Christmas Time and A Scary Time

Hello friends I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and that you are having a happy New Year. I know I have been out of touch lately and not posting as frequently as I usually do but it has been quite a scary time over here. I will get to that in just a minute.

Our Christmas was very quiet. The temps were unbelievably cold. On Friday before Christmas Eve 12 degrees F was the high temp for the day with morning lows at about 6 degrees F. Now that is really cold for us in the south.

My husband had to work all weekend so I went to my sister’s house for Christmas Eve and spent that time with her and my brother in law and nieces and nephews. Christmas Day I spent at home alone watching movies and eating snacks. It was quite wonderful. It would have been better of course if Mark had been there too but it has been this way a lot of holidays for us because of his job. Mark and I didn’t get to open our Christmas presents until Christmas night. That is fine because it’s not like we didn’t know what we were getting anyway. I’m not sure why we carry on with the gift wrapping and everything. We put most of our items that we are interested in in our Amazon gift cart or text pictures of what we want and where to find them. We then purchase them. One of us picks the presents up from the Post Office and then we do wrap them for each other. It sounds silly I know, but that’s just the way we roll over here. I think when you get to be our age you buy what you want when you want it anyway.

My nephew Caleb showing his bear feet house shoes I got him. I spotted them at a small shop close to home and I knew he would love them. His mom says he leaves them at the back door when he leaves and he puts them on the minute he comes back into the house. He is so funny.

One of my very favorite Christmas presents was this shawl wrap thingy that my nephew and his wife got me. I just had to do a runway modeling of it. The Santa hat and the intense model stare just added to it I think. HA! HA!

And now for the scary part. Several days this past week have been spent at the hospital with my sister Sandy. I think I may have mentioned that she has been feeling bad for the last couple of months. Watching her feel worse day after day has taken a toll on our whole family. She had been seeing several doctors for months and was diagnosed with anemia and a couple of other related issues. But she just continued to feel worse with every passing day. The day after Christmas she felt so bad that my brother in law and my nephew took her to the hospital ER. She was admitted and a lot of tests were done. Because she was immunosuppressed from other medications she was taking she was quarantined. Only two people could stay with her in the hospital. So me and my brother in law took turns staying a couple of days at a time. We are relieved to finally have some answers. It is not what we wanted to hear but it could have been so much worse. My sister has large b-cell Lymphoma. We are now in the planning stages with an oncologist so we can start to get her better. Prayers for all she is going to go through in the next few months is appreciated. She is a 35 year survivor of colon cancer. I know how strong she is. I know with God she can do this.

The night my sister was admitted to the hospital we had a freak snow. It snowed and at first it wasn’t bad at all. Then with cars driving on the road, because it happened right around rush hour 4:00 PM, the roads became slick and turned to ice and then more snow fell and it was just treacherous. I had planned to go to the hospital first thing the following morning to be with my sister but my driveway, which is very steep, was covered in snow and ice. Fortunately the temps warmed up fairly quick and with my husband’s help getting my car out of the driveway, I was able to inch my way out. My car is all wheel drive so it does pretty well on the road once I am out of the driveway.

We made the best of being at the hospital. Of course my time there was nothing compared to hers. We watched T.V and TikTok, read and of course I knit. The hospital had a great cafeteria and gift shop. They also had lots of after Christmas sales.

This was my bed for a couple of nights. It looks cozy but the actual bed part felt like a rock hard slab.
A Starbucks inside the hospital. Skinny Caramel Macchiato is my favorite. Iced or hot
A very nice cafeteria. This is what it looks like at 6:00 AM
Window scenes. The snow was still hanging around.

While my brother in law stayed with my sister in the hospital I kept my little nephew dog Max. He is precious and has been such a good boy for me. Even the kitties have adjusted to him. I won’t say they love him but they tolerate him. He is going home today so I will miss him. He is a great little snuggle bunny and loves sleeping right up against me.

So I say goodbye to 2022 with a great deal of relief. I feel that so much has happened this year it has really made me feel vulnerable and insecure. I lost my sister Pat in April, I lost my two precious kitties Milo and Buster just before that, I had Covid, my brother had open heart surgery, but good news there he is doing great!!! My precious dog baby Molly died and then my precious boy Scruffy. And now my sister has been diagnosed with Lymphoma.

I couldn’t sleep last night I was awake most of the night with a lot of thoughts on my mind. Around 3:00 AM I wrote these two Haiku:

So on to 2023. I am still and ever will be grateful for everything I have in my life. I have faith and it is strong. I am so grateful to all of you who take the time to read what I write. When I started this blog it was a way to journal and help keep track of my life through photos and sharing my words. It has become so much more than that to me. Thank you for being here.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

Cherish Your Loved Ones

Well it is just a few days until Christmas and only one day until winter officially arrives. Winter has been flirting with us for a few weeks but is officially declaring its love for us this week. The temps here Friday morning are in the single digits. That is cold for us here in the south.

On Sunday I had our family Christmas gathering at my house. There is usually about twenty people give or take a couple. My husband hates this. Not because of the people and the preparation but because he said I go a “little” crazy during these times. I don’t think I do, but it is possible I tend to get a little nutty about the house and yard and garage and the driveway and just about everything else anyone might possibly see. I want it to all look nice. I did go a bananas last year and I was a little manic with it all. I don’t think I fully enjoyed my family because of it. I was very stressed and it took away from the precious time I had with them. This year I decided to be different. I planned a little better. I got up really early the day of our event and got a lot of things done. I did things a few days in advance…. WHAT???? Is that really me? I even took a nap before everyone arrived, shhhhhh. But it all helped me enjoy my time with my family and realize that if every single little thing didn’t get done, it’s alright.

Last year my sister Pat was with us. She passed away in April. We, of course, had no idea this was her last Christmas with us. All I can think of is that I snapped at her in a hateful way last year during our family Christmas get together. Maybe I was stressed out from having everyone in my home, maybe I was stressed out from work, maybe I was just stressed. But I can’t forget that I did snap at her about something stupid. Of course I also have to laugh because I know she gave it right back to me. That is the way we were and I know it meant nothing to either one of us. But man I would have cherished those moments had I known. I didn’t know this was my last Christmas with her. But when you think about it we should cherish all of them, every single holiday, special occasion and yes just every single day. How do we know this is our last days together. WE DON’T!!! And we’re not meant to.

My sweet sweet sister Pat. She was a one in a trillion. She loved coffee. She always had to have a cup after every meal. She was funny and kind and just the person you would want to be best friends with forever.

But we had a great time. We had many empty seats at our table and it was very noticeable. But we have to cherish the memories of our loved ones that have left us and cherish our loved ones that we see every day.

Me and hubs.
We played dirty Santa and exchanged gifts and stole gifts.
My niece Michelle and her boys, Tyler & Caleb
Me and my niece Kim
Kim’s family.
My brother Donnie and his wife Diane and their granddaughters.
My sister Sandy and her family.
My good friend Kathy, she came for dinner with our wild crew. She was my sister Pat’s best friend. When we lost Pat she lost her best friend, neighbor and confidant. It helps us be together at times like this.

So yes it is sad when our loved ones are no longer with us. But as we remember those precious loved ones, let’s love and cherish the people we have in our lives right this moment. Tell them you love them, you miss them, you hope that they are well and doing fine.

You probably noticed that the word cherish was mentioned several times in this post.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

December Memories, Old and New

You know it seems like December comes along and all of a sudden there is a flurry of special things to do and places to go and spectacular Christmasy things to see and then, all of a sudden Christmas is upon us. It is a special time of year that goes by so incredibly fast. I say this because we are in the middle of this precious time. Don’t forget to enjoy it and spend time with loved ones and take a deep breath and just have fun.

Last Thursday we celebrated my nephew Tyler’s 21st Birthday. He wanted to go to his favorite Mexican restaurant in town so that is where we went. It was a terrible rainy foggy night. I made the cake and it was a disaster. Tyler requested a chocolaty pudding type cake. I had a recipe but I hadn’t made one in years. I don’t know what happened but we had to spoon it onto the plates. It was terrible. My sweet husband insisted on eating a big plate full and assured me that is the kind of cake he wanted for his next Birthday. I think I better stick to what I am familiar with. Tyler got the traditional whipped cream in the face while we sang Happy Birthday. We had so much fun.

The night of the party made me remember the night Tyler was born. He actually is my great nephew, his mom Michelle is my niece. The night he was born it was rainy and foggy. Michelle and her mom went to the hospital as soon as she went into labor and I followed about an hour or so later. It was a Friday night. Tyler was born early the next morning. My sister, Michelle’s mom, and I were there to be the delivery coaches. Michelle had told me that I could cut the umbilical cord so I was beyond excited. Just before Tyler made his appearance I took one look at his head and I felt my knees giving out and down on the floor I went. The nurses said it was probably because I had been standing with my knees locked for so long or emotions or just me being me. I recovered in time to cut the umbilical cord. Tyler likes to tell people that he had popped out in time to ask if I was ok. He had a flattened nose and a cone head. I crocheted that little blue cap he is wearing. Such memories. I think the holidays makes us remember and reflect more than ever.

All grown up now. He sent me this picture last week when he went fishing.

Saturday morning I made a blueberry cobbler. I love to make these for breakfast and have it to eat on all week. I went into Athens to Hobby Lobby and bought the yarn I needed for the temperature blanket. I thought I would have enough of this orange color that I am using for fall but because of all the warm days I ran out and couldn’t continue until I bought this one color. Unfortunately the nearest Hobby Lobby or yarn store where they sell it is about 30-40 minutes away. I also had to return some boots I had bought a couple of weeks ago. I will show you those on Friday Favorites.

Every year around Christmas time I buy a box of these Russell Stover chocolates. I love them. It is a treat that I will only buy once a year and I will savor them.

On Saturday afternoon I added a few more decorations to the inside of the house. Several months ago when we were cleaning out some of the closets in my mother in law’s house I came across a ceramic Christmas tree in a large shopping bag. I decided to bring it home. It was very yellowed with dust. It has a base with a long bulb and then the ceramic tree fits over it. There are holes in the tree that small glass ornaments fit into. I couldn’t believe how nice it looked after I scrubbed it up and put the ornaments back on. My husband said he remembered getting that tree when he was about five years old. He said he and his mom and brother drove to someone’s house and bought it. After a few years his mom stopped putting it out. He was so excited to see it again. He had no idea what had happened to it. It’s about 2 feet tall and I put it on the entry table beside the front door. We love it. More bittersweet memories.

You can see how white the snow is now. You should have seen it when I first started cleaning it. It is pretty in the daytime but look how magical it looks at night with all the different colors of lights.

Kitty Kitty and Gus were so excited about the new decorations in the house. They ran and sniffed and pretended to be scared of some of them. Crazy kitties. It looks like Gus is saying “mom what the heck is this thing?”

I put this snowman throw on the back of the couch and Kitty Kitty jumped up on it and went right to sleep. This is where she has spent almost every day since I put it on the couch.

On Sunday I took it easy and watched some Christmas movies. Join me here on Thursday where I will share my top 10 Christmas movies of all time. I’ll be you’ve seen some of them already.

Last night we had our work Christmas party in Knoxville. It was a lot of fun but about an hour drive for most of us and the traffic was a nightmare. I didn’t get home until almost 11:00 PM and that is late for me. Early bedtime for me tonight.

So that is what has been going on over here how about you? Are you ready for Christmas? Have some fun, share some memories and make some new memories.

Always remember

Love your day your way

Hello Monday

Hello Monday and hello December. I can’t believe Christmas is just a few weeks away!!!! Or that the end of this year is a few weeks away.

I have been a little out of pocket this past week. I had a sinus, stuffy head, coughing, scratchy throat, thing going on. A common cold I guess. One day I felt better and then the next I would feel worse. This went on for over a week. I left work early Friday because I felt so yucky. I went home and pretty much stayed there until this morning. I am feeling much better.

Mark and I had to go to Vanderbillt Medical Center in Nashville last Tuesday for a four month check up for Mark. Everything was good and he got a great report. As I have mentioned before. We leave out at around 5:00 AM and it takes almost four hours to get to Nashville. Our appointment went quick. After we see the Doctor Mark gets blood work and I run to the cafeteria to get us coffee. We later stop and eat breakfast on the way home. Usually once we are back home we take a nap. It is such a tiring drive for one day. But totally worth the peace of mind when he gets a good report.

The hospital courtyard was decorated for Christmas and it was so pretty.

It was actually a quiet morning. We were there very early around 8:30.

Iced Carmel Macchiato for me. Mark likes just plain coffee with a couple of extra shots of espresso.

Wednesday was my little mother in law’s 89th Birthday. I went to see her and I took her some cupcakes. She has really declined in the last few months and it is so hard to see her this way. So many things she enjoyed before she doesn’t now. She doesn’t even like long visits anymore so we just do shorter and more frequent visits. Just being with her and sitting with her is all she seems to need. Isn’t she a cutie. She can get with you when she wants something her way but she always goes back to that little smile.

I stayed in most of the weekend. It was rainy and cool. I read and did a lot of catch up work on the temperature blanket. Then I ran out of a critical color of the yarn that I have to have before I can continue. So I will have to make a trip to Hobby Lobby this weekend. In the meantime I will work on weaving in the billions of yarn ends. I also watched a couple of Christmas movies.

Saturday night Mark and I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. Because of my nasty cold I missed out on several things going on in the area including our town’s Christmas Parade. But watching A Charlie Brown Christmas with hubs and the fur babies was still pretty special.

A Charlie Brown Christmas turns 52 this year and this scene was almost completely cut out, but Charles Schultz insisted that this scene remain and it has for 52 years. I think it says it all.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the Angel said unto them, ’Fear not:”

“for behold,I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, Good will toward men.”

By Sunday I was starting to feel a little stir crazy. I decided to make a Christmas wreath. I bought all the materials a couple of weeks ago. so I cut all the mesh, and tied the mesh onto the metal wreath form and then added those two white bells and put it on the door. I like it. I was wanting sort of a red and white candy cane sort of look and I think that’s what I got.

On Sunday night I brought out the Santa collection. I have been collecting these Santas for years. I have about forty small ones and several larger ones that I just place around the house. This old Singer sewing machine belonged to my husband’s grandmother. She gave it to us several years ago. It still works.

And back to work this morning and as soon as I got out on the road I saw this guy. It was very foggy and he (she) and a buddy were crossing the road. I always creep down our road because I see deer almost every morning.

I hope you have a wonderful fun filled week!!!!

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!!