A Christmas Memory Revisited

Many of us are struck with some seasonal melancholia during this season. SO many Christmases past fill our hearts and minds. I know it is a natural part of life as it reflects the supercharged emotions of the season and also reflects the progression of life. My own prayer and desire is to remember the joyous times and to cherish them. 
Dear Lord, please help me to remember the joy, the laughter and all the fun of a child’s face, as far back as when it was my own. I remember the lights and Christmas music of Christmas Eve at our house while my Mom and Dad, three sisters and I gathered around the family table, later in the living room around our tree and felt the magic of that sacred day. Long silver foil icicles hung all over the tree, draping to the floor as the lights were reflected off of them giving the tree a  mystical quality.   
Mom’s favorite cookies lined in a row on a tray with the Snoball cookies all dusted with powdered sugar and stuffed with pecans sitting next to the Kindergarten bars sweet with dates, brown sugar and oats with nuts. I recall we named them that because the recipe was given to my Mom by my Kindergarten teacher. There was always chocolate fudge made from the See’s candy company recipe. I recall my Dad always had the crack the nut detail as he pounded on them with a hammer each year; equal parts fresh walnut and red pecans. I recall my Mom always admonishing him, but not too hard lest he stop doing the job. “Bill, be careful, you’re getting shells all over the floor.” He continued to pound away. Mom always had a new cookie of the year and one year it was thumbprint cookies, rich with butter, rolled into balls, dipped in beaten egg white, rolled in chopped nuts then placed on a buttered cookie sheet where you then put a finger in the top of them to make a hole. After baking she would fill the hole with jelly, bright and cheerful. One year she happened onto a delicious recipe for Cherry Bourbon cake. It was not only delicious but hilarious as she went to the liquor store each year and frightened someone from the Baptist church would see her, always explained to the man behind the counter she was buying it to make cake. Now that I think of it, that was a lot of bourbon for a few cakes, but she went every year. I wonder now who was dipping into the bourbon in our tea-totaling family? There was always that event when my Dad would take over the kitchen to make his famous Tomato Soup French salad dressing. During the war my Dad had worked at a factory during the day and moonlighted at a restaurant where he cooked. That salad dressing was so delicious and the whole kitchen seemed to have a bit of it displayed. We had jars of it for weeks. 
I recall the year my older, teen-aged sisters volunteered me to sing Away in a Manger at our church and I had to have my usual braided hair curled with hard metal rollers which one slept on all night. I had to wear a choir robe that was much too large for me and have a fake halo on my head; of course, guess I couldn’t find my real one…looked all over for it. Nope not now or then. I was so frightened the words caught in my very dry throat. Our large church auditorium was filled and beautifully resonated Christmas carols all over the main floor and the balcony with music and Christmas wonder. My piano teacher played an enormous organ which caused the floor and the balcony to rumble with the bass tones.  
I remember the privilege of going shopping alone with my Dad as he shopped for my Mom and my sisters. I remember Mom’s joy the year he gave her a diamond engagement ring to go with her very thin wedding band she had worn for many years. It felt so very grand. 
I recall the early morning frost and my sisters who wore many ruffled petticoats under their skirts complaining about all the soot that sullied those petticoats from the smudge pots they lit in the groves of orange trees years around our house. In southern California, before they had wind machines to hamper the frost, oil burning smudge pots were lit to keep the oranges, lemons and grapefruit from freezing in the wintertime.  
I sadly remember the year I was-eleven-years old and had to spend most of the year in bed due to rheumatic fever. Bedrest was the only answer for that particular disease at that time. Every Friday afternoon my Dad would carry me to the Chevy where I would lie in the back seat while my Dad, Mom with us, drove to the doctor’s office parking lot where a kind nurse drew blood from my arm. Christmas that year I got to spend on the couch and felt so privileged to escape my bedroom. My sisters must have resented me terribly because the only TV in the house was placed in my bedroom. One of my sisters who was in nursing school at that time in Los Angeles confessed to me years later it was hard for her to be around sick people all week and come home to more sickness on her breaks. I had a kind home teacher and looked forward to her visits, not wanting to get behind my fellow classmates when I returned to school. I recall so many kind people in our town who would drop by to say hi and to cheer me up but I still felt different, maimed in some way and set apart. I do think that is when the idea of becoming a nurse was planted. 
I lovingly remember the years when my children were tiny and the joy and laughter of sharing the holidays with them, a house full of relatives eating and talking, a plethora of food on the dining room table.  
The first Christmas after my divorce, my children and I were alone because my parents had to take a turn with one of my sister’s families in another part of the state. My small children and I invited another single mom friend over and we shared our dinner and had great fun with a piñata I had bought for the holiday. The  kids practically beheaded each other as they whacked away at it and hard candy spilled all over the floor in the hallway, because it was the safest place to hang it.  
Money was scarce and we always made the ornaments and garland for our fresh Christmas trees. I found some beautiful patterns for sugar cookie cut-outs and used those for many years. The cut-out soft cardboard forms of elephants, giraffes and other animals, as well as a fat Santa were so beautiful. It wasn’t easy to cut out the shapes on the rolled-out cookie dough, carefully using a table knife to make the shapes come forth. We painted the baked cookies with frosting and strung them with twine for the tree. I think I still have those patterns around here somewhere and am certain they are covered with buttery fingerprints and flour. We also glued small Styrofoam balls into ice cream cones and strung them for the tree. If we wanted them to look like a particular flavor of ice cream, we painted them that color. Of course, we made paper chains out of construction paper, made a mess of trying to string drippy cranberries and excelled at stringing popcorn. I used to buy a very special popcorn that was only available at Knott’s Berry Farm which was a few miles from us in S. California. It was huge when it was popped and easier to string. It was also delicious as a treat while we were stringing it.  
Like most of you, the cycle of life moved us forward as I went to nursing school as a single mom, later married my dear Jim and worked while my kids grew into adults we could be proud of. They insisted for years on the traditions we later established like homemade cheese ball, lemon bars, strudel, Mom’s Snoball cookies, and my homemade fruitcake. Hey, don’t knock fruitcake until you’ve had mine. I’ve tried to base it on one my Dad bought every year from the Helms bakery in S. California. They had a truck and would drive through the neighborhoods. They could always count on Dad to buy cream puffs and a holiday fruitcake rich with candied cherries, pineapple, nuts and raisins.  
Now my children are grown and establishing traditions with their own families and it is a wonderful thing to observe. Each generation brings in their own tastes, ideas and favorites while embracing what they enjoy and remember from the past.  
Illnesses, tragedies and loss also fill many of the memories yet they are a part of who we are. They are us. May we embrace the struggles, the triumphs, the ongoing challenges and remember the blessed, the humorous and all those happy memories. May we file away the sad and dark memories and forgive those who were responsible for them.  
Loved ones now gone are remembered, often with a tear in the eye and an aching in the heart as a tribute to the lives they lived, those of us they loved and the memories they left in our hearts. Please enjoy your Christmas and Holy days with your own memories and traditions and know that we are all part of a family as our bodies, our lives and our families grow and change. My special Christmas wish for you is to embrace life as you find it, improve what can be improved, grieve for that which is lost and move on. Change can be a blessed gift if we embrace it and look to the future while remembering and cherishing the past.  

88 thoughts on “A Christmas Memory Revisited

  1. Dear Sue
    I couldn’t sleep so decided I would post the blog to pass time. Such a beautiful thing to read ! You brought back in my mind’s eye our Christmas tree, dripping with iciciles, the old bubbler lights, and the big old fashioned lights. And the fresh tree my Dad cut and brought in. Sometimes I would get to go with him, which was wonderful , especially if it had snowed. My Dad cooked very well also. He always made oyster stew and fried oysters on Christmas Eve. I remember the special crackers he bought and that buttery stew. Mother made all our favorite cakes and pies, fudge, divinity fudge, and Martha Washington Candy ( a rich coconut and nut filled chocolate shell) Which I must find the recipe for and make for Judy. She was wishing for some the other day.
    My children and I also had a few rough years after my divorce. But it was okay. We always had a lot of food and love. I continued the traditions of my family , and now my daughter does as well. She is big on tradition. My son, not so much at his home. But he has to have some of Mom’s peanut butter pinwheels, fudge, and cookies. It will be good to have him for a couple of days. I told him to bring their swim gear and go swim with me on Friday.
    Well, I am going to try to sleep, it is just all the hubbub in my mind. I too, wish for all who read this blog to have a wonderful Christmas, filled with your own traditions and memories, past and the ones you are making now. And Sue, thank you for sharing yours in this wonderfully written blog.
    Love you

    • Tonie, sorry you had trouble sleeping but thanks for being my technical friend and posting my blog. I know your head was whirling with all you have to do with your son and the kids coming. It will be so good and enjoyable but yes, you will be pooped. I can’t think of a better way to get pooped, can you? I can already predict how much they have grown since you saw them last. Swimming will be so much fun for all of you. Just take it all naturally because I know you want to do so much for them and share so much, food, fun, etc. Please be good to yourself. Have a wonderful time with your son and each child. Love, Sue

  2. I so agree with tonie what a wonderful story
    It brings so much back to a …breath sucked out of it Xmas…
    I remember…so much ,how make do was exciting, even the ordinary was the extraordinary .
    Thankyou Sue….my to read Xmas story again and again

    Well the plumber came and they are doing it mid jan .give it time to dry out and with the hols etc…we do have another toilet
    Yea I’m been thinking of the suing them line…it’s going to cost between £400 and £600 plus tax.so I not sure if we are up to it tho with how things are at moment health wise.as I’d be doing it and ugh…
    Ok gonna do lunch. Baked pots and breaded fish….with mushy peas..do you have those…I do like all this info we exchange!
    Hope you got to sleep tonie….

    • Chris
      Only the dozing off bit of sleep. I feel like a train wreck today. And I will have to go home and fix supper for my babies. But, I have some spaghetti sauce made up in the freezer, easy peasy. It is sad when people are not honest. Maybe if you just threaten them with a suit they will offer to pay. Hope so.
      Sometimes I think the more we have the less we appreciate it. Don’t you think. I know this is true especially with kids,
      Okay, gonna rest while Ms Alice sleeps
      Mushy peas ? Don’t recall anything. My mom used to make peas and potatoes with Akins of creamy sauce.

      • Mushy peas are dried marrowfat peas cooked then semi mashed up
        They have them with fish and chips a lot here
        I did a little sweeping up of leaves today that’s all. Trying to rest to go out tomorrow.didnt get out for my birthday so Dh wants to go to coast tomorrow ..gives it sunny and cold.bad weather due day after that and for Xmas ..supposed to be a hurricane we want to walk to the pub for Xmas lunch!!
        The unexpected can always be relied on here !
        I’m Trying not to think of this couple who we got house from..I wasn’t sure of her from the start. Seemed all talk and no answers.always skirting questions …but the sols were happy the surveyor too…just me harping on at the time with my questions
        So all I imagined happened ugh
        I think planning to have something and waiting for it is good….we were always told that as kids…do they still say that. They all,seems to get it too soon these days and as you say not appreciate it…it’s a wise parent who stand their ground these days
        Ok off to make a cup of tea
        That’s so awful in Berlin …it frightens you to go to anywhere and they say the rural area are more vulnerable now too.

    • Chris, pleased you got the answers but sorry you have to wait until Jan. You might think about what we did by getting an attorney to write a letter, threatening them. Worked for us. Didn’t cost much. People like that shouldn’t get away with anything and yet, it shouldn’t be a grief for you. Might work.
      Please try to let this go…I know that sounds easier than done when you’re in the midst of it but hate to see either of you get high blood pressure over this. You’ve done so many lovely things to the house. I would hate to see this ruin all for you.
      To the store today, forgot list so hope we got it all for Christmas Eve. Eyes bad all day. Having trouble now. Hopefully staying off the drugs will help them to heal.
      No dear, I am not familiar with the peas you mentioned. My Mom might have been due to her English grandparents.
      Hope you get that nice outing to the coast and beat the hurricane…preferably.
      Glad you got a bit done. We need to clean outside a bit also but today was the only sunny day all week. Rain due in tonight. Later..love, Sue

  3. Sue, what wonderful memories! For you, and those brought back to each of us by your own. I am all abuzz at present. I saw my rheumy yesterday about these newer symptoms in my larynx and rib cage. Doc was receptive and suggested a course of prednisone to see how my voice responds. Just the kind of response I was hoping for. Now we wait and see. He even has the same Laryngologist in mind that I had as an option should I need to move forward that direction. I am so fortunate to have a good guy. They got me in to see him the day after I called. Keeping my regular Feb appt so I can touch base with how all is going as well as our normal update. Here we go on the prednisone rollercoaster – whee!!!

    • Lyn
      At least you will get thru the holidays feeling good !! Glad you have a good rheumy. I really miss my guy from Az. Praying the new woman next month will be good. Snuggled into bed with a sweet little girl with me watching, The Santa Clause. I just watched it the other day, but……oh well. Too tired anyway to care. But so good to see them ! And sit and converse with my son with no interruptions.
      Take care

    • Lyn, at least you know what to expect. DO hope you can sleep with the prednisone. At the very least you will get better and accomplish a great deal over the holidays. As I said on FB…good timing. Sounds like you are doing all the right things and covering your voice in a wise way.
      Thanks for liking the blog. I know each of us have our memories and thought I’d share a few. Do take care and have a good time prepping for the Holy days. Love, Sue

  4. Chris
    Yes, they still say that. Good things are worth waiting on. Taking your time. But this is not your fault, it is people who like to cheat. But they will get it back down the road. Maybe the boiler will blow in your old house and cost them twice as much. You never know. Yeah so bad about Berlin. I was reading on the French news this morning how some of the outskirt towns are being taken over and women are afraid to walk thru town alone. It is really sad. I will be glad when my FM is gone from there.
    Enjoying my little ones and my son here tonight. But resting now. My oldest grandson from my son has gone to Arizona to stay with his mom until summer. Sad, but happy for him because he was wanting to see her so much, he hadn’t been with her since he was a toddler. But I just spoke with him, and now I have to mail his present to him. Well, another reason to go visit.
    Take care, enjoy your day tomorrow

    • Tonie, Trust you got some sleep last night with a giggling little grandchild sleeping with. Sure you have a house full of life with the grands there. How’s your handsome son doing? All sounds like true CHristmas at your place. ENjoy, enjoy. May have to go to work to rest but somehow doubt that with Ms. Alice.
      I know you will feel such relief when your FM finally gets things wrapped up and is out of his current situation and retired. Love ya, Sue

      • My dear readers, It is my deepest wish that each of you, along with your families have a glorious Christmas. I know those of you who write in here and those who connect with me on FB each have your individuals health problems. I pray those are able to take the background as you find the joy of the holidays, in whatever your religion or lack of religion may be. Those of you who are in a crisis situation, I hope you set aside the sorrow for awhile and can remember past holidays and the present with a warm heart. May we all set our political disagreements aside and come together as friends? May we find joy in a puppy’s jump, a child’s laughter and joy in a new toy and the comforting love our families and friends. After ten years of doing this blog, I have come to know many of you quite well and feel so fortunate to know you. Find the light, the love and the everlasting joy of this season which is for me, Christmas. Festive hugs, Sue

  5. Merry Christmas to every one who reads here. God bless each one with warm memories made this day and every day through the coming year.

  6. Well, the day after Christmas and all thru the house…no me dogs fighting, messes in the kitchen and floor, or cooking meals I don’t eat ! Haha. It was good to have my son here. I think he enjoyed it also. He ate and ate and ate. All the time telling me he wasn’t going to do it ! His children are so well behaved and well mannered. Such a difference from my daughters younger ones. Santa was good to one and all. The mermaid blankets were a complete hit, as were all the hats I made for everyone. Yesterday everyone was gone, and I had all intentions of going to church…..but my body had different ones. I slept off and on all day, never out of my Jammie’s . I sorely needed the rest. As did my back from all the walking and standing around. My sister gave me her friends husbands gift…haha…I just thought she got confused on sizes again. Then she called me yesterday to ask if I got a really large mans shirt. Yep ! Joanie and Tonie got confused labels ! Haha . Anyway. We had a great Christmas Eve. No word from my FM as he is up in the mountains contemplating , trying to get himself composed again. He went up with a group, but is staying on this week for a few days on his own. He loves solitude, we agree on that. But with his job I know he needs time to unwind and regroup and decisions to make, etc. I am, however looking forward to his call on his return to civilization !
    Well, off to feed and swim. I am rested and ready for some exercise. I pray you all had a good Christmas, and Happy Boxing Day too you all in the U.K. And Canada !

    • Tonie, so pleased to hear you had a wild and wooly time with the grands and your son. It’s always more enjoyable when children are mannerly. They always seem happier, too. Sorry Judy screwed up one present. I did a confusing thing with one of my DD’s gifts. I had all the gifts to be wrapped on the floor in our guest room and dropped a set of ceramic nail files I bought for DD into an open box that had a My Pillow for my SIL’s brother. I looked all over for the files before Christmas then remembered where most things were in there and started shaking boxes. That’s how I found it when his My Pillow when shook made a noise. I warned him before he opened it and all was well. I bought a box of Fart Putty so everyone could have a can of it to play with. There’s so much obnoxious kid in every adult and they seem to enjoy that product even more than the kids do. We had a great time on Christmas Eve then went over to the kids for dinner the next day. We would have gone in the morning but I wasn’t up to it after all the work and cooking which I thoroughly enjoyed…well, let me say my spirit did but my body, not so much.
      Pleased you heard from your Fm and hope all will be well with him now and for the future. We’re having a new storm here tonight with wind and very cold rain with snow higher elevations. Very cold. Went to the local oncologist who will now be my oncologist for my shots in each hip. I think I mentioned my oncologist in Portland is moving to WA state. We will see how it works out but at least we can save part of the trips to Portland. Hope your week goes well for you. Love ya, Sue

  7. Yes, Happy Boxing Day to those who celebrate. Thank you, Tonie, for that reminder. 😉 Glad you had such a wonderful time visiting with your son and grands.

    Sue, my sleep was a mess until last night. I managed a full 7 hours! I may have done pretty well the night before as well… Rather tired now and can’t remember. Down to 2 tabs today and tomorrow, then 1 each for 2 days. The end is in sight. The cough which started in my chest before concerts has now moved up, was worse for a couple of days, now back to much less frequent, but accompanied by post nasal drip. I’m having to rotate my meds, off mucinex, now on to sudafed and probably my flonase again. We’ll see how it goes. What a frustrating time.

    I do hope all have been having a wonderful holiday time. We had a great Christmas day, just my DH, kids and myself. Today we were off to my Mom’s for Christmas with Mom, step-dad and step-brother and sister and families. Another great day. Tomorrow we head down where I grew up to see my Mom’s side of the family – my grandmother, 3 of my mom’s sisters and families, Mom and step-dad. It’ll be nice to catch up and see those who live farther away. Then a few days to get ready to host my DH’s side of the family for Christmas on New Year’s Day here. Lots I hope to get done, we’ll see what I can actually accomplish. Maybe a little prednisone will be a helpful thing afterall. 😉

    • Lyn, Wow, seven hours of sleep on prednisone tells me how tired you are and how much you needed to catch up on your sleep. I do hope it has served its purpose for you. Usually this kind of congestion goes down, not up. Leave it to you sweet friend to do it basackwards. I know…it’s not a real word but it seemed to fit. Three more days to go and they should be much easier. Just one little recommendation, just watch for any shakes with the Sudafed and prednisone combination. I know you’re trying to “dry up” but you also want all that mucus to move up and out. A productive cough can be a good thing. I can’t believe with everything you’re going through how much you’ve been doing in the way of cooking and entertaining. All sounds good but oh so much so please rest. What a large mixed family you have.
      I’m relaxing and it is late here but I want to be certain to get the Call the Midwife Christmas special on the DVR. It’s on PBS tonight and don’t want to miss it. I love that series. Are you familiar with it?
      Well, knowing you, the whole family has been eating well in a beautiful home and all is well except for Mama so you take care…just heard it’s snowing in Portland. I knew it was too cold out here today to just be rain so it may reach out here to the coast. Take care and hopefully all will be well and you’ll come out of this trek much better. Love ya, Sue

      • Well, Sue, The 7 hours was a one shot deal. Not sure the total last night, but it wasn’t straight through. I switched tactics today with meds and opted for flonase and allegra. For some very odd reason my left eye started watering this morning and continued off and on for some time. Strange. Yes, leave it up to me to do things basackwards. Oh, no problems with the sudafed. Of course, I take the 4-6 hour dose rather than the 12 hour. The 12 gives me palpitations. Not fun. I am fine with the 4-6 hour. We had a nice visit with everyone today. My cookies were a hit as was DH’s cake. Yummy food, great time catching up. On the way home it felt like it was 2 hours later than actual time, though. Tired. Snow in Portland and it was upper 50s to over 60 here! Very unusual, however I wasn’t complaining. Felt good to me. Tomorrow we are to return to more seasonal temps again. Tomorrow I must make a reasonable to do list in prep for Sunday’s gathering. I’m sure I won’t be able to do all I’d hoped, but will try to accomplish what I can. Must head up to bed now, I think. DH has already slipped into a nap in his chair and SB is snoozing on the sofa. He was to work today, but had a migraine with vertigo and ended up staying here instead. I should probably encourage him to go to bed so he can be rested for tomorrow and hopefully wake without the dreaded head. He can’t afford to miss tomorrow at work also. He has apt rent to pay soon enough. Just when I was hoping he was done with the migraines, they’re baaack… Take care!

  8. Lyn, I am sorry to hear SB has a nasty migraine. Know what you mean, it’s interesting when they grow up and have rent to pay. Hope it passes for him very soon. Sounds like a good time was had by all and now more relations to eat and make merry with on the weekend. Good for you to spread it out this year, is it? I would think it is fortuitous with the prednisone and the reason for it. Hope you are resting now. I have a feeling that seven hours hit you due to fatigue from the steroid. It makes you feel like you don’t need or can’t get sleep but your body misses and needs the rest…then wham, you sleep. Two more days? Take care. It rained after the snow last night in Portland I believe. I know it rained out here and is expected to again tonight. Rest as best you can.Love ya, Sue

  9. Hi
    You sound so busy lyn..take care
    We went to the coast yesterday and met up with DH and her partner. They also have two large dogs who loved the walk on the beach .
    I couldn’t go becos of the sand but we met up in the harbour and then had a long lunch in a pub.but it’s sooo difficult deciding for me for stuff. So I had a child’s meal…nice and simple ,whilst the others have all the stuff I like !
    Weather is colder now, so warm over Xmas .
    Well gonna try and get back to sleep
    It’s good you won’t have to travel now for your shots Sue
    Hope the time goes quick till you hear from FM tonie

    • Chris, so good to hear from you and know you’re okay except for your stomach issues. Wish you could have eaten more of the good stuff. Cold here also but same as Christmas. Dry today but have had rain. Actually today is a beautiful day in spite of the chill in the air.
      Glad you’re able to get out and to the coast.
      I think everyone is busy over the holidays as usual with family, etc.
      Do you have plans for the New Year? Ours will be quiet as usual.
      I continue to have SJogren’s problems big time, especially with my eyes. Love to you and DH. SUE

      • The eyes are the first to react with anything with the sjogrens..I have to put drops in every hour it’s such a nuisance
        Got my breast appt Friday ugh
        New year.. not really we never do.as everywhere is so busy and DH can’t hear with so much noise and I can’t shout with sjogrens and vocal cords…we make a good match
        I like cold crisp days too
        Not done much watched a lot of tv….
        Can’t do much to the house as its all going to get dusty with the bathroom being done
        At least it’s warm with the new rads on,it’s nice to sit in the warm watching tv
        Out email went mad and we had to sort that out…it took ages for us and we discovered it wasn’t accepting our passwords..it was then it wasn’t….why! But we sorted it out.. then some lights went in the garage I think it needs new wiring there,have to get our man out after the hols
        I do wish all would settle down!
        Did your grands enjoy all their pressies and all?
        My one and only just had money from us..he knows what he wants.
        So gonna try to sleep .huh!

    • Chris, How great it is you have a nice warm room to watch your new TV in. I know you will be relieved when the plumbers are finished and the mess is behind you both. Now some wiring? Jim just had to hang new fixtures in our basement as they had worn out then our downstairs washer pooped out. Our washer and dryer upstairs are small and stack on each other and the loads must be smaller. I know life is always throwing these things at us all but you two have been in a long, tiresome spell of it. Hope it ends soon.
      Yes, the grands here had a great Christmas and got too much from all of us, as usual. We had Christmas Day dinner in our daughters dining room for the first time. Their old house they’ve been fixing for 14 years has been slow progress and it was great for them to finally be able to be back in the original dining room. THeir lovely old home had been turned into a duplex many years ago and they have had a monumental task.
      These last few months have been the worst for me and my SJogren’s. I, too, do drops regularly but it has gone to the point with the burned corneas I am having trouble seeing the computer words. Pain at night has been worse in spite of the oily drops which are such a mess…now cortisone, too. Nose and mouth slow to heal as well as hoarse throat after the opioids so on nothing right now. Hard time. I know you understand and am sorry you also have so much to deal with. Hope the New Year will be a healthier one for all on here. Love, Sue

  10. Hi, all, just hopped on to see who happened by. Chris, Sue, sounds like all had a nice holiday. Yes, we spread our festivities out in our family and have for some time. It is much more pleasant to be able to spend a nice chunk of time with each rather than trying to split up a day amongst them all. Now to try to get what I can done before having folks to our home. Today’s big project, grooming and bathing Sadie. It is a process and takes a lot out of me. She cooperates, mostly, but it is still not easy. a few times a year I must groom her feet, chest, hind legs in places, and at her ears. That is where she has fur that grows like poodle fur and needs trimming. It is a little odd, but what happens when you mix breeds, I suppose. I use scissors and DH’s hair clippers (he doesn’t mind.) When we built we had a large 5 ft shower put in our master bath for our convenience and to aid in bathing the greyhounds. It was difficult lifting them over into the tub at the old house. So, Sadie just walks in and I have room to bathe her, then shower myself after. She gets to hang out in the bathroom until I’m done. More detail than anyone needed there, I guess. Don’t mind me, I’m growing tired. Yes, Sue, my body is trying to catch up on the missing sleep. I slept 9 hours last night. Best, all!

    • Lyn
      I do understand what you mean about the dog bathing ! I have the two little dogs. I put them in the tub together , found it easier than trying to coax them out from under the bed, haha, Brutus, the larger of the two dachies, and a longhair, I have to scissor trim all the fur off the bottom of his feet, top and backs of his legs, every few months. Especially in the winter ! Poor little guy, he loves to roll around on the ground when he goes out, and he is VERY low to the ground. He went out in the cold the other week and frost burned his little underside and a few patches on his back. I have been treating it with pain relieving antibiotic cream and it is clearing up good. I felt so awful ! So when the next cold spell comes, he will be wearing his all over sweater. In the summer time I used horse clippers to trim all the long fur off Brutus, he gets so hot. Ceasar is a short hair, yet he sheds more than Brutus !! But they are my little loves. Hope you get some rest !!

      • Lyn
        I had a giggle at your post…but really I don’t know how you fit everything ,you are so busy
        You’re another busy one..have a good trip and hope your brother is ok.
        Are you saying your washer has gone again….I hope not .
        Burnt corneas it sounds dreadful ..how long do,they take to improve .that oily ointment is the pits, as I am awake most of the time I just keep,putting my eye drops in.they are still sore in the morning whatever I do
        DH has to have new glasses..and his cataracts are getting worse
        Our car was so frozen this morning we should have put it away last nite but when DH went out last night it was frozen then so we left it…but altho cold it was sunny and nice.
        Well that’s it for now

    • Lyn, loved the mental pic of you in the shower chasing Sadie around with scissors. What is to keep her from walking out of the shower dripping all over the BR? Remember when I often shared about Annie our Jack Russell walking around me constantly in the shower? I trimmed her also so I get it.Big job. I tried doing George but after a year found a dear old friend who was back in the grooming business and she does his trimming now.
      It is interesting with the various breeds to see the various dominant qualities.
      Hope you’re doing okay now that you’re off the prednisone or is today the last day? Are you better? I don’t think you need to worry about the side effects of the pred. if it is an occasional dose via titration like you’ve done this time. Do, please, keep an eye on your bone density just in general because it can go bad on one so quickly, as I found out. Glad you got that nine hours of sleep. Love ya, Sue

      • Chris, couldn’t find a spot for this reply so squeezed it in here. Oh my but that sounds so cold. A frozen car? I am sorry to hear DH’s cataracts are worse. Hopefully the new glasses will help. Did the doc mention for the cataracts?
        No, the washer that has gone is the one we have in the basement. It is about 18 years old now and we hope it can be fixed. We use it for bathroom rugs, Jim’s car washing towels, etc. The little set we put in the corner of the kitchen that went out a year after we bought it is too small for anything heavy. Looks like we might have to buy new one for the basement. Sure hope not this close to all the holiday spending we’ve done.

        The eye doc said my corneas are fried in the lower third of each eye. It is a result of the Sjogren’s syndrome yes, but made worse by the darned opioids and how they affected me. She thinks the petroleum based gunk keeps the eyes more moist at night. Looks like I don’t have to worry about becoming an addict any time soon. Let’s see…sight or pain relief, sight or pain relief?? It is cutting into my time spent writing and that causes me much heartache and I miss sitting down with a book that doesn’t have double vision…Large print is helpful. I know you understand the whole dry eye problem.

        I wish care for both of you with that freezing weather..do be careful walking in it. Love, Sue

  11. Hello peeps !
    Sue , Lyn, Chris, sounds like you all had a good Christmas. SO happy you did. I only have four more days with Ms ALice and she is off to California. I will be glad, I need some me time ! haha ! Tomorrow and then tues, wed, and Thursday I take them to the airport hotel. I just pray the husband will be ready to leave and not take forever. I will stop and see my older brother then also. Taking them to Greensboro, NC and he lives on the way. He has hurt his shoulders and can’t drive right now. ‘
    I have a lot of projects to keep me busy for the next couple of months. Besides housecleaning, like baseboards, ceiling fans, and walls. I have two quilts and one baby quilt, I want to get some photos edited to upload online for sale for photo art, get all my costumes from Tombstone photographed and listed on Ebay , see if I can get rid of them. I don’t think I will get bored.
    Friday I am going to see my orthopod and get my knee surgery scheduled. I don’t think it is bone on bone or it would hurt me more than it does. So….if I need help my siblings said they would assist me . Get it over and done with.
    Well, gonna get some rest myself. Take care all

    • Tonie, SO it’s next week to the airport and then you have some time off. Hope your brother will soon be feeling better. Enjoy your visit with him, okay? Drive safely as we hope the weather is on your side. Sounds like you have a lot planned. Good luck with the things you want to sell. You should have some luck because they all sound very interesting. I would think the costumes should be of interest to some little theater groups, etc.
      Good to know you’ve decided to get your knee taken care of. Hope Brutie’s tummy burns are healing. So how is your weather behaving? Rain here with some respites in between.
      Eyes still bad here as they heal. Hate this gooey stuff in them at night. It’s impossible to get rid of all morning. I’ve had to cut my time online in half and I don’t like that. Double vision occurs if I stay too long at the screen. Can’t read books and haven’t been able to for months. UGH. Doctor told me to put bottle of drops by my side and put them in every 15 mins. Heck, I’m not good at putting in drops without a mirror. I’m quirky that way. What a bother this all is.
      So sad all the recent deaths. I wish our police and soldiers who die got the same attention but alas, that will never be the case. Take care and be good to you, Love, Sue

      • Sue
        Poor girl….I had to use those type of oily gook at night for my eyes in Az, so dry, my eye Doc gave it too me. Still have a tube here somewhere. Couldn’t see once I put them in so no watching tv. Or reading. Weather here is cold and windy at the moment. Tomorrow as well, then well up to the 60’s next week !! Crazy ! Up and down and up and down. So far no snow called for on the travel day. The day after now, so hoping it stays that way. Last year it took me 4 hours to do a 2 hour trip.
        Have you ever tried audio books ? I still read regular books as well, but they are great for a break. Want me to send you a couple ? No prob. I really enjoy them.
        I do wish the real heroes in this world got the attention they deserve. But if you read the post from Franklin Graham, it was very good. About how there are no kudos in the afterlife. Nothing special for the stars and uppity ups of the world. All the same for each of us. I do feel sorry for Carrie Fishers son , loosing his mother and grandmother in two days that way.
        Well, time for my show. A swim tomorrow and then off to the ortho to set my time.
        Love ya
        ps, on Amazon you can get the audiobooks for really cheap for your computer. Especially if you have bought the book, you can get the audio version for like an extra buck !!

  12. My goodness, busy here. Sue, I do hope your eyes are improving a bit. Oh, and I hope that washer can be fixed!
    Chris, glad I could give you a chuckle. I’m sure anyone watching would find it all humorous. I had to smile at Sue’s imagining me chasing Sadie with scissors in the shower, and dressed! Actually, I clip what needs clipping on the bathroom floor, then bathe her in the shower – but without clothing (so no one will be watching!) so I can bathe myself after she’s finished. I towel dry her then allow her to hang out in the bathroom while I shower. When I am finished, she is allowed in our bedroom, and once I’m finished dressing, hair done, etc, then she is allowed out of our room. By then, she is not as wet, so having run of that house is not such a big issue. 😉
    Tonie, your time off is so close! I am quite sure you have plenty to keep yourself busy. Knee surgery, oh my. I hope all works out. I am sure you will have help. So glad you are back living amongst family. I’ll echo Sue in wishing you a safe trip and a nice visit.
    Tired from today’s activities and ready to head up to bed. Best, everyone!

    • Lyn, knowing you I was sure you had a system worked out for the whole Sadie spa day. I just didn’t want you to think anyone online was visualizing you in the shower. I remember when I took Annie our JR in the shower I learned the hard way not to put a leash on her…wrapped me up good by running around me the only time I did it. She would stay in our shower just fine but little Jakie, our mini-schnauzer would just push the door open to escape. Oh, the things we do for our pets, huh?
      Washer repairman is here so don’t have a diagnosis yet. Fingers crossed it can be saved. I know you’re busy preparing for the last party of the season for your family. I am letting things sit until the New Year and then it will be time to put all Christmas away. Had to put another half jigger of Brandy on the fruitcakes last night. Boy, good thing it evaporates so much or we’d become schnockered diabetics at our house.
      Do be good to yourself with all the celebrating and take time to enjoy. Love, Sue

  13. Good morning all
    Well woke up to unexpected two or three inches of that old white stuff. But it will soon melt leaving a muddy mess. Drinking my last cup of coffee before I go swim. The. From there to the Dr apt. I really need the swim today. So much going on in my personal life. FM has emailed and called me. Bad news concerning his retirement. There is hardly anything there. Of course they want him to continue to work. He has his sights set on a job here somewhere and quiet life in Va. But much to do between then and now. I feel for him, work your life putting away for this time or to find the government has spent it ? I cannot imagine. Anyway, he will be a great grandfather in Feb, so he will be here soon. First to visit with the baby , then up the coast to Va. and me. Life is so full of the unexpected. But it rumbles on.
    Lyn, I used to do that with my Rottweiler. Got in the standing shower with him and when we got out there was hair all over the bathroom ! He was a long hair. My poodle I did that way also. Her shivering in the bottom until I finished my shower. Now, the horses…..I get a shower bathing them outside ! Haha.
    Sue prays for your eyes, that they can heal quickly. Chris , frozen cars, I can relate ! I have had to unfreeze the locks before, thankfully we don’t need to do that anymore unless the vehicle is old, like my Jeep.
    Well gotta get on the road. Happy day to all

    • How horrible for your FM to realize only a portion of what he thought was put away for retirement is there! Sadly, I fear that day may come here if things aren’t turned around soon! No excuse for it! I pray he can figure it all out and get the heck out of Dodge!
      Oh, Sue, just realized another piece you mentioned… we have a glass shower door, so the pup only gets out of the shower when I let her! 😉
      Ok, my afternoon rest period is up. Time to get back at it. I have some cleaning to do.

    • Tonie, I hope along with you that that cold stuff on the ground melts quickly and stays away for a bit over a week. I remember that drive back last year was brutal for you. I know you will enjoy the visit with your brother and hope he heals well and quickly. Nice time of year to see him if the weather behaves.
      My heart stopped when I saw your remarks about your dear FM. What a lot of rot that is for both of you. I can only imagine how he feels with my DH’s retirement and how he would feel. Here in OR they made it hard enough to get your own retirement…took him 9 months. I’ve recently read the retirees in CA are also having a problem. This really stinks for FM and I know he will do what he must for both of you. So much of it depends on what is going on over there and his motivation to get over here. Sweet that he is going to be a great gran. Good news that you will be able to see him in a couple of months. Nice surprise…I hope. I know you live by faith and can only urge you to hang on in this complicated situation for your future and his.
      My doctor also suggested book online, etc. but I have never liked them. I have a whole box of books on tape in the basement that belonged to my sister in law. She loved them while driving. I think I will have better luck with the large print books. I need to cut down on my online time and that is not easy.
      I’ll be anxious to hear when they are going to scope your knee and what they predict will be the recovery time. Got to get you on your feet for your guy’s visit. Thinking of you, praying for all you have on right now. Love, Sue

  14. Hi folks
    Had my breast appt today at hosp and all was well thank goodness .had the scan as well.
    Weather much warmer here and very foggy
    Hope the washer was ok Sue
    Not a good situation for FM ..but I bet he did some good thinking up them hills and has various thoughts and plans in mind
    Lyn how you off the meds now ?
    Well this weekend I’ve got to do some good cleaning it’s so let go it’s getting to me
    However it’s out for tea and scone first thing and a newspaper ..goodness I sound ancient!

    • Chris, so pleased all okay with the breast. The washer was an easy fix. SO pleased because we got so carried away at Christmas.
      Are you going to be able to hold out until the repairmen fix things up for you as far as cleaning up? That’s Monday isn’t it? So you had to trade the ice for fog? Sounds like you got the best. Does your fog burn off or hang around all day? Enjoy your tea and scones as the New Year rolls in. Love, Sue

  15. Sue
    Good about the washer
    It’s the 19th they come to do the plumbing
    The fog well….sometimes it burns off then comes back in the afternoon ,or like now hangs around …
    Had problems with tv it was acting up…but the aerial had worked itself semi out so fixed that and all seems ok. Programs last nite were going off then on, I got fed up and watched it on the iPad ,but sorted today
    Not long left of this year…what a year !
    I want a calmer,healthier ,happier,painfreer,less worry year for me and for us all

    • Chris, yes, indeed. It has been a strange year and a sad one in many ways and an encouraging one in others. For you, I have some idea how frustrating, sad and just plain painful it has been for you. May 2017 be a better one for you and yours. You deserve the best year possible.
      I was relieved about the old washer, also. It was strange. I had bought a new good size rug for the bathroom downstairs and we washed it down there for the FIRST time. Well, the outlet line from the poor old washer was full…two large hand fulls of fuzz from that rug. We know that’s what it was from the color. $79 to get it unplugged. Still better than a new washer.
      Oh indeed, the 19th is a bit away. Sorry they aren’t coming out sooner for you. Glad the TV is okay. Sleeping well right now I hope. Love, Sue

  16. Hey all
    Thanks for the good thoughts for the FM and I. My heart stopped when he told me how much of his money is gone. He has savings but now very very little for monthly retirement. Yes Chris, he did some thinking and we will discuss all when he gets here. Sue, I am of course, looking forward to his return. I think it is a simple solution: come here and work being happy, or stay and work being miserable.
    So….got my swim in and then to the Dr. We are scheduled for Jan 10th to do the scope. He says barring any burrs in there recovery will be a couple of weeks. But we really won’t know until he goes in. So…I just want it done and over. He says he will clean it up good and hopefully it will keep me from ever having to get a replacement. I do pray so.
    So… ya’all here we are on the brink of another new year. I do hope you will all , we will all have a wonderful one in front of us. Full of life, happiness, and good things. Prayers for you all.
    Much love

    • Tonie, good to get the knee scoped so the story will be told. Hopefully it will help enormously and he will be able to clean out any and all debris in there and make it a free flowing knee again.
      So sorry to hear about the severity of your friends financial situation. That stinks. He sounds like a wise man who will make the wise, responsible decision for joy in this all too brief episode we call life. Love, Sue

    • Lyn, Have a wonderful time with your family this weekend. Is this the last of the soiree’s? Lots of leftovers? Have a wonderful, healthy and happy New Year. Love, Sue

      • The last one! And, yes, there are lots of leftovers! People brought vast amounts of food, and some left their leftovers here, too. Thankfully we were able to send some pork along with some. Once again we bought much more than needed. Each year DH takes notes about amounts. We should have it figured out one of these years. 🙂 Yes, I did too much in preparation and today, although DH certainly helped. Now we are both resting and watching a movie. Has anyone seen the movie “Concussion”? First time for us, although as many of you know, we are certainly too well acquainted with concussions and their aftermath. SB is here and snoozing away. Poor kid. His GF was here and seeing how exhausted he was, left early. I felt bad for her, but know the boy desperately needs sleep. she knows it, too. Had a nice chat with her before she left. 🙂 Our little great-niece and her family were in from the PNW. She is SOOOO precious! Sadie took to her right away, and she to Sadie, of course. (They have a dog, too.) sadie was great with her. After seeing how the preps effected me, DH said perhaps we should let the family know this may be the last year for us hosting, it’s just too hard on me. OF course, today without exception each branch of the family thanked us profusely for having it here. In truth, we do have the best set up and most room for this many people. I suppose we will keep it up as long as we can. My MIL did apparently say if we couldn’t have it here, perhaps we could rent the social hall in the retirement community in which they live. I guess we’ll take each year as it comes. Wish I could tell how I’m going to be in enough time to really make that kind of call. I know we all wish that at times. TIme to focus in on the movie. It is really quite good so far – and scary, of course. We’ve learned so much about concussion since then.

  17. Hi All, No computer for a few days, trying to catch up. Tonie so sorry to hear of your FMs troubles, prayers for you both. Sue, not to be able to read is horrible. Have you tried a kindle? You can adjust the print size. I love books, but find the kindle has advantages. Chris, I hope your house troubles are over and this New Year will be better for you. Jennie, I am so happy you are back. Love your pictures on FB. To all have a great 2017! Love to everyone. Janet

    • Janet, always good to hear from you. Yes dear lady, I have a kindle. Eye problems hard to explain. Short periods of time okay but then everything blurs…even the TV which is a 55 inch. Guess I’ll be settling for short reads for awhile. I hope you are feeling okay and dealing with all your problems which you have. How were your holidays?
      Haven’t heard from Jennie on here as yet. Hopefully she is getting settled. I enjoy her pics on FB, too. Have a wonderful New Year, okay? Love, Sue

  18. Hi Janet .thankyou.. You too have a good year
    When you put your two heads together on this one in February life will seem lighter. You have the answer in your head I know
    I hope all goes well off the meds now.
    Good with the washer.i do hope your eyes pick up ,can you feel improvement ?
    Ok happy new year all
    Quiet one for us..we see gs on Monday .have a meal

    • Chris, Sincerely hope your coming year is an improvement over the last one. I frankly think that would be a good idea for many of us. Fun to have your grandson coming out to see you. Thought of you yesterday when I saw all the celebrations from London. We had a wuiet night with Jim and George turning in at 10 PM and me and the TV to welcome in the New Year along with a bunch of morons who started setting off firecrackers at about the time Jim dozed off. Helps that he is a bit hard of hearing. George just hid in his kennel here by the bed and growled in a surly fashion.
      I now have a lovely prime rib in the oven for Jim, more scalloped potatoes than the whole neighborhood would eat, because I left him alone to peel them, and fresh green beans and salad. Getting ready to make a nice bleu cheese dressing for my salad. No wonder I am now resting. Do take care and try to enjoy life a little extra it being a holiday and all. Love, Sue

      • Hi Sue
        Prime rib sounds good..I fancy that
        Much the same here last night we went to bed early
        I have a swollen gland in my neck halfway down I showed it the dr at hosp.he said to go to dr and have it scoped.
        It’s sore had it for a while so have appt Wednesday to see dr…..and so it goes on
        Been raining all day here.
        I watched all round the world for new year …fireworks as usual round here too.

    • Lyn, glad you got to rest yesterday. Sounds like Sadie had the best time at your gathering of everyone. I know you were pleased to see your family from the NW. Also bet they were glad to see some familiar faces since their move. Sounds like SB has an understanding girlfriend.That certainly helps in any relationship.
      Had the grands all day today with a holiday and their poor Mom had to work. She just is getting over a miserable virus. Strange that the local hospital didn’t even acknowledge the holiday and left their employees off.
      It was, as ever, good to hear from you. I’m afraid my eyes are miserable tonight so I will have to close for now. Hate this. Love, Sue

  19. Happy New Year to all. I had a very quiet one. Was in my Jammie’s most of the day. Did some laundry and cleaning, and downsizing of my bedroom closet, even a cherished bedspread that had seen better days. All that loaded in the truck ready for the drop at charity.
    I was asleep at midnight, but awakened by the boom of the shotgun being fired at my brothers , a tradition here in the mountains. The boys were barking up a storm. I told them Happy New Year, and went back to sleep. Yesterday, much of the same. Except I went to church, taught class, sang, and home. Made myself some sausage, eggs and a couple of biscuits. Then sat down for a movie and crocheting and promptly went to sleep ! My FMS has really been letting me know it is there. Everything aches and hurts and it sore. I am hoping the new doc on Jan 30 th will have better things to say.
    Lyn, glad you had good times with the family. Renting the hall sounds like the way to go, then all can be responsible to help, not just one. Sue, prime rib….something that looks good, but have never liked. I guess my lack of enthusiasm for beef. But scalloped potatoes….that is different and homemade blue cheese dressing ! Yum. I haven’t made that in a while. Must do it instead of buying it.
    Okay, one more cup of coffee, then out to the drizzle warm weather and go swim. Many prayers for a good year to us all. May the Lord bless us , every one !

    • Tonie, I am sorry to hear you are having so much fibro pain right now. Do you connect it to the weather? Have you noticed a relationship to methotrexate timing? Had the grands here today and am feeling ancient, sore and down tonight. Chronic pain can dig at you in such a sinister way, can’t it? Sorry you were awakened by the shotgun but it does sound like a good tradition. It got pretty noisy around here, also but the police were on it because the loud noises were strictly illegal. We had a strange weather day today. It snowed off and on, stayed in the thirties and we had blue skies. Weird. Supposed to get down in the 20’s tonight. We will see what the morning brings.
      Well, we finally poisoned all our rats and mice. I hate to kill any of God’s creatures but when they’re running around in the attic over our heads upstairs, well, that’s it.
      I do hope you like the new doc at the end of the month and she has some ideas to help. Always a good idea to get fresh opinions. Must close for now. Love, Sue

  20. Ps
    When we took down the trees at church yesterday, we wrapped them in Saran Wrap and put them in the storage room. I am going to do the same here this week sometime. Much easier than all the redecorating and taking down. Only some old ones I will take off. Anyway, it works nicely !

  21. Chris, Glad you’re getting that swollen gland, node or spot looked into. I know, something else on your place.
    Dinner turned out well. Jim enjoyed the prime rib. For some reason it was not the best piece of meat I ever cooked. I had two bites because it smelled so good but basically I have found myself slipping into vegetarianism except for fish and white meat chicken.
    Yes, there was much going on and it all so interesting for the New Year. The Rose Parade in CA was beautiful like always. AMazing how the crowds have grown for that over the many years…now they have bleacher benches they sell tickets for all along the way. Hope you’re having a quiet day. Amazing to see all the gorgeous flowers and various seeds, beans, etc. used to make those beautiful floats. Marching bands from all over the country were also there as always. Love ya, Sue

  22. Hi All, do hope you all survived the holidays. Ours were wonderful, yet exhausting but then, what else is new? We play the game and we know there will also be a price to pay. That’s our life with chronic pain and illness. I know it was an emotional time for many, financially stressful for others and always, a time of enjoyment, family love and now with the new year, perspective analysis.
    Our weather has taken a turn here in the NW on the coast and we got down into the twenties last night and only in the 30’s during the day. We had snow flurries yesterday under a blue sky…so strange yet lovely. I am gradually taking down Crhistmas decorations, wreaths, etc. We will take our time as Jim is so good to help me. He can manage the basement stairs far better than I. I did buy one of those handy carts made for stairs last year and love it but Jim never uses it. Guess it’s a guy thing. We have stairs all over the place in our home and I just take them nice and slow. George had a taste of the twenties outside this AM and was somewhat anxious to get back inside…DUH.
    I look forward to the coming year with a sense of wonder, challenge and yes, a modicum of fear but know how unpredictable life can be and that door swings both ways, both good and bad. Here in our country we face many new politicians, starting at the top and anticipate much change. I don’t get political on here but do on FB and know many share my anticipation while others do not. That’s life. I do hope we can all continue to have a meeting of the minds here on the blog as we take on the challenges of our physical way of life. I pray I can keep the topics fresh yet continue to go over some of the old topics for new readers. I wish each of you who read a blessed New Year. Love, Sue

  23. Hi all
    Yes Sue went to dr with the said gland…had blood tests and chest X-ray and refer to hosp.
    Took down all the decs didn’t do much so done quick
    Sunny day here but going to be freezing tonite
    Our nice neighbours got burgled yesterday .they were out for 11/2 hrs came back to all drawers tipped out all elec stuff gone TVs cameras comps and also jewellery some of which her dad had given her.. She is not well with an auto immune thing that put her in a coma last year..well hosp,did to stabilise her..had all forensics out today and they make such a mess with their powders and potions
    It is a gang going around apparently did three houses yesterday
    Ok gonna have a rest did some cleaning as well as Drs appt for DH re bp meds..yep it was high and has to increase them …..oh dear!

    • Chris, How awful for anyone to have burglars but for someone with health issues even worse. That poor woman and her DH. I’m sure it has made both of you more anxious. I’m so sorry. Do you have any kind of alarm? Well, no, don’t say online. I guess it’s a good idea in today’s world for all of us.
      What did the doctor say about your growth? Any comments you want to share? Glad they’re going to figure it out soon. Small wonder your DH’s B/P is up with all going on. I do wish life would slow down a bit for you two and give you a break. Did you get in a visit with your GS? Hope so. Love you and thinking of you both, Sue

      • Well dr said he’d refer me as an urgent case
        It was a lymph gland
        It’s been there for 4 weeks.but it’s where my food gets stuck with sjogrens and reflux
        He said as it was sore that’s a good sign…funnily it went down yesterday and seems down again today but still sore.but not as sore as when it first came up.so I’m putting heat and resting my voice as I have to project for DH and his deafness.the vocal cords get swollen there.im still so tired tho..but that mite just be all things as they are
        We are fully protected in the house with all alarmed everywhere very locked up in all things and gates I am very aware with that .nextdoor said when we moved in its such a quiet place no trouble they seemed relaxed about the place..but as ever I’m over vigilant . DH used to think overly but not now..it’s like Fort Knox when we leave here
        Yes gs and girlfriend came stayed all afternoon and had meal too.they think the way I say things is funny..I always get their new phrases for things wrong and I always get stuff wrong anyway..so they think I’m a good cause of hilarity .they expect it now when they come !
        She is quite a chatterbox which is good….she wanted to stay here when gs went to see his dad at nite but she did the right thing and went with him tho..was good really as my voice was getting tired !

  24. Chris, it was just that I noticed they seemed to be in more of an urgency with this. Lymph glands can be scary. It may well be because of the Sjogren’s and hopefully they will have some answers for some help with the swallowing, also. I pray it is not more serious but the chances are on your side. I’m pleased your home is all bundled up night and snug. By the way, did your husband get a new camera? Hope so.
    I have been wanted to tell you and any others with dry mouth about a new product I found on AMazon called Salivart. It is a mouth wash that kills germs and helps to keep a dry mouth moist. I use it at night and it seems to work well. Eye are blurry tonight but didn’t want to go to sleep without a word with you. Thinking of you, Sue

  25. Hey all
    Chris, so awful for your neighbor. I have had that experience and don’t want it again. Glad you are guarded up ! It is cold here today and thru Monday with highs in the 20’s on Sunday 3′ low that night. Today is airport day for Ms Alice. Gonna be a fun trip for poor Fran, as hubby is sick and a man and need I s more ? Trying to help her get it all ready as he is no help. Hopefully he will sleep the trip down there.
    Sue, I will check that mouthwash out. I have been so dry at night of late, I wake up and my throats is stuck together. And sore all the time.
    Chris, prayers for that gland swell, I so pray it is nothing bad. Like Sue was saying sometimes they can turn into something else.
    Tomorrow is my prep checkin, then my swim, then back here to bring her vehicle and get mine. Clean out her fridge of perishables. Then Monday is dermatologist, and Tuesday the knee gets scoped.
    Well, time to get Ms Alice up for her shower.
    Love to all

    • Tonie, I hope you are nearly home right now, if not there. It’s 9 PM back there I believe. Hope the snow waited for you to get home and know it was a long and tiring trip. What a few days you have coming up. I know you will be relieved to have the diagnostic conclusions from the scoping of your knee. Which knee is it? Did you have to use it today as in the right knee?
      Let’s all hope the trips next week will be safe and easy for you. Are you going to be awake for the scoping? I’m guessing yes but if they are going to put you out, be sure to tell them about your dry mouth and throat. I am sorry to hear you are having the same problems Chris and I are having. I have a dry throat all day long after dry nights. The mouth wash does help and I tried another product that I find a bit harder to take but thought it worth a try. I found it on Amazon as well. It is called ZYLIMELTS. It is a small tablet with a sticky side that you press onto your gum above a tooth. It helps your mouth stay moist all night but the taste is not wonderful. I found it kept me from sleeping soundly due to the irritation and taste.
      Looks like we have a big storm coming in on Saturday with freezing rain or snow. Big wind here and in Portland yesterday and so cold. Winter, winter, winter…what a challenge for these bones and bodies. Rest well. Sue

  26. Sue
    THanks, will remember to tell them. Trying to wolf down my toast to get ready to go there now. It was a good trip. Had a good visit with my brother and his wife, although short. Got home after 8. I had called my brother up here to get him to take care of the animals. Got home and almost immediately fell into bed. Long day and I was so tired.
    Well gotta run

    • Tonie, thanks for letting us know you got home safely. Sounds like a long, tiring day. Now you get less work to do and will get a few things done. Cold here with new storm moving in. 23 degrees last night here with bright and sunny day in the low 40’s. Rest, okay? Love, Sue

  27. Well I’m awake so thought I’d chime in.
    Hope all goes well Tonie ..take it easy with all you do
    It’s been cold here but is Warner and raining now.
    Changed bedding yesterday and turned new mattresses about..that’s a blimmin nuisance to do
    Sounds really chilly with you Sue ..mind the ice
    Gonna get back to sleep hopefully

    • Chris, oh yes, the news is making much of the storm coming in tomorrow. According to the same news we are getting a cold, icy rain but no snow. We got down to 23 last night and supposed to be about 30 tonight. Lots of rain and all of my friends in CA are preparing for a full week of rain and after three years of drought they are worried about flooding. Yes, moving a mattress of any kind around sounds like a literal pain. Take care, I know you have a lot on. Love, Sue

  28. Good morning all
    Pretty well snowed in here this morning. It was coming down good before I made it home yesterday. I left Galax after picking my truck and what usually takes twenty minutes took an hour due to road conditions and cars in front of me with no 4 wheel drive. I tucked the chickens in with lots of food and water and hay. But I must go out and throw more hay and feed to Red in a little while. I have been giving him lots of feed coming in to this, so he keeps his weight on and it helps him be warm.
    Lyn, are you all snowed under ? Sue, hoping you stay warm and dry. Chris, so much work always to be done huh ? I was going to take down the Christmas tree today, but not dragging it through the snow, so it will stay a few more days. Or I will put it out on the porch until. Might be a better idea.
    Hope all have a good day.

    • Tonie, we only got a dusting – about a half inch. I was driving home – normally 45 min drive – from a Board meeting during the early part. Thankfully, they had pretreated the roads so most of my trip they were just wet, but temps were around 27 so I was still cautious. I saw from fb postings that it did get slippery after I was home. SB got off work about the same time and thankfully had about the same kind of drive home I did. I plan to take down Christmas this weekend. As soon as some muscles release a bit more, I’ll head out to pick up a storage container or two to store some of the new things I picked up as well as others that had been stored helter skelter. Stay in, safe and warm, friend. I did just see a pic of Caesar, I think, doing his thing in the snow. 🙂

    • Tonie, SO relieved you got your errands run without more of a snow problem than you had. Looks like you all will be safe and warm for the very cold weekend. You get to enjoy your Christmas tree a bit longer. Good. Watching the weather channel and following your area as well as ours. Cold here with flurries…nothing like what many of you are facing. I’m going to be working on the new blog, baking oatmeal cookies and enjoying my husband’s company for our cold weekend. I gave him the whole Red Skelton collection for Christmas and we may watch some of that this afternoon. Stay safe and warm, okay?

      • Oatmeal cookies, yum! I need to refrain from cookies for a while. I had more than my share over the holidays and just got rid of the last! Enjoy them!

      • I still have oatmeal cookies from Christmas with crasins walnuts and chocolate chips. I think today I will make some pumpkin muffins, no sugar, honey and Stevia. They are so good !
        Enjoy !

      • Lyn and Tonie, These were the only cookies I have baked all season. I made fruitcake and bought strudel and almond cake. I used to bake all the time but now, back and legs don’t allow. I also now have trouble with opening a hot oven, with my dry eyes. Since I can’t eat chocolate, I chose oatmeal crispies with tons of fruit and nuts because they’re good for you…even cut back on the sugar. Into the freezer with half of them. Sue

  29. Hi
    Your day sounds perfect and cosy there Sue
    The police have caught two of the burglars. We have got to know more people in the area with it happening .a couple took it upon themselves to organise any meetings etc. Put updates thru the door and stuff .
    The couple nextdoor are quietly recovering from their ordeal with it
    Yes Lyn like you I gotta start refraining….
    Tonie..be careful with your weather and your knee . No slipping before or after the op…
    Well gonna try and sleep its early morn here

    • Chris, I agree with Tonie about the good coming out of this sadness is getting to know the neighbors. Probably small comfort to the neighbors who suffered the loss.
      Indeed it has been a cozy stay in weekend. Nothing like Tonie’s but very wet. The mountains above Portland are filling up with snow which makes the skiers happy. Jim loved Red Skelton, the old comedian and when watching his old shows we realized how many of the younger people wouldn’t even understand some of the humor. It was such clean fun back then and so uncomplicated. Hope you’re doing well today and getting ready for your week ahead.. Love, Sue

  30. Good morning
    No church here in the frozen mountains. I have gone out to feed and give the chickens water. Dummy me, I didn’t leave the facets to drip last night and the water froze since I was up at 5 ! But, my FM gave me the idea to put my small heater under the house and turn it on until they thaw, so after breakfast I will go out and do that. The sun is out, but only 22′ high today…but tomorrow, 30’s and 50’s by Wednesday. So muddy mess a coming !
    Sue/ Chris, I didn’t realize my runny nose was part of this mess. Even taking Cingular every morning, still runs all the time, especially bending over or outdoors. I always have tissue in my pockets and purse, even inside the house !
    Having blueberries, strawberries and cantaloupe for breakfast. Yum good ! Finally found some fresh blueberries that are reasonably priced. And the cantaloupe is wonderful. Not usually for this time of year.
    Lyn, glad you didn’t have all this mess. Good you got Christmas done. I still have the tree, but put up all the rest yesterday. Cleaned the house in preparation of Tuesday.
    Tomorrow is dermatologist day, maybe go swim, see what the weather is and how my body feels ! It is definitely not liking this coldness !
    Chris, I am so happy they caught the thieves! It doesn’t return your items but makes you feel justice is helping. Good too that you met some more neighbors. Good from bad is always nice.
    Take care all

    • Tonie dear, your FM is full of wisdom. Hope the pipes opened up for you and the animals. My gosh what a freeze you’re in. Glad you are safe and admire your tenacity in all things. Hope your weather allows for the dermy tomorrow and the swim. I’m assuming it will be awhile for the swimming with your knee. Who is taking you in on Tuesday? Is a muddy mess better than the deep freeze? Is it any easier or worse to drive in?
      Hope sister Judy is doing okay? Do you two talk by phone in this snowed in weather? Surely you don’t trek down to her house. Quiet here today. Please stay safe and warm. Love, Sue

      To all…Tonie mentioned the drippy nose. I told her about that yesterday and she agreed she has that problem, also. Chris and I were talking about it and thought it was Sjogren’s but apparently others with rheumatoid disease have it as well. It is a constant dripping from the nose, especially in cold weather, but whenever leaning over, drops fall. Embarrassing and annoying at the same time.

  31. Hi all
    Been doing some catchup things today..cleaned the fridge and had left over carrots so made some soup.
    Washed my hair and put a wash on. Will go shopping tomorrow .then I’ll be ready for the bathroom being done . just that to deal with
    Been on the news about weather in the USA looks bad
    Hope all ok

  32. I always enjoy hearing about other’s Christmas/holiday traditions. I had Shingles this year, so I was basically quarantined because I have 2 brand new, beautiful, twin granddaughter’s and the doctor’s all told me I would be fine to go around everyone else, except for these precious new born babies and anyone with a compromised immune system, just to be extra safe. So, I spent it alone, in my bedroom, in the dark. It was great fun. But, it is a memory I won’t soon forget. I also missed Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve…………..when it rains it pours. I’m still recovering from the bout of depression I was blessed with as a direct result of having such a wonderful holiday season this year. But, this too shall pass……because it always does………………….I’m impatiently waiting. I was patient about it long enough and my patience have worn thin. I’ve only gotten to hold my new granddaughter’s one time, the day after they were born, in the hospital, and they were born on Nov. 28th. 2 days before my birthday. They were the best early birthday gift I’ve ever received. They were scheduled to be born by c-section on Nov. 30th, but this baby girls wanted to have their own birthday, so they kicked and clawed until they ruptured the sac they’d been growing in for almost 9 months. So, there birthday is Nov. 28th, my mom’s is Nov. 29th, and mine is Nov. 30th……..that is gonna be a full week of partying, right there………They also have a 4 year old, big brother. I’ve never gone this long without seeing him and I am seriously about to go into withdrawals. He is the cutest, most compassionate little guy, and he’s only just turned 4. I have to be careful as to what I say around him in regards to how I may be feeling at the moment because he gets really concerned and worried if Ma, as he calls me…he is just so cute, is sick. So, with all this time alone with nothing better to do, I’ve been brushing up on my acting skills. Hope you’re having a “decent” day. Sorry, I forgot…..I thought I was writing a book for a minute, there…………………..I could just ramble on and on and on and on……………………yeah, I know, you noticed. On that note, Peace out! 🙂 Now, I don’t have it in me to proof read this, so I hope it makes sense because it is 5:11 a.m. and I’ve not been to sleep yet……..

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