Remember the Hug Lady that I posted about here? Sadly, she passed away on Christmas Eve. I guess God decided there should be more hugs in Heaven. I do hope that she will be honored posthumously.
Please pray for folks in the Dallas area...so much destruction, injuries and deaths due to the tornadoes last night. It was 84 here yesterday and when the cold front passed through, the tornadoes and flash flooding began. We're ok in this area, DFW, and so grateful! Unbelievable weather for the Christmas season! We've been in the 70's all week. A blizzard and snow up to 24" is forecast for the Panhandle and rain most everywhere else. Yes, typical Texas weather ~ you never know what's next!
This Christmas season has not been a "normal" one for me. I haven't decorated as much, baked as much or sent many cards. I decided that was all ok and gave myself a pass! I also decided that I would focus on the real reason for the season and not fret over all the fluff.
I do want to say "Thank you!" to everyone that stops here and especially to those that take the time to leave comments. Wishing everyone a safe, fun, joyful and blessed Merry Christmas! Share love and laughter with your family and friends. Don't take a moment for granted!
I am so grateful to share the good news with you! Brandye has been moved to a nearby rehab center and is doing beautifully!! My daughter and I went to visit her yesterday ~ just so exciting. I've always known that God can do what Drs can't and she is a perfect example of His grace and healing. All of your prayers were heard! In our hearts, we know they are but when you see a true miracle it's almost overwhelming joy.
The trach was removed prior to her leaving the hospital of course. She's eating, talking, laughing and working hard on therapy. As her hair grows more, the scars from the surgeries won't be visible. She still has some paralysis on the right side, however, it is diminishing almost daily. Her long term memory is perfect...a bit of difficulty with short term. I really don't know many people that have perfect short term memory! :) I used to be so good at remembering people's names when introduced, now not so much. I can walk in a room and then wonder why and what was I going to do. :)
At times she might have a bit of difficulty with a word, however, she backs up and is able to express it. She is in super joyful spirits and has such a determination to heal and move forward. At times the physical therapist will want to cut the exercise short...Brandye says a firm "No!" If it's supposed to be 20 minutes then no one is going to cut it to 5. :)
In case you're not aware, she battled breast cancer, 2 surgeries, chemo and radiation since Dec, 2014. She's definitely a fighter and that bodes well with this experience. We don't know what God has in store for her but obviously, there's work for her to do. All the Dr's said it would probably be 2 years for her to improve and be where she is now. They are wonderful in their field, however, God is the great Healer!
I cannot thank you enough for all your prayers, good thoughts and encouragement for her!! I'm a firm believer in that there is great power in collective prayer. I would ask that you continue, if possible, for her complete healing.
Most of you probably know about Diana's husband, John, and his diagnosis of cancer. Nana Diana Takes A Break Blog He is doing better but needs all our prayers and support for this challenge. Of course, please remember her and the entire family also. She does so much for others and this is our chance to do for them.
I hold all active duty as well as veterans close to my heart. They place themselves in harm's way daily to protect US. If you have family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, anyone that is active duty or retired veterans in your area, please acknowledge them and thank them for their service! If you find a way to thank those overseas, do it! :) I've volunteered with Soldiers' Angels
since 2003. There are a jillion ways to help...check it out!
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest. Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep. In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near, But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear. Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow. My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight. A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold. Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear, "Come in this moment, it's freezing out here! Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!" For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right, I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night." "It's my duty to stand at the front of the line, That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me. My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December," Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers." My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam', And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while, But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile. Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, The red, white, and blue... an American flag. I can live through the cold and the being alone, Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat. I can carry the weight of killing another, Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.. Who stand at the front against any and all, To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright, Your family is waiting and I'll be all right." "But isn't there something I can do, at the least, "Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast? It seems all too little for all that you've done, For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, "Just tell us you love us, and never forget. To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone, To stand your own watch, no matter how long. For when we come home, either standing or dead, To know you remember we fought and we bled. Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN 30th Naval Construction Regiment OIC, Logistics Cell One
This amazing lady has gone above and beyond to honor our troops! It's really a wonderful gesture that Jeffrey Wolf and many others want to honor her now. Ft. Hood is here in Central Texas and a huge base. We used to be able to meet the troops at DFW, however, they changed the routing and now most connect via Atlanta. It's one of the most heartwarming experiences ever! If you should have the opportunity, by all means please participate. They are almost overwhelmed by the support! I've been a volunteer with Soldier's Angels since I retired in 2003 and you feel like you can't do enough to support these young people (predominantly) that are living in a sand box, 120+ temps in the summer, not enough to eat, their supplies are lacking and our government is NOT doing enough! Sorry, that's how I feel and what I've seen. They are so appreciative of a card, letter, CARE package, socks, blankets ~ it gets extremely cold in the mountains during the winter. Can you imagine not being able to shop for the bare necessities...especially the products that females require? If you ever feel like you'd like to help support them, there are a jillion and one ways to do so! Just check outthe Soldiers Angels website
Remember, they put themselves in harm's way daily to protect us...
Now...to the original subject matter ~ The Hug Lady!
To the almost 500,000 troops who have met Elizabeth Laird, she is known as the Hug Lady. Since the start of the Iraq war in 2003, Elizabeth has wanted to be sure our troops going off to war knew someone cared for them and was praying for their safe return. She has diligently shown up for almost every flight in and out of Fort Hood to the Middle East. Elizabeth has been doing this for 12 years, and hugged an estimated half a million troops.
I learned about Elizabeth Laird when I came across a fundraiser for her on Facebook. This remarkable woman hasn’t just been there for our troops, she has been battling cancer the past 10 years. Despite being a tough fighter, the cancer is starting to wear Elizabeth down. She was recently in the hospital for 5 days, and has been told she can no longer live alone.
I started this petition to help commemorate Elizabeth Laird’s dedication to our troops. I’m calling on the Department of Defense to name the Fort Hood Deployment center the Elizabeth Laird Deployment Center. It would be a small gesture, but would go a long way toward celebrating this great woman, who represents so much of what makes our country great.
Elizabeth will soon be celebrating her 84th birthday, and I can’t think of a better gift for her. With the love and support Elizabeth has given to the troops passing through the Fort Hood Deployment Center over the years, the least they could do is honor her by renaming the facility. It will help ensure that the great spirit of Elizabeth will be remembered for many years after her last day on earth has come and gone.
Let’s all pull together and make this happen! Please sign and be sure to share this petition with everyone you know. Thanks so much!
I really want to encourage you to follow along with these great ladies of Texas as they open their homes and share their Christmas ideas with you! First stop today is our fearless leader and organizer, Stacey at Poofing the Pillows. Her home is beautiful, warm and welcoming! Unfortunately, I'm not enjoying good health right now and had to drop out. :/ If I were brave, I'd show you all the Christmas "decor" in my living area ~ bags, boxes, you name it! I hoped that Santa would send some of the elves over this weekend to help out but guess they're too busy helping him. You're really going to miss out if you don't visit these Texas homes! You do know that everything is bigger and better in this great state, right? :)
Yes, with God's amazing grace, Brandye did well during the surgery. It was 7 hours ~ can you imagine the neurosurgeon's level of concentration, standing, and performing such an intricate surgery? He advised Kory that he felt really good about it and they would do a CT scan today to make sure there was no more bleeding. If nothing changes, she will be in ICU another week and then to a rehab center. Thanks so very much for all your prayers and good thoughts!! I've always been convinced there is great power in collective prayer and God hears each one.
Thank you so much for your lovely birthday wishes! I so appreciate each one. I met my former sister-in-law for Brunch in Dallas and it was so much fun! We had not seen each other in eons and was so great to try and catch up. It will take a lot more visits to do so! :) I do have to tell you about the Bass Hall event ~ friends gave my daughter tickets to the play/musical, "The Book of Mormon". Neither of us knew anything about it, at all! It's received rave reviews and won a Tony on Broadway. I cannot even express how shocked and disappointed we were! It was the most disgusting, revolting and, IMHO, sacrilegious show ever! Wewalked out. The language was over the top profane, descriptions of bodies inappropriate and overall, we both felt it was so disrespectful to our Lord. We are not prudes or religious fanatics but found this to be appalling. Another thing that bothered me was that there was so much clapping and laughing. Our world continues to change, and in so many cases, not for the better. Just could not deal! This is a reminder that there are still wonderful people in our world ~ sort of a statement that humanity is restored for many.
I would like to request additional prayers for Brandye, the neurosurgeon and other medical team members. The surgery to repair the vessel in her brain is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. (CST) tomorrow. Praying that the surgery is successful and no additional issues occur. She will return to ICU and more testing will continue. Thank you in advance!
Where does the time go? Seems that just the other day I was so excited to greet October. I'm going to Brunch today to celebrate my birthday and to Bass Hall this evening to see "The Book of Mormon". I hope you have a wonderful first day of December!
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Are you still stuffed from eating all the great food? I am...but I'd love more dressing and pumpkin pie! :) I know everyone's in the throes of Christmas now so I wanted to let you know that Stacey at Poofing the Pillows is sponsoring a Christmas tour of homes next week, Dec 7 - 11. You've always heard that Texas is BIG and Texans are proud so this is your chance to visit us and enjoy some Texas hospitality! :) I do hope you'll stop by and visit everyone...I think there are about 20 blogs involved. Thank you, Stacey, for organizing this event!
Want to make a difference with a random act of kindness? Today, Friday, Nov 27, is your day!
One year ago, Travis Thomas from Florida, USA, had a brilliant idea: let's turn Black Friday into RAK Friday and commit as many random acts of kindness as possible. Good news! Hundreds of people joined, turning a simple idea into an annual tradition. We're doing it again, and we need your help.
The Goal: Collectively perform 2,015 random acts of kindness on Nov 27, 2015.
Join: Do an act of kindness on Friday, Nov 27 and post on social media using the hashtag #RAKFriday.
Get started with these 15 RAK ideas:
Smile at 10 strangers.
Surprise a retail cashier with a lottery ticket.
Let someone in front of you in line.
Return shopping carts for other people.
Genuinely thank the store employees.
Bring reusable bags.
Add an item to your shopping cart for someone in need.
Spread the word! Leave a RAK card on commonly visited areas like the: ATM machine, bathroom, employee break room, etc.
High-five and spread cheer to people waiting in a long line.
Leave a coupon and RAK card near the relevant product in the store.
Hold the door open for someone with full hands.
Place positive sticky notes around the store.
Pass out candy canes to strangers.
Place $5 in an envelope. Randomly hand it to someone and include a note inside that says, “Happy RAK Friday! Use this $5 for yourself or, pass it on as an act of kindness for someone else”
Buy a cup of coffee for Salvation Army bell ringers.
Tag! You're It!
Next time you commit a random act of kindness, include a "Tag! You're It!" RAKTag card to encourage the recipient to pass it on.
I love doing RAOK's all the time! Maybe this will make a crazy, frustrating, exhausting kind of day better for everyone. I don't "participate" in the madness of the crowds, etc., but if you do, try this! :)
The Plymouth Pilgrims were the first to celebrate the Thanksgiving.
The Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to reach North America.
They sailed on the ship, which was known by the name of 'Mayflower'.
They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land.
The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621. He invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to the feast.
The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.
Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, popcorn, milk, corn on the cob, and cranberries were not foods present on the first Thanksgiving's feast table.
Lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese are thought to have made up the first Thanksgiving feast.
The pilgrims didn't use forks; they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers.
Thanksgiving Facts throughout History
Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States.
Sarah Josepha Hale, an American magazine editor, persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She is also the author of the popular nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
Abraham Lincoln issued a 'Thanksgiving Proclamation' on third October 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving.
The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1920's.
In 1939, President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23rd, not November 30th, as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season.
Congress to passed a law on December 26, 1941, ensuring that all Americans would celebrate a unified Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to the President. The President does not eat the live turkey. He "pardons" it and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.
Fun Facts about Thanksgiving Today
In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations.
Each year, the average American eats somewhere between 16 - 18 pounds of turkey.
Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.
Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States.
Although, Thanksgiving is widely considered an American holiday, it is also celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, where it is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season.
Fun Turkey Facts
The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.
The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, in stew, chili or soup, casseroles and as a burger.
Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef.
Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity.
Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clucking noise.
Commercially raised turkeys cannot fly.
Turkeys have heart attacks. The United States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier. Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart attacks.
A large group of turkeys is called a flock.
Turkeys have poor night vision.
It takes 75-80 pounds of feed to raise a 30 pound tom turkey.
A 16-week-old turkey is called a fryer. A five to seven month old turkey is called a young roaster.
I'm so excited to tell you that Brandye is awake!!!! Now I have no idea for how long but they are doing what is called "sedation vacations" ~ lessening the sedation meds for short periods of time. They removed the sensor which was monitoring the pressure in her brain and skull. They removed the ventilator and did a tracheotomy. This allowed her to be calmer and hopefully avoiding some of the coughing brought on by so much equipment in her mouth. The coughing increased the pressure in her brain and that, of course, was not wanted. She has responded somewhat to a few commands and smiled when Kory talked about the dogs. CT scans are done periodically and another angiogram is planned for after Thanksgiving. Once the blood in the brain is reabsorbed, they will do another surgery to repair the blood vessel.
There's no way to adequately thank each of you for all the prayers, good thoughts and well wishes for her! If you're so inclined, please continue. This is going to be a very long road to travel for her and Kory. I always say there is great power in collective prayer!
This is a precious video I saw on Facebook and just had toshare ~ :) Did you know that Barbies can really be mean to little girls? Poor Sophie got in troublefor painting Barbie with her nail polish because Barbie told her to!
We had quite a storm move through this area around 3:30 this morning. Lots of trees uprooted, fences blown down, roofs damaged and a couple of 18 wheelers overturned. Sirens, wind and rain kept me awake for awhile. We're very fortunate that there was no damage here. Now we have bright sunshine and cooler temps! You just never know what you'll get weather wise in Texas ~ :)
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There is so much strife going on in the world right now...so very sad. Many threats against the U.S., and Washington, D.C. appears to be a target now. I'll never be able to wrap my head around killing innocent people...just horrid! Don't you wish we could sprinkle glitter, sparkly bits and LOVE all over the world?
I suggest paying it forward...performing RAOK's, keeping the prayers going and focusing on the positive!
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My daughter and I were able to see Brandye for a bit on Sunday. We talked to her and hoping that, on some level, she heard us. I'd like to thank each one of you that left comments, good thoughts and prayers for her. I've had problems with my email the past few days and haven't been able to personally thank all of you!
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Thought I'd share a couple of things I found at Michaels Everyone's mad for plaid right now ~ how about chargers for your holiday table?
I thought the Reindeer charger was interesting and adds a masculine touch. The background is like burlap ~
I really need to get off the computer and get busy! :) Hope you're having a wonder*filled day!
A sweet friend and an amazing young lady needs our prayers in a major way. She underwent surgeries, chemo and radiation all last year for the dreaded "C" word. She's been feeling better and working some. Last Friday she was having lunch with a friend and suffered a major brain hemorrhage. She was rushed to a local hospital and they elected to Care Flite her to a hospital in Dallas. They performed surgery and she's in ICU, unconscious and there is some paralysis.
Tests are continuing...another surgery will be required in a few weeks. They are not sure about possible brain damage or what the future holds. I do know that Drs are not all knowing but our Lord is. He performs miracles daily!
If you're not a person that prays, would you consider sending good thoughts, positive energy, burn candles, whatever your choice might be. Please remember her husband too! He needs strength during this trial. They don't have children but do have 4 precious dogs. :)
I know that many of you are thinking of Christmas and all it entails. I love the holiday ~ just too early for me to think of decorating already. :) Seethis!
I do agree about shopping though! IF you don't have yours completed, here are a few of my favorite things ~ as Oprah says. This list is much smaller and much, much less expensive! All are available on Amazon,even the last item.
This book is one of my favorites!
Who is on God’s “guest list” for your life . . . and why? The answers may surprise you.
Through touching true stories and inspiring insight Debbie Macomber takes readers on a journey to discover the shaping influence others have on us and the power we have to shape and influence those whose paths cross ours.
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I love, love the group, "Pink Martini" ! This is one of their older compilations but it's wonderful for Christmas!
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Seems one of the most popular Nude Palettes is by Urban Decay. Yes, they're wonderful but very expensive too! I like to try too many different make-up items to spend a lot on one...unless it's proven itself over time. There are new ones out now by L'Oreal and these by Maybelline...much less costly!
Each Apricot Pecan Cake is the perfect balance of native pecans (27% pecans), shelled here in Corsicana, Texas and the bountiful harvest of Australian apricots.
Does anyone make or eat Fruit Cakes now? :) This cake is very different and absolutely delicious! Apricots and pecans? How can you go wrong? And for those not in Texas, we say "pah cahns", not "pee cans". I hate it when those on the cooking shows say the latter! Check out their website ~ so many items including cheesecakes, pies, pound cakes...you name it! These are wonderful for your holiday entertaining as well as shipping gifts. ** Just want to say that I'm not being compensated by Amazon or Collin Street Bakery. These are some of my favorites and my opinion.
Work like you don't need the money, Sing like no one can hear you, Live like it's Heaven on earth, Love like you've never been hurt and Dance like no one's watching!
"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." ~ Joseph Campbell
"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to make."~ John Burroughs
"Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted ~ a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul." ~ Harold Kushner
"May the Lord bless you and keep you and...give you peace."
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."