Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Watched "The Creator" on Christmas Eve...

Yes, we watched "The Creator" on Christmas Eve... not exactly a happy Christmas story (although the name would appear so). It is basically about AI - which is also a series of books I'm reading on my kindle (Steel Guardian by Cameron Coral). It's not the same story, but similar. Basically it's about future development of AI who are both intelligent and sentient (to a point). Ends up with the more intelligent AI robotics fighting a war against the humans. There are 3 camps: the robots who hate humans, the humans who hate robots, and the robots and humans that live together harmoniously (sound familiar?). In both book and movie, a child is created (not exactly sure how) and this child is considered to be either the 'answer' or the 'weapon' - depending on which camp you are in.

Anyhow, I found it interesting. I think AI is here and we ought to learn as much about it as we can in order to know how to deal with it. That said, those of us who are 'older' will probably not have to deal with it long. But our kids and grandkids will... (at least these are my thoughts).

OK, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and will soon have a Happy New Year. 2024 is almost here! Hard to believe for one born in 1945. How did those years past so fast? 

It's the day after Christmas and when DH hugged me and whispered Merry Christmas yesterday evening, my words were "Yes, we made it through another Christmas, how about that?" Not to say I didn't enjoy it, I did... love all the family/friend get togethers as well as the atmosphere of love and kindness... but lets' face it, it's a lot of hard work. But I'll continue to do it as long as I can because of the wonder of it all... and for the memories we're creating.  

What are your thoughts the day after Christmas? 

To close here's a few pics of our oldest son's 2 dogs dressed up for Christmas:



And yes, the outside ferals got their share of Christmas dinner and a few kitty toys!

Hugs (virtually),


Sunday, December 17, 2023

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... around here. There's baking taking over the kitchen, packages and wrapping paper taking over rooms, and goodies being received from family/friends on the bar!

Xmas tea cakes - as yet undecorated

Xmas goodies on bar

Xmas tree unlit

Close up of tree to see the Mardi Gras beads

Our little kitty under the tree

Doorbell ringing with Amazon and UPS deliveries! Phone ringing with kids trying to coincide their times with ours, Family members from out of state checking in to say Merry Christmas, etc.

The last week of frenzied activity... but all fun and only once a year (thank goodness)! 

And before I forget I have to tell you 'a little story'. It's short and not that exciting, but it made my day last week. OK, I have a Amazfit watch. My son gave it to me a few years ago. It does a lot of the same things (but not all) that an Apple watch does (but not as expensive). However, I really like it and wear it every day... not to tell time, but I like the way it tracks my steps and my sleep (time of deep and light sleep, heartrate, etc.) and more than anything I like that it vibrates when I get a phone call (most of the time I have no idea where my iPhone is so may not hear it). 

But about 2 weeks ago, the wristband broke. So, I was looking on Amazon to see about buying another Amazfit watch... and low and behold, there were available watchbands you could buy for the Amazfit 5 (12 for 9.99!). I couldn't believe it. I thought the watch and the band were all in one... but believe it or not, the watch fits inside the rubbery band and you just have to snap it off. I was amazed! (Amazon is wonderful) I now have 12 different color wristbands  to match my outfits (although I like the grey  and probably won't change it unless it breaks). Anyway, that's my story. 

Broken wristband

new grey wristband

assortment of wristbands...

How about that?  Just a little thing, but it made me happy. How about you ?  Any little things that brought you joy lately that you'd like to share?

And finally decorated my Christmas tea cakes :

Wishing you all a very safe healthy Merry Christmas 2023!

(and grateful from the bottom of my heart for my blogger friends - for their kindness in sharing these little things with me) 

Hugs (virtually),

Sunday, December 10, 2023

a poem remembered...

"So much to do... so little time. I could not let my body tire..." These words are from a poem called "The Blue Bowl" that I read years and years ago. For some reason these words have always stayed with me. It's a really nice poem. If you get a chance, check it out. It's by Blanche Bane Kuder. You can google it.

Perhaps with Christmas and all that entails, it's fitting that I think of this poem. We try to make our homes a "pleasant place where weariness might take its rest". The world we live in is complicated. It's truly full of wonderful things... yet, it can be full of sorrow and sadness too.

All we can do (IMO) is try to find a balance between the two. How? Each of us must find our own way. But in general I imagine it's just enjoying the beauty this world brings while helping in whatever way we can to alleviate the sorrow. Loving kindness to all is a start... and it fits into all phases of our lives... at home, at work, world-wide. 

Now I realize this may all sound naive. It's complicated. Yes, it is... but like Mother Teresa said, "Not all of us can do great things. but we can do little things with great love". Anyway, it's something I think about when it feels like the world has gone mad.

It's Christmas, a magical time! I remember how magical it felt as a child. And remembering, I know that I do believe in magic (not the kind that in the old days people associated with evil, but the kind associated with miracles). The magic of Christmas to me is similar to the words in the song "Amazing Grace'.... ("how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed"). We 'believed' as a child  in Santa Claus and reindeers on the roof, etc. And that believing made it real. The story behind Saint Nicholas could be real, could be legend... but even if it was a just a story that brought happiness and joy to children - that is magic enough.  

Ok, enough of that - my monkey mind goes on and on.  I do like this next picture though...

there is magic there too

And Look! My Hatch Pepper plant has 2 Hatch Peppers growing on this side... and 1 on the other! I had to transplant it into a bigger pot and now it doesn't fit on the windowsill with it's friend, Mary Maidenhair Fern. I'm hoping the separation won't be too damaging.

OK, back to baking! So far I've made as of now - un
decorated Christmas tea cakes, Espresso chocolate delights, and Pecan chocolate graham cracker bark.  Tomorrow it's Whiskey Balls, pralines, and little rum cakes!

Christmas Elf 

So now my Elf and I bid you good day! 
 And also wish that you all have a 
Magical Christmas!

Hugs (virtual),

Thursday, December 7, 2023

last minute Christmas 'to do's'...

cute cat ornament

I don't have anything specific to blog about this morning. But like everyone else these days, there's so much last minute stuff that needs doing. With me it's mostly getting all the cards and goodies made, put together,  and mailed.  

This morning on my 'to do' list was e-check in with my Cardiologist for appointment next week, call my Eye Doctor for annual appointment in January, work on  knitted Afghan so it can be delivered next week, mail a few Christmas cards (I do these a few at a time), and make weekly supply of home-made catfood for the ferals. 

(Our grandson who lives with us isn't feeling well this morning. Hopefully he hasn't picked up Covid at his work, but it's entirely possible. He is wearing a mask and staying up in his room for the most part.) 

The Christmas tree is almost finished. Ornaments are on, just have to add the Mardi Gras beads. I'll post a pic when it's done.

Our 'animal tree' is done. It sits on the front room table with ornaments of our past kitties whose love we still hold in our hearts. All of our kitties had been with us for 15 years or more... so they are very much missed. 

and now The ferals get all our attention and care:

cooking for ferals this morning

BTW,  DH and I finally got into a few activities at our Senior Center. Every time we've tried to get into anything this past year, it's always been 'full'. I had to go online on Dec. 4th and actually got in 3 of the 4 that we wanted. We're on a waiting list for the 4th one. 2 of them are talks (one is about 'AI' and the other is about 'Advances in hearing technology'), and 2 are fitness related.

It's hard to plan activities that run from January through the summer. Things don't always go as planned, but all you can do is schedule the dates and...  hope for the best.

This coming weekend is bake, bake, bake... and then mail, mail, mail! Actually we FedEx... don't mail (finding mail not so trust-worthy anymore. Takes forever in some areas). Then I have an appointment to have my heart monitor put on, then a Christmas lunch with friends, and hopefully by then, some of the Christmas orders will be here so I can wrap or bag (Xmas bags are more expensive, but definitely easier).

Lastly, I will post a pic of Santa in the Cheeky Chicken yard (on my shelf) :

and a funny meme:

Thanks for reading...

Hugs (virtual),

Friday, December 1, 2023

Rabbit! Rabbit! White Rabbit! Dec. 1, 2023


Wow! It's December already!  

Rabbit! Rabbit! White Rabbit!

... almost missed this one. Can't believe it's December 1st already!

hugs (virtual),


Sunday, November 26, 2023

a Thanksgiving 2023 update...

I thought about putting away the Easter tablecloth and the Halloween pumpkins and just doing the whole table and room Christmas for Thanksgiving... but only 'thought' of doing that. Decided it much easier each holiday to just add something new. So I added a Santa to the middle of the table and kept the bunny tablecloth and pumpkins... not sure anyone noticed or cared. 

Thanksgiving Table 2023

I do have a Pumpkin tablecloth as well as a Christmas one, but I just love the 'bunny' one... so I tend to leave it on. Anyway the family and the food take precedence, right? 

And I try to take photos at family gatherings so we can reminisce later - but get so busy either cooking or talking that I never take as many as I'd like. Luckily daughter was willing to take on this job and got some good videos as well as still shots.  She took this video of all of us gathering in front of the fireplace (actually this is the second attempt - everyone was acting silly in the first try so we had to go again.) Then she made the best part into a still photo. Here it is:

We actually didn't think to take any photos of the food... but there was a lot of it... so some was sent home with the kids.  

Friday morning after Thanksgiving is our traditional day to get our tree... and we always go to the same place where they have the best freshest Frasier Firs (they last forever and don't even drop their needles by the day after New Year - which is when we take the tree down). Our SIL used his truck and we got the tree loaded and home pretty quickly. 

Love the smell of a fresh tree in the house! DH and I tried to go artificial a few years ago, but just couldn't. We missed the tradition and smell of a real Christmas tree. It just wasn't the same. 

Naked tree...

It will take a while to get it decorated. I'm very slow and only do a few ornaments at a time. But eventually I'll post the completed tree. 

Also, while we were at the garden center where we bought the tree, we took pics there. They had some really cute places that were picture worthy. So we all took a few. Here's the one of DH and me.

We're not actually smiling, but it works...

And just for those who might be interested, the ferals did get their share of turkey too. So did Moose (daughter's Great Dane) who, by the way, was very well behaved. Here's a few pics of him:

OK, enough about Thanksgiving...  it's over.  Now on to Christmas! 
Hoping all of you had a nice Thanksgiving and are preparing for a wonderful Christmas. Lots to do.  Thanks for reading and letting me share. 

Hugs (virtual),

(Also I want to say that it feels weird to post good things when around the world people are suffering... )

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

a pre-Thanksgiving post...2023


wish this was me today... but not!

Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving (tomorrow) as there will be no time once all the kids get in later.

Had a bad week last week with bp spiking again... but better now. Have Cardiologist appointment for another heart monitor scheduled (ugh!) Thought my B-12 injections had settled that problem, but I guess not.

Anyway, busy this morning making bourbon sweet potatoes, and our traditional Thanksgiving dessert (which is a combination chocolate and vanilla puddings with a pecan cookie crust, cream cheese, and cool whip). DH is smoking the turkey and the ham. Kids are bringing the stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, home-made sourdough bread, cranberry bites (not sure what that is - but daughter is bringing it as well as another dessert). We should also have bourbon pecan pie, apple caramel pie,  and whatever else shows up. 

We will be 9 or 10 around the table this year (would be 12 but oldest son and his wife are in Mission, TX and won't be in this year). Daughter is also bringing their Great Dane, Moose, as she found someone to watch the horses at their place, but no one to watch Moose. He has never been here before, but is a very well behaved dog... (although the feral cats out back won't like it).

No time for further blogging. Timers going off! 

Wishing all of you a wonderful Happy Peaceful Thanksgiving!


Hugs (virtual),


Saturday, November 11, 2023

Update on annual Wellness Exam...

getting old meme

This will be rather short. Just had my annual Wellness Exam. Both my Primary Physician and Nurse Practitioner were booked this past week, so I took an appointment with the new Physician's Assistant. She was great, very personable and extremely thorough.

I know that as we get older, there are a ton of questions that must be asked that are required to make sure us elders are not depressed or physically or emotionally unable to take care of ourselves. But I do find some of the questions a bit strange... like: "Are you afraid of falling?" I know it's a legitimate  question and the reason for it, but my silly side just wants to say, "No, not at all. I look forward to it". Of course I don't say this. I just say "no". 

Then there's: "Do you need to hold on to something when getting up?" I had to think about that one. If it's from the ground, "yes"... or a low chair... but normally, no. I only answer "no".

There were a 'ton' of others that I don't remember now... but my silly mind finds them funny.  She also had me do a bunch of physical exercises  and  asked me to answer questions like: 

"What's the date today?" (easy one

"What's the latest news you heard on TV?" (had to think about that one as I don't watch the news much anymore) But I knew about Israel vs Palestine and Hamas - so apparently that counted.

Then she told me a name and address and asked me to repeat it back a little later. I did this without a problem (although this one could have been a problem since words do disappear quite quickly sometimes).

Oh, and she asked me to draw a clock with it's numbers, etc. Then make it say 11:10. (This one I really had to hold back on because I wanted to draw a digital clock and write 11:10 on it - as I'd expect my granddaughter would do. I'm not sure she can read a analog clock.) But of course I didn't. I drew the round clock I knew she wanted with the clock hands saying 11:10. (the sad thing about this is that this drawing is what my mom couldn't do when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when she was 92).

analog clock

digital clock
(just in case you didn't know the difference)

All in all, this annual exam made me realize that DH and I are at THAT AGE  where your ability to take care of yourself is under consideration/assessment. Luckily so far, we have no problems as of yet. Some things aren't as easy as they used to be... but still do-able. 

Sorry this is as long as it turned out. If you kept reading, thank you. I was able to get my B12 injection and the blood test results will be in soon... so I believe all is well and I'm good to go for another year.  

Leaving you with a pic of my bonded plants (Mary Maiden Fern and Hatch Pepper) - with their new friend Chris the Christmas cactus.

Hugs (virtual),


(Also it's Veteran's Day! My heartfelt thank you for your service and for your sacrifices in keeping our country safe.)

(It's also our oldest grandson's birthday! He's 25 today and a wonderful young man. We love him dearly.) 


Thursday, November 9, 2023

a few ramblings...

These are my new resolutions...  actually I never make new year's resolutions, just try to renew my focus on what's important now and again. 

Sometimes it takes a child to make us realize this.  Our granddaughter (10) was recently faced with a situation in school that ended her up in the Principal's office. What happened is that her music teacher told her to get up in front of the class and sing (by herself). She said "no"...  

She spoke up. As it turned out, the Principal was on her side and said she was going to talk to the teacher.  And I agree that it wasn't an appropriate request. But I do wonder if it had been me as a child, would I have had the guts to say no.  (I can't hold a tune, but would I have given in to authority - probably). 


Next is a picture of our Senior Center:

It's a really nice place, but very busy most of the time. We do go there to walk, have coffee, and check out the library... but classes and outings are almost always full.

Next I read this and had to laugh...  thought who wrote it was pretty good... especially that last line. 

And :

... and listening to my ramblings

Hugs (virtual),

Saturday, November 4, 2023

just a few of my favorite things...

Surfing through my iPhone pics and deleting some this Saturday morning, I came across some old sayings and favorite pics that I thought I'd share. Some I've probably posted before, so bear with me.

I do this... to save my sanity and lessen stress

this is the good stuff... don't miss it

I have to remind myself of this... a lot

This has always worked well for me...

I just really like this idea

It does!!

Had to put this one in! So true...

Now for some favorite pics:

Feral climbing tree in backyard

Golden bunny in bed with granddaughter

And lastly

because it looks so good

 that I might have to make it this week!

Home-made African chicken peanut soup... and brownies!

Thanks for letting me share this morning. And wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Hugs (virtual),