Friday, December 30, 2022

I Need A Little Help From My Friends

 I warn you... this is gonna be lengthy. 

I seem to be confused about life right now. In one week I will have my 89th birthday. Life is changing so rapidly and with change comes challenges. 

I am in good health, my mind is good but I don't know the woman I am during certain periods of time. 

Take Christmas for example. I used to love Christmas but now the holidays brings anxiety and unrest within me. I don't know what is happening nor how to fix it. I thought perhaps you, my dear friends here on Blogger, might help me with my puzzle.

I seem to get little joy out of Christmas. I dread having to chose what to get everyone (my children, grands and great-grands number 24 now) That's a lot to have to figure out. Mostly I give gift cards. The great-grands get money but I love giving my CHILDREN a real gift. 

I no longer cook so there isn't that chore to tire me. But this year the spirit of Christmas never landed at my door. I did not play Christmas music. I did not watch any tv shows geared to the season. It seemed like I couldn't wait until all the hullabaloo was over and done with. I guess you could call me 'Mrs. Scrooge'.

I've tried to figure this out. 

1. Are my expectations set too high? 

2. Am I expecting the holidays to be wild and exciting like when my children were small?

3. Have I become a crotchety old lady? Where did my love of laughter and fun go?

4. Are there too many demands put on my aging body and mind?

5. Is my schedule all askew? I know I have a clearer mind and attitude when I stick to my schedule?

Are others that are in the older realm of life, experiencing these same feelings? And, what do I do about it!!

I don't want to dread Christmas! I have always loved it. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

A Different Kind of Christmas

 Well, it's about over and it was fun while it lasted. 

                 There were gifts to open

Shirley 'taking down' her youngest grandson. 

The proverbial figuring out how things are put together

After gift-opening instead of the usual meal, there was cookie making for Tuesday's trip over to my granddaughters who couldn't make it 'home' for Christmas Day. 

Michael and Shirley rolling up dough for the cookie balls.

And making 'dreams' which are dates wrapped in dough and baked. Yummy

       Sausage balls being prepared for baking.

A different kind of Christmas day but a good one, nonetheless. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Homemade Snow, sort of.

 Today was the first of three Christmas get-togethers for us. 

Those that could, met at Shirley and John's for brunch, then we opened presents. It's so hard to get everyone all in one place at one time anymore.

The temperature was 13 degrees when we headed to their house. Perfect weather for John to drag out his snow-making machine so the grandsons could play in the snow. But, alas, the compressor took out on him before he got much snow made. 

He and grandson Dylan went out to stand in the output so they could be covered in snow but the compressor wasn't working properly so they got sprayed with freezing water! They had fun anyway. 

Tomorrow it will be cold, maybe even colder. We'll head back up to Shirleys to spend the day, open presents we give each other and make cookie balls (a big tradition in this family). 

Tuesday we will all head over to the Eastern Shore to my granddaughter's for more Christmas fun. 

Hope you all are enjoying your family and this special holy, holiday season. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

End of an Era

 An era has come to an end! After 40 years of baking for the public, Shirley has hung up her apron! 

Yesterday was her final day. I drove up to be there for the momentous occasion. Michael was there as well and Brittany and Dylan came in, too. 

Elbert and I drove up from Alabama for years to help at Easter and Christmas (her rush times). Brittany and Chris have helped their mother since they were knee high to a grasshopper. After retirement, Michael has driven up to help as well. And, Dylan (age 11) is pretty good at cookie making, too. 

We girls played Roll the Snowman 

while Michael and Dylan played chess. 

This was done between  customers arriving! Then the guys headed outside to blow off some steam!

Night fell. The last bag of cookies was picked up and Shirley closed down shop. 

It feels strange and yet exciting. We are anxious to find out what comes next! 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Whoops, wrong holiday


                      Talk about being embarrassed!!

Last year I stuck some cards in my neighbors doors but I never made it to one of the doors. I stuck that undelivered card in my 'card box'.

Fast forward to this year. Again I made cards to stick in doorframes. I'm thinking, Oh, I won't have to make one for the couple I missed so I just grabbed it out of the card box and went out to leave my Christmas cheer for friends. 

Later that day I get a text message from my friend I missed giving a card to last year. Here's what it said:

"Thank you for much for the Valentine card. You made my day."

Gee whiz... it wasn't Christmas that I'd been that 'good neighbor' for last year... I'd passed out Valentines in 2021. And, I'd grabbed up that old card thinking it was a Christmas card. 

             You know what I am going to do?

Come Valentine's Day, I am gonna fix up a pretty Christmas card and leave it at her door. 

    Hey, maybe I could start a new trend!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Baby, It's Cold Outside

 Not much going on around here. Shirley's busy with her Christmas cookie orders (4000+ baked, dipped and decorated) that her customers think they have to have this time of year. I'm just staying outta her way!! 

I am slow about some things. Now, I didn't say ALL THINGS, just a few. And, catching onto the Elf on the Shelf idea I think traveled around the world before it got to me. Maybe it was because I didn't have an elf... any way.... I'm catching up. 

                                   Here's my facebook entry for today:

Elf has been out in the snow helping Santa with chores and got very cold. So, he popped down to my house to warm his butt from the flame of my candle. 

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 10, 2022

This Elf Is Not On The Shelf

 We were so happy to see Santa and Mrs. Claus stop in for our Christmas potluck last night. We all had our pictures made with them ....

Then, here comes one of our residents, Jan, dressed as an elf. She got a bunch of attention. 

Bill, bless his heart (you can tell I am southern saying that) just follows her around like a love-sick puppy dog. I think they've been married about 10 years. Just still honeymooners according to my calculations... Today Elbert and I would be celebrating our 72nd wedding anniversary... if he was still here. So, yeah, Bill and Jan are newbies at marriage to each other.

We had tons of food... I came home hurting, my tummy was so full. I ate seconds!! I don't ever do that! But, hey, if you don't cook it, it's twice as good, maybe three times. 

The spirit is perking right along here at Centerbrooke. This afternoon we will have carolers in our courtyard. 

I delivered Christmas cards to my friends here, sticking them in their door to be discovered later. 

                              I leave you with more scenes from last night. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Happy Sounds of Christmas

                                  Firelogs blazing, music playing....

We decorated for Christmas yesterday in the Centerbrooke community room.

I can't remember when we have had a more festive, nor noisy, group in that room! 

Let the spirit of Christmas settle in each of our hearts! Let love abound!

and, amid all the hullabaloo of us women, there sat Bill quietly putting a puzzle together.

Oh, and my main job was untangling all the wire hangers that had been thrown in a box. And, of course, taking pictures!

Friday, December 2, 2022

And the World Go Round and Round

             My hair needs trimming - bad!

Had an appointment this morning and had to cancel it. Vertigo is being a pain in the butt! I hate it. Even though my episode was night before last I didn't feel comfortable enough driving to get me to the hair dressers this morning. That sucks! 

I even thought... is this the time where I give up driving. I am increasingly nervous about getting behind the wheel. And, that sucks, as well. It's awful thinking about giving up independence, having to rely on others for basic things like getting your hair cut, for gosh sakes.

       I guess you can tell I am in a TWIT this morning... 

 It'll pass I am sure... the Twit I mean. Not so sure about the condition. 

Some time back I did a scrapbook page about BALANCE!! 

        Thought it was a good time to share it. 

P. S. Just found out that the beauty shop here at the Commons will be reopening the first of the year. 
Just when I needed it so badly. I can just ride the elevator down one floor, walk a few steps and I can get my hair done! Hallelujah. 

Merry Christmas 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Smell of Gingerbread

            There's the smell of gingerbread in the air.

Well, not really, not yet, but it's that time of year when people start thinking about gingerbread houses and Sugarplum fairies, twinkling lights and gifts under a tree. Christmas is creeping down the chimney.

Years ago dau. Shirley started adding gingerbread houses to her Christmas goodies for sale at Shirley Anne's Bake Shop. 

I'd never made a gingerbread house and here I was, 54 years old. I decided I didn't need to wait any longer. So, I made my very first... and I might add, only gingerbread house. 

My idea of gingerbread didn't come in the shape of a house. It was the smell of a cake baking in my Mother's oven. Gingerbread, warm and toasty, slathered with lemon sauce. There just isn't anything better! 

People can sit their gingerbread houses out to look at, dust settling on the icing decorated shingles and sticking to the gumdrops and candy canes. If that's what they want to do. 

Me... Just sit me down with a plate of my Mama's gingerbread. With her gone now, I carry on the tradition for Christmas. Below you will find her recipe, just as she wrote it so many years ago. I hope you'll try it and enjoy! 

                           Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Preparing For The Winter!

 I've been....

I want to share with you what has kept me busy. I'm like a squirrel getting ready for the winter! 

The other day I cleaned out my freezer. This being an apartment, all I have in the way of freezer space is that area above my fridge. Not much, but enough I guess. 

Anyway, my packages would get all scrambled around and I couldn't find anything!

Since a lot of my food is frozen in those quart (or pint, just depending) ziplock bags, I got this idea that if I could keep them in a box, just maybe they'd stay put. Couldn't find a blooming thing in this apartment that they'd fit into..... except an empty shoe box. Hey, if it works....

And, I froze some veggies that I had in the crisper. Heaven only knows I let a lot of food go to waste... 'cause I can't eat it all before it goes bad. 
I froze some carrots, celery and red peppers. 

I'd get so upset when I would buy lemons... I never had any when I needed them! 

So, I buy a bag now. Juice them all. Pour some juice into small freezer bags and when I want some juice to add to tea, put in a dish, sprinkle over avacado or other fruit, I just pop the bag against the countertop and the juice breaks into pieces. I reach in and get what i want and put the rest back in the freezer for later. 

Let's see. Oh, this morning I got a lot of Christmas cards addressed and stamped. They are lying on the entry table ready to be mailed. 

and, I reorganized my pantry! 

We had our family Thanksgiving dinner last Sunday so tomorrow I plan on watching the Macy's Day Parade. Maybe I'll follow that up with the Dog Show from Madison Square Garden. Elbert and I used to watch that! 

Life is good. It's what you make it!