Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Decoration Pieces

An arts and crafts store went out of business and I bought a bunch of stuff at a great discount. I've done that before. I'm not sure it's cheaper than buying what I want when I want it, but I like having bits and pieces to play with.

Southern Living Christmas Cookbook Party

One year I sent home a letter requesting information about what the parents would send for our Christmas party at school. Not one student brought one back. So I took my Southern Living Cookbook to school and passed it around. These were second graders. I told them to pick something they thought would be good at our party but be sure not to pick out something with alcohol. They put sticky notes on the pages. I went through the book looking at the sticky notes with them. They told me which recipes they wanted. I bought the ingredients and took them to school. I told them I needed their parents to either bake things or be in charge of the groups putting the recipes together and decorating them. We spent all that morning working on punch, cupcakes, cookies, and sandwiches. When it was time for our party and we had arranged everything, putting out our decorated placemats, etc., a bunch of parents showed up to enjoy our "party." They had dressed up and acted like I had invited them to the party instead of asking for them to send party food in. I hurriedly told the kids to claim their parents, put chairs next to their desks, and serve their "guests." It was the strangest school Christmas party I ever had. Looking at the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook with stuck-together pages reminded me of that year.

It's All Over but the Leftovers

Thanksgiving is over except for the leftovers. When all the side dishes are finished, I'll use the rest of the turkey for gumbo:) 
So now is when I start getting ready for Christmas. I have ten Christmas with Southern Living books. I stopped getting them because there are more recipes and ideas in these ten volumes than I'll ever use. Plus, our county library has them.
I love looking at them.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music is also wonderful.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Not Sleeping

I'd been sleeping pretty well with my sleep tape. But the last two nights I've been awake until after 3:30 am. I stay in bed, get up, crawl back in and try again. It seems that I should be able to transfer dropping off to sleep with the sleep tape to dropping off to sleep without it.  It isn't working very well.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Last Saturday

Last Saturday I called my pharmacy to get a prescription refilled. I had four refills left and didn't notice that that prescription date had expired. Today is Friday and I still haven't gotten my new prescription. I called the doctor's office to ask them to look for the prescription request from my pharmacy. The recording said, "This clinic is closed. If this is an emergency, call 911." Not helpful.

Suzanne Collins

I'm revisiting the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. I enjoyed them when they first came out and am enjoying them again. I liked them so much the first time that I bought the Underland Chronicles series. The Hunger Games was recommended to me by a fourth-grade girl who was reading it with her family. She wasn't a happy reader, so it impressed me that her whole family liked the book, including her.
But the Overland Chronicles was disappointing. I frequently like everything an author writes if I like anything. Not this time.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Getting everything prepared for Thanksgiving is a big chore because I have the whole "feast" thing in mind. There are only two of us but we both like leftovers. So the refrigerator is stocked with good stuff, the kitchen is clean, and we enjoyed the day.
I hope your day was wonderful with many things to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another Favorite Series

The Janet Evanovitch and Lee Goldberg series, The Heist, The Chase, and The Job is another favorite. The main characters don't remind me of Stephanie Plum or Monk (individually their characters that I like). Instead, the characters sort of remind me of Eve Dallas and Roark (J.D. Robb) in the In Death series, or maybe It Takes a Thief (an old television series). There are a couple of short stories in the Janet and Lee series with the same characters. I'm sad I just finished the new book, The Job.

Working on Thanksgiving

I have seven brownie pans of dressing made (five in the freezer), sweet potatoes, strawberry jello salad made. We've almost finished the sweet potato pie I made so maybe I'll make the mincemeat pie if I can find an apple. I think I have everything I need for what we want except the manual for the turkey fryer. I have a turkey that isn't frozen. I haven't tried to put it in the basket to see if it fits. If it doesn't, I'll trim off whatever doesn't fit and use it for making gravy:)
I guess I'll try to find directions for the turkey fryer online. I don't know why my printer isn't working so I hope whatever directions I find are easy!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Janet Evanovitch and Lee Goldburg

I liked the Stephanie Plum series for a pretty long time but eventually got tired of it. But the collaboration series with Lee Goldburg is good.

Sweet Potato Pies

I made the pie on the left using my mother-in-law's recipe (with ginger, apple pie spice, nutmeg, and cinnamon) and the one on the right is mostly just sweet potatoes in a pie shell.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


All cuttings don't survive. The impatiens drooping over the side probably won't make it. Impatiens grow readily from seeds, but I take a few cuttings to try to insure I have all the colors I want next year. With seedlings, the colors aren't a foregone conclusion.


I have a resident frog in my little greenhouse:)


I wanted to put herbs on this spiral flower stand. I intend to plant seeds so I'll have lush layers, but I couldn't wait. I buy my seeds in January and plant them in February. But I wanted them now so I bought plants at WalMart. I only have mint and rosemary, so far. I may have basil in a few days. I'm trying to grow some from seeds I gathered from my garden.

Food Prep

I decided to make the broccoli bacon cheese salad similar to what I'd tried and liked at the hospital. I put a cutting board across a sink, put the bowl for the broccoli pieces above the cutting board and the compost pail to the left. It localized the mess. As soon as I put the broccoli in the boiling water to blanch, I emptied the compost pail and it was cleaned up without having to clean several places. I have several cutting boards, but this is my favorite because it fits over the sink so nicely.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Have Spacesuit Will Travel

I read this years ago. I'm listening to it now wondering why I ever read another Heinlein after reading that one. I can only guess that I didn't spend much time on the mechanics of the spacesuit. I have found that books I liked a long time ago don't always still appeal to me, but I'm enjoying this one.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Exercise Class - Day 3

My shoulders felt better after the first class and continue to improve. The stiffness is better. I find that I am fairly flexible compared to the others in the class (including the least in the activities she has us do), but I have trouble shifting my weight, doing anything with more than one set of body parts at a time...legs and arms, really? And I have very little core strength and upper body strength. I knew about the upper body strength limitations, but I didn't know about the core. Staying upright and walking doesn't really address the core.
Also, I'm worried I'll make my knees worse. I guess I should ask about jumping jacks and knees. There is a woman there who has had knee surgery and I've been watching her adaptations, but she did do some of the jumps so I tried it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Diet Idea

I think a new diet idea would be to just make and buy food I hate. I have done that by accident before, and I'm able to leave the table hungry because I just can't choke down another bite. If I just decided to do that on purpose, I'm pretty sure to lose weight. It would still be low carb because I couldn't order high carb stuff because I like it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

JD Robb's In Death Series

This is a really long series. A New York detective falls for a billionaire who started off on the wrong side of the law. I like it that the detective is embarrassed by his wealth but loves the coffee he stocks. It is set in the future so it has that going for me, too. Both the detective and the billionaire had really rough childhoods but made something of themselves...different somethings. She wants rules and he wants stuff. The detective stories are interesting but the characters are great.

Monday, November 17, 2014

But I Like Monet

The view out my windows in my art room is hazy. That means I need to wash them. I have a gas space heater that makes things dirty pretty fast. My clue that it's time to wash them is the view begins to look soft and hazy. But it's really easy to put off washing the windows because I like the soft, hazy look:)

Saturday, November 15, 2014


I've let the perm grow out and my hair is longer than it has been in a long time. It needed some help to look better. So I looked for my old hair rollers. Evidently I threw them away years ago. So I've tried to find something I could use. I found some hair rollers that got so tangled up in my hair that I threw them away. It hurt to get them out of my hair. I'm not sure what to do next.


Yesterday I couldn't get my computer to connect to wireless. So I couldn't blog and I had to put the knee pads on for the second day in a row and carry a flashlight as I crawled under the house to turn off the water. The first time I thought it was turned off. The next morning there was a dribble of water coming out of the porch faucet, with some frozen on the porch. So the second time, I got Larry to stand outside to make sure nothing was still coming out. I wish I had done that the first time.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I took my cuttings for my flower boxes for next year last month. They are doing well. It is pleasant to sit in the greenhouse with my flowers, and all the light when it is cold and blustery outside...Plus, I'll have the plants next year:) I have more than this, but they showed up nicely just trying to get a bit in the picture.
Gardenia cutting from last year
These cuttings are starting to put on more little branches. Usually I put them outside immediately, but I decided to give them at least one more year inside so I will hopefully get some blooms next year regardless of the weather. I have eight of them.
I also have eight azalea cuttings that lived, but they are still tiny.

New Year's Resolution

Seen from one point of view, a new year starts each day. Today I went to an exercise class. The instructor said I'd think she's really mean after a few sessions. I told her I haven't known her long, but I hate her already. She was pretty happy with that.
It meets twice a week and I think it may be good for me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Monday I went to a couple of places trying to get somebody to make sure I have antifreeze for the coming cold weather. I waited at both places only to be told they didn't do antifreeze any longer. Today I went to WalMart and talked to customers about antifreeze. A nice guy walked over to the antifreeze section and showed me which one to get. Then he and a woman customer both said to go to the co-op. Nobody was behind the counter and they were waiting in line.
I went to the co-op next. They checked my antifreeze and said it was fine. They checked my air filter and said it could wait a while but if I wanted it changed, they'd do it. I waited while a worker went and bought an air filter that would fit my car, came back and put it on. They put a little brake fluid in, checked stuff.
I had gone to WalMart auto section Monday and only ended up with some of what I wanted done.
Next time I'll go to the co-op and let them do all of it. They were nice and didn't just tell me they didn't carry an air filter that would fit my car! They went to get one:) It took two days to get everything done I wanted. If I'd gone to the coop first, it would have been one day and probably cheaper...certainly less annoying.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Keep Doing What You're Doing

"Keep doing what you're doing," are my favorite words to hear from my doctor, and today I heard them again:) I should have heard them last time but he went off on me about taking medication in sprite of my lovely lab report! My ldl went down, my hdl went up, my blood pressure was good, my blood sugar was good, everything was good. Low carb, high fiber, high fat...sounds strange.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dwelling on Crap

I noticed a while ago that I tended to hash and rehash things that bothered me. It prolonged the annoyance that I was feeling. Sometimes I could talk it through with a close friend. But I finally decided that I just wouldn't think about it. It was over. I was ruining time that could be good by wallowing in what had made hash of my peace of mind.
So I tried to concentrate on sensory intake. Instead of stewing over something, I'd put it from my mind and concentrate on flowers, leaves, the feel of the breeze, the warmth of the sun, a hot bath...a fragrance.
Getting past the crap is faster for me if I dwell on something that brings me pleasure. I think that I must be pretty shallow at times, but really, wallowing in misery doesn't make me deep, just unhappy.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shoe Rack

Larry made a shoe rack for me. I wanted to tidy the closet floor. Larry gave it to me this morning:)

Saturday, November 8, 2014


We tried to set the gourds up as they grew so they would stand when dry. It worked with some of them, but today I tried using my hand sander to flatten the bottom of one to allow it to stand. It worked:)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Verizon Wireless Device

I like my upgraded Verizon wireless device. It tells me when it needs to be charged and when to unplug it as it is charged. The charge lasts a long time compared to my other one. I can tell how much data has been used.
But this afternoon it wouldn't turn on. So I went to where I'd gotten it. She took the battery out and then put it back in. It worked. Evidently that is how to reboot it. She also said the device has a one year warranty but must be returned in the box. Well, I've had it a couple of weeks and still have the box, but it's a wonder. Packaging material becomes trash when it is unpacked. Keeping an empty box for a year isn't something I would guess. It should have big block letters on the box!

Oreck Vacuum Cleaner

I have several Oreck  vacuum cleaners.  I needed a replacement hose so went to the website. It said it was down, to call the phone number provided. I called it and got a recording that said to use the website.
So I ordered my replacement part from Amazon, paying $10 less than Oreck listed, with no additional postage.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Because of my knee, I'm going to stop using the fitbit. It wasn't registering all my steps today. I'd walk awhile, but when I checked my fitbit, no steps would have registered. Instead of taking it apart and trying to get it back together better, I decided that I walked way more than my reduced goal today, just trying to get it to look like I got the 5,000 step reduced goal.
I am going to just go with biofeedback as a clue to when I've walked enough. I'm in the habit of pacing, so I don't think I will stop walking just because I'm not using the fitbit.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Vacuum Cleaner

Well, I'm spending quality time vacuuming up lady bugs and wasps. I managed to tear the hose on the arm. The next time I go to town, I'll try to get that piece replaced. Meantime, I still need the vacuum cleaner to work. So again, I used black electrical tape for a repair job. It works so far.

Monday, November 3, 2014


We had a hard freeze last night. I was curious to see what would survive. The cilantro looked just fine and so did the snapdragons. The annuals are all wilted. The clematis blooms survived, several others did, too. The roses that were open looked bad, but the buds look fine. I spent a lot of time vacuuming lady bugs and wasps.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fitbit Goal Change

My knee has been bothering me. I got a prescription for it. It appears to be working. I decided to cut my fitbit goal from 10,000 to 5,000 for a while. I thought about just blaming it on the weather. Then I decided to blame it on my knee.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Shadow Box

I painted the alphabet in the compartments of this shadow box when I was still in Germany. I kept change from different countries in it so when I was going back to a country, I could take the change with me without having to go through all the change.
When I got back to the States, I started putting cute little things in it and small things I use. So needles, thread, tape measure, and now, essential oils are in the little compartments. There are a few decorative things, but the little things I didn't want sitting around or messing up a drawer are easily organized and found.