Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Our one enduring New Year's tradition is to have black eyed peas for good luck. I usually have ham for Christmas and save the ham bone to cook with black eyed peas for New Year's Day. It makes a nice meal with a big pan of cornbread that I bake in a cast iron skillet. It also makes enough so that we can invite neighbors or friends in to share in the good luck meal with us.

For those of you who do not like black eyed peas, you might like to try Texas Caviar which can be served as a side dish with a meal.

2 cups black-eyed peas (fresh cooked or canned)
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 small can of chopped green chiles
Dash of cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons minced celery
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced (or more, if you are a cilantro fan)
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

DIRECTIONS: Drain peas, rinse with cold water and drain again.
Combine olive oil, chiles, cayenne, onion, celery, vinegar, salt and pepper, and mix well. Pour over peas and stir gently. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
At serving time, add chopped tomatoes and cilantro, and mix carefully. Yum!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Our company left today and our house is VERY quiet! There are a few packages left under the tree to deliver to Son #2 and family when we visit them next week, but our house definitely has that "after Christmas look" with many leftovers in the refrigerator, several containers of cookies on the kitchen counter, gifts still to put away, and Christmas wrapping paper and tags to stow until next year.

However, looking back is a delight. We had a wonderful time with family and loved ones over the past week. We realized that we were celebrating Christmas this year with four generations gathered together. The first picture shows my mother who was the oldest at our celebration at 93 and the youngest was Grandchild #7 at almost 5 months old.

Miss Ella Bella discovered that Santa had come and eaten all the cookies and polished off the milk that she had left for him the night before. She was quite surprised and a bit dismayed that ALL the cookies were gone!

Grandchild #7 let his sister, Miss Ella Bella, help him open his packages and then she helped Granddaddy open his stocking gifts. When the gifts had been opened, she involved Granddaddy in coloring with her in her new coloring book. He was most happy to help her begin coloring Cinderella's beautiful dress. After having all boys in the family, these girl activities are a new experience for him.

Great-Gram read to Miss Ella Bella and then clowned around with her oldest two great-grandchildren. We had a wonderful time and these picture provide us with some great memories. We are, indeed, thankful that we have had these times to enjoy being together--with still more together times ahead when we gather with Son #2 and family.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


This is one last Christmas story from my Christmas booklet several years ago. It was written by my sweet brother-in-law and I was so pleased that he contributed to our booklet. My wish for all of you is a blessed and peace-filled Christmas. And here is the story of Rabbit Hunting in Alaska.

In the late 1950’s my two sisters and I were in elementary school in Anchorage, Alaska. Christmas in Alaska was fun because the guaranteed white stuff meant lots of sledding, snowmen, and snowball fights. However, winters in Alaska were cold, and the nights long. Long nights with no computers, and fuzzy black and white TV dictated that we find other forms of entertainment. Board games were fun and my sisters and I had asked for a SORRY board game for Christmas. A common tradition in our home was looking for presents before Christmas. Our parents hid presents throughout the house until the night before Christmas when they were placed under the tree. My parents knew about our “rabbit hunting.” They were good at hiding presents and added an extra precaution by taping and wrapping presents before hiding them.

My sisters and I found one particular wrapped package approximately two weeks before Christmas. From the dimensions and sounds when shaken, we guessed that it was a SORRY board game we anxiously wanted to play. We spent several evenings alone without Mom and Dad and thoroughly examined the mystery package. The minute examination finally led to cautious tugging at the edge of the tape holding the Christmas paper. Careful and patient pulling revealed a means to pull the SORRY Board Game out of its wrapping. The tape was carefully loosened allowing the wrapping paper to be opened at one end, and the SORRY board game slid out of its wrapping. For two weeks before Christmas, we enjoyed playing the SORRY board game every time our parents were gone.

We always detected our parent’s arrival home early enough to hide our mischievous deed. We carefully slid the game back into its wrapping, reattached the original tape, and re-hid the package. I fondly remember how much fun it was opening the well used SORRY game at Christmas and pretending surprise.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Musings

I am not ready for Christmas. I am on an errand of mercy. I received a plea for help this a.m. as I finished my workout at the fitness center and headed for church to pray for the various needs that I was aware of. Instead, I glanced at my cell phone and noticed a MISSED CALL sign. I returned the call and headed out to lend a hand. I left many things undone at home. I have a list of "to do things" as long as my arm as I rushed to help out.

Along the way I decided that the Spirit of Christmas also includes answering the call for help and I am so glad that I responded the way I did instead of the response on the end of my tongue that almost said, "I cannot possibly spare the time!

Instead of spending time in the Mall completing my shopping list, baking stuff to give away, and wrapping gifts, I have held a delightful child who looked up at me with loving eyes and a grin a mile wide. I have played with a delightful little sister who has wrapped my heart around her little finger. And I hope I have helped this family in need over a bit of a hump.

I believe I have been gifted by answering that call for help this morning. I believe that is what the Spirit of Christmas is really all about! The rest of that stuff on my list will take care of itself--and my dear husband spent much of the day working on my list. I am so grateful to him for helping me out!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


A frugal hint that might not apply to all climates, but works nicely in our climate where we only get mild freezes is to plant a winter crop of lettuce. We have a neighbor who planted several kinds of lettuce and arugula and he shares with several of us in the neighborhood. I go over 2-3 times a week and pick enough for salads for my husband and me. I usually get plenty for two meals each time and it is delicious--so much better than what we get in the store. This fall I planted some chard, kale, cilantro and a bit of purple lettuce. It has grown well despite our drought and a couple of freezes. It is nice to have these fresh items in our salads and know that they have not been treated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Best of all is that they are not costing us an arm and a leg in the store.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


As I told you last week, several years ago I invited members of my family to write their Christmas stories and send them to me. I gathered those stories into a booklet, printed it out and that was one of my Christmas gifts to the family that year. This is the second story I have put on my blog. It was written by both Son #2 (she calls him WB) and his wife, Kara (you can click on her name to view her blog). I laughed until I hurt when I read their two versions of the same story. I hope you enjoy this one!

Kara's version:
It was going to be a wonderful Christmas. It was our first official Christmas in our first home as a married couple. I couldn't wait to start putting up decorations and filling our little house with holiday cheer. I had visions of sparkling lights hanging from the rooftop, luminarias lighting the entrance way and a majestic tree adorning our front room. As I stood outside staring at the front of our house one December afternoon I contemplated my strategy.

"I need a theme," I thought to myself. "Something traditional yet unique. No icicle dripping lights for us; besides the stores had been out of them since before Thanksgiving. I'm thinking white lights strung across the roof line, no mixing & matching, just plain white lights. Maybe some lights on the bushes as well. Then some pine boughs encircling our front windowpanes. Maybe a few velvet bows to tie it off. Nothing flashy, nothing plastic, just simple. Possibly a spotlight to shine on the wreath that will hang on the front door. Luminarias would be nice, but I couldn't use plastic ones and the paper bag ones might not weather the next couple of weeks. Guess I'll skip that."

I was thinking of all the Christmas themes my Mom had done over the years. Her decorations were always tasteful, unique, and catching to the eye. She always used real luminarias, fresh pine boughs, etc. She was always ahead of her time in the decorating area. Bless my Dad for trying to untangle the lights each year. The neighborhood was always aware of our lights going up when my Dad's shouts of frustration echoed down the street. Speaking of men and lights, I needed to enlist the help of my husband. Oh, I could have done it myself, but it would be more fun to involve WB. I saw him putzing around inside the garage as I contemplated my game plan.

"WB, let's put up Christmas lights!" I yelled to my husband who suddenly disappears around the corner of the garage. When he reappears and walks toward me I can tell he thinks this does not sound like fun.

"Okay, here's the plan." I began to tell him all my ideas and ask for his input (I've learned that this is important in marriage).

He took a deep breath and looked me in the eye and says, "Go for it!" and began to walk away.

"Whoa, you don't expect me to do this on my own? Besides, you are good with electricity," I respond. This I've learned in a year of marriage is called stroking his ego. "Why don't you get the lights and I'll work on the windows. And what about a spotlight; we don't have one," I blurted out in a rush knowing I may lose him at any moment to tools in the garage.

Reluctantly WB went into the attic to dig out the lights we had bought. I settled for manufactured pine boughs bought at Wal-Mart. This distressed me but WB assured me it looked natural as I wrapped the long strings around the windows.

After some time the lights seemed to have been hung. I wasn't crazy about the bright orange extension cord that hangs from the edge of the roof to the ground by the garage, but WB assured me that no one would notice it, especially at night.

I had been unsuccessful in explaining the concept of a spotlight to my husband. This was very frustrating to me because I didn't think it was a difficult concept to grasp. I tried to explain to my husband for the hundredth time, "It's just a big bulb on a stake stuck in the yard and you plug it in!"

"What's it connected to? How does it light up?" WB asked again.

"Oh, geez, it's a light! A light you shine on things." Why was he making it so complicated? My parents had two in their front yard and for the next week I frantically searched the neighborhoods for some to show to WB. He wanted to rig an elaborate electrical system and I just wanted a spotlight on my door. I finally gave up and decided that the porch light would do.

Finally, we had to get a Christmas tree. I'm not sure who first mentioned the idea of a living tree, but I ran with it. We found a nice Norfolk pine about 3 feet high. We set it on top of a table by our window in the front room. I told WB it was perfect, small and young, but that we will have it for years and each Christmas it will grow and flourish just like us. It was a symbol of our marriage and all the Christmases we would share. I envisioned ten years into the future a six-foot tall tree surrounded by our children and I'll tell them, "your Dad and I got this tree on our first Christmas together and it has grown taller and stronger each year." It was the perfect last touch to our Christmas decorations.

WB's version:
It was going to be our first Christmas in our first home as a married couple. Kara had big plans for decorating, and set about trying to implement those plans. Kara spoke of visions of luminarias, simple white lights strung all along the roof line and bushes, pine boughs, velvet bows and a majestic tree in our front room. One lesson that I have come to learn in our marriage is that when Kara does the planning, WB gets to do the implementing.

I asked her, "What about the lighted plastic snowman, where will he go? And the plastic Santa, and the lighted plastic candles? Should we put those on the porch or in front of the bushes?" I smiled inwardly as Kara glared at me.

Kara then said that we would need a spotlight. After looking over the front of the house, I realized that there were no electrical outlets. Not one to be bothered by minor logistical impediments, Kara continued on with explaining how the spotlight would herald the spirit of Christmas at our house. I made the mistake of asking, "What would the light shine on?" Exasperated, Kara replied, "Our front door!" I pondered the architectural implications of highlighting our otherwise uninspiring front door, but I still remained puzzled as to what the spotlight had to do with Christmas. I could understand putting a spotlight on the chimney, or setting some spotlights out front like those seen at movie premiers so that Santa wouldn't miss the house, but I thought that the porch did an adequate job of lighting the front door.

After a thorough evaluation of the electrical demands of Kara's planned Christmas decorations, we settled on a string of white lights across the front roof line. Of course, I had to run an extension cord from the garage to provide power for the lights, which meant that during the day I had to remove the unsightly orange cord and replace it at dusk.

Our thoughts turned to the interior decorations, and most importantly, the tree. We both decided that a living Christmas tree would be both a nice economical and sentimental touch to our first Christmas. We bought a small Norfolk pine and set it on a table in our front room. Each year, the tree would grow and mark the passage of time as we would decorate it for Christmas. We envisioned that our children would help us decorate the very same tree. Best of all, we wouldn't have to spend any more money on Christmas trees!

Christmas came and Kara and I shared a wonderful holiday in our new home. However, six months later, the Norfolk pine had died, and Kara was already making plans for the holiday decorations, plans that included two spotlights; one red and one green.

As I remember it, we were at the hardware store and we finally found the elusive spotlights. The single spotlight was quite elaborate enough so WB insisted on the double one and he also chose the bulbs! It looks good on my front door, but not as good as it will look on my new front door WB will install for me next year:)

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Today we had visitors. My sister and her daughter and two children came over. My sister brought flowers for our mom and we went over and the children watched Mom knitting a scarf and then helped decorate her little tree.

Then we called my nephew and invited his family over so the cousins could play and we could have an impromptu Bar-B-Que dinner together. We counted and found four generations at the table tonight. What a blessing to be able to share this time amongst family members.

Of course, we took pictures and were quickly able to share them with my brother and his wife who are still at Mayo where my sister-in-law is quickly recovering (quite miraculously--thanks to many and their prayers!) from a kidney transplant about three weeks ago.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Several years ago I invited members of my family to write their Christmas stories and send them to me. I gathered those stories up into a booklet, printed it out and that was one of my Christmas gifts to the family that year. I have asked several of the family members for permission to print their stories and they have given me the okay. Here is one of my favorites from Son #4:


I will never forget the first Christmas away from my family. I was eighteen and just finished up with boot camp for the Coast Guard and got stationed in California. It was December 1995 and I was new to the Coast Guard and the people at the small boat station. It was Christmas Eve and I showed up for work in the morning and saw all the people go home who had the next two days off and became a little jealous of them knowing they will be with their families. It was just another day at work and being the new kid, the jobs were not the best. Christmas Eve consisted of watching some movies with five guys and just kicking back and relaxing a little.

On Christmas morning about six thirty I woke up and got dressed. Just like any morning I started my normal routine since I was not told any different the night before. I walked downstairs to a smell I have never smelled before in my life. The officer of the day was cooking in the kitchen by himself since three thirty in the morning. He had food all out on the tables and he asked if I had ever had roasted chestnuts. Saying no, he opened up the oven and had trays of chestnuts (the smell I was not familiar with). Soon everyone got up and came down to enjoy the fine food. When we all sat down to eat the front door opened and all of the people that were off and their families came over to enjoy the day with us since we were stuck at the station. The rest of the day was spent throwing the football, lying around on the couch, and eating. For the first Christmas away from family I knew I had a new family made up of people that were in my situation once before.

I have not had a Christmas like this one in the Coast Guard since, I don’t know if the people are changing or the mindset of taking care of one another has changed. All I know is I will always remember the first Christmas away from my family could have been sad but I was so full of food and laughter that I was full of holiday cheer.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Coupons! That is my Frugal Friday hint. I have been clipping coupons for about six months now and it really pays off. Today I went to Walmart to buy some groceries and looked through my coupons before I left home. I came out of there with ONLY the things on my list and saved $6.50 with the coupons I used. Several of the things I bought were marked down, so that made the coupons even more valuable. Yesterday I went to Walgreen's and had clipped coupons out of their Sunday advertisement. I bought three bags of things and, once again, saved $6.00. In both shopping trips I was very rigid about only buying things on my list because I know how easy it is to get carried away with the other things that I see as I shop for things on my list.

It has been years since I clipped coupons. It was something I did when my boys were growing up and we needed to make every penny count. Since the boys left home I had gotten lax and did not pay that much attention to how much money I was spending. Now it shocks me at how much I could have been saving if I had been more conscious about spending. This economic downturn has really made me think about the money that I do spend nowadays.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Once or twice in the past I have asked for prayers for my friend Helga's ten-week-old grandson who was born with a heart problem. The doctors say that the heart is now strong, but Rudy is having several unsolved problems and the doctors are perplexed, the parents are frustrated, and the family needs prayer. A friend submitted the following proposal on their blog:

Our good friend, Bob Drummond, approached me this week with a proposal that we highly welcome. As the doctors are finding it difficult to explain Rudy’s lack of progress and are trying new things, this would be a great time for some focused prayer. So, please read below and join as you feel led–

Rolf and Trish have allowed me to be a “guest poster” on Rudy’s Beat to encourage the multitude of friends who have so faithfully supported the Geyling family during this season of challenge and uncertainty for a time of prayer and fasting for Baby Rudy. Acknowledging the wonderful grace God has administered through the dedicated and talented doctors and nurses who have so expertly cared for Rudy, we also recognize the need to rely on the power of our personal and powerful God to bring healing or change when we get to the limits of our human abilities and wisdom.

As you are aware, there are two areas that are crucial to Rudy’s healing and development right now: the stoppage of the unexplained fluid leaking into his chest cavity and his ability to take and maintain nourishment so he can develop the strength he needs to progress. As you know, the progress in these important milestones has been inconsistent, even confounding, yet essential for his growth and health. So, as Rudy is slowly beginning to take nourishment through a feeding tube and Rolf and Trish have to make some important decisions regarding the next treatment options, I think it is appropriate that we join together (as we can) for a time of prayer and possibly. fasting, on Thursday or Friday this week, as is best for you.

This exhortation is given with the full respect of the different faith traditions of Rudy’s supporters and that prayer and fasting can take many forms, from full fasts to fasting to and praying for one meal a day. In our freedom in Christ this is not about doing “it right” or like others do. God does not need our formulas or prescriptions, just our humble faith and acknowledgment of His Lordship and sovereignty over all things, including Rudy’s little body.

So, as you are led, I invite you to join the literally hundreds of people from all around the world who are following Rudy through this blog in a dedicated time of fasting and prayer for Rudy on Thursday or Friday this week. Let’s ask our gracious Lord to bring an end to the fluid leakage as He sees fit and that Rudy be able to take and tolerate the nutrition he so desperately needs.

Over the years I have observed that one of the redemptive miracles in times of great challenge and crisis is how the invisible Body of Christ can become so visible to others through acts of love and sacrifice. The outpouring of love and support for the Geylings and Baby Rudy is evidence of this, as people all over the world, many of whom have never met the Geylings, have been united in their love, support and prayers. This is a powerful witness to a watching world of the reality of the living God we love. On behalf of the family and friends, we express our thanks and great appreciation for you faithful prayers and support! It has been literally miraculous. Again, I ask you to join us for this time of dedicated prayer and fasting.

Standing with you for Rudy and the Geylings.
Pastor Bob

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


My painting classes ended last week and will not begin again until sometime in January. I missed going to class this week and have two pictures "in progress" that will have to wait until January to be finished. I doubt if I have much time to paint the next couple of weeks anyway since I have not done one bit of decorating yet and I have to get several packages ready to mail by the first of next week. Why the first of next week? Because the Post Office says that is the latest date they can assure that packages will get to their destination by December 24. Well, at least that gives me a target to head for.

Meanwhile, I thought I would share with you two pictures that I have finished. I took pictures of the paintings and am very disappointed with the quality of the photographs, but you will get the idea of what I have been working on. The covered bridge picture had a lot of architectural detail that was very tedious to work on, but I am very pleased with the end product. I may do more of that type of painting. The pelican was not quite so tedious, but I really got carried away with those rocks at the top of the painting. I am not so sure about my skill at doing bird feathers--perhaps I need to practice on another bird or two.

I believe my next project will be a still life painting, but then there is that lovely water lily I took a picture of and that oak tree and dirt road picture that I have. Oh my, I can hardly wait for January to begin painting again. Hope Santa brings me some new brushes, though!


This cookie has become a tradition in our family during the Holidays:

2 egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate bits
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 375°F for 15 minutes. Beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually add sugar until thoroughly mixed. Fold in chocolate and nuts. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil, or use a silicone baking sheet. Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto lined cookie sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. Place cookie sheet in oven and turn oven off. Leave cookies in oven (without opening the oven door!) until oven has completely cooled. Makes about 2 dozen.

I usually divide the beaten egg whites into two bowls. I add chocolate chips to one batch along with red food coloring. To the other bowl I add chopped walnuts or pecans and green food coloring. I sometimes leave some of the cookies white. They make a nice platter of cookies.

I used to make these cookies in the evening and leave them in the oven overnight. My boys could usually tell when I had made the cookies and sometime during the night they raided the oven. The next morning when I would open the oven, there were often more blank spaces than cookies on the cookie sheets.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I figure I am saving a bundle of money this year by staying home making my Christmas presents. Seems like I tend to go into a store and see things that I just have to buy. If I stay out of stores, then I am not tempted to buy things I see.

I do need to do some shopping soon, but I plan to take a specific list along with my Christmas list and that should hinder impulse buying if I STICK TO THE LIST!

Meanwhile, meander over to my daughter-in-law Kara's blog and see her neat Frugal Friday hint for Christmas evergreens to use in decorating.

And here is a recipe for PATCHWORK SOUP MIX that would be great for gift-giving:

1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup dried split peas
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
1/2 cup dry lentils
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried sage
1. In a wide mouth pint jar layer barley, split peas, rice, and lentils.
2. In plastic bag combine parsley, garlic, pepper, salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, & sage.
3. Decorate jar lid and attach seasoning packet with ribbon to jar. Attach a recipe card with the following directions: 1. Empty jar contents into a colander and rinse. 2. Place contents in a large stockpot and cover with 10 cups water. 3. Stir in 1 chopped medium onion, and the seasoning packet. 4. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Check after 30 minutes and add additional water if necessary.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


The following is a story my sister wrote about Christmas trees at our house when we were growing up:

The Christmas Season always started for us on Thanksgiving Day. We usually stayed home for Thanksgiving because that was the time for Christmas tree sales to begin.

My brother was a member of a Boy Scout Troop, and each Thanksgiving the Troop received a shipment of Christmas trees by rail car that had to be unloaded. All members of the Troop, and their families, helped unload the rail car that was parked across the street from the Boy Scout tree yard. The weather did not really effect our unloading the car. If it was very cold, everyone just bundled up, and if it was warm, we felt really lucky. The process usually took all afternoon.

The Scout Troop made almost all their money for the year's plans through the selling of Christmas trees. Sometimes the Scouts sold light bulbs to bring in extra money. After setting up the tree lot, the Troop members usually worked on the lot selling the trees. Everyone had to share the duties. Parents volunteered their time and expertise.

We always purchased our Christmas tree from the Scout Troop lot. One year in particular Mother requested a perfectly shaped tree. The men working on the lot agreed to find mother the best tree. After a thorough search, Dad brought home what he thought was the best tree.

We placed the tree in our formal living room in front of the window. Mother and I noticed that our tree was perfectly shaped and contained no bare spots. After Dad placed the lights on the tree, Mother, my brother, my sister and I started decorating it. Mother and I started noticing that some of the limbs had different needles on them. She and I found this to be very unusual. After closer scrutiny, we discovered that the men on the lot had placed a branch in every bare spot and trimmed all limbs. The men working the lot drilled a hole in the trunk and then placed a pine limb in the hole. All bare spots were filled and branches were trimmed to create a great shape. This tree was the best tree of all.


My blogging friend, Barbara, posted a Christmas meme and suggested that her readers do the same. Here is mine:

C-Christ Child
H-Holy Night
R- Resting quietly
I- Inner peace
S- Star over Bethlehem
T- Thankful
M- Mary, Mother of Jesus
A- Advent Prayers
S- Star of David

This is not a "tag" but perhaps you would also like to consider how you might fill in the letters of CHRISTMAS.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I was excited to see that one of my blogging friends, Linda, of My Own Velvet Room, has reviewed my book, Growing Up in the Texas Panhandle on her blog. Here's an excerpt:

"I know that this book will be a treasure to Pat's family in the years to come, but as one with no connection to Pat's family, I can say with surety that this is also a wonderful read for anyone with an interest in reading lifestories."

It is wonderful to hear that Linda has read my book and loved it! Thank you so much for your review, Linda.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


This is my Christmas rant. First a friend went to buy Christmas stamps--the ones with the Botticelli Madonna and Child on them. The Post Office said they were out of those but could give her Hanukkah instead. Sorry, but that is not our tradition! She could also buy the Muslim stamp but she wanted the Christmas stamp with the Madonna and Child on it for her Christmas cards. The second postal station was out and so was the third one! They each had plenty of Hanukkah stamps and a Christmas toy stamp, but she wanted the Madonna and Child. She visited the main post office but did not find them there. She returned to our local postal station and they had gotten in 11 sheets of stamps only. She bought them all. Seems like others are also looking for the same stamp! I don't even know how to start my own search for the same stamps.

Next, I came across a site where I could get a Christmas decor for my blog and I found that they had 717 pages of pictures--each page had 12 pictures that I could choose to insert on my blog. The first few pages were cutesy bears with Santa hats, snowy scenes, Christmas trees, holly, and so on. I looked through 109 pages seeking one with a religious theme. I found three: one had a nativity with Santa kneeling in front and the other two were the same with different wording--a silhouette of the Holy Family traveling against a sunset background. I was not impressed! The thing that distressed me the most was the increasingly sexual aspect of the pictures with almost-nude males and females dressed in Santa hats and scarves that left little to the imagination or signs that said, "I want......for Christmas."

Next, I went to find Christmas paper for our Christmas newsletter. Once again I could not find ANYTHING with a religious theme at our local office supply chain stores. My next stop in that search will be one of the religious goods stores--if I can find one that has not gone out of business this year.

My thought after those experiences was: What has happened to the REAL meaning of Christmas? I began praying the prayers of Advent this past Sunday and will continue saying those prayers and meditating on the scriptural meaning of this season each day until Christmas. Why is it so hard to find support for the religious meaning of Christmas out there in the world? What has our culture done to the real meaning of Christmas?

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Oops! I missed Friday, but thought I would post this today anyway.

One of the advantages of having my Christmas gifts ready early is that I can avoid mailing them when I can give them to guests at Thanksgiving who are not returning for Christmas. This year it did not work out too well because my sister and her family did not come due to illness, but I have her gifts ready and she may come for a visit before Christmas. I did have gifts ready for Son #3 and was able to send his box of gifts home with him. He also has an early December birthday, so we had his birthday party while he was here.

My Thanksgiving company (Son #3 and Nero) left about noon and it is a cold, dreary day, so I am busy making up some of my soup mixes and cornbread mixes for future gift giving. I will include these gifts in boxes that I am mailing to friends and relatives, but will also give them as gifts here in town. I put the mixes in plastic bags with directions, put them in red paper sacks and attach one of my hand-painted Christmas ornaments. I am making up a bunch, labeling them for people on my list and will keep a number of them for those surprise people who turn up with a gift for us at the last minute. I will include one of my recipes below.

Recipe for Texas Two-Step Soup Mix

1 package brown gravy mix (regular or no-fat)
2 tablespoons mild red chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
10 to 12 tortilla chips, crushed
Enough medium-size pasta (such as wheels, shells, macaroni) to fill jar or plastic bag.

Pour gravy mix into wide-mouth pint jar. In small bowl, stir together chili powder, oregano, cumin, onion and garlic salt. Pour mixed spices into jar to make second layer.
Add tortilla chips and pasta to fill jar or plastic bag. Seal.

Attach a gift tag with the following instructions:

Texas Two-Step Soup

Brown 1/2 pound ground beef in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add contents of jar and 7 cups water; heat to boiling. Stir in 1 (15 ounce) can corn with red and green bell peppers and 1 (16 ounce) can chopped tomatoes. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips and shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, if desired. Makes approximately 8 servings.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I had my Random Integer Generator (that is Son #3), who is visiting for Thanksgiving, do the drawing as we sat around watching the Longhorns begin to beat the Aggies. The name he came up with was: TA DA...Terri Tiffany. Terri, if you will e-mail me your address, I will send you two of my hand-painted ornaments.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I tried something different this year. A couple of years ago I inherited a number of pieces of silverware that had belonged to my maternal grandmother, my mother and my paternal grandmother, and then I had my own partial set of sterling that I got when I married and I use a set of stainless that Mother got for me with Betty Crocker coupons when I acquired my first apartment before I married--more than 40 years ago. Except for my Betty Crocker stainless (which I still use daily) none of these sets of silverware provided enough to set a complete table, but I put one place setting at each place, so that Son #3 ate with Mother's silverplate, my husband ate with my maternal grandmother's sterling, I ate with my paternal grandmother's silverplate, my brother-in-law ate with my sterling and Mother ate with my Betty Crocker stainless. It was interesting to reflect on past Thanksgiving gatherings where those pieces were used years and years ago. I had a wonderful sense of family history as I put those place settings together.

We have so much to be thankful for today. We are healthy, safe, have a roof over our heads, enough to eat and a comfortable bed to sleep in tonight. I am so grateful for my many, many blessings. Thank you, Lord. And, Son #3's dog, Nero, is also grateful for all his blessings, I am sure!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


When Son #1 turned twelve, my husband promised to take him hunting. On the day before Thanksgiving they left very early in the morning and went to a ranch not too far from our home. The ranch belonged to a friend and my husband had gone there before to hunt deer and wild turkeys. On this particular trip Son #1 shot a turkey. Everyone was so excited about his accomplishment when they arrived home with their trophy turkey intact…feathers and all!

My husband put the turkey on a ledge in the backyard and everyone gathered around to admire this addition to our Thanksgiving feast. He gave Son #1 an axe and told him that it would now be his honor to cut the turkey’s head off. Son #1 took one look at the turkey and another look at his father. He decided right then and there that there was no way he could cut off the head and he quickly disappeared. The head did come off but I don’t remember who did it.

Our next task was to do something with the feathers. Mother was at our house for the holiday and she remembered that her mother used a big pan of boiling water to remove chicken feathers. We found a huge pot, boiled the water and inserted the now-headless turkey. The feathers began to come off, but not without a stink and wet feathers everywhere—luckily we were outside in the backyard.

By the time we came to removing the innards from this poor turkey, both the mighty hunters had disappeared. Mother and I finished dressing the turkey and preparing it for cooking the next morning. We cooked the turkey along with one from the store. When it was time to cut into our turkeys we found that our mighty hunters had brought home the toughest turkey that we had ever tried to eat! Everyone in our family gave thanks for the store-bought turkey. We then decided that we had gained a great deal more respect for the original Pilgrims through this Thanksgiving turkey experience.

Oops! My boys are reporting in as they read this story and they remember it a bit differently. Even my husband remembers it differently, so I will let them add their amendments to my story--as THEY remember it!

And, as always, I write these stories as I remember them, which is sometimes different than the way others remember them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008


A wonderful review of my new book, Growing Up in the Texas Panhandle, just appeared on Smockity Frock's blog. To read it, go to http://smockityfrocks.blogspot.com/. Thank you so much, Ms. Smockity.
This self-publishing adventure has been so much fun. I would encourage all of you to gather up some of the wonderful stories that I have been reading on your blogs and send them in to Lulu.com for publishing. It took me a while to get things in the shape and format that I wanted, but the end result has been most pleasing. And the cost factor (no outlay of cash on my part) is especially appealing during these difficult economic times.
My husband commented, as he read the book in a final edit, that he wished he had a book like that full of his grandmother's stories. I am pleased to have this book to pass down to my children and grandchildren--a book of pictures and memories.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


My book is ready to order from the link on the right sidebar. My copy just came in yesterday and I am so pleased with it. It is GORGEOUS! Lulu.com did a marvelous job with it and my copy came almost exactly one week—to the hour—after I pushed the button to submit it. I am so excited to have it in hand before Christmas. And I have ordered copies for gift-giving at Christmas, but, shhhh! That is a secret--don't tell my family members!

Now I am thinking of a couple of other books that I would like to submit. I LOVE the part about it not costing me anything up front—except for the books I order for myself. This is great! My husband did moan when I said I could see several more books-in-the-making because he helps me with the editing. Oh well, perhaps NOT before Christmas.


Son #4 and family has been visiting this weekend. Miss Ella Bella and Little Brother kept us entertained for two days. Little Brother has grown a bunch and has the most beautiful smile that just grabs at my heart. He is trying so hard to talk and Miss Ella Bella has certainly mastered the art of conversation. We were watching the deer and I pointed out the buck with "horns." She told me that they were NOT "horns," they were "antlers!" Sigh! And she is only 2 1/2! I believe her parents are in for an interesting future with Miss Ella Bella to keep them on their toes. Little Brother is just sitting there watching and taking lessons so he can catch up with his big sister.

Granddaddy did yeoman's duty with Little Brother. They seemed to get along just fine while Miss Ella Bella went with me to visit the neighbors. She charmed them all with her conversation. At one house she asked to see the "pretty room" and took herself off to the daughter's room all decorated in bright colors. I'm not sure how Miss Ella Bella knew about that room, but she certainly knows how to make herself at home wherever she is!

Miss Ella Bella told Granddaddy that the deer needed food, so they went to put out food for the "poor starving deer!"

We had a great time and now the house is very quiet again. I look forward to their return at Christmas. What fun we will have then, but I have lots to do in the next four weeks. Whew!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Just a short note to ask you to pray for my friend's grandson, Rudy, who was born with serious heart problems and remains hospitalized at seven weeks. The parents are experiencing a bit of caregivers stress, so please keep the whole family in prayer. You can stay informed about his condition at http://rudysbeat.wordpress.com/.

Also, my sister-in-law, Jacki, has been given the green light for her kidney transplant on Tuesday so they are excited and also a bit apprehensive. Their sons are gathering to be with her this next week. We wish her well!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Frugal Friday

Today I realized that I was much farther along in my Christmas preparations than I usually am this time of year. How unusual! I was wondering how that happened and I have to credit my family for that! Late last summer we began talking--my daughters-in-law and I, about how we were going to cut back on our Christmas giving, spend a specific amount for each person (my goal has been about $10 per gift) and make gifts, if possible. My daughter-in-law, Kara, tells on her blog about some of the gifts she and her girls are making for the holidays. That has worked out really well for me since I have found some really neat things to make for the grandchildren and for my daughters-in-law. I wish I could tell you about them, but I am afraid they will read the blog and the Christmas surprise will be gone.

Along the frugal line, a friend asked me this week for the recipe for a great candy that I made last holiday season. I took a cup of dried cranberries, a cup of walnuts (chopped) and put them in a bowl. I melted a bag of chocolate chips (bought on sale and stored in my freezer)in the microwave and poured them over the cranberries and walnuts and stirred. I then dropped the mixture by the teaspoonful on waxed paper and let them cool. They make the best little chocolate bites and are SO EASY! Nice for the holidays to EAT or to GIVE!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


When I was growing up, dinner at our house was loud, hectic, noisy—but regular. There were five of us, my baby brother, my little sister and me, along with Mother and Daddy when he was not off traveling in his job as a hardware salesman. We always sat down, all five of us, at 6:00 p.m. to eat. I have that dinnertime ingrained into my system and now, at 6:00 p.m. my stomach scrunches up and all of my hunger alarms go off.

Mother was an excellent cook but we almost always had the same pattern of foods—a meat, a green vegetable, a starch, and a dessert. Heaven forbid we should deviate too much from those four food groups. However, we did deviate on Fridays because we were a good Catholic family. On Fridays we had a rotating menu of fish, pinto beans or macaroni and cheese accompanied by a Jell-O salad and cornbread. I often questioned Mother about the ham bites off the ham bone in the pinto beans but she explained that they were flavoring, not meat, and to pick them out as we ate the beans.

We ate off our melamine plastic dishes in colors of orange, pea green, and grey and used colored aluminum glasses that collected dew in summer with the fresh-brewed ice tea. Those glasses felt cold in the winter with our milk.

Our discussions around the dinner table were noisy. We vied for our turns to talk as we told of our activities during the day. Daddy was the quiet one and tried to impose some sort of order to the conversations but Mother encouraged us to talk and we did—sometimes loudly.

We all were given jobs to do before and after the meals but arguments often ensued about which of us was being overworked. My younger sister almost always had an extremely urgent call to the bathroom just as the meal ended and my baby brother was too young to help for a very long time! I tended to complain bitterly that I was way overworked, but I did enjoy the times before dinner when Mother and I got to talk alone as I helped her and learned to cook with her.

As I look back I treasure those family times of togetherness around that old chrome table with the beige Formica top and the chairs with the marbled yellow plastic seats that we stuck to in the heat of the summer and shivered with in the cold of winter. We did have togetherness on a regularly scheduled basis at dinner time—6:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another Prayer

My sister-in-law, Jacki, is going to Mayo Clinic on Tuesday to prepare for her second kidney transplant. She had a transplant 4 years ago but it failed last year. She has been on dialysis for almost a year now and is ready for another kidney because she has not been feeling well lately. She is lucky that she has a donor and is anxious to return to her normal busy routine. Our family is praying that things go well for her and that she will be able to return home in time for Christmas with all of her children and her grandchild.

Please join me in praying for Jacki these next couple of weeks.

Glitch Is Fixed! Whee!

That Lulu.com is really great to work with. They have already fixed the glitch and the book can now be ordered from them if you are interested. It is also available in a downloadable version, but without the cover. Hope y'all enjoy it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just a Little Glitch!

There is just a little glitch with my self-publishing project. The price comes up wrong when I add a button on my blog to order it from Lulu.com and they are working on it. The first Live Chat person I talked to said she thought I could figure out how to fix it--and I was CLUELESS, but the second Live Chat person said it was a glitch in THEIR system, so I will have to wait until Monday and hopefully their technical people can get it fixed. Oh well!

New Endeavor - Self-Publishing

I just sent my stories in to Lulu.com and self published my book, "Growing Up in the Texas Panhandle." I am so excited to have it finished and "out of my hair." I have been working on it for several months and have had a wonderful time editing my stories, adding in old family pictures, designing the cover, and getting it ready to send in. I dithered around for quite some time--especially the past two weeks. My husband read it over one more time with his handy red editing pen and declared it READY! I fiddled with the cover, chatted with Lulu.com's Live Chat several times and finally pushed the button to LET IT GO! What a feeling of exhilaration that was! Wow! I did it! And, now I can hardly wait to get my first copy.

This self-publishing experience is quite exciting. I am already sifting through my stories with another book in mind. Will it ever end?? Well, we will see how much patience I have for doing this again. I must say that Lulu.com was quite easy to work with and their Live Chat help is invaluable--especially for someone as technologically challenged as I am.

Now on to my next projects--finishing a painting or two that I have started and neglected while I fiddled with "Growing Up in the Texas Panhandle."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rudy's Progress Report

Rudy is back on the list for surgery next Monday because the fluid in his chest is still draining and they think it is robbing him of protein that he needs to heal in other areas. Please pray for little Rudy and this setback. Seems he goes three steps forward and two back.

Also, the family is from Santa Barbara and although their house is not presently in danger form the fires, their children still in Santa Barbara also need reassuring. Lots going on in that family. For more details you can check up on Rudy at http://rudysbeat.wordpress.com/. Please pray for the family this weekend.

Frugal Friday

I saw an interesting gift yesterday. At the gym a trainer was giving someone a birthday gift and it was three quart-size Ziploc bags with four cookies in each bag. Each bag contained a different kind of cookie. The bags were stacked one on top of the other and tied with a red curly ribbon and had a tag on the top.

I thought that would be an excellent Christmas gift idea for neighbors, friends at church, and other casual gift giving. That type of gift gives someone a dozen assorted cookies and perhaps a hand-painted ornament on top. I have already begun my cookie making for Christmas giving. I have a container of oatmeal cookies and one of chocolate chip cookies in the freezer--had to make them for a party this week, so I made a double batch of each. Next I plan to make a chocolate cookie that has a piece of Rollo Candy baked in the middle.

Making these cookies ahead of time gives me the opportunity to watch for nuts and other ingredients on sale. Last week I found waffle pretzels on sale in the bulk section of the store where I shop (see recipe below). I stocked up! This week the Rollo candies were buy three and get three "free." I have come across three cookie recipes using Rollo candies this year. The following is a very easy recipe a friend in Hartford gave me and I used it last year:


Waffle Pretzels
Rollo Candy
Pecan or Walnut Halves

Put one Rollo Candy piece on each pretzel and place on cookie sheet. Heat in 350 degree oven about 5 minutes or until Rollo Candy is soft but not melted. Press 1 pecan or walnut half on top of each Rollo Candy and allow to cool.

Yum! And fast and super easy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rudy Continues to Improve

Thanks for your prayers. Please continue to pray as he turns 6 weeks old and moves from a bassinet to a crib. And the family has bracelets to remind you to pray! You can order one to wear. I am ordering mine today. See information below:

Rudy’s Bracelet
Shortly after Rudy’s diagnosis, we had some silicone bracelets made up to distribute to family and friends as a constant reminder to pray for Rudy. The bright, turquoise bracelet with the message “Rudy’s captured my heart” quickly became known as “Rudy’s Bracelet” when we started handing them out the day he was born. They’ve become quite the popular fashion statement and due to a high volume of requests for them and thanks to the generosity of some special friends, we’re happy to offer them on Rudy’s Beat for a limited time. If you would like a bracelet of your own, please send a self-addressed, STAMPED envelope for each bracelet (be sure to put 83 cents of postage on the envelope) to:
Rudy’s Bracelet c/o The Drummonds
948 Zook Drive, Glendale, CA 91202

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas Ornament Give-Away

I have been having fun using my oil paints to paint some wooden Christmas ornaments. I thought I would give away a couple right after Thanksgiving. That should give them ample time to dry. Here is a picture of a few that I finished a few days ago.
I will keep the names of all who leave comments on my blog for the next two weeks--until Thanksgiving. I will put those names in a kettle and have one of my Thanksgiving guests draw a name to send the ornament to. Good luck.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rudy's Surgery Postponed!

Thanks for your prayers for Rudy, the grandson of my friend, Helga. He did not have to have the surgery they had scheduled for today, and they are cautiously optimistic. Please pray with me that he will continue to improve.


Since Veterans Day is upon us I thought I would write a few of my WWI memories.

I was born six months before Pearl Harbor, so I only have a few memories of the war. I remember that Daddy was drafted into the Army when I was about 2 or 3 (just days before his 35th birthday) and he was often in uniform for several years. There he is on the left with my mother.

I also remember that Mother and I joined him when he was stationed in Gainsville for a few months. The only house Daddy could find for us to live in had no running water and an outhouse. To this day I hesitate using an outdoor restroom because we saw a few snakes near the outhouse and I have this lingering fear that a snake will rise up out of that hole and bite me in the bottom. Funny the things one remembers from childhood! The picture on the right shows me standing on our porch in Gainsville, wearing Daddy's helmet and boots.

Our small Panhandle town of Pampa only had one or two doctors in the early 1940s and when World War II started the doctors were drafted. I developed very infected tonsils when I was about three and Mother took me to Lubbock to a well-known pediatrician, Dr. Overton, who practiced there. Dr. Overton took my tonsils out in a hospital in Lubbock and then Mother took me back to Pampa to recuperate. However, my throat hemorrhaged when we got back to Pampa, so Mother put me in the car in the middle of the night and drove back to Lubbock.
The year was about 1943 and the trip was a longer one than the swift three-hour trip now because there was no IH-27 and the road passed through a number of small towns between Pampa and Lubbock. The roads were narrow and winding, gas was rationed, tires were terrible, and cars were not that dependable. Mother must have had a strong guardian angel with her as she drove that night with a child bleeding in the back seat. I remember seeing her shine the flashlight on me from time to time as we rushed back to Lubbock where they used radium on my throat to stop the bleeding. I think Mother must have been both very brave and VERY frightened on that midnight ride!

I think we then stayed for a while with Grandmother and Granddaddy in Amherst--not far from Lubbock. The picture on the right shows me with Grandmother and Granddaddy on their front porch in Amherst.

The day that WWII ended people spilled out into the streets of Pampa and began yelling, screaming, and crying. Mother and I ran out into the street in front of our house and joined them. Mother was crying and I asked her why she was crying. She told me that she was so happy that she was crying because the war had ended and Daddy was coming home. I remember being confused about Mother's tears of happiness.
Thanks to the many veterans of WWII who fought so bravely to bring about PEACE!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Prayers for Rudy

Rudy, the grandson of my friend Helga, had a good day with some improvement in his condition. He is still scheduled for surgery Monday, but if his chest fluid continues to drop, they may be able to cancel the surgery. Please pray with me that he will not need another surgery in his short five-week life.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Today I stopped at the library and picked up a book on oil painting, a cookbook, and a copy of Susan Albert's new book, The Tale of Briar Bank. That stop on the way home from the gym did not cost me a cent, although those three books would have cost me $74 and change, plus tax, from the book store.

About six months ago I realized that our books out-numbered the spaces on our book shelf. I had a cleaning out frenzy and took a load of books I thought I could part with to Goodwill. I totaled up how much money I had spent on those books and realized I had just given away about $200 worth of books. That was the day I decided that I would just check out books from the library for a change.

And that is my FRUGAL hint for today. Hope you will share your frugal hints with all of us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Please Pray for Rudy

My friend, Helga, has a new grandson named Rudy who was born with a heart defect. He had surgery immediately after birth and is now five weeks old and is experiencing some complications that might warrant more surgery. The family has decided to wait until Monday to see if the problems will be resolved. Please pray with me that the problems little Rudy is experiencing will not necessitate another surgery for him. You can read about Rudy on the blog where his parents are posting continual updates.

Please also pray for Helga and her husband who are staying with Rudy's three siblings quite some distance away from the UCLA hospital where Rudy is being cared for. I know this is a very trying time for the whole family and my thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


For some of the families that I gave gifts to last year, I made up baskets of food mixes. One I called the Southwest Gift Basket and it had the fixins' for a Texas-flavored soup mix, a cornbread mix and a salsa mix or a spicy dip mix. Another one was a Country Gift Basket that had a good ole country soup mix, a bread mix, and either a cookie or cake mix.

This year I am working on making up some spice mixes to give as gifts. Today I bought the various ingredients for the spice mixes at a store that sells spices in bulk form. I paid about $4 for 12 different spices by buying them from the bulk containers. I was looking for ground rosemary and found that it cost $8.00 a pound. I bought the 1/2 cup that I needed and it cost $.08!! I almost fell over when I saw the cost compared to a jar of rosemary that I would have to grind myself!

I started buying my spices in bulk form several years ago when I found out that I could refill my spice jars for a fraction of the cost of buying new jars of spices. And for some of the spices that I use only occasionally, I just buy a small amount and renew them every year--or as needed. That way the spice does not sit on my shelf and grow stale.

I scrounge at the Dollar Store or other discount stores for interesting baskets or containers for these mixes that I put in freezer zip-loc bags, put the directions on the zip-loc bags, and then tie it all up with a bandana, shrink wrap or plastic wrap, some nice ribbon and perhaps an ornament that I make. If I have to mail the present, I try to find a very light weight container for the gift.

Please feel free to share your frugal tips for Christmas gifts you are planning this year.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Christmas Hints

I am beginning to think about making some of my Christmas gifts for friends and family and thought it might be a great idea to share some of my gift ideas for you. Here is the first one that I thought I might begin with:

Assemble a Winter Warm-up Basket. Your basket can include a few marshmallows and hot chocolate. Purchase instant hot chocolate in sample sizes or in fancy tins. Find a decorative container and line it with a pretty kitchen towel (I am knitting dish cloths) or tissue paper. Fill the container with hot chocolate, marshmallows and perhaps an inexpensive mug or a favorite movie. Wrap the basket in plastic wrap or shrink wrap and use a hair dryer to blow-dry the shrink wrap on the basket to stay in place. You can find shrink wrap at a crafts store like Michael's or Hobby Lobby. Top with a pretty bow and you have a nice gift for friends, neighbors, teachers, and relatives.

Do you have a favorite handmade Christmas gift idea that you would like to share?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The 5k Race

Our church had a 5K race this morning and my husband signed up for it. I was so proud because he decided to do it and he also talked several other people into joining him. I decided not to push my luck because I pulled a muscle in my back a couple of weeks ago and it is just now getting better. Walking 5K might not have been a good idea at this point so I became the cheering section--especially for our exercise class members who participated along with my husband. Here are some pictures!

Waiting at the starting line. He is the one with the dark jacket and the dark glasses.

Members of our exercise class. Hubby is on the right.

Coming up that last hill with our friend, Marty. Way to go!

Right at the finish line. Job well done!

Whew! I think he was glad that was over!

I think I will enlarge the picture above and frame it with THE NUMBER!!

Congratulations, #182!