Year-end Wrap-up…2014

It’s been a great year here at Sonnystone Acres.  Looking back is always bittersweet, counting our losses as well as our blessings.  I have chosen to only blog the Good parts of my life.  Don’t think I don’t have bad times, as well.  I just choose to not give power to trouble  Of course, it takes a lotlotlot of prayer to keep my thoughts under control.  I hope that my writing has helped you, dear readers, to reflect on your Good Life and that you will always have strength to overcome any fears that arise.

In January, I started Yoga…  It didn’t take, though.  We were interminably frozen, and it did help keep me warm…


until February, when I feasted on infused vodkas every Friday.  That took…


March found me welcoming Spring in NYC…definitely thawing, though a pinched nerve in my butt nearly stole my joy.




While I was in NYC, Casey remodeled our entryway/bedroom…life-changing…

In late April, I underwent surgery;  a giant ovarian cyst, as well as my ovaries and a lot of adhesions, came out.  I’ve been feeling much better ever since.



I spent most of May recovering, but got back to school in time to tell my graduates hasta la vista.


June was spent screening in the front porch…another life-changer for the property…



A tradition is born… In July we hosted the first Annual Camp Sonnystone…


In August, we went back to school and I worked 7-days-a-week- there and at the track.


By September, I was dragging ass, so what better time to pull out all my junk and have a rummage sale?

ready to go

ready to go

October is all about pumpkins…


and we topped it off with a daytrip to Nashville, IN…


I made it through November without once looking at TV news coverage!  My Peace deepened and my gratitude grew.



December was over-the-top:  Surprise birthday party for daughter’s #40;


Rockettes times two and visiting Santa with the sweetest girls in my world…

Topped off by a Quiet Walk in the Smoky Mountains on Christmas Day…

I’ve got the hoppin’ john cooking, the champagne chilling, the music playing, ready for tonight’s festivities.  I’ll toast in the New Year early, since we never make it to midnight, and look forward…

Peace, brothers and sisters…


My grandmother, Dad’s mom, would have been 106 today.  I wish I had thought to prepare a blog tribute, but instead I’ve only thought about her all day and listened to music that evoked her style, and reminds me of her.

She was The Greatest…and I’m not exaggerating, kids, she was really good…The Most Great Stride piano player.  One of the songs that I associate most with her style was called “Runnin’ Wild” and it used to be rather difficult to find.  Thanks to the you tubes, I can share this with you.

Watch these folks’ left hand, back and forth, and fast:  That’s Stride…  She was a lefty and that gave her the extra strength she needed to pound it out.  Barely brushing 5-feet tall, she bounced from one end of the piano bench to the other as she used up the entire keyboard.  What takes two artists in this video, she did all by her little self.

It’s a great song and so was she.  Wishing she were here to play it for me… (okay, she would be reallly old, but you know what I mean)



I have that horrible cold that Casey brought home…  Whining about my headache, the snot flowing freely from one nostril as the other is plugged with tissue, I’ve spent the last day on the couch.  Casey’s snoring was sooo bad last night, that I quickly surrendered the bed to him.

I wouldn’t want anyone to catch this affliction, so I’m glad we’ve already taken care of the Other People this season. Which reminds me:  I had a wonderful, laugh-filled lunch with my sister on Monday (before the cold got bad) and I promised I’d share a photo with you.


Sisters…sisters….there were never such devoted sisters….

Because I called in sick yesterday, I’ve got to brave the Christmas Eve traffic for groceries and last-minute gifts for Casey. (I hope I convinced him that we weren’t getting anything for each other this year…you know, like I have for the last 36**)  I’ve got a pork roast in the crockpot, cooking down into some BBQ for tonight’s dinner.  I’m going to make another batch of snickerdoodles to eat on the drive to the Smoky Mountains in the morning.  No rhinovirus can stop our holiday…I think…

I hope you’re enjoying your Christmas Eve celebrations, dear friends.   Peace on Earth.  

**He has convinced me, for many years, that he really didn’t get me anything.  It takes me a while to catch on to his little tricks, but this year I will have something for him.




Christmas with the Jrs.

We packed Michael, Jess, and Olivia into the Caravan around 7:30am Saturday morning.  By 10:30, we were standing in line at the Delta Riverboat landing in Opryland Hotel.   The hotel is a giant conglomeration of atriums, with gardens, fountains, and riverways that ooh! and aah! the most jaded visitor.  Restaurants and shops dot the walkways that meander through the building and every stop is a drag on your wallet, so beware!  Opting out of the $16 hamburgers, we ate at Stax and filled our little guts full.  After a side-trip to meet Santa and the Mrs., we wandered awhile before walking the couple of blocks to The Opry House for the Rockettes…

I’ve never been to The Opry House before and I was mightily impressed.  The effort to keep the ambiance of the original Ryman is appreciated with the pews and the wonderful lights above the top mezzanine.  The outside porticos look like a great place to party.

Comparisons between the venue and Radio City Music Hall are inevitable, but seriously unfair.  The Music Hall is a huge, unique place with a monster stage that moves into three sections, an orchestra pit the size of my house, and art deco interiors that make you feel like you’ve stepped into the jazz age.

The NYC rockettes number 36, and the Nashville company has 18 on-stage, which illustrates how much smaller the stage area is.  There is no orchestra pit, and the decor is decidedly, plainly, country.  Since there’s no orchestra, the music is what I call karaoke’d into the sound system, and the lip-syncing is a bit obvious.  The voice of Santa is Exactly the same as the Voice in New York, I swear.  I don’t think he was lip-syncing, though, so how did that happen?    The program is actually longer, with a 15-minute intermission, and a much longer Christmas section to please the Bible Belters.  The first half is the same as NYC, in different order, including the same 3D trip into NYC.  The trip to the North Pole is the same, but they added a veryvery boring dance sequence about snow…zZzzZ…before going into the Nativity scene.  They preached some, and when they played the Hallelujah Chorus, nobody stood (except me and a half-dozen others).   Our seats were Great, first row of balcony, and Olivia was mesmerized by the up-front view of the dancing.

The Opry House strictly forbade photography…go figure…

I’ll deliver presents to my sister tomorrow at our annual Christmas luncheon, always good chance for some photo-ops, so I’ll check back in to keep you apprised of the ongoing celebrations.

I hope you’re having a ton of fun, too!

Surprise Week-end in NYC

Our daughter, Melissa, turns 40 on December 20.  Her husband, Eric, and I started planning a surprise party for her several months ago.  He did all the work, really, but I had to keep the secret…   It was a complete success, I’m here to tell ya, and her first remark to me after everybody yelled “surprise” was:  You usually can’t keep a secret.

But I did!!!   Let me show you…



Melissa has always made the very nicest friends, and her NYC family is the best.  The treat of the evening was the presence of two of our Evansville peeps, the Carnahan Sisters, who flew in for the occasion. It was a great party…

It was a quick trip, but we packed it full.  Any time I’m with the grandkids, there is always Love.  Just hanging out with Emma and Eliza fills my heart.



But, hey, it’s New York City…   It’s been a tradition to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular since Emma was a sprout, and the City is such a nice backdrop for Festive Pictures…

As if all of that weren’t enough, we had breakfast with Santa after Sunday Mass.

The breakfast was given by the school that the girls attend and they had lots of baskets to raffle.  Casey got lucky and won one that will supply the kids with books for a while—the cherry on the sundae.

We flew back home without incident, collapsed and returned to work today.  I meant to post this much, much earlier, but back to work involved actual work and I had to have my nap….

We’re going to Nashville, TN this week-end to see the Rockettes with our Eville grand-daughter.  Till then…

baubles, ornaments, and knickknacks…

We found 3 new sets of Mr&Mrs in New Harmony, bringing our total to 18, not including the large animated figures.

Just a picture post…