The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

Things I Love: In recognition of Valentine’s Day February 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 8:12 pm

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I haven’t written in the blog for awhile. There have been lots of other things going on that have taken my time and attention, and I haven’t really felt very creative lately. However, I decided it’s time to make a long list of things I love to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Note that I didn’t say “people I love.” I’m sure all of my family and friends already know how much I love them. No, I thought it might be fun to just share a few of the other things in life that give me pleasure. Here goes:

  • Dark chocolate (oh yeah!)
  • A fire in the fireplace early in the morning with a cup of coffee
  • My Mom’s spaghetti
  • Old pictures from my childhood
  • Getting a personal, handwritten letter in the mail (that just doesn’t happen anymore)
  • Playing board games with my kids
  • Old gospel music
  • Jane Austen books
  • Watching Gone With the Wind by myself (so others don’t make comments and make fun while I watch it)
  • Old recipes that remind me of people I love
  • The smell of new leather shoes
  • Watching my dog sleep (it’s very entertaining)
  • Humor that doesn’t require vulgar language
  • Puns and analogies
  • Video games (especially Zelda)
  • Pretty earrings
  • Blue sapphires, although I’ve never owned any except the one that represents my daughter Ashley in my mother’s ring
  • My husband’s homemade bread
  • My mother-in-law’s cherry rhubarb jam (on my husband’s homemade bread)
  • Primitive antiques
  • Quilts
  • Oak
  • Going to work and being with the people in my office (most days) 🙂
  • Public speaking and getting good reviews
  • Teaching others
  • Anything my husband cooks on the grill. He’s an expert!
  • Asparagus
  • The colors red, purple, green, blue and fuschia
  • I like sunrises better than sunsets
  • When my parents tell me they love me
  • Old people
  • Oral storytelling. I think I get that from my Gramps.
  • Patriotic moments
  • Random acts of kindness
  • Finding forgotten money in your coat pocket
  • Getting an unexpected call from an old friend
  • Sunday afternoon visits with family
  • Watching little people play pretend things
  • Feeling proud when my kids have done something really cool
  • Watching one of my granddaughters draw pictures of the two of us in sidewalk chalk on my walkway. (It’s still there. I won’t wash it off.)
  • Watching my gray hair come in and realizing it’s the same beautiful silver-white as my Granny’s
  • Home grown tomatoes and sweet corn
  • People who smile a lot and always say good morning
  • The German Chocolate cake my Mom always made for my birthday
  • Playing the piano for fun
  • Waking up in the morning, still being sleepy and realizing it’s Saturday! That’s just the best!
  • The smell of coffee brewing. I prefer Dunkin’ Donuts coffee beans.
  • Learning new things.
  • Making lists.

Well, this list is probably long enough. I can think of a million other things I could write, but, it’s time for supper and remembering certain foods in the list has made me hungry! Want to add a few of your favorites? Comment away!

 

Lots of company January 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 9:52 am

As I’ve been blogging about my recent health crisis, I’ve come to realize that I’m by no means alone when it comes to facing trying times. There have been many others who have had some serious health issues, including my pastor. In addition, there have been several sudden and unexpected deaths within our church family and extended family.

While the natural thing is to focus on one’s own difficulties, I am certainly putting my time to better use praying for and supporting others. It isn’t healthy to dwell on your own problems. It leads you into depression and meltdown and just makes you feel sorry for yourself. I sure am glad I have family and friends who give me a kick in the pants right when I need it. No matter what I have on my plate, there are an awful lot of others who are facing things far worse.

This is just the self pep talk I need before I force myself into that blasted swimsuit again for another dreaded trip to the pool…

 

Esther Williams here…checking in January 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 2:02 pm

This is one week post terrifying doctors appointment. I have been swimming several times and can safely say that no one has paid the least bit of attention to the chubby woman in the Grotto (a.k.a. Adult Kiddie Pool). All this swimming is truly kicking my butt.

I’ve lost 3 pounds in week one. A friend likes to say she pictures me in one of those flowery swimming caps. I can tell you that I don’t own a swimming cap. Or goggles. Or nose plugs. Or fins.

The biggest stresser of the past week has been acclimating myself to the women’s locker room. The bottom line is that I don’t usually enjoy going through my morning routine in the company of others. Privacy is something I guess I’ll have to give up in order to get better.

Same time next week!

 

Up to my neck in chlorinated water January 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 9:31 pm

For the first time in many years, I donned a new swimsuit (chocolate brown, very chic) and entered a public pool. I was able to survive a session of about 35-40 minutes before dragging my tired and aching body from the water.

I was pretty rusty and had zero stamina to speak of. However, it was a brave effort for someone as portly as me and I guess I had to start somewhere. My back tolerated the pool fine, it was my chest that hurt something awful when I got finished. I don’t think I knew I had muscles that could ache in some of these places!

My husband accompanied me to the gym and allowed me my privacy as I tackled the pool situation. He worked out on a treadmill while I was busily trying to keep my head above water. I appreciated the support though. All of this is easier because so many family and friends have provided motivation and prayers.

Tomorrow I’ll let you know if I see any ounces melting away. I’m hoping to have shed at least 10 pounds by my next doctor’s appointment!

 

How one doctor’s visit can change your life January 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 5:10 pm

I really thought I knew what to expect when I went to the orthopaedic surgeon’s office to get the results of my MRI. I knew I had a severely herniated disc at T9-10. I assumed we’d talk about PT, losing weight and eventually surgery if conservative treatment didn’t work. I wasn’t prepared for what I heard.

Temporary disability leave; lose 50 pounds and get stronger as fast as you possibly can; spinal cord damage has already occurred; further damage could cause you to lose control of bodily functions or paralysis.

Wow. If he was trying to get my attention, he did a good job. He was blunt, and to quote him “serious as a heart attack.”

On the plus side of things, he said it was fixable, just not easy. I have to do my part or it won’t work. I have to be thinner, healthier and a whole lot stronger than I am right now. I have to exercise as much as I can tolerate every day. I’m not allowed to exercise on land, only in the water.

In the next 2-3 months, I have to lose 50 pounds to get ready for the surgery that will keep me walking, feeling and functioning. The doc wants me to give up working until all of this is over and my rehab is complete. I don’t see that happening. We’ll see how it goes. I suspect he wants my full focus to be on exercising. He also expects to pain to get worse and there’s nothing more they can do until surgery takes place. I found out in a rather miserable way that I’m allergic to steroids.

I have lots of very supportive family, friends and co-workers. I appreciate all the prayers and the show of support while I do my part to get ready. Starting today, I’ll be posting my weight loss and strength progress here so that it keeps me honest and open with myself about my status.

Tomorrow I appear in public in a swimsuit for the first time in…well, a long time. If anything requires prayer, that does.

Stay tuned. Stronger, slimmer person will be shown here in the future. In the meantime, I think the group of birds in my office will need to adopt some sort of water fowl to represent my new commitment to the pool. 🙂

 

What a wonderful Christmas (and a wonderful life). December 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:28 pm

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This was a wonderful Christmas in every possible way. Although not everyone could be in one place together on Christmas day, we were able to enjoy and celebrate with each of our children and our family over the course of the past week or so.

I think I can safely say one of the highlights of Christmas was watching our youngest son Allen open all the tiny boxes and gift bags that held hints to his primary gift. Once he’d collected all eight letters he had to figure out what word(s) they represented and what his gift was. As the picture shows, Allen got a new Raven amp for his guitar. To say he was excited would be an understatement!

My husband was the recipient of tools, a new GPS and some great bread cookbooks which he immediately put to good use. He produced this absolutely heavenly and beautiful Italian bread after finding the recipe in one of his books.

Mark's Italian Bread

I was the proud recipient of a new Nintendo DS and many games. I am currently immersed in Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass. What fun!

The very best part of Christmas wasn’t the gifts, although those were nice. It was the time we spent together visiting. Our daughter Annie gave us a wonderful CD and a DVD with many old photos from my childhood. We spent time on Christmas Day watching those with my folks and it brought back so many special and precious memories. Thanks Annie for making us remember the many years of happy times we’ve shared together!

It was perfect in almost every way. The only thing that could have made it better was to have had all the kids, their spouses and the grandkids together in one spot, happy and healthy. Maybe next year our youngest granddaughter will be well and she and her Dadddy will be able to celebrate with us!

Hope all of you were blessed with a good Christmas, sharing love and making memories together. From our house to yours, happy holidays and best wishes for the coming year.

 

The most fun I’ve had at work in a long time December 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 5:38 pm

Today was our Christmas lunch. I don’t have to say much except this has got to be the best group of people to work with anyplace on the planet. Fajitas, dessert, presents, Scrabble marathons and ROCK BAND! I got 100% on the vocals for Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way and Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper. The team that rocks together works well together.

Nuff said. Good stuff. Have a great Christmas and looking forward to working with you in 2009. 🙂

 

Chocolate Chickens December 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:34 am

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I saw these in a blog post this morning and just had to share. I’m sure Fat Chick and her flock of friends would approve of the art involved, but disapprove of the inevitable eating of these chocolate chickens. Bon appetite!

 

Flockin’ around the Christmas Tree December 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 4:17 pm

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The office chicken choir is heard preparing for Christmas. You can follow along below:

Flockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
(slightly rewritten by Fat Chick, Henrietta, Gregory Pecked and their new little friend, Miss Hennypenny)

Flockin’ around the Christmas Tree,
As we squawk and doodle de doo.
Making merry as we open our beaks,
To sing this song for you.

Flockin’ around the Christmas Tree,
Let the Christmas spirit ring.
Later we’ll have some extra feed,
And we’ll do some caroling.

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear,
Chickens singing, “It’s great weather,
Deck the halls with lots of feathers.”

Flockin’ around the Christmas tree,
Have a happy holiday.
Everyone cluckin’ merrily,
The good old chicken way!

 

Favorite Christmas movies of all time December 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 9:15 pm

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I love Christmas movies and enjoy nothing more than digging out all my old favorites to watch all through the holiday season. As I write this, I’m watching the Miracle on 34th Street (the newer remake). It made me think about all the holiday movies that I absolutely MUST SEE each year and their order of importance for me. Here’s my list of personal favorites and I’d love to know what yours are.

1. It’s A Wonderful Life

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carey version)

3. Miracle on 34th Street (original edition with Natalie Wood)

4. Miracle on 34th Street (1994 remake)

5. Elf

6. Polar Express

7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

8. The Bishop’s Wife

9. A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version)

10. Home Alone 1 & 2

I also like the holiday TV specials like Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. Reminds me of my childhood. I remember my Mom looking forward to the evenings when the Bing Crosby and Perry Como Christmas specials were on. Now I wish we had such fabulous music to look forward to. Remember the Bing Crosby/David Bowie duet of the Little Drummer Boy? Priceless.