Thursday, December 31, 2015

Good-bye to December & 2015

It doesn't seem possible that 2015 is within hours of being over. We have had a rather quiet New Year's Eve day and am sure that we will have an even quieter New Year's Eve evening. Woody walked four miles in nippy temperatures. I have read and cooked today. I am really enjoying the e-books that I checked out the other day after I finally finished my slow-read. I have finished one of them and am more than half-way finished with the second. I made a pot of soup...a good change of pace from all the Mexican dishes that we have been having. I put up our new calendars just before coming upstairs to blog. So I guess we are set for next year! I plan to read this evening. Woody has been reading, doing crosswords, and watching this and that on TV. Well, "good-bye" for this year..."see" you next year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Getting There

We are getting closer to how "things" were prior to December 24th (our family Christmas). Today the last bit of wrapping and last gifts were put away (or thrown away (paper not gifts thrown away!)) that had graced chairs, floor, etc. in the living room. The flattened cardboard boxes found their way to the curb and were picked up by the recycle truck this morning. Tonight's photo shows that I can once again sit and enjoy a cup of tea in front of the Christmas tree. Woody did his usual Wednesday Krogering. I guess it is time that I get back in the kitchen and cook as our leftovers are dwindling. Woody also walked four miles today. So we seem to be settling back into a more normal routine. And, that routine was confirmed a few minutes ago as we got our reminder call for Woody's next week Vanderbilt appointments. He will have labs, see Dr. Sosman's nurse practioner, and perhaps have his last Keytruda infusion. Three weeks after those appointments he is scheduled for another PET scan and, if all is the same or better when compared to the last scan, his Keytruda infusions will stop. Then he will have scans every twelve weeks to make sure that "everything" is staying the same. Twelve weeks between visits is sounding mighty good! Three weeks between visits comes around pretty quickly! I did manage to finish sorting pictures...that means that this year's photos are all sorted...unless I take more between now and tomorrow at midnight!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I Was Sorely Tempted!

One evening when Cheryl was visiting from AZ, she, Erin and I were goofing around and we got out my wedding veil and Cheryl tried it on...and, of course, I took a picture. I was really tempted to post it tonight (But I don't think that Cheryl would be too happy with her sister!)I will settle for posting a picture of Woody's and my wedding cake topper. The reason that it would be the perfect day to post the picture of her wearing my veil is because today...just a little over an hour ago...she got married to the man that she has been dating for around 25 years and has known since she was two! Joe and his family lived behind us when we were growing up. Congratulations Joe and Cheryl! On the home front it has been pretty much a ho-hum day...not a lot happening. I think that I am still recovering from last week as I just didn't feel like doing much today so didn't. Yesterday I continued to sort pictures and only have December's photos left to sort. I should be able to get those sorted easily before midnight on the 31st! Last night I did finish the book I had been reading for what seemed like forever. As soon as I finished, I got online and went to the cyber-library site and found two e-books that are next in two series of books that I have been reading over the years. So I checked one out and put another on hold. It wasn't long till I got an email that the one on hold was available so I checked that one out too. I now am underway with those two e-books, plus another "real" book (one that I can hold in my hands)that I have borrowed from a friend. All three of these are fast reads...something I needed after that last slow-read. So I have done a lot of reading today. Woody waited till the temperature broke the 50 degree mark before he went on his walk today. I'm not exactly sure how far he walked...just that he walked to City Hall, the Post Office, and the library. He is now next door taking care of children while their parents go on a date...guess it is their last date of this year?

Monday, December 28, 2015

More of the Same

Woody managed to get his four-mile walk in before today's rain settled in. It continues to be a wet holiday season...and, above normal temperatures. Though, I think, that the temperatures are supposed to drop and it isn't supposed to get out of the 50's tomorrow. Today it once again got into the 70's. Woody actually did some yard work today...trimming out the dead in one of our gardens and trimming back other things. It is that time of year again when I have the goal of getting all of this year's pictures sorted before the new year. I am making good headway on that job. I'm working on November' only December after that. I should be able to meet that goal over the next couple of days. I started working on them yesterday. Today I also knocked down all the boxes from Christmas so we can take them to the road tomorrow to recycle them. The living room is almost back to how it looked before we opened presents. I always enjoy the week after Christmas due to the lack of hustle and bustle. I am attempting to finish a is due tomorrow and it can't be renewed. I am tired of it...but would like to finish it. It was recommended to me as the best book that someone had ever read...well.........I'm not of the same opinion!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Sketches

Since writing something in the blog, we have had a lot of water go under the bridge...literally...over a three day or so period we have gotten 5 1/2 inches of rain according to Woody's new rain gauge. And, our temperatures have been way above normal. What a wet and warm Christmas season! We had a great family Chritmas celebration as can be witnessed by the sketches above. We still have plenty of Mexican food case a close-by blog reader might have a hankering for some! I haven't had to cook much since...which is rather nice. And, we have such a variety that we don't have to keep having the same thing. Woody managed to walk yesterday (six miles) and today (four miles). I think that the only day that he has skipped since he got back to walking was Christmas Eve day...just too much going on to fit a walk in that day! I have spent part of the day finding places to put away some of my gifts...lots of new kitchen gadgets which have now been washed and a place found to store them. Woody has been working on puzzles that he was given...crosswords, brain teasers, etc. So far too warm to wear the sweaters that he got. It is good to be on this side of the Christmas celebration. I was pretty tired yesterday. There's no telling how many naps that I took! Today has been more of a normal day for me...just puttering around in the house...trying to clear away the after Christmas mess so I can sit and enjoy my decorations for a bit before it is time to take them down! 'Tis the season!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Both "Hustle and Bustle" Have Set In!

Tonight's picture is one of photos that I attempted to take of Nathan while juggling...but the camera settings failed to stop the motion. Normally it is a photo that I would just delete...but tonight it pretty much sums up the way I feel. My head is spinning. Enough said! Woody went to the store and did his Wednesday Krogering...picked up several items that we need for tomorrow's Mexican Fiesta. He walked four miles this afternoon in a dry least no percipitation coming out of the sky...but plenty on the ground and roads and yards. According to his birthday rain gauge we had gotten 1/2" of rain today. I'm not sure if we have had any since or not. We are under a tornado watch (conditions right for a tornado). First Baptist's Night in Bethlehem got cancelled due to possible severe weather...but so far it hasn't arrived. There is still potential later this evening and into the night. Well, I'd best get the hustle into my bustle again and get back to work...tonight I just have cleaning tasks and setting tables and figuring out where folk will sit and also how to get this feast arranged as a buffet. The food that I can fix ahead is all done. I keep telling myself that tomorrow at this time, it will all be over! 'Tis the season!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Glorious Night

It was a glorious night for our Night in Bethlehem...maybe a slight mist...but the people from Tullahoma and the surrounding areas came out in abundance. Woody sat outside Bethlehem's gate and welcomed visitors and gave out a brochure about the events of the night. I stayed in and once again attempted to take pictures during the Dazzling Dorrell's performances. I haven't had time to look tonight. I came home and finished up a pan of enchiladas and then realized that I hadn't blogged. I am opting not to post a picture tonight as that would mean just that much later for me to post. I got up and made the taco meat filling for Thursday's Christmas Mexican Fiesta. Then I headed out the door and met two dear friends for breakfast. Then it was back to the grindstone for me. Today I have managed to get the burrito pie and the suiza enchiladas (chicken). So now I just have the sides to finish up tomorrow. When I got home from breakfast, Woody was off on his walk of the day...this time a "long-four-mile" walk. He has helped me do some clean up in the kitchen...Mexican cooking is messy! At least for me it is messy! Well, tomorrow I must put the pedal to the metal...I thought that I had been...but there is still quite a bit to do along with getting a few messes cleaned up in other areas of the house than just the kitchen. I still have several presents to may go do that before I close my eyes for the night. 'Tis the Season!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Soggy Night in Bethlehem

Well, the heavens opened up and the rains came down...a bit too hard to have the outside Night in Bethlehem venues...but The Dazzling Dorrell's performed two shows in First Baptist, Tullahoma's auditorium and a string quartet performed two shows in the chapel. So the event went on, but only with the dry venues. Usually each year the people who are a part of the outside venues don't get to see the inside tonight due to the rain, they got to come in...shepherds, angels, wisemen, Bethlehem townspeople, etc. got to experience the Christmas story through juggling and music. Woody and I sat up in the taking pictures and Woody watching. Woody's official job is a greeter, but since he is an outside greeter he got to come inside, too and see more of juggling show than usual. I have spent most of the day cooking. We now have two large pans of beef enchiladas in the fridge along with a small container with "Joseph safe" enchiladas...made dairy free. What a mess I have made in the kitchen. I almost had all the dishes into the dishwasher before heading out the door to go to church. After I blog I will go downstairs and continue to get the mess cleaned up...just so I can mess it up again in the morning! I feel good that I have gotten the most time consuming recipe done and in the refrigerator. Enchiladas always taste better if the flavors blend before putting them in the oven. So with enchiladas finished, one of those bags of food on the floor in the corner of my kitchen is empty! "Several" more to empty, though! I haven't decided what I will tackle tomorrow. But must get a move on it as Christmas Eve Day is fast approaching! We took care of Joseph for a couple of hours this morning while his family went to church and got some practice time in. Woody took him shopping at WalMart. After lunch, Woody got his short-four-mile walk in before the rain came down very hard. I think that it had started misting before he got back. He will get to test out his birthday present from me tomorrow...a new rain gauge...maybe we will be able to tell how much rain we get tonight. I think I heard that winter arrived today...well, the temperatures don't say winter at the moment...I'm sure that we will know it is winter by the temperatures before too long and these balmy temps will be forgotten. Today's low was 48 and the high was it has pretty much stayed in the low to mid-fifties most of the day...not exactly Christmas weather. 'Tis the Season!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Little Cabin in the Woods!

As you can see by tonight's photos the club house that Nathan, Kathy and the children have been building is finished. I think that we have seven pretty happy children. What a fun place to hang out! I told Graham that if I was a kid in their family, I would be sneaking off to be by myself and read! Woody got up and did some of the dishes that hadn't fit in the dishwasher last night. I got up and started in on going over recipes for our family Christmas lunch that will take place on the 24th. I went through all the items that we had already purchased and put them in a bag that goes with that lots of bags all labeled with needed nonperishable ingredients inside each bag. Things that I didn't have already I wrote on the grocery list. Once I got through that "monumentable" task, Woody headed off to the store to fill in the missing items. When he got home I put each item into its recipe's bag. Here's what one corner of my kitchen looks like:
I'm a bit overwhelmed by what we have decided to make...but there are quite a few of us and some will not and/or can't eat certain items so hopefully this variety will please most. This afternoon Woody ventured out on his "short four-mile route for a walk. The first long walk he has taken since before his surgery. I do see that he seems to be improving more each day, as he is starting to do his usual tasks around the house...emptying the dishwasher, cleaning up after me in the kitchen, and now getting back to his walking. Woody is next door taking care of the children while their parents go to their Sunday School Class's Christmas party. I am going to go over in a few minutes and put the youngest two to bed. I have done a little preparation cooking this evening while he is over there. Trying to get as much done ahead as possible. 'Tis the season!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Happy Birthday, Goosey (Woody)!

It has been a very cold day to celebrate Woody's birthday. I ventured out a couple of times. I went to the Post Office and got my hair cut and then walked Isaac back home in the middle of the afternoon. All I can say is: "Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!" We have been spoiled by above normal temperatures for most of December. Woody has spent a quiet day inside for the most part except for venturing out to get the mail. He also went to the library to get some books and several DVD's. He has read and watched movies today. I spent a good part of the morning and afternoon working on more machine embroidered Christmas ornaments. Mid afternoon I left my sewing room and went downstairs and got our dinner underway. We ate and then waited for the call from next door that they were on their way over for birthday dessert. Woody's favorite pie is pecan so I made two last night along with the pumpkin bars. Woody opened his presents first (photo) and then everyone got their choice of pie or pumpkin bars or both. I think that both desserts were a hit. All but Isaac left a little while ago. He has stayed to watch Frosty the Snowman on TV while the rest of his family has gone to the church to go through their Night in Bethlehem program. 'Tis the season!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

They Saw a Star!

The name of the Precious Moments set that is pictured above is "They Saw a Star." It always makes me smile when I look at it as I consider this nativity scene as a Christmas play with the children dressed up in costumes...and then when I look at these two angels sawing the star...I am reminded about how literal children are and how they "misshear" things and interpret them their own way sometimes. Today was my last day of school for to get down to business on getting the rest of the way ready for our Christmas celebration...but before we get to our family Christmas we get to Woody's birthday (tomorrow) and then three days of First Baptist, Tullahoma's Night in Bethlehem on December 21, 22, and 23. Then it will be time our family Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve Day. Today I had school with Joseph and Isaac. It was a red letter day for Isaac. He read his first word: "mom." After his school time, I walked him back to his house and I was telling those in hearing distance that Isaac had read his first word today and he said: "Uh-huh...m...o...m (saying the sounds of the three letters) and then said "mom." We are so excited for him. He is pretty happy and seems to be enjoying doing the movable alphabet each day...hope that he doesn't get bogged down with it as I have had some children at school do when I taught at our local Montessori preschool...but he is off to a good start! I sat down next door for a while and got to see a bit of what will be happening in The Dazzling Dorrell's Christmas presentations each night during The Night in Bethlehem. They will put on three shows each of the three evenings. I meandered back home and started getting the kitchen ready to do some baking for Woody's birthday desserts...but then remembered an errand that I wanted to run so I went shopping for a while. I didn't find the main thing that I went after...but that is par for the course when you live in Tullahoma...small town shopping! I have better luck shopping for exactly what I want online. The last present that I ordered is supposed to arrive today...but so far it hasn't appeared...when it gets here my shopping will be complete. Woody has spent a good part of the afternoon wrapping presents. I have a pan of pumpkin bars (a mix) cooling. I made these using substitutes for eggs and milk little Joseph will be able to have dessert tomorrow night when we celebrate Honk Honk's (Woody's) birthday. Because he is called "Goosey," he honks at the grandchildren and some have ended up calling him "Honk Honk" at the first before they can say "Goosey." Joseph calls him "Honk Honk." As soon as I blog, I plan to go down and make two pecan pies. I promised Woody a pecan pie for his birthday since he didn't get one for Thanksgiving. I'm just having trouble getting motivated to get going on them...I need to be in the right frame of mind to make pie crust! Isaac came over before supper and he started playing a math game on Osmo and then Graham joined him. After they left I took it up and have kept on...must set it aside and get down to business so the pies will be all made tonight so I will have tomorrow to do something else! 'Tis the Season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

'Tis the Season!

When I smell the Chex mix cooking in the oven...then I KNOW that it is the Christmas season! The tradition has become that Woody makes our Chex I was surprised when I came down the stairs and smelled it cooking. I had thought that I might be the Chex mix maker this year, but Woody seems to be getting back to doing more and more things as each day passes after his surgery. Today he even did a "little" raking. The leaf truck came and picked up our leaves again today and he decided to clean up behind them and rake the remainders out into the road as we are due to have heavy rains later in the night and the rain will wash away what is in the road. I had modified school this morning. Joseph had his time and Isaac had his. Then Elijah and Esther had some reading time. They read a Christmas story or two out loud to me. Then Woody and I went through the recipes that we plan to make for our family Christmas lunch. I'll give you a one word hint as to the theme of this meal: Olé! Yesterday while Woody was getting his infusion we decided on our menu and today we put a lot of the items on the grocery list so Woody could get some of them when he did his Wednesday Krogering. After lunch, I went to the library and worked for a couple of hours. After I got home Woody headed off to the grocery store. Elijah went with him. While he was at the grocery store, I sat down to rest for "a minute" and ended up taking "a little" nap. When I heard Woody come in the door with the groceries, I woke up and went downstairs and put them away. Then I made our supper. Then I came up here to blog...and the computer decided to bog down...everything that I tried to open or do took forever. But finally I am coming to the end of writing and it "only" took an hour from start to finish! 'Tis the season!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

From Dawn till Dusk

We left the house a little after 6am and returned a little before 5pm. So it was a typical Vanderbilt day...LONG! We did get into rush hour traffic so it took a bit longer than usual to get there, but he was still early for his lab appointment. Tonight's photo shows some of the low lying fog that covered some of the fields this morning. Woody got called in for his labs right on time and everything pretty much stayed on schedule until Dr. Sosman. It wasn't a long appointment, but it took a while for him to come into the exam room. A medical student saw Woody first and then went out to report to Dr. Sosman before he came in to talk to Woody. I guess the word, about Woody's surgery, that I sent to the nurse practitioner didn't get all the way to Dr. Sosman as he seemed to just be finding out about it today. They really checked Woody out even to the point to make sure that everything was okay with his incision from the surgery. So here's the scoop: Woody will go back in three weeks to get the fourth Keytruda infusion to finish off this group of four infusions. Then he will go back three weeks after his next Keytruda infusion and have a PET scan and the plan is if this PET scan is as clear as the last (or better)then he will stop getting the infusions. At that point he will be scanned every 12 weeks to make sure that the melanoma is being kept at bay. Dr. Sosman made the statement today that all tissue areas of Woody's body show clear of melanoma. And, that the only "hot" spots are in the area where he had bone surgery (his shoulder) and where he had radiation on his leg...AND that those places may not be melanoma at all just the way the PET scan is reading all the hardware in his shoulder and the way the PET scan is reading the area that was radiated. PET's aren't the best for bony areas of the body. Anyway, Dr. Sosman was indicating that there was a good possibility that Woody is free of melanoma!!!!! But like I said, they will be keeping a watch every 12 weeks to make sure that everything is staying free and clear. If something should show back up, then they will just start the Keytruda back up. So perhaps the Keytruda infusion in three weeks will be his last. Woody got called into the infusion room pretty quickly (before I got back from making his next appointments). But then things slowed down due to it being close to lunch time. Luckily his IV beeped and another nurse came in and realized how much of the bag of saline that he had already gotten so went to check to see if the Keytruda had come up from the pharmacy...and it had so he quickly got Woody hooked up for it. It is only a thirty minute infusion. We were both pretty hungry by the time everything got finished (and no snack cart was brought around today)so we decided to go to Olive Garden. We enjoyed our late lunch and then stopped at two stores in Murfreesboro to do a little Christmas shopping and then we were on our way home. Woody has driven to the prayer room at church. I am trying to motivate myself to make a Christmas ornament, but...not sure that is going to happen. 'Tis the season!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Finishing Touches

Well, when I can post the dining room table and the kitchen table with a centerpiece that means that all that was on the tables for decorating has been cleared off and put decorating is finished. I got up and put away the last things that needed putting away, vacuumed the floor, took off the dining room table protector, polished the table and then...centerpiece. I had done the kitchen table over the weekend. Last night I even went so far to attack the mess of boxes in the upstairs hallway...they are all put away. The only thing left out of the Christmas closet at the moment is anything that has to do with wrapping bags, wrapping paper, ribbons and bows. Wrapping needs to be on the agenda soon! I have sat down in the living room several times today with a cup of wassail and just enjoyed "things" being done. Woody headed off early to pack White Christmas boxes. I was concerned as he usually delivers boxes too and I knew that he didn't need to be lifting the heavy boxes of food. He was "good" and just packed them this year. When he got home, he said that it wore him out just packing them. He has pretty much taken it easy the rest of the day. He and Graham and Joy are downstairs watching Super Girl...the rest of Graham and Joy's family are watching a Christmas show over at their house. Two TV's = two choices! I sat in front of the Christmas tree and also made some items brighter by using silver polish (several items were quite black!). They are so bright and shiny when I am through polishing...but I don't like the feel that it gives my hands...soap and water and some lotion soon made that feeling go away! After lunch I tackled a bigger job than I expected it to be. I vacuumed the inside of our white took a long time...hope I can move tomorrow! Isaac helped me for part of the time I was working on that job. Then he came in with me and we read some Christmas stories while sitting in the love seat glider in front of the Christmas tree...we read about what snowmen do at night, Frosty, Rudolph, and read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas! Late afternoon, Abigail came over and we finished up the gifts that she had been making. Yesterday was a busy service, Sunday School, Sunday School Christmas luncheon, Children's Musical, and White Christmas. I could hardly move after all that! We had a great time at the we always do. And, the children's musical was fantastic and it is always heart warming to see all the white bags of groceries being taken to the front of the church. I staked out a place in the balcony and took pictures of all. Well, tomorrow will be another very busy day...Woody's next Vanderbilt appointments...and they start out just a little after that means an early start. Hopefully having early appointments will mean we get finished quickly!?! I'm curious as to what the skipped infusion does to the 12-week "cycle." I'm hoping that his labs will be okay so he can have tomorrow's Keytruda infusion. I'm sure that Dr. Sossman will have all the answers! I will report tomorrow as to what transpires. 'Tis the season!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Red Letter Day!

As you might guess by tonight's photo...the Christmas tree is fully decorated! Hip-hip-hooray! So that is one thing to make this a "red letter day"...another is that last night we completed the 15 days of shots that I have been giving to Woody. Another hip-hip-hooray...BIG TIME! That was a most unpleasant job for me...and not exactly the most fun thing for the recipient of said shots...especially since I had never given a shot before and wasn't given any instructions on how to administer them...had to find out on the internet...well, the pharmacist did copy some instructions for me and talked to me about giving them...but the most help was watching a video that actually showed someone giving a shot in the stomach. I am so glad that job is behind me. Woody headed off to do his usual Saturday errands--Library, Credit Union, WalMart, and Kroger (an added stop since he couldn't find an item at WalMart). I hung ornaments, did the final step for the wassail, and have made rolls. I still have one pan of rolls to put in the oven when I finish blogging. The wassail and rolls are for our Sunday School Christmas gathering tomorrow. Tomorrow has a lot happening: church service, Sunday School, Sunday School luncheon, and in the evening our annual White Christmas (ingathering of food items for those in need in Tullahoma) and the children's Christmas musical. We have three in the musical--Joy, Esther, and Elijah. Hope that I have enough stamina to make it through the whole day! I will be ensconced in the balcony attempting to get pictures of the musical. Well, time to put the last pan of rolls in the oven. 'Tis the Season!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Stepladder Time

Well, it has gotten to the point that if I am going to put ornaments any higher, I need the stepladder...that is a good thing. It means that I am getting close to the end of the ornaments. The boxes that you can see in the picture still have ornaments in them so there is no lack to fill in any empty places! I do really enjoy decorating our many memories of family and friends who have gifted us with them and some bring back memories of me making them. Our big Christmas tree is my very favorite of all the decorations that we have. I just love all the memories. Once it is finished, I will start my nightly "tree walk." This when I circle the tree just enjoying the ornaments that my eyes happen to fall upon that evening. I also try to have a "manger pause" each evening before I go upstairs. This is a time when I try to just be quiet for a moment and look upon our Precious Moments manger scene and just think about what the Christmas season means. I don't know about you, but I need some of those quiet moments each day just to try to regroup and not get caught up in the busyness of the season. Today has been a day not to accomplish a lot for either Woody or myself. Woody has pretty much taken it easy. He has read, done crossword puzzles, and watched some TV. I have continued to work on the tree and done a lot of resting in my recliner. Isaac came over and helped me hang ornaments a couple of times today. I am now trying to convince myself that I need to go down and put together the ingredients for my wassail. I am taking it to our Sunday School luncheon on Sunday so it is time to get it put together and brought to a simmer so it can sit over night. I'd really rather get up on the stepladder and get the rest of the ornaments on the tree. I just want to get the decorating done! In a little while I will give Woody his last blood thinner happy that I am at the end of having to give Woody those! Well, it is either Christmas tree or Wassail...whichever...'tis the season!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Only Five

Starting late this afternoon and then till a while ago, Woody and I took care of five of the seven neighbor grandchildren. It was date night for Nathan and Kathy and two of the girls had been invited to a birthday party in Murfreesboro (45 min. away). So they took the girls, dropped them off at the party, and then went out to eat. So we had four boys and one girl. Abigail begged me to come over so she wouldn't be the only girl! Woody went over at the start and then I headed over just before supper. Then a little after supper Woody headed back home. I managed to get Joseph into bed and to sleep, but the rest were still up and going when they got home. I had started reading Isaac his bedtime stories, but Toy Story came on their TV and that got everyone's interest. The two girls had a wonderful time at their party! When I left, Isaac was yawning and had crawled into his Daddy's lap for his last bedtime story. Woody got all our Christmas cards addressed today and into the mailbox. I had school with Joseph and Isaac. Isaac started making three letter phonetic words with the movable alphabet today...a big step towards reading! Hooray for Isaac!!!! He was pretty proud of himself. Tonight he started playing with an app on my iPad where he can make three letter words to go with the pictures. All of a sudden he said I read "pig!" Abigail came over and we worked some more on the Christmas presents that she is making for some of her friends. She got three totally finished and one only needs a hanging cord. She still has to sew the last ornament together. We also started hanging ornaments on the tree today. The children popped in and out and hung an ornament or two or three or...Joy came over and got a candy cane from the snowman hat and realized that we were hanging ornaments. She asked me to please save some for her to hang. No problem...there will be plenty. We did get all the ornaments in one big box all hung on the tree and I got all the little boxes packed back into the big box and the big box put back in the Christmas closet. Well, it is time for Woody's shot...only one to go after tonight! Thank goodness. I DO NOT like giving shots...not my calling in life!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's Standing!

Just a little while ago I put the last branch in...good job done! Woody and I woke up way too early. Woody went to the store before I started school with Joseph and Isaac. Before they came over I managed to put a few more things away and got the pillows ready for the front porch and got the Christmas pillows for inside onto various chairs, couches, etc. that they go on. Joseph came for school first. Then Isaac had his turn after I put away part of the groceries. Joy came over and finished her secret Christmas sewing. Then Abigail had some time to work on getting her Christmas gifts finished. After quick lunch, I headed to the library. Donna and I worked a couple of hours. I ran an errand on the way home. It was almost four by the time that I got home...almost time for Woody to leave for the youth Sunday School party. He took Abigail and Graham and then picked up another youth who is in his Sunday School class. So he has been partying while I put our tree together. I'm not sure that I have enough energy to put any ornaments on the tree tonight, but at least now any time that I feel like putting on an ornament or two I can! Our new tree stand seems to work great...hoping for an uneventful Christmas season without ANY Christmas trees falling over!!!!! I have decided this year not to put up the corner Christmas tree in the family one less tree to fall over. (Those who haven't followed our blog that long...last year it was the corner tree that toppled over and the year before that this big tree fell disaters this year...please!!!) I'm tired! 'Tis the season! We got our friendly automated call from Vanderbilt reminding us about Woody's appointments next week...if it isn't going to the doctor for one reason, it is going for another!!!!! The story of our life lately!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I Found It!

Last night after I blogged, I went downstairs and started putting away more things on the dining room table. I opened up a box to put some things in and it happened to be the box that had the snowman hat for the candy I arranged the candy canes and put it on the counter in the kitchen. I really need to think about filling the snowman cookie jar...I'm sure that the grandkids would be appreciative of me doing that...Woody would probably be appreciative too! Today has been a very productive day. I got up and got busy sewing and wrapping the gifts for AZ. Once they were all finished and wrapped, I put them in a box and sealed it up, addressed it, and then turned it over to Woody to take to the Post Office. So those presents should be AZ bound...a good feeling to have them on their way! I also got all the items on the dining room table put into boxes to be stored away till after Christmas. I have put a few more things on the table that still need to be cover the pillows on the front porch with snowman fabric. I still have to place Christmas pillows here and there in the house, too. But at this point all that I plan to do this year is virtually done...EXCEPT for the big tree. Woody's accomplishments of the day started out with an early appointment with his surgeon to get that one last staple out. The doctor said that he had just gotten his glasses prescription changed...I'm not sure whether before or after missing that one staple! Woody worked for a good part of the afternoon writing our annual Christmas letter...with me proofing it. I think that it is as good as it is going to get for this year! Woody drove to the prayer room at church this evening. He still hasn't worked his way up to walking any great distance since his surgery...proud of him that he is still listening to his body and not trying to do too much too soon! Before coming in to blog, I had started cleaning up the mess that I made while making/wrapping presents...looks a bit like a tornado has passed through both the sewing room and our bedroom...guess I'll return to attempting to make both rooms a little more presentable (as in livable). Hmmmm maybe it is time for a cup of peppermint tea! 'Tis the Season!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Blog Time

I've got my Christmas mug filled with peppermint tea...all set to blog! (This shows that I found our Christmas mugs today.) I was going to play a Christmas CD while I blogged (found the Christmas CD's today, too), but realized that my CD player isn't plugged in and it means a trip around to the back of my sewing machine cabinet and have to get down on my hands and knees to plug it that can wait for another day. Since I blogged on Saturday, my sewing machine has been humming quite a Christmas tune.
It has been embroidering away on Christmas ornaments and a few other Christmas items. I have to now get it back into a sewing machine mode so I can finish up a couple of things that I embroidered. I am working hard on getting the AZ package ready to mail. I have been looking for boxes to put things in so I can wrap them. I had wanted to get them mailed today, but didn't meet that goal. Woody's first "job" of the day was to call his surgeon's office and get another appointment. The surgeon missed one of the staples when he removed them last week. I happened to notice it when I was giving him a shot the other night. I will be so glad when I don't have to give him these shots any more..."just" five more...that means we are 2/3 finished with them. He got an appointment for in the morning. After getting the appointment he made orange pecans (yum!). He was making them for the youth Sunday School party for Wednesday. He took them last year and they were a big hit with the youth teachers. Later in the morning he went Life Care Center to have Bible study with Jeff. This afternoon he even went out and picked up a few sticks in the yard. He's slowly but surely returning to a lot of his usual activities...though he does admit that he hasn't stopped hurting yet. I sewed most of the morning. Then this afternoon I worked some more on the Christmas decorating. I finished the mantel in the family room and got rid of the boxes and tissue. Then I got boxes and tissue off the kitchen table and put what I wanted on the table for a "centerpiece." Just before blogging I saw that there was still a box on the counter...the Christmas cookie jar. I put that out and put away the everyday one. All is done in the kitchen that I plan to do...except...for the snowman hat that I put candy canes in...and I haven't come across it yet. I even have the candy canes bought and I know that grandchildren will be disappointed if I don't find that "magical" hat to put them in! I have been attacking all the everyday decorations that have accumulated on the dining room table...putting them in boxes that I have taken Christmas from. The table is still pretty full even though I have put quite a lot least I have started on that. I have left out empty boxes so I can put these things in. Once I have them all stored away, then it will be time to have the tree dragged down so I can create the next "mess!" Besides my Christmas tea, I now have on my Christmas music. While the second picture downloaded, I realized that I could reach the plug from this side of the sewing machine cabinet and only had to lean over in my chair not get down on my hands and now Bing Crosby is crooning Christmas tunes...must be Christmas...Christmas mug of tea...Christmas music...yup! 'Tis the Season! Well back to my sewing so I can get AZ package off in time for it to get there before Christmas!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Progress? (Can You Be Fooled?)

These are some of the areas of the house that are starting to take on a semblance of order. BUT if you step back or turn around the following is what you would see:
It WILL all come together!! (I keep repeating to myself!) Today's major project for me was to make Bragg's barbecue...a lot of hours of simmering, skimming,etc...a very tiring process...thus after it was finished I found my chair and snoozed for a while this afternoon. Then I had to go down and face the clean up! The dishwasher is now going and the dishes that needed to be done by hand are done and the stove and counters are wiped off. What a job...but it is super delicious. We enjoyed barbecue sandwiches for supper. Woody ran errands this morning...WalMart grocery shopping included. He has watched football this afternoon and evening (as can be seen if you look at the edge of the picture of our fireplace decorating mess. I still haven't gotten my sewing machine cranked up...maybe in a little while...or at least by tomorrow. My back is objecting to the decorating and cooking so maybe it will enjoy resting in my sewing chair, though the recliner is sort of calling my name! All tonight's blog words can be summed up in three words: 'Tis the Season!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Out of Chaos?

I am hoping that something good comes out of the chaos that I have managed to create today. Isaac helped me a lot. He is quite a little trouper...he loves getting into the boxes to see what special Christmas decoration each contains. I think that it is like opening presents to him! He exclaims over each one...either that he loves it or that he remembers it or... He has gone up and down the stairs with me multiple times. He always wants to carry something down...that isn't too heavy...or...too breakable! We have found most of the Byer's Carolers...a few are still hiding in the Christmas closet. We have unearthed some of the trees and snowmen that will reside on the fireplace mantel in the family room. I have pretty much decided that I'm not going to do as much decorating as I have in the past so lots of items are going to remain in their boxes and be placed back in the Christmas closet for another year. I was hoping to work on the decorating this morning and then work on making some more Christmas ornaments this afternoon...but a nap beckoned me in the afternoon. I told Woody that I hadn't recovered from his surgery yet. He said that he hadn't either! He said that he was feeling about the same today. Considering the circumstances of his surgery, I think that he is doing very well. He did need to run an errand this afternoon, so on the way home I asked him to stop at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for me. After I blog, I am going to unpack a couple more decorations--trying to get a box light enough for me to carry downstairs. Then I plan to stay in my sewing room for a while this evening. I still have some ornaments that need to be made. My aim is to get the ones that I need for my family in Arizona finished so I can get their gifts wrapped and then boxed up and in the mail...Christmas is getting closer even as I type! 'Tis the Season!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Start of Christmas Festivities

Woody and I have just returned from our church's annual Deacon/Widow Banquet. Such a nice evening with a roomful of friends...lots of good food, too plus very good entertainment. I had school with Joseph and Isaac this morning. Then Erin and I got busy clearing table tops, etc...making way for Christmas regalia. Isaac came over and helped too. He carried things for us and also did some of the vacuuming. We needed to clear table tops, the mantel, etc. so when we get into the Christmas decorations we can start putting them out. We also moved furniture around in the living room to make room for the tree. So I guess you can say that we are underway with the decorating...though right now it just looks like one big mess! Erin woke up with very low blood sugar levels...once again...not as low as Tuesday or yesterday...but still low. We realized that she was getting low on test strips...which she has to have to be able to check her blood prior to meals...before bed and also when she is in high or low times...we had used a lot of strips this week since she ranged all over the place in her blood sugar readings. Anyway, Melany decided that she would come pick her up this evening after she finished teaching her college night class. Melany was here when we got home from the banquet. So once again Woody and I are empty nesters! Woody continues to get stronger. When he got home and sat down in his recliner, he did say that he didn't feel like moving for a while. It is pretty chilly outside on our return...felt pretty good to walk into our warm house. I guess we are settled in for a "long winter's nap."

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wishful Thinking/Dreaming

Found this picture from two years ago...wishing that it was one that I took today! Today we have done no decorating. Erin started out low (not as scary low as yesterday...but it took a while to get her back up)then she went high for a good part of the afternoon and now she is right where she should be...which may or may not be good for overnight! While this was happening I spent time between my sewing room and Erin's bedroom...sewing and checking on her. I can say that tonight I am within a snap-and-a half of being finished with my blouse. Woody went to the grocery store today...I knew that he would once the doctor gave him the okay to drive. He did allow Erin to bring the groceries in from the car when he got home and then I put them away. He spent a good portion of the afternoon snoozing. He seems to be getting around better each day. Now if he will just not overdo over the next few weeks of healing! Erin and I made French Market Soup now there is a choice of soups...of course not much of a choice for one since one of us (not Woody or me) won't eat beans. Erin and I are hoping to get some decorating done tomorrow...hmmmmmmm...wonder if that will happen!?! I don't think that I will hold my breath!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Soggy Arrival

December has come in on a rather soggy note...Rain! Rain! and more RAIN! Our rainfall over the last two days must measure up in the inches. My start to this first day of December was a bit scary. I went down to wake up Erin and I knew that she was in trouble due to her response or lack there of. Her blood sugar level (she's a type-1 diabetic) had dropped dangerously low during the night. It took a while, but juice and a couple of tastes of honey got her brought back to reality...but really scary. The last time that she went to her diabetes doctor the settings on her insulin pump were changed and those changes seem to have messed up things rather royally. She had gotten really low last week at her house and also when she was visiting her other grandparents. Guess insulin amounts need to be adjusted big time...especially in her overnight amounts. I got her over the hump and back to reality just in time to head out the door to drive Woody to his appointment with the surgeon to have the staples removed. The wait for that appointment seemed rather long. By the time we got home it was time for lunch. Then it was time for Erin and me to make turkey soup for tonight's supper. By the time we got through with making that, I needed to go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for Woody. Then it was time to take the garbage out. Then I did manage to sit down and rest for a few minutes before it was time for our supper. Not a day to get much done in the way of Christmas decorating...did get the wreath on the front amount of decorating that we did today. At this rate we might be decorated by Christmas 2016! Woody got released from the doctor today...just told that when he does something and it hurts...that he needs to back off. The staples are out and I guess he is healing nicely. He can get back behind the wheel of the car when he feels up to it. The doc said that he won't be totally healed for six he has a ways to go. But I can definitely see that he is improving daily. I haven't had much time for sewing today either. I did do a little more last night. I think that as soon as I finish blogging I am going to hem my blouse...maybe it will be done in time to wear to the Deacon/Widow Banquet Thursday night. After the hem I still have the sleeves hem facings and then have to sew on snap closures. Erin is writing away on a story of fantasy/sci fi...she is very creative both with her writing and drawing the moment she is in writing mode...she can't get her ideas written down fast enough for the speed that they come into her brain! She is very enthusiastic about the current story she is writing and has shared about it with both Goosey (Woody) and me (often she just writes and doesn't share). Well, off to hopefully hem my blouse AND have an uneventful night and morning tomorrow! (Of course I still have to face that dreaded blood thinner shot that I have to give to Woody in a little more than an hour...10 more to go (she says with a cringe)!)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Goodbye to November

November is drawing to a close and we have begun to anticipate the celebration of Christ's birth. And, so far about the only decorations that we have out are the children's Fisher Price nativity that we got out on Saturday and then yesterday I got out our Precious Moments nativity. The rest of the decorations are just in boxes and/or scattered in one room or another awaiting a spot to be found for them. Today has been busy, but not busy with decorating. This morning Woody called the surgeon's office to make an appointment to have his staples removed of his accomplishments of the day! He also took a short walk in the drizzle. It has been a drizzly, dreary day. Joseph and Isaac had their school time. After lunch Erin and I ran a couple of errands. And in between all that and before and after I have done various mundane everyday chores around the house. There just hasn't been time to delve into the decorations very much and at the moment I am too tired to even think about them...I know that when I settle into my chair that my eyes will close and they can't close for at least another hour as that is when I have to give Woody another blood thinner those shots about does me I have said many times before...I am NOT a nurse...but Woody seems to find ways to attempt to make me one...but it still isn't one of my callings! Woody seems to be getting stronger and "perhaps" hurting is still a struggle for him when he gets up out of a chair, etc. We will see tomorrow how the doctor feels Woody is doing. Erin has just gone next door to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special with her cousins. December will be knocking on our door in just a few hours...where has this year gone?!?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Kept Some! Broke Some!

Today...for our family Thanksgiving gathering...we kept some traditions and broke some. We broke with the tradition that I cook everything for this dinner. Because there was just no way that I could do it "all" this year, Nathan and Kathy and Wade and Melany took up the slack and divided up the sides and made them. My only cooking duty was to cook the turkey (we had already bought one) and make the gravy. During lunch I told them that this might become a "new tradition!" We had a very nice family meal. We ate over at Nathan and Kathy's. It was such a pretty day that some of the children ate out on their screened-in-porch. Some of us ate in their kitchen and then three (Woody, Alex, and Isaac) ate over at our house in the family room on TV trays. We had lots of yummy food. After lunch, the kids headed off to play for a while, Kathy cleaned up her kitchen, Melany carved the rest of the turkey, I cleaned up our kitchen and got the turkey broth going for our traditional after Thanksgiving turkey soup. At a point we gathered all the grandchildren together and we got out the Fisher Price Nativity set...that's the top photo...note that the big fellows sort of sat back and just watched...guess they are outgrowing that tradition. But the littler ones still enjoyed setting it up and doing silly things with the putting the camels on top of the tents or putting a sheep on top of the manger where the angel belongs. Joseph enjoyed looking at the animals. Then a little later several went out to put up Nathan and Kathy's large outdoor nativity scene (bottom photo). All in all we had a great day. I will admit to being VERY tired. Woody seems to have done fairly well with all the activity going on around him. It has been a week now since his surgery...what a blur that week has been! Erin is staying with us to help me with our Christmas the moment I don't see how I can get up enough energy to do it even with her help...but perhaps I will feel differently after a good night's sleep?!? I will end with a "Gobble Gobble" that is fast turning into the sounds of "'Tis the season!"

Friday, November 27, 2015

Beautiful Start to our Friday

Such a pretty sky this morning. The top picture is what we saw this morning from the front windows of the house and the second is what we saw out the back windows. Woody awakened me this morning when he came upstairs looking for one of his medications. Since I was awake I decided that I might as well get underway with my day! I spotted the moon out of the back window when I went out to put some clothes in the drier...or take some out...not sure at this point of the day! Later in the morning I did our weekly grocery shopping...on Black Friday no less! But I guess that Gray Thursday must have helped as none of the lines were too bad. I wasn't too sure about shopping at WalMart on this day, but sailed right through. They actually had just about all their check-out lanes opened...something that almost never happens in our WalMart. After WalMart I went to Kroger. Then headed home and put away the groceries with Abigail's help. At that point it was time for lunch. Mid afternoon I called the pharmacy to see if they had Woody's syringes. They did so I headed their way to get those. So I have had a busy day of running errands...about did me in! Woody did take a walk around the block today. I asked him how it was and he said, "Slow, I didn't know that I could walk so slowly around the block!" He said that the walk made him feel better and didn't hurt so much after his walk. He is still having quite a bit of pain. Late afternoon Isaac came over...he is so happy...he can now open the door and get in our house! (Katie, bar the door!!!) He came over to check to see if I was finished resting and I was so we did a little getting ready for Erin to come stay. He helped vacuum the guest room and I dusted and put away some of the sewing things that the girls and I had out. I did manage to "finally" give Woody his injection last was not easy. It will be time shortly for his second injection...oh, boy. Hope I can do it again! I have to go get out the big roasting pan so I can get the turkey in the oven in the morning (my only cooking part of this Thanksgiving dinner). Hope I can hoist it into the oven on my own in the morning...that is usually Woody's job...but not this year with a "no lifting anything" edict riding over his head. Off to get the pan out. Tomorrow night I will be waddling in here to post news of our gobbling good day!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Activities

We had lots of Thanksgiving activities going on today. I cut up, peeled and cooked two of the small pie pumpkins that I had bought for fall decorations when Cheryl was visiting. I used my new hand processor to puree the cooked pumpkin. That will give us some pumpkin to make a pumpkin pie or some pumpkin pudding some time in the near future. I don't have to use it for our family Thanksgiving on Saturday as Kathy is making the pumpkin pie/s this year. We both slept fairly well on our first night home from the hospital. Woody spent a good part of the morning working crossword puzzles. On into the afternoon he walked outside and sat and watched the club house building activity. We joined Nathan and Kathy and family for supper tonight. After supper Elijah juggled four balls for us...he's working towards five balls...pretty good for a six-year-old! Well, Woody just came upstairs to get his medicine...why didn't he let me take it down to him? I think that he is hurting some so guess I had better go see to my patient. He just told me that he guesses that I am going to have to give him this blood thinner shot in his stomach. Gulp!!!!!! I am not a nurse!!!!! I just wish that they had shown us how in the hospital. Happy Thanksgiving to all! We have so much to be thankful for this year!