Saturday, November 24, 2012

And So It Begins.......

Ready or not it is that time.....that wonderful, happy, hectic, frazzling Christmas season!  I am so excited for Christmas this year.  I am not sure if it is for the respite (however brief) from "real" life, the search for the perfect job, the struggle with not worrying about what the next year will bring tax wise and health care wise or what but I am so filled with holiday cheer and peace right now!

Of course, as I write this, I am sitting here quietly enjoying a latte and haven't yet eaten Thanksgiving dinner!  I am sure later today when I begin to lug boxes from the attic and fight the good fight hanging Christmas lights my joviality may wane but for now I am convinced I will breeze through the season with a smile (okay folks, I hear your snickering).  Maybe I should say I intend to give having a calm demeanor and a happy, thankful attitude my all!

I have no intention of braving the crowds tonight or tomorrow in search of the holy grail of gifts.  I plan to blast Christmas music and swath myself in garland and ribbon till this place is virtually a Christmas Wonderland.....then I plan to click and shop until at least mid-week next week.  Then and only then do I plan to grace any retail establishments with my presence.  See, I have a plan on how to keep my cool!

No, I am not going to think about the 3 painting projects on my paint desk that remain unfinished, or the wreath that was oh, so simple and has now eaten a week of my life.  I refuse to even entertain the fact the although I had completely cleaned up leaves in the yard not once, but twice this year I should go back to the yard to work.  Lastly, today I will NOT think about the fact that since I didn't cook Thanksgiving dinner, I did not go to the grocery and the cupboards are bare,  We will simply live on holiday spirit and bread and water for at least a few days.  There is no way my positive holiday karma could hold up against the bunny slipper, sleep pant wearing Walmart shoppers this weekend.

Saturday 11:30 am. 

Thanksgiving dinner was good but not great.....I'm sorry, as much as I enjoyed no dishes it just wasn't the same as home :(   Mini was thrilled with it but I think she is going to be disappointed, since I just don't see us going out next year.

There has been no swathing myself in ribbon or completion of a Christmas Wonderland to report.  I did manage to complete the outdoor decorating on Thanksgiving Day and to drag out the trees for the kitchen and almost finish my gingerbread wreath......but drag out it all I have done!  My zeal diminished greatly right after two dozen trips up and down the stairs with boxes and an hour spent digging in the "Christmas Place" in the attic for a box of lights I KNOW I purchased last year.

I managed to avoid shopping yesterday, but today Mini and The Nana are both wanting to shop so we are about to head out.  I know I am being a real drag since I really don't want to fight people and most of what I need to do I can do online.  I think getting hooked on online shopping was a bad thing because now I REALLY don't want to hit the malls.

Oh, did I mention it is freezing outside?  After 72 on Thanksgiving, ,the high today is 42.  I really don't "do" 42.  I need at least a week to adjust to a temperature drop.

Okay, enough whining, well almost enough.   Man or Mini apparently do not live by bread (or the Christmas Spirit) alone, so I won't even mention that tomorrow I will have to brave The Place That Shall not be Named (after church since I will need strength) to purchase something other than bread for the bare cupboards.   Truthfully, I am trying to retain that happy, calm holiday euphoria I had early on Thanksgiving morning....I mean, I lit a Christmas candle (I know it is somewhere in this decorating mess spread all over the house)!

  Are you accomplishing everything you thought you would this holiday weekend?  Is your decorating done?  Are your presents wrapped?  If so, good for you!  Enjoy yourself and have a great day but don't tell me!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving - Something to Think About

Good morning all!  I hope each of you enjoys at blessed Thanksgiving however you are celebrating today. 

Today is the first Thanksgiving in 27 years I didn't wake up to a long list of things to accomplish and the smell of turkey.    Due to several circumstances I decided to take the year off this year and we will go out to eat. 

I felt completely out of sorts yesterday and today just feels strange.  I haven't been covered in flour, and spots of this and that for days, and I didn't get up exhausted but frantic to finish everything.  I would love to say it feels good, but it just feels strange! 

Mini is over the moon about the whole thing.  She has begun pretty outspoken over the whole inequality of the holiday.  She has real problems and opinions about the fact that women cook for days and then do dishes for a day after Thanksgiving, and then the men just enjoy the meal and then lie about and complain about how full they are while watching football.   I suppose she is right, I do tend to treat preparing Thanksgiving dinner like labor and forget the pain of it all as soon as the last piece of china is put away!

So, as I loll about this morning (hey, maybe I will actually sit and watch a parade!) contemplating the decorating I will start later today and driving the family nuts, I will leave you with these thoughts.

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
I Chronicles 16:34

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Now that I have had time to think about it, I believe I will probably whip up some Chicken and Dressing and a vegetable or two for us to have for dinner tonight. I just can't imagine everybody not searching for the leftovers about 7 tonight!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Something to Think About

The man who does things makes mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all - doing nothing.
                                                  - Benjamin Franklin

Enjoy a great weekend while you ponder!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Visitors from Afar and A Mountain Trip with a touch of Christmas

Last week BDJ was home for a visit, Mini was on Fall break and Wonder Hubby took the week off.   It was a great week but filled with too many activities.  Truthfully, we were worn out.

He brought home his girlfriend for us to meet.  First time he has been home since last March and bringing home someone special made for a nerve racking time! lol  Thankfully that turned out well.

We always try and get the whole family together when he comes in and this time was no different.  We planned a huge cookout with family and friends.  We picked BDJ and friend up at the airport a 1 am, drove home, visited for a bit (oh yeah, I stayed up another 2 hours with the dog thanks to storms) got in bed at 4:30 am.  Up at 8 when a friend of Wonder Hubby's brought his giant smoker over.  I think the timing of the cookout was questionable don't ya'll?    Sadly, it was such cooking chaos (or maybe lack of sleep) I got NO PICS of Wonder Hubby doing that southern pork smoking thing! 

Mini and BDJ....I know they are glad to see each other.
The Nana, BDJ and P

I did happen to catch Wonder Hubby playing corn hole..hmmmm maybe his smoking meat wasn't as big a job as he made it seem?

Wonder Hubby and best bud Fred in action

BDJ, Dad and P

That's right even I found a little time to play!
It was freezing pretty cool outside but everyone seemed to enjoy hanging out and playing corn hole.  We had a couple of serious corn hole games going outside and football inside and lots of food.  All in all it was pretty awesome (must have been since some folks didn't leave until 1 am.).   We had great food....thanks to all the family for contributing! It allowed me to have some time to enjoy and not just slave in the kitchen :)  

This is the only pic of food I took!  Yummy cocktail weenies wrapped in bacon!  Hands down favorite...thanks Nana.  Yikes, I have to start chilling out and take the time to take pictures.  What a shame to have that much beautiful food and no pics! 

Next morning we packed up and headed to Gatlinburg for a couple of days in the mountains.  I was so excited to take in the fall colors and awesome views.  Day one was cloudy and drizzly but that was okay since we were all exhausted.

Our chalet was so cozy.  Lots of wood, stone fireplace and huge wraparound porch.

Love the stone on the peninsula.

  Day two......pouring rain and fog!  Mini, Wonder Hubby and I were disappointed but BDJ and friend were thrilled.  BDJ has only seen rain a half dozen times in a year and a half in Vegas.  We drove up the mountain to see some awesome views fog.

Believe it or not there is a beautiful mountain behind the kids.

Wonder Hubby insisted on pictures of us.....naturally since on this day I let the hair go all natural and didn't fight the humidity!

We gave up on seeing any stunning mountain views and headed off to Pigeon Forge.  Had lunch at Big Daddy's Wood Grilled Pizza.  Great pizza but pricey, yikes!

 Then we visited the Titanic exhibit.  I hate that you can't take any pictures but trust me if you have any interest in history you will enjoy all aspects of this exhibit.  Plan to take your time there is lots of reading but it is fascinating.

After that, off to The Christmas Place.  I completely lose my mind in this place.  There is just so much Christmas I could spend 3 days there.  Here are a few pics of my favorites.

Wonder Hubby has a huge nutcracker collection so we had to study these close in case we need to add a new one! lol  We did not purchase one this trip but Wonder Hubby is taking Mini and I back Thanksgiving weekend to spend the night at The Inn at Christmas Place (I can hardly contain my excitement!) so I will have another chance.

I loved the organic elements on this tree and adored this little bird with hat and scarf.

We had absoutely no room in the 4runner or this baby would have been hanging over my fireplace tonight.

I think by now everyone knows I am Christmas crazy so I am always adding trees or changing themes.  I have been working on a ocean themed tree but this door decor with flamingo and shells made me think it might make a great tree.

I love elves yet I don't have a tree of them.  Guess I need to add one of those too!

Candy and a Snowman....heaven :)
I really need this 3 ft tall gingerbread beauty to sit beside my gingerbread tree.

More stunning nutcrackers, I love the pastels.

The winter wonderland tree was stunning in white and blue.
My favorite part of shopping at The Christmas Place......the village room.
When I first started coming here Halloween villages didn't exist. 
When they first displayed Halloween they had only a couple of haunted houses and a gypsy wagon....look at it now!
So many spooky houses and creepy characters.  I love it, right down to the little bitty lighted jack-o-lanterns.
Of course there are the traditional villages.
The diner is just precious!  Oh heck they all are and I want them all.
So as I skip wander about completely engrossed in this miniature world I see Wonder Hubby with this face....
This is his "oh no she is going to want it all face."  At first glance it just looked like more village until I saw the sign above his head.
Yes, it says Merry Grinchmas!  For those of you that don't know...I LOVE THE GRINCH.  I mean love, love, love it.  Watch the cartoon version and movie multiple times per Whoville was a dream.  Funny thing was, about the time I spotted it BDJ (who had by the way, escaped this area before I saw it) called me on the phone to tell me and sell his dad out!
This is was cute.  It was complete with plenty of Who's, The Grinch and even had Mt. Crumpet.  I was so well behaved and didn't purchase a single thing.  I mean just because we were packed like sardines on the trip up and couldn't fit another thing in might have played a part.  I suppose the fact that we are going back in November might also have been a factor, but I prefer to look at it as an excellent job of self control.   After this area was discovered, everyone was about getting me out of the place asap!
The whole trip was such a treat and despite the drizzle, clouds and fog we enjoyed it very much.

How bad can it be when you are able to have all your family with you? 

Wonder Hubby and BDJ
Thanks for taking a wee little trip with us!