Thursday, December 31, 2020

This is blurry

 


Okay, I tried twice. The tshirt and sweatshirt say "Underestimate me. That'll be fun." I love this tshirt, but I think people might take it as a challenge, so it would be dangerous to wear it. Just kidding. But, But, it makes a statement to those who underestimate a woman's abilities. Fun!

Would you wear this tee? Your daughters? I would!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

New Toy, Dandelions, Vaccine, Stock Up, Sodium, AT&T

 I got Tommy and I a new toy each. This is sort of like getting a new toy to distract a bored cat. Maybe. Are we bored cats? This is a little cup on a handle with a wooden ball on a string attached to the cup. I don't think I have ever gotten the ball in the cup, but today I did. He is better and got the ball in sooner. We both have one in different colors. 

Okay, I just caught the ball again. Again! Maybe I can get  better at this. 

Before Christmas, three dandelions had bloomed in the yard. Then, we were driving somewhere and saw a whole yard at some commercial place full of dandelions, maybe 100. They think it is spring here. Sine it is 69F here, maybe spring is here?

I called my allergist to discuss Covid vaccines. My daughter and I have had a serious allergic reaction to the Tetanus vaccine. So, I am now more afraid of the reaction I might have than Covid19! I asked him if he would be giving the vaccine. He said he has applied and is hoping he can. He has other patients who are afraid of an allergic reaction. 

He told me, yes, my inhalers can help if I start being ill. I had heard that, but wanted to be sure and check with him. So, I need to start carrying them with me. I need to take my EPI pen to the vaccine appointment. I feel somewhat relieved. Oh, I am to get my vaccine at the hospital where his office is located. After my 15 minutes there after the vaccine site, I will go immediately to his office where he will have me wait for an hour. 

I feel much better/more relieved after the telephone visit with my allergist. And, he advised me which ENT will be best for my tooth aftermath and fever. I called the oral surgeon who is going to get me a visit soon with the ENT. 

I went out and bought 6 cans of Hunts Diced Tomatoes,  No Salt added. I had to pay full price, $0.97. But, I will be on the lookout for sales. I accidentally bought one can that was not "no salt." The difference in sodium per half cup is astounding. 1/2 cup has15 mg  in no sodium and 200 mg in the can with sodium. I read cans. And, next year I will freeze or can tomatoes!

At last, my ATT cell service seems to be restored after the bombing in Nashville. It is amazing how one bomb can screw up so many services. If we had been stranded on the highway, there was no cell service to call for help. 

Have you ever had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine? 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

New Utensil, Missing, Gifts, Kidnapped by a Nap




Browning ground meat was always time consuming since I had to stand at the stove and chop and break up the chunk of ground meat with an egg turner/spatula. Now, it is more difficult. I was looking through a Rada catalogue and found the perfect tool. This is a meat chopper. I used it for the first time for the ground pork on Monday.

I used it with the head straight onto the meat, not at an angle as in the picture above. I love this utensil. I showed Tommy how to use it and he chopped most of the ground pork. This is not for pounding, just cutting and separating the ground meat. It is certainly a time-saver. I have seen a similar tool from some other company. Have you ever used one of these? 

Monday afternoon, we washed and dried most of the dirty dishes while the ground pork cooked and browned some. With a fever, dishwashing was so difficult! So, I started the taco casserole in the crock pot which will be more like taco soup. One by one, Tommy opened cans and dumped the contents  into the crock pot. We tracked down one of my five-pound bags of Uncle Ben's par-boiled brown rice. Finally, I needed one last ingredient. But I could not find it. Remember, it is dark as night in kitchen and living room!

Tommy looked for canned, diced tomatoes, too. None! None were in the stash in the bedroom. On the new shelves I finally found a 29 oz. jar of Hunt's tomato sauce! That would do. Diced tomatoes are better, but this is fine. 

If I had not found this can of tomato sauce, I would have had to run to The Pig to get it. I did contemplate putting a jar of spaghetti sauce in the taco salad. I doubt it would have mattered once I put in the taco seasoning. What do you think? Would a jar of spaghetti work for this spicy dish?

I questioned why I had no tomato sauce or bits, well, beyond one can. I know why. I had plans for frozen or canned tomatoes so did not stock up. I will solve this hole in food stocks by the end of the week! 

Tuesday morning

I slept better than I have in a week and awoke with temp of 98F. Remember, this is still fever area for me. Yesterday, I decided we would stay home instead of going for my mail. 

Gifts

For Tommy, I gave him four books, one on birds, a book on insects, a book on wildflowers, and a Field Guide to Tree of North America. He spent hours reading. For his birthday, I gave him a book about birds and the accompanying cd. 

One day, we had several stops to make. We did all of them with time to spare and had to wait for an hour for the next stop. Since it is too far to go home, we just sat in the shade and listened to the bird cd. Finally, I leaned my seat back and was kidnapped by a nap. This was such a pleasant experience since I was just going to rest my back.

Speaking of resting, I need to do that right now.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Fever and Food

I had not been able to wash dishes or cook most of the time for ten days, so there were stacks of dishes, not plates or anything for eating. Storage and glass bowls and casseroles were all over. 

My temperature was 99.8 on Christmas Day and again on Sunday. So, I started taking antibiotic again. However, Monday morning it was again up to 98.9. 

After Christmas Day my temp slowly came down from early morning to night, down to 97. 8. Then, it went  back up again on Sunday. My normal temperature is usually 97.2. So, you can see the problem here. Maybe a trip to an ENT will solve this mystery.  

Sunday, I was up about 8:30 and back to bed by 9:30 and back up by 1:00 pm. I sat here a bit and finally told Tommy I needed KFC. He was ready and willing. So, after eating KFC breast meal, I felt revived, if not well. 

After KFC I was starving a few hours later. Once again, Tommy helped me get food to eat. He opened the can of Hormel Roast Beef, I peeled two potatoes, and he found with my directions the pound of baby carrots. He brought me the cookie sheet, knife, potatoes, onion and cooking bag. I did everything from the sofa! Maybe some day, he can do this for himself, but I have my doubts. Dinner was delicious. 

Still, I wanted something...lol. Later, I decided I would make a cheese cake, the no-bake kind. I managed to drop the bought crumb crust with the clear top still on. So, I put the pieces into two bowls, put the topping in and divided the thawed strawberries  and put it on top. We could eat our own bowl as we pleased, whatever time line suited each of us. 

The no-bake cheesecake was awful. I used Cool Whip instead of whipped cream. And, I did not thaw the CW before I stirred it into the cream cheese, so it was not consistently smooth. The strawberries were a taste of summer, strawberries I froze this summer. 

Monday, today, I finally set about to cooking and washing dishes with Tommy heavily involved. He wanders off when he thinks it is over...lol. Right now, he is looking for black beans, whole kernel corn, and tomatoes. With his help I browned ground pork on the stove. I know I can put it in the crock pot, but I don't. When it has everything in the crock pot, I will see if the turkey breast is rotten since it has been in the refrigerator, thawing, for a week. 

The taco salad can be frozen so we will have food prepared. It ends up being taco soup when it is put into the Crock Pot. But, I love it. Same with frozen turkey breast portions. I much prefer having a turkey or chicken sandwich to eating fast food when we are out and about here or out of town. 

Baking a turkey is too difficult for me anymore. So, I am going to stick to turkey breasts or chickens to bake until they are all cooked and frozen. I decided I will bake the three turkeys in the freezer, one after another, and freeze the meat. That will certainly give me more room in the freezer and meats cooked for quick and easy meals. 

Last week, I bought a 6 lb. bag of broccoli florets, so that and frozen carrots will make a quick meal, too. The carrots are in the freezer, blanched and raw or cooked/baked. 

My next food goal later this week is potato soup with carrot coins, cheese and kale and bacon. Yum! 

My friend who is 88 said she has cooked meals for a family for 70 years and she is just tired of it. So, she and her 90-year-old husband run out for a fast food meal every day. I am not at that point, but near...lol. 

Now, my temp is 99.6. I refuse to take anything to reduce my fever since a fever is a sign my body is fighting for me. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Santa Mouse and Christmas Socks

 When my older two were just babies, I bought a book, Santa Mouse. There was also a stuffed Santa Mouse to buy. I bought both and they enjoyed playing with Santa Mouse and hearing me read the book for a week or so before Christmas. I took both and put them away so they could read it next year. I have had this book and Santa Mouse for about 50 years.

Yes, my blogmas continues. 

When the son was just two and I was pregnant, I read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" way too many times. I read to my children from the time they were born. The oldest is an English teacher, father to a boy and girl,  and the younger is a first grade teacher. The middle child, a girl, read to her children, a boy and girl, the smartest grandchildren in the world except for the other two grandchildren. (Yes, I know you have some of those, too.)

I forgot one acquisition on Saturday. As I came out of the store, on the ground on the pavement, was a stem of holly or something with red berries. I know it has a name, but the berries are all along the stem. So, one free decoration for next year. 

In one store, there was a pair of Christmas socks for men. It said so on the tag. Well, it looked like something just for me. The socks were red and white striped with the green toes and heel. Along the top was elastic and pointy elf decorations along with the green elasticized band. So, I cut off the elastic band because it was too tight. Now, I am wearing red and white socks to keep warm. Tommy laughs every time he sees them because he said he likes them and they are cute on me. They feel festive. 

Have you ever heard of Santa Mouse, the toy or book? Do you have it? Did you have a Christmas book you read on demand over and over? 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Day After Christmas and A Book on Dementia

We left the house before 7 am when the temperature was still in the 20s. After we did what we needed to do, I shopped...lol

Publix--half price Christmas socks. I will look like and elf. A Santa figurine in apron, working, goat cheese in blueberries, bogo Honey Nut Cheerios for Tommy. 

Big box--two light fixtures for Tommy's dark kitchen and dining room. Of course, one rang up at the wrong price, and that had to be rectified! Always something. 

Big Box-Christmas dish towels and potholders, candy, Santa commode seat cover, all 505 off. I resisted the urge to buy paper and ribbon since I have enough for the next ten Christmases. It is not that I have so much paper and ribbon, I just use so little as I do not wrap gifts when I mail them. Daughter and DIL do that for me. When I mail gifts, I mash them into a box.

I did not buy a lot today and did not intend to do so when I set out. When you do not get into the store until 1pm the day after Christmas, there is not much left or many people, thankfully.

I am going to buy this:

Beating the Dementia Monster: How I stopped the advance of cognitive impairment from Alzheimer Impairment, 2nd edition, Brown and Phatak

I stumbled across this and thought of one blogger whose mother is losing her memory and hoped this might help others, too. 

Christmas Day--Too ill to cook or even get my own food. So, I had a bologna sandwich or two. Tommy waited on me all day. I only got up to go to the bathroom.

Now that it is the day after Christmas, I might bake the turkey breast and four boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I never buy thighs. These were given to me. I did buy the turkey breast before Thanksgiving. 


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Santa--wrapped gifts or unwrapped?

*My mother/Santa always put our gifts under the tree without any evidence they were a commercial product, no boxes, no labels, nothing. They came straight from Santa's workshop. I did the same for my children. 

I had friends who insisted Santa's gifts should be wrapped as gifts with paper and ribbons. 

The whole scene with tree and gifts looked so much more festive without gift wrap. 

How Santa put the gifts under the tree at your house?

*My daughter once asked me when she was a teen where we hid the Santa gifts. When they were preschool, they never thought to look or I could put them in the top of a closet. When they were about ten, they could climb on a chair and look. Around Christmastime, they were always willing to stay home while I drove a few blocks to get bread or that one or two items I needed. Then, they looked everywhere.

Later, I realized they might go on a Santa search. Before I actually knew for sure they tried to find gifts, I decided they might look. So, one Christmas, I put everything in the trunk of the car. When the children complained they could barely sit in the back seat with a dozen groceries bags under their feet and in their laps, I told them Daddy had left lawn chairs in the trunk. 

This went on for several weeks. Finally, my son told me to give him the keys and he would put the lawn chairs in the basement himself. They also complained mightily to him and he just took it...lol. 

I don't think they ever found gifts due to my leaving them around or by their searches. 

My younger daughter, more than the older son and daughter, had what we called "a guilty look." We could read her face. One Christmas morning, I had my son go and get her so we could all go in to the lit tree at one time. As he brought her back, he told me she was smiling as her picked her up from her bed, probably the baby bed. She had seen and played with her toys. 

Did any of your children or siblings get up and play with or look at their toys before everyone else was up?

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Outdoor Christmas Display Contest at My Home

 In a very small town, one Christmas, I entered the house decorating contest for Christmas. I really hoped to win and worked hard just for the love of what I was doing. 

I designed, cut, and sewed and painted six elves. I think it was six elves. The swing set had to be in the front yard because the back yard was rough. Also, I could not see the back yard from the kitchen and den so I could keep an eye on the children. This was a parsonage, so it was not my decision as to house, yard, or windows. 

The swing set was new enough I did not want to paint it. So, foil covered the whole frame. I think I put tinsel ropes on the swing ropes. 

I wired an elf on each of the swings. Then, I wired the swings so that it looked like they were in motion. One elf was toward the back of the swinging.  Then, I wired an elf onto the slide. 

My doll bed was put into the front yard and an elf was sleeping on it. I may have put an elf on my son's tricycle. 

There was one spotlight, maybe more, trained onto the scene. Really, I cannot imagine being able to afford over one spotlight. 

We looked at other house's lights and it looked like I had a good chance. Finally, the winner was announced. I did not win. A man who had a single item won. He had money and was "someone" and had a Santa climbing into a window from a balcony. 

Yes, I was disappointed. But, that was nothing compared to the ire of people in town who made sure the judges and anyone who would listen heard how patently unfair the decision was. I was shocked at the passion all about, the phone calls I received, and the in-person comments and condolences I received. 

Life is not fair, yet I knew I did have the winning display. Lest you think of this as sour grapes, members of the community told me why he won! I was confused. 

This was in 1971 or 1972. Big light displays were not heard of, and especially not in this tiny town. Before the contest, I received much positive feedback. 

So, that is how I almost won first place. Pooh, and there was no second place. So, that means I lost. Somewhere, I do have a picture.

Have you ever decorated big outdoors? Won a decorating contest at Christmas? Do you decorate outdoors at all?

The Night Before the Night Before Christmas

 There was not much left to be done today. I went to drive-up at pharmacy to get a prescription. Then, went in another store to get otc. Then, we went to The Pig to get bananas, tomatoes, and PictSweet from freezer section--broccoli in 6 lb. bag and two small packages of Brussel's sprouts. 

As we delivered more to the Pink Purse woman, we had a Whopper Jr. and ate in the park. She is quitting and moving. She is older and the manager harasses this older employee. So, she is just going to retire and move away from Birmingham.  Today, I gave her cans of fruit, bag of brownie mix and Suddenly Salad. Plus, a Christmas scarf. 

It started to rain about 4 pm and will be raining all night, it appears. We will go out one time for Dasani water on Christmas Eve. In a break in the rain, we will go get water. And, I believe Christmas Day will be rainy. 


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Christmas Junk Box Gift

 I always gave my family presents at Christmas. But, early in my marriage, I made a box of tiny items, read cheap items, that I had gotten all year long. Usually, there were a dozen items in the box. I often found reduced items that looked useful and bought four--one for me, one for my mother, and one for both my two sisters. 

A coffee scoop was reduced to ten cents. It went into the box. I cannot remember anything else, but I still had the scoop up until last year. I never used it for coffee, but other things need to be scooped. I put it in the homemade hot chocolate mix. 

None of the items were worthy of being called a gift on their own and certainly not wrapped. The first year, I would not allow the recipients to open that gift first lest they be stunned and insulted. 

One year, my sister said the "junk box," what I called the gift, was the best gift of all. That was a shock since she got good things from me! She explained it was fun. 

My father and two brothers were not recipients of this gift because everything in the junk box was girly stuff or homemaking type items (like the scoop). 

This is a strange gift, sort of an auxiliary gift. I know this tradition has not reached the nation. It would have been too much for a stocking. AND, I was transporting this to my mother's house. 

Do you have a tradition or practice that might be looked upon as strange or new? 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Most Wonderful Day of the Year and Christmas Collections?

 Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. This means from now forward, the days will become longer each day. Yay for today, the end of ever darking days!

Do you have anything you collect that is Christmas related? I do. It was sort of an accidental collection. I am drawn to sleighs. Santas are great as are stars and reindeer. But, sleighs capture my imagination. So far, I only have empty sleighs. 

Not every sleigh makes the cut, so I have few. I curate carefully. My favorite sleigh is a antique USA, I think, ceramic piece. And it is a pastel pink. You should have guessed the color. I have never seen a pink sleigh other than this one. I lost it with the house. None of my sleighs have Santa in them. He is not necessary. 

Another is a gold wire sleigh that always made an appearance at my friend's open house here in Birmingham. I filled it with cucumber sandwiches. Sleigh and sandwiches presentation was a hit.

Someday, I would like to have a tree full of sleigh ornaments. That may or may not happen. You know how that goes. It would be a small tree. 

None of my sleighs were bought new, so it makes the collection doable. I like the older sleighs, but I see Fitz and Floyd and drool for their sleigh. I see antique ones on eBay and dream...lol. When I am out and about, rather, when I WAS out and about, I never searched for a sleigh. They just appeared. And, I passed up many because they did not speak to me or I could not afford even the cheapest. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Found Quarter, Walgreen's Trip

 As I was getting out of the car next to a curb, I looked down to be sure of my footing. There was a quarter leaning against the curb. I rejoiced over my luck and a half dozen more quarters appeared, only they were pouring from my purse along with several dimes. I must have spilled $2 in coins. I really believe the first was a found quarter. Maybe not.

I had dropped change in the cross-body for several days. This was the first time in months I had used cash to get back change. This is why I like a purse with a zipper. This purse has a zipper but it was not zipped or change was pouring out of the side with zipper pull. Either way, I am not going to get change again and if I do, I will put it in my change container every day, the one sitting by my bed. 

This could as easily have been a major loss of quarters and dimes, so I am happy I stopped the flow from my purse!

Saturday, I went into Walgreen's to buy something to spend my $5 credit. I got a pair of black gloves for me for $2.49 and got a pair for Tommy that were 50% off after my purchase. As I was looking at them, I picked up a Vaseline lip gloss that was pink. Well, yes it was a tube of pink lip stuff. But, I could not see pink on my lips or the back of my hand. However, I am happy to have something for my lips that won't leave my mask dark pink. 12-packs of Diet Pepsi were 3/$9.99, so I got 3 for Tommy. Altogether, I think I spent $12.95. Plus, I received 2 coupons for $2 and $7 that I will use. 

At a big box, I bought ribbon for the green watering can, a red container for Christmas stuff, Reese's cup miniatures, and something else I cannot remember. 

We got a burger and ate at the park, then went to look at Christmas decorations at about 4 pm. Some displays are pretty but not well-lit or lit at all. So, we discovered what some displays were all about. 

Have you been out to look at Christmas lights? Have you seen any really fabulous displays? 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Christmas Corsage and Pink Purse Charity

 It took me fifteen minutes to find the icon for a new blog. Blogger, leave things alone!

Thursday night, I took a pork loin from the freezer and stuck it immediately into the crock pot. I took it out Friday afternoon after going to the dentist again. The pork loin took no effort and I had leftover cabbage from the day before for a huge portion for both of us. Tommy had the last third of the can of English peas. I had a Halo. 

There is enough pork loin for Saturday night and two portions in the freezer. This makes me happy to have food cooked and ready to thaw, heat, and eat. 

The dentist checked to see if food in the tooth was being covered over as I healed. I went to him because as soon as he pulled the tooth, well, the next day, I ceased to have the problems with balance and walking. But, as soon as the antibiotic ran out, the problems started again. 

There has been no resolution as to why I now have trouble walking again. 

Wednesday, I received in the mail a notice from my dental insurance company that I needed to make two payments in order to pay for dental coverage from Nov 1 to February 1, or something like that. 

So, Friday cost nothing at the oral surgeon and I am getting the extraction paid for, also. It appears that my insistence they stop with the auto pay, they thought I wanted to pay over the phone or write a check. So, I do have dental insurance and it is paying off. 

I needed a new car battery, so Tommy took me to get one and the guy next door took out the old battery, I took it in, and bought a new battery and the guy put it in. I hate batteries. 

I took another bag of goodies to the woman who was the recipient of the Pink Purse charity. She was thrilled and wants us to talk because she is lonely and sits alone when not working. She shared with me that she is going to take her cousin's ashes and bury them with the woman's mother. She is just going to take a shovel and pour them in a hole on the grave. She said it is in the country and no one will care. 

The pretty Publix bag was filled with canned food, a new, matching hat/scarf/gloves, two tie-dye washable masks, and other stuff. We took it to the place where she works in fast food. When we left, she practically ran in to show what she had received. 

In the sixties, women wore Christmas corsages on their coats. I had one, and I still have one of the pink balls that was on it. This pink ball with pink glitter is always on my Christmas tree.

Do you remember Christmas corsages? Did you have one? Did your mother or grandmother have a Christmas corsage?

Friday, December 18, 2020

Birds Like Christmas Wreath

 


So this is the Pearls Galore Hat I love. 

This color is blush. I wish I had a scarf this color. Even though the weather is not cold enough for a hat, I am going to wear this one anyway. After Christmas I am sure I will need this for about a week. 

The watering can with holly looks fabulous. Tommy likes it. I haven't looked for the Christmas house, yet. I will. I was going to buy fake stuff and get it over with and save it for another year. All I could find had glitter on it. Knowingly bringing glitter into this house is not something I will do! 

Tuesday, I was going to move stuff from the dining room just because it has needed moving for months. Now, at least I can bend without feel so funny I have to hold onto things. Well, I managed to start spilling a bag of rice. I got most of it up before spilling the whole pound. 

And, the day after I finishe the Azithromycin, I started feel funny, like I was going to fall over. Walking is hard to do without wobbling.

Friday, I went back to Oral surgeon. He checked for food stuck in socket. Still wobbly. 

In my last house, I put a beautiful (to me) Christmas wreath on the side door, the door I entered. This porch had walls on three sides, so it was sheltered. 

One day, I came home, unlocked the door and swung it inward. A tiny bird had found the wreath, sat in it out of site and flew in and all around the house. With 10 ft ceilings, I was using a broom to try and "sweep" him out. this happened four times. The last time was when a delivery from a caterer was delivered. I had the young delivery boy help me get the bird out!

Has an animal ever taken refuge in your wreath or other Christmas display?



Thursday, December 17, 2020

Frugal Outdoor Decorations, Cleaner Came Today

 One summer day about 20 years ago, I was at a yard sale in Decatur, AL. I found a hairy creature that sort of resembled a reindeer. I inquired as to the nature of the beast and the price. It was a reindeer for $1. At that price, why not?

I got it home and started looking at it. It had a plug, so I plugged it in. Under the hairy stuff were lights. When I started trying to pull the hair off, it came off easily. It appeared someone had taken a Christmas reindeer and hot glued strips of fake hair. 

When I got the stuff pulled off, I had a reindeer without antlers. When I started dating the guy before Tommy, one day during Christmas holidays his daughter came with him to my house. I gave him several wire coathangers and asked him to make antlers. He was stymied even after I explained. His 14-year-old daughter was listening and watching as I explained. Finally, I asked her if she understood how to make antlers. She assured me she did, so I told her to help him. 

I had bought a string of lights for the antlers. The deer was gold and the light strings on him were goldish or beige, not white. So, I took foil and covered every light and sprayed the whole string gold, turning it over and over in the grass until I had covered the whole wire string of lights. Plus, I sprayed the coat hanger antlers. This Christmas light spraying was a fun thing to do on a hot summer day. 

A bit later, I had them make the antlers! They put the lights I bought on the antlers and it was perfect, moving his head up and down. 

That summer I bought a six-foot tree for $3 or so at a yard sale. It was not an outdoor tree, but I put outdoor lights on it and put it outdoors with my reindeer. I put it in the side yard so it could be seen from the street and from my picture window. My whole outdoor display cost me less than $10 and I had a tree and reindeer. 

I really want a reindeer!!! The tiny ones are not right and the huge ones are not right. I want one in the mid-size, just right. 

Wednesday, I put our Christmas candy in a cheap, covered, plastic, Christmas-decorated container. I don't dare put it in a candy dish where is easily and unobtrusively gotten. 

Thursday, today, the cleaning woman is coming. So, I will have to tell you about how it goes in another post. 

Cleaner just left. It took her 3 3/4 hours to clean refrigerator and the freezer above it and the front and a bit of one side of the refrigerator. She did not clean the top because she is short, older, and has fallen. It cost $80. There are dishes with food still to be emptied and washed. 

Neither she nor I could get the shelf in that holds the crisper drawers. Tommy had to lie on the floor to get it all together! 

There is a tall kitchen garbage can full of food and bits of bottles of stuff thrown out. I would have kept some of it, but it was out of the refrigerator, so I let her toss it. I sat in the kitchen the whole time, talking to her and and saying what goes and then what goes back in and where. 

The two crispers are now in use. And, the shelf he took out 20 years ago is back inside. I may have to take it out if he cannot get milk out. I don't want him to have to lie in the floor to get his breakfast. I have three of the Dollar Tree bins like milk cartons, really small. I did not have her even look in those because it is just cheese. Yes, in all three. and cream cheese and goat cheese. 

She wanted to throw out my out-of-date cottage cheese that I know I will eat soon! She would not have like the dates on the milk and eggs. The milk had been frozen, so it was "out" of date by weeks. 

We hope she will at least come back to clean the two baths, well, 1.5 baths. And, the guys installing the installing the dishwasher want her to clean under the sink...lol. 

Do you shop yard sales for Christmas decorations or Christmas houses like I do? What have you found? 


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Still Decorating, Parts One, Two, and Three of Our Christmas Story

 Last Spring, I think, I bought two watering cans at a yard sale, one orange and one green, both new. They are small, painted metal cans. I love them. They were only $1. I have spotted the holly or some sort of evergreen tree/bush that has stems with red berries the length of the branch. When I can cut three branches, I will have another decoration. 

Maybe one Christmas village house made it here. If so, I can convince Tommy to move a bit of his junk from the short bookcase near his chair. Any little bit of Christmas light can't hurt anything. If I find two, I will put the other one on the table next to me. 

Today is another cold and dreary day. Yesterday, I decided we won't go anywhere today. We will go for a drive to relieve some of the cabin fever. Well, we can stave it off since neither of us feels it yet. 

Amazingly, since the tooth extraction, I am sleeping better. But, now, my ear and lower jaw hurt since I took the last antibiotic pill. And, the little knot in my ear has come back. I feel off-balance once again. I think I could be in trouble, especially if I wait until the New Year.

I am going to go ahead and tell the whole story of our Christmas story we pulled on the children. And, I am just starting over.

When my children were two- and four-years-old, I decided to add something new to Christmas. We had an old horse collar or something leather with huge bells on it. I gathered the two children on my son's bed and read "The Night Before Christmas" to him (3.5) and his sister (1.5). I had turned off the tv and all was quiet. 

My husband took the bells outside the window and said loudly, "HO HO HO!" as he rang the bells. He pulled off a very deep voice that was unrecognizable to unsuspecting children. I have to admit, this was not at all the reaction I expected. It took my heart a bit to start beating more slowly. I can only imagine what it did to my children, especially my daughter.

This next happened simultaniously and gave me a start. Son yelled and ripped off to the window, pulling back the curtain. Daughter slipped right off the bed and went under the bed. She was so fast! And, she had never crawled under the bed before. I was heartened by her survival instinct, but sad she was so frightened by Santa. 

When my husband came into the house, he was furious. I tried not to laugh. In an effort to escape detection by my son who was opening the curtain, he slipped and fell in the muddy driveway. He had mud up to his shoulders where he wallowed about, trying to get up.

A few years later, in a different house and a different state with three children and two older, we had a good time once more. The older, a boy, had been suspicious for several years. He declared his Daddy was outside since he was always at the church office, now two blocks away instead of next door. Of course, we denied it. So, Daddy had to be inside this year. This was our second year in this house and Daddy had been gone on outside the house on Christmas Eve once before.

I had a plan. I taped a 17 minute silent tape and then had husband do the HO HO HO while ringing the same bells. Then, I put the tape recorder on the front porch outside the front door that we did not use. An extension cord was strung to the carport and to the door we used. I tested this several times to make sure it worked. 

Instead of turning the tape player on to play, I pressed play and then when we were ready to hear Santa, I could just plug it in. It worked! 

We all sat down for me to read to them The Night Before Christmas. The plan went off without a hitch. My son, 8 or 9 by this time, maybe younger, just went berserk, running around and demanding to know how we did it, who was out there? We just laughed and told him "Santa!" So, that was the year I finally told him. 

It was a fun run and the older daughter knew by the next year. So, there was only the baby. Somehow, we never did it for her. I am not sure why. 

Have you ever had to trick your kids to make a memory for Christmas? Well, I mean besides the ultimate trick of getting them to believe in Santa. If your kids never believed in Santa, oh well. I know you other people will have stories. 


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Returns, Poinsettia

 We went to Cullman today and accomplished lots. There is nothing worth mentioning. However, I did get a return to Lowe's done. Stuff out of the house and a gift card are good reasons to be happy. I bought a poinsettia for $5.98. It is not large but there would not be room for a really large one. Plus, I got two of the covers for his outdoor faucets. 

It is looking Christmasy around the house! I have a 6" metal tree that holds a votive candle. I put an electric one in it. I bought new ornaments to add to the ones for the small tree. But, I do not know where the ornament hangers are. So, I shopped for those in the store. All I could find was three-inch silver hangers that are no more than flimsy bent wire. So, I had to use my plier with the side-cutter and cut each hnger in half. Then, I used the needle nose to twist the wire so it would hold the ornament. I wonder what happened to sturdy ornament hangers? Do they no longer sell them? 

In order to keep all this together, I bought a green and red bin to store things instead of a multitude of boxes. I missed an orange one for Halloween items. I will get a pink one for Valentine's day and lavender or pale green for Easter. 

I made a return at Belk's, too, could not find what I was looking for and bought a cute pink beanie with white pearls stitched on the beanie. Tommy was all smiles and said it was cute on me. Gee, I have to keep it because he rarely has any demonstration of liking what I wear. 

Tommy has shown more interest in Christmas than he did last year. That makes it much more pleasant around here. When I put out the candy canes, he wanted one. Last year, he refused to eat one. That bit of news is my only contribution to my blogmas this December. 

I sent out the second round of cards, five whole cards...lol. I still have a few more to go. 

Who has snow at their house?

Monday, December 14, 2020

Christmas Card Problems and Fantastical Gift Wrapping

 Today, it is dreary and coolish, 41F. Plus, it is cloudy and there is a slight breeze after a rainy night. Alltogether, a good day for a nap which I won't get. 

I managed to finish half my Christmas cards, not without pain. I bought gel pens, thinking I also was getting a green. No. In the package was red, gold, silver, and white. What is more, the red is rather pale on envelopes. On the card, the red pen is a bright red. So, I am hoping machines can read the pale red on the envelopes. 

Once I found the envelopes on Saturday, I put them back in the box and put it away until Sunday. Something happened. All the envelopes were wrinkled like they had gotten damp. 

Using the gel pens was slow-going since they smudged easily. I had to let envelopes and cards opened wide lie around to dry the ink. So, the smudgy ones were the first ones addressed. 

Sure, these are first-world problems, annoying but not life affecting happenings!  Have you finished your Christmas cards yet?

Many years ago, at the same time I was a vendor at craft shows, I also bought wholesale and sold retail picture frames. Since I always helped my best friend buy gifts for his family, I offered this deal to him--only pay wholesale + tax. He did not like the idea since I would be "making money off him."  This idea would be so much easier than helping him buy. 

He finally got it that I made no money from this sale. I ordered dozens of frames and we chose his from the order that came in a week later. He thought maybe buying frames for everyone was not creative and showed no thought. Well, this floozy who helped him buy one year thought a platter with a turkey on it was perfect for his wealthy cousin. I was appalled at the things she picked out. Oh well. 

On to the gift wrapping.

All the picture frames were white and from different manufacturers. I chose white boxes and red tissue paper to go inside around the frames. Then, I wrapped the white boxes in red glossy paper. 

The "bow" was the stunner. 

I used all white: 3 kinds of curling ribbon, lace in two widths, lace with wire in the edges, strings of pearls, feathers, charms. A glue gun brought it all together. The lace with wire in the edges was spiraled around a pencil for a fanciful shape. Each of these were fashioned on a piece of white board from a shirt box and then glued onto the package. 

When held up, the curling ribbon extended from my chest to the floor. Each completed topper was over six inches in diameter. John reported how much everyone (15 people) loved them. After gifts were opened and paper thrown out, various family members were trying to get others to trade them their white fantasy topped. I called them toppers because they were more than a bow. 

Through the year various family members I happened to meet out and about mentioned the wrapping. The funny part was that John thought giving frames two years in a row was too much, that everyone would not have anything to put into another frame. I questioned a few family members who confirmed my thought that two frames was NOT too many.  They loved the second round, too. 

I love to wrap gifts! 

Do you like or love to wrap gifts, no matter whose gifts they are? Have you pulled off spectacular gift wrap? 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Scariest Christmas Movie Ever

 Even though "A Wonderful Life" and the movie "A Christmas Carol" are a bit dark at times, they did not strike terror in me. And, there were no visceral reactions on my part.

The only redeeming point was that it was on my 32" TV, not on a theater screen! I would have been really undone if I were watching any place but from the safety of my bed. 

If my children were small and had been with me in a theater, I would have left, taking them with me. What was the movie? 

"The Polar Express" When that train plunged into the icy water, I felt like I was going to drown. Who ever makes a movie like this for children? I do understand the theory that children learn from movies, stories,  that frightening things are not always doom. But, this scared me beyond what I thought I was able to bear. At times I could barely breathe!

Did you think that "Polar Express" was excessively frightening and out of line for little ones? Have you ever found any Christmas movie frightening? Do tell.

Friday, it was 69F degrees here and at midnight, it was still 59F! It is unseasonably warm right now. But, I hear the weather will cool off a bit this week. We have a hard time keeping the temp where we are comfortable. Even though we keep it set for 63F, we need to bump it up a degree in the daytime because it is damp feeling in here. At night, when it is 67F and stifling, even Tommy needs the ac on! 

Yesterday, I finally got bananas after even going two times to get them...lol. I may eat a couple of extra ones today to catch up. 

So, I must go to finish and mail Christmas cards. Did not finish. sigh

Saturday, December 12, 2020

New Vacuum Cleaner, 2 Questions

 I did it. I ordered a new vacuum cleaner. I had a Kenmore from 1966 to ~1985, bought for ~$100. Then, I bought a Royal for about $500 in the mid 80s. The Kenmore only had a porous hose that I was not aware of at the time. It worked perfectly other than the leaky hose. The Royal still worked but the attachments and hose all went to the dump. 

Miele was the brand I wanted, but I went with a Kenmore since I have had good luck overall with Kenmore appliances. 

Have you ever had a Miele or Kenmore, Royal vacuum? 

Selling points: bagged, canister, HEPA filter. Price--$249. I could not find all those attributes in a cheaper vac that I trusted. 

It is advertised for pets. I have long hair, and Tommy is hairy enough to stop up his sewer line. So, maybe this will work for us.

Christmas memory: one of the first things I bought for a decoration after getting married was a little plastic tree to sit on the table. It was clear plastic, came apart and had little flattish cups on the limbs to hold Christmas candy. I think I paid about $1.50 for it, but it almost broke us. What did you buy your first Christmas that you still have or had for a long time?  

Friday, December 11, 2020

Three Part Christmas Story: Part One; BOGOs

Thursday, the temp got up to 69F, maybe to 70F. It certainly felt warm like summer. I went to The Pig because I thought it was Wednesday and 5% off for seniors. There was nothing on sale. The ads do not come in the mail or the pink bag. Usually, there is something and it is not far, so no problem.

We used our free BK coupons for fries. They were too hot to safely eat, so pretty good--our treat for the day. 

I found Lysol wipes and Clorox wipes and could only get two, so Tommy ventured into Publix and got two, also. Now, I will not have to look for these. Done. 

I have a mental list I look for every time I go into any store. Do you? 

Friday, I went to Publix after I got an ad and bought several BOGOs. 

Russel Stover sugar-free candy with stevia. I got one package of dark chocolate and one of mint, sort of like York Peppermint Patties. I thought I was getting coconut. Originally $4, I got two packages for that price. And, there were only six pieces in each bag! 

uncle Ben's Original Parboiled Rice $8.67 for 5 lbs. I bought two 5-lb bags for that price--10 lbs. $0.87/lb. 

I use Kraft Italian Shredded Cheese for my taco casserole which sort of ends up like taco soup. Today it was $4.49 for 8 ounces. I got two bags for that price, $2.25 each. 

I needed milk so paid $4.49 for a half gallon of a2milk and bought three. My receipt informs me I saved $14.15. Cheese and rice will be frozen. 

Tonight I am cooking a pan of Russet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and onions with kielbasa. Tommy and I both love this. The potatoes will only make up a small portion of this and there will be leftovers for two more meals. 

When my children were two- and four-years-old, I decided to add something new to Christmas. We had an old horse collar or something leather with huge bells on it. I gathered the two children on my son's bed and read "The Night Before Christmas" to him (3.5) and his sister (1.5). I had turned off the tv and all was quiet. 

My husband took the bells outside the window and said loudly, "HO HO HO!" as he rang the bells. 

I will publish the other edition later. 

Did you have a special Christmas tradition to share?



Thursday, December 10, 2020

Birthday Again

 Wednesday was Tommy's birthday. So, we did it all on Sunday and I had nothing for today. I sang "Happy Birthday" to him as soon as I awoke. He laughed because I was so sleepy.

Remember--cake, candles, ice cream and presents happened on Sunday. 

I ordered us a Honey Baked ham sandwich from, the Honey Baked Ham Store and went to Vestavia Hills to pick it up. We drove to Vestavia Hills Methodist Church and found a shady spot and ate. He absolutely loved his sandwich. I should have ordered turkey breast for me.

The church had a garden with sweet potatoes, a "Sweet Potato Garden" on the sign. It looked like they all had been dug. 

We drove around a bit. It was his birthday, so I just let him go whereever. Then, when we came home, I took a nap and he watched Jeopardy. 

I felt worse when I awoke. AND, all the dishes were dirty. I have not felt like standing for a week. And, was not going to ask him to wash dishes on his birthday. I gave him choices--last of the turkey and a vegetable, meatballs and same vegetable, or wash dishes, or KFC or his choice. He chose KFC.

KFC was delicious! 

I still have to make him homemade ice cream even though I bought ice cream. 

Thursday morning, we wash dishes. I wash; Tommy dries. The dishwasher not named Linda arrives on Monday. YAY!

Nothing Christmas to report. I am just too tired. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Solutions and a Christmas Door Mat

Solution 1: Tuesday, as I stood up, it became apparent to me that I am no longer dizzy. Before, I had to lean over and hold to a table, walking my hand around it until I could reach the door knob and use it to stand up straight. Before, I wobbled dangerously as I turned a corner to go into a room through a door. Only the door frame save me from falling. In the kitchen I could not turn without flinging out my arms for balance and reaching for a potential hand hold. 

So, I am presuming this all has to be because the tooth is GONE. Plus, I have been taking an antibiotic  for 25 days. Tommy also thinks this is not correlation but causation. Remember the fall/slide to the table? Well, this has been going on for about five months, maybe more. I have whacked my head often. Getting out of the car into an electric cart is tricky with my having to hold onto the door and get hold of the cart, never letting go completely. 

Solution 2: Tuesday, we heard a slight noise at the door. When we heard a vehicle leave, I checked for a package. I received my box of 300 quart zip lock freezer bags. I will have to keep only about 50 of these on the shelf in the kitchen. The rest will be taped to seal the box and kept in the bedroom. So, one more item for which I do not have to shop or search.  

When we moved into the house that was 4000 sq ft, it seemed that it was made for decorating. I made swags for the stair railings and further decorated the swags on the railings. Then, I wanted a Christmas door mat inside the door. I would rather make one than buy one. Well, I decorated a mat. 

Door mat: I had my daughter who was only seven-years-old make it. She enhanced one that was woven, maybe some sort of grass, thick with large square holes? I gave her some cheap, red paper Christmas ribbon about 3/4 inch wide or maybe 1 inch. It was what I had. I explained how to weave it in and out around the edge and to be careful it stayed flat with shiny side up. I assured her that she could do it and I would like it. She finished that and it was as good as I could have done. Then, we attached a plastic poinsettia bloom to one corner. It was perfect and she was soooo proud of what she had done. 

When we had a party and when any company came, every person stepped over the mat and stepped straight onto the new carpet right with wet or muddy feet. I asked a few people why--"so I won't mess up the door mat!" Everyone praised the pretty mat and my daughter was pleased the did.

This daughter became quite accomplished in crafts and ornamentation of existing items.  She also provided her children with crafts, paints and such, all the time.

Can you relate an instance of decorating, especially on a budget. Or any occasion where you taught your child who helped. Oh, just any decorating experience that we might enjoy, that you enjoyed, or that inspired your child. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Homemade Trail Mix and Homemade Picture Frame for Santa Picture

 About three or four months ago, I discovered a little raised place in my ear at the edge of my eardrum. Well, it was as far down as my little finger would reach. It did not hurt, but I asked the doctor what it was. She looked and did not know. Then, about a month ago, I told her it was still there. When I started taking the antibiotic for my abscessed tooth, the little raised place seem to recede. As soon as the tooth was out and I was in the car, I felt and the raised place is gone. So, I wonder how far that infection had spread and will I have more trouble from infection? My hearing has been worse but that is a problem I have since I have sinus infections. 

I dislike buying trail mix because there is always something I don't want to eat--sugar, soy, too much salt, a nut to which I am allergic, or something. So, I used what I had and made trail mix for Tommy. 

Ingredients--Planters Honey Roasted Lightly Salted Peanuts, dried Montmorency cherries, chocolate chips 60%. I had all these and wanted to make Tommy something for the Iron Bowl, so this was it. You can choose your ingredients. Tommy liked my choices.

My favorite ingredients are dark chocolate chips, home-dehydrated banana chips, and pecan halves. I cannot find my pecan guy; I have no banana chips, so I just eat chocolate chips. It is not the same.

Do you make trail mix? What ingredients do you use? 

When my son was nine-months-old, his first Christmas and our third, I had his picture made with Santa. I wanted to display it but could not afford a frame. So, I used a textured wall covering Daddy had and cut a piece for the frame. Pinking shears made it more than just a piece of covering. I think I glued gold fabric trim onto the frame, also. I don't have the frame out at this moment, so I am remembering. Even when I could afford a frame, I kept the homemade frame as it was a sentimental picture frame, reminiscent of that precious first Christmas with my baby. 

What homemade memory of an early Christmas graces your decorations every year?  

Monday, December 7, 2020

Tooth Extraction and Christmas Commences

 This writing is on Sunday night as I will be up at 4:30 am to get a tooth extracted at 6:30 am. I am afraid, very afraid. 

Tommy's birthday is Wednesday, but since I am not sure what I will feel like then, we celebrated his birthday Sunday. I don't feel like cooking a proper birthday dinner. So, we made do.

I took a chicken out of the crock pot today since I put it into the crockpot Friday. I took out the breast meat, gave him the rest and he took the meat off those bones. His dinner was chicken, stovetop stuffing, cranberry sauce, slaw. Then, he had vanilla ice cream on a slice of Red Velvet cake with two lit candles. I sang "Happy Birthday." 

Publix had Mayfield Ice Cream bogo so one-half gallon of vanilla and one of chocolate. And, I got one slice of Red Velvet Cake and we shared it. 

Then, he opened his gifts from me--nose hair and ear hair trimmer. I think it trims sideburns, too. It has batteries, four tips, beard trimmer, and two combs for eyebrows. He smiled broadly when he saw it. I also gave him a book--Birds of Alabama and a cd that goes with it with Bird Songs of Alabama. This will go with his binoculars. He is always talking about "wonder what kind of bird that is" or "what bird is singing?" 

He spent a long time putting batteries in the trimmer and looking it over and reading the instructions. Just now, he spent a long time in the bathroom using it. So, I guess it is a hit.

Ordering from Amazon is so much easier than going into a store and searching for the product and going to another store when I cannot find what I want. 

I have been looking for a mesh sweater dryer. I had one but cannot find it in stores. I have looked a dozen times for the last few months. None of my sweaters have been washed from last winter. Now, I can dry two at a time since this is  a double decker that can be used singly instead of stacked. 

You know I have been searching in stores for original Dawn. Well, three bottles were delivered last week and there was a problem. They sent more and told me to throw out the others. I now have six bottles of Dawn. If I were paid for the times I searched, I would comfortable. I won't have to order these again for months. 

Plus, these are aisles I do not have to worry about shopping and infecting myself with covid19.  There are items I buy each month, and I am slowly ordering these from Amazon. It is just as cheap most of the time, and I $ get credits if I don't need it tomorrow or the next day.  

I had looked for a pair of binoculars for me, and could find none of quality in stores. Okay, some were just too expensive. Now, I have a good pair and did not have o spend too much. 

Now, I cannot find Ziploc Pint Freezer Bags. I use a quart bag for really small amounts. So, I ordered 300 bags, Industrial Box at $.08 cents per bag. 

I even have some items sent once each month. I forgot what that program is called. I am not taking money from local businesses since they don't have some items. 

Tommy and I can spend our "out" time looking at Christmas decorations or something other than my going into a hotbed of virus and his sitting in the car. 

I got a mesh wreath for the front door. It did not show behind the storm door, so I put the hanger on the storm door and it is outside. Now, it needs fairy lights so it shows up after dark. 

Tommy finally pulled down all the branches on the tiny artificial tree so I can decorate it.  I bought another set of small ornaments as there were not enough last year. He put out his dancing Santa that is solar. 

I just looked up the address of the oral surgeon I am going to and have used before. I needed to see if his office had moved. It has not. AND, now he has an office in Gardendale. Going to Gardendale would save us about 80 miles on the round trip! 

Okay, tooth out! Back home!

I was going to have a root canal, but decided the infection might not be 100% gone and bacteria would be left to cause another infection/problem. The alternative to root canal was extraction and implant. I did not want the implant immediately since the ground bone could be put in the hole and still have infection left. I ran my thoughts by the endocrinologist who agreed with me and thought it was prudent since I have diabetes. 

So, the tooth was pulled and in four months I can have an implant. I opted not to be sedated. He gave me extra numbing for tooth and pulled it without breaking off the tooth. Believe it or not, this was the "best" visit to a dentist in my whole life. I felt nothing. 

I have more azithromycin and oxycodone. I took about a third of an oxy and could barely get into the house. Since I am woozy, I am going in for a nap and it is 10:45 am.

Back up from nap. I obviously will not be able to take a whole oxycodone since I can barely walk. At least, I can take half one during the day and maybe at night. 

So, now I will be okay for Christmas.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

A Bare-Legged Ghost and Rudolph, Our Christmas Dog

One morning last week, Tommy told me he either dreamed it or he saw me or a bare-legged ghost. Well, that was so funny. He said he saw my bare leg or a ghost with a bare leg. He said he was not sure what he saw and did I go into the kitchen during the night. Well, I went into the kitchen when I left the living room, but not during the night. 

Since my whole leg is not showing when I am in my nightgown, we had a discussion about how much leg he saw--knee down or top of leg down. He saw from the top of the leg down--one bare leg he reiterated. 

We discuss this every day since it gives me the giggles to think of it.  Unless he went to sleep ten seconds after I left the living room and my gown was hiked up, he must have seen a bare-legged ghost

 One summer, my son who was about ten came home very upset. It seems a neighbor kid on the next block was throwing tiny kittens to a dog who would kill them.  I was upset and hugged him, told him that kids who torture animals grow up to hurt people. I told him to never go back.

Later that year between Christmas and New Year's Day, my son came in upset. It seems the same kid had claimed a little lost puppy that I refused to bring home. The kid got him from in front of our house and was headed home. I told my three kids to get in the car and instructed my son  to get his little sister in her car seat. We all ran.

The kid had not gotten far when I stopped and told him to give back our dog. He hid behind a telephone pole with the puppy. I told him to bring the dog to me, now. And, instructed my son to get the dog. Well, the kid handed it over. I told the kid never to touch our dog again. 

My plan was to take him to a shelter or advertise for the owner. I called to find the owner, but did not turn him over to anyone. But, you can imagine how the children loved the dog and begged to keep him. 

You can guess how that turned out. 

Finally, I told them to find a name. We had a dog named Puppy and a cat named Cat. So, I was adamant. After two days, I named him--Rudolph. There was outrage all around. I was again adamant. I told the children we would call him Rudy. 

They warmed to the idea several weeks after the dog knew his name. 

Now, we had two dogs and the first dog, Puppy, was so jealous.

The puppy, probably not yet 3 months old, had huge feet/paws, not a good sign. Yes, he grew up to be very large. Puppy was short and fat, a mutt with beagle ancestors. Rudy was a retriever.  He knew how to point and did so often. Once, when he was on the back porch as I put out a freshly bathed and dressed toddler, he turned and knocked her down concrete steps with his tail he wagged! 

I bathed her again, washed her hair, scraped sticks, dirt, and leaves from her mouth, dressed her again in clean clothes, and bandaged her cuts and put her out again. She tried to avoid Rudy for a long time.

One day, in the fall when the baby was the only one at home with me early in the morning, I heard her crying out, "Help, Get me out of here. HELP. I can't get out." Her voice seemed far away and I ran to the yard barefoot and in a nightgown too skimpy for the yard. 

Her voice sounded like she was inside something. Since there once was a well in the back yard and an outhouse, I was terrified. Finally, I yelled and followed her voice. She was in the doghouse and Rudy would not let her out. He kept taking his snout and pushing her back in. 

She got into the dog house several other times. I had to bathe her every time! She confessed when she was over 20 that she went in the dog house all the times other than the first because she did not like what she was wearing and wanted to change clothes!

Finally, when Rudy was grown, he decided he was going to follow us all over town. I was afraid he would be hit by a car. One day, I tried to get away, but he jumped fences keeping up with me. I drove the three blocks, straight to husband's church and ran up the front steps and let Rudy in the church. I told husband to take him to live in the country somewhere. I told him to take him home so I could leave the house.

That trip, I discussed with the children how Rudy was a country dog who was not suited to the city and not happy. So, we found a couple in the church who lived on a farm. The children did not want Rudy to be killed, so they reluctantly accepted his move to the farm. The went with their father to rehome him. When Rudy was let out of the car, the first thing he did was run jump into a lake. That proved to the children he liked it there. My children loved to swim, so I guess their dog liking to swim was good. He had never been in water before. 

He tried to get in the car when kids came home. We had promised they could visit him before we took him. When they went back to visit Rudy, he tried to get into the car and come back to his home, our home. That was heart-wrenching for all of us. But, I helped them to see he was happy and safe in the country. 

So, that is the story of Rudy, our Christmas dog. 

Did you have a Christmas dog or other animal? Did you ever have to take a dog to a farm in the country?

 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Customer Service and Two Happy Occasions

 First, this deal. I had two $0.75 cent coupons for Ronco spaghetti. I like the 7 oz size since it is perfect for the two of us, with just a bit left over that is cooked and eaten by me with olive oil and no package to reseal. 

spaghetti $0.81 each with 2 coupons that were $0.75/2

I bought 4 x .81= $3.24. The 2 coupons doubled, so 4 x $0.75= $3.00. $3.24 -$3.00= $0.24 That makes $0.06 cents for each package of Ronco, 3 cents/serving. I like paying $0.24 for four packages of Ronco.

Before I left the store, I realized the coupons did not double/total as they should, so I had to wait at customer service. Then, I got into the car and Tommy drove two miles when I  realized they had charged me over $5 for tangerines which I did not get. What I did buy was red globe grapes for $1.69/lb. Plus, they had not given me the 5% senior discount. 

We went back. In the end I received $5.89 back for the tangerines I did not purchase and $1.31 for the five percent discount for being old. Then, half way home I realized that they had failed to charge me for the grapes! Do you think I went back to pay them? So, I came home with $7.20 and free grapes. I did not plan this! 

For some reason on Friday afternoon I was very anxious to go give the purse away that is filled with things. Then, on the way I wanted to stop and talk to a woman I often see, but never stop to talk with. 

It turns out her name is Linda. We had a nice conversation, us in the car and her across her fence. She has a friend who cleans. So, even though I found the service, this may be better for me. 

Then, I wanted to go to a grocery store and find a woman who needed the purse full of goodies. Tommy went to The Foundry, a place for addicts to live and work. I did not want to find someone there. Well, it was getting dark and the neighborhood is not the best, so we left in a hurry. 

 Pink Purse Project

We went to a grocery store called Value Mart. As we pulled in, I saw a shortish, older person, heavy set and nondescript hair--nothing to suggest if it were a woman from a distance and in the half-dark. It turned out that it was a woman walking quickly, limping, and hair in ponytail. 

Tommy  stopped and yelled to her just before she went inside. I raised the purse, red purse, and told her I wanted to give it to her. I told her it was a purse full of goodies for someone who might like it. She took it and started crying and said her cousin just died yesterday and getting the purse made her feel better. I said, "Well, maybe this can make you feel a bit happy." She said that,  "Just you talking to me makes me feel happy."

I asked her if I could take a picture of her with the purse and her mask on. She had a mask on as she went into the store. She agreed and came around the car. So, I burst into tears and cried most of the way home. I was so touched that she cried and said she had had a death and my gift made her happy, my talking to her made her happy. 

She was told where the $20 bill was and not to let anyone get it. I meant someone at home deciding with or without permission to investigate. I told her I had other things that I did not get together yet and could I give it to her somewhere. She told me where she worked, fast food, and that her name was Donna. 

My eyes are leaking a bit just typing this. 

The gift was worth about $80, including the money and the new purse. Well, at the full price of the purse before I bought it on sale, I suppose the value is $130.00 or more. It really is a pretty purse and it was bulging with good stuff. 

Friday, December 4, 2020

Christmas Gifts for Teachers

 After the endocrinologist listened to me, he then told me the results of my labs. It seems my cholesterol is down, liver and kidney fine, blood pressure down, AiC down, Vitamin D level up but not high enough, everything okay but weight up by about 20 lbs. I pointed out how swollen I was everywhere! As he got up to listen to my heart and chest, I asked him why I was swollen like a tick. He stopped and sort of bent and laughed so hard. Then, I held up my foot to show him. He pressed my calf and agreed I was swollen. This is NOT fat! Well, not all of it.

Since we were near Cookie Fix, we had our cookie fix. We had Chocolate Decadence. Mmmm!  

I had an appointment for Monday at the oral surgeon in Cullman for an extraction. So, Thursday night, about 10 pm, Tommy told me I had better eat if I wanted anything since I was going to be sedated on Friday morning. I was so puzzled since my appointment was for Monday morning. He gently reminded me the appointment was Friday. 

This stunned me and I argued a bit, insisting my appointment was on Monday. But, he pronounced that I had forgotten. So, I told him to get me up at 4:30 am and we could leave the house by 5 am and make it to the appointment. Well, I did not go to sleep until 3:30 am.

He woke me up and told me it was 5:00. It did not register, but I washed, dressed, brushed my teeth and left to comb my hair in the car. Once in the car and seeing the time on the digital clock, it registered and I screamed a bit. He swore I told him to get me up at 5 o'clock. My argument there was that if I were telling him something wrong, he should correct me! 

After all, he does correct me even when I am correct. It is not like he is shy about telling me I am wrong!

I don't set this little cheap clock with tiny buttons I cannot see. I kept messing up the time. So, he offers to call me. I need to invest in a larger and easier clock. 

We were 9 miles from the interstate exit and about 15 miles from our destination at 6:30 am. Traffic was heavy. I called the office and told the woman we were on the way. She said nothing. Nothing! So, I asked if she were still there. She said she was looking for my appointment, and it was on Monday.

So, we got off the interstate and went to Hardee's and drove home, all in driving rain and in the dark on the way up! I am beyond disgusted.  And, tired. 

When my children were in 7th, 5th, and 1st grade, all needed Christmas gifts for their teacher. My son, the 7th-grader asked me if I would make pumpkin bread for his teachers. He had five teachers and a coach. Whew! AND, he asked if I would make pumpkin bread for the other coach, too. The fifth grade daughter had at least two teachers. Okay, I can do this. 

I made two loaves at a time, and had two loaf pans. I baked for all three of them so they would be ready for the last day of school. All in all, I baked and sent at least ten loaves. I baked six loaves the day before, and the morning of last school day, I baked two before they left for school and came home and delivered the last two, piping hot so he could run out to the car between classes and get the hot loaves. 

My son said his teachers were so happy, especially the ones who got the two warm loaves. The two who received the two piping hot loaves exclaimed about the fact it was still hot. At least one started eating the freshest pumpkin breads right on the spot. 

My children have never been so happy about taking gifts to their teachers. You see, my three children loved pumpkin bread. 

I have sent food treats to teachers but not necessarily for a Christmas gift, but this was the first time almost all teachers got something hot all at once. Did you send baked gifts to teachers at Christmas? I mean something not meant to be given to students as treats, just for the teacher. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

My Christmas Cake

 Finally, I found someone to push my wheelchair into the endocrinologist and managed to get an appointment today. Amazingly, the guy who was going to clean is an EMT or was. At any rate, he is going to charge me about $30 to push me in and push me out. I need no help to get in or out of the chair. It is a lot of money, but I need this appointment. 

I called on Wednesday to get the appointment, knowing I had to get in to see the doctor. Then, I called to cancel and told her the reason. THEN, I told her my problem about needing a pusher. She said she would give the message to the guy who was coming to clean, that he would be free if not cleaning for me. So, he agreed. 

Now, the get the wheelchair to car and into car. Thankfully, Tommy is really strong and can lift it. Okay, I am back after paying someone $30 to push me up to doctor's office, wait, and push me back to the car. He took wheelchair out of car and put it back, assembled and disassembled the foot rests. I desperately needed this appointment.

Wednesday, I took three packages of meat from the freezer to thaw. At dinner I managed to thaw the chicken breasts enough to throw the whole slab in a cooking bag and bake it. And, I thawed carrots. Tommy had the rest of the peas. Chicken, carrots, and peas sounds like a tv dinner...lol.

The whole chicken will go into the crockpot and I will cook in a skillet the ground pork and use half of it for taco casserole and freeze the other half of the cooked meat for another casserole later. I will probably freeze half of the casserole. 

About forty years ago, I made my first chocolate pound cake in a Bundt pan and loved it. My father requested I bring it to Memphis every Christmas. He liked it because it had no icing! 

For over ten years I attended all holidays at parties in Birmingham year round. On each occasion I made a chocolate pound cake. At one open house the person who was having an event the next day asked me if she could keep the pound cake and slice it. So, she took it home. At the same occasion another person asked me to bring one to his party. 

Finally, I baked the chocolate pound cake in three loaf pans. One loaf was perfect for each occasion. Last year was the first year in over forty years I did not bake a chocolate pound cake. I am still trying to find the recipe online. I have baked hundreds of pound cakes over the years. 

Chocolate Pound Cake is my Christmas cake. 

Do you have a cake that is your special Christmas cake that you bake? Or, did your mother bake something special for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Tuesday, A Cow, Christmas Sausage Balls

 Okay, I went back to my dentist Tuesday  after going to the dentist and endodontist on Friday. He pecked around on my teeth and the tooth hurting is the one with abscess. I told him I was confused and that other teeth were hurting. Well, he said that having an abscess would really mess up all a person's teeth and it would be hard to know what was going on until I got the abscessed one fixed. So, I left with nothing done. 

We went by the PO, my house, and Belk.  I had no mail, felt relaxed sitting in my yard, and Belk's was cleaned out! 

By 11 am, we were done. Tommy asked me, "what now?" I suggested getting something to eat and going home to B'ham. He suggested going to Dutch Oven Bakery--Amish store. This was a shock as it is about 15 miles out the highway. So, we went and got a sandwich and halved it. This is a $3.99 deal, and I got one tiny piece of candy for dessert--peanut butter for him and pecan for me. 

Even though it was 33F outdoors, we decided to have a picnic at the picnic table they have out next to a fence with a pasture right on the other side. Someone else got the table first, so we ate in the car. They have two other tables, but they are the five or six sided kind and Tommy cannot get his walker to a table end to eat. 

Once before, I took a picture of a cow lying next to the fence. Last time we were there and eating in the car, a cow came loping along and went to stand near the table. This time, the same brown cow showed up and looked at the four people eating. When they left, one guy got up and fed something to the cow. Next time, we are going to take something to feed him. He is one smart cow! 

Then, shockingly, Tommy suggested we keep going past the bakery and see what there was to see. Shocking! 

As we pulled onto and crossed over the four lane divided highway, a state trooper pulled us over. It seems Tommy was going 47 mph in a 60 mph zone and in the left lane. He had plenty of open highway to get up to speed and move to the right lane. I was again shocked. The man always goes straight for the right lane and annoys me pulling in and out to move to pass someone. Then going right back to the right lane. So, he got a warning. 

Once at home, I went straight to the bedroom and put on a nightgown and went to bed for a nap, getting up at 5:30. I could have slept longer but then I would still be up at midnight with a full night's sleep under my belt.  

Dinner was not happening around here! Finally, I gathered things from the shelves--pouch of Idahoan potatoes, can of Hormel Roast Beef and Gravy, and English peas. It took all of 15 minutes to get it from can to plate. I am not sure if there is any nutrition in those potatoes, but they filled up a hole. 

Today, since I keep forgetting to thaw chicken in the refrigerator, I am going to put a couple of packages in water to thaw quickly and put it in a cooking bag. We will have chicken for eating and freezing for later. 

Cancelling cleaners. Explanation later.

My children loved sausage balls. Sometimes I made sausage balls to take to parties at Christmas. I was mean and did not let them have any. Okay, they had one but wanted many more.  BUT, I promised if they would be good for the babysitter and be asleep when I arrived back at home, I would make sausage balls for breakfast. They were so enthusiastic about party food for breakfast. 

Actually, husband was outraged. Think about it--sausage, biscuit, and dairy product. What is the problem? I was up early in the morning mixing sausage balls and baking them. I loved doing that!

I fed my children unconventional foods for breakfast. But, all of it was just food in a different form than a breakfast food. Did you feed your children different food for breakfast as a Christmas treat? 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Dutch Christmas Shoes

 I am writing this on Monday as I will be gone on Tuesday to the dentist about another tooth problem. This tooth is the one that I needed the clove oil to put on it. It flared up and I am going on Tuesday to get it filled, I hope. It hurts no worse than before. 

There is another refill for the antibiotic, so I will get that, too, for the molar that is abscessed. I have not had a toothache or filling in over 30 years! 

It appears that we now have someone to clean. This woman was agreeable about how many people would come--two men for the kitchen. 

She insists they use a chemical for the refrigerator--a chemical used in commercial kitchens--an acid, she said. How does that sound to you? An acid? At any rate, she sounds accommodating. 

I don't mind going shopping for what I need, but I do mind going from store to store to find nothing I need. So, I added another item to Amazon to be sent each month. I breathed a sigh of real relief when I placed the order. And, it is now cheaper for me. I am not overbuying, but I love this ordering on Amazon! These items are all things for which I have been searching, not just buying off the internet--necessities. 

If toilet paper is at a comparable price in the store, I may add it to my monthly order. 

Since my husband claimed his family to be "pure" Dutch, we bought wooden shoes at an antique shop in Missouri and started our tradition. Maybe they were really worn by the Dutch, maybe not. Each Christmas Eve, we put them outside the door early in the evening. 

Sometime early, Kris Kringle put a small toy or candy favor in each of the shoes for my two children to discover and enjoy before bed. Of course, there was the promise of more in the morning. My children loved this tradition we established. It may not have been authentic, but it was ours. 

Doctors and a List

My allergist called me for my 1pm telemedicine visit. I had talked to him a week ago when he gave me the nose drops. He was astounded at my ...