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!!!!

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

Let’s Get Christmas Started

Hello friends, happy Monday!!! how was your Thanksgiving? As I mentioned mine was very quiet. I cooked only for me and hubs. Although we did take food to a friend in town. It was very nice. My husband said I was cooking too much and too many different things. I told him that just because it was us two we still deserved to have a nice food filled Thanksgiving.

Even though I put my Christmas tree up a couple of weeks ago, I alway think the official “Kick off for Christmas” is the day after Thanksgiving. My sister and I usually stay out all day on Black Friday and shop. However we haven’t done that in a few years. Because of Covid and some other things the last couple of years and my sister having the flu this year it was pretty quiet once again.

I did do a little shopping on Friday in nearby Athens. I had heard that Home Depot had orchids for $5.00. WHAT??? Now I don’t have anywhere to put another orchid and I am not sure how Delphine, Ophelia, Saffron, Zsa Zsa, Oliver and Olivia would feel about another orchid sibling but I just can’t help myself. We don’t have a Home Depot near us but in Athens there is a Lowe’s. That is actually where I bought one of my first orchids, Olivia I think it was. But no such luck the orchids there were a staggering $30.00. No Way!!!

I did stop at the Berks store in Athens and Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree. At Dollar Tree I picked up the supplies to make my Christmas wreath. I can’t wait to work on that. But overall it was a pretty quiet trip.

On Saturday I decided to shop local as everyone in town was being encouraged to do. I knew there was a Christmas Craft Sale going on in nearby Tellico Plains. It was being held at Riverbend Farms. This farm is a venue for weddings and other events and it is beautiful!!! I did find a few things there. The barn where the crafters were set up was a bit crowded but there were lots of good things. I just love attending things like this at Christmas. It puts me in such a festive holiday mood. And it was just what I needed this week.

I bought a few ornaments. Some of these were handmade from the lady who first rescued our big orange kitty Gus. She, Heather, has a booth at a local antique mall and she is so talented. And of course I am so grateful for her connection to getting us our precious Gus.

This is my bird tree that I keep up in my kitchen all year long. I collect bird ornaments from different places that I go and add them to my tree. I have them from lots of special places and each one has a story.

I just had to have this Cardinal for my bird tree. There is a saying that the sighting of a Cardinal brings a message from a loved one who may be far away. This is the way it goes:

When Cardinals
appear, you will know
that I am near.

Though we may be apart,
you need to know that you are
always in my heart.

The Cardinals presence is reassurance that your loved one is always with you when you need them…all that you need to do is look for them.

After leaving Riverbend I ventured into Tellico Plains and stopped at one of the gift shops my niece and I had been to a couple of weeks before. This gray jacket caught my eye last time and I decided to go back and get it. It’s reversible and from Simply Southern. I love this brand it is always so cozy.

I then picked up groceries and headed home. Sunday was also quiet. How was your weekend and Thanksgiving? Did you have a huge gathering or just a few people? Are you getting in the Christmas Spirit yet?

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!!

What A Weekend!!- Shopping And A Trip To Dahlonega Georgia

Hello friends, how is your week going? But more importantly how was your weekend? I’m sorry I didn’t get this posted yesterday, as I usually do, but we celebrated my nephew’s’s Birthday last night and I got home late. More on that in a later post.

But back to the weekend. I had such a great weekend. First I have to tell you how beautiful it is here right now. Oh my!!!! The leaves are golden and red and falling and it is just too beautiful to describe. I am loving every minute of it.

On Saturday my sister and I went shopping for the first time in a couple of months. She has been having some back issues and hasn’t felt much like a big shopping trip. We went to Knoxville and first to Kohls. I had 30% off at Kohls, and that is about the only time I buy at Kohls. I wanted a new air fryer and since I had the discount and another $10.00 off coupon I wanted to try to find one there. I did. It’s bigger than my old one which we have had for years. I can’t wait to use it. We also went to T.J. Maxx and I found a few things there. I didn’t really find a lot overall I’ll show you more in my Friday Favorites. But let me tell you T.J. Maxx really had the pumpkins. I took several pictures you can see below. All colors and styles. I resisted. I have quite a few pumpkins and haven’ even put very many of them out this season. But if you are looking for pumpkins for decorations, you can find them at T.J. Maxx. I loved the way they grouped all the pumpkins by color.

We didn’t stay out long and came back fairly early. I visited my MIL in the Nursing facility. We are both counting the days until she goes back to her little apartment at the Assisted Living Village. She is so much happier there. I went home and chilled and went to bed early.

I got up really early on Sunday. My friend Lorie met me at my house at 7:00 AM and we headed to Dahlonega GA for The Gold Rush Days Festival. This is an annual event and we haven’t gone since 2019. So we were very excited.

We met Lorie’s sister In Dahlonega and parked at her apartment and walked into town to the square where the festival was held. We all agreed it seemed like there were less vendors than years past but still a lot to see.

You can tell how much I loved the lavender booth. It smelled so good.
I loved every one of these ceramic mugs. But mugs are something that once I find one I love I want to drink from it all the time. So I really don’t buy a lot of them.
These chairs look so comfortable. I really don’t know where I would hang it. They were very pricey but worth every dime I am sure.
I thought these were really cool. Lots of talent at this festival.
I bought my nephew Caleb, a hat and a belt from this man. You pick the leather and he can make it for you. I gave them to him last night at his Birthday dinner. He didn’t act too excited but I think he liked it. He turned 19 yesterday.
There were several woodworkers on the square.

We had some lunch and finished up our shopping and looking and visited a couple of antique stores on the square. I’ll show you what I bought on Friday Favorites. A Santa to add to my Santa collection. We decided to travel back home through Ellijay Georgia where several Apple Festivals and orchards were having pick your own apples, hayrides and petting zoos. The road was only a two lane highway and it was bumper to bumper for several miles. We bypassed the bigger orchards and stopped at a smaller one that Lorie was familiar with. It was called Three Sisters and it was outside of the traffic craziness. We didn’t pick our own apples but it was a quaint little shop with every kind of apple you can imagine as well as apple butter, and fried apple pies. I bought the Golden Delicious apples and some Rome apples. I also bought some Carmel pecan apple butter. I haven’t tried it yet but doesn’t it sound delicious?

I can’t wait to try this.

So I had a really fun weekend. I spent time with my sister and my best friend Lorie and her sister. We talked and talked and caught up on everything. The drive through North Carolina and Georgia was beautiful with all the changing leaves but I think the Tennessee side had the best colors of all. I checked several things off of my fall bucket list. What fun things have you been doing?

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!