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Monday, December 4, 2023

A normal December Monday

Over the weekend we finished decorating the inside of the house for the holidays. Sunday late afternoon, we had a short break in the rain, so I ran outside to clip a handful of short branches from a cedar tree in the yard. I made two of these mini-swags to go in front of the two kitchen windows. They make the room cheery and didn't cost anything. I had pieces of wire in a jar, the fruit picks leftover from a garland we used to do on the banister and the two ribbons from a package many years ago.

I also made gingerbread men cookie dough and a small batch of more eggnog. Getting into the holiday spirit.

This morning I needed to go grocery shopping. A week ago Monday, I made a quick dash to Walmart to pick up basics -- milk, eggs, carrots, bananas, and jalapeño peppers. I was using the car in between the excursions of two family members who also needed the car. So I was as quick as I could be. Later in the week, I thought about doing more grocery shopping, perhaps getting a start on some Christmas meals shopping. I decided to wait until today and make what current meals from what we have on hand. We're needing more space in the freezer for another delivery of beef coming up shortly. Better to use what's already here than add more to the freezers.

So, this morning I went to WinCo, Chefstore (wholesaler), and Grocery Outlet. My list really wasn't very long. I bought more almond flour so I could do another batch of almond paste for almond macaroons, plus avocados, bananas, tangerines, dried cranberries, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, mixed nuts, a little bit of Christmas candy, chicken breasts, a Christmas ham, a 5-lb loaf of cheddar cheese, and a pint of whipping cream on markdown for 78 cents. The dried cranberries are for Christmas brunch muffins. The spices go into my super-charged spicy morning cup of cocoa (turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, coconut oil, milk, cocoa powder, honey, black pepper, honey). I began this as a way to use up the turmeric I had in the cupboard. Little did I know I'd enjoy this spice in cocoa so much I'd need to buy more! The mixed nuts are for some favorite nut bars I make every Christmas. The one item on my list that I didn't buy was fruitcake fruit. One daughter expressed interest in making my mom's fruitcake recipe. However, the fruitcake fruit was so expensive! If we go ahead and make the fruitcake, we'll improvise on that ingredient. What I noticed while shopping was how much more expensive several foods were today, comparing Christmas 2022 with today. Ham, chicken, and cheese added quite a bit to my spending. The almond flour, however, was less than I paid for it in summer. So not everything is more expensive right now, just almost everything that I would buy this time of year.

After grocery shopping, I stopped by the pharmacy to pick-up my husband's rx and went to the post office to mail something. I was pretty beat by the time I got home. I feel like I'm still recovering. I have pain everyday still, although the pain is less and less each day.

I thought I would get to decorating the outdoor tree and making a swag to hang over the garage. But it was too cold and wet for me to want to do that. Maybe tomorrow's weather will be better.

Just now I tucked a chicken pot pie into the oven for our dinner tonight. Should be tasty.

Anyhow, today was a normal December Monday for me. How was your day? Any special activities, or  was it just a normal day for you?

And now I'll go wash the dishes that I dirtied while getting dinner together. have a lovely rest of your evening.


  1. Oh, I love chicken pot pie but rarely make one for no good reason. I had a fairly normal Monday, too. I went to work which was busy, but routine. Afterwards, I finished getting the Christmas letters ready to mail and finally got the table cleared off where we were working on them. We finished getting the outside lights put up and put away all of those boxes, too, and carried up more decorations from the basement. While watching a little TV, I worked on taking labels of drink bottles for a program I'm going to be giving at the library. We're going to make boats out of them. Throw in a little reading and computer time and I think that's it. Or at least, that's what I remember.

    1. Hi Live and learn,
      It sounds like your day was very productive. Your program at the library should be quite interesting for all who participate.
      I love chicken pot pie enough to make it whenever I have the ingredients. And my family is always appreciative. Pie crust is one of my favorite foods.

  2. I had a normal (ish) Monday. Pregnant daughter having a little trouble with pregnancy (again) but doing OK.

    I get all wound up during Christmas because of all the gift giving expectancies. It such a wonderful time of year celebrating the birth of Jesus and yet I feel like I don't meet expectations of gift giving. My kids all earn more than me, buy whatever they want and I can't keep up with that and I'm clueless what to buy them. Every year it's the same. We don't ever get together with the out of state kids because their Christmas celebration is much more engaging than ours ever will be. Pulling names from a hat is difficult because the out of state kids and the shipping back and forth just isn't pleasant.

    I did put up a small christmas tree and a small village but my cat also loves the lights and thinks that is a perfect place to nap all day long, tipping over the tree and the village people. She looks like Catzilla amongst the small tree and village. The second cat likes to chew the pretty lights and cords.


    1. Alice, oh, the Christmas cat troubles! I laughed when I read "Catzilla". We adopted 2 kittens earlier this fall and they are adding, shall we say, a new element to our Christmas decorating experience. Our older cat that we had to put down last June mostly slept on the tree skirt. Kittens are a whole new story. They are calming down somewhat, but I can relate to your comment about cord chewing. I'm trying to decide if the "Bitter Yuck" spray is working.

      When our Max cat was younger, he liked to nap in the fabric toy stable that I had for my kids. So funny.

    2. Hi Alice,
      I love your comments about Catzilla. I'm sure she appreciates her special napping place this time of year. We had two black and white cats when I was growing up. Their favorite place to nap was on the white felt Christmas tree skirt. A few years ago, I pulled this tree skirt out of the box where my mom stored it and found some stray black cat hairs. Mementos from much loved cats from decades ago.

      I will say a prayer for your daughter/grandbaby and the rest of her pregnancy. This must be stressful after the loss a couple of years ago.

  3. Lili, your swag is beautiful. I love live greens used in decorating. A friend of mine and I went to a make-your-own-wreath event at a local tree farm a couple of weeks ago. For the first time ever, I have a live wreath! I've always wanted one! We had lots of fun, and this may become a new tradition.

    1. Hi Kris,
      How fun! I sure hope you and your friend make this an annual event to share.
      I love using real greenery, too. While I love the look of our faux wreaths and garland, in the back of my mind I know they are fake. The real greenery has a special appeal. Plus it smells so nice. Enjoy your handmade Christmas wreath!

  4. Good morning. My mother has been ill the past 7 weeks so I've been unable to check in very often.

    Lili, I'm glad you are recovering and your swags are lovely. If I get a chance, I want to add fresh greens to my door.

    I like to make fruitcake cookies for my family, but that candied fruit IS expensive! I find it marked down significantly after Christmas (sometimes 75% off). I buy it then for next year's cookies. The fruit keeps a long time. So you may want to keep your eyes peeled for some cheaper fruit for next year's fruitcake!

    I'm going to look for those snowflake pretzels. Williams-Sonoma always has them for a very high price too. I have done pretzel rods but would like to do some snowflakes!

    Hope everyone's preparations are coming along!

    Lynn from NC Outer Banks

    1. Hi Lynn,
      I'm sorry to hear your mother has been ill. I hope she's doing better now and can enjoy a happy Christmas.

      I hope you can find some of those snowflake pretzels. I sure thought they'd be cute to work with. Best of wishes to you as you make preparations for Christmas.


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