Santa’s Work Shop: Holiday Baking, Wrapping, Cleaning and Getting Ready for Family

It was a grand and glorious vacation day yesterday. I was up early and busy as a bee! Laundry going, house cleaning, baking, wrapping. And then I began just starting from the left of the house and going through to the right – putting things up, straightening, cleaning.

I was impressed with the pumpkin bread – although next time I want to find the recipe with brown sugar. I thought it had called for brown sugar as I wrote the ingredient down. But maybe that was for another recipe. I still have to make no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies but it’s supposed to be made with sunny weather and no rain, so they will set up, but…it’s raining heavy out there. Go figure.

I also made brownies and check mix. And still have some chocolate chip cookies to make. I wanted some for us this week but will share as well.

That Chex Mix is so good. Baked with butter and ranch dressing mix. I love it with the Cheez-Its and nuts and Cherios and two kinds of Chex.

I also vacuumed and mopped the new flooring. Fabuloso, the cheap Spanish cleaner, was one of the things I bought last year when cleaning things began missing from the shelves. Turns out it was one of the best things ever. It is gentle on the floors, not sticky, and yet it cleans it good. And it’s useful for other things too.

So it was an awesome day. I stopped mid-day and had a little pizza and watched a couple of YouTube shows.

It was so heavenly just being me in the house yesterday to do what I needed to do. I even filmed most of the day as I did things, so eventually there will be a “Getting Ready for Christmas” video. I used both my iPhone and the camera. What great fun and freedom not to have to think about anything outside the scope of what is inside my walls and putting my focus on our family Christmas. This day has been in the books for a long time and I really had everything trying to take it away. But I stood my ground and held on to this off day. Now I will be ready for everything starting tomorrow! I still have wrapping – a big box for George and a big box for River that Mom wanted me to wrap.

Santa’s Work Shop is in full swing right now. After these two boxes today we can put away all gift wrapping supplies. I have a little spread all ready for tomorrow, when Katy and Cody arrive. And now we can focus on the Christmas Eve dinner in the next week.

Look at Santa’s workshop table! LOL. Not even George has room for his stuff. Ha! He will be working at home Monday though so we will need to clean the end for him to set up his laptop. The dishwasher guy is coming to see why the new dishwasher is not working. I washed dishes 4 times yesterday I think – with all the baking. I also washed all the dishes in the dishwasher recently that were dirty and I think that was yesterday morning, plus our dinner dishes from Friday night. And then after each baking session I washed.

I also fixed spaghetti last night. It was good if I say so myself. lol. I had 3 leftovers for lunches. Our freezers are so full that I could only get two in. We are going to be eating out of the freezers and letting them get down to half full I think and not buying much else until spring or summer. We loaded up a lot every time they said there was a shortage coming. But we have a lot of big things in there that are only weekend only meats. Things that take a while to cook. So a lot of our freezer is that. We often have to go buy quick things for the nightly meals after work.

So George did the dishes last night after dinner, saying it was his turn. I was going to do those too as he had worked all day but he said he would do it. Little Bit was meowing and asking me to come to bed. He settled down once I got in bed. He has become to love it when we go to bed. George puts him out or in the basement before he goes to bed. He is good to let us know when he needs to “go out” and do business. So now that Fancy is gone and the other dogs, he enjoys coming in more. And he has even learned to enjoy sitting in my lap – especially when I have flannels on, lol.

I’m thankful that God is allowing Little Bit to become closer to us, while we are in our period of no doggies. He has not normally been a lap cat or a cuddle cat, has often been aggressive even though he was playing – as he swats and bites – but I know when he is apt to do it and try to eliminate what causes him to do it. He is less aggressive though now there are no dogs. He is more settled. He’s always preferred outside but maybe it was because of the dogs. He does love his woods behind us and loves to hunt.

Well, I guess that is about all I have today. I’m just trying to focus on Christmas. Anything beyond that is just too much mentally for me right now. I just have to compartmentalize my life into three sections: our home, Mom, and work and only focus on one at the time. Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken are here at Mom’s and that takes an extreme load off my psyche right now. They have been taking her places, spending time with her, helping her in the house – at least they moved a chair in that George was going to have to do today so they would have more comfortable seating for all of them. There is still so much in the garage and so much unpacking to do but I think now that most of the furniture is in place. She still needs curtains hung, pictures hung, so many boxes unpacked. But we will help as she figures out where she wants things and what she wants where. The needs are endless to get it like she wants and then it’ll still be endless, lol. So I try just to focus on one thing at a time or I will go nutzoid as I’m just too freaking inefficient and not enough of me to do all three. I feel like I’m always failing someone every day. Or not enough for everyone. And when you feel that way it’s easy for people to take advantage of you and so I have to hold that part of me in check as well and do self-care as best as I can, so I can continue living healthily as well and can remain a part of this world to help tend and do what needs doing.

Meanwhile in Texas.

I’ve not posted about Little Roo in a good while. I always save him for the “Meanwhile in Texas” part of the blog but then I never really get through with my blog entries as it is always time to go to work or go do something for Mom or go to some “thing” or “outing”….so I end up cutting the blog short. I love the Meanwhile in Texas section! So I’m going to try to hurry and get to that part. I have been so focused on so many things also that my head spins round and round. But he is a cutie and he is on his way to see me! They are stopping in Hot Springs mid way. I’m so excited for them. But…

PLEASE SAY A TRAVEL PRAYER/BLESSING over them. The traffic in Dallas/Ft Worth can be so challenging in spots and it’s a rainy travel day for them as well. So please pray that God safely and joyously brings them to us. Traveling with a little tot can be challenging always. He’s learning to wave, play peek a boo, and still loves to eat – like the rest of us! Look at those teeth! We are so excited to see him! I cannot wait to hold him and show him the Christmas tree! And his presents!

So I’m off to finish off my duties here today. Everything is coming together slowly.

I did have a little “almost” go to pieces when I forgot that our company took away one of our Christmas holidays. They stuck it somewhere else in the year last year, for whatever reason- more convenient for the company I think. I told George that as long as I could remember working (except for retail) we always had TWO HOL days for Christmas regardless how it fell on the weekend. I had forgotten they had changed this on us. I realized when looking at my notes and calendar that this week was just about like all the rest – we only have the one day off. In my mind it kinda destroyed me because we have so much family in town. I thought we’d have more time together and more time off for the holidays. But what can you do? I’m short on PTO as I’ve so many things pulling at me this year.

And then they took away the 31st holiday and stuck it on Jan 3rd, leaving me with only Jan 4th to do payroll as we fly out the 5th through the rest of the week for River’s first birthday party. Of course family will be gone by then. It’s ok. I’ll just work a long day on the 4th and someone else will have to fold the check stubs for TN. I’m at least off on my birthday which is the 3rd. I wish I’d just scheduled myself to be off the whole week. If I’d known they were going to change the holidays on us – we’d have booked our flights earlier and be gone for the entire week instead of just taking off 3 days. Now we are staying in town just so I can work that one Tuesday for the payroll run. Insert big eye rolling emoji here! If we were driving, I might try to work that out but we are flying so I’m just keeping it the same.

Retirement needs to come soon because my life is just too stressful otherwise. I had not anticipated life getting harder and I will tell you it is quite depressing. I thought as you aged, life’s stresses became fewer. Silly me. Anyway, it’s all good. We deal with everything the best way we can. And just pushing through. And try to sneak some spare time and self-care in there somewhere.

So I’m going back for coffee and enjoying another day here at the house which is like a gift to me from God. Will finish the wrapping, clean up, finish the baking and laundry and dishes. We will see all the family tomorrow, including River.

Hope all is coming together at your house! I’ve enjoyed our blog time today. My neighbor sent this in a text email. Loved it.

7 responses to “Santa’s Work Shop: Holiday Baking, Wrapping, Cleaning and Getting Ready for Family”

  1. Good morning / afternoon….whatever time you might find in your busy day to read these comments…I’m so happy that you’ve had a day off and on your own, you so much needed it. I get really worried about you trying to do to much, I really do. So tomorrow read a more relaxed Sonya is just wonderful…..hope the rest of your day goes well. I can well understand the excitement that tomorrow will hold for you and George…I don’t expect you will have a second to yourselves… will be talk talk talk..How long is Kate Cody and Roo up for ? Just a few days ? I realize they must be home for New Year when you are flying down to them……I’m sorry that you only have one day off work at both Christmas and New Year. Makes me realize just how lucky we are over here. There is always two days at Christmas and two days at New Year. But lots of people have an extra day or even two….Where Peter works he was just saying that this week is going to be very quiet and he thinks they will be home early most days. Most of the young soldiers are gone this weekend and won’t be back till around 6 th Jan. ( it’s a training centre for young soldiers around 2,000 mostly young lads aged around 18/22 plus of course all the teachers and ancillary staff.). Peter has no real interaction with them but works at the base to keep everything ship shape, or in the supply stores etc etc..I think he has 3 full days both Christmas and New Year off……Tomorrow is a busy day Mary and I have church in the morning it is the Carol Service always enjoy that…then home for a sandwich then Peter is taking us to my niece Barbara’s she is having an open house to celebrate her Dads 90 th birthday which is actually on the 24th Xmas eve, but as that’s the day my dear sister died Mitch is not normally in the celebrating mood despite it also being his birthday….so that’s why Barbara thought to make it tomorrow. We won’t be staying long as we have to get home then Peter has to go to get his booster jab at 5.30…. So it’s been all go go go…must stop now see if Mary is ok in the kitchen…..hope you have a good nights sleep tonight. Nice dreams of a little boy come to see his Gran ( can’t remember what your going to be called LOL ). Take care. God bless the travelers.

    • Nonni is my granny name! They will be here a week. But we share their time with Cody’s family and their close friends.

      American business/culture doesn’t value holiday like UK, France, and many other countries. But I will say that most manufacturers have around 10 paid holidays- we have 8, most all give two HOL at Christmas. We usually do but they moved it this year. It is what it is. It is VERY difficult to get family time in. Family unit is not considered important anymore it seems by many in our culture and it’s sad.

  2. SO… SOOOOO sorry for your change in vacation. I totally understand the need for more days. Having worked in education for many years, I have been totally spoiled with days off. Many times the work hours were not so nice but the days off were. Now, that I am keeping the babies, their work schedule determines my schedule. It is very different from education.

    I know you are going to love having them there for a few days. ENJOY EVERY MINUTE.

    Love you.
    Merry Christmas!!!!!

    • Yeah today has been relaxing getting ready, but my Aunt and Uncle’s dog passed this morning and we buried her in our back yard. She was 16. So quite the surprise. I feel so bad they lost their little doggy. She’s buried beside Roger, Maisy, and Tugie.

  3. OH NO….. that is so sad… especially during the holidays. I assume these are the relatives that are staying with your mom?

    We are getting to ready go to my niece’s house tonight for the Gregory Christmas. Typically, this group gets together between Christmas and New Year’s but this year she is going out of town so we are getting together today. I love this get-together because it is always ‘low-key.’ Travis and Savannah will be there and some of my relatives have not seen her. It will be fun and relaxing.

    Next week is the crazy week. I haven’t had time to wrap anything so that is tomorrow evening’s job. Christina and I have a nail appointment tomorrow afternoon so it will be late before I even start but at least some will be done. I am still waiting for several items to be delivered so we will just wait and see if they arrive on time.

    Enjoy having that sweet baby at your house. He is precious in the pictures!!!!!

    Love you.

  4. Friday was a completely successful day for you on the homefront. Wow!!
    I can smell that pumpkin bread. OMG =)
    I’ve read your posts but the comments have been delayed on my end. :::sigh:::
    This day off made all the difference for you.

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