I wrote a lot in 2017. Maybe not a lot for some people, but for me, it was a lot. I really stayed on top of getting a blog post out every week. I had a lot of good feedback from people about my writing. …
Month: December 2017
The favorite Christmas ornament.
There is always one. There is. It’s the favorite Christmas ornament. The one that means the most to you. The one that brings back all the memories of the person who gave it to you. The one that is sentimental, special and pretty all at the same time.
My favorite is one my grandma made. We got them from her when we were little kids. I remember they came in a skinny white box with tissue paper. We opened the box and there were four yarn angels. One for each kid. Two with blue eyes and two with brown eyes, like us. Handmade. Handmade with love. The grandma kind of love. The special love. They were made of white yarn and the eyes were a stitch of colored thread. Blue for me. My eyes are blue. This ornament has been with me since she gave them to us. I think I have had it for over 40 years. It is my favorite ornament. I have to find it every year. It goes on the tree every year. Ummmm, but I can’t find it this year. I have no idea what happened to it. I believe it is here somewhere. I just can’t locate it this year.
We have an attic that holds all the Christmas stuff and other storage items. I don’t go in it. It is like you’re going into the Upside Down. Not even kidding. It is inside the closet of one of the upstairs bedrooms. It has a short little door, which is super creepy anyway, and is freezing cold in there. I made John go look for the angel. When he was crouched over going through the door it completely creeped me out. He looked like a giant going into the small world. I had the urge to slam the door shut. I refrained. You’re welcome John. It was disturbing. Watchers of Stranger Things will know what I’m talking about when I talk about the upside down.
He said he looked in all the boxes and still couldn’t find the angel. I was tempted to go in and do the real look. Because, let’s face it, he probably missed some boxes. I couldn’t force myself to do it though. It makes me sad he couldn’t find it. I still think it has to be there somewhere.
I remember my grandma well. Her name was Esther Elnore Anglin. She had the most soft-spoken voice. She wore glasses and was not a very big lady. I always remember her with white hair or blue hair, as some people describe the grandmas.
She lived in a trailer house in Vermillion, when we were little. We visited her quite often. So many memories of her then. I have written about her before. The experiences at the trailer. The mustard seed necklace was one particular post. That still makes me sad to think about that. Here is the link if you want to read that one. https://peggielarsen.com/distant-memories/
Grandma visited us a lot. The Euclid house, the Central house, the Prospect house, and then at the golf course house. The golf course house was the last house my parents lived in before Dad died.
Another tradition, and one I have not been able to replicate, was Grandma’s sugar cookies. The melt-in-your-mouth kind of cookies. The perfect cirlce. She didn’t use cookie cutters either. One just like the other, none out of place. The perfect color, not too light, not too dark, just right. They tasted amazing. They were my favorite cookie she made. They were perfect cookies. No uneven or cracked edges ever. I have the recipe and have tried numerous times to make them. They don’t taste the same and they don’t look the same as Grandma’s. I follow the recipe exactly and they still don’t turn out.
Grandma also used to make the Danish pancakes or ebelskiver. Round pancakes. Delicious pancakes. I also tried to replicate these and did a pretty good job. You need to use a special pan, an ebelskiver pan because you have to flip the ball halfway through cooking, just like normal pancakes, except there were round balls. You could flip them using a knitting needle or a skewer. Then they were doused with butter and sugar and eaten as fast as they were cooked. You could put syrup on them as well, but I don’t like syrup so I just used butter and sugar.
When she would come and visit the Euclid house she always brought long johns and colored peppers. I have no idea why we got that combination. The peppers were always giant and so fresh, crispy and crunchy. The long johns were from the bakery in Vermillion, I believe. Nobody makes long johns like that anymore.
Grandma had great manners too. She was staying at my and John’s house. It may have been after dad died. I’m not sure. I made a big batch of chicken noodle soup. Instead of telling me she didn’t like carrots, she just politely moved them to the side of the bowl and never said a word. I always found that so interesting and polite. I never knew she didn’t like carrots.
When Grandma moved from Vermillion, she lived in Viborg. She baked all the time and was known as the cookie lady. All the church functions. All the Grandma cookies. Many different varieties. Always delicious. She also made fudge and divinity. Ever tried making divinity? It is messy. Yeah, I tried that too. Once.
Grandmas make everything special. Things taste different when grandmas make them. They just do. Maybe it’s the years of experience making it. Maybe it’s the special grandma touch. Maybe it’s the grandma love. Whatever it is though, it cannot be replicated. It cannot be copied. It’s grandma special.
Grandma died on September 11 in 2002. Peacefully in her chair, with her cup of coffee and book by her side.
(the picture is an ornament that is similar to the one grandma gave me. Similar, yet different)
This week I was trying to think of something to write about. Most times, things are just right there. This week was a little bit different for some reason. My thoughts have not been clear. They have been super jumbled together and fuzzy. I have been having a problem with the clearness of my thoughts. The clarity of my thoughts. Maybe it’s the holidays. Maybe it’s just so much stuff going on. Maybe it’s just the way I am this week.
I decided I wanted to tell you about an issue that I feel is very important. It’s important to me, not only because I have a stake in it, but also because these people I am going to write about deserve better. They deserve to be taken care of in a way that is better than what is available now. They deserve it.
Today I am writing about Veterans. At the beginning of November, I ran a Facebook group challenge. It was 22 days. I started November 1, and ended November 22. It didn’t really end though, for me anyway. It is an ongoing cause for me. It’s an important cause for me.
The challenge was about bringing awareness to Veteran suicide. Specifically Mission 22. Did you know that yesterday over 20 Veterans were lost to suicide? According to the website www.mission22.com “that makes the war at home more dangerous than all of our combat missions around the world. Let’s end the stigma surrounding Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury. Let’s end the silence. Lets save our veterans.”
Our soldiers leave as kids and come back with the innocence lost. They come back different. They come back broken. Maybe not physically, but for sure mentally. There is no way they cannot be affected by what they see overseas.
Four of my family members were affected. They were kids then. My son, Spencer, was affected. My nephew, Dustin, was affected. My nephew, Dusty, was affected. My nephew, Cole, was affected. Two Marines, infantry and a sniper and Two Army Rangers. Thank God they all came back physically in tact. I know they were affected mentally. The thing is we don’t see. We don’t know. We weren’t there. Things changed for them. Things didn’t stay the same. Things were different when they came back. Things will never be the same for them. They lost friends. They saw things no kid should ever see. But, you know what. These four boys were the most patriotic kids. They served their country proud. They did their time. They wrote the blank check. They gave to their country. They sacrificed for their country. Red, White and Blue. I thank them for that.
Taken from the Mission22 website:
“Mission 22 currently has two treatment programs that focus on traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress. The goal is not to medicate and mask the problem our Veterans are facing but to heal them. The creation of these Mission 22 healing projects will allow us to support even more Veterans through ground breaking treatments.
HYPERBARIC FOCUSED TREATMENT FOR TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.
Hundreds of Veterans are helped with this Treatment Protocol! Mission 22 has partnered with Fayetteville Hyperbarics LLC to create an intensive 5-8 week program to treat Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress.
More than 350 Veterans have reclaimed their lives by pursuing a treatment protocol which includes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). The most effective results are experienced through enlightened clinics offering unique, collaborative regimens.
In Louisiana, Dr. Paul Harch treats Veterans with TBI and PTSD using HBOT. In Colorado, The Miracle Workers of South Boulder Road do the same while adding counseling and a physical training element. The cost for this program is $6,450 for one veteran. This covers the entire 5-8 week intensive program. Mission 22 covers this cost 100% and there are no charges to veterans seeking treatment.
ENDOBIOGENY PROGRAM FOR POST TRAUMATIC STRESS
Full Spectrum Health and Mission 22 have developed a personalized, whole person approach to healing veterans. PTS is not in your head and it’s not just a brain disorder. It involves physical, mental and emotional interactions. Endobiogeny focuses on the whole person as the point of treatment, not just symptoms. This means we treat the person at the level of body, emotions and mind. We allow the patient to tell their story. This is a profound process that brings a level of healing before the doctor has spoken a single word. Finally, we have a powerful method of analyzing blood work to uncover hidden imbalances at body, emotional and mental levels. Because of the power of our testing system, called the Biology of Functions, the entire visit and treatment can be performed remotely. All appointments can be via video conference with the doctor and labs are done where the veteran lives. The patient can take their treatments from home while they continue to live with their family and engage in their daily responsibilities. Mission 22 has huge success and life changing results with veterans that have completed this program. Please click here to learn more about this program. This program costs on average $1,800 for the first six months with most veterans remaining in the program for one to one and a half years. Mission 22 covers this cost 100% and there are no charges to veterans seeking treatment.”
During the Facebook 22 Challenge, we sent $690 to Mission 22 to help the fight. To help bring awareness to Veteran Suicide. To help our Veterans who are struggling. You can also donate on the Mission22 website. No Veteran should be left to die. No Veteran should feel suicide is their only choice. They deserve better. They deserve to receive help. They deserve it.
This holiday season, if you know of any Veterans who will be alone on Christmas, reach out to them. Invite them to dinner. Spend some time with them. Talk to them. Listen to them. Be there for them. They were there for us. They gave for us. Red, White and Blue.