Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back from our Christmas trip

Actually we got back home on Sunday night, but I've been busy catching up on various things - like laundry, groceries, blogs, sleep, the cats, etc.  

The cats have kept us busier than usual.  When we got home and were greeting the cats, it was quickly apparent that Shadow had an issue - he had a huge lump on one side under his neck.  My mom had been faithfully feeding the cats  - and even bringing her newspaper over here to offer up a lap to any interested cat, but usually it was Pounce taking her up on the lap offer.  She said that she hadn't petted Shadow since Christmas eve and he didn't have a lump then.

Trip to the vet was in order for Monday, and from what the vet said, he probably hadn't had the lump on Wednesday.  Seems that Shadow got into a cat fight and ended up with an abscess.  So, he got shaved and poked (antibiotics) and we get to give him hot compresses and ointment multiple times a day.  He doesn't particularly like the treatment, but he forgives us and will come back and warm a lap within the half hour often.

We had a wonderful time visiting with all of D's family over Christmas - all of his family was there.  Lots of talking, good food, a few games, lots of fun.  But I'm glad to be back home now in my space.  Traveling at the holidays is tiring - there's even more to remember to pack than at other times.  And, of course, we managed to forget something - nothing big forgotten on the trip up, but we forgot 2 games and the fruitcake pan on our way home.  

I've got some pictures to post, but that will have to be for another day...

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas bag photos

Finally here are the photos of some of the fabric gift bags that I promised I would show.
It's a very simple design. I generally take a piece of fabric and fold it in half (trying to watch if the pattern has an "up" to only fold sideways). I then stitch the other two sides closed, but stitching in to the seam on one side a tie - ribbon, rickrack, whatever looks good. Then I hem the top.

The first time I made the bags, I tried making a drawstring, but that took too long. Then I tried making the bags without any tie and just tying a ribbon on once the package was in there, but the ribbon kept threatening to come off.

The bigger the bag, the larger the tie seems right. Each of these bags probably only took about 15 minutes to make (once I decided on the fabric and what size I needed).

It's getting rather close to Christmas to stitch up a bunch of these for this year, but I like to get the Christmas fabric when its way discounted after Christmas. I always say I am going to stitch up a bunch of bags way before Christmas, but it rarely works that way.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008


The scene in my kitchen yesterday.  Biscotti in progress...
I made 3 different kinds:
  • ginger almond
  • cinnamon pecan
  • raspberry chocolate walnut
They are all good, but the ginger is always one of my favorites.  Yummy.  Of course, at least half of them are gone now - to M's teachers and D's fellow teachers.  More to go tomorrow to A's teachers.  


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

No snow

There is no snow here and the kids are jealous that there is snow in so many other parts of the country, including Baton Rouge, where we used to live - they got 3 inches which is unheard of for there.  Here, though, we are having highs in the 60s and rain.  It is unusually warm for December.

Every time we turn around, though, it seems we are hearing about snow somewhere else.  But not here, and not in VA where we are headed next week.  Bummer.

I really have too much to do to be stuck at home in the snow, but... if we had gotten some, I'd have been right out there with the kids playing in it instead of doing whatever I was "supposed" to do!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas gift bags

I wrapped up the gifts for the mitten tree at church tonight and then wrapped up the few gifts I need to mail this year.  Next up was starting to wrap some of the gifts I have for family.  I was shocked to find only about 4 Christmas gift bags in my wrapping stash!  It seems like I have made a whole bunch of bags, but evidently I don't have them any longer (or they are hiding).  

Looking around, I see that I made a whole bunch of bags in non Christmas fabric, so maybe I am misremembering.  Also I think I gave some of the bags as part of the gift in past years.  I know I also made a bunch of bags as a gift for my mom one year.  So, I guess I've made a bunch of bags, but I don't have a bunch.  Project for the evening then was to make some more bags.  I think I made 5 tonight - and they all have gifts assigned to them already.

As I get more presents out of hiding and ready, I may well be making some more bags.  I would put up a photo of the bags, but I'm too lazy to gather them all together and get a photo and then post it tonight.  Maybe tomorrow...


Friday, December 12, 2008

More successful mall trip

I went to the mall again today and I had much better luck than the last time.  I spent less time and I actually managed to buy some Christmas presents.  Of course, I can't mention what I bought, other than 1 pair of jeans for a "mitten tree" gift, because the recipients all read my blog at times (some more than others).

Anyway, success on that front.  I don't think I will have to venture back to the mall again before Christmas.  I think I'm down to a few smaller specific items - ie, I know what I'm looking for, but the mall wasn't the right place to buy it.  Plus, I'm always looking for stocking stuffers.

Next up tomorrow - wrap presents and get copies of photos made.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

I thought I had it under control....

I thought I was doing well on Christmas prep, but somehow, it seems it always creeps up on me.  

By Thanksgiving, I had 3 loaves of quick bread and 2 batches of cookies baked.  I had also basically finished shopping for 5 people, out of the 13 I knew I needed to shop for.  Sounds pretty good, right.  So why am I still so busy???

It doesn't help that I added 3 more people to shop for, in the form of "mitten tree" gifts (people our church is sponsoring for Christmas).  Also not helping was the fact that I lost my address list and had to recreate it.  It is about 80% recreated now.  I'm waiting for a few addresses, and for those last few people, I will address their cards once I receive a card.

I thought picking a photo for the Christmas cards would be easy - after all, I made sure to get multiple shots of all of us while on vacation this summer.  However, most of them turned out unsuitable - either one of the kids is looking downright strange or we are tiny specks in front of some impressive Japanese building.  But I finally found something decent tonight, so at least I can go get photos printed.

I still have to make or find something for several dozen teacher gifts - between both kids teachers, Sunday School teachers and D's fellow teachers.  

Time is running extra fast for me these days, whereas for the kids it seems to be running in slow motion.  I wish I had some slow motion days right now!


Sunday, December 07, 2008

M's web comics

M has been working on making some web comics.  I'm not sure how to paste them into here, but you can see his web comics here.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Money, money

Yesterday was a good money day.  Our old van finally sold - yeah, hooray!  It had been sitting on our mechanic's lot for a month and a half and it finally sold.  We had him sell it, figuring that even with his cut, it would go for more than we would likely get for it.  And I think it did.

And A sold his old iPod also.  So he's got some more money and happy about it.  And my cousin is the happy new owner of an older iPod nano.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Christmas Specials

We watched a new Christmas special tonight - a Shrek one.  It was cute, but what struck me the most was how odd it was to watch a Christmas special where I didn't already know what was going to happen.  So many of the specials are the 'oldy but goodies', that I've watched many times before.

Like The Grinch, which followed Shrek.  I think I've missed it at least as often as I've managed to catch it lately, so it was nice to see.  Unfortunately, both were on a channel that we don't get in the living room.  Even though the LR TV and the bedroom TV are separated by less than 10 feet, they each get their own range of channels.  It makes no sense!  Anyway, because of this, tonight, instead of sitting in front of the fire watching the specials, we crawled into our bed to watch.  A different sort of staying warm.