Blogmas 2020: Elf On the Shelf

Since I enjoyed Blogmas so much last year, I decided to join in with Tamy over at Chasing My Life again this year. In keeping with the no stress theme of it all, I probably won’t join in every day. Already, this week (OH, this week. SIGH), I’m somehow working every single day after only planning (never make plans!) on a couple.

I digress. Today’s topic is Elf on the Shelf.

Buddy arrived at our house pretty late as far as the boys’ ages go. After over-ruling my husband on the matter, I brought Buddy home during J’s 5th grade year. His teacher had one for the classroom that moved each night and he kept saying we should get one. So, I went ahead with the idea using some Hallmark “bucks” and coupons to make it happen.

It was well after December 1st and so he’d been “lost in a snow storm” and since we’d just watched the movie Elf, his name immediately became Buddy. He moves each night sometimes getting into a tiny bit of mischief along the way.

And sometimes he brings small gifts. Usually around Saint Nicholas Day because why not mix up all the traditions. This year, I think that’s the day he’ll probably arrive along with a box of his very own breakfast cereal to share.

It’s now simply a tradition to find the elf each morning and my older teenager now sometimes helps with the moving of the elf. However, if I were starting this with young children, I’d definitely go the Kindness Elves route.  

 

 

 

 

Happy Homemaker Monday, One More Month

I missed my post last week. Starting on Sunday afternoon to make sure I don’t miss two weeks in a row. Missed my bird watching post Saturday as well so I’ll also share some bird pictures.

Today (Monday) is the last day of November. One more month to endure this surreal year. While it hasn’t been all bad, I fully admit I’m ready to flush away 2020 and move on to better things in 2021. Flushing it away seemed an appropriate thought given the toilet paper shortages.

IF we could have New Year’s Eve parties (and I’d invite you all!), I think little toilet key chains would be fun favors. Or maybe gold fish. Don’t mind me I’m just over here planning an imaginary party.

Perhaps I’d be better off sticking to a plan for the week ahead. Hoping to join in again with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom. Probably not going to get a chance to link up before tomorrow afternoon as I do work a full day.

The Weather 

Cold. Windy. The clouds from this morning are gone, however. Highs in the mid to upper 40’s all weeks and lows in the upper 20’s to mid 30’s. Slight chance of rain (snow?) on Wednesday and Thursday. We had some rain (and snow! Not much.) last week but are still in drought conditions for the year. 

On The Breakfast Plate

Since I’m typing my post on Sunday, today’s breakfast wasn’t as boring. Sausage and biscuits. And coffee. My husband made it. Work days are back to the usual flip yogurt and coffee breakfasts.

As I Look Outside My Window

In the basement, frosted glass on this window. Wind keeps making it sound as if someone is walking out there. It’s just rustling leaves. I did see this outside the backdoor window this morning: 

As I Look Around The House

It’s not in bad shape. Took down all the Fall/Thanksgiving decoration yesterday. Need to put up Christmas but the crowd here isn’t enthused.

What I’m Wearing Today

I should be wearing my Chiefs shirt but it’s in the laundry so instead a long red-sleeved shirt with my S.T.A.R. labs t-shirt over it and a pair of brown pants. Plus tennis shoes that I’ll take off soon. Threw them on to go for a walk and run errands. Done now.

On My To Do List

  1. Make it through the rest of this crappy year
  2. Pay the end of the bills (just a couple due in early December plus welcome to Missouri! property and real estate taxes. We have until the end of the year but I should probably just get them out of the way.
  3. Decorate for Christmas
  4. Pull out holiday clothes for work days (sweaters and socks)
  5. Do some Christmas shopping

On My Reading Pile

Somehow I derailed my plan to start reading only Christmas novels after Thanksgiving. And started in on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It’s very good but not exactly what you’d call a Christmas read. I’ll finish this week, I think.

On My TV

Along with the book idea, I decided to watch a Christmas movie every day after Thanksgiving leading up to Christmas. We watched The Santa Chronicles 2 on Friday. Loved it. I thought it was better than the first one. And then, perhaps a stretch to call it a Christmas movie but I subjected my husband to a viewing of Holidate. Is it a bit dumb? Yes. Entertaining? I thought so. For the kiddos? Um, not at all.

Not sure what I’ll watch tonight. Something short as it’ll be after the Chiefs game. And on Wednesday, we’ll watch The Masked Singer. Have you been watching that? I think either the seahorse or sun is going to win the whole thing. Maybe. My guessing game is terrible.

On The Menu This Week

After our big meal on Thanksgiving, not sure what we’ll have. We finished off the sweet potatoes and corn bread yesterday as sides to a bit of ham. G suggested the end of the turkey might be good in noodles so maybe we’ll do that one day. I think I’m winging it the rest of the days.

MONDAY:  ?? *I work 8:30-5* *J has a baritone lesson at 6:30*

TUESDAY:  Pork chops *I work 1-4:15*

WEDNESDAY: Turkey and noodles

THURSDAY:  ??

FRIDAY: ??

Something Fun To Share

Want a sneak peek at a new project of mine? I’m moving! Just virtually to a new blog. With a new host, bluehost.  Keeping word press. Don’t worry, So Not Organized won’t be going any where for a while as I just renewed the hosting on it with godaddy (No, I wouldn’t really recommend them if you’re just starting out). I’ll be glad to say goodbye to them when it all runs out. Long story but I’m glad to have an updated blog (background junk) in the works.

Keep in mind, I just started working on the new site on Friday but here’s a preview of: Chit Chat With Jean.

My plan is start serious transitions and new postings to the site in January of 2021. Fresh start in a fresh year.

From The Camera

Took a walk in the (cold) wind this morning. Just a couple shots. 

On My Prayer List 

Family, especially one of my sister-in-laws who just lost her own sister (not to the virus). A former coworker who lost her father to Covid in October. A friend from high school as her father is hospitalized with the virus. All those dealing with the virus, and the stresses of living through a pandemic. J as he continues to struggle with his anxiety about school.

An end to this virus. A new wave of kindness and civility to overtake the country and the world.

Quote For The Week

I found the above on Pinterest but go visit her site. It’s worth your time.

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What is on your agenda for the new week and month ahead?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five On Friday: Thanksgiving Week Randomness

Didn’t mean to disappear this week. Turned out to be busier than I anticipated.

Worked the first three days of it at preschool and loved each minute of it. Maybe not each second but each minute for sure. They were days that started early. And left me in that tired in a good way each night. Plus, Thanksgiving cooking each night with the exception of Monday.

First time all year I missed a Happy Homemaker Post. Maybe I’ll still get around and visit later this weekend. Trying hard to keep my hands busy so I don’t over do the Black Friday deals (or eat too many leftovers).

Let’s just start with my random five… 

ONE: What I Learned On Thanksgiving

My husband and I can cook an entire dinner together and still stay married. Might’ve helped that most of his cooking was on the grill. His smoked turkey turned out so well I’m actually disappointed we only have one day of left-overs for it.

During the course of the week I made cranberry salad (so much better if it sits in the fridge a couple of days) and two pies: pumpkin and apple. On Thanksgiving: I finished the last pie, chocolate. Then started in on the sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing, starting the mashed potatoes, and rolls. My sister-in-law brought cheesy corn and green bean casserole. We ate good yesterday.

TWO: I Really Need A Formal Dining Room

Fine. I really want a formal dining room. I enjoy hosting holidays but our house presents challenges with space for seating everyone even when we don’t have very many. We only had my sister-in-law and her family over yesterday. So 7 of us total.

My husband did give in to me enough that we cleared the kitchen counters off for the food so we could all sit around the kitchen table and a card table for the teenagers. Real plates. No paper. Thanksgiving is a holiday and holidays should be special no matter how many guests. 

On a side note, I probably lost count of the times I gave thanks for us owning a dishwasher yesterday. My parents never had one and neither did my husband’s grandparents where we often went for Thanksgiving. So. Many. Dishes. Just from the food prep alone.

THREE: Our Christmas Decorations Aren’t Up Yet

Apparently, I’m supposed to wait until December 1. Not sure that’s going to happen but I am enjoying the weekend and taking my time with the decorating. Might not start until Sunday. Our neighbors already have a bunch of Christmas inflatables in their yard (since last week). I’ll be doing good to change our Thanksgiving garden flag and the shower curtain (G despises that I change to a holiday themed shower curtain so I’ll do it early on purpose. Ha!) this weekend.

FOUR: Missing Family 

We were already going to struggle with missing family on Thanksgiving this year. Last year, we lost my husband’s grandparents and his aunt. We’d been going to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving for years. Last year we were in too much shock, I think, to give it as much thought. (His aunt passed away in October). This year, despite the pandemic, I felt odd being at work (a nice distraction) and at home. I still feel as though I should be sitting in a house in Oklahoma today or out shopping (by now, we’d be stopping at Sonic for a Route 44 drink). Thankful for happy memories even if they make my eyes leak a bit. And the legacy of recipes left behind. Even if I can’t get them exactly the same and they also tend to make my eyes leak a bit.

FIVE: We Fed A Possum!

Not on purpose. It was an oops. My husband set the turkey carcass outside on the deck rail yesterday to get it out of the way while we ate. Later just after dark, he said better go get that before all the critters come out. (Maybe not that exact sentence but something along those sentiments.) Too late. A possum on the deck railing enjoying it’s own little Thanksgiving dinner. No, we didn’t leave it for the possum. Made it go away. Needed to wash dishes including the possum’s plate. Never a dull moment around here.

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Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?

 

 

Birds Spotted in Passing

Last week was a bit of a blur, once again, without a lot of time for bird watching. Or rather I should say decent bird taking photo time. I shared the same mood as this cardinal much of the week:

Monday proved a rough start though I did spot two gold finches passing through the backyard. Since I needed to pick up bird seed anyway, I added a finch sock to my purchase. And another little feeder (husband just noticed it tonight and fussed about it a bit). Have I seen any goldfinches since adding in the feeders? Of course not!

Since I read Phil’s post last weekend, I properly noted the large flock of “gulls” flying over my head on Tuesday. Not seagulls. So many of them! I have a friend who insists they are a precursor to snow. Hope that old tale was wrong this time!

Did I mention the week went by in a bit of a blur? Much like these photo attempts of the blue jay visiting the bird feeder one morning. 

Adding to the confusion as I tried to creep along through the week. One day I thought I spotted a brown creeper in the far Sycamore tree of the neighbors. Only to realize it was Carolina Wren once I saw the photos on the computer. 

He decided to join the other birds at the feeder later.

I did spot a brown creeper on the oak tree. They’re fast little birds!

Not much else to report about the week. Mr. McNutty, Suet (Sue for short), and Al keep inviting friends to the backyard bird feeders. They’re well over the legal gathering number for squirrels around here. SIGH.

Mr. McNutty

Finally, this nuthatch stopped eating for a minute to wish everyone a…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Other birds spotted last week: robins, mourning doves, sparrows including the white-throated sparrow, dark-eyed juncos, a flicker woodpecker, the red-bellied woodpecker, and Canada geese.

What birds did you spot last week?

Joining in with The Bird Depot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Homemaker…Wait It’s Wednesday?

Late last week and again this week. It’s been a week and we’re only halfway there. Monday started off rough, I worked yesterday, and today I’m taking a minute to do this post. And breathe. However, I do have to go in and work half a day this afternoon.

Still linking up with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom. Lucky for me, she keeps the link open longer for us slow pokes.

Let’s get to the categories.

The Weather

Super nice although we need rain. Yesterday was in the low 60’s with light wind. Today is supposed to hit the 70’s with high winds (Red flag advisory around here). Not many leaves left on the trees.

On The Breakfast Plate

A bit of a bigger breakfast this morning. A peppermint flavored Chobani Flip yogurt (I know it sounds yucky but it’s actually pretty good) and a cranberry flavored English muffin. Plus coffee and vitamins.

As I Look Outside My Window

Back door view.  Added another bird feeder.

As I Look Around The House

It’s a mess but shouldn’t take too long to clean. Not that I’m going to do that today.

What I’m Wearing Today

Work t-shirt and another pair of elephant pants.

On My To Do List

  1. Clean the house
  2. Finish the laundry
  3. Plan for Thanksgiving
  4. Pay bills
  5. Grocery store/Target (maybe)

On My Reading Pile

Just finished reading The Little Christmas Teashop of Second Chances by Donna Ashcroft. Enjoyed it enough I was sad to finish it up this morning. And also sad that it appears to be the last of her books offered through my Kindle Unlimited. Maybe I’ll spend the money to read the last two of her works offered on the kindle app. (And yes, I already checked the library, no luck.)

On My TV

Watched just a few things last week/over the weekend.  The Masked Singer. Mad I didn’t correctly guess the last reveal. I should have known! Binge watched the last season of The Good Place. Happy with the series finale, they did a good job of it. Then, I watched a silly movie: The Man Who Killed Hitler, and then The Bigfoot. Sam Elliot. No words, it’s a weird one but engaging. And lastly, I started watching season 7 of The Holiday Baking Championship.

On The Menu This Week

Well, it’s already Wednesday so I suppose that makes planning the menu a bit easier. Maybe.

MONDAY: We had roast in the crock pot. *J had a baritone lesson at 6:30*

TUESDAY: Leftovers. J ate leftover taco stuff from Sunday, everyone else had BBQ. *I worked 7:45-4:15*

WEDNESDAY: Kind of hoping my husband cooks. Hamburgers? Might be a frozen pizza night. *I work 1-5*

THURSDAY: Chicken strips?

FRIDAY: What ever we do tonight, we’ll do the other choice on Friday. *I work 8:30-5:30*

Something Fun To Share

I got nothing. Here’s a candle that I think I see a heart shape in the wax. Do you see it?

From The Camera

A few mums are hanging in there and continuing to bloom.

On My Prayer List

Friends, family, strangers. For a wave of kindness and consideration to sweep our nation and the entire world. An end to this horrible virus and return to normality. Special request for J as he’s dealing with so much anxiety regarding school lately. So hard to watch kids struggle. Even harder when they’re your own.

Quote For The Week

The best way out is always through. (Robert Frost)

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How’s your week going so far?

 

 

 

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