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Friday, January 27, 2023

Friday Funnies

We're decluttering and downsizing on a regular basis, but it's funny how sometimes we add something quite unexpectedly.

No sooner is a holiday over, that the really deep discounts come out, some starting a day after the holiday is over.

Oddly enough, the item below was the last vestige of Christmas merchandise in the local CVS retail pharmacy. The post-holiday sale shelves had already been cleared of discounted items.

There was nothing else reminiscent of Christmas in the store. After all, the holiday had passed over a month ago, last year. It was time to restock shelves for upcoming holidays.

That's why we couldn't resist a 90% discount — OK, we could have, but didn't. 

This was standing by the candy displays all stocked for Valentine's Day. While it looked out of place, the outfit was the right color. (Santa stands 34 inches tall, the height of a small child.)

Definitely, not something we came to buy; our purpose was vitamins. Are most bargains always unexpected? 

But, 90% off was a big discount, so, after discussing this purchase for 2 minutes, we decided to bring Santa home, someone had to do it. It may be small to see, but the arrow is pointing to the $4.99 final price, down from the original $50 list.

It had started to snow and we had walked downtown, so the sales person provided a large bag as a cover-up for the trip home. Santa is used to winter and, we figured, most likely wouldn't mind.
Now, there's a Christmas trio in the apt. Fred, the talking snowman was a $3 purchase at a Goodwill Thrift Store and the unnamed wooden reindeer was $4 at a flea market. 

Have you also bought anything unexpected recently? If so, please share in a comment.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
Grenville is working a ham radio winter field event this weekend

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Snow❄️At Last

Until this week, winter weather in the form of any measurable snowfall was a non-event in Nashua, NH. That changed within the past week with two snowfalls of a few inches each. 
Last Friday was the first event, a wet snow that clung to tree limbs around the mill apartments.
While I don't know the type of berries on these trees, they reminded me of holiday decorations courtesy of Mother Nature.
The next burst of snow came overnight Sunday and lasted into most of Monday, ending in early evening. We went for a short hike in nearby Mine Falls Park this week.
This snowfall was also a wet one. Many tree limbs and branches remained snow-covered in early afternoon. Several trees retained their autumn leaves. We found that the trails were more snow-covered than expected, regretfully we hadn't brought snow shoes. 
There's another chance for snow again this week starting late tonight and going into Thursday afternoon. This time, if we take a park walk, we'll be sure to bring our snowshoes ☃️.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Friday Funnies

Would you trust these cords?

When traveling, we often see the tops of cars packed with extra essentials like on this one, which falls under the category of things to avoid on the road.
What seemed curious to me were the seemingly light bungee cords that held these in place. 
But as there was a second bungee in the background; hopefully these all held up. 

Yes, we were close enough in traffic for me to take this shot (enlarged for emphasis).
Not behind it while we were both on the same roadway. No need to tempt fate.

As one blogger aptly noted, this is indeed not funny and definitely a possible hazard. 
It had me wondering What was the motorist thinking?

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
Snow ☃️ is in the forecast in parts of NH

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

It's a Bit Late

But, still not too late to ask if you asked for or received Christmas gifts, especially as Valentine and Easter items are now on store shelfs (sigh). Note: this post as updated as some folks were not familiar with a couple of the tech items, and they are not alone.

Like many in our (ahem) age group, we're at the point in our lives where if there's anything we want, it's simply purchased. That said, if there was something special, a well-placed hint to Grenville would be enough to ensure it as a gift. He complains about my not telling him if there's something I want (not need).
Regifted to Grenville

That was the case a few years ago when I mentioned possibly getting Apple AirPods to replace the corded earphones being used in the gym. But, I wasn't sure if they were needed them and then shared this with Grenville. Unbeknown to myself, he had already bought them for me as a gift. Talk about putting the proverbial foot in the mouth.

Apple AirPods are wireless Bluetooth earbuds designed specifically to work with iPhone and iPad. They are wireless versions of the Apple earbuds that used to come standard in a new iPhone box. Newer models no longer have a plus for wired ear sets, leading to the popularity of these devices.

Happily, these turned out to be a really great gift used for several years until I gifted with an upgrade to AirPods Pro on sale. The original AirPods were regifted to Grenville who has been using them on his gym visits — win-win for both of us. These days,while both sets are not the most current, they're still working, and we have no plans to replace them.

My gift from Grenville
This was Grenville's gift to me this year 
 a tire compressor to replace the very much older one that was in my car. It's a handy unit to have in the car. Even though I never specifically mentioned this, I'd been planning to get a newer one.

Here's why, the much older one in my car was used to inflate a low tire last fall, which it did or so we thought. We didn't know that it had somehow caused the tire valve to get stuck and air was slowly leaking out and we found out after the tire went completely flat. (This is when a AAA membership is worth the cost, despite the service wait time.) The flat was replaced with the spare in just over an hour. And, I was not upset about the flat as, after checking my auto records, learned the tires were 7+ years old and overdue for replacement. The next week, I had 4 new tires and now a new tire inflator.

My gifts to Grenville
It as my turn to surprise Grenville with these gifts, who was
 a bit annoyed that no wish list had been provided to him. Really, neither of us did one for Christmas. Anyway, surprises are so much better.

One will be enjoyed now (blueberry jam) and the other will be handy later (air tags). That's because we're going on a much belated anniversary trip. It's needed after an earlier anticipated anniversary trip (Rocky Mountaineer train excursion) was cancelled due to you-know-what. It took months to get trip deposit monies returned. We decided not to reschedule that trip.

Apple AirTags are button-shaped Bluetooth trackers designed to help folks track valuables or often misplaced personal items (keys, backpack, wallet). Increasingly, they have been placed in travel luggage to assist in locating lost bags.

We have a 2023 anniversary trip in the works, so these will come in handy. Our trip is set for a couple of weeks after our August anniversary (details later). Glad we renewed our passports during the pandemic, and can travel for a number of years, starting this year.

My gift to myself was also air tags especially after reading how handy they can be in tracking misguided luggage. The colorful holders shown above came in an 8-pack. We split the color choices and Grenville chose the darker colors.

Gifts from granddaughter
Here's a tip, if you never want to get more of certain items, remember not to let family members know about those things or you certainly will have more of them in the future. 

Case in point, years ago, Grenville owned a John Deere tractor and usually would get holiday and birthday gifts with a JD theme, especially t-shirts. He had an entire wardrobe! Similarly, it may come as no surprise that our collection of frogs and penguins was in various  forms — stuffed toys, figurines, signs. Most of these, but not all, were donated when we moved from VA to NH. Some favorites relocated with us, for example, the large cement penguin and frog below. This pair formerly graced our front porch, and now stand sentry outside our apt.

Now, there's more penguins. Granddaughter Ellie gifted us with this penguin pair and a glass penguin ornament. These two have joined the other frogs and penguins.

Admittedly, it is getting a bit populated in this area. However all seem to be getting along with the snowmen (shown in last week's post) taking over residence on the shelf above, aside from this welcoming one.
Assortment of frogs and penguins on floor outside our apt entry
Your turn — Did you get any expected, unexpected or total surprises this pastšŸŽ„season?
If so, please share in a comment.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Friday Funnies

There's a theme behind this week's Friday Funnies post — the color white.
Snow is first and we finally had a bit of yesterday, nothing to brag about, but for a while the ground was covered in white. It eventually turned to drizzle and then rain overnight.
Suds and lots of them were seen when passing by the laundry room. It seems someone got carried away with the detergent use.
Snowmen have made their appearance outside our apartment entry. They look ready for a snowball fight, and as the sign says Let It Snow. Unfortunately, there's none in the forecast.

Thanks for the well wishes for a speedy recovery from our recent colds. We're both feeling better after a week of resting, reading, and some homemade soup, the best "medicine." 

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
Be careful as it's Friday the 13th; the next one is Oct 13.
(there's only two in 2023)

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Word(s) to Live By ?

At least for this year and possibly longer.

A number of bloggers, and other folks, often select a word for the year, perhaps similar to a mantra, and then share with others online or privately. It's one they plan to live by for the year.

While I've never purposefully done so, this year I considered what word to select. 

Instead of one, there were three for me to consider. So, in no particular order, they are:

Connect — Learn — Choose

One of my New Years goals/intentions was to stop reaching out to folks who never respond. At first glance this may have sounded a bit harsh, so let me explain. 

Connect applies to my plan to connect with myself instead of reaching out to those in my present or past who too often are neglectful at the courtesy of a 
return reply by phone, mail, email or text. In many ways, I plan to become selfish of my time and how it's spent. 

That said, I will set aside time to connect and read posts of fellow bloggers and comment at least on a weekly basis.

Learn, of course, applies to many things and this year for me its signing up for UniversalClass courses. The Nashua Public Library here offers library users the opportunity to sign up for these courses which offer online continuing education through an online catalog of over 500 classes, best of all there's no cost to participate and while exams are offered, courses can be audited. Perhaps, your local library does the same. This seems like a great opportunity for a new year. 

Choose applies to many things, including being more mindful of purchases and valuing quality over quantity. I often research a future purchase extensively. However, I also admit to falling into the consumer trap of having bought something on the cheap. After some regretful decisions, I've learned that paying a bit more for quality can sometimes work out better.

Whether or not, I will stay true to these words or perhaps select others is uncertain now, but at least it's a start. 
Rain & fog comprised last week's first 2023 views from our apt window
All of our first week of 2023 was spent indoors as we both recovered from colds (just a common cold). Outdoors the weather was rain nearly every day with accompanying fog on a couple of early mornings. Yesterday, the indoor Christmas decorations were taken down and put back in storage. We always enjoy decorating much more, somewhat expected after the anticipation and excitement of the holidays have passed. Do you feel the same?

Friday, January 6, 2023

Friday Funnies

It's the first Friday of a new year and that means time for the first Friday Funny. I enjoy seeing the unusual in some usual places. Admittedly, I'll have to ration the remaining supply until I can find some new subjects.

That said, here's one that was in my photo archive, but not used previously.
This cloud formation looked like an upside down polar bear to me. What do you think?

My remaining funnies supply is getting low. I'll have to ration them until I find new subjects.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
Colder in Nashua, NH and a slight possibility of snow

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

A Grand Christmas

It was hardly that long ago, but now Christmas 2022 is in the past. Earlier, we had planned to stay home for the holiday, those plans happily didn't happen and, we had a wonderful time visiting family in RI and CT.
Grandchildren and us, Ellie and Lilliana (top) and Bobby
What made this holiday unique was that all three grandchildren and parents were together in the same state. That hasn't happened for a couple of years, although we have seen both families separately in RI and PA.
Grenville's daughters, Shannon & Coleen, with partners
The holiday get-together was in RI at the home of oldest daughter with her fiancĆ© (bottom left). Younger daughter and husband. Grenville (Patrick) was happy to have both daughters together along with all three grandchildren. 
Granddaughters opening gifts
Gift opening continued for all 3 grandchildren
Of course, the highlight of Christmas morning was when the grandchildren, like most youngsters, were over anxious to open their gifts.

Playing holiday pictionary was a popular afternoon activity for everyone
The highlight of Christmas afternoon was playing holiday pictionary with everyone joining in the fun. After a while it was clear that there were no budding artists in the group, but everyone had a lot of fun.
As the Christmas excitement wore down, some of the adults took naps, including Patrick. 
These random family photos were taken on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The Holiday Lights Spectacular was very popular on the evening of Dec 26
The day after Christmas, adults and children, nine total, went on a road trip to view the Holiday Lights Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, RI. This walk-through experience started after Thanksgiving and ended Jan 1. Proceeds from the Holiday Lights Spectacular support the Zoo’s ongoing animal care, education programs and conservation initiatives. The display featured 40 acres of larger-than-life luminous displays including radiant reindeers and sparkly snowmen, and per the zoo website, over 3-1/2 million illuminated lights.
The display featured 40 acres of larger-than-life luminous displays including radiant reindeers and sparkly snowmen, and per the zoo website, over 3-1/2 million illuminated lights. There was also an area with fire pits where children and adults could make s’mores.
Top photo was taken in RI hotel lobby, bottom left in RI, bottom right in CT
As has become our holiday custom, we took selfies in front of several Christmas trees during our 4-day trip. 
Great nephew & great niece, their mom, grandparents and cousin
This last collage shows our great nieces and nephew, our niece, and their grandparents my brother and his wife. (We didn't see all, photos were sent by family.)

Thanks for taking the time to look at a recap of our 2022 family Christmas holiday. We hope that however yours was spent, you also shared special time.

Monday, January 2, 2023

It's That Time (Again) . . .

To make plans for a new year. 

Notice that I didn't say the "R" word, resolutions, because as many of us well know, there are the standard ones that are prone to failure within a few weeks.

According to statistics, as many as 80% of folks do not keep their New Year's resolutions by February. Only 8% of people successfully stay with them for the entire year. 

While most folks start strong, studies have shown that almost one out of four quit within the first week of a new year. Most quit before the end of January blaming failure to fulfill resolutions on a lack of time, resources, or motivation. 

There's always a core group of resolutions plans. Among the top ones are: exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight, save more and spend less. 

These are followed by a few more:

Get organized
Learn a new skill or hobby
Enjoy life to the fullest
Spend time with family 
Contact friends more often
Take care of mental health
Pursue a new interest
Be more environmentally aware
Look for a new job

In recent years, there's been more unusual ones: Get your photo taken in five interesting places, learn a decent party trick, break a record, make a new friend a month, learn something not learned in childhood, try a new food each week, and make the usual "unusual" (my favorite).

While I haven't written any 2023 goals (again not the R word), here's a few I've been considering in no particular order:

Turn off the PC at least 1 day each week
Stop contacting folks who never respond
Walk around the neighborhood
Dine out weekly with Grenville
Listen more, talk less
Sort through photos
Back up my PC monthly
Consider a bucket list 
Say thank you often
Compliment often
Do something nice daily
Buy flowers randomly
Read more nonfiction

How about you — any goals, plans, resolutions for 2023?

Speaking of saying thanks, BIG thanks to all who left comments on our recent holiday posts. Grenville and myself read and appreciated all of them, but more so, all our blogger friends.