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Days gone byHoliday Memories and chat

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Jeri, I saw the photo on FB last night. It was so colorful and cute.

Cindy, glad Harriet is better enough to go home. Hope she continues to improve.

We didn't get home from Birmingham until 9 last night but we really had a great time with the kids and grandkids. We pretty much had a 'cash' year for them too. The kids were thrilled with their Visa cards. Especially the older ones who are going on vacation next weekend. They got us some nice gifts - running things for me & an insulated 'Swell' bottle and a very nice bottle of whiskey and a cool corksickle glass for Earl plus a Yeti cooler for his beer and a restaurant gift card for us to use.

Charlotte, that was very fortunate for you to have an impromptu yard sale and it sounds like you did very well with a minimum of work ahead of time.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I talked to Jeff last night and it's definitely going to be a totally cash Christmas! He and Kristi both have something they want and want to use the cash from me and then rather than them buying gifts for each other they are going to also put money toward what they each want.

Kristi has everything all planned out. The day I arrive we are going to Santa Cruz and have Jake's graduation celebration at a nice restaurant she discovered. It sounds really neat. You can go to the restaurant by tram. It's in a really scenic setting. Then the next day we are going in to San Francisco and spend the day. We're going to have lunch at a Brazilian steakhouse then do our looking at Christmas decorations and then later everyone will go ice skating but me. I watch!! The two girlfriends are going in to the city with us. Christmas eve we will go to church then have Choppino Seafood Stew. Christmas day I will fix a ham and the traditional side dishes - sweet potato casserole, green beans, homemade cranberry whole berry cranberry sauce, rolls,etc.

Justin is doing really well with his part time job. They had a company meeting the other day and the President of the company pointed Justin out told them he wanted all his employees to dress like Justin. He wears slacks, a nice shirt and tie to work every day. Just want he decided to wear. He always dresses nice. He is also really fast in getting his work done so they have been giving him other financial type jobs to do. I laughed and told Jeff don't you just know the other employees hate to see him coming! LOL Most people try to do no more than they have to and then here comes a part time college student that is outdoing them and setting standards.

Clint has decided he wants to find a job in his field for the summer. He has several companies in mine that are close to where they live and he is going to visit with them while he is on Christmas break. He also has his sights on the job as supervisor of all the RA when he is a senior. That not only pays room and board but also pays a salary in addition. He has already started laying the groundwork for it. They are both going to do well in life.

The sun is shining and it's still warm. It's going to be in the upper 60's and into the 70's for the next 10 days. It is going to drop into the 30's some nights.

Cindy I'm glad to hear Harriet was able to go home. Take care of yourself!! I hope you get the vertigo cleared up soon. That has to be miserable!

This message was edited Dec 14, 2015 10:09 AM

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Cindy I'm glad that Harriet got to go home. I'm assuming that she is doing better and pray that continues to improve with each day. Cindy you need to take care of Cindy, first and then all the other people in line. That vertigo is hard to shake once it's got a hold on you. You had to of had this while sitting with your SIL.

I would be very shocked if all 3 of your grands don't do well Charlotte!!! They are such well balanced young men and each of the young ladies seem to be just as level headed and fit right in the family.

Got Mary's death certificates today so I'm gonna start on closing out her accounts tomorrow. I went last Friday and signed all the papers at the insurance co. The lady called every day for me to come take care of it. She said most people were at the office before they bury their loved ones. I feel like Mary's life has turned into a folder and there are less and less times left to open it.

Ripley, MS

Mary's life was much more than a folder. I know it has to be hard trying to take care of all her stuff, but she wanted you to do it. She left here knowing you would take care of her even after life !

Cindy, take care of yourself. I know y'all like to go to camp for Christmas, so you need to get well.

Good job on the yard sale, Charlotte, how long will you be in CA ? I hope you have a good visit with them.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Jeri I know what you mean about the folder! I'm trying to finish up with Richard's stuff. I hope to have everything done by the end of the month. Then in the middle of if I have someone that wants to buy my land in LA. They are willing to pay a good price and I have decided to sell it. I have someone handling the sale for me but it's still a lot of decisions and finding things. I don't have a lot of patients with dealing with paper work anymore!! I had just gotten the tax bill the other day and then couldn't find it tonight! Finally unearthed it. I'm sitting here with piles of stuff all over the floor that need to be put in folders so I can hopefully find it.

I'm just going to be in CA the 22 through the 26 but then I'm also going back in the Spring. I'm going to start going out more often.

Cindy you need to do what someone else mentioned. Take care of yourself first so you can take care of others. It's hard to do but we do have to learn to take care of our selves.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Jeri, I know it is so hard handling everything. I sure wish I were closer, I would try my best to help you - at least in cleaning out her things out of the guest house!

Charlotte, I am glad you did so well on your impromptu yard sale. I HATE trying to plan for yard sales - and prices are always an issue. Maybe I should come check out your duplicate yard tools.... Alex doesn't have hardly any and everyone needs a few. I broke his rake week before last when I was there and when we swung by Lowe's on the way home they had TWO left in the store. I bought him one - not crazy about it, but he needed something so I got it while I was thinking of it. Sounds like you will have a nice trip to California! I am not even sure what I am having to eat while all the kids are home except for our big family meal..... so your DIL is WAY ahead of me! LOL

Cindy - so glad to hear that Harriet has improved enough to go home! I hope she is continuing to improve. Being in the hospital is exhausting in itself. There are some exercises that my doctor told me to do to try to help my vertigo back last year. No idea how I could explain them except one was to lean back over something - like lay down near the end of the couch and lay so your head would extend backwards over the edge. She wanted me to lean back and then sit up quickly - it would make me SOOO dizzy but supposedly it was to reset some inner ear pieces???? I have NO IDEA if that is legit - just what I was told to do. I couldn't tell it was doing anything, except making me dizzy, but the episode didn't last long so maybe,........ You might google exercises for vertigo and see if you find anything. Hope you are feeling better soon!

I have been using my spread sheet for several years because it was the ONLY way I could keep up with what all I had bought and hidden! LOL.... once I hid it I would forget about it. I realized I had to have system when I found some of Leigh's things the next year when I was hiding that year's Christmas! LOL..... plus it helped me keep up with what I was spending and how much on each kid. I spent several hours last night sorting things that "santa" will bring for each kid.... I had to get everything sorted and put away before Jess gets home for the holidays. It has just about gotten to be too overwhelming trying to keep it all "even" - as far as number of presents to open, etc. We open one at a time, so if they numbers aren't close it is pretty obvious, but the kids know that the same amount of money is spent just some people get two packages to equal one. Jeri, I have done the partial cash thing several times so they could buy things they wanted on sale. They wouldn't go with us the day after Christmas but would usually go in a week or so. I have a few things that haven't come in - and a few that I am questioning IF they are going to get here. I may be scrambling at the last minute to try to fill in the gap! :( I am already doing that on my sister because I thought I had her all taken care of and then I tore my sewing room up looking for a purse that I had bought her back in the summer...... I couldn't find it and then Jessica remembered I gave it to her for her bday! Oh my..... I do NOT remember that AT ALL. Jess wasn't 100% certain, so I just had to ask her if I had given her a purse for her bday. :( I guess I can blame it on age.................. or my mind going a million different directions!

I don't even know if I told ya'll but Jess went to LR to celebrate her bday with some friends last Friday. I told her jokingly to watch out for Jags - (since a jag was involved in Kyle's accident)..... she called me about 7:30 saying her car had been hit. I thought she was playing a cruel joke - but no, her car had actually been hit in a parking lot. So, now that is all three kids - Alex's laptop, Kyle's car totaled, and now her bumper hit. Thankfully, the lady who hit her has her insurance company taking care of the repairs. Since that is 3 - I hope that is it for a while!

We spent all day Saturday at Alex's doing repairs on his deck. We really had a productive day and made a lot of progress. I got notification today that his replacement window FINALLY came in, so Leigh picked it up today because he was close. So, I guess that is the agenda for this Saturday. Alex flex to Atlanta this morning. He has his hands on boards (I do not know the official name) but he will see "pretend" patients all day tomorrow and be evaluated and graded on how he does with their symptoms that they present with and the defined list of how he proceeds after that. I think he will do well - he usually excels at the hands on portion of the job. He comes back on Friday because the only flights he could get were in the mornings - even then he had to route thru Charlotte. Seems like you have to fly around the country to get anywhere these days!

Jess had two major finals this past Monday, so her worst is behind her. She needed a 96 to pull an A in cognition so she focused most of her attention on it because she fully expects to get a C in Pchem. She could make a 0 on the final and still have a C..... the final in there is a national chemistry exam so studying for it wasn't really feasible. Her strategy paid off and she made a 101 on the cognition so she was happy. She didn't even have to take her accounting final because she had an A in the course and the final was optional if you needed to pull up your grade. She had her ceramics final today and has Cell biology tomorrow and then she will be headed home.

Have a great rest of the week everyone..................... and yes, I STILL HATE this format..... having to search for all the posts are a REAL pain!

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Hi Genna! Jess is so smart! I'm glad she's finished (or by now I'm assuming she is). I'm sure you'll be glad to have everyone home. Alex will do fine I'm sure, especially if that is his strength. I hate that about Jess' car, but at least she's going to get it taken care of. Was Kyle's accident the fault of the other driver? You'd think that's what we have insurance for, but I think they try to mess with you to their advantage if you aren't careful.

Tonight is the first night of our Living Christmas Tree performances. We'll be busy this whole weekend with that. I also have a 5k run Saturday morning which will be fun - a Mistletoe Run, which is always fun and not long. But they added a short performance this year on Saturday at 11 am, so I'm going to be rushed to get showered and ready for that. I guess there are a lot of people who want to take kids to an early performance rather than on Sunday afternoon, or who just don't want to sit thru a long performance so now we have 2 short performances. We still have the one on Sunday afternoon too. I think they should have added a long performance since they always have overcrowded performances at the other times. Oh well, we'll see how it goes. I just know I'll be exhausted by Saturday night and still have Sunday to go.

At least I'm done with my Christmas shopping and wrapping except for a couple of gift cards I have to put in a bag. I still haven't sent out any Christmas cards this year though. And I may not. I feel kinda bad about it but oh well.

Ripley, MS

Elaine I didn't send any cards this year either. I think more and more folks have stopped since postage is so high now. I have a roll of stamps I bought the forever kind before they went up, but there is no stopping place for me when I start and I always think of someone I missed too late to send so I just didn't do any this time.
Ya'll know I wish you a Merry Christmas, not only at Christmas but each and every day of your lives !
I love a singing Christmas tree and it takes so much work to put one on, your community is Blessed that they have yours.
I know you are ready for the kids Christmas breaks, Genna, so they can rest a little, so much rushing around.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I think it took me right to the end of the thread this time!! Maybe they are getting some of the bugs worked out.

I left at 8:00 this morning and didn't get home until 4:30 this afternoon!! I had an appointment with my cardiologist first thing this morning for a routine checkup. Everything was fine. My BP and pulse rate were perfect! I still work with jewelry some at Dillard's every month and had some of that to do today. Then I picked up gift bags, tissue paper etc. to take to CA. I'm going to give the two girlfriends a driftwood Nativity. It's really cute. It's all one piece with the figures all attached.

I ended up buying a new jacket I'm going to take with me. I keep trying to decide if I'm gong to keep it for sure. About to decide I am. I hesitate because I have a closet full of jackets but they are all old or I don't particularly like them. My favorite one is a lightweight all weather type and it is looking worn because it's the one I always pull out. The one I got is another all weather type that has a lining I can zip out and make even lighter and has a hood. I have a bunch of wool jackets but I just don't like to wear them. I need to get rid of some of my coats!!

You do have to watch out for insurance companies. A lady backed into my car a year or so ago. I wasn't even in the car. I was inside my antique mall. Thankfully it was a very honest real estate lady that backed into it and came inside to find the owner of the car. We both had State Farm and the adjuster was just going to repair my car. I told him I didn't want my insurance taking care of it. It was her fault and her insurance should take care of it. Which it did. I didn't want it going against my insurance. It also turned out to be a lot much damage than I thought. It just looked like a slightly dented bumper to me but when I took it to the body shop there were a lot of other things damaged that I hadn't noticed and would have never noticed.

I've been steadily working on getting order in my house. I should be able to get one spare bedroom totally back in shape tonight!! Slowly but surely.

My grandsons are all home for Christmas break. Justin and Clint both went home last weekend and Jake had his last final this week and I think is home now. Justin goes back the 4th of Jan. Clint may have a little longer break. Justin has fairly short breaks.

I just checked the weather forecast and it's going to be warmer in Little Rock than in CA!!! Out forecast is for high 60's and low 70's all the way through Christmas. In Pleasanton and San Francisco is going to be in the high 50's and low 60's! Crazy!!!

This message was edited Dec 17, 2015 6:00 PM

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Yes, Charlotte, it took me straight to the last post I had viewed w/o me even clicking it.

Genna so glad that Jessie and Kyle are both OK!!! Well I know you aren't gonna believe this but Breanna got in a wreck last night. She hit the back of a ladies car. No body was hurt. TG!!! They gave Bre the ticket for following to close. Bre & Ashley got in an argument at Mary's wake because Ashley got in a wreck and totaled her car and got a different car with the insurance money. Bre got in a wreck earlier and her bumper fell off and they got a new bumper. Breanna didn't think this was fair so I asked her last night if she thought she was getting a different car now?

How many years have you done the Living Christmas Tree, Elaine? I wish we could all surprise you. Good luck!!! ( I just can't bring myself to say break a leg!!!)

Ashley and I went Christmas shopping today and had a lot of fun until we started home around 3:30 and hit a traffic jam on the interstate. Ended up taking us over an hour from that point on. Sad thing was there was no wreck or construction or anything. Everyone just stopped for about 30 minutes.

Ripley, MS

I hate heavy coats too, it is like they just weigh you down or something. It has to be a blizzard or something for me to wear one, espically wool.
It is a good thing I am a southern girl !
Congratulations on the great check up.
We use Farm Bureau for our auto insurance, have you used them? We might look at changing some things when Jerry retires. I have heard excellent reports on State Farm. We have had really fair pay out from them until our roof in the spring. I didn't feel like we were paid enough for the damages, but he said it was all our policy allows. We thought he was giving us 500 on the Japanese maple, but when we got the paperwork and the check we only got 550 for all plants, we were expecting 500 for the tree alone, but that didn't happen. He said our policy only paid 550 for plant and shrub damage.
So if any of you have any advice, please share

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Well I'm keeping the coat. I pulled out several coats and they all need to be donated. I'm so bad about not getting rid of things!!! That's why I keep hauling off truck loads of stuff! I don't like wool coats anymore either Sandra. I used to always have a good wool coat I wore to work. I had to walk several blocks from my car to my office and that walk was always cold. Now I like more of an all weather coat that is fairly light weight. That's what I bought and it has a hood in case I get caught in rain.

I have used State Farm for about 50 years!!! I've never had any complaints. Mary-Milam and her husband were looking at their expenses looking at ways to cut some things and asked me what insurance I used. They went to my agent and ended up saving a considerable amount of money. They switched their homeowners and two cars to State Farm. I can't remember who they had insurance with before. I've been with the same agent for over 30 years.

You might want to check with State Farm Sandra and one or two other companies. I've never paid for a new roof on my own. I know you didn't either. We have enough hail storms in the south that at some point your insurance will pay for a new roof. But I've had some neighbors that had trouble getting their insurance company to pay for a new roof for hail storm damage. The last roof I got a few years ago the adjuster said my damage was not very bad but if I had any damage at all he had to pay for a new roof. I ended up paying in addition to what the insurance paid because I upgraded to a architectural single. They only paid for the same thing that was on the roof.

I had an inline hot water leak in my slab 7 or 8 years ago. I had numerous people out here trying to find out why my gas bill was so high in the summer. I even insisted that the gas company put a new meter in. Finally I got a very well known (and expensive) plumbing company out here and they found the problem right away. The person that came out had worked with State Farm a lot and knew the adjuster. He managed to actually get them to pay for the plumbing repairs and a new electric water heater (my house originally had 2 water heaters but one had been disconnected before I moved in) . Putting the 2nd water heater back in allowed them to just by pass the section of pipe that had burst. He told them you can either pay for the repairs which are going to cost XX$ or you can pay for me to jack hammer her floor and replace all the hardwood. What do you want to do?? They chose to pay for the plumbing repairs. But he handled it all direct with the adjuster. I never got involved in it.

I'm glad none of the kids have been hurt in all these wrecks!!

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

We have Farm Bureau insurance - and we have never had any problems, but I was NOT happy with the adjuster who got assigned to "investigate" Kyle's wreck. Leigh has had FB Auto insurance in Bradley Co where he was raised since he was 19 or 20.... that's like 45 years! We have been married for 33 1/2 so I have been on the policy that long, and this is the only vehicle we have ever had coming close to totaled in a collision. We did have Leigh's bug that got totaled when he hit the deer almost 3 years ago, but with having insurance that long and raising three kids, I think we did fairly well. It could have been much worse if they had totaled one when they were 16 - which is what probably 20 people told me would happen within 6 weeks when they started driving by themselves! I told them if they did they would have to go turn in their license bc we wouldn't be able to afford the insurance! They transferred the 'investigation' part to an adjuster out of Maumelle and I don't think he put forth any effort into the investigation at all and he was extremely rude and defensive when I asked him some questions. He told me that the 1.5 - 1.75 hrs that passed between the wreck and the field sobriety test wouldn't matter, nor the fact that he had at least 4 large glasses of water during that time from Wendy's, and then he told me the guy "blew a 0 - he had NOT been drinking, he was completely clean" and I said NONE of the documentation that I had said he had been given a breathilizer test at all - and what did he see that info on? He told me it was on the police report, and I said the police reports states that he had a FIELD sobriety test - not a breathilizer test, and he said " oh well, it don't matter its the same thing", "he wasn't drunk"..... When Kyle went to move into the right hand lane he SAW the man who ended up hitting him moving into the right hand lane as well. The man stated he was 5 cars back. Kyle agreed he was several cars back - but as Kyle was moving over the guy had gunned it and hit him. KYLE was at fault because he did not "yield to traffic" in the right lane......no matter HOW FAST the guy was going. Kyle just could not comprehend HOW he got there so quickly. Finally he looked up the car and it goes 0-60 in 4.9 seconds.....so obviously he gunned it when he moved to the right. The adjuster said it would not matter if he gets the ticket he received overturned in court or anything - that it would be his liability. Also said that EVEN if the guy had tested drunk Kyle would have probably ended up with at least 50% of the liability. Its almost 20 K to fix the Jag - and just his front Quarter panel was damaged. He broke Kyle's axel - but the adjuster wasn't sure the guy was speeding! Every mechanically minded person I have spoken with says that takes a tremendous force. :( Anyway, we are stuck with it. Considering the guy is a personal injury lawyer with a really, really seedy reputation, I just need to be thankful he isn't claiming personal injury..... or at least not yet.

Our local body shop already has the claim info on Jessica's car to turn it in to that woman's insurance. She just needs to get it by there today for them to get an estimate. She got home yesterday afternoon. She ended the semester of 20 hrs with all A's except for a C in pchem...... there were only 5 advanced students in that course, and 4 out of the 5 basically had Cs. He took one guy who was a high B and moved him up to an A and two students who had the highest Cs to Bs so that his course grades wouldn't look so bad. That pretty much describes how bad an instructor he was - but its over and it won't matter down the road. Thankfully she had enough other hours that even with a C in there it won't lower her gpa. She has one more killer course left to complete her chem degree and she is determined she is going to get thru it. Even if its another C...... I told her not to worry about it - just do the best she can. This next class has 5 different chemistry instructors - each teaching a different part of the class and each test has a section from each teacher on the test. Sounds totally crazy to me.

Sandra, by the way, we did price State Farm last year, because we have several good friends who work for State Farm, and we have several family and friends insured by State Farm. They were only slightly cheaper on some vehicles and not any cheaper on our house or rent houses. We ended up not moving because we would not have saved much - less than a 100 dollars insuring 6 vehicles and 3 houses. I figured for that amount, it would be better to stay where we have a long established history and relatively limited claims. Farm Bureau did tell me that it did not matter whether the payout on the claim was 1K or 90K that it was just considered an 'accident' on the policy and that ONE vehicle only would be "penalized". Normally it is the car that is added back on when the totaled car is removed from the policy, but in this car we aren't adding one on at the moment, so it will bump to Jessica's car which is the next most expensive car on the policy. It will be increased for 2 years and then it will roll off the policy. So, I guess it could be worse. I expected all of them to increase.

Elaine, I do wish we were all close enough to come see your performance! It would be so awesome for all of us to be there together!! My sister was in one for several years, but she no longer attends that church - and I don't think they have the living Christmas tree anymore. :( I love to sing, but can't "sing" so I have never been in one! I know it is tiring for everyone involved - I wish you luck with the run and the singing!

I have 600 daffodils that I am trying to get into the ground. I THOUGHT it had finally gotten cold enough to order - now we are getting all these crazy warm temps. MAYBE the night temps will be enough to keep them from sprouting!

Sandra, how is Jerry doing? I haven't heard you mention how his work in going in a long time. Hope he is continuing to improve!

Everyone have a great day!

Ripley, MS

I have some daffodils up already, they are so confused I think ! Thanks for asking about Jerry. He is dragging right along. Still on one hand only duty, he can lift 15# to his waist level, but nothing higher than his waist. He is stressing his other shoulder only using one hand, he said the one with surgery feels better than the other one now. On Jan 16th he is to "work as tolerated" and the 25th he goes back to probably be dismissed for full duty. Then he will have to come home because he can't use his hand to be of any real use to the company. He is feeling better than he did at first, but he is not by any means 100%. He had a few vacation days left that he will take next week and he will be off from the 23rd until after the New Year.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the update Sandra! I don't see how on earth they can release him for full duty if he can't use that hand! I would have a serious discussion with the doctor about that - and discuss disability qualifications. Then I would talk to the attorney again about options once the 25th is behind him.... :( It has been a long hard journey for you both. I hope that he is able to get the compensation that is due him. If he is doing a repetitive motion with that one good hand in only one direction, he needs some stretches and exercises to offset the one sided use of that shoulder. I have some that I have to do because so much of my work is right in front of me on a keyboard, etc. It creates havoc with my shoulders - so I have tried to listen to my chiropractor and start doing stretches and exercises to strengthen the opposite muscles.

We spent Saturday at Alex's house replacing his window that was broken during the robbery. It has been on order for several weeks even though it was only supposed to take 10 days to come in. Truthfully, I think the guy forgot to order it until I called back to check on it - but not sure. It was a major job - because of his deck being added on to his house, it blocked the sheets of cedar siding that are on the exterior and prevented us from being able to just pull those sheets loose to take out the window - so we fought that for several hours and then literally had to take the old window apart - we had to take out each window . We managed to take it in to pieces and get the remaining unbroken window and the large piece of glass remaining from the one they did break out without breaking it any more - which I was excited about! :) We were exhausted at the end of the day - but the new window sure looked nice! Yesterday Jess and I spent most of the day cleaning and wrapping gifts. My sister and BIL took us out to eat supper for my birthday and so it was a good day!

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Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Just discovered I made a post the other day but it didn't show up here!!!! I don't remember what I posted.

Anyway Sandra all this with Jerry just doesn't seem right or fair!!! I'm sorry you all have had to deal with this.

I'm headed to CA tomorrow morning. I just about have everything ready. I know what clothes I'm taking and have them hung out. I just need to put them in a suitcase. Have that out too. The two teenage sisters across the street are going to be taking care of Samantha and Charlie. They came over this weekend and got instructions. Their grandparents will be here this week (they live out of state) and I told the girls mother that if anyone wants to sleep over here there are 2 clean bedrooms. Also if she needs extra refrigerator space or an extra oven she's welcome to use mine. I'm hoping the girls will spend the night over here but I'm not going to require them to. I really like the girls grandmother. She is really outgoing and friendly and also a plant person. She also loves animals. So knowing her I expect she will be over here some also to play with Samantha and Charlie.

I'm paying the girls what I would have had to pay to board them somewhere and they were thrilled.

I still have begonias blooming in the back yard! Encore azaleas are blooming all over town. I have lots of other stuff in the back that is usually long gone by now that is still green. Wonder if I'll still have begonias blooming on Jan 1!!!

I'm looking forward to my time in CA. Ready to get this year behind me and start fresh next year. I hope everyone has a very blessed Christmas!!

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm pretty well worn out today and my voice is about gone from all the singing this weekend. I really wish you could pack up together and come over and hear us. We really hit a home run most performances I think. The soloists (different people and different songs each performance) were fabulous. The guest, Ken Medema, was wonderful. He did get a cold and was hoarse by Sunday but did his best yesterday for the show to go on. He is amazing, especially being legally blind since birth. Each night someone random would tell a short and he would make up a song about it. There were some stories that brought tears to your eyes. Here is a link to one of the Livestream broadcasts (Saturday night's performance). You can forward to around 23-24 minutes and bypass the introductory music to get to the 'Tree' part. There is also one from Friday night.

http://livestream.com/fbchsv/events/4583215 (Sat. night)

http://livestream.com/fbchsv/events/4583181 (Friday night, different solo from The Messiah at around 35 minutes)

Charlotte, I hope you have a safe and happy trip. Enjoy your family.

Sandra, I hope Jerry doesn't overdo it with his other shoulder. Genna is right. He should consult with his doctor about what they are asking him to do at work and his attorney should advise him on what he should be asking for with regard to workman's comp.

We saw some photos our DIL posted from Yosemite today. They are skiing/snowboarding and she said God certainly created one of the most beautiful places on earth out there. They are having a great time. I'm envious!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Genna I forgot to say you have a pretty tree.

Elaine I would love to see a live Christmas tree performance. There may be one around here but I haven't heard about one. Know it was tiring but I'm sure it was also very fulfilling.

I leave in the morning for CA. I actually have a presentable house downstairs and everything is presentable upstairs but 2 bedrooms. I'll start to work on them when I get back. Still a lot of work to do on closets and drawers. But I don't feel so overwhelmed with a somewhat presentable house.

Here is my only Christmas decoration!! I really have no desire to put up anything more than this.

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Ripley, MS

The attorney is already on top of his disability, he is still not using his arm for anything. The last doc to release him is the shoulder doc, when he releases him to full duty will be when he quits. He is basically just drawing his pay as that is more than disability would be.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Hope everyone in Arkansas and Mississippi is staying safe from the storms. Sandra it looked like they were around you right now, so hope you are doing ok.

Ripley, MS

We are ok, but internet out I am using my phone and don't have much data for it, so, Merry Christmas to all and much love and happiness wished.
There has been many homes lost within a 100 mile radius all around us, Judy's sister lost her home, Amanda's step kids, Wendy and Benjamin also lost their home and vehicles.
The lightening got our tv and directv both but that is a minor thing, they make that stuff every day !!!!
Love to all

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Sandra I didn't realize the bad weather was so close to your house. I think we just had rain in Little Rock. Not sure. So sorry about Judy and Amanda's step kids losing their homes. It's bad anytime but especially bad right at Christmas.
The weather is beautiful here. We spent the day in the city yesterday. The 2 girlfriends wenwas t also. We did lots of walking but it's always fun to be in the city at Christmas . The decorations and lights were so pretty. There was a what looked like a church group singing carols on one corner of St Francis Square. We shut the stores down at 10 and it was 11 before we got home.
We went to Saddlebrook Restuarant in Capitola on Tues night and celebrated Jakes graduation from San Jose State. It was a really nice restuarant and Kristi had had this huge cake make. The top layer was white with strawberries and the bottom a dark chocolate with a chocolate mousse layer. Then the whole thing was covered in a thick layer of white chocolate. It was delicious!
Tonight we are going to church then having Kistis special seafood dinner. She has already set the table and it looks so pretty.
Wishing everyone a blessed and Merry Christmas!!

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Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Sandra, I am so sorry to hear about Judy and Amanda's step kids losing their homes. Sad for Wendy & Benjamin too. Those storms looked bad on the radar, and when I saw your town shown last night I was worried. It sure could have been worse. We only had rain. And it's been in the 70's today.

Charlotte, I saw your FB posts and that cake! I'm sure the photo doesn't do it justice, so I am glad you told us about it. It sounds wonderful and it is really spectacular. I know y'all are proud of Jake. And happy you could all be together to celebrate this week.

My salvia is blooming. And this is Earl directing the 'Hallelujah Chorus' during the children's performance of the Living Christmas tree. He did good. It looks like is posting sideways. I don't know why.

Love y'all, and hope you all have a blessed day tomorrow. Merry Christmas.

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Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

All the tornadoes and damage is so sad. It seems especially bad this time of year.

I'm back home now. I really enjoyed my visit but glad to be back home. I looked outside this morning and was shocked to see one of my azaleas blooming!! This is not an encore but just a regular old fashioned azalea!

No wonder we are having so many tornadoes this time of year. Seventy five degree weather is just not normal for Dec. We had some really bad lightening in LR a couple of days ago. I think about the time the tornadoes went through. It struck one big huge tree in an older neighborhood with such force that chunks of wood broke windows in cars and houses 3 houses away from the strike. I just got a notice that my weather call subscription was expiring. I renewed it for certain! It broadcasts alerts on my iphone so loud you would never miss it.

My little doggies were so glad to see me!! The girls across the street took very good care of them while I was gone but Charlie in particular was so glad to see me. He acted like those dog videos you see on FB. He was so excited he was screaming. You would have thought I had been gone a year. He just kept on and on. His little face was so excited. It took them over 30 minutes to settle down.

This message was edited Dec 27, 2015 10:28 AM

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Here are the azaleas that are blooming. There are actually two blooming. I hope all the others don't decide to bloom.

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Central, LA(Zone 8b)

I am so grateful Sandra that you are safe and no damage. Prayers for the families that suffered loss. Texas got it last night from what I hear.

Genna how is Kyle doing? Chris took Tori to the hospital last night, they think hers may be appendix and she is pregnant. They sent her home. Crazy!!!

Merry Christmas to all my friends. I am so grateful that Jesus was born and died on the cross for our sins but all the trappings that Christmas has turned into is just exhausting and I do nothing like years ago!!! We had a great day with way too much food. Apparently I stink!! I got 3 sets of lotion and body wash from Bed, Bath & Beyond and 2 candles. Each set is different and smells so good!!! Look out 2016 I won't stink then!!! LOL!!!

We had an electrical storm last week and I lost my internet. I've been on the phone with Cox for literally hours at a time and had 2 technicians out and I can only get the internet by WiFi still. I changed my modem out and my computer keeps reseting for some reason back to the old one.

My washing machine of 15 years decided to also bite the dirt and died!!! Jim & I went yesterday morning and bought a new set. I hope it does as good as the old ones. They wanted to charge us $30.00 to haul off the old set so Jim told them to just put them under the carport. The dryer is still working. I found a couple that want them both and will repair the washer. It's just a belt but I wanted a new set.

We also went by and ordered Mary's headstone. Headstones have gone up $700.00 since 2004 when Mary ordered her FIL's. If there is anyone out that that has not planned their funeral and made arrangements you are placing a burden on your loved ones and none of the prices are going down at all. Jim & I paid $50.00 for our graves to be dug in 1981 and it was over $1500.00 when we did Mary's earlier this month. $1500.00 to dig the hole!!!! I think it's outrageous and as a loved one this is the last act you can do so it's easy to get in over your head.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I'm going to keep using them until they die but my washer and dryer are 26 to 27 years old! When Richard and I got married his washer and dryer were fairly new and mine were a number of years old so we kept his set and sold mine. I need to do several things around the house. I need a new dishwasher. It works but I forced the door one time and broke the door spring. It's also very old. But I also need to do something about my kitchen floor. So I'll probably do it all at once.

Yes funeral expenses are outrageous. Richard's family has a family plot with one large family headstone and then they use large markers with the name and dates for each person. They are all exactly alike. Just the marker was $600. I will also have to pay a fee to the cemetery when it is placed. Even though they own the plot everything that was done at the cemetery involved a fee. Richard was cremated and I had the box of ashes buried in the family plot and was charged for doing that. Totally unlike the cemetery my family is buried in. It is a private cemetery and no fees are involved. When someone is buried they suggest you make a donation but their suggested donation of $200 to $300 is minimal compared to public cemeteries. We did not have to pay for the space my family is buried in. The Barron family donated the land for the cemetery in the mid 1800's and a Barron still lives behind the cemetery and sees that it is taken care of. I also plan to be cremated but want my ashes buried at that cemetery and a small headstone placed there. More for genealogical purposes than anything else.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Charlotte, so glad you made it home safely. I couldn't remember when you were flying in and I wondered if all the storms would delay your flights! Charlie was probably scared that you weren't coming back either. They are probably having a hard time adjusting to Richard not being there - and not really understanding what happened. :( I am glad the girls took good care of them! I am sure they were happy to have earned their own money!

Sandra, so sorry to hear about the damage in your area! I hadn't heard that - just haven't had much news on because I was working non stop trying to get ready for all the company this weekend! I would have taken off today to recover, but I had payroll this morning so that was not an option!

Kyle is doing much better, but Maddie got sick last night with whatever bug he had. She wasn't nearly as sick as he was, but she did stay home from work today. Mainly because she works in Pine Bluff on Mondays and they all ride with her boss - had she gotten over there and gotten sick again, she would not have been able to get home. She has been a little sick a couple of times, so I am sure it is best she stayed home. She says she is exhausted but feeling a little better. Kyle says he is still tired, but went to work today. We ended up having to drive almost all the way to Dallas to help Maddie with Kyle and their new puppy. The puppy is too rambunctious to stay put yet while driving and Kyle was too out of it to hold the puppy and keep him out of Maddie's way while driving. We headed that way, but then Maddie couldn't get Kyle awake enough to get in the car for them to head home, so we had a BIG head start on her before they ever got him in the car and headed down the road. We drove 3 hrs down there and then back on Christmas day! Needless to say it disrupted several things I had planned to get done that day, but she called saying she had to have help, and I didn't see that we had a choice but to go! Then the storms hit the Garland area really hard on Saturday evening so I was thankful they were here in Arkansas and I didn't have to worry about them possibly driving in that! Both they, and Alex and Natalie had to delay their leaving last night because there was a tornado on their route home, but they waited about half and hour and they all made it home safely! Thankfully, all of Maddie's family are ok, and the kids have several friends from college in that area. Some had slight damage, but none lost their homes.

Elaine, I sure wish we were a little closer, I would have loved to have seen those performances in person! I will watch the links when I get home this evening.

In 1985, when Leigh and I moved to East Camden, my sister gave me a set that she had bought when they were expecting their first child in 1971!! The washer and dryer worked great, but the washer had a small hole in it that leaked sometimes - my BIL had tried to patch it several times, and it was very inconsistent on when it would leak, but she was on a foundation and it was ruining her floor. So, she gave them to me because our laundry room had a concrete floor - and even had a drain in it. I used that set from 1985 to 1994 with NO problems! Didn't have it worked on a single time! Then the summer of 1994, we lived in Colorado for 10 weeks while Leigh started a Master's program. When we returned, the washer wouldn't work. The repair guy laughed and said it thought it had been retired, but he managed to get it going again. The next summer we were gone another 10 - 11 weeks and when we returned, it wouldn't work again. That time, there was no reviving it. He literally thought that if we had continued to run it, it would still be working!! That means the set was 24 years old! I am on my THIRD washer since then. I can't remember exactly when the dryer died, but I think it was about 2001. I am only on the second dryer since then, but they definitely don't last like that set did!!

It is much cooler here today. I had actually put my tropical back out on the front porch for the Christmas holidays.... I brought them back in last night! Guess I will have to give up and go ahead and put them in my garage at this point.

Hope everyone has a good rest of the week!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Yes I'm sure they are still not used to Richard not being here. He was always here with them and now they are home a lot by themselves. When I didn't come back for several days I'm sure that was upsetting to him. Hopefully they will get used to me coming and going and know I'll show back up.

Kyle and Maddie need to get a crate for their puppy to ride in in the car. I have always used a crate when I take them anywhere other than just to the vet. They are so good in the crate I forget they are in the car. They seem to feel really secure in the crate but don't do well at all just sitting on the seat. It is also much safer for them. I have a fairly large crate (actually 2 of them just alike - I keep one in the house under a tall table and the other in the garage for travel) that I run the seat belt through the back of the crate to secure it. I make sure the door facing the car door. The crate I have is large enough for both of them and they still have lots of room to move around in. So a fairly large dog would fit in it. Makes travel very easy with them. If I stay in a hotel or someones home, I can crate them while I go to dinner etc. We used to travel with Samantha a lot. She has even been to the beach.

There has been a really nasty bug going around that seems to often end up as a bacterial infection. My friend from Arkadelphia is in Nashville, TN at her daughters. She came down with a bug that just wouldn't go away. She has been sick since Thanksgiving and is still not well. Feeling better but not well. She went to the doctor finally and he told her she had a bacterial infection. Her daughter has a lot of small grandchildren. She thinks she caught it from the kids.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I stopped by Kroger on the way home this afternoon and the had all kind of baking and holiday related stuff on sale for half price and less, I guess people just didn't buy as much as they had anticipated. I got 5 lbs of flour for ,88, almonds, coconut, Ghirodellia chocolate chips, fancy scone mix, cappuccino , graham cracker crust, etc!! I thought it was just some M & M chocolate chips on sale at first. Then a lady struck up a conversation with me and I realized it was the whole huge display !!

Genna is a picture of the crate I use. This is the one I keep in the house. I just got lucky and the crate fits exactly under a table I already had.

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Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

One reason Charlie and Samantha miss me! This is how we sleep. I'm in the middle - Samantha is on the left and that tiny bit of white you see on the right is Charlie. Yes they have blankets on the bed and I cover them up. They don't move all night! They will stay in the bed until they know I'm awake.

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Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Good to hear from you all. Genna, I am sorry Kyle got so sick, and then Maddie too. I hope they are both better now. And so glad they didn't get any damage in the storms. Well, I am glad none of us had any storm or floor damage. The flooding around here is terrible. People who didn't think they were in flood zones had anywhere from 3 to 8 inches of water come into their homes. We didn't have any damage but there was a lot of water running thru our yard and the creek down the hill from our house was pretty full. They still expect the river to stay at flood stage but it looked like it had gone down yesterday. TVA had been opening the flood gates at almost all the dams to alleviate flooding.

Charlotte, I'm glad to see you are home too, and know you had a good trip.

I had my cataract surgery yesterday, so didn't do anything yesterday. I got all the Christmas stuff put away Monday and have been cleaning out one of my big closets in a spare bedroom. Today I have a cold that seemed to start yesterday afternoon, so I doubt I will get much done today either. Earl had one last week, so I am sure I caught his. I can see a lot better with my left eye so no telling what I will find to clean next! I think I will stick to cleaning out some drawers and files.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Elaine I had forgotten you were having your cataract surgery done this week. Glad you got that behind you.

I saw where Jeri posted she had a really bad cold or some kind of bug. So far I've escaped any of that.

I spent the last 2 days consolidating 5 booths at one mall into 4 booths. The first of February I'm adding an additional booth at my new mall. The rest of this week I need to get back to cleaning out stuff at the house.

I had some water leak into my fireplace during the really bad rain we had Sun night. I had the guy that does small repairs for me over yesterday to fix the light switch Richard broke and to replace 3 loose outlets in the living room and dining room. I asked him who I should call about my leak. He thinks the hard blowing rain we had had a lot to do with it. But suggested I have a new chimney cap put on and told me who to call to have it made. My cap doesn't cover the entire crown and he said I had a masonry crown which can develop cracks over time and a new cap that does cover the crown would solve that problem. So one more thing to add to my list of things I need to get done around the house.

Ripley, MS

Was this the first eye, Elaine? I can't remember ! I hope it goes as easy for you as it did for me. I only made one big snafu while I was going through it, I cooked green beans one day and when I went to stir them found the top of one of the cans in the pot---LOL ! At least I hope that was the only one I made !
Still using data, no internet yet

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Yeah, they actually have a crate for the puppy, but their car was so packed they didn't have room to set it up. Their back seats were full with a huge box that had a Christmas tree in it that they were bringing to my house to store because they have almost no storage in their apartment....... in hind sight, I should have told her to leave the tree at her Mom's until the next time they went and then put the crate in the seat, but I didn't think of that! The back of the car(its a hatchback type) had all their gifts and the gifts they had received in Garland, and then all their clothes, etc. But, I didn't think of them leaving the tree until I was almost to her! :( Oh well, its done now.............

Elaine, I forgot you were having it this week as well. I do hope that it went well and that you can see much better than before! My sister doesn't even wear contacts or glasses after she had hers done! My eyes are giving me a LOT of trouble, and I am having a REALLY hard time at work getting things done because I can't see well and then I end up with major headaches early in the day. I am going to an ophthalmologist instead of my normal optometrist because the last two pairs of glasses I have gotten from him have not helped. I am going to get them checked out and make sure there is not something else besides old age going on! The problem is that the Dr. is taking several weeks off and I can't get in to see him until Jan 21. I HOPE I can hold out that long! I am pretty sure I will have to go to bifocals if not trifocals to get any help!

I have all my Christmas stuff to put up yet............ All I have managed to do so far is get all the kitchen serving things that I pulled out for Christmas put back up, and some of the boxes etc that I will keep for next year sorted and ready to put away, and hauled off I don't know how many bags of trash! I finished off a couple of leftover containers last night and I am about ready for something different to eat! LOL...... I have not been sleeping that well, but last night I slept like a log, and I am so sleepy today I can barely hold my eyes open! Not sure if I am fighting what Kyle and Maddie had, or if I am just exhausted from last week!

I am supposed to be redoing an ottoman/coffee table type piece for Kyle and Maddie. So far, all I have managed to do is take the old fabric off. I was hoping to have it finished for this weekend which is their 1st anniversary (I can not believe it has been a year !!! ) but I don't think I am going to make that. by the time I get home, my head hurts so badly that it is hard to even think about tying into a project!

I did a LOT of cleaning before we had all our company, but I still have some areas of the house that I didn't really get to that need a lot of attention! My sewing room is one of those areas. I hope to get back into their soon and get it straightened up! Charlotte, it sounds like you have made a lot of progress in getting things done in your house!

Charlotte, you said a week or so back that one of the neighbors were moving... have they sold their house or is it for sale?

I hope everyone has a blessed New Year's!


Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

My neighbors house sold and new people have already moved in. They were not going to move until they sold their house. They are going to start building eco friendly houses and are building a model home to live in and show on 10 acres in Ferndale. The houses they are going to be building are solar and tornado proof.
Their house was the biggest on our street and had been totally redone. They knocked out a lot of walls and took the kitchen down to the studs several years ago. They turned it into a more open floor plan and put in a totally new high end kitchen. Before they moved in a master bedroom was built over the garage, It has a big deck over the lower deck. They also totally redid the master bedroom and bath. A 5 bedroom house. It sold for a very good price which will help our values also. Values on our end of the street are very good and almost every house has had a lot of updates to it. Nothing like the values on Northedge.

I'm taking a short break but I am making progress on my house. I got the trundle/daybed taken apart this afternoon!! Now I've got to clear a spot in the garage to store it until I can take it to the mall to sell. I still have popcorn on the ceiling in that room and I'm going to take it down and repaint the room before I get it all put back together. It's going to be my craft room. I'm going to fit the closet with just shelves. It want be hard to do.

The sheet metal company has already been out to measure for a new chimney cap and I should have it shortly.

I hate to even mention it but I haven't had any kind of cold or bug in a long long time. A number of years. Somehow I got blessed with really good eyesight. I used to wear contact years ago and stopped wearing them. Since then my eyes have actually gotten better. I have some prescription glasses in my car for nearsightedness but seldom wear them. I usually wear them when I'm driving at night but I really can't tell a lot of difference with them or without them. I just can't hear!! LOL

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

The back of the house that just sold. The corner you see is the master bedroom upstairs. It has a vaulted ceiling and glass on the end and all across the back wall. A door from the bedroom goes to the upper deck. Another deck on the other end lower level of the house outside the den.

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Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Yes, Sandra, this was my first cataract surgery. My other eye doesn't need it yet. It was really easy and I can see pretty good today. I think it's still a little swollen from that device they put around your eyelids to keep your eye open but other than that things are ok.

Charlotte, this is the first cold I have had in several years. Can't remember the last time, but probably 4-5 years. Hope this one is over soon! It's annoying.

This message was edited Dec 30, 2015 4:45 PM

Ripley, MS

You did better than I did, I don't remember a device, I just remember telling them I was nervous and then it was time to go home. Then you only have to deal with the one, that is great !

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Reporting in. Charlotte is right. I'm sick. It started during the night Sat. night with the worst sore throat. I went to bed last night at 7:30 PM and didn't get up until 6:00 PM tonight. I'm only up now so I can sleep tonight.

Elaine I'm so glad everything went well with your cataract surgery. Don't overdo it. I don't think you are suppose to do a lot of bending over.

I have not even thought about putting up the Chrismas decorations. Maybe this weekend. Jim leaves Friday to go back to Texas.

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!!!

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