Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Onward to the New Year

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

My oldest son took the above photo down at Zilker Park in Austin. The city has put up this tree of lights for as long as we've lived here, probably longer. When my kids were little, my husband and I would take them down to the park and we'd stand underneath and twirl.

When my son sent this photo he took this past Christmas season, I recalled those nights of twirling with my little boys. Those recollections brought me joy and I closed my eyes and whirled in my mind, the events of the past year swirling with me.
After a year of extreme highs and lows, I welcome the new year in hope of a steadier stream of events.

Alas, rather than further lament over how to write my first post of the year, I've decided to "butt in chair" and type away. If this lands all over the place, so it goes. The new year has arrived; I'm happy about it.

Of course, I don't know if life this year will accommodate a level stream, but I can hope.

This morning, I have the house to myself. No teaching job today. Middle son and husband off at work. Youngest son safely ensconced in his dorm room at the University of Alabama after sliding in between the South's snow storm and freezing cold. He left yesterday morning at 5:30 taking the southern route through Baton Rouge and arrived in Tuscaloosa in 12 hours. Proud of that boy doing that all by himself.

Seems odd to have him gone again although I didn't see him much while home. He worked landscape and made his money for books and expenses this next semester. Had a good lesson on how if he were to depend on that income to live, he'd have to give up certain things like electricity, entertainment, and food. (Great fodder for school success.)

Middle son currently living at home substitute teaching in the day and painting the YMCA at night. Decided that working on a for profit trophy deer hunting ranch argued with his sense of wildlife preservation and conservation. Eagerly pursuing a wildlife job anywhere in the country, but employed in the meantime.

Still his presence here means my husband and I are not empty nesters. That transition has been put on the back burner. We still can't run around naked.

But today, no one is home and I won't tell you what I'm wearing. Instead, I'll begin my first blog of this wonderful new year with some photos from our holiday. Get this first one going and hopefully the ideas and words for getting back on track will arrive.

The Christmas card I sent this year, ala A Christmas Story. I want that lamp.
The other card I sent.
One of my favorites that I received.
The mushroom crab cakes I made up. No recipe, but to die for.
My granddog getting intimate with our splurge for dinner.
The dinner table filled with Swedish meatballs and potato sausage, lefsa, cucumber salad, and the lobster. A white dinner.
Me with the kids. Husband had to take the picture.
Chelsea's new socks.

Happy New Year everybody. I'd like to share my list for the new year, but, I don't have one. However, do cheer for the Green Bay Packers Saturday night. Go Pack!


  1. I, too, hope that 2011 is a more "level" year for you.

    I LOVE the Christmas card that you sent. Wherever did you find it? Our family loves A Christmas Story and we even have a smaller version of the leg lamp that we put out with our Christmas decorations. I bought it two years ago at Rite Aid (a local drug store) in an after Christmas sale. I bet you could find one online.

  2. Thanks for sharing the pictures; always a pleasure to get a visual into your life. :)

    You sound peaceful as you enter the new year - and that's a good thing! May it continue for you and your family.

  3. You are blessed with a lovely family even though they are now in the throws of coming and going and their lives will get more chaotic as they become full-fledged adults.

  4. Hope the year is everything you want it to have a fine family and look very happy in the photo with the kids!

  5. Looks like you had a lovely Christmas! Love the pics and your Christmas dinner sounds fab! Wishing you a wonderful New Year, cher! Cheers!

  6. I was just wondering about you the other day...and here you post...happy to see that you are still have such a beautiful family...I understand all too well the interruption of plans and unexpected changes...I really hope that 2011 is a good year for you and your family and that your wish for things to level out comes's to 2011 being a year of new beginnings. XX

  7. You have a beautiful family and that dog is a hoot. Wishing you and yours a very happy 2011

  8. Happy New Year Julie, love your photos and I`ll wager your meal was delicious.
    So good hearing from you, hope your mom is doing well....:-)Hugs

  9. "Butt in chair" seems to have worked for you, quite well.

  10. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Did the lobster scare the dog?

  11. Recipe for crab cakes, puleeeese :).

  12. Good thing that lobster had banded claws! Looks like a lovely family holiday. And good on your middle son for sticking to his principles.

  13. A.) Tell me when you guys DO run around naked so that I'm sure not to drop by with fabric scraps for the quilter ladies, and
    B.) where can I buy those Christmas Story cards for next year ... or the adorable benches one. And,

    C.) that's a fine lookin' bunch you got there. You are blessed!

    Happy New Year to you. (You just may have inspired me to post a little sumthun on my abandoned blog. Last post was Sept.!!!

  14. Yup, 'butt in chair' is the most important move to make. Also known as 'bum glue'.

    Good to see you again, Julie. Great photo of your group, with evidence of much affection. I like your boy's decision to stick with his principles.

  15. Happy new year. Glad you had a nice day of peace and quiet... and I wish you good luck in being able to run around naked soon!

  16. Ah - but you CAN have that lamp - as Pam said, it is available online. I bought a full sized one for my Dad for X-Mas several years back and it even came in a FRAGI-LE box :0)

    You could even put Chelsea's new socks on it - haha.

  17. A belated Happy Christmas and Merry New Year to you. I think many of us could use a more 'level' year.

    When I saw that card I thought it was your house and I was so jealous! And I have seen the leg lamp of which Pam boasts. It's pretty cute.

  18. It's so great to see you back here. I'm looking forward to seeing what adventures the new year brings for you - this is your year to at least begin to find your path toward publication, don't you think? Anything I can do to help, I'm here.

  19. I love the quote by T.S. Eliot!

    Thank you dear.

  20. Love the post and the photos/cards --

    And GMR's daughter gave us a "Christmast Story" lamp! *laughing* -- it's not as big as the one in the movie (LOVE that movie) but it's workable and has real fishnet stockings on it! *laughing!* We have a nightlight we use at christmas that looks like the lamp too -teehehehe

  21. I totally want that lamp from a Christmas Story too! Though, I'd be too embarrassed to put it in the front window - LOL! Happy new year!

  22. Ah, lefsa! You can't take the Midwest out of the girl, can you?

    Lovely first post of the year--I'm looking forward to more and more reading. Oh, and good for middle son getting away from work that didn't suit!

  23. You did have a successful year. You've been raising responsible working adult children. That's no easy task these days.

    I'm dying for those mushroom crab cakes!

    Wishing you a "level" year. Wishing us all a "level" year.

  24. You had lovely cards. I never did send any - and seem to have received even less this year. Oh well. You have a beautiful family and I envy you time with your boy still home. I love being around my girls, although we do have a time limit...

    Have a great new year - hoping all goes well with the jobs, family, health.

  25. Love the photo of you and sons and daughter in law. Bet the dinner was fab. We used to have lobster on Christmas Eve or other occasions with some friends who taught us to stroke the lobster down its tail and it puts it to sleep and then you drop it in the boiling water...

  26. Loved the pictures. Dog vs Lobster was my favorite :)

    Thank you for the kind comment, it sure meant a lot!
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow


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