Friday, December 30, 2022

New Years Eve - Eve...

 It's Friday, December 30th! New Year's Eve  Eve...

Christmas Pictures the kids sent of our grand dogs:


Moose (Great Dane) - 8 years old

Winston (Golden Doodle) - 2 years old

Cookie (French bulldog) - 2 years old

They are all sweet dogs... easy to love.

Now a Christmas pic of youngest granddaughter... 

(who is also easy to love)

and my new Christmas slippers! (DH and I don't swap gifts at Christmas anymore. Once the kids came, Christmas was for them, then the grandkids. But we usually put one thing under the tree that we want or need. This year I needed slippers - as you can see).

old slippers

new slippers

and a short video of our Christmas dinner (which was just for the 3 of us):

(The video is small and short... but you can enlarge it 
by clicking twice - I think)

We just had some turkey and ham, green beans with bacon, bourbon sweet potatoes, and mini cheese biscuits. It was a simple Christmas dinner - not like the ones from years past with 12 of us all eating and talking at the same time. But it was fine. The weather was cold enough to keep our daughter and her family home to take care of their horses, chickens, bunnies, etc. - but not too terrible. 

And we don't generally do anything for New Years Eve except make my MIL's home-made eggnog (with a splash of bourbon) and sit by the fire watching the Crystal Ball go down. 

(These are last year's pics, but since they are always the same,
 I thought I might as well use them)

So... Happy New Year 2023 to Everyone!

Hugs (virtual),

Friday, December 23, 2022

Arctic freeze cometh...

Today is Thursday, December 22, and the Arctic Freeze is just coming into our area (11 a.m.). Temps have already dropped into the teens and according to the weatherman will be around 11F by tomorrow morning. Good news is that it's not supposed to last long... and by Sunday (Christmas day) it should be warming up. I really hope they are right about that.

And it's snowing now!! 

We have our outside pipes covered, water running in the sinks, and opened our garage enough to let the feral cats and kittens inside (also put down blankets, food, and water - and the heat lamps on the back patio are on).

Oh... and our daughter sent a Christmas package of goodies which also included a 'warming cat cage for outside cats' - something I'd never heard of. It consists of a large wire cage with a heating pad on the bottom and a canvas cover to keep the wind out. How about that? We put it out for the kittens...

Now it's Friday, December 23, 2022, temps were down to 10 F this morning, but are already in the teens, so things are improving. Don't think we get above freezing until either Saturday evening or Sunday, but so far, so good. 

Since it's been advised not to go out since the wind chill is supposedly below 0, I may do a little baking. Chocolate chip peanut butter cookies have been on my mind. Not that we need any more Christmas goodies around here (but these will be gluten-free). 

We met with our good friends for breakfast Wednesday - hadn't seen them since before the pandemic. It was so great catching up. And we also exchanged Christmas cookies - which we used to do every year before Covid. He makes the best Italian cookies - fig and sesame seed ones. And she made a delicious pumpkin pecan loaf. 

And our new neighbors who just bought the house next door came over with a big stocking full of home-made Christmas goodies. Didn't expect that. We did leave a bag of Christmas goodies on their door a few days ago, but didn't expect any reciprocation since they really don't know us (yet). However, they are related the the neighbors that moved from there and we did love having them as neighbors for about 20 years. 

I guess with the cats all staying warm (I hope) somewhere, the birds have been out in mass (mostly various species of Sparrows) in the back yard this morning. 

Not a whole lot else going on. Our daughter sent a pic of Moose (their Great Dane) in a sweatshirt. She thought he looked cold... so... 

Moose is 8 or 9 and showing his age (some gray around his muzzle)... and he doesn't like the cold. 

That's it for now. Hoping you are all surviving this Arctic weather OK. Stay warm, stay safe, and stay inside if you can. 

Hugs (virtual),


Saturday, December 17, 2022

Finished tree... and other stuff

Finally finished decorating tree. Added more animals to the bottom and more ornaments and Mardi Gras beads to the tree itself. First pic is tree without the lights on, second is close up of animals under the tree and third is tree with lights on. It is ready! 

I also made some rum cakes and more whiskey balls for the neighbors (and actually remembered to take a pic). 

Oh, also got a package in the mail from one of the kids.
(Don't you just love getting packages in the mail!)
This is what was in it:

Kitty cannister

Really cute, but my kitchen counter is pretty cluttered. Going to have to find a way to fit it on there.

And our Christmas bar is getting filled up:

And now weatherman/woman  says we may be in for another Arctic blast next week... with it getting down into the teens (possibly even single digits) by next Friday. If this happens, it will be a test for our Texas Grid (which failed miserably back in 2021). I really hope this time they have this covered. 

That's it, my friends! 

Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend! 

Stay warm and stay safe!

Giving you all a virtual hug


thanks for putting up with my ramblings this past year!


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Crazy busy...

Since I only have a few of your physical addresses, I decided I'd just post a pic of my Christmas cards to all of you!  


I must really be feeling my age as lately life is crazy busy. I spent another 2 days with my friend at her place last week. She is having a difficult time, but I think she will eventually get to a good place - it just takes time... and support. 

Coming home I had 3 days of baking Christmas goodies to fill tins and mail out to kids, family, and friends. My plans were to make about 8-10 different cookies, candies, etc. - but time ran out (and so did my energy) and I ended up with about 5 (frosted almond tea cakes, whiskey ball, chocolate nutty bark, peanut butter chocolate chip, and pralines). Didn't get to the Snickerdoodles, Rolo cookies, pretzel caramels, espresso shortbread, or lemon drops - oh well, another time. I will bake several rum cakes sometime this week... and maybe a pecan pie with chocolate chunks and bourbon... (we'll see) for Christmas day.

DH wants a ham for Christmas dinner (I'm not into ham), but that's OK. He and grandson will enjoy it. We're not sure what we're doing for Christmas this year. Daughter and family may or may not be coming in - depending on everyone's work and school schedules. And oldest son and wife just moved to McAllen, Texas. But we'll probably get together with youngest son and his family at some point.

I still haven't completely finished decorating the tree. The ornaments are on it - just need to add the ribbon garland and Mardi Gras beads.  And I can't find the "Merry Christmas!" sign for the front door. I know I've seen it somewhere... just can't remember where.

The 4 kittens (3 black and 1 gray) in the back are enjoying the cat tree lately. They are a cute little group. I think their mama has left them on their own now (they must be about 3 months old... fat and fluffy)! They're also not as spooky as they used to be... coming up to the back door and looking in. If we can get them friendly enough, I'd like to take them to the adoption room at our local shelter.

Here's 2 videos of them playing on the cat tree. It's difficult to see as the videos were taken through the kitchen French doors and the kittens are almost the same color of the cat tree...  and also the window panes are filthy... but it's impossible to keep little paws (kittens coons, possums) off. 

(Remember you can click twice if necessary to get the video and then enlarge it if necessary to full screen)


And now I'm going to close with a little 'venting'. DH and I just came back from the Post Office to drop off one more cookie package that needed to be mailed to a P.O. Box. (FedEx tells me the USPS frowns on them sending to a P.O. Box - who knew??)

The lady(??) who helped (??) me was a young black woman with 3 inch fingernails...  and apparently the machine that takes your cc and asks you if you're mailing something explosive wasn't working.

She kept telling me to tap it. 

"Tap it where?" I kept asking. It isn't saying anything on the screen.

" Just tap the X or the O."

So I tapped the X... and left it. She said "Tap it again." 

I said, "I already tapped it." She said "that was to whether it was anything dangerous. This is for something else." Screen still blank.

I said, "But the screen isn't saying anything."

She said, "It's broken".  

I said, "But you still want me to tap it."

She said, "Yes!!" and put her 3 inch claws around the plastic divider , pointing to the blank machine. (I wanted to slap her hand away... I knew where the machine was...

"And you want me to insert my cc into this broken machine?"

"Yes!!" she said.

I did, and she gave me a receipt... as I walked away shaking my head.  At one point I almost grabbed my package and said, "NEVER MIND!"

It's amazing how one person can make or break your day... when I got into the car, DH asked me what was wrong. I said, "I really wanted to slap her..." (and that's not me - at least I don't think so)

Going to really close now and hope my little rant wasn't too disturbing. Do hope you all have a pleasant week. Christmas is just around the corner... 



Wednesday, December 7, 2022

What makes you smile?

Since my no arms one-eyed froggy is a keeper, I started to think about what other things actually make me smile or laugh. One of the first things that came to mind is the song "All God's Creatures have a place in the Choir".  Every time I hear that, it makes me smile. Not sure if it's the words or the melody, but I love it. DH says he may have it played at my funeral/memorial service. Told him it was fine with me, but not sure it was appropriate. 

I'm going to try to add the video of Celtic Thunder from You Tube here because these guys make me laugh singing it.  

 Celtic Thunder

Isn't that great?

Watching the kittens play outside makes DH and I both smile. Kittens are so funny - the way they sneak around and pounce on things (even each other)... and how they jump straight up in the air when surprised... and puff up like little powder puffs!

Of course kids and grandkids make us smile too... especially when they're young and say or do something adorable.  I do remember the 
first time my first baby (oldest son) smiled. Some babies do it at earlier ages, but he was 3 months old when he cracked that first crooked smile (I was feeding him at the time)... my heart exploded!

I guess there are many many other things I could list here, but not going to do that. Just wanted to make you think of what things might make you smile... and perhaps you'd like to share. 

Hugs (virtual),

*BTW, finally got our omicron vaccine this week. Glad that's done. 

Goliath's ornament (daughter's Freisian)
(He was really a beauty... and we still miss him)

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Our animal Xmas tree...


Our Animal Christmas Tree

Ornaments for cats we've had and lost...





There are many others on here, but I won't do all of them... 
but they do all remain in our hearts forever

And I know you will think I'm a little nuts (and maybe I am) but I saw this on Facebook and thought 'yes, that's me'

(and we did give our treadmill to the Salvation Army this year)

and this is a sample of stupid little things I can't throw away:

(You may have to click it twice and enlarge to see it well)

I know I should toss it, but I see it on my desk and it makes me smile, then I wind it up and it makes me laugh.  He's missing arms and one eye and continues to do his thing...

BTW, my favorite Christmas song is "Mary, did you know". Wondering what is yours?

(still virtual unless you're family),

Oh, one other thing... (3 dots - an ellipsis - and yes, Kay, I do use these a lot) But wanted to say that I still do Christmas cards and would love to send you one - but I need a physical address - if you care to send it to me (thanks, Joanne), my email is If not, that is fine too. (I do have some, but not all)

Thursday, December 1, 2022

White Rabbit!! and Hot chocolate and other stuff...

Happy December 1, 2022

Rabbit! Rabbit! White Rabbit!!
(sculpted bunny)

hot chocolate at Eataly's

DH and I went to the Mall this week. I had a return and we had a few things we needed to get for Christmas mailings. But after we did our errands, we stopped for hot chocolate at Eataly's. We haven't done this in a long time and it was nice. We still wear our masks, but are getting out more.

Santa was reading The Night Before Christmas 
(you may have to click twice and enlarge)

Today (Wednesday) we're getting our Omicron boosters. I sure hope it doesn't make us feel bad as with Christmas around the corner, there's still a lot to do. But that's a good reason to get it now.  We've got the tree up, gifts purchased, and Christmas cards started. So... I've made a good start. The Christmas baking will begin next week so I can get everything mailed on time.

The Christmas tree decorating is well on it's way. I probably have at least half the ornaments up... but it's still a work in progress... and will continue to be so until the Mardi Gras beads go on last. Then it will stay up until the week after New Years. That's our tradition. And when it's time to take down and put outside for pickup - it's a sad day, but we let it keep one ornament inside it's branches as a thank you (silly? maybe). 

This is the very start of trimming...
(lights are on the tree, but off for the pics).
a few other Christmassy things:



That's about it for Christmas decor so far... (starting on our animal tree in the other room today... more on that later)

And I'm going to close with a pic of youngest granddaughter's 10th birthday this week! 

youngest son, DIL, and granddaughter

Hugs (virtual),

*My friend who had surgery is having a hard time. Please pray for her. Things haven't gone too well after the surgery and I just keep hoping that it will get better. I'd appreciate any good thoughts or prayers you could send her way. 

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022

Friday: I've spent part of this morning reading about Thanksgiving at other bloggers houses, so thought I'd add my two cents worth.

Ours was quiet for the most part. But we did FaceTime with our kids who were down in the hill country celebrating at our daughter's house. DH didn't want to drive on the roads during the holidays (and the weather was bad), so we decided to stay home.

But DH, grandson, and myself went out to a nice restaurant for dinner. And since it has been about 2 years since we've done this, we all really enjoyed it. We made reservations for 5 pm - thinking most will be there by 1 or 2:00, so maybe (just maybe) it wouldn't be terribly crowded. Well, we were right (and the bad weather helped - it was raining and cold so some may have cancelled) and although most tables were filled, it wasn't over crowded. 

It was served family style: first was the entree and we had the option of choosing 2 from turkey & stuffing, ham, or Tilapia, then a choice of 2 pastas from a selection of 4 (and 2 could be gluten free), then a choice of 2 sides from garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, creamed corn,  parmesan broccoli, and sausage stuffing, and finally a choice of 2 desserts - Tiramisu, caramel apple crostata, and pumpkin cheesecake. And the chef also brought out his special bruschetta before the entree. It looked great and the boys ate it... since it wasn't gluten-free, I didn't try it. We forgot to take pics of the food, but remembered for the desserts. 

Tiramisu and Caramel apple Crostata

Now this morning (Friday) DH and I went and picked up our Christmas tree.  It's not huge, but the one we found is probably 7-8 ft. We will bring it in tomorrow morning... and slowly decorate it between now and Christmas. Since I won't post this until tomorrow, I will take a pic when we get it in the house.

Saturday: Grandson helped DH get the tree into the house when he came home from work yesterday. So now it's inside and ready to begin the decorating process. First I have to 'find' the Christmas tree skirt... and where we've put all the decorations. You would think we'd put it all in one place... but of course we don't. And with our 'old age' memories, sometimes it takes a while. 

tree with lights, but no ornaments yet

We're getting there...

Hoping you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving... and wishing all the best for coming holidays. Stay warm, stay well, and stay safe!

Hugs (virtual),


Sunday, November 20, 2022

Taking down Halloween...

 ... and going straight to Christmas! We don't do Thanksgiving decorations. Thanksgiving is more for food and family - and besides the fact that pumpkins can be used for Thanksgiving too (I like pumpkins!), turkeys are not that cute. 

So today I took down what was still up for Halloween (bats, pumpkins, and holiday elves), and started putting up Santas, reindeer, stockings, and other Christmasy items. 

We usually get our tree the day after Thanksgiving. We like the Douglas Fir or the Frasier Fir and used to get a 10ft live tree each year. Since we're retired and the kids aren't always around to help, we now get a 6ft one. We tried to go from a real tree to a an artificial one the first year of retirement, but it was a 'no go'... just didn't feel right (or smell right). 

Besides, the cats (who were always 'inside only' cats), LOVED the real tree. They would climb up it, lie under it, play with the ornaments, etc. It was a real treat for them. Sometimes a mess for us when they took a whole string of lights down... but that was OK. We didn't mind.

Ghost in Christmas tree

Not much else to say. Thanksgiving is this week, so food and family are on the agenda. Since I'm not cooking this year, we will buy some turkey to share with the ferals... and I will report more on Thanksgiving next week. But in the meantime, I do wish you all a

 Happy Healthy Safe Thanksgiving! 
(and safe travels if you're on the road or in the sky)

More pics of our porky little possum:

and more reading by the fire for me:

(You may have to click twice to get the video to come up... 
and also do a full screen to get the effect.)

I hope this video of our fireplace comes out OK. There is a sofa directly across from it where I lie down to read on cold dreary days. Luckily I have about 6 books left in my 'to read' pile... otherwise I'd be like the orange cat in the meme below.

Hugs (virtual),

(Oh, I meant to recommend a series on Netflix we recently watched. It's called "From Scratch".  It can be a little sad towards the end, but overall a really nice story... and it's only 8 episodes - although they may do a second season).

Thursday, November 17, 2022

another try...

Started writing a post last Thursday... one of those that would continue for a few days. Well, last Saturday while I was writing on it, something happened and the whole post disappeared! Just gone! I tried to do the 'go back' thing - didn't work. Tried to find it in other ways that Blogger recommended - didn't work. Finally gave up and let it go. 

Today (a week later) I'm starting fresh. I know I mentioned in that post that I wasn't feeling great for a day or so... nothing bad... just headachy. But it was dreary, cold, and rainy and sometimes the weather does that to me (supposedly it's something to do with the barometric pressure).  Anyway, it eventually went away. 

There were other things going on that could have contributed. My dear friend was going into surgery for the recurrence of Breast Cancer Wednesday. I was very worried about her. 

And our oldest son and his wife are moving this month from Texarkana - so he was coming into town to pick up a few things and help celebrate his son's birthday (our grandson who lives with us).

I made rum birthday cake for grandson and 2 loaves for son to take home. 

And I think that I also mentioned in that lost post that DH and I visited the new HEB grocery that opened a little closer to us in Plano (one opened a few weeks ago in Frisco and we had checked out that one, but didn't really shop there). This time we shopped - thinking we would use it instead of our normal Central Market store (also owned by HEB). Nope! Won't be doing that. It's a beautiful store, but way too big. After about 45 minutes of walking through it, I was ready to get out. 

Central Market is more our style - a lot smaller, but kind of a cross between Whole Foods and Sprouts. And I like being able to get just a few tablespoons/cups of herbs (or chocolate, salt, flour, etc.) out of a bin, plus almost all of their products are hormone free, etc. 

Next on our agenda is youngest granddaughter's birthday. She will be 10 this month (really hard to believe). Since her birthday is so close to Christmas, I tend to go with clothes for the birthday and toys (or games, etc.) for Christmas. I don't believe that anyone in my family reads my blog, so I feel safe with posting a few things that I put in her birthday bag. This little dress looked like her, so I ordered it.

I also included some multicolored leggings (that could be worn with the dress or with included t-shirt - which looks like her dog, Cookie), cat slippers, and a jewelry kit for making her own jewelry... 

And I guess that's it. Oh, the little possum that comes by is getting fatter by the day. He's also taken to climbing into the cat tree and spending time there after he eats. DH feels like he's decided it's his 'special place'.

porky possum in cat tree

Ok, this is really last week's post rewritten, but nothing new to add, so I will close. This week is quiet... and that's good... with Thanksgiving and Christmas sneaking up on us, we can use the peace and quiet for a few days. Wishing you the same.

Hugs (virtual),