Friday, December 7, 2018

Five Things for Friday

Besides Christmas and all the wonderful festivities and traditions around it, here are five things I'm looking forward to in December! 

1. Going to the Newport mansions and seeing them decked out for the holidays. I've always wanted to do this!

2. Going to see Boston Ballet's world-famous production of The Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House. It really is the best, and I haven't seen it in ten years. The boys aren't very excited but they won't be disappointed (and if they are then they are no sons of mine! 😉).

3. We're going on vacation to my favorite city--New York City--after Christmas!

We'll be staying near Rockefeller Center...

One of my dream alternate lives is to be a Manhattan girl, and this is one of the reasons.

4. There are some good movies coming out this month that I want to see:

I don't think Mary Poppins Returns will be as good as the original (especially since they're using NONE of the music from it--seriously!?) but I like Emily Blunt and it looks like it will be good.

I admit it, I want to see Aquaman. I'm fascinated by the idea of people living underwater a la The Little Mermaid, only as humans instead of mer-people (that would have solved most of Ariel's problems!). I know, it makes no sense, that's why it's fantasy, but if I were a good fiction/fantasy writer I like to think that I'd have written a whole book series about it by now. I'll go and see this movie instead.

I think Holmes & Watson looks soooo funny! The trailer shows a scene where they're taking a selfie with Queen Victoria and it still has me giggling. I'm a longtime Sherlock Holmes fan and I don't mind a good spoof of it, especially when Holmes is played by the very funny Will Ferrell (a.k.a. Buddy the Elf!).  

5. Another thing I'm looking forward to about December is that it means that this long, hard, infernal year is almost over. Finally! I won't miss 2018 at all; it was mostly 👎.   

One more for good luck! I'm looking forward to the much hoped for occurrence of snowstorms--at least one--as long as they don't interfere with any of the above activities!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Five Things for Friday

My blog is still broken. 😖 Help!

1. On Monday, Boo Boo and Violet had a vet appointment--at our house! Our new vet goes to people's houses and does everything there! It's awesome and it saves so much hassle and time, as well as a great deal of anxiety for the dogs (especially Boo Boo, who can be such a baby 😆). That said, I still miss our vet office in Iowa; I was friendly with the vet we saw the most and also with the owner.

2. I'm tired of Joanna Gaines. I have nothing against her personally, I'm just tired of seeing her everywhere. I'm sure she and her husband are very nice people, but I don't like that they're so trendy and all over the place right now, and I dislike their rustic farmhouse-y style, so I mostly ignore the too-big section at Target that's devoted to their merchandise because I don't like hardly any of it. And I sigh with exasperation at the repeated storylines I see about silly things like why she was happy her daughter wrote on the bathroom sink, or the fancy stroller she got for her baby, or that she put her second Christmas tree in an unusual place. 
Sorry, I've been wanting to get that off my chest for awhile. I feel better now! #rantover

3. Yesterday I finished designing our Christmas cards and got them all ordered. There were two that I especially liked. (And then there were two...) One of them had gold foil lettering and I liked it the best overall, but the other one had warmer colors and a font that I adored but for some reason it wasn't an option to use it on the first card. They both had similar layouts, and I wish I could have combined what I liked best about both cards into one ideal card. 😕 But that wasn't possible (get on it, Shutterfly!) so I made the big decision with the helpful input of my mom's opinion.
BTW, Shutterfly, your design and ordering process should be updated and streamlined! It's not as easy and informative and fun as it should be.
If I haven't sent you a card before and you'd like one, let me know! I'd be happy to send you one!

4. My great discovery of the week was Minty Mallows from Trader Joe's. They're so good. I really like the combination of dark chocolate and marshmallow with a little mint thrown in. They're dangerously delicious!

Silly boy!

*Apparently, I can post pictures that were taken on my phone, but not pictures from my real camera. What the...?! I repeat, help!

5. I got a new Yankee Candle for the season and its "Aromatic Orange & Evergreen" scent is lovely.

Weekend plans: Getting a massage. 💆 Getting our Christmas tree. 🎄 Decorating the house and the tree. 🎄 Dinner out with Peter. 🍴 The First Presidency Christmas Devotional. 👍

I'm looking forward to December, one of my favorite months of the year!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Five Things for Friday

1. As you can probably deduce by my lack of posts over the last week, I still haven't gotten the problem fixed in which my blog will no longer upload photos. I've been pretty busy with other things anyway, and will continue to be for the next couple of weeks, but I'm falling behind in my catch-up schedule and I don't like it! I'm really hoping that Peter will work his old IT magic from our college days and help me get this fixed when he's home next week. Because a blog without pictures is like a night without stars. Ha ha ha (but really, it kind of is!). #bringbackthepictures

Well look at that! The hashtag worked--a picture was brought back! Apparently I can still upload clip-art and internet pictures, just not my photos. ❓❗ I'm offended by my blog.

2. I've followed the news about the California wildfires closely over the past week, and it breaks my heart. I've literally cried while watching the news footage and reading articles and seeing pictures of what's happened out there. I feel so bad for the people and families and children and pets who have lost their homes and their communities. I can't even imagine losing your house and all of your possessions like that. Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary from the world, and that's gone for thousands of people. I know that it's the saving of people's lives that really matters, but it's still a major tragedy to lose so much. 

I'm terrified of fire, more than any of the other natural elements. It's incredibly powerful and all-consuming and destructive and HOT and deadly. I never want to live in California, never, never, never. It's beautiful (in parts), but it's a plague-ridden state--wildfires, earthquakes, mudslides, tsunami risk, drought, heat, poor air quality, no four seasons (except maybe in the north), liberal as thank you. We had the opportunity to move to CA years ago for the solar company that Peter is a part of. I'm so glad we didn't. My dad is from CA and his sister's family still lives in the house he grew up in in a town outside of L.A. California is fun to visit, but like I said, I'll never live there. 

3. My mom and I went to see Disney's new Nutcracker movie (since the guys of my family weren't interested 😞. Where's my missing daughter(s) when I need her?). I thought it was very nicely done and I really enjoyed it. I don't know why it hasn't done better in the movie rankings. It's a mystery to me why some genuinely good movies do poorly and others that are junk do so well. 🤷

(The owl!!)

Speaking of The Nutcracker, yesterday I bought tickets to Boston Ballet's Nutcracker for December. It's a long-standing favorite of mine that I haven't gotten to see in ten years! And yes, the guys of my family will be attending. And they're gonna like it!! Because Boston Ballet makes it magical and does it right! (They better at that price! 😱)

4. Speaking of Christmas things, it's NOT too early for Christmas music and I've been loving the new Hallmark Christmas Channel on Sirius Radio. It's Channel 70. You're welcome!

5. Still speaking of Christmas things, I want THIS advent calendar for December:

And I'm going to read THIS book for the holiday season:

Hazel Gaynor is a historical fiction author who I like, and I think this book is especially appropriate since we just celebrated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I (it's a novel of WWI, at Christmastime in Paris, apparently). 

I'm hoping to get our Christmas tree one week from today, the day after what will hopefully be a splendid Thanksgiving feast with my family at our new house!

I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Murphy's Law

I'm afraid a small tragedy has befallen my blog. Last week when I was putting together a post, all of a sudden it would no longer let me upload pictures because of a server rejection. In my ten years of blogging, that has never happened. I've tried multiple times since then to upload again, in different browsers and everything, and I posted in the somewhat useless Blogger help forums and still haven't been able to get it fixed. So, I'm working on it, and if I don't get it figured out then hopefully Peter will be able to when he's home next week. He's saved my blog from nearly certain doom in the past, so why not again? 🙏

Just as I was getting on track with getting all caught up on the blog here--and I was even ahead of schedule--this happens. But I shouldn't be surprised, because it goes along with how hard this year has been in different ways, some of them significant and others not as big but still bothersome. 2018, I won't be sad when you're done and gone! (Famous last words? I hope not!)

I can still post on the blog, as you can see here, I just can't post pictures. Since at least 90% of my blog posts are picture-based, this poses a problem, so I won't be posting as much until this gets fixed, but I'll still do some posts, like Five Things for Friday. So dry your eyes, at least you'll have that to tide you over until The DSJ is back up and running again at full capacity! 🤞

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

November 2017 Randoms

To begin with, a few blasts from the recent past as far as my blog posts are concerned...

My favorite spot in the house. Look at that beautiful tree filling up the window! I loved that tree and that view, especially in the fall.

Boo Boo used Sam's taco costume as a bed again. Cozy cozy!

Violet got in on that a little bit too.

Putting away the Halloween decorations. 

And putting up the Thanksgiving decorations.

Beautiful (and expensive) owls

I think this turned out to be the last time we busted out the bounce house before we moved.

Sam designed this cool "grim reaper hand"

A pretty November sunset

I ordered these books for myself from John's Scholastic book order. I've always liked book orders (and the books that they bring!).

I caught Boo Boo mid-yawn and thought it was cute. He looks like he's rocking out. 😂

By the end of the month, Brian our elf had magically re-appeared from the North Pole!

Sam was really into rocks and geodes at this time last year. Iowa's state rock just happens to be the geode. I think it's really cool that geodes look like plain rocks on the outside, but on the inside they're sparkly and beautiful. It just goes to show once again that the conventional wisdom is correct--don't judge a book by its cover!

I got a kick out of this article in The Wall Street Journal about the Hallmark Channel. It's one of my favorite channels, and I enjoy their Christmas movies, which are sometimes cheesy but always sweet.

This particular line cracked me up: "Snowy epiphanies about what really matters." 😄
That's a classic "hallmark" of Hallmark Christmas movies!

Peter and I went to an Orchestra Iowa concert and there was a cellist who resembled Ross Poldark!
Do you see him? Middle row, second one in. The cellist behind him sports a decent resemblance to the dark and handsome Poldark as well!

My dad and I went to the movies to see "Murder on the Orient Express." It didn't disappoint!

And there were two new Hot Cocoa food products that I had to try. 
They were both tasty treats, but of the two, I liked the Hot Cocoa Cocoa Puffs better!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Autumn Day

I took these pictures on a beautiful crisp November Saturday last year in the backyard.

Boys in a tree

Boy in a leaf pile

Helping my dad to re-hang the ninja line to a different tree.

I like the little windblown leaf at the top of this photo...

And the doggies.

It was a beautiful autumn day!