Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

Yesterday morning, Cody got up and left home around 7:30.  A couple of hours later, he came back  and said, "It's done.   Everything is out of the house. " 

Beverly and James are completely moved out.  It'll be a few more days before they are completely ready to move back to Texas.  They're staying in a hotel for now.  Beverly's sister and her husband are coming to help move them.  They'd been in Utah (or Colorado -- I'm not sure which) spending Christmas with their kids and grandkids.  Cody said, "Beverly told Uncle Bill to stay home a few days and rest up before coming here, but apparently he heard 'Drive straight through and get here as quick as possible'".  They weren't going to get here until the 4th, but now I'm not sure when they're coming.

Yesterday evening, they took Cody out for a steak dinner.  He worked hard helping them pack up and move.  Today was the first day he was able to go hang out with some of his friends.

Oh, I should probably mention that we have Puddy Cat here, too.  She isn't used to other animals, so she's staying shut up in Cody's room.

While Cody was out visiting his buddies, I took the Christmas decorations down and did a little furniture rearranging.  I'm not quite finished, but I got tired and sat down to watch the ball games.

Though it leaves a very, very bitter taste in my mouth, I'll say it -- just this once --

Roll Tide.

Tomorrow, I'm going up to Southaven to hang out with Leann, Christi, Amy, and Kat.  I've got to find a knitting project to take.

Now, where are all my needles? 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Moving Day Pt 2

Tomorrow is the day Beverly and James have to be out of their house, so today they brought over the rest of Cody's furniture.  Which consisted of his bed

and his computer desk. 

Since I am determined that his room won't become another storage room, I also cleaned out the bottom of his closet. 

I'm going to get some kind of closet organizer to put in there.  Then I'll put everything back into it.

Right now, all the stuff that was in there is divided between my bedroom floor and the computer/snake room.  In said stuff was all the Christmas food containers that I'd been hunting for.  I knew they were somewhere.  I just didn't know where. 

After James and Cody left to finish moving them out of their house, I went back to the store and bought some plastic storage bins.  Between the junk that was in my old trailer house, and the junk that was in Beverly and James' attic, I've got a lot to sort through.  That'll be a good project for sitting in front of the TV on these chilly winter evenings. 

Finally, my Peace Lily definitely looks like it's perking up. 

I hope it makes it. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Few More Christmas Pictures

We did most of our gift exchange on Christmas Eve, but I saved this one to open Christmas morning.  It's from my brother Scott and sister-in-law Paula.  No, they didn't wrap this.  It's what you get when you select the gift wrap option on

They had it shipped directly to me, and you know what?  I think next year, I'm going to do the same thing.  It usually costs me more to mail my sister's gifts to Alaska than I actually spent on the presents.   I'll discuss with her about having each of the boys make a wish list, then I can just choose something from that.  My other nephew Joshua, too.

But I digress...This was inside that bag:

 A Doctor Who disappearing TARDIS mug.  And look:

The TARDIS really does disappear.  There is a space on the other side in which it reappears, but I didn't get a picture of it.  Here is what all I got for Christmas -- except the money. 

After dinner,  Cody opened the rest of his.  He mostly got things for his apartment in New Orleans.

Here is his loot:  

Finally, the family photos  -- the last ones in that house.

And that was Christmas 2015.  I hope yours was great, too.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory;  glory as of the only begotten son of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14.  

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

When I was a child, it was a tradition for the extended family on my dad's side to get together on Christmas Eve at my Mammaw's house.  There'd be food, fun, family, and presents.  We'd eat, and laugh, and see cousins we only saw once or twice a year.  Afterwards, we'd go home and my grandparents on my mother's side would come over and we'd open our family gifts.  Then Santa would come!

The year my youngest sibling had grown too old for Santa, my mother called us all into the living room.  She asked us if we wanted our presents wrapped, or laid out under the tree the way Santa would put them if he still came to our house.  The vote was 3-1 in favor of having them all wrapped.  I'll just let you guess who the 1 dissenting vote was.

Hint:  me.

Time passed, as it must, and we all grew up and went our separate ways.  Things changed, but those of us who were still close enough to get together on Christmas Eve kept the family tradition.  Even this year, when it would just be the four of us.

We were just going to eat snacks and watch movies tonight, then open presents tomorrow, so I didn't even bring my gifts.  When I got there, though, Cody worried us about opening presents so much that I gave him my house keys and said, "Go get them." 

And we opened presents. 

Beverly got some drinking glasses from The Pioneer Woman's new housewares collection.  I took a picture, but she was holding the glass right in front of her face.  It'll be in my FB album later.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked James what he wanted for Christmas.  He said, "A chance to go hunting."  Well, I couldn't give him that, but I did give him some wool hunting socks.  And as a gag, I found a tree ornament that looked like deer antlers.  I'll try to get a better picture of them tomorrow.  James had to go to work, for his last full 12 hour night shift before he retires, so we wanted to finish with presents before he had to leave. 

This is what my son got me.  He picked it out himself.  A 65 piece ratcheting screwdriver set. 

Kinda makes me want to go tear something up just so I can fix it.  Beverly and James gave me some money.  She and I had talked about it the other day.  Normally, I'd rather get a gift, but due to the circumstances this year, I said money would be fine.  They have to be out of the house in 5 days, so shopping isn't a priority right now.

I got Cody some things for his new apartment that he will get next year when he moves to New Orleans.

I got him more than dish towels, but somehow I managed to talk him into saving a few presents to open tomorrow.  Then I'll get a picture of all his loot.  Beverly and James got him this watch that he wanted. 

Puddy Cat got a box. 

Or else she's saying she's the present...I'm not sure.

Well, this post started with memories of my Mammaw's house at Christmas, so it's only fitting that I close it with her favorite Christmas Carol.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Eve Eve

When we were kids, my brother and I used to call December 23 Christmas Eve Eve.  We thought we were the only ones.  Thanks to the magic that is social media, I now know that we were not.

Anyway, my other brother sent me a copy of the cartoon version of A Christmas Carol that we used to watch as a kid.  I remembered an even older version, that scared the crap out of me when I was little.   I used to have it on VHS, but hadn't been able to watch it since my VCR went to that great Best Buy In The Sky a few years ago.

Yes, it took me this long to think, "Say, why don't you check YouTube."  So, I checked YouTube and there it was:

My dad used to make us watch this every year with all the lights off except for the Christmas Tree lights. I always hid my eyes when Marley's Ghost came on.  He was terrifying to me. 

Well, it's not Christmas yet, but I've already got some gifts from my new neighbors.  The lady next door gave me this wreath for my front door.

She said it was just sitting there in her closet, because she likes making them, but runs out of places to hang them.  So, she gave this one to me.  Mr. Clark across the street brought me some cookies, so I gave him a loaf of snickerdoodle bread. 

James called me this afternoon and said, "We found some more of your stuff over here", so I went over to get it.  It was just a couple of boxes, but while I was over there, he said, "Do you want a ceramic Christmas tree?"

Yeah!  I've been wanting one of those for a long time.  Aunt Martha used to make them, and she'd always said we'd make one together.  We never got around to it.  This is one she made a long, long time ago.  It had a few of the little light bulbs, but I was able to find some more on Amazon.  I'll need to replace the cord, too.  I think the switch is messed up.  Also, the snow stuff is starting to flake off, so that'll be something else I'll need to repair.  It won't be this year, but it'll be something to look forward to. 

Back when I was married, I was starting to collect these Christmas village pieces from a craft catalog.  You could buy the kits and paint them.  I was going to get the whole set and  that would be my mantle decorations.  This is the only piece I actually finished.

Shortly after that, the catalog stopped carrying them, so I gave up halfway through painting the second piece.  I guess I thought what was the point, if I can't get the whole village.   

Yesterday, I was out in the shed hunting for the approximately 25 Christmas food containers that I have somewhere ( which I never did find) and found the barn.  It is now happily ensconced on my new entertainment center.  The barn was always my favorite piece anyway.

It's been a busy day all around.  First thing this morning, I started rearranging the furniture in what will be Cody's room so that we can get his bed and computer desk in there.  Then I made two types of candy and a fruit salad.  Tomorrow is going to be busy, too.  I've got cookies to bake and candy to cut up.  I'd better get off here and head for bed. 

I'll just leave you with this, my Dad's favorite Christmas carol.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


I woke up feeling a little melancholy.  See, yesterday I had gotten a Christmas card from the vet's office, in memory of Jake -- Cody's dog who died last year.  That got me to the next few years, I'm going to be in mourning a lot.

Rylea is going to be 9 in May, which isn't ancient, but it isn't young, either.  Squeaky will be 15 sometime in the early part of next year.   Jesse will be 7, which is old age for a dog.  Even the snakes will all be 11 or 12 years old.  Since snakes normally live 10-15 years in captivity, they're already on borrowed time.

I think what also contributed to my melancholy was that today was moving day -- again.   I've mentioned before that Beverly and James were going to give me some of their furniture when they move.  Well, today James and Cody hauled most of it over to the house.  They gave me two cabinets like this. 

I put one in the snake/computer/craft room, and the other in in the hall for now.  I thought, "Once these snakes start dying off, I'll have more room to put stuff in here."  I know it's a bit morbid, but it's also realistic.  That's where the melancholy came in.  It was just one more reminder that they're not much longer for this world.

But let's not think about that just yet.  Let me show you what else they gave me.  There is this entertainment center. 

That's not going to be how I arrange everything, but it'll do for now.  The DVD player is also a streaming device, so I think I'll move it to my bedroom.  I have another DVD player that I can put in here, and use my Fire Stick to stream.

They gave me this couch

and the matching chair. 

The blankets are there to try to protect it from Rylea's hair until I can get a regular slipcover for it.  I got rid of that old blue couch that I've had for 20 years (and bought used at that).  Yes, I called the waste management company and arranged for it to be picked up.  You'd be proud of me.  I still haven't called the chimney sweep, though, so you can only be a little proud. 

I had quite a bit of stuff still in their attic, so I went over and got it. 

Now, not all of those boxes were in their attic.  Four of them were in my shed, and have books in them.  I wanted to get them into the house before the mice and the damp ruined them.  Now that I have cabinets to put them into, I can do that.  The rest have my dad's things, and some of my grandma and great grandma's things.  After Christmas, I'm going to start sorting through them and put everything in plastic storage boxes. 

This was my rocking chair when I was little.  It needs a good cleaning and some restoration, and it'll be good as new.   

At first, I thought the children were a decal, but upon closer inspection, they appear to be painted on.  That will make it much easier to restore them.

Since I had to leave the house anyway -- to go pick up that stuff -- I went ahead and went to the store.  I got the things I forgot yesterday, but no cooking has taken place today.  Well, I boiled down my sweet potatoes, but that's about it.  That just means I'll have plenty to keep me busy tomorrow and Thursday. 

Don't want to make the cookies and candy too soon, or I'll eat them all up before Christmas. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Best Laid Plans

You know what they say about the best laid plans.  Well, it's even worse when you had just planned on winging it.  

Oh, I had a whole list of things I'd hoped to get done today, but in the end, I spent most of the day in front of the TV watching Christmas shows.  Well, that's not completely true.  I went to the store and got the last of my shopping done.  Not presents.  I'm done with those. 

I needed to get a few things for Christmas dinner.  Beverly and I haven't even talked about what we're going to have.  I imagine it'll be small, since it's just going to be the four of us again. I bought things to make the Jello salad I usually make, my sweet potato casserole, and a couple of pies.  And just as I was typing that, I realized I forgot pie crusts.  Sigh...

I think I'll give my son the sweet eyes and see if he'll go get me some tomorrow. 

I got home just in time for the rain to get here, and it hasn't stopped yet.  That means I didn't call the chimney guy.  He isn't going to want to come out in the rain.  That was my reasoning.  The rain is also my excuse for not getting my outside lights up.  I think that just may not happen this year.  Aaand it's my excuse for not getting my brother and sister in law and nephew's  presents mailed.  Well, the rain and I can't find a box the right size.  All the ones I have are either too small, or gigantic.  Sigh...again

What I did get accomplished was to make four more mini loaves of banana nut bread.  I hadn't planned to, but I had some bananas that were about to go bad and I didn't want them to go to waste.  Banana bread freezes well, so those are destined for the freezer.  The only other thing I did today was chop up my gumdrops for gumdrop cookies.  (Google it -- I use Paula Deen's recipe).

Dang it!  I just remembered something else I forgot.  I guess I'll have to go back to the store.  Big sigh...

Let's change the subject.  I recently renewed my NRA membership, and my gift arrived today.  This is the one I chose.  Let me tell you something, that baby was sharp right out of the box.

Here is an updated picture of my Peace Lily.  

I think it's looking a little better.  The only thing is the tips of the leaves are turning black.  I googled, and read that it happens when the sun hits them, but this plant has been out of the sun for months.  I don't know.  I'm just trying to keep it going. 

Beverly and James have to be out of their house in 10 days.  I said I'd help them move, so I guess tomorrow, I'd better get my hiney over there and get busy. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Not Unplanned At All

There's this meme that's been going around Facebook for a while now.  I'm not going to post it here, because I don't agree with it.  So, what is it?, you may ask.  Well, I'll tell you.  It's a photo -- taken from the move The Nativity Story -- showing Mary and Joseph, with the newborn baby Jesus.  The caption reads, "One unplanned pregnancy saved us all." 

I understand the concept of the meme, and the idea that it's trying to portray:  that even an unplanned baby has value.  That even an unplanned baby has the right to life.  I get that. 

The problem I have with the meme is that it isn't true.  Jesus was not an unplanned baby.  God planned for his birth from the creation of the world.  More than 600 Old Testament prophecies point to his birth, life, death, and resurrection. You don't tell someone 600 times that you are coming, then say, "Um, oops" when you get there. 

And it wasn't like Mary and God were smooching in the back seat of a car and got a little carried away and created an oops.  No, the angel Gabriel explained to Mary ahead of time what God planned for her life, and obtained her permission before the Holy Spirit came upon her and the power of the Most High overshadowed her. 

It may seem like a small, nit picky thing to some of you, but to me, it's just another subtle way society is trying to deny the deity of the Christ. 

Oh, and while I'm at it, Mary and Joseph were not homeless, nor were they refugees.  They left their home in Nazareth and traveled to Bethlehem in order to register for the census decreed by Caesar Augustus. And to fulfill the prophecy: 

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times.  Micah 5: 2

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Lazy Day

I had a list of things I planned on doing today, but in the end, all I did was watch Christmas shows and knit.  Thus, I don't have anything to talk about -- unless you want details about the three loads of laundry I did -- but I did want to post the Christmas song of the day. 

Hail, Hail to the newborn King. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Happy Dancing!!

The plumber came out while I was at work and fixed my pipes.  The good news is, it was just a little piece of iron pipe that had rusted through.  He replaced it and we are good to go.  The best part is the bill was only $218!  Yippee!  We are going to have a Merry Christmas after all!

Now for the bad news, I tried to start a little fire in my wood heater this evening and my whole house filled with smoke.  I guess getting the chimney inspected and cleaned is next on the list.  Oh, well, I've been meaning to have it done anyway.

Today was my last day of work until Jan 4th.  I won't be just laying around the house, though.  I said I'd help Beverly and James move, and that will be a big job in itself.  Plus, I've got three bananas about to go bad and I want to make some more banana nut bread and put it into the freezer.

My high school just won the state football championship!  Way to go, Stangs!!

The Commander in Chief's trophy arrived back in Annapolis, where it belongs.

So much good has happened today that I've made a slight change to my schedule.  I was going to post this song closer to Christmas, but I think I'll post it today.  This is my very favorite version ever of my very favorite Christmas carol ever.  I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I Could Cry

In fact, I did -- just a little bit.

I got home from work after a very long, very hard 10 1/2 hour shift.  I was hot, sweaty, itchy, and looking forward to taking a shower.  I turned on my water and just a trickle came out.  Something told me to go check my water meter, so I did.  It was so full of mud and water that I had to dig for 10 minutes just to find the shut off valve.  The meter was just a spinning. 

I called the water office and asked them "How do I tell if the leak is on your side of the meter or mine?"  She said, "If the meter is spinning, it's on your side."  Oh boy.

I called the plumber, the same one I'd used before, but he was out fixing someone's sewer line.  His wife said he'd call me when he could, but I haven't heard from him yet.  I called James and asked him to try to get ahold of him tomorrow, because I won't be able to hear my phone ring if he calls while I'm at work.

Sigh...that's just another expense I can't really afford.  But my neighbor Mr Clark told me that when they put this street on the municipal water system they used the cheapest materials they could find.  He'd already had to replace all of his pipes, and I guess it's my turn.

The good news is:  1) Even though it'll cost me a pretty penny, I know that when Daniel is done, those pipes will be there from now on, 2)  this is happening now, and not after Beverly and James move back to Texas, so at least I have somewhere to take a shower without having to rent a hotel room,  3) We are getting a decent sized incentive bonus this year, plus we are about hit peak season, which means overtime, and more overtime, and 4) I've finished my Christmas shopping, so that's one less thing I have to worry about.

Speaking of overtime, I have to be at work at 5 in the morning, so I'm about to cut you loose and go crawl into bed.  You know something?  I just realized that tomorrow will be my last day of work THIS YEAR!  Yeah, I had a vacation day scheduled, but I moved it.  About halfway through the day, I began to regret that decision...

Speaking of regrets...whoever said it was impossible to kill a Peace Lily vastly underestimated my ability to commit planticide.  Yes, this is the Peace Lily from my uncle's funeral last year.  I've heard they do well under fluorescent lighting, so this is my last desperate attempt to keep it alive.  I put it under this CF lamp a couple of days ago, and it's already looking better.

I hope that's not just wishful thinking.  I've already killed the begonia.  Sigh....again...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

More Upheaval

More upheaval at work, but it's not so bad this time.  Tomorrow they are going to open up the temp line that we run during peak season.  They're going to run it a couple of hours for training tomorrow and maybe Friday with partial staffing.  I don't know about that yet.  When we get back Jan 4th, they will begin training the temps who will be running it until the fall slowdown.  By the 6th, it should be up and running full speed. 

So, what does this all have to do with me?  Well, the brazers and test tank operators on that line won't be temps.  They tried to run it one year with temps as brazers, and that just didn't work at all.  They realized that the skilled positions -- such as brazers -- needed to be filled with experienced operators.  That's where I come in.  I will be moving to that line to sub - braze until the line shuts down when the work slows down in the fall. 

I will be the most senior employee on that line, and will be working for Supervisor Lee and Group Leader Theresa.  Supervisor Lee asked me today if I would come in tomorrow at 5 AM to have some header assemblies ready by the time shift starts at 7 AM.  I'm thinking sleep just isn't in the cards for me this week. 

After work, I stopped by and visited with Beverly a bit.  We discussed furniture and moving plans and what's going to happen over the next few weeks.  It's going to be busy, but we'll get it done.  And about the time we finish up with that, it'll be time to go back to work and hit peak season.

I'm beginning to understand what the phrase "no rest for the weary" really means. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Last Week

This is my last week of work for the year!

Oh, the plant is working next week, but thanks to judicious scheduling of my vacation days, Thursday will be my last day.   I'd briefly considered switching the day I have scheduled for Friday to one of the shutdown days between Christmas and New Year's Day, but I decided against it. 

I got to thinking today and realized that I haven't watched nearly any of my Christmas movies.  So, with a break for NCIS tonight, and The Big Bang Theory Thursday, I will binge on Christmas movies for the next few days.   This means, don't expect much in the way of blogging, but I will still be posting my Christmas songs. 

Without further ado, here is your Christmas song for tonight: 

Monday, December 14, 2015

All Done!

With my Christmas shopping, that is.  I drove on up to Batesville this morning and got the last of it taken care of.  Now it's all wrapped and put under the tree.

A Christmas tree just doesn't look finished until there are gifts under it.

Speaking of driving, I mailed off my first car payment today.  Now I feel legitimate -- like the car is actually mine.  I suppose he needs a name...

We come from a long line of named cars, from way back when my dad had  Maverick named Betsy.  My first car was a Mercury Bobcat.  He caught on fire in the parking lot of Parkdale Mall in Beaumont, TX.  After that, I named him Dennis the Menace.  My second car was an Alfa Romeo Alfetta I bought when I was in Italy, which I named Calvin -- after Calvin and Hobbes -- because he had a mind of his own.

When I got out of the Navy and returned Stateside, I bought a blue Tempo which went by the uninspired name of Little Blue.  After he bit the dust, I drove a charcoal gray Taurus who was called Smoky -- when I bothered to call him anything.  And of course, you all know Jimmy. Thus, the Focus needs a name. 

More good news-- Beverly and James got a contract on their house!  Yay!  The bad news is, it's a cash sale, so they have to be out by the 30th.  I suppose that's not really bad news, but it's going to make the next couple of weeks pretty busy.  They were going to give me quite a bit of their old furniture, so now I've got to figure out where I'm going to put it all.  I've got an idea, it's just a matter of getting it all into place.  Well, we'll see.

Even though this is really more of an Epiphany song than a Christmas song, it's still one of my favorites. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I Slept Good

I slept good last night.  I slept so good, I didn't wake up until nearly 9:00 AM.  I looked at the clock and said, "Whoa."  I must have needed that sleep. 

For my fellow grammar nazis, no I am not abandoning the fold.  I'm simply speaking in vernacular. 

OK?  Now, on with my post...

I suppose I could have rushed and made it to church, but then I thought to myself, "Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, so rest."  I put on my Christmas music playlist  and caught up on writing my verses for my December Christmas Challenge.  I'd missed a couple of days when it got so hectic at work, but now I'm all caught up. 

After I did that, I punished myself for skipping church by reconciling three bank accounts.  I hate doing it even once, but to do it three times...yeah, that's punishment.  The good new is, I have enough money to pay all the bills and finish my Christmas shopping, but I will be glad when overtime season starts back up.  Our Director of Operations told us to expect to work Saturdays straight out of the gate when we get back from Christmas.  But I digress...

Other than that, it's been a pretty quiet day.  I finished wrapping a few Christmas presents, and got my sister's family's gifts ready to mail.  I just need to find my address book, because for some reason, her mailing address isn't in my phone.  It's been so hot, but we have a cold front coming through.  I can't wait for it to get here. 

I know I'm rambling now, so I'll leave you with my second favorite Christmas hymn ever. 

My favorite one will be posted a little closer to Christmas. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

He Is Born

So....this happened.

We had those safety meetings today at work, starting at 6:00 AM.  Well, I kept waking up throughout the night and I couldn't remember what day it was.  I was afraid I had missed the meetings and blown my perfect attendance -- and the pay bonus that comes with it.  I was very relieved when the alarm went off to find that I had not, in fact, skipped Saturday and missed the meetings.

When we got there, the Director of Operations explained why we were having the meetings on Saturday, followed by a Monday off.  They had scheduled the meetings back several months ago, and had booked a very expensive out-of-town motivational speaker to teach one of the classes.  That one wasn't about safety.  It was about motivation.  Anyway...

At the time, business was booming and sales projections were so high that the company really couldn't afford to lose an entire day of production to hold safety meetings.  Said safety meetings are required by OSHA, so they had to happen.  Thus, the Saturday schedule.

But then, about 2 weeks ago, a customer called and cancelled some 10,000+ units, making a Saturday scheduling unnecessary.  However, having already booked and paid this very expensive out-of-town motivational speaker for Saturday, they really couldn't move these meetings.  So, they are giving us Monday off to make up for having to work Saturday.

I know, right, but things just happen sometimes.  The good news is, we were done in plenty of time for me to get home and watch Navy beat Army for the 14th year in a row.

Here's a bit of trivia for you.  The last time Army beat Navy, Facebook didn't exist, the iPhone hadn't been invented, and this man

was 8 years old and in the second grade.

Tonight, we celebrate.  Tomorrow, we go back to being One Team, One Fight. 

To top things off, here is a fun version of one of my favorite songs: 

Friday, December 11, 2015

There Is A Word

There is a word for what I am.  Tuckered, knackered, weary, worn out, rode hard and put up matter what you want to call it, it's what I'm feeling.  It all started at 3:30 AM.

As I was getting for work, I gazed longingly at the bed I'd just vacated and thought, "Oh, I want to crawl back into that bed so badly.  Why did I change my vacation day?  Why did I agree to come in early?  What was I thinking?  What is wrong with me?????"

And this after a nearly sleepless night the night before. 

I get to work, and I'm there working away.  The day is passing, albeit slowly. Finally, it's time to go...buuuut a certain former group leader ran up to me at the last minute and asked if I could stay late to help him do a prototype coil.  Sigh....It was only a few minutes, but it just made the day a little longer. 

Tomorrow, we have to go in at 6 for our annual safety training and stuff.  As if I weren't already tired...

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Insomnia hit hard last night.  So hard, even my melatonin supplement went down in defeat.  It was well after midnight before I got to sleep, and then I woke up twice before time to get up.  Which is 5:15 AM.  You know, just in case you were wondering.  Then, at work, a certain former group leader of mine came and told me that one of his brazers will be out tomorrow and asked me if I could come in at 5 in the morning.  Naturally, I said, "Of course."  So this post will be short and sweet.

Some of you may recall a few weeks ago when I put out a plea for washable fingering/sock weight yarn for the blanket I'm knitting for my sister and her family.  I'd already received a couple of packages, and today I came home to find one more waiting for me.

These yarns are from Lisa, and I'm thinking some of it might not make it into the blanket.  That ball of blue and brown in the middle is just screaming "SCARF!!!" to me.  It's got me thinking it might be time to warp the old loom once again. 

Also, Lisa being the dear, sweet, generous, wonderful person she is, picked out a surprise just for me:

You probably can't tell from the picture, but it's a t-shirt.  I love it!  Thank you, Lisa!  Mwaaa!

Apropos of nothing, I think it's a sad commentary on the state of my social life when the first Christmas card I receive is from the car dealership.  Well, I can't really complain.  I haven't sent cards out in a couple of years myself.  I have good intentions.  I just never seem to get around to it.  Heck, I'm doing good to get gifts to my family before Easter. 

Since I have to get up in an hour that begins with the numeral 3, I'll bid you goodnight and leave you with this, your Christmas song for today.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Hallowed Ground

I love Christmas.  I always have.  When I was a child, I didn't understand why Christmas Day had to end.  I thought time should just stop and it should stay Christmas forever.

When I became an adult, and when I became a mom, I wanted Christmas to be just as special for my son.  I worked so hard to make everything just right.  Everything had to be just so.  The year Cody was 4, I stressed myself out so much trying to make things absolutely perfect.  After I put him to bed that Christmas night, I breathed a sigh of relief, and thought, "I'm so glad that's over."

I sat there in my living room, shocked at the thoughts I was having.  How did I get from wishing Christmas would never end to being glad it was over?  I swore I'd never feel that way again.  That was the year that I took a step back and stopped trying to make Christmas about the things.  I stopped stressing myself out so much and took a much more relaxed attitude towards the holiday.

If we only have three different kinds of cookies instead of 7, then three will be enough.  If I only make two kinds of candy instead of 6, then two will be enough.  If I don't get every inch of the house decorated, then a tree and a nativity will be enough.

That was the year Christmas became fun again.  That was the year the joy returned. 

I know people who hate Christmas.  They hate everything about it.  To them, it's a time of stress and societal pressure and unrealistic expectations.  It breaks my heart to hear people talking like this.  I pray that someday these people can break out of the trap that nearly ensnared me all those years go.

I pray that they can approach the manger, and remember -- as Linus told us -- what Christmas is all about. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

My New Hat

I've wanted this hat from the first time I saw it.  I finally broke down and ordered it.

It got here in time for the ArmyNavy game!

Speaking of this Saturday  -- which is when the ArmyNavy game is -- we have to go in to work for a half a day for safety training.  Then they are giving us Monday off.  I had vacation scheduled for Friday, so I moved it to Monday.  After turning in the paperwork and having it approved by Supervisor Ronnie, I thought, "with my luck, they'll shut down the plant Friday, too."  I hope they don't, but if they do, oh well.  I'm not moving my day again.

I'm thinking that I might head North that day and try to finish up my Christmas shopping.  I'm almost done.  Just a few people left to buy for.  Then I have to find boxes so I can mail all this stuff.

Here's a little trivia about this next song that some of you may not know.

For Bing Crosby's last Christmas special before he died, he and David Bowie were slated to sing The Little Drummer Boy as a duet.  There was just one problem.  David absolutely hated the song.  In the spirit of Christmas, he was willing to sing it anyway.  However, before they recorded the scene, Bing found out about David's disdain for this song, so he sat down and wrote the Peace on Earth descant -- so David wouldn't have to sing something he hated.

That right there shows a lot about the character of both these men. 

Here is a more modern version of this old favorite:

Here's a little family trivia about this song.  When Cody was 6 or 7, we were driving down the road when it came on the radio.  Cody hollered, "SHHHHH!!! It's the pum-pum song!" 

Ever since then, it's been The Pum-Pum song to us. 

Monday, December 07, 2015

December 7, 1941

We will never forget.

It is only fitting that your Christmas song for the day is based on a poem also written during war time. In this case, it was during the war that threatened to tear our country apart -- the Civil War. 

"Christmas Bells"
(The original poem, complete with all seven stanzas)

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Happy Hanukkah!!

Hanukkah starts tonight at sundown, so for all my Jewish friends out there, Happy Hanukkah!!

This is my favorite Hanukkah song.  They've made newer ones, but I keep coming back to this one.

I'll be singing this one all day at work tomorrow. 

For your Christmas song of the day, I bring you a newer version of an old childhood favorite:

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Round One

Round one of my Christmas baking is done!

This isn't all of it, as I'd already packed what I'm sending to my sister when I took the picture.   The final tally is, 6 loaves of Pumpkin Bread, 9 loaves of Snickerdoodle bread (which is as delicious as it sounds), 4 loaves of Banana Nut Bread, and 4 loaves of Cherry Egg Nog bread.  The first two recipes can be found by clicking the above links.  The other two were taken from this book: 

Holiday Baking  available on Amazon.

In hindsight, I kind of wish I had gone back to the store and bought two more mini bread pans.  Not only would it have made things go faster, but it would have made it easier to divide the dough more evenly.  That way, I wouldn't have ended up with some loaves being much bigger than others.

Maybe I'll get some next time I go into town.

This is the other thing I did this weekend.  When I was trying to get my trailer house cleaned out so I could show it, I was stashing stuff here, there, and everywhere.  The other day, I was looking for a particular pair of earrings, and I couldn't find it anywhere.  I got frustrated, so I started going all over the house, rounding up all my jewelry.  That is what you see here:

It is all still a jumbled up mess, but at least it's all in the same place.  Next step will be untangling everything.  That will be a good project for one of these cold winter nights. 

This is another one of those songs I never liked as a kid.  Frankly, I didn't like it because I didn't get it.  Three ships?  Yeah, Yeah, I know.  The ships are representative of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, but why ships? What do ships have to do with Christmas, and how can ships sail into Bethlehem anyway?  It's landlocked.  The song just didn't make sense to me.  As an INTJ, I don't like things that don't make sense --until I heard this version.

OK, so it still doesn't make sense, but I like it anyway.


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