Sunday, November 30, 2014

all clear now to Christmas...

It's the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is over (didn't participate)... and the weekend is here clear and sunny. Time to start baking those Christmas cookies to mail out. I always feel that now it's clear sailing till Christmas day. Of course it means shopping, cooking, and cleaning/decorating the house and the tree for the big day. I'm OK with that.

We had Thanksgiving at our oldest son's house this year. This was a first that we didn't have it here at home. But it was great... since we just had everyone over here for grandson's 16th birthday dinner the week before, it worked out well to have it elsewhere. Food was delicious. Company was great. As usual we had way too much food, but hey, it means we could all divy it up and not have to cook for a few days! Another great.

Friday was also youngest grand daughter 's 2 year old birthday. She had a party with an *Elmo* theme (she loves Elmo) with friends and family. DH couldn't attend as he has developed a coughy sneezy miserable cold this week. It started Wednesday and we thought it might just be allergies as he didn't feel too bad on Thursday, but by Friday morning, he had almost completely lost his voice. So he stayed home from the birthday party Friday and drank hot tea, gargled, used nasal sprays, and slept. He seems a bit better today.

This morning we went to pick up our tree. Here it is... un-decorated, but here!

xmas tree 2014
It's about 8-9 feet... not as tall as some we've had, but as you can see it almost reaches the ceiling in that corner. DH and I have *downsized* a bit since the kids are not always around to help us get it up... and we're (let's see how to put this... ) not as *strong* as we used to be (didn't say *young* but you get the picture). We tried a few years ago to go to an artificial tree (some really do look real), but ended up sending  it back... just really missed the smell of Christmas... and the cats love the real trees. 

Molly made it to another Christmas! She's 21 and counting... and she is really doing well. She moves a little slower and sleeps a little more - but don't we all?  

Molly and sneaky snake

We watched an old  movie last night... not old, old.... but we'd seen it before. I think it was called "Parental Guidance" with Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. It's about grandparents going to take care of their grandkids for a week... and the grandparents are totally tech-handicapped (I'd say computer illiterate, but now it takes more than just computers - no Facebook, pokes, Twittering, hash tags, etc.) Truth be told, if you're going to have any kind of relationship with the younger generation, you have to know a little about it all - to have some common ground. But  IMO the movie shows how both generations add to the mix and neither have the monopoly on healthy relationships. 

It's Sunday morning now. DH had a bad night of coughing. He moved himself to the den where he could try to sleep upright in his chair.  I woke up with a head-ache, but it's better now that I'm up and had some breakfast (and snuck in a little coffee - which I'm not supposed to be drinking anymore because of the acid). Anyway, the morning has progressed and I've started baking Christmas cookies today...

Have a wonderful weekend!

(Question:  Does this font seem too small?  It's called *normal*, but large seems to jump to really big... and it feels like I'm yelling when I use it.  Could just be me... being my *introverted* self. I read John's post (Reflections) on Introverts and if I ever wondered, that convinced me.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

a box of kittens... brings on memories

One of the blogs I read posted this picture and I thought it so adorable that I had to re-post it!   The kitten in the far top left reminds me so much of our Ghost when she was a kitten.

These three pics are from Ghost's *early kitten* days. She loved to play with Julie (who is still our most playful cat). Memories...

Ghost now

And speaking of memories... we lost our beloved Jack this past year. He was only 10 and had fought the good fight with Feline Leukemia for 6 years. He will be forever in our hearts and minds. We wanted to do something in memory of him this Christmas and although we did get an ornament with his picture for our tree... decided to put his picture on our Christmas cards this year. He was such a handsome fellow.

Jack is at top right
Jack is *middle* (see the black nose)
Jack on left
Jack and his brother Tux

Jack with toy rabbit
Jack in box at Christmas

Jack and his brother Tux

Jack - forever in our hearts

 a short walk down memory lane...   =^..^=

Saturday, November 22, 2014

catching up...

No, this is not my youngest grand daughter... although when my daughter saw it and sent it, we both had to look twice (this is the way that my grand daughter looks when she squeezes her cat).  However, I think this child is older than 2... but adorable just the same. It did remind me of pics of my oldest grand daughter when she was very young (she's now 13 - going on 18).

Oldest grand daughter when she was 4

I find it hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas a few weeks after that. You'd think that after all these years, it wouldn't surprise me how fast winter and the holidays set in. We had some pretty cold days (for Texas) this past week. But of course it's warmed up a bit since. 

Never-the-less, it's apparent that another cold winter is upon us. And I have to say that I'm not looking forward to it. But I am grateful that we live where we do and don't get the really heavy snowfalls and icy conditions like some places. It may  be beautiful... but my southern soul would have a hard time surviving.

I've missed reading blogs and posting lately as grandkids' birthdays have taken precedence. Our oldest grand daughter just turned 13 and spent some time here in Dallas with us in October. Our oldest grandson just  turned 16 and we celebrated at our house this past week with a big batch of red beans and rice as well as bread pudding with whiskey sauce! And next week, our youngest grand daughter will turn 2!  So... life has kept us busy... keeping up with them.

Our inside cats react to the cold as do I and are either cuddled up next to the Aga, by the fireplace, or curled up on a blanket on our bed. The outside ferals have taken shelter either on the back porch where DH has installed heat lamps or in the front corner of our house where we have placed heaps of hay, or in the garage (which we have locked, but leave about 6 inches open so that some of them can find warmth in the hay or blankets inside).

We have one mama that has brought her 2 young kittens to the front corner. They look to be about 6 weeks old. Most of the other kittens are older (born in the Spring) and these tend to huddle together in baskets or under the heat lamps on the porch. We have one mama that has always preferred the garage. She seems to think it's her own personal haven... and can be found settled in a mound of hay in a wheel barrel almost any time of day or night.

It is unbelievable how much snow some areas up north have had this week! I can't imagine how the rooftops are not all collapsing and pipes bursting... not to mention how difficult it must be to get around anywhere. The pictures on the news of all that snow are absolutely amazing... and more than a bit frightening.

But... it is time to take down the Halloween decorations and start putting up Christmas ones (actually one of our neighbors already have their Christmas house lights on...)  Usually we get our tree the day after Thanksgiving and start putting up the live garlands not long after that. I do like the smell of Christmas in the house. And the inside cats of course love the tree! It's their own personal cat toy.

Julie and her mouse on kitchen chair

Tux helping me knit...

Oh... and Happy Thanksgiving!  (Just in case I don't get back here before then)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

a new toy...

my new toy

Yes, I have a new toy!  It's one I've wanted for a long time, but didn't want to spend the money. Well, the other day when I was making cookies for my grandkids, I realized that stiff dough is really hard on the arms/shoulders... (never used to be, guess it's another boon to aging?). So I made the comment to DH that I'd better think about getting one of those mixers before too long (not really considering doing it anytime soon). 

BUT... the next time we went walking over at the mall, we popped in and had a look at them and their prices (still too high). Then not a few days later I got an email saying that they were having one of their 20% off for only the next 2 days sale.... THAT AND the mixer I wanted (The blue Artisan) was $50 off online and there was a GIFT WITH PURCHASE of a large clear glass mixing bowl that ran through Nov. 1st. Well, it was too good to pass up... so we got it. And I love it! (Just thought I'd share my excitement - I am considering it my early Christmas present).

Now a comment about Halloween:  We only had about a dozen kids drop by... and these mostly in the 2 - 10 age range. Some were really cute. We had 2 little girls that were maybe 2 that came really early on - one was dressed as a little troll, the other as a tiny fireman (fire-woman?). They were adorable. We had our lights on, but later when we walked outside to look around the neighborhood, most of our neighbors didn't. I guess the door-to-door thing is going out of popularity. I really don't think it's a good idea myself - these days.  My youngest grand daughter who will be 2 next month was a black kitty.  They took her to a friend's house for a Halloween party and then to just a few houses to trick-or-treat.  She really took to the ringing of doorbells to get candy.  I think she wanted to continue this practice after Halloween was over...

Youngest grand daughter

Youngest grand daughter and friend

Youngest grandson

And I've also decided to give Nanowrimo another try. I've done it many times in years past, but skipped it the last few years. If you don't know what this is, just check out and it will explain. I only do it because it *makes* me write daily and that gets my juices going. Sometimes it takes a few days to even prime the pump... so I just start writing and see where it leads.

This morning DH and I are sitting here at home awaiting the rain forecast. We really need the 2 inches promised, but although it did get dark and windy for a little while, there's not been a whole lot of percipitation yet to speak of.  

Have a wonderful week! I may not get back to posting for a bit... but will eventually. 

... and yes, we both voted in the early voting! =^..^=