summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

what?! is this mulberry street?


Yesterday, we were going out and about, and what the heck?  A horse, trotting down the sidewalk in town!
Yes, a horse!

We followed cautiously as it skittered here and there down the road, the guys in this truck were being ever so of them was on his phone, so we figured they were calling someone to help catch this poor creature.  When we got to the farm house in the above pic, horsie turned and ran up the driveway...hmm, you never know what you'll see!

So we did some Christmas shopping, and oh my goodness, embarrassing:  my card was declined.  Someone had hacked me, tried to buy $300+ worth of stuff at three in the morning the other night.  I got a notice from the bank, but when I called back, after going through all the prompts..."please call back during regular hours when we're open..."okay.  So I thought maybe it was a phishing call, and forgot about it.  Well I remembered it in a hurry when my card was declined at T.J. Maxx!  

I was still able to go to Target, as I have a Target card...I had ordered a few things to pick up, because when you do order-pick-up, you get some deals!  25% off shampoo we needed anyway, plus a $5 gift card if you buy four.  I also needed dog chow, and there was a $5 gift card if you bought two.  They had only one bag in stock, but gave me the gift card anyway!

After Target, we met a lady in a parking feels so sneaky and clandestine to do those marketplace transactions, but at least this time I didn't approach the wrong person....last year I bought a ride-on toy...and the lady who came and parked next to me, in the same color and make of vehicle the person I was supposed to meet, well, I got out and started to hand her the money, she looked at the money and at me, and was so puzzled...oh dang, I said, you're not from marketplace, are you?  no, indeed she was not.   So I had the right lady this time, and got myself a nifty little toy traffic light, for Wulf for Christmas, ten dollars.  :)

Then this fine morning, Camille and I decided to go to the library, then the thrift store, because hey, I get 25% off on Tuesdays.  Well, driving through a nice little neighborhood on a semi busy street, a red pick up truck drives right down a driveway and straight into the road, across the road right in front of me, hits the tree on the side of the road, and comes to a sudden stop, the dog in the passenger seat just sitting there all happy and dumb, until the impact sent the poor thing one was driving.  Nope, an empty driver's seat, and that truck parked right across the entire two lanes of that road.  I laid on the horn, until a guy came running out, got in, backed it back in the driveway, and off we went.  I hope the pup was okay!

Anyway.  Fun fun fun.  I'm leaving now to go watch Elise while Ashley goes to the dr....I'm bringing our CandyLand game, and some fun craft stuff.....bye for now!

Monday, November 29, 2021

I forgot what it's like to be so cold...

 We always want what we don't have.  I actually don't mind the extreme heat and humidity most of the time, like when I'm in the pool, ha.  In the summer, if you ask me about winter weather, I'd say I don't mind the cold too much.  But.  When the cold weather actually arrives, and the house is chilly, cold floors you can feel right through your slippers, and don't get me started on the cold toilet seat...

When you have to go bye-bye, and the car is freezing, and the wipers are frozen to the windshield...the deck steps are slippery...harrumph.  I don't actually like winter all that much!

But, it IS pretty...pretty and peaceful.

This fine morning when Charlotte was waiting for the school bus...

I haven't been out shopping much for Christmas this year.  I've bought some things online, but I am minimizing buying this year.  I figure the older kids can buy what they want, if they want something.  I still get them each something, but not piles for each.  I like buying them stuff, don't get me wrong, but it really adds up. The boxes arrive, and some are huge with just a few items in them, the kids get excited, it's fun...

We're doing things different this year.  We usually gather on Christmas Eve, but our  whole family celebration will be dinner on Christmas Day, at Benjamin and Ashley's house.  We can do our Christmas Eve here quietly, and if any of the older kids want to come over, they are welcome.  Same with Christmas morning, the families can do their traditions with their kids, and we can do ours.  But, our Christmas dinner is going to be awesome:  we are doing Texas de Brazil theme!   Smoking a brisket, pulled pork, sausages...a winter salad, Mac and cheese...

This afternoon, Camille and I are going on a small adventure:  a marketplace purchase, meeting in a grocery store parking lot.  We're getting a toy traffic light for Wulf!  He rides around and around the circle that makes up our kitchen and living room, on the balance bike, and sometimes we tell him red light!,  and he comes to a screeching halt...he also likes to write "tickets" for speeding.  So anyway, scrolling through marketplace seeing all the things I didn't know I needed, and voila!  Something Wulf NEEDS, ha.  

Yesterday morning I made five pounds of meatballs...chopped onion, garlic, all the spices...then into the crockpot on low, with sauce, to simmer for a while until dinner time.  Oh, the joy of knowing what's for dinner!  There are plenty left, so I also know what's for dinner tonight!

Anyone sick of Covid yet?  No?  The new variant is said to be mild, and I've read that the overwhelming majority of cases are in the vaccinated, so it doesn't seem like it should be a big worry.  Our gov. here in NY has declared a state of emergency, because then she gets to use her executive powers.  It's like she's been sitting there rubbing her hands together waiting for the opportunity.  Can I just say this?  One major hospital in central NY is down FOUR HUNDRED NURSES.  four hundred.  and that's just nurses, they're hurting for other staff too.  Last week, those who had religious exemptions from the vax mandate  lost them and were fired.  Years and years of patient care and experience, bam, gone.  Who will suffer for it?  The general public, the sick.  Who else will suffer for it?  The ones who are left still working, with their already heavy patient load increased, more bricks less straw.  If you stop for a minute and think about this, actually THINK about it:  those who were fired worked their A$$e$ off for the entire pandemic.  They were exposed to Covid countless times, many were sick with it.  Why, after all these months and months, is it just crucial for them to be vaccinated?  Especially when the vaccinated are still spreading it!!!!?   No one seems to care.  Chemo patients won't get their infusions if there is no one there to give them.  It's no joke.  Politics have no place in medicine, yet this is what is happening.  It's not right.   

Pray for our country, for our world, for our leaders, for our governor!  It's a heavy load for our healthcare system, and it's buckling. 

Ahh well.  Time to get moving around here....

Friday, November 26, 2021

reasons to be thankful with eight of the kids...


On the left side of the table:  Paul and me, Benjamin, Elise, Anya, Charlotte, Amanda, Camille...the other side, Mariel, Emily, Hege, AbigailSonja, Amanda, Noel...Jonathan had left for the airport to pick up Margaret, Adrian, Wulf, and Tennyson from their trip to Oregon.  Molly and Josh with little Ophelia did not come, we were expecting them to bring their puppy, waiting all day, but they had things come up and didn't arrive.  It was rather sad...
Auntie Emily with Anya and Elise...
Sunny and Suri were invited too, as Ben has a big house.  Sunny is afraid of Ben, and ha, was trying to hide.  She actually did okay, but she does avoid him.  (When Benjamin moved back to NY state from Washington state four years ago this past summer, the kids were all gone on a trip, and he was spending the night here...he arrived with the giant u-haul, and Ashley was still driving across the country...anyway, Sunny and Suri barked at him, and he barked back, Suri didn't care, but Sunny developed a grudge that won't go away, and it's rather hilarious.  She loves Ashley, and everyone else, but avoids Ben...
So eight of the kids were there...Mariel and Charlotte and Camille, Sonja in the front right...Ben, Emily, Abigail, me, Jon in the back...(Hege, Carmen, Amanda, and Noel had left, Ashley was putting Anya and Elise to bed, and Paul had just left with the pups)
In addition to my pies, there was a lemon meringue made by Abigail and Camille, a dark chocolate espresso and a chocolate peanut butter by Mariel, a cherry and a chocolate by yeah, we had enough.
The turkey was AMAZING.
One of the apple pies...
Jonathan, Benjamin, Emily, Marile, Charlotte Claire, Camille, Abigail, and Sonja K.

We played one dang good game of Bull, had a few coffees, lots of appetizers, solved the worlds' problems, went around and said what we were all thankful for (each other, that God has been so good and merciful, and that we can get along well even if we disagree about things!). The day flew by, and it was a good one.

This fine morning, on Black Friday, I did not go shopping, but instead went with Jonathan to a city over an hour away to buy a pressure washer from Marketplace.  It was a good deal, blah blah, and it was supposed to snow, so we were not just letting him take my car, and his car...well....anyway, I accompanied.  The neighborhood was a teeny bit sketchy...but it was fine, the washer works well, and he can keep his four wheeler squeaky clean.  My price for going with him:  he has to wash the front of the house.

The girls are all up and wondering what we're doing today...hmm, what ARE we doing today?

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

isn't it pie-day?


12 of the pies, Davian went home with two.  The lighter colored pumpkin is sugar free, for me.  The blueberry is Sonja's creation.  I make a messy pie, but I think they'll be you can see, we already dug into one of the apple pies.  I promised Davian he could have some pie before going home, as he helped us today.  He brought an apple and a pumpkin home, and he loves apple pie so much...
As usual, I didn't take photos...but Carmen and Amanda, the girls' friends, came over too.
The apple pies...
Davian and Sonja, with Miss Carmen in the background...
Mmmm, pumpkin pies!

So I took a trip to the Apple Lady's today, then to Walmart, all by myself.  I got black olives for tomorrow, and one more can of whipped cream, some air fryer food (pizza pockets, mozzarella sticks, and mini corndogs) and a few Christmas presents.  

It was a busy day, but oh dear it flew by!  Sonja was such a blessing, she prepared the food in the air fryer, and served it with cucumber slice, and celery.   Okay, it wasn't a balanced dinner, but we were drowning in pies ha.

So my last blog post was disjointed, and incorrect.  The early days of being a mama WERE precious to me, I just didn't know yet how fast the time would fly by.  

Ah well, I'm yawning and the kids are watching a show I am not interested in (K-Drama anyone?  Yes, Korean dramas....ugh.)

It's nice to be invited to Ben and Ashley's house for dinner, they are so very hospitable, and their house feels so comfortable, like home.  I am super thankful for family...

crawling, then fast-forwarding, then speeding up...

m When I look back to my youth, life stretched before me, time wasn't precious, I had tons of it.  When I had baby Emily, the days were long and blissful.  Those early years were so full of idealism, I didn't know those babies were growing up to be their own people.  The whole point being to get them to stand on their own two feet, in the process cutting out their neediness of mama:  SUCESS!  They can function without me, 12 of them, and the four youngest aren't too far behind.  Why does it sort of hurt my heart, when it is the goal all along?

Maybe it's the holidays that brings such longing for days gone by.  My two youngest went to spend the night at their friends' house, Paul is hunting, it's quiet here for now.  Later, it'll be bustling as we make a dozen pies for Thanksgiving...19 pie crusts (shh, I made 18 and pinched a bit from each to make the 19th!)

One stick for each crust, so a double crusted apple pie has over half a pound, because you have to put some little pats on the apples before that top crust goes on!  

Sam and Grace and Grant and Ruth will not be coming to Thanksgiving, they're staying in Virginia.  Grace is a teacher, and one of her students was sick with a stomach bug last yeah, they are suddenly stricken, no turkey dinner for them, so sad.  

As I have broken two pie plates recently, one beautiful one got chipped and had a sharp edge, I had to ditch it...I find myself short of pie plates, one double apple pie in a 9"x13" pan wouldn't be the END of the world, but I think I may go brave Walmart before I start I go.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

it's beginning....! look a lot like winter!  Isn't this beautiful?  My niece Susan took this from her front porch this morning, and gave me permission to steal it to share with you all.  Snow IS lovely.

Anne visited me yesterday for a few hours.  We did not get bored.  She likes playing with "little things", such as my collection of Calico Critters/Little Woodzeez...and we colored, and made some Christmas crafts...she likes glitter!
We didn't get a lot of snow, but when you wake up and there's that certain brightness to the house, that reflection of the snow, it's so dang Christmas-y!
The bench by the door...
The tree has really grown on me, I do like it.

So yesterday, Camille and I drove right into winter.   Her appointment was in a small city closer to Lake Ontario, and snow!  It was like driving into a snow globe.  The news from the doctor is what we expected, her knee is just too unstable, it has dislocated THREE times now.  So, she'll have a surgery to tighten that kneecap up, with the insertion of a cadaver tendon.  Poor Cam, we know from Sonja having this, it's a tough recovery.  But it's better than the alternative, walking around not knowing when it's going to of the times, she was just walking, and pop!!

Anyway.  We went into Aldi after just to get things for a Thanksgiving punch, and for some plates...well, we had to go to Walmart because they were sold out.  Walmart was mobbed, but we were pretty good about getting just what we needed and getting back on the road towards home...ahh, home.  

The girls made pizzas for dinner, and I had leftover ham and veggies from Sunday.  

I think I'll make meatballs for dinner tonight...tons of them so we can have leftovers tomorrow night, as we'll be making pies, and won't want to make dinner, too.  

Molly is coming over for a visit in a few hours with the little puppy, can't wait to meet her!  

Sam and Grace and Grant and Ruth Eleanor are coming tomorrow night.  

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Monday, November 22, 2021

not a boring week!

 Oh my!  I'm hoping this post will get my thoughts straight about this week!  In an hour, little Anne will be coming for a visit, for a few hours, as her parents have things to do (teacher conferences, I think).  When she goes home, I'll be heading for a small city up north of here with Miss Cam, as she has an orthopedic appointment for her wobbly knee.  (The dr. is waiting for the x-rays to confirm the growth plate has closed, indicating it's time to schedule a not a fun appointment, right?).  To add to the fun and excitement of this appointment is that it's close to Lake Ontario, and yes, lake effect snow is forecast, and we all know how I feel about driving in it.   

After the appointment, I need to get some things for Thanksgiving, and some apples for pies.  

I still need to finish getting the guest room ready for Sam and Grace and the two little ones.

Wednesday is Pie Making Day, and Davian is coming over to join us.

Yesterday, after church, Ben and Ashley and little Anya and Elise came over for dinner.  We had ham, applesauce (I peeled and cut four Granny Smith apples, and put them on top of unsweetened applesauce in a glass baking dish, and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, baked, so good), roasted:butternut squash, potatoes, and Brussel sprouts, and rolls.  There were chocolate chip cookies for dessert, as I baked them on Friday.

Here's something exciting...Ben and Ashley are having another baby, the girls are going to be big sisters to a baby...


And, Molly and Josh...

Got a new baby puppy, a chocolate Lab, TimBit.

And, Margaret and Adrian with Wulf and Tennyson flew out to Oregon to be with Kathryn and Darius and little Achilles and baby Rhys....(Adrian and Darius are brothers!)...Wulf, in the cockpit!  So cute!

We are only having 25 for Thanksgiving this year!  Only ten of the kids and families will be there.  (Two in Oregon, one in Cali, one in Washington state, and two local that are going to other sides of the family celebrations).  It's going to be a fantastic day, we have invited one of our favorite family of friends to come, they have a boy around Jon's age, and two girls, one Sonja's age, and one between Char and Cam's ages.  

I would mention that awful Christmas parade crash...I cannot even believe that people are justifying the monster who did this, saying it was because of the Not Guilty verdict for Kyle.  ???  Are they crazy?  This man who did this, he's crazy.  There are no excuses.  I am sorry he is so crazy, sorry he wasn't loved and nurtured and didn't have a purpose in life, but....dang.  Those poor innocent people, and all those good samaritans who rushed to help, God bless them.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

reveling the season...

 ...and I don't mean the Christmas season, or the holiday season.  I mean the season in which I still have young children...even though they're not so young anymore.  Yesterday, we went out and about when Sonja K. was done with classes...just a few places, and they broke all the rules from when they were little...they touched EVERYTHING in the stores, asked for things, and were loud and silly, and I didn't mind a bit.  They didn't really ask for anything, but there were a few things they wanted for Christmas, so they found them, and we are saving for Camille, slippers for Sonja...but shh, I gave Sonja the slippers when we got home.  We can't have cold feet for 35 more days!

Touching the fragile stuff...

They are very low maintenance kids, actually.  They don't ask for things, and are way too much fun.  Charlotte Claire found a squeaky pig dog toy, and was honking it, it was so funny I thought my legs were going to collapse.  They were just so silly.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and I do enjoy this season, even if it started too early.

Here are some blasts from the past...

Six years ago or so, Molly was expecting Lydia, all eleven of my girls...
Me with the eleven of them...
Thanksgiving long ago, maybe four years ago?  That's Paul's mom there in the peach...
Lydia's first birthday, with all eleven girls, and Evelyn holding baby Sunny!
With all the girls, and Ashley...

Today, we are going to have EVEN MORE FUN!  We are going to the new big thrift store...

Thursday, November 18, 2021

and, good morning!

Here we are, all decorated for Christmas, and it's warm out!  60 degrees!  It seems downright silly to have a tree up, and all the lights and sparkly things out, it's like Christmas in Florida!  I know, I know, enjoy it, because it certainly won't last.

Yesterday, I picked Miss Charlotte Claire up from school just a tiny bit early, so I could take her with Camille, out and about.  They actually didn't get anything from Starbucks, because shh, I took them to McDonalds.  Cam would rather have the half sweet iced tea with lemon from the dollar menu, anyway.  They were heading to help Abigail do some cleaning/maintenance at church cabins, so I thought I'd treat them to a nice dinner...I mean, they LOVE that stuff...McChickens, nuggets...I did have a McDouble with no ketchup or mustard, and I skipped the bun.  But my real dinner was at home, taco salad...

Anyway, the morning was lovely.  I went outside with Char while she waited for the bus...
Someone did leave muddy sneakers on that table...
This next week will be nice, Charlotte has the whole week off from school, and Samuel and Grace and little Grant and Ruth Eleanor will be coming to stay with us, for Thanksgiving!  I vacuumed the guest room yesterday, and took all the bedding off, am in the process of washing it all, so we can make it warm and cozy for them.  I realized as I was in there yesterday that if/when they move to New York in the spring time, they won't be staying with us anymore, so it's really a finite thing.  (Unless they move in here until they can find a place, or something like that ha.).  I decided to really treasure getting the room ready, with an attitude to bless, because we all know how it's in us to grumble about everything.  

When they stay with us, the mornings spent with coffee and around- the- house clothes, being in no particular hurry, the coziness, it IS precious. 

Life, as we know, is not all sunshine and roses.  Things happen, and our faith is tested.  If you read my blog and think:  dang she has an easy life!, well, that's  because it's not always my story to tell.  I have 16 kids, so believe me, there's always one or another who has something going on, but far be it from me to blast their business on my blog...don't get me wrong, they're good kids, there's not awful stuff, but sometimes their trials effect me.  There are huge financial trials we've had, which I'll not get into here, and we've learned from them, and are working on so many aspects of how we've been affected, but again, I can't really write about it all.  

But shh, I do have a good life, I really do.  I am super thankful for my days here on earth and I am really working on using my time in a good way.  

Oh, Suri is much much better.  The tumor has seemed to effect her movement a bit, but not drastically.  I just hope it doesn't grow anymore.  At this point, the vet isn't inclined to remove it, but if it continues to grown and impede movement, it might be a necessity, but I am not going to worry about that right now.  

Have a really good day! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

ooooh the tree, and a sad puppy dog....

 When you've been blogging for....ahem...fourteen run out of creativity when it comes to titles. You just don't care.  You hit the publish button and realize that what you wrote had nothing to do with the title.  

Miss Char and Miss Cam were our decorators this year.  They were going for a simple, old fashioned look, with lots of red and gold.  They strung red beads, and indeed kept it minimal.
It doesn't look too bad!

Times do change though.  Jon was here, but wasn't too interested in helping, although he did have some comments and opinions.  Sonja K. was overwhelmingly busy with nursing stuff, in fact she came home from her clinical at the hospital while we were decorating.  

Years ago, as old people are fond of leading stories with, we would get the lights on during nap time, and try to get things mostly done while the toddlers were asleep...I remember them waking up and oh my, a TREE, in the living room!  They would toddle right over and start touching it, of course.  

For so many years we had so many children, they would fight about how many candy canes each could hang, and they would hang things all wrong, and I would fix it later.  I had a friend say that she refrained from fixing it later, nope.  ha.  

Anyway, times do change, but the tree is up and done, and the rest of the decorations are out, very minimalist this year compared to how much I usually do...

Now, onto the sad doggie....
Orange Guy thinks the new dog beds are just for him.  
I do love how the animals like each other.
What?  Kitty on the bed and doggy on the floor?  Poor Suri!  Suri has a huge fatty tumor on her side, it just came out of nowhere, we noticed it last week.  We called the vet, and brought her in yesterday.  Well, after a needle aspiration confirmed it was indeed a fatty tumor, and not cancerous, the vet recommended we just let it go, keep an eye on it.  He said sometimes those tumors spring up and grow and grow to immense sizes, sometimes they just grow and stop and don't cause any problems.  But, the problem is:  removing them.  Sometimes they are nicely contained and come right out, but the area they leave behind, the empty space, with all the blood vessels, ect., can cause bleeding, infections, so these removals are avoided unless necessary.  Sometimes the tumors interfere with muscles, and make movement for the dog difficult.  So it would be a risk assessment decision.

Suri was so distraught by this trip to the vet, it's crazy.  She had to go in with the vet tech all by her lonesome, and it was worse than sending a new kindergartener on the bus, because Suri wasn't excited to go to kindergarten.  She looked so worried.  The vet's office is still not letting people accompany their pets, but the vet does call you and talk to you during the exam.  (I could hear Suri panting her Nervous Pant in the background). So she had to have that needle inserted, and I don't know if it actually hurt her a lot or just traumatized her, but talk about Drama Queen...she came home, and just sulked.  She didn't even approach me when I was giving out tidbits of bacon, I had to bring it to her!  Miss Piggy Pie herself!  

She did go outside with Sunny this morning, then ate her brekky (which was her dinner from last night that she didn't eat, I added a bit of fresh chow on top of it to entice her), and she fell asleep right on the rug where the food bowls are, and has been sleeping there for two hours now.  

The tumor looks bigger to me today than it did yesterday, but it could be because I'm worried about it.  I don't want it to get bigger, and have to make decisions.  After this behavior, I am not so sure I would want to put her through ANY of it, because what if she had that surgery and had all the things the vet said could happen...I just can't.  She doesn't understand it, and she's already mad at us.  She is the best dog that has ever graced this earth, shh, don't tell Sunny, but my heart...I know, I'm a Drama Queen too.  But dang, Suri is a gem.

We got a little bit of snow here, snow on the pumpkins...
Today, my little granddaughter Elise is coming over to play for a few hours while her mama goes to the doctor.  Elise is four now, (and Anya is eight!), and she is going to be a big sister!  We're going to play with little things, and have some fun.  Tonight is activity club, and I am going to get a make-a-turkey-out-of-construction paper project going....

Never a dull moment...

Monday, November 15, 2021

oh yes we did!


Okay, it's not the most beautiful Christmas tree in the world, but it's also not finished yet.  We like the look of the warm white lights, and only have two strings of them, so we'll get more.  It should be lower in the stand, more cut off, but Paul put it in there so it won't fall down, I mean it's IN THERE.  

So you can see why I didn't INSIST on cutting a few more inches off....

And, we cover it up with a nice little blankie...

Davian was here for the afternoon.  If you look at the above pic, you can see Sonja peeking from under the tree...
Sunny doesn't get why we brought a tree into the house.
Char, Cam, Davian...Sonja took the pic.  They cut it down all by themselves.  They absolutely insisted it was time to get the tree.  Sonja said, "Dad said it was okay."  Well,  who am I to be the bad guy, right?  I am more of an after-Thanksgiving Christmas decorator, but last year we definitely started early, because we needed Christmas cheer.  They must've liked that, because they've been bugging to get the tree.  They went to a place where it's twenty bucks to cut one, and it's not easy to find a nice one, but that's where they wanted to go....

The decorating of it came to a standstill with the lights situation, but that's okay, after all, there are still 40 days until Christmas.  

Dinner was bubbling away in the crock pot, I had put cubed up chicken breast with a packet of taco seasoning, and half a jar of salsa in there...we served it with Basmati rice, chopped red onions, tomatoes, fresh salsa, and sour cream, but a few of the kids at it in tortillas.  

Davian liked being here.  He played with kinetic sand, the invisible man, and played Mario Cart on the Switch.  He loves the kitties and the pups.

Margaret and Adrian were here on Friday night with the little boys.  Adrian tore up some of the cracked kitchen floor tiles and replaced them, so we had to tip-toe around them.  Well, wouldn't you know, one of the girls went in to get something out of the freezer, later after they had gone home...and a package of ground beef fell out, and bam, cracked one of the new tiles just installed.  We had to replace it ourselves, but Paul helped, he has tiled before.  We still have some cracked tiles, not all were done on Friday, but it looks so much better.  

The plan is to get some new flooring one of these days, I really want the luxury vinyl planking, waterproof that looks like wood...a nice oak...but, I want the living room done too, to match, and the living room doesn't look so's a good quality laminate that really looks like wood...contrasting tiles in one room and wood-look in the other is okay, but if we get something closer in looks yet it's different, I just think it'll look bad...and replacing all of it is too pricey for us right now.  So, we got some tiles replaced, and are happy with that.

There will always be something.  Something on the list, the next thing.  You may have noticed in the pic of the bottom of the tree in the stand, that we don't have baseboard trim there.  It just never got done.  You can't really notice it, the living room is chock full of furniture.  What?!  We only put this "new" floor in like 12 years ago or so....

We can be so discontent about so many things, but we have a warm house, plenty to eat, despite what the teenagers say sometimes, running water (well water, but still.), comfortable beds...there is SO much to be thankful for!  I can compare my house to my friend's, or my sister's, or my brother's, and be SO jealous...never MIND Pinterest, or instagrammers, with their vast pristine wood trimmed farm houses, not a cracked tile in sight.   But envy is absolutely NOT something I want to be giving in to!  It's abhorrent to God!  So I truly say NO to that, and count my blessings.  (I am not saying I don't get tempted, or that it's wrong to have your house as nice as you can make it, to be comfortable in, to enjoy....I'm just talking about ME!)

We have to bring Suri to the vet today, she has a sizable lump on her side.  It's hopefully just a fatty tumor, which Labs are fond of acquiring, but we want to get it checked out.  It's not a good idea to fall totally and completely in love with animals, oh dear.  

Thanksgiving is coming up, and we're going to Ben and Ashley's house, as they have lots of room for us all.  My pie list:  4 pumpkin, one blueberry, and 3 apple.  Davian is invited over to help make pies the day before Thanksgiving, he says he loves apple pie and thinks about it every day, and loves to help make it, so he gets to bring one home.  Abigail is making a lemon meringue with Camille, and Ashley is making chocolate.  The pie feast is real, with us.  (The kids still tease me about last year:  I made one sugar free apple pie, and mistook it for a regular one, cut a sizable slice, and sat there raving about how good it was, tasted just as good as regular pie, and dang it, it WAS regular pie!)

No nice and cozy post is truly complete without inserting something like this:  think about censorship.  Just think about it, do you notice it?  What happens if someone speaks out against the mainstream these days?  Are they shushed, canceled, discredited?  What happened to the land of the FREE?  

Here's something happy to end little granddaughter Rhys Harper, from Oregon...