Last night when I went to bed I worried that I would not sleep as the wind was blowing pretty stiff. I hate when I can’t see the trees moving in the wind at night. I love my large oak and pecan trees near the Cottage but when gale force winds blow I confess I am afraid of them. The rain didn’t start for us until 11am this morning but it has been off and on since then. We have flash flood warnings for Spalding County but thankfully I am not situated in a flood zone.
Today has been a lazy day for me, I have puttered in my Scrapbook Studio cleaning out a few drawers, organizing supplies and ordered photos from Shutterfly for Project Life. I am also working on choosing photos to scrap, finding a page map for design inspiration and gathering papers and embellishments to kit up layouts to take to crop. I had invited Betty and Sarah over to crop yesterday but certainly understood that being so close to Christmas they had other pressing commitments. I think I will email her and reschedule the crop here at the Cottage for next Saturday. We have such a good time scrapbooking together and inspire each other when one of us reaches a stumbling block in our layout design. I consider myself very fortunate to have them for friends.
A gray day all round, with threatening skies as the day wore on. Mother and I listened frequently to the weather channel to see where the storm front was in relation to loved ones. We said extra prayers for everyone’s safety in the storms’ path. My dearest friend, Beth, is traveling to Mississippi today for her uncles’ funeral on Sunday. Thankfully she and her Mother are spending the night in Montgomery, Alabama and will be sheltered for the worst of the storm.
I am still working hard on developing a better housekeeping routine. A few weeks ago I rediscovered my old copy of “The Side Tracked Sisters” and began reading it again. Also I reactivated my account with the Fly Lady’s online group of daily reminders. I am doing a better job of keeping the dust at bay by using the Swiffer daily throughout the house instead of letting things go and having an exhausting marathon of vacuuming. By using the Fly Lady’s work ‘zones’ I can then deep clean in each room of the house as it’s’ turn rolls round; plus I do what I can to organize and make progress with things looking nice.
Mother decided that she wanted to make a batch of one of her favorite cookies, Chewy Oatmeal Date Cookies . I helped her get all the ingredients organized and she ground the raisins and dates with the Kitchen Aid Mixer to use in the batter. Mother often gets discouraged with her attempts to cook as she has gotten older, she says things are hit or miss and she is never sure the recipe will turn out as expected. Humph, I have that problem too at times.
Naughty me, I got the email from Scraptastic Kit of the Month Club today and straight away went and ordered my selections for the month! I have enjoyed the challenge of using the materials that comes in a Kit of the Month, it often contains things I would not normally choose for myself. It pushes me to be more creative, plus after watching so many scrapbook process videos on You Tube I just gotta get all the new stuff the other gals have, sorry. This is the January 2014 main kit selection: ‘Baby Its Cold Outside”. I just love the colors in this kit.
Today I needed to run a few errands before the rain moves in this weekend. The mid-west is being pummeled with another winter storm containing ice and snow. The last few days here have been unseasonably warm with temperatures in the 70’s; it is cooler in the cottage than it is outside. My first stop was the county courthouse to purchase my car tags for 2014; they are renewed around one’s birthday and I don’t like to wait until the last minute. I did that once many years ago and found myself standing in a long line in the rain for hours to get that illusive sticker, never again! I set off the metal detector when seeking admittance to the court house, at first I thought it might be the metal snaps on my jacket. When the officer asked me if I had anything in my pockets and I replied no he then said, “How about any knee replacements?” My goodness was I surprised, lucky for me he had experience in diagnosing the problem.
I took the time to stop at two of the local antique malls in Griffin and browse. Mother and I have been thinking about getting a booth and attempting to sell some of the many accessories and extra lamps we own. When the possessions of two well furnished households combine it can be overwhelming.
Stopped at the new Food Depot in Griffin. It opened in the same location that the old Piggly Wiggly was, but the interior had been totally renovated. The store was very clean, bright and had wide isles for shopping. It will certainly take me several visits to learn where everything is located.
Continued with my pecan picking up job this evening and now I have 2 five gallon buckets full. I wanted to get more done before the rains, but one does the best one can at times. I am grateful to have harvested these.
For some weeks now I have been experiencing a cleaning frenzy, not something I want to recover from any time soon. Part of my ability to comfortably do more work has to be the fact that I am two years post op from my last knee replacement surgery. One does not know how much better their life will be once the procedure is done. It did however take me over a year to feel my knee was working well for me again.
Today I baked an Orange Tea Loaf cake which was my second attempt at the delectable; yesterdays’ cake was a bit underdone though flavorful. Thursday’s cake was slightly overcooked. I can’t attempt the third time cake until I purchase more fresh oranges. I want to entertain several close friends with a Christmas Afternoon Tea and having several desserts baked ahead and frozen will certainly make things easier.
This year is the year that my pecan tree bore; it yields a bumper crop every other year. In just over an hour I picked up a five gallon bucket of nuts. It was pleasant work this afternoon as the temperatures were in the low 60’s. Many birds were my companion as I harvested the nuts from my back yard; mostly cardinals jumped about almost without fear while I rustled in the leaves looking for nuts. I found lots of nuts the squirrels had munched on and left half eaten, greedy little things. Yesterday I saw a Red Headed Woodpecker less than 15 feet from me, I had no idea how big the birds were, and how beautiful the color of his head feathers was. Tomorrow we are expecting more warm temperatures and I plan to get at least another hour of nut gathering done. Perhaps I can set up the tripod and attempt some photos of me gathering the bounty.
Mother and I both woke up about 7:45 this morning. That darn Olivia had piddled twice during the night. This problem with urination in inappropriate places is driving me crazy! When she first started this I took her to the Vet and she had a bladder infection. Fast forward; a $40 medication and 21 days of dosing this fur ball with sharp teeth and I hoped the situation would resolve itself…nope! Gretchen had been allowing her outside kitty, Ayla, to come inside and roam around the house. We think that maybe Olivia was being territorial by piddling; so now every evening I place a patchwork of hand towels and bath mats in her favorite spots to anoint. Some mornings are better than others; I really hope she gets over this!
Mother and I have our am routine down pretty pat; she has her huge mug of coffee and I have my breakfast while we watch the Today show. I finally wised up and set the DVR to tape the show from the beginning so we can see the real news rather than some of the less serious segments shared in the 9 am hour. Tuesday’s news was on and on about the Iowa primary election. Mother and I both are already sick of the whole presidential election race.
This morning is our coldest morning so far this winter; 24 degrees here at the Cottage; our local weather man says we will be warming up soon.
I received a $10 voucher from ARRL for my birthday. I placed an order for the study manual for the Extra Class of Amateur Radio License. I am sure I have no idea how difficult studying for this test will be! Later in the day I emailed Buzz, one of my Ham Radio friends, about downloading Fldigi. Fldigi is a software program that uses the computers’ microphone to send and receive radio messages. Most local and federal emergency entities want hams to use this program because it makes for more accurate messages. Our emergency communications auxiliary will practice using this software tomorrow night.
Still trying to finish up Project Life 2011, I typed up a week’s worth of journaling cards. I already have the 2012 album set up with all the week cards labeled so that I can just tuck ephemera in a pocket for the corresponding week and not have things pile up.
One of our oldest cats, Scully, is looking pretty bad. She has gotten thin in the last month or so and just looks sick. Scully is 14 years old, has lost all her teeth, poor dear and is probably nearing her time. I pray that she will just go to sleep and wake up in ‘kitty heaven’. It is so very difficult to take them to the Vet for euthanasia, I am not sure I can bear the pain of doing so. Losing a pet ‘is’ losing a family member and hurts a lot.
My right leg, of which I had total knee replacement on Nov 22nd, still continues to have a lot of swelling; my house shoe leaves a deep impression on my foot. I am still quite stiff at times and drawing that knee back is uncomfortable. I have been wearing my knee high boot on my left leg because I had a stress fracture that had not healed when I had my knee surgery, so I am a sight to see clumping along in my big boot and guarding my left leg; walking so funny yields a lot of back discomfort I might add.
I cooked spaghetti with Sweet Italian Sausage and served a green salad for supper and found a frozen loaf of pumpkin date nut bread Mother had baked several weeks ago. Yummy!
Break Time!! My right leg is screaming for a sit down break. Two days before Thanksgiving I had total knee replacement. It will be 6 weeks since surgery tomorrow, and I suppose I am doing pretty well. I am doing housework again, nothing too strenuous mind you, laundry, cooking and general pick-up duties. I have not driven yet since it is my driving knee that was involved. Tonight I will attempt my first solo trip out by attending the monthly meeting of the Butts County Amateur Radio Emergency Services.
I am proud to say that last year I took and passed both the Technician and General License exams to be a Ham Radio Operator. I have a 2 meter radio which is good for short hops by using local repeater beacons. I really need to get on the ball and purchase a High Frequency Radio which will allow me to make contacts worldwide. My inspiration to acquire this skill is my membership in the Georgia Preppers Network. In case of natural or man-made disaster the means to communicate with other people is a real need. I have been encouraging other folks in our network to get their license as well so we can have ham operators for state wide coverage.
I have just completed the most challenging part of my day…mealtime prep…lol. The cooking part is not too bad; the real challenge comes in deciding what to cook. Beth, my oldest friend, gave me some cooked turkey a week or so ago which has been in the freezer, I had left over corn bread from a meal several days ago; so I decided to make some turkey and dressing. I missed being able to cook for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it will taste just as good today. I also put on a pot of collards to cook and whipped up a sweet potato casserole. So now you see why my poor leg is begging for a sit down for a bit.
Mom is napping or at least having a lie down. It makes it easier for her to catch forty winks when Gretchen is at work; Fritz loves to bark at Gretchen when she enters or leaves the Cottage. Even if she is only going to the mailbox or the compost pile…lol. He really thinks we should never leave the house; how else can he keep his eye on us and be sure we are safe?
Cut a few coupons out this morning; I have had to dispose of a lot of them lately due to not being able to shop the sales. I need to get back in ‘stock up’ mode and use them up. I am wondering if I once again have bitten off more than I can comfortably chew as this Saturday I am picking up 40 pounds of fresh chicken breasts! One of my fellow Preppers has been buying from Zaycon Foods and sings the praises of the quality of their meats. The chicken breasts are $1.69 per pound, I am lucky to find them on sale for $1.99 locally. I have inserted the website address for anyone interested. www.zayconfoods.com
Well, I suppose I should close this posting and get in the shower and freshen up for my meeting tonight. I also need to toss out 2011’s agendas to make way for the new ones in my ARES notebook. (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) Not sure whether I will do an update post after my meeting, I think I will be pretty tired, but we shall see.