Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's Over!

For me Christmas officially ends the day I take my tree down. One year that was in February! And I enjoyed it every minute it was up. I even toyed with having a monthly theme for it.

Usually, I try to take the tree down the weekend after New Year's day. This year it didn't make it that long. New Year's day it was de-decorated, those pesky lights on the lowest level were checked out - my mistake, I missed a plug, and is boxed up and ready to go in the shed. I think this is the earliest I've ever de-Christmased.

Part of the problem is, I thought New Year's Eve was Sunday. Then I thought New Year's Day was Sunday. But today is Saturday and tomorrow is really Sunday. I'm confused. This is the one drawback of being retired, the days of the week don't really mean anything to you, unless it is Wednesday and you are going for a pulled pork sandwich (daily special at Strouds.)

 So I am almost ready to start one of the projects I've thought about over the last few months. Yay! First though will be working with DH to select his favorite pictures to be displayed on the digital frame I got him for Christmas.

Bring on those projects.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I went back to last year's blog to see what my resolutions for 2009 were. Guess what! I didn't make any! I am beginning to think I am lazy wise beyond my years.

DH and I resolved to do some gardening out front. We successfully did some landscaping which integrated a birdbath and bird feeder. I have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of watching the birds vie for feeding space. This winter has seen the addition of a suet cage. I'm glad the birds are happy! I want to get outside more in the early spring and prepare other areas for landscaping.

I think I will resolve to get out and walk more. Between the odd back, knee, hip and foot problems this fall has been a bust. DH and I did managed to get some good walks in at the local park around the lake when it wasn't raining torrentially or 99% humidity and over 85 degrees at 8 am. Fall came and so did the rains, which made it hard to get around. Since 90% of this town does not have sidewalks, I don't relish walking on soggy ground or in the street.

I resolve to finish some of my planned projects and some incomplete projects. I still haven't filled up the big old picture frame with family pictures yet. I better get busy and select some for that project. The big planned project is to go through all the bins of pictures we have and determine what is going to be kept. The rest will be discarded. The kept photos will be put into archival quality albums. I figure that will free up some space in our storage room that I had hoped to use as a craft room.

And finally I want to actually write more for this blog. Time will tell.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye Bye Number Nine

I can't say I am sorry to say goodbye to 2009. It's been quite a year.

On the really good side, Older Daughter graduated from Tennessee Tech with a degree in Political Science. Anyone have a job for her? We sure would love to see her out of retail, but feel grateful that she is employed.

Also on the good side were two spectacular visits with Younger Daughter. She made the trip down for her sisser's graduation in May and we had a great visit with her in July for her birthday. On the down side? She had to cancel her Thanksgiving trip yet again. Maybe Christmas in 2010? Younger Daughter is also working towards her degree. It's a long haul when you are working full time and carrying a lot of credit hours. Younger daughter also puts in time and effort fighting rheumatoid arthritis. Not only for herself, but helping to raise money to combat this horrible disease.

Dear Husband's father is still hanging in there. One of the best moves we made was bringing him down to Tennessee with us in 2007. The assisted living facility he is in has about 40 other permanent residents and he is a favorite of caretakers. He participates in exercise classes and plays bingo! They have some of the weirdest prizes I've ever seen - and believe me a lot of them end up here.

Weather has played a large part in the Tennessee economy over the last three years. Two years of drought followed by almost record-setting precipitation has hit the Farmer's hard. There have been plant closures over the last three years also and one of our neighbors makes the 40 mile trip to Crossville five days a week.

Some businesses thrive while others struggle to get off the ground. There is an old ice cream parlor in town which was briefly open last year, the owner became ill and had to sell out. A new bakery was set to move into the site and that effort seems to have stalled.

And our National Guard Unit, the 278th Armored Cavalry, is on it's way to Iraq again, in what we hope is their last deployment there. They shipped down to Mississippi in early December and before they even left, fundraising began here to bring them home for Christmas. They shipped back down to Mississippi yesterday. Since a huge majority are from Tennessee, their deployment leaves a huge hole in the middle Tennessee area.

2009 has had its ups and its downs and all I can say is goodbye!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Post Christmas Blahs

I don't usually get the post holiday doldrums until late January. They are starting early this year. In fact, I can hardly wait to get my tree down. I didn't decorate as extensively as normal. Which will make taking the decorations down a lot easier!

The best thing about winter, is I get a good view of the birds at my feeders out front. Their usual bird seed has been augmented with suet. The squirrels have been discouraged from eating the seed by the addition of a foil pie plate atop the feeder and a touch of cayenne pepper to the seed.

It was so cold here, the birdbaths have both turned into ice ponds! The wind is whipping around and we have a wind chill of 34. Brrrr. Hey, this is mid-tennessee, and this feels cold!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Ridiculous

In 2007 and 2008 Tennessee suffered from terrible drought. 2009 is a different story altogether. So far this year we've had over 75 inches of precipitation and are less than an inch from the record. This year the second crop of tomatoes failed. Hay rotted. Tobacco leaves fell off the plants. While the last one really doesn't bother me too much, this is a tobacco state, and I feel for the farmers.

However because early in the year there was enough rain for the crops, the farmer's market here in town prospered.

And slugs or other critters got two of my hostas! Dang!