Monday, December 26, 2016

Twas the day after Christmas...

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house...

there's wrappings, and ribbons, and an occasional toy mouse!

Well, this is what it looks like at our house anyway. The cats got their toys early Christmas morning and then were delegated to the bedroom to spend the day as the cooking and cleaning commenced and family arrived to celebrate. The cats were however very duly compensated for this inconvenience with liberal helpings of smoked turkey. (Outside ferals were also treated to this Christmas special!)

The menu consisted of Smoked Turkey (compliments of DH), bourbon sweet potatoes, Jalapena' Pecan Stuffing, broccoli-cauliflower casserole, salad, and rolls... not to mention DH's mile-high cheesecake and our family's traditional cookie crust pudding! My challenge is always not to get it all cooked, but to get it cooked and still hot onto the table. I think I may have accomplished this better this year.

All in all, we had a good time together... and enjoyed watching youngest grand daughter open her gifts. At one point, the bubble wrap around one of the gifts proved ample entertainment (for her as well as us) as she stomped and stomped on it to hear it pop! I had planned to take pictures, but got so involved with the serving, talking, and entertaining that I completely forgot. So... as you can see... no Christmas pics for Christmas day (unless someone else there took some that I'm not aware of).

My daughter down in the Hill country (who was here last week with her family) did send what she is considering a Christmas pic (even though she didn't have it in time for Christmas cards). I'm posting this one as it's really cute and it's all I have to post at the moment.

Oldest grand daughter 

So... amidst all the tinsel and glamor of the holidays, I think we were able to enjoy what Christmas is all about... the coming together of family in peace and love. Whether you lean towards a totally religious experience or a more secular one... it can still accomplish the desired effect as long as peace and love are involved. Families coming together  is what the birth of Jesus personifies... a spark of divine love in a world that needed it... and still needs it. I know this isn't exactly how we were taught in religion growing up, but it makes sense to me. And it's certainly no epiphany - just a slip of the keys between my mind and fingers.

Merry Christmas (the day after)!  And sending peace and love out to all of my fellow bloggers! If I don't get back here to blog again before the weekend, Happy New Year to All! 

I wish you all a Safe Happy 2017!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

the days before Christmas...

First dance recital

This past weekend was  our youngest grand daughter's first dance recital.  Loved it! The littlest ones (including ours) were 4 years old and watching them dance... and refuse to dance was adorable.

Ours is on the far left - hiding her face

When asked later why she was acting so grumpy, she said that all she could see was lights and she couldn't see her family... so she didn't know if we were there. 

This last pic was taken at the end of the performance when everyone was on stage. Grand daughter looks a bit bored with it all...

Daughter, me, and Grand daughter

Also our daughter and her family live in the Hill Country around San Antonio, Texas. They came down for a quick Christmas visit this week. We took this pic the morning before they left. I think it came out cute... although it was early and we may have all been still half asleep.

It has certainly been a busy few weeks. 
I'm hoping to have everyone over here for Christmas dinner Sunday... and get a few pics of the rest of the family.  Have the menu planned... fairly simple... Turkey, Stuffing, Bourbon Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli and Cauliflower casserole, and hot rolls! (and DH's cheesecake and our family's traditional baked cookie pudding for dessert)  

However... I'm fighting a possible coupy cough again. Just started yesterday. Kept me up all night. Got up and took Mucinex and Tylenol. Have 48 hours to get rid of it quickly. Gargling and using saline nasal drops... drinking hot tea and hot chicken soup. Any other suggestions? 

The cats are continuing to enjoy the tree... no disasters so far. Here are a few 'around the house' decorations...

Santa in entry

Christmas cards and goodies on bar...

Our Santa Elf on Grandfather clock...

Christmas garland on fireplace

And lastly... Ghost in her new Christmas bed. We bought this little bed for all to share, but Ghost has taken over it.

Ghost sleeping

Merry Christmas!! Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Catching up with Christmas...

tree decorated

Ghost under decorated tree

as I got closer... 

Well, the tree is up and decorated, the mantle has it's garland, and I started baking Christmas cookies and whiskey balls today... 

Christmas tea cakes

whiskey balls  - DH's favorite

And I also made a big batch of African Chicken Peanut soup today!

So-oo good!

And as I cooked and baked, DH watched football and the cats enjoyed the warmth of the Aga. I've gotten use to cooking 'over' them in the kitchen...

keeping warm...

And regarding feral cats, I have to mention this. One of our neighbors wrote on our neighborhood association watch (which goes through our cell phones) that he had recently put out a box with a cat bed in it for the neighborhood ferals - to help with the cold. He called it his *feral B&B*. 

Several others commented on how nice this was... and so far, no negative comments. (I wanted to say that I've been doing this for years along with heat lamps and straw on the back patio - but don't want to rock the boat) So happy that there are a few around that feel the need to help these homeless critters. So we silently joined his B&B idea and added a box and bed on the front porch. As you can see, it has occupants already.

feral B&B 

And I will post this sign again... as it really makes a point:

Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Home again... after 2 weeks in New Orleans

Christmas tree 2016

Hi! Sorry I haven't blogged in about 2 weeks, but I flew down to New Orleans to help my cousin with her knee replacement surgery. (BTW she's doing very well, but did have a hard time of it) I just got back home this weekend and am now busy catching up on reading all the blogs I missed. 

My cousin, Barb,  is still working (at 73), so she scheduled her surgery during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays. This will give her time hopefully to get back on her feet by January. 

I actually flew down the day of Barb's surgery and my other cousin, Darnell,  picked me up at the airport and kept me at her place in Mississippi until Barb was released from the hospital. I appreciated her doing this so much as I love the Gulf Coast area where she lives and it was nice having 2 days to visit with her. 

Now, where to start. So much to say. Besides all the adventures of taking care of my cousin (which included a middle of the night visit to the Emergency Room due to a severe reaction to Oxycodone), and another quick visit to her doctor (due to to a reaction to either the adhesive used on the surgery wound or the glue used in the surgery), we did get to visit an old N.O. icon, "Angelo Brocato's Italian Bakery".

Luckily it happened to be on the route home from the doctor's visit. DH loves the sesame seed cookies (I do too!).

And of course they have a wonderful selection of Italian and Sicilian cookies and pastries, as well as Gelato and fresh hand-made Cannolis. We bought DH's cookies and took home a selection of others for my cousin and I to try. Delicious!! This is definitely a place to add to my "have to go's" next time we visit.

Angelo Bracato's Bakery

My other "have to go's" include cafe' au lait at the Morning Call in City Park and several restaurants that have the best Red Beans and Rice as well as oyster po-boys! This was not a vacation visit, so happening upon this bakery was definitely a plus.

My cousin, Darnell, has a tiny little Yorkie named Titan. Here is his picture.

And Barb has 2 cats. I didn't get a pic of Anna as she stayed off on her own a lot. But here is a pic of Kuchi.


A friend of mine, Karen, picked me up one afternoon and took me for a walk in City Park. It is really the most beautiful park with all the lagoons and oak trees with their hanging moss. She and I went to high school together and later were room-mates one semester at LSUBR (back in the 60's) before she left for nursing school. So-oo... even though it was Thanksgiving week and I didn't get to see all the family in N.O., I did get to visit with 2 cousins and one friend while down there. This was more than I'd planned to do, so it was great.

trail through City Park

And thank you all so much for all the sympathies and condolences for our having lost Rose the weekend I was preparing to leave. It was a shock... even though it shouldn't have been - considering her age. I still look for her at her place besides the Aga...

So, again forgive me for not blogging or commenting recently, but I will try to catch up in the next few days. 

Have a great rest of the week!