Sunday, December 31, 2017

Coming to a close- 2017

2017 was filled with lots of good stuff, happy memories, time with family and lots of laughs.  I'm looking forward to much of the same in 2018, but I'll wait until tomorrow to post about my goals for the new year.  One of the things that will help me immensely with my fitness goals is my Christmas gift from Steve.  It didn't get delivered until late Tuesday afternoon and I have to say I LOVE it.  I was surprised at how easy it was to set up, and each day since Thursday I've met all 3 daily goals.

I did have Minnie Mouse as my watch face to begin with, but the Activity face is much easier to keep track of my progress through out the day.  It was fun tapping the watch and have her say the time.

I hope 2017 was a good year for you and that 2018 will be prosperous, full of peace and blessings.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

December Daily- Wrap up 23, 24 and 25

We had a lovely family brunch at Mary's to start the day off right. The last photo is from our girls lunch on the 26th which really wrapped up the holiday weekend nicely.  I'm glad I have her blog to link to as I think that's the only time I have a photo of me show up!  It was so much fun watching Charlie talk about his tree cutter and blower, and while Sam didn't have much to say he definitely had lots of smiles to share. Much later in the day I had a serious raving for a Coca-cola-I no idea why, so off Andrew and I went with the dogs to the convenience store around the corner, but since it was so dark I decided to let Sophie wear on of my neon workout shirts so cars would see her.   Motorist in our area never pay attention to pedestrians.  She was not amused!

Christmas Eve we spent a few hours with my Mom.  Similar to what we did last year we took heavy hors d'oeuvres for lunch this year's menu included:  baked brie with cranberry jam, stuffed mushrooms, veggies and hummus, smoked trout dip, stuffed potatoes, shrimp cocktail, bacon wrapped scallops, bloody mary's, mimosas, and Moscow mules.  It was all delicious and we had a very nice visit.  We had dinner reservations at Maggiano's and I'm glad we had a decent lunch as the restaurant was overbooked for the evening and we had to wait more than 30 minutes past our reservation to be seated.

Christmas Day was just the 3 of us, and it was nice to have no plans to go anywhere or get dressed up.  Yoga pants and a t-shirt was the outfit du jour!  I knit Andrew a Clemson themed hat since when he returns to Maryland its going to be coooold!  This will help keep him warm when he walks Cocoa and traveling to and from the train station.  Maybe it will serve as a good luck charm that they'll go [and win] the National Championship again.  There was more delicious food for brunch and dinner- glazed ham, french toast casserole and snacks from Christmas Eve [and Maggiano's leftovers!].

I'd had my fill of football, so I cast on the Lilly Rose dress for my co-workers soon-to-be-born second daughter, and watched a few episodes of Season 2 of The Crown.   I've never struggled so much with a baby gift, but everything turned out too big or wasn't what I was hoping for.  I don't know why I didn't do this pattern to start with as it is such a cute/quick knit.  I am finally on the road to success with this one.  I also queue a ton of stuff on Ravelry, and my rationale was to purposely use the patterns I've bought [or printed] over the last few years, but manage to forget I have at the ready.  My goal this year is to knit from my stash and the patterns I've already purchased.  I plan to document my FOs a bit better this year.

The girl's lunch at Bistro VG on the 26th was so delightful, as always, and now all the out of towners are back home, but it was so nice to have everyone together.  I guess that means it's time to wrap up 2017 and focus on 2018.  I have some goals in mind that are achievable, and holding myself accountable to posting about them is at the top of the list.  I have a few more days off before I have to go back to work.  Today is a much needed hair appointment and I hope to get my Mom's quilt closer to being finished.  Yesterday I got together with Joyce and Brenda, and we've scheduled our next sewing day in the hotel lobby.  This will be our 3rd year, and I'm glad we've managed to continue to get together despite the fact that 2 of us have moved!  Friday will involve a trip to Acworth to help my Mom get her lease renewal documents submitted, and I hope to be home early enough to get Sophie out for an extra long walk.  It looks like the weather here will be dry but very cold which I can manage.  I want to get outside as much as I can before we have really yucky weather.  Here's to a productive few days-I hope!

Friday, December 22, 2017

December Daily-December 21 and 22 Bits and Pieces

I got this handmade card from friends from our church.  Wendy does such a lovely job.  The Santa figurine was painted by a friend of my Mom's a long time ago.  I thought they looked nice together along with a vase of flowers I got yesterday in white's and red which I couldn't quite get in the photo without including the kitchen sink!  The fresh flowers and poinsettias make everything look very festive.
 I've been on a Louise Penny kick, I just finished these 2 books and started A Trick of the Light.  I accidentally read Bury Your Dead before The Brutal Telling, but it didn't spoil the story for me.  I still like to hear how Gamache solves the crime.  I'm really beginning to dislike Peter Morrow.

Today I was at my mother in law's house helping her unpack and this is the wrapper from my after lunch treat.  Too bad today was not a good day for putting the top down.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

December Daily-December 20: Sending Holiday Greetings

I got the first batch of Christmas letters in today's mail.  I have about another 25 or so to mail address and mail.  I'll also be sending a special Christmas card that will go to family and close friends.  I am officially on vacation until January 2.  All the gifts are purchased and wrapped and I even managed to knit Andrew a Clemson-themed hat what has been blocked and wrapped.  My menus have been planned now I've just got to get the groceries bought and food prep done.  Let the holidays begin!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December Daily-December 19- packages all tied up with string

All the gifts that have been bought are now wrapped and "under" our tree.  Just a couple more things to buy and then I'm done!  Tis the season . . .

Monday, December 18, 2017

December Daily 17 & 18- The Theatre and Holiday Greetings

It's hard to believe that there is one more week before Christmas-where DID the time go?!  Yesterday Polly and Mary joined us for the last showing of Christmas in Sweet Apple at the Stage Door Players.  It was delightful and we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Novo Cucino.

 I'm always amazed at how well their stage sets look.  This is from the second act.
 Mary took this photo of us for our Christmas card-love how it turned out.  Managed to get our cards ordered this afternoon.
More cards in the mail today, and that means I needed to get a little creative with displaying them.  I think this is going to work. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

December Daily 12-16-Catching up

This week has been my busiest so far this month, and when I moved my calendar marker to next week, I was a bit giddy to see that my calendar is almost note free!  Thursday will be the start of my vacation until the end of the year.  I have things planned with friends and family, getting my hair done, but I'm also hoping that I'll get some knitting done and some "winter" cleaning.
Our annual holiday pot luck at my office was on Tuesday,  I had fully intended to take a photo once all the food was on the tables and got very sidetracked.  My desk is to the left of the table in the foreground.  Yes, this space is big enough to have food, including desserts, for over 100 people!  Thanks to the great folks I work with it was another success with just enough leftovers for to be enjoyed the rest of the week.  It was a very busy day from when I arrived at 7 until I left at 4.  However, there was no rest for the weary as my Book Club pot luck was later that evening, but on a much smaller scale!  The food there was delicious and the company outstanding.  No photo from that dinner, but the hostess had a lovely home all ready for Christmas. 

Early Wednesday morning was a routine appointment for my Mom at another Wellstar facility which had "soliders" at the door that were different from these and this ginormous tree!  My Mom posed for scale and I'm sure it had to be at least 15' tall.  My Mom loves Christmas decorations and she ooh'd and ahh'd at the wreaths and lights.   I took her back to place then had to head to work where things were still recovering from the previous day's festivities.  Our annual lunch was also a retirement party for my boss of 12 years, and I've very sad to see him retire.  Wednesday was also the day set for interviews for his replacement.  I have to say it was very hard to concentrate on anything with comings and goings of the candidates as my desk sits very close to the conference room. 

Luckily, I was able to leave work early as I was meeting my Mother in Law, Mary and Karen to see White Christmas on the big screen.  This is the second time I've gotten to see it at the theatre and I have to say I love seeing Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen dance and twirl- boy does she have moves and a great set of legs!  It was great, and of course the company really makes these experiences even more memorable. 
 Thursday I made a trip to Target to pick up some gift bags, battery operated lights for our little tree and other things.  I love that I have a Target nearby so it's easy to take care of these quick errands and I don't have to spend my weekends fighting the traffic and crowds.
 Friday night, and ahhhh finally a chance to relax.  Unfortunately, I managed to pull a muscle in my neck and shoulder.  Not sure exactly how that happened, but may have something to do with all the activity earlier this week.  The heating pad helps, but I have had a hard time sleeping because of the pain and not being able to find a comfortable position.  I had a nice long phone conversation with Andrew and he seems to have settled in with is job and new apartment.  He's hoping to be able to come home for Christmas provided he can work remotely from Georgia.  Fingers crossed-it would be nice to have him home.
 Saturday morning, a bit of devotion/quiet time, indoor cycling, and brunch at our leasing office [which was very very good].  The rest of the day was spent cleaning the apartment, grocery shopping, getting caught up on blog reading, a bit of knitting, and other things that have been waiting for me to have time to address.
 A lovely morning for a walk.
 And a benchmark for the Operation Amaryllis Watch.  My Mother in law gave this to me last Sunday at our cookie exchange and I forgot to take a photo.  It has certainly made progress since Sunday.  I'll do my best to show updates. 
I hope you are able to take time out to enjoy and savor the holidays.  I'm looking forward to some more baking, wrapping gifts, and knitting.  Hopefully I won't sprain any more muscles!

Monday, December 11, 2017

December Daily-December 11-Decking the Halls

Who says living in an apartment can't be fun?!  These are some inflatables that someone has set up on their patio area.  So festive and cute!  There are several balconies [including ours] that are decorated with lights and wreaths.  One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is to ride through neighborhoods and look at the lights and decorations.  When Andrew was a baby sometimes the only way to get him to sleep was to drive him around.  It became a tradition during the holidays to drive the boys and my Mom around to see the lights.  It's been a while since I've taken an evening to look at the lights.  I hope to revive this tradition this year.  Probably won't be any photos since I'll be driving AND looking!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

December Daily- 9 & 10

Once the snow stopped on Saturday Steve, Sophie and I ventured to the park to check the sidewalks and roads.  Surprisingly most of our area was clear, or at least well on its way.  After lunch we went to the grocery store in the off change the roads became icy overnight which is what usually happens. At the park Steve took photos of my new hat Reindeer Games which I finished on Wednesday and immediately blocked.  I love it and am glad I'll get to enjoy it for this year~it is also warm and cozy.

 I think the snow makes the perfect backdrop for my hat photos!
 On Sunday morning when I was walking Sophie I came across these 2 cute snowmen that have managed to survive the warming temperatures.  The ice and snow are melting at a low, but steady rate.  There were some areas with ice, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.
 Today we gathered at Mary's for a cookie exchange and the baking of Lebukuehen.  So many goodies to enjoy this year~shortbread, 2 kinds of toffee, candy cane, pastry bon bons, cheddar cookies, French Christmas cookies, spritz, cranberry bars [maybe] and orange spice cookies.  So much homemade goodness.  I'm planning to put together a care package for Andrew to send later this week. 
The next few days are going to be crazy busy-preparing and executing the annual office pot luck, book club dinner, a trip to Acworth to take my Mom to an appointment, and gathering at Karen's for cocktails before going to the theatre to see White Christmas.  By the end of the week I should know who my new boss is going to be-the suspense!  The weekend will include brunch at the leasing office and Stage Door Players with Steve, Mary and Polly to see  Christmas at Sweet Apple followed by dinner-can't wait, but also must remember to take photos!  So much to look forward to with some wonderful people.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

December Daily-December 8th- Snow Day!

I have lived in the metro Atlanta area all my live and in my 49 years I have NEVER seen snow this early in December.  There have only been a couple times when we've had snow before January and that was in the early 2000's when we had snow in the middle of the month, and around 2010/2011-ish and we actually had a white Christmas!  The only other time we had what I'd consider crazy snow weather was March of 1993 when we had our blizzard-now that is something I won't ever forget.  Friday started as any other work day- there was a bit of wintery mix coming down, but nothing to worry about.  I got to my office just before 8, and once 2nd boss arrived around 9:30 he said it had been snowing where he lives which was just NW from the office.  That all changed within the hour as the rainy/frozen stuff had turned to snow.  It didn't take long for it to really started coming down and continued until late last night.  This morning when I took Sophie out to do her business as predicted the snow continued overnight, and was coming down while we were outside.  While it is lovely to look at I know when this stuff melts we're going to have a real mess on our hands; especially if the temperatures drop.  I had texted Andrew yesterday to see when he was going to get snow as I'm sure it'll be heading to the Maryland/DC area soon, but there was nothing yet.  We only have a handful of kids in our complex, but they made the most of the snow and I'm sure they will be back outside making more snow people.  As I type this post it is still coming down in a steady stream with big fat flakes.  Friday Steve kindly fulfilled my request for a fire, and because the wood we had was so dry it didn't take long for us to use it up.  It made the afternoon so cheerful and cozy along with a cup of hot apple cider with bourbon [as one does when you leave work early and it's snowing outside!.\ 

Here's some photos of our winter wonderland
So it begins-
 What it was like when I left the office at 1:15.

Fortunately the ride home was pretty easy, just slushy roads and not a lot of traffic.  I know there were a lot of people that had to deal with heavy traffic to get home.  It is times like this make me very thankful that we made the decision to move closer to our jobs.
 Sophie is completely indifferent to the snow except this morning because the area out front was 4-5" deep she couldn't figure out how to go like she normally does, so we had to go around back where it wasn't quite so deep.
 This is what it was like this morning when we went outside.
It should be noted that our area was predicted to get 1-3"-um yea Mr. Weatherman you were just a bit off on that one.  I hope everyone whether in Atlanta or other cold parts of the world are snug and warm.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

December Daily-December 7 -Full Schedule

My calendar is getting to be a bit of a mess with things to do, shopping lists, appointments, and other reminders in addition to the comings and goings that happen this time of year.  Thank goodness for coffee!  Despite all the business represented by my calendar, there is plenty of time scheduled in to be spent with family and friends.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

December Daily 5 & 6- Decking the Halls

There won't be twinkle lights inside our apartment this year, but the balcony looks nice all decked out.
Today my Mom had 2 doctor appointments.  When she saw the toy soldier guarding the entrance at the Wellstar Facility in East Cobb she was a bit smitten.  They both look good in red don't they!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December Daily-1,2,3, and 4

I'm trying to view this blog as a way to document memories since I don't do physical scrapbooks anymore.  I'm always taking photos, so it sorta makes sense to take this approach.  In prior years I've taken part in Ali Edwards December Daily, so I'm going to try to do so this year via the blog.  Here's what December 1-4 have looked like:

My Reindeer Games Hat, I've been wanting to knit this for a couple years and finally ordered the called for yarn and eventually located the beads at Michael's.  I'm enjoying it a lot, but found I had to get creative with the placement of the beads on the reindeer.  This has been my TV knitting as well.  I hope to have this completed by the weekend so I can wear it for the cooking baking/exchange on Sunday.

 Me trying to pick up Sophie-neither of us are amused!
A little elf at worked left me a box of chocolates, they look festive in the Waterford bowl that Andrew brought back from Ireland a couple years ago.

Our first Christmas card from my cousin Della in the UK.  It is a depiction of a scene from the village Princes Risborough where she has lived all her life.  We have visited a couple times and its a very charming place.  The lights are on the balcony, but this year there is no full size tree.  What we do have by way of trees will be in another post.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Sophie Girl

On December 4, 2011, we brought this little fur ball home.  After doing a lot of research [almost 2 years] I decided I wanted a standard poodle, and a friend from church and spoo owner [as they are referred to] told me about a local breeder who had puppies I was thrilled!  We drove out to Flowery Branch and I wanted to take ALL the puppies home with me!  Needless to say from day one she has been a delight.  She's quite bossy at times, has her quirks, but that's part of her charm.  She has a funny way of "talking" to me when I'm scratching/massage her ears.  She has started doing this "airplane" thing when I scratch her ears or neck where she tips her head in the direction of the scratching- so funny.  Here are some photos to document her/our journey.
 She totally adores Andrew-she has accepted the fact that she has to share him with Cocoa.
 Her first Christmas, and she still has the bell collar, I adjusted it when she first started wearing it.
 Her first official Christmas photo
 She loved laying on this table in our basement-we discovered it's because it was so cool.  This dog has her own heating system.
 Peeking around the corner
 She eventually fell off the couch!
 Hanging out in the pool at the dog park.

She really enjoyed digging in the back yard of our last house.  I can't wait for us to have a house again, this dog really enjoys exploring the outdoors.

This face-why I love her so-there is so much love in those eyes.
Am sure she has spotted a squirrel
I took this photo as our Christmas card in 2013.

Steve took this photo today-yes I am struggling to hold all 56 pounds of her.   Last week I managed to actually pick her up, but must have been holding her a different way.  We both look a lot different than we did 6 years ago.

Life has certainly been interesting with her in our family these last 6 years.  I hope we have many many more!