Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Well it's New Year's Eve and time for me to look back on last year's resolutions and get started on my new ones for the new year.
Last year I resolved to:  Write my last will and testament
                                       Lose weight
                                       Clean my desk and keep it clean
                                       Quit reading the news
                                       Travel more
                                       Start looking into our family history

I really made an effort and I didn't do too badly on these resolutions.

I wrote mine and Mac's wills,  got them notarized and put in the safe deposit box,  it was depressing but necessary.  The cat's not going to be as wealthy as she'd hope, but she'll do alright.

My desk was cleaned and has for the most part stayed that way,  you can see the surface, or at least part of the surface, most of the time,  the only thing lost on it this year was a tax notice, not one I had to pay, just one they sent me telling me how much they were over-taxing me.  I went into the county offices and got another copy of that and plan on filing an appeal as soon as I can after the first of the year.  So I hope to continue keeping my desk oranganized.

As I promised I quit reading the news,  or at least most of it, I still read headlines, and they still raise my blood pressure, but they're much more forgettable.

We definitely traveled more this year going to the Florida Keys in February, to Hilton Head Island and St. Simon Island in the spring, to Tybee Island, to Maryland to see our daughter in May, to England in September, to the Georgia mountains in October and back to Maryland to see our daughter again in November.  We plan on keeping the traveling up with a trip to the Everglades planned for February, and we're starting to mutter about a trip to Yellowstone in the fall , and of course we'll be going to see our daughter again this spring.

As far as the family history goes I've made a lot of progress with parts of my family, particularly the paternal line, but less with Mac's, though I now have copies of ship registers and immigration papers for both sides of his family.  I plan to do more research this year, get it organized and share it with both of our families.

As to the losing weight, which you'll notice I haven't mentioned till now, I didn't, lose that is, in fact I gained, but that's going to change.  I don't mind being round,  round is comfortable, but I feel my weight is really starting to  drag me down so it's time to do something about it, besides talk about it.  I have a plan and I'll talk about it more tomorrow when I write about my new resolutions.

In the meantime, Happy New Year to one and all.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Good Bye Christmas

I've spent the morning "undecorating" the house, I put that in quotation marks because Blogger says there's no such word.  All the candles, wreaths, candle rings, Nutcrackers, Christmas pillows and ornaments are put up for a new year.  The tree we'll drag out tomorrow.  The left-overs are in the freezer and the refrigerator is actually looking a little bare.
I thought I might have a bit of a letdown after our daughter left, but though I'll miss her,  I have a bunch of projects lined up, but a serious housecleaning has to take place before that can happen.
My favorite appliance (NOT!), my washing machine, tried to die this morning, but seems to have settled down.  We replaced the agitator in it when it was less than 2 years old and the lid is trying to rust away, but I'd like to get another year out of it because we promised ourselves a new stove for the new year and I'd hate to have to buy a washing machine instead.  Except for my dryer all of my appliances are Frigidaire and very poor quality for what should be mid-range appliances.
Hard to see the design, but it's beautiful
I have a load of Christmas presents I finally have time to play with and admire.  Both my husband and my daughter gave me a load of homemade presents, and to me, that's the best kind.  My daughter bought vintage Kimono silk and made me a gorgeous runner to put on a table, it's in luscious shades of orangey gold, can't wait till Autumn to use it.  She also made me the sweetest little bear out of more vintage Kimono  silk, he's sitting in my craft room so I'll be able to see him a lot.
My husband made me a reindeer and Christmas tree to go in the yard and gave me 2 more Nutcrackers for my collection--one is a pirate nutcracker!  I forgot to take pictures of them before I packed them away.  He also had note pads made for me with my own little drawings on it.
I also got more chocolate, even homemade chocolate, than I will ever need, notice I didn't say want.  I love chocolate but the two of us can't live in the same house, one of us will have to go and so I figure the chocolate's days are numbered.
I'm working on my New Year's Resolutions now, I want realistic ones so I'm giving them a lot of thought.
It's supposed to warm up here this week, going from a high of only in the 40's for Monday to the low 70's by Saturday, strange, strange weather.
So all in all it was a wonderful Christmas.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day After

Christmas was wonderful, I got everything I wanted, things I never thought of, and love and more than I deserve.  The clothes I bought for my daughter fit, I surprised my husband which is almost impossible to do and more food than I thought would be possible was consumed.  We actually ate at the kitchen table, never eat at the dining room table.  Note the door was open, it was warm yesterday, only in the 30's today.
And today snowflakes fell, not a lot, and none stuck, but it was definitely snow.
If you look very carefully you'll see snowflakes.
What fun.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  To one and all, with hopes for a brighter New Year!

Mistletoe

  • Here it is Xmas already, I remember our first Xmas here in ‘03, we had been here  6 months and had made some new friends, all certified and bonifide rednecks, and quite proud of it. No feng  shui here ,just good ole common sense, Shushi is the girl next door.  We got invited to a few Xmas parties, Bill was preparing a wild turkey he  finally bagged after years of trying. Owen was having a ham he cured from a wild boar that wandered on his land. But the most surprising thing was Bubbas mistletoe display, his whole front porch was covered on it. When asked how he managed to get such a display, when the only mistletoe we’ve seen came in little bags sold by the girl scounts. Bubba’s reply was”Man you don’t buy it you shoot it! “You see I take my 12 guage out in the back yard and let fly, and it rains mistletoe!”
  • Rains mistletoe huh? There’s mistletoe growing in our woods on the oak trees. Hmmmmm.....So here I am out in the woods, on Dec 23rd, with a Daisy air rifle thinking I can shoot down at least one sprig of mistletoe, no store bought mistletoe for this redneck wannabe. Thus far I have brought down what looks alot like poison ivy, two pine cones, one of which bounced off my head, some round seed pods that look like little sea mines, and I’ve managed to tick off a squirrel who is now frantically taking a close inventory of his acorns! I can’t really tell if my neck has got any redder, but I can truthfully swear to you my rear is defintely turning blue, it’s d.... cold. So as  my mind says stick it out, my rear says get me back in the warm house. Now we know who the boss is, because I’m shortly back in the house with a coffee royal in my hand and the boss in front of a raging fire. By the way you can buy mistletoe for $1.19 a bunch right inside the door of the nearest Piggly Wiggly.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Counting the Days

Like a child I'm counting the days, but not the days till Christmas, the days till our daughter gets here.  And today is the last day of waiting, weather permitting she'll be here tomorrow, and that's the best Christmas present and well worth waiting for.
Every year people ask if I had a good Christmas and I always say yes because our daughter came and that's what makes it good.
She's always been so good about making the trek to wherever we were living, California, Turkey, Georgia and I know what a pain travel at this time of year can be.  But each year she packs her bags, makes arrangements for her kitties, braves the weather, one year having to have a friend help dig her car out of the snow, and she comes.
So no more counting the days, now it's just hours, I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Southern Moonshine

Before turning in last night we had to peek at the moon,and this is what greeted us, at 1AM.  Checked again at 5AM and it was almost all over. Not a bad picture for a cheap camera!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Think I'm Ready ...

Well I think I'm ready, and think is the optimal word, because I'm still waiting on 2 things in the mail, but I think   they'll get here in time.  If not I'll put a picture of them in a bag under the tree.
The cookies are all baked including the Christmas pig and Christmas bat.  I understand the pig but I've never been quite sure where the bat came from.  I don't frost the sugar cookies I love the not real sweet taste of them just like they are, a little hard on the outside and soft inside.
Our daughter's room is ready, and I'm ready for her to be here, that's what makes it Christmas.

Now all I have to do is clean house, maybe the cat will help.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cookies, Cookies Everywhere!

Today was baking day so I made 2 batches of sugar cookie dough which are now chilling in the refrigerator,  so then I started on the chocolate chip cookies.  Now that may sound a little strange, chocolate chip cookies at Christmas, but these cookies are so good and so addicting that I'm only allowed to make them at Christmas time.  I made about 8 dozen and I'm betting they don't last the week.
I got the recipe for them from my paternal Grandmother Lola, who was about the least grandmotherly person I ever met.  Outside of this recipe the only thing I can ever remember her giving me was a piece of advice: don't sit on the drain in the tub it will suck you down.  Nice lady.
Anyway here's the recipe for the cookies.

One package of yellow or white cake mix
1/2 cup cooking oil
2tbls water
2 eggs
1/2 package of chocolate chips

Mix the first 4 ingredients together then fold in the chocolate chips
Drop by spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet
Bake  in a 350 degree oven till the bottoms turn brown, the cookies themselves won't get very dark.
These cookies will melt in your mouth.

Now if I could find my cookie cutters, and Mac and I both have torn the house apart---oh Christmas pig where are you!--I'd do the sugar cookies.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Best Christmas Part Two

Again I nicked this from Chickens in My Kitchen , check her answers out!

1.  Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
ALWAYS Christmas morning.  When I was a teenager I got into a tearful fight with my Mom about this because she wanted to start doing it Christmas Eve so she could get on with the cooking Christmas morning.  But I prevailed and that's how I always want it to be, what a brat I was, but I did start helping Mom with the cooking.

2.  Favorite children's Christmas song?
Rather a silly one, but I get a kick out of We're Getting Nothing For Christmas.  When I was a teacher the kids always liked this one, and as we weren't supposed to do religious songs that rather narrowed the musical field.

3.  Most annoying thing about this time of year?
People talking about how stressed they are.  Christmas doesn't stress me, it brings me joy, and if everything doesn't get bought or wrapped or decorated or cooked so be it.  I'm like the Whos in Whoville, Christmas will come anyway and I will love it.

4.  Favorite ornament theme or color?
I love red, green and gold for Christmas and loads of Nutcrackers.

5.  Turkey or ham on Christmas Day?
Neither.  For years we had turkey, but then I tried leg of lamb because we all love lamb and it seemed like we never had it, so it was a Christmas fixture for awhile.    Then a couple of years ago I cooked a prime rib roast and we loved it so that's what we're having.  Everything else stays the same, the cranberry sauce, the veggies, the pumpkin pie, the deviled eggs.

6.  What do you want for Christmas this year?
The same as every year, for my daughter to come for Christmas.

7. Does anyone in your family dress up as Santa?
No, not even when I was a kid.

8.  Age you discovered Santa wasn't real?
Around 8 or 9 and I'm sure my older sister told me she usually did things like that.  I don't think I believed her at first.

9.  Eggnog, hot chocolate or apple cider?
Hot chocolate with whipped cream on top, though a cup of coffee with Irish Creme  is awfully nice too.

10.  Do you have any Christmas decorations on  your roof?
No, absolutely not!  Wreaths on windows, fence and mailbox and that's it for outside.

11.  How does Santa get into your house, chimney or magic key?
The chimney of course.

12.  Do you prefer gifts or tokens?
Gifts, by far.  Because we lived overseas so long my Mother got in the habit of sending money to buy our own gifts and I hated it.  I'd rather have the smallest gift someone took the time to buy than the largest check.

As I've said before I love Christmas and now that it's only a week away I get to start baking and that's what I'm up to this weekend.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Up!

Are we done yet/

I got Mac a greenhouse for his birthday in October and we, meaning mainly him I only held the pole holding the thing up, got it up.  It was harder than the instructions led us to believe and we're both beat now.  But it looks good, wish we'd put it up a couple of weeks ago, we'd have saved a few plants.  Need to put in some shelves and it will be ready to go.
Tah-dah!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Perfect Christmas

Questions about My Perfect Christmas, I nicked this from Chickens In My Kitchen , she said that was ok to do, and I liked it so much I did.

1.  Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I use both, I love printed tissue paper and the ease of bags, we use them over and over again.

2.  Real tree or artificial?
We always get a real one.  For years we went to places where you could cut your own but the trees we buy on the lot here actually shed less and smell better.  I love a real tree it always reminds me of being a child waiting for Christmas.

3.  When do you put up the tree?
As near to the first day of December as I can, I can't wait to put it up!

4.  When do you take the tree down?
Use to do that the day after Christmas, now I generally leave it up till New Year's Dayl

5.  Do you like eggnog?
NO!

6.  Favorite gift received as a child?
I can't remember getting it, but I've seen pictures of my sister Judy and I playing with it, so I'd say a doll house because I loved doll houses as a child and still love them.

7.  Hardest person to buy for?
My husband, he's not picky and will love whatever I get him, but I try hard to find things to surprise him with.

8.  Easiest person to buy for?
Usually my daughter but this year I've had a hard time.  I find the usual things she wants, check her Amazon wish list, but I always want to find that special something and this year I don't know if I've found it or not.

9.  Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, we've always had one, a couple of years ago I got a Bear Nativity Scene, nothing sacrilegious  intended, just thought it was sweet.

10.  Mail or email Christmas cards?
I always mail them, even to people, my sisters, who no longer send cards.

11.  Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I guess I'm just a Pollyanna, but I've never received a gift I didn't like or appreciate.  My greatest happiness is watching others opening the gifts I've given them.

12.  Favorite Christmas movie?
I'm not very fond of Christmas movies, can't stand It's a Wonderful Life, don't like Miracle on 42nd Street, barely tolerate White Christmas, but I do love The Snowman, like Chickens in the Kitchen it always makes me cry.

13.  When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Usually in September, but I always have my eyes out for gifts no matter what time of the year it is.

14.  Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No

15.  Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
The cookies I make, particularly the sugar cookies and chocolate chip ones.

16.  Lights on the tree, colored or clear?
We have colored and I like for some of them to blink which mine do, sporadically.

17.  Favorite Christmas song?
Song: Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby and David Bowie
Carol: Oh Holy Night
Also like the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas songs

18.  Travel at Christmas or stay at home?
Always stay at home, our daughter comes to us.  One year when my Mother-in-law was quite elderly we went to her, which tells you what a special lady she was because I never want to travel at Christmas.

19.  Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Unfortunately yes, I'd blame it on having been an elementary school teacher, but I knew them before I became a teacher.

20.  Angel, star or ribbon on top of the tree?
We have an Angel on a ribbon on top of the tree.

Chickens in the Kitchen says part two will be coming tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wrap, Wrap, Wrapping


I've headed off to the warmest corner of our house,  up in the sunny,  white bedroom to start wrapping Christmas presents.  I know that if I were organized as some of my friends are I'd wrap them as I buy them, but I'm not, organized that is, so they're not, wrapped that is.  I just drag everything into this one room and have a marathon, or two, of wrapping.  Today Miss Kitty came to help, I think.  I'm not through yet but I can see the floor again and I couldn't for awhile.
I'm Feeling Very Helpful-snicker, snicker

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vintage Christmas Cards


A few years ago I began collecting vintage Christmas cards.  Right now all of mine come from England.  A couple of years ago Mac found a frame for some of my favorite ones and gave it to me for Christmas.
They are generally very small,  lots of post cards, often not very colorful.  This is my favorite.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fire Screen

One of my favorite Christmas presents from last year is the fire screen Mac made for  me.  It was a regular black fire screen that he painted red and green,  then he painted the pictures on tin, cut them out and super glued them to the screen.  Lastly he  glued the plaid ribbon on.  I love it!
  As I told him you can never go wrong giving me Christmas stuff for Christmas.
It is wonderful having a crafty husband.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Own Little Army

I love Nutcrackers having discovered them when we were first stationed in Germany many, many years ago.  Each year I ask for more and sometime Santa finds a new one that fits me.  The small rather shabby one in the middle was my first one and so will always be a favorite of mine.
This plush one sits in front of the fireplace with all the other Christmas critters while the one on the bottom left is on a shelf in the dining room and the other one is on the tree.
I've been a good little girl this year and I'm hoping my little army will grow!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm Speechless, Literally

I have laryngitis.  I suffer from seasonal allergies and sometimes they get completely out of control and I have to take medication, something I always hesitate to do because just as sure as God made little green apples if I take Allegra it will dry out my vocal cords and I will lose my voice.  And here I am, voiceless.
Of course I'm better off than in the olden days, you know pre-facebook and cell phones, I can Blog, I can e-mail, I can Tweet on Twitter.  What I can't do is text because I refuse to use a phone to sent text messages, I don't even have text service on my phone.
But to get back to my main problem, I'm carrying a pen in my pocket to write notes, I'm e-mailing and obviously I'm Blogging, but I miss my voice, don't know if Mac does, but I do and Miss Kitty keeps giving me strange looks.  I can get sounds out, but it's hard and wears me out if I do it very much.  So I'm stuck, I can keep taking my Allegra and have no voice or I can stop the Allegra, get my voice back and spend the day, and worse the night, coughing my head off.  So I guess I'll head into the kitchen and take a pill, who needs a voice in this electronic age anyway.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Love Christmas!

The Stockings Were Hung
By the Chimney With Care
I love Christmas, I really do, I love the smell of it, the fir trees, the gingerbread, peppermint, warm apple cider-- the look of it  the decorations, the red and green colors, the cards, the angels-- the feel of it,  the sense of love and giving and families coming together.
 I love Christmas almost,  but not quite,  as much as our old cat Louis did --he really loved Christmas,  laying under the tree and smiling what passes for a cat smile, and one year  he loved the tree so much he ate some of the tinsel hanging on it (that was in the days when we still put it on our tree, something we don't do  any more) and though it could have hurt his insides it didn't, we were lucky, but he did pooh Christmas, so as I said I love Christmas but not quite  as much as he did.
I decorate for Christmas, I really decorate, right down to the little plastic train Mac gave me last year.   The living room is almost done, I 'm looking for a glass container to hold some ornaments, it has to be deep enough our present cat can't get them out.
So in between working on presents I keep decorating.  Mac has been doing the same outside and it's really beginning to look Christmasy here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Mishmash (is there such a word?)

My week has flown and here it is Sunday with me trying to get caught up on too many things.  Because the weather has been cold, by southern standards anyway, the laundry has doubled, or the cat has been cross-dressing again and dirty clothes were spilling out of the closet.  So beds were stripped and laundry started, a chicken was stuffed and roasted, a 2, or about a 2, mile walk was taken, Christmas presents were worked on (I have the paint on my hands to prove it) and football was watched.  Luckily the New York Giants won and hopefully George R.R. Martin won't kill off another Stark--this has to do with a football fanatic who is also a science fantasy writer.
I don't do well at multi-tasking, I forget what I'm doing while I'm doing it, let alone keeping 2 or 3 other things going at the same time,  but the chicken turned out well, the laundry is almost done and I didn't sew my fingers with the the sewing machine, so all-in-all a successful day.
Tonight there will be more football and I'll be crocheting, and this is definitely risky as I need to count stitches and that's hard to do while watching a game.
Can't believe it's less than 3 weeks till Christmas!  I started months ago on gifts and most are still not done, close, but not done.  I will have to skip cleaning house this week, oh how sad, and get things finished so the wrapping elves can get to work!
It's supposed to drop to 27 degrees tonight so I guess I'd better go drag some of my delicate plants in.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I've been looking at all the pictures from England, snow everywhere, and very pretty too, very pretty that is if you're just looking at the pictures of it,  not trying to cope with it.  I'm not a winter person and probably never will be, I chill too easily.
I was born in sunny California and winter was just another day, and then  we moved to Kansas City, Missouri when I was around 3.  Having only known warm climes I went out to play in the Missouri winter.  I soon went back in and covered my hands with bandaids, I thought I had hurt them, I had a lot to learn about winter!  From Missouri we moved to Oklahoma another state with cold winters, and then when I was 7 we moved back to California and I quickly forgot what winter could be like.
When Mac and I were sent to Germany the first time my Mother bought me a winter coat because I didn't own one, a jacket was all I ever wore during the California winter.  I liked Germany and didn't mind the winter too much, it was the cold summers I didn't like, in fact the only way I could tell summer from winter was that winter had snow.
It was when we were sent to Colorado that I really learned what winter could be like.  Most of the time the weather  was beautiful, deep blue skies, clear air (we lived in Colorado Springs, not Denver) and a dry winter.  And then one day, with little warning a huge storm hit, Mac was one the few in our neighborhood to make it home, others were taken in by strangers.  We were snowed in for 3 days, snow blew into out attic space and collapsed the ceiling in one of our bedrooms and ruined all the ceilings in the upper story.  We had drifts of snow that covered our fence and bent it down, snow came up to the deck on the second story.  It was very scary.  Up until then I had liked Colorado, after that I was ready to move on!
So here I sit in Coastal Georgia, the temperature is in the 50's, clear skies, no wind and I'm hoping this is as much of winter as I'll have to deal with this year!  And to those of you who have to cope with winter, God Bless You!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Tree

Before

Our tree is up!  We brought it home Tuesday but I was too tired to start on it.  And Lord was it heavy!  I promised Mac I'd pick out a smaller one this year and I did, but unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I got a fuller one, and it weighed a ton.  Mac had to trim the bottom, cutting off about a 6 inch piece and that piece alone I swear weighed nearly 5 lbs.
It took the two of us to drag, and I do mean drag not carry, it up the stairs and into the living room.  Then we put it in its holder and Mac tied it to the wall because we always worry about the cat climbing it and tipping it over.  Miss Kitty has been wonderful, sniffing the tree, bringing her friend Tail out to see it and unless something is hanging real low never bothering the ornaments.  But we've had cats in the past who've shot straight up the tree without regard to life or limb, so we tie the tree up.
Then began a more than hour's search for the Christmas tree lights.  We keep all of our Christmas stuff in mislabeled plastic tubs in the attic, all mislabeled except for the lights that is, they're always in the same small, green tub.  Except that the tub wasn't there, nor was it in any of the closets, the other attics or any place else that we could think of.  I was just about to head out to Ace to buy some new ones because the only way we ever find anything we've misplaced is to replace it, when I heard Mac shout that he'd found them.  And where were they, well they were behind a chair in the pub with a stack of music books on them.  Why were they there?  Who knows and of course neither of us remember putting them there.
But with lights in hand and Miss Kitty supervising I got the tree done.  Today I started on the rest of the house and hopefully it will be done before New Years.
After
.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiviing and Beyond

Thanksgiving dinner in Annapolis
After dessert
We went to visit our daughter for Thanksgiving and I still feel stuffed!  Her kitchen is tiny so I had her make reservations at a place in Annapolis, MD, a buffet, which tells you right away that we ate too much.  Among other things they were serving: roast beef, ham, turkey, lamb, shrimp 3 different ways, salmon 2 different ways,  crawfish, crab balls, meat pies, macaroni and cheese, more veggies than I can name, mashed potatoes, a dozen different breads, soups, salads, and a dessert bar.  It's only saving grace was that because it was an all you can eat place you couldn't take anything home with you.
Honeybee Diner
On Friday we went to the Honey Bee a great little diner straight out of the 50's  and had massive breakfasts before heading off to see the latest Harry Potter movie,  which we all enjoyed, tickets were reasonable, popcorn and cokes were not!
Breakfast
Saturday we went into DC to visit the National Museum, they were having an exhibit of Pre-Raphaelites and Victorian photography, it was very good, particularly the photos, I had no idea that photographs from the 1850's could be so sharp and detailed.  Also enjoyed the paintings, I've always liked Pre-Raphaelite painting, but I wish there had been a few more artists represented, it was mainly Milais and Rossetti.
From there we flew down the cold streets to a favorite place of our daughters called "Teaism".  After getting over the shock that they didn't serve coffee, (yes I know it's a tea place, but they served hot chocolate, so there should have been coffee) we have large cups of black tea and chocolate cookies.
Then back to the National for an exhibit of small French Impressionist paintings which we loved, loved, loved.
Afterwards we fought through the crowds to visit  a really strange exhibit of Guiseppe Arcimboldo's works.  They are oil paintings of heads made out of animals, food, plants, books etc.  They were incredible, and even more incredible when you realize they were painted in the 1500's.  Several had mirrors below them so you could see that upside down they were another painting entirely.  All I can say is WOW!
Outside the exhibit was a giant scultpure by Phillip Haas done in homage to Arimboldo's Winter.
Dashing out of the museum we hurried off on the Metro to meet friends we're known in Turkey, our daughter had found us a Moroccan restaurant and the food is very similar to Turkish so it was another feast.
Coffee
After dinner we went in search of coffee for I can't drink Turkish coffee, our friend Dave who I think lives on coffee, put up his antenna and immediately found a coffee shop where we spent another lovely hour or so.






Too soon Sunday morning came and we had to fly home.  It was a wonderful visit, can't wait for her to get here for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

As we get ready for Thanksgiving I just want to take a few moments to think of the things I'm thankful for, and heading that list are  my husband and daughter.  They are my heart and soul!  Each day they bring me joy and I'm grateful to have them, I know how lucky I am.

I'm grateful for my sisters, I don't get to see them as often as I would like, but I'm thankful to have them.

I'm thankful for my friends both near and far, and for facebook that has allowed me stay in touch, and reconnect with old friends and family.

I'm thankful for my health and don't take it for granted.

I'm thankful for our furry baby Miss Kitty who adds so much to our life.
I'm thankful to live in the best country in the world, we've lived in other countries and traveled to many more, and though there are places that are special to us, home is best.

So I hope that all of you out there who celebrate Thanksgiving have a good one.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh the Joy and the Pain!

The Boat Anchor that's leaving
Our new tv is here!  We've been looking at new tvs for a while now, tired of the huge boat anchor that has been sitting in the familyroom all these years, the d**n things just don't wear out like they should.  Last fall we bought a 37" Vizio for upstairs and after much shopping around we ordered a 42" for upstairs, and we'd move the 37" downstairs.  We'd looked at Best Buy and Walmart because they were the cheapest and then I went online to Amazon who offered me everything I'd been looking for, 42", 120 hz, no tax, free delivery and about $100 less than anyone else was offering.  So last Monday I ordered it and this morning they delivered it, in a HUGE box, but luckily it wasn't that heavy and Mac and I wrestled it upstairs.  Then we went to look at the boat anchor, I mean tv in the familyroom.  Our guess was that it weighed somewhere between 300 and 400 lbs. There was no way we'd be able to carry it out or even lower it to the dolly we'd planned on moving it with.  We're giving it to a friend and he can't pick it up till after Thanksgiving so we had to come up with a plan.
Eying the blanket chest that we use for a coffee table I suggested to Mac that we could put it on a towel (oh the things I've learned watching HGTV, ease the tv onto it and push/slide it out of the room to where it could wait to be picked up.  It worked!

The 37" that has moved downstairs

So then we headed upstairs, disconnected the tv up there because it was moving downstairs and put the new tv up, connected cables and the satellite and waited for a big, bright picture to appear, it didn't, just a message saying searching for satellite, searching, searching, searching, nothing.  Looking through the paperwork that came with the tv I found a number for Vizio tech support, called, talked to a gentleman in South Dakota who said they were having freezing rain and he and Mac tried a number of things.  Then Mac decided that because the satellite box downstairs was the main one and that maybe it had to be on to get the one upstairs to work, smart man.  We now have two huge tvs, and the older and blinder I get they're much appreciated.

The new 42"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Please Remind Me

Please remind me why I bought a glass topped kitchen table.  Was it because of the attractive way the dust  glows in the sunshine?  Was it because of the way cat prints show up so well?  Was it because junk looks so much better sitting on glass?  Was it to highlight the dirty floor underneath it?  Was it because the glass is so thick that things falling on it break so much easier?  Was it because we really didn't need a kitchen table because we usually eat sitting on the couch?
I'm sure that if I think hard enough I'll remember why.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good Bye Rugs

The work on the closets has begun, Mac started in yesterday working in his because it was the worse.  We have wire shelving units and about half of them had fallen in his closet and he hardly has any clothes hanging in his, I'm assuming that the builder didn't bother attaching the shelving to studs which means that eventually the drywall gives way and you end up with large holes in your wall.   So Mac  had to plaster and sandpaper before he could paint, and as he was painting the rest of the shelving fell down pulling down more drywall.  Well the plastering is done, the painting is done and the rug, that God-awful, nasty rug is gone, and after I took the picture he pulled the mat out too.  Now he's starting on the flooring, I sure hope mine isn't as big a pain to do , though the pain has been Macs I just listen to the sad sounds coming from the closet.
We're putting in a metal clothes rail and wooden shelves and storage in his closet,  no more wire shelving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Movie Review, Sort Of...

We watched Toy Story 3 last night, and not having seen the first two in the series we had only a vague idea of what to expect.  Well it was wonderful, smart, sweet, funny, everything you want in a movie, just goes to show you can make a wonderful "G" rated movie if you try. We laughed often and  my head was "leaking" at the end and for some reason my nose was running so I kept sniffing.
There were many touching moments in the film, but one that really hit me is when the Mom puts her arms around her son who is going off to college, and says she wishes she could go with him, you could tell that it has finally hit her that he's going away and things will never be the same.
I remember when our daughter left for college, we were living in Izmir, Turkey and she was going to be attending the University of Georgia.  We drove her to the airport in Izmir and had to leave her at the curb,  because of Turkish security no one was allowed in the terminal without a ticket.
Leaving the airport Mac and I both cried, it was probably the hardest thing we'd ever done. It was horrible, she was just 17, our baby, our only child and she was flying half-way around the world on her own.  But more than saying good-bye to her, we were saying good-bye to her childhood, she was an adult now and we knew that when she came home again it would be as a visitor and that is one of the saddest things a parent has to come to terms with.  To her I'm sure she saw it all as a wonderful adventure, the next step in her life, but to us it marked the end of her childhood, she wasn't our little girl any more, now she was an adult, and though I've often said I enjoyed every age our daughter was, but that adulthood was the best, I must confess there are times when I miss the little girl who played with horses, wrote pencil stories and thought her Dad could do anything.
So to finish my sort of review I'd say that Toy Story 3 was about childhood's end and I definitely connected with it, sad and beautiful.  I'd highly  recommend the movie.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Shopping

I guess people are getting serious about Christmas shopping now, Mac has sold another painting on etsy and we took it and the other one he'd sold to the post office this morning.
He's very busy painting a series of  Christmas pictures and they'll go to etsy this weekend.
Here are a couple of the Christmas ones he has on there now.  I'm not sure which is my favorite.


I finally finished one of the gifts I've been working on and have another one almost done, though it is now
so covered with cat fur I'll have to find some way to defur it before wrapping it.  It's very windy here today, a cold front is passing through and because the temperature is well up in the 70's it's a little spooky, it looks like tornado weather outside.  The leaves are finally starting to change color here and it actually looks like fall.  Well back to work again, oh my poor sore fingers!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Thing I've Lost to Old Age

I've come to terms with the face that my skin is sliding off my face and leaving me looking like the Saggy, Baggy Elephant.  And I've learned to live with receding gums that leave me with long walrus tusks, yes I'm now long in the tooth...can wisdom be for behind?  .  I don't even miss my eyebrows much.  But I want my bottom lip back.  I use to have a nice fat bottom lip, so fat my Mother would accuse me of pouting when I wasn't.  But now it's gone, there's just barely a streak of darker pink under my mouth.  I've taken to using darker lipstick on the bottom to make it look bigger, but it's not the same.  I refuse to have fat shot into it and chewing on it all day isn't helping either.  I miss it, no telling what will go next.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What Do You Think?

act.credoaction.com
 A friend of mine posted this on her  Facebook page and I told her that I thought she, and whoever started this, were trying to restrict free speech on the Discovery Channel.  She disagreed, saying that Sarah Palin didn't match the environmental outlook of the Discovery Channel and they shouldn't run a program about her.
I asked if she knew what was on the Discovery Channel, think Swamp Loggers, The Big Catch, even Mythbusters where they're shooting up pig carcus's all the time.
I then discovered that the Sarah Palin's Alaska is actually going to be on TLC (part of the Discovery Channel family of stations)  the channel that brought us Jon and Kate Plus 8 which I told her was even worse than a program about Sarah Palin.
Now I'm no fan of Sarah Palin but writing into the Discovery Channel to keep her off is wrong, definitely a violation of free speech.  What do you think?


Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Friday, Where Did My Week Go?

Well the week has just flat  disappeared on me  and November isn't  far behind, I feel like throwing an anchor out.  I meant to Blog yesterday about Veteran's Day, a special day for us, for not only did Mac serve 21 years in the Army (he was drafted for the Vietnam War), but he was named after his Uncle Mac who died in the second World War shortly before my Mac  was born.  Mac's Uncle Phil also served,  as did 3 of my Uncles.  My Father didn't (bad eye sight) but he and my Mother met in the shipyard where they were building Liberty ships.  So we owe a lot to our Veterans!  If President Obama does nothing else while he's in office, and I hope he doesn't, he needs to bring our troops home!  We live near Ft.Stewart and some of the troops there have served 6 or 7 combat tours, enough is enough!
Most of this week I've been busy working on Christmas presents, putting them together, taking them apart, putting them back together, you know how it goes, and my fingers are sore, I can't sew with a thimble on.  I did get 2 Thanksgiving pillows done and they're sitting on chairs in the entryway.  And it felt like we kept having to run into town for one thing or another.    Though it's only 8 miles away sometimes it feels like we have to hitch up the horses load up the wagon and drive all day to get there.


We went in yesterday to pick up one of Mac's paintings, (The Great Escape) it was for sale in a store in town but it got sold on etsy, it's going to a new home in North Carolina,  and we needed to pick it up and drop off a replacement painting.  The lady at the store liked the replacement (Bass)  so much she asked him to bring more, how nice.
This morning I cleaned the top of my stove, oh Lord why don't they come up with burners that food won't stick to? and polished the floors in the living room.  I'm tired, my knees are sore and it's time to sew.
Have a great weekend.

The Great Escape 

Bass

All Wrapped Up

Started early, finished late.  I started wrapping presents way back in November and except for a few small things due in the mail I'm fi...