Monday, December 30, 2013

making it to 2014... strange tale

Jack and one of his Christmas toys

It's Sunday afternoon and DH and I are both fighting some upper respiratory bug... we sound like croaking bullfrogs underwater.  DH took his Z-pack starting Friday (after the doctor appt) and is doing better than me.  I was trying to do without the antibiotics (you know, as my dad used to say, "stiff upper lip..." and all that).  I do believe my body knows how to heal itself, but as of this afternoon it was taking it's own sweet time (one too many nights coughing and temp of 101) , so I gave in and took the d...n things today. We'll see.  The truth is that I've been fighting *something* for the last 2 weeks, but it was never upper respiratory.  Off and on I've felt extremely tired, general malaise, and headachy since the 13th of Dec. (I remember because it was Friday the 13th when I started feeling bad).  But lots of napping and an occasional Tylenol seemed to keep this *thing* at bay.  Maybe whatever it was lessened my body's immune system to this URI. Who knows?  I just try very hard to be healthy and it makes me (what's the word? - maybe frustrated?) when things don't go as they ought.

Actually I shouldn't be too upset as it's been over 2 years since I've been to our Family Physician. They told me this when DH and I were at our appt. Friday.

Now... it is Monday morning and it was an awful night.  Don't know if it was the meds or ? but I was feeling pretty good most of the day and evening, then about 10 pm my throat (which hasn't bothered me at all previously started to feel funny - kind of thick like my epiglottis was swollen). I figured all the coughing could have done that and continued to watch a TV show (It's a wonderful world), and drank some water. Then I noticed that my heart was beating awfully fast and I felt very jumpy... ?? What was happening?  Surely it wasn't the meds as it had been 10 hours since I took them. I always thought reactions came within a few mins to an hour if there was going to be any.  So I just walked around trying to calm myself. Felt better, went to bed and still felt strange. Finally I thought to take my bp.  If it was normal, then all this must be my imagination. I did.  It was high (high for me as I'm usually a low bp person - 120 or lower).  It was 155. I thought... hm-mm, I'll just stay absolutely still and rest... and take it again in 10 mins.  It was up to 161.  Huh?  Ok, got up walked around a bit more, sat and talked with the cats by the Aga, and about 1:00 am, took it again. 131. OK!! Whatever was happening, was resolving itself. So I finally fell asleep...but jumped  awake several times during the night with nightmares... decided this has GOT  to be the meds. No more antibiotics for me.

Boring tale, yes?  But confusing for me. If anyone has any comments or ideas, I would love to hear them.

Rose finds warm spot...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

the day after...

Grandbaby Christmas afternoon at our house...

Today is December 26, 2013 - the day after Christmas.  DH and I are resting, not shopping. I'm sure there are some great sales out there, but there's nothing we want or need that bad to face those crowds.  What we do need is hot tea, a warm house, and a long nap.

Christmas day was great fun. The kids and grandkids were here and after opening gifts (grandbaby wasn't sure exactly what all the excitement was about), we had a very untraditional Christmas Brunch... in place of the traditional Christmas Dinner... hot scrambled eggs with green chili sauce with honey baked ham on rolled tortillas and a variety of pastries and danish... as well as Christmas cookies and candies galore. And everyone took home a freshly baked rum cake as well as leftover ham.

As most of you know when you have a house-full of cats, they need to be confined when the food is set out.
If not, they will most definitely *help themselves*.  So at about 10 am we started picking up cats and putting them into the master bedroom.  Well, it seems that Ghost, the one who never shows her face when other people are in the house, decided to hide.  And she is a great hider! We looked everywhere - and finally gave up.  She would come out whenever... (certainly not when the kids and grandkids arrived or while they were here).

So... sure enough about 3 pm after the Christmas presents were open, after the Brunch was eaten, after all sat around in the den by the tree and talked and played, and after everyone had gone home and DH and I were sitting on the sofa drinking coffee - a little gray head appeared.  Apparently she had been under the tree the whole time (right in the middle of all the festivities). Now we had looked under the tree... with a flashlight even! But she hid under the tree skirt - and there we hadn't looked.  We named her Ghost because she is gray and was so hard to see as a kitten on our gray slate floors - but over the years she has definitely earned her name.

old pic of Ghost under the tree

Going to close now. DH woke up this morning with a cough. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to check my right ear as it's been acting strange lately... hurt off and on a day or so ago... (and I've never had an ear-ache that I can remember), and now it seems to be popping in and out like I have a cold which I don't. Anyway, I'm going to have it checked  - but if DH is still coughing, I may see if they will let him come with me and be checked also.

AND: I got a book by Dr. Wayne Dyers for Christmas and have been reading it today ("Wishes Fulfilled").  I have to say that his concept of Spirituality is very similar to mine. In this book, he talks about the Higher Self (the God within). I had read  "There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem" some time ago and liked it. But this one seems to really be 'spot on' as the expression goes. If any of you have read it, I'd be interested to know what you think. I don't want to start any religious dialog, just curious to know what you think of the book.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

only a few more days...

We went out to eat with youngest son and his wife and baby daughter last night.  She just had her first birthday last month and is quick to copy everything she sees.  I told them they'd better be careful what they say and do as she is definitely a 'quick study'.  You can see when she watches you that she's going to try to do exactly the same thing... and usually does (to some extent). After dinner we drove around in the car looking at Christmas lights.  I thought that surely she was too young to even notice, but she was entranced... watching all the lights and 'babbling away' the whole time.

Well, with only a few days left before Christmas,  the cookies for family and friends are baked, packed, and on their way.  What few things we did order online have arrived, and  what's left is to wrap a few gifts for grandkids.  I do however need to get some Christmas wrapping paper. Think I'll do that over the weekend. Since we are only having a Christmas Brunch, there won't be much cooking to do.  My plan is to make Chocolate Almond Danish, Cinnamon Coffee Cake, and Ham and cheese scrambled egg tortillas... with lots of fresh coffee and/or eggnog  (and I'll make all but the eggs the day before - so Christmas morning will be fairly free - at least that's the plan).

Have to mention that coming home from errands today I saw a man walking with his goat (yes, goat!) And it was a handsome goat too!  I was driving down through the subdivision and I did a *double take*.  The goat was a dark cream color and his markings (beard, ears, maybe tail) were a dark brown... very handsome. The reason I'm guessing that it was the man's goat (although it's kind of strange to own a goat in a subdivision) is that although the animal was walking about 3 feet behind him, when the man turned and spoke to it, the animal quickly caught up. I wanted to stop the car and take a picture, but didn't.

Merry Christmas!
(from our house to yours)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

only 10 days left...

our tree decorated... no garland and no topper
It's December the 15th... only 10 days until Christmas. The tree is done, except for ribbon or garland... or our angel topper... which we cannot find. It's funny, but every Christmas it seems like we can't find some of our decorations. One Christmas we bought 2 large wreaths to put on the front outside windows. After Christmas we put them away...  never to be seen again.  A mystery?? (maybe... or forgetful Senior Citizens)

If you will notice all the ornaments on the lower third are not breakable.  This is because we find them scattered over the house in the mornings. Apparently the cats who behave themselves during the day have a free for all during the night.

Molly (our 20 year old)  awaiting Christmas on her blanket.

The next picture I took as I was leaving class Wednesday.  The geese were all lying together in a no parking zone.  For whatever reason, I thought this was funny and snapped a pic.

Yesterday and today were "cookie" days as I'm baking cookies now to send off to family and friends this week. So far I've made whiskey balls, teacakes, and espresso shortbread. Tomorrow I will do the chocolate espresso delights, Mexican wedding cookies, and Pecan chocolate bark. I skipped the peanut butter reindeer this year, although if I have time, I may resurrect him... but time is getting short.  

The kids and grandkids were over yesterday for pizza and cookies. Grandson had played with his school band in a Christmas parade earlier.  This grandma didn't have time to cook since she was making cookies all day... but luckily... they are always happy with pizza!

Monday, December 9, 2013

a freezing fog????

the view out my front door - iced trees are really pretty
It is Monday and we are basically still frozen in.  Schools are closed again today. It did get up to 32 yesterday, but slid back down during the night so anything that melted was refrozen.  We also had something the weatherman called  a "freezing fog" come in overnight.  That sounded so strange to me... like you would drive right up and bang into a solid wall of fog.... apparently that was not it.  Anyway, no classes today again.

DH checked out back by the creek this morning. He said we did lose a few trees that had iced over and broke. The one you see in the front is so heavy with ice that it hits the ground, but we hope it will bounce up again when it thaws.

It will get above freezing today, so if the sun comes out - we may be on our way back to normal - although the weatherman says that it will keep dropping down below freezing during the night for a few days which may prolong driving difficulties.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

it's that time of year... for memories

Deb at Just Cats was discussing Christmas ornaments in one of her recent posts and the memories they carry. Now I can't stop thinking about some of those memories.  One of my favorite ornaments is a tiny red bear that I picked up at a stationary shop in Wales - while on a trip with a dear friend. I'd have to check my trip journal to remember exactly which town we were in at the time, but I do remember the shop. It sold stationary as well as these little stuffed animals - about 1" in size.  I bought 3 or 4 (2 bears, a monkey, and an elephant) - gave one bear away and kept the other 3 for the tree. Every time I hang these, I remember that shop and that wonderful trip to Wales.

And here are a few more Christmasy items that help decorate our house:

Christmas cat

Christmas cottage

Christmas Birdhouse

It's been a long cold weekend for Dallas.  Those of you who are used to this type of weather are probably laughing at us. For the most part Dallas has closed down. The Arctic Blast came in late Thursday with rain, sleet, and ice.  We awoke to 18 degree temps, hazardous road conditions, and lots of power outages. Most of us have stayed inside. Our power went out the first night, but luckily came back by morning. Some in our area still don't have power. My son (who lives about 10 mins away) lost his electricity and it stayed off most of the day. When it simply got too cold in their house, they braved the icy roads and came over to our place.

The news and weather reports on accidents and people trapped in their vehicles for hours keep coming. They warn people that if they get stranded somewhere, it may be hours before someone can get to them. It was down to 17 when we awoke this morning. It's about 21 now and will probably go down to the teens again during the night. However, supposedly Sunday we will get to the early 30's... maybe not above freezing, but better. Our feral cats and kittens seem to be using the heat lamps, straw, etc. and are coping better than we imagined.

I have divided my time between decorating the tree (partially), reading by the fire (with cats on my lap), and completing some of my clay jewelry. Here is a picture of my messy workstation (and cup of tea).

Well, it's almost time to think about supper, so I'd better close for today.  I really hope this crazy weather (global warming???) works itself out.  I'm thankful that hurricane season is over... and now if we can all just get through the next few months of winter.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

lull time...

Thanksgiving is over... and there's about a week of *lull* time (you know the *lull* before the storm) - before I intend to get into the high gear for Christmas. Not that we do a lot of shopping, we don't.  Used to, but not anymore.  Since retirement, we basically just shop for the grandkids (and a little bit for the cats).

But everyone still comes over Christmas day.  Sometimes we have Christmas breakfast while opening gifts, sometimes Christmas dinner.  It's not like Thanksgiving where everything is planned, we kind of play it by ear.  Easier for all this way.  But I do do a lot of cookie baking in the weeks ahead and we do mail out holiday cards and goodies to family who don't live close.

So, during this lull time, we will decorate our tree (which we have put up... but no ornaments yet), buy our Christmas cards, and make lists. We will also do a lot of  cookie nibbling, holiday music listening, and maybe a bit more holiday decorating (we do put a live garland up on the fireplace mantle and around the front door around 10 days before Christmas... but that's about it).

At the moment we are anticipating another bout of winter weather which is supposed to arrive sometime tomorrow.  They are predicting possible ice, snow, and sleet by Friday am.  I already cancelled my doctor's appt for Friday morning. It was just an annual, so I can reschedule later. But if the weather is bad, I don't plan to drive in it.

I did however, go to pottery class today and my chess set is finally finished.  I had finished making it last semester, but hadn't finished glazing all the tiles and chess pieces.  Now I have.  Also I made a few mugs (as well as about 50 cylinders). I'm progressing in proficiency, albeit slowly.

Hope you are all having a lovely lull time...

Ghost and Julie are.  Here they are doing what cats do best... lying about...

Ghost and Julie

And I really hope everyone stays safe out there.  I know some of you are having some really bad winter weather (much worse than we ever have here in Texas)... so please take care!