Homeland Farm

Homeland Farm

Monday, December 31, 2018

My blog is seasonal...



          Good New Years Eve to one and all! I have discovered I am apparently a seasonal blogger. Once a quarter is about all I can muster, and I'm not sure why. Not like I have a farm to maintain...a booth to stock at the local 207 Trading Co...a cute granddaughter to pal around with..dialysis to put up with (although the alternative is pretty unappealing..:)...and a whole host of family fun and activities. But seriously...my resolution this new years is MORE BLOGGING. Wish me luck!
          So..lets see where we left off. Liam was at basic training, Cliffy and I were headed to Oklahoma, and we were in the throes of summer and all it's hectic fun. I will start from there.
         
Love, Love Love Lilacs..(apple pie too, really)
Nice looking garden going in
Zuchinni relish..wicked good
          Cliffy had a dandy garden in this year and we did well with lots of greens, broccoli, beans and tomatoes. We had less luck with squash, eggplant, peppers and cukes, although we did have enough to eat. It was a dry year so we were happy to get as much as we did.  Plus, we had plenty of tomatoes to can, with a few pounds from my parents next door. Yum...I love opening a can of home stewed tomatoes come a cold day in February. Just like opening a can of summer, I always say.
Summer in a jar..and the first squash pie of the season
          I made a mess of strawberry jam, raspberry jam, grape jelly and sweet green tomato marmalade, all pretty darn good. Love freshly made jam on one of my hot biscuits, Boy Howdy, them's good eats. (anyone else hear that in their mind said by Sheriff Taylor of Mayberry?? Anyone?? No??? Oh..ok....)
oh so good
          Anyway, I digress. Cameron, my oldest son turned 26 this summer, and is always a willing hand should I need one. He helps me manage the booth of goods at the 207 Trading Co. We had a couple storage lockers donated to us this summer, which we were very thankful to get. We also partially cleaned out a local garage, which had lots of cool stuff. We were very blessed, and have a few months worth of things to stock our shelves with.
This guy will do anything to help dear old mom..:)

         
Bro giving Chum and friend a ride
       Brogan, Milly and Cass were very busy this summer as well. Lots going on with young folks these days it seems all the time. Bro got in some horse riding while Cass and Cliff managed to do some fishing. Milly was always ready to talk Granny's ear off and help cook, sweep, swing, shovel..whatever is happening, she is ready to participate!
Homeland's youngest pooper scooper!
          Then, Carmie and Cliffy went off on our big adventure! Liam was graduating from Fort Sill, where he completed basic training. We wanted to go, so were trying to scrimp and save for the trip. We bought the plane tickets, but didn't have the cash for the car rental so my brother Zak was nice enough to rent it for us, and all we had to do was pick it up.
so cool
          So, August 31, off we went into the wild, blue yonder! The plane ride went well, and we managed fine. We got in later then we wanted, since I had hoped to be there before dark, just to make it easier to get our bearings. We caught the shuttle to the car rental place and marched in with our confirmation number in hand.
          Mind you, we are "shoe string travelers" having it all planned out and carefully budgeted.
I thought it was all paid for, so when the guy at the counter passed us the paper work and proclaimed.." That will be 475.00", I almost died!! I was like..."WHAT?? WHY???HOW??"
          "All you did was reserve it..." the dude exclaimed. Now, before we went, I had called to verify that we were all set on the reservation. I asked them if the car rental place was right at the air port. They said no, it was in a neighboring town. I said.."what? Well that won't work..we have no way to get there." They said" oh ok, we will change the location to the airport rental office". Done.
          So, now here we were, and he was saying it was going to be almost 500, which was our entire budget for the 4 day excursion. The unconcerned agent said it was because we had changed the location, and that was why it was more money.
          I told the guy we needed to discuss this, and we walked to the benches across the room, and sat down to 'discuss". We decided to pay the cash we had and would call home for cash the next day. So, we went back up to the guy and said..."here is the money."
          He looked at it, and said...."we don't accept cash." OMG.
          I knew it was time to bust out the big guns.
          Gesturing behind me, I said " We have to figure this out, or we are going to be sleeping on those benches back there all night, and you reallllyyyyyy don't want to see me in my granny nightgown..."
           Long story short, he made calls...got us a 300 dollar deal, and we were off. Big guns work every time. Pays to travel with flannel....
BIG guns, I tell ya...
         
BIGGGG GUNS!!
     We made it to the hotel at midnight after the dang GPS took us on some scenic, dark as the ace of spades country road. We were exhausted but there safely..WITH A CAR and the shower and bed felt good.
           
Welcome to Fort Sill
         The next day dawned bright and sunny, and we had a great time watching as my "little fella" Liam graduated from basic. A very proud moment for us all...glad we were there to see it...and hadn't had to walk there.
Here they come!!
           
HEY MOM!!!
           
         
On the grounds of The Museum of the Great Plains
       
Pawhuska, Ok
Cowboy Cliffy
       We spent two days traveling around the area with Liam, then he flew home and we went north to Pawhuska, OK, to go visit The Pioneer Woman's store. On the way back to Oklahoma City, Cliffy stopped for a horse back ride, and I sat in the AC. We flew out the next day and were reunited with the pooches, who were so happy to have "mom and dad" back.
             
Can't you feel the warmth
        Summer came to an end, and on to fall. We did lots of outside work and wood stacking, getting ready for winter. I mowed the lawn and Nolie, Cam, and Liam raked, and the very next day, it snowed. This was early November, mind you. Winter was off to a roaring start. We had a white Thanksgiving, and kept the snow, despite off and on rain, right through Christmas. It was been weird weather the last few weeks..as warm as 50...as cold as single numbers. No huge storms, just small amounts of occasional  snow. January last year was bitter with 30+ below zero, so I am in hopes we don't repeat that.
           
Cutest turkey ever!
           
Beautiful
             Christmas was awesome, with Milly being the bright spot. She loves Santa and was so excited this year. We had lots of fun singing and dancing with the jazzy singing Santa in my dining room. She got lots of fun presents and enjoyed every minute of it. We did too, actually. I love Christmas every year, and it always makes me happy. No BAH HUMBUG here..just lots of fudge, homemade popcorn balls and hectic activity, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
             So, now on to 2019. Holy smoke! It seems it was just 2000, and I was having a baby..who is now a Private in the US Army. How and when did that happen? And...there is the crazy fact Cliffy is turning 77 next month, and I'm about to hit 56 in February. When did that happen? As that country song says...100 years goes faster then you think. I wholeheartedly agree. 56?? But then I see the forehead that looks like a road map, and the white(!!!) hair in my eyebrows, to say nothing about the white hair on my head or gulp...on my CHIN! The reality sets in like ...whoa... But, I'm really not one of those folks that sweat the small stuff and therefore I am not worried about it. As my Uncle Bill would say "I'll live 'til I die.." But..not JUST yet... Might have to take another trip sometime this year..but..I will make my own rental car arrangements.
            HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ALL OF US AT HOMELAND FARM! ONWARD TO 2019!
               

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Mid Summer Update from Homeland Farm

   
Homeland in all its glory
          Holy smoke, here it is August already. It is (finally) a rainy, damp day and I am all alone. That is very rare, and I decided a good time for a blog update. Here we go!
          We have been super busy this summer, and honestly, it seems the older we get, the busier we are. I was perusing one of my old diaries the other day and it seemed like every few days Cliffy and I napped. NAPPED!! How did we do that? Where did that spare time come from? Why can't I pull that off now? I think it is probably related to the fact that we were younger, ie faster, back then and were really doing the same amount of work, but just faster at getting it done. Or....we are just busier. Yeah, pretty sure that's what it is.
Bnb apartment
          Cliffy and I have been very busy this summer with our new Airbnb adventure. We are trying to see how we like hosting strangers in our newly refurbished apartment in the barn. The people have been very nice, and we have had no trouble with any of them. It is quite a bit of work, especially like last week when we had 4 different parties, all staying one night. that made for A LOT of laundry, cleaning and to do it..stair climbing, as the apartment is on the second floor. By the end of the week, I felt like just telling the last guests that I was just going to be sleeping on the couch, to save myself another trip up and down the stairs. I thought that might spook them a bit, especially when they saw me in my granny nightie. But, overall, it has been an interesting experience.
kitchenette

bedroom

          I have started my usual summer preps for the upcoming, undoubtedly long winter. I froze a mess of wax beans, and made strawberry and raspberry jam. I also made pickles, and are making another batch tomorrow. Cliffy put in a garden  this year and we are TRYING to keep ahead of the weeds, but you know...all those naps...gets in the way of weeding. All kidding aside, I am going to get out there tomorrow and pluck like mad. We are starting to get cukes and tomatoes, and I think our beans are coming right along too. Squash seems a bit slow, but it is only the first of August and we did get a late start. (too busy napping....)
Garden..PRE-weeds
Sooo tasty
           What else...what else? We have had a kid free summer, as my youngest Liam has been off for basic training in Fort Sill, Ok. He has wanted to join the military for years and even though he is still in high school, he wanted to get a jump on it early. He comes back and completes his senior year and then will go to college and get out as an officer. Cliffy and I are going all crazy and heading out to the wild west to see his graduation ceremony. We haven't "left the farm" as he likes to say, in a long time, so we are both looking forward to it. We better have a great month selling stuff at our booth. Another reason we are too busy to nap.
Private Opie and his sad girlfriend Gabby

Two buddies..Liam and Cousin Nolan
            My brother has a group shop in Bridgton, and we have a booth in it. Keeping it fresh and well stocked and tastefully arranged is a full time job on its own. Thanks to some generous donations of stuff, we have a lot of neat things to fill it with, and plenty more to bring down as what is there sells. Busy, I tell ya, busy.
              Then of course, there is my little pal, Chummy. Well, she is of course Milly my grand daughter, but I call her Chummy. Actually, she also refers to herself as Chummy. Kinda cute, that one. She is here almost daily and we have coffee (start 'em young) and cook. She and Granny like to hop on the mower and ride next door to see Gram. She isn't even 3 yet, but is talking like a champ. I think that is a genetic thing..the Yakking gene. It has been passed down thru all the women in this family. She doesn't stop and has much to say. Granny has no time to nap when Chum shows up, for sure.
Chummy and Minnie..same pose
              We have had lots of birthdays and cookouts this summer. My parents had their 51st anniversary, and we had my cousin Bill's funeral in our family cemetery last weekend. I 'm certainly glad this hard rain wasn't last weekend. It was great reconnecting with cousins, and remembering a great guy. He was a mere 61 when he passed away, way too young. I'm glad he is in our family cemetery in the back corner of our field. Homeland Cemetery is a peaceful, serene resting place, and we all like having all our kinfolk nearby.
The whole fan damily
               Well, I suppose I better wrap this up and go do some work. It is so quiet today. Cliffy went North to go visit his son and family, Liam is busy lobbing grenades, the dogs are snoring on the couch and bed and the laundry is caught up. So, I guess I will go get an ice tea at Dunkin' and go check out the booth.
               I will certainly have blog material when we go on our Western Adventure. Me..in an airport..with Cliffy, film at 11. Going to be FUN! Can't wait!
               Over and Out from Homeland Farm!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Blizzard=BLOG.

       
  I know, I know. The groans of my fellow New Englanders can be heard echoing the land today, as we get dumped on by the third "Nor'Easter" in less then two weeks. And here I thought we were going to get out of this winter pretty well unscathed..well, minus the weeks and weeks of double digit cold we had back in January,
Bare ground..not for long
            But nope. I looked out this morning and said " HA! LOOK CLIFFY BABY! NOT EVEN SNOWING!" It was supposed to have started at midnight-ish, but took its own sweet time getting ramped up. Whoa...did anyone else notice how "Maine Weather Womanish" I just sounded? I bet I could do the weather. Lets see..
Maine-ly SICK of winter moose, complete with matching smile

            Howdy. I'm Carmen Horton, coming to you LIVE from the fields of Homeland Farm. Wicked Crappy outside, and unless you are desperate for toilet paper, milk or Allens coffee brandy, I would NOT recommend going out into this mess.
            The storm which I have decided to call "Hesperus", cause she is gonna wreck my driveway and lawn, was slow coming up the coast, and I think got hung up down on the Cape. But By Godfrey, it is cranking like an old Model T now, and dumping the white stuff by the inch.
             I hate to say it, but Jeezum Crow...This looks to be a doozy. A couple inches an hour as I measure it on my go buggy, which isn't going too darn far in this mess. I think I better go check my bread. (INSERT COMMERCIAL HERE).
This weather brought to you by HOMELAND LOAF. UGLY, BUT IT TASTES GOOD.

             BACK TO YOU, CARMEN.
           
Thanks camera man Cliffy


             Now, as I was sayin', it is coming down at a pretty good clip, making the roads slipperier then a greased cats ass. I haven't seen but one plow truck all day out here in the country, but then, it is almost suppah time. Them plow boys gotta eat too.
             
             Now, What I think is gonna be the kicker in this whole mess, is ole Hesperus isn't likely to give up the ghost any time soon. Nope, I think this particular "Nor'Easter" is gonna be stuck to us like a tick on a dog for the next 24 hours, dumping the white stuff like crazy.
             
             Be ready for some wicked windy gusts too. Gonna blow out there like Grampa after the Saturday night bean suppah. I think there are going to be some powah outages, and I bet more then one or two, by the time this blows over. So, git those generators ready, but don't fire them up inside, for love nor God nor money! Keep those babies ready but fire them up outside!

             
             Moral of the story...Be ready for a crap ton of this white mess. Don't drive unless Mother REALLY wants chocolate at the store, and For God's sake..LIFT WITH YOUR KNEES! Now, I'm going inside and mix up a little Allens Coffee brandy and Milk.
           
            'WHAT'D YA MEAN WE'RE OUTTA MILK??? FIRE UP THE THREE QUARTER TON , CLIFFY!!!"
 
Bugs? Snow? Toss up, says the horses...

             PS...A word of advice, if you find yourself laughing your butt off at something as simple as passing someone a brownie, and watching them fail to take it from your hands because they are using scissor fingers, you just might have a case of cabin fever. Better make that Allens a DOUBLE!
             
Snowing cats and dogs...well, cats anyway
Also...that is an egg candler, fyi....;)
             

Monday, February 5, 2018

It's my birthday and I'll blog if I want to....Part 2

         
Previous birthday festivities
Another year gone and here I am at the ripe old age of 55. Wait...55?? How the heck did that happen? I  remember when my mother was 40, and I thought that was just plain old. Now, here I am 15 years older then that even, and I realize 55 is just a young whippersnapper. A mere babe. Well, except for all the creaking, groaning and various aches and pains that goes along with having lived a half century.
           Cameron and I went to Windham today for various errands, and he reminded me of a couple incidents that happened to me, that while not funny at the moment, are pretty funny now. Interesting how that happens..good thing I have a sense of humor.
            One example of one of those weird things that seem to only happen to me, and me alone...The Baconator assault. Ever been hurt eating a burger? I have. The one (and only) time I ate a Baconator from a certain fast food joint that shall go unnamed ( Wendys), I had a sharp piece of bacon actually impale my gum, making me bleed. Who even knew you could make a shank out of a pork product. Prisoners have it all wrong whittling down tooth brushes and razor handles. You can do serious damage to delicate tissue just by poking it with a sharp shard of bacon. I was bleeding so badly, I couldn't even finish my sandwich, not that I didn't give it the old college try. I paid for that weapon of mass destruction, after all. Yuck.
             Another example of "it can only happen to Carmen", occurred one day when I was driving to Windham with Brogan, Cam and Cam's friend Isaiah. Due to my kidney issues, I am prone to cramps, sometimes so severe I can't help but yell, writhe and make all sorts of faces and noises while I try and get the spasms to stop. At the time, they are not funny AT ALL. However, this one time, it was pretty funny.
             I was driving along, Bro in the passenger seat, listening to Cam and Isaiah chatting away in the backseat. Suddenly, WHAM!! I had a huge spasm in my right hand, which naturally, was the one I was holding the steering wheel with.
            "AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" I yelled, as my right thumb was locked into a spasm tightly against my palm. I had no choice but to drive the car into the breakdown lane, yelling "AHHHHHH, AHHHHH" the entire time.
             "WHAT??WHAT??" Isaiah yelled, trying to see what calamity had just erupted in the front seat.
             "MY THUMB! I CAN'T MOVE MY THUMB!!" I yelled back. I actually had to take my left hand and manually bend my thumb back out of the locked position it was in. We sat there on the side of the road for a few moments, hazard lights blinking, while I regained my composure.
             "Whew, okay, let's go, " I said, pulling back out into the road. Darned if we hadn't gone about a quarter of a mile when the same thing happened, my right thumb cramped into a wonky position, our car careening back into the breakdown lane, Isaiah and I both hollering. I think we FINALLY got to Windham, but it was one long trip.
              As if kidney disease and it's cramps, asthma and allergies and bad joints weren't enough, I also suffered from sleep apnea. As any number of friends, neighbors, and random strangers that had the dubious honor of catching me dozing in public will attest, I used to snore like a water buffalo with a head cold. It was measurable on the richter scale. It was tragic. Didn't bother me any, but I knew if I wanted to ever co-habitate successfully with anyone, I better try and solve the problem.
              So, I went to see my Doctor, who then sent me to see a Doctor, who then sent me to a sleep clinic. After being fully wired up, I went to sleep, I guess. I didn't think I had even nodded off, but I must have, as the next day they had a diagnosis. They announced I did indeed snore, and stopped breathing, thus having a moderate case of sleep apnea. They prescribed a "CPAP" machine, and away I went to try it out.
              For those not in the know, a CPAP machine is this little machine with a face mask and long tube that fits over your face and forces the air into your nose, and down into your lungs. It does it with a pretty darn strong stream of air, thus making sure you don't have sleep apnea.
              It lasted about three nights. It felt like I had my own personal tornado blowing up my nose. I swear my eyeballs were whistling, there was so much pressure. I gave it a really good try as I was very hopeful it would work, and besides.. My only other option was .....dieting. Apparently dieting will also help eliminate snoring since you will lose the fatty throat, neck, and body tissue that can  cause snoring.
             The final straw came on about the third or fourth night. I was in the middle of this terrible dream. I was in a life or death struggle with a giant snake. I couldn't tell if it was a Boa or an Anaconda, but we were writhing and rolling and twisting. That snake was doing everything it could to kill me, and I was fighting with all my might to get it off me. I awoke, heart pounding and sweaty, and realized I was choking the life out of my CPAP breathing tube, which was hissing and whistling as I squeezed it and throttled it over my head. I tossed it to the floor, wiped the sweat from my brow and vowed to diet.
Also in need of dieting..my teddie Peke
           I'm happy to say I no longer snore, as I have managed to lose 50 pounds from my CPAP days. Once I get another dozen or so peeled off, I should be able to get on the transplant list. Then, it is goodbye cramps, dialysis and hello freedom from tubes and needles. Oh..and this summer, yours truly is getting back on a horse. It's only been about 30 plus years. It oughta be interesting, really , really interesting.  All I can say is..Film at 11.
           PS...I also need to go to a professional photographer and get some decent head shots. In trying to find a fair at best photo of me for this blog..these are a small sample of all I had to work with.
Me digging in septic tank
       
me, impersonating Santa in cemetery


       
Conditioner, STAT!!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Not easy being me...

          Happy New Year to all 16 of my followers! And all those really bored Russian people that have started reading my blog lately. No, really! I can see the stats of where in the world my blog has been read and it is fascinating. Remember the kid show "Where in the world is Carmen Santiago?" or whatever it was called? I have my own version..."Where in the world is Carmen Horton being laughed at." Pretty sure it is only because I mention the word "flannel", as in "flannel nightgowns" in one of my posts, and God knows the Russian folks can use good flannel. Once they find my blog, they are unable to tear themselves away from the MANY lovely photos I have posted and are stuck there...well, until they have read 16 pages anyway.
Can you Have too many flannel nightgowns?? NYET!!
          I digress already. Here I am for what has turned into my semi annual blog post. Not sure why I can't just plunk down and type a few words randomly, every few days. I mean, I am busy, that is very true. But ole Ree Drummond, AKA Pioneer Woman blogs several times a week, and she has this gazillion dollar empire she has to manage too. I have a $17.87 empire to manage, and can only seem to blog every six months. I am pretty sure however, I have to manage things that she has pawned off on her hired staff however, freeing up several hours a week to blog from her much newer, can almost do everything itself computer. Let me give you a few examples and you can get a better understanding of why blogging is so tough for CC Horton.
Don't even get me started on my beauty routine..
         Example number one! Someone has to cook and clean. Ree does lots of cooking, but I am willing to bet most of it is done on her Food Network show. The rest of the time, I bet she has help or just eats all the stuff the rest of the week that she cooked on her show. I have to go to the store on almost a daily basis because I never have the ingredients for ANYTHING I try to make. I could try and make a bowl of crackers and milk for lunch and be out of crackers. Or milk. Or both. Off to the store I go. Time consuming. I always seem to end up at FOOD CITY (Where America shops!), and even though I employ their one and only auto buggy, it takes awhile to get stuff done. Firstly, I have to recover from plunking my butt down on said go buggy, as I call it, because they park it just inside the doors where the carts are. It has been two weeks of record setting cold here in Maine, and while it may not be -25 degrees just inside those sliding doors, it ain't much warmer. My butt goes instantly numb the moment it hits that cold plastic seat, and I have to wait until I can feel my cheeks again before I can safely operate it, or I might slide off, having lost my "gripping " power, due to numbness.
         Once I manage to get inside, I try and get what I need quickly and get out. This in itself can be trouble, because I've been known to swing out the end of the aisle kinda wide sometimes, knocking over stuff like ohhh, I don't know...wine displays. Liam was with me the other day when that very thing occurred, and yelled out "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!!", in a strange Irish brogue. I thought I had happened upon an Irish Spring commercial or something, but no. It was just a mortified teenager. We had to set up all the wine bottles that had fallen over, and when I say we, I of course mean Liam. See what I mean..time consuming.
Ummm..I outdid myself with these
          Don't even get me going on cleaning. Holy smoke, no really! We are currently in winter heating mode, which in this old farmhouse means- wood stove, pellet stove, and oil. Smoke, dust, wood pieces, bark and kibble are everywhere. Remember a couple blogs ago where I was cleaning, and painting and reveling in how white and tidy my house was looking after the spring housecleaning marathon? I swear, it's like I haven't done a thing. Dust coats radiators and furniture..hair from mostly refusing to go outside dogs and definitely not going outside cats. Don't get me started on the toddler prints on all my windows. At -20 degrees, no animal or human wants to go outside, and so we all hunker inside, and make messes. I try and stay ahead of it, but yeah..not so much. Spring and housecleaning is coming...I've only got 4 months to try and keep dust bunnies to a minimum, and if you know bunnies, you know how they like to  "reproduce". It is amazing I blog at all honestly.
"We're not messy mom, we promise"
          Not that I don't have other things to distract me from blogging besides cooking and cleaning. Said toddler, my granddaughter Milly, is here daily and she and Granny have stuff they have to do. Like, for example..rubbing on hand cream. Daily. If it weren't for all the aforementioned cooking and cleaning, I would have the softest hands going. We also have to "eat eat" as she calls it, where we make her breakfast. More cooking. She likes to take a bath in Granny's kitchen sink, although at over 2 she is now almost too big to fit. We still fold her up and let her soak, spray water, and splash. She keeps Granny very busy, again limiting my blogging capabilities.
Helping Granny wash dishes..sort of
           Once in a great while, I get off the farm for fun, which is great, but blog hindering as well. Milly, her mom and I went to see good old Santa at the Portland Mall a week before Christmas. We did a bit of shopping before going to the mall. Granny needed new britches and Momma wanted stuff from a couple stores near the mall. We drove down in my mother's van, which has a dvd player to keep SOMEONE amused on the hour long trip. Now, I am not really used to her van, which has a lot more 'bells and whistles' then my old ford. All the doors on the van open with buttons on the key chain which can take some getting used to.
           We got out at the mall, and I opened the door behind the drivers seat to help Brogan get Milly changed and out of the van for our meeting with Santa. I hit the close button, and heard Bro hollering "STOP! STOP THE DOOR!" I turned back, and watched as the automatic door made quick work of a loaf of bread that had the misfortune of falling into the way of the closing door. Half the loaf was on the outside of the car, the other half disappearing out of sight as the door closed up, pinching the  bread in half. I managed to save it by sticking my arm inside the remaining space. Not the BEST way to stop the door, but it worked, and I only had a slight bruise.
           We got the bread in, my arm out, Milly out, and got ready to go into the mall. I clicked the 'lock all doors" button, and we went inside. Naturally, we entered the mall the furthest distance possible from where Santa was located, so after what seemed to be an hours march, we finally came to the Winter Wonderland and the jolly fat man himself.
Telling Santa how much she can't wait to meet him..or not,,
           Santa was set up in an area with several kid friendly displays. Toy trains, coloring stations, a Tv playing 24/7 Christmas shows, a photo booth, and ole Santa himself on a big chair waiting to meet children. To get to all this however, we had to walk across blindingly white, shiny floors. Poor Milly. Apparently, we need to get her out more, well, maybe just out of Granny's less then spotless house, because she was terrified of walking on a floor that shiny. Seriously, would NOT walk on the floor. I admit, it was pretty white and highly polished. Showoffs. Poor little chickie. She had to be carried by Momma or she just froze and whimpered, afraid to step on the floor, which was nothing compared to when she saw Santa.
           Now this kid has been eating, breathing, watching, talking about and dancing with Santa for weeks. She loves him, loves reindeer, snowmen and the whole nine yards. Seeing a REAL SANTA, different story. We managed to get her to high five him, and kind of sit near him, sort of,  for .5 seconds before she burst into tears. Good times. Did manage to get one photo where she was only sort of teary, and decided to go.
"Stay away Santa.."
            "BYE SANTA!", Milly yelled happily, as she left the Winter Wonderland, carried by her mother because the floors were just WAY too clean. Next year, I bet she will love him. This year, he was great...from afar. I decided to wait for Brogan at a closer exit, while she and Milly hoofed it back the way we came in to grab the car.
            I didn't have too long to wait until they pulled up, Bro laughing and laughing in the driver's seat.
            "What?" I asked, as I slide into the seat beside her. Apparently, when she walked out of the mall to get the car, she headed toward the van, and thought "who's car is that? Where is our van?"
She was confused because, the van she was looking at had the tailgate up, like someone was loading or unloading the trunk.
              "OH MY GOD!" she yelled, sprinting across parking lot, Milly bouncing in her arms, when she realized, YES it was our van, and YES I had hit the "open tailgate" button, instead of the "lock all doors" button. She ran to the back of the van, hardly daring to look and see if anything at all was left inside. Luckily, EVERYTHING was there, all the bags, my jeans, squished bread loaf, everything. I said I bet any criminal was like.."yeah, that's a bait car, I'm not touching that stuff." Apparently, Milly isn't the only one that needs to get out more. Perhaps I better take my own wheels though. Yep, pretty sure I should.
               Christmas and all it's preparations was a very busy time, and also a "can't even think about blogging" time of year. I think Ree managed it. I don't know how. She also gives away lots of cool stuff on her blog. I think I need to start doing that. I think maybe it would help me blog more often, if I had a lot more blog readers. I think my first offering will be..ohhhh, I don't know...how about a pinched in half loaf of bread? That kind of thing is bound to get me more blog readers, THUS making me want to blog more. Or not.
Squeeky Snowman

               I know..A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION! That will do it. Okay, I hereby resolve to write in my blog AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR. No, wait..that was last years resolution. I hereby resolve to write in my blog MONTHLY for 2018! Whoa...that's big. Wish me luck Russia!! I'm gonna need it! Now, to go scrub my floors a blinding white..........................................