Day to Day

Giving you insight on the not-so-boring day to day lives in or around the farmhouse in Navasota or the house in Highland Village Texas.

I love Thanksgiving.  We have most of the family here, some of us wear fat pants, we reflect on our blessings, we overindulge, laugh, play games and genuinely have a wonderful time.  This year, Lord willing, we will do the same.  But y’all, it’s almost upon us – only one more week and I’m totally unprepared!  So if you’re anything like me and need help, I’m passing on a last minute Thanksgiving checklist!

Last Minute Thanksgiving Checklist

This Friday – Figure out how many people are coming over.  Do you need to borrow or purchase an extra folding table and chairs?  Do you need extra dishes or glasses?  Decide on what you’ll be making and baking and make your grocery list.  Now is also a good time to let your guests know what they can bring.  It will help take the load off of you (me) and make them feel needed.

Last minute Thanksgiving Checklist by CountyRoad407.com

Saturday – Clean out the refrigerator to make room for the food.  Check your foil and plastic containers.  Do you have enough for leftover stuffing and corn casserole?  Now off to the grocery store.  You probably won’t remember everything this trip so wait until Tuesday or so to get the perishables.  Except the turkey.  Around here, you better get one sooner than later or you’ll be eating chicken nuggets from McDonald’s.  Plus, if you buy a frozen turkey, you’ll need it to start thawing in the refrigerator.  It takes roughly five hours per pound, so a 20 pound bird bought today should be thawed by Wednesday.

Sunday – Figure out what games you’ll play and have the supplies like score cards and pencils ready.

CountyRoad407.com has a Last Minute Checklist to help with Thanksgiving prep!

Monday – If you are having over night guests, clean the bedroom and bathroom.  Then tell everyone to stay out!  It never fails at our house, I can scrub the bathroom and an hour later someone will use it even though it hasn’t been used in weeks.  Ugh.

Tuesday – Dust your home including the chandeliers, ceiling fans, etc. If the Mother-in-law is coming, she just might bring a white glove and ain’t nobody got time for that!  I’d also say today you could make the cranberry sauce because it will stay fresh for a week.  But for us, we like it straight out of the can and sliced on the ridges so I will wait until Thanksgiving day for that.  I can hear the sluuuuurp as it drops out of the can right now 😉

When to bake pies on the Last Minute Thanksgivng Checklist on CountyRoad407.com

Wednesday – It’s bake and cut day.  Cut up the onions, celery and wash any veggies you’ll be serving.  Keep them covered and stored in the refrigerator.  Bake the cornbread and break up the bread and assemble the dressing.  Bake your pies or desserts and don’t forget to make the whipped cream.  While things are baking, set the table and add the centerpiece.  Lastly before dragging yourself to bed, check to see how long the turkey needs to cook so you can set the alarm.

Thanksgiving Day!

 Wash and/or stuff that turkey bird and get it in the oven.  Enjoy a break for breakfast.  Around midday, start the side dishes.  About 30 minutes before dinner time and when the turkey comes out, let it rest while you make the gravy and reheat the side dishes on the stove top, in the oven, or in the microwave.  Here’s where all the early prep work pays off.

A last minute checklist for Thanksgiving Preperation by CountyRoad407.com

I seriously hope this list helps.  It has already helped me feel as though I might have a handle on it this year.  I’m somewhat of a control freak about dinner parties at our house.  Not sure if it’s because I want everyone to think I have it together, even though it’s family and they know I don’t, or if it’s because I want everyone that comes over to be able to relax and enjoy each other.  Either way, I think I’m going to delegate a little more this year.

Oh mother, oh sister, I have an apron with your name on it!  Just kidding, it’s old and raggedy but you can use it.  🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you missed my ideas on how to Savor the Season, you can see those ideas here.  And a quick reminder – If you know of anyone who is alone this Thanksgiving, invite them over.  We all need some love and laughter and it would make their day to feel wanted.

What a practical woman over 50 really wants for Christmas

I get tired of gift guides full of things I couldn’t care less about like scarves that scratch my neck, a glass terrarium, a zodiac necklace, another oil diffuser or trendy travel mug.  Women our age (50 and fab) are hard to buy for because we are at the point in our lives that if we want something we go and buy it.  But we usually put everyone else first and don’t actually go buy those things for ourselves.  So, I think having a list of what a practical woman over 50 really wants for Christmas would be super helpful.  Plus I’m joining in with several other fabulous bloggers to give you some inspiration this Christmas season!  😉

 

What a Practical Woman Over 50 Really Wants for Christmas

What Women over 50 really want for Christmas and Blog Hop!

 

Click on the links below for quick access to each fantastic gift idea!

Twelve pair of reading glasses – So we can find a pair when we need them (minus the pair we can’t find sitting on our head).

The Shark Duo Clean vacuum – It’s to make our life easier so we can spend time doing fun things like reading a magazine.

Alexa – Turn on music, make grocery lists, ask weather questions… all within earshot.

PhoneSoap Smartphone Sanitizer – This is fantastical!  Who wouldn’t want this?!

Dyson Tower Fan – For those of us who don’t want to feel like we need another shower just after getting dressed. #TheStruggleIsReal

Flip Fold T-shirt folder – I fold a lot of the Misters undershirts/t-shirts and would LOVE this.  Plus, your closet or dresser will look so organized.

Cheat Sheet Baking Apron – I’ve had to Google this info with sticky hands so many times.  Now it’s right there on my lap!

Philips Air Fryer – Good ol’ southern fried food at 75% less fat?  Yes, please.

KitchenAid Electric Kettle – Coffee or Tea drinkers want cute stuff sitting on their stove too.

Silpat Non-stick baking sheets – Easy to clean and microwavable. For those who want to be like Martha S. but hate to clean up.

I didn’t add in the mushy gushy ideas like the personalized photo album or calendar of the grandkids or the Alaska cruise, kinda thought those were a given.  😉  Hope your shopping has been made a little easier and if you need another person on your list… you can add me!  🙂

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Thank You for Joining me for the 2017 Christmas Gift Guide Blog Hop hosted by

Barb Garrett and The Everyday Home.   Please visit all of these Gift Guides below. 


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I seriously cannot believe it’s already November!  I have been so busy with work, keeping up with two houses and the last kiddo still at home that I’ve decided this year to slow down and savor the season.  I want to enjoy it and not be stressed over gifts or schedules but sit and chat with family and friends and earnestly ponder my blessings.  Maybe I’ll even try a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha.  That’s a big deal for me since I’m not a coffee drinker nor a hot drink fan really.  But this year it’s in my plan to try something new!

In order for my magical Thanksgiving/Yuletide season to begin I’ve made a list of things needed to get started.  I’m sharing them with you just in case you’d like to cherish the last 2 months of 2017 as well.

savor the season with CountyRoad407.com

5 Ideas to Savor Thanksgiving

Come up with new Thanksgiving traditions.  I believe it’s never to late to start so here are a few ideas here, here and here.

Our Family plays games after dinner so I plan to get a couple of new ones but if you’d like a few ideas, check these out here and here.

 

Ideas to Savor the Season with CountyRoad407.com

 

8 Ideas to Enjoy Christmas

  1. Start with Christmas Music!  I have been known to listen to Christmas carols in July and sing my little heart out (by myself, in my car of course) but still sing.  So I will for sure crank up the carols and belt one out now!  Consider making a playlist if you are that far advanced.  I’d have to ask one of the kids or Mr. Wonderful to help with that one (no, that’s not on my list of new things to try).  

2. Sit in a comfy zone and make your Christmas card list.  Will you need to buy cards or make an appointment with the family for a photo session?  Go ahead and add each address to the list.  It will help in case you are pressed for time when mailing.  If time or logistics is a concern, make a fun card on Jib Jab and send it that way.  You may think it’s impersonal but really isn’t it to let your family and friends know you’re thinking of them?

Plan to savor the season with ideas found on CountyRoad407.com

3. In the same comfy zone, make your gift list.  Decide whether they will be a purchased or handmade.  Which brings us to the next one.

4. Are there gifts or crafts you’d like to make this year?  Make a list and get to the craft store.  You’ll want to start that sooner than later.

5. Do you decorate with lights outside?  Put them up before it gets cold.  A couple of years ago we waited until December.  It didn’t go so well and I’d rather not have that conversation argument again.

CounryRoad407.com has ideas to help you Savor the Season

6. Don’t forget about yourself.  Change out your bedding with something festive and warm.  Add a Christmas pillow or a wreath over the bed.  So many friends I know don’t add decor to the bedroom but it will make you smile each time you walk through or plop into bed each day.



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7. Check out city activities going on around you.  Scope out what you’d like to do and add them to your calendar.  When the date comes up try hard not to let something get in the way of attending.

8.  Take a new route home each evening so you can drive around and look at Christmas lights.  Go through a drive-thru and grab a Peppermint shake to make the tour even more enjoyable!

Ideas to savor the season on CountyRoad407.com

I hope these lists help you concentrate on what’s important so you can savor the season too!

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As I read and hear about the continued aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, every idea for a post seems trivial and shallow.  My heart hurts for those being devastated, pushed out of their homes, their normal life and an everyday routine.  I see mamma’s carrying their babies in waist deep water, assisted living residents sitting in their wheel chairs in waist deep water, people making their way to a shelter on air mattresses. Hundreds of thousands wondering what comes next and how will they get there?

I cannot even imagine what it’s like.  So instead of a DIY project, I thought I’d share with you what I concentrate and meditate on when I cannot understand why or when I feel overwhelmed and beaten.

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world. 

Psalm 119: 25-28 – I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.  Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 120:1 – I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.

James 1:12 – Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Psalm 55:22 – Give your burdens to the Lord and he will take care of you.  He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Psalm 142:1-3a – I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s mercy.  I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.  When I am overwhelmed, You alone know the way I should turn. 

 A Prayer:

Father, thank you for knowing what we need before we say it.  For carrying us when we need it.  Thank you that you are still in control of this world and love us beyond our comprehension.  You are El Roi, the God who sees.  Yahweh-Rapha, the God who heals.  And you are Yahweh Jireh, the one who provides.  Please show those that are hurting, confused and in need that you are God Almighty.  Speak to them.  Remove their fear and give them peace and comfort.   It will be a long road to normalcy; please give them strength and endurance.  May they find joy.  I ask that those of us here not forget them.  Give us wisdom to know how to help and may our efforts be pleasing and a glorification to you and not ourselves. 

In Jesus name, Amen 

Books that were painted and had the word PRAY wtritten on them with a Sharpie pen for farmhouse decor

Here are a few places you could donate money, items or time if you feel you can.

American Red Cross

Houston Food Bank

Texas Diaper Fund

Samaritan’s Purse

Houston Humane Society

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One of the most gentle souls in all the land

For those of you who don’t know, my father-in-law has Alzheimer’s and lost his wife of 55 years about two years ago.   Even though he is still one of the sweetest, kindest, most gentle souls in all the land, the disease is taking away bits and pieces of his mind.  He still loves the Lord, still gives great advice, still holds the door open for everyone, wants to listen and laugh and still remembers most of his family – for now.

He’d been mentioning that he might not ever see his brother again so my sister-in-law and the Mister decided to get them together again.  To make a long story short, we all met in Avon, Colorado since the brother lives in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

The brother brought his wife, his only child/daughter and her husband.  It’s really nice when you have cousins, uncles and aunts that get along well.  Even those of us who married into the family (aka The Outlaws) get along.  I joke about how lucky my husband is by marrying me but I’m the lucky one.  Being with them made me laugh harder than I had laughed in a very very long time.

Paddle boarding on Piney Woods Lake in Colorado

We canoed and paddle boarded on a gorgeous lake up in the mountains, watched two up close and personal fantabulous fireworks shows, played games, went ice skating with a nice 65 degrees, checked out the local fare and laughed so hard tears ran down my legs.

The week came to an end and the Wyoming side of the family left this morning.  The others wanted to ride bikes down the mountain side so I volunteered to watch Bob.  No one had to twist my arm – I was looking forward to it.

Aspen trees in Colorado

We dropped the adventurers off and took the scenic route to have lunch.  He told me stories that I’ve heard many times before but this time I was overjoyed in hearing them again.  Maybe it was because I had him all to myself or maybe because I wasn’t listening to 9 other people competing for Who Could Be The Loudest Show?  Either way, today I was overjoyed.  We talked about how his Grandfather was a veterinarian who pulled the loose teeth from him and his brother with vet tools and also gave them school immunizations.  The way he described it made me laugh. With the teeth story, he said “Okay, I’m ready.  No no wait, I’m not ready!  Okay, let’s try again – no wait!” all with his hands held high waving in the air.   We both chuckled so loud that heads turned to look at us.

Hanging flower basket in Beaver Creek Colorado

We talked about his wife and how he still misses her.  How he wondered why the Lord put them together and then separated them.  I had the joy of listening to him talk about his cat and his new female friend.  He said he can’t remember her name but can remember her face.  I nearly died laughing.  I said I hope he doesn’t lose his eyesight before he has to remember her name!

We talked about Heaven, a new earth, weird family members and childhood.  Oh my.  When he said it was okay for a man to have a new friend, go to church together, have dinner together and maybe watch a movie but not want to get married, my ears wanted to shut close.  But it was actually a new tender moment with Bob.  Something I never get to have.

He even said thank you for the talk, he appreciated me and was grateful to talk about it.  We both got teary eyed and shared a hug.  This four hours is worth more than any bike ride or shopping day.  He truly is one of the most gentle souls in all the land.  If I ever get the chance to do it again, I’m all in.

 

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