Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Year Ahead

Based upon the last post ~ I decided that I really want 2009 to be the year I keep in touch. Send Birthday Cards, send Thank You Cards, send Thinking Of You Cards, Anniversary Cards, and if I don't get a card in the mail to call or email or facebook...!

And then the usual:

Lose Weight
Save Money
Do house work for 15 minutes a day (minimum)
Sing every day
Learn all my music
exercise 15 minutes every day (i.e., walk the dog)
Seriously exercise an hour 3 to 4 times a week
Go to bed before 10pm
Get up between 5 and 5:30 am
Spend less time watching television (need to be more specific... how about - watch my shows on Sunday afternoons when I'm home)
Limit my time spent online
Plan for Christmas every month (making cards & gifts)
Do it whether I feel like it or not!
Have a meal plan (to save money on the grocery bill)
grow 3 herbs in pots AND keep them alive (mint, basil, rosemary)
Stick to the Plan (keep focused whether I feel like it or not!)
Read my bible every day
Keep my prayer list and use it every day
Be grateful. Every. Single. Day.
Write in my journal (sorry blog world, some things I do keep private ;-) weekly

To me most of these are LIFE changes, not new year resolutions -- so, more of a "New Life Resolution" rather than new and/or temporary. This past year I got the exercise trainer, and just need to get back into the habit... which means getting to work early to leave on time... which means going to bed at a reasonable hour so I can get the unpleasant things out of the way (exercise & housework) in the early morning and still have time to do the things I enjoy (bible study, journaling, blogging, emails, keeping in touch) so that after the exercise in the afternoon I have the energy and time to craft (make cards & scrapbook), work on what my goals are for the yard, work on the music and goals with quartet & chorus, cook an evening meal and still spend some time with my amazing hubby.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

I have to say this Christmas has been very weird.

No tree (a first for me) up. Not a single house decoration out.
Haven't sent or given a card... some work people got some ornaments, and that's it.
Himself and I aren't giving gifts to each other, but we need to give gifts to others...

Mom loved her Heritage album -- and her necklace, and her CD (which will also be sent to Dad after the Christmas rush...)! L appreciated his camouflage rifle bar-b-que lighter. I've not deposited Christmas checks from MIL, and the house is a mess. It just feels incomplete - and I think this feeling is because of all the 'unfinished projects' at work.

I started out with a plan, and good intentions, but sitting in front of the boob-tube increased the feelings of "don't feel like it" - along with the messy house, kitchen, craft room and what feels like my life in general. Doing everything based on how I feel is very dangerous indeed - and is a habit that needs to change.

I'm in a weird place... and I hope everyone is having a more peaceful holiday than I seem to be bringing upon myself .

Monday, December 22, 2008

Catching Up With Photos

These are the "Pebber Nodder" Danish Christmas Cookies ~
recipe to follow... (these are the ones that call for white pepper in the
recipe -- and so far have been a favorite of all who have tried it)
I know they're not much to look at ~ but they're good!

These are the "Cookies in a Jar" Orange-flavored Cranberries & White Chocolate chips.
YUM! (Recipe to follow)

These are "Grandma's Ginger Snaps" or something like that -- very very good!
crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside! One of my favorites!
(you'll see evidence of the white pepper for the other cookies on the counter - ignore the dirty stovetop...)

These are the Holiday Cards we made in the Craft Class in November --
I don't have a picture (yet) of the snowflake ornaments...

I remembered this morning that my new computer at work has a multi-card reader
built into the base... and I can transfer photos from my camera card to my thumb-drive
and take those home and download via USB. YAY!

More photos coming... but wanted to prove that I've done a FEW of the many cookies to bake ... more cookies (and recipes) coming soon!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas in Cave Creek

Drove up to have Christmas with mom and step-dad for this weekend... brought the Heritage Album I've been doing for mom... and I was right, some of the photos in this book of her at toddler and younger age she's never seen before. I couldn't wait to give it to her -- so last night at 11pm I said, "I can't wait" and gave it to her -- and we'll go over to her oldest sister tomorrow to verify locations and dates... Feeling very happy that I did it and it is done!!

I also gave her a cappella company's "Praise and Harmony" CD -- choral singing of a cappella hymn favorites. She's loving it :D She put it on the stereo and music is filling the house. I've been drinking flavored coffee, reading book 4 of the Jan Caron "Mitford" series, eating delicious coffee cake, listening to great music and just hangin' with mom. It is good.

I have one more thing for her -- my friend and co-worker (Artisitic Director of TGC) is from Colombia, and her mother is up here visiting for the holidays -- and her mother (who speaks very very little English) makes these incredible one-of-a-kind and unique necklaces. Last year my friend wore one every so often and said her mother had left some with her to sell, but she never remembered to bring them to me at work... well, last Thursday her mom brought at least a dozen necklaces to our Staff Holiday Lunch Party and I bought 3!! Yikes!! One for me, one for mom, and one for awesome aunt M. who bought me lots of great baking things at Target for my b/day and Christmas.

I have a lighter in the shape of a camaflouge rifle for step-dad.

Do I need to say anymore on that?

I think I want to make some more ornaments... still can't get photos off my camera without going to Walgreens, so photos of the really fun and festive ornaments I made for work peeps (until 1am Wednesday night/Thursday morning -- just in time for the 11am work party... nope, not a procrastinator, not me?!!).


Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday's Thoughts

So ~ I got almost all the components of mom's gift done ~ one more thing to do, which will take about an hour. I'll go over to T's tonight and finish. Didn't get a single ornament done.
* * * * *
When I got home last night (around 9pm) ~ himself starts out with, "Well! Let me tell you about YOUR dog!" and proceeded to tell me that while he was out, the 8 x 8 Corningware dish that held "Bill's Magic Cookie Bars" (or, what was left of BMCBs... about one 1/2-inch row of graham cracker/chocolate chip/coconut/evaporated milk gooey goodness...) was broken, there was crockery all over the house, and blood on the kitchen tile... apparently licking broken glass isn't enough to deter my determined dog from licking and eating anything... no blood left on him by the time himself had returned home from Lowe's -- but Rascal was i.n.s.a.n.e. from the sugar rush and wouldn't calm down... other than being super hyper he wasn't injured, nor did the chocolate seem to adversely affect him.

We started watching "Hancock" (the reluctant anti-hero superhero with Will Smith, Jason Bateman & Charlize Theron) -- which was a much better movie than I anticipated ~ Will Smith is just a good actor, and there was quite a bit of comedy in the movie too. Anyhoo - in the middle of the movie himself took the dog for a 15-20 minute walk because Rascal was so hyper. Then we did the "Run Down The Hall and Jump on Our Bed As Fast As You Can, Then Jump Off and Run Down the Hall Just to Do It All Again" game for a few laps, which seemed to tire him out... but holy cow!!
* * * * *
This weekend we also watched "Chronicles of Narnia ~ Prince Caspian" ~ which was excellent also. I read that entire series but didn't remember a single thing except the part when Lucy sees Aslan but no one believes her and they should travel one way but go another and end up going back and taking the original what-seemed-impossible-but-isn't path...

Some violence... but without being bloody, gory and gratuituous... nobody naked... nobody swearing, although there might have been one "hell" -- yet great special effects and general excellent movie making!! It's amazing what a good story can do, eh?
* * * * *
We have Christmas lights up in the front of the house, a new front trellis fence with one gate done and another being built (another Rascal-proofing measure), but still don't have the Christmas tree up. At this rate when it goes up it probably won't come down until around Valentines Day. *sigh*

Sunday, December 14, 2008

'Tis The Season!

The concert is over... it was beautiful as usual! Our parent volunteers who co-ordinate the entire thing are awesome. My work is all the run up to the actual day... on the day I bring the money for change for the box office & flowers; and I bring the programs... then I sit around and chat to the fun parents... mollify the uncool parents... and stand around looking official... letting everyone see that Staff is at least a presence. I also watch the box office during the show ~ because we often have quite a few latecomers -- even in the 2nd half!
* * * * *
So -- I got up at 10:30 am yesterday and made my list for CRAFT DAY at T's:

Goal #1: Finish Mom's Christmas Present. I don't think she remembers to read this blog very often (or else I'd have more embarrassing comments ;-), but just in case... I got half done Friday night (very very pleased with myself!) and think I can knock the rest out today.

Goal #2: 25 ornaments made. This may be a little optimistic... but whatever.

To Take (In my HUGE black rolling suitcase, no less):
  • Plain Glass Ornaments (to decorate) check
  • Beading Supplies check
  • Bewjeweller & crystals check
  • Hot Glue Gun check
  • Quick Cutz Die Cut tool & Dies check

In my other rolling cart:
  • Some scrapbooking embellishments check
  • Embossing Gun, poweders and ink check
  • Glitter & Aleen's Craft Glue check
  • 3 different kinds of hole punches check
  • The stamps I use to decorate the glass ornaments check
  • Scrapbook Paper to stamp on ... still looking at what I have... may need a Michael's run
  • Cotton Swabs & styrofoam bowls to hold the glue check
  • Fancy Scissors check
  • Personal Trimmer check
  • Adhesive Options: Zig Pens (2), Tombo mono-glue runner (2), Xyron "X", Zots (3 sizes), Double sided mounting tape, -- plus the aforementioned hot glue & Aleen's Craft Glue, Pop-dots (3 different varietes!)
  • Tulle Net (for ribbons on cards) check
  • All My Ribbon (2 containers full) check
  • Colored Pencils check
  • Stamp cleaning Supplies check
  • brushes for watercolor pencils check
  • Sponges for stamping check
  • Extension cord -- cuz they always come in handy!

I still don't have packed:
  • Watercolor Pencils
  • Chalks & hairspray (to "set" the chalk with)
  • cardstock - plain and colored
You would think, after this list... that my craft room and supplies would be empty. But no.

It is hard for me to stay focused on the one task at hand. I've got a few ideas for the ornaments -- but really should stick with one or two at the most...! I also want to make little tags for each ornament with the person's name and year on it -- I have the tag-maker (a brand new punch from CM!) now, which I'm looking forward to trying out.

Oh the obsession...

I still want to make the circle/triangle paper ornaments again, cuz T bought a Sizzix die that cuts and scores the circles -- which will save MOUNTAINS of time to make them!
* * * * *
I won't have time today to post the recipes or photos of the cookies -- but on Thursday night I made "Bill's Magic Cookie Bars" and "Raspberry Oatmeal Bars" -- I forgot the flour in the raspberry bars. They look funny but taste good! the 'magic' cookie bars need some modification before they get given away to anyone ~ but they taste yum-mmmeee!!

So -- I've made 7 cookies (8 if you count the 'bark') in the '25 days of Christmas Cookies' so far... with the concert over I should have the energy to do a few more this week. The weekend will be at mom's ~ and she may be up for doing some of the roll-out cookies... I'll bring up my new awesome non-stick rolling pin! :D

Happy Crafting & Cookie Cooking to all....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Crazy Busy

Hectic & Busy... but a good time.

I've not been sleeping all that well ~ too much to do and not enough time in which to do it!!

But... I'm in a new quartet - so a Big WhOO HOOoooo!!!

We sang on Sunday up in the Phoenix area, and had the 'lay your cards out on the table' talk and rang quite a few chords... and ate some Christmas cookies! They all want the recipes - which is a good sign.
* * * * *
I haven't made any cookies since the Cookies-In-A-Jar recipe - which is delicious... so I can now safely give away this as a gift, now that I've tried the recipe!

I've been home too late to be in the mood to bake -- I would have started a batch tonight at 9pm, but have to get up at way-too-early to go to way-too-far-away work Board Meeting -- and don't have any of the fru fru niceties that I wanted to have for a few of the folks -- but I'm hoping to take care of that this weekend at the CRAFT DAY on Sunday afternoon with my pal T.

Saturday I also hope to bake bake bake and get the things I want to make organized to take to her place.
* * * * *
Friday is a crop, and I'm bringing my new (I still say new, but she's been there 6 months!) office assistant, who scraps a little, but needs to be introduced to the obsession...

And I made plans to craft later on in the month with one of the moms who is a friend from work... so that will be fun too.
* * * * *
I've still not got the tree up (which makes me bummed) and not sure when it will get up -- maybe Saturday... but only if we move some furniture around -- right now we don't have the room.
* * * * *
Went to my chorus' show on Saturday afternoon - it was really good! Spent the morning with my Aunt M ~ we went to breakfast at the Good Egg (yum) and I filled her in on the drama of last year's birthday story... and then she took me shopping -- I wanted some baking supplies so we went to Target and got some good stuff.

One of the reasons I've procrastinated baking is that I don't have the room to do any rolling of any kind... so tonight I went to the dollar store and got a holiday plastic table cover, and will use it to cover the dining table and do my rolling out there.

I do need to do some serious clearing of that flat space, however, first.

After the show we went to dinner with mom and "mom 2" - another "M" -- to a restaurant I've been wanting to try for awhile, but the wait is always ridiculous... so going at 4pm on a Saturday would be a good time to avoid the crowd. Oregano's is very good, with HUGE portions at extremely reasonable prices ~ my 4-cheese pasta was a bit on the dry side, but very tasty... and it came in a baked bread bowl, which was cool!
* * * * *
Well, time to snooze -- these mornings are cold and dark!