Essentially Esther Banner

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Christmas has come and gone and now it’s time for the New Year. The remaining family we hadn’t had our dinner and gift opening with, friends and myself were invited to Becky’s for all of the above. We ate until we couldn’t stuff any more in and then had fun opening gifts.

It’s the same all over the country…..folks enjoying time together in a warm and happy environment. Santa was good to me and I think everyone felt the same. The most fun is watching the small children open their things and becoming so excited.

Our weather, of course, was terrible. We didn’t get the snow they expected because we were on the fringe of it all. We probably had around a half-inch. The frigid temps and wind chill were cutting. The poor birds had to feed as best they could in the wind and the squirrels were running around like they enjoyed the change.

I got the warmer out for the bird bath to keep their water from freezing. Water is so important in the winter because most of their supply freezes. If they have to fly very far for water, they use up the energy they just got from the feeders. Becky got the heater connected for me……she’s always good to help when I have problems or the weather is disagreeable.

Yesterday afternoon I watched two Hallmark movies shown back-to-back. I should have been doing other things but it was so interesting I had to watch. I’m glad I did because the Vikings and the Bears game was terribly disappointing. I hate to see a team lose in the last seconds of the game. Win, lose or tie, I love Brett Favre and will always watch when the game is shown locally. I don’t always get to see his games.

The picture is of Sassy, the cat. She is the resident “critter” in the house. Rocky brought her home when he found her lost and injured. He took her to the Vet and had her fixed up and…..then we kept her. She always sleeps at the PC when I’m using it. I know I have some readers who are cat lovers so here is her picture. Sassy is 9-years old now.

Life goes on for all of us and I hope your Christmas was all that you hoped for. The New Year will soon be here when we can begin once more at the “starting line” and hopefully make some changes for the better.

If you were flying I hope you weren’t detained too long. It didn’t look like much fun so maybe they can figure out a plan for the next holiday.

Essentially Esther

Friday, December 25, 2009

CHRISTMAS 2009..... 

Christmas Day is here again and looking back they have all been different. In three stages Christmas has wrapped around my life. First of all were the ones as a child with the excitement and wonder children know. There were a few stand-outs like the time my stocking was hung on a rocking chair and I insisted on sleeping under it. During the night-hours the loaded sock fell from the chair and hit me on the head. The realization that Santa had been there and my stocking was full gave a divine satisfaction and I fell asleep with my arm wrapped around it. The school programs and the programs at church made Christmas very real. Real in two ways. I believed in Santa Clause and I believed the baby Jesus came to earth because He loved us. Not unnatural for a kid to believe both when I was a little girl.

After marriage and children Christmas evolved around our children. We did all the things that I had done as a child and had meant so much. My mother always did a lot of baking and my brother and I were allowed to help. So my three kiddo’s were given their own cookie sheet and they took turns with the rolling pin. They loved making different shapes and spreading the frosting. They made gifts for the grandmother’s and grandfather’s and each other. I liked to keep them busy so they didn’t agonize how much longer it was until they could open their gifts. I was a very unconventional mother and the last week before Christmas they got to open one gift. Of course they opened the one they couldn’t figure out with shaking, rattling and attempts to make a slight unobtrusive rip to see if they could recognize the box. I’ll have to say it was pure joy watching their excitement and remembering my own.

The third thing is pretty much my memories. Losing two husbands to cancer and my boys living so far away I am fortunate to have Becky close so I still have family. Her son and his family provide her with two grand-children to dote on and we still have those family dinners. Over the years I have gone from holiday meals that fed 15 or 20 to fewer and fewer around the table. One by one they left us for their final journey. This past year when I fractured my pelvic bone Becky took over the cooking and has grown into an excellent chef. I am just now getting the desire to bake and cook again. I have missed it as holiday meals are a work of heart.

It is true there are less demands on my time, now, and I can’t do all I used to but I am contented and grateful for the years I have been given. I focus on the things I can do and applaud those who do what I can’t. I would like to wish my family all around the country a Merry Christmas and to my friends and blogger friends I may never meet or see. You are each loved and have a definite place in my life.

May God bless you all richly in the coming year and may you prosper in the things that really matter to you.

Essentially Esther

Monday, December 21, 2009


In case you are wondering…….I’m still here. It seems in December I never get through writing Christmas cards. I still have a few to get out and hopefully that will be tomorrow. I have to confess I watch a lot of football as the college and pro games heat up for the last hurrah.

Bad weather makes keeping the bird feeders full more difficult. Today I put up a bird feeder a friend made for me. It’s about a 4-inch branch and about a foot or so long. She drilled six holes in it to put peanut butter in and a hook and hanger to throw over a branch. Six nails made perches for them to sit and eat the peanut butter out of the holes. Pretty smart. She’s the lady who “grows” butterflies and is quite well informed on gardening and all the backyard friends who visit the feeding stations. Retirement doesn’t mean “quitting” anything…..it just means you have more time to spend enjoying the little folks who dine in your yard.

I made a Christmas Cake delivery this morning to the Vet who cares for my pets. Several years ago I made up a cookie tray and put some slices of the cake on in case somebody might like it. The young Vet who graduated from Missouri University a few years ago found the cake to be delightful. He ate it all and raved about it, so of course he has had a cake of his own every year. He’s a nice young man and the girls who do the grooming etc; are loved by my animals.

I love this time of year where I can walk in my mother’s footsteps to carry on her traditions of baking and candy making……then to shuttle all over town to drop in and leave some goodies. Mom always made holidays special out of nothing but love. Like most people I find the memories of home more intense around Christmas time. As the cards come in it is so nice to sit down and read about friends and relatives that I don’t normally hear from.

I’m sure many of you who read this find the same pleasures in the simple things of the season…….otherwise I don’t think there is anything else that would draw one to read this blog. My world is small and wonderfully simple. Just perfect for the woman I have become.

I hope your world is just right for you and that the new year will bring much happiness to all…..and now I’m going to see if I can find a picture you might like to post with the blog. Soon the holidays will be over and I’m going to try and be more regular with my writing again because I miss it. I truly do. Until the next time,

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


George, John and Barbara arrived last Friday afternoon, late. Becky had been cooking and reading recipes for days getting ready for them. She turned out some awesome dishes and we all ate till we couldn’t move. She wanted to do the cooking this time and forbid me to do anything…….which is hard to do after all the years of meals and menu’s I have done in the past. She had so much fun watching our reaction to her creations I know it was satisfying after all the time she put in.

The next day (Saturday) we went to the 50th Wedding Anniversary party I had previously mentioned and it was a lot of fun. Memories over the years we had a part in brought lots of laughter and fun. We had a good time reminiscing with other guests since a lot of us knew each other. It was a nice way to start the December season.

On Sunday Becky fixed a meal for us and her son, Jonathan and family, but only he and 4-year-old Brady came. Mama and Cloe stayed home with the flu. It seems some of us always end up getting sick around holiday time and this year it was them. I watched football with the boys part of the day and had a good visit with everyone.

Monday, George was worried about the weather up North so he left around 1:00pm and as it turned out he was right about going. They are getting snow where he is and we were getting mist which came down all day yesterday and then the hard winds began after dark here. I know the animals who have to stay outside will be terribly cold and hungry.

Sadly, the time went too fast as always and John and Barb headed home yesterday. Becky went back to work and I tried to get my PC straightened out. My print font went crazy along with my addresses not popping up when I clicked on a letter. John fixed some irritating things on it Monday night and I needed to finish up some smaller problems which I did. Just a little more and it will be running faster, hopefully.

This is the first day I’ve been able to email due to some of the problems mentioned and it feels good to have my mail-box back in action. John will be sending some pictures of our visit as well as putting them on his blog site I would imagine…….so between us there should be some to watch. As I walked home each night from Becky’s I could hear geese flying overhead……I love hearing them. They were above the clouds but there was no mistaking their call. It’s nice to know that some of the natural things in life are still unchanged…………

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


There seems to be a deadline on things waiting to be done. I have two and a half days to bring my “froggie” house into a “princess.” Although I have a good excuse I can’t bring myself to accept it just because I’ve had three months off my feet.

I took Mandy, the dog, and Sassy the cat to the Vet yesterday to have some little issues taken care of. Mandy is so pretty with her new grooming and she is getting much better with her allergies. That is a big victory for me. At the last, she looked like a Mexican hairless and was so pathetic. She is such a sweet doggie……and smart!! While she and I were convalescing I taught her to “speak.”

Not altogether a good thing I’m finding out. Now when I’m busy and involved in something else she sits up real cute and barks. That is always a free pass for her to be picked up and put on my lap. It takes about 5-10 minutes of petting before she thinks she has been properly rewarded. I will have to teach her to “speak” only when prompted by my command. This may take a while !!

Now that I’ve had a break I’d better get busy with my projects for today. December seems intent on making us realize it’s time for cold weather. We may have a few flurries over the weekend……personally I liked the unusual balmy weather we’ve enjoyed all Fall. On a drive home from shopping yesterday I saw fields of tiny little black calves. They are so cute and cuddly but they were Black Angus so I’m afraid they will end up on the Menu like the Red and Green M and M’s. I would save all the animals if I could but that calls for a bigger source of power than I have been given.

On the count-down for Christmas……only 23 days to go. I have two favorite Christmas specials I like to watch on TV…….one is The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and the other, “The Night the Animals Talked.” Both are so heartwarming to me. May the season bring joy and peace as you prepare for the busy days ahead.

Essentially Esther