Sunday, December 31, 2023

New Year's Eve Sunday--9:45pm

 Happy New Year!

This week went by quickly.  When Keanna came to clean on Tuesday even she was shocked to see the hallway!  LOL!  I haven't seen this hallway since I moved in.  Had two bookcases on the right hand side and later another short bookcase, too, under the coat hooks.

As suspected, Allie is a bit freaked out and unhappy, but she just paws more at the boxes in the living room.  

A few things ended up in the studio closet which had been completely empty.  But not much.
The U-Haul wall is about full.  But I am about done pre-packing, anyways.  
I am down to this one full box to purge from the hallway (filled with small empty containers) and the hall closet (which I have already more than half emptied.  Small stuff that I do not feel badly about procrastinating on for a while.  I am a tad bit exhausted.  :)
This was the last load of donations in the pantry that went to the garage.
Was warmer briefly--enough to melt a lot of the ice.  Critter Cafe was busy.
The ice storms over Christmas were awful.  We got a thin bit of snow covering all that ice.
The plows scraped away as much of the ice as they could.
Allie watching mealtimes at the Critter Cafe every day.  One of her favorite pastimes.
Wednesday Dagan and the boys brought me over to the West Fargo Clinic to have my annual checkup with Dr. Kessler.  He accidentally came half and hour early and the appointment started half an hour late, so it was a long afternoon but a good one.  Was nice to see her and fill her in on what happened over my cancer adventure.  She had me stop at the lab so they could check my vitamin D levels because they had been so high a while back and were never checked again.  (Results came back and now they are fine.)

Thursday morning Dagan and the boys picked me up.  I stayed with the boys so Dagan could go to a retirement luncheon for a lady at work.  Liam played a video game.  (Minecraft, I think.)  Ian and I sat at the table and he showed me the new math for multiplication.  He had work to finish--making up 4 numbers multiplied by 3 numbers.  Completely new way of doing it--that I wish we had when I was learning!  I liked it!

I noticed a visitor in the tree outside!  A hawk had landed to consume whatever it had caught for lunch.  
It was one very hungry hawk!  Barely took a breath between ripping off another hunk to chow down.
There was nothing under the tree when it left.  Not a feather or fur--so we don't know what it was eating.  Tried hard to see.  Ian got his binoculars but couldn't tell, either.
I got as close as my camera would zoom--and we could not say what the hawk was eating but it was very happy.
Liam was more interested in his game--lol!
When Dagan got back they gave me a ride home.  I had packages being delivered and we were going to do Christmas after Leah got off work...just too long for me to stay at one time.  (I get very stiff and sore sitting in other chairs--and I was already sore from the clinic the day before.)

I have some pictures from Leah this week.  Making Christmas cookies...
...and decorating.  The boys love helping make the cookies.
I always love their outside trees they decorate every year.  
Here's a random video with the boys and Leah singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat in the car.
The boys wrote out these letters to Santa (forms).  
Liam and Santa.
Daddy and the boys.
The boys on the Merry-Go-Round.
Liam by a fire pit.
The boys outside the Red River Zoo.
Their Christmas tree at home.
Leah showed me these wooden snowflake ornaments. 

I thought--yes, they are very pretty.  But she and Dagan said to look closer.  Can you see one says Liam and one says Ian!  Dagan and Leah each have one, too.  Leah asked me if I would like one for next year.  Her sister Michal got them each one for Christmas and Leah knows where she ordered them.  Uncommon Goods.  (I've never heard of that place, but these are cool and I would like one--yes!)

Oh, and Gramma is VERY HAPPY to learn that Ian is learning cursive at Montessori!

We have had so much fog!  One day it lasted all day long.  Leah got this picture on her way to work.
The boys in Christmas chaos--lol!
Here's how thick the ice was in that storm!  Looks half an inch or so!
Their willow tree sagging under the weight of the ice.
After the ice had melted.
Huge branch was lost.  :(
Half the tree top is gone.
Leah called Baker Nursery where she used to work to ask them what to do.  She wrapped it.  Supposed to remove it in the spring.  Poor tree!
The storm was so bad that we actually had a branch curb pickup around town.  Branches only, it said.  No roots or trunks.  I don't ever remember getting an ice storm for Christmas.  It was so bad the sanding trucks couldn't make it up some of the hills.  Plus, with all the rain instead of snow we had flooding for the very first time ever recorded in December on the Red River.  Times they are a changing, eh?

Anyways, Leah picked me up after work Thursday.  We had dinner and afterwards the boys opened their presents from me.  This year it was puzzles and books.  Oh, and if you watch the video--Liam did not punch a hole in the puzzle box.  I must have missed it or possibly Allie stepped on it when it was on the floor for a while.  (She is a chucky lady.)  Just wanted to make that clear.  Maybe Gramma's eyes are getting as bad as her ears?!
Remember Leah asked me if I wanted to have a stocking for next year because she was ordering new ones for them from an Etsy shop?  Well, they came in time for Ian and Liam to use them this year.
Next year there will be stockings up for all of us--and the two cats!  lol!
Honestly--I have pretty much collapsed since then.  Did do some baking and some laundry.  But I have mostly caught up on some new seasons, new episodes, and even some Christmas specials of shows I really like and am behind on.  Vera, Death in Paradise, Shetland, The Gilded Age, Fargo, Midsommer Murders, Sister Boniface--and I am now on Only Murders in the Building.  Got my new Bullet journal set up for 2024 and January is all ready to go.

Today is 12/31/23.  Funny--I didn't notice until I read about it online.  123123.

I am writing a day early.  Just excited for the new year.  My New Year's Eve ceremony stuff is packed away.  (Thought I would have been moved by now.)  I still haven't come up with a word or a phrase for 2024.  Might not.  But I might at least write up a goal list.  I haven't done that for years.  I haven't felt near myself for a couple of years to plan ahead at all.  But I am feeling more functional and have some spoons again most days.  Getting closer to how it used to be with just the fibro and arthritis long ago--lol!  My how everything is relative, eh?  :)

I basically did finish almost all of the packing and purging of my apartment this year.  Only some smaller things to tweak and fiddle with.  Nothing big anymore.  Nothing I would feel guilty about procrastinating--ROFL!  I have a long quiet winter ahead where I can catch up on shows, write letters with more regularity, work on sets of cards, get out my art journals, make mandalas...whatever!  Cancer is behind me.  (knock on wood) The move is ahead of me.  Ahhhh!

My wish is for everyone to have a better year or at least a good year.  For the world to progress in a positive way or at least as positive as it can possibly manage.  Spread the love, people!  The world needs more and more of it so badly.  Be kind to each person you meet.  Hug more.  Smile more.  Tell people what they mean to you.  Overflow with gratitude.  All we have is right now...this precious moment in time.  I am really blessed to be here to greet this new year...this new crazy year...for all the good and the bad of it...we are all lucky to be here.  So very glad you are here.  Sending love and hugs from freezing Fargo--lol!  Till next year!  :)

Monday, December 25, 2023

Christmas Day 2023--Monday 5am

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate.  Just Allie and I--the usual Christmas.  But I was wrong about McFamily traveling to Henning to his dad's.  Leah just never took it off the google calendar--lol!  They haven't been going there since covid, I guess.  They do things with Leah's side of the family in town.  Dagan's Dad and stepmother come to Fargo for each of the boys' birthdays, though.  

I usually have a quiet Christmas with McFamily before or after Christmas.  This year it is going to be on Thursday.  Dagan is off work the same days as the boys are off of school.  He has a luncheon thing he could go to on Thursday, so I will get picked up earlier and spend time with the boys while Dagan goes off to that.  Then after Leah gets home we will have our Christmas evening.  Looking forward to it.  Ian wants to show me how good he is at math. 

Thursday will be the second day in a row of me being out and about so I will likely be pretty well shot for a couple of days afterwards.  I have my annual appointment with Dr. Kessler on Wednesday afternoon that Dagan and the boys will take me to.  Oh, and plus Keanna comes to clean on Tuesday.  Going to be a busy week in a different way this coming week. :)

This past week I was working on the pantry all week.  Except Monday--I took that day off from P&P activities. :)

Tuesday my laptop suddenly wouldn't type anything.  The keyboard did not work at all.  So, since it was McFamily's night to go to Costco...they stopped by here.  It took a good while, but they finally fixed it.  Dagan also took out trash for me and they had stopped and traded the bad bag of mealworms for a couple bags of sunflower seed chips at Fleet Farm. 

Leah noticed all the white powder on everything--checked what I had ordered and I got the wrong kind of humidifier!  Dang it anyways!  It was one of those ultrasonic kind.  I thought it was the steam heat kind.  She said she'd send it back for me.

Wednesday Dagan stopped by after work and visited a little while before he had to go pick up the boys from school.  They got off early because they started Christmas vacation till the beginning of January.  Dagan made a couple trips with stuff to the garage for me.  More donation boxes. 

Later that night Leah dropped off my Cashwise groceries.  I had emptied the humidifier, so Leah took it with her to drop off at UPS.  Then when they reimbursed me with credit at Amazon, I ordered one that heats the water for steam and not that crazy sonic white powder mist...which was getting worse and worse.  Obviously, I didn't read the description close enough.  I had looked at so many and neglected to delete this one from the ones I was considering.  Duh!  Anyways, I should get the new one this week.

I do make Amazon orders almost every single month.  When you have no car and have been housebound for 20 years...Amazon is a true blessing!  Online shopping has been amazing.  When I was first housebound I was ordering from catalogs.  I am so lucky to live when I do. :) 

Meanwhile, the weather has been so back and forth.  Has to be confusing to the critters.  It was 45 one day this week!

We have had thin layers of snow and rain and some warmer days--just all over the place.  

I loved this rippled sky!
The Critter Cafe isn't very busy when it's warmer out.  They still come, but not like when it gets to freezing temps.
When Leah was here she helped me move the wire shelves farther apart on that back wall when so I could get the rest of the jars up there.
I know you probably can't tell really but this was the pantry in progress when I was close to done on Thursday.  I finished the left-hand side of the shelves.  Every single thing wiped down and rearranged--plus some things tossed and some went to donations, as usual.
I also set up my new bullet journal for 2024 on Thursday and did another load of laundry.  

Friday I finished the right-side shelves.  Moved more things up into the shelves from the bench.
Leah came by to drop off the crock pot and she picked up the bench.  She has the same black bench in her long entryway so she has room for both of them.  They are awesome for shoes, and I will be able to keep my shoes up there, too.  We just don't wear shoes inside, so it makes sense for me to keep mine upstairs, too, by the door.  The corner looks so empty now!  Another donation box started, too.
The birds seem very happy to not have the mealworms-gone-bad anymore--lol!  They much prefer the sunflower nuts and chips for fat, anyways.
Saturday I mostly finished in the pantry.  After moving things from the bench and the floor up on to the shelves it looks fuller, but it is still so much emptier than it was--whew!

Feels WONDERFUL to be done with the last actual room in the apartment!!  Whoohoo!!
Even behind the door was cleared out from several items.  Mittens, scarves, and hats went in the wash or donation box.
Sunday was the last load of laundry (with mittens and scarves)...more reorganizing or tweaking in the pantry.  Done!  Done!  Done!  :)  Exhausted.  It is a good thing I am done.  I can rest up now till doctor appointment on Wednesday and Christmas on Thursday.  Keanna coming to clean on Tuesday is not as wearing.  I only have to gather trash and pick the place up--lol!  ;)

We are in for some bad weather apparently.  Sunday it rained and rained and then turned to snow briefly later in the day.  You can see the white layer on the lawn in the dark.
Today we are supposed to get a second wave with the high winds of the rain, ice, and snow.  When you are on the edge with the temperatures they really have to guess as to what might happen.  Could be mostly rain and ice and less snow or we could have several inches of snow over that ice.

Regardless Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be terrible for traveling up here, so I am glad McFamily is not going to Henning and will be nearby in town or at home.  They had plans with her sister's family for Christmas Eve but I'm not sure what their plans are for today.  Maybe a nice day at home?  

Before you ask...I haven't celebrated on the actual holidays for a couple of decades.  Even if they were at home today and I could go over...well, honestly, I physically couldn't handle being out and about 3 out of 4 days in a row and a visit (Keanna) on the 2nd day.  Just dealing with Tuesday through Thursday is more than enough for me--lol!  I am really very happy to have Christmas on Thursday. :) :)

I am really excited about the new year.  I am basically finished purging and packing in the apartment except for some smaller things.  Well, the hallway is next--LOL!
I know this doesn't look small.  Looks like a total mess.  But it is all just empty containers...bins, boxes, tubs... it really won't take too long to go through.
I need to hang onto a lot of it for after I move when I know what I actually need and don't need once I am settled in.  I can't know for sure until I am unpacked and putting things away, you know?  Some of it I know I can get rid of now, but quite a bit of it I can just pack away.  These will be the lightest boxes I have packed so far--LOL!  Anyways, I plan to be done with this before New Years.

I have been feeling noticeably better since November, so 2024 looks promising!  I can finish the hallway and then I am kind of on vacation for the entire winter!  I will have been through everything I own in this apartment, anyways.  If I go back and purge a little more--that is just a plus--extra.  This winter will be all about R&R and art & crafts.  That is the plan.  Then when the apartment is done (whenever that is) then life will change gears.

As far as the apartment goes--Leah's new job and the holidays have kept them very busy.  We're on the list for the electricians to come and finish that part of the build.  They are hired.

Trent can apparently work on the plumbing and HVAC--but Leah wants to double-check--and find out whether we need to have plans approved ahead of time for that, too.  The electricity inspector just did the electrical.  That is the main reason why Trent hasn't been over (plus it is the holidays) because they need to find out what needs to be done (or can't be done) so they aren't in any trouble with the city.  And, from the sounds of it, the plumbing/HVAC has a different inspection/inspector?  

The cabinet installation has been pushed to February--and can be pushed again.  Can't have those installed until the walls are up and the drywall people (another company) are done with their part.  The cabinet company seems very understanding.  (I would imagine this happens to them a lot--lol!)  After the cabinets are installed, they will also install the carpeting down the stairs to the basement.  

And so it goes. know as much as I do.  Until the apartment is finished and I give my two-month notice...I am basically on vacation--ROFL!  But the vacation doesn't start until the new year and I have finished that hallway of containers.  

Allie will really miss them.  She loves to sharpen her long-gone claws on the edges of boxes.  She does it to all the boxes around here.  It's probably a good thing she is declawed.  Can you imagine how raggedy all these boxes would look by spring--summer--fall??  Who knows when I will move next year.  She has even caused noisy avalanches and almost bonked herself good a couple of times!  Hasn't stopped her from clawing on those big boxes though--lol!  Maybe scares me more than it does her, I guess. :)  Silly girl!

Well, Merry Christmas!  The new year is close at hand.  When I talk to you next time it will be the first day of 2024 already!!  Wow!  I have my tombow brush pens and the birthday cards ready to color.  I have many good shows to watch and a lot of paper chats ahead.  It may be terrible weather, but it ended up being a white Christmas...or a partially white Christmas, at least.  Brown Christmases are rare up here and I find them depressing.  Makes me feel the whole world is off kilter.  Well, it there's that--lol!  A white lawn makes my heart happy.  Be safe. 

I will chat with you on New Year's Day!  
*love and hugs from Fargo*