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Saturday, January 23, 2021

food, memories, and playing with watercolor

 

red beans


DH made a batch of red beans and rice last week. I LOVE red beans and rice! And his is the best... even better than they serve in the restaurants at home (New Orleans). It was the perfect meal for these cold, dreary, rainy winter days. 


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And this past Monday would have been my sister's 85th birthday! She passed away at 51 of Cancer.  I was only 10 when she married at 19 and moved to Mexico City. But as the years went by, she eventually moved back and we were just beginning to know each other as adults when she died. 


my favorite photos  (as I remember her)


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Photo taken from my TV set 


I watched the Inauguration of President Biden and was amazed at how well it was done (considering the circumstances). IMO his speech was excellent and the songs beautiful and appropriate (This land is your land, this land is my land...). And that poem from that young poet laureate... well, it gave me chills. 

I'm sure that things will not be easy for President Biden, but just having him in charge after the last 4 years of chaos does my heart good. 


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And these last 2 entries are just things I like... and am willing to share with you.


grand daughter and Moose 



Grand daughter and Moose (their Great Dane) enjoying her last day before going back to college. 


sketch and water color


Practicing my watercolor (which needs a lot of work) on a sketch I had made years ago for the cover for my book... before I found an actual picture that I was happy to use. I really need to take a watercolor class one day. Started one in 2017... but  before the second class I was in the hospital with acute appendicitis.

Oh well, maybe one day.  BTW, my friend who owns a kiln fired my batch of cheeky chickens last week... (10 chickens and 1 fox) so at least they have had their first firing. They will need another after I black bird them... and that may be a while since I'm out of blackbird.

OK, enough sharing for today. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. The weather had been a  bit bleak this week, but my concerns for our country (politics and the pandemic) seem to have lightened... :) 


Hugs (virtual),

Rian




Saturday, January 16, 2021

Cats, chickens, face masks, and puzzles

I laughed when I read this poster...

Thinking about the number of black cats that were in our yard lying in the sun this morning... 6 - I believe. One we call BK (Barbeque Kitten) that jumps on top of the barbeque pit to look into the kitchen window and watch me wash dishes. I was spraying water at him this morning... and he jumps when the sprinkle hits the window... then comes back for more.

We also have a cat toy on the patio... one of those 3 tiered things that have balls that roll around. They love this and sometimes 3 of them can be found playing with it at one time. 


this pic is off Pinterest, but great pic


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Well, I'm back to making face masks and Cheeky Chickens this week... and thinking about starting to play around with watercolor. It's been a while since I've attempted any sketching or painting - but maybe it's time to start. 


new face masks


new Cheeky Chickens


I read somewhere recently how a blogger finds doing housework a good way to pass the time and relieve stress. I can see this... to a point. Washing dishes and watching the cats' antics from the kitchen window is relaxing. Ironing can be also... but dusting, mopping, or vacuuming - not so much.

I do find sculpting with my clay relaxing, also reading or writing, and even a bit of sewing as long as it's not complicated... and baking!  (Now I want to finish this and go bake something - maybe brownies with Peanut Butter and some sea salt sprinkled on top).

But before I go I need to mention 2 things: 

First is a strange phenomenon (maybe not strange, but odd to us). DH made sweet tea a few weeks ago and when he does this, he picks the mint we have growing out front to use in it. This time he picked more than he could use and it smelled so good, I hated to throw the excess away... so I stuck it in a little pottery vase and put it in the frig. Well, believe it or not, that little sprig of mint still looks as fresh as a daisy... it amazes us every time we open the door. We had no idea that mint could last this long.




And second,  we finished another cat puzzle. This one was cat books and was fun to put together as I've read many of these books.


Feline Tales Puzzle Box

Feline Tales puzzle complete


and the next puzzle awaits...





OK, that's it. Thinking about those brownies now...  Hope you all have a wonderful safe sunny weekend! 


Hugs, (virtual)

Rian








Thursday, January 14, 2021

sharing what goes on in my head...

I sometimes wonder if others think about things as I do... and/or how others handle the same situations...

Ok, I'm going to write about something that goes on with me every night... and I believe it's an 'age' thing.  Most of you who have reached the ripe old age of 75 (maybe some younger, some older) know what I'm talking about. It's that middle of the night dilemma when you know you should get up and visit the facilities, but you don't want to... you're warm and cozy and have that foggy sleepy feeling which you know could go away as soon as your feet hit the cold floor.  

I tend to have conversations with myself a lot... especially during the night. They usually go something like this:

"Get up!" 

"No, I don't want to."

"You have to. Now Get Up!"

And of course you know that you have to... and do. But I follow certain procedures to avoid waking up totally. 

Best to have slippers or socks close by to avoid cold floors.

Best to not open your eyes too much (only enough to see where you're going). 

I tend to 'wobble' during the night (you know from side to side). I tell myself  I've become a Weeble (remember that old ditty - Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down)

Best to get in and out quickly and not 'think' about anything as this will get your brain to start thinking about things that worry you... and you'll never get back to sleep.

And by all means 'avoid looking in the mirror' as seeing what you look like in the middle of the night half asleep and with bed hair might just give you a heart attack. 

Most of the time this works. Sometimes not so much. 

And then I go through a similar ritual in the morning... talking to myself: 

"Oh God, it's morning..."

"Time to get up!"

"Don't want to..."

"But you must. Besides, you know you feel better once you're up and about."

"This is true..." and usually gets me going. 

On rare occasions, I have said:

"Oh my God... "

And DH has responded with "What's wrong?"

"Nothing hurts..."

Now I'm very lucky in that I'm not one who experiences chronic pain as I know some do. But it's rare to wake up at 75 and not have something hurting (with me it's usually my back or my head). These aches and pains do go away as the day progresses...

Anyway, I just wonder if others go through this too. Do you talk to yourself like this? 

Well, that's it for today. Sharing a personal idiosyncrasy. If it's TMI,  then please ignore.


Hugs, (virtual)

Rian


(Leaving you with a picture of some home-made nutty granola I made this weekend)









Friday, January 8, 2021

It's 3 in the morning...

Wow! It's been a long time since I've had one of these - waking up and not being able to go back to sleep at 3 in the morning.  DH and I generally go to bed at either 9 or 10 and get up around 8. And yes, I do get up several times during the night to visit the facilities... but always (mostly always) go right back to sleep. Then there are these days when too much is going on inside my head to settle back down. The reason: political chaos in our country as well as too much Facebook reading.

I deleted Facebook today as I just couldn't stand reading any more political rants. IMO Facebook shouldn't be used as a political forum. I want it for communication and pictures - especially for family and friends who live far away. But each to his own.

I know this country is divided these days. And although many cannot, I can respect your choices even if I don't agree. I can 'agree to disagree'.  Many apparently cannot. I find this sad.  But it is what it is.  

Families split apart over politics. Politics! Important? Sure, but not as important as family. This country was built upon freedom of choice. I realize that some choices are very difficult to understand, but because I think differently doesn't mean I cease to love. I may never agree, but I will still love. 

IMO family and politics should not be a problem... no more than religion and science. They can both exist without conflict in my mind. 

What happened Wednesday was unbelievable. I don't understand how any person who loves this country could believe such actions were acceptable. Violence is never the way... and if you think it is, then something is very wrong. 

Over the years I have often wondered how things got as bad as they did with Hitler. How did the people allow things to go that far? Now I know. It only takes a dangerous man in power with a following who are willing to 'do anything' to keep him in power. 

What will happen now? I don't know. But I do trust that those who respect our democratic system will handle the situation in the best way possible. 

Hopefully enough people realize how important it is for us to be united and not divided as a nation... and those that want to increase the division are the enemy. Political parties are not the enemy. It's those within who want to divide and conquer... the extremists. 

Again... all just my opinion. If you don't agree, it's fine. But it's now 4 in the morning, so I'm going to close this and go back to bed. 

Thanks for reading and giving me the opportunity to vent. Hope the rest of the week (and following weeks) go without incident. Take care, be safe... and know that we will get through this and... perhaps be better for it.


Hugs, (virtual)

Rian


Monday, January 4, 2021

Taking down Christmas...

It's Monday morning, January 4, 2021... and we've just taken down our Christmas tree. So sad. It didn't want to come down. It was a healthy Frasier fir that we had picked up the day after Thanksgiving... and still no needles were falling. We get out trees at a nursery close by that has the best trees! Anyway, it's down now and sitting outside on the curb waiting to be picked up. We always let our tree keep one little ornament... a thank you for it's service. (weird, I know... but something we've always done).

The weather here is clearing, and the sun is coming out... after a dreary, rainy weekend. I spent most of it on the sofa by the fire, working on the sequel to my book. Hope to have that finished and on Amazon by Spring.  I actually took a video (out of boredom) during this time... just a short one of my front room and fireplace, but apparently it's too long to send from my iPhone... so I couldn't attach it here. I could send it by you tube, but wasn't sure about how that works. 

this is how the video starts... but I couldn't get it to send


Goes to show you how much I know about this technology...  Anyway, next pic is a cup my daughter sent us in a basket of goodies for Christmas. 

It's really a nice cup - holds a lot of coffee

and next is a cat shaming calendar that my grand daughter sent (along with the cat pj's) 

It's one of those daily tear off sheet types....


Nothing else going on...  Well, actually there's a lot going on when it comes to the pandemic and politics, but I'm not planning to go there today.  What will be, will be. We can only do what we think is right and hope for the best.  At least that's where I'm at. 

Just answered the front door to our neighbor... (I keep a face-mask by the door so I was wearing one although he wasn't).  Apparently he's having a problem with his retaining wall. We drop off  to a creek and he has a pool... so his backyard is 'built up'. Apparently all the rain we've been having has caused his retaining wall to partially fall down... which is a problem with the pool, etc. He needed to know if it was OK for the service man to come through by our drive instead of his to check it out. No problem... our gate isn't locked. Told him to go on back...
(I can imagine he's thinking that 2020 may be gone, but things are still going wrong... it could be costly to fix all that.)

Update: daughter-in-law (nurse) with Covid is feeling better... though still extremely fatigued. From what I hear that is a lasting effect from Covid. But so far, son and grand daughter are still negative (hurray!) And our other daughter-in-law (nurse) got her Covid shot as did my niece (Pediatrician).  So our front-line workers are vaccinated! 

Oh, and our oldest son has Disney Plus at his house... so we were able to watch some Disney or Pixar movies recently. Saw "Soul" and "Ralph breaks the Internet"  - enjoyed both! (light during a dark time)

Have a great week! (It should be interesting) I'm trusting that common sense will win out... and somewhere in the future all will be well again.

Hugs, (virtual)
Rian
 

  






Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Day 2020... Pandemic style

It's Christmas day here in Texas... and the Pandemic is still raising it's ugly head... keeping us from gathering with our families for the holidays (or anytime).   So far we have all been very careful and safe for the most part, wearing our masks, washing our hands, and staying away from gatherings.

BUT... both our daughter-in-laws are nurses and have been working non-stop, exhausted, and bringing home awful stories of what they deal with on a day to day basis. They warn us of how serious this Covid virus can be. We get stories of a young mother with Covid who may not make it, her newborn baby in intensive care... and she may never see him. One father and his daughter died the same day... with the wife in intensive care. Watching people die struggling for breath must be beyond awful. I am so proud of both my daughter-in-laws for their courage and spirit. But I worry about them too... as they are up front with this horrible virus.

This week one of them tested positive for the virus. Now son and grand daughter (8) will be tested ASAP and all will isolate for the next 2 weeks.  2020 seems like it won't leave us unscathed.


Christmas morning

One of grand daughter's gifts from us was the pink hoodie with attached doggie mask...  appropriate for this Christmas morning.


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There's not a lot else to say. It's been fairly quiet around here. We opened a few gifts, sat by the fire-place, talked or texted with the kids and grandkids, watched one of the new(?) Jurassic Park movies, and put a roast in the oven for later.  DH and I got a few cat puzzles and I got the cutest pair of cat pj's.  Here's a pic!





So, I'm going to leave you today with my hopes

that you are all having a good (if not merry) Christmas

 with those with whom you feel safe...

and

 I want you to know how much I appreciate 

all my blogger friends

Thank you for being there

I love reading your blogs and your comments!


Hugs (virtual),

Rian





   



Monday, December 21, 2020

New puppy...

 

Winston

(I'm writing this on Sunday... although I probably won't post it until Monday)

Had to show this cute face.  This is Winston, new puppy for our oldest son and his wife! He is a Golden Retriever/Standard poodle mix... a Golden Doodle??   Whatever... he is adorable. Nothing like a puppy or a kitten to make a person smile.

Well, my Christmas baking and mailing is all done. There is still a lot of goodies around... Christmas tea cakes, chocolate pecan bark, rum cakes, and whiskey balls! I didn't take any pics this year...  but since I basically make the same stuff each year, you probably have already seen it anyway. 

Just ordered a rump roast and all the fittings (potatoes, carrots, onions) to cook for Christmas day. We have turkey on Thanksgiving and a pork roast (with cabbage and black-eyed peas) for New Years... so a roast will have to suffice for Christmas. We could do a baked ham... but neither grandson or I are big on ham... and DH would have a hard time eating one by himself. 

We don't do a lot of gift giving anymore... used to do quite a lot when the kids were home... but now, we give gifts only to the grandkids and the grownups get Christmas goodies. DH and I pick out one thing that we would like and that's our Christmas. This year he picked out a book and I ordered one of those digital thermometers that take your temp from your forehead. Works for us!

A few minutes ago DH and I were out looking for the Christmas Star that is supposed to be the closest it's been in 800 years tomorrow night. You can see the 2 planets tonight... not as well as supposedly we'll be able to tomorrow evening. I think there will be many people looking up and wishing on that Christmas Star. Maybe it's an omen that things will be better in 2021.  We can only hope.

Now something that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas... as I was sitting on the sofa folding clothes, I happen to look up and see the weird pottery projects that we had to do a few years ago...






The rooster and the puffin heads were the projects. We had to do animal heads...  so these weird items hang high up on my kitchen wall. I also did a smaller eagle head that is hung up in another room.




I'm not much for doing animal heads... especially don't care for real animal heads on walls (find it gross, but that's just my opinion - here in Texas you do see this a lot). However, this was an assigned project... (and it wasn't real).


OK... that's my post for today. Hope to get another in before or after Christmas. But if not, Merry Christmas 2020! 


And here's wishing all of you 

a better, healthier,

 happier 2021!


Hugs, (virtual of course)

Rian