Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last day of 2008

This is how My day began... I opened my eyes this afternoon to my
Bing-kitty sitting on my dresser next to the Bed staring down at me...
... as if to say, Hey! It's almost one o'clock, are we Getting up any time soon?
No, really... You see there are Birdies outside waiting for me,
so Might you please come downstairs and open the Solarium door
and maybe drop a Scoop of food in my dish along the way?
So I did... I fed Mr. Bing and let him out into his Solarium so he
could Watch the birds from high atop his new Perch
before we Left I put a treat up there. Look at his back feet
coming Off the table... Bing kinda looks like a Ballerina kitty! 
Treat's all gone... time to Go back and check out Mom for more
and, this is Where we left him... 
Last day of the month on my Inspection sticker so we had to cruise over to 
the Inspection station to have the truck inspected. Not as much Fun as you'd think;
however, since the state of North Carolina lacks a sense of humor about expired inspections,
we Decided to make some Time for it in our lazy, do-nothing-on-the-Last-day-of-the-year, day
they were Smoking in the waiting room (PU!) and I had to yell out at the Boss-man to
stop him from actually Hopping his butt into my truck with his lit cigarette (which he snuffed out
put away into his shirt pocket - Ewwww!) so I decided to brave the Cold wind in exchange for Fresh air
and Remained outside until they finished my truck. After I yelled at the guy for almost getting into my Truck while smoking, Wonderhubby pretended not to know me so I was pretty much on my own. But I make no apologies...  After all, no one has ever smoked in my truck and I just washed my jacket and scarf in mountain fresh Downey last night so that's all I wanted to smell in my truck today! Besides, I'm the customer... Right?   
so I stood outside and Chatted with the worker-Guys who did
a Great job getting us Out of there in record time. Thanks, boys!
Usually, we avoid the Mall but after Brandon called to tell us about a
problem he had today with his Recruiter, we decided to drop in at his office,
which is Located at Hanes Mall. After we worked things out with Sgt. Sanders
we took a little Stroll through the mall and stopped to Watch these kids bouncing up
and down on Rubber bands. What a great Gimmick this is... $12 to hook your Kid into a 
sling-shot for 5 minutes. Why didn't I think of this? Parents were lined up for the opportunity!
And, the Kids love it!
kinda fun to Watch too...
on our Way back out, past the recruiting offices... There's Sgt. Sanders sitting
in the window. Next time we see him is Wednesday at MEPS in Charlotte. Sigh...
I've been on the Hunt for Jim Shore Christmas ever since I saw
Shelley's collection, and was Thrilled to find these 3 pieces today
There is a tall Santa that I may have to
go back for, if it's still there on Friday
the Nativity angel was a Must-have! I've never seen it before
and Knew that if I didn't grab her today I may not ever have another
chance. Of course, I love the two Santa pieces I got too!
love, Love, love them!
And, that's how 2008 ends for Us. The boys are both out doing
their own thing... Brandon's in Greensboro with friends, and William
is over at Hanna's house with her family and we're at home watching
movies at home with Bing. Winter finally found us today so the Heater is
cranking, the Fireplace is on and the hot tub is Warming up for our midnight soak
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Out with the Old, and on to the New!

Honestly, as much as I enjoy Christmas, there is nothing Better than a completely clean and De-cluttered house after the Holidays to welcome a brand New year. I had so much Fun today... The house is Spotless and we Laughed and did just as much Reminiscing about our past Christmases wrapping our decorations to put them away as we did when we took them Out to put them up! And, while Christmas 2008 is now one for the History books, we Enjoyed every minute of it. I cooked and Baked lots, and unlike the last two years that saw College girlfriends follow Brandon home for the holidays, this Christmas, we had him all to ourselves... And for that, especially because he Leaves next week for basic training, I am the most Grateful. 

I must say though, this is the First, almost-New Year's-time in my Life that I can remember feeling so much Uncertainty about what lies ahead. Usually, my feet Barely touch the ground the Last week of the year... I always Feel like a helium balloon rising further and further up into the Atmosphere, all excited about the Amazing things that happened in my Old year and quite Giddy in my confidence that they will continue or at least Improve during the New year. But this year, it's a Little different... While it's still 2008, Brandon is still at home and sleeps Safely in the room next to mine. Therefore, I'm finding it difficult to let 2008 go, and I'm feeling more than a little Unsure about what this year around the corner has in store. As wonderful and Magical as our Christmas was, the truth is that the Season couldn't change the Facts... And, the facts are that Brandon's off on his Army Ranger-adventure next week and my parents were in San Francisco at UCSF this morning to meet with the surgeon. I will have to drive away from the Charlotte MEPS knowing Brandon's on a bus destined for Fort Benning without us, and we now have a Tentative surgery date set, January 28th, which means I'll be on a plane to California in the next few weeks. And, we all know how well I fly - Not! Especially alone, which only adds to the suckage. And yes, today, suckage stands as a word for the purpose of this entry. 

Nevertheless, there is nothing I won't do to be with my Parents as my dad faces this surgery, including Xanax. So while I will Welcome 2009 for the Cure I know it will deliver my dad and the Growth and opportunity it will offer to Brandon in his new Career, the lack of Control I will have in both situations is something this Control FREAK will not welcome.  

Oh! And, let's not Forget that I always begin the New Year getting older because my Birthday falls within the single-digit days of January. Ugh! But, on the bright side, I already have my Friday birthday-Spa appointment made and plan to spend it with terrific friends, having a long and Relaxing facial. So there's lots ahead for me... A lot that I'm looking forward to and a lot I'm looking forward to putting Behind me. Thankfully, I have the most Amazing family and friends to help see me through, Whatever comes my way. So Here's to 2009!  

Today was less suited for housework and More for enjoying
the great Outdoors.. Just look at the Gorgeous, warm sunlight!
only the Calendar betrays the Season today... Because if
we didn't know any Better, we'd Swear it was spring!
All the dancing Hallmark snowpeople are put away for another Year and
the Kitchen table is clean... I found two really Great new storage tubs
for my new Advent wreaths so those are put away now too!  
I did manage to find a Little bit of time to shop this Afternoon, and
just couldn't pass up this Jim Shore piece dedicated to our Soldiers
truly a Must-have for the book table in the Entry!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tour of Old Salem

My work-Lunch at Salem Tavern last week and the four subsequent trips I made to the Moravian Gift and bookshop after that, Reminded me of how much I love visiting Old Salem. And, since we shopped out all the Stores until they closed yesterday, we decided to Resist the urge to shop again today and instead spent the afternoon in Old Salem and exploring Salem cemetery - we Love the really old cemeteries!

Every time we pass the Old Salem Teapot I cannot help but Break out into
that little Song! I'm a little Teapot short and  stout, here is my handle, here
is my Spout. When I get all Steamed up hear me Shout... Just tip me Over
and Pour me out - Surely, I'm not the only one this Happens to... Right?
That's Home Moravian Church, established November 13, 1771
When (not if!) it Snows, we're coming back for a Carriage ride...
Winkler Bakery
...where Moravian sugarcake and Lovefeast buns are born!
Christian Winkler began baking in this Oven in 1806
These are pretty Rustic baking conditions!
Many of the Great things to come from this room and that Oven...
this Oven...
...end up on these Shelves for sale. And, the
line in the Bakery shop is always Very long
across from Winkler bakery is the Cigar shop
after one last Stop in the Gift and book shop for
more Beeswax candles, we hiked up to the Cemetery
what a Wonderful tribute to this Wife
click to enlarge
this is what I love about old Cemeteries... The unique memorials
One just never sees these in Modern cemeteries
we especially love these Family crypts
what a Lovely bench and Bronze of a girl and her cat
so Peaceful. Just the two of us, the birds and Squirrels...
a nice way to Spend the afternoon and walk off a Huge lunch!

As if on Cue!

Each year for the Six years I've been with Hanesbrands now, this wonderful lady that works in the Market Research department has brought me an Amaryllis plant. Two years the Blooms didn't open at all and for three years all I got was Big foliage... But this year, This year, I have the most Perfect amaryllis, Ever! 

And, as if on Cue, it bloomed exactly on Christmas day and looks Fantastic on my kitchen table! Yes, that's a New advent wreath... I did some after-Christmas shopping yesterday and had to go back for the Larger advent wreath that matches the one I bought last week at the Old Salem gift shop. That one looks so Nice on the dining room table; I just had to have another for the table in the Kitchen. It was half-off of $85 too... Even better!

what a Lovely amaryllis! 
Salem Creek (the equivalent of Brinton's in Carmel) always has the very
best Holiday (and home) decorations but they've Never, ever held an
after-Christmas sale. But yesterday they Broke with tradition, and had one!
and, it was Fantastic! Everything Christmas in
the store was either 30% or 50% off!
it was like being in a Great, big Candy store in Heaven!
I told him to just Leave me here and come back in a
few Hours, I'd be fine... But he wanted to stay as Much as I did!
There's my new Advent wreath on the counter, all ready to Go home!
and this Santa was a Must-have too!
These Snowmen do nothing for me but just Look at all those
little green 50% off Sale tags... Could they be on sale, you think?
We first saw these Fabriche Santas in one of the decorated Historical homes
we toured down in Beaufort a couple of weeks ago. Now I have one too!
My boss has an Amazing collection of these Jim Shore Santas. I think this
one called, 12 Days of Christmas, is a nice way to Begin my own collection
when I first saw these garland I knew they would be Perfect on either
side of the front door. But at $90 each, I decided to wait until after Christmas,
and do you know that when I went back, there were Only these two left... Lucky me!
How cute is this little Dept. 56 Santa's light bulb shop?
Perfect on my kitchen table... Just like I knew it would be. Okay, we
are Officially done decorating for Christmas... Until next year, that is!