Thursday, December 28, 2023

Thankful Thursday

Here we are, it's the last Thursday of 2023 and my last chance to share a little bit of gratitude for some of life's blessings. There is so much to be thankful for this week so buckle up Buttercup, 'cause here we go!

This week I am thankful...

** Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren are in Erie enjoying a belated birthday trip for Colton. With his birthday right before Christmas the trip needed to wait until afterward. They are staying at a hotel connected to an indoor water park and they are having a blast!

** We had a great Christmas and enjoyed being able to give our family the things they really wanted and seeing their happiness and excitement.

** I have a job I mostly love and am able to do despite the pain in my leg. I am going to have to start working one day a week in the shredding department again for the foreseeable future...guaranteed since another new hire quit today after just a couple of weeks. I will continue to hope and pray that my new doctor will be able to give me relief from the pain.

** Tim's nightmare project is pretty much over so no more ridiculously long hours for the time being. We've been able to spend some much needed time together relaxing and reconnecting.

** Oliver is prowling around the house during the night so I am hopeful that one of these days he will be brave enough to join us during the day.

** Pretty new winter nails (always a pick me up!).


** Some pretty serious resolve to lose weight and get healthier in the new year.

** Other than aches and pains we, and those we love, continue to remain healthy.

** Some of the world's best co-workers.

** All the beautiful Christmas lights.

** My own lovely tree glowing softly in the corner.

** My husband, my daughter, my precious grandchildren, and all the rest of my family.

** Great friends.

** I live in a country that in spite of all its problems, is still one of the greatest places to live.

** God loves me (and you!) so much that He sent His only Son to save us and that's why we celebrate this season.

** And of course, I'm very thankful for you!

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Another Christmas Behind Us

The clock is ticking down on the final moments of our Christmas. Tomorrow it is back to work for both Tim and me. Neither of us is very excited about it. There isn't anything going on the rest of the week as our daughter's family is leaving tomorrow for the trip to Erie and the indoor water park that they promised our grandson for his birthday. They won't be back until late in the day on Saturday. It would just be nice to have a few days to relax. We didn't get much of that since Friday.

Tim got home late on Friday (though earlier than he's been getting home for the last 2 months) as his work always has a bit of a Christmas party at the home office the last day of work before Christmas. The men can't skip it as that's when the yearly bonuses are handed out. Tim didn't stay as long as he used to because most of the men he's been friends with over the years have retired or moved to other companies since the company was sold a couple years ago to a large parent company. The top management has slowly been being replaced by their people and while Tim gets along with them, he isn't friends with them. After 2 months of working ridiculous hours to finish up his project he crashed when he got home. I was okay with that since I worked in manufacturing on Friday for the first time in 2 months and I was in pain.

Saturday started slow...for Tim, anyway. He was still in crash mode and didn't get out to do his shopping until lunchtime. He was back in record time, though, and in a good mood because he'd found what he wanted quickly and got out. I did some cleaning while he was gone and started the wrapping process while he was out. I'd hoped he'd help wrap when he got home, but he decided to go get his driver's license renewed. The licensing bureau was closed so he wasn't able to get it. While he was out the second time I went to get a couple of gift cards for local grocery stores as gifts for my mom and stepdad and buy some gift bags (I was no longer feeling the urge to wrap all the gifts). Unfortunately, everywhere I went was very much picked over and there was little left. I found some bags, but not enough to do everything in bags. Our daughter was in and out all day and calling constantly, but the grandchildren were "banned" because of gifts all over the place.

Sunday was showtime whether Tim was ready for it or not and most of the day was spent in a flurry of wrapping and cooking. Our daughter's family was busy having their Christmas with our son-in-law's family so our only break was for supper with my mom and stepdad. It has become a Christmas Eve tradition for us to get together and enjoy a meal of take-out Chinese food since the kids are not around. It was a nice day and we watched some new shows on Prime and Apple while we wrapped. I finished the last gift around 10:00.

Christmas morning we slept in a bit and then had our Christmas here at home. Tim liked his gifts of a shelf that lets him store and charge 4 of his battery powered tools, a composter, a really good flashlight, binoculars that connect to his phone so he can take photos of what he's looking at, and new work shirts. He got me a new dishwasher, though that won't actually get here until Saturday, and an amazing massage thing for my feet and legs.

While I finished up the food, Tim loaded all the presents into the SUV and took them over to our daughter's house. After that we loaded up the food and went over for the day. My mom and stepdad arrived right after us with more food and gifts. We tortured the kids and ate dinner before we opened gifts, but they did pretty well and were amazingly patient.

I'd say everyone was happy with their gifts. I really stress over finding the perfect gifts for everyone and it gives me such joy when I succeed. Colton loved all his military toys and Leah's favorite thing was her new vanity. Mom made Colton a very special gift...an army shirt with his name and the actual patches from my stepdad's uniform. They also got him dog tags with his name on them.




Today we got going a little late, but then were out all afternoon. We went and took care of renewing Tim's license then he wanted to look for a new pair of workboots. He found a pair that was comfortable right away which was amazing as he is nearly as hard to find comfy shoes for as I am. He also bought me a new concealed carry purse. We looked at a few shops in downtown Greensburg that I've been wanting to look at. Most of them were closed and we didn't see anything to buy. We had a (very) late lunch at Red Lobster then went to Lowe's so Tim could show me the dishwasher I'm getting. We also priced kitchen cabinets and a new front door. The grandchildren came over as soon as we got home to give their mom a few hours of peace to get things packed for their trip. It was nice to have them here.

The only not so bright spot in our Christmas was the absence once again of our son's family. We have heard nothing from him in over three years at this point. It was all the tougher today because it is our oldest grandchild's birthday. She turned 15 today and we haven't seen her since she was 12...still a child then and nearly a woman now. We can only imagine what she and her brother might be like now.

And that brings me up to date and it's time to say goodnight and head to bed. (I am really missing working on that school schedule about now.)

Friday, December 22, 2023

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays!

SATURDAY 9: HAPPY HOLIDAYS

From the archives

Play along here.

1. As you can see, when Sam Winters was a little girl, she loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. (Actually, you can't because I switched photos, but use your imagination.) If you could ask Santa for anything at all, right now, what would it be?  I'd ask to be pain-free. My leg, with the focus on the knee, has gotten pretty bad. I was supposed to see the doctor after work today (Friday), but they called and cancelled. I'm rescheduled for January 2.

2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there?
  I would hope I'm on the nice list. I really do try to treat others well and with kindness. I try to look at the bright side of things. I also try to be generous with my giving and my time because God has blessed me.

3. Are you traveling this Christmas? If so, are you going by car, plane or train?  No traveling for us...unless you count walking next door to our daughter's house. Well, we may have to make one trip with the SUV to take all the gifts and food over.

4. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If yes, which one traveled the farthest?  The only gift I shipped was a fruit and nut assortment to my biological father in Texas.

5. Did you buy yourself a gift this year?  I've bought a few shirts and some socks while browsing Amazon.

6. Which do you prefer: candy canes or gingerbread?
  Do gingersnaps count as gingerbread? If they do I prefer them. When I was younger I'd have picked the candy canes.

7. Close your eyes and tell us the first carol that comes to mind.
  It's not really a carol, but the first thing that came to mind was I'll Be Home for Christmas. I'm not sure why. I like it, but not any more than any other Christmas song. I've been listening to nothing but Christmas music since Thanksgiving.

8. What's your favorite winter beverage?  Hot chocolate, of course!

9. Share a memory from last Christmas.  We had a wonderful day with 4 generations making Christmas cookies. I hope my leg is feeling better next year so we can do those things together again.





 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Currently

It's 27 degrees with 6 days to go until Christmas. We have an inch or so of snow on the ground, but most of it should disappear with tomorrow's mid-40's temperatures. The rest will be nothing but a memory by Christmas Day with its predicted high near 60!!!

Today was Tim's 63rd birthday. Being a Tuesday he had to work of course and didn't even have time to answer calls to wish him a happy birthday. He did get home earlier than usual so we went out to Don Patron's for Mexican to celebrate. He's gone to bed now and I'm watching A Christmas Story Christmas because I've seen every Christmas Hallmark, Lifetime, and Great American Country movie that's on tonight.

I'm still reading The Weird Sisters. It's well written and interesting. I'm enjoying it.

I'm relieved all the parties and plays are behind us. This week is finally my time to "git 'er done!" It's slow going so far. The Amazon deliveries are dwindling. There is just one more, due tomorrow, and then comes the mind-numbing chore of wrapping. Ho, ho, ho. Nothing brings out my inner Grinch more quickly than wrapping Christmas presents.

I'm thinking about whether or not to take the gifts for my coworkers to work with me tomorrow. As the big day draws nearer, Amazon's shipping promises have become, perhaps, a wee bit overly optimistic. That means a small, but totally perfect gift I ordered for a coworker I spend a lot of time with, didn't arrive today as promised. No biggie. Except tomorrow is said coworker's last day until after Christmas. So now the question is....do I take all the gifts in tomorrow as planned and just tell him part of his gift will have to wait until after Christmas or.... do I just hold off until Thursday or Friday like everyone else and make him wait for all of his gift until after Christmas?

I'm celebrating Tim's birthday (d'uh) and Christmas (double d'uh).

I'm looking forward to meeting with my new doctor...well his PA, anyway...after work on Thursday. This leg of mine is getting worse and worse. It pretty much hurts all the time at this point. It hurts to sit, it hurts to stand, it hurts to walk, and it keeps me from sleeping well. I'm hoping they can at least do something about the pain until after Christmas.

I'm taking Oliver to his vet check up tomorrow. I think it will go fine. He seems healthy and he's eating just fine and all that. He's still living pretty much exclusively in the closet, though, coming out only when we're sleeping to eat and use the litter box. He's such a sweetie and very affectionate when I go in to see him, but if I remove him from the closet he is still all about getting back into the closet.

A Christmas giggle (or two)...







 




















Friday, December 15, 2023

Saturday 9: The Christmas Blues

Saturday 9: The Christmas Blues (1953)

Play along here.


Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
1) In this song, Dean Martin sings that the streets are white with snow. Do you anticipate a White Christmas this year?  No, the forecast is predicting temperatures close to 50 on Christmas day.

2) He tells us he's done plenty of window shopping this season. Do you find you're influenced by a retailer's window dressing and store decor? Are you more motivated by price? Or do you do most of your shopping online, making holiday decorations irrelevant?  I do most of my shopping online, but when I do shop the mall and other stores the window displays and such do make a difference. I often see something that catches my eye and I'll at least go inside and check it out.
 
3) Dean was born in Steubenville, OH. Though he rarely returned to his hometown, it was in his thoughts during the holidays. Every Christmas he made like Santa and sent toys to hospitalized children in the Steubenville area. Are there toys on your shopping list this year?  Absolutely! Colton and Leah would be very disappointed if there weren't.

4) He had fast hands when it came to cards and before he was famous he worked as a dealer in Atlantic City. When you play cards, what's your favorite game?  For regular cards, gin, but we're more likely to play UNO.

5) Dean Martin was an avid reader ... of comic books. Especially in bed when he was on the road and couldn't sleep. Much as he enjoyed comic books, he was embarrassed by them. What do you do when you can't sleep?  Lay there and toss and turn.

Now let's have a few holiday-specific questions:
 
6) Every year, the United States Postal Service introduces special holiday stamps. Do you purchase them?  Usually, but not this year. I've been so pressed for time that I haven't even gotten my cards addressed yet. I have high hopes for this weekend, but the stamps will most likely be plain old normal ones.
 
7) Do you have a funny/ugly holiday sweater?  I do. It has llamas and cacti on it.
 
8) Do you wrap your presents or use gift bags?  I use both, though I'd much rather tuck everything into bags and be done with it. Wrapping is my least favorite part of Christmas.

9) We're doing Christmas karaoke! What holiday or winter-themed song will you perform?  By now you have to know I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but if you force me....how about "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin layed an egg. The Batmobile lost its wheel and the Joker got away."

Thanks, Sam, for the music and questions! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Currently.......Thankful

Hello, friends! Free time is a rare commodity these days and growing more so the closer we get to Christmas. So, forgive me for combining Currently and Thankful Thursday into a single post this week.

Currently...

The weather is clear and 37 degrees. Tomorrow's high is only predicted to be 31, but we are looking at a bit of a warm up heading toward the weekend.

Reading...The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. It's a book I picked up at one of the used book sales I hit over this past summer. So far it's well written and interesting. It's about three sisters from a "quirky" family who all are facing major failures in their lives that they are keeping secret from the family, but they are all back at home due to their mother's cancer. I'm looking forward to learning how their story turns out.

Watching...The Great Christmas Light Fight as I'm typing. All I can say is, "WOW!" I really, really want to see the Atlanta Botanical Gardens at Christmas in person. It is officially on my bucket list!

Thinking...about all things Christmas. 

Right now Christmas is consuming my thoughts whether it's at work or at home. This Friday is the big party at work and it is all hands on deck to finish decorating and prepare the food. It is a wonderful event and even the big man, himself, (Santa) puts in an appearance! 

At home, with only having 2 weeks to go, how can I not be thinking about Christmas? There is shopping to finish, though thankfully the big stuff is done. I'm down to stocking stuffers and a few gift certificates. The wrapping, however, is another story. I've yet to have time (or energy if I have time) to get that done. And though our daughter has decided we will have Christmas at her house, she doesn't do holiday cooking so that will fall on me. What to have...other than ham...is the question.

Celebrating...birthdays!!! 

Tomorrow is our grandson Colton's 7th birthday. We are gathering for pizza and cake tomorrow evening. The week after Christmas his mom and dad are taking him (and his sister) to Erie for a few days at Splash Lagoon. He is so excited. 

Thursday a client from work is having her birthday party at Olive Garden and she invited a lot of the staff and other clients from work. She reports there should be about 50 at dinner! 

Next Tuesday is Tim's birthday. I don't know when or if we will get to celebrate as he is working crazy hours trying to wrap up his current project before Christmas. It bothers me, but he is fine with it as he prefers not to celebrate his birthdays, anyway.

Looking forward to...the Christmas program at church this Sunday. We practiced this past Sunday and will again this Saturday. It is a little different, a shadow play. It looked really cool during practice and should be awesome when it's truly dark. I will be narrating. I'm also excited because while Tim has said he will not go, our daughter and grandkids (and maybe son-in-law) are going to come. I am going to ask my mom and stepdad, too. There's a dinner afterward.

And now, smooshing Thankful Thursday in here.

I am so very thankful...

** for the newest member of our family, a lovely gray rescue kitty named Oliver. He is the sweetest boy, but so far he is hanging out in the closet in the play room. I hope he will venture further out eventually.


** for all the Christmas fun and memories being made with the grandkids.





** that while my "bad" leg is usually pretty uncomfortable in the evening, it lets me get through the day and do what I need to do. I'll find a new doctor and deal with it after Christmas.

** things are finally falling into place and I'll soon be picking up an extra 5 hours a week doing companion work with Mike, the client I brought home for Thanksgiving.

** Tim actually has a doctor's appointment on Friday. I didn't nag him and I don't know when he made it. He just casually mentioned it over the weekend. I'm so glad he's going!

** for my Lord and Savior and this season in which we remember and celebrate His birth.

** for my family, my friends, my work and precious clients, and, of course, for each one of you!

Oh yeah, and I'm currently giggling at...






























Enjoy the rest of your week and all the blessings and joy of the Christmas season!

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thankful Thursday

Is it just me or does it seem like these weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are shorter than ever and flying by at warp speed? This week, especially, has been a bit crazy...but it's just the beginning and the next couple of weeks won't be any better. 

A person can only do so much and today I hit the wall. I'm tired. My bible study group is having its Christmas dinner/party tonight and I begged off. I actually found myself nodding off while doing worksheets with a client this afternoon. Not good.

Anyway, since I'm home and all....I've got time to share a few of the things I'm thankful for this week.

** I got a letter from my biological dad this week. We hadn't communicated since he left PA to head back to Texas. It was good to hear from him that all is well with him and his wife, though at 87 he is struggling a bit mentally with the physical limitations of aging.

** Our daughter's tests last Friday revealed that she has a large ulcer. It's not great news, but it explains a lot and it is treatable. She's been told no more ibuprofen as they think that is what caused the ulcer.

** Tim revealed in casual conversation that he has an appointment with the doctor next Friday. Wow. He never said anything and had actually said he didn't know what he was going to do when we found out our PCP was retiring. I shocked and pleased that I didn't have to nag at him to go.

** The rainy weather has moved on. It seems I am now among those lucky souls who feel cold, rainy weather in their joints. Nice weather is very welcome.


** I got my nails done for Christmas last night. I very much appreciate being able to treat myself to little luxuries.

 ** My Christmas shopping is nearly all done. I just need to pick up a few gift certificates...and I did it with very few trips to any stores. (Our mailman, UPS and FedEx drivers are probably thankful nearly all my purchases are here. They've been here nearly every day...sometimes more than once a day.)

** Our daughter, who has always tended to choose the worst people to have in her life, has finally found a wonderful friend.

** The Humane Society has approved my adoption application and I will be going this Saturday to meet the kitties and, hopefully, come home with a new family member. They require you to apply before you can go meet the cats and chose one you are interested in. Unfortunately, the little boy I applied to adopt turned out to be semi-feral and probably not a good fit for us. I feel bad about that part. He was such a cutie with a little face that seemed to say "won't someoIne please love me?" He's been there a few months. I hope someone comes along for him.

** I'm thankful for every part of my life.my family, my friends, my church, my work. I may be a bit tired, but I love the fullness of my heart. I am truly blessed and my cup runneth over these days.

** As always, I am thankful for each one of you that visits and has become a part of my life. I pray you are equally blessed and enjoying this special season!

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Currently

Outside my window...it's 43 degrees, there's rain in the area (though it's not raining right now), and the wind is blowing like crazy. Some of the gusts sound like a freight train running over the roof! We've cooled down from today's high of 53 degrees and yesterday's 60 degrees.

Also outside my window I can see all the beautiful Christmas lights up and down the street.

I'm reading...nothing. I'm in between books and haven't chosen the next one.

I'm watching...tonight's new movie debut on Hallmark. It's pretty good, but I forget the name.

I'm enjoying...the lights of the Christmas tree. It's finally up. I'm about a week late this year.


The weekend...got started Friday evening with take-out Chinese for dinner and a quiet night at home watching TV. Tim was working Saturday and I expected to do all the Christmas decorating, but my sister-in-law called first thing and invited me to ride along to the mall and then have lunch at Olive Garden. 

Our trip to the mall wasn't very successful. She wasn't able to get what she wanted for her granddaughter and while I did buy a Christmas dress for my granddaughter, as requested by my daughter, there were only 3 Christmas dresses in the entire mall in her size and the one I got ended up being too tight. She's apparently having a bit of a growth spurt and making the jump to the next size. My daughter is going to try Burlington this week.

I had to take my daughter to Walmart to do some grocery shopping Saturday evening so I did some of my own and also ended up (with her direction) getting a few more things for the kids, including our grandson's big gift...an electric Razor mini bike. We had to call Tim to come pick that up in his truck.

Today I stayed home from church because my leg is really hurting again (it was hurting to begin with yesterday and then I did too much) and I had all the decorations to deal with. Tim worked so I just did a little at a time and took breaks to put my leg up. The kids came over for a little while, too. We had lunch and watched a movie so that was a big break. I also didn't put out all the decorations this year. I don't think anyone but me will care.

This week's agenda (so far):

Monday - work (so much to do to get ready for the big Christmas party on the 15th)
Tuesday - work, haircut after work
Wednesday - work, get nails done after work
Thursday - my Bible study group's Christmas party
Friday - Staff (from work) Christmas party
Saturday - baking with a client

Giggling at...





























Have a great week, my friends!

Currently

Sitting here cuddled up with Daisy and enjoying the glow of the electric fireplace once again. Our mild temperatures went away rather quickl...