Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 Project 365 – Week Fifty-two

Happy New Year! And boy am I ready for it. Although 2024 isn’t shaping up to be any less crazy than 2023. It’s the year that we’re implementing the new computer system we’ve been training on. I turn 60. My body has let me know in no uncertain terms that it cannot tolerate bakery cake 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭. But there are good things too! I’m going to try to remember those when I’m in the middle of the madness.
Sunday, December 24th       
We went to Golden Corral for Christmas Eve dinner. It was a nice time! But it’s really too bad that Nanny doesn’t like the great grandchildren.

I tried to get a cute Christmas photo of the boys. Success?

Monday, December 25th
Christmas selfies! Dr. M & I went to his dad’s for lunch. While we were there, a couple from his church stopped by with food. Dr. M had been worrying about what to feed his dad since he wouldn’t get his meal delivery for three days – problem solved!

That evening I finished the puzzle my work Secret Santa gave me. So much fun! It was about lap sized (it’s in the lid to a cardboard file box). I loved how so many of the pieces were shaped like critters. Can you see the sheep and penguin?

Tuesday, December 26th                       
The 40th annual Christmas gathering of college friends! Dr. M made his famous French Toast Casserole and I had a great time.

Or did I?

Wednesday, December 27th                               
On Wednesday I stayed home.  

Thursday, December 28th                             
On Thursday I went back to work. This is my view on the way home.

Friday, December 29th                           
Went by dad’s & they had completed the Christmas puzzle. This was a fun one (yes, I realize I say that about almost all the puzzles.)

Amaryllis progress!

Saturday, December 30th                        
I went to a birthday party for my older great-nephew (he turns three on Monday). I had a nice time. Note the photo of GP with the gift his FATHER gave him – a little drum set. Fortunately it’s not as loud as a full sized one. I gave him books, as usual. 

I have tomorrow off and then I’m back to work again. I’ve been invited to a NYE party, but I’m thinking I won’t go (the aforementioned issue with birthday cake). We’ll see – it doesn’t start until 7:30 or 8:00 so I have plenty of time to change my mind. What are you doing tonight? (Or, since most of you will be reading this after today, what did you do for NYE?)

Monday, December 25, 2023

2023 Project 365 – Week Fifty-one

I’m writing this on Christmas day! I’m almost on the other side of this holiday. We’ve had a pretty good one so far, although Dr. M has some health issues that are not fun right now.
Sunday, December 17th       
Sunday things: I was listening to Christmas music I’d downloaded on my phone & this one came on. Oops. We had a baptism at church. My dad added maraschino cherries to the chocolate waffle mix and it was pretty darned good. However, I think we might be done with the chocolate waffle experiment. And I had to take a photo of Sue looking lovely in red.

Monday, December 18th
My crazy coworker gave me this trophy since I didn’t win anything in the Christmas sweater contest. Ha!

Tuesday, December 19th                       
No photo.
Wednesday, December 20th                               
I finished my iPad cover. I really love that accidental color pooling.  

Thursday, December 21st                             
They brought in lunch for the City Hall employees. I thought our HR assistants did a great job setting up. And I could see the “fireplace” from my desk (my office is right beside the conference room). Fun!

Friday, December 22nd                          
I’ve been decorating my office plants with the ornaments I’ve received. One of my coworkers gave me the plant stake – love it!

My anniversary flowers are still going strong. The lilies have opened and they are GORGEOUS!
Saturday, December 23rd                        
We went by Dr. M’s dad’s to make sure he had lunch & then headed to his aunt’s for a soup & sandwich lunch (much appreciated during this season of decadence). 

As predicted, it was a crazy work week, with the addition of more people than usual needing help with things. There was lots of food and peopling, and that has continued over the weekend, through today, & again tomorrow. On Wednesday I plan to not leave the house at all and I might fast. (Note: I probably won’t fast. Although my body would probably be grateful.) And then it’s back to work on Thursday. What are you up to this week?

Friday, December 22, 2023

Dr. M's Christmas Poem


It was Dr. M's turn to write the Christmas poem this year, and I have to say that he knocked it out of the ballpark. He is all of us, I think. He didn't try to wrap it up in a bow like I usually do (leaving my poems looking all awkward like they're wearing a smiling mask that doesn't fit). He just expressed our inner angst, which is frankly his spiritual gift. Without further ado - here is poem #32:

Days shorten…we fall back.
Night shadows grow long…we cower.
Is this the end? Will there be enough?
Enough sustenance, strength, time?
Will there be enough light? Hope?
Days shorten…we look inward.
Squirrels leap from oak to oak,
Leaves raining down as they move.
Like them, we nest, we forage.
We store for the lean times, the cold.
The longest night of the year comes.
We pray that our inner fire will,
With faith and love and each other,
Outlast the darkness and give birth
To a new light, a new life, a new hope.
We cry out in our despair, lamenting.
Tears fall hot and salty as light fades.
How long, oh Lord? How hard and cruel?
How will we survive the darkness?
We look to the heavens, longingly.
And so we wait, in cold, still silence
For Emmanuel…God with us…Advent!
We wait for Messiah, our savior,
Our last best hope. In faith we wait.
Listening for trumpets and angel voices!
In the darkness a child cries, afraid.
He will be a refugee, innocent, hunted,
Hated for his mere existence. He will
Keep company with the poor, the sick,
The reviled, and call them family.
Jesus wept and so must we, and mourn.
Families are torn asunder, plundered
Like so many temples. In a world where
Bombs, bullets, and hate reign supreme,
Can hope and light still be found?
Mike & Dana Rhyne
Christmas 2023

Sunday, December 17, 2023

2023 Project 365 – Week Fifty

It’s getting to the part of Christmas prep where I want to just throw up my hands & run around like a crazy person. But I don’t actually have the energy for that, so I mostly look like I’m not doing anything at all.
Sunday, December 10th       
Amaryllis progress.

Monday, December 11th
Dr. M says, “A star, a star, shining in the night…” (The penguin’s name is Star.)

It was a little Christmassy on my head…

Tuesday, December 12th                       
Twilight in the holler, Part XXVII (or some such).

Wednesday, December 13th                               
This is the face of a person who got in the elevator to leave work & accidentally bumped the emergency call button & got transferred to my own police department & had to say this is Dana from HR at City Hall & I hit the button by mistake. Oops. I know the first thing that came into your head: how has this not happened before? 🤷

Thursday, December 14th                             
Dr. M’s dad’s pet cat. They enjoy sitting out in the sunshine.

Found something nicer than a binder clip to use on my skirt. It even almost matches!

Friday, December 15th                         
Thursday I had the wild idea of making a hat for our Christmas sweater contest at work. I didn’t win a prize, but I thought I was pretty cute. Ha!

It was our 33rd anniversary & Dr. M got me flowers, candy, and napkins! (We really needed the napkins. They weren’t actually an anniversary present. I don’t think.)
Saturday, December 16th                      
No photo. What the heck!
This coming week at work is usually a kind of throwaway – not very busy, just marking time until Christmas. But not this year! We have more of our computer training this week and there are year-end things to do. Somebody didn’t get the memo. On the other hand, while I have Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday off for Christmas week, I have to work on Thursday & Friday – and it will also be pretty busy. Oof. How about you – are the next two weeks crazypants, or calm?

Saturday, December 9, 2023

2023 Project 365 – Week Forty-nine

I’m still feeling the disconnect of world events (& events here at home), & all the perky “Reason for the Season” in the air right now. Ya know?
Sunday, December 3rd       
Went to Dad & Sue’s after church where he made CHOCOLATE waffles with pecans & blueberries. Pretty tasty! Plus bonus gorgeous amaryllis content.

Monday, December 4th
My view just before I left work.

Tuesday, December 5th                       
I ONCE AGAIN binder clipped my skirt to keep from rolling over it in my office chair, & then forgot & wore it around the office like that.

Wednesday, December 6th                               
Got my hair trimmed (once again taking care of any potential mullet situation).

Thursday, December 7th                             
Dr. M making Christmas for his dad (with a poinsettia) & his mom (with a flower for her grave), & then finding Christmas out & about.

Friday, December 8th                         

Saturday, December 9th                      
Yes, I did actually go out to the mailbox in my robe with my hair in a towel so that I could get my new Black Santa toppers to wear to the ornament swap my friend Jenny invited me to (at Viewmont Baptist for local folks).

Here are some random photos of the day. I didn’t take the table photos until after we’d eaten, and my pictures aren’t great in any case, but here you go anyway. Oh! The terribly cute infant was there last year too, but hadn’t been born yet.

Last week I mentioned my Advent resolutions. One week in, I’m happy to report that I have actually mostly stuck to them. That makes me happy. What’s making you happy these days?

Sunday, December 3, 2023

2023 Project 365 – Week Forty-eight

We had a ceasefire, and then resumption of firing, and it feels like the whole world is on one side or the other. I myself am on the side of children. And not just in Israel and Gaza! Now, with that out of the way, let’s check out the week.
Sunday, November 26th       
I skipped church, but did go to my dad’s to have lunch with him (and work a puzzle). He had the genius idea to put honey mustard pretzels on our ham sandwiches. Delicious!

We’ve been talking about getting a larger TV because we were having trouble reading the scores for our baseball & hockey games. Dr. M finally took the plunge & used some of his birthday money to get this one. It’s huge! (To us anyway.) And SUCH an improvement in technology. We can use his Amazon Prime account to watch movies, air drop from our phones if we want to, and of course actually see the hockey score. Amazing! I also like how it looks like our fireplace mantel is a fancy frame for the TV.

Monday, November 27th
Dr. M’s brunch was a holey affair.

Tuesday, November 28th                       
Matchy matchy!

Wednesday, November 29th                               
Getting ready to leave the office (this was at 5:30).

Thursday, November 30th                             
I was making a sort of tostada with refried beans & cheese & I tried to put an egg on top, but it slid to the side & then the tortilla was getting overdone, but the egg wasn’t nearly done, so I shifted the pan to the side of the burner & that’s how you know that I’m a great cook. The end.

Friday, December 1st                         
I put my wooden calendar together & then took a terrible photo of it, so I’m just sharing this small detail. It’s the square for our anniversary, with our wedding cake painted on it. We’ll have been married 33 years on the 15th!

Saturday, December 2nd                      
It was foggy all day, but did I get a nice atmospheric photo with maybe a ghostly squirrel out in the yard? No I did not. Instead, you get this shot from my Be Real moment of the day – Laundry O’Clock!

Today was the first Sunday in Advent & we had a lovely service at church. It’s the beginning of the church year & I’ve made a few resolutions for myself. We’ll see how that goes. How about you – I think a lot of my readers aren’t religious, but do you think of certain times of the year as “clean the slate” opportunities?

2024 Project 365 – Week Twenty-three

As I had hoped, this week was a bit less chaotic – I worked a lot of hours, but they were orderly and I made headway on some of the tasks on...