What a lovely weekend I'm having!
Work has been insane this month! So much unhappiness in the world. I am so blessed to have such a happy life that is sometimes punctuated but sadness, but all in all a very joy-full life. I am grateful! I needed a break from work. I took off Wed, had Thursday as Thankgiving Holiday, used a floating holiday day on Friday, and am taking tomorrow, Monday, off as it is my 60th birthday.
Thanksgiving Day was wonderful and so much fun! John roasted the most delicious turkey! He'd brined it the day before in chicken broth, apple juice, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme. Succulent and amazing flavor! We all ate too much! Ashlyn provided the entertainment! She loved the little nativity set we brought her. It was sweet watching Grampy tell her the Christmas Story. Grampa and Grammy worked up sweats and got worn out playing "You can't catch me" and Hide 'N Seek. We had numerous tea parties with Ashlyn and her "baby", Ashlyn asked Grammy to play the drums with her (5 gallon bucket turned upside down, markers for drumsticks and a pot lid for a cymbal). We got home from Fargo about 12:30AM. It was such a fun day! Everyone but me fell asleep after dinner, I curled up and read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO while they snored. Julie and Matt gave me birthday presents, a pretty silky top, a lacy black cami to wear under and a soft and pretty black sweater to wear over that. We drew names for Christmas, we'll all get together on December 17th.
Friday morning I got up to go into town to have coffee with my young friend Gina's fiancee. We had a running joke about him having to pass "muster" before they could make it official. He is a wonderful man, they met in The National Guard. He's been on multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and suffering from PTSD, that's making it difficult for him to adjust to civilian life in some ways, people just don't "get it". Gina is currently deployed to Kuwait. I'm so happy that they've found each other! I came home from Baudette and took a good nap. For dinner I cooked Louisiana Red Beans and Rice. It turned out fantastic! I sketched a bit, playing with christmas images for some holiday cards or ornaments to send to a few of my artsy friends. Nothing I'm thrilled with yet, but I still have this afternoon/evening to play with that. We watched cheesy Christmas programs on TV Friday night and I finished reading "The Girl....". Loved that book!
Yesterday we left about 8:30 to drive down to Grand Rapids MN to meet Noah and Kay for lunch at Zorbas. Noah bought us lunch, and He and Kay gave me presents. Kay'd bought a nice bag of scrapbooking embellishments, pastels, and paint pots, from the both of them I got a gorgeous Waterford Crystal bowl! The roads were icy and slushy but it was a pretty drive. Good times! We left early enough to be able to have coffee at Caribou (Fa La Latte for me!) and buy some Reindeer Blend and Mocha Java, and a bag of coffee to give as a gift. then we did a little shopping, and they were running a little late because they were having furnace trouble so it worked out great! The stores were not crowded and we weren't rushed. I needed shoes and a pair of jeans, various personal health items we can't find up here, I bought THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, and we got a couple of Christmas presents bought. If I could figure out a way to make a portable DVD player for Ashlyn for Christmas I would have. I miss the days of making most of my presents for everyone rather than buying them. I hope to do that again one year. We had a great visit with Noah and Kay who were spending the evening in Grand Rapids. We left about 4:30 to drive home, we went the long way home through Bemidji which didn't take any longer than "the short way". The roads were much better. We stopped at Caribou to get coffee, I had a Merry Mint Mocha. yummy! We got home about 8:30 last night. We watched a Christmas movie on Hallmark. while Tom worked on his sermon, I played with some sketching while we watched. I slept really well last night.
Church this morning, it's the first Sunday in Advent so the Advent wreath lighting will be part of the service. AND it's Birthday Anniversary Celebration so there will be cake! LOL I never miss an opportunity for cake! The scales is groaning! So much celebration and too much good food! Today will be a quiet day after church, I'll probably nap, read, write a bit, and play with Christmas cards and stuff. Judah has reawakened the Freakwerx group via Face Book and there's a swap of 4X4s due Jan 1. with a Phoenix theme. Cool!! Loved that group of artists! The swap sounds fun and manageable!
I need to put on another pot of coffee and grab a pencil to sketch before I have to get ready for church!
Life is good!