Monday, January 18, 2021

Let's Chat

Good morning! 
So last time we chatted, we'd just finished a mid-December family chat and made gingerbread houses. That really was so fun. That was also the only weekend Jess had the kids in December, and the day school let out for the holiday break, the kids left and didn't come back until a few days after Christmas. Since they were where we had no idea who they came in contact with, nor did we know if anyone wore a mask, once the kids came back, we kept our distance for a few days. Our Christmas celebration was on New Year's Day, and by that time, the excitement of the holidays had waned. We still enjoyed watching them open their gifts, and had video chat on while they did that so their great-grandparents could watch as well. 
We enjoyed prime rib for supper, as is our tradition of the past several years. The kids mostly enjoyed the dinner rolls. I had ordered some frozen roll dough in my grocery pickup, but they were out of stock, so they substituted Sister Schubert frozen rolls and the family inhaled those. 

Decor, such as it was, came down a few days later. The kittens very much enjoyed the tree, which is why it was decorated with unbreakables only.
Decorations are piled in my bedroom, waiting to be sorted and packed away. Last year I culled all the seasonal decorations hard, yet I find I want to do it again, but I feel like I need to empty the closet where they're stored, then put back only what I'm keeping. That seems overwhelming, so everything just waits, piled up along the walls. I have a collection of vintage Santa mugs that I'm going to try to sell to a local-ish antique store. I'll keep a few, but find I'm embracing minimalism in my decor, so won't store items I'm not going to use. If the proprietor of the store doesn't want the collection, they'll go to donation, but either way, that's one large tote gone. 
A little over a year ago, my daughter taught herself to make the decorative epoxied cups that are popular now. She made several for gifts for her friends, and started one for me, then all of 2020 started happening and she packed away her supplies. This past fall I asked her to teach me, so she brought everything here and we got all excited and decided to make things for family gifts. That meant we set up our work station in the office, to keep the epoxy out of the main living area. I might be minimizing my house decor, but am embracing this new-to-me craft. We have cup supplies everywhere when we're working, and the spot set up in the office was just a mess. I've been trying to declutter and organize that room forever anyway, then add in this new obsession and all the supplies, and that room was suffocating. 
Over the weekend we stuffed many boxes and baskets from the office into the guest room, then rearranged the office, and now have room to work. This week will be busy with cups as we try to finish the ones that have been started and get them sent off/delivered to recipients. By making all of these gifts, we've been able to hone our skills and try various techniques. My skills have improved a lot since the first few cups I made. Our financial investment in supplies is offset by the fact that each cup uses minimal amounts of supplies, plus, I didn't have to shop for Christmas gifts. We've split the cost, and have declared a moratorium on spending now that we're well supplied. This craft truly embraces artistic expression, and there are so many techniques I want to try! I'll post photos after all of my cups have been given to the people for whom they are intended. This one was Greg's Christmas gift, featuring the title of one of his favorite songs, "Ridin' the Storm Out" by REO Speedwagon. 
Last week we celebrated the youngest grandchild's 6th birthday. One of the "grandma" things I do is provide their birthday supper and cake. I'm not a great cake decorator, but do enjoy it, and try to produce what they ask for. This year Layla picked a kitty cake. I purchased a plain chocolate cake, and spent about an
hour creating a cute kitten face on it using purchased fondant. I don't mind making the cakes from scratch usually, but just wasn't feeling up to the whole kitchen mess. The kids don't care if I make or buy the cakes. Undecorated cakes, while much more expensive than a mix, are not so expensive as to ruin our budget, so sometimes I do take that shortcut. 
Much of my mental energy these past couple of weeks has been taken up by the political strife happening in our country. I was watching the coverage of the certification of electoral votes as I puttered around the house. I knew about the process, but had never paid it much attention until this year. I popped into the office to grab another box to sort, and when I came back out to the living room, they were no longer covering the Senate proceedings, but the soon-to-be-riot outside instead. I watched in real time as the building was breached and vandalized. I was on the phone with Greg as they got inside the building and cried as I told him what was happening. We won't discuss politics here. I won't post my beliefs, nor will any political comments be allowed. I only mention it because this affects us all - we need to be kind and decent to each other. We don't all have to believe in the same politics to be kind. 
Supper tonight will be fried rice with chicken. The rice is a leftover container from take-out on Friday, and the cooked shredded chicken is from the freezer. We'll be eating from the house freezer this week - the baggies are overtaking the space and it's time to use them up! 
Okay, that's it for today. My honey has the day off work, which I didn't know until the alarm went off this morning, ahem. The day is dawning a little bit gray, but temps this week are forecast to be in the 40s. Perhaps the outside Christmas decorations can come down? I remember many years ago, Greg left the Christmas lights up until the day before Easter (in late April) when I insisted we would NOT have Christmas lights on the house any longer. They came down, but he was in a friendly stand-off with a neighbor to see who could leave them up the longest. Once ours came down, so did theirs. Lol. Men. They're just boys their entire lives, aren't they? ♥


  1. We had Chicken Fried Rice on Friday evening for supper. It is so good when made at home. I found that adding Sesame Oil is key to getting the flavor just right.
    I love your granddaughter's cake. It is so cute!


Thanks for sharing!