Thursday, December 31, 2009

For Auld Lang Syne

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,and days of old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
Till next year, I wish you a HAPPY, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Movie vs. Book

So today I did nothing. I got dressed and ready to go to the grocery store. Never made it. I planned to have spaghetti for supper tonight, but the closest I came to it was getting the jar of sauce out of the pantry. I decided that if today ended up being a do-nothing day, then it would be fine with me. I didn't have anything pressing to do, so I took advantage of having a full day with nothing to do.

Yesterday was disastrous. I got my new "tooth". I hate it. It's not painful -- well, I mean, relatively speaking. It's making me gag sometimes. Oh, and then there's the bracket poking my gum. And then there's the little issue of taking it out. It feels like it's going to rip the million dollars' worth of dental work I've had done right out of my mouth. Other than those "small" things, it's not bad at all. The $3500 implant is looking better and better.

Then there was a little mixup at Blockbuster that ended up with us owning this movie that I had been wanting to see.

So I snuggled up with my favorite blanket and wasted the afternoon away watching this movie. I will advise you that, unless you want to be thoroughly depressed, don't watch the movie. One of my favorite actresses, Abigail Breslin, of Little Miss Sunshine, was outstanding. And Cameron Diaz was great too. Sofia Vassilieva, whom I had never heard of, was so good too.

Now, this movie was based on a book written by Jodi Picoult. I started the book a good while back, but didn't finish it. I have learned since that if I had finished it, I would have been very disappointed with the movie. Have any of you read the book or seen the movie? Besides Karla, of course. I know she's seen the movie and probably read the book at least once.
Here's what I'm reading now.
I'm only on about page 50, but so far I'm loving it. You may remember that I have a vested interest in this book. Back in June when we were on vacation at Tybee, Miley Cyrus was there filming the movie.

Because I know Miley's role and I saw some of the sets, it's making the book so much more fun to read. And I cannot wait until April 2, 2010 to see the movie. If you want a sneak peek, just go here to see the movie trailer. You can actually see Lighthouse Pointe where we stay. So cool. I hope I won't be disappointed in the movie after reading the book. Do you usually like the book or the movie better?
So what's everyone doing for New Year's eve? The party we're going to is serving appetizers. Did anybody make one or try something someone else made that you loved? I want to take something different, but can't think of a thing. I'll probably end up getting Buffalo wings. You can't go wrong with those. And they don't have to stay hot to stay tasty.
I'm off to continue brushing up on my Spades skills.
Till next time.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Ending

As the popular saying goes, all's well that ends well. And if you're a Georgia bulldog fan, that's how we feel tonight, right? The '09 season wasn't always pretty, but it sure was fun. And I'm gonna miss it. Yeah, there will be signing day in February. And the spring game in April, but the weekends are gonna be a little less exciting until September 2010.

Got back to work today. Just did some office work, but it was work just the same. Tonight we've been watching the game and I've been brushing up on my Spades skills. We're spending New Year's Eve with some family and friends playing Spades. I haven't played in at least a year, and since I'm not too good in the first place, I need lots of practice so I don't embarrass myself or my sugar. He's very competitive, you know.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

When the Dog Bites, When the Bee Stings

When I'm feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things. And then I don't feel so bad.

Love that song. And after Christmas 2009, I have so many more memories and things to add to my favorite things list.

I know I wasn't good enough this year to deserve these beautiful gifts. But I loved each and every thing that I got and made many new memories. It was such a nice Christmas, mostly stressfree and just so enjoyable.
We did all of the traditional things that we always do, but this year we added a couple of things that I enjoyed so much. I hope they will become annual ones.

Christmas Eve morning Cam was at a friend's house where he had spent the night. Ross had to work a little while that morning. It was just Jeff and me. We decided to go to Chick-fil-A for a big breakfast. They had their breakfast buffet and it was just perfect. I ate so much for breakfast that I didn't eat anything else until I ate supper. While we were there, I had the nicest surprise. Ross called and asked what we were doing there, that he was in the parking lot. As it turned out, P-nut, Jeff's brother and Ross's boss, brought all his work crew there for breakfast. I enjoyed seeing my boy there.

On Christmas Eve before we go to my dad's family get-together, the boys, Jeff and I open gifts that we get for each other. Jeff and I put just one thing under the tree for the boys to open. And the boys buy a gift for their dad and me. Then they get a little something for each other and Jeff and I buy a few things to exchange with each other. This year we decided to open the gifts we got each other on Christmas morning instead of Christmas Eve. I liked doing it that way much more.
I love that picture of me and Jeff. I look like I'm forcing him to kiss me, don't I?
As soon as we were done, then we headed over to my church fellowship hall for the Howell Christmas with my aunts, uncles and cousins. We always do finger foods, so there was lots of good stuff to eat. Most notably, Cindy's homemade candy. Buckeye balls and Oreo truffles. Oh, my heaven. They were SO good.
We were there for a couple of hours, then off to my mom and dad's. Crystal, Suz and me got these scarves, gloves and hats from my dad. He actually did all of his own shopping this year. Thankfully. In years past he's asked me to do it for him. On Christmas Eve.
Eli's gift was the very first present I bought. After he opened it, he said that he had been wanting that toy for 84 years. HA! I'm pretty sure he liked it.
We came home from there pretty late. Then we had to force the boys to go to bed so we could make the magic that is Santa Claus.
Cam set his alarm and got up at 8 o'clock. He woke Jeff and me before he actually looked through his stuff. Just like he was a little boy. That's always been the rule. No peeking till everyone is in there. He woke Ross up. They got several things they weren't expecting, but most of it I think they were hoping they would get. Kinda helps when you make a list, huh?
We were all tired, so after the boys looked through their Santa Claus stuff and Jeff and I exchanged gifts, we all went back to bed.
When we got up, we cooked the squash casserole that I had made the day before and the rolls we had set out to rise and headed back to my mom and dad's for the best meal of the year. Christmas dinner.
My mom is the single best cook in the world. And her Christmas dinner is her best performance of the year. She made the turkey and it took these three amateur carvers to carve it.
Neither of the three of them had a clue what they were doing. Thank goodness, it doesn't matter how it's carved, it's still delicious.

I'm 44 and Santa still stops by my mom and dad's house. He brought me so many nice things. One of my favorites was a set of windchimes. But he brought me several things that will look so nice outside when it warms back up.

Then for the Christmas finale, we head to Ronnie and Nan's to exchange gifts with Jeff's family. Yet more good food. Here are a couple of pictures of me with the boys.

Ross has been quite a bit taller than Jeff for years now. Cam's just about taller. And they're both lots taller than me. But I promise, they're our boys. And their dad isn't a milkman, even though they are built nothing like Jeff. Just genes I guess.

So after an exhausting day and a good night's sleep, I decided to put away all the decorations and take down the tree. I didn't plan on doing it. I just couldn't stand knowing that I would have it to do later, so I went ahead and bit the bullet and did it all. I started around 10 this morning and I think we were finally finished around 5 this afternoon. It's just a huge job, that's for sure. I wouldn't have minded leaving them up a little longer. I wasn't tired of them at all, but my OCD got the best of me. I got so hot working and I put on a T-shirt. When I was undecorating the cedar tree in the front yard, the cedar tree's pokey things scratched me all up. I'm so short and I was leaning into the tree taking down balls, so I got little pokes on my face. It feels like a sunburn. I'm stinging like crazy. Note to self. Wear sleeves when working with greenery and don't wait till you're almost finished to get the step ladder. Other than that, there were no mishaps, no falls and best of all, no tears. Last year I almost had an emotional breakdown putting away my decorations. I get too sentimental sometimes.

Tonight we're just watching some of the bowl games. I can't believe the stupid commercials they're playing. So far I've seen an advertisement for a designer Snuggie and some kind of funky thing for trimming your cat's nails. I'm sure you can check out your local As Seen on TV store if either those sound like something you need.

Christmas 2009 was so nice. Lots of fun, food and family. Three of my favorite things.

I hope your Christmas was filled with all your favorite things so that when the dog bites or the bee stings you, you too can look back on this Christmas and not feel so bad.

Till next time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve's Eve

December 23rd. Is it a busy day for you or a relaxing one? Are you ready for the big day? Are your stockings stuffed? Have you gotten your grocery shopping done for your Christmas dinner? I haven't.

Today I had my tooth extracted, but my temporary tooth wasn't ready, so I'll still have a gap in my mouth. I just don't even care anymore. It is what it is.

Jeff and I are going out grocery shopping later and then I'm gonna get my cooking started. I don't want to have a whole lot to do tomorrow. I'd like to start relaxing and enjoying my Christmas. I'm excited and ready for the fun. Can't wait to see all the kids' excitement. I know I used to be beside myself with excitement.

Christmas Eve when I was a little girl was so much fun. We'd go over to MaMa and PaPa Howell's and exchange gifts with all of our cousins. We have a very big family and every person was there. There was probably 25 people in that living room. It wasn't big either. And MaMa always had a tree. All the grownups brought finger foods and desserts. We'd eat, visit a little and then open the presents. I tell ya, it seems like that living room and really, the whole house just stretched to accommodate everyone. It never seemed crowded. It was just perfectly comfortable. The old gas heater kept everyone warm. Sometimes maybe a little too much. But it was wonderful.

After we left there, we'd just come home, exchange gifts between each other and get ready for bed. One year I remember that we went to visit our elderly neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts. My dad and Mr. Roberts had several glasses of egg nog, with extra nog. I vividly remember thinking that we weren't going to make it home before Santa would be coming down the chimney. Suz, Crystal and I were as anxious as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Oh, what a sweet memory of that night I have.

I can also remember as a little girl standing at my bedroom window looking for Santa's sleigh. I honestly thought there were a few times that I heard the sleigh bells. On Christmas Eve mama would let us sleep with the candles that you put in your window on. The bulbs were orange. That was so special to us to be able to sleep with those candles on.

On Christmas morning, we weren't allowed to go into the living room to see what Santa had brought until we got mama and daddy up. And we weren't really allowed to wake up as early as we would've liked. Our cousins used to wake up at like 3 in the morning. No way. We were more like 7:30 or 8:00.

Mama would always get up easy, but daddy was another story. It seemed to take him forever to get up. In reality, it was probably only a few minutes, but when you're an anxious little girl wanting to see what Santa left, it seemed forever.

The tree wouldn't be lit and the room would be sort of dark, but you could still make out the presents. Our gifts from Santa weren't wrapped, but we each had a section where our things were. Then Santa would leave a big box full of different candies, fruit and nuts. Clove sticks. Chocolate cream drops, chocolate covered cherries and peanuts. Oranges, apples and Brazil nuts.

Daddy would always ask us, "did he come"? And then just being silly, he'd say, "did he bring, brang, brung"? Just a little silly thing he'd always say. And he still does all these years later. If he didn't ask us that, I'd wonder what in the world was wrong. I think we'll always remember that. Then he'd go outside and shoot off his shotgun. And sometimes ring the big farm bell that was in the front yard.

Mama would be busy getting ready for Christmas dinner. That has to be without a doubt my favorite meal of the year. She still does it and it's still my favorite. She makes a red velvet cake and ambrosia.

So it's time for us to get ready for the day. Get plenty of batteries. Get your toolbox. You know how those darned toys are packaged these days. Make sure you camera is charged and ready to go. If you're OCD like me, get ready for the mess that seems to grow by the minute. Make sure you have plenty of trash bags. I tell myself over and over that it's only one day, but all the while I'm going crazy with all the trash everywhere. I'm really expecting Santa to bring me a great big box of patience this year.

Gotta get going. So much to do, so little time.

Till next time. Have a wonderful Christmas Eve's Eve.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tybee in December

The days since my last post have been a whirlwind. I cooked for my dad's birthday on Tuesday night. Then I had to work on Wednesday and as soon as I got home, we left for Tybee.

We've taken a December trip there for the past few years. We had to go a week later than we normally go and it was very last minute because of Jeff's work schedule. There were some things that were different, but it was fun all the same.

The island is beautifully decorated for Christmas. So many of the houses have lights. And then the lights on the street lights are so pretty. This is the old guard house.

Thursday was gorgeous. It was sunny, but sooo cold. We walked out onto the pier that the boys fish for hours on in the summer. There were two people braving the cold wind trying to catch a fish. We didn't stick around to see if they were successful or not. This is at the pier. I can't walk past this arch without taking a picture. I've got dozens that look just like it.

While we were there, we crashed a party. We went into one of our favorite places to eat. It was packed. I mean, really, really crowded. Even more so than this summer when Miley was on the island. We ordered a drink and found a seat. Well, you would think we would've noticed that no one was waiting the tables, but no, we didn't notice that. So Jeff goes up to the bar to order some food. The bartender told him that the food was out on the deck. HA! Then she told him that it was a private party. How embarrassing! So I had to sit there mortified until Jeff finished his beer. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. He was cool as a cucumber.

Friday was warmer, much warmer. But just so I wouldn't feel slighted by being at the beach without rain, it poured. If I go to the beach, it's gonna rain. You can count on it.

We shopped and got almost all of the shopping we had left done. I've still got my hardest people to buy for; my mama and my daddy. Ugh. I'm running out of time I know, but hopefully I'll have a revelation and think of the perfect gifts. Doubtful, but maybe...

This morning we got up and headed to the little South Georgia town of Brooklet. That's where Luke and Libby and Hannah Leigh live. It was about an hour and fifteen minutes from Tybee.
We gathered for the Kimball Christmas. We eat lunch and exchange gifts. This is the gift that Jeff got. Perfect for him.

I made lots of pictures, but of course, I wasn't happy with any of them. I'll hopefully get some from Suz or Jackie. Our entire family was there. Not a single person missing. I enjoyed seeing all the little kids' excitement when they were opening their presents. But you know what? I enjoyed even more watching my boys help their cousins put together some of the things they got. Can you even believe how tightly they package a Barbie doll? You need a toolbox to open the packaging. I gave Colby a wireless remote controlled go-kart. He had every adult there trying to fix it so he could play with it. So on Christmas morning, make sure you've got your toolbox handy.
Every year Luke and Libby give the boys a special gift when it's their turn. Luke always kills a snake at some point during the year. This year it was Ethan's turn to get the snakeskin.
I thought this one had the prettiest pattern yet. He killed this one out in his pea patch. He was hoeing the weeds and there the snake was. Perfect.
So much fun. We planned all the Kimball events for next year. Including Christmas, which we all know will be here before we know it.
I've been feeling a little blue during the holidays. I always do. It's more than just the post-Christmas letdown. I am so tenderhearted and I have so many memories of Christmases past. The memories get me a bit sad sometimes. I was at Lowes the other day and smelled a fresh Christmas tree and cried right there in the lawn and garden department. That simple smell took me back to the times we'd take the boys to pick out our Christmas tree. Before the evening was over, we'd all be ready to kill each other. I'd like one. The boys would find two different trees (of course) that they liked. And Jeff couldn't have cared less. It never seemed fun at all. It was after years of that torture that I decided to get a fake tree. But even after all that, the mere scent of a Fraser Fir can bring me to tears. Isn't it ironic?
Well, tonight I finally figured out what it is about Christmas that makes me sad. It is thinking about the people that are missing. Things they did or said. So many memories. I think I get sad because I trick my mind into thinking that after Christmas, all the fun is over and that everything will be dreary and boring. And that's just not true. I still see my family. I can still wear sparkly clothes if I want to. And heaven knows, I'll still be eating too much. My life is still good, even after Christmas day.
True I don't have a little boy anymore to see excitement on his face. But I do get to see my big boys do other things that bring me pleasure. It's not easy to turn to a new chapter when you so enjoyed the chapter before it. I'm going to though. No Blue Christmas for me. I'll think back fondly on my Christmases past. I'll enjoy my Christmas present. And I'll look ahead with hope to my Christmas future.
Five days till Christmas 2009.
Till next time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Weekend on a Tuesday

Thought I'd give a recap of last weekend. It's a day later than I wanted it to be, but read on and you'll find out why.

Friday night we had dinner in the lovely little town of Madison. They were all lit up and it was very pretty. Jeff had a yummy steak and I had pawsta (aka pasta). So good. We were with Jeff's brothers and my sweet sisters-in-law. What a good way to get in the Christmas spirit.

I'm including this picture because I like it. It's dark and shadowy, but I didn't want to use my flash. Does anyone out there have any suggestions on making good Christmas pictures with all of the lights and stuff without using your flash? When I use my flash, it just doesn't capture all the pretty lights. Huh? Anyone?

Oh, and please don't tell me to use PhotoShop Elements to correct the lighting. This is how it looked after I did that.
Unless, of course, you're gonna tell me how to correctly use PhotoShop Elements to correct it. Then I'll be GLAD to hear it.
Saturday morning we went to Suz's Christmas Brunch. Her house has never looked better. She had it decorated so pretty for Christmas. She had five Christmas trees. She's been a busy little bee.
Here's a kinda funny picture. Well, it's not really funny because everyone looks great except me. Suz and I were posing like the movie stars and models do. She looks good. I look like ridiculous. But we were laughing our fannies off while we were doing it. That's Suz, Crystal, my mom, Teresa and me. Duh. I kept telling Jason to get my skinny side. Didn't work so well.

I made everyone these ornaments. I thought they turned out kinda cute.

Jason, Reid and Eli weren't there at first. Reid had baseball practice. Yes, I know it's December, but you know how boys and baseball are. It was freezing cold too. Eli came in and he had a sock hat and two or three shirts on. I don't think he wore his gloves because his hands were so cold they were burning him. But look at that hair after he took off his hat. Have you ever seen anything so cute?
He's in front of the real Christmas tree in their kitchen. She decorates it with all of the homemade ornaments the kids have made. Adorable.
Saturday night we went to the Georgia Dome to watch the high school football championship games. The game we went to was a blowout. But it was fun anyway. And who told the Georgia Dome it was okay to charge $9 for a hamburger and fries? Especially when the hamburger tasted like something you'd find in a cow pasture. And I don't mean the cow.
Sunday was the Kelly Christmas party. We always have it at Jeff's cousin Linda's house. She lives in Social Circle. And this is her castle -- I mean house.

I had intended on making a whole bunch more pictures because it's so pretty. But something happened while I was drinking my tea. I'll refer you back to this day in my life's history. The same thing happened Sunday. Different tooth though. It was one of the ones that was hurting me so much several weeks ago. The whole crown just fell out.
Y'all probably think I never brush my teeth. I do. I promise. I have very good dental hygiene. I just have AWFUL teeth. My bones are strong, why aren't my teeth? Anyway, I was back at the dentist office again yesterday morning when they opened the door. Didn't get very good news though. The tooth can't be saved. I've got to see the oral surgeon Monday afternoon and then I have to get a bridge. I just couldn't believe it.
So that's why I didn't write about all this wonderful holiday fun yesterday. I was blah.
Gotta scoot now 'cause I've got nine million and one things to do. Not the least of which is uninstall and reinstall my printer. For the tenth time. At least. I even brought out my big gun last night. Jeff. He works with computers all day, every day. I just knew he'd get 'er done. This morning I tried to print an invoice, but it wanted to fax it. Hello. So I'm gonna use it today and then I'm taking the sucker back and getting just a plain ol' fast printer. I don't have time to keep messing with this one.
Oh, and check back in with me later. I'm doing the Doors of Welcome hosted by Karen at Some Days are Diamonds. Dumb me forgot to take a picture last night when my door was lit, so now I have to wait until dark. I think along with losing my teeth, I'm losing my mind.
Till next time. LLL.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Shopping, 18th Chapter

I met Suz in Snellville yesterday to Christmas shop.

We had yet another fun, but unsuccessful shopping venture. I can't remember ever having such a hard time shopping. We went to The Avenue in Snellville. There were some different stores, which was what we were looking for. But y'all honestly, what is the deal? Why are things obscenely expensive? I was looking for something to wear over a sequin top to go out to dinner tonight. After hours of looking, we found the perfect one. There was just one problem. It was $129. And according to this guy's calculation, that was WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.

I wasn't about to pay $129 for a thin sweater. No matter how pretty it was and no matter how perfectly it would have gone with my top. Unh-unh. No way. So I left without a sweater. Suz bought only a few things from her still fairly long list.

She had to leave and get home so she could take her kids ice skating at Centennial Olympic Park. I would love to have gone and hope to go before the season is over. According to her, we may expect to see Eli compete in the Olympics one day. But if you know Eli, you know it'll be speed skating, not figure skating. He's full speed ahead at all times.

After she left, I wanted to do a little more shopping. I've been looking for some sort of lighting that is battery operated to but on my bookcase where I display my beloved snow globes. I stopped in at Michael's. Me and about 38,000 strangers were there.

I didn't find any lights, but I did stumble upon these.

Jacks or Jax. I'm going to go out on a limb here and call playing jacks a sport. Why? Because it's the only sport I've ever been pretty good at. Well, I take that back. Once upon a time, I was a pretty good roller skater. But that was eons ago. I can still play jacks.

Crystal and I used to play. We'd go all the way through our onesies to our tensies. Then we'd play around the world or doubles. So much fun. The red bouncy ball smelled just the way I remembered. All rubbery and new. The jacks are made differently now though. Remember when they were metal and if you accidentally stepped on one, you were in agony. Now they're plastic. If you step on one, it just smushes. I know this because Jeff stepped on one last night.

While I did have a little fun playing with them, it wasn't as much fun as I remembered. Made me a little sad actually. I guess it would be a little strange if a 44-year-old enjoyed playing jacks, huh?

I made the best baked potato soup last night. I stopped at Panera Bread on the way home and bought a loaf of French baguette to go with it. We had a fabulous supper. The boys were home, so we all ate together and it was nice.

Jeff took the day off today, so I think we're going to go out for a while. We're getting the car washed. It's been since summer since it was washed and even though it's going to be raining for like four days in a row soon, I can't stand it anymore. It's got to be washed. I may drag him out for a little shopping, too. Even though I'm happy to be going with him, don't you feel like this:
He keeps me in check, that's for sure. But it's good to take him out once in a while because he has no idea how expensive things are. I mean NO IDEA.
Okay. That's my Friday plans. Dinner out tonight. Brunch at Suz's tomorrow morning. Then we're going to the Georgia Dome to watch the high school football championships. That may not sound like too much fun, but honey, I love high school football championship games. So much fun to watch.
Have a great Friday! Till next time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Today I'm making soup. No, not the kind that you eat. The kind that you write about when you have too many things on your brain and they don't tie together in one subject. You ever have soup in your brain?

So far this holiday season, two of the MAIN projects that I like to do every year have ended up disastrously. Okay, well, maybe that's too strong an adjective, but let's just say they have not turned out the way I wanted.

First my MaMa Kimball's Not Like a Fruitcake Fruitcake. I baked it last night. Now, let it be known that this isn't just any old fruitcake. This cake has none of the nastiness of other fruitcakes. In fact, it's full of only good stuff. And let it also be known that this cake recipe came from a farmer's wife who had the biggest, most prolific pecan tree known to man growing right in her front yard and a husband who had a sweet tooth bigger than the state of Texas. PaPa was a bad diabetic, and he L-O-V-E-D sweets. From syrup to chocolate, he didn't care as long as it was sweet.

So anyway. This cake isn't cheap to bake. It calls for EIGHT cups of pecans. That's right. EIGHT cups. Two pounds of candied fruit. A box of brown sugar. Two tablespoons of vanilla. One-and-a-half cup of coconut. Four eggs. And, of course, self-rising flour. Three cups.

I guess I should've had a premonition of how the cake was going to turn out because when I was mixing it all up, Jeff said why do you make fruitcake. Nobody likes fruitcake. I think he thought I did it just for the heck of it. I informed him that maybe nobody likes fruitcake, but they like the Not Like a Fruitcake Fruitcake. I like it. My kids like it. My mom and dad like it. But my biggest blunder was that I didn't look up to the heavens and dedicate my fruitcake to my sweet MaMa. It just slipped my mind.

Her recipe says to cook the cake for an hour and a half at 300 degrees. That's what I did. The buzzer went off and I took the cake out of the oven. Let it sit for almost an hour before I tried to turn it out of the pan. When I turned it out, only the top half of the cake hit the plate. The bottom half stayed stuck in the pan. It was mush. I was sick. So. I got Jeff to come help me put the top half of the cake back in the pan, stuck it back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Turned the oven off. And went to bed. By that point, I had decided that however it turned out, was the way it was going to be. I couldn't cry over a messed up fruitcake.

This morning I got up and went straight to the oven and took the cake out.
But now I'm too scared to try and get it out of the pan. It may stay in this pan forever.

My Christmas cards. I don't like them. I hate them. I want to spit on them. So if you don't get a Christmas card from the Kellys this year, don't wonder where it is. It just may not be coming.

Cam has a huge SAE project due this Friday. I mean huge, literally and figuratively. He's building a shed. With wood. And nails. And a saw. And when I say he, I really mean he and Jeff. And Jeff's brother Ronnie.

You would hope that a project this size would be worked on over a period of weeks, if not months. But noooooooo. Cam starts working on his Saturday. Five days before it's due in its entirety. Of course, all along the way he had to turn in bits and pieces of it. Like pictures that he made of some old wood in the basement that isn't even going to be part of the project. A blueprint that he made that ended up being altered BIG TIME. You know, you gotta make it look like a lot is going on with it. Ugh.

And best of all, now I'm going to have a homemade by a 17-year-old shed in my backyard. I bet my neighbors will love me more than ever now.

Well, that's my soup for the day. I hope it was your favorite kind and that you didn't burn your tongue reading it.
Till next time.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's a Wrap

I wrapped for hours last night. I was determined to wrap everything that I had so I wouldn't have to get the mess out again until I have finished my shopping, which will hopefully be this week. Maybe. Possibly.

I set myself up a little gift wrap station, complete with card table and a nice chair that I could lean back in. Even though I realized I hardly sat in the chair and I never leaned back. It was a nice, cozy thought anyway.

I watched football game after game yesterday. I really wanted to go shopping, but I was going to have to go alone, and so I just talked myself out of it. I'll go after my depos this week. Wherever they may be I'll find a nearby mall.

Nothing exciting going on around here today. After church I'm going to the funeral of one of my church's matriarchs, Ms. Louise. She has been a member of my church forever. When we were little girls and mama would take us to church, I remember seeing her there. I remember it so well because she was always dressed so pretty. When I returned back to the church I grew up in years and years later, she looked the very same as she did when I was young. She was a lovely and spiritual lady. Our church will miss her so much.

Jeff just got home from work. He had to go in last night at 10 o'clock and work all night. They are having a big system upgrade that took place overnight. He's pooped. We all hate it when these upgrades occur. Although it's great for Emory to upgrade, we have to be quiet when he gets home so he can get some sleep. Ross and Cam quiet? Not an easy task. If you're not used to having someone sleeping during the day, it is so hard to be quiet.

Looking forward to seeing Eli and Reid tonight. They weren't at Sunday Supper last week. Yesterday when I talked to Suz, she was helping Eli wrap a present to Santa Claus. He was getting tangled up with the tape. Good times.

Till next time. Have a happy Sunday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

If I Had Only Been Taller

The Rockettes show was AMAZING. I enjoyed it so much more than I even thought I would. If you ever have the chance to see them, do it. The costumes were so colorful and beautiful. The Rockettes were beautiful. And tall. And thin. They did a wooden soldier march that was absolutely unreal. I would love to be going again tonight.

The Fox Theater, of course, was gorgeous too. The stage with the trees, wreath and garland was stunning.

Every time I go there, I'm in awe of the beauty of the place. The way the ceiling is made to look like the sky, complete with stars is always such a pretty sight to see.

There was a nativity scene that was the most beautiful one I've ever seen. They used real animals, including two camels and sheep. It looked so real and was very moving.

You weren't supposed to use a flash or even make pictures at all during the show. Suz had her phone and snapped these two, without a flash. I wish they were closer and more clear. Although our seats were perfect.

There were flashes going off all throughout the place. I took my camera out to make a picture WITHOUT THE FLASH and an usher came by and scolded me. Ironically, it was during the nativity scene that I was breaking the rules. It was just so pretty that I wanted to remember it. Oh, well.

We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory before the show. It was Suz and Alayna, Jason's sister JeriLynn and her daughter Savannah, and me.

I had a chicken dish and it was enough food for two people, at least.

How's this for a little piece of cheesecake heaven?

What a great way to get ready for Christmas.

I'm working very hard today on getting everything else done. I want to have nothing left except my wrapping and any cooking I may do. I always make my MaMa Kimball's Not Like a Fruitcake fruitcake. I've got to get that done in the next few days. It's a big bunch of hard work. But my grandmother had one EVERY Christmas that I can remember. I even keep it in the same container she did. I got if after she died in '03. I usually bake one for her.

Well, that's all for today. I threw away all my ornament hooks from last year when we were cleaning the basement. I bought two new containers of them and now I can't find them. This happens to me every single year. I'm always ready to decorate the tree and have no hangers. And hangers are cheap and plentiful until you need them and you're still in your PJs. Ugh.

Till next time.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Busy, Busy Me

I don't know about everyone else, but I don't know if I'm coming or going right now. The first few days of December are always crazy and hectic because I like to get my decorations up as early as I can so that they can be enjoyed longer.

Poor, sweet Jeff must have walked up and down the basement steps a dozen times, at least. He took down all of the regular stuff I have sitting around and put it all in totes and took them downstairs. Then he brought up ALL of the Christmas decorations. Boy, did I ever have that "what am I going to do" feeling!

I'm slowly working my way through them. I've decorated my porch, my cedar tree in the yard and the back deck. I'm not very happy with my porch. I wanted to do something different and I used candy cane striped ribbon on my wreaths. I don't know why, it's just not tickling my fancy for some reason. I should've left the big, red, beautiful bows on there. (can you tell I miss them) Ugh. I'm not about to change it though. Who wants to put up and take down decorations twice! My cedar tree looks so cute though. We've decorated it every year we've lived here. It's growing so tall. This year I was extra careful and used very sturdy plastic hooks for the ornaments so that this wouldn't happen.

I'm thinking I'm not going to put out as much as I usually do. The reason is simple, but very silly. I get so sad when Christmas is over and you have to put it all back up. It's such a dreadful feeling. I know I'm crazy, but just knowing that when all the joy and excitement is over, you've got to work like a dog to get it all put away looms over me like a dark cloud. I asked my boys last night what was one thing that I've put out every year that they remember. Their answer wasn't good. It was the Christmas tree. A live Christmas tree. The reason it wasn't good is because I bought a fake tree last year. They hate it. I hated the mess the real tree made. All those needles on the floor made me crazy. Then they said they liked the candy cane house I've had forever. But I think the only reason they said that was because it was full of Sour Patch Kids candy canes! Which they promptly snagged two of. Boys.

So I'm sifting through my boxes of decorations and deciding what I want to use and what I'll put back in the box. I'm sure like most of you, I've got enough Christmas decorations to decorate a few houses. Seriously, I bet I've got a mile of garland. And at least two or three miles of lights. Maybe one day the boys will want some hand-me-down decorations.

Okay. On to other stuff. Monday I had lunch with the girls I work with. In my job, you don't really see the girls you work with, but you correspond so much with them, that it's nice to put a face to the name and the e-mail. We ate at Maggiano's in Buckhead. Oh, my stars. It was so beyond delicious. The food just kept coming. I look forward to going back. Maybe soon.

This is a picture of all of us. Suz and I are the two dwarves in the back.

Tuesday I had a depo in Griffin, so afterwards I decided to take a little trip to Tanger Outlet. The outlet is only about 20/30 minutes from my house, but I NEVER go. This was probably only about the fourth or fifth time I've ever shopped there. Cam goes to the Polo store quite often, but I never go. Well, after going Tuesday, Tanger Outlet will be added to my shopping repertoire. I checked a few more names off of my Christmas list.

The weather yesterday was awful. It was raining like crazy. I decided that it would be a stay-at-home day. I planned on getting lots of court reporting work done. I go in my office and sit down at my desk. And from there, it all went south. Let's see. What all did I do while I was "working"? I picked out my Christmas card picture. I ordered my Christmas card pictures. I cleaned out a box of junk. Talked to Suz about 38 times. I was having a full-blown ADD episode. Oh, and before I left my office, I decided it was high time I had a new one of these.

So I got myself ready and went out printer shopping. I've had the same HP printer since I started court reporting in 1997. It's probably printed a million pages. It's still got lots of life in it, but it just prints a little slow for me, only about 12 pages a minute. You know, patience is a virtue that I don't have. This sweet baby prints about 28 pages a minute. She and I are going to get along just fine. I hope.

We got off to a good start. I slowly took everything out of the box and followed the instructions to the letter.
For you see, assembling things isn't really something that I DO. Jeff is usually the one that takes care of those type things. Especially electronic things. I'm pretty much the village idiot when it comes to electronics.

Jeff wasn't here when I got home with the printer though. I didn't want to wait for him to get home to get it going. (Back to the patience thing again.) And besides that, I wanted to do it myself. It came in several different parts, with three different type cords. Plus you had to figure out where to put the toner.

I think HP must be dealing with an ink shortage because the instructions STUNK! Since when is an arrow pointing at something considered instruction? I mean, yeah, if you're in a hospital walking down a long hallway looking for X-ray, then an arrow would be helpful. But when you're staring at the guts of a brand-new printer wondering how to get the toner in, an arrow bites. Give me verbiage. I need words.

To my credit, I did get it all together. Ran the CD and the test page printed perfectly. And lightning fast, too, I might add. Hmmmmm. Wonder why the "configuring your product" is still running on my computer 17 hours later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But don't look in the instructions for an answer. They'll only give you an arrow.

I'm excited because tonight Suz and I are taking Alayna to see the Rockettes at the Fox. I've never seen them before and can't wait.

I hope it won't disappoint me like the Nutcracker did. Hopefully, it'll be fast paced. I know. I know. I need to ask Santa to bring me a nice big box full of PATIENCE.

Till next time! Have a great Thursday.