Monday, December 21, 2020

Another December Weekend!

 I am loving these December Days!
Life seems to have slowed down for me and I am getting things done but not rushing around and getting all breathless. Louis Dean has been working on his decking project and I have been moving through my days at a leisurely pace.

I sent out the Family Text about Christmas Eve. 
That's when all my children and grandchildren come over.
We have appetizers and drinks while we visit before we have dinner and then roll sugarplums and play some rousing games of NUTS! Then we open our gifts before closing out our Christmas Ever together.
We plan to host at 4:00 this year, allowing time for Amber and Mike to get home and do all they need to do to prepare for Christmas morning. Jesse and Leigh's children are all big teenagers now! Why, Sam - my very first grandchild - is now an adult at 18!!

Summer won't be with us this year as she is in Puerto Rico with Rayne and Sabrina.
The personalized playing cards are from her and I told Leigh Ann she could use Summer's cards.
By next year I plan to have personalized playing cards for all of my grandchildren and Mike and Leigh Ann!

I have a herb garden in the side yard but I can't get to it with the deck construction going on....

So I went to the front yard to see what I had in the way of bouquets.
Rosemary is always good.

And so is mint!

My Mexican Heather is still blooming....

I made up the sugarplum dough Friday afternoon.
This could also be called 'Chocolate Butter!!'
That's what Sabrina calls it!

We were invited over to our next door neighbors for dinner and a show in their famous backyard!!
Stephanie and Mark ordered Olive Garden (YUM!) and they live streamed the Trans Siberian Orchestra out to their gazebo.

Our back yard is just over that fence behind the gazebo.
It was an amazing show and Stephanie made THE best spiced mulled wine!
She sent me the recipe and I am making some for our Christmas Eve.

It was heaven to sip the warm wine all bundled up in a blanket she draped over me and listen to that amazing music!

Louis Dean loved every minute and every note of the music.

This is their little grandson - their first!!

Mark is famous for his grilling and his fires!
He is an amazing host!

This Friday Night will be one of our best Christmas memories for 2020.

This is where I sat Saturday morning and most every morning.
Here lately I have been getting up earlier than Louis Dean and, I have to say, I am enjoying these quiet hours to think, pray and be still.
I do so love my 'morning routine.'
I get up, take my medicine and I select the first card in my scripture box of cards that I keep on my chest of drawers. It's one of those small boxes holding 2x3 inch cards with Bible verses printed on them. The bedroom box is KJV - my favorite.
Then I go out to the kitchen and turn on the coffee - prepared the night before - since I do not think well first thing in the morning. I turn on all my thousand points of lights......aka fairy lights.
While the coffee makes, I open the guest room door and flip the power strip on the dresser that turns on the radio and all the lights. Then I crack an egg that I have carried from the kitchen into a small saucer and fill the food bowl for the kittens. I do the kitty chores - you know what that means - and then I lift the cover on the kittens' kennel and open the door. After telling them good morning and giving each one a neck rub ......I go back to the kitchen and pour that first cup of coffee and settle down for a time of prayer and meditaion. I have a second box of scripture cards on the coffee bar - not KJV this time. So I select the first one and read and meditate on that. (At the ranch is a third box of cards - KJV and these are brightly colored cards kept in a brown and white enameled coffee cup beside the chair in the camper.) Then I have prayer time and try to heed the command to 'be still and know that I am God.' After my prayer time, I write in my diary and then just sit for a spell.

I've been looking at new recipes for this Christmas.....
and I do have a little helper!

I have my grocery list made and the menu pretty much decided.

I'm making this one......

but I decided against this one,  opting to make Chandy's recipe for honey glazed carrots.
She's using our honey in them and says they are delicious! I will add a sprinkle of nutmeg to them.

Once Louis Dean gets up, we meet in the den with coffee and do our Bible and out loud reading.
That Tabitha is really becoming his girl!

Cereal with fruit is a good breakfast for us.
But I had fruit and cottage cheese instead.
So far I have lost 11 pounds since the middle of November.

Then Louis Dean went to work on the deck!
He works long and hard.
He told me he needs to get these big projects finished because he can't keep doing all this forever!
Truth be told, he is getting tired.
We are trying to get the things done we need to do so we can enjoy our old age and not have to ask our children to do things for us.

While HE worked.....I relaxed in the gazebo with a good book.
I finished it and will be mailing it off to my friend, Carol.

YAY!!! He's nearly got it all framed in!!

I took advantage of these easy days to work on Louis Dean's birthday quilt.
It will be done before Christmas.

For dinner Saturday night, I made a pan of roasted veggies with lemon infused olive oil, seasonings and fresh spears of rosemary. To this I added some slices of fried ham and called that a meal!

We didn't go to church this morning.
Instead we will be going on Wednesday night.
Fellowship Church Grapevine has multiple Christmas services so when Amber said they were going Wednesday, I said so will we!

Louis Dean was really REALLY tired this morning and said he was going to take the day off to loaf!
I thought that was a good idea.

My neighbor around the corner - you know the one with a green thumb and that amazing back yard garden - left a gift bag on my porch this afternoon.
I LOVE this sign!! We have been friends for years now. We both love wine - I the white and she the red. We both have great places in our backyards to entertain and enjoy a glass of wine ....and yet we have yet to do this together! But we will!!!
Life is so much better when you have good neighbors - and we do!

Louis Dean didn't manage to loaf very long before he was itching to DO something.
He decided to go on to Home Depot and purchase the lumber he needs to finish the deck.
He had pulled up across the yard to  unload it when I was about to leave to go buy our Christmas groceries. And that reminds me of this morning's reading of A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote.
Buying ingredients to make 30 fruitcakes!!

There's Louis Dean unloading all those boards!

Our neighborhoods are seeing a little bit of fall color at last!

I am happy to say that I have everything I need for this Christmas Eve and Morn and into the days after....except for 2 big bags of frozen corn! They were out in two stores!

As I loaded Cokes, beer and wine in the beverage fridge in the gazebo, I decided I needed more LIGHT.
I strung up some of those old fashioned bigger white light bulbs and then I could even read out there!
Tomorrow I will hang them properly from the top so it will give better over all light.

Louis Dean took a hot soaking bath while I warmed up the leftovers Stephanie had sent home with us on Friday and we met in the den.

He had recorded this Christmas concert on PBS by Josh Groban.
He is as wonderful as ever! Even better!
I wrapped up all my gifts as I watched and now I am DONE with shopping!
Well, I still have those two big bags of frozen corn to get......

I will close with this photo from December 23, 2014.
This journal entry would have been published hours earlier if I had not been determined to find this picture! I love it and will be painting it as soon as I get back down to the country.
Can you tell who these sweet girls are??
I am so happy they are still as sweet today as they were then!


Linda said... many of you are ready for Christmas??? Or are we EVER really ready??

Bluebird49 said...

Girl you are so busy! I may have delay Chris atlas here some, but it is plausible y. ThT Civic is really not a joke for us older folk with complications. I'm not going to worry -- it only makes things worse.
Ed has to go get his gall bladder ultrasound tomorrow morning, so we will see what that shows.
You and
Louis be sure rest a little!

Kathy said...

I love your morning routine. I get up hours before Joe and think I will incorporate some of your ideas. Christmas is coming way too fast for me. Each year I say I will be more organized and on top of things and I never am. You have a lot more freedom than we do here. We could never have a family gathering or visit with a neighbor. Masks at all times even if we are in our own homes and answering the door. I'm trying to be so careful. The second person in my family died of Covid-19 yesterday.

Brenda said...

We too are isolating
No family gatherings
It is ok
Love your photos

Deanna Rabe said...

I have a gift card to buy still, but am basically ready! I like to be able to enjoy Christmas week without rushing around!

I like time in the morning, too. I like to read, and pray and prepare for the day.

Merry Christmas, friend!

Changes in the wind said...

Love that Texas star on your house. You are indeed ready and the picture of the girls is just precious, what a sweet memory. Routines are comforting and especially in times like these.

Debbie said...

oooooh linda, i LOVE your spirit and energy!! i am ready for christmas, i wanted to be all done before michael got home, and he is here. now i can just relax and spend the time with him!! and do a little more baking!!

your plans for christmas eve sound awesome, lots of fun. the potato and carrot recipes sound good. i make sweet carrots using brown sugar and butter. no recipe, i just eyeball it!!

many thanks for the christmas card, it is one on my favorites!!

Arlene G said...

I hope you and Louis Dean have a blessed Christmas with your family, Linda.

Deb J. in Utah said...

What a busy, happy post. So many positive things going on in your world. Have a wonderful Christmas!

MadSnapper said...

I love Josh Grogran, his voice is just devine. I wish Bob could work like LD is doing, we have a ton of stuff that needs a hand man, i fret over it a lot. i know you will be glad when the deck if complete. you are blessed to have such great neighbors. love your chair you sit in early to read your verses. yay for fairy lights

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sounds like you are very ready for Christmas. I'm doing my final shopping today. Later in the week will be too busy. Relax and enjoy your holiday ! Merry Christmas !

Vee said...

Every single thing looks merry and bright and industrious. So glad that you and the neighbors got together for a fun evening. Have a blessed and easy week...🕊

obscure said...

I'm glad you will get to see your family on Christmas. Here in the NY metro area we are on pretty strict guidelines - no holiday gatherings for us this year for Thanksgiving OR Christmas. But we're all healthy and employed so I'm just telling myself it's only one year and trying to make the best of it.

Ginny Hartzler said...

It sounds like you will have a wonderful Christmas eve! Your rosemary bouquet looks like a tiny Christmas tree! Your home looks so welcoming! we just watched the latest Josh Groban special on PBS.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Linda, we are as ready for Christmas as we will be with all the cards sent (thank you for your wonderful Santa card) and also the gifts to the out-of-state grandkids and family and friends. We will connect by a video visit on Christmas. Your holiday preparations looked wonderful and the food will be delicious. Glad that Louis Dean realized he needs time to loaf and hope he takes more days like that!

Carole said...

You relaxing - how much you still get done! Take care. Cheers

Jan said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


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