Special Quality Time with Family this Christmas Season

Well here we are. A happy bunch just enjoying a great breakfast at Nadine’s in Hermitage. We are so happy to have Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken in town for a while. I have to laugh at George and I leaning to get in the picture. lol We always enjoy breakfast there. It was so good. It’s filling enough to last many hours!

I had this view from my seat that kept intriguing me. I was able to zoom in and catch it. This iPhone 13 camera is awesome! This was completely on the other side of the restaurant and through the window!

Studying the menu

Here’s our little spread for the afternoon for Cody and Katy and River’s arrival- just a little snack session as they had a dinner to go to. Everyone loved the pumpkin bread. The baking session this year was inspired by two people: my neighbor who Brought over snicker doodle things, and also a coworker who brought a bag full of various goodies and “made my week” as I munched all last week in the new office – not really having a lot of food handy yet as we hadn’t quite settled in. So thanks to everyone who baked and shared and now I’m paying it forward. I normally don’t get time to Christmas bake so thankful also to have extra time to do this especially in an already extra busy season.

I can feel the pressure releasing some and the to do’s letting up some and the festivities are coming on and coming on strong. I’m thankful for Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken taking care of Mom for these two weeks and getting Fancy to and from spa (the timing would have horribly impacted our time with River arriving). They have also agreed to take her to the eye appointment in Hendersonville this week so I don’t have to miss work and so I don’t really have to go in early any more this month on Tuesday to work toward missing work. Of course now most of the month is over. lol But it means a lot tomorrow to get that hour back personally.

We are “birthdaying” with Katy and Cody and everyone tonight including Susan and Sarah (big party) and we may never get seated, lol, and we are “steaking out” with Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken tomorrow night (if they will confirm my reservations). And then we are going to the store on Wednesday night for our Christmas groceries. We need to make our grocery lists (somehow) and also figure out when I will have time to make my 7 layer salad and also sausage balls. I think we are off Christmas Eve. So I guess I will make everything that morning since we work on the 23rd. George and I will be crawling all over each other in the kitchen unless we assign times. That leaves us with no time to do anything much on Christmas Eve ::sigh:: but cook until that evening. I’m not sure we have decided on what we are having Christmas morning for breakfast. We need to decide that. I can make a breakfast casserole Christmas Eve and it all be ready to go and of course will be making 2 batches of sausage balls. I might make cinnamon pinwheels as I have some pillsbury dough. Who knows.

George is working from home today as the dishwasher repair man is coming. It’s been fine washing the dishes. But it’s annoying that the dishwasher is new and not working.

Here’s our pics with Little Roo yesterday. He was so much fun, so easy to entertain, and he is so good.

He was shy at first as we rushed up to him so fast and animatedly began talking and hugging. But he quickly warmed to us when he realized we were entertaining, laughing, and can be fun. I know he is used to hearing our voices on face time too. And we love to eat too so we speak THAT language. He loved my pumpkin bread! And he loved the Christmas mouse that danced and sang and especially loved it when he turned the music on and discovered that Nana (my Mom) would dance too. We were all impressed. Here’s the video.

This was entertaining to all of us. He would look at the mouse and then look at Momma.

He can give “high 5’s”!

And he loves to play guitar!

Last but not least, lol, Fancy in her new spa trim and Mom’s socks. Someone actually stopped her at the restaurant and told her they liked her socks! lol

OK so we had a great day yesterday and had pot pie (frozen that had been made at thanksgiving) for dinner and began watching Imposters on Netflix. Sleep was good!

Also last night before dinner I was able to finish my video file projects up to the present time. All camera footage transferred and files merged from phone and camera photos/videos into the project files which are in order as I have a way of dating them first so I know which video to do next. And I will be doing the Nashville Zoo trip which takes us back to June. I think it’ll be a quick and easy video. I have filmed a lot lately and I think I have about 10 video project files lined up. I need to get cranking! I would love to just be a month or two behind instead six! I feel like people are not interested to see that far back. But it’s the best I can do working full time, keeping up the blog, and taking care of Mom too.

I will update my Mac’s software which has an update to Monterey and I’ll do that before starting the next video just in case.

So, I will probably be popping in on Wednesday and will work on Mac and video editing tomorrow in my one spare hour of the day.

Ya’ll have a good week before Christmas. Is everything coming together at your house?

Our Day out in Hendersonville, TN: Sam’s Club Run, First Watch Brunch, and Yazoo Brewery

George and I had a meeting in Hendersonville with our financial advisor and as we do, we like to hit other things in the area – usually favorite shops, a brewery, a favorite liquor store for our wine and happy hour stash, and of course trying new or old favorite restaurants.

Yesterday, much to my surprise, George did NOT have a line up for us. And I got busy and also used to him planning things, so I didn’t really think much of it other than – “we’ll pick a place for lunch, hit a brewery, and Sam’s”. I think we both strongly desired to hit Sam’s Club. So we really ONLY had decided on Sam’s and the rest was up in the air. Totally not like us to not have a scripted plan of order – you know how we plan – and you know how we check off our lists. lol

So the meeting went well and we are thankful with all going on that we didn’t have to take off work or a vacation day for this meeting. As you know our life is a little crazy right now trying to fit it all in with the time we have. All the numbers are looking good for me to retire at 62 and George at 65. He’s three years older and we will retire at the same time. I can’t believe it is so close. In my side bar (or at the bottom, I think if you are on iPhone/iPad) I have a ticker saying how long it will be. Right now it’s 3.2 years away. 😉

After the meeting we went to this liquor/wine store in Hendersonville called Pour Vous and we got there just in time for the Saturday 1:00 wine tasting. We tasted 4 wines and bought one of them. The lady behind the counter was bubbly and talkative and very enthusiastic and also gave generous pours, lol.

Then we went to the restaurant pictured above “First Watch” also in Hendersonville, TN (laughing at the couple intently on their phones). That couple could be us except I’m probably just taking pictures of everything. lol

OH MY GOSH! I absolutely loved this restaurant! Loved the food and the vibe. We even had a mini brunch drink with our meal.

While there, I took pics of some of the wood for phone wallpapers. I’ve been looking for a good one for the fall backgrounds. You can snag them if you would like.

I’m using the 2nd one I posted right now. I love wood. I don’t know why but I love natural colors and textures and not so much a glass type of person like my Mom. She loves ritzy bling and glassware and shiny things. I like rustic but I do love the look of lace against wood. Anyway here is my first two “phone pages” of apps with this background. I’m pretty fond of decorating my phone since I’m on it so much!

Afterwards, George and I went to Sam’s Club. And do you know how entertaining this was? lol lol We had a blast. First of all, all the sample people were there! Yay! It was a VERY COSTLY entertainment though. I think this was a $497 excursion. However, George picked two pair of jeans, underwear, and socks for me to wrap up for Christmas. He also bought all kinds of vitamins, supplements, deodorant and soap. I bought a big huge thing of laundry detergent, a bunch of Dove hand soaps, multiple tomato basil spaghetti sauces, multiple cans of chopped tomatoes. We bought olive oil, bubble waters, mega amounts of crackers for the holidays, a bottle of Quilt Wine which was only $29.99 for the holidays (used to be about $44) and Katy and I have a story about our $80 purchase of Quilt in San Antonio. Friend Lauren had suggested this wine once when I was in Oregon – didn’t get to have it in Oregon but bought it when we got home and have loved the complexity of the flavors. (Good call Lauren). So the Quilt just brings back some memories and laughter and is a special occasion wine- for us anyway.

I texted Katy that we have Quilt Wine, so she must come for Christmas!

So back to Sam’s, we bought all kinds of meats, that were on the bottom there – chicken, pork of all kinds, and you know – I think we didn’t buy any beef. It was very expensive, but we did buy lamb. Lamb was cheaper than normal as was the chicken. We bought like 10 chicken thighs in a huge pack for $5 and then separated them into two packs when we got home.

We bought enchiladas for dinner that were already made and just ready to be cooked. I bought a big thing of pimento and cheese for $5 b/c it’s about that much in the store for a small one. And I bought “loaded potato salad” already made b/c I knew Mom would love eating off of it this week. I also bought a couple of salad kits.

George bought some sushi. And we bought Mom some of her Welches bubbly drinks that are popular this time of year. She’s asked for them for over a month but no one has had them. Well Sam’s did and we bought the red and white and apple cider so she has enough to last til summer of next year, lol.

Also we bought her some of those good frozen hamburgers which they had not had last time. You just microwave them but they taste like a burger out somewhere. They are Angus and so good. We are hoping this helps Mom with her burger cravings as she is not driving up here to leave and go get them. No burgers are not good for you, but when your 77 year old Mom asks for one, you provide. She has not been asking for much, so I try to think of things that will make her happy while she is here for these last few weeks. Their shelves were VERY WELL stocked, unlike our grocery stores. We also bought River a toy/book. So we may have to go to Sam’s sometimes and get her the chicken she likes from there as well as her burgers, lol. Anyway needless to say we stocked up!

We packed and loaded the car with all the Sam’s treasures and packed everything in two coolers with ice. Then went to Yazoo and had a beer and headed home. I got the flight. We enjoyed the outside at 65 degrees but as the sun went lower in the sky and the shade and hefty breeze took over, we retreated indoors. Happy that the tables were spread out.

It looks like a lot when you get these flights. I think it was equivalent to a couple of beers. But I like getting the variety of flavors. And I really find I enjoy a couple of IPA ones now – even the crazy and hazy ones. lol.

So we went home and unloaded into the various freezers and fridges, lol. Mom’s freezer is in the basement and while we have eaten well and eaten a lot out of her big freezer and our medium size one, and our normal freezer that is in the fridge and also we have another fridge downstairs that we keep overflow in that also has a freezer. We are well stocked for a long long time. We keep eating but we keep restocking with good deals when we see them because we keep hearing the prices will soar or that things won’t be available. So I feel good about our finds. It would not have been so expensive if we were not also Christmas shopping.

And then when we got home, I had this wonderful card from Terri, a blog buddy from across the years. This was so sweet and just warmed my heart. Thank you Terri for your kind words inside!

When you get something like this, just because, it just makes you have faith in human kind again. To know people genuinely care enough to address, stamp, and mail a card! It made my day and my day was special too already. So thank you again Terri! I will repay your kindness!

So today….after this blog, I’m showering, heading to the store, and making Chicken Rotel Spaghetti Casserole – I know we had the big Sam’s run but I need Rotel and Velveeta particularly for this recipe. George was fixing a roast for tonight and me the Rotel casserole tomorrow night. But we bought a rotisserie chicken at Sam’s for me to slice up for the chicken. We figured we should let me do that since the chicken was already cooked. Oh and Mom has a few things on the list too that she needs so need to go to the regular grocery store and I can’t seem to find little Dr. Peppers so I may have to get big ones for her.

I also have to finish laundry, change George’s sheets, iron, reset my vitamins for the week, and vacuum, clean bathrooms, and such. I hope to find a bit of time for doing things on my agenda but we’ll see. I’ve already done my devo for the day. I do that every morning with coffee – prayer journal and devo in my chair corner of course. I look forward to it every morning. I do admit that sometimes I wish I could dive into the blog but I’ve made myself put God first. And it’s been a good habit, and the best habit of the year I think.

So I will probably be back in the morning and post pics of anything today. I can’t believe how fast a weekend goes by. I’m going to leave you with Fancy girl, who has been a real sweetheart during her stay. She is very much my Mom’s girl. She doesn’t want to leave her side. A very loyal dog. But lately she has taken to 1) Getting more excited when we come home from work, which I take to mean she has accepted us as part of her “pack” 2) Going outside with me instead of having to have Mom there too 3) Coming to check on me and say hi at various times of the day. I’ve been giving her more food off my plate, saving her bites, and making sure her water bowl is filled at times. I think she has noticed and has started to appreciate me a little, lol. She is sweet so I’m leaving you with her pic today. Oh I just noticed you can see Mom’s reflection in the window there. Oh well.

Saturday’s Strange and Erratic Schedule

Friday, I had a pretty severe craving for a steak and baked potato. I don’t usually have cravings for things anymore. So when it hits, I usually allow the splurge. Although probably erroneous thinking at times, I think that giving in to a craving maybe something my body needs. So I went to Logan’s and got the smallest steak, 6 oz, that they had. It was Friday and most of the week for a couple of weeks, I had eaten at my desk. A little treat out was what my psyche needed. I just needed it to be the weekend already, with so much to do at home. I had made a lot of progress at work, starting out the week a little behind and very busy, but quickly caught up to where I should be.

Saturday was very busy. And I was anxious to get things done at home and be able to make some progress on my list, but we had a mix of appointments, visits, and a couple of fun stops. Here’s kinda how that went.

*Dropped Fancy off to Groomer’s (8:00)

*Nader’s Donut Shop (8:15 Sausage Biscuit and Apple Fritter for later). Went in and got it to go.)

*Paul and Judy’s Yard Sale (8:30 Sadly, our friends are moving to FL soon)

*Farmer’s Market (9:30 Fresh tomatoes – they didn’t have the kind of beans Mom wanted)

*Car Wash – (9:45 got Mom’s car washed at a dance team’s car wash event)

*Bone Density Test (10:15 – Yes it’s a Saturday appt – done and over with).

*Houstons Butcher Shop – (11:15 Needed some chicken for the freezer and theirs is reasonable. Got a hamburger to go with fresh ingredients and like home grilled -very thick and very good)

*Home to drop off chicken to freezer, eat burger (12:00 ish and Mom is getting concerned because they have not called for us to pick up Fancy from spa).

*George and I went back to Paul and Judy’s to get a musical item Paul talked George into buying for a good deal. (12:40 ish and thinking the spa will call soon)

*Catch 22 (1:00 for a beer while killing time waiting on Fancy – hoping they will call while we were there. They didn’t)

*Home again (2:15 ish and set into laundry and vacuuming the house and working on things in my office. Now I’m getting concerned about Fancy and called to check – went to voice mail! :-O)

*Back to Pick up Fancy (3:00 ish – Got the call finally – last time it was 10:30 a.m. when they finished is why we were worried.)

*Fix popcorn for Mom and I (4:00 ish as rain rolls in and I’m tired and dinner is 3 hours away. Watch Hurricane coverage).

*Hang out in office (5:00 p.m. and also do some more laundry, plan next week’s wardrobe, reload my weekly vitamin container, clean up a bit, download iTunes songs I’d saved the names of to add to my iTunes.)

*Dinner (7:00)

*Watch Flip Wilson (7:30 watched the DVD pick after playing a game of elimination. Don’t tell anyone but I snoozed.)

*Texted with friends (8:30 One friend has two family members sick with “the dreaded” and another who lives in the neighborhood heard a loud boom or gun fire and wondered if we did too – No I didn’t hear it, Yes George did).

*Bed (9:00 ish – Laid in bed and watched the pet videos, OCD stocking of fridges, and other funnies on Tik Tok til my eyes were so heavy they couldn’t stay open.)

Normally when I type in bullet fashion, I’m tired. But I had a good night’s sleep! Here’s some pics!

Fancy was one excited girl to get picked up. Her report card said she did good. She said hello to everyone in the lobby. And she gave me a hug in the car. We made it home just in time for the rain which mostly missed us.

George’s Cornish Hens
Cornbread Salad

So there you have it. A very busy Saturday. And you know what we are doing today? GOING NOWHERE! I was expecting to have had 1/2 of the day yesterday to get a few things done. While I made progress in sections, it was not as productive as I’d imagined. So I’m going to see if I can progress today.

Already this morning I’ve changed the sheets. I’m partially finished with cleaning up of my office. I am hoping to consolidate some notes. I am really feeling scattered as I have notes I’ve taken for about two months, maybe three – blog ideas, Christmas ideas, things to research, vlog ideas. And it’s driving me crazy having so many pieces of paper. So I’m converting it to Evernote and/or creating spreadsheets on the Mac so it’ll be across all devices. I think I started this project once not to get it finished. I have to look on my computer and see. It’s frustrating to start and stop so many projects and then try to figure out where you are when you pick up again. But I’m going nuts until I get this DONE so I can relax my thoughts and quit moving this stack around my office! lol.

As you get into your upper 50’s it’s especially important to write things down, I find. I won’t remember it later if I don’t. These lists keep me going. They keep me energized, in forward motion, and make life more fun. I like to plan and think things through. That said I’m not as complete with that as George is. He has a lot of lists that he likes to make too. A lot of what he focuses on is: our dinners, our excursions, and yard work. He also focuses on the finances and his hobbies of music and reading! Ya’ll know me and my hobbies!

I slept til 7:11 this morning. It’s 9:20 and I’m thinking I’m still not awake yet after 2 cups of coffee. So I’m going to go grab breakfast, a shower, devo, do more laundry, ironing, and then working on consolidating those lists.

Ok so I’ll do a blog tomorrow morning – that is the plan.

Are you having a good weekend? What is up with you? And what is your weather like there? Hoping none of my blog readers are in the path of this big monster below. We are supposed to get rain from it Tuesday/Wednesday.

Ok off to work (at home) and play! And tonight we have Fondue for dinner!