My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Catching Up and Christmas Kitties

It's been a busy past few days here in the Hollow. My "busy" probably in no way compares with anyone else's busy but still... at the end of the day I've been able to look back on more than just a successful day on Farmville2 and that's nice. I just realized it's the third of December and I haven't posted since November so I thought I'd catch up with you and share a few cute kitty pictures.

When we last left this story it was Moving Day for the parents. Thank the good Lord they didn't downsize for retirement because then there wouldn't be room for me and Austin and the kitties! Nor would there be room for all their accumulated stuff. Much has been repurposed and/or discarded but you can't have five kids and a dozen grandkids and not have mucho stuff. One day when I'm bored I'll count my mom's angels in the library. Seriously, probably a thousand.

Mom has spent the past few days organizing the top floor in anticipation of Pop's boss coming up for an overnight visit. I've worked hard returning the top floor bath to a guest bath instead of being my dressing room. All of my clothes and books have been on the top floor since this Summer when there was water in the Whine Cellar. All of my clothes and books are in the process of being returned to the Whine Cellar. Stairs are not my friend - you do the math. I've got one more load of stuff to bring down but that will not happen today.

I've downsized several times over the past fourteen years due to divorce, remarriage/merging of households, divorce and fire. I'm fairly conservative in my clothing purchases and tend to donate more than I purchase but still ... it's taking quite a bit of organization to fit my stuff in a regular (as opposed to walk-in) closet. I'm also super particular about my closet - clothes must be in color order. I'm not OCD in any other way but it's a strict ROY G BIV, brown then black in my closet at all times. I'm going to have to make a run to Walmart to get a few more coat hangars and I'll have that task licked but it was no easy chore.

I've also been sorting through boxes that were brought from the other house and finding new homes for things in our space. Truthfully, the Whine Cellar probably has more square footage than my last apartment, minus closet space. There are two big storage areas down here - a huge space under the stairs and a good sized space where the water heater and electrical panel are. In addition there's a big storage shed right outside the door. We have plenty of space for the stuff we don't use everyday. I've just got to find room for the stuff that needs to be easily accessible. When you can't lift anything the term "easily accessible" takes on a whole new meaning.

That whole "easily accessible" thing is the main reason I've relocated my "dressing room" from the top floor. I'm having increasing difficulty with stairs. I'm having a lot more trouble with my knees and hips lately and I needed to scale back those hikes up two flights of stairs every time I change clothes, especially first thing in the morning. I'm a mini-fridge, microwave and coffee pot away from never having to leave the Whine Cellar at all. At the risk of sounding like my life revolves around a tv, having tv down here on the bottom level has significantly improved my quality of life. (And thank you so much Pop for satellite tv down here and for purchasing the larger plan with more channels!) I feel so much more at home now.  Once it's sorted and cleaned to my standards, it will be even more so.

This little piece of ribbon entertained Little Kitty for the longest time!
I'm not completely hermit-ing down here in the basement, though. I go up and cook. Today I made soup from the leftover ham from Thanksgiving. I had made broth from the bone yesterday. This morning I chopped two onions and three stalks of celery and cooked them in butter until they were translucent. I added about six potatoes, ham and carrots and cooked until they were starting to get tender. Then I transferred everything to the crockpot and added about half a bag of kale and that simmered all day. It's a damp, foggy day here so soup really hits the spot. And it will continue to hit spots for the rest of the week, I hope.

(Last night, I'm embarrassed to say, I made tater tots for dinner. Just tater tots. That's all I wanted.)

My mom and I worked today to make matching stockings for our clan - the ones that will be here for Christmas, anyways. We thought it would be fun to have a dozen or so matching stockings hanging from the mantel and down the staircase. We looked at fabric on Sunday at Walmart and all the Christmas patterned material was pricey but in another part of the store I found those little fleece throws for $2.44 each. Two of those made 15 stockings! I'm still figuring out how to do the names - I'm thinking just with tags - and mom's still working out how to make the loop to hang them from - but so far, they're really cute. I cut them out using an old stocking as a pattern and she sewed them. It took a few hours this morning but I think they'll look nice (and I'll take picture once we're done.) I've still got to pack away our Fall themed stuff from the mantel so we can make it Christmas-y.

I've got a few things put out here in the Whine Cellar but it's still a work in progress. I got as far as taking the pre-lit lights that no longer work off the purple Christmas tree (and earned a blister on my finger as a reward) and I've got new lights on but no ornaments yet. How cute is my Christmas kitty? He doesn't seem to mind the little cape.

On Sunday I worked on putting together my super ingenious present idea (that I can't wait to share and I really can't wait until Christmas when people open their gifts!). I found the second part that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to afford and although there was some assembly required, I was able to get it done in about two hours. I wrapped a few things and have a few more still to wrap. We never did find the wrapping paper stash from last Christmas.

Getting the satellite tv hooked up downstairs ended up being a long, long ordeal. The poor fella that was working on it was here from 2pm until about 7pm. It was supposed to take about an hour and a half. What ended up happening - the technician that set up the first two tvs changed our satellite to HD only. The new tvs were being added as SD (because they're both old tvs and not HD) because that was cheaper. HOWEVER the SD receivers wouldn't work with the HD only satellite so he had to upgrade us (for free) to HD receivers since that's all he had. That was my interpretation of what he said, anyways. It was slightly awkward having him hanging out here all day. I felt like we should feed him! He had a great attitude and was very professional throughout it all, though.

Yesterday the gut pain from hell was KILLING me. I was scheduled to pick my nieces up from school so I was avoiding pain meds. I was worried about being in pain until their mom or dad got home and I could drive home but as it turned out, my sister-in-law was home on a conference call so I was just the bus and not the babysitter. I love LOVE hanging out with them but was relieved to have a short tour of duty yesterday. Ironically, by the time I got home the pain had eased up and I avoided taking pain meds all day. I also avoided them Sunday which was similarly painful. Every day I can tough it out on my own is a red letter day in my book! I would prefer to go the "no pain at all" route.

Anyways. My sweet little grandma has been catalog shopping trying to find something to help with my back. Every time I talk to her she asks about this device or that device that she wants me to try. Today she found a brace of sorts that she wanted to buy me. I told her we'd give it a shot. The "angle" affects me more than anything so maybe if I can get in and stay in a comfortable angle, it will help. It's sweet that she has put so much thought into it. She also wanted me to order ten more copies of the book I made for her birthday. She wants to get them to some extended family members. I found some discount codes on Shutterfly so I can get them for a better price than we paid originally (although I haven't told her how much we paid for the original set of books). She said today that the book is a "masterpiece". I reminded her that the words were hers, I just put them in order but she definitely loves having all of that in printed form. She would have made such a great blogger!

That reminds me that I haven't sent in my RSVP for my cousin's wedding in January. Oy. Or done my Christmas cards. You would think with as much spare time as I have I would accomplish more. A little bit everyday. Hoping to bake a cake tomorrow, get more coat hangars, go by the Welcome Center to get some maps for my mom... and continue feathering the nest.

Hope you're all having a great week! Love and hugs, y'all!


monique said...

When I grow up I want to be one of your kitties. Seriously!
I think it's great that you have this opportunity to be with your parents. You are fortunate to have your own space as well.