Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year 2022!

Happy 2022! 

The year we learn to live with coronavirus in all its' iterations... the year when bragging that "I'm fully vaccinated and boosted" isn't a thing any more... because everyone is.  The year we remember the nearly 1 million Americans lost.  My heart has gone out to all the families who have lost loved ones, and yes, a dear friend lost her unvaccinated brother just a few days before Christmas.  

But... on to happier things.  

We have opened 2022 with a bang here, with sleet coming down and the temps dropping from 57 yesterday to 19 right now.  Crazy! 

Last February, we had a prolonged spell of sub-zero temps, and I bought several electric heaters to supplement my propane furnace.  I kept one of those in the house all year, unused, in a corner.  It is on this morning to provide supplemental heat in the kitchen and living room.  Jester's bed is fairly close to it, and until he joined me here in the tiny bedroom that is my office, he was snuggled in the warmth coming from the heater. 

This wonderful train is in the yard of Wayne Strandt, here in the county. 

This is Wayne and his daughter.  Wayne is a long-time volunteer at The National Agricultural Center, as I am.  He works on the train there, which is a smaller gauge than this one that he is working on at his home. 
This train originally ran at Fairyland Park, in Kansas City, Missouri.  It was painted in Santa Fe colors back then, and I am sure I rode it as a child when my father's company had their company picnics there. 
This display is lit up at night, Santa pulling the dwarves, and the Grinch following along, behind. 
It has brightened the neighborhood around Wayne for several weeks. 

And no, he does not use a crane to get it to his front yard!  (secret) 

Little Bullseye has pretty much taken over here.  I ended up on the couch... oops, I see my potato chips made it into the picture, along with the messy kitchen.  I have true after-Christmas blahs. 

This picture serves two things.  One... my friends Barbara and Charles gifted me this beautiful casserole dish on Christmas Eve.  
The second is the small rack of country ribs from my friends The Gray Family, who sell the most amazing pork, and I have fixed it for about every holiday meal in the last two years. 
I actually am working on a big bowl of soup made with the Christmas ham steak... I used finely cut ham, onion, celery, potatoes,  and the Better Than Bouillon Garlic Base to make a wonderful, savory soup.  I thickened it with heavy cream and cornstarch... there is enough for two more meals, and I ate it last night with warm soft bread on which I had spread garlic butter. 

Zoey in her Kansas City Chiefs dress.  I don't leave it on long, don't worry. 
However, she is currently asleep in the bed in the living room snuggled in a sweater, to fight the cold.  I don't like to let her out in very cold weather without protection. 

They have pretty much taken me over when I sit down to watch tv at night. 

There is one strange thing about Zoey, however.  If I cough or sneeze, she appears to be terrified, and bolts.  If she is on the bed at night, I have to turn over and sneeze into the mattress, lest she jump.  I am not sure what happened to her in the past, but she cannot bear it.  

Here is feral Cleo eating the other morning.  I don't know where she is sleeping, I checked the sheep barn but the straw I put in there a month ago appeared to be undisturbed (last year, a possum slept in there).  She shows up and just lays there, waiting for me to bring food, but she also eats from the bowl on the deck regularly.  

Right in back of where Cleo is eating, there is now a low basin that is heated for the 
wildings to drink.  

I pushed the bait box (the only thing I ever do to hurt anything here... we were invaded by mice last year and I had to start) further back under the deck. 

My grandson Nathan and his daughter, my great grand Aurora. 
I went down to see them the week before Christmas in Garnett, about 70 miles from here. I did not know until I left there that neither were vaccinated, and now Aurora's mom, Rachel, is sick. 
I will have to enjoy pictures of her until they get vaccinated, I'm afraid.  

She is a beautiful little girl. 

This misty view greeted me Thursday morning as I looked down the hill to the east. 

A last look at Big Santa, who was put away the day after Christmas.  
I left the deck lights up for a while... I may just leave them up, I like to see them at night when I get up. 

The yellow glow in the background is being cast by the yard light... without it, it is pitch black out there. 

I just realized you can see a star directly over the house! 

Even the squirrels are fat here. 

My Jester boy will surely be in it. 

I just sat here and brought the blog up on another Google page, and I am copying the 
entry I made for December 31, 2011 here.  It was interesting to read all the projects 
Keith and I had planned to do that coming year, 2012... and I can tell you 
about 80% did not get done, unfortunately. 
It was interesting to read, though, and I wish some of those things could have come to pass.

If you cut and paste that into your browser, you can read it, too. 

I did not get Christmas cards done this year, there was just too much going on. 
My son took a series of pictures a few days before Christmas... and this was about the best of the bunch! 

Happy New Year, Everyone!  Be safe out there! 
and as always, thank you for reading! 



  1. Happy New Year to you! The weather here is warm today but like you its to get colder here. Tomorrow we may have snow and temps are to drop into the 20's BrrrChill.
    It is so much fun to look back and see what happened in years past, but it's better to look to the future. I hoping this that those that can will get vaccinated. It's the only way we're going to stop this virus.

  2. Happy New Year to you, too! It's one of the nice things about writing a blog, being able to look back and reflect. I hope you and all your critters have a great start to this new year. -Jenn

  3. Hari OM
    Important to remember that even the vaccinated can die... just much less chance of it. Very important, even for the vaccinated, to maintain the "hands, face, space" elements learned at the start (and which have grown lax) - that will be the lesson of 2022, I feel. Even as a 'glass half full' chicky-babe, I tend to realism and I confess I no longer think in terms of what the year will hold - just what might happen today.

    That doesn't prevent me wishing that in each and every one of the 365 days, everyone is safe, healthy and joyful! Hugs to you, Mary Ann, and ear chucks to darling Jester, Zoey and Bullseye! YAM xx

  4. Happy New Year to you and your "family". Always love reading your updates. Stay well.

  5. Good picture Mary Ann. Happy New Year to you too. I always enjoy your posts.
    The train is awesome. Your great niece is a doll.

  6. Oh that everyone WERE vaccinated! I also forget to ask people, forget that some refuse a free vaccine, only to end up with decidedly NOT free hospital stays or worse. Right now we are running the heat pump as the wood-burner is not putting out enough heat to keep the house comfortable (I think it needs a good cleaning). I'd just put on more clothes, but the men in the house are not willing to do that. Happy New Year, Mary Ann.

  7. I am fascinated by the train your neighbor has! I wonder why he changed the livery ftom ATSF to UP! I will watch any train, but love the Santa Fe, now BNSF. I think leaving your lights up is a fine idea! Some sweet glow "in the bleak midwinter." As to COVID - on and on it drags. Sometimes I feel like I must be dreaming. It feels like some strange sci fi dream. Loved seeing the photos of your crews, both human and animal.


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