Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Is It Really Over?

The most wonderful time of the year...Christmas.  I'm not quite ready for it to be over.  Not only do I love seeing the house decorated and the tree lights, but it's just too much work to dismantle after a short time.  I will enjoy it all at least another week! 

Our Christmas was so very nice.  Hope yours was, too.  We had some great weather until the rains began and it has rained and rained.  Our son and daughter were here for both Christmas eve and Christmas Day.  We had our traditional pizza on Christmas eve and I fixed a big turkey dinner the next day.  Wasn't it just a few days before that I fixed a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving?  Time flies between the two holidays.   

I only baked a pumpkin pie for dessert, having gone to the Amish country again for some baked goodies.  My daughter went along and we made a day of it, going to lunch in Columbia and doing some shopping, too.

That is the table set for dinner in the collage above.  BG is sitting at the head of the table waiting impatiently to eat while I snap a few pics, son is on the right, but you can only see his hands.  I got a good shot of daughter and J that day, but I can't remember now what they were laughing at.  We had a good time and laughter is always part of our family gatherings.  We played cards and ate and napped and ate.
We really had too much food.  I still fix the same amount for 5 as I used to fix for 15.  It's nice, though, to have leftovers and food to send home with our son.  Some of the candy has been put in the freezer.  

We got some nice gifts.  My new bread box pictured in the collage that my son gave me will be handy.  One of the gifts from our daughter was a pretty gift basket with goodies and a couple of movies to watch that look good.  I also got some new ornaments and other nice things.  And badly needed potholders!  Do you put off buying potholders like I do?  lol!   

My last gift from my younger brother is the nativity set shown in the collage and is always on display each Christmas.  It's sitting up high along with my collection of bottles out of reach of the furry ones.  They have been trying my patience with knocking ornaments off the trees.  They think they were put there for their amusement, I'm sure!

Our friends, Ell and Bob, will be here tomorrow night for New Year's Eve dinner.  I am making lasagna, salad and rolls.  A quick and easy chocolate whipped topping pie will be dessert.  That will make a nice change from all the ham and turkey we've been eating this week.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and I wish each of you the very best New Year ever!  Thank you for your comments and friendship this year.
Happy New Year!
xo Cheryl

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas!

My Christmas gift this year was a long weekend trip to Branson.  This photo was taken just a few miles out.  I thought I'd share a few of the highlights of our visit and photos, not in any particular order.  

The weather was very nice, although it turned cloudy Sunday when we went to Silver Dollar City.


We both love seeing the park decorated for Christmas.  The lights on the trees and buildings are fabulous.

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. ~Charles Dickens

I don't think I would like to do without our modern conveniences, but the old buildings and the old-fashioned ways of long ago fascinate me.  Life was undoubtedly hard then, but it was a simpler time.  

We stopped in to listen to the Homestead Pickers at the cabin on the left.  They were entertaining as always. 

We didn't get a carriage ride, but it would have been fun!  

My little camera just doesn't capture the lights as well as I'd like.  The colors are so much better than they appear here.  See the 5-story tree in blue?  I wish I could share my video of the tree light show, but it's too long to upload. 

We drove past the Dixie Stampede on the way to the downtown area.  I just had to stop in at Dick's 5 & 10.  Later that Saturday night, we met our son and L and her kids for a visit.  They were down for the weekend also.  We were invited to eat pizza with them, but I had my heart set on Shorty Small's for the best bbq ribs I've ever eaten.  Yum!  And yes, I had room left for cinnamon ice cream and apple dumplings the next day at SDC.  Double yum!

All too soon, it was time to pack up and head back home.  It was a fun trip.  Now it's time to finish up the little bit of wrapping, cleaning house...does that ever end?...and prepping some of the food for Christmas Day.  We'll have snacks and a light supper Christmas eve.  Are you ready?  It's almost time! 

I haven't been able to do as much blog visiting as I'd like the past few weeks, even months.  Thank you to my blog friends who have stayed with me all this year as it's been such a busy one.  Hopefully, next year will be quieter!  

In case I don't get a chance to visit before then, I'd like to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas!
xo Cheryl

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Catching Up and Some Thoughts

Hello everyone!  I'm still around and ready...almost...for Christmas!  I will be heading out to finish the shopping as soon as I finish this post.  Are you busy getting ready for Christmas or have you finished and are now sitting back and enjoying your prettily decorated home?

I had to push myself to get all the dust the bathroom project created out of my house and get the trees up, but it's all done and I'm glad I kept going even though I might have been heard grumbling a time or two.  

My little audience might have heard me saying things like "why can't Christmas be in's too close to Thanksgiving" and "I hate putting the lights on the tree".

The bathroom is finished except for a few pieces that need staining and the oak board on the divider will get a few coats of clear varnish.  I haven't hung anything on the walls yet in the way of decor.  That will take some thought when things slow down a bit.  

Actually, things are slowing down until after Christmas.  Let's just say the electric wiring is driving BG nuts and we had a family meeting and decided to take a break.  Our daughter didn't want him hurting himself trying to finish so she could move in before Christmas.  Besides that, a water line downstairs sprung a leak...twice...and needed fixing.  That took up some of his time. 

Another deciding factor in the postponement on the work on The Project was that her fella J had some health issues recently.  In fact, J got to ride in the ambulance to the emergency room when he had a seizure in the middle of the night.  He is diabetic and it was found that he had been getting too much insulin via the pump.  He's doing better now, but it was a scare.

Kim and J have painted most of the rooms and J made a clever cover-up for the ugly tile that was on the corner fireplace hearth.  He had a piece of sheet metal cut to size and spray painted it black, then used some leftover oak flooring for the surround.  We think it turned out great!

I'll share more photos of the rooms after Christmas.  When BG gets the wiring figured out, it shouldn't be too long before it's ready to move in.  The wiring was done in a haphazard fashion.  And a hazard it could be, because BG found some frayed wires in the attic.  Needless to say, they are now disconnected.

I am glad for a break from "projects"!  After the bathroom was painted by moi with help from BG who painted around the ceiling, and the new trim stained or painted, my hand was cramping and swollen.  I am ready to retire from DIY jobs!  

We had our children here over the weekend.  Our son and his girl, L, and daughter and J were here Sunday for pizza.  L brought us a beautiful poinsettia for Christmas.  I will be careful to watch that the kitties don't nibble on it.

I haven't been too busy to keep up with the news.  It's hard to ignore it, much as I'd like to.  I have read a few blogs also when I sit down to relax, but I haven't tried to comment.  Some I would have liked to comment on, but it was just as well I didn't.  

Now, I have to say something that doesn't fit into the sweetness and light that we hope for in our blog posts most of the time.  Not everyone has the same view or opinions, of course.  I respect your right to your opinion even though I may strongly disagree with you.  I hope you will respect mine.  

Someone, the one I wanted to comment on but knew it would be better not to, was railing against guns in one blog post and suggested some chapters in the Bible that those of us who are for the 2nd Amendment needed to read.  Then she went on in another post about how we are to be tolerant and just love each other regardless of what country we're from and how heartless we idiots...yes, she did say that in response to a comment...are when we don't want to let certain people come into our country.  She was speaking particularly about the latest suggestion from a presidential candidate about stopping those people from coming in for a season.  Which has been done before and is constitutional by the way.  

I'm all for loving and respecting my fellow men and women no matter their color or nationality.  What I'm not for is letting people into our country who can't be vetted properly while we have this group who hate us and want nothing more than to destroy us.  As they have said themselves and we've already seen what they are capable of here as well as overseas.  And just for the record, I'm not endorsing any presidential candidate as yet.  There is a long way to go before the election.

I'm getting worried.  Just here in Missouri, there have been multiple cell phones bought by...shall we say...foreign men.  A hunter found a stockpile of explosives in a wooded area that were said to not be something that would be purchased for recreational purposes.  Although the sheriff of that county tried to downplay the possibility the explosives were tied to terrorism, it also was stated that they really didn't know that for sure.  Who knows what is next?  I am not naive enough to think that just loving people will change their minds or goals.

And about guns.  I am NOT for assault weapons.  In my humble opinion, no one needs them but perhaps the military and law officers.  But having a gun for protection or for hunting is perfectly okay in my book.  Maybe I partially feel that way because I grew up in a community where everyone had guns for hunting.  We were used to being around them.   

My father bought me a gun when I was 17 years old.  I had driven to our small country church one Sunday by myself.  I don't remember now why my family didn't go as they usually did.  Maybe it was during Vacation Bible School, I can't remember.  Anyway, I was the first one to leave and as I pulled out of the driveway and headed down the gravel road, I saw a car pulled over on the shoulder.  As I passed by, I looked over and saw a lone man in the vehicle.  I went on and then noticed in my rearview mirror that he had pulled out and was following me.  I got a bit worried and sped up.  So did he.  Even though there were some sharp curves in the as yet unpaved gravel road, I noticed he was keeping up with me.  As I turned left onto the other road that would take me to the turn off to our farm, I really floored it because that road while hilly was very straight.  I could see that he was trying to keep up, but the dust from the gravel and my speed kept me ahead enough that I whipped into our lane and saw him cruise on by.  Of course, I immediately told my parents and my dad called the sheriff with the description of the car I gave him.  In our community, everyone knew each other's vehicles and I had never seen this one before or the man, either.  That is when my dad soon after brought home a gun for me to carry when I was by myself.  

I tell all this because if you've ever had a scare like that, it makes you feel safer to know you have protection when you are alone.  At least, it did me.  No, I never had to use that gun.  But I would have used it if push came to shove.  I wish someone in these latest horrible situations had had a gun.  It might have saved a life.

Okay, enough of that.  I have some travel plans to share, but will wait for another post to tell about them when I have more space.  I have talked too much already, as usual.  I do have a question for you before I run along, if you don't mind my asking.  What is your favorite Christmas candy/cooky to make?
xo Cheryl