Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Welcome 2014 - December 31, 2013

Welcome 2014

Perhaps I am imagining it,
But the year went awfully fast,
With the dawn of each new day,
I try new things to make them last!

My face has a few more wrinkles,
Though I am ever on my guard
With Olay and jars of potions,
A youthful look is not so hard.

I’ve found it helps to laugh a lot,
And to surround oneself with friends,
And, for me, the joy of travel,
Helps me deal with all life sends.

Of course, I have an ache or pain,
Acquired in all these years,
But it lets me know that I’m alive,
And I don’t give in to fears.

I see the glass as halfway full,
Or I grab another fast,
For whatever life is left to me,
I plan to have a blast.

I’ve seen the new year come and go,
Both home and far away,
And I thank my God and all the world’s,
For the part I’ve had to play.

So, wherever you may be, dear ones,
May the year to come be blessed,
With all the love and happiness,
That humans can possess.

Carmen Henesy
Copyright December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

No Coal in My Stocking But a Flare Up of Kidney Stones - December 3013.

I spent the last two Christmases in far off India so I was looking forward to a 
change of pace and sharing the holiday with my bouncing, cheerful 
granddaughter, Harper Ann.  While all three of my sons would not be gathered
for the occasion ( Shawn, the oldest, is on Air Force duty in Kuwait ), Jeremy,
my youngest, drove up from San Francisco and we had a special Christmas
eve dinner at Laura and Alex's.  Harper Ann, of course, was the star of the
evening in her "waiting up for Santa" pajamas - though she was snug in bed
about 9PM.

I added a "baby's first Christmas ornament" with Harper's name on it to the 
tree which smelled wonderfully but was fast losing it's needles.  At 8-1/2-months,
Harper was easily diverted from the gifts by a shiny red bag filled with gold paper 
which kept her amused, no matter how often she reached for it.

Needless to say, with my three sons, football is going to be part of this young lady's
life.  Here she is sporting the San Francisco Forty Niners hat her Uncle Jer gave
to Laura.  Nicest of all is that Uncle Jer won the fantasy football pool this season
and donated it to start Harper's college fund.  I can't imagine what college will 
cost when she is a freshman.

Slowly but surely, there is a little bit of hair sprouting on that head.  She has bright
blue eyes and, for the most part, she's cheerful and happy - HOWEVER, Harper
can certainly exercise her lungs and let you know when she is displeased.

I just couldn't resist this little outfit - though she only got one day's wear out of
it.  After all, there is just one FIRST Christmas in a granddaughter's life.  I am so
glad I was home for the occasion.

Much to my dismay, however, early in the wee small hours of Christmas day, as
Santa was still soaring over the tree tops, I'm sure, I woke up with the first twinges 
of right flank pain.  They kept increasing in severity and, even after medication 
and drinking a couple of gallons of water, I knew I was in for a bout of renal colic.
I've had kidney stones for about fifteen years, have had lithotripsy twice withour
success, and have learned to live with them, for the most part.  If I stay adequately
hydrated, I'm usually fine but I guess I had been remiss with my water intake.  

For most of Christmas day and the next, I stayed in bed, missing most of the
festivities.  I did, however, manage to get up long enough for unwrapping of 
gifts and enjoying watching Harper Ann tear into the paper, ribbons and nibble
on all the gift tags.  While the rest of the family went off for Christmas dinner,
I stayed home with the granddogs and thanked my lucky stars I, at least, 
didn't have to head to the emergency room.

"Unlce Jer - sometime I call him Uncle J - says he is going to teach me all the
important  things like how to crab and fish and shoot a gun.  I ike it because he
reads to me from the Spanish books my mom buys.  He speaks Spanish
better than Dad or Nana."

"I know Nana was glad to have a granddaughter...she tells me that all the time.
I think she is worn out from having three sons.  Besides, I can wear cute clothes
like purple hats.  I like all my presents but I really liked chewing on the tags."

"Nana REALLY does take a lot of pictures...not just of me but of everything."

"Ohhhh, I knew this was a Spanish book - "El Camioncita Azul" or something
like that - because Mom said Uncle J had to read it to me.  Nana said that,
someday, he will take me to Barcelona, one of her favorite cities or, maybe,
even to Cuba!"

Well, that was my Christmas.  I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and that
it did NOT include coal or kidney stones.

Blessings and may 2014 be filled with love, properity, happiness and peace.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Camera Critters #299 - Harper Ann with Taffy and Bucky - December 28, 2013

I must confess that I had misgivings when, long ago, Laura and Alex brought
Taffy home from the local shelter.  Within two months, Bucky had also been
added to the household.  I was anxious, to say the least, because both had
pit bull genes.  That was several years ago, before the April 14th, 2013 arrival
of my darling granddaughter, Harper Ann.  

Since joining the family, my two granddogs have been loving, wonderful
additions.  They took the arrival of a squirming little human creature with 
amazing delight.  Taffy, especially, the female ( both dogs were neutered
at the shelter ), has been so maternal, hovering nearby at every squeal and
cry though Bucky is never far off.

Of course, Harper Ann is never left alone with the dogs but she clearly loves
them - and vice versa.  She tugs at coats, ears and tails and they just lie
quietly and tolerantly.  Her first case of "puppy love" came the day she arrived
home from the hospital.

I am participating in 

Post your critter shot and join in the fun.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Skywatch Friday - Sacramento Sunset - December 17, 2013

I decided to drive around last evening to look at some of the Christmas displays.
Nothing however, rivaled, that put on by nature.  It was so spectacular, I had to
pull off the road and get out, camera in hand, to snap a few pictures.  Wish I had
been near the ocean!

I stayed, watching this incredible display, till darkness settled.

I am participating in 

Add your sky photo and join in the fun.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy 43rd Birthday, Shawn - December 17, 2013

Well, my dear first born, it seems like we are missing each other on many of
life's important occasions.  You missed Alex and Laura's wedding by about a
week because you were pulling Air Force duty in Germany.  At least, when Harper 
Ann was born, all of us were there, camping out in Laura's "birthing room".  I will, 
forever, cherish that photo of you, Alex, and Jeremy, my three sons, camped out, 
awaiting the arrival of that precious little girl.  

Your two younger brothers tower over you by about six inches but you never let them 
forget who is boss - and, rightly so, since, for much of their lives, you played both
the father, as well as big brother role.  I could not have managed without you.

It's kind of sad that, this year, with me home for Christmas, Uncle Sam has you in
Kuwait!!  Oh, well, that's life.  We will really be missing you at the festivities and 
we are certainly thinking about you today on your 43rd birthday.

I didn't have time to go through storage to find baby pictures of you and, sadly,
in last year's computer demise in India, many that I had were lost.  I found a few
that I am including from recent years here.  You always did say I was death on
computers but I think the last was because of all the summer power outages
during Jaipur's monsoon season.

Even though you've always said you'll never marry and have children - "I've 
already raised two sons ( in reference to Alex and Jeremy ), I think you look quite
fatherly in this short with your niece, Harper.

You may not remember this shot but it was taken a few years ago when Alex was
down and brought the dogs to visit.  You were tormenting Bucky with your guitar
playing.  For some reason, in his opinion, music did NOT soothe the savage beast
and he did not stop barking till you stopped playing.

Just to make you homesick in far away Kuwait, here is a photo from Christmas
2010, before I started making my trips to India ( forty pounds ago!! ) and pre-
Harper.  We'll drink a toast to you this holiday and celebrate when you get back
( though I will probably be in India again - but not for six months this time.

Be safe, son.  I am blessed to have you and your two wonderful brothers.  We are lucky
that Alex chose Laura and now we have the most precious baby in our family.
What a special 43rd birthday for you and a wonderful Christmas for our family.

I love you!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Out of Touch for Awhile - December 15, 2013

I've been home nearly two weeks already but have not managed to find time to sit
down at this computer!  I've been making the rounds of doctors ( got my hip
injected - amazingly successful this time, knock on wood - just hope I'll have some
relief for a few months ).  Also, saw my dermatologist who "froze" the tiny
area on my nose that was a precancerous lesion.

Spent some quality time with dear friends and got to see some musical
favorites perform - Sony and Jerry Holland at the J. W. Marriott in San Francisco
and Margie Baker at her usual Sunday venue at the Burlingame Hyatt.  If you
haven't seen either, you should give yourselves a really wonderful Christmas
gift and spend a few hours enjoying both!!!

I finally got up to West Sacramento on December 8th and I've been totally
enchanted by my precious little granddaughter, Harper Ann Vukasinovic.  She
already has me wrapped around her little finger.  I am really impressed with
what wonderful parents my son, Alex, and his wife, Laura, are.  The household,
Taffy and Bucky included, is so loving and happy.

You can barely see her two little bottom teeth peeping through

Here she's wearing one of her Christmas outfits..and Taffy is nearby,
as always!  I bought her one for Christmas Eve that says,
"Waiting Up for Santa"

Harper is almost 20 lbs now - and still getting boobie 
milk but Laura makes fresh baby food for her...favorites
are pears, applesauce, yams, carrots.

She babbles and plays happily for long periods with
her doggie baby sitters near her and Nana and mom
working across the room, cooking.

One of her favorite spots is the laundry basket!!!

Bucky lets Harper pull ears, tail...whatever, without complaint!

I couldn't believe how quickly this cute little bug and I bonded.  I am really going
to miss her when I take off January 8th for my three week jaunt around the South.
I do plan to return to India, too, in June...but only for three months this time.  I
can't imagine missing too many months of my granddaughter's life.