Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One More Day of 2014

It's hard to believe just how quickly this year passed; surely you must think so too.  

I surely hope that 2015 isn't quite as hectic, and doesn't require as many trips up north, but I won't hold my breath on that one.  I'll be headed north again around the 20th of January and that'll depend a lot on the road conditions through the passes...I don't do snow and ice if I can help it!  In fact, I'd be perfectly happy just staying home until all possibilities of snow have ended, but that's probably too much to hope for. 

Our Christmas tree was quite nice this year - found a nice full one and its trunk was straight!  For the last two years, we've only used the artificial 4' tree.  I still struggle through the Christmas holidays - many reasons - and this year apparently had enough anxiety about it that I was having some all-day-long heart palpitations and skipped beats.  After two weeks, I did go to the doctor who called them PVCs and referred me to a cardiologist for a stress test.  Well, that didn't work out, and I haven't tried to make another appointment yet, but as soon as we got past Christmas, those palpitations lessened to the point there are very few at all now.

2014 Christmas tree, very bushy!  I didn't put all the usual decorations on it, just didn't have the energy. 
 I will probably start taking the tree down on Friday as our our trash pick-up will be collecting them on Saturday, and with only about three weeks left at home, it would be a good time to make a concerted effort at taming the giant dust monster from every corner of the house. 
Flame and Raven - about as close to snuggling together as they've ever been.  Though they are only weeks apart in age and came to live with us when very young but at separate times, they aren't snugglers with each other or even us.
These kitties aren't really big on canned food and usually only take a few licks before walking away.  Today, Flame decided she was really hungry.  I fed her canned food twice and the second time, Raven was there as well and they both ate off the same plate from the same blop of food at the same time!  That's a first.  Earlier in the day, Flame also came and crawled into my lap and lay down for about five minutes and right now she's digging up the towel in her box like she wants to crawl under it.

The kitties, not sure which one so both are guilty, gave me one casualty.  Not bad for a first time with the big tree and all the decorations.  Raven decided she likes to play in the water basin, so she might have been the culprit, but Flame is aka Klepto-Cat and likes shiny things so it may have been her.
This will likely be my last post of 2014.  I need to find, or buy, a new memory card for 2015 for the camera. 

May you have a safe, and blessed New Year. May your troubles be few, and may your joys abound.  May you have love, and peace, in all your relationships (even with those who are 'difficult'!).  


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cleaning & Scrubbing

I was able to get Clue 2 of Grand Illusion finished pretty early - easy to do if you don't do anything else, and that's usually what I do with my weekends....very little in the way of housework!

So, what have I been doing in my non-quilty time?  Some of those once or twice a year, or decade in the case of some, maybe in a lifetime for others, but for me, something I like to get done at least once every year things.  I tackled the very necessary chest freezer clean-out, defrost and inventory on one day.  With being gone so much this year, I've had no clue what's still here and long-forgotten how old some things might be.  This freezer only builds up ice around the top rim because when you open it, warm air hits it and creates moisture, which then freezes when you close the lid.  It isn't a very large freezer, just big enough for our little family, so I empty everything into ice chests, then scoop up any loose things like spilled frozen veggies - why do the clips not get put back on those open bags? - I then run as hot of water as I can into my large soup pan/spaghetti pot, set it in atop a towel I've placed on the bottom, then close the lid and leave it alone for about 45 minutes.  Oh, and I've turned it OFF!  

When I come back, the ice on the side slips right off, I remove the hot water pan(s) and scoop out the ice then mop up any melted ice/water and dry the sides and bottom, turn it back on and re-inventory the items as I put them back....unless it's an item that gets tossed.  I also did the refrigerator's freezer but it doesn't ice up so  it was just a basic clean-out and inventory.

Once those were done, I tackled the pantry - a deep, shelved, "walk-in" space about 32" x 38". There's just enough room between the shelves and the door for a small rolling cart, and to store a few things on the floor.  I also have some overflow shelves out in the garage, so all of these were cleaned, re-organized and re-inventoried.  It's amazing how much I've crammed into those spaces.

I cleansered (is that a legitimate word?) the kitchen sink after soaking it with scalding hot water and bleach.  I discovered that the 'splashless' bleach is not quite the same as regular bleach...whatever the additive is in it, it suds, and suds a lot.  I noticed too on the jug that, in very small print, it says "Not for sanitization or disinfection.  To sanitize and disinfect, use Clorox Regular-Bleach.".  Well, so much for sanitizing and disinfecting.  I will be far more careful to read the label on my next bleach purchase.  Who knew, right?

Today, I tackled the inside of the refrigerator.  Oh my! but it was a mess.  More things got dumped.  Who needs salad dressing bottles with a half-inch of dressing remaining that "expired" a year ago?  And ugh, those shelves in the door were filthy! Not to mention the bottom after I removed the drawers. 

Oops, I need to be paying attention to the clock, it's almost time to go pick Nick up from school.

Sorry I took no pictures of my "before" and my "after"; the before would have been too embarrassing anyway.  Next, I need to tackle the microwave - sure wish my guys would learn to clean up after themselves - would make my life easier!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thursday's Thoughts are Lacking

Truly I am loving being home.  I have found though, that I am mentally all out of sorts lately.  Staying focused is a challenge.  Today I updated our financial stuff and discovered I was two days late on our cable bill.  Glad they don't automatically shut it off.  But the bigger question is, how did I manage to overlook paying it, and also end up almost late on a credit card payment?  I'm thinking this whole back and forth between home and my dad's, from my own records to his records, from my former - now non-existent - routines here at home to living day by day, has totally fried my brain.  I told my husband my routines were all out of whack and he said "What routines?"; poor man doesn't know or recognize I had routines....well, I did, even if they were often hit and miss, now they don't exist at all and my thought processes aren't even thinking about making lists to get back on track.  If I'm rambling, reread my second sentence ;p
This was a 'from scratch', crust and all, turkey pot pie.  I found the recipe online and it was from a Taste of Home contributor.  Instead of crimping the crust, I just overlapped the top one and tucked it down the insides of the pie plate.  This would have been a good one for Toaster Oven Tuesday.

This is all that was left after dinner, and I got to enjoy the leftover for lunch the next day.  The crust was really flaky.  I guess with 2/3 c. + 2T shortening it should be!

We had a pretty good rain soaking a couple days ago.  So much so that the birds were trying to find a dry spot.  Outside our upstairs windows are 'planter' ledges and you can see the silhouette of a little finch hanging out safely with Flame on the inside trying to figure out how she could grab that little birdie.  At one point there were two on the ledge, and my poor kitty was quite frustrated!

The ash tree in our back yard has finally turned to its beautiful fall yellow; leaves are beginning to drop - the heavy rains helped as well to get them to drop.  This is normal that it's leaves do not drop until December, while in other parts of the country, ash trees will have lost their leaves two months ago.

Some of the leaves floating on what becomes our own private 4" deep 'lake' in the back.  Previous owner was a cement guy so except where the ash tree is in a 20' x 20' section of lawn (make that roots & dirt), the rest is all concrete and as it's all well over 20 years old, the roots of the over-50 year tree have cracked and lifted the concrete, so water collects in that back corner.  The birds love it at times, gives them a place for water, and worm-collection.
Flame discovered she can jump from the desk top to the top of my 6' tall bookshelf upon which I have some boxed projects.She was hoping she could just jump down without Nick's help - she's very independent you know.  Nick is now 5'10" and that hair almost makes it to 6'.

I took this through the side window of my car.  Kind of represents my brain these days, very foggy.  This was somewhere south of a major university town on the interstate in the wet land I keep going to.  Those aren't DUCKS in the field ;p  they're cattle.  There were places where the fog was so thick you couldn't see but a few car lengths ahead of you...and some drivers weren't going any slower.  Me?  Well, 55 was a good speed rather than the 72 the policeman accused me of on the previous trip south.  He still reminded me of Don Knotts in Mayberry, RFD, lol.

That's it for this week, we'll see how long before I post again.  I'm hoping Bonnie Hunter's electricity gets back on so that she can get the next step of Grand Illusion out for us tomorrow.  That woman is an absolute wonder at how much she gets done.  I want to be like her when if I grow up before I die.  She must be incredibly organized and seems to have energy to burn.
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