For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
Thursday, December 31, 2009
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
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
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
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
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.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
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?
Friday, December 11, 2009
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.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
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.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
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
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
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.