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1/1/20 2:29 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a terrific Tuesday.

Julie, thanks for the good wishes on the refrigerator. I'll be commenting on that adventure in a minute. It sounds as though you are beginning to find your way back into some of your previous activities, particularly the time with Cam and the sewing. I hope your husband is able to stay safe on the highways as they have been quite miserable in parts of the country recently.

GoodFeline, I'm really happy to hear that you are beginning to feel better. You have had a tough time of it lately. Perhaps you can shoo the illnesses out the door with the old year. And Julie is right: you are most fortunate to have your boss on your side, understanding what you have been through and standing up for you. It also speak well as to the high quality of your work and the value you contribute to the company. I'm really happy for you. The fact that you not only avoided probation but also got a raise also speaks volumes. Great job!

We got up early this morning and had just finished emptying the old refrigerator when the new one arrived about 9:00 a.m. Now I have spent the day trying to get everything into the new one. It seems that even though the external dimensions are the same as the old one, the interior is just a tad smaller - just enough to mess up my previous arrangements. In addition, there is actually one less shelf in the refrigerator and no nooks for the ice trays in the freezer and the dimensions are about 1 inch smaller in all directions. It doesn't sound like much difference but it is driving me crazy. I think it is the Universe's way to tell me I had too much old stuff stashed in the back and that it was time to clean it all out anyway. We will get through my daughter's birthday dinner tomorrow and then I will start using up what I have and not buy anything else until the old stuff is used up or tossed.

About 10:00 p.m. we heard a thunderous boom that seemed to shake the house. I assumed someone was shooting off fireworks or even a pistol (this is still the wild west) as an early New Year's celebration. But on further inspection I found it was another humongous branch that fell off the oak tree and bounced on the roof and then landed on the back patio. It will have to stay there for now as it is pouring rain and I'm not going out in the wet and dark to try to deal with it.

On that note, let's put the energy into the Universe that the difficult times are behind us for awhile and look forward to a safe and happy and prosperous new year.

Carol


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12/31/19 7:21 P

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Good evening!

Carol, you and your husband got a lot done! I hope the new refrigerator gets delivered and installed without any hiccups!

GoodFeline, how nice to have a boss so firmly in your corner! I sure hope your family will all be feeling better very soon.

Today I went to settle accounts at the shop and did a little housework. Then the husband went to work and Cam came over. We worked on refashioning a garment, had lunch, and yakked a while. I'm going to spend the rest of the evening watching some TV and doing a little crochet.

Wishing everyone a festive (or peaceful, if you prefer) New Year's Eve!

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12/31/19 9:07 A

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Julie: What about joyous? Or jovial? Or jubilant? Or jaunty?

Carol: My eyes are feeling better, hopefully for good this time. My nose is feeling more normal and while I am still coughing it's not nearly as bad as it was. I made it through work yesterday with just Tylenol for some swelling in my throat. DH has been sick for 2-3 days and he's taking off work today. I was sick for a week before I took off work the first day. Maybe that means he will recover faster?

We've been getting snow here, so it's chilly. I finally feel like I actually need my winter coat. I actually stopped wearing any coat or sweater last week, it was just too warm! Crazy weather this year.

For New Year's my work is catering in breakfast. They said it was a light breakfast of bagels and fruit, but looking at the tables they're setting up I suspect their "bagels and fruit" is going to be, at the very least, bagels, donuts, pastries, and fruit. There is also rumor we're going to be allowed to leave early. We're heading to my mom's house for a spaghetti dinner tonight. My brother will be taking his family to see some fireworks after dinner, but then will come back to play some card games and watch the ball drop with us. My grandma will be joining us. Little man has a sparkly black and gold first New Year's outfit to wear. Tomorrow, if DH is feeling any better, we're supposed to head to the in-laws for a belated Christmas. But he sounded awful croaky this morning so I am not sure we'll be making it.

I had my annual review yesterday. The Firm wants me put on probation for my attendance, between maternity leave, little man being sick, and my being sick I've missed A LOT of days this past year. Close to 5 months I'd estimate. My boss refused to do it, though, saying my son being so sick was completely out of my control and she could see the effort I've been making to get in to work. So she didn't take any administrative steps on the assurance that next year would be better. She's also concerned with the amount of free time I have, but says some of that is on her because she's been avoiding giving me projects because she thinks I've had more important things on my mind so she wanted my workload lighter. But come the new year I'm going to be learning new processes, getting more projects, and starting to develop an in-house training program for the attorneys so she expects to see me busier. I ended up getting a raise and some compliments on the quality of my work.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/31/19 12:00 A

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Good evening Team,

I hope everyone has had a marvelous Monday.

GoodFeline, I am so sorry to hear you are still sick. Pink eye would certainly explain the irritation and tears. I hope you are able to get some relief soon. It's really a shame your son's sleep study was so difficult. It may be difficult to get a valid reading because of his upsets; I'm hoping for the best for you with all of these medical issues, including your husband's onset of the misery as well.

Julie, it's great to hear that you had such a fun weekend. My husband was never one for games (board games or otherwise), which is a great loss for him and me both. When our grandchildren lived near us many years ago, we used to play several of them, but now the kids are grown and too busy with their own life and I end up not having anyone to play them with. Sigh . . . But I can also understand you wanting some time to yourself to get your life back on your own terms.

Regarding the question of a title for next month's thread, I have two thoughts. If you want to stick with "starting with J" I found jocund. If you like the general sound, how about congenial? Also, I'm open to other thoughts too.

We enjoyed a pleasant day here, cold but partial sunshine and no particular wind. We knew that we were due to have our new refrigerator delivered tomorrow (the 31st) and so began preparations for that event - clearing the pathway through the garage and into the house. We had been needing to clear out glass being held for recycling (has to be taken to a separate location from our trash bins) and bottles for which we paid a deposit and can get a refund. Also boxes from recent deliveries that had to be broken down and taken to separate recycling too. I was really pleased that Hubby chose to take on that part of the job, not using his walker, able to move things around so long as he didn't have to bend over very much. He wanted to move his car to load these things into the back (it's bigger than my car) and discovered that the battery was dead from sitting too long. It was also an older battery. Daughter's SO came to help us jump it and agreed with Hubby's plan to take it straight to the store to get a new battery; Hubby did his own driving and I didn't go along. That cortisone shot he had has done wonders for his mobility.

For my part, I took advantage of the recent dry days to fill the big yard waste bucket with leaves from the pile behind the house. Also picked up some larger moss-covered branches that had fallen off the big oak tree last night. 40 minutes of good outdoor exercise! Then I started clearing the path from the door coming in from the garage to where the new refrigerator will go - and the old one come out. I had to move a small bookcase of cookbooks and push the dining room table back into a corner. I love my old refrigerator - picked it out myself and bought it myself when I left my abusive 2nd husband. It has served me well. But even with the thermostat set for colder temperatures the main compartment is barely cool and the freezer is not very cold; the ice cream varies between mush and soup and the ice cubes begin to thaw the second they are out of the freezer. It is definitely time for a replacement.

We received a promised robo-call today giving us a 4-hour window for delivery tomorrow. We are on the "early" run, so it will be here between 7:30 and 11:30 a.m. We have a large ice chest we used when we moved from Colorado and in the morning we will pack it with the contents of the refrigerator - as much as we can. With any luck we will be on the early end of the delivery schedule so things will not have to stay out of the freezer for very long. They will call us 1/2 hour before actual delivery - I do hope we are up out of bed by then! After getting everything put in the new unit I will be off to the grocery store. It's like a late Christmas with gifts we are buying for ourselves!

So now it's time to finish Spark postings and get ready for an early to-bed. Tomorrow will be a busy time. Best wishes to everyone for a terrific Tuesday.



Carol


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12/30/19 9:15 A

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I am still sick, and I woke up Friday night around midnight with sore eyes so slipped out of the sleep study room to the bathroom and sure enough I've got pink eye for the third time. I think it's a reaction to the virus I am fighting off and won't stop coming back until I am better. I need to change my sheets again and find some sanitizing wipes for my glasses. Right now I am going glasses-less until I find some and it's a bit disconcerting. My eyes feel better, but I certainly can't see very well!

I've been checking the medical portal pretty frequently but they haven't uploaded little man's study results yet, and the only things they told me at the study were that he's congested and has a lot of nasal discharge. The test itself went VERY different from the first one. The first tech let me hold him while she set him up, then I was able to feed him after and snuggle him to sleep. This tech wouldn't let me hold him, period. I had to feed him laying flat in their crib and let him cry himself to sleep while I patted and rubbed his back. During the last study they lowered one set of rails on the crib and raised my cot so I could be within arms reach of him for easy nighttime soothing. This time my cot was halfway across the room and I had to get up to go soothe him each time he cried. I did very little sleeping, and between the head gear and the nasal cannula he didn't sleep that great either.

DH has my virus now, and of course he's got the "man" version of it. He's found himself incapable of doing anything, and has stolen all my meds so I'm working off just Tylenol today. His parents had rescheduled our Christmas visit to Saturday but of course I wasn't feeling any better, had recontracted pink eye, and DH had caught my virus. So they've re-rescheduled it for New Year's Day. We'll see how that goes, because I've been sick since the 15th I think and DH just got sick, so he's got awhile to go before he's even beginning to feel better.

Do you have any plans for the New Year? We're headed to my mom's house for a spaghetti dinner and some card games. She wants us to bring Cards Against Humanity, but with my niece around I'm not sure we'll actually play it considering it's very much not appropriate for her.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/30/19 7:02 A

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Good morning!

Looks like the post I wrote yesterday disappeared. I probably forgot to hit the Post Message button.

Anyhow, Carol, I'm glad you had time to enjoy the sports with your husband. How lovely that your bulbs are already sprouting, too!

The husband and I enjoyed the DM's party on Saturday. One of his friends headed up a christmas themed role-playing game for us, where we were elves in santa's army. It was hilarious. Then we chatted with other guests who arrived after the game and ate lots of delicious snacks. Sunday was a "pajama day", although we did get dressed to go out to eat. I'm glad it's finally Monday, and hoping that Himself will be going back to work and I can re-establish some routine around here.

Can you believe that the month, year, and decade are almost over? Anyone have a good name for our January 2020 thread?

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12/30/19 12:16 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a spectacular Sunday.

It seems that everybody is busy today.

GoodFeline, I suspect you are spending time with family, extending some of the Christmas celebrations. I do hope you are feeling better.

Julie, I seem to recall you were going out for some gaming time with your D&D group today. I hope you have had a great time and managed to save the world again!

Our high temperatures are still in the low 40s but our spring bulbs are starting to pop up their heads. I planted some new hyacinth bulbs last fall and the beginning leaves and stalks are now protruding about 3 inches above ground already!

I cleaned up the kitchen this morning before Hubby got up so I could enjoy watching the Broncos win their last game of the season without interruption. They will not be in any of the playoff games and I'm actually relieved. This way I can watch those games in a much more dispassionate manner and save my heart the stress of cheering on one team in particular. Otherwise it was a quiet day. I did get a text from my son that he and his family had returned home safely to Colorado from Montana where they had been spending Christmas with his in-laws. The news has been full of reports and films of really horrendous snow storms and I'm glad they let me know so I can stop worrying about them. The old refrigerator is still chugging along but even with thermostat adjustments it does not produce the cold that is needed to keep food fresh and safe. I'll be glad when the new unit gets here - just 2 more days!

This post is getting put on-line earlier than many of my recent ones but I'm trying to retrain myself to get up a bit earlier each day. With the late nights my sleep often stretches too many hours towards noon. It's part of those "goals but not resolutions" that I am working on for the New Year. So best wishes to everyone for a marvelous Monday.


Edited by: WESTERNSAGE at: 12/30/2019 (00:32)
Carol


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12/29/19 1:24 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a super Sunday.

GoodFeline, I hope you are feeling better and regaining your strength.

Julie, it sounds as though your getting your life back into your more usual routine. But how lovely to be invited to somebody else's house for the party. It certainly is a good way to get the leftovers of some of your own recent treats out of your own pantry!

We had plans to take the glass to recycling and the bottles for deposit returns, but of course it didn't happen. Hubby wanted to watch the two football games that were on today and my daughter wanted to come over to visit and discuss some personal business matters. So we put off the cleaning up part to tomorrow and will take the other items on Monday. The good news was that Hubby did not require any pain medications today. So another day has gone down the tubes.

So I'm off to make my chamomile tea. Best wishes to everyone for an especially lovely Sunday.



Carol


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12/28/19 6:02 A

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Good morning!

GoodFeline, I'm glad you had fun on your holiday and got lots of photos to relive your memories. Sorry you are sick, and hoping you'll soon return to radiant health!

Carol, your garage-clearing plan sounds very sensible. I'm sure it will be satisfying for your husband to do the driving.

It was peaceful here yesterday. I combined most of the leftovers in the fridge into a casserole the husband and I can eat for a couple of days. Also got all the laundry done, and things picked up and put away. Pepper and I had a nice afternoon nap, too.

Today we are invited for board games and holiday party at the Dungeon Master's house. We're bringing the remaining "crack" confection and hoping there won't be any left to bring home. I'm afraid to consult the scale, but I'm sure we gained weight during the son's visit!

Wishing everyone a terrific Saturday!

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12/28/19 3:02 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everybody has had a super Saturday.

GoodFeline, it's good to hear from you but I'm sure sorry to hear you are still sick. That was really an inconvenient time for this illness to strike and to hear that you are still so ill is of concern too. Good luck with that sleep test for your son too. I hope you get some useful information from the results when they come in. It's great that you were able to join the family members for the celebrations even though I'm sure you would have preferred to be home resting. Great job with that doll that she just loves - nice job on your part to know exactly what she would like to have. Thanks for posting the picture - I can see why it is a favorite of yours. What a sweetie your son is! Your dad is looking pretty happy to.

Julie, thanks for the encouragement on the new refrigerator. The floor model looked as though it had one less shelf than my current one. If that's the case when I get the "real" one I'll have to "punt" to figure out a new way to store things. I will be interested to see how much difference the new makes in our monthly electric bill. It sounds as though you continued to have a wonderful visit with your son, and I'm really thrilled for you. Also glad you were able to stay safe being out and around on some of those "dicey" roads.

We spent another day pretty much indoors. Hubby and I made plans for getting some accumulated debris out of the garage and disposed of so the delivery people can bring the new refrigerator in through the garage door which open directly into the kitchen area - and also for them to take out the old one. We will be making a couple stops with glass recycling and then to get back our deposits on a number of empty bottles that had required deposits of 10 cents per bottle. He wants to put it in his car and drive to get some use on the car and also to feel more independent; usually I do the driving and I think he needs to feel some sense of control for himself. I think he will be OK since we are staying right near home.

Anyway, tonight we watched one of the college football bowl games. This one was Washington versus the Air Force Academy. The Academy was about 75 miles from our home in Colorado and we were always big AF fans. So we were quite pleased when they won tonight.

On that happy note I'm going to make my chamomile tea and get ready for bed. I have slept well but not long enough (about 6.5 hours average) for a few days now and hope that trend will reverse itself soon. I hope everyone out there sleeps better than I do! And have a super Saturday too!


Carol


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12/27/19 9:28 A

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Happy Friday, all! I am still sick. The urgent care ruled out pneumonia, and since they haven't called me back I think the strep test came back negative. I was thinking maybe bronchitis but I have a dry cough. So it's probably just a nasty virus hanging around. My eyes are watery, my nose draining, and my cough deep. But I do feel less like I am knocking on death's door today so I am at work. Which is good, since little man has his follow-up sleep test tonight so we're going to be spending the night at the hospital. My FIL thinks I should go to the ER to get checked out since my deductible has been met for the year, but I think wasting the ERs resources just to be told "rest and get lots of fluids" is pointless. I can tell myself that! I think he's probably saying that mostly because he wants a doctor to say I am not contagious, since we can't have our Christmas with them until I'm feeling better since my MIL is still doing chemo.

We had a pretty good Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, even though I spent most of the time on couches trying not to cough on everyone. My niece was ecstatic about her gifts - she flung herself at me for a giant hug and told me and DH how proud she was of us for our choice in gifts. Her LOL gift pack came with a special doll that she's now sleeping with and carrying with her everywhere, so it was a good choice. And my grandma opened her photo and started waving her arms around shouting "Finally!!" before getting up to hug us. She immediately found a place to set it up. Christmas with my dad was kind of funny. My dad got him a Fisher Price Puppy Walker, which is a boy puppy walker with sitting toy board. My grandparents got him the Fisher Price Sis Walker, which is a girl puppy walker with sitting toy board! So now he's got two puppy walkers! We have to decide if we want to sell the extra walker or keep it at my in-laws for when they're watching him. So we'll probably break out one of them this weekend and see how he likes it.

I got a lot of cute pictures of little man over the celebrations, and still have one more celebration to go. My brother took a lot of pictures of him, too. This is one of my favorites, though - little man with my dad.


"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/27/19 8:48 A

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Good morning!

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday!

Carol, I think you will be pleased (and maybe a little surprised) at the efficiency of your new refrigerator. Keeping my fingers crossed that your old one keeps going until the replacement arrives!

We had a super busy day yesterday. The son arrived early in the morning so we could finish up our game campaign. Then we went to Asheville, NC for the day to visit several breweries. The town was super busy and crowded everywhere! Driving and parking were little nightmares, but the husband did admirably, and we were able to see all that DS wanted to see before delivering him to the airport. It was after dark when arrived home exhausted.

Today, Hubster went back to NC, this time to visit his father. Pepper and I have a quiet day to ourselves to catch up on laundry, housework, and bills. I will very likely find time for a nap as well.

Wishing everyone a restful day!!

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12/27/19 12:19 A

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Good evening Team!

It looks as though everyone is busy with family and other matters.

Julie, I hope you have enjoyed your time with your son and built some wonderful new memories.

GoodFeline, I hope you and your family have enjoyed this special first Christmas with your son.

I couldn't sleep well last night, with concerns about getting a new refrigerator. I got up extra early and started researching them on-line again. Fortunately, I found what I wanted at the Home Depot I had been wanting to go to. Hubby got up extra early for his eye doctor's appointment, and we were able to get to Home Depot in time to find it and get it ordered. I don't like the layout as well as the one I have, but I must confess the one I have is 30 years old and rather than try to repair it piecemeal I will just replace it. Sounds like what I did with my car earlier this year. I wonder if the Universe is trying to tell me something. Anyway, it will be delivered December 31st. I just hope the old one lasts that long. That is the same day as my daughter's birthday, but we will have our family dinner for her on January 1st. It sounds as though the whole family will be here.

I hope everyone is recovered from any Christmas revelry and looking forward to starting both a new year and a new decade. It should be interesting!


Carol


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12/25/19 11:49 P

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas or celebration of whatever matches your beliefs.

Julie, it sounds as though you have had a wonderful extended-Christmas celebration with your son in town visiting. Best wishes that the fun and joy continue. It's nice you can go to Waffle House for breakfast; it may not meet your healthy eating requests but at least you won't have to cook or wash the dishes, and it is part of a special holiday. There will be plenty of time for a proper diet and exercise after your son returns to his home.

We had a very quiet day here. The overnight rain stopped later in the morning but the sky remained gray and gloomy all day. By mid afternoon the yard had dried out a little bit so I went out and cleared the back yard of the multiple leaves that have fallen in the last two weeks, as well as various small branches and clumps of moss. It was chilly but I wore a heavier coat and there was no wind. It felt good to be out in the fresh air and also to just be moving the old bod for awhile. It occurred to me that with today being the eclipse (just about now, as I type!) and the thought of starting a new cycle, that working outside is something I really do want to continue to do more of even in the cooler weather. I like how that worked out! Otherwise we had a simple day at home, doing projects on the computer and, of course, my work in the back yard. We will have to be up early tomorrow to take Hubby to the retinologist for the shot in his eye. After that we will head for Costco, Barnes & Noble, and then Lowe's to took at a refrigerator. The old one is chugging along since I set it for a colder temperature, but it really sounds as though it is struggling. Hopefully we will find one we want and can arrange an expedited delivery time.

I hope everyone has had a fabulous day. Best wishes for Thursday, whatever you will be doing.


Carol


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12/25/19 6:35 A

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Good morning!

Carol, thank you for the very insightful reading! I'm glad you had a restful day yesterday and that you're set up for another one today!!

We had fun gaming most of yesterday. We won game 3 and started game 4, which isn't going well for us so far. If we lose (players play cooperatively against the game), our campaign will be over. We baked bread and made a cabbage casserole too, but didn't get around to making the crack. I guess we will be doing that today. The son wants us all to video chat with his girlfriend this morning, and then go to Waffle House for breakfast. I'm tired already, but happy nonetheless.

Wishing everyone a very happy day!

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12/25/19 2:34 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a lovely day and moved into a peaceful Christmas Eve.

Julie, it sounds as though you are having an ideal visit with your son. You even appear to be working hard to provide healthy meals even with all the other amusements you have going on.

Your mention of watching donuts being made reminded me of a trip my family took many years ago. My dad was the church delegate to a state convention in Columbus; his brother was a minister who also attended and brought his family. The wives and children amused themselves around town while the men went to their meetings. One activity was walking along Broad Street (the main thoroughfare) and watch donuts being made at one of the store. The started them in trays in the hot fat at one end of the wide row of windows, then mechanically flipped them and sent them back through the fat going the other direction, then flipped them into toppings or whatever outside the view of the window.

I have never heard of that "crack" concoction with the toffee and other ingredients. It sounds absolutely decadent. Yum! I can see why it was hard to stop eating it once you started.

Since we had our Christmas celebrations this past Sunday we had a quiet day at home today - no cooking or cleaning or planning or wrapping or shopping for the festivities: it is all over and finished. We did listen to some Christmas music on TV tonight. Our new next door neighbor brought over some ham she had cooked today; I put it in the fridge as I did have to make a quick stop at our local store this morning for apples and bananas for this week's lunches, and in the process I found a lamb shoulder roast at 30% off. We both enjoy lamb and have not had any in several years, so I cooked that in the Crock Pot for dinner. We will have the ham tomorrow. We finished off the pie I had brought home from the Sunday dinner so we are whittling away at the festive foods so we can get back into our healthy eating habits again - and whittle away at our waistlines instead!

The Solar Eclipse is just about upon us, so I put together an abbreviated reading for it. The planets have not moved that far in just these few days but there are minor differences to be noted. It is posted below.

Wishing everyone a joyous Christmas/Yule/Hanukah/Solstice celebration - or whatever else you may celebrate.
_____________________________________

CAPRICORN NEW MOON AND SOLAR ECLIPSE – December 25-26, 2019

The Capricorn Solar Eclipse will be exact on December 25, 2019 at 9:13 p.m. Pacific Standard Time; on December 26, 2019 at 12:13 a.m. Eastern Standard Time; and on December 26, 2019 at 5:13 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time.

A Solar Eclipse occurs when the sun and moon are aligned in such a way that the emotional moon blocks the light and power of the more rational sun. Our reasoning powers still exist but they may be dominated or even blocked by our deep-seated feelings. Understanding what is burbling up from our depths may require us to go back to the last solar eclipse, which occurred early in July of 2019. Whatever occurred during that time period that you thought may have been dealt with may be raising its head again for further consideration. In addition, the sun/moon positions of the eclipse are only one degree from Jupiter and moving to activate it in the next day or two, adding emphasis and energy to whatever you are thinking, doing, and feeling. In this case, the eclipse will re-emphasize and re-energize the large-scale plans you started to consider or set in motion a few days ago at the time of the equinox.

With all of these planets in Capricorn (ruled by Saturn), discipline and structure and logical judgment are taking center stage. We are trying to stay logical and focused and realistic. This eclipse puts our emotions out in front and remind us that they will not be disregarded, that we need to account for the way we sense and feel things. Our emotions will not be denied and will not allow themselves to be buried in the energy of the rational mind. The need for balance and compromise needs to be re-established.

As we look forward to the period from now until the next Full Moon/eclipse, which will occur January 10, 2020, we might want to put particular focus more on finishing up this evaluation of what has occurred or been accomplished since that July, 2019 eclipse. Then we can begin to look forward to watching these new events unfold.
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Carol


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12/24/19 6:13 A

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Good morning!

Carol, I hope you're having an easier day today. Sorry about your freezer. Hopefully there will be some deep after-holiday discounts on replacements if needed!

We had another fun day with the son yesterday. After leftover veggies for breakfast, we went to the doughnut shop for dessert. It's fun to go there when they're "running hot"; you can watch the doughnuts being made through a big window, then get them while they're still hot. After that, we made a short supply run and went home to continue our board game marathon. (We're set to start game 3 of our 6-game campaign today.) I had veggie soup simmering in the crock pot and made mac & cheese to go with the smoked meats for supper. I think the meats will last through the son's visit, but I have some plan B kielbasa in the freezer just in case. I think we're going to make a special treat today. You've probably had it before; it's where you cook a soft toffee with brown sugar and butter, pour it over saltines, sprinkle with nuts and chips and bake a few minutes, chill, and break into pieces. It probably has different names, but we've always called it "crack", since way before that was a drug name. It's really hard to stop eating, so the modern reference applies, I guess. The son's girlfriend asked for it especially, so it will be made and some packed up for him to take home to her.

Wishing everyone a super fun Tuesday!

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12/24/19 12:27 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a marvelous Monday.

GoodFeline, I hope your holidays are going well and you are enjoying your special time with your new child.

Julie, it sounds as though you are having a great time with your son and your husband. You've waited a long time for this visit and deserve every bit of goodness it now brings.

We had a quiet day. I had trouble sleeping last night, probably all the excitement of the dinner plus the extra time essentially counseling my granddaughter. I did manage to get rid of the clutter in the kitchen, dining room, and living room so now I just need to get rid of the dust. The office will be next, and laundry is calling to me.

We do have another potential catastrophe in the making. The ice cream in the freezer atop my refrigerator is simply soup. I also found frost on the back and it is a self-defrosting freezer. The unit is about 30 years old and has given me great service. Tomorrow I will check with the local repair shop and hope they can diagnose the problem and have a way to repair it. Otherwise we will be hitting the stores to buy ourselves a late-Christmas present of a new refrigerator. I'm hoping for repairs. Our weather has turned colder but it has also dried out and we are having sunshine for a couple days.

So now I'm off to finish my Spark postings and make my cup of chamomile tea. Hopefully I will sleep better tonight. Best wishes to everyone for a good night's sleep and a terrific day on Tuesday.


Carol


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12/23/19 7:22 A

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Good morning!

Carol, so glad you had a nice time with your family! Wishing you peaceful fun for the upcoming holiday.

Not sure what we'll be getting into today. Something was said about visiting the local doughnut place and making more side dishes for the refrigerator full of smoked meats and poultry. I'm pretty sure the board games marathon will continue. So, I'm off to it!

Have a lovely, lovely Monday!

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12/23/19 2:33 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a spectacular Sunday.

Julie, it sounds as though your visit with your son is off to a rousing start. I hope you continue to have fun and laughter and build fabulous memories.

When I got up this morning I got the pumpkin breads put together and baked. Bless the people who make the mix so I can just open the box, pour the mix (including chopped nuts) into a bowl, add eggs, water, and oil, mix and put in the pans and bake. Hubby made a bowlful of dressing (usually stuffing, but today no bird, so just made in a pan). We took all our goodies - breads and pies - to my daughter's house and contributed to a lovely ham dinner. She had decorated with lights around her windows and a Christmas tree covered with lights and ornaments. Everybody was on best behavior (including all her cats and dogs) and we had a very nice evening.

Now I"m off to finish Sparking (late!). Best wishes to everyone for a marvelous Monday.


Carol


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12/22/19 6:01 P

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Good evening!

Carol, I hope you enjoyed the baking; sounds like quite a delicious selection!

We've been busy, busy here. Yesterday, we picked up my son then stopped at a local distillery and the little restaurant near our house before settling him in his hotel and getting to bed earlier than expected. Today started early and has been packed with cooking, eating, and gaming. I'm betting we will sleep like logs!

Wishing everyone a peaceful night!

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12/22/19 1:28 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone had a super Saturday.

It sounds as though you are having a good time preparing for your son's visit. I'm sure you will have a wonderful visit.

GoodFeline, I hope everything went well for you today with the visit with the moms and also, perhaps the therapist. Take care during these busy times and make sure to take time for yourself.

Today I added to my baked goods - two pumpkin pies and a cranberry pie. But I had some distractions from Hubby and then just couldn't get motivated to move very fast. So here it is after 10:00 p.m. and I'm still waiting for the cranberry pie to come out of the oven, and I still have dishes to wash up. It's going to be a late night. At least I can sleep in for a bit in the morning. I'll make the pumpkin breads as soon as I get up in the morning; they come from a box mix and won't take too long to put together.

So I'm off to finish my kitchen chores. Best wishes to everyone for a spectacular Sunday.

Carol


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12/21/19 6:03 A

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Good morning!

GoodFeline, I hope your are feeling better today. If you toss a coin or roll a die to help you make a decision, you will find you've already decided by whether or not you agree with the random answer. The subconscious choices we make are often the best.

Carol, it sounds like you had a successful day, made extra rich by interactions with loved ones. I hope you're feeling more cheerful and finding joy in your holiday activities!

Yesterday, I finished the camisoles, swept the floors, and did loads of wash before noon. Then the hubster and I went grocery shopping, had a bite of lunch, and took Pepper to the groomer. My son's flight doesn't come in until mid-afternoon, so I thought I'd cook up some snacky things this morning.

Wishing everyone a sweet solstice!

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12/21/19 2:54 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a fabulous Friday.

GoodFeline, I am so sorry to hear you have been home sick; that is miserable any time but especially through the holidays. It's good to hear you have figured out how to deal with the issues of the pictures. I'm sure you will find a solution for the scheduling for your therapy and the gathering at your mom's. Perhaps you could go to therapy and the go to your mom's and just arrive a little late? Just a thought. You sound like such a busy lady; I hope you will take time to take care of yourself. Thanks for the good words on the reading; I hope you find it helpful.

Julie, the skirt is amazing - what a clever way to make it unique and probably more comfortable to wear as well. It sounds as though you had a busy day planned, but with the blessing of a helpful husband the chores will be done in no time and you will have plenty of time to catch up together. I'm glad you liked the reading; it will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

Last night I finally got Hubby to sit down with me and review the gift list with me. We agreed on some gift cards and my plan was to pick them up at the local grocery store when I went to pick up the newspaper this morning. It turned out they were out of the ones I wanted so I had to go down to the big grocery store 10 miles away to get them. While I was there I picked up a couple other things and also put gas in my car. When I got back Hubby and I got busy baking the next batch of cranberry breads.

After dinner my daughter came by to return a pie plate she had taken home at Thanksgiving (with pie on it) so I could use it again. She stayed and talked to Hubby and me for an hour, and then when I stepped outside to watch her get to her car she stopped and talked to me for another hour - girl talk sort of stuff. I can be impatient sometimes about the long conversations but the fact is I love her to pieces and cherish every minute we have together.

So now I'm off to finish my Spark postings and make some chamomile tea to prepare my head for a restful night. I hope everyone has a super Saturday.


Carol


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12/20/19 10:27 A

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Julie: Cute skirt!

Carol: I could use some extra motivation, so I hope your reading rings true.

I stayed home from work again yesterday. Got a real good nap in on the couch with Chester, who very much enjoyed a day of couch snuggles with me. My eye is almost back to normal now thanks to the eye drops the doctor gave me, and I am less of a faucet. My coughing isn't as bad and I can breathe a little better. I have hopes for a lunch that consists of more than crackers and Sprite today.

I talked to Walgreens customer service again, after trying to order photos again (since the last rep told me to just keep trying). This rep actually looked into the problem and said they would open a ticket with their IT group to get the problem fixed. I did find the different shipping options this time, $10 gets me a 12/23 arrival and $7 gets me a 12/24 arrival. I need the photos before Christmas Eve but I can't justify $10 on shipping - that's more than double the cost of the photos! I think I have a solution for the photos for my family members that we were framing. The photo studio included cards with the package, a family photo on front with gold on the back. If they're 5x7 I can just frame those. Then I can just gift little man his book without the photos and we can fill it in later on, without worrying about getting the photos in it before Christmas. Especially since his Godparents still haven't sent me a recent photo of themselves (their only explanation is their photos are on the cloud).

I'm supposed to be at my mom's house tomorrow at 11:00 for a girls day with my moms and my niece (and little man, our honorary mascot). We're going to do crafts and eat lunch. But I got a reminder I have therapy at 10:00, which runs an hour. So I have to decide two things: If I am going to therapy and arriving late at my moms or rescheduling therapy, and if I feel well enough to go to either at all.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/20/19 8:36 A

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Good morning!

Carol, wow! What an awesome solstice reading. I will certainly heed the advice about careful planning!

Yesterday, I spiffed up the plain, straight thrift store skirt with some inserts made from the leftover jacket tweed, which turned out to be a nice improvement (photo below). Then I started making a couple of camisoles to wear under the new shirts. I got about halfway done before the husband returned. We had a late lunch and spent the rest of the day just lazing about.

Today I hope to finish the camisoles, get through the pile of laundry Himself brought home, sweep the floors, take Pepper to the groomer, and do a little grocery shopping. The husband will be helping with a lot of this, so it shouldn't be much of a struggle.

Wishing everyone a perfectly lovely day!



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12/20/19 1:00 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a reasonably good day.

GoodFeline, I hope you and your family are feeling better. Having an illness of any kind is never fun, but it's particularly distressing during the holidays.

Julie, congratulations on all the purchases at Goodwill! That's an amazing job you did of shopping and finding great bargains.

Things around here don't change too much. Our winter rains have begun and the area is beginning to overcome the drought from this past summer and fall. I cleaned up the kitchen and helped Hubby figure out how to transfer a copy of my Christmas letter to some electronic cards he was sending. Tomorrow (Friday) we plan on making another batch of cranberry bread (4 loaves). I also took a gander at a reading for the Capricorn Solstice (see below). I've never done one like this before so I'll put it out there and we can see what happens.

Once that is posted I will be turning my attention to my remaining Spark postings and then my usual chamomile tea. Best wishes to everyone for a good night's sleep and a fabulous day on Friday.
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CAPRICORN SOLSTICE - December 21, 2019

The Capricorn Solstice will be exact on December 21, 2019 at 8:19 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on December 21, 2019 at 11:19 p.m. Eastern Standard Time; and on December 22 at 2:19 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time. The Solstice chart sets the direction for the coming 6 months.

The winter solstice always begins, by definition, when the sun enters the sign of Capricorn. Related to the tilt of the earth’s axis, it signals the time when the earth’s position in its orbit begins to lengthen the amount of time that the northern hemisphere receives an increasing amount of daily time it is exposed to the sun.

This year’s solstice finds four celestial objects joining the south nodes of the moon and the sun in Capricorn: expansive Jupiter, nurturing Ceres, structure-instructor Saturn, and transforming Pluto. All are slow movers, and the sun will cross all of them in the next three weeks, activating the potentials promised in the solstice chart. Overall, we start this next half year focused on getting things accomplished. Capricorn is a pragmatic earth sign filled with cardinal energy.

Since the sun starts this period every year, think about all those new year’s resolutions, those determinations to make our lives better, that typically fill our heads at this point. That’s Capricorn at its classic best. Normally, as the sun finishes its run through Capricorn in late January the energy fades and those resolutions fall by the wayside. This year is different because all these other factors are reinforcing the sun’s energy. Capricorn is the boss, the instigator of new directions, the leader when a group needs organizing, and the discipline to persist in a project even when we are tired or discouraged or just want to give up. It provides the structure on which we hang the details of our plans. This all tells us that what we start at this solstice will have the extra motivation to continue to pursue these new directions over a longer period and with more determination and more attention to the practicalities of shaping our plans into realities. There is an old saying, “Be careful what you wish for” that might apply here. The solstice may be telling us that we will not be able to toss aside our plans if we don’t like them, so choose wisely before you take that next step forward.

The pattern of these alignments is nearly a duplicate of the pattern that was in place during the last Full Moon. The North Nodes of the Moon sit all alone in Cancer, exactly opposite all this Capricorn energy. To some it may seem like the handle of an umbrella trying to keep control of the Capricorn canopy in a high wind trying to pull it away. The South Nodes in the middle of all those Capricorn-located planets would seem to have control. Will we anchor ourselves to the familiar ground that has served us well in the past? Will the old habits prevail? Or will we use the experiences of the past to help guide us as we create those new directions we are trying to follow? We still have free will.

In previous years it has been easy to start a new diet or exercise plan and then fall back off it in a few weeks – or start taking a new route to work and then decide the old way was better. Those easy out seemed to just be a result of the natural pull. This year will be different. So select carefully and wisely as there will likely be no turning back once we have committed ourselves to whatever path we have chosen to take. The extra surge of energy that occurs at the time of the solstice will be the optimal time to determine what you want to do and how you want to do it.

One last thought: this is a solar eclipse; it will tend to affect your interactions with the world around you or events coming from the world into your life. Then a lunar eclipse will occur on January 10, 2020; a lunar eclipse will be more likely to affect your internal reactions or processing of these external events. Watch them unfold and then look for new directions at the next set of eclipses that will occur in June of2020.
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12/19/19 8:38 A

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Good morning!

GoodFeline, so sorry you've been ill.... sure hope you and your family will be feeling better soon.

Carol, you're sounding more cheerful with the cards being done... hoping that's a trend!

The sun came out yesterday, and even though it was cold, I went to Goodwill to finally leave all the donations that have accumulated in the trunk of my car since spring. While I was up that way, I popped in to visit at the shop and worked out a plan for upgrading what I have consigned there. Before heading home, I decided to shop a minute at the Goodwill. Fortune favored me and I found a big bunch of brand new clothes in my size. I purchased two pairs of pants, a skirt, and three blouses (that will all mix and match) for a grand total of $12! The total of the original price tags on them was $315. 20 minutes of minor alterations and a washing, and I have some nice things to wear while my son is visiting.

My friends, I hope you will have a pleasant day today. Be kind to yourselves as you choose what you will do.

Edited by: JULIEINKPT at: 12/19/2019 (08:38)
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12/19/19 12:48 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Wednesday.

GoodFeline, your not feeling too festive is certainly understandable. You've had a tough many months, perhaps counting to almost two years if you start with the stress of trying to get pregnant, then going through all the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy and then more changes physically and in your home life and schedule. Add the stresses of your school work and your job and those financial issues too - you don't need a holiday: you need a rest! Meanwhile, it sounds as though your little tyke is gearing up to move into another active stage. Quite the independent youngster! Speaking of independent, it sounds as though your cat is feeling much better - congrats on that one too. I suspect that all the complications of this last week would have been hard enough on their own, but with everything else you have been through, the issues simply got magnified. I truly hope you are able to take some time through the holidays to step back and just breathe.

Julie, that blazer is beautiful, especially with that fabric. And the pink lining is perfect. You do have such a wonderful eye for fabrics and patterns as well as the talent to make good use of them. It sounds as though you will be keeping pretty busy yourself with laying the groundwork for those weekend meals and your son's visit.

Meanwhile, I really do appreciate your support and suggestions about trying to ease my load. As you might be able to tell, I have already unloaded or simplified a whole lot of holiday preparations and chores. No tree or decorations - not hosting the family dinner - and yes, reverting to gift cards (mostly available at the grocery stores)as gifts. My daughter has been through some horrendous years herself, and I have tried to ease her part of the holiday load to help her. But her life finally fell into place these last few weeks and she is already stepping up to the plate.

Thanks, too, for your supportive comments about me not being in much of a holiday mood. We have been at this coping with cancer and other medical issues for more than 3 years now and it really is getting tiresome. At least this time my daughter is taking over the hostessing and cooking chores at her house - just the 2nd time she has done this since we moved up here 5 years ago. In some ways I bless the computer as it keeps all my Christmas card information handy and complete. Yesterday I finished writing my "annual report" for old friends and relatives, including putting in pictures and trying to make the layout at least a little inviting. I worked as an administrative assistant for more than 50 years, so I can practically do some of this in my sleep. I also realized I had already printed out my address labels and only had to change one for someone who had moved. Today I put everything together and took it to the Post Office. I think I am seeing the light at the end of the Christmas tunnel and it is not a train coming from the other direction. Hooray!

So now I'm off to finish my Spark postings and make some chamomile tea. Best wishes to everyone for a good night's sleep and a thrilling Thursday!


Carol


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12/18/19 12:59 P

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Carol: I am not feeling too festive, either. I kind of want to send DH with the gifts to drop off and just hide at home, but I know my family would be terribly disappointed. And I would miss seeing my niece open her big gift from me. I want to see her face.

I am still a faucet, and went to urgent care this morning because to top this wonderful week off I now have pink eye. The doctor said I could still go to work as long as I was careful about washing my hands, but my coworkers are kind of wary of me anyway. Baby is still a mini faucet, not that it's slowing him down any. When it annoys him he just faceplants onto me and wiggles around until it's nice and rubbed in to my shirt or arm. He's got his confirmed solution, I guess. DH is grumpy so I can't tell if he still feels sick, or if he's just getting tired of missing work for everyone else!

Little man had his first solo bottle last night! I adjusted his grip once when his weaker hand slipped, but other than that I let him take the bottle and go from start to finish! He's also enjoying taking the spoon from us and smooshing it into his mouth (or nose).

DH said we could go into the store to order copies of our photos, but I am guessing it's going to have to wait until Saturday unless I send him all the pictures and the sizes needed for each one and send him on his own after work one night. I need more than the two because of the baby "who loves me" album for my little man, which holds 6 photos of family that he can play with. But if I am willing to let that wait until after Christmas I do have photo cards from the family photo shoot. I can test them out in the frames and if they work that would probably solve my dilemma.

Ghost is feeling much better, and his bloodwork is back to normal. His vet called this morning laughing to say he's ready to come home because he ripped out his catheter, chewed off his IV, and began using the litter box. He's got special instructions when we bring him home and has to be isolated for a few days, but he gets to come home tonight.

I have just had an awful week. Monday I woke up full blown sick and my period started to boot. I stayed home sick and Ghost had to go to the vet and have surgery. Tuesday I went into work even though I still didn't feel great discovered the photo problem, then bled through my skirt onto my chair, and the cramps and nasal drainage made me so nauseous I couldn't eat anything other than animal crackers and soup. Nobody could get me home to change so I had to avoid standing as much as I could while sounding like a foghorn as I went through half a box of kleenex at my desk. Then today I got pink eye and was an hour late to work because I went to the urgent care then the pharmacy for the antibiotic eye drops. We stopped at the Dunkin after the pharmacy, even though the urgent care weighed me and I am shamed and horrified by the results of that, and the cashier somehow mixed up "Holiday Brownie Crumble" with "Blueberry" and gave me the wrong donut, and gave me a Toasted Gingerbread Latte instead of a Gingerbread S'mores Latte. I also strongly suspect it was not decaf even though she said it was.

Only 5 hours until I can go home, anyway.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/18/19 9:53 A

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Good morning!

GoodFeline, I hope you've got the photo situation figured out. Meanwhile, you have the joys of starting baby on solid foods to explore!

Carol, with all that's on your plate, small wonder you're not feeling cheery. Trying not to sound scroogy or bossy, but here's my opinion: Why not send letters in January instead of xmas cards? And what's wrong with giving gift cards? You and your husband have been through hell this year, and your friends and family probably don't expect you to rush about, worry, and toil. Take a break, enjoy the holiday stuff that's fun for you, and let your family do things for you for a change. You can pass responsibility for family holidays to your kids whenever you want, and they will be proud and happy to take over.

I had a terrific day yesterday, in spite of the dismal gray and cold weather. I finished the blazer (photos below) and I'm very happy with it. It's gray tweed with psychedelic pink satin lining. I couldn't find the right buttons in my stash, so I stacked a resin-covered lace button atop a big mother-of-pearl button. The welt pockets with flaps were easier than I remembered, but that collar/lapel assembly is not for the faint of heart. Today I'm going to start on the rest of the outfit. The husband may be home tomorrow evening. He wants to smoke a pork loin and a turkey, and for me to make a big mac & cheese, so we will have plenty ready for my son's visit. What about vegetables, I ask. Oh, yeah, sure, he says. LOL

Wishing everyone a fun-filled Wednesday!


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12/18/19 12:40 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a terrific Tuesday!

GoodFeline, I'm sorry to hear about the mix-up in the photo order. Perhaps you could use the ones that you have to send out and then order the extra ones for yourselves for later arrival? Just a thought. I had a good chuckle picturing your little guy with the puree all over himself. No high chair? Perhaps you could set a small baby seat of some sort on the table. That would keep him corralled and keep any flying bits and spills on the table instead of getting it all over the floor. That was what we did with our grandson when his family lived with us when he was really little. Meanwhile, I'm sorry to hear there is another "bug" going through your family. I hope it moves out really quickly. And good luck with the cat, too.

Julie, your plans for the time with your son sound just perfect. I'm sure you will have a fabulous visit. I'm happy to hear the jacket is coming along so well. The plan for the outfit sounds stunning!

As for the leaves, there are very few on the lawn any more. But when they were coming down from the tree there were more leaves than I could fit into the yard waste bucket for trash pickup, so I piled them beside and behind the house and around the two far sides of the shed. Now I fill the bucket from those piles, so I'm not really raking. I just log it that way because there isn't a good standard Spark category for what I am doing, and I just log the time and don't worry about the supposed calories burned.


I have been trying to get into the holiday spirit, but it's just not happening this year. I started to get ready to send out cards and the whole process, the systems I have had in place for years, just seem to be lost in a major fog. I think it's just the the frenetic pace of so many chores and appointments and time demands have turned my brain to mush. Hubby asked me to print out his Christmas card list from last year for him, and once I did that I started to remember how I set up labels and checked addresses and it pretty much came back to me. Then I remembered that my Colorado son and his family are leaving for Montana this weekend so I had to jump their family's card to the head of the line; it's a good thing I bought the gift card for that grandson early so I could just run that too the Post Office today and send it Priority Mail. And then having Christmas with my daughter on the 22nd is really throwing me into a tizzy too as that will include the gift exchanges. I wanted to get actual gifts this year but shopping has been out of the question with Hubby's back issues, so it's back to gift cards again.

Tomorrow morning my mammogram is scheduled, and that's only about a mile from the house. So I will try to get back to the cards when I come back from "getting squished." I might even get in some exercise too!

Now it's time to finish my Spark postings and then make my chamomile tea to help calm my head for bedtime. Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful Wednesday.

Carol


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12/17/19 10:02 A

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We got our family photos picked up, but I was sorting them out this morning and putting post-it's on them so I'd know who to give each one to and realized because I got an 8x10 of my son for us instead of two 5x7s we're actually two photos short. I thought we got 24 photos but I guess that was just with the online album. I am trying to order copies online through Walgreens but I am running into a problem where their website tells me there are no locations in our state that offer photo services and I have to have the photos shipped to me. This is the third time I've had that problem and the last two times it hasn't been an issue I just shipped them, but this time shipping will arrive after Christmas. Their customer service rep has told me there's nothing they can do about it I just have to ship it or go into a store, which means either getting the gifts late or bundling all three of us up and going to the store in the snow after work when little man needs changed and fed.

We started purees Sunday night, since DH left around dinnertime both Friday and Saturday. My FIL bought us some variety pack baby foods, none of which were the flavor the pediatrician suggested we start with. She wanted us to start with squash and of the three flavors we had we thought sweet potato was the closest to that. He loves sweet potato! He loves wearing it as much as eating it though, and since we don't have a high chair I'm feeding him on my lap so I'm wearing it as much as he is emoticon

Little man woke up with a runny nose on Saturday, by Sunday night I was sick, and DH woke up this morning feeling sick. Then Monday morning we found our cat (who had gone missing) inside our bed frame, on the verge of death. DH rushed him to the vet where he still is. The vet says he'll probably be there until Thursday as they try to get him feeling better. Our other cat looked for him for awhile but is now lapping up all the solo attention he can get.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/17/19 7:35 A

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Good morning!

Carol, I'm surprised your trees still have leaves to drop, but glad you seem to be keeping up with them!

As for my son's visit, we don't have any plans related to the solstice. He said he wants to go to some area breweries and would like for me to bake a certain treat for him to take back to his girlfriend. Other than that, we will probably spend time talking, eating, cooking, and gaming. The husband has requested the time off from work and will be here.

The jacket is coming along nicely. All that's left to do is the lining. I'm making this for myself. btw. I have enough lining fabric left to make a blouse, but not much of the tweed remains. I have some ideas to use it to embellish a gray flannel skirt or trousers.

Wishing everyone a dandy Tuesday!

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12/17/19 12:12 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a marvelous Monday.

GoodFeline, I hope you had a good weekend and that the coming week treats you properly.

Julie, it's good to hear you made progress on that jacket. You do all that fine work on details and tailoring - I'm sure your customer will be greatly please. I'm sure you will be ready for your son when he arrives on the 21st. Will he celebrate the solstice with you? Will your husband be home by then? If so, will he also celebrate the solstice with? Just curious.

We had a cool day with temperatures in the low 40s. But the sun came peeking out through the clouds periodically and it was the 3rd day in a row with no rain, so I was able to get outside to take leaves from the pile behind the house and fill the bucket again. We're back to the pick-up on every other week, so they will sit around for awhile, but at least I didn't have to work in the rain. I finished up preparing my annual newsletter to insert into my cards this year and my mailing labels are ready to put onto the envelopes.

Best wishes to everyone for a terrific Tuesday.




Carol


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12/16/19 7:25 A

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Good morning!

I hope everyone is well and warm today!

Carol, I'm glad you enjoyed the games and found the opportunity to exercise. Chili and cornbread sounds pretty good!

My day was peaceful yesterday. I made some more progress on the jacket. It's been a long time since I've used classic tailoring techniques, and it's gratifying to see the little details turning out well. I'm hoping to have it done before my son gets here on the 21st. I've been pretty good staying on my food plan... haven't had any sugar for a whole week now! I've been riding my bike every day, too. I'm up to 30 minutes a day. When that gets easy, I plan to start adding some strength exercises. I have nothing thrilling on today's agenda other than the challenge of the tailored collar and lapels.

Wishing everyone a super duper Monday!

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12/15/19 7:59 P

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a super Sunday.

Julie, how great that you finally had some sunshine; I hope you were able to get outside (with Pepper!) and enjoy it. I hope you finished that jacket you were working on. Also hope your husband is safe out on the highways, wherever he is.

GoodFeline, I hope you are having a decent day and staying safe as well.

We had a quiet day at home, watching the Broncos lose their game in a miserable snow storm. I remind myself of how much money those guys make to go out and play in that mess and don't feel too sorry for them. I did finally start back into my exercises, doing a half hour of strength training. Also cleaned up the kitchen. Dinner tonight will be turkey chili reheated in a Corning Ware casserole that can to into the dishwasher for clean up, along with reheated corn meal muffins from a couple days ago. Tonight the tv will be broadcasting the Kennedy Center Honors program that was taped a couple days ago. They always have wonderful presentations and this year besides honoring people they are also honoring the entire program (and people, I assume) from Sesame Street. Ah, the memories.

So on that happy note I wish everyone a good night's sleep and a marvelous Monday.



Carol


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12/15/19 10:09 A

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Good morning!

Carol, keeping Hubby company is a necessary and precious thing, and should most certainly count as an accomplishment.

We are having some sunshine this morning for a change! It's not supposed to last, so I'm going to try to enjoy it while I can. With no husband at home and no D&D, the routine housework is a breeze. I've done some deep cleaning here and there that has been put off for a while, and have been enjoying working on the jacket. No telling how long this uneventful existence will continue, so I'm making a conscious effort to recharge my batteries and re-establish healthy routines.

Wishing everyone a peaceful Sunday!

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12/15/19 12:33 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone had a super Saturday.

Julie, thanks for your encouragement and your statement of confidence. I am always telling people that things happen in the Universe's time; I need to remember that for my life too. I appreciate the reminder.

GoodFeline, I hope you are having a fun day with your family.

Julie, it sounds as though you are getting back into the swing of sewing and some exercise too. I envy your time to yourself to schedule your own activities. From what I know of you, those activities will get plenty of energy and then you'll be happy to have your Husband home to enjoy some time together. What a great set-up. I haven't seen any snow in the immediate forecasts and hope that will help keep him safe on the road.

Our day was dreary again but with a little sun shining through every now and then. Hubby and I watched the Army-Navy football game. Since both my biological parents were in the Navy (that's how they met) I cheered for Navy today and was rewarded with a win. After the news reports Hubby turned to Ancient Aliens and they finally had some new information to show. So I have accomplished almost nothing except keeping Hubby company. I'll try to do better on Sunday.

Best wishes to everyone for a spectacular Sunday.


Carol


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12/14/19 8:30 A

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Good morning!

Carol, I'm sure you'll find the right way to go with your letters and find a perfect time to finish your shopping.

I did a small sewing job yesterday (slight refashioning of a robe for a client) and worked some more on the jacket. Also selected and prepped fabrics for a coordinating top and skirt (or maybe pants). The husband is going to be on the road for at least a few more days, and I am enjoying only having to spend a few minutes a day on housework and laundry. I've started riding my exercise bike again and have been tracking my food, too. Not sure why the sudden mood upswing; maybe anticipating my son's visit.

Wishing everyone a pleasant weekend!

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12/14/19 1:00 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone had a fun Friday.

Julie, your comment about the Y chromosome gave me a good chuckle. I have a joke my daughter sent about what happens when those guys get the Man-Flu but it is somewhat long and I suspect to sexist for the Spark censors. But I agree with your sentiments. I hope you get your sewing mojo back and have a lot of success with that tweed jacket.

GoodFeline, you said your little guy gets on his knees and rocks? That's a classic preparation for getting ready to crawl. Watch him carefully and maybe grab your camera as the transition can happy very quickly and they have been known to go flying across the room like a shot! My granddaughter did that one night when we were babysitting her, and I wish I had a picture of the look on her face when she came to a sudden halt. It was an incredible "WOW - Did you see what I just did?????" priceless kind of look. Meanwhile, I hope your husband's ankle heals quickly. He needs to be your helper with that baby!

We had less rain today but I only made one short trip to pick up a few things at the local Safeway (including the USA Today newspaper) and then drop off some envelopes at the Post Office. We don't have any Postal Mail boxes nearby and I don't like to put outgoing mail in the receiving box as it is out of view of the house and right along the road. I tried to work on that Christmas letter but didn't get very far. I may just have to start over and take a different tack. My daughter called tonight on her way home from work and we talked for an hour. A couple days ago I read a small item on the Net that about 40-50% of working people use the time on their commute to stay in touch with their family members: I guess my two offspring are right on track! It's nice to know family members are staying in personal touch (not just electronic) with us older folks.

I am still trying to find a small Christmas gift to go with the gift card for my daughter and grandson; my granddaughter and her husband are handled. That's all the shopping I will be doing this year. I already bought a gift card for my grandson in Colorado. I am hoping the weather dry out soon so I can get to the stores: I try to avoid on-line shopping.

That's all the news. I will be heading for my cup of chamomile tea and then off to bed. Best wishes to everyone for a super Saturday!


Carol


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12/13/19 9:31 A

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Good morning!

Carol, I hope your weather has cleared up. It's nice you had something interesting to do while it was rainy!

GoodFeline, "the kind of guy that sounds like he's positively dying with any minor illness or ache" is generally the same kind that has a Y chromosome.

It was rainy here yesterday and looks like it will remain so until Tuesday. As Carol says, at least I don't have to shovel it! I worked on the tweed jacket most of yesterday and hopefully will get some more done with it today.

Wishing everyone a fab Friday!

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12/13/19 9:09 A

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Carol: He sleeps in a crib and rocker at daycare, in a pack n play and swing at my in-laws, in a cradle and pack n play at my moms, and in a swing for DH. But when it comes to mama he just wants to be able to touch me. I practice attachment parenting so I do contact naps and bedsharing. Cosleeping, where the baby is in the room with you but not the same bed, is recommended until they're at least 1 to reduce the risk of SIDS. But my current plan is to bedshare with him until he tells me he wants his own space then to move him either onto a mattress on our floor or his own room, whichever works better for him. For now we've got plenty of room, DH doesn't sleep in the room with us for a variety of reasons so it's just me and baby in a king size bed. But he's a fierce snuggler so I always end up on the edge of the bed, if not hanging off it.

DH says his ankle still hurts this morning so he's still hobbling around on his Walgreens cane. I told him to make an appointment with my podiatrist to get it looked at, but he'd rather just use the cane. We're going to my mom's house tomorrow for her birthday and she uses a cane because she needs hip replacement surgery. It will be kind of embarrassing for him to show up using a cane because he slept funny!

Yesterday little man rolled off the couch (very short fall, probably not even a foot) so I started putting him on the floor on his tummy while I gathered things for his diaper bag. He started scooting backwards! I don't know if it was intentional or not, since he was rocking on his hands and knees. But this morning he was on the bed while I was getting dressed and I had to keep moving him because he was intentionally scooting backwards. He'd lean forward onto his forearms, put his bum into the air and wiggle it around a bit, then start shuffling his legs to scoot. I hope this doesn't mean more bedtime acrobatics!

DH has to do his webinar training this weekend and I have to work on my dissertation, so that means little man will probably be learning how to do DHs job, too (or possibly helping him play video games). Our family photos came in so we're going to pick them up after visiting my mom, and then comes the fun of deciding who gets what photo and framing them all. I also have laundry to do. Mostly baby laundry. But I also need to hunt down his clothes - he's got 13 pairs of pants (four each of light blue, dark blue, black, and gray and a pair of jeans) and I can only find one light blue, black, and gray!

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/13/19 12:31 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone had a thoughtful Thursday.

GoodFeline, I have to confess I'm of the old school that encouraged parents to place their infants in their own crib right from the beginning. How long is the baby supposed to sleep with you? I wonder if he would sleep better with his own larger space now that he is getting older. Just questions since this is out of my experience range. I'm glad you warned your husband about the balance in the bank account; I hope he pays attention to you. And as for your husband when he is hurt - or sick, I will stuff down my comments as there may be men reading into this team's thread and I know I should not offend them; Spark might throw me off if I said what I was really thinking. But I understand what you are saying . . . .

Julie, I'm glad to hear your snow is nearly melted so your roads are more passable. I hope you and Pepper enjoy your ride. As for your son, I know there are times when couples just need a few days of break; maybe your son and his SO are at that point. It makes seeing the partner after the break sort of special. In any case, I'm sure you'll enjoy seeing him again.

We have had rain all day today along with some wind that has blown a few small water-soaked moss-covered branches off the big oak tree. I spent a good part of the day preparing a general letter to go into my Christmas cards. I have already prepared my mailing labels - with gratitude to the Universe for all my years of experience in using the computerized address systems. I want to finish the cards over the weekend at the latest so they can go in the Monday mail. There was nothing of interest on the TV tonight so I came back to the computer earlier than usual.

It's getting to be time for me to get my chamomile tea soon. Best wishes to everyone for a fabulous Friday.


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12/12/19 10:58 A

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He used to sleep so nice and peaceful, now he gets kind of wild in his sleep. He doesn't usually wake up (though his talking has gotten so loud that it's woken him up) but he gets tired of sleeping next to me so starts wriggling and whining until I move him onto my chest, or gets tired of being on my chest and starts wiggling until he's slipped down next to me.

I warned DH about the purchase so he's keeping it in mind when checking our bank balance, since one of the items doesn't ship until later than the other two so the cost hasn't come out yet. We didn't overdraft, thankfully.

DH woke up with a sore ankle this morning. He's the kind of guy that sounds like he's positively dying with any minor illness or ache, so he was limping around moaning and groaning like it was the end of the world. While I was at my doctor appointment he actually went out and bought a CANE. Because he slept wrong. I am aghast.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/12/19 9:57 A

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Good morning!

GoodFeline, that is funny about baby talking in his sleep and sitting up! My understanding is that these things are part of vivid dreaming.

Carol, it sounds like the doctor visit went well. Sorry they woke you up, though!

My son called last night to confirm his itinerary, and we decided to go ahead and get him a hotel room. He lives with his girlfriend in Las Vegas; she is from Fresno, CA. Evidently, she used up most of her PTO earlier in the year, so she will be staying in LV and celebrating with friends and coworkers who would otherwise be on their own. My son says she isn't thrilled about him being away, but is okay with it. I think it's been 3 years since we've seen him.

Most of the snow has melted, but it's still pretty cold out. I might try to get out of the house for a while this afternoon if it stays sunny. I bet Pepper would enjoy a car ride.

Wishing everyone a fine Thursday!

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12/12/19 1:13 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Wednesday. Thanks to both GoodFeline and Julie regarding the Full Moon reading; I'm glad you found it useful; I also appreciate the feedback.

GoodFeline, your picture of the cars reminded me of the days when I lived in Omaha (1972-1974). Those roads were certainly an adventure. I am sending good thoughts to help keep you safe if you have to go out on them. I'm sorry to hear about the money problems and getting caught in that bind at work. I trust things will work out for you as you move forward. And about your little one talking in his sleep: from early infancy up through about age 4 or 5 the veil between this world and the other worlds is quite thin; often children will end up talk about, telling stories, etc. of events in their previous lifetimes. It is interesting that your little tyke may be starting so young. It's too bad you can't understand what he is saying yet to figure out the sitting up business. It sounds as though he is doing sit ups in a girls' gym class or a man in military basic training!

Julie, I dropped over to your Spark page and picked up your blog on the subject of the holidays. I can really appreciate where you are coming from on the topic. I appreciate this whole team for providing a place where we can share these non-traditional thoughts without fear of criticism. It's really great that your son will be coming to visit even if his girlfriend does not come with him. But she has family in California? And where does this son live? Its not uncommon these days to have family spread out around the country. Perhaps they need a few days of time with just their respective families. Hopefully you will all have great visits.

My fatigue finally caught up with me and I slept quite well last night, though I felt yanked out of bed about 8:30 this morning by the ringing of the telephone. The doctor's office called to ask if Hubby could come in an hour earlier than scheduled this morning. Of course I said yes as I didn't want to mess with rescheduling. What had originally started out as a physical for him ended up being a basic medication and blood test review. For a man of nearly 85 years, and particularly since he has had such struggles with cancer, he really is in remarkably good condition. We spent the rest of the day on individual computer projects. With the raining continuing all day we were not inclined to venture outside again.

For now I will finish my Spark postings and then make my chamomile tea to clear my head and then toddle on off to bed. Best wishes to everyone for a good night's sleep and a pleasant day on Thursday.


Carol


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12/11/19 10:40 A

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Julie: I've heard good things about Call of Cthulhu! Have fun with that. I hope your weather decides to do something other than gray soon.

Carol: You reading sounds like it was for me. Taking stock of my progress is something I really need to do more often. I so frequently get caught up in "now" and the future that I forget to look back and see how far I've come.

It turns out in our state Frozen 2 is taken out of theaters this weekend, so my brother asked if I was free this weekend instead. We're already celebrating my mom's birthday on Saturday so I had to regretfully decline as I have a lot of writing to do for my dissertation still, and two events in one weekend is a little much for me. DH and I will just have to wait until it is released on Disney+.

The pile up actually went viral in our area, with a meme spreading online from a traffic cam shot.


DH has 6 hours of work to make up for all the appointments we have this week. He doesn't have to stay late or anything though, what his job does is make the IT people do training webinars online from home. So he'll be holed up in the basement watching those sometime this weekend. Although, to be honest, he'll probably let the video run and play video games.

My workmates and I all pitch in $20 at Christmas to get my boss a gift, but this year Amazon changed their gift list policies and you can no longer search for a list, you have to be invited to look at a list. So I am the only one with access to the list my boss makes because I already had it in my Amazon lists when the policy was initiated. Which means this morning I had to pay $88.80 for her gifts so they would arrive in time for Christmas. I don't mind being the one to order them, but this last minute shopping gave me zero time to figure out how to pay and my coworkers were standing around my desk waiting. I knew my personal credit card didn't have the money, and I was pretty sure my husbands personal card didn't have the money. I was uncertain about our Amazon card. So I used our debit card, which will probably overdraft us but will let the payment go through. My coworkers will pay their shares, but since overdraft is immediate their cash won't help that. I'm extremely nervous about this on top of the anxiety I've been struggling with this week (perhaps the lunar passions you mention in your reading) but am trying not to let my coworkers see because I've been trying to keep our money troubles out of the office.

On a lighter note, little man talks in his sleep. Just kind of babbles to himself. But lately he has started sitting straight up, too. He'll do it repeatedly, up down up down up down. Little zombie baby.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/11/19 9:33 A

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Good morning!

Carol, thank you for the excellent full moon reading! A lot to think about there. I might write a blog post on what came to me. I hope you'll get caught up on your rest soon.

It snowed here last night, an inch or two it seems. Somehow it's always surprising to wake up to snow on the ground. The sun is out today (!!!) so hopefully it melts off quickly. I got an email from my son yesterday. His girlfriend can't get the time off from her work, so he is coming by himself. I hope this doesn't cause any problems between them; xmas means a lot to her and she may be upset with his being away. Then again, she might be happy to have the time to visit her family in CA by herself.

Wishing everyone a warm and cozy day!

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12/11/19 12:34 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a terrific Tuesday.

Julie, sorry to hear your weather is so dreary. Sometimes those days are bad enough to depress a hyena. How fortunate that Cam came over on Monday so you had someone to lift your spirits. It will be interesting to see what happens when your husband's company merger is completed. At some point you mentioned that he has special skills or training, so that should make him particularly valuable to the new owners. I hope you had a good day on Tuesday and that your weather improves soon.

GoodFeline, thank you for opening up about your life with your goals and the various directions you have taken. As I've said before, I know you will make the right decisions for yourself and I look forward to seeing where they take you. Meanwhile, it sounds as though you can practice your mothering-of-a-girl with your niece. It sounds as though the two of you have a great relationship. I chuckled at your husband wanting to go see the movie Frozen; I hope all of you have a wonderful time on that outing. Have fun starting your baby on solid foods; it's always fun to watch their reactions to each new flavor.

I had a difficult night for reasons unknown - ended up with barely 4 hours of sleep. Still I set my alarm and got up early to talk to my daughter this morning and then she never called. Sigh. After breakfast I headed for the grocery store, taking Hubby along and dropping him at the barber shop. His hair had grown back after the chemotherapy baldness and came in light and fluffy! He hated it. So now he is back to his traditional hair cut and feeling more like his old self. I finished the Full Moon reading and it is posted below. I hope at least some of you will find it helpful.

I'm off to make some chamomile tea and clear my head for bedtime - and hopefully a better night's sleep. Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful Wednesday.
_______________________________

GEMINI FULL MOON – December 11-12, 2019

The Gemini Full Moon will reach its completeness on December 11, 2019 at 9:12 p.m. Pacific Standard Time; on December 12, 2019 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time; and on December 12, 2019 at 5:12 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time.

The sun at 19 degrees of Sagittarius pours the richness of its light on the Moon at 19 degrees of Gemini. This ambitious fire-sign sun has been pushing us for the last couple weeks to make our plans and find ways to stay busy checking off our to-do lists. Sagittarius encourages us to act before we think through the plans. Now the Gemini moon is telling us we need to stop and take stock of our progress, to evaluate how far have we come, how much more there is to do, and what the practicalities are in this process. The Moon in Gemini signals there are decisions to be made between opposing options, and priorities to be set in the process. After all, it is likely that at this point some complications have arisen and our vision may be cloudy. Those obstacles are caused largely by dreamy Neptune in Pisces, which is square both the sun and the moon, sometimes leading to a feeling that we are at an impasse. Call this an imperative to “check everything twice” before we move forward any further, especially with those plans we were trying to accomplish, as we are likely to encounter misinformation, delays, intrusions, and complications, leading to frustrations and additional stress.

An additional factor complicates this process: Five planets plus the South Nodes of the Moon (old habits and baggage) are all sitting in ambitious Capricorn, the sign right next to Sagittarius. They are all pushing at us to pay attention to the details of our choices and be thorough about getting everything done on time and in the proper manner. We are already struggling with intrusions and illusions from that Neptune, so it niggles at us like a pair of itchy underpants. It’s enough to make one cry “Bah, Humbug!”

So where is our relief? How do we survive – and even thrive – in the midst of all this chaos? The asteroid Chiron, which shows our propensity for healing both ourselves and others, sits in Aries, which by sign is in a helpful relationship to both the sun and the moon. It points us in the direction of applying our logic and judgment to all these items that are causing us concern. Let go of the angst and the guilt and whatever other lunar passions are pushing us into panic mode. Set aside the peer pressure and familial traditions. Take a deep breath, and have a conversation with yourself. What do you really want to do to bring holiday satisfaction and your own personal preferences for yourself? Normally rebellious Uranus is retrograde; it urges us to look deep into our own souls to identify the things that will meet our own individual needs and express our own preferences. Then adjust your life accordingly. Let go of the shoulds and oughts from the past and from other people. Focus on those things that will bring you tranquility through this holiday season. Let your soul find its own peace and then your head and heart will follow.

We are heading towards the Capricorn Solstice on December 21st, a few days before the next New Moon on the night of December 25. It will be the darkest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere) and then the daylight portion of our days will start to get longer. The sun will enter Capricorn that day and help us come together in the harmony and strength of that sign with Jupiter, Ceres, Saturn, Pluto, and the South Nodes of the moon that are already there. It will be an appropriate time for us to seek and celebrate the conclusion of the past year and get an early start on the new directions coming for us in 2020.
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Carol


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12/10/19 1:04 P

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Good morning!

Carol, it is completely understandable about getting up early to talk to your kids! My son lives three time zones away and usually calls after I've gone to bed, but I pretend I was up anyway and talk to him every time.

GoodFeline, it sounds like baby is progressing quite normally. Good on you for being diligent with his pediatrician visits and immunizations! We're taking a few weeks off from gaming and will start a Call of Cthulhu campaign in January.

Yesterday the weather was dreary and rainy again. Cam came over and we had a delightful visit. The husband is out on the road and we have no idea yet when he will be getting in. We just learned that the company he works for was bought by a bigger company and we're hoping that will turn out to be a good thing. Meanwhile, things just toodle along here. It's yet another gray, rainy day, so I will have to find ways to occupy myself indoors again.

Wishing everyone rainbows! emoticon

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12/10/19 11:00 A

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Carol: I definitely want to stay home. It's been my dream since about middle school. I mostly went to college because I didn't think I had another choice, and once I was there I wanted to have a career to fall back on if I needed one. I switched majors 8 times trying to find something I could do and would enjoy doing I am a little uncertain about a second child - I would love a little girl if possible (though another little boy would be delightful as well!), but I am worried a second child wouldn't be as easy a baby as my little man is! I am planning on finishing my dissertation, I'm about 1/3 of the way through the dissertation itself. Getting my PhD would let me teach online from home so if I did get to stay home I could still contribute to the mortgage if needed.

Both my cats are big boys. Little man is still on the small side, but that is definitely a large (and extra fluffy) cat.

I saw a recipe on Facebook for fresh cranberry and white chocolate chip cookies. It made me think of your cranberry bread, and looked delicious.

It turns out my niece hasn't seen Frozen 2 yet, but was planning to go with her parents and my dad the weekend before Christmas, so I got myself an invite. I didn't think my husband would want to go since he didn't really like the first movie so I didn't ask for an invite for him thinking it'd be good for him to bond with little man some, but he was disappointed that I didn't ask if he could go, too. Obviously little man is not ready for a movie theater so I'd probably need to ask my mom if she could watch him, then ask my brother if DH could join us.

Yesterday we had our first real snow of the season, the kind where it actually settled on the ground. There wasn't much of it, less than an inch, but of course people saw it on the ground and forgot how to drive. There was a 7 car pileup!

Little man had his 6 month well visit yesterday. Poor baby got so many shots, his little legs were so sore. But he got approved to start solids! His pediatrician said with his medical history she wanted him starting with purees and recommended we begin with squash. So we'll probably do some purees with dinner to start, give him some yummy squash before bedtime. He's been waking up for a 2am bottle this past week so I don't think he's staying as full as before, maybe the purees will help with that.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/10/19 1:19 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a marvelous Monday.

GoodFeline, only you can decide whether having another child and/or staying at home with babies would be satisfying for you. Certainly the cost of child care for infants and small children would put a dent in the budget if you continued to work. Budgetary constraints would have to be factored in also. And would you finish that dissertation and get your degree just for the sake of completing the process? You might also want to run the situation through a tarot or astrology or meditation setting for some guidance too. There's certainly a lot to think about. In any case, I'm sure you'll make a good final decision.

The picture of your husband an baby is priceless. Baby still looks tiny next to that cat - or is s/he just a big cat? At any rate, your husband looks quite content.

Good luck with all your Christmas preparations!

Julie, it sounds as though your really enjoyed your D&D group - 5 hours! Wow! But we are all grateful you saved the world. I hope you had a good day with Cam on Monday and that your husband is staying safe if he is out on those highways.

Thanks to both of you for the good thought on the new medication. My body seems to be adjusting to it. I'm hoping things will continue to improve, although the cost may still become an issue at some point. Hubby was more stabilized today; I'm thinking that with him each day may be different and I won't get too excited with all the variations - will just watch for sudden or extended major shifts.

Today was quiet. The day started with my weekly phone call from my son while he was on his way to work. Later in the morning I took Hubby over to the lab for him to get his blood draw for the testing that will be evaluated for his physical later this week. The place was nearly empty so it didn't take very long. Otherwise it was a quiet day at home. We ended up making another batch of cranberry bread - 4 loaves again. I still have a lot of cranberries left, so I'm sure we'll make at least one more batch a few days from now to take to our family Christmas dinner on the 22nd.

I need to try to get to bed early tonight. My daughter called tonight but didn't have much time but asked if she could call tomorrow on her way to work - between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m.! So I will have to set an alarm so I will be awake when she calls. How much do I love my kids to get up early to talk to them???? Truly, of course, I'm grateful that they call.

So now I'm off to get my chamomile tea. Best wishes to everyone for a terrific Tuesday!



Carol


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12/9/19 9:23 A

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Carol: I'm sorry to hear you're experience side effects from those pills. I hope it abates over time, sometimes starting new medication can be rocky at first. I wonder if there is a natural method to reducing A1C levels you could try instead?

Julie: Sounds like you had a great weekend! I'm glad the end to your long-term campaign was a fun one. Thank you for saving the world emoticon Are you going to be starting a new campaign next week?

DH made a comment about me staying home this morning, and yesterday about having a second baby, that makes me think he might be coming around to my way of thinking. I know he did used to like the idea of my staying home but thought my education (and the associated student loans) made that unreasonable. He thought for me to stay home I should have either not gone to college or just gotten my BGS, but to get ANY job as a librarian (with the exception of very small towns) you need a minimum of an MLS so I agree I should have stopped sooner, after I got my MLIS. But at the time I wanted to work in an academic library, where you need two masters degrees, so I got my MEd. Then after that I couldn't find a library job - public libraries thought I was too school focused, academic libraries thought I was too public focused, and my only full-time work was in an out-of-state prison library which don't exist in my state. So I pursued my PhD so I could teach...then got my current job. DH agreed at that point I was far enough along into my program that it would be silly to drop out, but is on the fence about me staying home at this point because of it.

I need to see if my niece has seen Frozen 2 yet. I want to see it, and taking her is a wonderful excuse to go! She was absolutely obsessed with the first movie so I am sure she would love the second movie. I've heard good things about it.

We had a pretty good weekend. I worked on my dissertation on Saturday so little man spent the day hanging out with dad. Dad reports they had a fun time and lots of laughter was had. When I came down after turning the weeks progress in I snapped this photo:

Sunday I was surprised by having to go to church to watch DH play in the bell choir. So we were a bit rushed but made it. Little man enjoyed the service and spending time with Grandpa and Grandma. There was a puppet show and play after the service, followed by a brunch, so he got to see so many people doing so many things! There was a baptism during the service so he even got to see other babies (usually he's the only infant). How was your weekends?

This week I have to get my Christmas cards mailed out, check our stock of wrapping paper, and hit the dollar store for gift bags and candy (and possibly wrapping paper). I need candy for my coworker and daycare gifts, but also my department has a Christmas tradition of sneaking candy into stockings during December. We didn't get the stockings up until this past Friday, so we have a week to make up for, and two weeks to keep on filling! The point is to fill the stockings when nobody is looking so they just sort of magically fill. It's easy for me since I get here so early, and for my boss who stays a half hour longer than the rest of us, but my two other coworkers have to finagle the candy in during working hours.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/9/19 5:57 A

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Good morning!

Carol, I'm glad your team won and you had some time with your husband. Best wishes for finding the best combination of strategies to manage his symptoms.

Yesterday was all about D&D here. I made some bruschetta and cut the leftover pies into thin slices, so snacks were easy. One of the guys brought fruitcake that was quite good, too. This was the last game of our campaign and the last for this year. It was an epic battle that lasted nearly 5 hours. It was tough, but we saved the world from utter destruction and had quite a hilarious time doing it.

Today I'll be doing a bit of housekeeping and hopefully get a little more done on the tailored jacket before Cam comes over. There's plenty of leftover chicken & rice from Saturday, so at least I won't have to cook.

Wishing everyone a tidy little Monday!

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12/9/19 12:24 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a spectacular Sunday.

Julie, thank you so much for the pie recipe. It sounds wonderful and easy, and I will try to make it in the next couple days. I'm glad you had the extra day with your Hubster since he had to go back to work and miss D&D. I hope you and your group had a fun time.

GoodFeline, I hope you and your family had a great day together.

Our day was chilly and I spent it indoors. Watched the Broncos on TV - they actually won their game quite handily. Otherwise, Hubby just wants my company. I am concerned that the beneficial effects of these new medications seem to be abating somewhat. The next evaluation with a CT scan will be around the first week in January, so we'll see how things are progressing at that point. At least I did get the kitchen cleaned up this morning.

Now it's time to head back to the TV for the final, series ending episode of Madam Secretary. If nothing we want to see is put into that time slot, then I will be able to get to bed earlier on Sunday nights. That might be a good thing. Meanwhile, best wishes to everyone for a marvelous Monday.



Carol


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12/8/19 7:24 A

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Good morning!

Lovely photos, GoodFeline! I'm sure your people will love receiving them!

Carol, sorry the pills made you sick, but glad to hear your husband is doing better with the pain management. The cranberry pie recipe is at the bottom of this post. You can adjust the white sugar to your liking, from quite tart (3/4 c.) to store-bought pie sweetness (1 1/4 c.). The crunchy topping is what makes this pie special.

Yesterday was warmer than it's been for some time, which was nice for a change. It was still cloudy and dreary, though. Cam had to postpone our visit until Monday, so I spent the day with the Hubster. We watched some TV, went to the supermarket, and had some amiable chat. So it was a pleasant, uneventful day. He has to go to work after breakfast and will miss D&D. So, I better go rustle up that breakfast and get the day off to a good start.

Wishing everyone a Sunday of high adventure!

Cranberry Pie

1 unbaked 9" pie shell
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12 oz fresh cranberries
3/4 to 1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
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1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup very soft butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
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Preheat oven to 350. Cover a baking sheet with foil or parchment and place the pie pan in the center of the sheet for easier transfer and cleanup. Crush or roughly chop the cranberries, do not leave any whole berries. Mix the sugar and 1/4 c. flour and spread half in the bottom of the pie shell. Layer the berries on next, and cover evenly with remaining sugar mixture. To make the topping, thoroughly mix the brown sugar, flour, butter, and nuts with a large fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Crumble evenly over filled pie. Bake 60 minutes until browned and bubbly. Cool completely before cutting.

Edited by: JULIEINKPT at: 12/8/2019 (07:42)
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12/8/19 12:22 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a super Saturday.

GoodFeline, what wonderful pictures! I can see why you want to use them on Christmas cards. Thank you so much for posting them for us. You mentioned finishing up the next phase of your work on your dissertation; I hope it went well and that things are all back on track with your advisors. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, whatever you end up doing.

Julie, I hope you and your husband had a good day today and that your sewing/visiting session with Cam was great fun. Best wishes for enjoyment tomorrow (Sunday) with your D&D group.

Saturday has been a very uncomfortable day, so to speak. I took the first of those pills for the A1C management on Thursday night. But this (Saturday) morning my system was in an uproar. I managed to calm things down, and this afternoon I took the second pill. I am hoping my body adjusts and the reactions ease up. If that doesn't happen I may be stopping the drugs and taking some strong words to my doctor. Hubby is continuing to try to stretch and make improvements since his pain is minimized too. So nothing is new here - just the same old folks medical complaints. I sure hope things improve and we can get off this subject dominating our lives.

Best wishes to everyone for a spectacular Sunday.


Edited by: WESTERNSAGE at: 12/8/2019 (00:43)
Carol


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12/7/19 5:14 P

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Just popping by after finishing this weeks dissertation work to share some of the photos we had taken. Have a good weekend!




"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/7/19 10:05 A

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Good morning!

I'm just jumping in a bit early to ask Julie for her recipe for cranberry pie - please, pretty please? I have a ton of cranberries to use up this year, and I had forgotten that my recipe for cranberry pie calls for a lot of raisins and sugar. I'm trying to cut back on the overall sugar intake.

Thanks for any help you can give. Have a fun day with Cam!



Carol


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12/7/19 7:42 A

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Good morning!

GoodFeline, I have to agree with Carol about breaking with tradition as needed to suit your life as it is today. Trying to please everyone else can drive you nuts!

Carol, you are right about spending time with people while you can. Believe me, I'm not stressing about the housework beyond having a comfortable place for my guests to sit!

Yesterday I did some housework and fixed beef stew, apple pie and cranberry pie for the husband. I had a few hours to work on a classic tweed jacket for myself. It's been a long time since I've done any serious tailoring, and I'm hoping it will be a fun challenge and bring back my sew-jo. Today I'd like to cook something that will last a couple of days. The husband ate all but one serving of the stew last night. He would have wiped out a goodly portion of the pies if they had been cool enough to cut. He ate half a jar of snack mix instead. Sometimes I wonder if he has a tapeworm. He is being a sweetie about today's plans. Cam wants to watch some TV shows with me so I can translate/teach about the fashion and sewing references in them. We only have two chairs in the TV room, so Hubster is vacating his spot to go work on his models in the basement. I haven't thought about D&D snacks yet, so it will probably be whatever I can throw together. The best laid plans...

Wishing everyone a satisfying weekend!

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12/7/19 1:32 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a fantastic Friday.

GoodFeline, your concerns about cards and gifts sound familiar. So many of these traditions have been in our lives for so long we may have forgotten where they came from. Following them simply because you want to is admirable and I admire your drive to keep up with them with all the things you have going on in your life, particularly your little boy. At the same time, if you find any or all of these activities too time consuming or just plain expensive or tedious to compete, this would be a good time to tell friends and relatives that you are "starting new traditions" or some such and back off of them. You are only human. One thing I learned from motherhood was that you have to learn to set priorities and then follow them, even when other people want you to do "what you have always done." Good luck with whatever you decide.

Julie, it sounds as though you have your weekend filling up for you very quickly. Still, I know you enjoy working and visiting with Cam, your your D&D is always filled with laughter. If your house needs attention, there will always be Monday to do it. Of course, surprise outings with your husband might pop in there; enjoy them! The house will not go anywhere. And, not to sound morbid, but we never know when we might lose someone close to us. The older we get, the more I think we need to cherish and appreciate those good times. It's what I keep telling myself when the 24/7 togetherness of caretaking and retirement get on my nerves.

I'm not certain where today went. I paid a couple bills, puttered around the house a bit, and went down to the grocery/pharmacy to pick up some meds that the oncologist wanted Hubby to have on Wednesday but forgot to call in for us to pick up. I followed up by phone on Thursday and it came in late during the day. I drove down to pick it up, along with a couple other items I forgot when I did my weekly shopping. Tonight we watched the University of Oregon football team play for the league championship - and won! I'll try to get more activity over the weekend.

At the moment it's time to finish my Spark postings and calm down with my chamomile tea. Best wishes to everyone for a super Saturday.


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12/6/19 10:01 A

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Julie: We have a pull out couch so friends frequently ask to stay with us when they're in town. Twice we've sprung for a hotel for them rather than have them stay with us! We're just not really guest people, I guess.

Carol: It seems odd your doctor is so concerned over .1 on your A1C, especially if it's been 7.1 for 2 years now. Hopefully you tolerate the medication well and everyone is happy.

I buy personalized cards from a website that uses recycled materials and plants a tree for every order you make. This years card features a photo of little man in his Christmas outfit. We usually need about 30 cards, but to save money we only bought 20 this year and tried to whittle down our list of recipients. I narrowed the decision on my cards down to two people. It's between a childhood friend and the mother of a friend. I haven't seen the childhood friend since elementary school, but we exchange cards every year and are friends on Facebook. She sent me a gift card when I got pregnant. The mother of my friend I see every year for New Years as she's been paying for my entrance to the bowling alley to bowl with her family since High School (which I can't believe has been nearly 20 years now). I'm not bowling this year so my friends wife suggested a card would be a nice gesture and DH and I thought so, too. DH thinks I should send the card to my friend. My BFF says I should pick up a generic card from the drug store and send it so I can get them both, but I bought these personalized cards with a photo of little man on them specifically for Christmas! I do have some old cards from last year with photos of the cat. Maybe I could hunt those down and send one of those to the friends mother? It's not as nice as the one with the baby, but then at least she'd get a personalized card.

DH said he had something he wanted to get me for my birthday that he might make a Christmas gift, so I am not sure if I should get him something or not. I am considering just making the baby his gift. I worked hard on making him emoticon Every year people ask what I want and I never know what to say, I never really want anything. I have more fun giving gifts than receiving them. But this year I made an Amazon list of things that I might like to receive. My mom was laughing at my list though because it includes things like a bag of cereal marshmallows.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/6/19 9:57 A

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Good morning!

Carol, I wish you the best with the sample meds. Honestly, I don't think you need them. Your A1C has been so stable for so long, and is only 1/10 of a point above "normal". Of course, I have little faith in the American for-profit medical system, and am somewhat paranoid about the insufficient testing of new drugs, so my advice is certainly colored by that.

The husband will be home today, probably for the rest of the weekend. He hauls chemicals to different plants and factories, many of which close for weeks during the holidays. They lay off all their employees, who collect unemployment until the factory re-opens. Hubster works for a trucking company, not a factory. If there's nothing to haul, he has to use what vacation/PTO he has left or lay out with no pay. We save up during his busier seasons for this, but it still feels wrong to use savings for monthly bills. He is NO kind of bookkeeper, and LOVES to spend money for entertainment and eating out. I get to be the mean old nag who keeps us on budget.

I'm going to do the house blessing today and hopefully have some time to sew. Cam is supposed to come over tomorrow for sewing stuff, and Sunday is D&D. Throw in keeping the husband fed and entertained, and I will be one busy witch this weekend!

Wishing everyone a fun day!

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12/6/19 1:08 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a terrific Thursday.

Julie, thanks for the good thoughts and comments on the physical. I guess with the holidays so close most of the trucking is for consumer goods, which I gather are not the items your husband usually hauls. It might be nice to have him there while your son is there and also off the roads with the rotten weather the news has been showing lately. Your idea of a hotel and a car to use for son et al sounds like a great move. We did that the weekend my husband's brothers were here from North Carolina; I think we all needed a little breathing space and you may (or may not) find that to be true in this case as well.

GoodFeline, I guess it's nice to know your husband is taking an interest in the baby's welfare, but I think I'd trust the doctor's opinion over your husband's regarding the baby's size. Starting him on empty carbs as an infant might set him up for eating problems later in life. As long as he seems satisfied after each feeding he can probably wait at least until you see his pediatrician on Monday. Meanwhile, congrats on getting in a workout; finding that time can be tough when you schedule already seems so full. As for the need for one more Christmas card, do you buy individual cards or boxes? If you can use a box card, perhaps someone you know will also be using boxed cards and have a spare one you can use??? It's just a thought.

My day started with my annual physical. After looking at my lab results on the computer I anticipated some discussion of a number of issues. To my surprise, the doctor went through all the tests and said most things were normal and just fine. No concern about the B12 levels. She went back to the arthritis in my foot (which doesn't bother me) and gave me a dissertation on the value of water exercises and swimming (which I hate) and was adamant that my A1C, which is 7.1, and has been for nearly 2 years, really needs to be at or under 7.0. She produced a bag of a sample of a medication she wants me to try (something I never heard of) and told me to try it before she wrote a prescription; she wants to be sure I can tolerate it and it will work before she writes an actual prescription as it is apparently quite expensive, so I take 3 pills spread out over a week instead of one a day. Follow up in 3 months. Sigh. emoticon . I'll try it and see what happens.

This afternoon I kicked my tail outside to work in the yard for awhile. I finished raking up the latest round of leaves in the front yard that had blown off the roof in a recent windstorm, and then I cut down the yarrow stalks; they just filled the last section of the yard waste bucket, so it will be ready to take to the curb for pickup next week. emoticon

For now I need to get my cup of chamomile tea and try to calm my head before bedtime. Best wishes to everyone for a fabulous Friday.



Carol


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12/5/19 1:02 P

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Good morning!

GoodFeline, good luck with your job review; I hope it goes better than you expect!

Carol, that is good news for your husband! I hope the upcoming scan returns more happy results. B12 is easily replaced. If your body can't extract enough from food, a shot once a month is usually sufficient. If you or a family member can learn to give the shot at home, it's quite inexpensive as well (used to be, anyway).

Not much going on here. The husband returned last night and has a short run today. He says there isn't anything moving, and he will probably not get any more work until next week. Phhhht!

I haven't heard from my son yet about when they're planning to visit. We decided to get them a room in a nearby hotel and loan them my car. We don't have a guest room any more, so decided this would work out best for everyone's comfort and privacy.

Wishing everyone a lovely day!



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12/5/19 8:55 A

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Carol: Congratulations on the wonderful news for your husband! I hope your physical goes well. A B12 deficiency is easily remedied if that ends up being the problem. And deliciously as well - add some more seafood to your diet!

DH was complaining this morning that little man is too small. He's on the lower end of average, but he's still in the average range. He wants me to feed him rice cereal, which I think has no real benefit and I would rather wait until Monday to see what his pediatrician thinks in my uncertainty between purees and baby led weaning. I think little man is absolutely perfect. He's adorable, growing, and eats really well.

I actually got to work in enough time to workout this morning, but little man and I slept at a weird angle last night and I can't move my shoulder. I'm looking for a sub for my class this afternoon since the instructor always has us lifting weights and I don't think I can do that today.

I thought I had 4 Christmas cards left so I figured out the 4 people I was going to send them to and got their addresses. But it turned out I had 4 envelopes and only 3 cards! So now I need to figure out who I am not sending a card to, after having got addresses from them all!

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/5/19 1:29 A

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Good evening team!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Wednesday.

GoodFeline, thanks for the explanation on the computer problems with photos. It's amazing how many things sound as though they should be so simple to do on a computer and then turn out to be so complex. I bet that lady biker lawn gnome will be a great addition to her yard! I'm sorry you are dreading your review that is coming up. Those are never fun under the best of circumstances. You have had a difficult period these last several months. Hopefully that will be taken into consideration. As always, things happen the way they are supposed to happen. I'll send good thoughts and eagerly await hearing your results.

Julie, you have my sympathies on holding different beliefs from your families. Over the years I found the same thing you did - just do what is right for you and send them blessings along the way. That deer head ceramic pitcher is quite the unique piece! I'm glad the chiropractor and massage therapist helped you to feel so much better.

My hubby and I had a good day today. We started out with a trip to the oncology center where the doctor reported that the blood work done this morning looks good, no sign of the cancer. Next review will be a CT scan in January. We also had a good visit with "Scotty," the lab technician from Scotland. He's a real ray of sunshine in an atmosphere that can be pretty gloomy on occasion. From there we drove over to our granddaughter's place for a short visit. She had a painting she had done - a sunset type - that she did for her grandfather. She also showed us pictures of her class assignments that included her drawings of some cats. We were astounded at her abilities - we had no idea she was so artistic! She also told us she will be at her mother's for Christmas dinner that we will be having on the 22nd. Hurray! From there we went back to Panera Bread for lunch; their prices have gone up but the food is still yummy. We then toddled across the parking lot to Powell's Books (the used book store) to scour the shelves for books and get a few gift cards for the holidays too. We finished off with an easy drive home down Cornelius Pass.

Tomorrow morning will be my annual physical. I have already fasted and had my blood drawn. The results are already posted on my personal physical website in their medical system. A number of the problem issues all seem to focus on a vitamin B-12 deficiency. So we'll see what the doctor says.

Best wishes to everyone for a satisfying day on Thursday.


Carol


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12/4/19 9:13 A

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Carol: The website is not blocked on my work computer it just says there is an access problem. It's weird. I even tried both Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, it won't connect in either browser. I can get to the website from my home computer, though, so I will try to remember to share some photos on Saturday while I am doing homework.

My mom's birthday is Dec. 17th and we typically celebrate it the weekend before or after, whichever is closest. My brother and I will visit her and bring her gifts. I try to coordinate so we're there together, but we usually end up just missing each other. My mom is a Harley mama and has taken an interest in lawn decoration, so this year I am getting her a lady biker lawn gnome.

What I want to get my niece this year comes in two themes: a pink mystery pet one and a blue winter disco one. She hates the color blue, but the pink is sold OUT. I did find it sold by third party vendors at Walmart (for $121) and Amazon ($104). The blue one still has cute items inside, and limited edition items she can't get outside of the theme bundle. It's sold out at Target and Walmart, it's $198 at Walmart (third party vendor), but it's $71 on Amazon. My mom and husband both think I should just get her the blue one. I'm a little hesitant because the last time I got her something blue she was nearly in tears (it actually ended up being given to her cousin), but it IS glittery and she loves sparkles.

I'm getting my cousin a utility hatchet, it's a 19-in-1 multi-tool for when he goes camping or hunting. The daycare teachers are getting personalized water bottles (Etsy has really affordable ones!) filled with candy and a small tip.

It's review time at work. I've been dreading this since I came back to work after my maternity leave. First is self-evaluations (which are alway a pain), then the one-on-one with my boss. First I had PPD, then I went off my meds and spiraled, and now I'm just not as invested in my work as I used to be. My boss has commented twice on my performance - nothing radical, and no interventional meetings, just checking in with me - but I am not expecting a good raise this year. I have to come up with at least one actionable goal for my review and I have nothing new. I basically just want to go to work, do my job, then go home and not think about my job until some future (probably fictional) time when we are stable enough for me to stay home.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/4/19 9:00 A

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Good morning!

GoodFeline, glad to hear baby is doing so well. Good luck with your gift buying!

Carol, I hope you find a way to fit more activities into your new schedule. Time to think out of the box!

I wouldn't say our families are unkind. I suppose we can't really blame them for not inviting us when they know we don't share their religious beliefs or celebrate the holidays as they do. We spoil their fun. So we will move on now and make our own fun.

"Snark safari" is what we decided to call the game of going through stores and joking about all the goofy/weird things sold for xmas, like the reindeer head ceramic pitcher. My chiropractor said it sounded like just the thing for serving gravy, lol. **LINK--> www.target.com/p/9-1-34-x-5-
7-34-ceram
ic-christmas-reindeer-pitche
r-vase
-brown-threshold-8482/-/A-76366427#


The massage therapist got a lot of the pain worked out of my leg yesterday, and I got a nice tune up from the chiropractor, so I feel much more balanced today. Other than that, I picked up some fresh produce and coffee on the way home, rested, and planned out the rest of my week.

Nothing exciting on the agenda today, just getting caught up with household chores and fixing up some healthy meals for the freezer. The husband plans on being on the road a couple of weeks, so I'd like to take advantage of the alone time for creative endeavors.

Wishing everyone a joyful day!



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12/4/19 2:26 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a terrific Tuesday.

GoodFeline, it's really a shame you can't post those pictures - I'd love to see them. But it will be fun to see what the daycare can come up with. Meanwhile, it seems as though the Christmas spirit is blossoming in your household with planning gifts for all those family members as well as the Santa photos. When is your mom's birthday? Will you be doing a separate celebration or combine it with Christmas? My daughter's birthday is New Years Eve and I confess we have occasionally combined it with Christmas.

Julie, I'm sorry to hear your family members have been less than kind about including you in holiday celebrations. That's really hurtful. But I'm happy to hear you are finding some new ways to celebrate the spirit of the season. Paying for that older couple's meal was really thoughtful. But I have to ask "what are snark safaris?" That sounds interesting. I hope you had good results from your visits with the chiropractor and massage therapist.

Today was Senior Tuesday at the grocery store. There was a lot to get just to keep the pantry filled. I added a scraggly little artificial tree to set on the table in the living room since it was 30% off and not terribly expensive anyway. Our days have been turned topsy-turvy for some time now as Hubby doesn't get up until about 10:30 or so. It was about 12:30 before I got out of the house to go shopping. It's no wonder I can't get much done. Oh well, at least the roads were dry and the sun peeked out between the clouds. On Wednesday we will be out fairly early as Hubby has an 11:00 a.m. appointment with the oncologist for his quarterly check-up.

Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful Wednesday.


Carol


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12/3/19 10:47 A

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Carol: He's still a little fussy and boogery, but he's recovering remarkably. He's also going through a growth spurt and a developmental leap, so he's got lots going on right now!

I want to share some of the family photos we took, but the website doesn't work on my work computer! I can download them on my phone, but they don't go to my photo album. I have no idea where it gets sent.

The daycare told me that next Friday they're doing pictures with Santa! I had been looking around to see if there were any nearby to get a cute one of him at a time that worked for us, but maybe the daycare one will turn out nice.

I still need to get my mom a birthday gift and to pick up the Christmas gifts for my cousin and niece, since we're not doing photos for them. DH said we can probably get those Thursday when we've been paid. Now I need to decide what to get my niece. I decided what I wanted to get her in May, it was $60 and she was begging for it. But now it's $75 (holiday price jump, bah) and I don't know if it is reasonable to spend that much. I know my mom was going to get it for her but decided not to since I was planning on it, so I'd feel bad if I got her something else. I'm also only getting her two gifts this year (one for each house I see her at) instead of the small mountain of gifts I usually get her, so even the $75 is less than I usually spend on her. Last year I spent about $90 on books alone.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/3/19 6:39 A

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Good morning!

GoodFeline, what things are called in Tennessee often have nothing to do with reality! You were fortunate indeed to have your friend with you at the family gathering. I hope the baby is feeling better now!

Carol, you had a busy day! Glad you got those leaves taken care of.

Since we had loads of time last week with nothing to do, the husband and I came to some conclusions about holidays. Even though we are getting up there in years, and we don't do feasts and gifts, it is still hurtful to be forgotten or excluded by our families at holiday time. Instead of pretending we don't care, getting depressed, or harboring resentment, we are coming up with different coping strategies. So far, random acts of kindness and snark safaris top the list. We also made an effort to contact and offer support to the people we know who have "black sheep" issues, and were surprised at how much this was appreciated.

Yesterday it snowed and melted and was cold. Cam came over and had supper with us and showed me some things he bought for drag. Today I have appointments with the massage therapist and chiropractor. I can certainly tell it's time. I feel like sewing for the first time in quite a while, too, so perhaps that will be happening.

Wishing everyone a sunny day!

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12/3/19 12:54 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a marvelous Monday.

GoodFeline, I'm sorry to hear your Thanksgiving was something of a downer. At least you had your friend and the baby to occupy your time. It is unfortunate he caught a cold but it sounds as though he fought off the bugs pretty well. It sounds hopeful for the development of his immune system, even though the process is not particularly fun to endure. Thanks for the condolences on the turkey mess. Fortunately we had plenty of rags handy, and Hubby had painted the garage floor so the liquid didn't seep into the concrete. Also, he had a set of plastic mats under the workout carpet so it was easier to clean than expected.

Julie, it sounds as though you and your husband manage to find some fun no matter what the circumstances. I would never have thought of going to the store to find the goofiest Christmas items. What a good laugh! And it was mighty generous of you to treat the old folks for their dinner. It would have been fun to see the expressions on their faces when they found out about it!

Our day was cold - high in the 40s - but sunny and with no wind. Hubby and I ran a couple errands, then I went outside and raked leaves as a set of strong winds hit us a couple nights ago, dumping leaves and twigs all over the front and back yards. Then yesterday it rained just enough to make the grass too wet to work on. With the better weather today I finished the back and will get the front tomorrow after I return from grocery shopping - Senior Tuesday again! At least I won't have to worry about meal planning and shopping for Christmas as we will be celebrating at my daughter's house. Our granddaughter and her husband have been invited and are actually talking about joining us - I hope they make it!

On that hopeful note I will go finish my Spark postings and make my chamomile tea to calm my head for bedtime. Best wishes to all the team members out there for a terrific Tuesday.


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12/2/19 9:48 A

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Julie: Some of the places we stop are actual gas stations, and the food is not too great, mostly microwaved junk. I much prefer when we can stop by the fancier convenience stores and get the nice deli food. I've been to an actual truck stop before - it was a giant place, with semis parked outside and multiple floors! It's difficult to call our little convenience stores truck stops in comparison.

Carol: My condolences on your bread and your husbands exercise mat. Meat juice is a sticky mess.

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! Mine was rather awkward and uncomfortable as it turns out that even DH didn't know the majority of the people invited to dinner. I was doubly glad that my friend could come, as we were off by ourselves quietly taking care of the baby while the rest of the group was off drinking and gossiping.

Poor baby boy caught his first cold this weekend. We were supposed have some visitors from out of town on Sunday but he was just so miserable I told them we would have to catch them next time they were in town. He slept most of the day, was fussy when he was awake, then slept from about 4:45pm to 5:20am. Baby ibuprofen helped keep his fever down and when he woke up this morning he didn't have a fever anymore. After throwing up his entire bottle (he was drinking very fast so I suspect he just filled his tummy too quickly) he was suddenly perky and happy, wanting to play in his bouncer and roll around the bed kicking like a madman. We decided to take him to daycare, but I told his teacher not to hesitate to call us to come get him if things changed.

"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine


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12/2/19 6:50 A

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Good morning!

Carol, good for you making the most out of the soggy day with a workout! Hoping things dry out for you to get the leaves before pickup day.

Just before I started packing up our board game to clear the table for D&D, the DM called to cancel yesterday's game as he was ill. So the hubster and I played said board game for a while, then decided to get out of the house as it wasn't raining for a change. We went to the little neighborhood restaurant (it's been there since the 1950s) for a late lunch. They have a buffet on Sunday. There was a very cute elderly lady ahead of us in the line. She apologized for being slow, and we said no worries we weren't in a rush. She had a cane in one hand and was filling two plates with the other. One was for her husband who was waiting at the table. I offered to carry the plates for her, but she smiled, stacked them on her arm like a waitress, and said thanks but she could handle it. They were sitting near us and we remarked how patiently she helped him (he appeared to be blind) and how he kissed her hand in thanks. We finished eating before they did and secretly paid for their meals. Then we went to Target and had fun looking for the goofiest xmas merchandise. The winner was a smallish (24 oz - for what???) ceramic pitcher in the shape of a reindeer head, filled from behind the antlers and poured through the snout. Hilarious, and a little disturbing. Runner up was the giant faux-fur xmas stockings that looked like booties for bigfoot. Then we went home, watched a movie, and had a piece of pie. Good day all around.

Hopefully, the hubster will get some work today and I can get started on a project I dreamed up. If not,we'll just have another day of goofing off.

Wishing everyone a happy Monday!



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12/2/19 12:06 A

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Good evening Team!

I hope everyone has had a spectacular Sunday.

Julie, you're right - it's hard to believe it is December already. Thanks for starting the new thread, and I love the title choice. It's great that you got your new glasses but too bad you are having trouble adjusting to them. Hopefully it will just take a couple days to get used to them; I remember having that happen more than once over the years. It sounds as though the D&D group was back to meeting at your house today. I hope you all had a great time. Did you finish your game and start a new one yet? Whatever happened, I'm sure you are happy your husband is home and not out driving on those miserable roads criss-crossing the country.

This morning we woke up to our first snow - or what passes for snow in the lower elevations of Oregon. The snow on the pavement melted quickly and that left on the lawns wasn't too far behind. After the air warmed up we had a couple passing rain showers. But it made the yard too wet to rake and clean up since the moisture came with some wind gusts that brought down more leaves than we expected.

I finally got back to my basic body toning work out today. I'm not sore but can sure tell I've been away from it too long. I will have my annual physical later this week and want to be able to show at least some small progress on my healthy-living program. We watched the Broncos on the Red Zone and had fun watching them win.

I hope everyone is safely home from any holiday travels; best wishes for a marvelous Monday tomorrow. If you hear any rumbles Monday morning it will probably be my empty tummy rumbling since I have to fast for my pre-physical blood work.



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12/1/19 8:17 A

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It's hard to believe it's December already. It's not the easiest month in the year to mind one's health, but we can give it a go!

Carol, you probably won't miss the work involved in holiday decorating, and will have more time to get out and enjoy the decorating work of others!

The husband took me to pick up my new glasses yesterday. They look much better than the old ones, and my far vision is greatly improved. I'm having a time getting used to the reading section (bifocals). If it isn't better by Tuesday, I'll go back and have them fix it. Other than that, we went to Aldi's for the German foodstuffs they get this time of year, then Himself was a couch potato and I baked a couple of pies for D&D and a macaroni & ham casserole for us. Today I'll touch up the house a bit and get ready to enjoy our adventure.

Wishing everyone a pleasant Sunday!





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