Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas 2020


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

I thought I’d fill you in on our family life - 2020 has been a different kind of year, but blessings abound.

#1 and Yellow Rose are still in Texas, but at the moment #1 is away doing whatever the Army tells him to do. Yellow Rose and the dog, Abby, miss him, but are handling things just fine. They came for a visit this fall (before #1’s departure) and we had a wonderful time with them. Yellow Rose keeps busy managing two Orange Theory studios and taking online graduate classes. I honestly don’t know how she does it all, but she does it with grace and a smile. We miss them terribly, and look forward to #1’s return and some time with them afterwards. 

LLB is still stationed here, in DC. She is working hard, completed her Masters in Mechanical Engineering this fall, just finished overseeing both of her bathroom’s renovations, and continues to rock climb in her local rock climbing gym. She keeps busy! She is hoping to be able to ski a bit this year - we shall see what the weather brings and if the ski areas open. 

This spring, when the world shut down, Mr and I decided that we had a lot of chores that needed doing and got to it. We cleaned out barns, closets, attics, and garages. We took copious trips to the dump - it got to be that they knew the car and just waved us through. We cut and split firewood (I do love that wood splitter!), we spent time, we laughed, and basically enjoyed each other’s company. We spent the summer by the pool - he working and me reading or crocheting. 

My life slowed down for a bit until I thought it would be a good idea to participate in a Pop-Up Market sponsored by our church. I spent a few crazy weeks this fall making mittens, table runners, masks, and more. My handbell choirs have combined and shrunk to field one very good combined choir. I look forward to the churches opening up and getting back to ringing - maybe next fall??

Mr is still working at MITRE as a software engineer. He shifted his hours and goes in for the afternoon after working at home in the morning. I guess he never got the memo that senior citizens should not write code! H thoroughly enjoys the fast-paced environment and competing with millennials less than half his age. His time off the laptop is spent playing handbells in my choir and taming Mother Nature on our ten acres with his chainsaw, mower, and a wide assortment of lawn tools. 

If you’re ever in VA or passing through, shoot us an email. We’d love to see you! 

Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

So many blessings!

LLB is home! I’ve finished playing at the 1pm, and listening at the 4pm. They were both lovely services! Everyone is asleep... the last load of dishes has been unloaded and put away. The breakfast casserole is cooking and the dishes have been laid out. It’s the calm before the wonderful chaos that is Christmas! I have turned off the lights, kissed my cat, and crawled into bed. 

My soldier is healthy and safe,  and his wife is with her family. 

Life is so very very good and we are so blessed. 

Merry Christmas Eve! 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Practice makes....

 I’ve been practicing my bell tree music for Christmas Eve. I’ve got 2 out of 3 pieces memorized. Sometimes I struggle and sometimes it just comes naturally. I’ll have the music with me just in case my nerves try to get the best of me. 

Needless to say, I’ll get there.

Ding dong ding...

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Cruising into Christmas

 Wow! Time sure does fly. I can’t tell you have many times I thought to myself, “I should do a blog post”... and yet... here we are... mid-December! 

We had a busy fall. We got the bells out and fielded a combined choir - that was really fun! We played for a virtual service last week and it was fantastic! The church decided to try to have a pop-up market, so I thought I’d try to scramble and put a booth together. I did pretty well. I made the money back that it cost me to make everything, so I have no complaints! I made some table runners, mittens, masks, and hand lotion. Would I do it again? Ummm... maybe if it were closer to Christmas.

The tree is up. The presents have been ordered. Anything that’s here had been wrapped. Some gifts are in transit... let’s hope they get here... I ordered a bunch of special things before Thanksgiving... and here we are... still waiting. It is what it is. If they come, great... if not, I’ll wrap a picture. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. 

I wrote a Christmas letter this year. I’ll post it separately - because it gives me a quick and easy blog post! Hey - it’s called “Using Your Resources”! 🤣🤣

Today is the first snow of the season. Mr is upstairs working and Mini is here being a bother. She is wondering when I’m going to break down and give her some treats. (DYI: not happening. She is on a diet and so am I... no treats for anyone!). I’m currently sitting by the fire, enjoying a cup of tea, watching Tv, and typing away. Actually, I’m supposed to be practicing bell tree music for Christmas Eve. Instead, I’m procrastinating. In my defense, I’ve got most of it down, and I’m in the process of memorizing it. Since masks are currently required and my glasses often fog when I breathe, I need to KNOW the music just in case I can’t see it. “Covid problems!” 

LLB is is off skiing with friends this week. It’s so good to see her enjoying herself. She works hard, is very dedicated and responsible, and definitely deserves to play! I look forward to having her home for Christmas and hearing stories of her adventure. This fall she had both of her bathrooms remodeled. It became obvious that they just needed updating... so she bit the bullet and spent the money. They are updated, gorgeous, and fully functioning! All that’s left to update is the kitchen, and she will get to that after she saves up. 

#1 is deployed. He is handling it well but is currently back in quarantine because 2 people who work near him tested positive for the dreaded Covid.  He’s calling it Christmas in Quarantine 2020. I’m really glad I sent him a wee tree and a good book for Christmas! He was looking forward to the Christmas Eve services in camp, but will see them virtually instead. (He might even tune in to see our service and  me play if I remind him!) Yellow Rose is home with the dog keeping things running and doing it well. She is managing two studios and taking graduate classes. She is a go getter for sure!  We would have loved to have her here for Christmas, but she is spending it with her family - we completely understand, but we miss her anyway. Maybe we can have both of them here next year! 

So, I guess I’ve caught you up on life here at The Crossing. Life is good. We are so blessed! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Slowly reopening....

Today is Mr’s birthday! Thank goodness the state is slowly reopening because he loves his yearly onion rings and big boy burger at Fosters. Today was no different. We ate outside and he practically licked his plate clean!

We finished hauling and stacking all of our firewood into the wood yard and moved to inside chores as the weather changed. We have since cleaned out every closet and have a large pile ready to go to Goodwill. During that excavation we unearthed a bunch of figurines of mom’s that she still had boxed up. That lead to the discovery that not one more of those gorgeous items would fit in my curio (that came with the house). An Internet search rewarded me with a larger lighted curio that now houses all of our little lovelies. Although, getting it into the house was a feat that involved ancient Egyptian methods of moving super heavy items. (The heaviest part? The glass shelves, of course! Once we got those out of the box, the unit was much easier to move around and put into place.)

Now that summer is here, we are spending time by and in the pool - which was 86 degrees of pure bliss until it rained and the temp dropped to 83. We are hoping that some sunny days this week will increase the temps a wee bit. 83 is refreshing, but 86 makes it warm enough to float around and spend time in the water.

I’ve also finished a few projects including baby blankets, baby sweaters, shawls, spacemen, a wool wedding blanket, and yet another Yoda. I’ve ordered some more yarn because I need to make a wedding blanket for a very special young lady whose mother is my oldest and dearest friend. As soon as that yarn arrives, I’ll get to it! Covid-19 had made a wedding filled with friends and family impossible - the venue cancelled the wedding. They will tie the knot surrounded by family in the back yard. It’s not what they wanted, but it will still be beautiful and memorable!

In other news, my copy of Animal Crossing New Horizons for the Switch arrived in late March. I have been playing daily. Yes, I’m actually a closet video game addict. LLB and I played the Wii version back in the day. It was our “snow day” and “school vacation” activity. We loved it then and we love it’s now, especially since we can play together over the Internet even though we are apart. Yep, it’s fun and we all need a little fun these days.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Quarantine 2020

Covid-19 and it’s requisite shut down of the economy, church, and life outside the home began for us back in early March. Mr started working from home and all of my volunteer activities ceased. 

We looked at this sudden stop of every day life as the blessing of a huge gift of time. We used it wisely. We started by cleaning out the sheds. We gave things away. We sold things. We tossed a lot - that meant many trips to the dump. We went to the dump in town because their bulk waste container is easier to access - as in you don’t have to lift it over your head into the container. We went so often that the staff got to know the car! But, we had cleaned out both sheds - a chore we had been wanting to do for years! Success! 

Once we finished that task, we decided that we would start to tackle the yard. Our yard is big and our chores are many. We started with mulching the flowerbeds. 50 bags of mulch later - we could spread another 10, but really... enough is enough! 

We moved on to cutting and splitting some of the ash trees we had taken down two summers ago. A very sweet neighbor pulled down some logs off the pile with his tractor. Mr cut them up with his chain saw and I split them with my new favorite power tool - the log splitter! Then we had a couple more dead trees taken down. We cut and split them, too. 😏

Next up - putting all that new firewood into our wood yard. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Christmas and beyond

Well, Christmas has come and gone and it was simply wonderful. All the children were home. #1 and Yellow Rose and flew in on Christmas Eve.  They came to church for the 9.  LLB arrived on Monday, so I got to spend some time with just her. She played her trumpet - beautifully, I might add - and I attempted to sing (in tune) in the choir. Mr was the usher - yep... we all had a job to do. We took our requisite family photos on the altar and then we went home.  We’ve never opened stockings on Christmas Eve before, because the service has always ended too late - as in midnight - but this May be a really nice new tradition.  We had mulled wine, snacks, and stockings. I’d do that again!
The next day Yellow Rose experienced a “real” Ladybug Crossing Christmas complete with presents, food, drink, and a new game! I guess Santa thought we were really good this year! We all got some really nice things. LLB got her sword and case (which we hung in her condo and seems to still be on the wall). #1 and Yellow Rose got many of their requested Amazon list items and a trusty check because there’s only so much room in a suitcase! Mr and I received a lot of really awesome things including an instapot from Auntie - which I used for the first time yesterday - and it was pretty awesome!
New Years Eve took the younger set to the city to celebrate. They went to a masquerade party and based on the stories, they had a fantastic time! They met up with old friends, made new friends, and danced all night long. We had a New Years Day brunch instead of our regular Christmas Party and the younger set made it to the party on time and in one piece.  My breakfast casserole was a hit with them, as they all devoured it. (I think it was a good cure for the proverbial hangover.) I’m glad I made 2! We had a house full of friends who brought lots of great food and conversation. It’s a nice way to start the year!
Now it’s January 10th and time marches on. I’m in the process of putting Christmas away. It always seems to take so much longer to pack it all up! I’ll get there...
This weekend it’s supposed to be warm and sunny - if you need us, we will be splitting wood. Because - wood stove!