Wednesday, December 30, 2015

remnants of Christmas 2015...

Our cats (and grand daughter's cat)
Christmas Eve and Christmas morning:

Rose under tree Christmas Eve...

Julie sleeps Christmas Eve...

Rose Christmas morning

Tux and Julie enjoy their Christmas mice...

Ghost checks out her mice...
decides they're ok...

Grand daughter tries Snowman outfit on her cat...   (good cat!)

Now for remnants of "Christmas around the house"

Christmas on the bar...

Christmas Eve snack 

Entry Santa...

Santa cat...

Christmas Elf...

Bar bottle Santa

... and I will leave you with this picture that my sweet DH took of me sleeping with the cats after everything was over and done (and I had a migraine). Cats are such a comfort....

Wishing you all a wonderful safe happy 2016 !

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tornado update

Update on Dec. 26th tornado;

News says area had total of 9 tornadoes, but the one that caused the most damage was EF3/4 that came through Sunnyvale, Garland, and Rowlett. Number of Fatalities is still 11, although about 18 are still unaccounted for. Most deaths were in their cars on the road when tornado hit... and number of houses affected are about 600.

Friend of my youngest son (who lives several blocks away) lost their home. He said that he and his wife and kids were sheltering in their bathtub as the tornado hit. They survived, but they're house didn't.

And news was showing rescued dogs found in the rubble this evening.

That's about my update. Fighting a migraine today due to too much stress going on these last few weeks, but wanted to update yesterday's blog.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

the night AFTER Christmas...

Pic of Rowlett tornado from TV news

This is not the blog I'd planned to post this morning. Yesterday I had started writing a brief summary of our Christmas Day with Christmas pics of cats, etc.  But now that just doesn't seem appropriate... not after the night we had.

These pics were taken straight off the TV news. Most of the damage was in Rowlett, Garland, and one other area I believe. There may be more areas reported as the day goes on. It was dark when it happened, so the morning may bring more info.

We live in NE Richardson, but Garland starts just a few blocks east of us... and our youngest son lives in Rowlett (a little more east). We texted with him as the tornado sirens on our iPhones, TV, and neighborhood areas were going off. DH and I were in our middle bathroom, son, wife, and 3 year old grand daughter were in theirs. He said that suddenly their power went off and then the roof shook. As it turned out, the tornado touched down about 1/2 mile from their house. 

Apparently some people were caught in their cars on the road. I believe they're reporting 5 - 8 deaths on the road... maybe 11fatalities in all. But if you look at the pictures, there could be more.

When their power stayed off, son and his family planned to come to our house later that night... but news reports asked people to stay in their homes and not get out on roads due to hundreds of first responders out, power lines down, and car wrecks in the area... so they stayed put.  It was dark, storms still coming through, and not knowing what you might find - probably for the  best. This morning son said that there were police blocking off roads everywhere.

So please pray for those affected. Such a horrible thing to happen... made even more so being the day after Christmas. Will write more as the day goes on...

And oh, cats were frantic... running and hiding... before the tornado touched down. We finally locked them all together in one room.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Put MIL's Pointsettia on the tree

It was given to the DIL's at the grave-site

Writing this post while traveling back to Baton Rouge Sunday morning. DH's mom passed away Friday - not long after my last post. So we're heading back. Hadn't unpacked my luggage from previous trip... so just had to add a few things and go. Kids enroute this time. We are in 4 cars. Thanks to our iPhones we are all communicating while on the road (those of us that are not driving are doing the texting). It's about a 7 - 8 hour drive from Dallas to Baton Rouge depending on traffic... but we hope to be there by evening. 

And I want to thank you for all the kind comments concerning my MIL. She was really a wonderful lady, and she did live a good long life (98). Her boys, their families, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren will miss her.

Obviously I didn't get to catch up on reading blogs Friday as planned.  I am reading some enroute, and I will continue when we return.


It's now Tuesday and we're back on the road heading home to Dallas. Foggy, but not too bad. The funeral mass was yesterday. The trip from the church in Baton Rouge to the cemetery on the River Road in St. Rose was "an adventure"... (it was raining so hard you could barely see in front of you). It took about an hour and a half.  We were about 10 minutes late, but so was everyone else. And we all arrived safe - thank goodness!

After the service, we all gathered together at family home in Baton Rouge... reminiscing. Family stories were told and the younger ones got an earful - stories about their parents growing up. Sad time, but loved being with the family again. Bittersweet.

As for myself, I learned that even at 70, my bones must be fairly strong as I took a flying fall in the hotel right before we left for the church. Apparently they had just mopped the floor in the lobby hall and when I stepped on it, my legs flew up in the air and I landed on my right hip (hard!). It happened so fast, I was stunned! I'm bruised (both wrists and right leg and hip) - but nothings broken! I'm pretty stiff and sore everywhere due to jarring... but otherwise OK. (Due to the quarter size bruising on both wrists, I'm guessing my wrists helped break the fall). 

BTW, we saw gasoline in Louisiana for $1.65 !

Friday, December 18, 2015

I'm back!

 Merry Christmas!
grand daughter in Santa hat

I titled this post "I'm back" because I haven't been on the computer in a while... due to:

1. Our old computer crashed  - was kind of wishing it had died, but lo and behold, the Geek Squad at Best Buy resurrected it (??#!%). So we will limp on with it for awhile. 


 2. We had to make an emergency run to Baton Rouge, La where DH's mom was just put into a hospice there. We only stayed a few days and even then we weren't sure if she knew who we were. She is 98 and had 5 sons. One died from an overdose of anesthesia during a tonsillectomy when he was 3, but the other 4 all went on to graduate from college - and despite my MIL's age, she has been doing fairly well until recently. But we are very glad that we went. It was nice to see and talk to family.

However,  we were surprised at the traffic in Baton Rouge nowadays. Granted, it's been a long time since DH and I were students at LSUBR, but getting around in the traffic was really difficult. I don't think I'll complain about Dallas traffic ever again. Someone told us that it's been that way since Katrina - when so many moved out of New Orleans and settled in Baton Rouge to stay...(?)

I also find it hard to believe that Christmas is next week! I'm just sending out Christmas cards today and starting to bake rum cakes.

Julie helping me bake.... (actually she doesn't like me encroaching on her space)

While I'm in the kitchen here, I'll post a picture of Rose huddled up to the Aga. It's been in the 30's here and Rose at 21 seems to need to keep warm... as you can see.

Rose staying warm...

and while I'm here, I'll take a pic of my new little addition to my "bird/chicken collection" on top of the Aga. 

The little blackbird and owl were given to me, and I bought the 2 larger chickens... but the little guy in the middle is one of my own ceramic creations.

And FYI... tomorrow I plan to spend part of the day catching up on everyone's posts from the last week! (... and continue baking!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

tis the season...

Ghost says hi!

DH and I went walking at the Mall Monday.  Santa was there talking to the kids before the photo shots, so I snapped a few pics of him. He really is a nice looking Santa. 

... and further down there was a Santa and sleigh complete with reindeer as well as a gingerbread house display

Pretty impressive houses! That's one Christmas tradition we've never adhered to... making gingerbread houses. We make rum cakes and Christmas tea cookies and whiskey balls, but no gingerbread houses. Do you make them? And are they good to eat or just for show?

Talking about being good to eat - I just made a huge pot of African Chicken Peanut soup. We don't make a lot of soup - but this one is so easy and delicious that we do try to make it fairly often. My daughter makes it also down in San Antonio. I sent her a picture on my iPhone as we were talking and she said , "Funny... I was just thinking about that soup". 

African Chicken Peanut Soup

We also bought some white chocolate peppermint tea at Teavana. It's one of their seasonal teas that you can't get at other times throughout the year. I hope to buy more when they put it on sale after Christmas. 

Well, that's about it. Oh... I did promise someone I would post a pic of my cat sculpture that blew up in the kiln.  I actually modeled it after Ghost except for the ears. Ghost has really neat little ears, but some cats (especially some kittens have very large ears and it's so..oo cute.) 

Skita's ears...

cat sculpture that exploded...
After I did the ears, I knew they were too large... and I was planning to remove and redo them. But when I showed DH, he said he kind of liked them (probably reminded him of Skita's ears), so I decided to leave them alone.  

Oh, and DH got a picture of one of our *on again - off again* outside feral kits this week. He is about 6 - 9 months old and has a beautiful mane of grey fur around his neck. He and his mom show up in our front garden ever so often.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

quiet Sunday...

Krispie Kreme Donuts!!

OK, I'm not a donut person... BUT... hot, fresh-baked Krispie Kreme donuts are hard to resist! And this morning, we didn't.  As you can see, 3 are already missing. DH had 2, I had one, but will have another before the morning is out. I guess we will have to make it up the rest of the week... perhaps by walking more and eating salad?  (whatever... they are really good and worth it)

We did get the tree decorated... mostly. Lights and ornaments are on, but may need a little more red trim...

Ghost checking out tree

And we did put out a red wood box with "Merry Christmas!" on it on the front porch and filled it with hay... for any feral visitors who might need a place to rest. And since we had a few days of 30 F temps, we put the heat lamps out on the back porch.

I ordered our Christmas cards, and sent out a few packages, but am still behind on some things. Hope to get to Christmas baking next week. 

Concerning my pottery, the soap dishes came out fine, and I'm OK with my leaf vase, but my cat sculpture blew up in the kiln... at least that's what I was told. It didn't actually blow up, but cracked in several places and although the instructor put it on the shelf so I could see it Saturday, it disappeared Friday. Things do tend to disappear off the shelves at the studio as there are tons of people around taking classes and anyone can walk through. 

soap dishes

leaf vase
clay critters  - these have been blackbirded... and are being fired one final time

Well, that's about the news here on my home-front. I'm hoping to keep Christmas low key and 'kind'... if that makes any sense. We don't have a lot of money to spend and really, most of us don't need anything. We're not rich financially, but we're plenty rich when it comes to family and love.

Love the idea of "pay it forward" and ever since someone insisted on giving us $20 a few years ago to help feed the feral cats (which we do anyway), we've tried to pass it on. This year we gave to both our SPCA as well as one in Ontario, Canada (thank you Natalie)... and I like the idea of tipping $20 (even if your meal didn't cost that) around Christmas for all those who have to work long hours during the holidays. It's a little thing, but...

Have a great week!

Friday, December 4, 2015

post Thanksgiving thoughts...

Julie checking out Christmas decorations

We had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday... with family.  Since we don't really have Thanksgiving decorations, ours were a mixture of Halloween and Christmas.  We have a sign on our door that says "Merry Christmas", but I wish it said "Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas" all in one!

The food was wonderful... (everyone brought something delicious)... and the company was fantastic!  We also went to see the last Hunger Games movie Friday and then hung out at the house later that evening.  I wish I had thought to take more pics while everyone was here, but was too busy enjoying the company to think about it. Someone took this one on my cell phone while we were all sitting around the fireplace... 

2 grand daughters watching something on cell

Since Thanksgiving, we've had a lot of rain and cold weather, so most of my time has been spent sitting around the fireplace... and as you can see in the next pics, Tux and Julie prefer to do this also.

Tux and Julie enjoying the fireplace
Later I found this...

Tux on his own being comfy

Ghost on my pillow (not liking being disturbed)

Guess now it's time to focus on Christmas... which is what? 3 short weeks away!  Lots to do, but what it boils down to is more family time - looking forward to that!