Monday, December 26, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 12/26

 Howdy!!!!!  Well, the party is over for many and hasn't happened yet, for many more.  It seems many, many families had to reschedule gathering events for another time.  Weather and sickness created a mess for many people.  I hope each of you that had celebrations had a lovely time.
Happy Boxing Day to those celebrating today!

It sure has been COLD!  Our weather took the big turn on Thursday late afternoon.  We went from rain to snow.  We also dropped 40* in a matter of hours.  The winds howled like crazy for 2 days!  We broke a record of over a hundred years on Friday - as the temperature never got above ZERO!
The kitties have done great and stayed inside their house.  They have used the litter box - which neither had been used to and they have water and warm bedding. 
This morning they both came out to meet me on the back walk as I went out with breakfast - first time in days that I think Fluffy came out of the greenhouse!  Blackie would walk out and within a minute he was back in.  They know where to be.  LOL

I watched the birds of Friday - they were so fluffed up and huddling.  I felt so sorry for them.  I made sure all had food.  The squirrels were big fluff balls.  They all loved having the heated water bowls - drinking a lot.
           Not my picture - but I think it shows how we all feel after the festivities are over!!!!!!

My week - last week:
  • Finished that baby blanket - oh my aching back!!!! (It was very much worth it - as tears flowed!)
  • I did extra insulating of the greenhouse and finished all the weather preps
  • I dropped off gifts at my brothers last Wed. - just in case I couldn't get there Sunday.  I DID make it!
  • I helped my neighbor wrap a boat load of Christmas gifts for his grandkids!  That was fun
  • Actually started cleaning up the craft room a little - so much to do
  • Froze extra from meals made this week for another day
  • Working on cleaning more
  • Finally got out on Saturday and moved the snow that drifted and cleaned the car and got it opened!
  • NO shopping at all
  • Rolled towels up and placed at the base of the doors - it did help.  It was so cold out, that any crack felt cold
  • Just a quiet week
Meals the past week:
Roast, mac n cheese and salad
Stuffed mushrooms (so good)
Chili with crackers and butter
Baked potato with chili, cheese and sour cream
Smoked sausage, Brussel sprouts and garlic toast
Sausage gravy over homemade biscuits (scones)
Tacos and Mexican rice
LOTS of comfort food was in order for me!  Extra food froze for another day!

Here is one of the stuffed mushrooms.  Used Portabella's, stuffed with chopped roast, dried bread, crushed cheese crackers, beef broth and cheese.  Mmmmmm, Mmmmm good!

How was your week?  Did you get hit with the huge weather event crossing the nation? Maybe I should ask, who didn't!  Did you celebrate or are you doing it another day?  Any deals last week?

I did get to go to my brother's yesterday.  Had a great time with his family - almost all were there.  A lovely meal was had and a great celebration amongst the children!!!!  Oh goodness, to see through a child's eyes again.  They sure can make you smile and laugh.

Prayers you are all well and safe and warm.  May you all have a wonderful week.  Can you believe we are now at the last week of the year?  New beginnings will soon be upon us!

Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

Christmas throwback!
             Me at Santa Claus, IN circa 59/60.  That Santa is still there for picture taking!!!!
                       Me and Santa - he was a good one!  50's at Murphey's department store!


  1. My daughter and grandson arrived on the 24th as scheduled. We had about 20 cms. (8 inches) of snow overnight into Christmas Day, so that gave us some outdoor work to do to wear off some of those calories. ;)
    The snow has stopped and they'll be on their way home later this morning. She's arranged for a local service to clear her driveway and sidewalks before she gets there.
    It was a nice day, lots of good food and good company.
    Here's hoping the weather improves for you soon. Merry Christmas!

    1. So very happy your family got to be together. I know you have had some awful weather, and I almost feel bad complaining! Smart on her part to have things cleared before she gets home. Good food and good company - says it all! Love that.
      Our weather will be improving VERY soon. We expect 50's by Thursday!!!!! Crazy stuff.

  2. (Little Penpen) We made it through another Christmas! This was nice for us; no family drama and I think we all had a great time! Now it’s time to eat veggies and drink water! 🤣

    1. NO family drama is always a good thing. Glad you had a nice one. LOL - veggies and water!!! It's winter for a while, so me and comfort foods are going to be friends. Heck, I can lose weight later!

    2. Little Penpen, I'm lol here because I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner just a few minutes ago. I told him his choices were Vegetables with a side of broccoli, Broccoli with a side of vegetables, or Vegetarian vegetable soup! We're having vegetable soup. I'm gonna crockpot it.

      Also, before I forget, Cheryl!! You were the most adorable kid! You're still lovely, of course, but you could've easily done catalog ads. Great smile! You were a natural!

    3. You guys and your veggies! I aint giving up anything until after NY's!!!!!
      Thank you - little knock knee'd me!

  3. We had the same bitterly cold weather (windchills -42F) you did but with much less snow, making for a very challenging weekend for us. We were without water for 2-1/2 days! It came back on at 7:50 this morning. Saturday, I went under the house with a hair dryer (and properly rated extension cord) and tried to warm the exposed sections of pipe at the meter and where it comes out of the crock in the ground. Because of the beams and sewer pipe, I had to lie on the rocks with my arm fully extended, but I just couldn't get close enough to do any good. I ended up with very cold feet and a very painful right shoulder.

    Thanks to being prepared I had some water stored for flushing. Flushed once a day, with all solids going in WM bags out to the garbage. Plenty of drinking water bottles, too. The worst part was not being able to wash my hands with soap and water (used baby wipes) and not showering, especially after crawling around under the house.

    Looking back, I don't know what we could have done to prevent this except run the water 24 hours a day. The funny thing is that I had finished the dishes (with full-stream running water) only 2 hours before it went out. The heat tape did not fail. I have foam insulation board in place against the skirting. Cabinets under the sinks open. At any rate, prayer was answered: it is back on full strength and the electricity stayed on.

    We got a notice from the trailer park on Christmas Eve that our lot rent is going up 6% ($29) March 1. Nice timing, dontcha think!

    I did get some deals at our local grocery store on cake mix and toothpaste, and a free can of frosting.

    Well, Husband wants to get his shower NOW, so I need to get going.

    1. Oh my gosh, what a mess. So happy you didn't have to leave your home and you were prepared for that hic-cup. I bet you were frigid and sore when coming back in.
      Glad all is back to working properly. Next super cold snap - maybe leave the water running a bit. Catch in and use it as well.
      We only got about an inch maybe 1 1/2" of snow - but the blowing drifted it in many places. I had knee high drifts in some spots and some spots were clear. It was very dry fluffy stuff.
      Bummer on the lot rental going up. Got to get their part of SS increase!!!!!
      Good deals. I wasn't about to go out shopping. Didn't need a thing. Glad you added to your pantry.
      Have a warm day!

    2. I'm so sorry that happened, Frances. The weather this Christmas was brutal in much of the country. My sister and BIL had a pipe break on Christmas Eve, sending water all the way into their basement from an upstairs room. It's a mess. Thank goodness for homeowner's insurance. May 2023 be kinder to everyone! --Elise

    3. O gosh Elise - that is awful. Yes, insurance is a godsend for sure. Weather is to be warming here in the next few days - I love that.

  4. Cheryl, your childhood pictures with Santa are adorable! So glad you were able to make it to your brother's house for a family celebration yesterday. Our family celebration will be tonight: oldest son should arrive sometime this afternoon. We had a nice Christmas Day, though, with our youngest son... carols playing via satellite radio, beef roast for dinner and our annual viewing of 'A Christmas Carol' (the Muppet one). Tonight will be spiral ham with traditional sides.

    Speaking of which, Basha's had/has spiral hams for $1.19 lb. Hubs bought a 2nd, then, on Christmas Eve. The price is good through tomorrow. If I had freezer space, we'd get another. They also had boneless pork tenderloin at $1.99 lb., limit of 2, which he bought and I cut up into 18 chops and 2 small roasts. I was able to shoe horn that into the freezer.

    Meals this week included NY Strip Steak dinner (at home) for our youngest's 30th. BIL was here for that. I made 7 cups of beef bone broth from the bones and scraps. Last night's roast (cooked in the crock pot) gave me another 3 cups of rich beef broth. I've got ham broth in the freezer from Thanksgiving, and will have more after our family Christmas to add. Winter is soup season in my house. We'll have plenty of free broth! I love going "lighter" after the holidays and my body does, too.

    Weather-wise, we're having a mild end to the year. Highs have been near 50 (F) and lows in the upper 20s. Nearly all of the earlier snow has melted off. I'm grateful we were spared the winter blast that covered most of the country.

    Hope everyone is able to enjoy a more peaceful week as 2022 winds down. --Elise

    1. Your meals sound tasty. That is a good deal on ham. Heck you can't get lunchmeat for that price. Sure a lot of good eating and so many things to do with it. There is nothing like that beef broth - it has so much flavor.
      We will be mild too. I am 'predicting' we have had the worst of winter! LOL
      Yes, hopefully this last week ends on a quiet note for everyone.

    2. That was our thought, Cheryl... cheap lunchmeat! And better than the pressed, processed stuff. Hmmm. I may send freezer meat home with our youngest tonight so I have room for another. LOL! But we're ending the year with enough meat stored to last us all 6 months or more. I *have* set a goal for 2023 and that's non-perishable pantry stock up. We'd like to (ultimately) get at least 6 months' worth of almost everything set aside. BIL is bringing 50 lbs. of flour with him, so if I can find a good sale on yeast, bread will even be taken care of. --Elise

  5. Boy howdy, it did get cold! What little snow we got was enough to keep the chickens in the house. Gary put some food inside the house but left the water outside by their stairs. They would have made a huge mess with the water. Dogs ran out to do their business and right back in. Now it looks like we will have temps close to 60* in a week or so.

    Glad you were able to visit with family and have some good eats!

    Doing laundry today. The washer and dryer is in the garage so I was reluctant to start the washer with the temp as cold as it was. Seems to be doing okay. The house my daughter lives in was built in 1940 and has had ongoing drainage problems. She came over one day last week to take a shower so she could go to work . The plumber is supposed to finish up today with the kitchen so she can use her sink again.

    1. Yes mam, it was COLD -- bitter cold! Poor chick chicks. Glad they are OK.
      I was reluctant to do laundry as well - even in the basement. That is on my agenda for the next couple days.
      I hope your daughter gets her problem solved. We take so much for grated, and sure miss our little luxuries - even if for just a short while.

    2. Donna, my sister's house in AR was built about 1950 and they had all the plumbing replaced in the early 2000s, so the water pipe breaking was a shock. Our son's house also had plumbing work done, but for a few months he was having issues with the septic system and did laundry and showered at our house. Fingers crossed, it seems to be "fixed" now. Saying a prayer your daughter's plumbing will be A-Ok when done. --Elise

    3. Thank you Elise, for your prayers. The good thing is that she rents and is not financially responsible for repairs. She has a good landlady.

  6. Hubs and I took a 10-day pre Christmas camping trip to the desert north of Tucson. One night it was 22 degrees overnight and froze the water pipe from the spigot to the trailer. Snow birds were complaining that they came to the area to get AWAY from the cold. Ha!
    I have a frugal tip that does not include food. Our local library has a program called Cultural Pass. With your library card, you can get admission for two free to many local places; in Arizona there are 10 museums, one zoo, an arboretum and a botanical garden. We checked out admission for two to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Price for Seniors is $26 each. All we did was give them our receipt from the library and got in free. Wonderful museum. I checked Google and many states have the cultural pass program, it's not just AZ. So ask your library! After all the rotten weather and time inside everyone will need a day out.
    Weather from that big storm here hits Tuesday night. Snow expected
    Central Az

    1. That was a chilly camping trip. We stayed in our camper, years ago, in that type of temps. Chilly, but fun.
      That is a great tip. I think most libraries have some sort of deal. I also know there are times when all national parks are free. It is a great way to see things and experience places that may otherwise be too expensive. Thanks.

  7. Ellie, great tip on the library pass. We have that too and all summer & fall it gave me free places to take my grandson. Ours require that a child is one of the admissions but that's fine with me as that's what I'm using it for!

    We had a drama free weekend too. All the folks who potentially could stir things up didn't come this year. And while I love them it was a relief and made for a calm and smooth weekend!

    I'm actually looking forward to January and February. After reading comments here recently I decided to see those months as a great time to do those projects I never seem to get to. For years our family traveled quite a bit during those months for the kid's sports competitions (regionally, nationally and internationally). It's been a few years since we've done that (we did it for 20 years and 3 kids) and I hadn't figured out how to look at those months other than wait for spring! Now I'm looking forward to those months!

    1. I am glad your holiday was stress and drama free as well. It sure can make a difference in enjoying things. You can love people, and just not like being around them!
      I find it a great time to do projects (at least in my mind)! LOL
      I always have a great list - some gets done and some doesn't. My intentions are good.
      Glad you have gotten a new insight to those dreadful icky months!

  8. Sorry I’m late in my reply. Delighted you were able to get to your brother’s for dinner. I went to my daughter and her hubby. We brought dinner to another daughter. I did come home to my own bed. ( hard to beat) I went back to her house for lunch today. I am lucky in that my children all live close by. (Except one son in Scotland)I did spend yesterday morning with my daughter in law and 2 grandchildren as my son was working.
    On Friday I got a very large chicken for half price. I cooked it and then portioned up for freezer etc.
    Your food sounds amazing.

    1. Glad you are here. It is always nice to lay in the comfort of our bed!
      Glad you got to be with your family. It sounds lovely. Spending the morning with the grandchildren had to be great.
      Good planning with the chicken. It will be tasty later on.

  9. Yes it was cooooold! Brrr. Had to keep re-doing the chicken water through the day as it kept freezing. They appreciate the warm water! The barn cat kept to his heated house upstairs in the barn and he has a heated water bowl too.
    For Christmas it was just us, so I thawed out half a breast I had cut off the 19 lb free turkey we got at Thanksgiving and also thawed the gravy we had made plus made mashed potatoes and green beans. Sooooo good! I'll be doing that again! and so easy.
    Nothing really to do this week, I've got plenty of leftovers from previous meals last week, so can take it pretty easy. Chicken corn chowder, turkey, home made pizza.

    1. I bet the water for the chickens froze in a few minutes with the nasty temps. Smart kitty!!
      Your meal sounds perfect. I still have turkey in the freezer from Thanksgiving too.
      It is nice to have a week to end the year - with no rushing around, no real plans and no real emergencies to worry about. The other meals sound so good.

  10. Happy Day-After Christmas! We had weather much the same as you, starting around Noon on Thursday. A group of four of us had a lunch date planned, with grab-bag gift exchange, and it started snowing mid-way through our lunch. I was only 1/2 mile from the restaurant and had no difficulty getting home, but it took others much longer than me. Temps then plummeted to near zero in the day, with -30+* wind chill, until yesterday. Snow-wise, we got less than 3". But it was the winds that were most brutal! When I took pup out this morning it was 17* -- didn't bother to pull my hood up over my hat, and we had the first leisurely stroll in nearly a week. Christmas dinner was plentiful and, even with sharing leftovers with my daughter, there's ample for lunch and dinner all week. The only shopping since last week was a quick stop at the grocery store next to the restaurant we went to on Thursday, to grab a single red onion, and a deli pick-up on Saturday, for a family favorite potato salad that I can't replicate, from my old neighborhood. The good thing there was the order came in at about 1/2 of what I expected. The added bonus was that the person who came in after me is a long-time family friend. When they were asking people who came in if they had an order placed and I heard him say "order for Tom H****", I quickly turned around and we had a nice conversation while waiting. I hadn't seen him since before I moved in 2016, so it was good to catch up. We're now getting ready for the big warm up, with melting, rain, and potential flooding. Can we ever win????

    1. YES, the wind was brutal. We had 50 and 60 mph wind gusts for 2 days. It made things even colder feeling. Glad you had no trouble getting home.
      It is nice to have those leftovers for meals all week.
      Neat to see an old friend. Glad you could catch up. Yes, getting a little warmer each day. We have some melting coming, rain - just no flooding, that I know of. I will take that over this past weekend in a heartbeat!

  11. As the resident Christmas curmudgeon lol, I am happy it's in the rear window. I wonder if I'll ever enjoy it again, but my goal has been to get thru it smiling because hubs had a good childhood and good Christmas memories. I'll also consider myself fortunate that the other holidays weren't ruined with dysfunction 😂. I didn't even send out cards this year. I'm sending Valentine cards instead.

    We had/have that bitter cold, as well. The wind stopped blowing for just one day and now it's back . That makes it feel so much colder. We had no weather related issues so that was a huge blessing. I'm sorry for anyone going through that. All of our feeders and the heated bath have been packed with birds. The suet blocks must be frozen because the only action they're getting is from the woodpeckers!!! We put out pecans for the squirrels and they're all gone so they're eating well.

    I'm not sure I can really count anything extra getting done last week because of the appts I had plus errands. There's still time before the yard screams for attention!

    The January budget and I are at a stand off with nobody making a move lol. Doesn't look good for me as the budget usually wins. My gosh, everything drastically increased. A lot. I'm not sure what one does when there's nothing left to cut.....

    Be safe and stay warm!!

  12. So cold! OMGoodness. Thank you, God, for the woodstove, the power stayed on, pipes did not freeze, car started so I got to Christmas Eve service, such a lovely way to head in to The Big Day which was spent with son and family. Enough leftovers came home with me for the week, I think! I froze many slices of ham to see me through the winter, as I only eat meat about once a week. Finished up my alcohol for 2022: glass of wine at Thanksgiving, glass at Christmas - being festive with family. ;)

    So happy the weather is moderating. Poor housecat kept going from door to door looking for better weather so he could go out, always makes me laugh.

    But it hurts missing people... people who are gone forever, people who are far away. I sure hope the promise is true and that we'll meet again on the other side of Jordan.
    MaryB in NC

    1. Yes, you and many others of us were blessed indeed. No problems here to speak of either. I am so joyful for that. Christmas morning the sun was shining - such a glorious gift to receive after all the guck!
      Glad you got to have a lovely weekend of fellowship and family.
      My outdoor kitties are finally deciding it is OK to go outside a bit - tired of being cooped up, I am sure.
      It is always hard at the holidays with missing folks. I had a hard time this year, more than last year. I for one, believe that promise!!!!!! Hugs

  13. We had three days of below freezing, sometimes single digit temperatures, about 90 hours of staying in the house except for Tommy going to the mailbox. There was no precipitation at all and very little wind, nothing drastic.
    Even though there was no precipitation here, there was drizzle that could freeze. So, Tommy did not even start the car. He put a bulb in the washing machine out in the utility room.
    Tommy was very cooperative all Christmas Day, no controversary. It was a great day with good food. Of course it was because I cook Most of the food had been cooked and frozen, so the sweet potatoes had to be baked.

    1. The drzzle was not at our house, but we did not want to go somewhere it was and had frozen. It seemed I contradicted myself.

    2. Sometimes home is by far the best place to be. There is no need to go out roaming every day - we can have a fine and lovely time at home as well. Safe and snug.
      It sounds like you had a lovely holiday weekend. Glad Tommy cooperated. LOL

  14. Sorry I missed you on Monday, I thought you would check in until Tuesday, funny is is about 5AM tuesday morning now. I don't sleepat night so I am off to bed soon.

    The weather got cold here, high winds but no precipitation. I was surprise though, it never really felt cold in the house but I was in sweats with a robe and had the little dogs by me on the couch and in bed. Big dog, the chow, he was in high heaven, this is his kind of weather. He was out there running around barking like a maurading buffalo. He was and is a very happy boy, I have to make him come back inside so he doesn't aggravate the neighbors.

    I cooked the 2nd ham I bought at .97lb and boy I have enjoyed them. Have 2 ham bones in the freezer for bean soup, plus little bags for sandwiches and breakfast. I also made a lasagna, ate some froze some. So nice to be able to pull things out of the freezer, good meals without the work.

    I know you like me are missing our sweethearts, there were tears shed but I feel like they cleanse my heart and soul this time of year.
    They me gone from us know but we will be together again. We are lucky that they are still watching after us!! I just stayed home again alone this year, I still can't control my emotions, don't want anyone to see my sad face and tears. I can only do what I feel I can handle.

    Part of my christmas gift to my son was filling up his freezer and pantry, we all know how things are at the moment. One of the things I sent was a prime rib roast for Christmas dinner. It was the first one my DIL had cooked. My son said it turned it so good that he made himself sick by eating so much!! She has always been a good cook so it did not suprise me. Talked to grandson, he must have been a good boy, had a great Christmas.

    I will see them later this week for grandson to pick up his present, a kaliedascope, he saw one on TV and thought it was neat so I ordered a nice brass one that I hope he can pass on to his own kids one day. Sometimes I worry these days, I like to get presents that also use imagination and learning, like telescopes, microscopes, origami kits, building kits. Not everything should be electronic. Who knows I may become the best Grandma or the most boring one but I am trying!

    Glad you and the kitties survived the storm but I am sure it is
    not the only one you will face this winter. Happy Holidays, thank you for always being there to light up our day!

    1. There are some dogs just made for the cold. They sure do love it - maybe we should be part dog!!! LOL
      Sounds like you have plenty of good eating at your house. My brother made a ham and it was sooooo good. He always does a wonderful job with the ham.
      How wonderful for you to fill your sons freezer! That is an exceptional gift! I have never made a prime rib. It has never been a favorite - I like my meat a lot more DONE than prime rib usually is!!!
      I bet the kaleidoscope will be appreciated. I always loved those. I buy my one nephew who is about 8 a science type gift each year. Something to think and do. He always enjoys them - so I understand what you mean.
      I hope we face no more of that brutal air this year. It was record setting stuff.
      I understand you wanting to stay home. You do what makes YOU feel best. That is OK. Every person handles things differently. Holidays are just lonely and sad when you miss your forever love. Know they are with you in your heart and mind always. Hugs.

  15. So glad to hear you made it to your brother’s house after all! Being with family really makes the holidays even more special. Your weather sounds a lot like ours when it roared in. No precipitation, but just bone-chilling cold. Our backyard strays did great as well with the boxes I prepared for them. I worried about them, but they did great. Just had to stay on top of making sure the water in the bowls didn’t freeze up. What a sweet picture of you and Santa!