we are going to be married and have seven kids!" To this fifteen year old...I couldn't believe he said that to me..and yet...
Now, you already know that his... whispered sweetly... promise of what was to come, came to pass if you have read my profile. Not to mention heartache beyond belief.
But, Christmas was coming...but it was to be a blue one. A very blue one...KOREA loomed..just as Afganistan does today.

The following day, he asked if he could talk to me..after lunch..and I said yes. He asked me out on graduation night. To dinner and a movie. He picked me up TWO hours late because his mother decided he could not use the car. However..she relented and we never made it to dinner but we did go to a drive in theatre to see "Lili" with Leslie Caron. We parked. He tipped my head back and kissed me and said "Will you marry me?" I said yes.

Now you also know where my name "Wsprsweetly" comes from.. *smile*


Saturday, December 19, 2009


...and this is what I found in my little package!

I cannot tell you what happened to my heart at that moment. I couldn't even express it to this lovely woman. I will never be able to.
As lovely as this little gift is, to me this lady sent me a bit of her heart and that was her true gift.

And that is why I blog...
Thank you, Gloria. I love you back, Sis!! And thank you to all that have sent me their precious comments of encouragement and love over this past year...
so..if anyone ever asks you why you blog...send them to me! :)

Merry Christmas and God Bless all of you.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

~DON'T LET ME SET YOUR TABLE...... I have to say this. There was never a kinder neighborhood than bloggers. I looked at an older post ... made a week ago..and kept thinking..."why does that look funny?!" It was a tablescape..the one I sort of said was absent minded etc.? Well..LOL ..I just noticed and it registered WHY it looked so odd. The silverware was backwards...yep...backwards. Forks on the wrong side.
Did you ever get the feeling that you would just like to slowly back out of a room and tip toe away and run like ...heck?? Well..that's how I felt for a minute.
It seemed HUGE to me. I was mortified...and not one person said anything.
Hopefully they just rushed in skimmed know how we do sometimes? Then if something catches your eye..a word, a picture, you have to go back and read again and let yourself get into it? You wouldn't do that would you?? Neither would I! Well..I hope to heck EVERYONE who came by just skimmed.
Now if Gloria saw it...I'd be ok...or bj..or Di or SMB...or even my sweet Dena, but know...there are those out there that...Nah..not really. Not in Bloggland. NEVER! :)
It might be dumb..but I'm embarrassed! I really am! I just can't help it!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


*Note: I just noticed that my pictures say the wrong date on them. I just took these pictures last night...?? I'm using Howards camera but have NO idea how to change the date! Anyway...they are NEW! :) I am not too camera savy...

Every year I say I am going to get rid of stuff. I don't need so much stuff for Christmas. I have been saving and collecting Christmas decor for about 55 years now. I never do. Now and then the girls come and get a few things...but not often.
I am beginning to let things go. Not Christmas though...I sometimes don't unpack a box but then the next year I am delighted that I saved it..and out if comes. This year I unpacked everything I could find. Some things are still missing since my move. Two white feather tree's and decorations...I have NOT a clue where they could be...
Oh well... :) The bedroom won't have it's little white tree..but I added a piece to the headboard. So...

Sometimes I wish I could see room from a distance. So..I took a few pictures but I still didn't do them in the correct sequence. No matter.

Now...just imagine the room all freshly painted a lovely soft gold, that horrible ceiling all painted white and the trim all white...and thick lovely moss green carpet on the floors. The living room will be painted a butter cream..and rich hardwood floors in the kitchen... :)
The painting starts in January! :)
The little hall is being papered in red toile...(rose red)..soooo anyhooo... :)

Howard in his favorite reading chair. It was a wedding gift from me. It is one of those glider chairs with the ottoman to match, which also glides.
He whined that his "brother has one and I love it! I always sit in it when I visit him! So...he now has his own. Now Emerie can tell him to go home and sit in his own chair! :)

One of my little old suitcases that I have had for years. Makes for storage of photo's etc. also.

This is the area in front of the fireplace...

A view of the family room.

Dining area...

Full length of family room and dining area.

This little hutch belonged to my husand and his late wife as does the dining room set. Mine is in the garage waiting to be painted...IF it ever gets painted. I am beginning to love this little set. It has history for Howards family just as mine does for my family. I have to wonder how it will all turn out. Mine...or his. :) I don't want to part with either really.

An old sofa table. One of my favorite pieces of furniture.

I love this area of my kitchen...LOVE it. It's a cozy place to wash dishes. I do not have a dish washer. It's just another step in the dance. It's the first time I have not had one and I don't miss it one bit. Nothing to load and unload. :)

My precious 1950's oven! You've seen this before...but what the heck... :)

Looking into the living room. Looks dark but it's just my camera...grrrrr

My FAVORITE appliance. It's the first thing I do in the morning, make coffee with one eye open! Then I turn on my computer...naturally!

My next favorite appliance! LOVE this!

I got the bottom of this from...funny, I cannot remember. I do remember that the top was made by an elderly gentleman that lived in Temecula California. A darling little town south of us. Tons of shops and I remember I had to wait a few weeks for it because the weather was damp and the paint wouldn't dry. I hung it for awhile and later I sat it on this cabinet. I store pet food in the cabinet. Doggie treats and birdie food. :)

A view of the kitchen from the family and dining room.

I think I'll call it a night.
By the way...that was the best dental visit I have ever had. NO pain at all. I went out like a light and woke up and never a moments pain! None! Hard to believe one could have four teeth pulled and feel this GOOD!
Nity nite y'all. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

~CORRAL POST MANTEL, bad news and my funny family~

Twelve years ago yesterday was the day Patrick was struck down by a massive stroke caused by lung cancer. The 15th is the day I lost him. My tree is loaded with memories of Patrick.

They just found out from my brain scan that I have had a mini stroke. Thus the dizziness. At least I know what is causing it. I like knowing.
So on to whatever I must do next. I feel good. I am happy and I will do everything the doctors tell me to do. Things could be worse..but how can I be sad when Christmas is just around the corner... Yes, I am happy...and are some pictures... :)
Nothing special to anyone but me, really. It's one of those evenings...
Don't you just hate it when you get phone calls that bring you down? I think I may still be in a bit of shock. It's a hard thing to hear..but then, I'm getting up there and things are bound to start happening I suppose.
2010 is going to be a good year. A very good year! :) I can feel it. God is good.

Our mantel is an old corral post. Frank and I went up to the ranch of a friend and cut the barbed wire from it, hauled it home, cut off the burned ends, sanded and sanded and sanded. Then added a bit of stain and rubbed it to a gloss. The top is full of beautiful Woodpecker holes..I love this mantel as it was made by my second husband and I and it is very precious to me. I brought it with me after his death. It will always be with me. Just one of those things... I was so lucky to have had him in my life..even for such a short time.

My steeple clock is another cherished item. A part of my past with lots of memories attached to it.

This little CooCoo clock ornament came from Miss Tiggywinkles here in Riverside. The tiny red tea pot nestled beside it, was on my first Christmas tree and is about 73 years old or so. My very first ornament.

It's a wonderful world. Even when difficult things happen to us..God somehow gives us the strength to weather the storms.

I have a cute story to tell you.. I KNOW how it can be difficult to read through stuff on all of the blogs..but now and then I get the urge to write..and write.
I just have to share this with you.

I called my daughter in Georgia when I got the bad new yesterday. I wanted my eldest daughter and I wanted her with me. Of course she couldn't be..but another reason is that she manages the office of five doctors and helps me understand some of the things that are happening to me.
So..I tell her, we chat, we cry, and I tell her to please keep this to herself as many of the family have a lot of their plates right now. She agrees. Christmas is coming and the economy is stressing out some of my family and a wedding is upcoming just after Christmas..another bit of stress along with the joy. We need to concentrate on HAPPY right now. Anyway, Daughter #1 agrees and we hang up. About ten minutes later I hear pounding on the front door and in bursts Daughter number #3! I say "what on earth are you doing here..what's wrong..are you alright? But, in seconds I realize what is happening...and she looks me dead in the eye and says "Mom, WE DON'T DO THAT IN THIS FAMILY! We don't do this!" and reaches for me, hugs me tight and says, "you are going to fine...just fine! We make a pot of tea, and finish decorating the tree. We visit, we cry and we laugh.

Later that night emails begin to come in from Daughter #2. Calm, "I am here" type emails..which say "if you don't want anyone to know in this family you must not tell ANYONE!" She is right..of course and she ends with..."Do you want me to bring you a milkshake tomorrow??" (I am having some teeth pulled..) BUT.. the best is yet to come.

Tonight as I am posting this the phone rings and it is Adam, Grandson #1. His sister in law, who is in Australia and is marrying his first cousin, eldest son of Daughter #3, calls and tells him "Your Grandma is in a bit of trouble. I think she is in the hospital! YOU didn't know? should call her!" Or some such thing as that! Adam has no idea but as you can tell..the story is...getting around and it isn't getting any better. Remember, my immediate family (children, their spouses and grandchildren and their spouses, number nearly 30. Aw well. :)
Since I am fine...I can laugh and it really, REALLY, feels good!! As I said, God is good and I am home clacking away on this computer!
I love you guys!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

~NOTHING LAVISH...AND ACTUALLY even a bit absent minded...

Susan @ BETWEEN NAPS ON THE PORCH hosts this fun event. So much to many ideas...GO see!

This framed little cross stitched Merry Christmas is a favorite of mine..

Dining room...the kitchen is to the immediate left.

A sleigh full of ...stuff, and St. Nicholas too!

Towle flatware. I don't recall the name of the design.

Friendly Village china...some old and some of it new. Did you know the older china of this pattern has a tiny red mark...rather odd..on them. These dessert plates came out to California from Maine. (Thank you Emerie and Jane for shipping them to us!) They seem more fragile then the newer ones.

hmmm...where did the spoon go? I just finished the tree, maybe I'm getting a wee tired..or absent matter...

No cups?

No glasses!

The Santa below was hand sculpted by a lady that does Primitives.

I can't find my Christmas used this little quilt. Not as pretty but it works...for now.

I hope your Holiday preparations are going smoothly. Some of my family are having it difficult this Christmas season so it is taking a lot to keep smiling. But if you will...I will! :)