Christmas Gifts and Updated To Do Lists

Christmas Gifts (Mine and George’s)

Yesterday was pure bliss – it was my 26th day after day – postponed by 2 days. I got up and began doing laundry and there were about 5 loads I did. I also ironed pillow cases – the white ones to put back on the beds as extra pillows. The guest room sheets are washed and put back on the beds. I picked up the house a bit. I also cleaned some in the big living room where the tree is and finished sorting boxes and sacks. I’d only had time to do 3/4 of the living room on Christmas Day before I had petered out.

I began putting my Christmas gifts out and I love doing this almost as much as opening them. I look at them and experience the joy again before putting them away. I took some pics to share. Before I do that, I want to tell you that:

  1. We do a lot of our annual shopping at this time of year.
  2. We also use vacation time to shop for things we need and want as we have the time and we are in different than normal places with different than normal shops. And this year’s vacation time fell at Thanksgiving so we did a lot of our own shopping and gave to the other to wrap. Tops seem to be cheaper there in that little town of TX than they are here by about $10. So if I found something I liked, we bought it. Even Walmart had cute clothes there and my size was not already taken b/c it’s a small town.
  3. We always buy a lot of little practical things that will last a while – just to wrap things up as you will see: rice, coffee, grits, nuts. The more to open the better – and food gifts are big in our family. Things like olive oil and vinegar – get an upgrade with better quality and things like that.
  4. My big gift from George is not shown and that is the iMac. My heart swollen with love that he wanted to do this for me and he was even going to get the bigger Pro one but that was too big and powerful for what I need. We did get the big screen on this one and I plan to use this room as my SheRoom lol – as if it wasn’t before! No he can use it too of course. He teasingly told me I could not name the room a SheShed name. lol. I will take a pic of it and the office after I reorg the office a bit. I need to redo it and clean it. The bulletin board is too low to use as the iMac hides it. And I want to add a chair in here so I can watch YouTubes. So I kinda want to move some things around a bit. This is my goal today to work on this.

So George and I discovered Plantation rice a year or two ago and it is so good. I said it is even it’s own category of food. lol Well, we only get some if we go to Whole Foods which is about twice a year or maybe three times. So he stocked up on that. What a great gift. And notice the Amish red popcorn behind it. Red popcorn is my favorite to cook up in the Whirley Pop. But the plantation brand also had peas and grits too and various types of rices so he got them all. On the right here you can see they have their place in the pantry. We will be eating a lot of grains and beans.

A big huge WRAP coat from Sam Moon in Dallas

Maisy followed me around yesterday. I was thinking she must just get tired as I know I probably put in a couple of miles or maybe three in the house yesterday. I was moving all day long.

I stopped to play with her while doing the sheets on the guest bed. The closest to playing she will do is that she seems to enjoy you putting a cover over her and she works her way out. She even put herself under the cover yesterday. So whoever sleeps in the bed next may have a few Maisy hairs mixed in, lol. Also notice the new PJ’s she is sitting on. I wish I’d bought two pair. I love those Liz Claiborne’s. I can only get them before Christmas. They hold up for about two years I think, but the 2nd year they are faded, but I wear them every week faithfully. JC Penny sells them. But they will be all gone by now, I’m sure. So next year…

Katy gave me a Tugie blanket and now Tugie can sit on my lap again. Oh that girl. I miss her so. My little Frito.

George always gives me those Winter Spiced Nuts. I love them. You can only get them before Christmas. And one can is already gone. I have to be careful with those. I binge eat them.

Alexa for the car!

I’m really excited about this one. I can’t wait to get that going in the car! Wow! That blows my mind. I’m going to have to read up on that. That adds a whole new element to the commute. Also I asked Alexa on the house Alexa, to send me a recipe for something. She will email it to you. I have not gone in to see if she did. But that is cool. She’ll read the ingredients and if you are happy with it, she will send it.

Isn’t this the truth?

We also got money from Mom and gift cards from Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken and Katy and Cody in addition to gifts.

So I put all these things up yesterday and worked on my wardrobe for next week and also worked on my to do list some.

Current To Do List

Not necessarily in order but here are my goals for the week:

  1. Mail off some family Christmas gifts – yes it’s late. But I ran out of time b/w work and company coming.
  2. Get nails done.
  3. Check Isagenix – do my next order. Don’t need much.
  4. Buy a hostess gift for a dinner we are going to soon.
  5. Transfer over some $ from Isagenix payment to our account.
  6. Back up the old computer
  7. Transfer important files to new computer
  8. Send a friend some RV You Tube shows that I watch that she wanted.
  9. Decide what is for dinner on NYE. We are doing Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon on New Years Day.
  10. List up my Year in Review for the blog
  11. Decide where to eat for my birthday coming up.
  12. Grocery
  13. Clean up the office and rearrange and consider decor as needed.
  14. Consider my goals and targets for 2020.

Most of that really will be done today. However, not really wanting to get out today. So nails and grocery and getting hostess gift may have to wait.

Upcoming To Do List After the 1st

  • Get a bluetooth printer
  • Reschedule dentist appointment cancelled due to work needs
  • Schedule doc appointment for BP meds
  • Make the April grooming appointments (she books quickly)
  • Make plans with Richard and Kathy
  • Confirm plans with Don and Lisa
  • Ring cleaned and prongs checked
  • Make a Texas video – I may just not do one this time as I’ve deleted most of my videos and time has passed. But I’m leaving it on the list b/c I might use it to practice making videos on the iMac with iMovie.
  • Use Walmart Card (work gift)
  • Make a Bucket List for Winter (Jan/Feb/Mar)
  • See how we did on the Fall Bucket list (Oct/Nov/Dec)
  • Buy dishrags for the kitchen – some cool ones, lol
  • Buy my lotion body wash for winter
  • My 7 books of all time that impacted me. This intrigues me so I’m keeping it on the list. I want to do it and share it on FB.
  • Magazine project. Time to organize all those recipes, travel spots, and ideas and plan to put them in action and “bring them alive”.
  • Picking a Bible Study
  • Working on a writing project (one of them finished by the way on Christmas Eve as we sat in the living room – it was a book for my daughter and I gave it to her on Christmas Day. It was a book you fill in called “Reflections from a Mother’s Heart”)
  • Upload my Apple gift cards (George and I split them as they were a gift together). I will use them for apps as I do the monthly iTunes thing that is paid and you have access to any song at any time. But I’ve started buying apps at times if it is something I will use.
  • Plan a trip with Katy
  • Plan and book our Amelia Island Trip
  • Carve out some days for fall to take George to the mountains and get a cabin and some time away.
  • Fix a casserole – I’m thinking something tomatoey like a “Beefy Mac” kind of thing!
  • Fix a pasta salad with my spinach bow tie pasta
  • Make orzo salad.

I’d say I have enough to keep busy eh? And at work it’s also busy:

  • Month end of December taxes due to by Jan 15th
  • Weekly taxes for this upcoming payroll and make sure all paid for last week as it was such pandemonium
  • Quarter end withholding taxes for states we file quarterly.
  • Quarter end Return Filing for WH taxes by Jan 30th
  • Quarter End Unemployment taxes and returns due by Jan 30th.
  • Most states have year end reporting that have to be done once per year aside from the above. I have a list.
  • Reconciliation Report for WH and Unemployment – internal report.
  • Do any filing of returns if anything is amiss and I know we have to do one for 1st and 2nd quarter of last year for one state.
  • PTO forms, finish filing them for 2019 and put them away.

So there is no shortage of anything anywhere as far as where to spend time. lol

It is supposed to rain 2 to 3 inches today. So – I think I’m staying put today. However, we may actually have to get out in it. But I hope not.

I will likely not blog until New Year’s Day so that I can get in to work early and get payroll related items done. It’s going to be a very rushed payroll and there is a large amount of things that have to be entered and changed – it’s a holiday week so HOL pay added and subtracted for those absent the day before and after the holiday and new hires. A lot of things to enter from advances done last week so all comes out in the accounting/payroll records. And a tractor trailer load of PTO’s to enter for last week. Some for two weeks. So yeah, busy everywhere. I like it busy but not insane. Friday was insane, but hopefully this week will be better. I think what makes an insane day hard is when you want to help and do but you know you only can do so much and I knew Friday was coming to a head before Christmas but you can’t stop a train on a whim. I was hoping it all would work out. It did kinda mean a group of people had to pow wow and get it done. If not for that it still wouldn’t be done, but grateful that even the insane days are doable. I didn’t freak out. I was panicked and had tears in my eyes b/c I knew I couldn’t please everyone at once and it was frustrating. But with help we were able to please most. I just hope to not have a repeat of THAT. You provide instructions and prep and hopefully people will comply. You can only do so much without setting up a 24-7 living area. Someone said it was not pleasant getting urgent messages at their lunch time. I replied with “at least you GOT to take a lunch”. ;-).We laughed. It was a pleasant conversation not one of ill will. But it’s all good. I’d have taken a lunch but an hour worth of work would not have been done which would come to a head again later, by making payroll late this next week. So no lunch time for me. Oh I’ll eat! Just at my desk or thrown down quickly. And I probably won’t get lunch until we have a full week b/c a Holiday for me means having to work that amount missed to be caught up again so I don’t really get to feel the effect of a HOL since the hours are tacked on the other days of the week but it is nice to at least have the day off – I wish that happened every week so we had more balance. It is what it is and I’ll gladly work the hours and through lunch to keep from being eaten alive by the masses. It’s kinda like keeping the dogs favorite Fresh Pet in stock. We pay if we fail to go the store. They will eat us alive and bark til we get it. Only in the case of payroll, I often pay for someone else’s choices. lol

Ya’ll have a good New Year! Back in 2020! Unless I get a sneak one in!

Christmas and the Aftermath!

Good morning. It seems like forever, being able to have time to blog. Thus the title of my blog – being even more of a mission than before? I mean at this point, should we not be slowing down? I am indeed drinking coffee. I’m on my 3rd cup. And thinking about another but it will be decaf. I just like the warmth of it.

We had a marvelous Christmas with my family.

Christmas Eve, in the afternoon, Mom and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken arrived, along with Fancy and Coco. That morning I made sausage balls. Neighbors dropped by with baked goods and food gifts. (Ashamed we did not have anything ready. But we decided to feed everyone a meal in a neighborhood party we’ll have later on as a return gift. Next year I’ll be prepared. We have such good neighbors. I guess it never occurred to me to do this. But it is a kind gesture.)

The doggies were good and fun!

And if you really want to know how their personalities were over Christmas – their faces tell the story. Maisy was subdued, a little skeptical but tolerating everyone, Roger slept unphased, Fancy was happy to be there as long as she was with her Momma, and Coco was a little confused being in a new place. She mostly can’t see and barely can hear. She did respond to my voice and was able to stare straight at me so I think she must can see some. She would get lost looking for her Mom and Dad (my Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken) and we would have to steer her in the right direction or they would go and rescue her. When we left the room to go eat or something, she would get lost again. She is so cute. We were so happy to have them all. Meal time was fairly easy for them and they went out often.

We ate well! I hadn’t really planned on it but as everyone arrived, I filled the pub table with a few snacks to hold everyone til dinner.

Thanks to neighbors, and coworkers, and Publix (lol) we had a few things to set out. Katy spent a good part of the day with us as well. We had YouTube playing Christmas music and a fireplace. Which I’m sure we were all tired of by day 2.

We also had a great meal of Prime Rib, Wedge Salad, Baked Potato, and Peach Cobbler and Ice Cream. I enjoyed getting everything ready with the table, using the Christmas dishes, and even enjoyed the clean up. The meal was fairly simple to pull off. We enjoyed doing this very much. And dinner was excellently cooked by the Master Chef, George. And the wine was excellent. We have saved this Arrington Vineyard “Antebellum” wine just for Christmas. The wine is soaked in whiskey bourbon barrels and it gives it a flavor. I like this wine as a slow sipping wine to enjoy with every sip. The Arrington Vineyard, owned by country music artist Kix Brooks and a businessman, John Russell is where the wine was made.

We stayed up late and talked and each told stories from our child hood about a Christmas we enjoyed, or a gift we got – we went around the room and told stories. It was fun. We actually stayed up later than we meant to by doing this. Then we had to take doggies out again and Santa of course came while we were still up. lol. I think there might have been Ms. Clause there as well. She was just sneaking things about as was Santa. I am not sure I slept so well, having been thinking about the next day and a few other things on my mind. I was awake off and on and having missed most of my solid prime sleeping time from 9 to midnight (only time guaranteed to sleep straight through), I was struggling the next day. Answering questions and functioning before coffee is hard for me on little sleep. I get very bear like. I kept having to remind myself I had to be gracious host or they won’t come back. lol Once coffee set in though – I began to perk up. George had cooked most of the breakfast meats the day before: country ham, country sausage, and country bacon. I had rebooted the table with a fresh scene, different decor, and our regular white dishes.

We opened our stockings before breakfast and then ate and once all that was over, it seemed to take forever for the gift opening to occur! But soon Katy and Cody arrived and we opened gifts. I don’t know why I didn’t take pics during that – other than we were just having a good time. Everyone loved their air fryers and cook book and accessories. It was a big Christmas. We are all blessed. And thankful. I will take pics of the gifts as I put them up.

So everyone began to leave around 3:30 to 4:00 and while I needed a nap, I made myself stay up so I’d sleep good and not continue this sleep cycle (lack of sleep) I’ve been in. I tackled the house as best as I could until I hit a wall. I showered put on PJs and goofed off the rest of the evening. I think bedtime was around 8 or so and I did get a good night’s sleep to come back on Thursday to work. I had a very busy but pleasant day of doing after payroll activities, such as paying taxes, uploading 401k, doing my Thursday check run, getting the garnishment payments out and getting garns ready for next payroll.

Upon arriving home, George said “I think we need to set up your iMac”. I said “I agree”. So Thursday night we set that up and I began making it “mine”. I love it. I was surprised by the stereo sound of my iTunes playing. And I spent time setting up the settings via my phone so that it was including in the iCloud and back up – on reminders, notes, calendars and photos so that these things will be synced/available immediately across all devices. Ahhh though, the dominos impact sets in. Having photos accessible (on of the features I was looking forward to) meant my iCloud storage was not good enough. I was pushing the limit. So I bit the bullet to pay the .99 month for more storage. Lots more storage. Before I knew it – it was 10:30 and I still needed to do my bedtime routine and take Maisy out. George was in bed and snoring

Friday, I awoke having slept good but just not long enough. I was anxious to get the day going and also anxious period because we had a lot of critical things to do for year end payroll processes that had to be done before the next payroll run. I still had to do my pre-payroll duties of coding PTO’s. I had a list a mile long of things needed doing. One thing I knew for sure is I was not working on the the weekend. I worked the weekend before while family was in town and worked most of the time they were here. It’s been a crazy ash of a 6 weeks, and I (putting foot down) have declared this weekend as sacred. Normally I take the 26th off to recover from all the stress and anxiety that this time of the season brings. I had conformed my mind to be ok for holding on through 26th and 27th and holding off to have the weekend. But anything messing with that is going to have to mess with ME! I didn’t mind conveying that message if needed. Matter of fact I believe I conveyed it before it was needed. lol. Lack of sleep, stressed, bear like – don’t touch this! lol. So I started the day yesterday “done” before it ever began. I knew it would be tough because the list was so long. I had to run 2.5 hours of reports on a Greenbar printer and sit and wait for it to run b/c it had confidential data on it. A waste of a precious 2.5 hours but necessary. Done close to lunch time at that point, I still had about (who knows how many) PTO forms to code with plant, hourly or salary, their average pay, the number of available PTO, and hours taking at the top. Each has to be looked up on the computer. Except PTO was already cleared out for the year and I had to use a report for that. And I think everyone in the company had vacation time this week (not me, lol) and I had to upload the new 401k enrollments online. I’d never done this before but it was fairly easy. The emails kept pouring in with PTO’s at all hours of the day and stopped an hour after the deadline finally. I had to sign off on 3 different check runs (I am one of the signers for a/p checks). I had to check to see if it was a full moon b/c I had so many emails and questions and so many employees wanted things. Of course each person’s question – they don’t realize I have 30 other people asking for things at the same hour. Most of the time handling the 4 plants is easy but yesterday I saw that at this time of the year another person would be handy. Anyway, it was just pandamonium. Then I got a call to cut – about 12 manual checks immediately – for PTO’s that were turned in late that had missed the deadline. I weighed my options and decided to stay and remain employed. lol While I have sympathy for those involved, I’m still only one person. My bosses realized the reality of the impossible day I had yesterday and were gracious to jump in and help. I did the computations, my immediate boss cut the checks, our HR manager took the checks and or sent them via overnight and bought me an ice tea b/c he was trying to uphold my morale in an impossible day. My Controller did the same by rearranging some things we had planned. We got through it. I still didn’t get finished doing what I needed to do by about an hour but I will go in an hour earlier Monday. Once 5:30 came – it was me and the cleaning people and maybe another person or two and so I refused to be by myself there after dark. I needed to leave anyway as it had been a long day. Pretty much worked 4 days worth of work in the last two with the longer hours.

So I survived yesterday (barely) and was glad when it was over. I think I will describe yesterday as a nightmare. I will rank it as 3rd worst day ever in payroll. The first was when I was still b/w jobs in training and trying to learn while being bombarded with the old job – 14 hour days and then the 2nd was also during that time frame and the check statements wouldn’t print and we had to do them by hand. So yeah, yesterday rank and it stank. I was so glad to be home and glad it was over. I had anticipated it to be rough and it was. Mainly just b/c we were already slated to be overwhelmingly busy and then trying to fix everyone’s emergencies and downfalls and issues. Had it been a more prepared payroll on everyone’s part, we’d have been better off. It is what it is, and one day I’ll tell my grandchildren about it – if I live that long and don’t stroke out before then. Why in the hell I have to pick the most stressful jobs in the world, I have no idea. AT least I love what I’m doing – until something like yesterday happens where hell meets pandemonium.

Where do my phrases come from? I mean last night in the middle of the night I woke up thinking that my day should have been recorded and on tv…lol…it was akin to a Die Hard movie crosses reality show Survivor, with a little mix of Lucille Ball in there with me trying to organize that Greenbar wad of Tyrannosaurus reports that was spitting out so slow until the end where some report didn’t have as much data and it spit out faster that I could organize it. I had to put it on pause to catch up and not be strangled by paper. Anyway, laughter at that scene at 3:30 this morning, when I remembered it. Then visions of my hands on hips and declarations of “I ain’t working this weekend now”, lol. (Momma coming out of me there, putting foot down.). No one had asked me to but I didn’t want anyone getting any ideas, lol.

So Katy and Cody came by this morning about 4:30 to pick up their Christmas gifts and Findlay. Cody got a gun rack from his parents so they waited to get that loaded before taking their gifts. So I got a text from her and they are in Arkansas right now.

Prayers please for all as they travel (Katy and Cody back to TX and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken back to FL today).

It has taken a while this morning to get the blog entry figured out. I’ve saved some favorites in my Safari set up. I googled how to use Safari. I really wanted to have Chrome but read an article to give Safari a chance as it’s quite simple and useful and pleasing to use. So I had to google how to pin things to the top bar and also how to create book marks and to put things in your favorites so it’s on the main page also (desktop icon of sorts when you open safari).

So many things are different – from the way you scroll or pin things. I did go in and set up a right click on the super mouse thing. But I’m not changing the direction of the scroll unless I stay confused – since it will be opposite from works. You can change the direction.

It prompted me to upgrade the software so it’s on the Catalina software. Not all the bugs have worked out and today my Safari got stuck and would not close. I had to get my phone and google how to do a forced close. Once all that figured out I went to blog and couldn’t upload pictures. I thought that was the case anyway. It won’t upload from the portal but after a google was reminded that you could click and drag the photos into place. It never worked in windows for me on my laptop so I never used that feature. Who knew it would work in Mac. That was a delightful surprise.

So as of right now I don’t think I can print anything and I think we are going to get a bluetooth printer for the iMac in here. Ours is pretty old at this point anyway. It has bluetooth but it never really worked. Katy’s computer it worked on and I had the same one and it would never work on mine nor George’s w/o the chord. So printer needed. Anyway the next thing is to also get my graphics loaded on this PC so I can blog with them. I’m hoping that is easy. I’ll back everything up to the hard drive and connect it via USB and hope that will allow me to copy over. However, I’m not sure that is how a Mac works. We’ll see. I will also need to work on how to do paint shop pro and may consider learning the new Pixelmator which is fairly cheap as those things go. Free for 15 days. So that is on the list. I will need to be able to do things with photos and graphics. Then later will need to be able to do video but that is a later goal.

I really like having photos already on the computer from whatever is in my phone. And being able to see text messages come across the screen, and notes and reminders on everything. It’s a sigh of relief and continuity and at this point – that is why I need. So going from a discombobulated day yesterday to a fun two days of Christmas holiday and payroll recovery.

I wouldn’t change much about my life but about right now I’d love to just take off in an RV (a little one) – take off for a couple or three months and go to Miami and keys, then thru TX and see Katy and Cody, and then on to the South West and onto CA. As the weather warms head up a little further and then across the mid country and come back. Ahhh yeah, de-stressing just thinking about it. Ah but I’d miss my new iMac. And my recliner. And that would be oh so irresponsible of me (to be w/o my iMac).

Well, I’ve much to do today and I’ve blogged a long time this morning. One day I’ll laugh about the end of year payroll run (not likely any time soon) but I’m just happy now to have two days in a row off to chill out. Much needed. But even at the end yesterday’s long day, I was so thankful for those that rallied around to help. I was not alone and that was much appreciated. Enough to help you deal and cope and I was grateful and happy with that. To have someone understand and be there to pull you though means a lot when you are traumatized (yes, I would go so far to use that word about yesterday, lol).

Anyway ya’ll have a wonderful weekend and hope you enjoy yours too.

Pray for our travelers.

And I’ll leave you with a photo below that reminds us of what the Christmas spirit should be the week of Christmas and it will hopefully revive my spirits again after such a hectic week with funeral, payroll, Christmas, and keeping up with so much in one week. Be Merry, Peaceful, and lets look toward a Happy New year 😉 in which we can once again work on our 2020 hopes and dreams.

Conflicts and Complexities of Christmas – oh and Exhaustion

Yesterday I went to work and discovered a plant had not followed payroll instructions (sent twice) and sent a bunch of late PTO forms for last week after payroll had closed. ::sigh:: So that is how my day began yesterday. What could have been a smooth short week where we have extra work could have been smoother for everyone and my answer is simply “we will do what we can with the time we have” and as I understand it from my boss, there is a lot of year end stuff to do and not much time.

In addition to not having time, I left half day yesterday to attend George’s Uncle Robert’s visitation and funeral. A very sudden death and a much loved person by his family and friends. Having given work the best of me since July with crazy hours and –well you saw who worked Sunday –when I could have been out with my daughter having fun – I decided I was going to this funeral with George and in support of the family. Work doesn’t get me first. I wanted to be there for the memorial/celebration of his life. So there was no asking – it was simply “I’ve got to leave to go to a funeral”. And I did.

Oh I know I’ll pay for it when I get back this week. But I’ll drink my Ionix like I did yesterday, and everyone, including me, will just have to face the facts: There are two days left to work in the week. There is one of me. There are critical deadlines. And something will have to go b/c there are four days of work to do, plus month end, year end, and quarter end. Not all of that has to be complete by Friday. But some of it does. We will do the most important things first and sadly it won’t include time to do a lot of extras.

I did the “after payroll processes” and ran some reports, organized for my 401k, garn, and tax uploads I’ll do later in the week. And spent most of the morning stuffing the TN plant checks so they would be ready for delivery Thursday morning.

I left work feeling exasperated. I needed to go the funeral. I needed to be at work. Decision was already made. I was exhausted – having rushed around all week, and we have had things we’ve been doing at night – grocerying, eating out, trying to insert family time with Katy and Cody in town. They have not gotten the best of me. I’m spent by 6 or 7 having been going since the 4 o-clock a.m. hour. And what has not helped has been the lack of sleep. Waking up at 1:30 every morning and hoping to snooze again before 4. But one feels guilty having these thoughts when there are grandchildren that just lost their grandpa and family that has lost their Dad. How devastated they must be here at Christmas, and then my problems don’t seem so bad. There are also others that are seriously ill. Another family lost their child, and another George knows lost their teenage son. So my tiredness, is nothing compared to the ailing going on in others. And I reign in my thoughts and feelings of being thankful that we have each other and we have been able to pull off a really difficult season and hopefully give a wonderful Christmas to everyone. It still doesn’t change the fact that I’m exhausted before Christmas starts, or not worried about how the rest of the week will go, or counting up how many years left til retirement when I can freaking enjoy the holidays for once. But at least we all still have each other.

I also know that for my story, is another’s story slightly different but much the same – we are all struggling to get through the holidays – the pressures, the timelines, the moods (including our own) as the short weeks occur and additional work is on you – and some with sickness in their family and some with themselves, and most of us battling sinus issues anyway as it’s 30 one day and 60 the next. Some with funerals, some with family members who are difficult, __________ fill in the blank with your own situation. It seems that all flaws, problems, and responsibilities and issues become magnified at this time and a light shines down upon them. I think the devil likes to try to use Jesus’ holiday to create the most havoc and distraction that he can – the sorry toad that he is. No wonder heaven kicked him out. He didn’t make the cut, didn’t make the grade, and literally his elevator doesn’t go to the top. Let’s just take this time to say that he is kicked to the curb, homeless, and will find his home in the basement one day. Til then he travels to and fro (hope it’s not in an RV) seeking who he can devour.

So back to yesterday…after the funeral, we went out to eat at Swaney Swift on the square in Gallatin. And it kept entering my mind…I’m off for the next two whole days! It felt as if we were about to board a ship heading for the Bahamas. And there’s presents in our near future!

Swaney Swift Restaurant, Gallatin, TN

It once used to be a drug store and now a restaurant and milkshake (diner) atmosphere. Mainly burgers but have other things too. I got a salad. We had a beer.

Christmas Tree on the Square, Gallatin, TN

Then George reminded me we had to go to the store again for the fresh stuff and a little surprise. I had completely forgot with the funeral and the work situation and the crunch time and the lack of sleep. Somewhere in there since working Sunday – I’d kinda given up on my to do list. There wasn’t much time to do anything extra – not even time to look at it really. But thank goodness George is able to see through all the muddle and huddle and keep us on task. So off to Publix we go, me so tired I could stretch out across the ham and turkey’s and sleep in the middle freezer section.

All I could think of going home was bed and how every little thing at that point was as arduous as the climbing of Everest: The small drive home, the climbing up the stairs with grocery bags, the putting up of groceries, taking the dogs out, rebooting the laundry, feeding the dogs. Would it ever end?

I put up the important stuff and left the rest on the counter – the laundry I may have to rewash – I was done – we took dogs out. George fed them. I hit the sack! Sleep was good til 1:30 when Maisy woke me up wanting to go outside. I took her out b/c she was about to jump off the bed to go. So then back in bed I couldn’t sleep. I waned to get up and start doing things but I was only with less than 5 hours – I want to enjoy this day! So I took a few squirts of sleep spray, drank some water, took several deep breaths and after an hour went to sleep. I woke up again and thought why can’t I sleep? and I realized oh I was sleeping – I was dreaming – so I must have been sleeping.

So that is what’s been going on the last day or so and today I’m going to get my shower done and reboot the laundry and make sausage balls and straighten up the house a final time (it’s pretty much clean – just where we have lived in it the last couple of days). And then our dinner starts tonight and Christmas day tomorrow and…I get my iMac! I won’t get to do anything with it til Saturday – I don’t think. But I’m looking forward to it.

And for two days, work is erased from my mind, I’ll be in the present (in the presents, lol) and will enjoy the time! Someone may have to remind me to go to work Thursday – I normally like to have the 26th off to unwind. But it’s all good. I made my mind up it was ok to work on the 26th when I got to go to Texas. (It’s not but I’m sucking it up!) And then we’ll go from there. But these two days are mine and no one but family can have it! Sawwwwwry (in your best Carol Burnette voice). lol