I am only here today thanks to the patience and love of a lot of amazing mothers. (Mine especially, but also a lot of grandmothers, god mothers, adopted mothers, and honorary mothers.) I am grateful for them every day, but today I send extra love to those who have lost a mother, those who are estranged, those who have lost a child, and those who long to be a mother. Today is a day of celebration and thanks, but also a day of difficulty for many. I hope you hold yourself gently today. Know that I am grateful that your mother gave us you.
I had a fever for several days…don’t like!
Then it was story time…like a lot!
How Kris & Mattie spent Friday night!
Nina getting some daddy love…
Harley giggling at daddy’s…
Saturday night fun with Dee…campfire.
Brenner had a birthday this week!
Love is in the air…
Silvie is sweet and cute as ever… (I think I see some hair!)
Mom & Dad left this morning and arrived safely in Matthews, N.C. They will be there a few days and then headed for their winter retreat at the condo!
Kris is having her surgery tomorrow- Prayers are always nice (as well as a card, might not be able to talk much). Mom & Dad are there to help with recovery.
Surgery went well- got to go home the same day. Half the thyroid and two nodules removed, biopsied and all is well. Today a little sore and swollen but being well taken care of.
Linda went back to the doctor Friday- it’s official- she is done working! We may be poor but we are happy!
One our walks we take pictures- caught this one just right…
What’s up with you?
There have been suggestions, ideas, and conversation on Christmas next year. I wanted to offer a few suggestions that I hope may add a renewed spirit to our holidays. I think money issues and shipping costs have added to the idea of doing away with gifts for the adults, However, I think if we eliminate this tradition we will lose a lot of the Christmas spirit. (Not so much for the getting of a gift, but the excitement we all feel of giving.)
I would like to see us all attend Mom and Dad’s on Christmas day, but perhaps we can have it a little later in the day. This allows us all to enjoy more of our Christmas morning with our own families and yet celebrate with each other as well. I also find I do not get hungry at 1 pm as we have a Christmas morning breakfast at our home. I would like to see us move to a more informal dinner and move to appetizers or a later repast of soup and bread and things we can all contribute to. This takes a lot of the work and cost off Mom. We do a Christmas Eve dinner of clam chowder, or fish chowder, homemade bread, and an antipasto, but I would be willing to do something else on Christmas Eve for after mass enjoyment. Maybe we can all take turns bringing the main dish, dessert, libation, (wine or a yummy holiday drink like eggnog martinis.) Kay and Bob do great Christmas cookies so maybe they can bring those as dessert. Maybe the Culver’s can bring an antipasto or a shrimp platter etc. There are lots of yummy appetizer recipes that should be easy ones to whip up. All we need to do is coordinate with Mom and maybe this becomes our gifts to each other. For those who are not able to come home we need to find less expensive ideas for them to help with shipping costs. A lot of us have annual gifts we give every year, so maybe we can continue this but maybe add fun twists to our gifts like your gift has to fit in a mason jar!! (Any size mason!) (This would not work for Lala and Beth and Dee….hmmmm)
The day after Christmas has fallen by the wayside the past couple years and it is one I look so forward to. Most of us have outgrown the after Xmas. sales but we can still have lunch together at Biaggi’s. Let’s set a time to meet and if you want to shop just meet the gang at a reserved time.
My family has done some things the past few years that we enjoy and wish to share with the family. We do an evening to go see Christmas lights. We pack a thermos of hot beverage and enjoy a night of awe-inspiring lights! Syracuse has it’s Lights on the Lake. We could take a few cars, pack some goodies and go see them! We also find a house to go see it’s décor for the holidays. The first year we visited the Biltmore. I am sure we can find a place to visit like Sonnenberg Gardens or maybe we can spend an afternoon in Skaneateles. (Maybe the Eastman House.) I am sure there are other places in our area we can find to visit.
I think we have all gotten too caught up with time issues (or lack there of.) Maybe we need to find the joy in simple things like baking Christmas cookies together and sharing liqueur coffee drinks and Christmas music… or spending time together playing games. Maybe we can start a weekend we shop together and then stop to get a seasonal latte at Starbucks. Please give it some thought and share suggestions to help make it a simpler holiday and less stressed out one. If we look ahead at our calendars maybe it will allow us to peg in priority time for family fun.
Happy Holiday 2016!!
Info on the 2016 USPS Postage Rate Increase
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will implement new postage rates on Sunday, January 17, 2016 for several mail classes and special services.
Summary of the 2016 Postage Rate Increase:
First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.) rates will not increase and will remain $0.49 when purchased at the Post Office. Each additional ounce will cost $0.22 (same as 2015).
The discounted “Metered Mail” category for First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.), which includes online postage providers and postage meters, will not increase and will remain $0.485 in 2016. Each additional ounce will cost $0.22 (same as 2015).
First Class Mail Flats (1 oz.) will not increase and will remain at $0.98 in 2016. Each additional ounce will cost $0.22 (same as 2015).
Postcard rates will not increase and will remain at $0.35 (same as 2015).
Priority Mail Express will see an average rate increase of 15.6% in 2016. Additionally, the Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Box will be discontinued in 2016.
After three years without a shipping rate increase, Priority Mail will see an average rate increase of 9.4% in 2016. Additionally, Priority Mail Regional Rate Box C will be discontinued in 2016.
First Class Package Service will see an average rate increase of 12.8% in 2016. Additionally, the maximum weight for First Class Package Service Commercial Base pricing (online postage) will be increased from 13 ounces to 15.99 ounces. Also, Commercial Plus pricing for First Class Package Service will be eliminated in 2016.
Parcel Select Nonpresort (purchased online) will be renamed to Parcel Select Ground in 2016. Standard Post will be renamed Retail Ground in 2016.
Priority Mail Express International will see an average rate increase of 11.6% in 2016.
Priority Mail International will see an average rate increase of 10.2% in 2016.
First Class Package International Service will see an average rate increase of 21.6% in 2016.
Other USPS News:
Click-N-Ship Pricing: Starting in 2016, Commercial Base Pricing (online discounts) will no longer be available for the Click-N-Ship program for shipping labels printed on USPS.com. All pricing for the Click-N-Ship program will be Post Office/Retail Rates.
The U.S. Postal Service will discontinue the Critical Mail service in 2016.
Silvie- her church dress and Christmas Outfit…
Cobb/DiSanto…second times the charm…homemade noodles and brisket
Kelly & Rob…Christmas full moon and bon fire
Ready for the hospital…tomorrow we have to be at the hospital at 9:00 and her surgery is at 11:30. Doctors debating on how to put her under (nerve block or intubation). Short surgery, block means over night stay but she did well the last time with it…wait and see she may choose to come home. Bear will stay with Ed & Jan and I will stay if she does. She should be home Wednesday. I will call mom with and update. PRAYERS, please!
Update: Didn’t go in till 1:00 p.m. but we were home by 6:00 p.m. Successful surgery- knee appliance is ok (not loose, breaking a part) lots of fluid on the knee which causes pain- drained, all around the cavity is cleaned and they did a Zplaste- lengthen some muscle inside the knee. They cut the muscle so this is what is causing her pain. They have her on two different drugs. Last time she had a Nerve Block so came home with no pain, this time they did general anesthesia – allowed her to come home the same day buy lots more pain. We have made lots of good food and plan to watch many Christmas movies!
Bear taken care of his Mama 2
Birthday dinner at Cascade’s (Linda had to work so we brought dinner to her at the hospital), second night dinner at home, Plaza lights and lights at the National plus my birthday gifts.
Home made dinner- homemade pasta- little fail- clogged machine so used some pasta from Italy- 3 pasta & 3 sauces.
Mimosa’s, Poinsettia, fruit roll ups, making pasta…Yum Yum!
Trying the homemade noodles!
This was definitely a weekend to cheer about!~
Sorry for late posts- the web page (through Go Daddy) was down today. Linda had to work and I ate with Ed & Jan.No pictures.
Thanksgiving at the Scutella’s
Thanksgiving at the DiSanto/Gordan’s- Turkey Trot Run and then ate Turkey…
Kelsey went to homecoming…beautiful!
Kay turned into a smurf…
Farley did it again- wonderful!
Nick’s Shower was a success!
Mattie and Kris decide to go to Paint with a Twist and the highlight of their night was buying a half dozen gourmet cupcakes !!!
Silvie played on the swing, wheeeeee…
I heard Kameron was out all day trying to get a deer- he should have been here- they were in my backyard!
To everyone out there sick…I feel your pain
Wash your hands often, stay hydrated and get lots of sleep (you might even need a croup tent)!
Beginner Walking Workouts
It’s time to start moving! Walking is an excellent form of exercise, especially for beginners or people returning to fitness after a long time off. This introductory walking program will help you build enough endurance to safely and effectively increase the time that you walk over the course of 12 weeks. You can follow this heart-healthy walking program whether you walk on a treadmill, track, or other outdoor venue.
Use the FIT (Frequency, Intensity and Time) Principles for a safe and effective workout!
Frequency: Try the walking workout listed three times each week, ideally with a day off between workoutsto allow your body to recover. If a particular week’s workouts feel too tiring for you, repeat that week again before moving ahead to the next week’s workout.
Intensity: Walk at a brisk—not leisurely—pace. Don’t worry about your actual speed, but do pay attention to your overall intensity, aiming for 4-6 on a scale of 1-10. You’ll find a full explanation of this Intensity Scale (known as RPE) below the workouts.
Time: Try to follow the suggested guidelines to the best of your ability, which means that you’ll walk 2-3 minutes more with each passing week.
And remember, always warm up and cool down. Warming up at a slow pace will help prepare your joints, muscles and heart for exercise. Cooling down will prepare your body to return to a resting state, help prevent musclesoreness, and prevent illness and injury.
An Explanation of Using the RPE Method to Measure Intensity
Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) may be the most versatile method to measure exercise intensity for all age groups. Using this method is simple, because all you have to do is estimate how hard you feel like you’re exerting yourself during exercise. RPE is a good measure of intensity because it is individualized—it’s based on your current fitnesslevel and overall perception of exercise. The scale ranges from 1 to 10, allowing you to rate how you feel physically and mentally at a given intensity level.
An RPE between 5 and 7 is recommended for most adults. This means that at the height of your workout, you should feel you are working “somewhat hard” to “hard.” The guidelines given for this specific workout program are for beginners and therefore reflect a somewhat lower intensity level.
At Southend Food Truck Festival with my best older daughter. Food Freak is Darian, Josh, and Brandon’s food truck featuring stuffed burgers. They made me The Godfather which featured a burger stuffed with pepperoni salami mozzarella cheese and garlic basil aioli. It was naughty but awesome!