Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas Catch-Up

Hello, my friends!
I hope this finds each of you well after all of your Christmas-ing!
Ours began on Friday after the Tennessee Bunch got into town late Thursday night.
There was really no special agenda on Friday...mostly just hangin' out and chillin'.
Oh yeah...and there was yet another bird rescue.
It seems like every other day a bird flies into one of our window panes.
It didn't look too promising for this little tufted titmouse...we thought he was a goner for a while.
 
 
After about fifteen minutes and some TLC from Adam, off he flew into the bushes!
It amazes me how they can look like death one minute and just like that,
they are able to fly away!
Later, we ordered pizza and played a little game of "Who gets to open a present?"
Aaron wanted his dad to open his gift early since he had gotten him a propane smoker.
He wanted to help him "break it in" by cooking a Boston butt for our official get-together Saturday.
So after we all enjoyed the pizza, we had a little drawing to see who would "win."
Needless to say, the game was rigged. 😁
You're sure to pick the right winner when those little pieces of paper in the basket
had Pawpaw's name on ALL of them!
Jim had assumed that Aaron would be smoking the meat at his place and bringing it over...
...he had no clue he was actually getting his own smoker and helping to cook it!
~
Saturday was windy and quite cold but Aaron, Adam and Jim all took turns watching the meat...
...for hours...and hours...and hours. (I can't believe I didn't get one photo of them) 
Speaking of photos, we did get these shots of the two oldest grands in a "then and now" photo shoot.
I had made this stocking for Dacey when he was born and he was so tiny that he fit inside.
 
 
I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact the he turned 20 in November.
 
 
...and Dylan had his 18th birthday just a few weeks ago!
 
 
Unfortunately, there is no stocking picture of Dylan because I am a bad Mawmaw!
Yes, I made him a stocking...but it was just wee bit too small for him to fit in.
I'm not quite sure why I made Dacey's so big...
...I think it may be called "first grandchild syndrome". 😏
~
So finally after filling our tummies, the presents were unwrapped and just like that,
Christmas had come and gone...well...not really, but it kinda seemed that way.
 I forgot to mention the fact that Parker had started to feel a little scratchy throat coming on...
...and then a little later came the fever.
The plan all along had been for them to leave by noon on Sunday,
so the kids could be at their home for Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Well, it became necessary for them to make an extra trip to urgent care before they left.
What we thought was probably strep throat was actually diagnosed as Flu-A!
 
 
Not a fun way to spend Christmas vacation!
Olivia wasn't sick but she liked wearing the mask (probably a good idea)...looks pretty pitiful, huh?) 
The good news is that by Christmas Day, Parker had no fever and is now on the road to recovery...
...and so far, no one else seems to have come down with it, praise the Lord!
 ~
So Christmastime at the Ray house had pretty much come and gone.
Jim had to return to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so it was low-key from then on out.
After working 'til noon on Monday, I spent most of the next two days watching Christmas movies,
listening to beautiful carols and relaxing...along with these two lazy wieners.
 
 
And speaking of wieners, have I don't think I've shared these with you.
 
 
A few weeks before Christmas, I received a package in the mail from my long-time friend, Susie.
Some of you may remember my post from a couple of years back when she had gifted me
with a box of some of her cherished vintage treasures that she had been collecting for years.
Well, her kindness and generosity didn't stop there.
She told me she had seen this pattern for these pillows and right away thought of me.
She chose a brown suede-like fabric for the bodies and the red plaid for their sweaters was perfect!
And those glasses...how adorable are they?!
After piecing and stitching the doggies together (some of those pieces were teeny!),
Susie's sister helped her quilt them on her quilting machine.
 
 
Aren't they just the cutest??
I was beyond thrilled and totally blown away by this sweet gift she had given me!
Have you ever received a gift from someone, just out of the blue,
and wasn't even sure how to properly thank them?
Believe me, I'm still thinking...
~
Well, that was my Christmas and I am feeling blessed beyond measure.
God has been there for our family in so many ways, this year in particular.
So tomorrow I shall begin the process of taking down Christmas...it makes me a bit sad.
 I may leave the tree up until New Years Day...we'll see.

Until next time, dear friends....

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!


May the blessings of Christ be upon you and your loved ones,
 this season and into the New Year!

Love to all,

Monday, December 17, 2018

Stephanie's Ornament Swap Reveal

Hello friends!
 
Just one more week and Christmas will be here...can you believe it?
Do you have all of your preparations made?
Do you have all of your shopping done?
Neither do I...still a loose end or two to tie up but I am getting there!
 
So this was the first time that I have participated in an ornament exchange in eons...
in fact, I don't even remember when it was or with who.
But leave it to our dear friend, Stephanie, who is forever thinking of ways to bless others...
...I mean, how does this girl do all that she does anyway?
Well, I certainly enjoyed participating and meeting two new friends!
 
 
I sent an ornament to my new friend, Chris, who has a beautiful blog, Chris Lally Art.
What a lovely lady and superb artist she is!
Among many other things, Chris illustrates the women of the Bible in her beautiful works.
It is well worth your time to click on her link and be amazed!
I found a beautiful "artsy" 2018 Hallmark star ornament that seemed fitting for Chris.
 
 
She lives in Oregon so I thought some warm socks and hot chocolate may be in order as well!
 
And here's what I received in my beautiful package from Barbara in Texas...
 
 
Oh, what a darling Lenox china teddy bear ornament, some yummy hot chocolate...
(the French Vanilla was out of this world but I'm saving the mint to enjoy on Christmas Day),
and the most gorgeous, silky Christmas scarf ever!
 
 
Is he not the cutest little guy?
 
 
Now he has taken center stage on my Christmas tree!
And Barbara must have found out that I love poinsettias too...
...or maybe she is psychic...are you, Barbara??
 
 
Regardless, the scarf is stunning and was the perfect accessory to my red sweater and black skirt.
I got many compliments on it yesterday at church.
 
 
Thank you, Barbara, for these lovely gifts!
And thank you, dear Stephanie, for everything you do for all of us, your devoted followers.
You are such a blessing and a star shining brightly!
God bless you!
 
 

 
If I don't get a chance to do any more pre-Christmas blogging,
let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very
Merry Christmas!
 
Love and peace,
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

I'm Dreaming of a White Medley

It's that time again!
Another Wednesday is about to be one for the books.
The past few days have been...um...interesting...to say the least.
Now y'all know how much I love snow, right?
So last week our local weather stations began predicting what most of us here in NC
usually just take with a grain of salt.


Well, this time they NAILED it!
They were predicting up to 12" or more and we came very close to that!
This is what we woke up to Sunday morning...


...and it was only the beginning.



It snowed all day and then turned to freezing rain.


But Monday morning brought another inch or so and by the time it was over,
we had about 11 inches.


It was a winter wonderland, to say the least!


The birds were having a free-for-all at the feeders.


By mid-afternoon, our lights began to flicker and then there was no more...
no heat, no warm food, no hot water, no toilet flushing, no Christmas lights...no nothing...
...except for cold silence and below freezing temps.
We haven't used our fireplace in years and even if we could have, 
all of the wood was soaking wet and covered with snow.
The roads were impassable and there was no way that Aaron could have made it over 
to help us hook up the new generator that was actually snowed in as well, 
inside of our detached garage...the thing weighs a ton!
So...we mounded ourselves and the pups up with heavy blankets, lit candles and lanterns,
and soldiered on through what seemed like the longest. night. ever.
Twenty-six hours later, we were once again toasty and warm.
This was my Facebook post from Monday night.
⚡️I love electricity.⚡️

Seriously, I don't ever want to take it for granted again...easy to say, not so easy to do!
Okay...enough about that.
~
It's time for Wednesday Medley...


...where Terri, our friend from Florida, asks the questions and we answer them.
Hop on over, copy and paste the questions to your blog and join the fun!
~
1.  National Ding-a-Ling Day is observed across the United States each year on December 12.  Ding-a-Lings on this day call the people they haven’t heard from in a while.  It may be an old classmate, co-worker or neighbor from years ago.  Or perhaps a call will go out to the child who used to mow the grass during the summer.  How about that couple who carpooled for soccer. There are all sorts of people in our lives who manage to slip out of our lives who would love to hear the ding-a-ling of a call from you or me.  So tell us who you want to call today!

I have never heard of this before...I must be living under a rock! But now, since I have been enlightened, I could think of many people who have entered and exited my life over the years and the great thing is, due to Facebook, I've been able to look up and reconnect with a good number of them...it's hard to name just one!

2.  Each year on the 12th day of December, people across the United States recognize National Poinsettia Day.  I am including this "National Day" too because my neighbor's poinsettia from last year is blooming beside their house!!  Have you ever tried to plant a poinsettia outside?

I think you could probably only do that if you live in a warm climate...like Florida. :) I do love poinsettias and always have a few in my home every year at Christmastime. I have never tried to keep one very long after they start to fade, let alone plant it outside. I do think it would be pretty awesome to do that, though!



3.  Do you believe in Bigfoot?  What size shoe do you wear and do you have trouble shoe shopping?

No...the only bigfoot I believe in is me. I wear a size 9, which may or may not seem big, depending on the size YOU wear. I don't seem to have any trouble finding shoes that fit...and cute ones at that. Here are a couple of pairs of boots I have purchased just recently. Cute, huh? Super comfortable too!


4.  What is one thing you refuse to share?

My toothbrush.

5.  Are you finding that this Christmas is stressful? More or less than last year?

No...at least not yet. I really try to keep the stress level down around Christmastime but of course, I'm not always successful. I don't think this is what the Lord wants from us at this time of year, especially...for us to get so caught up in the prep that it takes away from the joy of the season. I have to be ready by next Friday, the 21st, because that's when our Tennessee bunch will be getting here for our family celebration on the 22nd. (They will be leaving for home on Sunday morning in order to get home for Christmas Eve with the kiddos.) So, although there is plenty of preparation that needs to be done, I really hope to not let it stress me out. I remember a few years ago when I got super stressed out and the Holy Spirit convicted me so much that it led me to write this post. Click on the link if you want to read it.



6. Tell us something random about your week so far...

Well, it seems I already told you about all the excitement around here. I did get an extra day at home since the clinic was closed. But I can think of about 58 other things I could have been doing rather than shivering under a blanket. Although the timing was off a bit, I do consider it an early white Christmas! πŸ˜Š


Enjoy the rest of your week!


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Mantel and a Medley

How can it be Wednesday again already?
But I guess there's no arguing with the calendar so it must be true.
That also means that after today, there are only two more Wednesdays before Christmas!
How did that happen??
So I was able to get my decorations up over the weekend.
This will probably (hopefully) be our last Christmas spent inside these walls.
Wait, didn't I say those same words last year??
I don't mean that in a bad way of course...it's quite bittersweet, actually.
So just in case this is our last year, I thought I might change my mantel one last time.
I really hadn't intended to change that much but after seeing what my friend Sherry
from Farmhouse and Feathers blog had done on her mantel,
well, let's just say that I copied her idea she inspired me!

Sherry's beautiful rustic mantel.
I mean, I already had all of the key elements...
a deer skull mount (doesn't everybody have one?) that some of you may remember
from this post a few years back, the frame that was already hanging around it, 
an extra wreath, and plenty of greenery.
So down came the collection of clocks and books that had lived there for several years.


After the first of the year I plan to minimize the dΓ©cor anyway to prepare our home for the market.
I also thought this would be the perfect time to practice for life in the country!
So...here is my version.


I was actually kind of surprised that I really liked it!


I do realize that dead animal skulls/antlers are not to everyone's liking...and that's okay!
Maybe one of these Christmases I'll use those two wild boar heads that are still out the garage...
...you just never know!
~
So we're here for the Wednesday Medley...


where our friend, Terri from Florida asks us the questions and we answer them.
Just head to her blog, copy and paste the questions to yours and link up...
...it'll be fun!
~
1. On December 5, 1901, Walt Disney was born.  Have you been to Disneyland or Disney World?  Can you share a favorite Disney memory?

I have only visited Disney World one time when I was about 19 years old with a friend of mine. We were really in Orlando, Florida to visit her aunt but since we were right down the road, we spent a day there as well. It was in the process of refurbishing and Epcot was under construction if I remember correctly so it was not the best time for a visit. I have never really been in to Disney so it was just okay. I do remember though, as a little girl, looking through our View-Master and there was a disk with 3-D photos of Disneyland. I might even recollect a little oohing and ahhing going on.


2. The first roller coaster attraction at Walt Disney World was Space Mountain.  Do you/did you like roller coasters?

The first roller coaster I ever rode was at the Pavilion at Myrtle Beach, SC when I was about 13. I think I rode it about seven times in a row...after I hit my head in the bottom of the swimming pool when I dove in. Not a smart thing to do. If I ever rode another one, it was against my better judgment but soon realized that I do NOT like them much.

3. The very first fairy tale that Walt Disney made a cartoon about was Little Red Riding Hood.  Did you enjoy fairy tales when you were a youngster or did they scare you?  Did you have a favorite?

Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed fairy tales as a child and I don't remember them scaring me much. My favorite was "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". I wanted to be able to jump into that cute little house in that storybook with all those cozy, soft chairs and beds. I actually wanted to BE Goldilocks!

4. In Lady & the Tramp, Tramp’s real name was Butch!  Do you have nicknames for your fur-babies and/or for your children?

Since I had sons and grandsons until Olivia came along, I had a tendency to call them all "Buddy" a lot. Then we had a dog named Buddy and it got kind of confusing. Now, Adam has a dog named Buddy! When it comes to my Oscar and Tasha, I sometimes refer to Oscar as Bubby... not to be confused with Buddy...and I call Tasha Little Girl or Baby Girl.

5. I can’t let this day go by without respecting George H.W. Bush, as he lays in state in the Rotunda of our Capital today.  He was our 41st President and only the second father to have a son follow him as President of the United States.  President Bush loved his colorful socks.  I bought Joe a pair of George H.W. Bush socks for Christmas one year.  I know Myra has a pair… any other bloggers checking in today who have a pair of the Presidential socks in a drawer at home?  How do you feel about colorful socks? These are the socks (and tie) President Bush will be buried in.

I did not know this about our dearly departed President Bush but it doesn't surprise me one bit. Those are some pretty awesome socks to wear when you meet your Maker! What a sweet reunion he and his dear Barbara must be having about now! When I wear socks, they are usually black trouser socks. I do however, have several pairs of Christmas socks that are brightly colored...and some are fuzzy that I wear around the house as slippers. When I was in high school I had a pair of these...

6. Please tell us something random about your week!

I did enjoy the movie I mentioned in last week's post, "The Man Who Invented Christmas". It was interesting to know the back story of how Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" came to be written. There was only one problem...I kept getting lost in Matthew Crawley's Dan Stevens' baby blues, losing my grip on what was happening in the movie. I about wore out that rewind button! And then there's my aching back, reminding me that this Christmas decorating business is not for sissies! I do so enjoy it once it's all decked out though. So what am I doing tonight? Helping to decorate at the church....such a glutton for punishment! Now where did I put that bottle of ibuprofen?? 

So that's what's going on here.
Enjoy the rest of your week, friends!


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday Medley (with a side of French Toast)

Hello and Happy Wednesday to you!
 
It has been a whirlwind of a week for sure...
...and losing my completely finished post last night has made it even more so!
I have no idea what happened and I have been trying to recover it with no avail.
I wrote a big long story about our crazy Thanksgiving dinner but now realize
y'all didn't really want to read all that mess!
 
So...let me try this again.
 
 
I missed being able to link up to the Wednesday Medley last week with all that was going on.
So let's get right to the questions from Terri, our friend from Florida...
...just go to her blog, copy the questions and paste them to your blog and answer them!
 
 
1.  On November 28th, 1995, President Bill Clinton ended the 55 MPH nationwide speed limit that began in 1974 as an energy saving measure during the Mid-East oil embargo.  If you are old enough to remember this (I sure am) did it make you happy?  Do you have a heavy foot when driving or does 55 MPH sound good to you?
 
Oh yes, I remember it well and I can also still remember the voice of my high school Driver's Ed. teacher echoing through my brain, "Let's go 70", the moment we pulled onto the highway. It never did make it back up to 70 mph in my area...they brought it up to 65 where it still stands today. And no, going 55 on the highway never made me happy. I tend to travel about 5 miles above the limit, no matter what it is and pretty much follow the flow of traffic. Do I have a heavy foot? Wellll.....that depends on what you call heavy. πŸ˜‰
 
2.  You are home alone on a rainy/snowy Sunday afternoon.  What Christmas movie will you watch? 
 

This movie came out last year and I can't say that I gave it much thought until recently. I have had it on my Amazon Prime watch list, just waiting for the right opportunity, which will hopefully be this rainy Saturday evening. And look who plays Charles Dickens... that beautiful actor Dan Stevens, a.k.a. Matthew Crawley from Downton! I understand Dickens had some issues when he was trying to come up with "A Christmas Carol", my favorite Christmas story, and this is what it's all about. I am hoping it's as good as it looks!

3.  What is something you have tried that you will never try again?

Cooking a 25 pound turkey in an electric roaster. My intent was to cook two smaller turkeys but could not find 12 pounders anywhere so I had to get the largest one I could find that would fit. It was not an easy task wrestling with that puppy in the sink beforehand, let alone after it was cooked. I wasn't thinking about the fact that the borrowed roaster was missing the rack to lift it out with. Oh....you should have seen me....never again.

4.  Today is National French Toast Day!!  Will you have some?  Do you like French Toast?
 Do I like French toast? Are you kidding? But, I won't be delighting in any today. Have you ever had the casserole version?? Oh my!

5.  The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center will be lighted today, as will the one at the White House in Washington, D.C.  Do you have your tree up and is it lighted?  Have you ever been in New York City or Washington, D.C. to see the trees all lit up during the holidays?

No Christmas decorations are up yet but hopefully this weekend I will get a good start if not completed. Yesterday, my sweet hubby did bring it all in from the garage though so I am one step closer! I have never been to NYC for anything and the only time I was in DC, the cherry trees were in bloom.

6.  Tell us something random about this week of yours.
 
We topped off the Thanksgiving week by celebrating Dacey's (our oldest grandson) birthday on Sunday. He is not a teenager anymore...the boy turned 20! How can this be?? Of course, I was a VERY YOUNG grandma...haha! Aaron (his dad) smoked a huge pork shoulder in his refrigerator... seriously, he did! Pictures don't lie!
 

 
So this is Dacey when he was just a few weeks old, tucked down inside the Christmas stocking that I made him all those years ago. He is big into working out and when he saw my mini-trampoline, he said he would like to have one...so guess who got him one? He is in the process of losing a few pounds for the USAF fitness test...he already passed the written test with flying colors! We are so proud of this smart kid!
  

 
So this is my abbreviated version of the post that got lost.
I'm still scratching my head as to how that happened...
...but after all, it's Blogger, right?
 
Enjoy the remainder of your week!
 


 

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