Wednesday, December 31, 2014

That's A Wrap!!

And just like that.... like the snapping of our fingers.... 2014 is over!   Now I know why my parents always told me, "if you think time is flying by now, just wait until you're older!"  And boy was THAT ever a true statement!   I know the same amount of time happens for all of us, but somehow it just seems to be happening faster than I can even comprehend all of it.  There's months that go by that I seem to be able to only account for two weeks worth of things that happened!  And I wonder where the other two weeks went!!  Anyway, not to belabor a point, but thank God for His blessings on my family in 2014.  It wasn't a bad year for us, and not tooooooo many bumps in the road this year.  So I'm going to just close it out, and quietly look back at.....

....I moved to a new church as their minister of music
 
....We only attended two or three FUNERALS this year...unlike years past (whew)
 
....I got several projects around the house completed
 
....I had a very successful gardening season...freezers still full, canning jars still in the pantry
 
and finally, but certainly not least.....
 
....I'M STILL ALIVE AND LOVED!   LIFE IS GOOD! 


I'm DONE!!

Well, actually WE'RE done..... with the puzzle that is!   And the "marathon" really wasn't all that bad.  We didn't work on it much on Sunday... or Monday for that matter, except a little after supper.   But then on Tuesday I became like a man possessed, and I finally put the last piece on there after supper last night!   Thanks to my "house full of women" for their help and assistance!!  It did become quite a nice family bonding project, actually.  For those that asked, here's the final result....



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Puzzled....

I use to enjoy doing puzzles.  The key word is "USE" to!   I got one for Christmas, with 1000 pieces! Do you realize how SMALL some of those pieces are?   And do you realize they are not all uniformly cut so you can eye-ball the unmatched pieces and match them in your mind's eye with others??   Well.... me either!!  Boy, times have sure changed!!  But now that I've begun the challenge it has become just that... a big challenge to see if I can get it all done. 

 

Friday, December 26, 2014

And The Joy Lingers On....

Well, Christmas has come and gone...
 
 
but the joy lingers on with the toys...
 
 
 
as well as all the food leftovers...
 
 
 
 and the families all together.
 
 
 
 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Birthday Boy!

In the words of an old Beatles tune, "Birthday".......
 
"They say it's your birthday....
 

We're gonna have a good time....
 
 
Yes, we're going to a party, party...."
 
 
And just like that, I'm another year older.
Thank you, Lord.
 
 


Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Family Gathering

Today was our "FIRST" family gathering of this Christmas season.  It was here at our house, and held for my "Johnson" side of the family.  Of course, there's always somebody missing, and today was no exception thanks to the FLU epidemic that is running rampant in Georgia right now.  But the one's that came had a great time catching up, watching our Falcons win against the Saints, and eating more food than we should have eaten.  In other words, it was a great time, and all here had fun!







Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Music

We've had one radio station that has been playing Christmas music 24/7 since the day after Thanksgiving!  And I love it!!  The very FIRST song I heard this year was "Blue Christmas" by Elmer Fudd.

(Listen here)
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg7HvF3a_Iw












But of all the songs, my favorite Christmas song after all these years, is "Silver Bells."  I think I'm sentimentally attached to it because my uncle use to sing it at all of our family gatherings at Christmas time.  With all the other singing that was going on, there was always "chatter" in the background as conversations continued.  But when he started singing this one, it was like a hush fell over everyone, and we all sat and listened.  I loved his singing.  He passed away 2 years ago at age 84, but I still remember that voice.  (Here's the song, but it is NOT him singing... sure wish I had him recorded though.)  And it still brings up those old feelings, along with a tear to my eyes too.

(Listen here)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0HB0dhSyHA

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Traditional Gingerbread House

I got to watch (babysit) little Gavin this afternoon while the ladies went shopping.  The boy tires me out!  Guess I'm getting old!!  Earlier this afternoon though, it was a different story.  My daughter brought home "her" gingerbread house she made at her office (they had a competition thing).  Once it was placed on the kitchen counter, Gavin was up on the stool and touching everything.  Noticing some M&M "shingles" were missing, he wanted to put on some new ones so we did that.  It was fun watching him.... such concentration!   And he's getting sooooooo excited as presents are beginning to appear under the tree--here AND at his house.  Don't know WHAT the boy's gonna do NEXT week!!
 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bake! Bake! Bake!

Gavin grabbed his "Nenny" by the hand this morning and said, "I want to make some non-bake muffins."  WHAT??  So he repeated it.  About 4 times.  So as the Mrs. gathered up some things that might could be used for doing such an unknown thing, Gavin pulled out the muffin tins and plopped them on the table.  Before long, the muffin cups were installed, and he was off and running dropping in chocolate chips,  craisins (cranberry raisins),  and white chocolate chips-- all three his very own idea of what he wanted in these "non-bake" muffins.

 
The Mrs. found about a half  box of graham cracker crumbs that she had used to make some pie crusts earlier, so she poured those into a pan.  Gavin helped pour some melted butter into a cup full of peanut butter, and then stir it all together.  It was then poured over the graham cracker crumbs, and mixed in well, then scooped over into the muffin tins.  I helped "pack them down" a little with a small glass that Gavin took away from me exclaiming, "I'll do it!  I'll do it!"   So I let him.  Then all were topped off with some melted chocolate spooned smoothly over each, and placed into the refrigerator to cool for a while.
 
 
They were not bad at all.  Tasted just fine in fact.  Gavin took one bite, but after that decided he only wanted to eat the hardened chocolate that had been spread on top of each one.   Wonder what goodies he'll come up with for us to bake tomorrow......

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunday Full of MUSIC

As a music minister, Christmas is probably the busiest time of the year as church music goes.  And my Sunday was no exception to that!  Our little church choir did an outstanding--outstanding!--job on presenting our Christmas music program on Sunday morning.  Someone video taped a few of the songs, so I wanted to share our "opening number" with anyone interested in listening.  Of course, you only get to see "the other side of me" through all of it, but you can tell I enjoy what I do!!  (Click here for the link to the video in Facebook)
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10203292949540143


And then Sunday afternoon I drove for about two hours to attend my buddy's church, where HE is the music minister, and watch and enjoy their Christmas program Sunday evening.  Afterwards we all went to dinner together before my two hour drive back home.  A great day of music!  Great day!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Old Blue Eyes....

 
 
 
YEP... I HAVE BLUE EYES.... AND YEP, I AGREE....
 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Decorations Everywhere!

The house is "beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"  Finally got the tree finished (can't tell much with the flash overriding the lights).... but it's complete... I think..... The Mrs. seems to put another ornament on there almost every time she walks by.. or rearranges the ones that are already on there.

As you can tell, it's a "sentimental" tree... we still have some bulbs from her tree way back to when SHE was a little girl (those near the top);  and of course lots of "hand-made" ornaments from our kids (now in their 40's) and our grandkids (all now in their 20's)....

 
And the mantle has been sufficiently covered in angels and Santa's...
 

 And the bookcases are covered in snow-people of all varieties...
 
 
And the buffet "table" is covered from one end to the next in the Christmas village that has grown from year to year for quite a few years now.   
 
 
 So I'd say we are ready to finally begin the ever important SHOPPING and WRAPPING of PRESENTS!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

This And That

It's been a busy couple of days...that's why no post!   But let me catch up this morning.  Since my last entry,  there has been a day of baking---SUGAR COOKIES

 
 
 
And a lunch meeting on Saturday with some SECOND COUSINS that I have been chatting with on Facebook for over a year on our family genealogy....and we finally got to meet each other face to face
 
 

 
 And then, the afternoon spent with the 50+ (Seniors) from our church for our annual Christmas get-together where gifts were exchanged, swapped, and stolen from each other.  More than enough finger foods and sweets, and way too much fun and laughter.  I needed that to be honest!
 
 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Small Town Christmas

Well, tonight really kicked off our Christmas season.  It was the annual Christmas parade held in one of our small towns.  We live between TWO towns--one 7 miles to the north, the other (our post office) 4 miles to the south.  It was the "bigger" town up north that held their parade tonight. 



Gavin lasted through the opening police cars and fire trucks, and maybe one band marching by...
 
After that, he became oblivious to it all.


He missed the floats....
 

And the craziness of the people in the parade  (our pastor in the box!)...
 

And the dancers...
 
 
And the horses...
 

And sadly, the arrival of Santa Claus on top of the ladder fire truck.
 
 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Living In A Fog

December 3rd, 53F degrees at 7:00 AM.... amazing!  However, when that happens, and all the "moisture" from the Atlantic ocean (5 hours away) and from the Gulf of Mexico (6 hours away) piles in on us, we get 100% FOG.... I snapped this photo this morning at 9:00 on my way to the gym.   It finally "burned off" and sunshine broke through around 1:30 this afternoon. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Back To The Routine

I sure could tell the holiday is over!   Second day in a row that I've had to leave at 6:30 AM to go meet my granddaughter and pick up little Gavin.  Already, I realize how much I miss those mornings from last week where I just woke up when the sunshine popped through my window around 7:30!  Yes, I know it's only an hour, but boy does that hour make a difference.   But our days are filled with Thomas the Tank Engine rolling around the living room floor, and a little 3-year old running rampant all day long and into everything!   I love it!!  And now we have started decorating the tree..... 

   

Monday, December 1, 2014

Three Pounds of PIE......

Oh the price of Thanksgiving goodies!  For two weeks now, I've been running wildly to and fro with errands, family, church, and all kinds of things, so I've not made it to the gym for my daily workout at all.  And of course, today I was able to get back in there, and discovered that  I've gained THREE POUNDS!  After my shock and disbelief settled down, I began recapping my week (or two) and I think I've figured out exactly what happened while I wasn't looking..............

PECAN PIES................................  1 POUND
 
 
 
CHERRY DUMP CAKE............... 1 POUND
 
 
 
DRESSING & GRAVY...............1/2 POUND
 
 
 
POTATO SALAD....................1/2 POUND
 
 
 
 
TOTAL...........3 POUNDS!!!!  Around my waistline that I did not want or need!  So today's workout was hard.  Really hard!   OH THE PRICE OF STAYING PRETTY!!!
 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

TREE Shopping.... And Then.....

We were invited to join our granddaughter, her boyfriend, and little Gavin this morning for an outing to one of our local Christmas Tree farms.  We met them and drove around the entire area, finally parked and moved in for closer inspection of the trees closest to us.  Gavin took off in a dash, exclaiming he would find one.



 Some 30 minutes later, he finally DID settle on one that wasn't bad at all, and it was cut and taken to the checkout area.


After loading it in their truck, they headed directly home where it was immediately put up, and the decorating began.  Myself, the Mrs., our daughter, and granddaughter, however, headed on up the highway a bit for lunch at Burger King.  And I enjoyed that greatly!  The Whopper is my favorite!  After lunch, I was coerced into a shopping trip.... "can we stop by the store?"   Yep.  A female shopping trip:   One store.... one hour.   Second store.... Another hour.  And there was no fast walking involved anywhere in those two hours.  Snail pace at best.   Finally, with just a few items in our carts, we checked out, and headed for home.  And here I sit now as I unwind and relax from the day.  I really DO love Christmas though.  Really, I do.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Basking In The After-glow...

Leftovers.  It's probably the only time during the year I really ENJOY leftovers.  So I've done my part in making sure they are consumed within a reasonable period. 



And... I even ventured out for just a bit this afternoon and braved a mini-shopping trip.  Hahaha... but nothing major... and I avoided the hectic crowds too.
 
Man shopping:  
 
1. drive to the store  
 
2.  park and go in  
 
3.  get what you were after 
 
4.  pay, head back to the car 
 
5.  drive directly home 
      
..... 15 minutes tops!! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thang!

I love Thanksgiving.  Great food, great family, great time!  Today was no exception as we entertained 30 or so family members here at our home.  Everyone brought their favorite side dishes--casseroles, turnip greens, pinto beans, potato salad, and others--and we provided the turkey and dressing.


 And the dessert table was filled to capacity with pecan pies, sweet potato pies, pumpkin pies, a cherry dump cake, some peach cobbler, an orange cake, and a chocolate cake.  I tried some of each!



 
 And the afternoon was filled with eating, visiting, "catching up", walking around the yards, eating, watching TV, and eating some more.
 
 

But before long,  all was finished and everyone left to go home.  And I'm left smiling and content.  It was a good day.