Saturday, December 29, 2012

back to real life

Week 2 of the first class of the BSN program is almost done. I banned myself off everything electronic yesterday, except for family chat on GroupMe where Brock did offer to do my paper for me, until it was uploaded to the necessary places.

House is almost out of toilet paper, but I still paid for PERRLA. Miracle stuff I'm telling you.
Makes paper writing in APA format much easier. I know that I can do the same with Microsoft Word, without this add in, but it sure helps and there will be nothing but paper writing going on here for the next 18 months or so.

The tile in the house is too cold for this old dog. He has taken up sleeping on carpet and I can't blame him. I put two layers of socks on the other day. Should invest in a pair of slippers, but I'll probably just slip and klunk my noggin on something. Grace has never been my midle name. This new position of his can be most annoying. Our "living space" is not what you would call large. He sleeps in walkways all the time and tends to hog the entire walkway. Makes leaving my room in the dark of morning a challenge sometimes. Might end up nockin' my noggin without slippers!

Ran out to the mailbox yesterday. I'm so bad about collecting mail. Grandma had called before Christmas to see if our box had come. I hadn't seen it. Asked around and Tia said there was an extra key in our box but she didn't know what it was for or how it worked. Voila! There it was! Yesterday there was another key in my box. It opens the nice big box next to the little one and saves me a trip to the post office to collect things. Amazon?

Inside the box was a Christmas gift. I've been pining for this lens for a while and still can't believe it came to me for Christmas! Thanks again!! This is going to be fun!!

Yesterday we celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. Wow! Time has certainly flown. Jari worked and came in the door with roses and a card. I didn't even manage a card. Oh, but I'm bad. Keep reading ... you'll see just how bad I've been lately.

We went out to Cheesecake Factory to eat last night. Thank you to another special someone for their Christmas gift to us! The waiting area was incredibly full of folks making me think that the economy in this part of the valley is certainly not suffering. I said "first available" which of course got us outside seating. December 28th .... outside. Hubby was not too impressed. Said he would have worn his long johns if he had known that was going to happen. Sat him under the patio heater and he didn't complain too much. I did come home for dessert rather than indulging over there. I'm still working on a Red Velvet Cheesecake that is in the freezer ... one slice at a time.

Today .... I'm sipping coffee hand delivered from Costa Rica. Special thanks to the courier! Jari has gone off for the day in working attire. Tia is heading out dress shopping for a wedding shortly. I've got a book going on in my ear and the counter filled with To Do projects. See how bad I am?! It is about high time I get to the post office!

I think I better do a bit of writing first unless the postal service can read my mind. The mind that I can't even decipher most days anymore.

The bright side of being miserably late is that Mom, who is hospitalized at the moment, will have something to look at while she spends time in her bed. Their gift finally arrived yesterday.

The refrigerator is so full of leftovers that I'm sending out a last call for the boys to come clean it out .... and then I'm going to.

The garage is full of Christmas wrap and packaging that needs to be torn down and head to the dumpster.

Jari did most of the laundry on Thursday, but there is a wee bit more to do and he doesn't iron. I do like my scrubs ironed with starch. I know I'm not the only one on the planet that does that, so I'm okay with it.

Christmas can probably stay up for a little while longer ... we'll continue to enjoy it for a bit!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas at our house.

We shared our days with different peoples at different times.
Some stayed. Some left and went to others.
More came.
We played games ... some at the table and some on the screen.
We shared gifts with each other.
We sang and sang and sang.
Wondered if the neighbors got serenaded to sleep at midnight Christmas Eve ....
or if they were already slumbering when our voices chimed again.
We ate. Oh, boy, did we eat.
(I finally remembered to pull out the prune tarts Christmas nearing evening.)
Enough that at least 2 of us went to sleep last night with serious air filled guts.
Might have had something to do with Christmas Day dinner.
Scalloped potatoes with ham that included a quart of 1/2 and 1/2, a pint of heavy whipping
cream, a pint of milk and cheese, cheese, cheese.
Good combination for lactose intolerant bellies.
I nearly didn't make it to see today.
I seriously thought I was going to asphyxiate myself in the pillow by this morning.
I went to sleep last night mentally writing my obituary.
Hubby said it was all my fault .... I did the cooking.
I'll have to work on that!

This morning I've been enjoying playing with pictures and noting that I really didn't take any!
Oh for frustrating. I've had to borrow a few.
The house is orderly again.
The refrigerator so full of leftovers that the boys need to come clean it out for me.
Very soon.

I'm going to work for a few hours and then coming home to take a delicious nap.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I finally picked up the cards from Costco and will mail out a few of them.
Just a few.
If your mailbox is receiving one ... it will get there late.

May your families be blessed this Christmas season, the reason for celebration be alive in your hearts and the New Year be filled with goodness.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12.22.12 10:26 pm

My Christmas cards are sitting at Costco.
They have been there for several days now.

I did get some things to the post office on Friday.
I didn't pay for anything like overnite shipping.
The ones in the mail will be late.
The ones still sitting here will be even later.

My freezer is pleasantly plump with pulla.
I don't have one thing on my Christmas menu other than sweet treats in the house.
Okay. I have the pickles. That's it.

I mowed the lawn today.
My bedroom is clean.
I think I'm up to date on my class.

I think, think, think I've got Christmas gifts under control.

Because I do silly things like this, today I made some silver and black stars
for my living room wall out of 50 cent posterboard.
Like I had nothing else to do! What was I thinking??!!!
Will see if I can remember to take photos in daylight tomorrow.

Jari is back to the land of the living.
Thank goodness.

This week ... our beautiful youngest daughter and child turned 16.
We had a grand time and stuffed ourselves with Red Velvet cake per her request.

In less than 48 hours our Christmas Eve celebrations will already be completed.
I cannot believe it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

season in motion

Jari has been fevering and sick for far too long.
He tucked himself in bed Friday evening and I headed out to a Christmas party.
Food and fellowship was absolutely delightful.
And then there was the singing. I love the singing.
Especially when the singing turns to Finnish Christmas songs.
There is nothing like beautiful voices singing in Finn.
Special thanks to the hosts!

Saturday I had 4 nieces over for a day of baking.
I think I've started a new tradition.
Toni told me that I need 4 rolling things. Not sure I want to store 4 of those things,
guess I'll have to borrow a few next year!
We baked and baked and baked.
By the time they left, one couldn't keep her eyes open and another was
complaining of a belly ache.
Wonder why?!

There are still a few more things I need to bake, but (I'm embarrassed to admit this) last year I actually threw away goodies after Christmas. There were just too many of them!
I've cut down on the things I bake.
Almond Tea Cakes have gone away.
I do love them, but they're alot of work and I'm the only one who eats them.
I'll save my caloric intake for chocolate instead.
Pulla, tarts and carmel corn still need to be made.
Sometime the end of next week .... I'm hoping.
I did try something new this year.
Mind you, this is the first Christmas ever that I didn't have to decorate a cookie.
The visiting artists did the work for me.
Pinterest gave me this idea. These squirt bottles came in sets of two from the dollar store.
Note the color of the tops: small bottle for mustard, large for ketchup.
In case you can't tell, we put a different colored icing in each bottle.
Was wondering if they would wash out easily and they did.
With a little help from a toothpick or three.
Learned quickly that keeping them upside down between uses made the
whole process a whole lot easier.

That roll of freezer paper that is still not all used made great table covering.
Roll it up when done and all the icing and carmel remnants got rolled right into the trash.
The girls would love one more day of baking or crafting before Christmas ....
they found it hard to believe that I'm out of free days.
Speaking of which ... Christmas is dangerously close.
I'm experiencing pangs of guilt as I knew I would.
I'm skipping sending out close to 200 cards this year.
The Christmas gifts are maybe half wrapped.
The budget has been swished down the toilet.
I only need to pick up a few little things.
I'm threatening to give gift cards to everyone next year.
Nothing has hit the mailbox yet.
For that matter, I still need to finish something for the mailbox.
The first class of my bachelor's program starts tomorrow.
This week .... of all weeks???!!!!
Tia turns 16 on Tuesday and that means a party.
She invited folks for 6 - 6:30.
I usually work until 6pm on Tuesdays.
I've been sleeping in the same bed next to a man who has been sick for a week.
I hope I've been facing away from him and not breathing in his
exhalations all night long.
I'm drinking green tea and vinegar in desperation because I'm out of vitamin C.
I really do not have time to be freezing under blankets.
It has rained for several days and the weather is nice and cool.
This afternoon I took a nice warm blanket out to the back patio.
I snuggled underneath it and slept in the sun for a while.
I'm calling it therapy ... prevention therapy.
You all have a good week.
I'll try get back here, but you probably shouldn't count on it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

even the dog scowls

What am I missing in the flower department?
I manage to grow certain types of flowers without a problem.
What on earth is wrong with the mums?
Doesn't seem to matter what I do with them ... ever.
They always seem to pass on to what should be the compost bin.
They come in a pot with enough soil to hint at continued growth.
Not with me.
Even Duke doesn't appear to be happy about the situation.

If it was every plant that came from Home Depot that day I could understand.
This is my first attempt at Lobelia in Arizona.
It is growing.

Many of you are worried about moving snow right now.
I'm worried about the demise of the mums ....
and the lawn needs mowing. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

christmas tree caravan

We met in Flagstaff at 7 a.m. on Saturday and headed out to hunt a Christmas tree.
Six vehicles in our tree hunting train.
The rising sun had me about ready to burst into tears of joy.
I started writing rhymes instead.
In a caravan
to the canyon
heading out to cut a tree
 were the brothers
and their father
wives and friends and family.
 The sun was rising
cattle grazing
fields and mountains bare of snow
 breezes gently
bending grasses
God's creative beauty shows.

It was quite a tree he found!
I said, "Yes, dear."

We made it home in time to get the tree standing upright in the living room, lose the smell of bonfire to the shower and head out for an evening Christmas Program that was absolutely divine. The food still makes my mouth water even now. The program was beautiful. The dessert .... I should have skipped it. How on earth do you start passing up things like Rhubarb Dessert and Cheesecake? Maybe you can. I'm not so good at doing that.

Monday, December 10, 2012

the yard sale

The other week I said I needed to remember to share a yard sale story with you.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving we went out to hit some yard sales and score some bargains with Frans & Jenny.
I have this oh so cool Craigs List app on my phone. I really don't use it often and it has many features that might prove beneficial if I ever get around to figuring them out. Like if I'm looking for an antique rocking chair (I'm always looking for those and never buying them), it should just ding at me when one shows up. The phone app comes in real handy if you're sitting around visiting, or in our case we were playing a game, and you're looking for yard sales. Found 'em!

So we headed out nice and early ... to the other end of town. Saw probably one measly sale along the way. For sure one. He had some shutters that I could have probably used for something or another, but those guys were along. We made a stop for drive thru breakfast. A stop at the ATM because we were going to do some serious business at that sale we were going to. Never hurts to be glass half full kind of thinker.

Finally made it the neighborhood where the sale was. Niiiicccce neighborhood. Perfect! We were right on time if I recall correctly. We drove down the street. Had that address locked in my iphone mapping system. (I'm almost sounding techno geke!) We didn't see any booming business going on. No other vehicles in the area tromping toward that sale that had everything we needed. Not one garage door open. Especially not one garage door open at the specific address that was on Craigs List. 'Cause I went back on there and found it. It took a while because I haven't properly figured out how to note certain items I'm looking for.

Right address. Check.
Right date? Uh ... not exactly.
The sale was last week.
Hate when that happens!

We did get some interesting scenery viewing along the way tho'. Imagine living in an upscale neighborhood and having this place either next door or across the street from you. Voi etta!!

I wish I had the patience to create a Where's the 5 Gallon Bucket Lid kind of game.
Like really. I do have windows this person could come wash.
If this qualifies for art .... I really am in need of an art appreciation class.
I'm not seeing it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Chicken Alfredo Roll-ups

I tried another newbie recipe this week!
(Please excuse the phone photos and the lovely green Ikea cutting mat.)
Courtesy of via Christina at work ....
we had Chicken Alfredo Roll-ups.
I do not make my own afredo sauce. Yet.
So here goes.
I do not follow instructions, so mine may not look like what I'm about to write.
Don't be surprised.
Spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick spray and pour 1/2 cup alfredo sauce, or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Boil 8-10 cups water in a large pan, cook lasagne noodles until al dente. Now this is the important part! Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other. Then, lay out each noodle individually and blot dry with a paper towel.
(Or if you're me and out of paper towel, a dish towel did the trick just fine.)
Spread about 2 Tbs alfredo sauce over each noodle. Sprinkle oregano and garlic salt on top of sauce.
 (I used Italian seasoning instead.)
Now get your calculator out.
Take 1/9 of 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken and spread it out evenly over each noodle.
Did you get that?
Add approx 3 Tbsp mozzarella  or cheese of your choice, to each noodle.
To roll up, start at one end and roll the noodle over the toppings. You will need to lift the noodle a little to prevent squishing out the inside ingredients while rolling.
Place the roll-ups in the pan, one by one, seam-side down so they don't come undone. 
Notice the loaf pan instead of the 8x8 pan? The 8x8 was full of leftovers in the fridge and
I had a different plan.
Once they are all in the pan, pour the remaining alfredo sauce over the top. Ummm. You were suppose to start with 2 1/2 cups alfredo sauce. That might help a bit. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted on top.
At this point I used the rest of the noodles and made a second loaf pan but filled my rollups with red tomato base sauce and ground beef instead of the chicken alfredo for those who prefer that taste around here. They worked just as well.
Something different and tasty.
Post cooking note: I prefer a pasta dish that isn't very dry. I really didn't measure my alfredo sauce on each noodle to the drip, but am guessing it was about what the recipe called for. I would probably put even more next time as I'm sort of a soupy pasta fan.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

a brother

being a
is even better than
being a

Sunday, December 2, 2012

december is here!

No, I'm not ready for it.
There are no decorations up in the house yet and I won't have time until maybe Thursday.
Maybe tomorrow I'll just haul the totes out of the garage and tell Tia to have at it.
Saturday was absolutely gorgeous!
In tank top and flip flops I helped Jari hang up some icicle lights.
(He hasn't been feeling quite up to par so am thankful he agreed to this little number.)
They look a little spartan, don't they?
Better in real life ... and they're up.
We'll have a tree up by next Sunday night!
Tonight we enjoyed the Advent Program at church.
There is nothing on earth like listening to a group of little people belt out "Hosannah".
They did a bang up job of leading the organ.
I had water in my eyes it was so precious.

Over the weekend:
  • Friday I worked for hours and hours on Christmas stuff .. as in crafting kind of. Getting there!
  • Jari & I went out visiting in the evening.
  • Saturday morning we hit some yard sales for about an hour. I came home with more toys for the toybox and just 2 other little things. Not very productive. But a little less driving than last week ... must remember to share that with you some day.
  • I know I played a bit. Hung some Christmas lights. Cleaned the part of the house that gets presented. Ran a few errands. Went to Hobby Lobby and found even more things to play at.
  • Settlers in the evening with Ronda and a divine, and I mean divine, piece of Schwan's Red Velvet Cheesecake. Heaven on the taste buds.
  • Church this morning and then home for a quiet afternoon. Spent several hours on the phone catching up with someone special that I really miss having close by.
  • Advent Program this evening and I think I'm ready for the week.
This week we're looking forward to:
  • Pappa is coming to town tomorrow evening! Can't wait to see him. Salmon chowder on the menu for dinner. I think he'll like that.
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday work during the day.
  • Tuesday evening choir practice for Tia and a meeting for Jari & me.
  • Wednesday evening organ duty. Practiced Christmas music today ... shouldn't be any surprises.
  • Thursday evening is a freebie! (Scratch the freebie if I decide to put up Christmas.)
  • Friday evening we may be going to Prescott.
  • Saturday we have a date to go cut our Christmas tree somewhere up by the Grand Canyon. Then comes the interesting part. Have to take along the dress up clothes. May have to pack along the power pack so I can fix the hair on the way down to Phoenix again. We're pros at changing on the side of the road. Christmas Dinner Fundraiser at 5:30 and I really don't want to miss it. It is beautiful ... and my girls are singing.
  • Sunday I'm taking the most delicious nap. Sort of like the one I had today. So sound asleep you can't drag yourself out of it. That was good.
Nap in .... I'm ready for Monday.
Have a fantabulous week!