Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Myspace Graphics

Myspace Graphics, New Year Graphics at

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Caught Up

I declared this to be catch up on the blog day, and I think I have finally done it!  All my half finished posts finally got...well, finished.  And posted. 

It was not without incident, however.  Blogger decided it didn't want to upload any of my photos.  In the end, I had to make do with a combination of Webshots and Flicker.  But we got it done, and now, I'm plumb tuckered.

Yesterday, I called the vet.  See, Jesse has heartworms.  He's had them since before I got him, and that's one of the things I want to make sure to take care of.  I took him in to the vet a couple of months ago for his pre-treatment bloodwork and antibiotics.  The vet said that they were out of the medication, and to call back before starting him on  his antibiotics.

I waited a few weeks, then I called them.  They had the medication, and said they'd put Jesse's name on some, and said that it was OK to go ahead and start his antibiotics.  And that's what I did. 

He finished the last of his antibiotics Monday, and yesterday I called back to make an appointment to get his treatment done.  After leaving me on hold for about half an hour (after not returning my first call like they said they would) the receptionist finally came back and said that they said that they were out of the heartworm medication and weren't expecting to get any more in for a couple of weeks.

I went off. 

They had told me that they were going reserve some for Jesse, and why would they be out?  It wasn't like I'd just started his antibiotics on a whim.  I'd called them.  They said they'd hold the medication for me.  I was livid.  The receptionist put Dr. Reese on the phone, and she mumbled about and said she didn't know anything about it-- about putting Jesse's name on it, and mumbled some more and backtracked and said one of the other vets had come in from a camping trip and some of their stock disappeared and someone had used some without anyone knowing about it, blah blah blah...

Anyway, she said that my name is now at the very top of the list, and that they'll call me as soon as they get some in. 

I promise you, if they weren't the only vets in town...

The good news is, Jesse has finally started hanging out in the living room with us. 

The bad news is, he is still afraid of the camera.  One day, you'll get a good photo of him.

Today is not that day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Road Trip!!!

The plan was to go up to Southaven and go clothes shopping.  I can't even remember when I got new winter clothes.  I've been wearing the same skirt to church for about 15 years, and have about three sweaters I wear with it.

So I wanted to get some new clothes. 

I jumped into the Jimmy and headed North.  About half way between Coffeeville and Tillatoba, I realized I'd forgotten my purse.  No purse means no driver's license, no credit cards, no checkbook, no money.  No money, no shopping.  I had to go back and get it.  Naturally, I had to drive 20 more miles before I found an exit to turn around.

Not really.  I was only about 3, but it seemed like 20. 

I came back, got the purse, and by that time,  I needed to fill up my gas tank, and I felt like just giving up.  But I didn't.  I persevered and finally made it to my destination.

Naturally, any trip to Southaven includes a trip to Hank of Yarn, and a visit with Amy.  This time, Kat got to come, too.


Amy had her two boys with her, too.  They were quite taken with my shirt.

"Miss Becky, where did you get that shirt?   Mama!"

"Thanks a lot, Becky!"

And we knit, and we talked, and we laughed, and an inordinate amount of our conversation centered around our various dogs for some reason...but we had fun. 

After we'd visited for a while,  we went our separate ways.  I continued my quest for new clothes, but got very discouraged very quickly.  I just couldn't find anything I like.

I've ranted about this before.  I'm too old for the teenage hooker look, and not quite ready for the cotton housedress.  After I'd gone into about three stores, I gave up and came home.

In the end, my haul from Hank's is all I bought. 


New yarns for the blankie.


And another hank of Jojoland Fantasia, to make another Braided Swirl Tam. 


And a few more KnitPicks Harmony needles.

Still, it was good to get out of the house.  I keep saying I'm going to try to be less of a hermit.

Well, it's a start. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas In Pictures

Cody reading the Christmas story from Luke 2: 1-20


Santa handing out packages


The smirk is because that is about the third new knife he got this year. Well, one can't have too many pocket knives. They tend to disappear.


Yep, he got one


And so did he


This was from me


I got a necklace from my son


And he got a Honey Badger shirt from me


My big present this year:


Now y'all all need to mail me stuff to put in it.

Beverly said he needed to dress up every now and again.


She really did like her Kindle Fire


And he loved his portable TV


It was a good Christmas. If you want to see the rest of my photos, the album is here:

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by rgunstream

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

There was no snow this Christmas.  Only rain.

Lots of dreary, gloomy rain.

No a White Christmas.  Just a muddy one.

But it was still the best Christmas ever.

Because the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Food, Glorious Food!

One of the best things about Christmas is the food. Glorious food. Wonderful food.


Food that we don't have any other time of the year.


Snickerdoodles, fudge, Turkish Delight.

But over the years, I find my self getting into a sort of a rut.  Same old cookies, same old candy.  Same old Christmas dinner.  I decided that this year, I would try some new things.

The first new things I tried are Gumdrop Cookies. (Scroll down a bit.)


I have declared them to be a New Holiday Tradition.  Thanks, Amy, for the recipe.  I can't stop eating them!

These are Cherry Chocolate Kisses


I have declared them to be Another New Holiday Tradition.  They have got to be the best things I have ever put into my mouth. 

My great grandmother always made cherry pies, especially at Christmas.  When I was growing up, we often had a cherry pie or two in with the pumpkin, pecan, and mincemeat pies.  I wonder that I never tried to bake one before.  So, I was laying there in bed, around midnight, when I suddenly decided that I wanted to make a cherry pie.

So, off to the store I go.  I avoided Wal-mart like the plague.  I decided I'd try the smaller, locally owned grocery store, but I couldn't even get into the parking lot.  I ended up finding a can of cherry pie filling at Dollar General.

I made the crust myself.


Looks pretty good, huh? Next time, I want to try a lattice crust, but I just didn't have time today.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Beginning

Mike, Dennise, and the girls left today to go spend Christmas with Dennise's mother in Tennessee, so we started Christmas just a wee bit early.  Here's just a few pictures from last night's party.

The tree, with loads of presents under it.




And more food


Trying to get a portrait






Start passing out presents already!


What could it be?



Toe socks!!!




Shelbi and Merle. Look! Shelbi got a Kindle Touch!


And Merle got a MS ST blanket, but we'll let it slide, just this once.


This one needs no explanation.


And I'm not sure this one can be explained.


I give up...


Remember, he's going to be a minister...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Winter!!

It's been a rough week for clothes here in the Fine Martial Household. First, I ripped a huge, no a gargantuan hole in my favorite pair of flannel lounge pants.

I didn't so much as rip them, as the fabric just gave out.  I've had these for several years, and wore them nearly every day.  They were my favorite thing to put on in the wintertime.  And now they're gone.  Sigh...I must confess, it hurt my heart just a little to have to toss them.  But life goes on, and maybe one day, I'll have another pair just like them.

Then, today at work, I burned a big hole in my shirt.

It's about the size of a quarter, and in a rather precarious place. Yes, I was wearing said shirt at the time.

That's not the worst of it.  The shirt was old and stained.  The worst part is I ruined a nearly brand new bra.

And yes I was wearing that, too.

It's a dangerous world for boobies out there, I tell ya.

The good news is, for the second day in a row, nothing threw up!

Well, I'm fixing to go open Christmas presents with Mike and Dennise and the kids.

Happy Winter, everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Murphy's Day

As in whatever could go wrong, did. 

Everything was messed up at work.  We had a large order that was just full of dents in the hairpins.  Because we had a trainee on the test tank, he didn't know how to fix them.  So, the regular test tank guy had to fix all those dents while the trainee ran the test tank by himself.  That's not good.

Then the next order had clamp marks in the header.  Bad ones.  Because it's a cosmetic defect, not a functional one, the supervisor said to let them go.  About half way through that order, the production superintendent came over and gave them The Look.  I was afraid for a moment that he'd make us start over, but he let us run the rest of them out.  He made it clear, though, that they shouldn't have been ran with those marks. 

Then I got home and Beverly called me and said, "Can you be ready to do Christmas tomorrow night?"  After a brief moment of panic, I realized that yes, I could do Christmas tomorrow night.  At least I've gotten all my presents bought, though I don't have all my food made. 

Just about the only bright spot in my day is that nothing threw up. 

And my friend texted me and asked me what futile means.  My first inclination was to say, "It's what resistance is." 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Don't Know Why

I even bother.

All that work spent baking cookies, and I take them to work and nobody eats any.  Well, except for Brian.  He scarfed down the snickerdoodles.  Other than that, though...

I should have known better.  When I was on line 1, those cookies would have been gone by lunch, but over on line 2, they never-- well, hardly ever-- eat anything I fix.  That's why I've pretty much stopped making stuff to take to work.  I just end up eating them all myself, and I sure don't need that much sugar.

Funny thing is, when they have dinners or parties, they don't invite me.  They had a pizza party last week, and the first I found out about it was when I saw Greg coming down the aisle with a stack of pizzas.  Well, guess what?  My old line is having a pizza party on Thursday, and they invited me to theirs.

Um, well, sorry.  I get like this when I wake up to dog vomit in my carpet two mornings in a row.  From two different dogs, no less.  And we won't even mention the cat puke that is a near constant in this house.  Stupid cat.  She eats the Christmas tree, then pukes it all back up all over the floor.  Then goes back and eats the tree some more. 


I'm going to go knit now.

And hope tomorrow will be better.

Monday, December 19, 2011

All Cookied Out

That's what I am. After a weekend of almost nonstop baking, I am all cookied out.  It all started with the ubiquitous chocolate chip

and the it-wouldn't-be-Christmas-without-them snickerdoodles

and Former Group Leader Rod's special request peanut butter,

I made a couple of new recipes this year.  What, you may ask, are different about these?  Aren't they the same old cookie stamp cookies you make every year? 

Well, I may answer, they look like the same old cookie stamp cookies I make every year, but they aren't.  This is a shortbread recipe I found online, instead of the old butter cookie recipe I used to use.  The best thing about this one is that the recipe doesn't call for eggs.  Whew!  One less viable substitute I have to figure out. 

And the new recipe quest continues.  This one is called Frosted Crinkles, and I found it in an old magazine dated 1995. 

As with any new recipe, I'll have to make it a few times to get it just right.  The main thing with these is that the butterscotch topping didn't spread out as much as I thought it would.  If I make them again, I'll have to remember to spread it a little more. 

The story behind these is that I have a Christmas Cookie recipe book.  When I decided that I wanted to try a few new cookies this year,  I pulled out that book to look for some.  Thing is, there aren't any pictures in the book.  Just the recipes.  How can I tell if I want to make those cookies if I can't see if they look good?  Anyway, after flipping through it with no small measure of disgust, and wondering why I even keep the thing (anybody want it?), I was putting it back when I spotted the old magazine on the cookbook shelf. 

I picked it up and started looking through it, and spotted these.  They looked delicious, so I decided to try them.  They taste pretty good, but I'll have to tinker with the frosting to get it just right.

These, on the other hand, are definitely a keeper.

I got this recipe from my friend Amy, and they are so good!  They taste like Christmas exploded in your mouth. 

Gumdrop Cookies

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped fruit-flavored or spiced gumdrops
2 egg whites

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and 3/4 cup sugar.  Beat in extract.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Stir in gumdrops.  In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.  Fold into dough.
  Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.  Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.

And now for your Music Monday...

Last night was our church choir Christmas program.  Cody was a shepherd in it  --um, correction, Cody was The Best Shepherd Evah in it.  This was one of the songs the choir sang.  

It's been one of my favorites for years, but this time, there was just something about it.  When the song says, "See the shepherds kneeling before Him", all the shepherds knelt before Him.

When the song says, "See the kings on bended knee,"  all the kings bent their knees. 

That's when it hit me.  You know how you know stuff in the back of your mind, but one day, it suddenly comes clear.  That's what happened.  I've always known it, but suddenly, seeing that picture in the church sanctuary before me, the mist in my mind dissipated and it became clear. 

The shepherds were the lowest of the low.  The outcasts of society.  Unaccepted, and unacceptable.  Yet the angel came to them first. 

The magi were the highest of the high.  Kings.  Wealthy.  So powerful that Herod -- and all of Jerusalem with him-- were frightened when they showed up.  Yet they knelt before THE King. 

From the lowest of the low, to the highest of the high, he gave himself to all of us.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only son..

He was the very first Christmas gift.  God's gift to the world.  That includes li'l ol' me.

And it includes you too. 

One small child in the land of a thousand...
One king bringing us life.*

*I know the in the song, the word is light.  I've sung it wrong for 30 years, but "life" just seems to fit better.  He said, "I have come that they might have LIFE, and have it more abundantly.


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