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One More Set of Photos

Yesterday afternoon MyJeff clambored up and down the step stool and reached and stretched and chilled the dickens out of his fingers putting up my last bit of Christmas decorating out front. He'd also taken a few more day photos of the back yard decor earlier, so I'll post some of those photos too. And this is it for my efforts on this year's Challenge!


Our display is not elaborate, but we like it anyway. Santa and Rudy close-up below.



One of MyJeff's favorite parts.


Did I mention that this guy was a surprise gift from MyJeff a few years ago? He's such a cheery fellow.


This scavenged, half-working little guy just captured our hearts.


Enjoy your day, my friends! We wish you all a most wondrous and delightful Holiday Season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, or every holiday you can find! I hope you can remain welcoming of joy, opportunity, and friendship throughout the upcoming year and every hill or bramble you might encounter along the way.

Here's Another Winner from Netflix

We just finished watching Dumplin' about a teen-age girl and a local Texas beauty pageant. The movie was done by Netflix with Jennifer Anniston and several new (well, new to me, anyway), young performers that were GREAT! It is available for streaming. This is an excellent film--chock full of . . . . . . . are you READY?!?

Full of...Collapse )

If you can't enjoy this film--especially when our young heroines find mentors, at around 45 minutes or so and during the actual pageant--you need to relax and let yourself open up more.

If you try it, I think you'll be glad you did.

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No Kidding Around Anymore . . .

. . . Winter is really here now.

So we light some pretty lights and put out a few decorations to spread cheer!

My dining room bay window next to the table that subs for a desk:










I guess I did manage to sell some plants this summer. The bay window is usually chock-full and a table by a west-facing window on the second floor normally gets verrry crowded in winter, but neither spot is so bad this year. Of course, I have a few rootings to pot in a month or two, and they'll clutter up the spaces.

What do you say, Neil? One more round apiece? Or would you like to do more than that?
After too many days of cloud-covered skies, a little sunshine graced our late afternoon and evening. Now, I realize that the clear-sky I've been yearning for is out there. In the dark. A few stars are currently showing, but the chilling bite in the air overcame my urge to gaze and I ducked back inside.

According to the thermometer outside my kitchen window, the temp is about 12 degrees F, which I believe translates to a minus 13 C. In other words . . . COLD. FRIGID-ish.

Since the sky is clear, the date is December 6, it is nighttime, and we have snow on the ground, temps are inevitably going to be cold. The weather forecasters even warned us that temps would drop for a couple/few days.

So I'm not complaining. Just ... reporting.

I think I'll be doing some baking over the next couple of days. The meatloaves in the oven this evening provided a comforting warmth in the kitchen and dining room. We could use some muffins, I think. Or maybe a bundt cake . . . Then again, I've been meaning to try something called Cloud Bread. Tomorrow might be the day for it!

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A Day of Little Accomplishment

She hangs her head in shame, kicking the shallow snow accumulation into tiny ditches and mounds. She sighs. Following the sigh with a deep breath, she lifts her head and thrusts her chin forward.

"Okay," she begins, "so I didn't manage to add any decorations today. Maybe I will tomorrow. But I took a couple of pictures. Take a look at the nice icicle lights!"



"Well. No. I didn't say it was MY house, did I?"


This, OTOH, is in my front window. I'd kind of overlooked the fact that I built (and filled) shelves along the front of my porch since I last hung Christmas lights out there. Thus . . . only the one small window even reachable for decorating.


Okay, mrdreamjeans, it's time for you to take a turn!

Christmas Tidings

The company Christmas party yesterday afternoon/evening was quite nice. Approximately 40 people enjoyed drinks, dinner, and music by a mature and talented quartet of musicians and singers. We definitely had fun listening to (and singing softly along with) old standbys like "Mack the Knife", songs from the '80s, and a selection of Carols. Several youngsters romped--mostly quietly--around the club with a few of them taking time out for enthusiastically dancing to the music. The Yacht Club on the St. Croix River bank is an interesting venue with large windows all 'round 3 sides for good views of the river and passing boat traffic. The river was sluggish, gray, and VERY cold-looking with occasional ice chunks floating by. So ... not too appealing at the time. MyJeff scored with all four of our free drink tickets, since I'm not interested in alcohol. The dinner was acceptable, although nothing exceptional. I found the employees to be mostly friendly and quite willing to chat and to make me welcome. One of the upper managers and his wife joined us at our dinner table along with a technician who often works in the office when MyJeff is there. We all shared stories and laughter throughout the meal--making that my favorite part of the evening. The manager told us that the company often does a summer expedition with renting a paddleboat cruise for the employees.This topic was later revisited by the Company Accountant/HR Lady. [Have I ever mentioned that one of my bucket items is to take a paddleboat cruise? *Imagine me bouncing up and down clapping my hands*] Near the end of our stay we also met the lady who is the company's founder/owner. She impressed me as a very together woman, and one who is sincerely open to and caring for other people. I most enjoyed meeting his co-workers and their families, participating in interesting conversations (two of his co-workers are also dancers & have done belly dancing), and watching one indefatigable little guy crawling back and forth from one side of the building to the other unless he was in his mom's or dad's arms bouncing and waving his arms to the music.

We took our leave around 7:15 p.m. getting home a little before 8. Arrow and Vinnie had not yet expired from hunger--although they assured us we'd cut it close.  ;-b

All right. Yoo-Hoo, Neil! Hailing mrdreamjeans!

Here are a few photos of some decorating I managed to do today. I'm not done, of course.

However...Collapse )

That's it for me for tonight. I hope you've all had an enjoyable day and that a sweetly restful night welcomes you when you lay down your head.

Ohhhh, Lookee Outside!

The snow! The SNOW, she is a-tumbling down out of the sky! White snow everywhere! Blowing and falling and tumbling all about...

The Snow, she is so lovely-white.

But I certainly am glad I'm home in my little old, warm house, and NOT behind the wheel somewhere on a country road right now.

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For Neil...

As requested, my friend mrdreamjeans:

                


                                                   

The fibers keep changing color. Maybe, if we're good about doing my challenge to you, I can even post up a little video of the changing colors.

You DID see my challenge, didn't you, Neil? Let me repeat:

"Tell you what . . . A CHALLENGE, Neil! Over the next week or however long you want, we each post--at least every other day--portions of whatever Christmas decor we manage to put up! I'll start in the next few minutes with my tree."

So, Texas Dreams, wanna play? Wanna invite anybody else to join in?

Update on Plumbing

It is completed. . .new water heater and valve, venting up to code, and hole in chimney patched. The permit is even payed for, but now we'll have to await the city inspector and hope for no issues from him/her. I asked the plumber whether he saw any likely issues, and he said no. One small possibility, but he thought the current arrangements would suffice.

The Good News is that this plumber (different from the first quote guy on Wednesday) cost about $300 less than that first company. This is a Yay! leaving a better breathing space within our budget.

Of course, we're still not flying off on a Grand Tour of Europe for the holidays or anything like that.

I put up our little fiber optic Christmas tree a couple of days ago. It was Mom's. Back when she was moved into the one room in the nursing home, her things that couldn't fit in the one room were made available to us, her children (by the elder children, so I won't go into too much detail about the whole escapade). MyJeff and I wanted this tree. We'd celebrated Christmas with Mom and this little tree for many years and are fond of it and the memories that go with it. Apparently no one else wanted it, so it's now our tree. And we are both pleased about it.

This Sunday is MyJeff's employer's Christmas party. Neither of us has been to one of those in a very long time. I've briefly met a few of his co-workers, but would like the opportunity to spend a little more time getting to know some of them. I certainly hope it is a nice party.

.......And I hope you all have a Very Nice weekend, my friends. Enjoy!

Progress ... Stubs A Toe

Today, we managed to pay off the majority of our tax debt with just a small amount in fees/penalties left to be calculated and paid. Yay!

Then MyJeff found water on the basement floor. Shortening the story a LOT, the water heater needs to be replaced, along with a few other items that need to be replaced &/or brought up to code.  Final quote: $1659.99. Plus cost for the 15 minute estimate: $58.49, which I already paid.

We can do it, and have some left to pay the near-arriving bills, but now we won't be treating ourselves to any big holiday celebrations. Not a really good chance of too many little ones either.

*sigh*

Sometimes ... Ya just wonder ...

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