Thursday, December 27, 2018

The time, it flyeth!

It's all a blur.  I owe a ton of thanks to my dearies out there who kept me perked up and feeling mightily blessed over the holiday (as they do throughout the year).  I will do a separate post on the particulars.

Let's see.  After the insomniac bear, I thought I should be proactive so that I wouldn't keep losing sleep (imagining him/her discovering the quail and ...) so I rigged up a very high-tech first-line bear defense system (FLBDS, or flubeds).  Voila!
Night vision version

Day vision version
It also had the added benefit of keeping the hoards of mourning doves off my feeder.  For a day.

Then it was time for Christmas!  I think I must have baked over 20 dozen cookies this year.  And they are all gone.  Some to family, some to friends.   A big box went to my postman, as he is retiring this year.  Darn. 

In my ongoing battle to keep waste at bay, I had to come up with some creative ways to wrap gifts.  This was for Marianne - three types of cookies (in cellophane bags), cowboy candy and spiced plum jam, plus a little something I picked up for her at the NH art fest.
Before 'wrapping'

After 'wrapping'
I had been given this vintage Mirro cake carrier and, since I am not a cake-baker and can't eat them anyway, it had been collecting dust on top of my cupboards.  I brought it down, washed it thoroughly, and bobsyeruncle!  The bow was collected from an old wreath.  I was quite pleased at how it turned out.

I did not finish the sparkly mitts that I was knitting for the young woman who cuts my hair, but they will be finished before my next appointment in January.
It's hellish, knitting dark yarn.
Luckily, I did finish the wrist warmers for Con and leg warmers for Cynthia, and socks for my auntie.  Speaking of socks, as is my tradition, I cast on my Christmas Eve socks.  And socks for Connie and socks for Cynthia's boyfriend.  I am so glad I am sticking to me "do less" goal for 2019.
Project bag line-up for morning knitting.  I need
an intervention...
The Saturday before Christmas, I dropped Marianne's gift off, then picked up the sandwich platter for the mechanics' lunch (another tradition) and, while I was there, mentioned my brakes were a bit spongey, could they adjust it?  They did.  And they found a broken stabilizer bar.  Well, of course they did.  However, they fixed it and didn't charge me.  I have visions of a newish, non SUV car dancing in my head, right along with the sugarplum fairies.

I made it home in time to whip up a batch of red lentil hummus (yummmeh!) and had a friend in for a glass or two of wine.  Then I fell into bed, was up bright and early on Sunday and cleaned the house.  My sister, Con, came to spend the day and night, as our youngest sister had come up to spell her for Christmas.  A good time was had by all.  Especially the dogs, who LOVE their Auntie.  I was very happy to have her company, as it was the second anniversary of the loss of my heart dog, Scrappy.  She made the day much more bearable.

Lovey giving in to all the Auntie
She came up with a fun way to break both of us out of our To Do List slump - the job jar!  We are going to fill a jar with jobs and choose one a week.  We must complete it in one week.  I think it will be a way better method of tackling my to-dos, as I tend to get mind freeze when I look at my three page, single-spaced list.  When she left Sunday morning, I was so energized, I cleaned my toaster until it shone.  I refuse to tell you how long it's been since its last cleaning...
I got a half-loaf of charbroiled crumbs
out of this baby.  And two twisty ties.
Monday was a slow day, relatively speaking, and I fixed the molded fruit salad for Christmas dinner and baked myself (and the barn guys) a gluten free apple cranberry cake.  It was delicious! 
After going through quality control.
I brought my youngest sister back with me on Christmas and she spent the night.  I took her into the city so she could catch her bus home, then I went to the office to rest....

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  It's alarming how fast this year came to an end!


Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Oh that photo of Lovey is so adorable! I have to tell you a quick story about my toaster. One year it caught on fire and the kids had it under a cupboard. I yanked it out and dumped baking soda on it. Now I clean it more regularly, and make them pull it out from under the cupboard to use, and unplug it when not in use. That apple cranberry cake looks scrumptious.

Susan said...

I am surprised I hadn't had a fire in that toaster! Good heavens! Yes, Lovey was totally mesmerized by my sister at that point. Paws in the air!

Michelle said...

Are the quail up on the deck? I didn't think of them when you showed the bear print; that WOULD be a worry. Please post about those quail again; I'd forgotten about them!

I LOVE your wrapping job on Marianne's gift – gifts within a gift! And that photo of Lovey is priceless. Cleaning that a thing???

Theresa said...

I do so love a good toaster flame out. I have incarcerated more than my fair share. I'm working on toaster ovens now....
Love the Lovey pic. How perfect and what a sweetie she is. Maybe you need a pack of doxies or Chi's to pester that bear to another county? Shouldn't your bear be sleeping?

Susan said...

I will have to do a post on the quail. Their hutch is right outside the sliding glass door, against the house. I decided to place it there for the winter, as I can regulate their shelter more easily, as the temperatures dictate. Yes, cleaning toasters is a thing! Who'da thought it? Not I, obviously...

ellen abbott said...

very clever girl, you, with the cake carrier wrapping. and best we don't talk about toasters.

Theresa Y said...

Had a wonderful fun-filled holiday with family....too much fun...glad to be back at work... (I think!) Glad you had a good time too. Smart idea using stuff around the house to package. I like it.

Susan said...

I think a pack of doxies would be enough to drive half the county out of their minds, Theresa. I'm hoping the migrating pack of coyotes will be enough to keep the bear under wraps (and, YES, they are supposed to hibernate in winter - right?) I only had one toaster fire and it was a humdinger. Took weeks to grow my eyebrows back.

Susan said...

Ellen, I have my moments. Few of them, but they still count.

Susan said...

Theresa, isn't it something that we have to go to work to relax? So glad you had a great holiday!

Rain said...

Susan I love your flubeds!!! I hope they work! Nice job on the cake carrier :) Oh my gosh, I have the same dream of non SUV cars dancing in my head as well. I told Alex that if we are able to, I want to trade in the SUV for a truck after we old Ford or Dodge truck that's built to last, probably guzzles gas, but my gosh, the amount we spend on repairs is likely higher than having a gas guzzler...nice of your mechanic to help you out! :)
Lovey is a cutey...I'm glad she brought you comfort. :)

TWISTY TIES IN THE TOASTER...girl you're a gambler lol...I turn the toaster upside down into the sink every week whether we use it or not because I'm terriride of toasty tinder. And also because Oscar the bratty cat thinks that somehow everything in the kitchen is his own private buffet.

Time goes by too fast, you're right. I'm glad you had a nice holiday! We did too! :)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I just want you to know that your photo of the toaster BLINDED me with its shiny cleanliness.

Lynne said...

Great job on the wrapped gift and the cake looked wonderful. You've been a busy one on the knitting too. Yes the holidays just whiz by! Like the fingerless mitts your doing. That dog is something else!! take care!