Thursday, December 31, 2009

30 years ago today

This morning at 2am marked the 30 year anniversary of Bobby's accident.
Needless to say, he was up WAY past his bedtime. (Keep in mind he was a farm boy who would have gone to bed with the chickens had they had any. In other words, he went to bed at dark thirty). He fell asleep behind the wheel, and woke up as his car exited the road into a ravine-type ditch. The next thing he remembers is waking up on the ground, cold, his neck hurting, and being unable to move. He later remembers a policeman kneeling over him, and looking shocked when Bobby asked if his car was okay. (His car was actually worse off than him, and was probably one of those rare occasions when wearing a seatbelt would have killed him.)

Of the hundreds of people praying for his healing in the months to come, he never regained the use of his fingers, arms, or legs. Some people questioned his salvation, believing that God would heal a true believer. Others questioned God, wondering why this happened or why God didn't heal him. Some people, like his Mom, turned to God during the horrible time, for in her words, "I needed Him like never before." Thirty years later, as I reflect on the testimonies and stories I've been told, I believe God did heal Bobby, just not in a way anyone expected.

Most people suffer a severe depression or out-of-control anger after such an accident. After joining several forums for care-giving spouses, I've learned that it's not uncommon for people to struggle with their emotions for a 2-3 years after their accident and only then do they even begin to come out of the downward tailspin. The doctors even warned Mrs. Bryan that Bobby's upbeat attitude and "what next" spirit wouldn't last and the darker days were just around the corner. It has now been 30 years, and those dark days have yet to come. I'm not saying he's never struggled or wondered why or been upset, but I am saying that the spirit of doom has never overcome him. I think God answered the thousands of prayers for healing, and that God healed his spirit instead of his body.

And for that I am extremely grateful. People often joke about men being pitiful when they're sick and how difficult I have it when he's ill, and it always takes me by surprise. He's a much better patient than I could ever dream of being.

So today's not an anniversary you want to remember, but for my husband it is one just the same.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

the so-so present idea

While at the gym I saw an advertisement on television for personalized puzzles. All you had to do was go to the website, type in an address, and the puzzle would be centered on that address and extend outward approximately a mile in each direction..a colorized satellite view! Coming from a family of puzzle lovers (working a jigsaw puzzle is a Christmas family tradition) and marrying into one meant this was a GREAT idea!!!

So I ordered a puzzle for Mrs. Bryan, and one of the church Dad pastored while I was growing up (and where my parents, 2 sisters, an aunt, and 2 cousins all got married) for the holidays. Mom and Dad's puzzle was actually for their anniversary (Dec 27), but I gave it to them on Christmas Eve so we could all work on it Christmas Day. A 400 piece puzzle would certainly be finished by the time everyone left Christmas Day, right?

3 Days and countless reworks later, the puzzle was complete (minus 3 pieces). It was an absolute nightmare to put together. We don't know what happened to the missing pieces, either. My sister's dog could have eaten them, they could have been knocked off the table and picked up with all the wrapping paper, or maybe they weren't sent (though that's not very likely). All in all, this little 400 piece puzzle is the HARDEST puzzle I have ever worked in my life.

Aunt Linda and Mom examine the non-interlocking border pieces.

Jennifer and Niki tackle the roads and streets.

The "finished project" (Cordova, AL) with three missing pieces. Had it not been for the railroad tracks we might not have ever got this puzzle together. Not what I intended, but this puzzle will definitely be one for the memory books!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

a finished project

December 23, 2009 en route to Curry, Alabama, I finished a project. Started in March of this year, the modified Double Wedding Ring Quilt was the most ambitious sewing project I have ever done. I can also honestly say that with each quilt I've learned and improved, though I still have a LONG way to go.

and here's a sideways view of the finished project

The quilt top was 80% finished by the June wedding, but wasn't finalized until August of this year, when my mother (she and my sister did some embroidery work on each corner for me since I can't embroidery)returned it to me. My target completion goal was Christmas, and I just barely made it. Mom's washing machine isn't as large as mine, and the quilt barely fit inside. The quilt markings, even after two washings, didn't come out. I left it with Andy & Amie, and I'm not sure if they'll wash it or have it dry cleaned. But it is now delivered and in the hands of its owners. There's nothing like checking off a project or goal (except maybe the feeling of relief that comes with it).

Meanwhile, I'm seriously contemplating learning how to machine quilt. That's definitely on my agenda for 2010. :O)

Monday, December 28, 2009

gingerbread exhibit

December 22, 2009 Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC

There were so many creative exhibits in the Gingerbread display.
These are just a few of my favorites:

I was a tad surprised by the many themes on the 12 Days of Christmas. While this portrayal wasn't of that theme wasn't my favorite, the extreme detailing of this house was very impressive. One of the houses chosen to go to New York for the Christmas Eve ceremony on Good Morning America (which we missed watching) was similar to this one.And the morning scene. Thankfully we didn't have to wait too long for the roads to thaw so we could head on home to Alabama. It was a nice way to break the 13 hour drive into two smaller segments. I think I could live in the mountains, though my husband says not in the wintertime. It was interesting watching couples trying to push baby strollers over mounds of snow and ice on the sidewalk to get to the shopping centers. It made me very thankful we had our Christmas shopping done.

Monday, December 21, 2009

big pillows

We took advantage of all the Christmas sales and got a comforter for our bed that we've been looking at for some time. When I pulled it out of the bag, it came with pillow shams and a bedskirt! The bedskirt we can't put on, but I debated whether or not to get two more pillows for the shams. You know, you look at all the pictures in the magazines and the bed is always covered in pillows. It looks nice and comfy and fluffy and pretty. But why? I mean, why go to all the trouble of fluffing the pillows and propping them up and then taking them back off to go to bed every single morning and night? Other than the fact it makes the room look neater, I'm not sure I even understand the point of making up the bed.

In the third house I lived in as a child, any dolls or stuff animals we owned (I shared a room with my 2 sisters) had to fit either on top of our dresser or on our bed. That meant every morning and night a host of my younger sister's dolls and all my stuffed animals made the trip from bed to floor and back again. Except for once when we were made and we put everything on our older sister's bed, but that's another story. I never understood why my sister kept wanting more dolls, and can't say I was all that happy for her whenever she got them for Christmas or birthdays. In my mind it was just one more thing to do every day.

Some mornings I look at the bed and think the matching shams on a spare set of pillows would like nice, but then I think "WHY?" Am I the only one too practical for my own good out here?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

tidings of comfort and joy

Yesterday a small group of the CBC kids went caroling, and overall I thought it went very well. I rode with the Brantleys and Abigail, and after the second house Abigail asked, "How many more houses until we're done?" I think all the kids were ready to go eat about halfway, and more than one driver heard the question "Can we go to McDonalds?" The funniest thing to me was at one house as we got out of the vehicles it started to flurry. Another adult and I just kind of looked at each other, and most of the boys started jumping up and down shouting "Snow! snow!" After the person came to the door (in their pajamas), some of the boys turned around and looked at me with very wide eyes. Overall I think everyone was very touched by the visit and appreciative of the kids smiling and singing to them. I think Pastor Mike needs to recruit some of the smaller tykes...they were ready to go inside and visit! I didn't take my camera, but Jacqueline and Rhonda took quite a few shots, so maybe they'll either post or e-mail me some of the shots. I was "right proud" of our CBC kids!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Things I won't do this Christmas

My husband says I have no concept of time.
Sadly, he's right. And 90% of the time that no longer bothers me.

So here's my list of things I won't get done this Christmas:
  • The house cleaned top to bottom before we go.
  • Hand-printed Christmas cards (Dollar Tree is such a blessing!)
  • Clothes made for my youngest niece.
  • an open house (yeah, I know...I've only done that once in 10 years).
  • Nice Christmas meals twice a week in the dining room.
All in all, I'm pleased with how low-stress this December has been, and most of the things on the list above are not critical items but simply things that would be nice to do.

Unfortunately, there are things that are not nice to do (like laundry) that must be done this morning. And then there are things to do (like caroling) that we'll get to do this afternoon.
AND...only four squares of quilting left. My goal is to finish that tonight, then sew the binding Sunday afternoon and wash and pack it on Monday!!!! But, as my husband likes to remind me, I have a warped sense of time, so the reality is that it may not be finished until we get to Alabama.

Se la vie. (That's life.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

possibly maybe perhaps could be snow?

big gray sky with touch of cold
almost drab to behold
one single fleck floats through the air
could be a leaf or blossom fair

a shopping trip i'd like to take
but know the outcome it would make
if the forecast does come true
and southern roads turn icy blue

and i ponder what to do
for kids who carol and eat cake, too
when to cancel or plunge ahead
and bring some cheer to old gray heads

4 years ago tomorrow night
a van of kids took flight
and sailed into a side ravine
with water, mud -a scary scene

between the weather and the speed
of a teen's borrowed car and her need
to buy a gift and return home
before her grandma caught her gone

it was a day much like today
when that call came from far away
and a list of injuries did begin
that i feared would never end

three hours there; three hours back
a heart wrenching, tear-streaked driving track
my husband at home with broken bone
my heart ripping in two with each mile home

a christmas i will never forget
a reminder of how much my sister meant
ministry is great; activities fun
but not when it imperils anyone

Thursday, December 17, 2009

snow, cards, snow, shopping, snow,..and more snow?

The first year we went to Alabama for Christmas, we got about 10 minutes from my sister's house and it started snowing. I was relieved we were almost there. Bobby sighs, looks at me, and says, "If these keeps up, I'm turning around in the next driveway and we're heading home." WHAT?!?!?! We've just driven 12+ hours and we're almost there!!!! Let's just say neither one of us was very happy with the other the remainder of that drive.

Fast forward a few years, and we're arriving in Tennessee to spend an evening and morning with his sister before heading to be with my family for Christmas. We play with the kids, eat supper, call around to find a hotel, look out the window and it's snowing. BIG HUGE snowflakes coming down very hard and fast. We upset his sister by heading to the hotel so Bobby could rest a little before we headed on to Alabama.

This year we have Christmas caroling planned for Saturday and's supposed to snow. Not only that, but there is a possibility of snow in Asheville next week, where we were going to stop and break our long trip into two not quite as long trips. Bobby's now laughing that we may not get to go to Alabama at all. I simply informed him that as he could now fit in my vehicle (which is why we bought it), I would simply load up, throw him in the front seat and surround him with pillows and off we go! I think that thought was more horrifying to him than driving that monstrous van through snow!

So I'm contemplating snow while attempting to address Christmas cards which is turning me into a Scrooge with each address that I can't find, and wondering how on earth his tradition of sending Christmas cards ever became my responsibility. Long marriages are wonderful, but they do bring about a lot of strange transitions. Snow cream anyone?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

curiosity killed the cat

I know; I know. Curiosity really doesn't kill you. But it does make life a tad more hyper.

Every year Mrs. Bryan graciously wraps Bobby's presents for him. The first 3-5 years of our marriage, I would almost always get a phone call saying, "Monica, there's a package here with Bobby's name on it from ____. Did you order something?" And I would laugh and say "No, check with Bobby." And she'd reply "Oh shoot! I forgot!" And I would inadvertently have a very good clue what my Christmas present would be.

But the last few years she hasn't done that. With an exception of a few years, I've almost always been able to guess what my presents are before opening them (which I love to do), and I've figured 2 of my four out already. (She brought them over last night.) One is a book. I can feel the dip in its spine and the edges of the cover. Not sure what book, though. It's not the quilting book I asked for because that is a large, flat paperback. I know I'm getting material because I saw the e-mail receipt and I can feel the softness through the wrap. But the other two have me totally baffled. One is too heavy for me to shake, which really has me puzzled. The other is wrapped in a box, and is lightweight, but I haven't shook it yet. That will be tomorrow's treat.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to get a little bit nervous about some gifts I've ordered which haven't arrived yet. We start the journey home next Tuesday, and it would be nice to have things in before we leave.

And on the quilting front, I have 7 hoops left to quilt and then the edging and washing to get all the quilt markings off of it. WHOHOOOO! I might actually have it finished before we go. (Might being the operative word here.)

So I'm off to crank up the radio and get started on Christmas cards, then quilt!

Monday, December 14, 2009

my favorite Christmas foods

Without intentionally setting out to do it, I have actually acquired a few recipes this year that I really like and will fix more than once that ARE NOT DESSERTS! Yes, I know that's incredulous but it's true!!!

One is Cheesy Vegetable Soup (aka Penne Tramp's soup per Mary Booth). It has chicken broth, celery, onions, and a large bag of California Medley (also known as carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli), followed by a a whole pound of Velveeta cheese, cubed, the last twenty minutes. There may be other things (like salt, etc) but I don't have the recipe in front of me. I mashed one of the veggies after they simmered as a certain man in my household dislikes cauliflower. He never once tasted it. I will definitely fix this soup again this winter.

And Lydia posted a lasagna soup recipe that was awesome! I even bought the ingredients tonight so I can make it again!

So why am I blogging about soups when my post is titled my favorite Christmas foods? No, but sorry. These soups aren't it. But because Christmas is coming, and all my favorite Christmas recipes are desserts, it just made me think about my new recipes. (See how my brain jumps from rabbit trail to rabbit trail?)

And, as was promised from the title:
  1. Fudge with nuts.
  2. Peanut butter on ritz crackers dipped in chocolate
  3. Haystacks
  4. Instant chocolate oatmeal cookies (which I'll make before heading to AL, or else after we get them for my bro-in-law and brother).
  5. Mom's Hawaiian pie.
  6. Peanut butter balls.
  7. Mrs. Bryan's chocolate chip cookies
  8. Truffles
  9. Apple Jacks (small fried apple pies which I haven't had since my Granny died)
  10. and new this year....gingerbread cookies!
And the other favorite food, which isn't a dessert, but I like about Christmas, is HAM! I love the left-over ham when Mom lets us heat it up and eat it with scrambled eggs for breakfast. There's nothing like breakfast the first few days after Christmas, especially when it's followed by chocolate syrup on biscuits.....ohhhhhhhh!

But this year, if my willpower holds, will be slightly different. I'm refusing to gain back the weight I've worked so hard to get off the last six months. So apples, bananas, oranges, and yogurt will be my snacks BEFORE I eat any candy. And if I eat more than 2 pieces of candy, then I have to go outside in the hilly Alabama bitter cold and walk for twenty minutes.

And I reserve the right to edit this post upon my return and delete the above paragraph. Sigh...lead us not into temptation!

the business of church

My little brain has been hopping down its sundry rabbit trails a lot lately, and one of its many trails has been the issue of church and work. It takes work to run a church. People have to work to live. So inevitably the two are merged.

I think we often look to the nation of Israel and the tribe of Levi. They were basically paid staff. And yet there were other times non-Levites ministered or were tabernacle staff. Samuel comes to my mind, as do all the specialists (the weavers, goldmakers, etc during the building of the temple). With an exception of Samuel, they didn't work for the church full-time, but were either on a contract or volunteer basis for a specific job.

Bobby and I often debate about how much things should cost (or whether there should be a cost) for church materials. For example, my husband thinks music groups who charge people to come hear a performance at a church are wrong. He feels they've violated the whole purpose of the church. He's certainly not opposed to providing an honorarium or taking up a love offering, believing we should do our part to help support believers. He also doesn't want to attend Christmas performances at other churches that require tickets to be bought. He thinks it turns the church into a place of entertainment and not prayer or worship. He has agreed to go to a program where tickets were required for admission due to limited seating and high demand, but the tickets were free.

And we talk a lot about that as it relates to writing or graphic design. There are many things I do in these fields for free, seeing it as a service to God. But there have also been times when I've felt that the time spent on a huge play for a group took way too much of my time. It would have been nice to have received a little compensation for some of that time. I struggle to find the balance between service and slavery.

Sometimes I also wonder if the church paid true value for things (the sound guys, our music man, nursery director, etc), would we eliminate things and be a simple church? For the most part, I think the people in our church do those jobs because they want to do them, even though I'm sure there are days when it seems a chore. But I think of all the jobs the Levites did and how they in turn were cared for, and it makes me wonder if a)I do enough to support the pillars of our church and b)in American society, what is the difference between servanthood and slavery? (Yeah, I know it seems warped to call service to a group slavery, but there are times it seems that way. And I'm not referring just to churches here, but thinking of non-profits as well).

These are just one set of my random thoughts for this morning.

Friday, December 11, 2009

a sad day at the Bryan household

This morning at 3:30am our dogs started barking and yelping like mad. At 4:15am I finally headed into the garage to see what on earth the problem was. Thankfully it wasn't a mouse, though it was something just as bad...a possum. It was cornered behind the feed bins and was hissing for all it was worth. I debated for a brief moment, then came inside for dog biscuits to pull the dogs away in hopes it would come out of hiding and leave. It didn't. It only stopped hissing. I briefly considered taking the broom and poking it out, but since I hate possums even more than I hate mice (their bigger, more heinous, not to mention downright scary), I simply came inside and crawled back in the bed. I think it was almost 5am before my body succumbed to tiredness and ignored the yelps of our crazy dogs.

Before Bobby left for work he managed to shove things around enough that the possum actually moved into a corner, where he stayed. I locked the dogs up before I left and turned the chickens out, and the dogs were crying and yelping like crazy, most likely because they knew that possum was still there.

Evidently it was more than they could take, especially Lucy. I came home to find two dead chickens, three hiding out in the woods, and two unaccounted for. The door to the pen was still shut, but the dogs were out. I couldn't see a hole, so I shut Linus up and turned to get Lucy and he was there by my side. So I locked him back up and stood back to see how he was getting out. Evidently Lucy bit and pulled at the wires around the base of the door enough that they made a small hole. I wouldn't have thought either one could have fit through it, especially her, but they did. We'll see if the remainder all come home tonight.

I'm thankful they didn't get them all, but hate that one of the ones they did get was our Americana that lays the green eggs. :O(

sigh...Bobby says maybe we can replace them after Christmas. I'm thinking perhaps we need to replace/repair the dog pen first.

Meanwhile, meatballs are simmering in the crockpot and I'm off to wrap an ornament for tonight's party. FUNFUNFUN!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

protection, or lack thereof

I really, really, really, really, really want to have this quilt finished by Christmas. I spent five hours quilting yesterday, and while there is now a light at the end of the tunnel, there is also several layers of skin peeling away from my thumb. Both Bobby and my Mom would say, "Use a thimble." but I hate thimbles. They slow you down, you can't feel the needle when it comes through the material so you're not sure whether or not you're truly grabbing all three layers in the stitch, it makes me feel clumsy, and did I mention that is slows me down?

I'll probably pull it out today (maybe), but only if I absolutely have to.

Sometimes I think that's my attitude toward other things in life as well. Exercise, good eating habits, devotions...yeah, those things are helpful, but they slow me down. What is it about our nature that causes us to resist the things that protect us so much? I like to think that as I've changed from childhood to adulthood and bedtime went from something horrible to something good, that the other things in my life will eventually fall in line as well.

Meanwhile, I keep stitch and one day at a time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

With today only being December 8, Christmas still seems so far away. But then I look at my calendar and see that 3 weeks from today I'll be heading to the great state of ALABAMA! Whooohoooo! That's really not that far away.

A repairman who came by the house today told me about a house to go see that had a ton of Christmas lights. Bobby's not that big on traditions at Christmas, but two things we have done more than once (and I would do every year if it were up to me) are visiting the Meadow Lights at Christmas (he's not crazy about the cold) and seeing The Bethlehem Star at the Moorehead Planetarium (he doesn't like the secular perspective).

Meanwhile, the idea I had for decorating my table for Friday night kind of fell apart Saturday...literally. I even dreamed about it last night, but of course in my dream it was much worse than reality. So on my list of things to do today: assemble a pre-bought gingerbread house. My "glue" refused to hold the one I made together. So hopefully I can modify this one to meet the design I want. And if that doesn't work we'll move to Plan C which is slowly formulating.

So, I'm off to do housework, fun stuff, errands, and quilt (of course!)

17 Days and Counting!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

my observation skills, or lack thereof

Red, who likes anything shiny:
the reflective part of my tennis shoes, my wedding band, and my shoelaces.
We have a peck/kick relationship going on.

On more than one occasion my husband has quipped, "You're not very observant, are you?" To which I give him the best dirt look I can muster, and go on about my business. Sadly, I proved him right, again, in the worst way possible.

In my defense, the day before Thanksgiving I woke up at 3am with chills and a fever that lasted most of the day. Thanksgiving day found me fever free but totally wiped out. For once I didn't care about ANYTHING at the Bryan's family get together. For the first time it didn't bother me that after everyone else bebops off to be with other family it's just the childless couple and the widow, or the just the two of us heading home to be alone like every other day. I was simply too tired to care. Bobby even took care of all the animals for me on that day.

The next day I did go out to assist, and was shocked to find that Brownie (aka Road Runner) had molted. (Molting is where the feathers fall out while new ones grow in. This usually happens in sections, starting around the wings.) Yet I couldn't see her skin. Her feathers just looked all white, as if they were bleached out. I commented on it to Bobby, saying that's probably why we weren't getting eggs now. He looked at me strangely, then at the bird, looked shocked, then laughed a little.

Since that day, I have not seen all six hens at one time, though I did notice they weren't sleeping in their usual formation and egg production has all but stopped. I attributed the lack of eggs to the decreasing sunlight, which is normal. I've also pondered why I wasn't seeing new feathers come out on Brownie. A bit odd for molting to last this long, and not see the skin. Could our girls have a bug of some sort? Bird flu, perhaps?
Then yesterday morning, I lock the dogs up. I head to the pen, and as I move to the door and they line up in formation to get out, I do a doubletake. Brownie is there, looking perfectly normal. I start counting...1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, SEVEN?!?!?! Can't be. I look and realize that next to Brownie is the ugly bird with her head and white feathers AND IT HAS A HUGE RED COMB ON TOP!!! Can't be. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, we don't have seven birds. Or have I forgotten one? Brownie, Blackie, Whitey, Red, Hilda, Matilda, and the ugly one. The ugly one with a larger red comb than any other bird in the pen, who immediately jumps on top of a hen the moment I open the door.

I check for eggs...and of course...none at all, but now I understand why. You introduce anything new to a flock and egg production will temporarily cease for a week or two. I march inside and call my husband, who is dying laughing. For a whole week, we have had a rooster, and I was TOTALLY oblivious. He says every morning when he goes out for the paper the dumb thing is crowing and he keeps waiting for me to hear it. I actually haven't heard it's dumb raspy call until this morning, about time for Bobby to leave, so that's good. But still...a ROOSTER?!?! The day he pecks me; he dies.

And I'm seriously contemplating inviting a certain neighbor and his wife over for supper one night. It'll be easy. I'll pick up a bucket of KFC, put it on a platter, and with it being dark, for all he knows it could be Ugly we're eating. Reckon he'll eat anything?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

sniff, sniff

This summer while our little friends were visiting us, Bobby and I were continuously amazed at the exceptional smell sensory one of them had. It never failed. He could be walking down the hall toward the kitchen, would stop and sniff, then say, "You're cooking..." and he was always right. I was unaware that carrots had a smell until that day! Like the color rods in my eyes, I must also be missing something in my nose, for I don't think I have ever smelled carrots. It makes me wonder what other smells I am missing.

I remembered that this morning as I started to type the saying "It's so close I can smell it." Please don't tell me you've never heard of that saying before. I'm certain I didn't dream it. If I can fit in eight more hours of quilting, THE quilt, as I've started calling it, will be half-way done. (Note: I'm not counting the binding in this process.) I'm excited, but also a little bit tired. Thanks to a fever over Thanksgiving I didn't quilt hardly any, and this week I need to put up Christmas decorations, which will also eliminate a good chunk of time. (There's nothing like decorating a Christmas tree to put you out of the Christmas spirit! sigh...) I'm starting to think that perhaps my husband was right once again (which aggravates me all the more) and that this quilt won't be finished by Christmas.

Meanwhile, one of my favorite sale papers came in the mail. Turns out there is a quilting machine on sale next week for $300. This is the cheapest one I've seen, which makes me wonder why it is half the price of other quilting machines. And it's also got me considering the possibility of saving and investing in one. After all, if it takes me 6 months (quilting a minimum of 2 hrs a week) to hand quilt a queen sized quilt, I've spent that much in time alone. It's something to put in my consider thought pile of potential purchases before Bobby retires.

Sniff...I'm headed back to my quilting frame.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

today's random thoughts

  • Today would have been my father-in-law's birthday. I ate some chocolate with nuts in his honor. :O)
  • I put up a Christmas tree, but still have yet to string lights or decorate it. This is my least favorite part of Christmas.
  • My second least favorite part of Christmas is taking the Christmas decorations down.
  • I didn't put a tree up one year and my husband wouldn't let me forget it for several years afterward.
  • After he dies I might not ever put up another Christmas tree.
  • If I do it will be under 2' tall.
  • I'm still not half-way through the quilt that is supposed to be done by Christmas.
  • Our chickens have almost quit laying eggs.
  • Both Americanas (the Easter egg chickens) are now laying.
  • I thought this was supposed to be a calm and slow-paced month.
  • I was wrong.