Christmas Gifts from the Family

Good morning! A quick Pop-In this morning! I cannot believe I did not get the blog time in yesterday. I sat down to do that yesterday but was propelled into doing the next video. And would you know I worked on it for about 9 hours yesterday. I forgot to eat lunch. And quit when my daughter called, took a shower, and then it was dinner time.

I am almost through with the video but need to tape a short statement as requested by George, regarding Maisy. He wants to say a few words about our girl for the video. That is sweet. I will record that sometime this week. I’m hoping to release the video sometime New Year’s Day or this weekend.

I should not be blogging this morning either. I have to go do two payroll days in one. I should be getting ready, but I took a shower last night and I also got up about 30 minutes earlier. However, I have also worked in the laundry room and kitchen this morning and sliced up desserts for little containers to put in the freezer so we don’t throw nearly whole pies and cakes in the trash.

Our four day holiday was wonderful. I cannot believe it has gone by so quickly. George’s company gets New Year’s Eve also, which a lot of companies do. I don’t get that unless I burn a PTO day. However, if I’m working a day and a half today, I make take off an hour early or so Thursday and recoup some of that time back. So another 3 day weekend coming for me and another 4 day for George.

I promised I’d show my Christmas gifts as I do annually. It’s fun to take them out of the packages again and lay them out for the photos. I get to see what all I have again before putting it up. We are big foodie people so often we get and give food items. It’s practical! George bought the Maple Leaf Creme Cookies – actually we will both eat on this. I don’t think they will come out again until next fall. You get them from Aldi.

We will try the Swiss Style Hash Browns soon as the Chicken Enchilada Soup. I like Wild Rice and he found “the real deal”. Also have some almond chocolates for that 3 p.m. craving. Those will go to the office!

You see the note there about those “other two presents”. They were various forms of lamb. Lamb chops, leg of lamb, and some other cuts. That was one of my big gifts. Lamb is expensive. We love it. We usually don’t splurge for it unless we see a deal. He went to Sam’s especially to get this. Also while he eats hot sauce a lot of times, I like the Pickapeppa. And we were out. It’s good on most anything really but pork and chicken and probably what I use it most on as I like A-1 or Heinz 57 or creamy horseradish for steak. Those fudge dipped cookies look interesting and so we have a lot of cookies for those Netflix movies after dinner! We are good for a while.

I say that with confidence, because he also bought the Benton’s Peanut Butter cookies from Aldi – and LOTS of them. They go fast. You know why? THEY ARE (or are a close exactness to) the peanut butter girl scout cookies. They seem like the same thing.

He also bought me the good stuff….Carolina Gold Rice. It’s not your ordinary rice. It’s a category all in its own. A yummer! We often have given this as a Christmas gift. He ordered these over the internet, but you can get them in Whole Foods.

He also got every kind of Pesto it seems. We liked the Priano brand red sauce especially and have not tried the others. Most of these came from Aldi, not sure about the other brand. We put these on top of ravioli. We find fresh ravioli in Lebanon when we head out that way (about 30 to 40 minutes out) and this is excellent. I suppose it would work on the frozen ravioli as well. But if you can find fresh made ravioli – and put this red sauce on it – it’s a God send. You’ll think you are sitting in Italy having dinner!

He knows I’m a fan of pistachios! Those are going to work with me too.

I bought these for myself and had him wrap them up. I love my Liz Claiborne PJ’s every year. The top is soft and the bottoms warm. I’ve gotten to where I don’t want a flannel top as it gets too hot. But these are perfect.

Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken gave me this top. It is beautiful and warm! Also we have flavored coffees galore! Little K-cups.

George gave me this coffee we’ve not tried before. Looking forward to that.

I asked for more Happy. It lasts 2 years. It came with a “GWP” so I got all the little trial sizes of things and a little cosmetic bag. Love my “Happy”!

I also asked for this:

My Canon wide angle lense. So excited as this is the best lens for blogging. I will do a vlog showing both. He also bought the filter pack for me. I could have used that in the bright sun one day. I still have so much learning to do! Looking forward to that in 2021. Keep me locked up I guess away from COVID, I’ll get it done. 😉

This was a very thoughtful gift. It’s a Nest Temperature Sensor. The hallway is where the current one is, but you can have this in the room where you are and it’ll adjust to the room you are in. Our hallway is warmer than some of the other rooms so often it gets cold in certain places at certain times. So this will come in handy. I’ll break into these items over the next weekend.

I love these two candles! They smell so good and are good quality. From Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken.

I also love my airtight storage containers. We no longer keep flour and sugar on the counter area. Those times are gone. But we do need proper storage for our dry goods in the pantry that are easily storable and space saving. Once Amazon had XOXO brand, but I see that mostly they are selling the Chef’s Path brand. And Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken bought those for me. When comparing them, these seem to do the “air tight” about the same. Their top is a little different from XOXO but it still seems to be airtight. I had asked for these containers for Christmas when Aunt Martha asked what I would like or needed. And these seem to be perfect for our cause. I’ll be working on this over the weekend! Have to wash them and let them air dry and will redo our pantry! I love containers and baskets and often overby these things, lol! But this is a GOOD set and I”m looking forward to using them.

George bought me the little containers. We use them for packing dressings and dips in lunches. Or just about anything else that is small.

Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken gave me the Almay lip treatment! I am in love with this! Usually things break me out around my lips. But this is Almay and I don’t think it will. So far so good! I think I’ll always have to have this with me! ha.

George bought me a “coffee of the month club”. The first time they send samples and so I have to see what I like to know what to go on line and select. I’ll be doing that this weekend too.

I think George misses seeing me sitting and reading. He knows I love watching Below Deck – and I like knowing the behind the scenes on boat life. I am soooo looking forward to reading these! He knows what he is doing. I’m itching to sit and have time to read! This is likely to jump start me!

George bought a wine kit to make for me! Double Pinot Noir. He said when he saw that “I’m having that for Sonya”. I love my Pinot Noir. It’s just a good sipping wine! Very smoothe!

I think he may have to wait until Feb or March to start. Temps have to be at a certain place for the first week or two.

Mom gave me this beautiful quilt. My great grandmother did the quilt top and Mom had it quilted. It’s just beautiful! I’m going to order one of those quilt ladders to keep blankets on in our den. I’m always using them while we are watching TV. I love the pink and green color. It’s very cheery.

Mom also gave me some $$$ money. And I’m using that to buy a reading chair and little side table for my office. I need a dedicated spot for my Bible reading and quiet time along with a place to sit while watching YouTube’s on the Mac.

So I need to get to work now, but I’m so blessed and so happy with the thoughtful gifts. I realize my porcupine PJ’s from George did not make the pics. I snatched them up and wore them after my shower Christmas day. I guess that was the first gift I used. ha. They were cute and will wear those on really cold days/nights. I’ve been in PJ’s for 3 days ya’ll. It’s been wonderful.

More later after I get our payroll closed. What all did you get for Christmas?

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!