Sunday, December 26, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Fifty-two

Merry Day After Christmas everyone! (Boxing Day for people who do that sort of thing.) We are almost done with our celebrations – just one more tomorrow. Well, just one more Christmas celebration – next week we’ll have New Year’s and my great-nephew’s first birthday party. Come January 2nd I’ll definitely be ready for a long winter’s nap!
Sunday, December 19th    
After church we went caroling to some of our homebound church members. It was a lot of fun! One of our ladies has been such a valuable member, and we’re all so sad that she can no longer attend. But it was great to see her and her whole family dressed in Christmas jammies.

The moon!

Monday, December 20th     
Dr. M has been a wrapping fool, and this is what he had to say about that: I am of the opinion that when one says, “these presents were wrapped with love,” what one means is that profanity was involved in the process.

Tuesday, December 21st
I was having a good hair day, so decided that this was a good “before” picture.

Wednesday, December 22nd    
No photo.
Thursday, December 23rd
Hair day!

On my way home I saw this license plate which made me laugh (this is a Schitt’s Creek reference).

Friday, December 24th     
I took the vacuum cleaner apart again. I think maybe I figured out the issue. Maybe.

That evening we went to Daddy & Sue’s house with my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, his wife, niece, her boyfriend, and GRAYSON. I mean, I’m pretty sure those other people where there, but really who noticed? Just kidding – we had a great time watching Gray being busy, playing Family Feud, and eating the wonderful meal that Sue made.
Saturday, December 25th    
We took lunch to Dr. M’s dad, and after visiting with him for a while we came home and each went to our separate rooms to have some much needed alone time.

Christmas Day Sunset… after which we watched three of our favorite Christmas shows – Olive the Other Reindeer, Claymation Christmas, and Charlie Brown. It was a very nice day.


Tomorrow is the last Christmas gathering – with my college friends. I think this is the 37th year? That seems crazypants – I think my math must be wrong (and as you know, math is not my strong suit). Speaking of which – here are a couple of bonus pictures for you! I finished my temperature blanket this morning! The last day was December 25th. It was actually supposed to be strawberry (it was warm yesterday!), but I ran out of that color, so we ended the year with chartreuse. I’m thinking about doing a border, and was planning on using the three colors that I didn’t use this year (navy, purple, yellow), and I scoped out potential borders in my 150 Border Book (<- not the actual name), but now that I’m looking at them, and the finished blanket, I think they might be too busy. What say you? 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas!!

This is our 30th annual Christmas poem. This year it was Dr. M's turn and I must say that he outdid himself. Enjoy!

The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light
If only we're brave enough to see it,
If only we're brave enough to be it.

Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb

Christmas comes again in a season
Of uncertainty. Can it be that we
Will ever be free of it? I think not.

“The gloom my doom it is to see”
A lesser poet once wrote, though
Even he imagined a season of hope.

Christmas comes to us, a birthday
Amidst festivals that celebrate light:
A star born to show us the way home.

“What is it like to dream of future days?”
The lesser poet asked, caught up
In a long, bleak midwinter moment.

Christmas comes to us, usurped
From those who lit fires and awaited
Dawn on the year’s longest night.

If the ancestors had hope then, even
In a season of darkness and dearth,
Why on earth can’t I now? I can.

Christmas comes to us, borne
On wings of light, not shadow!
Advent, the arrival of a new dawn.

A light perpetual and eternal.
A star to illuminate a path to hope.
A bold beacon of love everlasting.

J. Michael Rhyne, Christmas 2021

Saturday, December 18, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Fifty-one

Apparently we were too busy to take pictures this week, so this should go pretty quickly. Good news for you!
Sunday, December 12th    
This was a first for me – an accordion at church. It was actually really good!

Monday, December 13th     
No photo.
Tuesday, December 14th
Twilight at the old home place…

Dr. M found our Santa hat – I needed it for later in the week.

Wednesday, December 15th    
Our 31st anniversary!

Dr. M wrapped some presents & we decided that the penguins are psychotic (Madagascar reference – ha!).

Thursday, December 16th
No photo.
Friday, December 17th     
How the Bug Stole Christmas, featuring Olive the Other Reindeer as Max the dog. I didn’t win the ugly sweater contest, but I had fun.

Saturday, December 18th    
While Dr. M took his dad to get his vaccine booster I had brunch – oatmeal, fried eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, parm, and some cheddar & pepperjack cheese (leftovers from an office Christmas party). It was REALLY good ya’ll. I think I'm going to eat the exact same thing tomorrow. 

I finished a crochet project today, so we might be ready for Christmas? I do have one more gift to try to find, but the world won’t end if I don’t. How are things looking on your end?

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Book Reviews – the October/November Edition

Remember how I said I hoped I’d get the October edition posted in a timely manner? We see how well that went. That means you’re getting more books than you might want to read about in this post. Sorry! Remember that I’m now doing a little summary (instead of copying & pasting the Goodreads description) & that you can click on the title for more detailed information.

The Last Thing He Told Me ★★★★, by Laura Dave. Hannah and Owen have been married for one year when he inexplicably disappears, leaving behind a cryptic note for Hannah to take care of his 16 year old daughter Bailey. There are lots of twists and turns and I did NOT agree with some of the actions that Hannah took, but oh my goodness was this an excellent mystery! Also, I feel very trendy because it won the Goodreads award in the mystery genre this year.

Dear White Peacemakers: Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace
★★★★★, by Osheta Moore.  Osheta Moore started writing “letters” to her white Instagram followers and decided to create this manual based on those letters. Her main focus is to remove the shame surrounding racism and help people to see that they can confront with kindness, and change hearts instead of blaming them. At one point in the book she talks about how white people get confused when she tells them to stop talking about how terrible they are and I could really identify. It felt like she was being too easy on us. But you know – we can wallow in the shame of our lack of racial awareness, or we can buck up and get to work.

Concrete Rose
(The Hate U Give #0.5) ★★★★★, by Angie Thomas. This is the prequel to The Hate U Give. In it we hear the story of Starr’s parents, told from the perspective of her father, Maverick. He becomes a single father while he’s in high school and the story is about the way that he deals with that, with school, and with trying to earn a living in the hood. Oh my goodness – it is so good! I loved The Hate U Give so I knew I would probably like this book, but I didn’t realize that it was a prequel. When I figured that out I just ate it up with a spoon. I love Maverick and Lisa, and I think you would too.

The One
★★★★, by John Mars. A scientist discovered a way to use DNA to find a person’s perfect match. All you have to do is send in your swab to the company and you will find out who your person is (if they have also participated in the program). It’s not without controversy – marriages have broken up because of the results. This book follows five very different couples as they get the results of their matches. The diversity of the stories kept me hooked, plus each one contains a little mystery, and one of them contains a HUGE surprise (to me anyway).

The Becoming
(The Dragon Heart Legacy #2) ★★★★, by Nora Roberts. This is the second novel in this series. It is set in a parallel universe that is reached through a tree in Ireland. The main character, Breen, just found out that she had magical powers in the first book (and that she’s the key to saving all the worlds no biggie), and in this one she learns more about how to use those powers and gets to fight the big bad a little bit. This one was a lot of fun because her best friend (who happens to be a black gay man) accidentally goes through the portal with her and some minor shenanigans ensue.

Troubled Blood
(Cormoran Strike #5) ★★★★★, by Robert Galbraith. This is JK Rowling’s private investigator series written under the Galbraith pseudonym. I have really enjoyed this series, but this particular one was excellent. In this installment, Strike and his partner Robin take on a 40 year old cold case, about the disappearance of a young female doctor. I had many points in the story where I just knew what had happened, but I in fact did not know. At all. I love it when a mystery book surprises me. Also, as usual with her writing, Rowling/Galbraith’s characters seem like real people with real strengths and foibles and I want to be their friend.
I’ve finished one book so far in December, & will finish another one tomorrow. I’ve only read 47 books of the 60 book goal I set for myself. I did a LOT of rereading of old favorites, and just in general didn’t read as much as I thought I would. I think I won’t set a goal for next year because it has felt very bossy to me. If I want to listen to podcasts instead of audiobooks I should be able to without guilt! What have you been reading that’s good? I’ll add it to my ever increasing list!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Fifty

Food, Christmas, Critters… That’s all we’ve got this week, apparently.
Sunday, December 5th    
I was highly amused by this photo that Dr. M took because it looks like the angel is rolling its eyes at the idea of a blonde Mary. Ha!

Monday, December 6th     
It’s stoup season again! Makes me happy.

Tuesday, December 7th
I know a lot of Enneagram 9s who don’t love the sloth comparison, but it is the PERFECT animal for me. I am both asleep to my wants and desires AND I take forever to get anything done. So you know I had to have this barrette. Merry Christmas to me!

Meanwhile, Dr. M was having a banner day of his own. We love getting this annual calendar (yes, it has sheep in it too), we love a visit from The Roy, and we love it when sheep stare at Dr. M.

Wednesday, December 8th    
No photo.
Thursday, December 9th
The sun started setting at 4:30 in the holler…

Friday, December 10th     
There are MANY reasons I would be a terrible teacher, but the fact that it took four tries to write a legible “5” might be chief among them.

Saturday, December 11th    
The first 10 days of December were all over the place in temperature blanket land! What the heck! I’m not excited about all that pink creeping into my blue territory. Also, I did some rough calculating & I think I’ll get to the end around December 24th. Or next week. It was pretty rough calculating. I’m having trouble figuring out if I’m decreasing by one or two pixels each row. This might be why I’m not a math wizard.

I made another weird loaf of banana bread. We're still out of vanilla, so I used almond flavoring. I only had a half cup of sugar, so I added some brown sugar in. And I didn’t have enough banana, so I added an apple. And on a whim I threw in some mini chocolate chips. For some reason the apple & chocolate chips are kind of clashing to me. Does this mean I won’t eat it? No it does not. I just means that when I get a bite with both flavors I will make a little face.

You may not have noticed that the title of this post is 2021 Project 365 – Week Fifty. That seems incorrect – there are three more weeks in the year after this one. There are two possible explanations: 1. I’ve gotten off track in my numbering (this is my working theory), or it’s an anomaly because of the way the weeks are broken up. And in fact, I just looked, and January 1 is on a Saturday, which means that I will be calling the post with that day in it my first post of 2022.  I AM NOT GOOD AT MATH. Additionally, I think I’m the only one who notices or cares. Oomph. Are you a person who tries to make everything neat & tidy? Or are you like me – I notice that there’s something awry, but after a few minutes of contemplation decide that meh, it’ll do.  

Sunday, December 5, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Forty-nine

The first full week back at work after a holiday or vacation is the longest. I felt quite uninspired photographically, but still managed to take some (mostly silly) photos. Plus Dr. M was in fine form.
Sunday, November 28th    
I was using a cocktail fork to make the persimmon pudding my aunt made last longer. Alas, it’s all gone now…

Monday, November 29th     
Conversation in our house:
Him: Describing an announcer’s deep melodious voice.
Me: Oh like Al Green?
Him: Um no. Do you mean Barry White?
Him: At least you knew that the name had a color in it.
Me: laughs maniacally.

Tuesday, November 30th
Dr. M spending time with his Pop. He also changed out the flowers on his mother’s grave. He’s a good son.

Wednesday, December 1st    
Happy birthday to my baby brother! Here, Dr. M took this fabulous sunset photo for you…

Thursday, December 2nd
Dr. M started decorating the house (he put the tree up earlier in the week). I’m glad someone has some Christmas spirit!

The temperature blanket through November. I’m heading down the home stretch! I’m thinking about using the colors that I didn’t get to use to do a border. I have navy and deep purple for cold weather temps, and a lemon yellow for a high temp. We shall see.

Friday, December 3rd     
I felt extra fancy today.

Meanwhile, Dr. M was restocking the pantry. I requested chunky peanut butter and I am very excited about it.

Saturday, December 4th    
Dr. M put the tree up earlier in the week, and I finally had time to add the ornaments. It took me forever because I like to sit and rest periodically. This is how I do all tasks. I’m not even tired – I just have to stop & do something different for a bit. I don’t think I have ADHD, but maybe I shouldn’t rule it out. Anyway, the tree looks nice with all of our old familiar ornaments on it.

Yesterday we watched the University of Cincinnati complete their undefeated season by winning their conference championship (in football). Now they’re going to play in the national championship – the semifinal is on New Year’s Eve. They’ll be playing Alabama, so that will be an uphill battle. But wouldn’t it be cool if they won? And thus begins and ends my interest in college football. Stay tuned for my brief interest in college basketball in March. I feel like I know my blog audience and except for my IRL folks, none of you really care about any of this (except maybe Bruce? Oh - & Nance for fantasy purposes), but since my goal is to share all aspects of my life, here we are. You may talk amongst yourselves instead of reading this paragraph.

2024 Project 365 – Week Twenty-seven

Well, this past week was pretty stressful. The payroll functioned as it should for the most part. There were some issues, and we all spent a...