Wouldn’t this make a wonderful, quiet escape! I don’t even like snow but this is beautiful!


Cottage on an island near Nora, Sweden / photographed by Jonas Loiske.

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Thanksgiving Prep

Today I plan on doing some cooking.   There will just be the three of us tomorrow.  Just the way we like it.  Because at Christmas there will be an entire houseful with no room at the Inn and an overlap of families coming to visit!  So Thanksgiving gives us a holiday we can just be together.  Our son works retail so he needs the down time before his schedule explodes.  It explodes at 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving night which does not make this Mother happy.  It is bad enough for people to have to go in at 2 or 3 in the morning to open early on Black Friday.  The fact they are crowding in on Thanksgiving is wrong!

With it just being the three of us I am not going over board with the food.  We got a turkey breast from our local butcher.  It is right around 6 pounds.  Enough for dinner with left overs.  My son will do the turkey and I will do the sides.  I think today I will go ahead and make the dressing.  Get the pearl onions ready for the peas.  Maybe mix up some apple salad.

I will try and remember pictures as we cook.  I am curious as to how the raspberry sauce will turn out.  Since my son is doing the turkey it is his decision as to how it gets seasoned.  He is one of the pickiest eaters I know.  However as an adult he has started playing around with spices and loves them!


Thanksgiving Menu

Turkey breast with a chipolata seasoning and a raspberry sauce


Mashed Potatoes

Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions

Glazed Butternut Squash and/or Carrots

Apple Salad (not a holiday for me without Apple Salad)

Dinner Rolls


Fantasy Football

Several years back, 2005 to be exact, my son needed a fill in for his Fantasy Football League. I volunteered. Not really thinking much about it. I did not really grasp the concept completely. But, I figured why not.  Good bonding experience with my son and his friends.   I ended my season 4-9-1.  My only salvation was I was not in last place!  Granted I was 9 out of 10 but not last place!

I loved the smack talk back and forth between my sons friends…aka “The Boys”. They were like brothers the way the bickered. Some of the comments back and forth made me laugh loudly and often. Now I can talk shit with the best of them. However, I have found, especially with football, talking smack can turn around and bite you in the butt! You can never truly appreciate the quote of “Any Given Sunday” until you play fantasy football. Your winning streak can come to an end with your Quarterback hurting his pinky finger and going out in the first quarter. Wimp! You can be riding the high of beating your opponent only to have your defense forget what team they are playing for!

I have found that yelling at the TV does not help them remember. One would think as loud as I am it would come through loud and clear on the field. Unfortunately, or fortunately for the players, no such device has been invented that will allow them to hear me through the TV telling them what a bunch of overpaid babies that would not know a football if it bounced off their heads. A girl can always hope that one day…one day…it will be available!

Looking back over my record I improved each year.  I have had two season that I was middle of the pack.  Other then those seasons I have made the play offs each year!  As of right now I am in first place in our current league.  My record is 7-4.  But, I am watching Matt Ryan, my starting quarterback, struggle and struggle badly! He had 3 interceptions in the 1 st quarter!  He has never had that many in a game much less a quarter!  Ryan has given me 3 whole fantasy points in the first half.  Matt Schaub is my back up quarterback.  Sitting on my bench he has scored 23 fantasy points.  ::::sigh::::  Perfect example of Any Given Sunday!

Happy Veterans Day

God Bless all the Men and Woman who of served our country.

I found this following article interesting.  While I knew I was thankful for our Veterans it is always good to refresh your memory as to the when, where and why of such a day.
Thank you to all who have served or are serving our country.  May God bless you and your family for the sacrifice you have given.


In July I had to have surgery on my left arm.  The ulna bone was too long and banging into my wrist bone.  It was causing all kinds of issues.  Pain, no range of motion, numbness…did I mention pain?!  So the doctor chopped a little off the bone, repaired some cartilage issues in the wrist, be back to my normal in no time.  Not so much!

I knew going into this surgery it was a big one.  It was going to be more invasive then any other I had had in the past.  Since the brachial plexus nerve damage I have had, excluding this one, three other surgeries.  Three other surgeries just to give me more good days then bad.  So I am not a stranger to the operation, the issues that can result from said operation or the long grueling process of physical/occupational therapy.

I had an appointment a few days ago for therapy.  I am making progress… BUT….  Don’t you hate when there is a “BUT” thrown out there!  I am actually doing too much.  I am so use to just working through the pain or discomfort.  I got my hand slapped, gently, and was told to listen very carefully to the pain.  It was not the time to “work through it”.  She said, “I have clients that come in and whine and complain about how badly it hurts.  How they can’t do anything because of the pain.  Many, if not most of them, need to work through the pain.  Then you come in.  I ask how is the pain.  You say, ‘It’s okay, it’s there. I just deal with it.’ .  She continued with, “You are the one patient I have right now that must take it easy.”  I reminded her that I had spent 21 years pushing through the pain.  The concern is I will undo what has been done.  ::::dramatic sigh and a little eye rolling:::::  Not because I don’t believe what she is saying  is correct.  I do need to be careful! For some reason I just felt like a dramatic sigh and eye roll fit at that moment!

The recovery time with this surgery is one year.  Yeah you heard me ONE YEAR!  The therapist also added this little tidbit, “Joy, you need to mentally prepare yourself to have to wear your brace for the next 8 months.”  Insert dramatic sigh and eye rolling.  I think I am doing the eye rolling as an adult because if I had done it as a kid you all would not be reading this blog!  My Mother was/is a no nonsense kind of woman.  Eye rolling was not, is not, worth the punishment!  But she is not here right now so eye rolling for all!

I should add she, the therapist not my mother, was not very sympathetic when I told her that was all well and good BUT I had Christmas presents to make! She then did some head shaking and eye rolling.  That must have made her dizzy!

Fall Colors

What is your favorite fall color?

I am rather fond of the reds.  Always have been.  My eyes are always drawn to the reds first.

Of course the yellows are attractive as well.  Especially when the sun reflects off of them!

Then we have them all mixed together and you just can’t help but admire the beauty of all the colors!

Delaware Water Gap

The “dip” in the mountains is Delaware Water Gap.  This photo was taken from the top of Big Pocono State Park.  It is located in Tannersville, PA.  If you were to drive from Big Pocono to Delaware Water Gap it is about 16 miles.  It is gorgeous on top of Big Pocono!


Adoption Anniversary

November 1 is a special day for me.  It was the day that the man I call Dad legally became my Dad!  At the time he had been married to my mother for about 4 years.  I vaguely remember the conversation of adoption as it took place around me.  I am not sure I completely understood what it all meant.

My two older sisters were already out of the house so they were not interested in being adopted.  My brother wanted to have Dad adopt him but he had signed all the paperwork to join the Navy.  His recruiter said it would be a nightmare to change everything.  However, all of my siblings felt it was a great idea for me to be adopted.

As I write this something stands out.  All four of us kids were asked if we wanted to be adopted.  The older kids were asked how they felt about me being adopted.  We were raised to have opinions on our lives.  We were raised discussing things that affected us as a family.  Now it was always very clear my parents, mostly my mother, were in charge.  But, we did have the chance to voice our thoughts.

All of us kids still saw our biological father.  When he had time for us. At one point my mother, Dad, my biological father and I all got together to talk.  I mention this because I believe it was at this point I understood how serious this was.  It was made clear that I could still see my biological father whenever I wanted.  I remember thinking how cool it was going to be to have two Dad’s!  Did not work out that way but let me assure you I came out of the deal on the right side!

Finally the day came where we had to go to before the judge.  We got dressed in our Sunday best.  I was warned to be on my best behavior!  Be polite, answer all questions honestly and afterwards we would go out for dinner.  Back then going out for dinner was a big deal and reserved for only the most special of occasions!  The judge asked me one question, that I remember.  I think I remember it because it just seemed so stupid.  “Do you want to be adopted?”  No dude I have just been stringing my parents along all this time.  I was bored with nothing to do so I thought hey self  let’s do something that will cost my family a lot of money, play with their emotions and then just before it is over say PSYCH!  I do remember thinking “Well DUH!”  But, I also had the vision of dinner out being yanked out from underneath me!  I answered politely and the rest is history!

One of the first photo’s that I remember.

This was taken several years later on a vacation to Mt. Rushmore.

My Parents

Monkey Ornament

While shopping at Hobby Lobby the other day my son and I came across this Christmas Ornament.

We could not help but scratch our head trying to figure out what exactly it is the monkey is holding up to his mouth.  I must admit it does look rather bong like!  We tried to come up with different ideas as to what it could possibly be.  Each idea brought us back to our original.  What do you think?

Life Changing

On October 31, 1991 my life changed forever.  My then 7 year old son and I were in a one car accident.  We were rushing home to get him ready to go trick or treating.  A deer jumped out of the woods.  I did exactly what you are not supposed to do and jerked the wheel to avoid him.  I will never forget what an extremely odd view and feeling it was as the horizon changed as my car started to flip over.  We slid on the drivers side door for what seemed miles, probably only 125 yards, before the front of my car came to an abrupt stop between two very large trees.

We thankfully walked away from the accident.  Our car did not!  As they were hooking my car up to a tow truck my son was changing into his Halloween costume in the back seat of my Mother’s car.  Halloween is an important night for a 7 year old!  A neighbor offered to take him around with his kids while I stayed home.  As the evening progressed I realized I was not feeling as well as I thought.  We did eventually go to the ER.  My son had a seat belt burn.  As it turned out my injuries were a bit more serious.

Of course we did not find out just how serious for another two years!  I will spare you the two years of test after test, physical therapy several times a week and the unbelievable pain!  All the while losing more function each day.  By the time I found a doctor that had a clue I had lost 80 to 85% use of my left arm, hand and shoulder.  I was diagnosed with a traumatic brachial plexus injury.  At this point the damage was permanent.  I have had several surgeries, the most recent was July 2012, to make things a little more tolerable but for the most part what is done is done.  The doctors were very honest when they told me that their goal was to give me more good days then bad.  They stressed that there would always be bad ones.  They were correct! 🙂

The seat belt caused my injury BUT it saved my life.  I am fine with that trade off!  Today I celebrate the 21st Anniversary of my car accident/injury.  Yes, celebrate because I am thankful to be here to celebrate such a life changing event!