Thursday, December 31, 2020

Time to turn the page

Here's the moment we've all been waiting for -- the end of 2020!!  This certainly has been a crazy year for everyone.  Hurricanes... COVID... closures and cancellations galore.  Obviously the effects of the pandemic is unlike anything any of us have ever experienced.  I never would have imagined that school would have closed and all activities cancelled.  Or that the norm would be to go out with your face covered.  

The biggest blow for us was Clint losing his job of 27 years over this mess.  We're fine, but we haven't seen a paycheck since May.  Again, we are truly fine, but we were spoiled for those big oilfield paychecks rolling in every month. Being laid off in some ways was a blessing because they had backed Clint into a corner and the only way out was to leave.  It also forced him to go on the new adventure of becoming a Realtor.  He's working hard to make it work but it's been lots of dead ends.  (Shameless plug: If you need a realtor anywhere in the USA let us know!!  Clint can refer you to someone in your area!!)  Hoping for some serious clients and to close some deals in 2021!! At least Clint is much happier and less stressed.  No more traveling or being gone for weeks at a time or spending 4 hours driving to/from the office.  

Other good things:  We got to go to Disney World and see Valerie march with the high school band.  Everything shut down two weeks after we returned.  We went to the beach in Gulf Shores, AL.  Valerie got chosen for talented and gifted and aced her audition.  Veronica pursued her theater dream.  We got adopted by a stray mamma cat.   

I'll be ringing in the New Year with my little family of four.  It's been ages since we have gone out for New Year's Eve and I like spending it at home with the kids.  Before too long they will be off doing their own thing.  We're supposed to get some severe weather tonight - what else can be expected from 2020!  It should move out by 11pm.  We picked up a bit of fireworks and hope to set them off when there's breaks in the weather.  

Y'all be sure to eat your black eyed peas and cabbage tomorrow!!!   My hope for 2021 is that all of this settles down and we can get back to living again. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Wordless Wednesday ~ 2020 going out with a bang

 




Sunday, December 27, 2020

UN-Christmasing

 I spent yesterday afternoon packing up Christmas and finished all but the bare tree today.  As soon as Clint gets the box out of storage, the tree will be put away also.  A lot of people leave their trees up and convert it to a Mardi Gras tree.  I've thought about doing it but never did.  Mardi Gras is pretty much cancelled for 2021, so it's probably not the year to start!  While I do like my Christmas things, it starts to feel somewhat cluttered after a while.  It's nice to get back to the normal level of cluttered - haha! 



I bought myself a Roomba from Kohl's on Black Friday.  It was $217 and I got back $60 in Kohl's cash which I used to get some things for the kids.  I was skeptical but it was fairly cheap for a Roomba.  I've been running the Roomba once or twice a day and I have noticed a difference in the cat hair.  Even though we don't have any carpet, with three cats it can get pretty bad so I vacuum the whole house almost every day.  I did some deep cleaning while packing away Christmas today, and my Dyson didn't have as much junk in the cannister as usual.  It's only been a few days but I'm impressed.  The downside is that it is rather noisy and seems to just randomly wander around the house and misses a lot of places.  

In the middle of typing this I got a text from my neighbor.  I looked after their pets last week while they visited her son and granddaughters in Florida.  It seems the son that they spent five days with now has Covid!!  I saw the neighbors on Christmas Eve when I returned their key and dropped off a gift.  Of course in the back of my mind I'm thinking this is why people were told to stay home for the holidays.  Let me go down some vitamin D and C and elderberry.


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Happy Boxing Day!

 December 26 has always been my favorite shopping day of the year.  Half price day!!!  Most years I'd stock up on body wash and shampoo gift sets.  I actually still have several bottles of shampoo/conditioner that I bought half price last year!  Of course it's also the best day to buy lights for the outside of the house.  With the exception of a few strings, everything we use for the light show was bought on clearance.  There were slim pickings this year.  Not sure if it's covid related or what, but there weren't hardly any lights left at all three Walmarts by us.  I did pick up some Secret deodorant gift sets and all the baking supplies were half off also, so I stocked up on chocolate chips since I bake cookies several times a week.  I will probably go to Target in the next day or so just to see what's left.  

Christmas was quiet for us and not much different than any other year even during these times.  We have not gone anywhere for Christmas in over a decade now.  Since my Dad passed in 2011, we've had guests over on Christmas once.  In some ways it's nice because we don't have to do anything we don't want to do.  The kids can sleep in and we can take our time cooking or whatever.  

Christmas Eve we had our usual party food of finger sandwiches, meatballs & sausage, chips/dip, devilled eggs, crackers and cheese, and cookies.  Then the kids opened their gifts under the tree.  I shopped for myself this year and bought a new Fitbit and a Roomba.  Clint bought himself a firepit and some tools.  Both girls said they still wanted Santa to pass because it was fun getting up at midnight to see what he had left.  Santa did not bring very much this year.  Veronica mostly wanted books, so that is what she got.  Valerie asked for a few small things and well she just did just get a car so....  










I won't lie - I'm sad the Santa days are over.  I may or may not have shed a few tears thinking of years past. I miss seeing those excited little faces on Christmas morning.....  

Christmas Day Clint cooked dinner.  I had announced last week I was not cooking.  I did all the work for Thanksgiving and I wasn't spending all of Christmas in the kitchen.  Clint took over which was a nice break for me and did a fabulous job roasting a spatchcocked turkey, a ham and all the sides.  We had a mid afternoon Christmas dinner and pretty much did nothing all day!!  

Counting down.... just five more days left of 2020!!  

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!!

 Merry Christmas, everyone!!  


















Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve!!

 I'm feeling a little nostalgic this Christmas Eve.  Don't we all think about Christmases past this time of year?!  One of the things we've done my entire life is take pictures in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.  When I was little, we'd get dressed up and open gifts under the tree.  Then we'd go to my grandma's for the big family celebration.  But before any of that, we took pictures in front of the Christmas tree.  Just me.  Then me and Dad.  Then me and Mom.  When I was old enough to use the camera I snapped a rare photo or two of Mom and Dad together.  Now I do the same with my family, only we have the magic of digital cameras and take many, many more!!  The kids get annoyed and don't want to take a bunch of pictures.  I tell them that someday they will appreciate these moments frozen in time someday as much as I do. 

My Mom long before I was born


my first Christmas


















Not in front the tree, but it was Christmas Eve and the last pictures with all six of us.  My Mom left us the next summer. 


 

And finally the only picture of me and Santa there is!  I was terrified of any Santa and this was at some kind of church event.  My friends took a picture first and so I decided I would do it.  




Merry Christmas Eve my friends!!!  

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Eve of Christmas Eve!

I think my ValGal had a great 16th birthday!  A couple of her friends came over to spend the night.  We had a house full of giggling teenage girls.  Fun times!  They had pizza and watched movies.  As Val requested, I made a red velvet birthday cake.  I still can't believe my baby is 16!  








Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!  Today I plan to catch up on a bit of housework and bake a batch or two of cookies.  There's a cold front heading this way so we're under a severe weather watch, but that also means temps will drop from 70 degrees today to 30 degrees by tomorrow.  It's been quite sometime since it's been that cold on Christmas.  We'll actually have to put on the heater instead of the air conditioner!

Monday, December 21, 2020

How Sweet is Sixteen

Sixteen years have gone by in a blink!  It seems like we just brought our little baby girl Valerie home from the hospital.  We were such clueless new parents.  I had never fed, bathed, or changed a baby in my life!  We figured it all out in time.  My Mom and dad came over Christmas Eve and spent the night.  It snowed on Christmas Day.  The last time it had snowed before that was in 1989.  Sweet memories of our first days as a family of three.  


She grew up terribly fast.... 




Now she's sixteen!!!  


And SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!  







This has been a hard secret to keep.  It's been sitting at the dealership since November 13.  Early this morning, Clint and I picked it up and parked it in the driveway.  I carefully wrapped four boxes of clues. 

1.  The empty window decal backing from Val's high school band (She was saving the sticker for when she got her own car.  So I put the sticker on this morning and gave her the blank backing.)

2.  Her fav Little Trees air freshener 

3.  A personalized keychain

4.  The keys 

It was a bit anti-climatic as when she got to the key fob she was speechless and all she did was point at me in disbelief!  I think she was shell shocked and she didn't know what to do or say.  Now to teach her how to drive and get comfortable enough so she can get a license hopefully by this summer!  

Happy 16th birthday my dear ValGal.  Love you!