Thursday, December 29, 2011

What Do You Mean Over?

There is a rumor going around that Christmas is over.



But I am not finished, I didn't bake the gingerbread yet, and Clover wanted to have her picture made, and the snack mix didn't get made, and what about the cake? This can't be true.


I rearranged furniture to put up trees, and the decorating is done.


It can't be over, I am not ready yet!


There is still so much that I could do!

What about the movies? I didn't get to watch all of them.



There were plans that I didn't get to finish.


What about that cute little tree that I was going to put up in the laundry room? If it is over, then I will have to wait until next year.


And the company, I was supposed to have company. I did not even have a party this year!


Guess that the rumor is true, it is over.

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Next year, I am adopting his attitude!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas
from Atticus, Abigail, Clover
and all of the farm animals at
Adventures In Country Living!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mama's House At Christmas

Mama has graciously allowed me to share a few pictures from her house. My parents home is a wonderful place to visit every year, no matter how many times that I will walk through their door in the Christmas season, it is new to me each time.
The stockings were made by Mama several years ago.
The ornaments that are one this tree are a combination of ornaments my parents have accumulated all of their married lives, and gifts from family and friends.



One of my favorite tree toppers is this one. I was expecting my daughter when I found this angel. There are special memories attached to this particular angel and it makes me happy when I see it on top of my parents tree. It isn't just because I gave it to her, it is the memories that go with this tree topper.



Mama's collection of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, along with a couple of Santas and a special bear are displayed underneath the tree.


This manger scene has been displayed every Christmas of my life.


A vintage Christmas stocking displayed in the kitchen.


A vignette at the back door.




A vintage Santa is at the back door to greet visitors.


Buddy couldn't be left out of the pictures.


The dining room table is ready for the family.



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Thanks for stopping by, Mama has said that we are welcome anytime.
Thanks Mama, we will be back again!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Gifts That I Want

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Every year there are so many tasks that must be completed before Christmas; I have to remind myself why we celebrate this season. It is not the gifts. Commercialism is king this time of year, and we seem to believe that if we are able to receive that special gift, life will have a new meaning. The meaning that we are searching for cannot be found in any material gift.
Simple gifts are the most meaningful and listening to Mama talk about making her special Christmas cookies, a treat that no bakery can compete with, is the type of gift that I will look for this year. Watching Daddy smile and waiting for those few moments of clarity, are his gift to me this year. A daughter calling me to make plans for our annual get together is a gift. A husband that smiles because his favorite baked goods are on our table is a gift. These are the gifts that I want to receive, and can’t think of a single packaged gift that would make me happier. Perhaps Alzheimer’s has provided a different perspective on life.
This year life is different, I am not able to see the future but know that next year will probably be different again. These changes are out of my control; however the choice to enjoy this Christmas and its gifts remain in my control.
Atticus has a place in the gift giving. Atticus has chosen not to destroy our Christmas tree, instead he sits underneath, guarding it, preventing an attack. Maybe he remembers last year, and his now tarnished reputation. Atticus choosing not to destroy the tree is his gift to me. It is very much appreciated, even if his antics are often the inspiration for this column.
Whether it is because I am older, or the daily struggle with Alzheimer’s that my family endures, this year we are choosing to cherish the gifts that are not wrapped. My gifts this year are the time I have left with my Daddy, Mama’s cooking, time spent with loved ones, the daily adventures with these animals, and the most meaningful gift given to mankind, the real reason for this season. The original Christmas gift, Jesus, is the most important reason to celebrate this Christmas.






Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I have been good and this picture is proof. I have not climbed this tree one time, nor have I played with any of the ornaments. I have however been hard at work guarding this tree from attacks by Abigail or Riley. There is also the possibility that someone may try to harm this tree and I could be blamed. I am guarding the tree to prevent such attacks.

There are rumors going around that I am mischievous and I would like to take a moment to explain. The tree attack last year was not my fault, I was merely inspecting the tree to make sure that nothing harmful was hiding inside. I was blamed for the missing tree piece that was found. Not one person in this house has bothered to thank me for keeping them safe. There are also rumors that I weigh 5,000 pounds, that is also not true, it just feels like I weigh that much when I walk on someone.

The incident involving the broken dish that made my Mom cry, well I deny everything. It should not have been in my way, that is all that I have to say about that. I did not tear the screen on the back door, it was not strong enough to hold my weight, so I am not responsible. The missing piece of fried chicken was not my fault, an intruder came in our home, fortunately I chased him away. The crumbs that remained on my whiskers were there because I am a vicious cat and I was attacking the chicken, I mean intruder.

So Santa, it is easy to see that I have been very good this year, and I deserve special presents. Thanks in advance for your understanding in this matter, and for the special presents that I will be receiving.

Sincerely,

Atticus

P.S. That incident last year with the reindeer was not my fault, I personally blame the dog. You should give me all of her presents.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Missing Piece

Last year, as I had just put up the Christmas tree, I left the room for only a moment. I came back into the den just in time to see the tree shiver, shake, sway and crash to the floor. The guilty party, a.k.a. Atticus, ran out of the tree.
There was now a missing piece of the once lovely Christmas tree. Everything was moved looking for that missing piece, every stick of furniture, nothing was left unmoved. The tree was put away, and another tree had to be purchased. The piece remained missing, but thinking that it would show up, the tree was not thrown away. How could a piece of a Christmas tree disappear without a trace?
One year later, the missing piece has been found. Last night, as we prepared to put up this year's tree, the bag that contained Christmas lights was sitting there. I was sorting through the lights, I came across a piece of a tree. Holding it up, I realized that this was the missing piece. The piece of the tree that caused us to move every stick of furniture in the den, the piece that we searched the house over for, was no longer missing.
The tree has all of the pieces now. A favorite gal pal of mine, and an Atticus supporter as well, told me that I needed to apologize to him. My own Mama, told me that I need to print a retraction in the newspaper, as this was the subject of a recent article. Please ladies, remember that Atticus is still the guilty party, he climbed inside of the tree, caused it to sway and fall, a piece of the tree disappeared for a year, and he caused us to have to purchase another tree. Yes, the missing piece of the tree has been found, but Atticus was the cause of that mischief!
This year, he has a new attitude, perhaps it is because he is older and hopefully wiser, but then again the tree has been up for less than 24 hours. Time will tell if he has matured, and will not mess with the tree. Atticus sits under the tree, as if he is the official Christmas Tree Guard. Atticus may be responsible for a lot of mischief, but the tree has all of the pieces now! He can't be blamed for that, as if that makes a difference to this furry mischief maker.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This and That

This was not supposed to happen! Yes, these little kits are cute, but it is cold here. Not the kind of weather Daisy prefers for raising babies. There are 5 of these little kits. Daisy always has 1 black kit in every litter.

The accident occurred because I thought that my sweet Peony, was a doe. The picture above is proof that I was wrong. I thought that Peony was so sweet and such a happy little bunny, now I know why he was happy. He had 3 girls in his pen! Needless to say, my sweet Peony now lives alone.

My Christmas cactus is blooming! I look forward to these blooms all year! This is one that Mama gave me several years ago.

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Last night we carried chili and hot dogs to Mama and Daddy's house for supper. Each time that I am there, I look for that part of my Daddy that is still there. Sometimes all I get is a tiny piece. I choose to do this because I can't spend the time that we have left together mourning what Alzheimer's has stolen from me, I have to focus on what I still have.
Last night I didn't get that tiny piece, I got truckloads! Daddy was himself last night. We all laughed so hard and had so much fun. If laughter is jogging for your insides, we all had a workout last night! My sides are sore this morning. Despite this beast called Alzheimer's, there are pieces of my Daddy still there, and I will continue to search for those pieces every time that I visit.
When I left I bent down and kissed his cheek like I always do, he kissed my cheek as usual and stopped me before I stood up, and told me to be careful going home, deer are moving and he told me that he loved me. I felt my eyes fill up with tears, but tried to hide them from him. Every moment that I spend with him is a treasure. Alzheimer's can take his memory, damage his body, and in the end take him from me entirely, but the man inside is still my Daddy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Autumn Colors

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The lovely autumn colors are fading fast! This year the pecan leaves have been gorgeous, soon the branches will be bare. The wind and rain expected today will take care of some of the leaves.
This weekend has been spent putting away the fall decorations, and getting ready to put up Christmas decorations. There is always so much to do!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Supervising

Yesterday afternoon, we picked up pecans.

We did not realize that we needed assistance, until Clover let us know that she had been left out of the whole pecan picking up process, she wanted to help. Clover has excellent supervisory skills, and thought that we would be appreciative of her skills. Clover was also in desperate need of a cookie.

M.J. wanted to help, as she feels that her supervisory skills are far superior to Clover's. M.J. took a place above our heads so that she could see everything we were doing. The chickens were not allowed to participate in the supervision, chickens love pecans, and chickens walking around while we are picking up pecans, yuck! Bad combination.


Adelaide prefers to supervise up close and personal. Adelaide thinks that the game of hands picking up pecans, while kitty paws try to grab the pecan is fun! Kevin prefers the pecan picker upper, but I tend to sit on a bucket and pick the pecans by hand. That way I can discard any broken pecans before they go into the bucket.


In spite of the excellent supervision that we had, we still managed to pick up a couple of buckets of pecans.

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I can almost smell the pecan pie in our future, and pecan muffins, toasted pecans, and an Italian Cream Cake too! Yum!! The tasty possibilities are endless! My daughter's favorite dessert is called Pumpkin Chiffon, I will be making that today, we will have it for Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope that you each enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Junk Shelf


This is one of the last projects that Daddy and I worked on before he became sick. Don't remember where I got the idea, but I found a frame at a yard sale for a quarter. Daddy had the wood on hand, and the stain was a mixture of what we had on hand.


Daddy built this together on a Saturday afternoon in about an hour.


I wanted a place to display some of my Willow Tree Angels and thought that this would be a good place.


I was not looking for a perfect piece that would look store bought, I wanted a piece that looked like this one. A piece that was built with what we had on hand at the moment. It took some coaxing on my part to convince Daddy to do it that way, Daddy is a perfectionist, and was not pleased with this piece, I however was pleased.


Willow Tree Angels are special, there are angels for the special times in life. These are gifts from family.





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The cost for this project was a quarter, the cost of the shelf, and the time that we spent building this shelf. . The wood, hardware and stain were things that Daddy or I had on hand.
Linking to Farm Girl Friday at Deborah Jean