Sunday, December 10, 2023

Weekly Wrap Up 12/10

 Happy Sunday to all.  I hope this finds you safe and healthy!  This week seems like a blur to me - as I am sure the next few weeks will as well.  The holidays are amongst us!!!!!

As you know the cats became house cats this week.  So far so good.  Just this morning, Blackie finally ventured out into the house and followed me to the kitchen (he was hungry!).  Then after breakfast he sat on a chair in the living room for a few.  Lil Bit wonders around the living room and dining room at night!  She sure did yell at Blackie this morning when he was on the chair - as if to say "hey, there isn't room for me - we lay together".  It was hilarious and he got down and went in to lay with her.
Each day gets better.
Not only did their lives change but mine as well.  So much peace of mind that they are safe and warm.  I don't have to go out in the dark and worry if 'someone' might be lurking around.  My whole schedule has changed for the good.
We have had decent weather.  Yesterday it was about 60* when I got up and we had thunderstorms for a while!  Today the high will be in the 30's.  So far, the weather of December has been decent.  I will not complain.

My week:
  • Well, I tried to kitty proof the house - not that it has been needed much yet!
  • I made a batch (6 doz.) Springerle cookies for family
  • I finally got through all the old picture albums and have pictures divided into piles for various family members.
  • I broke up the remains of a jar candle to use in my melt pots
  • I received my jerky and summer sausage on Tuesday (just ordered on Fri.)
  • I cleaned and polished the kitchen cabinets and all wood furniture in the house
  • Towel angels done
  • Ran to Kroger on Fri. to get some fresh veggies and fruit - that is it
  • Finally got all the 'sanding' dusting done!  I think I have touched everything in this house!
  • Doing all the normal stuff we all do
Meals this past week:
Tuna patty, lima beans and sliced tomatoes
Bacon, cheeseburger and salad
Broccoli/cheese soup (freezer) and a cold turkey sandwich (freezer)
Tamales over rice
Cabbage, ham and potato skillet
Lasagna (freezer) and salad
Jalapeno burger on toast topped with mac & cheese
                       Spicy burger open face sandwich topped with white cheddar mac - yum!

A lot of my week has revolved around kitties.  I have managed to get some things wrapped and together for the holidays.  What have you all been up to this week?  Are you ready for the celebrations of the remainder of the year?  Did you get many/any deals?  
I am going to sis's today for sibling luncheon and exchange.
Look forward to hearing what everyone is up too.  PLEASE check-in so we all know you are A-OK!!!!!!

I pray you all have a safe and healthy and prosperous week ahead.  Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

The word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.  I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe thy righteous ordinances.
Psalm 119:105-106

Lord, thank you for the gift of this new day.  Continue to guide me down the lighted path I have chosen to follow.  Your word guides me each and every day, and I try so hard to follow your ways.  Please forgive me when I fail and pick me up and set me back on the path.  Guide us each one through this season of hope and love.  AMEN

                                             The beauty of last evenings sunset.  Awesome


  1. Good have been very busy this week! Your house must be shining! :)

    Glad the kitties are acclimating, and you are now at peace about their safety and well being.

    Just doing the last minute prep for the Christmas visitors who arrive on the 22nd---5 of them from MN. Only thing left is fresh groceries the day before like fruits and bread.

    I used to be a clean-freak for all of my married years (currently 56) and now it just doesn't seem as important to me for some reason!! I keep things looking fine and picked up, but I do need to deep-clean...probably after "the crew" goes home!

    I am currently enjoying the sound of the chimes outside of my window, and the hum of the dryer as the bedding is twirling about. It is a good day to be alive!

    1. Well, the house is better than it was. I am not a neat freak at all - but oh my goodness the dust that sanding made!!!!!
      Sounds like you are in a good place - ready for the holidays. You will enjoy the company I am sure. Yes, wait to do that deep clean until after the new year at this point! I would.
      I usually vacuum and dust before company - but not the deep clean stuff. They aren't here to inspect the house!
      I love chimes - I have them out front and back.
      Enjoy your day and have a wonderful week.

  2. Good morning, Cheryl. I hope your luncheon with your siblings is fun. It's nice to hear the kitties are settling in. Lil Bit sounds like a hoot; she is small, but she is mighty! As always, you were busy this week.

    Thank you for the verse and prayer. Funny, I was just thinking about how we stumble now and then. "He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart." (part of) Isaiah 40:11

    Please pray for my mom, sister and BIL. After an email from Sis, I called last night. Mom isn't tracking at all in conversations anymore. She tries, but odd words and sentences come out all jumbled. It's heartbreaking.

    Our Christmas cards are made out and in the mail. The only things left are baking and cooking. Good news... the apple scrap jelly set up after the 2nd processing. Happy dance! More apple butter and apple scrap jelly will be made this week, as well as some cookie baking. I'll enlist help and pace myself, doing what I can.
    Have a GOOD week, everyone! --Elise
    P.S. The neighbor *is* moving his fencing it seems. Fingers crossed.

    1. P.S.S. For those wondering, we haven't gone to AR to see my mom, because any changes to her routine send her into a tizzy and Sis recommended we *don't*. In at least one recent phone call, she didn't know who I was, but I keep calling. Last night she said, "I love you, Mom." Some of you will understand.

    2. I will continue to pray for your mother and that situation, yes it can be heartbreaking...I so understand.

      It's nice to hear of someone sending Christmas cards, the traditional ones? It seems some are sending those photo cards with not even a signature. It just kind of rubs me the wrong way on that but I'm thankful for any card where I'm thought of, of course. I wish they would send a traditional card with the pretty Christmas art on the front and tuck a photo inside. I remember my mom would display all the pretty cards on the slats of the dining room door and my dad would hang a long string and put them on that. Oh well, maybe it's just me, but I miss traditional cards and that is what I send! : ) All your treats sound wonderful, Elise. Glad the neighbor is cooperating.

      Blessings to you this fine Sunday, a warm hug. ~Amelia

    3. Thank you, Amelia. I knew you'd understand. A cousin and his wife--a former nurse--were just there. She thinks mom had a small stroke, but said at her age, all docs would do is give her blood thinners, which are dangerous. She said she doesn't think mom will live much longer. She's still with Sis and BIL; after visiting the local memory care home, they couldn't do it. They've hired in home help instead.

      Yes, I still send traditional Christmas cards with notes written in them. It's what I grew up with and what feels right to me, but it's very old fashioned to many now. I give traditional cards to delivery drivers, too, with a gift card or cash. Everyone local gets sweets from my kitchen. Neighbors get a gift bag of homemade treats and a traditional card. Ditto the doctor's office, etc. Been doing that for many years. Some people get me, some don't, and that's okay.

      A BIG (((Hug))) to you! --Elise

    4. Prayers for your mom and all your family as you go though uncharted events.

    5. SO sorry to hear things may be getting worse with your mom. Just such an awful situation. I understand not going, you don't want to disrupt her world at all, and it really wouldn't do you good either. I am glad your sis and BIL are keeping her close with them. God bless them and her. I keep you all in my prayers.

      Glad the jelly worked out - I figured it would.
      YAY on the fence moving!
      I love traditional cards as well. I always get a few of the picture cards and a letter or 2 - but I always send out nice old fashion cards. Mine go out tomorrow.
      Have a blessed week ahead.

    6. Thank you, Donna. I appreciate it. --Elise

    7. Thank you, Cheryl. God alone knows the day and time. My MIL lived twice as long as any doctor expected. And I don't mean to be a downer. Making out the cards this year was hard. As I flipped through my address book it was impossible to look past all those no longer with us on earth. HOWEVER...

      I can feed people who *are* here with gifts from my kitchen and take comfort in that. (((Hug))) --Elise

    8. Elise, I am sorry to read that about your mom. Always so hard. My old friend said the same thing about his mom: a visit from him upset her so much that he finally stopped going when he learned how bad it was. When she finally died, he said it was like losing her twice, because she was "already gone" a year or so before. Very hard. Much sympathy.
      I also noticed how many names are missing from my Christmas card list... :( Yes, I send cards through the mail, but local folks get cookies. Have one more batch to make.

    9. Thank you, Mary. I fully understand how your friend felt. It's a cruel disease.

      There's much cookie baking ahead this week. As much as I can get done. Thankfully, there's frozen dough in the freezer, pre-planned to make it easier on my foot. The guys will do more apple butter today and I'll make more apple scrap jelly tomorrow. --Elise

    10. Elise, I am praying for you and your family. I so understand what you are going through. It is good to hear that your family is getting some in-home help. Hospice services can also be a big help and are covered by Medicare. Most agencies will come to the home. I would encourage them to look into it.

    11. Thank you, Frances. Prayer is always appreciated. I think Hospice is good to look into now. I'll mention it. --Elise

    12. Elise, Dr. Janet Maccaro called that disease 'The Long Goodbye'. *sigh* I so get that.

      I think it's great Elise to give delivery people and neighbor's gifts and cards...So wonderful. I will be giving our mail lady a gift as usual, I think this year, a large gold bond lotion, fuzzy gloves and socks from dt. I usually do the popcorn tin but already had those other items in my gift bin. I used to leave treats in the delivery bin, we knew our delivery people, but now-a-days (the last few years) they are just different people every day and are in such a hurry, they don't even take it many times or will take the water bottles and leave the Christian tract behind, just weird. I used to wrap a popcorn tin for our trash pick up guys but service started suffering and attitude changed it seems, so I quite doing that, it was so much trouble making sure I got it out there before they drove up and putting a big sign on it that it was *not* trash. lol Oh well, every year is different. But I just LOVE the fact you bless others like that. I've thought of bringing cookies to the vet's office since they ended up being so sweet to us when our three fur angels passed this year...Maybe I will! : ) I love doing things like that. You have inspired me to do so, so I'm going to try, there truly is such joy in giving, especially when it brings a smile to a face!

      Praying Elise, huggaroos coming your way ~Amelia

    13. Update on me bringing cookies to the vet's. I tell hubs: I think I might bring some cookies to the vet's! Hubs looking over his glasses: I don't think I would do that...They should be bringing cookies to *us*. (I guess he's kind of right...) I reiterated the Christmas spirit in a way that would make Charlie Brown proud, and how I loved doing stuff like that but I get it after thinking about it...He just laughed and said they should be bringing us cookies, cake and more after what we've spent there this year. He's kinda right. ...That little Italian.

    14. Amelia, it's so funny that you wrote that. After a (paced) bake-a-thon this morning, making several dozen lemon cookies and 2 loaves of date bread, I laid down for a nap and prayed. The world has changed into something I barely recognize. When I delivered Christmas treats to neighbors in the last place we lived, they weren't just surprised, they were suspicious! Only the older ones seemed to remember that's what people *used* to do.

      I have new Bibles, winter hats, gloves and scarves, moisture cream/lotion sets (for winter weather), sock sets and more that I'd hoped to be able to donate to a church, charity, or leave unwrapped, but tied with bows in a laundromat, food bank or senior center. You really can't do that anymore.

      Take the hospital waiting area for the Bibles... there are no longer books or anything after C*vid that could be handled by many and spread germs. To bring a box into a laundromat might have someone call police! And if you showed the senior center or food bank what you were bringing by, they'd either think you were nuts or wonder what your motive was.

      My nieces and nephews don't send out cards. Period. Heck, they don't even send out an address change when they move! And thank you notes? Never. My sons do all of that, as I taught them to do. I used to say, "It doesn't cost much to get a card at the dollar store and mail it, but that small effort means you thought about the person enough to take the time and effort to send a card, or a thank you. I can promise it means the world to someone you love."

      Where did all of that go? *sigh* (((Hugs))) right back at you, Amelia. You are a sweetheart. --Elise

    15. Elise - I'm so sorry to read about your mom. I went through something similar a couple of years ago with mine. It's tough. I agree with Frances - if your family will reach out to hospice they will do so much for all of you.

      Christmas cards - I was just thinking about this as I just sent mine out. Why do very few people send any type of card at all anymore? We only get Christmas cards from some of our older (our age) friends and none at all from younger friends or relatives. I agree with you Elise - our nieces never send Christmas cards, thank you cards, sympathy cards. It's too bad. I continue to send them, even though they may think it's old-fashioned.

      Hugs to you!

    16. Thank you, Staci. Hugs right back at'cha. I'm so sorry to read about your dog (below). And like you, I'm okay with being "old fashioned". Heck, I'm *proud* to be old fashioned! --Elise

    17. Elise, I'm so glad you taught your son to send thank you notes, I taught our daughters that too. I'm flabbergasted on the expensive wedding gifts I send and no thank you note! Dear Abby, years ago had a letter posted by a lady whose grandkids would never say thank you or write a thank you note from across the miles. So she quit sending the gifts since they did not acknowledge them.

      When our first three daughters married we were so blown away that their cousins didn't even bother showing up! When my husband and I were growing up, if our cousin got married we went! Aunts and Uncles didn't even send our eldest daughter, the last to get married a gift and her wedding was small too. Most had last minute excuses not to come and they are close by. I can't tell you all the showers I've gone in on for those people. One of my sil's came to the chapel but had to go to a society ball that evening so didn't come to the little reception at a nice restaurant afterwards, she never bothered sending our daughter a gift, this woman lives in one of the most expensive neighborhoods known to many. A lot of people do not like our Christian stance though and it shows in these times.

      I agree, this world is just so bizarre and so self seeking. Some cards look like people are trying to market themselves. I counseled our married daughters, if they were going to send photo cards to friends and relatives; please at least sign them! ...And preferably send a little note tucked in the envelope too asking how that person is doing or *something*.

      Elise, do you have a downtown area with homeless or a Salvation Army shelter for women and children? They also have men's shelters. Those are good places to donate gloves and things like that. The beautiful Methodist church in downtown in our area, well over 100 years old is a great place to donate things because they actually have homeless that sleep on the steps at night (it's known to be a safe place) and they attend the church and even protect it. One of the only churches that has a homeless person sitting next to a person of means. But they have so many ministries there to minister to children at the port etc. and they collect things just as you describe, every week. It's the same church that has the Alzheimer's support group for those who care for them etc. Maybe you have something like that in your area?

      I feel the same way you do, Elise, I walk around doing the next thing here, sometimes I'll have our old 40s b/w movies on and things had such a different spirit to it back then. The country had a healthy fear of God. Things were sweeter as a whole.

      Yes, a note means the world to someone you love. I actually used to even draw illustrations on letters to my dad and my grandma. I'm now so glad I did that.

      Where did it go? I guess the first step was women in the workforce as the *norm* throwing everything off and taking prayer out of school, a recipe for disaster.

      (((Supertight hugs to you)))) Thank you, Elise. : ) ~Amelia

    18. Unfortunately, Amelia, there are no shelters or Salvation Army here. Praying about it and will figure something out. There's the Thrift Store that helps pregnant women in crisis, but they sell whatever is donated; I'd like it to get to folks who really need it, but I could ask them. --Elise

  3. Sounds like a good week for you, Cheryl. I'm so glad you are enjoying your indoor kitties now. It is a good thing to know they are safe and warm and you don't have to venture out into the dark to take care of them outside. We've been busy getting some inventory washed for Bailey's shops, it was a big load, but we can see the end of the tunnel. And we decorated the house for Christmas and put the tree up too. It's been raining here, but we've been in a drought, so I'm very grateful for this much needed rain. I hope you have a wonderful SUNday and a great week. :)

    1. Thanks. Life is different now - but good!
      Sounds like you are getting it all together. Glad her shop continues to do good. That is really neat.
      Glad you got rain - so many areas are still in drought. It all helps.
      Have a beautiful week!

  4. Two weeks 'til Christmas & I feel like I'm behind. It may have something to do with the fact that I've spent 5 of 10 w/e away with one thing & another, the latest being another ringuette w/e 4 hrs away with my oldest granddaughter. It's all fun but out of routine & I feel like I'm always playing catch-up. No worries. It will all work out in the end. Christmas will be low key with me having a meal with my 90 yr old mom at her assisted living lodge. Cousins & I are planning a moonlight walk at Christmas. I bought Christmas glow sticks for our walk. There will be a solstice fire on Dec 21. Of course, all outdoor activities are weather permitting. Still little snow in NE Alberta. I've experienced a snowless Christmas only twice in my lifetime. I'm looking forward to a pedicure & a massage this week. In the kitchen: carrot/rice/dill soup & leftover roasted veg & penne burger casserole. I did get some fudge made for gifting.

    1. You have been one busy gal. It all sounds lovely though. I love that you will have Christmas dinner with mom. She will love that! The moonlight walk sounds wonderful and fun.
      I have seen many a Christmas without snow and I don't mind at all as an adult. As a child it was important!!!!!
      Yes, catch-up can take place after the new year and things quiet down again.
      Wishing a lovely massage (jealous) and a great week.

  5. Cheryl, those kitties sound just wonderful! I love hearing about their antics! That is adorable that Lil Bit let Blackie know what is up! lol I totally get how you feel so much better and sleep better too! I've started locking our dogs in, it would scare me when I heard that they went out the dog door in the middle of the night chasing after something. I think those kitties are going to be a huge blessing for you, Cheryl. So happy for you to be enjoying those little kitties.

    I hope your sibling gift exchange and meet-up is a nice one and brings a smile to your face.

    Your cookies sound so good, it's making me hungry for cookies! Maybe I will try some of those this week. Yum-yum!

    This past week, I've been trying to get pics of my Wonderful Life Christmas village so I can post them, it's hard because our bandwidth isn't that great and sometimes they get where they should and sometimes they don't. Oh well, I can't complain. : )

    I will probably wrap some tale-end presents for our youngest, she brought them in for me to wrap. lol (You know our little system right?) lol It works, I have the little cross necklace for her too as a surprise. The married girls and their hubs will get money and the grands' gifts are wrapped. This past week, a couple of our daughters, my mom and I went to Dollar Tree and as you had written it was a special day! My mom had so much fun! It was a blessing! A Gift.

    There is a movie that you may have already seen but it made me laugh and cry in a good way, a surprise ending too. 'Secondhand Lions'. It has Robert Duvall (played as Boo Radley in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'). It's from 2003 and EXCELLENT. The quality is outstanding and award winning movie. I'm almost 63 now, and oh did this hit home. It really was a good one! It's hard to find clean movies that are newer. Also saw, 'Remember the Titans', very good movie that made me laugh as well as somber moments. It shows some stuff too that happened in late 60s, early 70. Anyhoo. Good clean, quality movies.

    Take care, Amen to your scripture and prayer!

    Big hugs coming your way! ~Amelia

    1. Amelia, I LOVE that movie... Second Hand Lions!! It's a favorite for sure! I'll be 62 just after Christmas, so yes, I get what you're saying. Just wish Hubs was into movies. We've let our Disney+ and other paid streaming services expire, now taking advantage of the free streaming I get with my Amazon membership and You Tube. I'd love any pointers to free streaming.

      And yes, I think it's great that your youngest gets what she wants with a little surprise added. Great, too, that your married daughters get cash. Checks came in with cards in the mail yesterday for Christmas and birthday and totaled the exact cost of the surveyor! Thank you, God!! Our youngest son's birthday is just before Christmas. He picked out what he wanted, a small handgun, I bought that and wrapped it up. He has a few surprises, too.

      As for decorating, I'll live vicariously through you and others this year. With the cold, the dogs are in more, Poppy will be spayed on Tuesday, I'm still not 100% recovered, and with my mom and stuff... just not into decorating. We may still get a small, simple coffee table tree up.

      Thank you, dear lady! --Elise

    2. Amelia - I am anxious to see your pics.
      Our sibling get together is always fun and joyful. We talk about the past a lot - and today I have a treat for them. I finally found the real estate folder I got about an gr. uncle's home in Cincy. It is where my mom spent her honeymoon with oldest sis's dad. She always talked about it being a mansion - coming from where she did - I understand. It is still pretty darn grand today and worth around $1 mil. They will love seeing it.
      I love your gift arrangement - it works!
      That happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time!!!! I only have a handful of favorites and that is one. Just adore it.
      Hope you have a lovely week ahead.

    3. I'm a fan of Second Hand Lions as well. Also To Kill a Mockingbird.
      Central Az

    4. Hi Elise, what a blessing to receive the exact amount for the survey! I'm sure your son will be very pleased and surprised with his wonderful and generous Christmas gift! That's great. : )

      Oh always is a concern when that is done and the aftercare is a bit tedious at times too making sure they don't hurt themselves. I'll pray all goes well.

      Oh dear, I know how it must feel on your mom. I'm praying, Elise, things could still get better because God is a big God. But I do understand too. It's good they are getting at home care. My mil came home from the hospital last year and 'Visiting Angels' company worked fantastic for even short term. The fam did independents at first but they were dishonest and yelled and everything else. For a nice little table top tree? Our dollar tree had a little flocked tree in the $5. section that we made my mom buy! lol I had a short string of colored lights like she wanted. So...maybe that is a good solution?

      I'm hoping to be able to get some pics up soon! I do understand how you feel, when we hear or sense the bad reports it just has a horrible way of paralyzing us doesn't it?

      Praying for you, Elise. I gave a few suggestion below for streaming. : ) Bless you, Elise, and may God give us all Grace and Peace. ~Amelia

    5. Cheryl, Oh the mansion sounds so neat, you should post a pic of that, I love old homes like that. Yes, that movie is a special one! We had seen it before but I must not have been paying attention or something...I used to sit with my laptop when watching a movie. (dummy, dummy, dummy) I quite doing that a couple of years ago and now see and notice so much more! lol

      Have a sweet day, I may try some puffy cookies this week if I get the time! ~Amelia

    6. Ellie, Yes, I absolutely love 'To Kill a Mockingbird' too. That movie is very dear to my heart. I even have a section of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' memorabilia and books by Harper Lee in my display case. Love that Robert Duvall...Boo. Isn't it just like life how people are misjudged? Our second born daughter, even had the theme from 'To Kill a Mockingbird', entitled, 'Boo Who?' played when I was walked down the aisle. It's soooo beautiful. Almost tear jerking, it evokes good memories from my little girl life and even thoughts of my dad... ~Amelia

    7. Thank you, Amelia. Like my MIL, my mom is hanging in there physically, although she's less than 100 lbs. now. Clothed. With shoes on. It's her mind that's slipping away so quickly. She'll maintain for a little while and slip farther away very suddenly. It's only in the past week that she can't communicate well at all. As I mentioned, my cousin was just there with his wife. Each time her schedule is seriously disrupted she takes a turn for the worse, mentally, and it doesn't come back. I *SO* feel for my Sis. It's gotten to the point that she has to bathe her now (vs. just helping her in and out of the up), cut up her food, etc. And then mom doesn't want to eat.

      Between that and the headlines every day, my mind is more on the reason for the season this year and I'm just not into the work of decorating, etc. We'll check out Dollar Tree. Thanks! --Elise
      P.S. God Bless you, Amelia.

  6. Cheryl, Have a great time today. I loved getting together with my Sisters when we lived close by.
    *We went to another bazaar yesterday and I hit the jackpot, there was a Lady there that made Barbie clothes. I'm donating to the local toy drive a couple of Barbie's and I needed some clothes to go with.
    *We also got a couple of bowl cozies and Butch got a new coffee/water tumbler, it has Bigfoot on it. There was also someone that made gingerbread cookies, well we had to have some of those too. Then we got home and the neighbor came over with a container of assorted cookies! Oh my so many cookies.

    1. There will be oh-so-many cookies in our house, too, Laurie, including gingerbread cookies. Wish I could have gotten to some bazaars this year. They're so much FUN. Sounds like you did well. :-)

    2. Laurie - thanks - it will be fun.
      Oh how neat on finding the Barbie clothes. So thoughtful to want to add those to the Barbie gift. Some child will be so super excited.
      Love the tumbler idea!!!!!! LOL!
      I may have to make some gingerbread cookies - that sounds good. Yum on all the goodies. Tis the season! Butch will eat them!!!! I wish I had gone to some bazaars - I miss that. Always fun.
      Have a blessed and wonderful week ahead my friend.

    3. What a blessing on the homemade doll clothes! That will be a beautiful gift for a little girl! Homemade doll clothes are so much better than the store bought ones especially for fashion dolls to keep things sweet. ~Amelia

  7. We all need to follow that lighted path. Think how much better life would be!

    So happy the kitties are settling in. They probably won't miss being out in the elements.

    Your lunch with your siblings will be nice. The only one left of my brothers' wives is Mary, who at this point would be considered the family matriarch. She is 88 but has stage 4 kidney failure. She still gets out and goes places and takes care of her house.

    Thunderstorms in December! Today is back to more seasonal weather.

    1. Yes mam, we all need that path!!!
      They don't seem to mind being in - things to play with, warm and cozy and food to eat! And each other and mom hugs and kisses! What isn't to like?
      How wonderful that your SIL is still going strong. Hoping she has many more good years. Sis is 92 and our matriarch. She feels she needs to have the dinner at her house - because mom would have!!!!! Bless her heart - she is in pretty darn good health and I hope we get a lot more holidays together.
      Crazy weather for sure. Gloomy and chilly today!
      Have a great week!!!!!

  8. I'm so happy to hear the cats are adjusting to being inside. It usually doesn't take long. Before you know it they'll be sleeping with you. lol It sounds like you had another very productive week. I saved .70 on gas from Kroger points, 20.00 off my purchases at Kroger from having a prescription filled there and we had a 111.00 dollar credit from the city on our water, trash and sewer bill so no bill this month and still 5.00 off next month. I'll take it. Have fun today at your sisters!! Enjoy each other and make lots of memories.

    1. Thanks - it may not be long till they are sleeping with me. I would love it.
      Good savings on gas. Love those credits and discounts Kroger gives. Yay on the water/sewer - it must be the time of the year to balance things out. Win-win.
      Had a lovely day!
      Have a fantastic week!

  9. I'm sure your luncheon with your siblings will be full of fun and laughter, enjoy!
    Good to hear the kitties are adjusting well. They'll soon learn that indoors is much more comfortable, and I agree, less stressful for you.

    1. It was a wonderful luncheon. We laughed and told lots of tales!!!! I think we all had a great time.
      Yes, it has to be less stressful on the kitties as well. They seem to like it in here.
      Have a great week.

  10. Hi Cheryl, it is good to see that you now have two cats bossing you around ;). Glad that the transition to indoors has gone as well as it has. Last week there was some more progress at my condo, painting is now done! Tile that was due in Nov, then early Dec, is now scheduled for late December…ha! Apparently it is on a truck moving through Mexico so fingers crossed it will get here eventually. Went to see my brother in NC last week, when I got home I started feeling off and took a Covid test, sigh, positive. My first time with Covid, luckily so far it is just a headache, sniffles and a sore throat. Fingers crossed. Have a good week, Hilogene in Az

    1. Well I hope that is all it does! Mine was like that, a few days of headache and feeling not very good, then back in the saddle! :)

    2. MaryB, thanks for your comment, I was hoping that maybe I can get away easy on this ;). Hilogene in Az.

    3. Glad the painting is done. The floors will happen eventually - when the time is right!
      Yes the kitties will be bossing me in no time I am sure!!!!
      Hope you had a great visit with brother.
      Bummer on the Covid. I hope your symptoms remain mild. I know people that have had very mild cases. Take care and get rest, drink your fluids. Cheryl's orders~!!!!
      Have a good week.

    4. Crossing fingers and saying prayers it's a mild case that doesn't last long, Hilogene. Both sons had it, the youngest twice. It was (as described by others) mild. --Elise

    5. Hilogene - hoping your symptoms remain mild. I've had it 3 times and have been lucky that all times have been mild and over within 3 days. That's wonderful that you were able to go see your brother!

  11. Happy to hear Operation Kitty Rescue is going well! It makes me heart smile knowing those two will be safe and cared for by you, and I know they will be great company as well! Hope you have a wonderful time today while gathering with your family!

    1. Thanks - so much has changed already. My schedule is more laid back and we seem to be doing good.
      It was a great time with family today.
      Have a wonderful week.

  12. I hope your gathering was a lovely one.
    Those fur balls are going to keep you entertained, that’s for sure and certain.

    So, during the week I made a new fruitcake recipe. The result was a very dense old fashioned cake like my grandmother used to make many years ago. The woman who passed on the recipe told me…. 4 cups of fruit, 3 cups of chocolate flavoured milk, 2 cups of self raising flour. I couldn’t believe that was it but it resulted in a great cake.

    I soaked the fruit for 24 hours in the milk ( I used Aldi brand), then added the sifted flour. The first tin I put it in looked a little small, so removed it and put it in a slightly deeper square one. The cake did rise a little but not a whole lot, so basically the uncooked mixture will be your cooked cake size. Then I cooked in a moderate oven for 2 hours. The knife I used to check wasn’t coming out clean, so I gave it 30 more minutes then left it overnight in the oven.
    The result in the morning was a perfect cake. I think it lasted three days.
    I’ll be making more this week and adding glacé cherries to make it more Christmassy.

    Elise, prayers for all your family during a tough time.

    Hilogene, I recently had Covid for the first time too. Not much initially but it’s sure taken a long time to get over. Look after yourself, prayers for you also.

    Have a great week everyone, Louise

    1. Yep, the fur balls will keep me happing!
      The cake sounds so easy - QUESTIONS. Fruit - canned or dried fruit like one gets for fruit cake? Milk - just regular chocolate milk? Grease pan or no?
      I want to try - just thinking of questions!!!!!
      I bet it was good - sounds easy enough for sure. Thank you.
      Hope you have a wonderful week.

    2. Sorry, yes dried fruit. I used up some very very old fruit that I got when a local organic place was closing. It didn’t have a best before date but it would have been years over, it was very crystallised.
      Just normal flavoured chocolate milk. I bought Aldi brand pre-made, but you could mix your own with hot chocolate mix.
      I lined the tin with baking paper, but I know a lot prefer aluminium foil for fruit cakes. My tins are so dented and batterred if I just grease I can no longer guarantee that cakes will come out.
      I’m planning to make smaller ones for some gifts this week. Along with the glacé cherries I’m going to add slivered almonds on top because that’s how my Nan always made her fruit cakes.
      Good luck.

    3. Thank you, Louise. I appreciate the prayers. And thank you, too, for the recipe. --Elise

    4. Louise - that is an intriguing fruitcake recipe. Thank you for sharing!

    5. Staci, you are welcome. I simply could not believe that it would work, it just didn’t sound right, so I had to give it a go.

      Elise, I have a friend who is going through something similar with her mother and it’s tough on everyone. Just to know that you are in someone else’s thoughts and prayers may make it a little easier.

      Cheryl, you are the exclamation mark queen!!!!!!! I love an easy recipe and if it helps someone else make something easy then that’s great.

    6. It does, Louise. A big (((hug))) sent across the miles. --Elise

  13. I'm finding that embracing a simpler holiday is a journey.

    This year I was going to keep decorating simple but special-- putting out the things I really enjoy seeing.

    Well, the joke's on me! My husband decided that 3 weeks before Christmas that re- piping the house was a good idea. So while we do have the tree up with lights there are no ornaments or decorations out of any sort. Half my house is shoved into the other half of the house. We didn't have water for several days so we were at a hotel. We're back home now but the carpenter comes tomorrow to put walls and cabinets back together. Then I can put stuff back. I have nothing done for Christmas except cookies I made yesterday at my daughter's apartment. I don't have a working oven either. That's getting repaired next week. It's been out since the day before Thanksgiving.

    Life. Lol.

    I decided that this Advent that I would not spend time on my phone with social media, reading blogs, my news feed, etc. Except on Sundays where I read this blog and 2 others related to home keeping for inspiration and encouragement. Since Advent is a time of preparation as is Lent, this is like a mini Lent in that I'm giving up something. I also gave up tv & videos. I wanted to make the anticipation of Christ's birth more significant.

    Not having the full use of my house has got me thinking about simplifying in a way I hadn't considered before. This is something I may take into the new year as a new project.

    Thinking of everyone and praying too even though I'm not posting during the week.

    1. Sometimes we have to be careful what we wish for. Simplified decorating you got!!!!! Not exactly how you envisioned it I am sure!
      Sounds like a big icky mess. But it will all be nice when done. When it rains it pours!
      I like your idea of giving up things so as to enjoy the reason of the season a little more. That is pretty neat. I feel very honored and humbled that I am still on the list!
      It is amazing as we simplify - it just seems to get easier. Amazing how that works.
      I hope things get done and you get your home back in order quickly.
      Have a good week!!!!!

    2. My goodness, Margaret! That's quite a LOT going on!

      Our son just asked me about giving up things for Advent. He's taking RCIA classes to join the Catholic church. I only remembered giving up things for Lent, but your timing is perfect as he was just here yesterday. I *have* been doing light fasting this Advent season, but more as part of my personal journey and preparation. Also an Advent devotional study each day. --Elise

  14. I am so glad the kitties are getting used to being in the house. I can only imagine your relief.

    Took a break from baking today to just be. I may almost finish the knitting for Kurt's friend over tonight and tomorrow.

    I am getting so excited that our sons will be home in 13 days. I love a full house.

    God bless.

    1. It truly is a relief. Now to get Blackies surgery over Thursday and I can get things more normal.
      I bet you are excited. How lovely to have the family together and enjoy each other. I hope they get to stay a little while.
      Have a blessed week.

  15. Cheryl, I'm glad you have the cats indoors now. It will be much easier and safer for both you and them. That Little Bit sure is a cutie! I hope you had a good time with your siblings today, too.

    Husband continues to settle in to assisted living. It has been chaotic at the facility. They have been painting and laying new carpet, and the dining rooms were closed for three days forcing the residents into the small, cramped activities room for meals. Not a good situation, especially when you consider that most of the residents have some form of dementia. Things are looking up; the project is winding down, and Husband is back in the special needs dining room (he chokes and aspirates and must be watched while he eats). Meanwhile, I have been there six days in the past week, mostly to make sure that he is receiving the care he needs. If I hadn't been there at lunchtime yesterday, the people in the special needs dining room would not have gotten lunch! No aides showed up to assist the residents and get the food from the kitchen! I brought it to the attention of the facility director who personally ordered the kitchen staff to bring the lunches. She also personally fed the resident who requires feeding. The facility director has assured me that she has hired a number of new aides (all CNAs) and some new kitchen staff, replacing a number of employees with bad attitudes who should be out the door this week.

    Husband and I went to a Christmas carol singalong today. He enjoyed himself, though he initially did not want to go. I also gave him a badly needed manicure and pedicure. If I don't plan something to do when I'm there, he just wants to sit in the darkened room and hold hands. Some days that is all he is able to do, but on his good days I try to keep him more stimulated.

    I saw the mental health therapist for the first time last Friday. She ordered me to get out more and find some more activities to do, especially involving other people. I will continue to go the the Project Linus workshop (weather permitting) at least once a week. It is only 10 minutes from Husband's residence, so I will still visit him those days, too. I have my good days and bad days, but have started on the right track. I see the therapist again this Friday.

    Not decorating for Christmas, but have watched some Christmas movies, including "The Shop Around the Corner", "It Happened on Fifth Avenue", and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" which I watched with Husband. Christmas Day will be spent having the noon meal with Husband. I'll also call my mother at her assisted living residence (in Kansas). I'm hoping for no snow here.

    1. Thank you - yes she is a sweet baby.
      It sounds as if you are keeping busy with all things hubby. I am glad he is somewhere he can get the assistance he needs. GOOD to hear they are getting new and hopefully improved help. I personally can't imagine doing their jobs - I am just not made for that - I would think people would burn out quickly. I am glad the redecorating is about done and the new help is coming. Glad you were there to make sure they got fed the other day!!!!!
      Nice that you can plan activities for you both together. I bet he enjoys it too, whether he says so or not. Also check your local library - there may be some things to get involved with there as well. JUST DON'T over do it!!!!!!!
      SO happy to hear you are seeing the counselor - they are right, you need outside stimulation for yourself as well!!!
      Hey, Christmas shows are enough. That is basically me this year. I have watched a few shows, and that is about it.
      Hope your week goes smoothly. Take good care.
      Have a lovely week!

    2. Frances, it was GOOD of you to speak up about the special needs dining room. It's just good to speak up in general and I'm glad things are improving there. Glad you found a therapist for yourself, too. You both remain in my prayers. --Elise

    3. Ah, that's why it is important for family and friends to visit those in care. Not every day the same time, but often enough to catch when things are going wrong.
      I didn't decorate for Christmas as usual, but did my wreath, table centerpiece, and put rope tinsel on my little tree. That's enough, and it does look festive (to my eyes). :) I miss my Nativity set, but fear the new cat, Allie, might take it out. I'm not sure of her behaviour yet.
      Good for you, Frances, on seeing the counselor.

    4. Frances, those are some of our favorite movies for the Christmas season! You just can't beat those old black and white movies.

      Praying for your and so thankful that things are working out. God be with you in mighty but gentle ways...~Amelia

    5. Mary, you're so right. When Grandma Griff was in nursing care, it was near enough to us that one or the other of us (Hubs and me) could be there almost every day. Never at the same times. And--being me--I'd bring occasional treats of cookies or muffins or whatever. The point is, because we didn't have a regular visit schedule, but were there often, and were super friendly to the staff, she got a little special treatment herself. They'd actually call me in the morning if she was in a mood or having trouble (usually *giving* trouble) and ask me to come. --Elise

    6. Frances - I'm just getting caught up on Cheryl's posts and the comments and I am so sorry about your husband. I can't even imagine how hard it must be. Hugs to you and your husband.

  16. An Update:
    So, the neighbor had his brother and ex-wife there over the weekend (with their very young kids) and they moved the corral and dog fencing! All of it! I overheard him tell his ex he needed to take a picture "for the guy", which I assume means code enforcement, but he wasn't annoyed at all. As they were finishing up, I thanked him and offered him some apple butter, which he happily accepted. He and his ex were cordial to each other. They'd worked together well.

    Afterwards I told Hubs I wish the two of them would get some counseling. With five young children it would be worth trying to work things out. The kids are well behaved and curious. Both parents are still in their 20s and... well... I don't know. But we've regained our property w/o angst. Knocking wood.

    Didn't get to the next batch of apple butter yesterday. That's on my "to do" list this week. Today I'll bake some cookies for the vet's office; Poppy will be spayed tomorrow. For those interested, she's become such a lovey dog. At night she likes being in our laps (half on mine, oozing onto Hubs') while we watch nature shows. She'll fall asleep there and Blue in her doggy bed at Hubs' feet. It's a precious way to end a day. --Elise

    1. So glad that big adventure is done and over with. Now you can reclaim the land and have a good garden spot(?).
      Poppy sounds like a sweety for sure. Our babies sure make life special.

    2. YES! When you consider our lot is 244 ft. deep along that side, adding 43 ft. width for that whole length, it's a BIG space!! He essentially tried to stretch his 0.63 acre lot into an acre by seeping his fencing onto our property. A few dead juniper trees will have to come out that manure from the mule burned to a crisp. Hubs is going out with shovel and buckets to scoop up all the dog poo left behind, too.

      It could take a few seasons to prepare it for a garden. We also need to get a water tank (?) to keep grow-ceries watered during dry spells. Next spring our son offered his back yard for growing produce. In time we should be able to grow a LOT. I'm even considering fruit trees, because when the regular price of apples is $2.99 lb. it just makes frugal sense. BTW... our brand name sliced sandwich bread has a regular shelf price of $4.99 per loaf now. Sales are $2.99-$3.49 per loaf. That's why I took advantage of holiday sales to get a bread machine. --Elise

    3. Elise, I love your description of your doggy snuggling in the evening, it sure is a blessing isn't it? Have your tried the Tubi app? They have nice, even old 40s movies on there. There is an Old Movies app too. Youtube has many old movies and there is a station I'll have to look up with old movies and no commercials. We have regular television and there are many, many wonderful stations now, very good quality ones, no need for cable any longer. They even have a 'Movies!' station that mimicks tcm. Cowboy stations...Retro stations galore. We have a tevo to tape programs to watch later and skip commercials, we love it. If you go to Channel Master they many times are running specials on antennas and tevos this time of year.

      Have a blessed day, Elise! ~Amelia P.S. Thank God all is well with neighbor, will pray for the family.

    4. Thank you, THANK YOU, Amelia. I'm going to write those things down. And yes, our fur babies do so much to soothe me before bed, as well as entertaining us during the day. Blue has always been skittish. With Poppy being so affectionate, though, Blue is wanting and "asking for" more love herself. Used to be she's sit with her back to us while we petted or scratched her... now she wants face on lovin'.

      Our neighbor's name is Loren. Not sure what his ex's name is, as they split up within a few months of our moving in. I appreciate your prayers for that family. I know from experience the challenges for kids in that situation. You are so sweet! And I'm glad you understand where I'm coming from. I've been praying for them and for him. He's had an awful lot go wrong in his life for someone so young. I pray he finds God and is able to turn his life around. --Elise

    5. P.S. On another doggy note, I've trained the girls to stay quiet in their crates in the pre-dawn hours so their daddy can sleep in a bit. I'd had Blue trained before Poppy came along. Now they both let him sleep until about 7 a.m. They stay quiet and are such good girls! --Elise

    6. Elise - so happy that all seems to have worked out with the neighbor. I'm just finding out that you have a new dog?!? Congratulations!

    7. Staci, Poppy showed up as a tiny puppy last spring. That same neighbor used to breed his dogs, one littler after another. She was an escape artist. The 2nd or 3rd time she showed up on the back steps (and I took her inside again, it was cold), I asked if he'd sell her to me. She's a big girl now at 9 months old; just a little bigger than her sissy, Blue. They're besties. :-)

      What's funny is, although we've had dogs before, it had been close to 30 years. We've been cat people all that time. Had planned to have a few cats in our retirement. God had other plans! --Elise

    8. Elise - so happy she found such a loving home! Happy she and Blue seem to get along. Indeed, God many times has other plans. Thanks for your note about the loss of our pup. It was so hard (still is) as he was our world. We were blessed to have had him and his litter mate brother in our lives for as long as they were. 😊

      p.s. I love their names

  17. Oh I have missed you. I took care of our neighbors 4 cats while she was in Egypt this last month and one of them passed away while she was gone. Yikes! I felt terrible. But she took it really well.

    1. We have all missed you gal. So glad to see you back posting. I know you are overwhelmed - but you CAN DO IT!!!!!!

      Oh that would be a bad situation - not your fault - but still, I can understand feeling bad about that. Glad she was nice.
      Have a great week.

  18. Cheryl - what a wonderful thing to have the kitties inside! So happy for you and for them. Seeing tamales on your meal plan reminds me that I want to try making some from scratch. Hoping you had a wonderful time at your sisters. I'm reading through your posts & catching up on all that I've missed!

    We don't do a lot of Christmas gifts, so that is done. I do quite a bit of baking for others so I'm working on that. I made gingerbread bags (puffy paint + brown paper bags) for some and have tins for others. Christmas cards and newsletters were just sent out today (late for me, but at least they are out). Our dog passed in September so, unfortunately, no dog gifts to get this year but I am going to look for a couple more toys for our cat. He's almost 13 but acts like he's 3!

    1. Hugs and pets to your kitty, Staci. Our last cat lived to be 15 years old, but I know of others who lived to be 20. Sorry to hear about your dog.

      Since our sons have been grown up for awhile, we don't do a lot of gifts anymore either. Those gingerbread bags sound cute! I'm right there with you on the baking. This is my baking time of year. I'm anxious to try Louise's fruit cake recipe, but for this week it's cookies, cookies and more cookies. --Elise

    2. Thank you, Elise. It's ALL about cookies around here right now too!

    3. Hi Staci - thanks. The kitties are sure a hoot. I just love pets and have missed having them inside. So sorry about your pup - it is always so hard to lose a baby. Hug the kitty!
      Sounds like you are quite ready for the holidays. Good for you. The little bags sound cute. My main gifts are for the littles in the family, and then others get baskets of food type goodies.
      Have a wonderful week.

  19. Except for kitty proofing, how has your routine changed? Can you ever really cat or baby proof a house?

    1. I get up a little later, I don't have to go out in the dark in the morning and evening to feed (that is huge to me). I like feeling safer. No more bundling up and going out in the cold first thing! I don't have to get dressed as soon as I get up - I can lounge in jammies a while!!! LOL!
      I have COMPANY inside!
      A few things have changed all for the good.
      I am enjoying it.
      Have a beautiful week.