Christmas with Family and a Nashville Bombing!

I took a pic of the tree before our guests arrived on Christmas Eve. The table was set and candles aglow!

Aunt Martha, Uncle Ken, and Mom arrived around 1:30 or so. Packages came thru the door miraculously as did TWO other fur babies.

Let me tell you. Roger perked up and his tail wagged like I’ve not seen in a while. It did little Roger some good to be around Fancy (Mom’s dog) and Coco (Aunt Martha’s dog). It thrilled my heart to see him so happy. Little Bit even came in to greet everyone. But Roger was NOT having THAT! Roger ran Little Bit out of the room at some point yesterday evening saying “enough is enough of you”. Roger is scared of Little Bit outside on Little Bits turf.

Ooops quite the blurry pic!
Mom and Fancy

The family enjoyed watching the old Christmas movies that were in black and white. I totally forgot to take a pic of the snack table when everyone arrived (with the snacks on it). I got a pick after it was cleared, lol. George’s cooking was awesome. The prime rib came out a little rare and had to be put back in. Poor George hard to satisfy everyone all at once – everyone’s taste ranging from well done to rare. Maybe prime rib was not the perfect choice for this group, and next time we should pick ham or something different for Christmas Eve. ha. It was a little chaotic there for a few moments as everyone was ready to eat but George’s prime rib was cooked, just like HE would have liked it. He suggested microwaving for each person to their desired heat. I’m not fond of microwaved meat as it gets leathery. And our microwave doesn’t work properly as you have to keep buttons to beg it to work. I detest the thing. It was taking forever so we put it back in the stove. Yeah, I’m thinking prime rib is maybe not the thing for us to do again on Christmas Eve. Maybe lasagna next year? lol

We munched on salad while waiting and it didn’t take long.

Once it was in the oven and back out again, we were able to eat and it was wonderful.

Prime Rib
Pea and Asparagus Casserole
Hominy, with cheese and bacon!

We missed these two, but they were back home having their own little celebration. Too close to due date to travel this far!

Everyone comfy. Mom brought her own blanket as she thinks our house is cold. I also had blankets ready for all! lol. We keep it anywhere from 70 to 72. I thought the house was pretty toasty and warm myself.

George’s cooking was mahvalous! We had dessert too. Not pictured. And I had set the table, did all the decor, and cleared the table and washed the dishes and reset the table for Christmas morning.

I like to have a little bit different setting and centerpiece for each meal.

Snack table

Roger did pretty good sleeping Christmas Eve until about 3:30. George got up with him initially and I got up and let him go back to bed. Mom slept in the recliner in the den. (We offered to give up our bed, but she wanted the recliner, saying she sleeps good in it). It is pretty comfortable.

It seemed like forever, til the others got up and had coffee and we could open gifts. Mom and I were ready. The sun also took forever to come up – the perils of getting up at 3:30, lol.

I thought the room looked pretty in the dark with the sparkles. A bit of light coming from behind me in the kitchen, gave a glow on the table. Such a warm and cozy feeling getting up on Christmas morn.

I whispered to Mom a secret that made her laugh. I said “Momma, guess what?”, as I went into the living room and set stuff about. She said “what?” I said, “don’t tell anybody but Santa is really a woman!”. LOL LOL

George’s stocking which I over judged and over shopped on

I noticed that Santa had not come for me yet. But I guess Santa had to get caught up on his sleep and get a cup of coffee first. Then he must have put his finger to his nose, come down the chimney and past me and set it out and then out with the morning deer (reindeer) because my stocking magically appeared with all the others. George must have been a good boy this year! His cup and his stocking overfloweth.

Love seeing presents piled at one’s feet!
Dang it, Blurry again. I was taking pics too fast! Sorry!

Taking pics while handing out. Where’s Uncle Ken’s gifts? Probably still under the tree. And most of the morning we had the fireplace going on the TV. Everyone said how warm it made the room. It does have that mental impact! We had the fireplace going until my SIL texted and said Channel 5 had news coverage of the Nashville Bombing. I had seen an alert on my phone about an explosion. So we turned on Channel 5 for the coverage after breakfast. Apparently there an RV parked on 2nd Avenue and issued warning for people to evacuate. How nice to give a warning, but wait, bombing on AT&T is not nice! The guilty party (parties) evidently going after communication. It did do some damage to about 40+ businesses but I think it probably didn’t do the damage it had hoped to do to AT&T. Those of us with AT&T’s phone service went down shortly thereafter. We still have some service, just can’t call. So not really impacted too badly. I don’t like to talk on the phone anyway. lol. But I would have made a couple of calls to talk to Katy but it’s ok we just texted for now and we’ll catch up later.

The Coffee Center and Den Tree

I had sweets and cookies prepackaged sitting about but NONE of us were really hungry for that. We had a LOT of food and desserts.

I had made a sausage and egg casserole with red and green pepper (Pillsbury crescent dough bottom). IF I had to do it over again, I think I’d suggest we do a country ham, sausage, bacon breakfast with grits and eggs and biscuits and jelly and red eye gravy. I know this group would have loved their biscuits and preserves. I was thinking casserole was easy and it was, but it didn’t seem as special somehow.

Ever since watching “Somebody Feed Phil”, George has wanted a Tagine to cook Moroccan food. He was very happy with it. I also got a Moroccan clay pot tagine cookbook, some moroccan spices, a diffuser burner to help diffuse the heat when changing surfaces from oven to stove top, etc.

We had a great time and everyone left after noon. I had dessert for lunch – fudge silk pie and ice cream. lol After they left I was exhausted and needed sleep. So I went and took a long two hour nap. It was wonderful. I’m not a big nap person, but I knew I’d feel miserable if I didn’t catch up on some sleep, having got up at 3:30 or 4 for many days in a row. I slept and felt better when I woke up but was disoriented a bit. It took me a minute to realize I’d taken a nap and it wasn’t morning. lol I really was exhausted and it appeared I still was. I got up and I think I fixed more coffee at that point but I’d had so much coffee I was about tired of it. I had some iced tea too and that was good.

I didn’t want to watch any more about the bombing. It was Christmas day and we’d seen enough, and I’m not one to let outsiders spoil our day. Awful it was, but sorry, it’s Christmas. So I went about my day as if it hadn’t happened. That is not cruel by the way – that is sanity. Sometimes you have turn the news off and tune the evil world out. Even God tells us to think upon good things. And that is what I did.

We enjoyed our evening. I was pretty much parked and played my game and was on ipad and phone, watched shows, and George read and was on the computer. WE enjoyed doing things we enjoy doing. And then we congregated – just the two of us, lol – for prime rib and left overs. I thought it was about 6:30 and I looked and it was 8:30 already. So not long after, I went back to sleep. And I might have gotten some porcupine pajamas for Christmas! That shower and change from one set of PJ’s to the other felt good.

My gifts are stacked in the living room. I will lay them out and take pics as I do always each year.

Today I’ll be doing laundry, playing with my gifts, putting up the Christmas China, and will order my Chair and Ottoman for my office. Mom gave me Christmas money and that’s what I’m buying with that. I didn’t get the back up drive or alternate drive as George said he wanted me to pick it out and we never did. So I will have to order that myself. I had been waiting on Christmas for it to do a back up on the mac, thinking he was wrapping it up. But I will order what I’ve been looking at. I will need the back up drive that will be dedicated for backing up the mac and then I need another external drive to park the imovies/videos on so they don’t take up so much space and make the Mac slow.

But I love all my gifts. George got the coveted wide angle lens and I’ll be enjoying that VERY SOON! Soon I’ll get to start working on the next video – maybe even this weekend if I get a lot of other things done! I will share my goodies with you tomorrow once I get them all laid out. Right now they are still in the living room in sacks and boxes.

Christmas with our family was wonderful. It’s always good to see everyone and have Christmas together. And we’ll get to see our daughter soon enough, Lord willing!

So Wow! We all worked hard for that and then it’s over! So now we focus on the next few things! We gotta look forward to something always to keep living!

So here is what my things are, not in order of any particular importance but as I get to work on them or as they happen.

  • Ordering my Office Chair, Ottoman, and little table so I have a little journaling place and a place to watch TV on my Mac. Have to figure out where the current stuff will go that sits in that corner.
  • Ordering on Amazon: a ring light for filming, and a watch band for my Apple Watch
  • Packing for Texas, going to Texas and meeting our grandson!!!!!
  • Planning my upcoming videos and working on them.
  • Planning and Scheduling my Learning Curve Excursions (lol) for camera, YouTube, marketing, and so forth. I’ll have to schedule it to get it done.
  • Reading. I’ve decided to read more, somehow. George gave me some books for Christmas too. I already have a bunch to read.
  • Looking forward to New Year’s.
  • Looking forward to my birthday dinner.
  • Looking forward to going through my presents again today.
  • Looking forward to doing a Bible Study but I’ve not exactly decided what it is going to be. I think it will be self directed, researched fashion by subject, and maybe even take notes all the way through and could turn into more – we’ll see what God plans/allows.
  • Picking out our flooring and getting that. It has seemed so far away – kinda like my Grandson, but now both are getting close.
  • May think about another dog at some point – but after the flooring and likely toward spring or even summer. I just don’t know. But it’s in the back of my head.
  • Spring- Summer – Soon I’ll begin to look forward to that.
  • Getting a pedi and a mani (separate trips) after Texas
  • Might get a hair cut after Texas- not sure.

That’s a lot to look forward to so I’m blessed!

I have way more to do than I could possibly fit into my evenings and weekends. ha. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! How did your Christmas go? Did it snow? Did you have any surprises? And cool gifts you wanted? Ya’ll take care! Gone to heat up something for breakfast! More tomorrow!

Christmas is Happening!

Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

Tis the Christmas Eve ya’ll! So far, Christmas is happening! Finished off work yesterday. Left at 4. I got everything done that I needed to do and to be ready for Monday. I ordered a pizza before leaving work through Jet’s Pizza. Went to their website and it gave 20% off if you ordered through text. It made it easy. I did that. So it was ready when I got there. And the large pizza was pretty inexpensive compared to others.

Sausage Ball Recipe

Was pretty tired after the work week coupled with tasks every evening but such is the Christmas Crunch. Last night we ate pizza and I set out in the kitchen to get sausage balls (2 batches) made. It’s a recipe I have had for over 30 years. You probably have seen the recipe. It’s pretty basic. This combination works every time.

I’ve learned to just make 2 batches as that seems to feed our company and give a day or two leftovers. Great with mustard! 😉

Update on Daughter

I was pleased when Katy texted last night….”help, can’t find sausage ball recipe”. I had the recipe laying out in front of me when she asked. Of course I took a pic and then realized 30 min later, I had forgotten to actually SEND the pic of it thru text to her. Hey but at least I realized it so there is hope.

So we are happy that Kate is 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I had to ask “what does that mean?”. Katy began explaining the birthing process and I said, “oh I know that but I mean how long does that mean?” lol And Katy said the doc said it didn’t really mean that you could predict the timing, but did say she may have the baby about a week earlier than due. Remains to be seen. It’s definitely time to get excited as soon we’ll have a new Grandson.

New Global Blog Visitors from Zimbabwe!

New blog visitors. Hey Zimbabwe! I had several of you inquisitively stop by yesterday – something in the blog caught your attention? Thanks for stopping by. It’s always an inquisition on my end too as to why some people pop in suddenly from other countries. Some stay. Someone in China is watching. India is watching. And now Africa. I am shocked to have a global blog. I say “watching” instead of reading. I figure it’s all political. Or information driven. Or someone trying to get inside intel information on something going on in the country. Prove me wrong. Comment. Speak out. 😉 I love to have people visit. Spies, however, will be sorely disappointed in what they find here. However, if you have good intentions, then welcome. If not then “shew fly” off into the sunset? No secrets here. Nothing to investigate. But you might find a sausage ball recipe. lol. Merry Christmas and may the Lord be with you all and He is, in ways you may not even be aware.

Christmas is Happening!

Also made the Christmas Cheez-It’s. It was easy – box of Cheez-It’s and a bit of canola oil (1/2 cup I think), pepper flakes, and 1 oz of dried ranch dressing mix. Mix it in a bowl and then bake for – I think it was about 15 minutes on 250. You can google a recipe just to be sure I got those right. I had a few with coffee this morning.

I slept pretty good last night. I went to bed at 8:30 and got up at 3:30 when Roger needed up. Now George is getting his other end of the night by sleeping in. That seems to work well.

Family arrives a bit after lunch today. We’ll have light snacks available til dinner which will be at 6:00 p.m. We always have prime rib on Christmas Eve. It’s a tradition. One we liked that stuck. Santa will come tonight. I always enjoy his stockings he leaves for anyone here.

I began setting the Christmas table last night. George finally was able to clear off his office from the end of the table after his work day finished yesterday.

We are very excited about today and tomorrow! But we are both pretty tired out from working and dealing with Roger and doing the Christmas Crunch. So we are ready to cook, eat, and enjoy our guests. And see what Santa brought.

Behind the Scenes on the Homefront

The house is fairly clean. I’ve set in to some much needed laundry this morning. I will spritz everything up this morning, light candles about mid day, put on the Christmas fireplace, get folded blankets out and set about for everyone – if needed – although we have been keeping the house warm. Sometimes as you age you need a little throw. I do – although lately George has been keeping the house warmer – now that he has been working from home.

Not really a lot to share today being the last 3 days have been work days. But I’ll take some pics today. My goal is to video some after the house is ready this morning. So I have some Christmas footage of the household and food for the YouTube vlog.

Vlogging Plans

I can’t wait to work on more videos and get that cranking again. It’s been on my mind more and more the closer we get to Christmas. The more you are away from it the harder to get back into it. Now I have to do a catch up video since Maisy passed and work on the new intro. So a lot to catch up on now. My goal had been to set a specific time goal for video, no matter what for 2021 after I saw in 2020 how much time everything will take! I had figured 3 weeks apart while I’m working FT. That was my average! I just can’t get anything done though until after Christmas and likely after New Years and possibly after the birth and our trip. Yikes we are looking at February? This is just always a busy time of year and lots of life happening at once. Maybe I should say “new videos monthly” and set a deadline for the date each month – like the 1st? I need to ponder on that. But that would give me more time. However, I NEED to at least get my plans for video footage together so I can create folders and begin to get some of the video and photos off my phone. And I think I want to be more topic based with each video instead of just “whatever is happening”. I think that will help the ratings and subscriptions.

My phone storage is getting pretty full. Sometimes the camera doesn’t want to work and is slow b/c of it. So I need to get some things transferred over to “files” on my Mac so I can take even more video on my phone as sometimes that is easiest to capture “moments on a whim”.

Supposedly getting an external drive for my videos and materials for Christmas. And a backup drive for the mac. I have to have two separate things, b/c I am not going to keep my videos on the mac anymore. And I have to have a complete back up drive just dedicated to the mac back up. I will still have files on the mac, but the videos need to be kept off of it so it doesn’t slow the mac down as time goes forward. Whatever I don’t get for Christmas or birthday, I’ll buy after Christmas. Need a ring light also for lighting. And I may buy a couple more cheap floor lamps to move about the house when filming certain things. Before long we’ll have a regular filming studio going on, lol.

This next year will be a transitional year for the VLOG – it all evolves anyway as does anything. My plans will deteriorate as God decides what really will happen with it. But I move forward in the direction I think I need to go until he swivels me on another path with it. Excited to continue to learn and develop the new hobby. NO virus is not going to ruin it for me either. Not going to let it. Matter of fact, I’ll use it to my advantage. ;-). For starters, the introvert that I am gets to spend more time at home learning and growing! And more time planning. So in this respect, time is on my side. I need time to develop more skills and learn. And I’m looking forward to the down time after the holiday and our trip to continue to work on it. But I may be February before able to make a lot of progress. I also have to upgrade the Mac. But I’ve got to make sure my security program has provided the upgrade for Big Sur. If not, I’ll wait. I have already paid for a year or so and don’t want to have to buy another security program. However, if Sophos (security) has not upped their game by Feb 1, I may have to. I’m ready to go on to Big Sur. And by now Mac has likely worked out most of the bugs. Just need to make sure iMovie working ok on Big Sur and will do some research before I set about the update.

That is all I have. I am ready to get more coffee, a shower, and get things aligned and set up for company. My clothes are in the guest bedroom, so I’ll need to pack a small bag for the next day so I have what I need when I need it, lol!

Ya’ll have a Merry Christmas! I wish you a happy time with warmth, love, laughter. It’s been a tough year. WE all deserve it. Do you have family coming over today? Tomorrow? Are you cooking something special? What is your food tradition for the Christmas meal? I LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear what YOU are doing!

Peace, love, big hugs!

Tales on Christmas EVE EVE

Top of the Morning to ya! We opened a wine I liked that we sipped on over the last couple of days. It had a good taste. I took a pic to remember it.

It’s “Christmas Eve Eve”. George and I have always loved Christmas Eve Eve. Once it was his father’s birthday (also named George) and we always went out to celebrate. Sometimes Olive Garden, with the whole family. Bless Him. He made life fun and interesting. If you had a problem, it was his problem and he would try to solve anything. A very giving and kind heart and a humorous side to him. Just don’t ask him if he wants to buy a chicken. LOL

Why do you ask? He, “Granda” would tell a certain joke only in a loud restaurant, or crowd. He casually asks you “Hey what do you say to a deaf man when you want to sell him a chicken?” And then he yells at the top of his voice “DO YOU WANT TO BUY A CHICKEN?” I mean AT. THE. TOP. OF. HIS. VOICE. It’s a showstopper folks. I’ve been there. The entire restaurant stops talking and looks over.

The fun of course, is later when you go out to eat again and he says “Hey what do you say to a deaf man when you want to sell him a chicken?” And the whole table would go “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” in unison, also causing everyone to look. lol. He was a mess. And we are thinking of him this morning.

And no, it would not be politically correct for me to blog such a joke in public fashion, but I was telling a story of someone who told that joke to a group of friends/family. So in case anyone is confused, I’ve straightened that out for you. (There’s always a few judgers out there looking to pull the spec out of your eye while the big wooden beam rolls around in their own, rolls eyes. That came from the Bible. Not the eye rolling part. That part came from me. lol)

Here’s George’s Dad holding Katy – she was born on Christmas Day!

And here’s my Dad holding Katy. Only he became Pappaw.

Katy had me get out the pics of her as a baby so she could compare pics to River when he is born. She already has a 3D pic which is very realistic.

Here’s the moment of birth. Look at Mom’s face. It wasn’t planned for her to be in the delivery room. George was in there with me and when the time came they asked if she was planning to stay and I said, “sure” so Mom was thrilled to get to stay in there. I was also relieved to have Mom and George in the room.

I remember this feeling. The overwhelming feeling of “joy and protection” over this baby. I remember thinking immediately that I would do all I could to protect this wonderful being for the rest of her life as long as I am living. That is what was going through my head at the time, that I would eternally protect her and love her. I next remembered seeing her hands and how pretty and long they were. And how cute her feet were. I had no idea how to be a mother. I just new how much I loved her.

I saved this blanket and gave it back to Katy at one of her showers for River.

She was a cute baby. She didn’t look like this for very long. She thickened up. Her Daddy loved to give her an extra bottle just before bed. I would feed her what the doc suggested and he would throw that extra bottle in there.

She was already contemplating her future as a teacher, I think.

I look at this pic and think “why didn’t I comb my hair after delivery”? I had other things on my mind and that was a good thing though.

Our “package” came with a dinner for two in the room with grape juice for the wine. I had that turquoise house coat forever. I remember how that was a sweet dinner. But I also remember how tired I was. And I remember George was anxious to go home and us be released and it took forever. He was getting a bit agitated. All I wanted was rest. I think I was tired for a long while.

Katy was born on Christmas Day. I remember on Jan 3rd, Granny Jan, George’s Mom came to our house and fixed a birthday dinner of Spaghetti for me at our house. I was so tired still. I just wanted to sleep and rest. But of course I wouldn’t miss my own spaghetti dinner. I just remember it was all I could do to sit up and eat. I know young mothers are tired, but I seem unusually tired the first few weeks. I also didn’t want to sleep because I wanted to stay up and make sure she was breathing. I realized I had to sleep while she slept though but could always sleep best knowing someone was on watch or holding her.

Going back a bit. Here I was with Mom and my grandmother’s while pregnant.

So Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas has always been very special. It was also my “Nanny’s” birthday on the left. And of course Mam’ma’s (center) birthday was Dec 14th.

While I was typing this, George came in and said “Merry Christmas Eve Eve”! We have always said that to each other through the years.

George and I are looking for a bit more rest tonight. The last two nights have been rough with Roger. He is just unsettled. I’m grateful that George has been dealing with it. When I wake up I’m awake for the night if it’s after 1:30 unless I go right back to sleep immediately. Night before last I couldn’t go back to sleep until almost time for the alarm to go off. Last night Roger started early wanting off the bed. He gets thirsty we’ve figured out. So at 10:30 after an episode of wanting down, George took him for water and both Roger and George began snoring and I’m lying wide awake. Finally prayed for sleep and got it but Roger wanted down over and over again. I just remembered George getting up. And last night after that first encounter, I was able to sleep again after the others. I got more sleep than he did I think.

Now the little bugger will sleep ALL day! ::sigh:: I’m tempted to wake him up when he’s sleeping so he’ll sleep at night. But I just can’t do it.

So all is on track on the work front. Today is my last day to work for before the holidays. We went to the store last night. We stocked up on a “few things” and ended up with a $200 buggy full. lol.

Tonight I’ll make sausage balls. And Christmas Fire Crackers. I kept calling them Christmas Crack but that was wrong. I got that term from someone else and they were wrong. You have to watch what you repeat. It might be wrong. Christmas Crack is chocolate and peppermint I think. But this is Cheese it Crackers, canola oil, pepper flakes, and dry ranch dressing and you bake them. I’ve had it with oyster crackers too but the Cheese It’s are excellent.

Then tomorrow morning I’ll make casserole and clean up a bit and we’ll have a snack spread for Mom and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken. And then we will have a prime rib dinner and Christmas morning we will munch on sausage balls until brunch.

We are well stocked. No one will go hungry. And we have 3 desserts we bought last night: Red Velvet cake, cheese cake, ice cream, and a chocolate silk pie. Wait – that’s 4 desserts. George wanted to have enough choices. And I think he wanted some leftovers. 😉 I picked the ice cream – it’s strawberry. That sounds so good right now.

So I better get ready and get to work for this final day. A lot to do today. But the mood is happy. A bit tired but content.