Monthly Archives: December 2015

Oh! Christmas Tree

Oh! Christmas Tree

It has been such a busy holiday season that we kept putting off the Christmas tree selection. We would have a free day and then it would snow and no one wanted to traipse through heavy snow and carry a tree up or down a hill. You see, we select a tree from the forested area around us or a friend’s land nearby. It helps thin stands of trees for a healthier forest and saves on the pocketbook as well.

The boys were both home one day recently and Ted had approved a tree to cut and bring in.  The tree was large and beautiful. Problem was, it was just a little too large once it was placed in the stand and in position. So what does one do when the tree is too tall?
You cut the bottom of the tree off to the desire height of course.

topless christmas tree
Unless, your our son and just tip the tree over and lop off the top few feet. “Bam! It fits now” is what I imagine him saying to himself.

I get home and see the tree, and exclaim “where’s the top?”
Ted gets home just a bit later and a bit perplexed, asks the same thing.
We were both trying to be thankful that the tree had been cut down and brought in as we had requested  all the while questioning who’s genetic makeup had spawned the brilliant master who cuts extra from the top and not the bottom.

Ted retrieves the cutoff portion from the snow it was tossed aside into to take a look at it.

top of the tree
It is not so very spindly as we had been led to believe it was. At least that was the justification of removing the top earlier.

So how do you fix a mistake like that? Well, if your married to my husband, you wait an hour or two and voila! The top is miraculously back in place. Turns out a pvc pipe makes a fine connecting fitting material for more than your plumbing.

In the end, we have a beautifully decorated tree loaded with ornaments gathered over the years or passed down from our families. It is a tree that holds bulbs, (made, purchased or sometimes found) ornaments, lessons and a story we will not soon forget.

Beautiful Christmas Tree
A gift really all unto itself really.

Merry Christmas everyone. Remember that Love is the real gift to give today as has been gifted to us.

Love you all,


A Special 90th Birthday

Today is my Uncle Bill’s 90th birthday!

90 years

He is my dad’s brother, the oldest of the four children in his family.

I can’t say I knew him well as a young child.  His branch or our tree lived in Iowa and we would maybe see them for a few days every few years.

For me, while he was a Methodist Minister and gave sermons nearly every Sunday, I saw his leadership through his actions since it wasn’t often that I was where he would preach.

preach the gospel everyday

A few years after I moved to Colorado, I found out Uncle Bill was bringing out groups of youth from his church for a hiking trip each summer.  They would hike in the Rawah Wilderness in Northern Colorado.

Rawah WildernessTwo of my cousins said that they would be joining him on a trip one year and invited me to join in the crew.  Nothing unravels years of stories between family like long hikes, early nights and a common pursuit.  The pursuit was to see who if anyone would keep up with Uncle Bill each day.

Uncle Bill was probably already in his early sixties when he took us all on that backpack trip with the church group.  I was in my mid twenties and my cousins a few years ahead of me. The hike is a fairly long one up to where he would have us all set base camp for the group.  Once at base camp he would lead hikes up various trails and peaks to a different named mountain top each day.

We started the week with the intention of going on each and every trek that he could plan for us. Not one of us made it on every hike that the determined preacher would take each day.

He did not map out where folks could go and send them on their way. He led his hikes.  He showed us that there were amazing and glorious rewards for the effort of making it to the top.   He showed us how every corner holds the possibility of a new view. He showed how a hard trail can change your perspective on what a hard day is.  He showed that we all could indeed push ourselves more than what is comfortable and come out with a sense of accomplishment that we hadn’t known we could have.

He didn’t preach of God’ s wonders, he showed us.  He didn’t preach of what we could do, he showed us.

A few years later, he married my hubby and I on one of those very trips.  It was at a spot we called inspiration point.  A chapel of immeasurable beauty and wonderment.  A service that only one minister that we knew could do.

I sit here typing these thoughts of him and his influence while drinking a cup of water and have to think of him once more.

It was on a visit several years back when he and Aunt Eileen were here that when asked if I could get them coffee or tea in the morning, they both asked for hot water.  Sure, I could do that figuring that they must have their own tea bags or something to add to the hot water.  No, they just wanted the hot water stating that it was very refreshing and soothing and didn’t require any additives to be satisfying for them.

I thought this was borderline bazaar as I had never encountered such a request.  They didn’t justify it with twenty reasons why drinking plain warm water is good for you, they just provided the example.  Soon, I tried it and became a huge fan of a nice cup of hot water at any time during the day. Today, I too know how a cup of warm or hot water is as equally refreshing as a cup of cold water can be.

He has taught us all so many things and joined in so many fun events over the years that he has given us all the model of how to advance in our lives.

It is easier getting older when there is someone you hope you can grow up to be like.  Thanks Uncle Bill for providing the example of who we want to be when we grow up.

90 and still going strong

Love and Birthday Wishes,


Mystery Visit

In the spirit of the mystery theme this week, I had one of another sort.

When #2 son got home on Wednesday, there was a note on the door.


I’m not even sure if I would have been able to discern what the heck that says had I not also received a call (that I missed) and the subsequent voicemail.

The voicemail asked where the heck I was as the two gals leaving the message were at my house and hoping to see me.  Not just anyone that would normally stop by, these were my college room mates from eons ago!

room matesI phoned them back not even considering that they were actually at my house.  I just figured that they were at Deb’s residence and had decided to call and pretend they were in Evergreen.  Well, the note proves me wrong.  I was astounded and shocked that they would just show up when we haven’t seen each other for way too many years.

They were on their way to Breckenridge to ski and celebrate a nephew’s birthday with more family and some of their grown kids as well.  They wanted me to come up and visit them up there since they had missed me at home. The suggestion that possibly they might give a little notice that they were going to visit prior to knocking on the door, seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Of course I would go up and visit.

happiness is meeting up with old friendsBec was in the shower when I got to the townhouse they had rented. I chuckled that I should go surprise her since this would go with the unannounced theme they had created. I reined in the urge and sat down to visit with Deb, and one of their other sisters who was also on the trip along with the husbands and kids.

When Bec emerged, we settled quickly into the joking, teasing and general ribbing that was the base of our existence so many years ago.

We had not met one another prior to being assigned to that second floor room in the all girls dormitory of Barrett Hall at The Ohio State University back in 1981.

We found that we had much in common and all being the youngest in our families, after seeing siblings leave the nests ahead of us, we were collectively ready to test our wings and see just how we could soar. Not knowing very many other people, it was easy to hang together and start the collection of memories.

Fraternal twins, they were like having two versions of the same friend available to hang with.

We lived together our freshman year because we had been assigned to do so and then lived together our sophomore year because we couldn’t imagine not doing so.

So many stories still stream out when we see each other. Circumstances stirring different recollections from us all.

The Naked Roommate

Today, Bec admitted that as she heard my laugh while she was in the shower, she had an immediate flashback and grabbed a towel in mild panic.

It seems that hearing Deb and I in the other room had brought forward a time when it is alleged that we had at one point removed all towels, clothes, washcloths and even the rug from the bathroom while she was in the shower. Apparently it was a vivid memory that she was made to streak out of the bathroom across the small main room and into the bedroom to find some clothing – with the main door also left open and us laughing in the hallway.

I had forgotten about that one. We laughed and wove some new stories in with recollecting some other old stories.

I wouldn’t say we had lost touch over the years. We merely didn’t access the connection that we had woven so strongly all those years ago.  It was such a great day today to check in on that connection and verify that it is still amazingly strong.

a friend callingFun Times.

sal iphone 007

Love Sally



Dresser Mystery

In keeping with the little mysteries around the house lately, here is one about a dresser we recently purchased.

#2 son and I went looking for ideas and wood for him to build storage crates for his room that we are re-doing. (that will maybe be tomorrow’s mystery post)

Hubby wanted us to stop by Habitat for Humanity resale store to see if they had anything or ideas.  It did have some furniture and an armoire that would work in lieu of making storage crates.

We decided that Daddy Pops would be best to check it out as he knows the folks at the store (he shops there alot) and he can get the senior discount.

When we got home, hubby asked if we had gone to the ECHO (Evergreen CHristian Outreach) resale store up here as they were having a big furniture sale as well.  We hadn’t, as we were not aware.

So hubby and I got into the car and went the few miles back into Evergreen to see what we would find.

We did find a better armoire than Dev and I had seen at Habitat, plus we found an old dresser that we could use in the guest room downstairs.

We liked the old detail and layout of the old dresser.  It looked as though it might have had a mirror or something on top at one time, but it would be fine for where we needed it.

When we got it home, hubby thought he might strip some of the old stain off to refresh it a bit. Inside the dresser on the wood below where one of the upper small drawers resided was our next mystery.  In pencil was some writing.

signed dresserA name of the owner? The furniture company? Someone in Glen Rock, PA.

What kind of story did it possess to have made it to our little town in CO?

Maybe one of you can discern the name better than we can.

Just a bit of stripping of the old stain was enough to find out that it wasn’t one overall dark color as it had previously looked to have had, but a blend of light and dark woods.

He is still tinkering with it – it is his nature – but this is how it has come out thus far.

dresser from echoThere are opal style inlays in the drawer knobs that we need to find replacements for (yet another mystery as to where to find them), but it has turned out nicely for an inexpensive resale find.  After all, everything was 75% off that day.

Another unsolved mystery.

Love Sally


Little Mysteries

alive within mysteries

I got up from my slumber a few mornings back, and shuffled out to the kitchen to start the pot of coffee and was stopped by the lack of comprehension of what I was seeing on the counter.

cookies and onion

I had baked cookies last week and they were in ziplock bags to keep them fresh, but there in front of me was an uncovered plastic container with half a dozen cookies or so and an onion? I couldn’t envision any of the men in my house going so far as to use a container to take cookies to wherever they planned to park and snarf them down, let alone add an onion to the container!

Our eldest son had a friend over who’s father is also a good friend of ours.  Had hubby created a little care package to send home to him?  And if so, what is the thought behind that? – “everyone can use an onion and some extra cookies?” “Here’s something to make you cry and feel better – all together?”

Perplexed, I went to make the coffee.

As I was standing at the coffee machine, I realized there have been a few mysteries in the house lately.

The coffee is generally a daily mystery as we (okay, mostly me) tend to not quite make the same coffee the same way any two days in a row. I hardly ever use just one type or version of grounds in the same pot. I’ll put a scoop or two of one, add scoop(s) of another and sometimes a third before sprinkling in some cinnamon to round out the concoction.

Hubby sometimes works on the machinery at one of the coffee plants in Denver and will bring home seasonal blends or experimental roasts that they are testing.  Problem is, if someone doesn’t mark the bag, we have no clue what it is.

unmarked coffee

That little mystery is not really so bad since we will be mixing it with others anyway, but it does add a little intrigue into the morning.

I asked about the cookie container with the onion but was unable to get a coherent response, so we’ll count that one as an unsolved mystery.

More mysteries tomorrow.

Love Sally