It’s Christmas Time

Christmas tree with some of the gifts

I don’t know about you, but December is always a busy month for me. Besides shopping and wrapping presents I spend a lot of time with my grandkids doing fun things for Christmas.

We make Christmas countdown candy calendars, decorate the Christmas tree, watch Christmas movies, make gingerbread houses, make truffles, and decorate cookies.

Yesterday I made a batch of truffles for my husband to take to work for a Christmas luncheon today. I ended up making them by myself, because my grandkids were at school. Making the truffles by myself is a lot more work, but I got them done.

I started making truffles for Christmas about eight years ago and I still haven’t figured out how to make them look better. It’s alright, though, because they are delicious!

Christmas Truffles

Speaking of Christmas time, is it just me, or does it seem harder to buy gifts for people that you aren’t close to, but want to do something nice for, like the mailman, doctor, and hair stylist, etc.?

It used to be easy to give someone some candy or a gift card to a restaurant or Starbucks, but now it seems like everyone is following some type of fad diet, so I don’t know what to give people that they will like.

I am happy to say that I am finished with my Christmas shopping, but I still have a pile of things that need wrapping.

Yes, Christmas time can be somewhat hectic, but I just love it!

Dry Eye and Headaches

I learned something the other day that I wish I’d known a lot sooner. I have dry eyes.

I didn’t know that I had dry eyes, because my eyes don’t bother me. The only reason I found this out, is because I also have Optic Disc Drusen, which causes calcium in the optic disc. I didn’t know I had Optic Disc Drusen until several years ago, when my son was diagnosed with it and the ophthalmologist said that Drusen is a genetic disease. The doctor checked my eyes and said that it came from me.

My Drusen was dormant until a couple of years ago. It isn’t as severe as my son’s. The only symptom I have is seeing flashing strings of lights in my peripheral vision at night.

Now that my Drusen is active, my optometrist referred me to a neurologist/ophthalmologist for several extensive tests. Yes, the doctor saw that I have Optic Disc Drusen, but he also said that I have dry eyes. The doctor said that most people who have dry eyes don’t know it, because they don’t feel any symptoms.

The doctor told me to use artificial tear drops 3 to 5 times a day. He said it isn’t good for my eyes to be dry, and the dryness causes headaches. I have suffered from chronic headaches for twenty-plus years.

The doctor was right. The artificial tear drops have helped my headaches! I can’t believe that I’ve been suffering from headaches for so long without knowing eye drops would help.

I never would have found out that I had dry eyes if the optometrist had not referred me to the specialist for tests, and I wouldn’t have been referred to the specialist, had I not been diagnosed with Optic Disc Drusen.

Sharing Smiles

My daughter has four children and she has done an amazing job raising them to have good manners, be polite, and treat others with respect.

I am very proud of my grankids. Everyone who meets them comments about what good kids they are.

This week, my daughter went to my granddaughters’ school for parent-teacher conferences. Both of the girls’ teachers told my daughter that her daughters are good students who are polite and treat others well.

Image by bknis from Pixabay 

One of the teachers told my daughter that her youngest daughter, age 10, makes her very happy, because she is kind and helpful. She also said that my granddaughter is the only student who thanks her for the things she does (like get pizza for the class) and it makes her feel appreciated.

It makes me happy that not only do I think my granddaughters are pretty special, but other people do, too!

Small Bonds

Isn’t it funny how fashion goes out of style, but then comes around again?

I asked my granddaughters what they want for Christmas, and one of the things they want are new Vans tennis shoes.

When they showed me the shoes they want, I got a kick out of it, because they are EXACTLY like the Vans tennis shoes I wore when I was in high school! I told them that Vans were all I wore when I was a teenager, and they thought that was pretty cool.

It seems weird to me that my young granddaughters like something their grandma used to wear, but it is kind of fun to have that in common.

My Breakfast Battle

I am sharing a story with you about some incidents that happened recently. You will either laugh or think I’m crazy after you read it, but it gives some insight to the way I think.

I have Fibromyalgia and chronic pain, so I can’t stand and cook for very long. I’ve had three spine surgeries and my back can’t handle a lot of standing. So, sometimes my husband or I will go grab breakfast from the nearby McDonald’s.

I know fast food isn’t a very good choice, but it’s quick and easy. I love eggs, so I get the Deluxe Breakfast. I don’t eat the English muffin or the pancakes, though; I throw them away.

Every time I opened the tray, the eggs were burnt. I started asking them to please give me eggs that weren’t burnt, but still they were burnt. I ended up cutting off the burnt spots, but sometimes the eggs were so bad, I just threw all of them away.

One time, my husband asked them to cook the eggs properly. The manager was rude, and told my husband that they weren’t allowed to “under cook” the eggs.

I sent an email to the owner of the local McDonald’s, explaining what the problem was. I said that I was not asking for free food or a refund, I only wanted eggs that were cooked properly.

I received an email back from the district manager telling me that health code does not allow them to under cook the eggs. I was angry at that response. I replied that I wasn’t asking them to under cook the eggs, I just didn’t want them OVER-cooked. I also said that none of the other McDonald’s served burnt eggs, so why was it so difficult for this McDonald’s to cook them properly?

The manager practically ignored my complaint, so the next two times I ordered eggs, I took pictures of them and sent them to her.

The manager wrote me back and said that she would take care of it. She also thanked me for bringing it to her attention. I guess she didn’t believe that the eggs were as bad as they were until I sent pictures.

I told my brother about the eggs and my email exchanges and he cracked up laughing. He mocked me, saying, “The eggs are burnt every day, but I refuse to stop going there. I’m going to keep ordering them, so make them right.” That made me laugh, because if you think about it, the whole thing was absurd. I should have just gone somewhere else, but McDonald’s is close to my house, inexpensive, and I enjoy the breakfast when it’s cooked properly.

I have been back to McDonald’s for breakfast several times since my email exchange with the owner and manager and guess what? The eggs are perfect every time.

My Favorite Time of Year

Image by Hans Linde from Pixabay 

Fall, my favorite time of year. The weather is cooler, there is no more Daylight Savings Time, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.

I love getting ready for Christmas! I do almost of all of my gift shopping online, so I get packages delivered almost every day this time of year.

I always put my Christmas tree up on the day after Thanksgiving. I have a very pretty, pre-lit Christmas tree, that looks like a real tree. My daughter and grandkids come over to help decorate it.

I always have the Christmas gifts wrapped and ready, so that when the tree is finished, the kids can put the gifts under the tree. After that, the kids will put their new Christmas pajamas on and we’ll take a few Christmas pictures. I’ve already purchased their new pajamas for this year and they are adorable! We will probably watch a Christmas movie or two, also.

Closer to Christmas, my daughter, my grandkids, and I will bake Christmas cookies and make Oreo truffles. The kids love decorating the cookies! Last year we made gingerbread houses, and that was a lot of fun, too!

Image by 奕茗 王 from Pixabay

As we work on different projects for Christmas, I will post some pictures of the results.

I just love this time of year! It’s a special time of year enjoying family traditions. Spending time with family is the best thing ever!

The Big Water Fight

I have a lot of fun memories from when I was growing up and recently one came to mind that I’d like to share.

I grew up in a small house, in a small town, before cell phones and internet. When I was a teenager, the closest things we had to video games were Pong and hand-held electronic games, but most of the time, we played outside or hung out with friends.

One day, my brothers and I were running back and forth from the front yard to the backyard, cutting through the house, while having a squirt gun fight. Of course, we were shooting water at each other as we ran through the house.

My dad was in the living room and my mom was washing dishes in the kitchen. My dad grabbed a cup, filled it with water, and threw water at us while we ran through the house.

Then my dad thought it would be funny to throw a cup of water at my mom while she was washing dishes. My mom grabbed a pan, filled it with water, chased my dad and threw the pan of water at him.

The water fight continued for a few minutes. My brothers and I with squirt guns and my parents with dishes full of water, while everyone got wet.

My dad then ran outside, grabbed the hose, turned it on, and brought it IN THE HOUSE! He won the water fight. Water was EVERYWHERE!

Needless to say, we had quite a cleanup to do and the carpet was soaking wet. We cleaned it up and the carpet dried, but we had so much fun!

I will never forget our huge water fight that day; it’s one of my favorite childhood memories.

A Bumpy Year

It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged, mainly because I didn’t have the motivation to do it. I started having a lot of Fibro flare-ups and wasn’t feeling well. I went to the doctor and he thinks I’m depressed. He added Cymbalta to the list of medications that I take, because Cymbalta also helps relieve Fibromyalgia pain.

Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay 

I never really considered myself “depressed,” (although I have been struggling with some family issues for over a year now,) but I guess it’s hit me harder than I thought.

Unfortunately, because I was flaring up and feeling so bad, I could not participate in the weight loss classes I was going to attend.

Right now, I’m working on doing things to make me feel better and clear my head, like take walks in the mornings and get healthier.

One thing I’ve learned over the past year is that you just can’t have the relationships you want to have with some people. I have to accept that, because it’s out of my control.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Count Your Blessings

Recently I took my dog, Bailey, to the vet for a checkup. She has allergies and the vet wouldn’t extend her prescription without a check up.

Bailey is five years old and I have spent a lot of money on her. She has had four surgeries: she was spayed and both of her back legs had surgery for torn tendons. One leg didn’t heal properly, so she had a second surgery on it.

When she was about six months old, Bailey was stung by a bee and had an allergic reaction to it, so we rushed her to the vet for treatment. She takes allergy medication every day, because she has environmental allergies.

While sitting in the waiting room, I was talking to another dog owner about how expensive Bailey has been. The woman just listened and smiled, but didn’t say much.

The veterinarian’s assistant came into the waiting room and was talking to the same woman I was talking to.

Listening to their conversation, I found out that the woman’s dog has all of the same problems that Bailey has, but has cost the woman thousands of dollars more than Bailey has cost me, because her dog is huge and weighs about 100 pounds.

That dog has also had the surgeries on it’s back legs. That dog also has allergies and takes the same medication that Bailey takes. The difference is that for Bailey, the cost of the medication is about $60 a month, because she only weighs 15 pounds. The cost of the medication for the other dog is $300 every two weeks, because the dog is much bigger.

After the vet’s assistant left, I felt stupid for complaining about my dog costing so much when this woman has spent a lot more money on her dog than I have on mine. I jokingly told the woman, “You win!” We both laughed and the woman told me about some pet insurance that she has that has helped with the costs. I will look into that.

The moral of the story: When you think you are the only one struggling with something, there is always someone struggling with more. Count your blessings!

Odd Incident

A couple of days ago, the strangest thing happened. My dogs were outside and kept sniffing the cover of the pool filter.

The dogs were very interested in the filter, which isn’t “normal.”

My husband and I thought there was probably a dead animal in there, because that’s happened before. We found a dead baby gopher in the filter a while back.

My husband went out to see what was going on, and when he took the lid off of the filter, there was a live bird in there! We think it was a pigeon.

The only picture I have of the bird, because we were too busy trying to save it.

What the heck? How did it get in there? We were so confused.

The bird was alive, because the bird’s head was above the water line. It was big enough that it didn’t get hurt, because there wasn’t enough room for it to flap around in there. So, it just sat there with it’s head above the water.

I have no idea how long the bird was in the filter. My mom, (who lives with me), is very familiar with birds, because she has owned three of them. She got the bird out of the filter and sat it on the grass. The bird was shivering, because the pool water is cold and of course, the bird was soaking wet. I ran and grabbed a towel so my mom could dry the bird off a little.

We blocked the dogs in the house and sat the bird in the sun so it could fully dry off. The bird sat in the sun and slept for a few hours. It was probably a little traumatized.

My mom put some food and water out for the bird and it started walking around.

After walking around for a few minutes, the bird flew off into one of the big trees next door. We were happy that the bird seemed okay and was able to fly.

I don’t know what would have happened if we didn’t have dogs that alerted us to the filter. The bird was quiet and we wouldn’t have found out that the bird was there until cleaning the filter, which may have been too late.