Friday, December 31, 2021


We had this up earlier but then I took it down to have a post about the passing of Betty White HERE.

2021 was determined to go out on a negative note...

We don't know about you all but dang, 2021 FLEW BY.  We were perusing some of our memories of the last year and we don't know where the time went.  There were some things that we said "oh that was two years ago right?  No it was a few months ago, ha.  2021 was truly just a blur.

But here we are, New Year's Eve 2021...after the year we've all had...

...yeah, where do we find this?

We'll admit this took us a moment but it's a good one when you get it. We hope 2022 is indeed much better for the world than 2020 was or even 2021 as it ends.

We don't go out and celebrate we stay in.  Even without a raging pandemic, we are well past the age limit for large crowds of people, ha.  Plus, nothing good ever happens on the roads at night on New Year's Eve.  Better to stay home and be safe.

Our traditional meal is lasagna.  2nd Man will be making that (a béchamel version that I love) and I'll be making a broccoli salad that he loves, some garlic bread and as this posts, he finished a cherry pie.

Y'all stay safe and here's to 2022 and whatever awaits us, hopefully good things.


 We had a New Year's Eve post up and then we got the breaking news about the passing of beloved television icon Betty White...

What a national treasure.  She was beautiful and talented and funny and graceful...and she probably touched every generation back to our Grandparents and even Great Grandparents in some cases.  She was a fixture on television in practically every decade...

And her passion for animals and animal welfare made her even more of an amazing person.  2021 is going out on such a sad note.  

RIP Betty White, there is some laughing going on in Heaven right now and we hope she is surrounded by happy animals so excited to see her...

Wednesday, December 29, 2021


Well first of all, this is an unsponsored post, we bought this on our own to try it out after watching a show about them.  We decided to try something new...


Collin Street Fruitcake

This is supposed to be one of the best and a Texas tradition, made in the same place since 1896.  Apparently they are also shipped all over the world as well.  We figured we should try one of the top ones.

Fruitcake tin

It comes in this tin that has some fun imagery on it, somewhat North and wintery but then a cowboy in front of the Alamo and a Lone Star.

OK, that's definitely Texas.


It comes wrapped and sealed in plastic, still in the baking paper instead of a foil container.  They say it's best to slice through the paper and wipe the knife after each slice so that's exactly what we did.

Pretty fruitcake slice

It's definitely good looking, well, as fruitcakes go or so we've heard...because, you see, neither of us has ever had fruitcake!  This was a new experience for us.  We figured we should try what's supposed to be among the best in the country.

Verdict?  It's good/OK.  Again, no frame of reference for how it should taste but I liked it.  2nd Man found it to be a bit too much though.  It was sweet but the flavor was lacking.  Or maybe it's just not what we were expecting.  It just didn't jump out and go "oh my this is the best thing ever".  He said he was expecting a brandy or other flavoring.  I heard the jokes over the years about how fruitcakes weigh like bricks. They do.

My Grandmother used to make something called "dateloaf" (a kind of candy).  The "cake part" of this fruitcake reminded me of that, minus the fruit of course (and hers was better, ha).  I ate a few slices over a couple of days, 2nd Man had one or two with coffee and then I took the rest to share at work.

Overall, we found it to be a dense and very heavy cake (as they are known to be) and a little of it goes a long way.  We know there are many varieties out there, including one made by some Monks at a monastery that's famous too, so we won't give up on them.  We'll keep trying.  Maybe we can even find a good homemade recipe for 2nd Man to try.

What about you? Do you like fruitcakes?  Have a favorite brand?  Have a great family recipe you're willing to secretly email to us to try out, ha!

Monday, December 27, 2021


Went to the farm to continue the "Spring cleaning" that became "Fall cleaning" and is now "Winter cleaning".

Focused on the bedrooms but not quite finished because the electricity in half the house has stopped working.  I went to the electrical box to check all the circuit breakers.  There is one tripped but no matter what I did to turn it off and back on, it wouldn't catch.  It was getting a bit loose after messing with it and I decided it wasn't worth my life to keep that up, ha.

  Last week though, we mentioned that the living room had been done but I forgot to get pictures.  So here are some for new readers who wondered what it looks like.

Standing in the kitchen doorway looking into the living room, this is what you see.  Straight ahead where the light is coming through windows is the foyer/front door that we posted pictures of the desk last week.  That desk is on the other side of the wall where the bookcase is.  To the left is the entrance to the master bedroom.

Walking over to the spot in front of the bookcases, we are looking back to where I was standing to take the first picture.  That is the entrance into the kitchen and the guest room, the open doorway to the right is the entrance into the master bedroom (and that door you see there is the closet).

Looking the other direction you can see the rest of the living room.  Those two windows look out onto the porch.  It's a small living room but it's comfortable.

We probably aren't going to worry about the electrical now. We don't need to put money into something that will be redone anyway and there is no heat or a/c anyway to turn on.  We can use a couple of the outlets in those rooms if needed, it's more the overhead lighting and ceiling fans that don't work.

And next week, pictures of the bedrooms.  Next post will be a garden update.

Sunday, December 26, 2021


Why does it seem to take forever for Christmas to get here and then it's over in the blink of an eye?  Yet here we are, one day after Christmas and one day closer to the end of the year...but Sunday means good food and Hobart pictures...

Yesterday we had some yummy ham, homemade mac and cheese and some roasted broccolini...

A couple of glasses of Santa approved Apothic Rosé...

And 2nd Man made a pecan pie for dessert!

Hobart had a good Christmas...his new toys are now scattered about the apartment like discarded Christmas wrappings in the wind.  But at least he had fun.

And of course, the star of the weekend post, here's Hobart...wondering where all the presents have gone.

Hope you all have had a great weekend!

Saturday, December 25, 2021


We wish you a Merry Christmas and of course Happy Holidays to you whatever you celebrate.  We appreciate all of you, friends we've just never met in person.  

Whataburger nutcrackers

And I was reminded by 2nd Man that over the last couple of days of Christmas decorating pictures (click HERE and HERE if you missed them) I forgot to show you our two nutcrackers.  These were special limited editions that came out from the burger chain "Whataburger".  It is a sort of Texas institution when it comes to fast food hamburgers and they have all sorts of branded merchandise for fans.

After we get up, we'll open gifts, have some breakfast, probably take a nap and then our Christmas dinner will be one of our faves, ham, homemade mac and cheese and roasted broccolini.  Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 24, 2021


As promised yesterday, here is the tree and its decorations.  This tree was another "freebie" from downstairs.  In this case there was a note on it, "free take me, only 316 days until Christmas".  It's a 9' tall pre-lit "just cut evergreen" with 700 lights.

We put this large wire woven star on the the top...

...and our favorite tree skirt, a furry "Santa" style at the bottom for the presents.  

Here it is with some of our ornaments on it.  The neat thing about this tree is that you turn it on and it is all white lights like this...

...and when you push the button again, they all change to multicolored lights!  Some nights we leave it white, other nights we change to the colors, depending on what we're in the mood for.

We only used a couple of our ornament storage boxes. It's not all of them but it was enough on this tree.  With it being in the corner, the entire backside is empty because no one will ever see that.

If you enlarge the photos above you can see the ornaments but here are few ornaments we took up close pictures of with some backstories.

Here's one of our earliest ornaments.  It's a Y2K (remember that? ha) millennium ornament, a champagne bottle on ice with the year 2000 listed.

I have a love of dolphins and so we have several of those on the tree...

We have the Kremlin in Russia and still in storage, a great pyramid and the Taj Mahal.  They are so sparkly and very colorful.

There are astronauts...

and robots...

and aliens in flying saucers!

There is Santa in his sleigh on a rooftop...

and the Titanic sinking in 1912.

The first Christmas after 9/11 we got this "Santa fireman" and "Snowman policeman" to honor the first responders from that day.

This is an Uncle Sam Santa with a Statue of Liberty 'charm' attached.

We have cute snowmen...

And traditional Santas...

Even a teddy bear or two.  

We have a tradition to exchange ornaments every year and that's where we got most of them but some have extra special meaning...

Like this little guy!  A well dressed pig purchased for the farm by a dear friend who knew exactly what to get...

We also have the traditional pickle that gets hidden somewhere in the tree.  This was given to us by another friend who has since passed away...

Look at this one!  A red barn with a green tractor beside it!  We got this one when we first purchased the farm.  It was too cute to pass up...

These two are very special.  We keep them up near the top because they represent our kitties that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  One is a black and white cat to remember Sydney and the other is a striped cat to remember Brisbane.

Then at the very top is this pink poodle.  My Mom had gotten an old school silver aluminum tree and she was going to decorate it with ornaments that were a 50's retro style.  We got her this pink poodle because, well, 1950's, ha.  She didn't get to put it up but we put it at the top of the tree for her.  And yes, we still have the aluminum tree.  It will definitely make an appearance one of these Christmases.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 23, 2021


 A few weeks back we mentioned that we were finally decorating more for Christmas than we have in recent years.  I had promised some pictures and wanted to post them closer to Christmas.

So for today, here are some of the things we've done:

Outdoor Christmas wreath

The outside of the front door.  This great wreath made by one of my coworkers and given to us as a Christmas gift a couple of years back.

Indoor Christmas wreath

Here is another wreath on the inside of the door.  I mean, when you only have a wreath on the outside, you want to enjoy something pretty from the inside, right?

Christmas tins

On our coffee/tea/water cabinet, we put these tins and each has coffee and tea in it and the bear on top has sugars and sweeteners inside of that.  It's fun to do this for the holidays and enjoy the splash of color.

Christmas boxes

This is the top of the water dispenser and these boxes have some wrapped cookies, candy and other snacks and treats.  It's a great spot since it's next to the coffee/tea and the kitchen.


We have always LOVED poinsettias, but of course having cats in the household all these years meant we couldn't have the real thing, so we opt for artificial.  This is a nice size bouquet that we put in a wooden vase and it sits on top of the wine fridge.

Large artificial poinsettias

These two are amazing.  They are HUGE and in metal planters.  They have nice weight felt/velvet type flower petals.  These were actually "Trash to Treasure" finds a few years back.  Crazy that someone disposed of them but hey, they look awesome to us so we'll take them and enjoy them every holiday season from now on.

Needlepoint stockings

Our stockings are hung on the china hutch with care...ha!  Without a fireplace it was the next best place.  These are really pretty needlepoint stockings that we bought years ago.  The stocking hangers on top are fun because they are chunky, heavy, folk art style renderings of Santa and a snowman.

We use these stockings for small gifts...

Fuzzy stockings

...and these "Santa style" stockings are for any edible gifts like chocolate and chocolate.  And maybe some chocolate, ha!

Shiny ornaments in jars

These glass vases on our table normally hold other things on occasion but at Christmas, even at the house, we've always filled them with these shiny ornaments.  They sparkle and shine and add such vibrant color.

Rudolph coffee cup

We filled our apothecary jars with bows and candy canes.  The ceramic mug above has a fun backstory.  I got it as part of an "ugly coffee cup exchange" at work a few years back.  While there were some ugly cups (including a ceramic toilet, ha), I got this one and I don't think it's ugly at all.  It's got character and to us, it looks sort of retro.  I think I got lucky.

Don't mess with Rudolph!

Vintage Christmas card holder

Speaking of retro/vintage, this is our card holder for cards that we receive.  It was something my Mom found at a thrift store years ago.  It looks handmade, out of old Christmas cards pieced together and stitched with yarn.  It's just a fun piece.

And lastly for today's photo journey is this...

Vintage Rushton Coca Cola Santa 

This Santa I LOVE.

My grandparents had this under their tree for as long as I can remember.  There are pictures of me laying under the tree hugging this Santa.  He and I had all sorts of Christmas adventures, ha.  He's an antique, from the late 50's, Rushton Co, Coca Cola Santa.  He's still holding the original coke bottle in his hand and you can bend his arm up and put the bottle in his mouth.  His shoes are black patent leather and stitched around the edges.  It's quite the beautiful piece and it's a treasure to us that's probably about 60 years old.  Next to him is a vintage Rudolph stuffed figure, not complete (missing a harness we think) that was acquired a few years after the Santa.  They just seemed to belong together.

Thanks for coming along on the tour, tomorrow a detailed look at our tree...