Sunday, December 27, 2015

Rough Night in Dallas

Rough Night In Dallas -- sounds like a cw song, doesn't it?  I wish it was a song but the reality is that is was a rough night in Dallas with eleven tornadoes --one of them quite large - doing lots of damage.

There has been 11 deaths and many injuries.  Cars were tossed off the highway overpasses as the tornadoes crossed the roads.  It all began in early evening and was still a threat by 10 p.m.  This morning, in the light of day, the damage is vast and they expect the NWS to declare this a F3 or F4 tornado -- the big tornado -- I am not sure about the smaller ones.

So, for any of my readers who saw this on the news, just letting you know that we are fine.  We live in west Fort Worth and this was all on the east side of Dallas.  We got some rain, some lightening and for some reason we lost power for about 30 minutes but we didn't experience anything severe and for that I am thankful.  However, there are a lot of families that weren't so lucky and the new year will be full of trying to put lives back together.  So, so sad.

By the way, have I ever mentioned that I really don't care for the weather in North Texas?  I guess I am just a San Antonio girl at heart and always will be. If my kids didn't live here, I would move back.  The weather wasn't perfect there but at least we didn't have as much threatening weather from tornadoes to ice. 

What is up next?  Well, we are going to have more rain today - and wind -- and then tonight it is going to get cold and we might have a snowflake.  They said if there was any snow it wouldn't accumulate and it wouldn't be a problem.  When they say that, it is time to go to the grocery store and stock up for the blizzard because they ARE. ALWAYS. WRONG. 

So, just wanted to let anybody who was wondering know that we are fine and hopefully the tornado activity is over.

RAW VIDEO: Incredible Large Tornado near Rowlett, Texas | Dec 26, 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

The last 25 days have been spent waiting for Christmas.  There have been quiet times, candle lightings,  gospel lessons, nativity building and anticipation.  Today was the culmination of all those things as we welcomed the new born babe and celebrated with gifts and food.

I usually have a problem with depression at some point during the holiday season and this year has been no different.  There was one day a couple of weeks ago and then again today.  I don't know why, a let down perhaps.  Even though we try to emphasize the real meaning of Christmas and not dwell on the material side of it there is still that moment of realization that all the planning and working is over in the blink of an eye.  I know that "Christmas" is just beginning with twelve days to follow but being raised in America it was our tradition to celebrate on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then it was done and we readied ourselves for the New Year.

So, today, as I was making the final preparations for our dinner and final lighting of the Advent candles I was already thinking ahead toward the New Year and things I want to accomplish.  I don't believe in resolutions -- it is like they are made just to be broken.  I much prefer plans and goals.

I have a few of those for the new year -- some big, some not so big, so long term and some to bring closure.  One of my goals this year is to be a better blogger.  I have a few things I would like to incorporate here at Maison Brinkley -- both personally and for the household in general.  I am going to make a more concerted effort to actually document them here with photographs.

Photographs -- hmm...that reminds me, it seems that three of the four screws in the front of my camera have fallen out and my camera is in grave danger of just disintegrating so I might have to think about a new one.  In any event, I am hoping to do better with the blog.

I am also rethinking reading challenges.  This year I signed up for several and wasn't particularly successful with most so 2016 will find me participating in only one.  I have several series that I would have loved to have finished this year but didn't so I will continue with those this year.  I have learned that reading challenges are sort of double edged sword.  On one hand they sort of force you to read more but I wonder if, in doing that, we don't read as well and get as much out of the books as we could if we took more time.  I don't know but I do know that I am going to do only one.

I am also giving more thought to household things such as tidying, decluttering and meal planning and prepping.  I have recently read an interesting article that takes meal planning a step farther and concentrates on prepping and pre-cooking some things.  I found it fascinating and am going to give that a go and see if it can help me prepare an evening meal with limited time.  The Hubs and I both need to lose a little (haha!) weight and get more exercise so that is a huge goal of the new year. 

But, for tonight, I am taking my book, heading to my bed and going to lose myself in a good read. 

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and look forward to great weekend!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Eve Eve

Yes, it is Christmas Eve Eve -- the day where I take stock of what is left to be done, what will probably won't get done and start making lists.  Since we only see one child and her family on Christmas, I think I am done with what I need to do for her.  We see our son and his family during the twelve days of Christmas and that has yet to be arranged but I think I am good there as well.  I need to grocery shop and do some house cleaning -- domestic things know no season.  And.....I need to bake cookies.  Lots and lots of cookies.  So, that is what I will be doing tonight.  Hopefully I can get some Welsh Cakes done as well but for sure chocolate chip and sugar with sprinkles. 

So, off to the store in a bit with list in hand -- wonder where I can get a big dose of energy?  Ah, yes...I will have to Google it.

Anyway, just wanted to leave this with you as I thought it was really cute!

The little elf looks like our Tuppy!

Have a wonderful day pulling together all your loose ends if you have any -- stay safe!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Hello! Remember Me?

Hello there!  Remember me -- Melissa -- the blogger gone AWOL?  Yes, well, things have been busy -- I try not to say hectic because that isn't really accurate, just busy.  As the week progresses I feel things winding down and getting a bit calmer -- I mean, time is running out for all the manic shopping and wrapping and all that and I can feel the excitement of Christmas Day creeping in.  I am ready in all sorts of ways -- last gift bought, everything wrapped, the ham ordered and the house cleaned -- well, ok, that is a gross exaggeration -- the house is not cleaned and there is wrapping paper bits everywhere! But, a girl can dream, can't she?

This week has been really crazy -- my mother in law was hospitalized twice in the week and has now been released to a local rehab center.  She was transported by a transport service that didn't get her to the new facility until 11 p.m.  She isn't particularly happy and my husband and I are exhausted.  The original plan was for her to just go home to her apartment but after talking with her she was concerned about being too weak to do for herself and so the decision to go home was re-visited and it was decided she would go to rehab to try to get her back on her feet.  Hubs will check on her this morning and I hope she has a more positive view of the situation than she did last night.  It would help if they can find her a private room.  She isn't the roomie sort. So, yeah, hopefully that will work out better as we go along.

I purchased my last gift yesterday.  It is for a very special little girl named Emily.  This is Lisa, a Ragtales doll that I found at a local, indie book store -- Monkey and Dog -- owned by a friend of mine, Shelley Lowe. 
I actually went for Odette -- a Jellycat ostrich but Odette had found her forever home.  I decided that Lisa would be a better choice as she doesn't have feathers and even though I loved Odette, I decided that Lisa would be very loved in her new forever home.

So, that was the last of the shopping -- Hubs and I have each bought one another a couple of things but the fact of the matter is that we are so blessed that there is really nothing we need or especially want -- we have enough -- we have each other, we are reasonably healthy, we have wonderful kids and grandkids, we have a roof over our heads and food in our tummies, some really good friends a wonderful, warm church  and what more could we ask for.

So, as I try to recoup from my long night at the rehab I am going to share this beautiful picture from Christmas past -- about four years ago.  It makes me smile.


Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Happy Birthday, Aunt Linnie!

Today would be my Aunt Linnie's 87th birthday.  She was an integral part of my and JLSHall's life -- she was the glamorous aunt that never married, had a career in fashion and always gave fabulous presents. 

She can be seen on the top row of the photos on this page -- lots of dark hair and very attractive.  I miss her very much.

There is another cousin on this page as well -- Teddy Giles -- the last row, last photo.  We lost him in the recent past -- he was a really good guy and I am so glad to have become re-acquainted with his kids -- family bonds are very important.

So, Happy Birthday, Aunt Linnie!