Celebration of Life

Moving beyond my pain and celebrating life.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Poverty or Prosperity?



I only eat beans once or twice a year. It's not that I hate them so much as they are a bad memory connector for me. They remind me of the time in my life when beans were all I could afford and I have eaten a life's worth of beans!

In rethinking my connection to beans, I have come to think of them as my "freedom food." It was a turkey roaster full of beans that made me make a choice. Let me explain:

My children were young and we were living in Texas with my second husband who was an abuser. He controlled all of the money, bought the groceries and decided what we ate. We were not poor but he controlled everything my children and I did.

One New Year's Day he made the big turkey roaster full of beans; gallons and gallons of beans. They tasted pretty good the first day and maybe the second day but by the third day, the kids and I were sick of beans. Like I said, he bought all of the groceries and by the end of the first week, I depleted the soup and other staples in the cupboards by trying to disguise the beans with other things. At the end of the second week, we were down to our last gallon of beans but while there was still beans to eat he would not buy groceries. Of course he ate before he came home from work. Then one night he brought home a huge T-bone steak and large baked potato and salad and sat there and ate it in front of us while we choked down our beans. I remember asking him for a bite and he yelled at me to eat my beans; of course I complied but something inside of me changed. When he left the next morning, I flushed the rest of the beans; that was a bold move considering I was going to have to accept his wrath later.

It wasn't long after that, I started planning my escape from him. It took me seven months to finally get up the courage to leave him. So you see, the beans were a turning point in my life where I finally made a healthy choice for myself and my children.

This New Year's Day, I am making a pot of beans and ham and taking them to share and leave the leftovers. A once a year celebration meal is good!

I know many love beans and there are many variations and varieties to choose from. Some people traditionally cook beans for New Year's to welcome prosperity into their new year.
What is your tradition for New Year's?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Let's dance & celebrate Christmas!

video

This may take a few minutes to download and buffer but the wait will be worth it!

Merry Christmas!

Jo

Monday, December 22, 2008

We Three Princesses....

Laura is here for Christmas and wanted me to post these pictures for her so those of you (you know who you are) will get off her back about pictures of her girls. :o)

Aren't they lovely, beautiful, smart and plain downright adorable? The cutest three little girls that I have ever seen but I just might be prejudice!

A good laugh to start your week....

A friend sent me this email, I laughed so hard and had to share it:

He wrote:
"The wife has been on my case to get the Christmas lights up for a couple of weeks now. They are up now, and for some reason she will not talk to me. "




Have a good laugh and a good day, everyone.

Jo

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Countdown....

With Christmas less than a week away, I only have a few more gifts to wrap; almost all of my shopping is done. I have to go to the "dreaded" mall for my last purchase. I stayed up late last night completing my final homemade project but while I worked I had the tree on and Christmas music playing. I couldn't help but feel a little jolly and wiggle and dance to "Rocking around the Christmas Tree."




The Christmas decorations are hanging in their designated locations. They will be rearranged once the grand children come to visit.

I have made a list of things "To Do" and I am down to the last few items.



Christmas countdown has begun!
How are your preparations coming along?


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

Happy Birthday, Ellie!
If we transpose our birth years; they equal 9, the number of years between us.
You have given me many happy memories,
You have been there for my best of times and my worst of times,
You are more than a sister, you are my very good friend.
I am so proud of all of your accomplishments,
I am inspired by your brilliance,
I am touched by your humanity,
I love you very much!

You were the first to know Chuck and to enjoy his humor.
He wishes you a Happy Birthday even though he is abroad!

I will never forget the day you were born and you wore a little Santa outfit home.

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

I love you very much!

Love,
Jo




Saturday, December 13, 2008

When Life Hands You Lemons....



San of "Life With a View" gave me this award. She said it was offered to anyone who felt like making lemonade. She said it was for bloggers, who have the extraordinary gift for turning those life lemons into magical elixir. (The secret's in the saucy attitude.)

I don't know about having a "saucy attitude" but I do know that when life has handed me lemons, I had two choices. One was to let the lemons sour my life and make me angry and bitter as I witnessed in other people or I could make something sweet and good from my life's experiences.

I have come to realize that there isn't one person who has ever been exempt from life's problems. My problems are not unique to only me; others have walked the path I have walked and most have survived. I did not allow myself to stay in the "victim" mode nor did I allow myself to stay in the "just getting by" mode. I have chosen to do my very best then to 'kick it up a notch.'

I have not traveled this road alone. I have had help from family and from friends, new and old. I have continued to be diligent in looking for a life lesson and a blessing from every hard time. My faith has carried me when I thought that I could not go on.

If I have helped to encourage or inspire just one person along the way, then I am delighted.

Thank you family and friends for always being there for me!

Happy Holidays!

Jo

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No Laughing Matter....

Today, I go to the dentist. I have had a phobia about dentists every since I was a young girl and had to go to the town dentist, Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith was old and grouchy and did not have a good way of making a scared child feel better. My bad experiences with Dr. Smith ruined me for life about getting regular check ups.

As an adult, I know that dental hygiene is so important and regular check-ups are essential in order for me to keep my own teeth as long as possible. Okay, so I know, I get it, but I still dread it, hate it.... It's like pulling hen's teeth to get me there! Ugh!

So, while I am laying there, all gassed up and happy, I will be thinking of the tooth fairy and how rich I won't be once my teeth are fixed!
Have an excellent day, everyone!
Jo

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas is coming...


Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat,

Please to put a penny in the old man's hat,

If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do,

If you haven't got a ha'penny then God bless you!
I decorated my house and put up my Christmas tree this weekend. I have been playing Christmas Carols and am in the holiday spirit. I am ready to rock around the Christmas tree!
I recently received this email recently and thought it would be fun to blog. Please participate if you want to.
Welcome to the Christmas Edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Leave me a message if you have participated.

1. 'Tis the Season to be? Jolly and Thankful
2. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both
3. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial
4. When do you put up the tree? Whenever I have the time
5. When do you take the tree down? The weekend after the 1st
6. Do you like eggnog? Love it!
7. Favorite gift received as a child? My first Barbie Doll in the 60's
8. Hardest person to buy for? My son
9. Easiest person to buy for? My grand daughters
10. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
12. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Stinky perfume
13. Favorite Christmas Movie? Prancer
14. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Depends…. Sometimes right after Christmas sometimes all year long
15. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes
16. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Fudge . . . ALL the Christmas baked goodies!
17. Lights on the tree? Yes
18. Favorite Christmas song? Silver Bells
19. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay in town
20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Most of the time
21. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel
22. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Do I have to wait until December?
23. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Losing sight of the reason for the season
24. Favorite ornament theme or color? I have purple ornaments on my tree... I guess purple
25. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Turkey/stuffing
26. What do you want for Christmas this year? Just to be with family....
27. Who is most likely to respond to this? Not sure...


I hope everyone's preparations are well on their way!
Jo

Monday, December 1, 2008

Seven Unknown Things About Me....


San of "A Life with a View" tagged me with this blog title. I had to really think of things to come up with since most of you know me so well. Here are 7 true, unknown things about me:

1. I always wanted to look like Cher of the Sonny and Cher days! 2. I collect a rock from where ever I go.
3. I love coconut cream pie but I am UNABLE to make a decent crust. I always buy my crusts.



4. One of my favorite candy bars is a Butterfinger.

5. I bought a new Wii just so I could play the new Animal Crossing Game. I am addicted to Animal Crossing and it is the only game I play.




6. I sort and organize my clothes in my closet by color coordinated hangers.



7. Someday, I am going to walk on the moon!



Okay, I am going to tag the following people; please participate if you want to. NO Pressure!
1. Anna Bannana
2. Lollywilly
3. M&M Family
4. Velvet Ginger
5. Ms. Creek
6. Song of the South
7. Don Coyote
Leave me a message if you have participated!
Love,
Jo