Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 Joy List Ends

This will be my last Sunday post of the week's joys. Tomorrow begins a new year so all of 2024 will be a  joys for the past week and meal plan for the future week Monday combo plate. That will be much easier for me because I am much more likely to post a single entry rather than the two separate ones I have been doing for 2023. 

Like I do each year, today I will be rereading the joys, small and large I had this year and will be thankful for each one. At the same time I will be looking forward to the possibilities of the coming year. That being said, here are my joys for the last week of 2023.

Sunday: Christmas Eve came and went gently. Generally I have a little last minute scurrying around, baking and wrapping gifts. This year I had absolutely none of that. I had set the dining room table Saturday evening after I vacuumed the rug so that was done. My meal prep for Christmas brunch was at a minimum, and the only order of business we had was to call our nearby Chinese restaurant for our traditional Christmas Eve takeout meal.

Monday: It was a rainy dreary Christmas morning. Perfect for a celebratory brunch! Son2, DIL2, My Beloved Sister and BIL joined us for present exchanging, meal, and long conversations. They left a little before 4, then TheHub and I did a joint kitchen clean up  before settling down for a little nap.  leftover brunch food was the meal for the night but I was still full. TheHub zapped his and I drank another cup of coffee then we decided to watch Christmas movies.

Tuesday: TheHub had to work and I had to read over a breakfast of coffee and Christmas cookies. It was hard to do but somebody had to do it.
I made one stop to a local store. The only thing I needed for next Christmas was a pack of self stick Christmas gift tags. I had used ever single one I had , but the store had sold out of them by the time I got there.
Imagine my surprise when TheHub came home from work after stopping at Publix (recreational shopping once again) and had not only his banana, but also a pack of $.50 gift tags. I guess I need to quit saying he never pays attention to what I say
That evening we sat at the kitchen table and decided what our year end contributions to the charities we support would be, so I could get them in the mail early Wednesday morning. I am very thankful we are able to pass something along to others.

Wednesday: I always change the decor on the dining room table from Christmas to New Years during  the week between the two. This day I changed out the table runner from traditional Christmas to a runner with a blue and silver winter theme. I also took up any little tchotchkes that screamed Christmas and replaced them with winter looking items. The buffet still looked a little to Christmasy, but I left it to change later.

Thursday: I found a trust savings account did not know I had. It was one Mom and Dad had created, I have no idea how many years ago, and would not have known about it if I were not looking for some needed year end statements from an account I did know about.

Friday: TheHub worked and I tackled the remaining Christmas decorations. The best thing about putting out very few things is there is very little to pack away. 
DIL2 and Son2 stopped by for a visit. We always enjoy seeing them.

Saturday: I took TheHub to the airport for an early morning flight the stopped by Aldi on the way home. They had advertised some silicon containers that are measured into specific serving sizes. I thought they would be handy for freezing leftovers. Since it was still early and I had not planned on stopping anywhere I had not showered, nor put on any makeup. I went  to the store anyway and was surprised to find the world continued to spin on it's axis and I did not scare any small children or dogs while I shopped. Turns out Aldi does not care what I look like as long as I pay for my stuff. Epiphany!
I came home, put things away and settled into TheHub's recliner for a day of reading and football bowl game watching. 
After the games I started watching a strange series and I still have no idea where it is going, but I will watch it through the season before I decide if I like it or not. (Right now I am leaning toward the "or not" because I found myself fast forwarding through a good bit of it)

And that closes out my year of joys. I hope you look for yours in2024. They are always out there.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Whatcha Doing

 Right now most of the world has their plans set in stone for New Year's Eve. Over the years TheHub and I have run the gamut for ringing in the new year. 

When our sons were small, we had celebrations at home with bell ringing and firecrackers, usually with others in the neighborhood. As they aged our plans changed. We have been at those gigantic celebrations with funny hats, champagne, horns and confetti. We've sat in restaurants eating breakfast and a mimosa toast at the stroke of midnight with good friends. We have been at small intimate gatherings at someone's home. As we have gotten older we tend to just stay here. We would often watch whoever is televising their Rockin' New Years Eve event on TV. However, now we are familiar with so few of the performers that it is not really our cup of tea, so we put on soft clothes and watch a movie until a few minutes before countdown, then we change the station just to see a few minutes of the revelry.

This year is going to be different for us. For the first time ever we will be spending the night apart. This morning I dropped TheHub at the airport for a flight to LAX. From there he will go to Burbank and meet Son1's family once they arrive Sunday evening. NYD they will be going to the Rose Bowl. 

I could have gone too, but we only had 4 tickets to the game, and as much as I would love to see them, they would be leaving for the game early Monday morning and I would be stuck by myself until later after they made their way back to the hotel. TheHub is flying out Tuesday morning, and the entire visit with them would be for about 36 hours. It was just not worth the time and money to spend most of my waking hours alone. I will save my money and go to Portland later for an extended visit.

So that leaves New Year's Eve. I am debating between two options. If Son2 and DIL2 want to come here and have a game watching party NYD, I will stay in town, read and watch the game with them.

My other option is to drive to Nashville. Son3 and DIL3 are having a watch party for the games on NYD. They were kind enough to invite me, and there is a very nice hotel about 5 minutes from their house.  I can be there is about 3.5 hours, unless I am driving during the heavy traffic times and then it takes 100 hours to get through Nashville. Well at least it feels like that long.

So we will see! 

What are your plans to bring in the New Year?

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Heads Up For Christmas 2024

It is the best time of the year to  stock up on these items for next Christmas.

And just in case you didn't get what you really wanted for Christmas try clicking here

Personally I neither needed nor wanted anything, and actually need to get rid of a decent percentage of the items in this house. (Does anyone really need multi sets of anything?)

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Eve Music, Joys and Dinners

For the kid in all of us

I  listen to these carols
every year on Christmas Eve

Wishing you peace

Now for the joys and dinners
Sunday: We began the day by going to church, then had our noon meal from a doggie bag we brought home from our Cracker Barrel lunch stop on Saturday. I wish restaurants would charge a little less and serve smaller portions, but until they do, we will leave with the leftovers. 
We had just finished eating when the doorbell rang. Son1's childhood friend stopped by to deliver coffee beans I had bought as a fundraiser for his daughter's band trip. We had a catch up visit with him, which was very nice.
I baked a couple of new to me recipes for Christmas cookies . One was delicious and the other will never be tried again. Such is life.
Later we watched a Christmas movie, then got our ducks in a row ready for a mostly busy week.
Dinner: Hot and Sour soup, egg roll (takeout from New China)

Monday: TheHub naturally waits until the week before Christmas to offer any suggestions he might have for Christmas wants/needs. He finally said something specific Sunday night, so I started looking online to see where it might be available. I did not want to run all over town searching when I could do the searching from my kitchen table and limit my trips to stores (and the possibility of futile trips). 
I found most of what he wanted at Belk and was able to order and pay online All that was left for me to do was to drive to the store and pick it up. When I got there and parked in the designated parking spaces, I called the number listed to find where in the store I should go pick it up. Surprisingly the woman who answered said she was not busy and would bring it to me. That was lovely, especially since my knee had been popping in and out of joint all day. Kudos to Belk, and yes I did tip her in spite of her initial refusal.
The rest of the day was spent wrapping those cookies Christmas gifts, listening to Christmas music,  getting the house in order, and reading.
Dinner: The racer, tabouli (takeout from The Pita Cafe)

Tuesday: The morning was spent doing laundry, not joyful except for having it done. Mid-day I celebrated Christmas with my bookclub. My friend C does Christmas decorating on steroids. There are touches and flourishes of Christmas on every surface in her home. Not only is it decorated to a T, but it is all so tastefully done. It is fun to go there, and if I did not know her attention to every detail I might leave feeling insufficient. Instead, we all accept that every single thing she does has a touch of magic and we are in no way compelled to compete.
Dinner: Soup

Wednesday: We were originally planning of having dinner in Tuscaloosa with BIL and SIL, but that was moved to Thursday, before it was cancelled entirely. Instead we met Son2 and DIL2 in a nearby town for dinner. Great food and greater company. (The service was so bad the restaurant comped our meal. Not sure if the wait staff did not turn our order in, or if the expediters did not pick it up and deliver it. Either way we waited almost an hour for our food.)
Dinner: For apps the table shared mushroom flatbread, and grilled artichokes with lemon hummus. I had raw tuna slices on an asian fusion salad. TheHub had grilled trout, broccoli and new potatoes with a table shared side of grilled Brussels sprouts

Thursday: I listened to Christmas music all day while I did laundry and did some reading. Talked to my cousin in Texas and caught up with all of their holiday plans.  In the evening I did not feel like cooking so I looked in the freezer for something I could toss in the air fryer. Thank you Trader Joe's!
After we ate we rode around looking at Christmas lights
Dinner: Corn dogs, coleslaw  

Friday: I had a few errands to run, but had surprise visitors right before I was headed out. Instead of shopping I had some laughs with DIL2 and Son2. Independence Place honors the Trussville school schedule for the Christmas break, so they have a couple of weeks off. Seeing them was much more important than any running around I wanted to do.
TheHub came home a little early, and agreed to go to the grocery stores with me, as long as I would go out to eat with him. Yeah, I am a lot of things but stupid is not one of them. Not only did I not have to cook, but since he went with me I had help getting the groceries in the house and put away.
Dinner: Mushroom burger or fish sandwich combo meals from Culver's

Saturday: TheHub and I took off in different directions to do a little last minute gathering of Christmas items. We met in the geographic middle to have lunch at a nearby deli before heading home for the rest of the day. Their French onion soup was fabulous.
I finished wrapping while TheHub watched bowl games.
One of the biggest joys I had was technology. Son3 and DIL3 are in Sweden for Christmas and they have been sending us photos of their trip.
I also had a long FaceTime visit with Pip. It is great to be able to share her Christmas excitement.
After dinner we drove through a few surrounding neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. There are a few places with light and music playing on an FM station coordinated. The bad thing about them is because of the locations it is hard to find a place to park and watch them. One is on a well traveled street at a 4 way stop. There is really no place to pull off to the side of the road and enjoy the lights and sounds, so you just have to drive slowly and hope the other cars are there to slow down and see the decoration too.
Dinner: Soup and sandwich

What's up? Again I am making no meal plans for the week. We will enjoy it fully!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Something New

I heard this for the first time about a week ago. Will it become a Christmas standard? Who knows?



Thursday, December 21, 2023

Melancholy Christmas

I understand completely that the holiday season is not joyous for many people, so here are some Christmas tunes echoing that sentiment.
The last song does leave room for hope.


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Monday, December 18, 2023

What A Set Of Pipes!

This is one of those under appreciated Christmas tunes. Darlene Love has a killer voice and the sax in this is just fantastic
If you want to learn a little bit more about this powerhouse singer check out "20 Feet From Stardom", a documentary about back-up singers.


Meal plan for the week:
None, whatever happens happens. We have plans to go out with friends or family several nights this week and any other meal will be whatever I can scrounge together quickly. This is the week before Christmas and I intend to enjoy it fully.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Jollies For The Week

As I mentioned last week I am counting my joys as my jollies right now, and what could be more jolly than this song.

Sunday: We started the day with church, came home and did a little bit of reading and decorating, then went to a Christmas dinner party with about 10 other couples 

Monday: I had a bit of running around to do, including getting the remainder of my Christmas cards mailed, plus having a little impromptu visit with a friend. 

Tuesday: Independence Place Christmas party was in the afternoon. My beloved sister went with me and we had a wonderful time with the participants. On our way home we stopped by Trader Joe's because they have fabulous seasonal foods that must be at least looked at, if not bought. I am a sucker for their kringles and another one might have found its way into my buggy (which is cart or trolley for those of you not from the south).
When I got home I had a phone call with Sluggy, which is always a treat.

Wednesday: I met my friend F mid morning for coffee and gingerbread doughnuts. (If you have a First Watch near you try them. They are tasty little fried balls of deliciousness.) 
It was wonderful to catch up with her and hear about all the things her kids are doing now. The same kids I used to watch playing in the yard across the street are now a Physician's Assistant, a patent attorney, and a medical equipment  salesman. Time flies doesn't it. 

Thursday: I had a much needed day at home. The landscaper came and dug the trench for the stone work that is going in the front of the house. I hope I have made a decision I will be happy with, but the jury is still out. 

Friday: TheHub left work mid-day and we drove to Nashville to have Christmas with Son3 and DIL3. They are leaving for Sweden Tuesday and will be there for Christmas. Lucky ducks! While we were there we went out to eat at a Japanese fusion restaurant, Two Ten Jack. Delicious! If you are in Nashville, give it a try.

Saturday: We headed home and stopped at Cracker Barrel to grab a bite for lunch. Now who goes to Cracker Barrel without looking at all the "stuff" they have in their storefront. Usually that is me. I am not interested in buying what they sell. But as we were walking toward the hostess I happened to see a huge display of Harry Potter items. Pip (the granddaughter) is obsessed with Harry Potter. Even better, all items were 40% off. I have already taken care of her Christmas from us, but  TheHub is meeting them in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl game and will take them to her then. It really was serendipitous since Son1, DIL1 and Pip will be going to Harry Potter World the day after the game. I guess timing is everything!

Look for your joy and jolly.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

And just in case you needed another version . . .
I listen to both repeatedly each Christmas season

Carol X3

Three extremely different versions of the same song 

 And just in case you needed a little more caroling . . . 

Saturday, December 16, 2023


When I was listening to songs I love, I added this one to my blog drafts. Now I have totally forgotten what it is. The only thing I know to do is to go ahead and publish it, then once I realize what song it is, I can tell you why I chose it.
Edit: Now I remember. . .
I just like the sort of maudlin feel the song has.


Friday, December 15, 2023

Christmas And All That Jazz

Any of you who have been reading this blog for a while know I love Jazz, and I particularly love listening to JLCO

And speaking of jazzing things up a bit__

I tried this coffee cake a couple of weeks ago. It was a little more complicated than any traditional coffee cake I have made before so I thought having the link with its accompanying video would be best. 

It got a huge thumbs up from the entire clan here. Instead of making it in a square pan I used a round cake pan. It was pretty and really easy to serve in wedges. If you like chocolate and coffee, definitely give this a try! I wish I had a slice with my coffee right now!

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Commercially Inspired

In case you have been seeing the Amazon Christmas commercial and wondered what the llamas were dancing to, look no further


Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Warming After A Sleigh Ride

 My all time favorite version of this holiday classic

And what would be better after a sleigh ride through the snow than a nice hot bowl of soup?

I was cleaning out my kitchen pantry the other day when I realized I had about 5 cans of tomato paste nearing or a bit past their expiration date. I am not generally concerned with the dates on cans but I do know acidic foods are best used sooner rather than later, I was fine using one for chili and another for spaghetti sauce, but I still wanted to use the others for something else. When I googled uses for tomato paste I kept coming to a recipe for tomato soup which they (whoever "they" are) swore tasted very close to the "umm, ummm, good" brand .  The recipe is all over the internet so I am not sharing a particular site. It seems that now I am joining the hoard of folks who have posted this but, in my case, this is nowhere near an original recipe. It is just one I tried and am passing on along with changes I made/will make in the future.

1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
24 ounces milk or water (4 tomato cans full to keep  clean-up to a minimum)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix everything in a pot, stir well, bring to temperature (I let mine reach a gentle boil)  then it is supposedly ready to eat.

optional suggested add ins:
garlic powder
onion powder
celery seed

My thoughts:
I made it using the original recipe, but used half water, half unsweetened almond milk. I think I am glad I did use the almond milk because the acid did not cause it to curdle. It might not have curdled anyway, but we do not keep milk in the fridge, so it was a moot point. I also left out the salt, knowing I could add it from the shaker at the table, because I am not a big salt fan.

Before I put it in the bowl I tasted it and thought it tasted nothing like Campbells so I put on my mad scientist thinking cap and started adding to it.

First I added a rounded teaspoon of Better than Bouillon vegetable base, stirred it well then tasted. It helped but was still not right. (Really glad at this point I had not added the salt) 

Next a few pinches of onion powder were added__much better taste. I still found it was a little too thin and thought about adding a smidgen of xanthan gum, but did not because it can cause a slight slimy texture and I did not want slimy soup. 

I finally added about 1/2 tablespoon of butter. It gave the soup a much smoother consistency.
Now it felt like Campbells but the taste was still different. 

Next time I make it I might try using chicken broth rather than water. I always have pint bags of it in the freezer anyway. I also think a bit of celery salt and some dried parsley would add to the flavor. 
Who knows I might even use basil for a totally different flavor profile.

It was definitely worth trying and was tasty, just different than what I was hoping for.
It was perfectly good soup, but not a clone. I will make it again with different expectations.

p.s. Truth in advertising and all of that, I have never been on a sleigh ride and will never be able to experience one here. I have ridden in a cart pulled by a mule__not the same thing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023


I never talk politics or respond to anything even remotely political on any form of social media.
This particular song has caused me to reverse my stance.


Monday, December 11, 2023

Unexpected! Dinners and Music

This week the unexpected meals happened so I thought I would follow up an unexpected week with a little unexpected music. I mean, who thinks of Bob Dylan and an accordion as Christmas fare? 

In addition to finding this very unexpected rendition, once the week began TheHub (who dod not mention this as I was planning last weeks menu) said he was going to be having business dinners Tuesday and Wednesday. It would have been nice to know in advance. I would have cooked so I would have leftovers to warm both nights.

What was planned vs. What really happened
We had 2 Christmas parties that include dinners. That left 5 meals to plan

1. Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad
2. Stuffed baked potatoes, coleslaw
3. Soup
4. Taco salad
5. Sandwiches

What really happened:
Monday: Soup. I should have made homemade chicken soup instead of tossing two different chicken soups from a can into the pot and warming it up. Progresso for the win and that is all I am going to say about that.

Tuesday: TheHub called as I was browning a 4 pound pack of ground chuck to portion in freezer bags. When he told me he was going to a dinner meeting I kept out a couple of tablespoons of the ground chuck for me, diced a piece of an onion, thinly sliced a new potato, and tossed some shredded cabbage in a pan wilted everything and called it dinner. Quite a difference from the steak and grouper TheHub had.

Wednesday: Another dinner meeting, leftover tomato soup and saltines for me. Again, a little different from what TheHub ate.  Not exactly sure what he had because he knew better than to come home and tell me. All I know is that he put a huge honking slice of cheesecake he was too full to eat in the fridge. Lucky for him I am not a big cheesecake fan or he would have never seen it again!

Thursday: Sandwiches. I'll be damned if I was going to cook after he went to upscale restaurants 2 nights prior when I was home eating crap. A tad bitter?  You decide.
Friday:  Roasted chicken, lima beans, carrots, coleslaw

Saturday: Loaded buffet at the favorite Christmas party we go to all year. Love the party, love the hosts, love the food, and oh my gosh her speciality cookies are too die for!

Sunday: Another party at The Bright Star restaurant. Seafood is not really optional there!

Plans for this week???
Not really planning anything particular. Whatever happens, happens.
I have smoked sausages, browned ground chuck, cooked chicken, and tuna steaks available for quick meals, plus after last week there might need to be some makeup take out/dining out happening. I am really not sure yet! Petty? Again, you decide.

Have a good week staying on plan, going off plan or with no plan at all.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Jolly Joys

 I decided for the season I am changing my joy list to a jolly list. It just seems more seasonally appropriate and joy and jolliness if not siblings are at the very least close cousins.  

Monday: I was able to go to my Happy Place and volunteer. Instead of actually cooking with the participants, this week we made hot chocolate and I took just abut every possible topping so they would be able to personalize their drinks. My mistake! The result was some of the most putrid looking hot chocolate I have ever seen, but they seemed to love drinking a marshmallow, whipped cream, red and green sugar sprinkled concoction with mini chocolate chips, peppermint bits, chocolate syrup and caramel sauce thrown in for good measure. Not my cup of tea, but . . .
When I drove into the driveway after returning I saw all the Exchange Club items had been picked up. Getting all those boxes of donations out of the house was an extreme joy.
After I returned home I was able to talk with Sluggy which is always a treat.

Tuesday: I got all the letters from Santa, addressed and mailed to Santa Claus. Indiana for re-mailing. Each year (14 years and counting now) my elf friend Millie and I have parents send in info about their kids and we send them a story of what is happening at the North Pole along with some personal info about each child. Amazingly Santa signs his letters just like my dad used to write. I never knew learning to forge his signature would come in handy in my adult life. I love reading what the parents write and this year Santa did not even have to tell anyone to wear their underpants or not eat the dog's food.

Wednesday: I went to my regular class, then did some shopping for both groceries and Christmas ribbons. I had the gifts wrapped and tagged but had not yet tied them with ribbons because I was totally out of all Christmas colored ribbon and little doodads to tie on the gifts. When I got home and unloaded I begin addressing the Christmas cards. I love doing them because I think of memories we have had with each card I write.

Thursday:  My Beloved Sister and I went out for the morning. We shopped a little but mainly laughed. Being with her is one of my most joyful times. Finally TheHub was home after work and could help me by getting the trees upstairs. Yahoo!

Friday: I got the trees out up and rearranged the living room and the den to accommodate said trees. I am getting kind of tired of changing up the rooms! 

Saturday: We are invited each year to a friends annual Christmas party. It is one I really enjoy. The house is decorated for Christmas on steroids . The food is always delicious and they are the most wonderful hosts  We left a little early to try and beat the storms that were supposed to hit about 11 pm.  We got inside the house right before the bottom fell out and our electricity disappeared.

Look for your job us no matter how small  They are always out there.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.


Saturday, December 9, 2023

Ahhh, Stereotypes

Since I live in Alabama I might as well perpetuate those stereotypes about living here.
I actually post this every year.


Friday, December 8, 2023

Sharing Because I Can

I decided I will post a Christmas Tune each day until Christmas Day. This is one of my favorites and I think the score is just beautiful.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Food for the Non- thinking

 I have no idea what we ate last week. I had no plan andn pretty much adhered to it. We ate whatever I could cook or make quickly . Sandwiches possibly? I have not been in the mood to cook which leads me to wonder:once TheHub retires do I get to retire from doing all the household chores and cooking? I have been doing that as long as he has been employed, seems only fair that retirement should be mutual.

I could even turn over all the Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, entertaining, cookie baking, etc. to him.. For years other than financial the only Christmas obligation he had was buying something for me. This is sounding appealing!

And on to the menu of sorts:
We have 2 Christmas parties that include dinners. That onlleaves 5 meals to plan
1. Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad
2. Stuffed baked potatoes, coleslaw
3. Soup
4. Taco salad
5. Sandwiches

When I look back at this, I realize this is not really a plan, but another week of doing the least amount of cooking possible. Oh well!

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan or with no plan at all.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Joys and Such

This past week was a recuperating form Thanksgiving  and Iron Bowl type of week, with a little bit of running around  and a little business thrown in.
I got no Christmas decorating done in anticipation of The Exchange Club's donation truck arriving Monday morning to get the 2 gigantic moving boxes out of the living room so I can get the trees up. I need to use this week to get the decorations done and turn the house from frumpy to festive. When I get home tomorrow I am going to turn the Christmas music up nice and loud and see what I can get done in a few hours.

fingers crossed!!!

Monday: I am not sure what if anything memorable happened other than doing a ton of laundry; sheets, towels and such after DIL3 and Son3 left After a long weekend, I needed a little time to regroup so I took it.

Tuesday: My Beloved Sister and I went to my happy place to volunteer. I have said before and I repeat it often, I adore being around all the participants. We made what is called a Christmas salad, but is actually dessert. They put it together before lunch, then had it as dessert 

Wednesday: I should have gone to class but I woke, started cleaning things, then promptly orgot what day of the week it was.  "Hi, my name is Anne__and I'm a dumbass"
I did have a phone call with Sluggy which is always a highlight of any day.

Thursday: My beloved sister went with me to the bank to take care of a little estate issue we were having. One would think after three years every single bit would have been taken care of,  But to quote Rosanne Rosanadana "There's always something".
So, we had to head home and have a cup of coffee and a slice of coffee cake. I am pretty sure it is in the rules somewhere that a bit of aggravation must be followed by coffee and goodies.

Friday: TheHub came home early in the day and we headed off to Atlanta. Son3 and DIL3 met us there for some SEC championship football festivities.
 It was a fairly miserable drive there, due in part to the weather, the fact that I was driving so TheHub could do a bit of business on the phone, and all those idiot Bama fan drivers headed to Atlanta for the game. 
After checking into our room we met them at some cajun restaurant for dinner. The food was very good (not quite as spicy as I like but spicy enough for those without an asbestos mouth) and of course we loved the company. Once dinner was done we headed back to the hotel and met in the atrium for drinks and a little more talking.

Saturday: We all woke and dressed for the day before meeting in the atrium for breakfast. We had one extra ticket to the game and called TheHub's sister, who lves outside Atlanta to see if she wanted to go.  She met us at the hotel and she and I talked for quite a while before they left to go to the game. I am very claustrophobic and am uneasy in crowds of 80 or so thousand people. I always opt out of the game. DIL3 did not care to go either, so she explored Atlanta. While she was exploring I read, gave myself  a manicure and had a girl lunch bought from the snack counter at the hotel__diet coke and a pack of pickles.
At game time She returned and we watched the game in my room. Bama won!!! Roll Tide Roll.

Sunday: After breakfast we packed  and began the drive home on a beautiful day. The College Football Playoff teams were to be announced so we tuned in to ESPN radio to listen to the committees choice. We were very excited to hear Alabama was the 4th team picked. They might not win another game, but at least they have a seat at the table.
When we got back to the house, we unloaded our things and headed out to pick up something for lunch. . We decided to just eat there instead, then head to Publix to pick up Dukes Mayo (BOGO).
Once home we both changed into soft clothes and settled down to watch Band of Brothers. I had forgotten how well done it is.

So now I will move into this week with no football and I can start Christmas in earnest! That will be one of my biggest joys. Look for yours no matter how small.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.