Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year Meme

The New Year’s Edition from The Blue Door.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Ate a J-Dawg.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't usually make resolutions. I set goals and they are on-going. Ever on-going.
3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
At home, alone, doing things around the house, watching a movie and going to bed whenever I feel like it.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my dear friend Jack and my best friend from high school. Bummer.
5. What countries did you visit?
I didn't leave the country. I did manage to leave the state.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A trip to the temple.
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Mother's Day. It was the day my friend died. The end of a huge learning experience.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Surviving? Staying sane?
9. What was your biggest failure?
I try to not think about my failures. And if I think about them, I am certainly not going to publish them. That's not the way I roll.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No. I had a very healthy year.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
We bought some Amish kitchen chairs. They are oak with a cherry-like finish. They are gorgeous!
12. Where did most of your money go?
Groceries, utility bills, the usual.
13. What song will always remind you of 2009?
I can't think of one.
14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spent times with friends.
15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spend money.
16. What was your favorite TV program?
The Big Bang Theory
17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't hate anyone.
18. What was the best book you read?
I read some books but nothing comes to mind.
19. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Andrea Bocelli's Sacred Arias.
20. What was your favorite film of this year?
Star Trek stands out. I saw lots of good files from Netflix.
21. What did you do on your birthday?
Turned 50. Yuck!
22. What kept you sane?
What makes you think I'm sane? Actually, it is my faith that keeps me sane. No doubt about it.
23. Who did you miss?
I miss my sisters, I miss K sometimes, I miss friends who are far away.
24. Who was the best new person you met?
My daughter's room mate. (The one in charge.)
25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Life is fragile.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How Cool is That!

I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations and heard the coolest thing!

All of the radio personalities on that station took turn reading passages of the Christmas story from the Bible.

It brought a little tear to my eye.


It's a Christmas miracle!

The baking is done.
The wrapping is done.
The stocking stuffers are sorted.
Everything is delivered.
I only have to work until noon today.
Life is good.

Now it is just food, family, and fun. (And music and laughter and joy.)

I am so thankful for the greatest of all gifts, the One who came to earth as a baby in the humblest of circumstances to show us the Way.

May God bless us, every one!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Baking

This is what we (well, mostly K, but I helped) baked for our Christmas goodie plates:
  • Snowballs, both with and without "snow"
  • Steve's SF applesauce raisin oatmeal cookies with walnuts
  • Thumbprint cookies
  • Fudge with walnuts
  • Dipped pretzels
  • Dipped double stuff mint Oreos! (First time we have ever dipped cookies)
  • and a new recipe we made up ourselves: White chocolate chip cranberry cookies.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Update

The sorting of gifts has been done, some wrapping has been done, some baking has been done. Progress has been made!

And, in honor of that, an old Ten on Tuesday, 10 Great Things About the Holidays.

10. The day off of work.
9. The chocolate.
8. The traditions.
7. The lights.
6. The presents.
5. The food.
4. The tree.
3. The music.
2. Having K come home.
1. The opportunity to more fully focus on the wonderful gift that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


This is my one year bloggiversary.

Happy Bloggiversary,
Happy Bloggiversary,
Happy Bloggiversary,
Happy Bloggiversary!

When I was thinking about what real bloggers do on their bloggiversaries, it came to me that they did give-aways for their readers. And after I was done laughing, I got up off of the floor and went about my day.

Yea for me!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Christmas Meme

This is another Christmas meme I ran across.

1. Hot chocolate or apple cider? Hot chocolate. My new fave is Stephen's Hazel Nut. Yum!

2. Turkey or Ham? For Christmas, it is ham. We have a new thing though, of doing a turkey dinner for New Year's Day. I get a turkey for Christmas from my boss and his wife and that has become a good time to cook it.

3. Do you get a fake or a real, you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree? Real, cut-it-ourselves-tie-it-to-the-top-of-the-car-drive-home-hoping-it-doesn't-fall-off tree. This year we cut a blue spruce, which is one of my faves.

4. Decorations on the outside of your house? No. All we have in our yard are huge 20 foot tree and no fences or railings to decorate.

5. Snowball fights or sledding? Neither. I’ll stay inside, drink hot chocolate, and watch "It's a Wonderful Life."

6. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping? I do. I went to Chicago one year and shopped downtown there. The place where we live, however, doesn't really have much of a downtown.

7. Favorite Christmas song? "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," "Silent Night," "The Christmas Song." I could go on and on...

8. How do you feel about Christmas movies? I have a specific list:

  • Miracle on 34th Street (the old one)
  • Holiday Inn
  • Holiday Affair
  • White Christmas
  • Home Alone
  • It's a Wonderful Life.
I don't actually sit down and watch them from beginning to end but I have them on while I am decorating, wrapping, cooking, writing cards, etc.

9. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music? I like to hear it starting around Thanksgiving week. But, truthfully, I listen to my favorite Christmas recordings occasionally all year round.

10. Stockings before or after presents? Before. We do stockings, breakfast (due to a diabetic husband who needs to eat, then presents.

11. Carolers, do you or do you watch and listen to them? I went caroling with our youth group. We sang outside. I haven't had carolers come to my house in recent memory. If they did, I would listen to them from the doorway.

12. Go to someone else’s house or they come to you? Neither. No one comes, we don't go. Not on Christmas day or Christmas Eve, anyway.

13. Do you read the Christmas Story? Yes.

14. What do you do after presents and dinner? Mostly relaxing, picking up a little and watching any new movies we may have received.

15. What is your favorite holiday smell? Cookies baking, I guess.

16. Ice skating or walking around the mall? Neither. I try to stay out of the mall, and I don't ice scate.

17. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day? Christmas day. K has off and on opened one on Christmas Eve.

18. Favorite Christmas memory? I have a lot of great Christmas memories. The one I usually reference when asked this question was the last Christmas I was with all of my siblings at my parents' house. It was the year we were supposed to light a candle for Poland. (1981, 82?) It's Christmas Eve that I really remember, playing games, eating chips and dip and Christmas cookies...My brother blowing out the candle. "Helga???" Good time, good times.

19. Favorite Part about winter? Does not compute.

20. Ever been kissed under mistletoe? Yes. A few times.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ten Practical Presents.

Ten Practical Presents.

1. A purse.
2. Hand lotion that really works.
3. A big stock pot.
4. Slippers.
5. Is chocolate practical? Because I could do a list of 10 kinds of chocolate that I would like:
*See's Raspberry Creams in dark chocolate
*Queen Anne Cordial Cherries in dark chocolate
*Terry's Chocolate Orange in dark chocolate
*Bavarian Mints
*Russell Stover Assorted Dark Chocolates
*Ferrero Rocher Assortment
*McDonald's Homemade Candies pecans covered in dark chocolate
*McDonald's Homemade Candies orange gels in, you guessed it! dark chocolate
*Reese's mini Peanutbutter Cups in, I know this is getting redundant, dark chocolate.
*Stephen's Hot Cocoa Mix--any flavor, they are all delish!
You're welcome!
6. A casserole insulated carrier.
7. A good can opener.
8. A new flannel nightie.
9. Black gel pens.
10. A livingroom chair.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Countdown

This past weekend, I accomplished two big items on my Christmas To Do List. I got the Christmas cards in the mail (50+) and I got the decorating done.

I have collected enough Christmas ornaments over the years for about three trees. (I did find a few things to take Goodwill when I went through everything.) This year I used some things I haven't used for a few years, and the tree has more of a homespun, handmade look than it has in years past. It has red wooden bead garland, some fabric ornaments, lots of wooden folk-art-looking ornaments, and a couple dozen red felt hearts. There are also the usual favorites, but I left almost all of the Shiny Brite, retro glass ornaments packed away this year.

The red felt hearts were made for me by a student 18-19 years ago. I used to staple them to my construction paper cut-out bulletin board Christmas tree when I was a teacher. They are still as cute as ever. I was going for an old fashioned, homey look for the tree this year, and I think it turned out really well.

I still don't have any wrapping done.

I realized a few minutes ago that if I get the one and only package that needs to go in the mail ready tonight, I can have my husband mail it tomorrow when he is running errands in that same part of town. If that's not motivation, I don't know what is!

I just have one more gift to buy and just a few stocking stuffers, so that part is pretty well under control.

I need to finalize the Baking List.

I also need to fit in the usual cleaning and grocery (produce/milk) buying.

I think I'm doing pretty well.

Did I mention I still don't have any wrapping done? Some things never change.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Christmas shopping is best when done.

Friday, December 11, 2009

100th Post

In honor of my 100th post, I will do the four things meme. Because I can never talk about myself enough!

Four jobs I’ve had
1. Cashier (A & W, Fashion Fabrics, Ranch Shops)
2. Girl Scout camp cook
3. Telephone solicitor
4. Teacher

Four movies I can watch over and over
1. Casa Blanca
2. Chariots of Fire
3. It's a Wonderful Life
4. While You Were Sleeping

Four places I’ve lived
1. Pocatello, Idaho
2. Logan, Utah
3. Spearfish, South Dakota
4. Carson, Washington

Four TV shows I love (Well, love may be a bit strong of a word. Let's say "really enjoy")
1. The Mentalist
2. The Big Bang Theory
3. The Amazing Race
4. Survivor

Four places I’ve vacationed
1. Honolulu
2. Disneyland
3. Manhattan
4. Traverse City

Four of my favorite foods
1. Tacos
2. Macaroni and Cheese
3. Chicken Brocolli Casserole
4. Chocolate Chip Cookies

Four blogs I read religiously
1. Say La Vee
2. cJane
3. Scribbit
4. Like Mother, Like Daughter

Four places I would rather be right now
1. Home
2. At my sister's house
3. Somewhere warm and sunny
4. In Wyoming


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yea for Me!

I was proud of myself when I got to work this morning! We are under a blizzard warning, and all of the schools are closed. (Actually, winter driving is better when the schools are closed because there is less traffic and no busses to have to stop for.) I didn't get nervous. I just got all of my chores done and cleaned off the car. I have learned that it doesn't do any good to hurry getting ready. I'm going to get there when I get there.

I drove slow but stayed in the right lane so idiots people who wanted to drive faster could get by, but I really wasn't going much slower that most everyone else. There were a couple of dicey places but I did ok, and I didn't get freaked out, and things were fine. Well, until I pulled into where I work. I almost got stuck because of the frozen junk from yesterday covered by the drifted snow from today, but I just kept moving until I got to my spot. That did make me kind of mad, but after I got here, the plowing got done.

I don't want to bring any bad luck down on my head for the above post, but I am just thrilled to not feel the terror that I have felt driving in the winter in the past.

Now I just have to get home!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Grocery ads

I do most of my grocery shopping at Meijer. For the last two weeks, their grocery ad has been really sparse. First of all, they changed the format from the full-sized pages to the half-sized pages so it is not so obvious that there is less stuff being advertised. Second, the items are spaced farther apart, and some are pictures of the food rather than the package. (What's that about?) Third, they are using ad space, at least one whole page plus other items interspersed, to advertise their everyday low prices rather than stuff that is on sale. How chintzy is that?

Do these companies think that the consumers don't notice? Well I notice! Meijer? Busted!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Meme

A holiday meme I found at The Blue Door.

1. Candy cane or peppermint patties? Peppermint patties. I'm not a candy cane fan.
2. Sugar or gingerbread cookies? Um...Thumbprint cookies, actually. I'm not a fan of the roll out and cut out kind of cookies.
3. Tinsel or beaded strands? No tinsel! As part of our marriage vows ;o) we have neither tinsel (I don't like it) nor blinking lights (S doesn't like those). That was one of our first big compromises. Sometimes I put on some red wooden bead strands. We also have a few little glass icicles on our tree, and I love those.
4. Multi-colored or same-colored lights? Usually multi-colored lights. Last year was the first year I used white lights and that was to coordinate with the new multi-colored LED lights I had in the window.
5. Flashing or still lights? Still. See #3.
6. Wreaths or mistletoe/holly? Mistletoe and holly, though I rarely decorate with either.
7. Rudolph or Frosty? Rudolph. I'm not a big fan of snow, and Frosty actually has nothing to do with Christmas.
8. Sledding or snowball fights? Did I mention I'm not a bit fan of snow? My main snow activity is, unfortunately, shoveling.
9. Snow or ice/icicles? Gently falling snow, especially if I have no where to go. Icicles brings up a whole other topic.
10. Snow hat or earmuffs? Hat, although it has to be really cold for me to wear a hat. I'm much more likely to tie a scarf around my head.
11. Getting or giving? Giving. I wish I were better at it.
12. Snow days or plow trucks? I long for the days when I could stay home for a snow day.
13. Stockings or presents? Both, baby! Sockings are a big deal at our house.
14. Cookies & milk or letter to Santa? We always leave cookies & milk, and carrot sticks for the reindeer. Never left a letter.
15. Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? I love them both for different reasons, if the wrapping is done! We open presents on Christmas Day.
16. Log Burning Channel or real thing? There’s a log burning channel? I grew up in a house with a fire place complete with formal mantle where we hung our stockings, but we don't have one now.
17. Cards or emails? Cards. I do cards every year. 50-60 of them.
18. Shoveling or cleaning off the car? We do both around here.
19. Hot cocoa or eggnog? Hot cocoa. Stephen's. The hazelnut is my new favorite. Never eggnog. Blech!!!
20. Jack Frost or Little Drummer Boy? I'd say those two are scraping the bottom of the barrel for Christmas music! How about "Mary Did You Know?" or Bing singing "White Christmas."

Sunday, December 6, 2009


As, I mentioned previously, my husband's "uncle" Ed passed away. He was actually my father-in-law's cousin, but my husband regarded him as more of an uncle figure.

We went to the funeral on Friday. It was held at the country club in a nearby town. Odd, but fitting venue.

I must say that for a funeral not of my faith (because my church has the best funerals,) it was the best funeral I have ever been to.

I can sum it up in two words. Humor and Love. Ed was a funny guy. He knew how to tell a joke, how to turn a phrase, how to write a ditty, how to deliver a punchline. The minister wasn't too preachy or too optimistic, and the other speakers talked about Ed's humor, so there was lots of laughter. When his son spoke, the feeling of love in the room was palpable. When his granddaughter spoke on behalf of all of the grandchildren, the feeling continued and was carried on by the friend who spoke. It was incredibly moving.

It has really made me ponder how the choices we make, the little everyday choices, affect the legacy we leave.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A (Stolen) Saturday Six

These are six things I am not doing for Christmas this year:

1. Putting lights in my window--The tree will be lit and in the window, but there will be no lights put up in the window. It's a tribute. Don't ask.
2. Drinking eggnog--But then, I never do. (Blech)
3. Over-spending--It's a new concept. It's called the Christmas Budget. It is an acknowledgement that we buy a $500.00 plane ticket so K can come home, and the money has to come from somewhere!
4. Entertaining--But then I never entertain anyway. No room in this house.
5. Going to the Church Christmas party--It is at 10 am on a Saturday morning in December. I work full-time. I need my December Saturday mornings for Other Things.
6. Staying up late on Christmas Eve to wrap presents. It's going to be done early. Really!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Postponed Thursday Thoughts, Edited

  1. The past three days I have talked to a life-long (that's better than saying old, isn't it?) friend and the two siblings I communicate with the least. That's the upside.
  2. I am feeling fairly relaxed about Christmas, at this point. I recently read last year's Christmas post and I think I have a better grip on things this year. It could be the lack of snow (so far) or the lack of the (happy) stress of a major life-changing event in the offing.
  3. The two major stumbling blocks of Christmas preparation for me are Christmas cards and gift wrapping. Baking used to be in there too, but now, since K can help (or just take over and do it) it is not as much of an issue.
  4. I have a hard time getting other stuff done if my Christmas cards are not done. I have lived in seven states, and have friends all over the country, and this is the once-a-year attempt I make to keep in touch with most of them.
  5. I rarely, if ever, wrap Christmas gifts ahead. First, I have usually had no place to put them. Stuff takes up lots less room all stuffed together in shopping bags. We don't usually get our tree as early as we did this year either. Second, I don't ever have time to wrap early. It's the thing I do when everything else is done. Which sometimes is never. So I'm up late on Christmas Eve. Wrapping.
  6. For as long as I can remember, I have always called the span of time from Thanksgiving right on through Christmas, New Year's and my husband's birthday, The Holidays. At our house, we celebrate a Christ-centered Christmas, have a Christmas tree, give Christmas presents, send Christmas cards, say "Merry Christmas," and I resent that I am maligned for using the generic term "holidays".
  7. There was something else I was going to snark about, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. EDIT ALERT: Here I am, two and a half weeks later, and I remembered what it was! I was going to complain that radio stations who play Christmas music play the song from The Sound of Music, My Favorite Things. My Favorite Things is NOT a Christmas song! Nothing in the song indicates Christmas whatsoever. What is up with that?
  8. I have big plans this weekend to get my Christmas cards done and to stay home all day Saturday and get one or two big projects done that have been on my list for months that I really need to get done before I decorate. However, I may have to sneak out for the Meijer Saturday sale, but maybe not.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Skipping Today

I'm not going to post my planned post today. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I found out today that my friend's funeral is tomorrow. Many miles away from here.

My husband's "uncle" has passed away, and his funeral is also tomorrow.

My sister-"in-law" is in the hospital with transverse myelitis, paralized from the chest down. Prognosis, generally poor.

And it is snowing for the first time this winter. Blah.

Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Lists

Stolen Inspired, as usual from Blackbird at Say La Vee

Things I like:

  • Dark chocolate covered pecans and dark chocolate orange gels from McDonald's Homemade Candies.
  • My black every day shoes.
  • Blue skies in December.

Not so much:

  • The thought of the snow that is on the way.
  • Aggressive drivers.
  • Spending all of my prime time at work.

Things we did yesterday:

  • Cut our Christmas tree.
  • Sorted through a big pile of books and puzzles and boxed up 5 boxes to donate.
  • Ate wings and pizza at a little neighborhood place.

My radio stations on Pandora:

  • Andrea Bocelli
  • Anton Webern
  • Nickel Creek
  • Dave Matthews

Things to be happy about:

  • Christmas shopping is almost done, or at least under control.
  • I have no plans/need to leave the house on Saturday, so I can get a couple of big projects done before I decorate for Christmas.
  • K will be home in 16 days!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

From Ten on Tuesday

Ten things you want but won't buy for yourself.

1. An iPod.
2. An expensive leather purse.
3. A dress coat.
4. A flat screen TV.
5. A comfy chair.
6. A DVR.
7. A new dress.
8. A pair of leather gloves.
9. A laptop.
10. A new bed.