Sunday, December 31, 2023

All Together Now

The weirdest thing happened yesterday. I got all three of my kids and all five of my grands in the same place. It's been ages. 

We had a delayed Christmas so we could all celebrate together. 

There was one wee one that none of us had even met before. 

There was two January birthdays to celebrate and six December birthdays to catch up on. 

We had cookies. DIL had made us some of her beauties. 

Oldest Son brought his prime rib roast. I heard it was good. I can't even look at it. I wouldn't think of eating it. 

Daughter and SIL made the sides.

We had pie. It was supposed to be my present but this is all I came home with because it was so good. It's from Sister Pie in Detroit and their Salted Maple is legendary. 

And...........look what I came home with. Barbie times five. Daughter's adult skating student is a doll designer who works with Barbie and the American Girl doll companies and he loads her up with the samples he gets sent for approval. She usually donates them but I couldn't help but bring these home. I know, I'm 70, too old for playing with dolls but people...I can't wait to open these boxes and get these dolls out. I felt like a kid again. While we were driving home I was searching the internet for storage options and more clothes. Do they need a Dream House? I know I need at least one bridal gown. Crazy, right? 


Saturday, December 30, 2023

A Couple of Old Friends


Guess who made a it back into the living area? She was covered in dust and cat hair and needed a good cleaning but LOOMEY'S BACK!

I still hate this draft. I even hate the colors but I'm happy to have something to work on. 

I want to make quick work of that awful towel which means I should be warping something else but my poor warping board has been It makes a nice bag rack. 

Before the stuff all hit the fan with The Mister's knee surgery I was planning on doing something with these. I'll have to figure something out because it is NOT going to be a repeat of the draft I'm working on now which is what I planned. first (and not so pretty) attempt at Persephone's Kiss popped out of the mold on November 6th so it's time to start testing soap. 

Boy, do I have a lot of soap. If I test one of the ugly ends a day, I will be done in 18 days because I made 18 LOAVES. I really went crazy. That means you can start looking for a giveaway around the 20th of January. I was feeling sorta let down after a blah Christmas but now I have something to look forward to. I just LOVE wrapping soap.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Packing It In


Those of you who have been following me for a while are probably surprised I kept the Christmas stuff up this long. I thought I might last until New Year's seeing that I just put it up a few days ago. 

I can blame the rain and the mud. It's warm out. Too warm. We could hold a mud wrestling match in the foyer. 

I needed some breathing room so it all got packed away. I enjoyed every minute of it.  

Due to the weather I did not do a major cleaning event afterwards. No sense in that but I did tidy the place a bit. Goodbye Santas, see you next year.

And.....look who came to visit. My handsome vulture baby stopped in for a meal of some leftover cat food. I always have leftover cat food it seems with my finicky bunch. I haven't seen any of the vulture family in ages. The white deer also came through the woods yesterday morning but again-no photo. I'm just not fast enough. 

Thursday, December 28, 2023

In a Fog


This is what it looked like here on Tuesday. I was going to post about it yesterday but I was all in a tizzy about my DNA results. 

It's raining here now but my brain is still in a fog with all these new to me family connections. I've spent the day texting and messaging back and forth to relatives who want to get filled in on the family tree. 

The only thing I've managed to do craft wise in two days is hang up my advent stocking. It does look better now that it's blocked. I have one more stocking hook to fill so I think I'll start another one in the near future and just take my time with it. This one is getting packed up soon. I've been really fighting the urge to put an end to it all so I can get my big toys out again. I told myself I would hold out until New Year's but we'll just have to see about that. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Family Matters


A few months ago Daughter shared her 23 and Me results with me and I was intrigued. Her ancestry was not at all what I expected (Switzerland, Turkey?) and I wanted to know how much of it was me and how much was her dad so I took my own test and.....

...not surprising I am 71% British and Irish from the West Lancashire and Merseyside area. I'm also 23% French and German. I know I have a great, great grandmother from Prussia so that was also no surprise. I was surprised to have also had a Sub-Saharan African relative from Angola about 5 generations back. Since my dad's family has been here since Jamestown it's most likely a page from our ugly chapter on slavery. The first slaves to Virginia were from Angola. My original settler relative also happened to be the first dude executed in the new world for treason. We discovered that lovely tidbit on a few years ago. 

What was a BIG surprise is that I HAVE A HALF BROTHER. Three years ago Daughter was contacted by someone via 23&Me asking about her relatives as her dad turned out to be a close relative of hers. He was adopted from an orphanage in Baltimore in 1953 the same year I was born and was looking for his parents. He is one month older than me. We didn't think anything of it until I did my test and made my profile public yesterday and suddenly he popped up as MY HALF BROTHER. The fact that he looks just like Daddio seals the deal. Oh,'s too bad they are gone because my parents HAVE A LOT OF EXPLAINING TO DO. The 50's were a wild time. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Making Merry


It's always a challenge to make Christmas seem special when it's just the two of you. Fruitcake for breakfast was my way of starting the day off right. 

After breakfast I finished the Advent stocking and gave it a soak while finishing my holiday listen. I listen to Winter Solstice every year and never get tired of it. 

The Mister put in the last piece of the Santa puzzle around noon. He did most of it this year.

I watched the KC Chiefs game only because I'm a big TS fan. I've never watched a football game in my life but I've watched the last three she's been at. I just wish it would have had a better outcome for her and her sweetie. 

After our leftover dinner we lit the new Solo Stove for the first time. 

No smoke as promised. Just a big beautiful blaze. Now I need some deck furniture I can sit on so I can enjoy it. 

We ended the day with a drive around town to see the lights. I can't even begin to show you how lit up everything is. If you can wrap it in lights, it's been wrapped in lights. I bet you can see the town from space. 

Then there is this house. Every square inch is covered just like in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I have no idea how they did this but I would like to see them taking it all down. 

Monday, December 25, 2023

A Merry Little Christmas


I planned on spending Christmas Eve in my pj's finishing up my Advent stocking. Instead The Mister and I were furiously "blessing" the house again because we got a call from his 80 something older sister that she was driving down after church for a visit and a present exchange. 

This was really out of the ordinary. She's been in rehab after back surgery so her making a long drive all alone was worrisome but she made it just fine. She's a great gift giver. I use everything she's ever given. This year she gave me these happy dishtowels. They will be perfect for that after Christmas slump when the decorations come down. 

Lasagna is our family's tradition Christmas Eve dinner but this year since I am still on my restricted low acid diet I had mac and cheese. Stouffer did the work for me this year and I have to say, it was darn good stuff. I made some lentil soup, a salad and some fresh broccoli so we had more than enough for the two of us with leftovers for today.

I went a little crazy with dessert. I made a peach trifle in the big bowl I usually use when we have the whole family over. I don't know what I was thinking. 

After dinner we were like little kids setting up the snow light. We haven't used it in ages and since the neighbors in front of us were hosting a big family dinner we thought we'd put on a light show for them.

By the time we got it set up they were all gone. I guess none of them like driving in the dark either. 

The snow light was competing with the moon. What a beauty it was. No ring around it. No snow here. It's been in the balmy 50's. I hope Santa didn't have a sleigh full of sleds to deliver last night. 

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Visions Of Sugar Plums


I had to laugh at myself yesterday. After all that house "blessing" I did the day before I undid it yesterday making cookies. I have a open plan house meaning the living room, dining room and kitchen are all in the same place so when I mean I undid it all....I undid it all. 

At 7:30 we were up and at the little local grocery for cookie supplies. Thanks to pick up, I haven't set foot in a grocery store in years. We had the place to ourselves. 

Back at home I had the issue of the little oven to deal with. The brand new $$$ Frigidaire oven has never worked, never will and they won't do anything about it except send repair men who put in orders that get us nowhere when customer service denies them. We gave up and just bought a little oven that lives inside the big oven but cutting down recipes to tiny oven size has been a challenge. 

I made two pans of Hello Dollies trying to get it right. I never did but The Mister likes them anyway. 

I made up all the dough, left it to chill and then took Pup out for a walk. Santa Claus was coming on a golf cart down by the water today but we never did see him.

I made Alton Brown's sugar cookies, Martha Stewart's gingerbread cookies and Ina Garten's jam thumbprints. 

Even though I only made tiny amounts of each, I ran out of tins to store them in. Note to self....get a few more. wanna see something funny? My icing skills leave a lot to be desired. I call these my hieroglyphic inspired gingerbread cookies. I can do a lot of things pretty well but manning a piping bag is sure not one of 

Saturday, December 23, 2023

House Blessing


Uh, oh....people, we are running out of time. Every night I've been sitting down to the daily Vlogmas videos from some of my favorite makers and let me tell you they are STRESSED. I feel totally zen compared to some of them. 

Because of the year we're having I did things a bit a$$ backwards when I put up the tree. The house is supposed to get a good cleaning first but I didn't dare put that tree decorating off so yesterday I lit my advent candle and got to work "blessing" my house. A blogger I read always calls her cleaning sessions "house blessings" and I loved that idea. You light a candle, put on some gentle music and go to town while thinking about how lucky you are to have all the junk you now how have to clean. I love it. 

New to my cleaning regimen is this spin mop. My new laminated floors were driving me crazy, No matter what I did they were streaky. This fixed that. Along with my new cordless vac, I can have all the floors upstairs and down clean in no time and actually enjoy the process.

We were also "blessed" with a new microwave on Wednesday. The old one decided to stop working on Tuesday, just about the same time the oil light came on in the car. That was a couple of hundred dollars we didn't expect to spend the week before Christmas.

I also "blessed" poor Pup. She got her nails clipped, her hair trimmed, teeth brushed and a nice soapy bath. She hasn't forgiven me quite yet but she will when she realizes the mats under her arms are gone. 

And......after that whirlwind of a day I got to sit back with a cup of herbal tea and enjoy the clean house and the pretty tree. It's the kind of tree that looks much better in the daylight. I'm so happy I didn't give in to my inner Scrooge and skip it. It may have been a lot of work but it really was a wonderful day.