Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Secret Santa, Christmas Meals, and Busy Days

My Secret Santa left me the cutest gift.  First of all, I love the blue and silver paper.  You know I don't really like Christmas colors lol. So this was perfect!   OF course when getting a gift, the color of the wrapping paper doesn't matter. lol

The gift was so nice.  Cactus ornaments to remind me of Katy and Cody in Texas.  Not that I'd ever forget them.  But it reminds me of our trip and memories of being there.  And a pretty 2019 calendar with pretty scenes and Psalms.

I've been adding Christmas cards to the tree in my office. 

Here is the break room tree from the plant below.  Our meal at the plant went very well.  The food was wonderful.  We helped  get the tables set up and filled in the food when needed and helped serve it and put ice in cups and poured the drinks and cleaned up afterward so it was ready for 2nd shift.  And that shift is much smaller and is not as big of a process.  They can handle the small crew.   The catering folks set it up always. So that part no one has to worry about.  Anyway all went well.  Since we were there, and there was left overs, we decided to eat ourselves instead of grabbing lunch out. It was heavenly.  And we get the same meal today at Corporate.  It's our turn.

My world was crazy yesterday.  Everyone has something they need for me to do for them.  But I had a conf call at 9 and left for the plant at 10 and back at our place at 1:30 where I had orientation and following up making sure that our sales folks are on boarded.  And then on to a project for my boss which took the remainder of the afternoon.  I stayed til our offices close.  We are supposed to be out by 6:00 but I know some folks stay as late as 8:00.  I don't like to stay that late by myself.  So I left at 6 when another person encouraged me to go home and finish tomorrow.  So here we are in tomorrow and I am hurrying with this so I can get in early.  

I want to take Friday off to finish with our Christmas wrapping.  But if I do I have to get a lot done today and tomorrow.  

Last night we invited our neighbor to come over for wine and dinner - she had already eaten but we gave her a glass of wine and paid her for taking care of Little Bit and looking out over things while we were gone.  

And we had the best time talking!  I fixed dinner after she left.  It was 9 or close to it when I began cooking dinner I think.  I was fixing spaghetti so it didn't take long.  We ate and I was in bed by 10.  Surprised I was able to get up this morning!  

Katy texted us to let us know that they were leaving Texas on the 22nd and so Findlay will be arriving at our house that night and they will be here for Christmas and have to leave on the 27th.  George and I have to work on the 26th now.  I was off but my assistant needed the day off for something important she needs to do and so I will work b/c someone needs to be there.   But we'll get to see her at least some during the 23rd, 24th or 25th while they are in town.  They will be staying with Cody's parents this trip while we keep the doggy. 

Anyway, I need to go so I can *try* to get there earlier.   Traffic has been hideous anyway.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Christmas Time Fun and a Few Christmas Woes

My Secret Santa was nice to me today.  Lots of favorite goodies.  

Yesterday was very busy.  Started with 227 emails which kept coming.  Most were resumes from two office positions listed.  We have enough resumes that I put the jobs on hold for now as that many emails are just disruptive to deal with.  IF we need more again, I'll switch it back to active.  We'll weed through what we have first. We need a full time recruiting person just to do ads, forward emails/resumes to the hiring manager after screening them, help interview and so forth, and coordinate all the hiring portion then I can concentrate on everything else.  It's getting way too busy for just two people in HR.  

It was announced yesterday that we are taking over a new plant near Portland, Oregon.  I've checked.  It's over an hour to the beach I think.  lol  So as you can imagine our world is going to get even crazier as we add anywhere from 40 to 60 people. 

My assistant and I went to buy the drinks and desserts and some back up supplies for the plant and office meals.  I took her to lunch for helping me do this.  I paid for it - not the company.  It took two buggies of food to get it all.  We had it separated out by facility to make it an easier process.  You know us women, most of us like to be organized.  We have our process.  

So we go through the line and the cashier, who also has her process, you gotta love it - was like "oh no, I must have all the paper goods first out of all the buggies, and we'll do it like that".  I was like "no we have a process; it goes to several locations and has to be bagged a certain way".  She insisted and said "let me ring all the like things together as it'll be easier"  I said "but then we will have to separate it all out again and count it in certain quantities".   She was nice but persistent so I finally said "Let's just do this, it's three separate orders".  I had to do it that way so she would give it up already.   I mean good grief.  I think she finally "got it" what we were trying to do.  She lightened up and then bragged on us for having two buggies of stuff but the cost was minimal.  She said "ya'll did good".  I laughed at how us women are so organized at how we want to do things in certain orders.  She just didn't understand what was going on.  But we got it done.  

The funniest thing about the Kroger experience was that my cart made noises - not just any noise, but like a wild hiena on a rampage kind of noise.  Like some kind of flock of birds on steroids.  People stared and laughed or tried not to laugh.  If they smiled at me I would say "we have arrived" and "we're here".  Christina followed way behind me as if "I do not know this person".  I haven't had that much fun in a long time.  Next time you want to laugh, grab the squeakiest cart.  Here's a clip: 

I also got Aunt Martha's gifts sent via UPS.  George wanted me to use the Postal Service as it would be cheaper but their line was 15 to 20 deep.  I didn't have that kind of time.  The UPS store two miles away had ZERO people in line. 

And we heard from Katy and they began opening their 12 days of Christmas box we gave them.  They opened one of the days.  They get to pick which "day" they want.  There is two gifts in each day, one for each of them.  Here's pics.  They are sometimes silly gifts.  Cody loves dinosaurs so George bought this memo holder to be funny mainly.  And Katy's gift in the box was a pig in the blanket. 

We howled at the pic that came next. 

The pig had been added to the Manger Scene!  lol

Awww how funny. 

Anyway, George fixed pork chops for dinner and hominy and there was a third thing which I cannot recall at this point.  We watched Mr. Robot.

 And then my sister called and Christmas is up in the air again but I think we got it worked out.  My sister had asked me a while back if we could eat early so the guys could watch the Alabama game on the 29th while we did presents and desserts after dinner out.  George was happy with that.  Normally we watch the Hallmark or Lifetime Channel in the background.  Didn't bother me which one it was but we had one in the family that doesn't want the game on in the background while opening gifts.  Everyone else is fine with it.  But the one family member is so upset that we discussed whether to change it to another channel or change the date to a date in January on a non-game day when everyone is available.  But that seemed sillier than fussing over what was on TV.  So we decided to keep the date and please 86% of those present.   Sometimes you just want to do the John Grisham thing and skip Christmas.  It's hard to please everyone!  It was hard enough to get a date agreeable to 2 of the 3 families that even sortof worked.  So let's take it for what it's worth and move on!  I wish life could be perfect for everyone but sometimes you gotta give a little.  To me what is on TV in the background is no big deal.  What is important to one person is not to another.  If someone is willing to host the party they get to pick what is on TV at the time.  That only makes sense to me.  At this point, we should be glad we are all going to be in the same room b/c the TV thing is only a small wave compared to some really big waves in the past.  Life is so stressful.  Especially when trying to get family together.  It's always something! Always!

Anyway I'm off to get the day going.  Much to do with the holiday meal at the Nashville plant today.  They are always short staffed and needy so off to help them with their meal for the employees so they get a good meal from the Company.  And then back to the office to do an orientation with two sales folks. 

And then maybe hopefully I can have an hour or two get something ---anything done!!

I'm off Friday and have cancelled my day after Christmas vacation day, to let my assistant have the day.  She decided she needed the time off so I'll work and let her have it.  I was going to enjoy the day at home in coffee and PJ's.  But I'll switch to another day, I guess. If I can take it.  I'll get the day one way or another!  I do not loose vac time!  They are too precious and we work too much in life in my opinion as it is with no time to take care of our families and homes. 

So I need to go.  I'm like 20 min behind. Yikes.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Santa's Workshop is OPEN and a Laundry Room Clean UP!

Well, George's vendors have been so nice to him.  After almost 30 years of doing business with him, they developed relationships and have been so kind to us this year.  This one, sent a nice Harry and David basket.  Gave us a thrill yesterday!  

We had a very productive day yesterday.  I was on my feet ALL day.  But the day started at 7 as I had some pretty good sleep the night before and got to sleep in.  

If you have read my blog very long, about my days off, you know I usually kick the day off with laundry.  I spent a lot of time in that room.  If I ever build a house, I'll have a "kick a$$" laundry room.  I won't ever build a house though.  It needs to be a big room with a TV and a table for folding.  It would have shelves of storage for kitchen appliances and big cookware and crock poks and woks and such.  Off the kitchen is a perfect place to have the laundry and pantry and storage.  Shoot - I'd even have my desk in there.  It'd be home base including gift wrap center.  Gifts can be wrapped on the same table as the laundry.  ha.  I guess it'd be my Woman Heaven.  If a guy can have a man cave, a woman can have a woman heaven. lol  I'm just using my imagination.  I can deal with what I have.  After all my dream is to be wondering around in a RV one day and that means laundry mat.  lol

Anyway back to my day.  I have noticed lately that I detested being in the laundry room and normally it's where I enjoy being.  It was becoming nasty on the floor and also jammed up as my Isagenix products build up.  It's where we house the pet food and treats and this room was just exploding and getting filthy.  

So I had to do a "time out" on life and get it cleaned and better organized.  I mopped the floor.  And my Swiffer Wetjet had quit working and the batteries were old and rotting in there and George had to get them out.  Perhaps it's been a while since I cleaned, lol.  Anyway, I had this mint and cucumber like floor cleaner as I can't seem to find the Armstrong that I loved.  I loved the smell of this one.  I'm not sure it has much cleaner in it - lol, but the smell was wonderful.  

My laundry room is so clean now and organized.  So I turned life OFF of it's pause button and continued on with the day.  

The presents for my Aunt and Uncle in Florida are wrapped and almost ready for shipment.  They are in the box now and we just have to tape it up.  And then I have to get it to a UPS store.  Hopefully I can lift the box, if not we'll have to see if we can find one open on a Saturday so he can lift it.  I don't think it will be too heavy though.  

So Aunt Martha, if you are reading - you have more gifts to open but Uncle Ken has one that all the $$ was concentrated in one gift, lol.  

So I did get quite a good start on the wrapping yesterday.  Santa's work shop is open.  George wrapped some too.  But there is still a lot to go.  I'll be taking this Friday to wrap George's gifts and to finish the wrapping.  I will try to wrap a couple of things each night also.  And Friday I will test the stocking for George but I need to get a few more things for that.  I might go out and do that Friday or one day coming home from work.

Tugie wanted to be with us and so we found her under the tree.  

All the doggies go for their trim and spa day this upcoming Saturday.  It is coinciding with a party.  But we'll have to deal with it.  We can ask if she can have them ready by noon, but we are likely going to be late to our party which starts at 1- usually the dogs are ready by 1 or 2.  It has to be done and we are trying to fit everything in.  

I made guacamole for lunch and put some salsa and chips out.  We munched on that.  

Late afternoon we had an appetizer of smoked salmon and horseradish on whole grain crackers.

We had salad and baked potato for dinner a couple of hours later.  For dinner I caught up on my You Tube shows watching KYD, Gone with the Wynns, MJ Sailing, and Have Wind Will Travel. It was nice to sit.  That was about 7:30 and I stayed seated and played Candy Crush and went to bed after taking dogs out and still played Candy Crush.  There is a new King game out by the same people called Diamond Diaries - that is really what I was playing - not Candy Crush but I still call it Candy Crush - you are knocking beads together.  It's quite a cute little game.  

Sleep was excellent and sweet last night.  Hunkered down in flannel sheets on a cold night.  Melatonin sprayed under the tongue.  Or whatever is in that sleep spray (natural ingredients).  Two squirts and it relaxes you!  

The spider bite is healing a little better every day.  It's itching and healing over.  What a scare though.  

Well, today's to do list is getting the package mailed off, getting drinks and desserts and table covers for this week's holiday meals.  My assistant is going to help me with that.  I have to figure out what is close.  I think Kroger.  I'm not doing Publix b/c when you have a lot to buy that can be expensive.  I think Kroger will be cheaper.  While out I'll mail the package off.  And I'm buying my assistant's lunch.  I also have to make one more stop for the Secret Santa as well, lol.  Anyway it'll be a busy day and we'll be out running these errands around lunch time.  

So I need to get off of here and get ready.  I don't think we have ice on the roads.  I guess I need to check. Most of it sounds like was east of us.  

Ya'll have a great day! 


Sunday, December 9, 2018

An Italian Christmas Meal with Friends

Yesterday we went to the Farmer's Market downtown Nashville.  A few brave souls joined us but not many.  The vendors were wrapped up warmly and ready to go for anyone who wanted to venture out.  The temps a little above freezing.  A lot of cute Christmas ornaments and decorations in the green house section.   We went down to get a couple of gifts from a vendor that is set up there.

On the way out I snapped a pic of our capital.  

Arriving at Lisa's with our salad, Italian Bread, and Shrimp and gifts, we came into a lovely decorated, cozy, and warm house.  The table was beautiful.

Pretty decor. 

A fireplace and Ms. Gigi who has trouble with her hips and has a hard time walking now.  

Lisa's tree was beautiful.

Lisa and Don went to Ireland not long ago and they wanted to share their experiences with us.  So they created an 8 course meal as they do in Italy.  As American's though we tend to eat a lot when we do, lol so there was a lot of food and we ate all day.  lol 

An Italian Meal course is this: 

  1. Apertivo - The meal starter and similar to an appetizer. 
  2. Antipasto.  A slightly heavier starter - olives, anchovies, cheeses, meats such as prosciutto, salami's etc. 
  3. Primo.  The first course - a pasta or rice
  4. Secondo e contorno is next.  Usually meat or fish. Sometimes soup.
  5. Insalata - salad
  6. Formaggi e frutta - Cheese, Fruit, wine
  7. Dolce - sweet foods
  8. Digestivo con caffe - Coffee and Grappa or limoncello.  

Lisa set up the Apertivo and of course with six of us, this became a buffet!  lol
George's shrimp added to the table and my salad was saved for course 5 since it was a salad.  However, we did have a wonderful bean dish mixed with arugula, sprouts, parsley, and I think it had figs or something in it.  Lisa had George to add some of his shrimp on top.

The Appertivo table centerpiece.

George's shrimp.  He made 3 kinds.

The antipasto course was added to the table as well.  

And here is my plate of the first two courses.  Of which was so good, I had to go back for seconds as did everyone.  

The next course was the Primo, and was a baked pasta with meatballs.  We each had small bowls b/c it's not served in a huge portion like we do at the US.  So what'd we do?  Go back for second's again!  lol  We don't get to eat like this every day!  lol

Seconda was our soup.  We had big bowls but we put smaller portions of soup in it.  Along with Italian bread. 

Oh this was so good on a cold winter day.   So good.  

And you guessed it.  We were stuffed.  We did Christmas presents swap.  And then Lisa said we had to do the salad course b/c I made it so we have to have it.  She brought out little bowls.  We ate it.  Somehow.  

After some point in time and after sharing pics and catching up on our trips and our children with football on the big tv above the fireplace, Don brought out the cheese and fruit course.

Three different cheeses with fruit. 

And then the cannoli which Amber worked so hard to make.  It was not easy.  

Don gave each of us a Limoncello.

Not pictured was the Coffee and the Grappa.  Then we packed up and came home.  What a wonderful meal.  It broadened my horizons a bit and made me think a little differently about meal time.  ;-)  I don't intend to have 8 course meals every day.  But - just something to think about.  I think what I do want to do is make the Canelli beans dish and also a similar spinach and arugula salad.  And also the prosciutto and cheeses skewers are great for a party.  The cheese with fruit added, was quite good.  It was fig.

All such a lovely day and we enjoyed each other so much.  George wanted to get in the hot tub but it was really raining so we didn't.  It was funny though as George went to change to his swim trunks.  We ended up not going outside but he wore them the rest of the night (with shirt on of course) and even wore them home.  lol lol

Anyway, what a great time.  We got home about 8 last night (I think) and took doggies out.  And then I played candy crush in my jammies til sleep came.  About 10 I got in bed and slept til 7 this morning.  I did have to get up a couple of times though in the night b/c I took my BP med before bed which has a water pill in it.

Anyway the spider bite is healing it looks like.  Not as red, not as swollen, skin around the site is healing - no blistering.   I think we are good.  I will keep watch on it.

Today we "plan" to stay home I think.  Threats of ice and such - and we will wrap.

I need to get Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken's finished and also get my Secret Pal's daily stash figured out.  Need to iron of course and get the work week's clothes figured out.  Needs to be warm I think.  I don't really have a lot of warm clothes anymore.  We don't have a ton of weather.  I do have layers I do and scarves that I pile on as needed and have coats of course.  So I make it work.  I do have a wool coat that I bought and that helps with wearing my year round clothes.  I have a lot of thin sleeved shirts so that helps with that.  For the most part though the short sleeve shirts are put up.  It seems lately a lot of my clothes are longer in the sleeves 3/4 and can go year round. So I have to figure out what to wear according to the weather this week.  I have a lot of laundry to do.  And need to do a Target order.

I will then attempt to go into the REST of the wrapping.  George bought the stamps so we'll get the Christmas cards sent out this week.

A little planning to the work week so I have my "to do's" in order, have some meals planned and I'm not sure where the cleanse day will land.  I was going to do it on Monday but that is not going to work as I'm buying my assistant's lunch as we head out and get drinks and desserts for both the plant and corporate offices.  And then we have the plant meal to help with on Tuesday and then our meal at Corporate on Wednesday.  I may not eat the plant meal but I know it will be hard not to eat something if I'm helping serve it or prepping it for them.  So Thursday might be a good day - I can't remember if we have anything going on that day.  Friday is George's company taking his department out and spouses get to go.  Saturday is the Topham's Annual Ornament Party.

So "Tis the Season" to have a problem finding a cleanse day, lol.  I do better when it's a work day.

So I will get on with the day.  Despite all we had yesterday I'm a little hungry this morning.  So off to find something. Not sure what.

Oh George asked me if I wanted to move to Canada where there is an opening.  It got my attention.  He said you had to take a puddle jumper to get there from some major city and then a puddle jumper the rest of the way.  I said "nope" you lost me a "puddle jumper".  Nope with a capital N.

Ya'll be good.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Shopping and a Spider Bite

Sharing some pics from the last few days.  I am just enamored by the pretty scenes on some of the themes in outlook.  It makes working more fun to see the scenes periodically.  I change my theme around according to the seasons and the mood.  

I had the fixin's for salads all week to make up for all we ate on vacation.  

I had told you yesterday about our adventure out with a friend to the MoCara restaurant.  Oh so good.  

Here is a pic of that wonderful cheesecake we split and then waddled out!  

And the menu front of Thursday's night's menu at Saigon Basil when we went out for a bit of Christmas shopping and Grocery Shopping.

I plan to go back here often.  They have wonderful hot tea in cute mugs. 

Everyone got their seafood shipments this week.  Katy posted hers on Facebook.  We also sent my Aunt and Uncle some.  We sent it to those we knew loved seafood and would enjoy cooking it.  

Katy and Cody's freezer with their seafood arrival.  Merry Christmas.  They seemed excited.  I talked to her yesterday and Cody was disappointed she was fixing pork chops for dinner instead of scallops.  She already had it thawing.  lol  She said he was looking at recipes.  Ahhh, I love it.  And we love them.  Feels good to make them happy.  I can remember Granny and Granda, Mom and Dad, and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken delighting us with shipments of Omaha Steaks.  A full freezer delights the soul and and it is a true blessing from God. I think they have some room left -ha!  We usually fill ours up with sale meats, but now it has cow and pig and seafood and not much room for anything else. As we eat it down we'll add chicken.

Amidst all the good eating, I've had a lot of salads, shakes, and more splurges but I'm trying to sneak in my nutrition instead of cokes.  Here is my glass of fruits.  I took some time to look at the ingredients.  It has every fruit imaginable in here.  A blend of all of them I think.  

Has a taste I enjoy as well. 

I'm not as good about my "greens".  I've finally ordered some in a package form that I can take to go so I can put it in bottled water w/o a mess.  

Anyway, now I'm down to yesterday.  I slept late yesterday so my day got a late start.  I didn't get out shopping until about 11:30.  I went to several stores including Walgreens, Tuesday Morning, Target, Dick's, and Home Goods.  I bought stuff for my Secret Santa.  And George's Stocking.  And a couple of surprises for him.  I was really having a hard time shopping though.  I kinda felt like it was hard to breathe and like I was going to pass out.  It may be that my BP meds are too much for me now? As it wears off it seems to get better.  I guess we are going to have to splurge into a BP machine so I can keep up.  Anyway I went and ate at Moe's Southwest Grill so get something extra on my tummy.  It was really good and hit the spot.  

I've made it a goal in the last few weeks to try to speak up more with people that are checking me out.  After reading Candace Bure's "Kind is the New Classy", it made me think about how important it is to speak more.  I guess somewhere along the way I began thinking that no one really wants to hear what I have to say.  It's kinda a long story how that came to be, but I have enjoyed this Christmas season, opening up and talking to those checking me out, sharing smiles with total strangers, and even opening up about what I'm buying for.  People are responding positively.  They are really are seemingly interested in what I have to say.  And sometimes people are not but it is the rare occasion and you can tell they are preoccupied with something and it's not me!  So that is a side note for you.  I say that b/c I had a good time connecting yesterday.  

So I forgot to go get my nail done that I cracked.  But I was ready to get home by 3:30.  The area at Providence was waaaaay busy in the afternoon with various folk out shopping getting a start to their weekend.  So it was time to go and traffic was bad so WAZE took me some back streets home that I'd never taken before.  I told George when he got home, we should go that way every time. It was longer but there was hardly any traffic and therefore it took less time.  More highways have been built since we have lived here so these are new routes we didn't know about. 

So I was a little frustrated though that it was 4 when I got home and I still had to make a salad and wrap gifts.  These off days are just so short.  So we had a very late dinner but a light one.  
We had cod in aluminum foil baked - it was good.  And a salad I made for us while making one for tomorrow.  Lots of chopping.  I still need to make the dressing this morning real quick.  I'm about to run out of time this morning too.  We leave in a few minutes and I have a lot to do. 

So, while putting jammies on last night I felt a lump while taking off my bra.  Good news it wasn't a lump like a cancer thing, but bad news it looked like spider bite.  I pressed on the lump earlier b/c I was making sure it was not cancerous type of thing.  But what I did was mess with the poison or whatever was in there and it all spread out and began to swell.  Yikes.  I showed George and the bite site had already tried to heal it looked like.  So I sat with a glass of wine and tried to remember the day last week that I had felt a pinch there and thought "wow that hurt - like a bite".  I went to bathroom and checked to see what it was and saw nothing.  I think that was last Monday.  

I am happy that I remembered that incident and that it looked like it was drying up at the bite site, but I was concerned at the recent swelling since I had discovered and messed with it.  George had a bite that looked the same way and says it'll be gone and not to worry that we'll watch it.  He made me feel better.  So it does look a little better this morning.  It doesn't hurt.  It's not really very sore.  Only a little.  So I'm not rushing off to the walk in center but we'll keep an eye on it.  So pray for me with that - that it goes away.  
There is always something ailing me it seems.  If not one thing - it's another. 

The other issues are not cleared up either.  I've just accepted it as a fact of life.  And we will take it from there. 

Anyway I'm running late.  WE have to be out of here soon before the Christmas parade blocks our street!  Going to our friends today for an Italian Christmas and gift swap.  Lisa texted their menu and it looks heavenly.  

All the salad is made now and gifts wrapped so we'll be heading out for our excursion today. 
Ya'l have a blessed Saturday!

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Day off In the Midst of the Madness

Good morning!  Didn't blog yesterday as I slept in a bit since we were out past bedtime Wednesday night.  We went to a wonderful restaurant in Lebanon called Mo'Cara's and what a wonderful treat it was.  We went out with a former vendor/friend.  And ubered back and forth.  
The dinner was smoked prime rib, salad, and you got it - a LOADED baked potato and pecan cheese cake.  Going to MoCara's, it being "during the holidays", us being with a good friend and having good conversation - I gave myself permission to splurge.  I even had ranch dressing on my salad.  ;-)
We were not fond of the appetizer list, so we ordered another entree and all three split it - what was it?  Chicken Fried Chicken and Mac and Cheese.  lol


And bed never felt so good.  But I was an hour late getting to bed and so I hit snooze like 8 times.  So I drank coffee and played candy crush to wake up and then headed in to work.

The interstates are nutzoid these days.  Normally coming home is busy but yet pretty quick.  Depending on when I leave.  Anywhere from 35 to 40 is the norm going home.  Getting there and coming home has been more like an hour lately.  Of course I have to take the dogs out in the morning and that delays my routine some  or quite a bit if there are any hiccups at all - like when it's cold and the cat comes in the house and hides and I have to hunt him down.  It may sound easy enough just to hook 3 dogs up and take them out for a business walk and back in again - but there are challenges: 

*All three dogs want to go in a different direction
*The leashes get tangled up
*Tugie's getting so thin that her collar comes off
*Roger pulls hard to go the direction he wants to
*Maisy gets wrapped around a tree and doesn't understand to go the other direction she goes the opposite way and makes it worse and when I try to unravel us she follows making it wrap around again, lol. 
*The cat tries to annihilate the dogs when they come in and so the dogs are moving the whole time while I try to get their leashes unhooked.  It's like trying to get a flopping fish off the hook.
*Roger is scared of the cat and won't come in.

 So I straddle the front door with one dog out and two dogs in while cat is messing with the dogs that are inside and I fumble to get leashes off.  I have to completely unhook the two that are in and go back out to Roger who is dangling around outside and refusing to budge and I have to entice him to come in.  Begging and sometimes even having to go and pick him up and he's heavy.  So the front door has to be closed so he cannot see the cat who is inside.  When I open the door I have to put my foot in front of the cat to keep him back and Roger will finally come in but tries to run before I can bend down and unhook the leash.  Then I quickly reach for the cat treats to entice the cat out before he decides to run and hide.  I try to make sure all the bedroom doors are shut before we start the process so if the cat comes in he has less places to hide.

It's a song and dance we do every morning.  It can be a pleasurable experience to be with your doggies outside by the woods out back watching nature.  Or it can be an experience that leaves you cursing and swearing like you never thought you would!

So yeah, it's been cold this week and stupid heavy traffic and so WAZE app has been taking me through some twists and turns to get places in 50 minutes instead of what probably would have been an hour and 15.  Because if it's 40 to an hour normally that time a day and there is a lane closure or an accident - it's easy turned into double time.  I've learned some back streets this week I didn't know existed. 

Anyway, last night George and I went to a new place that is open called Saigon Basil and it's a Vietnamese and Thai place.  We ate for $21 - which was el cheapo for us but we had hot tea instead of a beer or wine.  It was delicious and cozy and service was great.  We'll be back there!  WE went to Bath and Body works and then to Kroger and then back home.

I couldn't wait to get in Jammies.  And it was heavenly to sit and play candy crush past my bedtime b/c I didn't have to get up this morning.  I'm on vacation today. It's a vacay day but it's a working day regardless but perhaps an enjoyable one.  Working in the way that I'm going to be running some errands, doing some shopping, and so forth.

Today's goals:

___Shop some for George - mainly stocking stuffers
___Secret Santa stuff for next week
___Wrap our gifts for tomorrow
___Wrap Aunt Martha's and Uncle Ken's gifts
___Maybe wrap George's if I have time
___Prep my salad for tomorrow

So we'll see how much I can get done.  A head start on the wrapping will be good.  I have a day also scheduled for next Friday.  I always save 3 vac days for Dec and about 4 to 5 days to roll into January.  I've not taken a lot of vacation this year until the August and November and December.  So it's this time of year that I look forward to taking it.  But it's always so busy.  I don't want to lose it either.  Usually the 1st vacay day in Dec is to shop for George b/c otherwise I'm always with him.  And the 2nd one is to wrap.  And the 3rd one is the day after Christmas to just slow down and enjoy it.  There's an unusual lot of things going on at work though so once again vacay could be threatened.  Normally I worry about it.  Now I'm just going with the flow.  1.  I am not in the mood to worry and God said not to and I trust Him with my life and how it will go.  2.  I understand what is going on and understand why I would need to be there if needed.  Would not be anyone's fault.  3.  I do want to help if needed.  4.  I truly believe that it would all work out in the wash anyway.  So I'm not going to sit and worry over "having things my way".  My way will be God's and however he chooses it to be will be.  Now if it was after I'm already off and had to be called in while out shopping or something, I think that would be an issue - with most anyone.  That WOULD be a hard one.  I think I would be doing an angry dance and shouting holy molasses to the masses right there in Macy's!  lol    Just kiddin' I'm not going to Macy's.  It just sounded all Christmas like.  I wish there was a Dillard's close to us though!  Love Dillards.  Used to work there.  Loved the Dillard family as well. What I knew of them.  I got to meet THE Mr. Dillard once. 

That said, I'm going to hop into my day which is going to start with shower, laundry, kitchen (it's not bad but needs some attention), opening packages that came in.  May wrap a few real quick and then I'll head out. 

I'm thinking I'll catch lunch out somewhere as a treat to myself.  A salad?  Not sure but I'll find a little place to get something.  I don't want a major shopping day as I'd rather be home. I'm just going to pray that God leads me to the right gifts so I can make the best use of my time and then head home. 

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.  But I woke up this morning at 3.  Couldn't sleep so I played Candy Crush in bed til about 4 - hiding the phone behind a pillow so the light wouldn't bother George.  The dogs barked a lot after I went back to sleep and slept til 7.  I don't think George said goodbye but I wouldn't know it if he did.  The dogs just barked a lot and then they barked when they wanted back up in bed with me.  I awoke again when I heard the garage door opening and closing.  I got up b/c I'd caught up on sleep at that point.  I made coffee and played Candy Crush some more. 

I suppose there is some nervous energy in me somewhere making me want to play Candy Crush.  It relaxes me during busy times.  Anyway better get off and get started.  Dogs are sleeping good right now! I hear snores all around! lol  Have a grand day!  I'll enjoy mine off in the Midst of the Madness.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Accomplishing a Little Every Day

Love this artist's work and would love to be there at this house today getting ready for Christmas and wrapping and looking outside at the snow.  You can see some animal prints and I bet there are kids b/c of the sled and snowman.  It looks as though it might be in East Tennessee or perhaps Virginia as snow might be there.  We don't get a lot of snow in TN, lol.  Have to laugh at those animal prints.  It must be one legged! lol 

Anyway Christmas cards were done yesterday - started yesterday morning and finished last night.  I didn't make it in to work early since I was working on that but I felt good getting that done.  I collected the gifts that I need to wrap this week.  Some arrive today.  I will wrap those on Friday for what we need Saturday at our gathering with our friends and then wrap Aunt Martha's and Uncle Ken's on Friday as well and then George will get a box and ship them.  

Got the Christmas dinner planned with my sister and Mom in Columbia for the season.  We will be going after Christmas around the 29th and out to eat and then to my sister's house.  I'm doing desserts and my sister I've asked to make coffee and have the space for us to open gifts after we eat.  So that seems to work with all.  We have no idea what Katy and Cody's plans are and may not know til last minute so we just steered away from the 24, 25, 26 and that week so we'll be here for them.  And we are keeping their dog Findlay. 

I'm happy to get those things worked out. 

Also tonight we are going out to eat with one of George's prior vendors.  He is coming here for cocktails and then we'll Uber to a restaurant and back.

Tomorrow night we are going to use a gift card we have and then go to a specialty store to get a couple of gifts and then going to the grocery store for our dishes for our get together with friends Saturday.  

Friday I'll be on vacation and doing George's stocking stuffer shopping, and wrapping as mentioned above.  And will prep the salad I'm taking. 

Anyway, I need to get going and get started on my day.  I have a new flavor of shake to try this morning, Vanilla Chai - it's dairy free so we'll see if I like it.  I'd just never tried it so I thought I would.  Ya'll take care! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Crazy Monday and Lazy Monday Night

Morning!  Not much to say other than "yesterday was mad busy crazy" and I didn't leave work until almost 6.  So I did not have much of the night to do anything at home.  With the drive home, eating dinner, and not much left.  Once dinner hits around 8 and we watch a show during it - the motivation factor is just gone.  I fell asleep in bed playing candy crush.  lol  

It's so hard to get anything done after work.  But I'm off Friday at least and it's becoming critical at this point because I need to get the cards addressed, make our dishes to the weekend party. 
Then must wrap a few gifts for shipment and also for the weekend party.  George has already wrapped a few things.  

He fixed a great "round steak" in the crock pot that had onions and mushrooms.  We added a bit of worcestershire and balsamic vinegar for flavor.  It was good.  And I believe it had a German taste.  Had we not been concerned over waistlines, it would have been excellent with baguette bread slices to dip into the sauce.  

So, I was up early this morning and there is not so much to blog about so I have some time to address the Christmas cards.  I think I will do that.  I also intend to go in early to work.  I also have to get gas and wanted to fix a good lunch.  This all means I'll be late to work right? lol 

In that case I better scoot!  

Ya'll take care.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

Decorating Done, Shopping almost Done, Freezers Packed Full

Yay!  The decorating is completely done.  I did almost everything but eliminated about 10%.  Over the next few years my goal is to make it even more simple.  It's all those figurines that are breakable that sat about - I just don't have the time or patience to find all the places to set them.  It was always the hard part anyway.  I don't like a lot of clutter.  And truly I do not like the color red so Christmas colors are never my favorite.  I think that happened the year I had the stomach bug on Christmas.  Since then the colors of Christmas have turned my stomach at times from a memory standpoint.  What a horrible year that was. But yeah, the decorating is over. 

I got the sun room tree up as well.  Did several more loads of laundry - had sheets, towels, and the pet blankets to refresh.  Changed Tugie's clothes.  She has on a fresh shirt.  I did our much needed Target order.  I did an Amazon order and got through with that and had to turn around and do another urgent order for something I needed for this week. I did the Isagenix orders for my upcoming needs.  Since I've not been active at sharing in the past month, I've gone back to associate instead of consultant.  I'm about to cycle again but won't yet until I become consultant.  None of the BV goes away as long as I still have my 100 BV per month.  I knew it would happen b/c I was not far along yet.  I was already having trouble finding time to do this and I still WILL do it and share it b/c I believe in it and I enjoyed doing it, but I knew with the holidays and our travel, there was no way in Nov and Dec to even think about it.  October was a little nutty in itself.  I decided not to beat myself up or worry about being judged by others who do have the time.  It always makes me mad when people say "you have the same 24 hours I do".  I don't feel I have to explain myself. I choose to put family first and so my priorities are different.  From what I can tell, we do pretty big Christmases compared to every one else and that means more shopping and wrapping.  We do a lot of little things, stockings, 12 days of CHristmas boxes, have Christmases with friends, do special things at Christmas, do some travel at Christmas and we traveled at Thanksgiving and have had nearly every weekend booked with some kind of event since Oct 1.  The pets require a lot of attention  and I've had something going on with me as well.  So I've decided not to worry about it and when Christmas is over and the New Year starts I can be back at it.  I've been spread so thin and when I do something I can't do it half heartedly.  Already the time I have is full hearted with good intention but no room or time to fully commit.  lol  So it is what it is and I will work at it next year and I can't wait to do so.  Looking forward to it.

We went to the store and had a blast - like old times.  We didn't need any meat after the cow and pig arrived and have almost NO room in the freezers up stairs.  We have the new fridge's freezer of course and our deep freeze.  We do have the freezer downstairs that I believe George said is empty.  But I'll likely not buy anything frozen other than a frozen lunch or two. 

We restocked the fridge with things we've missed with eggs and condiments and cheese and sandwich meat and salad fixings and veggies.  And it is so organized and you can find and see things.  I love it.  Everything has a place and there is room left over and you can see where everything is.  It makes me want to cook again.  (Except for the blue floor which needs to go!)

I went through the Christmas list and made a list of what is left and that is "not much".  I'm impressed.  So now the wrapping begins and so do the parties. 

I swapped over my billfold and love it!  It's perfect. The fact that it is an inch bigger actually helps it to sit in my purse in such a way that it doesn't fall to the bottom and I have to dig for it.  It sits right there and so does everything else in my purse.  I am surprised by that. 

George wanted to go out for an excursion yesterday.  He went locally shopping for me.  We did not go to Czann's.  I needed the time at home to finish up. 

I did not get an email sent to my sister with dates for Christmas.  I did not get the Christmas cards done.  So I'll need to wrap the gifts we need for this weekend, plan my dishes for this weekend and the grocery list, and do the Christmas cards, and wrap Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken's gifts and then we'll be caught up for the week.  In light of that to do list for the evenings this week - I've declined at George's request to go to the movies on Tuesday.  Just too much to do. 

So an exciting day yesterday - much laundry done and ironing done and coffee ground and things restocked for the week.  Even went up a few levels of candy crush and caught up on the shows while eating and/or resting.  I did stop once just to play candy crush and rest my legs.  After being on them for 8 hours or so - was time! 

So - how much is a 1/4 of a cow?  Two "Walmart size delivery boxes" full of meat - lol It filled up our fridge's freezer and about 1/2 of our deep freeze which is about a medium size freezer - maybe 4 feet long and 3 wide.  George thinks it was about 110 lbs of meet for our 1/4.  It is GRASS FED.  Came out to be about $4 lb.  We bought some pig too - bacon, ham, ribs, roasts.  It was 30 lbs of pork.  Plus he went to rices and bought some country cured ham and sausage.  So we went to Kroger yesterday and George says "you know, we don't have any chicken". lol lol lol So he bought some chicken thighs.  I guess they are downstairs in the fridge.  I barely managed to get my frozen lunch in the fridge freezer.

Making a shake with crushed ice from the ice maker is the bomb!  lol  And I'm loving how good the water tastes from our filter.  I squeezed fresh lime on the ice and had the water over it and I'm loving ow that tasted - so fresh and clean.  And I think that will be my new evening drink.  ;-)

It was also good overnight to have lime water by the bed.

So we are loving it! 

And it seems we have had a Christmas already with all this going on.  One of George's old vendors (from former work) called to see if we were available on Wednesday evening.  So we'll see.  No text yet back from him.  But usually means dinner out.

Anyway, wondering about George's job as it is supposed to end at year end.  :-O  I've not worried about it for a while and not going to now, but wondering if his current employer will commit to bringing him onboard (the corporate approval is the hold up) as the management teams wants him on board.  But we don't want him to be a temp forever.  It's not fair to him as he has no benefits and no vacation or holidays.  But, he is on my benefits. 

So anyway, I need to go so I can get ready and get to work.  I heard the power was out in that area. Not sure if we are impacted or not.  If so we can't get work done - or much of it anyway.

Well, ya'll be good and we'll have more tomorrow! 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Our Cow and Pig arrived just after the Fridge Arrived!

December is here!  Wow!  I had to laugh when I turned the calendar at work - and saw someone was eating breakfast on their patio with snow on the ground.  

Thursday and Friday at work were insanely busy.  Friday afternoon much calmer.  Friday was a successful cleanse day.  It felt good.  

George and I hauled boxes of refrigerated goods and and frozen goods from the old fridge to the fridge downstairs in the basement.  Since we've not stocked up anything in the last few weeks, there was not a lot.  But "not a lot" seems like a lot when you start boxing it up.  All the condiments and such.  

I was pleased we went ahead and knocked that out.  I also did a couple of loads of laundry Friday night to get a head start.  I think we even watched a show - maybe some of my YouTubes.  Then I had to go to bed as with working all day, and dealing with the fridge and laundry and moving around a lot, my energy level on cleanse day took a dive.  

But before I went to bed, I was not sleeping another night in those sheets.  I changed the sheets to our flannel ones (if they get hot we sleep on top of them) and often do anyway.  But I bought a new King Size bed spread which is quilt like from Texas.  It came with two shams and was only $65.  No prices like that around here.  

I didn't show the whole bedroom or even the whole bed.  The bedroom is messy and I didn't do the shams yet.  

As I type this I smile.  I just heard the icemaker dump ice in the fridge.  Our new fridge has arrived.  We have an ice maker now!  Yay!  Makes the shakes much easier!  

Lowe's had called once and hung up.  I was in the shower, but had given George my phone knowing their day was starting and would be calling and giving us a tentative window of time.  So when I got out George handed me the phone and said someone from Mount Juliet called but it only rang once.  I called the number and it was from Lowe's.  They said it would probably be b/w 10 and 1.  I told George, "I wonder why they didn't give us time to pick up and then decided they really didn't want to talk to anyone so they just call, hang up, and then tell their manager "yep we called, no answer".  You can tell I'm in HR right?  

So I go on about my morning doing laundry, cleaning, decorating, taking care of doggies, vacuuming since our house looked like a barn - lol - and open the windows and doors and let the sun in.  George had gone to Rice's - a country ham store that only opens twice per year in our little town.  Then the next thing I know the dogs are barking loudly at something.  I peered out and the Lowe's truck had pulled in.  I think it was around 9.  They were supposed to call when they were on the way.  Given the previous phone call situation - we'd already discovered they did NOT have the call system down very well.  So SURPRISE!  Here's Lowe's.  Not that I am complaining - just reporting to you what happened.  They came and knocked on the door and I told them I would gather the dogs up.  

I put them on leashes and then someone came in the front door as I was doing that.  It was George!  Yay!  Back from Rice's and thank goodness b/c he could answer questions about the water supply for icemaker and turning it off and on and such.  

So the Lowe's guy measured and said "I don't think this is going to fit".  George said he measured it like 5 times and he thinks it will.  Turns out it did with 1/4 inch to spare and fits just under a cabinet we have.  I was so thankful.  I had been worried that the fridge would get dented in travel here or while they unloaded and brought it in and we'd have to wait again.  I was going to be so disappointed.  You know I have to worry about all those things.  

While they were here and wrapping up, I began making some chili/spaghetti for lunch and George left to go pick up our "cow".  I could not believe I actually had enough items to make the chili.  I didn't have ground beef but I did have stew meat.  And George has always liked having both ground beef and stew meat - so I just used what we had.  It turned out great.  I had two soup cups for lunch.  And froze two things for work and then also had a corningware and figured we could have it for dinner.  

I normally do not put spaghetti in my chili.  But with a lot of canned tomatoes, I thought I needed to cut the acidity as they have started giving me mouth ulcers on my gums/tongue.  However if I cook the sauce down enough it's better.  I simmered it really good for an hour and then added spaghetti and lots of it and let it simmer for another twenty minutes or so.  

I watched KYD on YouTube while eating.  And then it was on my feet and back to work.  George has been begging me to please get the tree up and the skirt around the bottom so he can begin wrapping and placing under the tree.  lol  So finally I got the tree up and decorated.  My day moved fast yesterday so I didn't get a blog entry done.  

Here's my "burgah" ornament.   While putting up the tree I set the TV to the fireplace channel and it was playing Christmas music.  I had lit a candle.  And Tugie was asleep and it just looked like a cozy scene.

Tree decorated and many boxes placed downstairs of empty containers and boxes gone through of what I'm NOT using.  I just didn't want a lot of the figurines and such out.  I'm happy with what I did put out and left all the rest in the boxes and marked "unused" on them.  Not ready to rid of them all just yet, but at least next year I'll know that was unused and probably won't use it again.  

Around 2:30 I thought I should check with George as he had to drive in KY in the Eastern time zone and it was 2 hours and 14 minutes away.  I knew he'd have had time to get there so wanted to make sure he was ok and had scored the beef!  He called a few minutes later and said "I'm driving back so couldn't text".  But said he would be home in 1.5 hours and to text my SIL and tell them to come to our house at 4 or after.  George had to drop off 1/4 of cow to someone and another 1/4 to someone else.  One was out of his way but the guy met him somewhere in b/w and that helped.  

So I had been busy after that finishing up most of the Christmas decor and boxes and had some trips up and down the stairs.  I thought I better check my phone as it was 4 and neither George nor his sister was here.  So I checked and my SIL said she was on her way.  I thought the text had been recent and was surprised as I read her text to hear her voice coming up the stairs!  lol 

I was about to say "how did you get in?" and then I heard George's voice too!  lol  So he brought our meat up and look at all this ground beef!  We set out a lb for us to have today.  I think we are having Hamburger Helper actually b/c we have one to use up.  So we'll either do that or have burgers cooked in a skillet.  I'm not sure we've decided. 

There were steaks of all kinds, ribs, roasts, and such.  We have t-bones too and round steak, cubed steak, skirt steak (fajitas).  

And while there George asked if they had any pork for sale.  He bought $100 worth of pork which is the pic immediately below.

Here's a pic of some of the beef. 

And here is a pic of the decorated tree.  

And on the liquor cabinet in the den, I made a scene of the little frogs.  I think these may have been Granny Jans?  I don't remember them being ours but I do remember seeing them somewhere.  I love them and it makes a cute little scene.  I added the puppy in a package to it as well.  And a starbuck's globe ornament seemed to fit. 

George's Rockin' Santa was a must to put out!  

The elves were his Mom's and George loves them so, so I put them around the TV as if they were all having a party hanging out around the TV.

Oops that was not a clear pic.  Sorry.

My SIL, Susan bought the wreath above the fireplace for Granny.  It was on her door at assisted living.  I put it above our fireplace this year as Susan did not want the wreath for her use.  

Then as I looked at the pics of our family I realized George's Mom and Dad were not up there.  I think we took it to the funeral so it was probably in a box downstairs still.  George went and brought one up.  It was the wrong one for the mantel but we put it on the fireplace hearth right by that little elf on the right bottom.  So they are there now with family.  I have my granparents pics all a bedroom in the back.  I've run out of mantle space.  

And my new billfold came in.  The old one is on the left and new one is on the right.  I have wanted to get a new one lately as mine is starting to fray on the edges and I'm just getting tired of it honestly.  Sometimes you just want something different.  I've not swapped it over.  The new one is a little bigger - you can't tell from this photo as the right one is further away from the camera making it look the same size.  It's made out of cloth and has a lot of compartments.  I saw it on line on a Facebook ad.  It's really for using the cash method of budgeting and you can label the various compartments.  I am about to swap it over when I finish the blog.  I don't use the cash method of budgeting but I would love to have the extra sections for a few coupons, gift cards, grocery list, or whatever. 

Hopefully I will like it.  I bought it with Isagenix earnings as I cycled again about a week ago.  

So I served chili for dinner for us all - just everyone sitting around watching Alabama and Georgia game and drinking a beer. I heated up the chili for the four of us.  It was good to see my SIL and BIL and catch up some.  And we finished off the chili and they headed home with their 1/4 of a cow which was frozen solid by the way. 

After they left, we were still hungry so I made some popcorn and watched the rest of my YouTube shows.

And so it seems like I'd have had more done yesterday but getting some laundry done, cleaning done, and the tree done and decor almost finished was good enough for me.  However, today I have to do the following and I won't get it all done!

____swapping billfold
____more laundry
____Sunroom tree put up
____Christmas Cards
____Looking thru the list and seeing what all is left to buy for Christmas
____George's gifts ordered
____Isagenix orders
____Wrap Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken's gifts for shipment
____Send dates to my Sister for Christmas in Columbia and see if they can join us

And I won't get all of that done either.  George also wants to go into Nashville and run an errand and get a Pecan Porter at CZann's - and that would be a 3 hour excursion or so which is half my productive hours.  But we'll see.  

Anyway - off to get the day going.  It's Sunday and I will need to do a devo as well.  It's likely that we will not be able to go to church again til after the new year.  I do listen to devos all week though and so I'm being "fed".  But I do miss our Sunday School class.  It's just a 4 hour excursion and 5 if you include getting ready. 6 if you include lunch out before heading home.  

So just trying to be sane here. And heading for more coffee and beginning to work on the list!  Ya'll have a great Sunday.  

OH!  I meant to tell you that I had 3 VAC left to take this year.  Was thinking it was one.  I had already scheduled them on my personal calendar.  But having just taken 3 days to go to TX was not sure I could take any more.  But, I don't want to lose the days.  They are a benefit.  So I have them scheduled but understand that with so much going on and also have vac scheduled in Jan too - that one I have a plane ticket for but these in December if I end up not being able to take it I will be flexible.  I will log them away in my mind for taking later  if it comes down to it.  It'll all work out.  But I DO need the days if I can get them to get our Christmas in order.  So I'm taking the day to shop, day to wrap and day to relax!  ;-)