Monday, December 31, 2012

The Button Jar

When I was around 7 years old, my great grandmother gave me a jar full of old buttons.  I remember dumping them out on the floor and sorting them by sizes, shapes, and colors.  Some of my favorites were a couple of smaller black buttons with rhinestone centers.  I guess I was drawn to the shimmer.  Or perhaps I imagined them to be diamonds.  I know I always wondered about the outfits they came from, and the women who had worn them.

I don't know what happened to that old jar of buttons.  But when I was talking to my grandmother recently about the jar Granny Besse had given me so many years ago, she sent me a jar filled with buttons, via my mom.  She and my grandfather bought them at an auction some years ago. 

I was kind of curious what was originally in this Kraft bear jar.  Thanks to google, I was happy to discover it originally housed jelly.  It's sleeting outside today and the boys and I aren't headed anywhere.  So it seems to's the perfect time to sit by the woodstove and play with buttons and marbles, and perhaps do a little daydreaming of where these buttons have been.
Readers, did you ever have a collection of buttons as a kid?  Wishing you all a Happy New Year's, with a 2013 full of happy memories. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

My 2012 in Books

This is my third year participating in a meme at The Happily Ever After, where you answer a list of questions using the books you've read throughout the year.  Right now I'm working on book #84 for 2012, which is right around my typical yearly average (it's usually 82 books a year).  If you're a reader, be sure to link up with this fun blog hop - everyone is welcome!

My Life According to the Books I Read in 2012:

Describe yourself:

Quiet - Susan Cain

How do you feel:
Brain on Fire - Susannah Cahalan

Describe where you currently live:
Tell the Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
 My Life in France - Julia Child

Your favorite form of transportation:
Appalachian Trail in Bits and Pieces - Mary Sands

Your best friend is:
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

You and your friends are:
  In One Person - John Irving

What's the weather like:
Ice Cold - Tess Gerritsen

What is life to you:
 The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister

Favorite time of day:
Shadow of Night - Deborah Harkness

Your fear:
Boy Still Missing - John Searles

What is the best advice you have to give:
  Different...Not Less - Temple Grandin

Thought for the day:
Take a Deep Breath - Nina Shapiro

How I would like to die:
 The End of Your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe

My soul's present condition:
Lost and Found - Jacqueline Sheehan

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Buckled and Fractured

On the last day of November, Pierce was jumping around the living room and jumped on Paul, who was laying on the floor, and jumped back off again.  When he landed, his large toe on his left foot was tucked under.  He cried for a while over it, and was given some ibuprofin before bed.  The next day he said it still hurt, and he didn't want to wear a regular shoe over it.  We allowed him to wear sandals (and sent tennis shoes in his backpack since technically they aren't supposed to wear sandals to school).  We assumed it was a bad sprain.  There was no bruising, and just a mild puffiness.  Over the next few days, Pierce continued to complain now and then that his toe hurt, but it didn't seem to slow him down as he still jumped and ran about the house like the active kid that he is.

But finally it was 9 days later and he was still saying off and on that it hurt.  So I decided to make a doctor appointment for him after school the next day.  We went to the pediatrician and he thought since it had been a while he would send him on to an orthopedic doctor for an x-ray.  So I spent three hours that day in and out of doctors offices with all 3 boys in tow - it made for a very long afternoon!  The x-ray was inconclusive, but the 3 orthopedic doctors who looked at it thought that he may have had a fracture in a growth plate, which wouldn't be visible until it started to heal, 14 days post injury.  Since it was only 10 days post injury, we wouldn't know for sure for a few more days.  So they gave Pierce some bandages and a boot to wear (even when sleeping) and made an appointment 10 days later.

After a few days in the boot, Pierce said his toe had stopped hurting.  He was hopeful they would proclaim him healed when he returned.  But when they took the x-ray, they could see the healing and told us that Pierce had a buckle or torus fracture.  Very common in children due to their softer bones, it's where the bone buckles on one side, but doesn't disrupt the other side.  So Pierce is stuck wearing his boot for another 3 weeks.  Hopefully once we return he will be able to return to regular shoes again!  I knew a broken bone was bound to happen at some point or another with 3 boys.  I'm glad he's at least feeling better!

How about you, readers?  Any broken bones in your childhood?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Muse

Look at sweet Baxter.  There's just enough room for him to sit next to me as I type on the computer.
You know what else I love about this cat?  He loves to read.  I think he can smell when a book is opened.  The second I sit down on the couch with the twins and a good book....well he comes running to listen.  I think he likes being read to even more than the boys do.  Silly cat. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Talking to Santa

Unlike last year, this year there were no tears when it was time to visit with Santa.  Reid was a little nervous, but Cort was chatting away with him.  We saw Santa several different times this year.

And the person who REALLY talked Santa's ear off was Pierce.  He talked and talked and talked.  He was asking Santa all sorts of burning questions about reindeer and rooftops and such.  I was amazed he continued to spout out new questions with each Santa we saw.  Finally, we had to drag him reluctantly away, as there was quite a line formed by the time he was done. 

The wonder of Christmas really comes alive for kids.  I won't be blogging tomorrow, but I wish you all Happy Holidays! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

The History Museum's Fantasyland in Roanoke

When I was a kid, I remember going to Fantasyland around the holidays.  It was on the top floor of the old Heironomus building in downtown Roanoke, and you walked through paths to see tons of lifesized statues of elves and animals in snowy wonderlands.  The grand hurrah when you came to the end was a visit with Santa himself. 

Today, Fantasyland is in the History museum, which is in a different locale than the usual digs, due to the renovation of Center in the Square.  I took the boys because I'd heard such praise from Pierce's principal and one of the secretaries at his school.  They went on and on about how wonderful it is.

 The reason Fantasyland was so amazing wasn't because of all the decorations or all the things to see.  It was because of Santa himself.  He was the real deal.  Fantasyland in the History Museum is more of a show, where kids sit on a rug around Santa while he chats casually with them, plays the guitar and sings songs, and reads them a story about Rudolph's sister, Holly (did you know she has a green nose?).  The program runs about 45 minutes, and during that time you feel like you and Santa are lifelong best buddies, reunited for the first time in a year.

All the other kids there were spellbound in quiet during Santa's performance.  But not my inquisitive Pierce.  He kept raising his hands with questions.
  • Santa, why are you not wearing your red suit?
  • Santa, do the reindeer talk to each other the same way that humans do?
  • Santa, how come you don't wrap all the presents that you deliver?
  • Santa, were you a baby at some point?
Needless to say, Pierce's philosophic questions got a few chuckles from parents in the crowd, and I myself couldn't stop smiling in amusement.
The thing that struck me most about this Santa was how deepfelt and caring he was.  He spoke frequently about the importance of kindness to others, giving hugs, and how to make someone sad feel better.  He had the most tender and loving voice, and I adored how he was able to portray the emotions of giving back to these young children. 

So if you head to Fantasyland in Roanoke this year, don't expect to be wowed by various displays and decorations, but instead expect to leave with a warmed heart and a new inspired hope for humanity.  Just the way the holiday season should be.  Thank you, dear Santa. 

I Caught Santa Giveaway (5 Winners, 2 days only!)

Last year I won a code from another blog to stick a picture of Santa into my living room.  The boys were so fascinated by the picture when I showed it to them.  In fact, it has hung on the side of our refrigerator all year (true!). 

This year it was on my must-do list of Christmas traditions.  I want to see the wonder in my boys' faces again when they see that Santa has been here in our home, right where they spend their days playing.  In addition to Santa, the site also offers pictures of Rudolph, the tooth fairy, and the Easter Bunny.  If you use the link listed above, you will receive your picture for just $7.50 instead of the normal $9.99 price.

You just upload your picture to the website, and then pick your Santa, who comes in a variety of poses - you can even catch him with a reindeer by his side.  And there are tons of fun borders you can pick for your picture too.  To enter to win, just click on the Rafflecopter giveaway below - there will be 5 lucky winners this time!  Please note that this is a very quick giveaway - it ends on Sunday, so enter now! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Recipe for Pralines

More than eleven years ago, long before Paul and I had kids, we took a trip to New Orleans for our five year wedding anniversary.  We had a wonderful trip, and one of the fun things we did while there was go to a cooking class. 

The chef was a very large man, who made gumbo, jambalaya, and Creole pralines.  Everything was wonderful.  I remember during the class a lady raising her hand and asking, "Are you using whole milk in that?  Could I use skim?" and he replied with great mirth, "DO I LOOK LIKE I USE SKIM MILK?!? If you want it to taste good, you use whole!" and the whole class laughed. 

I saved the recipes that we made in the class all these years, even though I have never recreated them at home.  But after my recent success with the candy thermometer in making English toffee, I decided I was ready to attempt the pralines.  I poured myself a glass of white wine and rolled up my sleeves.

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup milk
6 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients and bring to a "softball stage" of 238-240 degrees, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat. 

Stir until mixture thickens, becomes creamy and cloudy, and pecans stay suspended in mixture (I think this took me longer than expected - maybe 8 minutes or so).  Spoon out on buttered wax paper. 

Makes 1-50 pralines, depending on size.

I was pleased these turned out.  I took them the next day when I volunteered with Barn Cat Buddies to help make raffle baskets for their upcoming fundraiser.  They were quite a hit!  Maybe next I'll try my hand at the jambalaya.  I make jambalaya frequently, but have never tried the version from the cooking class. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Roanoke Weiner Stand

We didn't eat out a ton in my family growing up, so when we did it was always a special treat.  I have fond memories of when my Dad would surprise us by coming home from work with a big white paper bag filled to the brim with hot dogs from the Roanoke Weiner stand.  I think it's where I first learned to love hot dogs topped with mustard, chili, and onions, because even today this is my preferred method of topping a hot dog.

The Roanoke Weiner Stand in downtown Roanoke has been around since the mid 1920s.  I remember years ago when Paul and I first moved to Roanoke from Houston, we took a break from unpacking boxes to head downtown for the beloved hot dogs that I remembered so well from my youth.  When they recently started renovating Center in the Square, the Weiner Stand closed briefly.  It was missed by many locals.

 Now, it has reopened, and in a new spot, just a couple of storefronts down from the original.  The new location is brighter and shinier, and the only thing missing are the old black and white photos on the walls (I read in the paper that these will eventually be rehung).

 One thing I love about the new location are the tables and booths.  Often in their old spot, there was nowhere to eat.  Now, the Roanoke Weiner Stand is much more family friendly.  In fact, Paul and I took the twins there for lunch.

 While they didn't go for the chili and onions on their hot dogs, they certainly did enjoy theirs with mustard and ketchup.

As for me, I was thrilled to order my usual "all-the-way" hot dog.  I love their zesty chili.  And the fries are just the right crispness.  While they are lacking in salt to my Southern tastebuds, they handily provide salt shakers on the tables so that you can salt to taste. 
In fact, my only disappointment in the new location was that there weren't many folks there, even though we were there during the lunch hour.  Perhaps not many people have realized they have reopened.  Hopefully they will see more business soon.

How about you, readers?  What restaurant do you remember fondly from your youth?  Is it still around?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Joining In

I've seen several movements the past few days from various bloggers.  I have decided to participate today, simply because I am thinking of those who were personally affected. 
Image is from Tina @ What We Keep.  She has said it is open to other bloggers to grab, if you would like to join in. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Problem with Bouncy Houses

Let's face it.  Bouncy houses are little kid heaven.  Stick your kid in a bouncy house and walk away and you could come back four hours later to find him still happily jumping and climbing and sliding.
 But inevitably, there is the germ factor.  Moms across the world will nod their head wisely if you ask if their kid ever got the nastiest-virus-ever about 48 hours after an inflatable exposure.  You can use the hand sanitizer all you want afterwards, but they're still going to be covered in germs.  Really, kids should just wear biohazard suits prior to taking off their shoes and socks to go in the bouncy house.
It's also problematic when your oldest child gets to go on the bouncy house, but your younger 3 year old twins aren't quite big enough.  So you relent and let them go, not wanting them to be in therapy for your "favoritism" in their adult years.  And about 2 seconds later one of them will get kicked in the head by his brother and require rescuing. 

And then the other 3 year old will stay perched up on top of the huge slide for ages, blocking all the other kids and refusing to slide down.  So you'll drag yourself through all those holes and cubbies and up the slide, to hold his hand coming down, because that's the sort of parent you are.  You are also a parent now totally covered with germs.  And the minute you start putting shoes back on the brothers, that same child will sneak off into the bouncy house again only to perch up top and refuse to come down the slide.  Again.  This time, you'll send older brother in with instructions to "give him a good push" so you can catch him at the bottom.  Because maybe you're not as great a parent as you thought you were and all those bouncy house screams have gone to your head.

And then that 3 year old?  Well he'll have a massive tantrum of rage all the way to the car, bitterly in anguish over his removal from his bouncy house fun.  That therapy I mentioned above?  Yeah, he'll probably need it anyway.
And that, my friends, is the problem with bouncy houses.  Just in my humble, and of course completely unbiased opinion.

This post was written over a week ago, and scheduled for today.  I thought about postponing it a bit in light of what happened on Friday - or even editing it.  However, I decided to let it stand as is.  Because part of parenting well for me is being able to laugh at my own mistakes, and at the daily ups and downs of parenting itself.  But believe me when I say that my thoughts are with the families and their losses in Connecticutt.  My hope is that when there are other troubled teens out there who are isolated and considering a destructive path -- then they would receive the effective help and intervention from someone who cares before another tragedy occurs. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Wonders of Organic Skin Care (Giveaway!)

This is the time of year that my skin becomes very dry and itchy.  I blame our wood stove - it does a wonderful job heating our house, but it sure removes all the moisture from the air.  I've found a product line that reintroduces moisture into my skin in an all natural and holistic way.  Nature in the Nude provides products that are 100% natural for the skin.  There are no mystery ingredients or artificial dyes. 
I received four products to try.  My favorite was the Clean Freak facial cleanser.  Know why?  The minute I poured some into my hand I was transported to a spa.  It smells amazing - just like when you walk into a high end spa for a deep tissue massage.  It also made my skin feel wonderfully clean, but not dry.  Lavender is well known for relaxing and helping induce sleep, so I love to use this just before bedtime. 

The Citrus Pick Me Up is a mist that you can spray on your skin for toning and energizing.  I loved the light citrus grapefruit smell and it's definitely a nice wake up call if you're having a tired sort of day.

The Scrub a Dub Dub is an exfoliating sugar scrub that smells like chocolate coconut.  I enjoyed how it leaves my skin feeling clean but moisturized.  The only problem is that every time I use it, I have the strong desire to go make a bowl of brownies and eat all of the batter.  It smells that yummy.

Finally, I also received the Butter Me Up vanilla and honey lotion.  Full of nourishing goodies like cocoa butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E, it'll take all the itch out of your skin and leave you feeling smooth. 

These are amazing products that I know you all will love!  And one lucky winner will get to pick either the Clean Freak/Citrus Pick Me Up set OR the Butter Me Up/Scrub a Dub Dub set.  To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Disclaimer:  I received the above pictured four products for review purposes.  The opinions above are my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lime Bread Recipe

What do you do when you buy limes in bulk, and have a bunch leftover to use up?  Well, you make my aunt Carolyn's wonderful lime bread recipe!  It's delicious!
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp. grated lime peel

Combine ingredients.  Stir until moistened.  Bake in greased loaf pan at 350* for 1 hour 10 minutes or until done.  Cool.  Prepare glaze and drizzle over top.

4 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!  Do you have any recipes passed down from family that you love?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Around the House

I don't do a ton of decorating for Christmas, but we do always have a tree and a few other fun things around the house.  Below is one of my favorite thrift store finds last spring - a brand new Nutcracker advent calendar, still in the box, for $3.00.  Each day you take a little wooden nutcracker out of the appropriate door, and hang it on the knobs on the castle. 

 These vintage Santa salt and pepper shakers are from my Granny Anne.  They are sitting on my kitchen window sill, and make me smile.

Below is an ornament I made from Pierce's first Christmas.  He was two months old when I painted the palm of his hand and gently pressed it onto the little wooden disk.  Each year when we put up our tree, we always hold his hand up to it, to see how much he has grown.

Our elf, Tulley, continues to show up in unexpected places each morning.  Today, as I'm writing this, he is towering above me up in the rafters.  Not sure how he got so high up.  Must be some major Santa magic going on.
The twins work on a nativity puzzle.  Well, Reid mostly works on it, and Cort sits by and watches.  Reid is crazy for puzzles!  Cort usually sits by him for company and works one or two pieces.

What do you have up for the holidays, readers?  Do you have any favorite decorations in your house?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

3 Years of Blogging

Today marks my three year blogiversary.  It's been so rewarding - all the friends I have met along the way.  More than anything, I'm happy to be preserving memories of small daily moments for my boys, before they are forgotten.  Even now, I sometimes see an old post pop up on my blog from the early days when the twins were babies - those blurry, soggy, tired days during the very long winter, and I realize there is so much I have already forgotten. 

As is my tradition on my blogiversary, I want to do a giveaway to celebrate my followers.  Because there have been so many days your comments have built me up and kept me going; have warmed my heart and made me smile.  Over 20,000 comments in fact - over 20,000 smiles.  Readers and commenters, YOU ARE AWESOME!!! 

The only rule of this giveaway is that you must be a follower, and you must leave a comment to enter.  That's it.  I'll ship anywhere.  Because I love my followers in other countries too!  Up for grabs is this adorable set of 4 Nutcracker ornaments from JC Penney.  Put them on your tree know I am thankful for your friendship!  Giveaway ends December 14th at noon (I want to make sure I have time to ship it out so you can get it in time for Christmas), and winner must respond by email within 48 hours to be eligible.  Winner will be chosen by 

Note that I didn't put "giveaway" in my blog title, and I won't be advertising this one on outside websites, because I want my regular, loyal readers and commenters to have the best chance to win this one!  Good luck!

Thanks to all who entered this giveaway and commented on this post!  The giveaway is now closed.  The winner is Renae from Simple Sequins. Congrats Renae!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Taco Night - Muffin Tin Monday

I haven't done Muffin Tin Monday in quite some time.  But it seemed a shame not to feature these cute little penguin plates and forks that my mom got for the boys last year on Christmas clearance.
I hadn't done taco night in ages, and this time it went over really well with the boys.  Or maybe it was because of the penguin plates?  They had grass-fed beef tacos with cheddar, Mexican style rice in present shaped muffin cups (with a snowman pick), and steamed broccoli with salsa in a present shaped muffin cup with a gingerbread man pick.  Everybody earned dessert this night, and I'm thinking I should have taco night again soon!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Up in the Rafters

I'm always amazed to look up into the rafters of our A frame log home
to see Willie, spying down on me. 

Have a great weekend folks!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

English Toffee Recipe

There are very few recipes that I am willing to break out the thermometer over.  This is one of them.  The caramel is so soft and gooey and sweet that it is well worth the effort. 
 The recipe is my aunt Carolyn's.  I challenge you to find a more decadent English Toffee recipe.  Seriously.  It is THAT good! 

1 cup butter
1 lb. brown sugar
dash of salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1 15 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in heavy saucepan.  Add sugar and salt; stir thoroughly.  Stir in corn syrup, mix well.  Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir over medium heat to firm ball stage (245 degrees).  This will take 12-15 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.  Pour into buttered 9x9x2 inch pan.  Cool and cut into squares.  If you plan to give it away, it does well wrapped in individual pieces of wax paper.
Do you have a recipe, readers, that you're willing to go to extra lengths to produce?  If so, I want to hear about it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pies for the Holidays (with Giveaway)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mrs. Smith's for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
It's pretty much a requirement in my family that holidays will involve pies.  Pies of all flavors and styles - and each one of us in my family has our own personal favorite.  I usually try to make at least one new flavor of pie and bring as a contribution each year.  Have you ever thought about what soldiers will be doing for the holidays?  Wouldn't you hate to think of them going without pie?  Well, thanks to Mrs. Smith’s pies, you don't have to worry about it!  For every pie sold during the month of November and December, $1 donation is made to Operation Homefront.  In addition, Mrs. Smith's is also providing pie for Operation Homefront!
On the Mrs. Smith's website right now, you can find a holiday microsite to send a holiday e-card to friends and family members, which comes with coupons for pies!  I sent an e-card to my mom, as she has been spending massive amounts of time taking care of my grandmother lately.  And I bet my grandmother would like one of the Mrs. Smith's pies!  I love how easy and quick it was to use the microsite.  As an added incentive, the sender of the e-card gets a coupon too, so you definitely want to check it out.
I got to try one of the pies myself, and let the kids choose the pie in the grocery store.  Peach is my favorite, but the only flavors our store had were cherry, pumpkin, and apple.  The boys picked apple.  We all enjoyed it for dessert one Sunday evening, complete with a squirt of whipped cream on top.

One lucky winner will receive a coupon for a free pie from Mrs. Smith's.  It's good for any flavor of Mrs. Smith's frozen pie.  Just leave a comment as to what flavor of pie you'd like to try (you can find all the flavors on their website).  In addition, Mrs. Smith's is really focused on giving back this year, so a $20 donation will be made to Operation Homefront in the name of the winner.  What a great way to spread the cheer.  Don't forget to check out Mrs. Smith's on Facebook and Pinterest.  Winner to be chosen by on December 11th and must respond by email within 48 hours to be eligible (please leave an email address in your comment if it is not attached to your profile).  Good luck!

THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED!  This giveaway is now closed.  The winner is Comment #29 - Thistle Cove Farm.  Congratulations!
Visit Sponsor's Site

In My Pocket

Walking to the grocery store, the wind is bitter and nipping.  I shove my hands deep into the pockets of my winter coat, seeking warmth.  But instead, I find something cold and calculating, and pull it out to see what it is.  Scowling and angry, he's been lying in wait.
I'm pretty sure this is an omen.  A very bad omen.  An omen that the prices inside the grocery store are going to make me sick to my stomach. 

Ah well, he's not nearly so threatening without his mask anyhow.  Perhaps the mask is looming in wait in my medicine cabinet.  In the meantime, at least I have a flashlight if I need one (Darth's feet light up). 

Hey readers, found anything skulking in your pockets lately?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fitness Recap November 2012

My IT band continues to recover, oh so slowly.  I can now run 3 miles, every other day.  Not very exciting.  I've been doing lots of crosstraining.  The kids continue to do Shred with me.  Paul made them fake weights out of wood.

I'm dreaming of running the track again this winter.  I want to try the track at Pierce's school.  It's crushed gravel, and unusual in that 3 loops make a mile (rather than the usual 4).  Might be easier on my body not to do as many curves.  I'm hoping to be able to pick up some track work in January, if my IT band is strong enough by then. 

It's a pretty place to run on the track, isn't it?  Plus, there's a very convenient playground in the middle, so the boys could have fun there too.

I do have a funny running story for the month.  One of my toenails fell off (a result from the marathon in October) and the twins were really worried about it.  Cort said, "Maybe we can get some glue" and Reid said, "Or some tape!" and Cort said, "Or a bandaid!" and Reid, looking all worried, replied, "Maybe we should give her a hug." and Cort said, "Yes! And a kiss!"  So I was well cared for, in spite of only having 9 toenails left. 

Here's my stats for the month:

Shred (workouts 1 or 2) x 8
Jackie Abs x 4
Yoga x 2
Running = 39 miles

Hoping for something similar in December, ideally with more running!