Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 126: December 31, 2009

Quote of the Day:
"The real secret of patience is to find something to do in the meantime." -author unknown

In honor of my "quote of the day", I have found something else to do in the meantime.  Tonight, I cooked up a LOT of spaghetti, and after feeding the garbage-disposal -er, Cody, I put the rest into some containers to freeze, so that I hopefully won't hear "But there's NOTHING to eat!" when I have a whole freezer full of meats and veggies waiting to be cooked.  You would think I was torturing them by telling them to cook something.  If it's not corn dogs, sandwiches, or microwave-ready, they aren't interested.  Tomorrow's job:  cooking up a bunch of corn chowder and lasagna.  And Ron, you'll be happy to know that I have tried THREE TIMES to cook spaghetti like you, and after tonight's attempt, it is still deemed "not as good as Dad's is."  PLEASE hurry home and cook this child some spaghetti! (And me... I really DO suck at spaghetti!)

I had to work out super early this morning, which kind of got my day off to an early start, which worked out.  I looked up some more recipes while waiting for Ron to come online, cleaned the kitchen up, went to Wichita Falls to pick up my gas cards from the Workforce Commission for my travel to and from school,  then hit up WalMart to see what I could find to store food in.  I could NOT believe how many people were there! It's like all of Wichita county decided that today is the day to get out and about, and they all decided to go to WalMart.  There was no parking. You could barely walk in the store without SOMEBODY either standing in front of what you are trying to look at, or stopping right in front of you and you having to stand there and wait for them forever.  Sigh.  We all know how I am with crowds, I get really really grouchy.  And I'm dieting... that's like a double whammy! Add in PMS, and I was a goner before I even parked.  The checkout lines were so long that I had to stand there for twenty minutes.  And there was even a line in the women's restroom, which NEVER happens.  Do I know how to pick my days to go shopping, or what? I thought I had entered a time warp and it was Black Friday, which I avoid like the plague!!!

I didn't have a lot of choices for storage containers, so I ended up getting a variety of different sizes that all seem to be a little too big for my tastes, but we'll see. With all the variety of foods I intend to cook up, it may be a good idea to have the extra space.  After that I went and picked up Cody at Nathan's, we went grocery shopping at United, which was every bit as packed with people as WalMart had been.  It was quicker in the checkout line, though.  And it's been cooking and cleaning up the kitchen ever since. Yay. I'm not sure why it is that at the end of the day it feels like I have run a marathon, and then I come on here to type up the blog and it's like I've done nothing all day long.  That really irks me. 

But the good news is that my long stretch of bad weight days is over, and although it took me five days to do it I FINALLY weigh something besides 132.6 -  I weighed in at 132.0 this morning! Yay me!  And all it took was for me to get mad and threaten my body that if it did not either gain or lose weight overnight I would go buy a box of CheezIts and a bag of Chex Mix and eat them both in their entirety while sitting in front of the television. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 125: December 30, 2009

Quote of the Day: "As a leader you should always start with where people are before you try to take them to where you want them to go."  - Jim Rohn


Today was pretty good. I went to the gym and worked out with Sherrie, and even though I could only use the stairstepper because of the treadmill hogs, I got in a really good workout. 70 floors! Woohoo! I needed it, because I have weighed in at exactly the same amount for the last four days straight, and am starting to worry that I have reached my minimum weight.  I really hope not, because I still feel as if I would like to be at the halfway point of my recommended weight range. But if so, then I suppose it's time to start toning.  I'm giving it until the 11th, and if I haven't lost any by then I'm going to give up. I've got better things to do than worry about trying to lose weight that just doesn't want to come off. 

Like studying for my HESI exam next semester. We're going to be starting the studying for that as soon as New Years is over with.  That way, when school starts up again, we'll be still in the "learning" mindset.  Our goal is to pass the test on the first try so that we don't have so much stress coming up to the end of our degrees.  It would be horrible to make it this far and not be able to graduate because of some stupid test. So we're going to do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen.  And speaking of school, I really can't wait to get it in motion again... we are SO CLOSE to the end!  It's going to be hard to stay focused on learning and not on graduating.  Or so I think, anyways.  We do have a really good crew that keeps each other in line on study days.

I worked on the quilt a little while today and made myself an apron out of an old denim romper that I no longer wear. I kept it because I liked the stitching around the neckline, and with just a little bit of improvising I'm satisfied with the results. Still going to make a "real" one, but this one was a good practice one.  And I am really enjoying being able to do some creative things.... haven't really had the chance to in a long time.  I'm really out of practice!   Here's a picture of the apron I made... but don't look at me IN the apron... I am exHAUSTED!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 124: December 29, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Love is not a matter of counting the years, it’s making the years count." – William Smith

The quilt is now backed, but let me tell ya... sewing is NOT something I will ever claim to be good at. I don't know how my mother and grandmother did it, because as far as I am concerned, there are other times besides when driving that a lead foot is a bad thing. And sewing is one of them!  Not to mention, fleece is VERY difficult to sew with. It stretches. It changes shape. And it has turned my quilt into something entirely different than what I wanted.  But that's okay, I can handle that.  It's just a camping and travel blanket anyways, right? Or to be used for my own bed? I promise, I will NEVER subject company to this quilt! HAHAHA  I guess I need a LOT more practice before I try for one of the nicer quilts. As in, YEARS worth of practice.   Which I will have, once I am out of school. I'll even have money to be able to do some new hobbies! Sounds good already!

Things have gone really slow today. I went to Sherrie's this afternoon and we did the Biggest Loser workout, so I'll probably be sore in the morning.  The funny thing is, it started snowing again when I was getting into my car to go over there, and it has snowed all day long, but it never did stick.  Or, at least, it hadn't the last time I looked out the window.  Maybe it has, and I've just been avoiding the thought like the plague.  Who knows?  It was really funny, though.... I drove past a guy that was shoveling snow out by his driveway, and it was like he just all of a sudden realized that it was snowing again because he kind of threw down his shovel and held his hands up to the sky and shook his head.  I could practically hear him yelling "AGAIN???"  Probably had just gotten it to where he could get his car out of the driveway. Hard to tell.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, just like today. I've got laundry to do, I need to do some more cleaning so that I can stay on top of it, and I have to work out again.  But that's pretty much all that I have planned so far. We'll see what else comes to mind in the morning. It's sure to be a lot of busywork, mostly, but that's okay.  As long as I'm moving around it can't be all that bad.  There are a lot worse things I can do besides spend my entire Christmas break here at the house.  It's been kind of nice not having the threat of tests and homework hanging over my head.  I really have been enjoying it.  And maybe I'll find the time to finish the painting I started before Ron left.  I'd LOVE to get that done just to get the canvas off the floor in my office.  It'd be nice to have room in there again by the time school starts up and it is study time again.  Even if it will be only three and a half months worth of school!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 123: December 28, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." -Aristotle

I did something a little different today. It was housecleaning time, and as I was right in the middle of vacuuming all that fuzz off the living room carpet, I thought to myself that it was completely crazy that I was planning out my entire day cleaning the house by myself when I had two boys sitting in a bedroom playing video games.  So I sat down at the table with two index cards. At the top I wrote down each of their names.  Then, underneath that, I proceeded to write a list of chores for them to do.  I walked into the room, handed them each their cards, and said "These are the things you need to get done by the end of the day."

I guess I must have shocked them speechless or something. It was a miracle. No complaints, no arguments, no nothing.... they actually turned OFF the video games and got right up and got to work.  And I just kind of stood there flabbergasted. What the heck just happened? Did my children get abducted by aliens? Did they visit Spooky Island before Scooby Doo and Mystery Inc came and took care of that situation?  Wow.  I haven't seen them that complacent unless they want something big.  It was kind of nice. And to put the icing on the cake, they actually completed about 80% of the things on their lists. Damien had prior plans with his friend and I let him go without being finished just because of that, and because he had worked hard on his list.  And Cody, well... he worked hard too, and I couldn't find it in me to force him to stay and finish all of his after I let the other go.  Plus, I think maybe I was too stunned at their good behavior to put up a fight.  My house is clean, and I didn't have to do all of it by myself.  Wow. I repeat, for the third time, Wow.

I forgot to tell everyone about Cody's snowman situation yesterday. When I left for Sherrie's house to make our signs Cody was out in the yard happily starting a snowman.  About halfway through with the letters he texted me to ask when I was coming home so that I could see his snowman.  I texted back in a few minutes, that we were not done yet.  And then, when I finally pulled into the driveway, there was his snowman.  The first thing I noticed was that it was wearing a wig, and my scarf and gloves.  "That's really cute," I thought, "I'd better run and get the camera and take a picture for Ron." So I came into the house, put down my things, and headed out to snap a picture of his masterpiece.  When I got to the edge of the road I turned around to take the picture, and was instantly  mortified and embarassed beyond belief. Right there in my front yard for God and all the neighbors and passers-by to see was his creation. He had added boobs to the snowman!  And not only that, my inventive and creative child decided that a carrot nose wasn't good enough for HIS snowman... he grabbed BRUSSELS SPROUTS and gave the boobs nipples!!!!!!  I could not believe it!  I refused to take a picture of it, and made him take the boobs off.  This morning, after talking with Ron and deciding that I should take a picture of it now that Cody had fixed it, I went out with the camera to find that sometime this morning someone came into our yard and obliterated the snowman.  Sigh.  Another opportunity gone.  You'd think I'd learn my lesson.  But I was just too embarassed to think straight.  Oh, well. At least it makes a great story... who'd have thought of brussels sprouts anyways? Only my 13 year old.

And now, the weather channel website is saying that tomorrow we have a 70% chance of snow up to an inch in the afternoon, and another 70% chance of snow up to an inch overnight.  What the heck is going on around here? Oh, well. Maybe it'll put down some fresh snow for him to make another snowman with. Our snow has certainly not melted much at all, and it's been 5 days now including the "blizzard day", so what's a little more going to matter? We'll see what tomorrow brings, I guess.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 122: December 27th, 2009

Quote of the Day:
Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I'll miss you
Until we meet again!
~Author Unknown

Okay, since Cody was unable to be here for Christmas day we decided to have our Christmas dinner yesterday.  Not really a big hardship, because we had to eat anyways, and it's always better to eat as a family for holidays whenever it's possible.  The boys both decided to stay in bed until 1pm once we finally got home and to bed, but I woke up at 9 so I went ahead and did some cleaning and worked on my quilt for a little bit.  I kept thinking I'd put the ham in the oven right around noon and it would be nice and warm and the entire meal ready when they woke up.  However, the fates or whoever else is in charge thought it would be the perfect opportunity to teach me a lesson. I was not amused.
You see, back when I was buying the food to prepare our Thanksgiving meal I bought enough to make sure that I had Christmas dinner taken care of as well. So the thought never crossed my mind that I had bought for just us, and that I'd had to make extra at Thanksgiving due to having two surprise guests. I went to grab the ham and put it in the oven to warm up, thinking I had bought a pre-cooked ham. WRONG! Turns out that the ham wasn't precooked, and would take FOREVER to cook!  Okay, no big deal. I just cut it into smaller portions to cook individually. It would cook faster that way, and I wouldn't have to cook the whole entire thing in one day.  So I got that started, and then moved on to the other things. 
Like the mashed potatoes... had to get the potatoes boiling so that they could cook.  It was then that I realized that SOMEONE had used the last of the butter and not said anything to me... we were completely out! So we would have no butter for the mashed potatoes, and none for the stuffing. Okay, no big deal. I decided we'd have mozzarella topped baked potatoes instead, and just make the stuffing without butter.  Then it came to the green been casserole, which is when I figured out what had happened. I had bought the french fried onions and the cream of mushroom soup last time, so I went to grab them out of the cupboard only to find them gone, and that was when it hit me. I had cooked it all on Thanksgiving. (Keep in mind, I had just gotten back  from braving the ice and sliding all over the place to buy the brown sugar I needed to do the candied yams. I had run out of that too!)
So I decided to try and improvise with the green beans a little with what I had on hand. Let me just tell you right now.... VELVEETA AND GREEN BEANS WITH BACON sounded good at the time, but the reality was really not worth the effort. It was DISGUSTING! So next time we'll just completely leave the green beans off the menu if we have to. None of us would eat it. Probably not even the dogs, but I was feeling too nice at that point in time to give them that kind of belly ache.  I just chalk it up to this one little nugget of wisdom: NEVER try to improvise with food on four hours of sleep... it does not work. It never will work. Just give it up and move on.  So we ate our butterless stuffing, our ham, and the candied yams, and the baked potatoes. The green beans? In the trash. The bargain bread rolls? Hard as rocks with no butter. None of us enjoyed them.  Next year? WILL CHECK THE CUPBOARDS BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE. NO exceptions.
Today was a little better, except that my internal clock must have been thrown off by staying up so long, because I woke up at 3:30 this morning and was about as wide awake as I could ever be.  I laid there for a while trying to force myself to fall back to sleep, but it didn't work until about 5 or so.  Then I was up at 7am just like normal.  So once again, I've spent the day completely tired.  But that's okay, I went over to Sherrie's house this afternoon and we made our Noel signs for next Christmas, which was really fun.  And after I got back from there I worked on the quilt again.  It is currently in the dryer, and hopefully when it comes out it will be all ready for its backing and then I'll be done with it.  Tomorrow's plan? To vacuum up all the various little quarter-inch threads that are literally covering every square inch of the living room floor from shaking the blanket out before the wash.  To finish the backing.  And maybe do a little more cleaning.  And who KNOWS what else. I guess it depends on if I get enough sleep or not, I may just say the heck with it.  I may just spend the entire day finding new recipes online.  I did some of that yesterday, and was very, very hungry by the time I called it a night.  Too bad I'm dieting... I found a couple of recipes that would taste just AMAZING!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day 121: December 26, 2009

Quote of the Day:  “In the hope to meet Shortly again, and make our absence sweet.” ~Ben Jonson

It has been a really crazy couple of days. People here just can't drive in snow, that's all!  I heard from my friend Sherrie that the police had to borrow 4WD vehicles from Pruitt Ford here in town just to go and rescue people in.  Last night I started getting text messages from Cody that he was having an asthma attack. And did not have his inhaler. I asked him how bad it was, and told him that if it got worse to call me.  Well, at about 12:30 this morning he called and said that he really needed me to come and get him. So I groaned, grumbled, and got out of bed.  It was the longest drive I have EVER had to Wichita Falls!  It took me until 4am by the time I got back home and could barely get the car up the driveway.  I slipped and slid all over the place!  I ended up sideways on Kramer Road while going 10mph.  The funny thing is, the whole way there were trucks passing me all the time going at least thirty, and here I was having to go all slow.  But the only time I spun my tires was trying to get back into the driveway afterward.  I had to just back up and gun it.... and still barely made it up into the driveway before the car got stuck.  I just pulled the e-brake and gave up. I figure I'll go repark today when the driveway thaws out.

And just in case you are wondering, yes, Cody actually did need his inhaler.  It must be the sudden change in weather.   But he didn't sound any better after using his inhaler when I picked him up, and says that his lungs hurt when he breathes, so I may end up making another trek to Wichita Falls to take him to the clinic. It would figure if he ended up with pneumonia, wouldn't it?  I'll be keeping a close eye on him today, though, for sure.

Sorry, I just lost my train of thought.... as I'm sitting here writing this, Tiny is chasing his tail!  A cat, chasing his tail!!!! Wow, has the world gone nuts or something???  The kitties have all been really rowdy the last couple of days, but today seems to be really, really bad.  They're all running full-speed throughout the house. Crazy little guys! But I'd better get going, we're doing our Christmas today, so I've gotta get cooking.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Never thought we'd be "snowed in" living in Texas, but here's the pictures for you of our "White Christmas"


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 119: December 24, 2009

Quote of the Day:  "Be still sad heart, and cease repining, behind the clouds is the sun still shining"-Author Unknown

SNOWSNOWSNOWSNOWSNOWSNOWSNOWSNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can't believe it! I woke up this morning and walked into the bathroom to weigh myself, and just happened to look up at the skylight, and was shocked to see snow! Of course, I had to run outside and immediately take a picture or two, and have been sitting here at the window ever since watching these big, monstrous flakes flying around.  It's coming down really good., but there's also a really good wind that's making it look almost blizzard-like.  I can't wait to see how long it snows for!

9:50am:  Just looked at the weather, and we are now in a blizzard warning.  The temperature is dropping lower and lower, and they're saying that  this is just going to keep coming.  I am LOVING IT! I can barely see out the windows from the snow blowing against them.  They have now closed the base down, and all those people are being sent home.  The only bad thing about this as far as timing goes, is that I have to drive out near Thornberry today to pick up Cody, who went to spend the night at his friend Nathan's last night with me supposed to come get him today.  I figured that yeah, okay, we'll get some  snowflakes and that's about it... typical Texas weather.  WRONG!!!  As I'm sitting here watching the snow pile higher and higher, I'm wondering if we're even going to be able to go get him or not. What a mess!

11:05am:  Can I tell you that I really, really, REALLY WISH YOU WERE HERE RIGHT NOW TO SEE THIS!!!!!!!!!! You wouldn't believe how badly I wish you were here right now. They've activated the city's emergency phone call system, telling everyone that they are to stay at home unless travel is absolutely necessary. I opened the front door a few minutes ago to find that the snow is at least a foot deep in the entire front walkway.  You can barely see the plants anymore. And the little half walls have white caps on them!  I'm starting to wonder if I will be having Christmas without Cody.... they live down a really winding road, and I'm wondering if I'll even be able to tell what's road and what's grassy shoulder and what's ditch. Uh-oh... guess maybe I should have gone when it first started, but they were saying that it would all be over by noon. A van and a truck just drove down the road out front, and literally within thirty seconds their tracks were completely invisible. NOW what?

1:35pm: Well, it has been a pretty eventful day. I can't see out my windows because of all the snow that has stuck to them in the blowing wind.  I just came in from helping one of the neighbors push their car out of the road from getting it stuck. Right outside my house. They live sort of across the street.  And they just drove all the way to Wichita Falls to pick up Christmas dinner, and got all the way back here... just to get stuck less than 300 feet from their house.  Thing is, they drive a Chrysler just like mine.  I called Sheriff Ronnie and asked him how the roads were between here and Thornberry, and he said that they weren't even driveable... I am now resigned to the fact that Cody will not be able to come home today.

4pm: Looks like it has finally quit snowing! All that is left now is the occasional blowing snow. And the HUGE snow drifts. There will be no driving for a couple of days, unfortunately. Unless they go salt every single street.  They closed all the highways here, too.  Oh, and just so you know.... MOCHA HATES SNOW!  She is completely afraid of it. It's kind of funny.  She's so afraid of it that she decided it was better to poop on the patio than go out in it!

10:45pm:  Okay, I have decided that I like snow, but not wind-blown snow. It just isn't pretty the way having everything covered equally is.  For instance, across the street part of their yard has grass, and the rest of it is snow-covered, from the wind blowing it all around.  And then there's the fact that the snow is knee-deep all the way up to the front door, but yet only calf-deep in other spots.  It's just not consistent, and makes it hard to get a real idea of how much snow you get.  And I had to go out a second time this afternoon to help push Jackie next door so that he could get out of the road and onto his driveway!  Seems like everyone thought it'd be great to go drive in the snow.  Poor Sherrie had to work today, and made a valiant attempt, but her truck got stuck at the on-ramp to the highway, and will have to stay there until tomorrow, unless this mess doesn't get a little safer to drive on.  Then it could be Saturday before they get it.  Or Sunday.  Or who knows when?

I have more pictures, but am going to have to put them onto Flickr and load them as a slideshow, because it is taking FOREVER to load these pictures, and I want to go to bed sometime tonight.  Hopefully, these will do for now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 118: December 23, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Frequently remind yourself that God is with you, that He will never fail you, that you can count upon him. Say these words, "God is with me, helping me." - Norman Vincent Peale

I tell you, we just can't win for losing!!! I finally, FINALLY got the bills paid, with just enough money left to maybe buy some milk and cereal, and I open my email today to get the stupid electric bill.  Due on the same payday as the mortgage.  It was $622.24!  That means that ONLY the mortgage and the electric bill will be paid, and the other three bills will be late... again.  Dangit!  WHEN are we going to be able to break free? Oh, yeah... after I graduate in MAY!  And I sat down today and compared the normal monthly bills since we moved into this house, and January's bill will be just as high.  At least this time I'll expect it, right? And thankfully, February usually is a smaller bill. Then we just have to wait until July hits for the next super-large bills. I really HATE this house with its poor insulation and stupid leaky windows. This electricity stuff bites!

You know, I have completely and totally wasted two days of my time now.  I figured it would be a good thing for me to take ALL our DVD movies out of the player and insert them in alphabetical order in the machine.  Great idea, right? Wrong.  As soon as I got on a good roll, I'd find one that wasn't on our list and had to add it, which would shift the ENTIRE THING out of whack and I'd have to start over.  THEN, once I finally got them into the player in the correct alphabetical order, I had to go back and manually type in the names of 95% of the movies that did not automatically update in it.  Of course, none of it really bugged me. I was happy to do it.  Until I sat down to actually WATCH a movie after spending all day putting in titles. And noticed this little bar at the top of the screen, where if you hit a special button on the remote, you can have it sort the entire contents by movie title!!!!!! UGH!!!!! WHY didn't I learn about this A YEAR AGO????

Other than that, I've just been adding more blisters to my hand working on that blasted quilt. Not so excited anymore about it, actually. I think it's become more of a vengeance thing at this point. Stupid quilt. Stupid me! What was I thinking? HAHAHA Next time, I think I'll definitely conquer something a lot smaller, like a lap quilt. Or a napkin. But it's turning out alright, all things considered. Yes, I'm not the greatest seamstress in the world, but it is DEFINITELY going to be a warm quilt.  Just working on it and having it on my lap makes me sweat, without the fleece backing even on it yet!
Oh, and I tried to go out tonight and get pictures of Christmas lights, like I said I would, but the wind has come up something fierce and the temperature has plummetted.  They're saying we can expect snow showers overnight, and a high of 36 tomorrow. So yeah, I came back home after attempting one picture and it turning out poorly.  I'm a whimp. I'll admit it.  Maybe I'll try again on Christmas day, when it's supposed to be warmer.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 117: December 22, 2009

Quote of the Day :

“The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.”
(from the poem: The Ladder of St. Augustine, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

We got some really great news in the mail. Finally, after all these months, Damien’s case has been dismissed! So, he no longer has to worry about going to court or anything like that. Thank God! I mean, really…. They’ve only been pushing it back since MAY. Why couldn’t they have done it long ago? I just do not understand how this court system works. I really don’t. But at least he’s got a clean slate now. Right?

The weather was really cloudy this morning, and looked really dreary. A good day to stay inside and get some things done in the house. NOT that I have gone outside much since I’ve been working on all these various projects. I need to, but I haven’t yet. I have so much going on inside the house that it’s hard to think about getting outside and working out there.  So of course, I went outside and pulled out all the dead morning glory, pepper plants, and basil.  So the backyard is pretty much done. Well, except for the fact that the small vine I planted this spring has died as well.  I wasn't sure if it would or not, but I'm going to leave it there just in case it is just gone dormant.  Like the wisteria has, which I really need to go out and move but can't figure out where to move it TO.  And tomorrow morning, weather permitting, I'll go out front and do the dead plants out there.  There's not many, so it shouldn't take too long. But I definitely have to do it early, because tomorrow calls for PM thunderstorms with snow showers overnight. So.... gotta get it done while it will still be warm out.

I took the day off from working on the quilt at all, just because I was starting to feel a little bit burned out on it.  I'm not really happy with the amount of work making such a huge blanket has been, and I think next time I'll just do a smaller one.  Or at least do things a little bit differently. Not sure yet. Maybe I'll never GET the urge to make another one, after this.  We'll see, because I really do enjoy them, it's just that it's sooooo big and takes so much time.  And maybe the more I do, the better I'll get at sewing? Just a thought.  If I remember right, my curtains I sewed in Japan turned out really well.

NEWS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: the people on the corner had this in their yard yesterday, but I forgot to put it on here for ya.  This one's a new variation on the theme, isn't it?  Haven't seen the dinosaurs yet!  I love it, though.... maybe I'll do something like this for you when YOU get old!!! LOL
Tomorrow I think I'm going to try to do a little bit of driving around to try and take some pictures of some of the lights that I like.  That way, a little bit of Christmas can make it all the way halfway around the world.  I've seen a couple of people who went above and beyond this year, compared to last year.  However, I am very disappointed in our neighborhood.  A lot of people just didn't even bother putting up lights this year, and the neighborhood theme just isn't a theme this year.  Jackie and Linda next door only put up a little tiny swag over their front door this year, compared to last year's great lights. It's a shame to own a big, beautiful house in a neighborhood like this and then NOT decorate it up for Christmas.  I guess the economy around here has hit a lot more people than it would appear at first, or people are just being abnormally bah-humbug this year. One of the two.  Geez, people, I really didn't want to do it this year either, but at least I went out there and put them up!
A REALLY bad picture of me and Mocha on the 'puter with Daddy.

For some reason, she up and decided to try being inside today, but her constant whining and clawing me for attention finally got the best of me, and I put her back outside. I think she may eventually come around and LIKE being inside, but it will take a while.

And for now.... here are some more random animal pictures.  I'll try to get some of Mika, but she's been hiding from me because I keep yelling at her every time I find her laying on my quilt.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 116: December 21, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~Theodor Seuss Geisel, attributed

Ever wonder how life sometimes can seem so clear, with so much purpose, then other times you're just hanging out and going through the motions? It's so hard to get anything accomplished during those times.  All we can do is sit around and think about all the coulds and shoulds, without really doing anything worthwhile. Spinning our gears, in danger of wearing them out so much that we'll never get back on track.  The worst part about that feeling is that it comes on so suddenly without giving you the slightest warning.  You wake up one morning and realize that things just aren't what they should be, and you have to take the time to sit and think about it to figure out why. Only most of us just don't have what it takes to figure it out on our own.  That's how I feel lately, like I'm walking around on auto-pilot, and there's nothing I can do but just let it pass me by.  I've changed in so many ways that it's sometimes hard to figure out exactly how it happened.  But here I am, no longer worried about having "the best car" or "the coolest clothes", like I did when I was younger. 

I used to write the most horrible, awful poetry that you can imagine back in my teen years, so sure that I was never going to get anywhere or do anything. And now here I am all those years later, just about ready to become a Registered Nurse. Which brings me to another thought, entirely... do we ever really know ourselves?  Or is it simply that we constantly change in accordance with our environment?  If that's the case, then where did the term "you can take the girl out of the trailer park but you can't take the trailer park out of the girl" come from, and other wonderfully descriptive little tidbits?  I used to want all sorts of things, but lately I've been finding myself wanting to get rid of things, to "clear out the clutter" and get back to the bare necessitites.  I'm not sure when it happened, probably around the last time we had military movers, and it has just been getting stronger each time we've had to do all our own packing, and moving.  But I really, truly wish that we had less "stuff" than we do now. Some of it I can see having, but other things... who needs tablecloths, when I never use them? Why do I have to keep so many coats in our coat closet, when we rarely wear them all anymore? Shouldn't I give them to people who need them?  And these books.... I'll never re-read them, isn't there something they'd be better used for?

Things have been real quiet aroun here today. I finished sewing the quilt top together, but now I have to cut the edges of each and every 4 inch square so that they will "rag out" properly when I wash the quilt.  So of course, I have been on the floor cutting edges for about four hours now and have only managed to cut out three rows of them. It is taking longer than cutting out the squares and sewing them together ever did. I am so frustrated with it that I could scream. I know that it will be better if it's done right, and therefore it's worth it to be down there on the floor killing myself, but I am so tempted just to throw it in the washer and test my fate.  Because I sure am tired of this thing! And it's so heavy, by the way, that I'm not even sure it's practical.  It nearly broke my back trying to support the weight of it while I was sewing it.  I think when it's completely done I'm going to weigh myself, then weigh myself again while holding it, and find out exactly how heavy it really is. THAT would be good to know.  I'm hoping that tomorrow I can get it to where it's nearly done, and maybe I will like it more. As for right now, I'm definitely not impressed with it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 115: December 20, 2009

Quote of the Day:  "Leadership is the ability to get extraordinary achievement from ordinary people." - Brian Tracy

I spent half the day sewing the quilt squares together, and the other half trying to keep my psychotically determined cat off my lap while I sewed the quilt squares.  Have you ever tried sewing when your sewing machine is level with your knees because it's on the coffee table, and you have a cat on your lap? It's quite difficult. And irritating.  I don't know what it is about that crazy cat, but if he doesn't get his mommy fix he is completely annoying!  It drives him crazy if he can't spend at least a half hour a day sitting on my lap. I guess he feels neglected or something. But I didn't get the whole quilt top sewed like I had wanted. I have five rows left before I can start putting the top together.  That's okay, though, it will give me time to think about whether I want to take the time to pin it together first, since it's such a long run. I probably do, but who knows how I'll feel tomorrow.

It's been a really bad week on the weight loss front. I just can't seem to get it together this week at all. I haven't exercised, and I am constantly hungry. I have actually gained some weight back this week, so far. Not a pound yet, but my weigh-in day is tomorrow and I've been eating like crazy. I have no idea why it's all of a sudden an issue, but it's driving me batty. I've even upped the amount of water I've been drinking, but it still hasn't helped.  I guess maybe I lost the determination this week or something. It's so frustrating, because I can't seem to lose the weight like everyone else does.  They recommend two pounds a week, and most times I can barely lose one. So gaining this week puts me even further behind schedule. But short of completely starving myself, I just don't know how I'll get my stupid body to fall in line. I don't want to give up, but I'm so disheartened that it feels like I want to.  If that makes any sense to anyone else but me.  But here's hoping that tomorrow morning, I'll magically be at least 0.2 pounds lower than I was on Tuesday. ANY loss is better than a gain. Even if it is so miniscule that it doesn't even matter.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 114: December 19, 2009

Quote of the Day: “You left, and my heart is a ceaseless sermon of loneliness.” ~Jaesse Tyler

You know, I am so irritated with my crazy cats that I could just throw them all out the window!  Last night before bed I got all those stupid squares cut out, and arranged them all nice and neat on the living room floor so that I could start sewing it together today.  Well, for some UNKNOWN REASON the cats all decided that they should practice the Indy 500 in the middle of the night or something! I got up this morning to find pieces scattered all over the living room!  I was so mad! So I took two hours to put it all back the way it was supposed to be, but then I had to leave the house for a little bit. And then, when I got back, I found that they had started on it AGAIN! GRR!!!!  So I re-did it again, then stacked the pieces in rows and had to iron them before I could even start on it.  I did manage to get two whole rows sewn tonight, though, after fixing my sewing machine from letting Damien use it.  Well, technically I did three, but I sewed the entire first row before I realized that a rag quilt isnt sewn the same way normal things are, and that you have to sew the pieces with the outsides facing each other.   So I'll have to completely undo that first row and start over on it.  But so far it seems like the sewing is going a lot faster than I expected. So there really is hope that I might be done with it by Monday!

And then, also today there's the fact that I realized I did a major boo-boo. I went to the USPS website after mailing Ron his packages to order boxes and customs forms delivered so that I could have them on hand to ship things to Ron, instead of having to make a trip to the post office to pick up boxes and then go back again to mail them. Well, I guess I didn’t read the fine print, because I ordered ten.  What I got was ten boxes, all right.... ten BOXES of ten boxes!!! LOL  So I guess I'll have plenty of boxes to ship things with, huh? Another total blond moment from Carmen.  Gee, it's starting to become a habit!

I did go this morning to my friend Sherrie's house this morning to take pictures of her and her family for their Christmas family photos.  We must have done about a hundred and fifty pictures! It was actually kind of fun, and the kids were all having a pretty good time. Well, until the little ones got tired, but for little ones they did really well. I can't imagine what it would be like to have young children, though, now that mine are grown.  It's been so long since I've had to have that much energy.  What am I going to do when it comes time for grandkids??? How will I ever keep up with them? I guess I'd better get in gear with getting in shape, so that I'll be able to keep up. Right?  Because heaven knows I've been tired all the time lately.  I can't imagine what it would be like to actually feel energetic again. I'll bet it would be wonderful!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 113: December 18, 2009

Quote of the Day:   "I hate being without you, because it’s so easy to be with you." –Gayle Lapekas

I watched a movie tonight that finally, finally was decent. After sitting in front of the television all day long cutting out fabric squares for the quilt and having to sit through one horrible, boring, irrelevant show after another, I finally had something decent to watch at 9 o'clock tonight.  Confessions of a Shopaholic.... it's a movie which I have repeatedly passed by at the movie store every time we go to rent movies, because it simply didn't sound all that great to me.  However, after watching it, I have to say it was a decent movie.  It was about this girl with a chronic shopping problem, and the troubles that it causes her.  And the ever-mounting debt. Of course, that really strikes home for me because I HATE having debt. And heaven knows we seem to have enough of it around here.  They say that the "average" American family has a credit balance of $50k, and that probably isn't too far off the mark. Everyone I know pretty much has one form of debt or another. Us included. And sometimes it feels like it is strangling you, even if you're always current on your payments.  And yes, they really do avoid telling you that the money you owe now you might finally pay off in sixty years if you only pay minimum payments and don't use the cards ever again, right? Or does that not really matter when most people seem utterly convinced that the world is going to end in 2012? You know, the same people who thought the world would end because of the Y2K thing. Hmm... hard to tell. Wonder if they'll let you into heaven if you have outstanding credit card debt? Or does that fall into the "greed", one of the seven deadly sins? Just a random thought.

I finally finished the quilt squares, so it looks like it's time for me to start on the sewing part of it.  Isn't that scary? I can't believe that it took so long to cut them all out!  It probably would have been a lot quicker except that it's impossible to mark on black denim and be able to see it well enough to cut accurately.  I'm a little nervous about it, to be honest, because I haven't really had the greatest track record with sewing. But I guess giving it a try is worth it, right? At least I'm not so afraid that I simply refuse to sew anything. I'm just glad that I don't have to do this whole thing by hand. THAT would be very, very painful on the fingers after the first few squares. I'll try to take pictures of it and put on here when it's finished, but if it doesn't turn out well all bets are off.  It'll just be quietly put aside to be used on cold days when no one else will be around to see it! HAHAHA

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 112: December 17, 2009

Quote of the Day: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.” - Charles Dickens

Is it really nearly midnight? Wow, where did the time go?

I have spent almost all day long cutting out quilt squares. It's amazing, when I sit back and realize that I started at around 7am this morning, and am STILL not done. I have a ways to go still.  Wow... this quilt had better be something special, huh?

While I was working on the quilt squares I sat and channel surfed, and was amazed at how much junk there is on television. How many old movies that no one really cares about anymore.  A couple of them were alright, such as when I caught the tail end of "Broken Arrow", from back when I really had a thing for John Travolta.  Those were the days! But it got me thinking... how many of the "hotties" from my younger days have really aged? Almost all of them, and most of them not well. And geez, not even just the hotties, but also the actors that I really liked for their acting. You know, guys like Tom Cruise, Kevin Costner (oh, wait... I think he was a hottie), Robin Williams.... the list goes on and on.  Some of them I don't even recognize anymore when I see them in a movie.  And it's not just the guys, either, though they're the ones I paid attention to so it's more noticeable with them.  So what does that say about ME? Am I really, REALLY getting THAT OLD??? Am I going to be the old hag soon? Yikes, nothing like watching movies from your junior high and high school days to really make you feel decrepit. Where's my walker, anyways?

Cody spent this evening at his friend's house practicing, they want to try and start a band. I think it's really cute, but at the same time I'd sure like it a lot better if he had his own mode of transportation and I didn't have to play Mom's Taxi all the time. It sure makes it difficult when you've been working on something long enough that you get into that "zone" where everything starts to just glide along nice and smooth, and then you have to drop what you're doing to go pick someone up. It's hard to get back into it again when that happens. 

Maybe something more will happen tomorrow, because today was all about TV and cutting out little four-inch squares of denim.  Not exactly prize-winning entertainment, is it?  Then again, it's my break from school - it's supposed to be low-key.  And on the plus side, I finally came up with a color pattern for the quilt that I think I like.  I'll take pictures of the squares all laid out tomorrrow for you, so that you can see what I hope it will turn out like. For now, I'm going to go drop into the bed, because I truly didn't realize how late it was, but now that I do I feel like I can barely keep my eyes open. So goodnight for another day, and I'll try to write about something interesting tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 111: December 16th, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Anything God asks us to do he supplies us with the energy and grace to do." -Author Unknown

I came to the decision last night that I am going to make a rag quilt out of old blue jeans.  I've been wanting to make another quilt for a long, long time but have never had the chance to when I actually thought about it. I'd always say, "I'll have to do that after A, B, and C are done."  Well, I've been thinking about it for so long, that all of a sudden the image came in my head of what I wanted and now I'm going to do it.  I figure there's no way I can't get it done in a month.  So I went through my closet and found that although my jeans are too big for me now, I'm scared to get rid of them in case I gain my weight back. I know it will be a while before it happens if I do, but I still would like to have them on hand just in case.  After deciding that it was pointless to use my own I got in the car and took a drive down to Goodwill to see what I could come up with.  And MAN, let me tell you, I lucked out like you wouldn't BELIEVE!!!! They do this thing where on certain days certain colored tags are on sale, and today it was yellow tags were buy one get one free, and green tags were 99cents!  So I stocked up on like twenty pairs of jeans!  And I ran into an old co-worker from Lowe's and another old co-worker from the hospital while I was there, which seems to be happening more and more frequently lately.  I guess I'm finally starting to get to know more people around here or something.

When I got home I started cutting them apart, and it's now eleven o'clock and I've barely started cutting out the squares to make the quilt. I forgot what a pain denim is to cut... my fingers are blistered and raw and about as bright red as a cherry tomato! Ouch!  But I can still type, so it's all good.  No different than what happens to me when I use a rake or shovel, except that it's on the top of my fingers and not the pads where the skin is thicker.  Maybe I should buy a new pair of scissors? I went to try and sharpen these, but somehow our yellow knife sharpener which has been in the knife drawer since we moved into this house has turned up missing.  And magically, neither of the kids knows where it is.  BOTH of them said they didn't know we had a knife sharpener. Uh-huh. So where is it then? Did it get bored and tired of waiting for me to use it and decide to go on vacation to Tahiti?

All in all it's been a fairly quiet day. I am kind of dreading getting up tomorrow and starting cutting out squares again, but at least the hard part is done. Well, the hard part on my fingers, anyways. The rest is just time-consuming.  But hey, anything to keep busy and be productive, right?  But sure can't wait to cuddle up under this quilty with my most important person in the world! I just hope I can have it done by then.  You know me, always have things happening to distract me.  I also will be working on laundry tomorrow while I'm cutting the pattern, so that should make it a little less tedious.  And I'm pretty excited to be trying my hand at sewing again.... maybe I'll actually do a halfway decent job this time? You know, since it's really the only class I took in school that I didn't quite do all that well in.  I think I remember that my teacher told me I'd be better off taking woodshop than home ec. HAHAHAHAHAHA Yeah, maybe... I don't really enjoy sewing as much as a lot of my friends did. And you gotta love power tools!  I'm seeing a Tim Allen moment in my head right now.  Good thing that there aren't THAT many things which I could destroy around here, huh? 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 110: December 15th, 2009

Quote of the Day:
"Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory." - George S. Patton

The whole day wasn't bad, really. I got registered into the classes that I really wanted for the last semester of nursing school. I completed my project and have to wait 72 hours for it to cure.  I got all the bills paid up and current. However, for everything good there has to be something bad, right? So, of course, that means that I have about a hundred dollars left after paying bills to buy food, gas, and Christmas presents with. And Damien, bless him for being soooooo considerate, took care of the rest by wrecking his car... AGAIN.  This time, he says the person in front of him stopped quickly and went to do a U-Turn in front of him, making Damien veer off the road and into a barbed-wire fence.   This is only four months after his OTHER accident in his newer car... that we just bought in July.  Our insurance premiums shot up when we got this stupid car, then shot up again when he got into his first accident, and now this! So they're either going to shoot up yet again, or our insurance company is going to drop us.  It's so frustrating!  I swear to God that some people just were NOT meant to operate a vehicle.

He says that when he hit the barbed wire fence it messed up his bumper and headlight, and then when he had to reverse to get out of the fence it tore it off completely.  LUCKILY, the fence itself was fine (figure THAT out?). And the other car? It left the scene. So the cop accused Damien of lying about the accident.  Sigh.  Thankfully, the cop didn't issue him a ticket, even for the expired proof of insurance in the car from us not remembering to print new ones off.  Now all we need to do is yet AGAIN come up with the five hundred dollar deductible, on top of everything else we have been dealing with.  And someone once said that children aren't really THAT expensive! Right! If it weren't for these two, we would have three grand in our savings account right now. We could have taken a family vacation!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 109: Monday, December 14, 2009

Quote of the Day:
"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you." ~A. A. Milne

I've had a pretty long day today so far.  I got one of my smaller projects mostly done, and just have a few finishing touches left on it.  I cleaned, I vacuumed, I dusted.  I think tomorrow, if it's not too cold outside, I'll take care of the plants, since I didn't get around to it today.  If it's too cold I'm just going to stay indoors working on some of the indoor things off my list. You know, like planning or painting or something.  ANYthing to keep busy.  I did get a little more laundry done today, though, so I only have a load or two left now.  I'll work on that tomorrow as well.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll start on my closet when I get back home tomorrow from registering for classes.  This is it.... my very last semester that I'll have to struggle to get through before I will be able to take the test to be a licensed nurse.  I can't WAIT until May... graduation time! WOOHOO! It'll make the last two years of nursing school worth it.  Although, when you think about it, those two  years sure have flown by.  And smacked me right in the face as they went, too. I know.... I have the new wrinkles to prove it!

The water heater is fixed now, and chugging right along. Didn't really do it myself though, because I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the clamps off the darn power cord without cutting them, and I really did not want to do that if I could avoid it.  So I called our old neighbor and friend Rick and asked him how to do it. He helped Ron out when we were working on the Westwood house, so I knew he was trustworthy.  I guess he didn't understand what I was asking so he said he'd come over and take a look at it. When he got here, he just went ahead and did the power cord part for me. I'd already taken the thing apart and put in the new case and circuit board, so it was quick. He did end up cutting the wires, too.  But he left all of it hanging out of the top of the water heater box so that Ron can fix it the way he wants it when he comes home.  Which is fine with me, the wires will stay cool that way, and they're all covered in electrical tape so they can't hit anything and short out again.

All day long I've been thinking about Ron coming home, and it's making me nuts that it's taking so long. They days are endless now since I don't have school to keep me busy. I've got all sorts of plans and things to work on, but the problem with that is they all give me plenty of time to think while I'm doing them.  Not a lot of thought involved in any of it. I'm wishing now more than ever that I could just crawl into a cave like a bear and just hibernate the time away.  I found the letter I wrote to him the day after he left, and re-read it, and nearly lost it. I still feel mostly the same as I did when I wrote it, but have learned to deal with it now.  I would post it on here for you, but I really don't want anybody to start bawling their eyes out or anything, so I'll just keep it to myself. There's so much more to write about, anyways.  And we're down to less than 3 months now, so we're past halfway there.  Just two months, three weeks, and five days give or take, and I will be launching myself into his arms and hopefully never letting go again.  I can't wait!  It's fitting that it is winter while he's gone, because that's how it feels to me. And would even if it was the heat of the summer out.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 108: December 13, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven." ~Tryon Edwards

It's so hard to believe that I've been on my own for SOOO LONG! You see, that's not normally a bad thing for most people. Most people know how to take things like that in stride. They go about their daily lives and get things done that need doing.  The problem with me being on my own is this: WAY too much time on my hands.  Too much time to think, and to come up with all these marvelous ideas that could potentially get me into a serious jam for time. Or maybe it's just that I'm too creative? Probably!  I finished part of Ron's surprise today, and I have to say that I am definitely fighting myself to put a picture of it on here and show him.  But I keep telling myself that I'll be ruining the surprise if I do that. I have several scenarios about how I'm going to do the big "reveal", so I'm going to try and narrow it down over the next two months.  Some of the ideas I've come up with are rather ingenious, if I do say so myself. ;)

The only thing I did today that I CAN talk about is some laundry. Oh, joy.  And of course, I messed around on the computer a little bit, and picked up around the house.  Tomorrow I'll finally go up and fix the water heater, and maybe pull out all the dead summer plants we had around the house.  The elephant ears and dahlias both gave up with the first frost, and the morning glory has all turned brown and gone to seed, so it's time to get that out as well.  Amazingly, my rosemary that I babied all last winter to keep out of the frost and decided to heck with putting it into the garage is still moving right along. No frost damage at all.  So looks like it may be fine without being babied.  THANK HEAVENS!!!  Then, if I have the time, it's going to be time to prep the kitchen tile for paint.  That's going to be a three to four day project all by itself, so it should keep me plenty busy.  And in between cleaning and coats of paint maybe I'll get to a couple of the smaller things on my to-do list. I'm hoping that when Ron comes back home there isn't a list a million miles long of things to do, so that he can actually enjoy his time home.  That's the plan, anyways... we'll see how the implementation goes.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 107: December 12, 2009

Quote of the Day:
"It is sad and wrong to be so dependent for the life of my life on any human being as I am on you; but I cannot by any force of logic cure myself at this date, when it has become second nature."
-Jane Welsh Carlyle

All day long has been very quiet, and peaceful.  I had to go to Lowe's and pick up a new cord for the water heater, so tomorrow looks like THE day for that. Let's just hope that I get everything switched out right and don't end up burning the house down, huh?  HAHAHA  Nah, if it looks too bad I'll just call someone else in and let THEM do the dirty work. Right?

Cody ended up coming home last night after all, so it turns out my 'quiet evening' wasn't really so quiet.  He was all set to spend the night at his friend Nathan's, but there was a Christmas concert at one of the local churches he wanted to go to.  His friend Nathan couldn't go, though, so Cody decided that he'd go to the concert and then come home afterwards. Did he call me and let me know that, though? NO. Not until I was just all nice and cozy in my bed and just about asleep.  Then he calls and asks me to come pick him up.  Needless to say I was not happy about it, but I went out and picked him up anyways.  He went to Nathan's tonight, instead.

For the last couple of days I have been taking care of our friends Mike and Tiffany's little puppies while they were down in Dallas, and let me tell you... those little guys sure are rowdy!  It seems they figured that the perfect time to learn to be little Houdini dogs and learn to escape the kitchen was when I was watching them, so I kept walking in the house to find puppies everywhere but where they were supposed to be.  It's so cute to see them growling and barking! It's only been a couple of weeks since they were born, and already they are wild and crazy.  They kept attacking my shoelaces every time I went over there! It was hilarious! I took Cody with me today, too. At first he was all excited about it, but then he saw what a mess puppies can make come out of their bodies and he wasn't so keen on getting one after that. Thank heaven, because Ron would have his butt in a sling for years if he brings home another animal!

Most of today I spent working on Ron's surprise, which is going to be a much harder task than I counted on.  But that's okay, it will keep me plenty busy, for sure. And with the way my current part of it is turning out, I am EXTREMELY SURE that he is going to LOVE it.  I can't wait until I get it finished and he comes home and sees it.  I honestly just turns out to be as great as it seems to be in my mind.  Sometimes things just don't measure up when they are made a reality.  This had better not be one of those times, that's all I can say.  If it is, I may have to stop trying to be all creative, and we know how much I would hate that!  Maybe I'm aspiring too big, though... I've got to sit down with pen and paper and run some figures. See where we're sitting after all this "imagining" adds up.  It may be totally out of my reach to even consider the whole entire project I'm planning.  Not to mention, just me with no help may make it harder, too. We'll see what I can come up with.

I had to laugh today... I talked to Ron for a little while and he was having one of his "grumpy" days, where almost everything makes him angry and edgy. I really miss him being around in that mood, because he's not only extremely fun to pick on when he's like that, he also makes for an interesting day.  Sometimes he can be soooo serious!  If he was here and acting like that, I'd probably be throwing things at him (playfully, not in anger).  Or sometimes, if it puts me in a bad mood I'll yell a little and then storm away from wherever he's at and avoid him altogether.  But the best times are when he ends up happy again.  THAT is what I miss.  Well, that, and the occasional argument. It's no fun not having anyone to argue with and take out my frustrations on.

Tomorrow, I have to do some laundry and get some things done around the house.  I haven't really managed to do much from my list of things which I have planned to finish during this break from school, so it's time to kick it into high gear. It's already been a week since finals, and the only big thing I have to show for it is that I got the Christmas lights up outside. Wow... isn't that impressive? At that rate, I may be able to cross of three things on the list before school starts back up again! UGH!  Oh, well... I'm sure that whatever the important things are, they will get done.  The rest is just icing on the cake.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 106: December 11, 2009

Quote of the Day: "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." ~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie

Today has been relatively, blessedly slow. I hit up the gym first thing this morning with Sherrie for our workout, then we went to Hancock Fabrics for her to look for a zipper, and also to Hobby Lobby. I've been having a little bit of difficulty figuring out exactly what I need for Ron's surprise, but I picked up a couple things today, nothing big, and have been working on it for the last couple hours. Let me just say, my fingers are KILLING me!!!!! UGH! This getting older stuff just isn't what it's cracked up to be.

I got in the cover for the water heater, but forgot to take the cord with me to Lowe's to find another one, so I wasn't sure what prongs ours had. They don't sell just a "water heater power cord" like they do for dryers and ranges.  I got to thinking on the way home that I should just ask Ron what he thinks about me just shortening the cord we already have, since the very end is all that's melted in any way, but he was not able to get online so I could not ask him. That really stinks, too... I don't like being without talking to him for even a short amount of time. It makes my days just drag along soooo slowly!

It hasn't been a very productive day at all today, because all day I've had this headache that won't go away. Not to mention the fact that it makes me very sleepy. It's a sinus headache, with an added ache in the back of my skull where it meets my spine.  And here I thought I was over all those tension headaches! HA! I'll be going to bed early tonight, to see if I can get rid of this thing. I should sleep really well, as Damien lit out of here around 5 to go spend the weekend with his buddies, and Cody called a little bit ago and asked if he could stay the night with Nathan. So...... it will be super quiet in the house all night long, and I don't have to worry about doors getting left open and letting the house get down into the fifties again.  It's happened three times now! I'm about to tear out all that weatherstripping Ron put on the doors, because they aren't helping with the electric bills anyways if the stupid doors won't shut. They've gotten so bad now that I have to pull on them with ALL my weight just to hear them click shut. I think the door jambs have shifted or swollen or something. Not sure, but I sure am tired of heating the neighborhood!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 105: December 10th, 2009

Quote of the Day:
"I have not yet met with a sorrow that could not be borne, nor with one who's passing did not leave me stronger." -Kathryn L. Nelson, Pemberley Manor, 2006

I made acorn squash tonight with dinner, a first for me.  It actually turned out pretty good, which of course means that the kids did not like it. But they ate it anyways, and it went really good with the pork roast, carrots, and cabbage. Not too bad. Although I think next time I will try cooking the carrots and cabbage separately from the roast.  That way they'll retain a lot of their own flavors.

Today's been a pretty good day.  Picked up the remaining Christmas lights mess and put everything back into the attic until it's time to take everything down next year.  It's amazing how clean the house looks now, even though I have not cleaned yet. I can't believe how much of a mess the place looked with all that stuff sitting around. Never really noticed that it was just the Christmas stuff that was making everything messy.  I have big plans tomorrow to workout with Sherrie and get some of the things I'll need to deal with working on the first step of Ron's surprise.  All in all, I think I will be pretty busy tomorrow.

I called the people at Whirlpool back today because they did send the control board to fix the water heater but they did not include the plastic housing that it is supposed to sit in.  I tried for an hour to talk to whatever random person in India I reached that could barely speak English, then got irate.  I pulled up their website and found a different number for them.  When I got ahold of a person she said that I'd have to call the other number because that's who does the water heaters.  I explained how I had been dealing with those people and gotten frustrated, and how I wanted to speak to someone to whom English was NOT a second language.  She was extremely nice, and got me through to one of the people in the AMERICAN branch of the water heater service area. Imagine that... within two minutes I had explained that they did not include the plastic housing and that it was necessary because the other one had caught on fire and melted, and she had ordered a new one to be sent to me and it will be here tomorrow.  TWO MINUTES. That is all it took, once I got to talk to someone who knew English.  Why the hell are they allowed to outsource jobs to other countries which AMERICANS could be filling, feeding familes here in the states? Look how much more efficient it would be!  And the only reason these stupid companies go and open call centers in foreign countries is because people will "work for much less."  Yeah, that may be true... we aren't stupid, after all. BUT, that being said.... you get what you pay for, you cheap morons.  Next time, I won't be buying a Whirlpool ANYTHING. Just like I'll never use AOL. And any other companies I have which outsource like that I have plans for dropping as soon as something else comes available to me.

Oh, and I wrapped Mom's presents to the boys this afternoon. It reminds me, though, I have to buy batteries for them, don't let me forget.  But that reminds, me, too... I had a great idea for Christmas tree ornaments the other day.... buy a lot of those four-packs of batteries and tie them to the tree with red ribbons.  Then, when Christmas day comes and all the children ( and old children ) get their Christmas presents that require batteries there's not last-minute run to try and find a store that's open on Christmas day.  Now, why didn't I have that idea when my kids were little and I could have really USED it?  Oh, well.... there's always the grandkids.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Lights 2009

Okay, here goes.... it's almost 11:30 at night, I have been outside in 30 degree (and less) weather all day, and now I am finally, THANKFULLY, done. I couldn't get my trees to work, but I'll deal with those4 tomorrow. And I'm going to bed now, so enjoy the pictures while I recuperate.  Goodnight, all! :)

Day 104: December 9th, 2009

Quote of the Day:  by Allan K. Chalmers:
"The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."

I got up this morning to a FREEZING COLD HOUSE!!!! The door to the backyard had come open in the middle of the night thanks to that stupid weatherstripping keeping it from closing, and it was 51 degrees in the house with the heater running full blast. Dangit! Just what we need, a bigger electric bill. What a total waste. At least all the cats were smart enough to figure out that it was too cold to get outside, and they were all in the house. I can't wait until we have the money to completely replace the doors and get rid of that particular problem. And the windows... you can feel a ten degree difference when you're within three feet of a window. We'd DEFINITELY save on electricity then.

Today was picture day for my weight-loss records, but I had to wait forever for the house to warm up enough for me to feel comfortable doing them, since I have to be in a bikini and all. I honestly can't say that I see any difference when I'm looking in the mirror, but I guess that all my weight loss is occurring all over my body instead of just in one area, so it's making my body appear the same even though I'm losing weight? It's so hard for me to tell! The pictures show the loss, though... I was pleasantly surprised. I've still got a way to go, but I'm getting there. Definitely going to have to up the toning exercises, that's for sure! LOL

The newest Harry Potter came out on DVD yesterday, and of course it is a have-to-have, so we bought it at WalMart while it was still sale price. Don't you love how WalMart has that reduced-price thing for the first three days of its new releases? Saves you SOOO much money! For once I had both the boys at home at the same time, so we all piled into the car to get down there and get the movie, and something to eat while watching it because I didn't have anything laid out to cook for dinner.  It had been a really great day, with no backtalking, no arguing, and everything going along smoothly. Then, as it always happens when the two of them are together for any amount of time, Damien and Cody's personalities finally clashed and the entire drive there, time in the store, and drive home were monstrous.  See, the problem is that they are BOTH too much like Ron and I are. Neither of them will back down if they know they're right, neither of them has learned how to just "let it go", and they are both very opinionated.  Normally, this is not a problem for most people. However, that being said.... it really stinks because once Damien gets into his bad mood, it LASTS. A LONG TIME.  And he starts in on the "people suck, the world sucks, my generation is a bunch of idiots and morons" thing that drives me so nuts. I wish I knew where he had learned all this negativity from. Ron and I haven't spent his entire childhood ranting and raving about things like that, so he either learned it at school from his friends, or he is just naturally pessimistic and a bummer to be around. And he really is a depressing person. He has this ability to bring everyone around him down when he's in one of his moods, and it MAKES! ME! NUTS!

I got a couple strands of Christmas lights up yesterday in the front yard, but it was sooooo cold and windy outside, with such strong winds, that when it started sprinkling I said the heck with it and came back inside. Now, I'm thinking that maybe I should have stuck it out and dealt with it, though, because today's forecast high WAS supposed to be 36... Brrrrrrrr.  But I had to get out there and try to get the lights done so that I can take pictures to send to my baby, soooo... today it was back out to the yard in the cold and do some serious lights.  When I got up this morning it was like 20 out, with a wind chill of 7. WAY too cold to even step foot outside.  When I started doing the lights it was 29 out, with 17 MPH winds, so the wind chill was 17.  At 3pm, when I finished the ground lights, it was 31 out, with a wind chill that felt like 22. Definitely an improvement, but still cold as heck.  Then, at 4pm after doing the tree out front, it was still 31 with wind chill of 22.  Forecast high of 36 my BUTT!!!!  I don't think so!!!!  We never did make it.  And now it's 9:20 at night, I'm only 3/4 of the way done with the lights, and it's 24 out with a wind chill of  17. I am ONE COLD PUPPY!!! Can't wait to get it all finished so that I can come inside and get WARM!!!! May even get out the heating blanket tonight, who knows.

Have you ever seen me all bundled up for warmth, by the way? I gain a hundred pounds instantly.  It's hilarious!  Here's a comparison photo for you, both taken this morning, so that you can see the difference. Like I told my friend Sherrie when I showed it to her, it looks like some sort of crazy weight-loss commercial! HAHAHA

Oh, and by the way, Ron, I do NOT know why you took the light stakes off the edging lights to store them, but it is such a pain in the butt to have to use the pliers in the cold to squeeze those wires together that I am not taking them off this year. I will figure out a way to store them without removing the stakes, thank you very much. Maybe I can line them all up on the ground and roll them up in layers of cloth like one of those little roly-tool kits they show on tv, so that they don't tangle up and are easy to work with next winter.  I'll think about it while I'm waiting for the time to take the lights down and come up with something. But I can't even imagine sitting out there for hours with the pliers prying the wires apart to get the lights out.  So next Christmas time it's going to be a little different putting those lights up.  The rest of it will be the same, though. The bagged lights seem to work out really well, so I'm glad we came up with that.   Oh, and as far as the tree goes.... we need to buy six or eight giant LED nets that can all be hooked together and cover the tree, because it is a PAIN to try to get the lights up into it! I did not like it at all.  You know me and ladders... ;)

Got the part in yesterday afternoon to fix the water heater! At first when I looked at it I was wondering how in the heck I was going to be able to do the repair, but ya know how that goes.  I looked at the information that came with it and it seems pretty easy to do. I was going up there tonight to replace the old circuit board with the new one, but it has taken so long to do the lights that I wouldn't get to it until late, and like Ron said, who knows how long the water heater will take to replace. SOOOO, I'm going to do it tomorrow.  We'll see how that goes, but I'll write an update on here tomorrow with pictures. Right now, I'm going back out there to finish those darn lights. The pictures had BETTER look good, with all this stupid work! HAHAHA