Friday, January 6, 2017

Gathered 'round the Fireplace

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(Artwork: Beatrix Potter)
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Our New Years Eve was pretty uneventful, and the weather warm. (Although a couple days before it was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g and so windy). Our new neighbors popped fireworks  photo fcr.gif all night, so that reminded me of how the holidays were - ANY holiday - back when we lived in Spring/The Woodlands. Our neighborhood would celebrate with fireworks for WEEKS whenever a holiday was near. (Which was kind of scary when you think of all the pine trees we had around there. Pine trees are highly flammable and in the summers we had to be really vigilant of pine needles collecting in the gutters, etc. The 4th of July was pretty scary in our neighborhood).

I didn't really watch any of the celebrations on tv this year since they usually bore me anyway. Instead I watched old "Once Upon A Time" episodes, but I did make sure to catch the countdown in New York. (Because I'm superstitious. I've always watched it). When it finally turned midnight here, the countdown on tv that I saw was in Tennessee.

It was the lamest countdown yet. It was worse than even last year's, and that's saying something.

First of all, I thought I had a few more minutes until midnight so apparently my clock was running slower than it should. Secondly, the people that I saw on tv celebrating the stroke of midnight must have been drunk off their asses  photo cheers.gif because they seemed to be in some other Netherworld or La-la Land.

It's like they didn't even know where they were or what day it was.

On New Years Day I had my annual spoonful of black-eyed peas. (Yet another superstition, although I know I'm not alone with this one. It's very common in the South that eating at least a spoonful of black-eyed peas brings good luck in the new year).

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The poor mules next door were NOT fans of the high wind gusts on that one day that it was so cold.

Thank Goodness they had the barn to escape those winds.

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“I do think New Year's resolutions can't technically be expected to begin on New Year's Day, don't you? Since, because it's an extension of New Year's Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. Also dieting on New Year's Day isn't a good idea as you can't eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second.”

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(Artwork: Brian Paterson)

While Christmas was HOT and HUMID, and New Years Eve was warm, today it's f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g.  photo bundle.gif

And I do mean really, really cold. The cattle and donkeys and birds are eating up a storm, but the mules are hiding as far back into their little barn as they can.

Speaking of the mules, while we were unloading the treadmill the other day the white mule was yelling at us to feed her. Lol! It was so funny because she is LOUD and very persistent.

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Despite the cold, the only snowmen around here are hanging out on our Christmas Tree.

Yep, the tree is still up. Everything else is down though. (Well, the china cabinet still has the Christmas Vignettes inside, but I'll remove those when it's time to put up the Valentine Decor).

This year I was pretty quick about taking down the Christmas decorations.

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There is ICE on our new deck. It's exciting! (Not that there's ice on the trees or anything, although the bridges around here do. There have been a few accidents nearby).

FYI: Pardon the color of the deck. We still haven't stained the wood.

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It still hasn't reached 37. It's a little after 1 pm right now, and while it's 31 degrees it actually feels like 21.

Of course, I remember back in 2014 it got so cold one day that the index was 9 degrees. There was a lot of ice on everything then, too.

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We got to light the fireplace again. Hooray for the fireplace fulfilling it's destiny!

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We're thinking of making chocolate chip cookies to celebrate this change in weather. However... knowing we finally have a treadmill, it makes me second guess the baked goods.

Not that we really eat sweets around here in the first place, and you know what they say --- just think of all the women on the Titanic that turned away the dessert cart.

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Update: The cows, donkeys, and most especially the bull were HILARIOUS earlier. They were running so fast and doing these 'jigs.' I don't know if the neighbor was calling for them or what, but they were incredibly frisky.

I wish I got it on film!

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The cattle next door have really been eating up a storm! Thank Goodness our neighbor feeds them VERY well when cold temperatures are coming. Two of our neighbors are really good about taking care of their livestock. I don't know for certain about the cattle across the road from us. They're really skittish of humans. The cows - and longhorns - even further down the road are exactly the same way.

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The low tonight is supposed to be 21 degrees, so I feel awfully bad for the outdoor critters.

And speaking of critters, we were told yesterday that someone else also saw a flippin' mountain lion nearby. (My father saw one a while back). It was just a pebble's throw away from our house, so that's frightening.

They also said there are A LOT of coyotes, but those I'm used to. I hear them all the time, and the dogs next door love to fight with them all the time, but they seem to pretty much keep to the woods. (Knock on Wood).

And speaking of the neighbor's dogs, I'm a little annoyed with one of them. The new dog, "Walter," has scared all our deer away. (We've seen him chase them off, and I'm 98% sure he's what scared the mule next door so badly that she jumped the barbed wire fence recently. Those German Shepherds do escape their acreage sometimes). They're sweet dogs, but I do wish they would stay on their property. (For their own safety most especially. We get a lot of big rigs out here).

We used to get 6 or 8 deer at a time, so I'm mourning over their absence. Our game cameras capture nothing at all now.


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Man is it coooold out there, and it's only a little after 7pm.

One of our furkids, Maddie, is OBSESSED right now with wanting to just lie outside in all that cold. She's always loved it.

I remember a couple years ago we had a really rare ICY day and she insisted upon lying down on that icy grass and in the wind.

Not me!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2013 - 2016 Christmas Posts

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(Artwork: Unknown)

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So yesterday I started packing up some of the Christmas bling around here. All that organizing got me wanting to do what I did last year, which is compiling all my Christmas posts - even from my older blog - on to one page.

I know it's silly to even bother, since hardly anyone sees my blog, but what can I say? I'm a fan of organization and I'm trying to distract myself from eating all my Christmas Candy in one day. (I never crave sweets, and when I do have a little box or bag of them around it can take months for me to eat them all. Usually they just expire. However, at this precise moment that's changed for some reason).

And this is OT, but goodness is it HOT outside today. It feels like 90 degrees, and I am not even kidding. The humidity out there today is a killer! I want it to be cold!

Of course, I know the reality behind that. It'll remain warm for Winter, but come Spring Break it'll be rainy and cold.

All Posts for 2013 and 2014
Twinkling Stars on Christmas Trees

Nov 12, 2014
Beautiful Weather and Disney Here I Come

Nov 24, 2014
Now It's Time To Say Goodbye

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(Artwork: Greg Giordano)

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Nov 20, 2015
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
* (A belated recap from 2014) *

Dec 12, 2015
82 Degrees Christmastime

Dec 13, 2015
A Rainy Not So Wonderland

Dec 14, 2015
Festive Trimmings

Dec 18, 2015
Getting Ready For Santa

Dec 20, 2015
Decking The Halls At Crick Hollow

Dec 21, 2015
A Countryside Christmas

Dec 28, 2015
The Holiday Madness is Over

Dec 31, 2015
Crick Hollow in December

Jan 3, 2016
Quiet New Years Eve

Jan 9, 2016
Twinkleberry and Friends

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(Artwork: Country Companions)

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Dec 6, 2016
Christmastime is Here

Dec 9, 2016
A Blustery Day and More Christmas Bling

Dec 10, 2016
There are Snowmen in the Kitchen

Dec 12, 2016

Pardon the Glitter and Snow

Dec 14, 2016
Of Christmas Birds and Snowmen

Dec 17, 2016
Preparing for Jack Frost's Arrival

December 25, 2016
Snowflake Covered Country Lanes

Larger Sized Pics - of ALL the 2016 Christmas photos - can be viewed HERE.

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Snowflake Covered Country Lanes

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(Artwork: Lisa Alderson)

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Well there were certainly no "Snowflake Covered Country Lanes" (to borrow from Mickey's Christmas Carol) in my neck of the woods this Christmas. Last week it was wonderfully freezing, but come Christmas Eve and Day it reached 80 degrees. (So that's something like 3 years in a row now that it's been hot at Christmas).

Not very conducive to a holiday experience.

The afternoon before Christmas Eve my brother and SIL came to the house to pick up their dogs and to celebrate Christmas. They brought with them the ingredients to make gingerbread cookies instead of gingerbread houses.

It was a foggy morning - which lasted into the afternoon - and then it got really misty, muggy, humid and drizzly. By late afternoon all of that turned into fog again.

It was completely surrounding us and I wish now that I'd taken photos of it from the road. It looked VERY thick over there, but I got sidetracked with getting the dogs and house ready for another round of visitors the next day. Another obligatory visit you might say. (And let me be clear that I don't mean to use the term 'obligatory' as some kind of demeaning, Grinchy smear. What I mean is that gatherings this time of year are a holiday formality. Unless we're living in Alice's Wonderland where we wish each other Merry Un-Christmases, Christmas gatherings are a required norm. No matter how hectic our lives are, or how we feel about holiday festivities in general, we all make it a point to come together. Every single year, come Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, we do this. The frenzy doesn't only exist inside the movies. Even on birthdays we make the obligatory phone call).

I got to meet my nephew's new girlfriend (she actually took over my sister's classroom since she switched grades this year) and let me tell ya.... she is the sweetest, most adorable thing. She and my nephew make the cutest couple. I think those two are very happy together.

I was filled with all sorts of emotions that day. Sadness, anger, nostalgia. (Literal tears. There, I finally said it. Yes, I cried. Tears don't lie). I tried my best not to let it ruin the evening, but it was difficult.

'Tis the Season for honest reflection, right?

Afterwards we went to SeaLand for dinner. (The best seafood in the world, and pretty much the only restaurant in this little town). The remainder of the evening I tried capturing some Christmas magic by watching my favorite Christmas shows.

But anyway.... before Christmas I started to take down some of the Christmas decor in my room, but I had to add the white glitter house to the others because it no longer fit on the entertainment center. (Because right before Christmas my mother bought a 65 inch Smart TV. It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!)

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I don't know why I didn't think of adding The Tardis to my glitter houses before. Lol! (I found it in the ornaments section at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago).

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I just had to add my pic of Wendy Kitty back to my bookcase. I still miss that sweet cat!

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I know the gate/wreath pics are kind of cropped, but the sun was blinding me and I just didn't care to obsess over it. (Because I already knew this latest batch of photos would be dark and lousy quality).

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I can't stand how the color turned out on my tree in these pics. It's actually a pretty gold tree and not pukey green.

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(Artwork: Greg Giordano & Holly Hobbie)

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Isn't my brother just oh-so-creative in his decorating skills?

Yeah, "creative." That's the word! Photobucket

My brother is always creative come the holidays. He made my mother do a scavenger hunt around the house once to find her Christmas present... a few years ago he wrapped Mom's Christmas present with an entire roll of wrapping paper WITH the cardboard roll still attached... this year he wrapped Mom's gift with his left hand instead of his right... and he always signs cards creatively.

For example, this year he inscribed my Christmas card as being for "Girl, but not Mom."

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My brother said that the "More You Know" cookie was mimicking those old educational commercials they used to air on tv back in the 90's.

And the bell he said is supposed to be the Liberty Bell, and he made it green because it's "old" and molding.  photo 46.gif

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The "thinking outside the box" cookies are the ones my brother made. (The cashew as a candy cane on the tree, the one-armed bleeding gingerbread man with a cast, the Santa with the Hershey's bar boots).

He started to do one of a bear climbing a Christmas tree covered in honey. (I knew better than to tell him where the honey was kept in the kitchen).

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I can't say I really understand the 'blob' one pictured above, except that the hearts represent that he loves danger.

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(Artworks: Unknown)

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Not many vids to share.

The first one is from the day before Christmas Eve, and the second is from Christmas Eve. It's of when we gave the dogs their toys for Christmas.

I was going to do a short video of the outside lights on Christmas Eve, but I wasn't feeling too well that night.


I forgot to mention our little Christmas Eve Catastrophe for this year.

After I was hurrying to get the house ready and vacuumed, my father decides to get out the Shop Vac to clean out the ashes in the fireplace from when we used it last week. I kept telling him that the shop vac was obviously still not fixed because I could see dust starting to fly everywhere. I told him he needs to turn it off.

He ignored me of course. Surely I was imagining things, right?


Not only were there “dust flakes” filling the air and covering the furniture and every surface available, but it looked like a sand pile on one corner of the floor.

We had to quickly vacuum, mop the floor, and even take one of the chairs outside to pound out all the dust from it. All this transpired just minutes before our guests arrived, too.

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas to us…. or something.

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