Every Thanksgiving after our dinner at Cracker Barrel - Isa, Dawn and I head out Early Black Friday Shopping.This year we really did not have much on our list to buy.
We went to Ulta – Isa’s favorite store. Then we headed to Michael's for f crafting items, then onto Big Lots.
While checking out Big Lots Isa my 16 year old granddaughter sees this
PINK Christmas TreeShe loved the PINK
tree!I was like no way!!! Isa asked “Nana do you think they will have the
tree in stock?”I say “of course they
will. Who wants a PINK tree?”
Well guess what!Nana
was WRONG – The PINK tree is the most popular tree in 2019.They were sold out and so was every Big Lots
in a 100 mile radius.Isa was heart
broken.Dawn, my daughter told her to go
ask if she can purchase the display tree.Isa took off to find the sales clerk that helped her look for the tree. She
found him – he went to the store manager - the store manager said “Sure” - Isa
was able to buy the PINK tree floor model.
Isa owned a PINK Christmas Tree!
After Big lots we headed to Michael's to find ornaments that Isa thought would be pretty on her tree.A hour later Isa had a basket full of
I don’t know about you –but I love the holidays.I love everything about them.Over the years the most important thing I have
“Don’t Stress the Small Stuff”.
What about those family traditions that have been around for
years and years? They no longer fit into your life style – it is time to start new traditions.
Here are a few easy ways to make the holidays stress free:
I hate to cook – so making a huge turkey
dinner was extremely stressful for me.It took me about 30 years to realize no one really cared where we
ate.About 10 years ago we decided to
have our Thanksgiving Dinner at Cracker Barrel.We love it!!! My grandkids think this is the only way to correctly
celebrate Thanksgiving.We turned a long
time tradition (my mother – my grandmother) all cooked Thanksgiving
Dinner into our own tradition.Some say to me – that is terrible
you expect people to have to work so you can enjoy your Thanksgiving
Dinner.Well let me tell you the staff
at Cracker Barrel are fighting for hours on Thanksgiving.Every year our waitress or waiter has told me
they love working Thanksgiving. They are only allowed to work 4 hours because
so many staff want to work. Last year’s waitress told me she is a single mother
and she earns enough in tips during the 4 hours that she totally pays for
Christmas for her family.She was so thankful
that we have make Cracker Barrel our tradition Now I am not sure what my Grand-kids are going
to do if they get married or if Cracker Barrel closes. Guess it will be time
for them to make their own traditions.If they want to change when they get married and have a family - count
this Nana into their plans. Nothing in my life is set in stone.
Set spending limits and stick to them.My spending limits change from year to year,
just like my life.
Make your gifts – I start thinking about what
gift I am going to make right after the holidays. My gifts are small but they
are made with love.
Let someone else do the cooking – this year I am
ordering hot beef as the main course.Each person has a favorite side: green bean casserole – mac n cheese –
mashed potatoes – cheesy hash brown casserole and ice cream cake. So every year
I buy the main entrée and make the sides.Saves me lots of time.
Cookies – every year I used to make cookie –
fudge – all kinds of treats. Everyone loved them but they do not miss
them.Instead of taking all kinds of
homemade sweets to my daughter’s family – I started buying boxes of fruit from
the local high school band.For the
last 7 years I have been taking a box of grapefruit, apples, oranges, and pears
to my daughter’s home about 2 weeks before Christmas.My grandchildren LOVE it!!My daughter is an excellent cook and they
always have plenty to eat. Her cupboards are always stocked with sweet, snacks,
and fruit.The fruit is the biggest hit –
no idea why – maybe because it is only a Christmas thing?
Say “NO” – I plan my Christmas outings.I try not to overdue and I always keep days
just for me. Saying “YES” to everything is extremely dangerous – many times you
can overbook yourself and that is a definite STRESS builder.
I always send Christmas cards to my family and
close friends.I start the week of
Thanksgiving placing the cards on the counter in my card box – in
things in the kitchen I will fill out a card and sit it in a pile. Before you
know it I have all my cards ready for mailing. Makes it much easier than
sitting down and trying to do them all at once.
Even Diesel dresses up for the holidays. He makes a very cute reindeer.
These are just a few of my ways to make the holidays less
stressful and more enjoyable.Please
remember no one expects perfection. NO ONE!!!
If someone does – maybe delete them from you holiday list!!!
Crazy weather in Wisconsin.So far this November we are the coldest and snowiest on record.Nice huh!Well one good thing - I no longer have to wonder what kind of winter
we are going to have.We are going to
have a LONG winter!!!
To make winter go by fast I like to plan trips.
January it is New Orleans for 4 days – just enough warm
weather to help me through the never ending month of February.
April a two week trip to warm Alabama – each April I head
out to a place that is warm. Camping and kayaking with family and friends for 2
weeks.We pick a park and stay there for
14 days.It is great to stay in one
place for 14 days – you get to know the area and kind of live like a local. Plus, it gives us a jump start to Spring!
June – my grandson and I are camping on the shores of Lake
Superior for a week.We are so
excited!I am even ordering us
ultraviolet flashlights to help us find Michigan Yooperlites rocks. Camping, biking, hiking, and just enjoying nature - life is good!!!
July – week of camping and kayaking in central Wisconsin with
family and friends.
I still have August – September – October to plan – where should
I go? I’m still deciding. I do know I want to venture to Pennsylvania in the
fall.Not sure when!
Are you a adventure planner? I am - I find that I enjoy life more if I plan and organize adventures. Gives me something to look forward to.
If you are not a planner - give it a try! Start small - a day trip is always FUN!!
Thirty years ago if you would of told me that I would buy a Adult Tricycle I would of said "Are you crazy?" Well, here I am 66 years old and I have a new shiny blue tricycle to ride and I'm as excited as a bug in a rug! There were three reasons I wanted a tricycle: 1.My balance is terrible. I have psoriasis inside my ears causing my balance to be off. 2. I have a Smooth Fox Terrier that is my bestest buddy and I wanted to be able to take him on my biking adventures. Diesel is not the well behaved dog you see - he is a barking hyper terrier. Yes, a terrorist terrier! I needed a bike was was stable so I could pay a lot of attention to Diesel and less attention to balancing. 3. I want to be able to take my bike Jeep Camping. The Fold-able Tricycle checked off each of my reasons. I had never heard of a folding tricycle until my brother showed me a pic while we were camping at Manistique, Michigan this past August. I thought what the heck this just might be my answer. Once I got home I started checking out bike shops in my area. I was drawing a blank finding a bike shop that even carried tricycles let alone fold-able tricycles. I got tried of driving to bike shops so I started emailing shops. No luck! One day in September I was headed to Culver's for some custard. While stopped at the only stop light in downtown Mukwonago, Wisconsin I noticed there was a bike shop named Won-A-Go Biking and there was a tricycle in the window! What the heck!!! The next day I headed to the shop to find out all about the "Tricycle in the Window!!" Kind of like the "Doggie in the Window" Once inside the small bike shop the clerk got the bike out of the window. It was a Sun Tricycle - but it did not fold. I needed a fold-able. :( Then the clerk began to tell me she was sorry they do not carry fold-able tricycles but if I ordered one - they would gladly assemble it for me and adjust the bike for my size. She also told me that if needed they could do repairs on the tricycle! I asked her a few questions about the tricycles I had researched and she gave me her honest professional opinion on which to look at and which to avoid. I had researched fold-able tricycles and the Kent Westport kept scoring high on all review sites. The bike had what I wanted and folding was very easily. The only issue I had with the Westport was that it was a single speed. I was unsure if I wanted a 3 speed or if the single would work for me. The clerk stated that a Kent bike is a good bike and if needed they could add 3 speed to the bike!
The best price I could find for the Kent Westport was Amazon. Being a Prime Member with FREE shipping it made the sale even sweeter. My shiny Blue Westport was ordered and on it's way to a new happy home. It took about 9 days for the bike to arrive. Arrived on a Monday and on Tuesday morning I was at the bike shop with my huge box of tricycle parts. The wait for the call to pick up the bike seemed to take weeks - when in fact it was only days.
Today, I picked up my new tricycle - I named her Almira from the Wizard of Oz movie. Won-A-Go Biking adjusted the seat and handlebars - showed me how to fold her and off I went. She fits perfect in the back of my Jeep.
She folds almost completely in half. Making storage much easier.
Once I got home I took a trip around the apartment complex. Let me tell you - I definitely need to get in shape for Spring. I am positive I have used muscles that have not been moving in 30 years!!
Good thing I have a huge underground parking garage that I will be able to bike in during the day while the majority of people are working. Because I will need all the practice I can get before heading out with friends and family in April. We are taking a three week camping trip to Alabama - I always go in April so I can get a jump start on Spring!