Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A Lot of Sad and Quiet this New Year's Eve

By the time of Bean's first New Year's Eve, his daddy was home from Army and we offered to keep him overnight so they could enjoy the evening and then get some sleep.  If I remember correctly, we were both still a bit under the weather, having driven through a blizzard to get to our Happy 25th Anniversary, Happy College Graduation destination, only to discover we'd packed the flu along with us, and then drove through another blizzard to get home.  Handy Man and I sat with him on the couch and laughed ourselves silly as he, one at a time,  pulled every tissue out of the box.  Ahem, and he continued to do so for a very. long. time. after our noses cleared- cheap entertainment. So began our New Year's Eve dates.
We added Missy Bugg on his third New Year's Eve and ever year since.
We had a fire when the weather was tolerable, Jiffy Pop popcorn and hot chocolate, sparkling juice, hats and horns at midnight and blessing gems the next morning. Sometimes we went to a movie, other times we did science experiments and we always watched the ball drop in Time's Square.  The last couple of years they would  explain to be about popular songs and artists.
I remembered to buy the fireworks after Fourth of July last year.
Ceece and I usually have a lunch date while I'm off and it fell on Monday this year.  She hadn't been to the flower place I love and I was anxious to introduce her.  I'd only been to Metal Works once, so we added that to the itinerary.

She decided to try her hand at plant tending. I thought to ask about logistics for this evening and she said, "Well."  And though I had been expecting this, I could easily have erupted into a fount of tears.  She said Bean had been invited to a party with his swim pals and Miss Bugg had been invited to a friends, but she was worried it would hurt my feelings.  I answered honestly, "It doesn't hurt my feelings at Bugg."  It does hurt my feelings, but not for any good reason. Just like with your own kids you want them to grow up and go their own way. But gee, you miss them so very much.

Gramerlings have been my joy and this fifteen  and thirteen years have flown by so quickly.

I surely hope they'll always have some memories stirring in their mind each New Year's Eve about their Gramerly.

So with nothing to do, I foolishly returned to the the playroom to continue the awful task of deciding what all I can part with, as our last little Pixie is such a big girl now.  
I've cried more today than I have in a long time.  Maybe cleansing tears, maybe ready to leave this year to memory and hope for a less eventful one that's coming. Or events of a different sort.
Still, the blessings were bountiful as well.
God Bless us everyone. 
Welcome 2020

Friday, December 27, 2019

Hang On

I just turned out what might be the last bread and rolls of 2019.  My, this has been a banner bread and roll making year!  I'll be happy to take a break from that sack of flour.
Pictures galore, starting with my children's  Christmas on Sunday and moving through our last Christmas last evening with Handy Man's family.

I love, just love when your perfectly working iMac quits and you pay a fortune to get a new and better one that doesn't work as well as the old one.  Case in point- I clicked on these pictures in the order they were taken and in which I wanted them to appear and they uploaded all mixed up.  Yay, rah!  So now I will spend quite a bit of time, cutting and pasting them back in order. First world problems, I know, but why doesn't this thing work like it is supposed to?

So this was the first year in a way long time that no one had to nap or be home by bedtime, so we started our Christmas Dinner at 1:00 with much deliciousness.  Even the Captain contributed a pile of wings from his new smoker.  We munched and played with games and presents well into dark thirty.

Back in the summer, Pap still on a life vest, I was endlessly searching for something to fill our time. They offered a class at the library, using an engraver.  We took the class and proceeded to make all the Gramerlings a personalized box.  We have a few odd or unusual names and spellings, so you can't easily find some of their names on items.  I would design them and Pap ran the engraver.


 Then it was Jammies Time.  All my little deers!


 When it got dark, Drummer Boy headed the pack up the hill for a fire and sparklers. 
I have always been a holiday person.  Somehow though, trying to consider everyone's schedules, likes and dislikes, etc, tends to leave me searching for some joy.  This was as close to a Courier and Ive's Christmas as ever I plan to get and, as I long suspected, it was lovely!!

On Monday, we headed to wilds to do our Blackbean Omelets with Ol' Mother Hubbard's crew.  I managed to get there with the stuff for supper, but walked off without the gifts, caramels and my camera.  Are you kidding me?  Well, we still had a good time!

Rae's crew came back out for lunch on our 60 plus degree Christmas Eve.  We enjoyed lots of leftovers.  Pap parted with a truck he's been working on for a long time.
I remembered to give her a stocking stuffer I forgot- Homemade Vanilla.  When vanilla in the store exceeded $12 for a two ounce bottle, I thought that would be a gift people would use. Helps if you remember to give it to them- just saying. 

Since I spent most of fall break in Vermont, my bulbs never got planted, so we used this warm day to do the deed.

The Gingerbread house was covered with seed and left for the birds.

Aunt Tish and Jordan invited us for a very tasty Christmas Eve dinner.  Tish broke out Mama's old falling apart Bible to pray and light a candle and took a deep breath and got it done.  That would've have made my Mama smile.
Wow, our sibling pictures have sure decreased in size, but grateful for sharing around the table with old stories and new, and laughs and tears.  Sweet!
We work on such different schedules that it is hard to get together with Terri and David. It was good to see them.

On Christmas morning, I headed over the river and through the city to see Noella, Ivonne and our newest little love.

Oh my, what can be better on Christmas Day then snuggly this squishy littlest bit!

Late afternoon I headed back to the farm with gifts, caramels and camera in tow.  I've long been the candy maker.  Different kinds of fudge and caramels which this groups loves.  I decided next year that I'll extend the Blackbean Christmas dinner to include candy making.  If anything, this year has taught me that I need to be teaching this generation how to do a few things.

These Gramerlings got boxes with their names as well.

I was annoyed at forgetting the stuff earlier, but was grateful for a busy Christmas Day.
A friend lost a parent, so I was also cooking to take them a meal for family coming in.  Handy Man's family was trying to decide on what to do for Christmas, so I invited them here for the day after, which is Handy Man's Mom's birthday.  Her love is Lemon Meringue pie.  So our Christmas festivities ended with more good food and visiting. 

So ends Christmas 2019.  
Thank you Lord for seeing us through a very trying year with so many miracles and so much love and kindness. We are blessed.