The Ending

My Bean says she used to feel sad when things ended, but now she looks forward to the new beginning of something else instead.

The year, 2016, is nearly over and, frankly, many are cheering its demise.  So many beloved people died this year that it was virtually unbelievable to the extreme.  Others are still mourning the election process, though we prefer not to even think about it.  It’s over…like the year.  We need to move forward into 2017 and see it with clear heads.

The thing about endings is that it’s like an opportunity for something new (and hopefully better) to be born and develop.  We are personally grateful to have lived through the year (particularly this one) and to be moving forward into the next.  Bean and I make positive resolutions for the new year.  Hope is our key word, our mantra.  Most people aren’t terribly realistic in their resolutions.  I suspect that the key to a good resolution is to not make lots of them, but just one reasonable one, a resolution one is likely to see grow to fruition.  Then you can look back and be proud of the accomplishment, however minor it was to begin with, and however minorly you accomplished it.

People say they want to get their house organized, lose 40 pounds, quit smoking, etc.  Those are all great goals, but need some moderation.  They might change them to say they would like to organize a specific, small space (and see where that takes them); say they would like to try to lose a few pounds (less pressure than a specific number); or to work on smoking less.  Make the goals and resolutions doable.  Small goals actually completed can help spur you on to even greater accomplishments.  Try it.

My Human Bean and I wish you all the brightest and best in the new year to come.

Farewell 2016: welcome 2017!




It is a lovely Krissmiss season here.  We miss Smidge, who is off in MN with her bestie, Voir de Wizzy, but all the others have gathered round to celebrate the season.  Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, which was brought in by the lighting of the yule log and solstice candles, and Sunday is Krissmiss day.

This year, we decided that it’s not about the day, it’s about the people.  Since the Beans’ youngest lives nearby, she and her two little Beans have been invited to celebrate with us.  They had their own special time scheduled for “THE DAY” but are coming here on Monday, the day after, which is now our designated day.

Whether you celebrate Krissmiss, Chanukah, Kwanza, Yule/Winter Solstice, Christmas, or some other winter holiday, it’s always about family and the special traditions that are yours.  At our house, we put up a tree, but alternate between a large one decorated with the Bean’s childhood ornaments and a small tree with just lights and twisted tin icycles, also from her childhood.  This year, it’s the little tree.  It’s all shiny and bright, and to me, the size doesn’t matter: they are all giant!  Can you see me down there, in front of a package and next to the elf, who’s giving me a funny look?

We open presents on Krissmiss morning, but not until after breakfast and the shoe gifts.  Most kids hang stockings, but we put out shoes.  Even the Grups put their shoes out before going to bed the night before.  While we sleep, the elves fill them up with little gifts and candies, just like Santa fills stockings. It is a merry time to open the shoe gifts.  Even better is that on New Year’s morning, no matter where the shoes or slippers were when we went to bed , we wake up to see they have been filled again, and each one has a special new year’s dime that we must save all year long to ensure that we always have enough money.  My Bean has dimes from her mother’s childhood as well as from her own.

Foods play an important part in the family celebrations.  Our Krissmiss dinner is almost a replica of Thanksgiving most years, but the Bean has made some alterations this year, and so it’s going to be a little different.  Usually she goes for the world’s biggest turkey, but this year she’s calling it the Tiny Tim Turkey – so little.  It’s still more than enough, and although we love turkey, at least we won’t be eating it through the new year!  She said we could have that green bean casserole again, though, with homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, carrot soufflé, rolls, butter, pie, and a bunch of homemade candies to tide us over and ensure a sugar high for all, as the Bean says.

But whatever your traditions are, no matter how elaborate or simple, I know they are special to you.

May your holidays be Merry and Bright.

Another bad week? Say whot?

It started on Saturday when Auntie Glenda emailed to say her Grandma on her mother’s side (who she loved dearly) was probably dying from double pneumonia in a WV hospital.  Then she texted to say her that Uncle Tommy (her Father’s elder brother to whom she was not especially  close) was also in dire straits at a Virginia hospital: Uncle Tommy passed away on Sunday.

And then came the call from Mr. Happy Monday evening saying that he’d slipped down the basement steps Sunday evening and whonkered his head.  Of course he waited to go seek medical attention at a clinic until Monday morning, and only at the urging of his co-workers who said he needed attention.  He was sent from the clinic to the nearest hospital for a CAT Scan.  They said it looked OK, so shuffled him off with the 5 staples from the clinic in the back of his head and a large, foam-bandaged left hand (we don’t know ….).

He made it to work, but the phone rang and it was the hospital telling him they’d shown his Scan to someone smarter who wanted to send him post haste to another hospital with smarter and perhaps more plentiful neurologists after detecting a small leak into the cranium.  Not sure why they stuck those staples in – would have been easier to keep things flowing out rather than in, I thought, but then I’m not a doctor. Doctors at the secon hospital insisted on removing the foam hand bandage, and said that the loss of a couple of layers of skin wasn’t dire, and he’d heal.  When he protested not having it bandaged and said it hurt when he washed his hands, they told him to use a band aid.  Their concern was internal bleeding in the brain, and so he was placed in an observation room with a camera and not permitted food or drink (in case that had to drill in) or any trips to the bathroom.  By the time he called Happy Bean, it was late in the day, and she could tell by his reluctance to provide a lot of details that he was not pleased with his situation, though he didn’t complain.  Probably just embarrassed.

With things being rather up in the air, Happy Bean RSVP’d that she wouldn’t make it to this month’s doll club meeting on Thursday.  Fortunately, Mr. Happy was discharged and allowed to go home on Tuesday afternoon with the doctors’ blessings, once he had proven his agility and stability when navigating the hallways under supervision.  Auntie Glenda boarded a plane in Washington State, but Grandma Norma passed away late Wednesday evening before Auntie’s arrival.  Grandma donated her body to science, and her Memorial service was set for Friday at 2:00 in Mt. Nebo, WV.  Auntie Glenda will miss her greatly.

So here’s the family’s bit of dark humor.  Happy has always said that, here alone in the Richmond house with skinny, circular, and very steep and dangerous basement steps, she could easily slip and end up at the bottom (just like Mr. Happy) for who knows how long before anyone missed or found her.  So Mr. Happy has now proven this to be a real possibility.  She is not going to stop reminding him of this until he finally retires and they live in the same house again.  Life is short – they need keepers.

Don’t we all?




Didja miss me?

Although I wasn’t posting to facebook, I was posting now and then to my WordPress blog site,  If you want to check out what was going on while I was away, you should look there.

It’s pretty quiet here.  Smidge is off on vacation with her friend Voir de Wizzy who lives in Minnesota.  I think it’s cold and snowy there (current temp: 16 degrees).  We think it’s cold in Virginia when the day time temps are below 40 (current temp: 38 degrees).  Sounds like time for some cocoa.

Our recent trips to Myrtle Beach, SC for the week of Thanksgiving with all the family and the second week in Winslow, AR with all the carving buddies were great.  We are tired, but getting fired up for Krissmiss decorating, baking, and eating…specially the last bit.  Got to eat what you bake, right?

Lots of online shopping, a bit of work, laundry from the trips, and waiting for the inspectors for the generator….it fills our lives.

Next week, it’s on with the show as usual, folks.  I’ve missed you all.  Snip