Wednesday, December 28, 2022

New Year Wishes

Whimsy and Hugs!

Well, it's now past Christmas, and I know all of you are experiencing that post-season lull....  unless you're in high gear toward the rest of your parties and family get-togethers and New Year ideas...  in which case, you are in a flurry of preparations and what not.  Either way, the old order changeth, yielding place to new, and it will soon be 2023...  Throughout this post are little photos of a quilt I purchased on Etsy this summer. I love all the handwork!  I don't think it actually does itself justice on the bed, so I plan to put it on my quilt rack, but I did want to start the year with the soft blues and whites that I so dearly cherish. I made the granny afghan a few years ago from a yarn I found online. I'm not sure what brand it was, but I really liked that dark color-change. I love doing things in that because I'm not in love with tying in my loose ends... in life or in crochet! lol...  See what I did there?

I'm discovering part 2 of the unexpected pleasure of not decorating very much. I don't have anything to take down really...  a few festive touches here and there, but mainly. I need to clean! That never fails. I can't believe how much dust happened... Could it have been my furnace repair?  Yeah..  I'll go with that...  ha! ha! 

I am having a bit of my favorite, though not overly healthy breakfast. I love strawberry pop tarts. I prefer the unfrosted version, but I can't find them at Aldi's. So...  I love strawberry poptarts warmed in the microwave with a daub of butter...  And I can justify all that because it is quite hard to find things I can eat with joy...  My dentist /surgeon was highly recommended. In fact, he had the caveat of being the NUMBER ONE dental surgeon in Columbia, MO.  I am wondering just who named him that? I mean...  Nobody that I know has had all her teeth removed more than once, so...  how would a person compare him to anyone else?  I guess he was fine. He charged so much that I will probably never ever "love" him...  That's a sad but true thing about my spirit...  And it's hard to say he did a good or a bad job when he sliced into my palate/roof of my mouth and stitched it up like a crazy quilt...  I don't feel very good about all of it... YET...  blisters on my gums and all kinds of weird thoughts about the whole aging process just make me unhappy...  So I don't really plan to think about them after today...  right now.  Aren't you all the lucky ones to catch this last bit and bob of negativity...  lol...

My cousins and I had kind of a memory-fest on Christmas Eve. They all provided some photos of family dishes they were preparing. As children we spent every Christmas Eve together with our family in our grandparents' lovely home in Excello. I actually didn't prepare any of the traditional favorites from those day, so I provided this photo of the actual door to my grandmother's front porch. As you see, I haven't painted it in all these years. It spent the majority of time since the 1970's in Daddy's barn loft...  What doesn't show well is an etched light house in the glass, which has thickened at the base and bubbled through the years.

We are all cozy and happy with our new furnace, newly fixed plumbing...  That expanded (of course, to include a frantic search for a plumber at the crest of Minus 34 degree windchill.  Those guys are in high demand. Our problem was located by the nicest 25 year old furnace installer.  He was a jewel. He even uprooted an old phone down in that dark dungeon of a basement that belonged to my dad. He asked if he could have it, and I gladly said YES! He took a video of the leak on our main line. Who knows how long that's been happening. All fixed now. The young man was really, really kind.... and I thanked him. Then he said it. "I always like to be good to the elderly." What? My son didn't blink an eye. That child has had so many health problems I'm afraid he has felt elderly most of his life.
But I sure didn't like that thought very well...  A few hours later, my son burst into laughter when he heard me mutter under my breath: "ELDERLY!!!" 

We had a white Christmas, and the weather warmed up a little, so I think families could better get together. I will say my love of Winter has its limits, and that windchill with the accompanying 30-35 mph icy blasts really pushed those limits!  Our windows play haunting melodies, and I tried to capture them with my phone recordings, but it just wouldn't pick them up...  All that led to my believing it is entirely magical, which made me start rethinking if I want to replace these old windows at all...  Ahem! And all that brings me to my typical post for the end of the year! I have to discuss my word of the year for the next trip around the sun.

As any of you who've followed me know, I delight in choosing a word of the year, and I usually struggle quite a bit, settle, change it, and then pounce on what seems perfect. This year was not an exception to that pattern. I started with a pretty good feeling for the words MINDFUL or INTENTIONAL. I thought I needed to ground myself and plan, maybe get a groove going to become, at last, that kind of person who could actually benefit from planting some well-thought out goals and reaping an expected harvest.  I reminisced and chided myself for some of my other words of the year from my past, such as Whimsy and Sparkle. "That's what you get for those kinds of words... You are mumble mumble years old...  Grow up and be intentional!" I was pretty self satisfied...  for a few days. Then, alas! I just couldn't do it. I do want to be intentional and mindful, but I just don't want to read it into my every waking minute.   Much like a little miss I had in my English 1 class. I asked her if she liked to read, and she wailed, "I guess I like to read, but I just wouldn't want to make a habit if it!" I've never stopped laughing about her...  Sweet Kelly....  I will get to the point (and the word) fairly fast. I promise! I wrote down about 30 or 40 words that my friends had used in years past. I loved them all. I could honestly see myself with Create or Imagine. I loved the idea of JOY and a year dedicated to its pursuit.

Finally, though, I just gave it all up. 2023 would be the year I just didn't choose a word of the year. It wouldn't matter. I have often forgotten what my word was the year before, and I've had to look up this very post from prior years to figure it out. I chose Encourage for 2022. I'm glad I chose that, because boy-howdy! I have needed it. 'Take Heart, Daughter." was my scripture, and I needed that one, too. As my lack of posts has shown, my little spirit has been tired this year. And I really hated that tiredness of spirit.

Then... VOILA! A word crept into my heart, and I began to sing it loud and clear. I love the word resonate...  And my word of the year for 2023 resonated with my soul.  My word is RESTORE.  I love that! I have needed restoration. My life needs it, my faith at times, my health for sure, and my home.  My goodness. How could I be so lucky as to find this word? It covers anything and everything. I'm totally happy with it. I can see it playing out no matter what dumps into my path... and hopefully as the path clears a little, restoration can continue for a long time to come. There are no shortages to the good scriptures about restoration. I like them all.  I think this one is new to me, and we are just now studying Amos. So I'm starting the year with Amos 9:15, "And I will bring my people Israel back from exile.  'They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.'" 

So, dear friends, there you have it...  My word... my mis-matched bed...  all of it. I am off to explore the wilds of my Studio. I plan to get some journals done and listed in my Etsy shop. Valentines and other wintry things sound good to me right now. I'm a little over Christmas... although those lights on my tree still are magic to my soul!

If I don't see you before Sunday, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2022

So this is Christmas!

Season's Greetings and all the best of everything to the dear ones who clicked on my blog today. I have understandably been kind of awol for a couple of weeks,but I'm back with all the best intentions for a lovely, quiet, cozy Christmas on Meadowlane. We have not been awol from our ongoing quest to spend every penny this year we can. Ha! 

For quite a few months both this year and last I kept telling my son that I smelled something like car exhaust. At first he'd go to the window and see if there happened to be some stray vehicle idling away in our drive while its occupants strolled around somewhere. But that seemed dumb after a bit because we live in the middle of nowhere, and to get here, you drive down a very long driveway in clear view of our  front picture window...  He has the sensitive olfactories of the family, even to the point that he cannot tolerate most of my beloved candles. I have missed that familiar scent of vanilla and banana bread and caramel pecan, but of course, I love him a gazillion times more, so I have most of my candles put away until maybe a miracle comes to cure him of this asthma. So I figured if he didn't smell that awful pervasive exhaust, I was probably just being weird. But finally last Monday, I got the furnace guy here to check it out. Ya think?

He went to the basement and then I saw him flat out running to his panel truck. I have to admit that I have always felt just a little rich when there is a panel truck in my drive.  And oh, my goodness, if it's a truck with a piece of furniture or an appliance? I'm in over the moon with button-bustin' pride! LOL... I think all that is due to my angel daddy who was a do-it-yourselfer with a fierceness unknown to common man. That man could do anything and did. He would never call in a professional. I know if he would have had access to YouTube, he would have been unstoppable. Anyway...  the guy comes to the door and announces, "I don't have very good news for you." I was not surprised, actually, given the amount of cash these teeth have cost us. He told us the dampness in our basement had rusted the burners on our twenty year old furnace, and we needed a new one at the tune of four grand. Of course we did. So I am hopeful to see it in the near future. It's ordered, supply-chain nonsense  has ensued, and we are awaiting a phone call for that. One man said don't run it, but the other one said to run it low due to Carbon Monoxide!!!  eeek!

Meanwhile, my son's toilet has backed up AGAIN. Did I ever stress just how old this house is? It could just be the typical backup, or it could be frozen because we've had the furnace set as low as we dare until the new one comes. I am actually not as chilly as my son. He really has taken the colder house to heart, and he spends his days divided between his room with its new computer and frigid temps and the living room where we are running a space heater.

Oh, yes. The space heater blew a fuse and we had to call an electrician. He announced that we really should start looking into rewiring our house which is peg and knob or pillar and post or something I've heard said on renovation shows. I am pretty sure he tossed out the figure of maybe 30 thousand?!!!  What? oKAY.  I will start thinking... and then I'll probably stop.

And then just this second my phone rang, and the plumber has a stomach ache. There were a lot of details, but my mind thankfully has an off switch. I haven't told my son he has to traipse through the house another day at least...  

Oh, did I start this post with Merry Cozy Christmas?  I really do mean it. All this stuff really doesn't bother me very much. It's just part of a funny story or expected string of misfortunes that don't really matter in the great scheme of things. Health issues and life and emotional well-being.... they matter.  Money and broken furnaces don't. I am truly glad that I finally had some sense and had that smell checked out because it was actually carbon monoxide... although our detector has yet to screech... 

I will be posting again soon, maybe before Christmas. Our house is welcoming and I made a huge dutch oven  of delicious chicken noodle soup. It was super easy. 

Winter's Chill Chicken/Noodle Soup

1 package curly or straight egg noodles. (Mine are short and straight)
I boiled these in a minimal amount of water, and I didn't drain them...  Use your own judgement and stir a lot. I didn't salt my water either due to the salt content of what follows:
2 large cans Swanson Canned Chicken
1 pound cubed Velveeta
1 can Cream of Chicken Campbell's Soup
I can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can green chilies
generous black pepper.
1-2 t. cumin
1-2 T. chili powder

Stir all together until cheese melts

1 scant carton sour cream. Don't boil after this.
1 splash of heavy cream or milk. I had cream just sitting in the fridge after a quiche.
I didn't add salt because there is a lot of sodium happening so far due to the soups and the cheese. 

This would have been great to have other spring vegetables in there, but I just added half a bag of fresh spinach.  It sort of soaked up the extra liquid and added some color. I think frozen peas would have been amazing.  I even had some, but I just didn't add them.

Well...  I have been thinking of candidates for my word of the year 2023.

You would never guess in a million years!

I'm here to tell you there is nothing like being done with Christmas really early and then taking a figurative nap and seeing that old tortoise chugging by! lol...  Six days until Christmas!

I didn't get Callie a sweater. She couldn't have moved a muscle in it anyway. I've tried clothes on her, and she acts as if she's been shot with a machine gun. Boom.... flat on her side! lol...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, December 1, 2022


I didn't expect to feel this great after dental surgery! It was over before I knew it...19 teeth! I'm sore and swollen and careful but it's over, and I survived... I've spent the night ensconced in my recliner watching TV... 
And what a little partner!

She's been my buddy for sure!

I have just tested myself to one of those little Starbucks latte drinks in the cute containers. Those are so good! I 
volunteered myself and my sweet cousin to drink enough of those one year to privilege bottles for my class to make dream jars. We used Martha Stewart glitter. After they designed their 
jars, they wrote a dream day for their futures, and I reduced them to tiny pages. We put them in the hard with confetti and glitter and pretty vocabulary words they chose as descriptors... I was surprised how they all got into this project! Even my boys although they 
didn't all use glitter!

I've been writing Christmas memories from my past into this altered composition book... Enjoy 

this pretty month!