Archive for December, 2007

Week 49

December 18, 2007

Wow! What a busy week! It started out with a shopping trip with Daughter #1. I got a LOT of shopping for the kids done and a few of the grown-ups as well. We had a good time together too. After I made a usual trip to the grocery store, I was off for home.

The house needed a little picking up, etc., because my friends from KC were coming down Wed. am early. I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to clean Tues. because I would be gone from the house ALL day. And I was!

Tues. morning I was up at 3 am to be at work by 5 am. Then I worked till 2:00. At 3:00 hubby met me and we had to catch the bus to take us to Branson for supper at The Pasta House, then to see Andy Williams Christmas Show,

  andy2.jpg      andy1.jpg                       

then to ride around Branson to see the Festival of Lights show.

bransonlights1.jpgbransonlights2.jpg 

 It was almost 11 pm when we drove back into the garage to put the car to bed. Needless to say, I was ready for bed also!

The next morning, I was up at 6 am to shower and get ready for my friends. They got here right at 9 am, picked me up, and off to Branson we go. It was a terrible day, weather-wise, and it rained (one of those slow, all-day sprinkle-rains) all day.

kathieandellen1.jpg

We planned on going to the Branson Landing to shop. It’s an outside, open Mall. The first thing we did was get a HOT chocolate and cookie. Hugh cookie! I couldn’t even eat it all! The hot chocolate was delicious. It was just then 10:00 and the stores were beginning to open. I couldn’t believe that there wasn’t any shoppers! Then I realized, “Oh wait, it’s very cold, rainy, this is an outside mall, and yes, I think we are the nutty ones here!” Well, needless to say, we had the mall pretty much to ourselves. It was funny to see the salespeople come rushing up to us as soon as we entered the door to see if we needed any help.

In spite of the weather, we had a GREAT time! We shopped and shopped. We stopped at Joe’s Crab Shack for lunch. We shopped some more. I got a couple of Christmas gifts, but most of what I bought was for myself.

 shoppingsacks.jpg

It was an “all about me” day. The girls and I acted like three teenagers and giggled and acted silly the whole time.

 kathieandellen2.jpg

They really are a blast to be with! They got me back home by 6 pm and then had that two and a half hour trip back to KC. I felt sorry for them. But what a day! It was so fun.

I was off work the next day, thank goodness! I think I slept till almost 9:00! I didn’t do much that day except post my blog (from the week before — sorry it was so late), get my Christmas cards ready to mail, and of course, a little house cleaning. It was early to bed so I could get up at 3 am to go to work again!

After work that day, I went shopping again. OH MY GOSH! I will never do that again. I must have had a senior moment for sure. Here’s the scenario: It’s Friday. It’s rush hour. It’s the next to the last weekend before Christmas. It’s at the mall, the only mall in town, and the weather man is calling for a winter storm that will dump six to 10 inches of snow on us. WHAT WAS I THINKING???? Needless to say, I only went to one of the stores I was planning on going to and then to the grocery store to get a few things. When I got home, I wanted to bend down and kiss the ground!

 The next two days was early days at work again. I planned on getting gifts wrapped after work, but it didn’t happen! All I did one night was sleep in my chair till time to go to bed early. Last night, was the finale of Survivor, my most favorite tv show of all time. It was two hours with an hour reunion show immediately afterward. I watched the whole thing and didn’t fall asleep not even once! (Well, I almost did once, but I caught myself just in time!)

Some sad news came to me Sat. morning. One of the grandsons of my oldest sister was killed. He was only 22 years old. I don’t know any of the details yet, but apparently he was living in Chicago. I didn’t even know that. Our family has drifted apart so much, that we don’t keep in touch with all of our relatives like we used to. What a terrible thing to happen and especially at Christmastime. I’m sure they were all making plans to get together. This should remind us that life and family are precious. We should never take it for granted. The little arguments and differences of opinions that we may have with each other are so minor when someone you love can be taken away from you in an instant. Take time from your busy last-minute plans to be thankful for the blessings of your family and friends. 

This next week before Christmas will indeed be the busiest of all. I’m looking forward to it — I love all the hustle and bustle. But mostly I’m looking forward to all of us being together. It’s my favorite part of any holiday. Merry Christmas to all of you and may you have a wonderful holiday!

Advertisements

Week 48

December 13, 2007

I got the rest of the lights up on the house. It was a beautiful day that day and they were calling for bad weather the rest of the week. I’m sooooo glad I paid attention to that, because it’s been cold, rainy, and windy the rest of the week.

 I met with my friend, Carolyn, for lunch again this week. I took the prayer shawl that I knit for her. She acted like she liked it! She gave me a book called “Block Magic” by NancyJohnson-Sredro.

blockmagic.jpg 

It’s just chocked full of the neatest blocks for everyday and holidays that can be made from just squares and rectangles of fabric. It has charts for each block that shows what shapes to use and how many of them to make for four different-sized blocks. They’re all fun and whimsical. I’ve already picked out several that I’d like to make. (She’s going to make a quilter out of me yet!!) She knows me and what I like!  Making one of these blocks will have to be one of my first projects for the New Year!

I left early the day I met her for lunch so I could get some shopping done. I shopped ALL day, stopping to have lunch with Carolyn, then off shopping again. I didn’t get home till almost 6:00! I was really tired. I hit a lot of dollar shops to pick up stocking stuffers for all the kids — grown up ones as well as the little ones. I’ve fixed stockings every year for my children since they were born. Even after they left the house, got on their own, married, and had kids of their own, I’ve fixed stockings for them, then their spouses, then their children as they all came along. It’s become a big part of Christmas for me because I LOVE doing this. I don’t spend a lot of money on the gifts — it’s just the challenge of finding different things and specializing for each person. Everybody ACTS like they enjoy tearing into the stockings on Christmas, so I guess they enjoy getting them. “Opening the stockings” has envolved into a kind of game we play as part of our big get-together. By the way, each stocking gets ten different items, and I WRAP EACH ONE! That’s not really the best part for me, but it’s worth it when I watch them all tearing through each one. What a fun game to play! You should try it at your Christmas party!

 I’ve actually been playing with the idea of just giving money to everybody, then having the stocking game for unwrapping gifts. Most of the grandsons are getting old enough now that they would rather have money anyway. Of course I’d still get something for the two youngest ones to open. That would save me a lot of time and I’m sure they would be getting something they could use!! I may do that next year. Maybe not. But. . . . it will probably happen one of these years.

While I was out shopping, I got Hubby his gift from me. A LAPTOP computer! 

 hubbywithcomputer1.jpg

He’s been wanting one for years now, but too cheap to buy one. I got an extra discount coupon at work for Christmas, so I got him one. I’ve already given it to him. There was a 15-day return policy from the date of purchase in case something was wrong with it. Christmas is past that 15-day period, so I just gave it to him when I got home that evening. (Besides, I was anxious to give it to him!) I had the trunk of the car loaded down with packages and groceries with the computer under it all. He came out to help me carry everything in. I was just waiting for his reaction when he saw it. It was priceless!!

He’s spent three days on it now trying to get all of his programs, etc. transferred to it. He’s enjoying it, but at the same time, he’s been having a little difficulty getting some of his programs to work and having to try to figure out how to “fix” it so it’ll work. He was up until 2 am one night! Poor guy! I’m beginning to think that my gift to him wasn’t as wonderful as I thought it would be.

hubbywithcomputer2.jpg 

Well, he finally got all his “stuff” transferred and has it in a temporary home. He’s beginning to enjoy it now!  

We had our “Chistmas Party” at work this week. It wasn’t really a party, though. The store bought food to be placed in the lounge and everybody would eat on their breaks or lunch. If you were off work that day, then you either came in for it or missed out.  Everybody was asked to bring their favorite desserts. I cooked all day making cupcakes, a red-velvet cake, a big gingerbread man complete with gum drop buttons, and a whole lot of little gingerbread men cookies. It was fun and everybody had a fit over the big gingerbread man. No one wanted to eat it, though, because it reminded them of the one in the movie “Shriek”. Finally on my last break, I broke off a piece of his foot so everyone would start eating it! I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of it, but here’s a picture that came with the pan:

gingerbreadman.jpg

Mine pretty much looked like that.

Daughter #1 and I were going to make a trip to meet Daughter #2 at the Lake of the Ozarks to shop at a big mall there. But the weather didn’t cooperate. There was a big icy mess when it was all over. We didn’t get to go shopping even though it didn’t get that bad on the roads. You never know about the weather in Missouri, though, so you learn not to take chances.

I’ve got another busy week ahead of me. More about that later. So much to do and so little time. Until next week. . . . . .

Week 47

December 5, 2007

workarea.jpg

I had to clean up my computer area. It was really a mess! I’m always putting catalogs that I get in the mail in my computer area so I can check out their e-mail the next time I get on. Then there are note pads for ummm. . . notes, pens, floppy disks, (yes, unfortunately I still have to use them), CD’s, (we have a CD player in my little area) and whatever else I happen to have in my hand at the time will get stuck in there. It looks pretty nice and organized again.

I got a new crochet newsletter this week that repeated an article they had a while back re-printed from an issue of “Old Time Crochet.” It’s about women and crochet in the mid-19th century. The way the wording is written is so different from the way we talk today. It’s very interesting and I thought you would like to read it.  Click here and it will take you to the newsletter.

 Before I could put the tree up this year, the sunroom windows HAD to be washed. Hubby washed the house a couple of months ago and there were dirty water streaks  running down the windows. The windows needed to be washed since then, but I’m a bit of a procrastinator. We’re talking about 12 large windows that go almost from ceiling to floor, and two panels of a sliding door unit. I take each one out of the frame, take it outside, sponge each side down, and then squeege them off. Then I bring them back in, put them back in the frame, and go on to the next one. The door panels had to be done in the frame because they don’t come out. Without breaks, it took two hours to do them all. That doesn’t seem like a long time for a project, but I’m not as young as I used to be. And it’s a hard physical project for me. Needless to say, I tend to put that project off. I love the clean windows, though!

The sunroom is a favorite place to put the tree because it’s a little roomier than the living room. We have a small ranch house so when we have all the kids, spouses and grandkids here, we’re cramped for room. Besides,  all the mess can stay out there. It doesn’t always, but I try!

A couple of years ago, I got a different tree. (Yes, it’s artificial! I HATE the thought of cutting trees down even if that’s what they’re being grown for.) This one is ‘skinny’. It’s got just as much room for ornaments, but it doesn’t stick out to California! It’s also pre-lit which I LOVE. One of the worst decorating chores for me is putting the lights on the trees!

I have A LOT of decorations. I keep everything which includes the cute things the kids made in school — yes, I’m talking about my own grown kids. I’ve had some of these ornaments for many, many years. I also have ornaments made by my friends when we used to exchange hand-made ones several years back.  Then there are the ones that I get from my friends at work. I’ve got some that my Mom and Aunt made and a few that I’ve made myself. I even still have some of the first glass balls that Hubby and I got when we bought our tree the very first year after we were married. I love remembering where I got each one as I dance to the Christmas music and tenderly place each one in it’s place of honor on the tree. Afterwards I stand back and look at my ‘Memory Tree’. Isn’t it gorgeous!?!

memorytree.jpg

I don’t have the rest of the decorations up yet, and I’m waiting for warmer weather to put up the outside lights. That will be my project on my next days off.

The only knitting I’ve done this week is the knitting on the sweater. I got the back done and started the front. It was going along pretty fast, then I realized that I had messed up on my stitch count when I had to decrease for the armhole. So I had to frog about four inches again. The yarn I’m using is Paradox by Yarn Bee. I got it at Hobby Lobby. It’s a beautifully soft yarn with a little fuzziness to it. It’s really a pain to rip out, though. I need to be a tad more careful about making mistakes!

Well, that’s it for this time. I hope all your Christmas plans are coming together. I have a lot to do to be ready yet, but at this point, I’m still enjoying the preparations. Stay focused and enjoy the season for what it’s really about. Until next time. . . .