Sunday, January 15, 2023

Currently...

It's 8:30 on Sunday evening. The weather is clear and calm. The temperature is 27 degrees. Tim is already asleep and I'm enjoying the last few quiet hours of the weekend.

On the television...reruns of The Big Bang Theory. I've been watching a lot of different things, no one show has captured my attention other than the new seasons of Swamp People and Swamp People: Serpent Invasion.

Reading...I haven't decided what's next. I just finished The Bookshop of Secrets by Mollie Rushmeyer. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a Christian book. It wasn't advertised that way at all on Amazon. It was a great story, had characters I instantly liked and got invested in and I loved that the Christian parts just flowed naturally. It didn't feel forced or preachy or beat you over the head with it as some books do. The presentation of the gospel enhanced the story rather than detracted from it. Just like it does in real life. 

Feeling thankful...I finally got to go back to church today! I hadn't been there since the night of our Christmas program and dinner. I came down with strep throat the day after that and that kept me away the following Sunday just to be safe. The next Sunday was Christmas and the nasty winter storm so I didn't go. I got another virus for New Years so missed that Sunday. And last Sunday I was healthy, but Colton and Leah stayed over and we just weren't moving fast enough for me to make it to church. It felt so good to be there today and see everyone!

I am also thankful that when Tim and I were at Walmart today I was able to get children's liquid Motrin. Poor Leah has been dealing with ear infections off and (mostly) on since September. The last round of antibiotics didn't seem to help at all and she frequently says her ear hurts. Tylenol doesn't seem to help and up until today we hadn't been able to find any children's liquid ibuprofen. The pharmacist at The Medicine Shoppe told Megan there is a nationwide shortage and that it will likely get worse before it gets better. So, while Walmart had it, I bought 2 bottles.

Thinking about...what's going to happen at work this week. On Friday my supervisor in the Adult Training Facility announced that due to something that had happened the day before (no idea if it was something at work or in his personal life) he'd turned in his resignation and it was his last day. He will be back on the shredding floor on Monday. Then a bit later the woman who sets everyone's schedules called two of the younger women out to speak to them. I have no idea what was said, but they came back angry and the one was ranting about quitting. And then at the end of the day there was a paper by the timeclock saying we had to sign up on one of two days for a mandatory staff meeting. We won't know what that's about until the 25th. I hate to see the younger girls quit, but if the one does, I will probably be in the training facility all the time. 

Hopeful...the new pillow I ordered from Amazon (for a lot of $$$) will finally be the one that keeps my neck and back pain free all night. I'll let you know.

Loving...all the time I've had with Colton and Leah recently. I got both of them right after I got home from work Thursday and Friday and yesterday I got them when Megan went to work. They sure keep me on my toes and wear me out, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Feeling...content and happy.

Funnies to make you smile...











Friday, January 6, 2023

A Thankful Saturday 9: What's New Pussycat?

Welcome to my (for now) once a week post where I try to cram a week's worth of info and updates into one post. In case you missed it, my laptop is limping along, gasping it's next-to-last breath...which basically means sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and when it does, it's incredibly, frustratingly slow. For the most part I'm just avoiding it. I will get a new one eventually. I've been sort of looking, but haven't seen "the one" just yet.

There's plenty I'm feeling thankful about this week. 

For starters, I'm mostly over the nasty cold I got right before New Year's. I slept most of last Saturday and laid low the whole 3-day weekend. I did take the tree and other Christmas decorations down on Monday, but I took all day to do it. I've been chipping away a little bit each evening at getting gifts put away and going through the kitchen cabinets and doing another purge of things I don't use. It's been a bit easier to get things done as we haven't seen much of our daughter or grandchildren this week. First because I was sick, then Leah got sick, and now our daughter has strep throat. All are on the mend at this point...another thing to be thankful for.

I'm thankful that my mom was able to drive me to work and pick me up on Thursday so Tim could drop his truck off at the garage to be inspected and drive my car for the day.

I'm thankful that I continue to be mostly in the Adult Training Facility at work...even when I am scheduled to work in the shredding department, something nearly always comes up that puts me back in ATF. My feet are very grateful!

I'm thankful my sister-in-law came through the surgery to remove a tumor, part of her liver and her appendix went well. She has a lot of pain, but that isn't unexpected and she is doing well all things considered. She hopes to come home tomorrow (Saturday).

I'm thankful for another financial gift from my biological father and for his offer to fund starting 529 education accounts for all of our grandchildren...even the ones we don't get to see.

And now I am thankful I could get the laptop running well enough to join in the Saturday 9. Thank you, Sam, for the music and questions!

Saturday 9: What's New, Pussycat? (1965)


Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Tom Jones wants to know what's new in his girl's life. Here at Saturday 9, we're concentrating on the new year. What do you hope will be new and different in your life during 2023?  I'm feeling hopeful that this will be the year I really do something about living healthier and that we will get on more solid financial footing. I am taking the first step toward the latter by enrolling in the health insurance plan through my work. Tim's work provides his for a nominal fee, but it is over $600/month for me to have coverage. I am able to get comparable insurance through my work for $50/month, a huge savings!
 
2) He sings that he has flowers for his special girl. Are there fresh flowers in your home right now?  No. I rarely have fresh flowers in the house. I'd rather see them growing outside than dying inside. Plus, strongly scented flowers kill my sinuses.
 
3) He also wants to spend hours with her. What is something you'd like to spend more time doing in 2023?  So many things. I'm actually enjoying the time that's been added to my day by staying off the laptop. I'd like to continue that. I want to continue to keep my online presence at a reduced level. It's awful how much time I waste on Facebook and games.
 
4) Before his music career took off, Tom Jones supported himself by selling vacuum cleaners. Could your home benefit from a once-over with a vacuum right now?  It could benefit from that pretty much all the time. I do vacuum, but between a husband that works in construction, the dog, the grandchildren, and everyone else that tracks through, it gets dirty/dusty.
 
5) Memorabilia from Tom's 1990 world tour was available on eBay and the bids went up to $599 for a jacket worn by the stage crew. Have you ever bought anything at an auction (online or otherwise)? I have been going to auctions since I was a little girl. I started bidding and buying on my own when I was in high school and I've never stopped. I've mentioned it before, but at the last auction I attended I bought a sectional sofa and an oak dining table and chairs for a song. I have bid in a few online auctions, as well, but I don't really enjoy those very much.

6) Tom's adult grandson, Alex, represented Wales in rifle shooting in the Commonwealth Games. Is there a sport you'd like to try, or get better at, in 2023?  I can't think of any particular sport. I just want to exercise more.

7) In 1965, when this song was popular, Tom Jones made a new friend, Elvis Presley. Tom had a meeting at Paramount Studios to discuss recording a song for a movie soundtrack and Elvis was finishing a film. It was the beginning of a friendship that would continue for the rest of Elvis' life. Did you make any new friends in 2022?  Yes, a few of the women at church.

8) Also in 1965, The Sound of Music premiered and became one of the most successful movies of all time. Have you seen it?  I watched it when I was a kid with my mom. I love musicals, but it just isn't a favorite of mine. I tried watching it again a couple of years ago, but quickly lost interest.

9) Random question: Were you like those shoppers we saw on TV, in line at a retailer after the holidays to exchange a gift that wasn't quite right?  Nope. I don't believe I've ever returned a gift unless it was clothing purchased in the wrong size.

That's all for now.  See you next week (if not before)!

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Catching Up & The Last Song

Happy New Year's Eve to you all! The day just feels off all around here this year. It's 57 degrees outside, it's pouring down rain, and I'm on the sofa in my pj's, my blanket, and the Poodle because I've got another bug. Go me. Thankfully, it seems to be just a cold and nothing more serious this time.

This final week of 2022 has been fairly uneventful. Work went smoothly and nothing major is going on. I hope to be feeling better by tomorrow as we're supposed to go to my moml's for pork and sauerkraut and Monday we are supposed to have lasagna with them and go out to lunch with friends. 

I'm also hoping to get the Christmas tree down and pack up all the decorations between tomorrow and Monday. I like to have everything put away going into the new year, because I know if I wait till after I go back to work it will probably end up being a few weeks until they are put away.

For those who asked about Colton's finger, it is much better. Not completely back to normal, but definitely getting there.

And for those who asked about how Jasper is doing since he went to live at my daughter's house, I offer these photos.



He can't say he is bored now. Haha!

The laptop continues to limp along but it's so slow I rarely use it. That's why I haven't been posting much. There's just no such thing as a quick post these days. I hope to get a new one in the next couple of months.

Now on to the Saturday 9. Thanks as always to Sam for the music and questions.


Saturday 9: The Last Song (1972)


Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
This is the last Saturday 9 song of 2022. 
Thanks for another great year.

1) In this song, the lead singer admits 
he leaves the light on when he goes to sleep. Do you leave any lights on in your bedroom? Or do you prefer it completely dark? I don't leave any lights on because there is light from the alarm clock, the power strips, the Wi-fi tower, and if the bedroom door is open there is also ambient light from the clocks on the stove and microwave, as well as light from the street light across from us. Mostly it doesn't bother me, but every now and then I wish it was at least a little darker. I have a mask for those times.
 
2) He sings that he can't stop wondering where his old girlfriend is. Do you know whatever happened to any of your exes?  I only know where a couple of them are and mostly I am relieved to have "dodged a bullet."

3) He says this is the last song he'll ever sing to his girl. What's the last song you sang? Where were you when you sang it?  I couldn't tell you what song it was, but it was yesterday at work. We had an 80's rock playlist on and I was singing along (quietly) to most of them.
 
4) Edward Bear was a Canadian group who took their name from Winnie the Pooh. As written by A. A. Milne, Edward Bear was Pooh's "proper" name. Pooh's favorite food was honey. Is there a food you can't get enough of?  Shrimp, chicken and noodles, and really good pizza.
 
5) In 1972, when this song was popular, Disney's Winnie the Pooh was quite a celebrity in his own right, appearing on the cover the 1972 Sears Christmas Wish Book. That year, kids asked Santa for plush Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. Did you have many plush toys as a child? If yes, do you still have any of them?  I had some, but I don't remember having a lot of them. I did have my Pooh Bear and Raggedy Ann and Andy until about 15 years ago when we got Elvis, the Beagle/Basset mix we used to have. As a puppy he chewed everything and he destroyed those three critters all in one day.

6) Enough about 1972! Let's look back on 2022. What's something you learned or rediscovered in 2022?  Maybe it's my cold-addled brain, but I can't think of anything right now.

7) Can you think of a moment in 2022 you'd like to do over?  Not really. It wasn't the worst year, but it was kind of a tough one.

8) What are you looking forward to most in 2023?  That fresh start mindset we all get with the new year's arrival. I really want to do a LOT better at living healthier, continue to get our finances back on track, and get out and do more.

9) Random question: Who received the last email you sent?  I have no idea. I rarely send email and those I receive are almost exclusively from retailers, spammers, and those who are phishing.

That's all for now so I'm off to check on the ham and bean soup that's simmering in the crockpot. 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Another One for the Books

Happy Boxing Day...or day after Christmas! Whew, what a busy time the last week or so has been. With my laptop on its last legs I've just never had the time to mess with it and post until now. I think I'm going to have to figure out how to log in to Blogger from my phone or there probably won't be any more posts until I get a new laptop or a tablet.

So, long story short, we had a great Christmas and I hope you did, too. It always goes by so quickly that it seems like a blur looking back.

Going back to last Monday, they announced the winning team in the pillar decorating contest at work. MY TEAM WON!!! The votes were overwhelmingly in favor of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree design. So, sometime after the holidays we will get to go for lunch with the big boss. My team is excited. I'm so glad it worked out for them.

Wednesday and Thursday were really not productive days at work. The consumers were too excited to focus and the staff was not much better. (wink) Thursday ended up being nothing but a party for us in the ATF facility. Cookies, cookies, and more cookies. I was a tiny bit miffed that all my coworkers brought gifts in and included me, because I'd asked a couple of them about gifts and they made it sound like it wasn't a thing and they weren't doing it...so I didn't take gifts in. I've since bought gifts and will take them in this week, but that will be awkward, too. Sigh.

Tim and I were both off Friday and though the weather was frightful with snow, high winds, and temperatures hovering at zero (no idea what it was with the windchill) we had to go out and finish up our shopping by getting a few gift certificates and the scope our son-in-law wanted for the gun he'd bought this past summer.

Friday evening Megan and Leah took us to a neighborhood restaurant to celebrate Tim's birthday earlier that week. It was the first time we could all go. Colton was in a mood and would have made it unpleasant so Cody stayed home with him. The restaurant just reopened under a new name and it was our first time there. The food was excellent, but we nearly froze sitting there. We were the only people there and we think, though they assured us they were open until 9:00, that they were trying to hurry us out so they could close early. They sat us by a drafty old window that the cold just poured in through and they shut off the gas fireplace!

Saturday we did just a bit more running in the morning then relaxed all afternoon at home before getting takeout Chinese and going to my mom and stepdad's for dinner. When we got home we did the final set up for Christmas and called it a day. Megan, Cody, and the kids had Christmas with Cody's family.

Sunday morning found me in the kitchen bright and early getting started on the side dishes. Mom made the ham this year. Everyone was here by noon to help get dinner on the table (we've always been early eaters then pick the rest of the day). We enjoyed ham, funeral potatoes, pierogies, corn spoonbread, baked beans, pickled eggs and beets, and deviled eggs. For snacking we had shrimp, cookies, veggies and dip, chips and pretzels with dip, and all kinds of candy.

Megan decided we would eat before we opened gifts...just to torture the kids, I think. Ha! Everyone was pleased with their gifts and we were all so richly blessed. I gave Tim a big electric griddle for those Sunday morning pancake breakfasts with the grandkids and the Samsung tablet he's been wanting. He gave me the KitchenAid mixer I've been wanting and a 12-guage shotgun, which I've also been wanting for home protection (I don't figure it will matter if my aim is off with a shotgun).

Daisy in her Christmas sweater watching gifts get opened and
wondering where hers are.


Me and Colton. Sure do love this silly boy.


A view of the carnage. We'd actually cleaned up a lot of it.


This girl is my mini-me and partner in crime.


Colton bringing a smile to Pappy John's face.


You'll shoot your eye out! Colton got an official Red Ryder BB gun.


This girl had us laughing till we cried. She wore
that hat (tag and all) all afternoon. Her footwear
alternated between the unicorn slippers and
her new snow boots.


Just a boy and his great-grandma's dog.

Today we concentrated on cleaning up and putting away from yesterday's fun and Colton and Leah spent the morning with us. We braved Walmart to get a few things and check out the after Christmas markdowns...not much left to choose from, but I got those work gifts and a few little things. Then we had lunch at Eat 'n' Park before taking them back home.


That was our Christmas. It was good and it was blessed and happy in spite of the shadow of loved ones long gone, the problems in our daughter's family, and the absence of our son and his family. I thank God for all of it!

Tell me, how was your Christmas?

Sunday, December 18, 2022

A Cold, Blustery, and Busy Weekend

I really have to back up to Friday to tell you about the weekend, because Friday was the Christmas party for the consumers at work. I don't have any pictures to share, Hippa privacy laws and all that, but it was a wonderful day and everyone had a great time. Those with intellectual disabilities are real party animals!

We enjoyed a meal of Italian roast beef sandwiches, chicken tenders, parsley potatoes, pasta salad, and cake. Many of our consumers entertained us with their singing talent...everything from an incredible doo-wop version of White Christmas to the longest rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas I've ever heard. They talked, laughed, passed cards and gifts to friends and staff and then...we had a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus who passed out gifts to each consumer. Then we did karaoke and a dance party until the vans came to take them home.

One thing that did not happen was the announcement of which team won the contest for the best decorated column in the dining room. That will finally be announced on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for my team.

I didn't sleep well at all Friday night. Lots of cramps in my feet, shins, and calves. So, when Tim got up at 3:30 I did, too. I may have finally dozed a bit on the sofa, but not for long and I was dressed (in many layers because it was COLD and windy) and out the door to finally do the bulk of the Christmas shopping by 7:00 that morning. It was a marathon day and my feet were killing me, but I got all but a couple of things I needed and made it home in time to carry everything inside and drive our daughter to work. No small feat as it was CRAZY out there! So many people and nearly all of them in miserable, grouchy, me-first moods. I was kind of over people by the time I got home.

Saturday evening Tim and I opted to get Chinese take-out for dinner and enjoyed it on the sofa watching television.

Today we woke up slowly and to the first real snow of the winter, but we were still out the door by 10:30 to go to a couple of local stores where I might need Tim's extra muscle. 

One of the things I was searching for was cushions for the dining chairs. At Thanksgiving my stepdad complained the chairs were low and hard. It's more that his butt is 80 years old and used to his huge overstuffed recliner, but I want him to be comfortable while he's here. I've been looking online for a couple of weeks and the cushions I've found have been so expensive and/or will take weeks to arrive. Oh, I could get cheap, thin ones quickly enough, but I wanted nice thick ones that will be soft and give you a little boost. Anyway, I finally found 6 at Walmart, but I had to settle for 3 each of two coordinating colors to get the six I wanted. Not perfect, but they will do. Who would have thought chair cushions would be so hard to get?

We wrapped all the gifts this afternoon and I can't even tell you how much that has improved my Christmas spirit. We both hate the job and tend to procrastinate to the point we find ourselves doing it on Christmas Eve, which totally stinks, and yet every year... Anyway, it is such a relief to have it done a week ahead of time.

We had planned to take Colton and Leah out for a drive to look at Christmas lights once it got dark but Colton ended up going to Med Express to have his finger checked out. Another kid stepped on it at school Friday (accidently or not is unknown) and it didn't look great right from the start, but today it was all swollen and red. It's infected and our guy is now on yet another round of antibiotics for that. It was kind of later in the day when he went and then Cody took him and Leah shopping for their mommy's gift so we will just take them out another evening. We might have them tomorrow for a little even though it's Tim's birthday and we will definitely have them Thursday evening.

Happy Christmas week!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Sunday Stealing: Deep, December Questions

Today's Sunday Stealing questions were stolen from the League of Extraordinary Penpals. Thanks, Bev!


1. My plans for December.  Nothing special. Just work, time at church reflecting on the season, getting ready for the big day, and then enjoying the time with my family. 


2. How energized I feel at this point in the year.  I'm doing pretty well this year. What the season means (Jesus came to save all who will accept him) fills me with joy no matter what else is going on, but this year I have the fun of the grandchildren to look forward to, hosting Christmas for the first time in 7 years, and my job is great and really helps me be "in" the season. 


3. The best things about the holiday season.  The love, the joy, and spending time with family and friends.

 

4. Something that changed my perspective on life.  So many things...getting married, having children, coming to know the Lord, grandchildren, age, and experience.

 

5. What I seem to get the most comments about.  Here on the blog? I guess it would be my grandchildren or my work.


6. The changes I’ve made to my style.  I've learned to have a more relaxed "go with it" style. I am all about comfort.

 

7. What gets in the way of my success.  That would be me, myself, and I. I doubt myself a lot.

 

8. News sources I trust the most.  I don't completely trust any of them. The bottom line for all of them is ratings and market shares. Those who might be good reporters are pushed to compromise. 


9. Fictional characters that would easily fit into my life.  Just about anyone who is down to earth and a decent sort. 


10. My relationship with spirituality.  I have a deep and abiding relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ.

 

11. How I feel when I’m being retrospective.  Usually a bit melancholy. 


12. My thoughts on AI technology.  For one thing I think it's unavoidable and we are stuck with it. It's a bit exciting what it's capable of, but at the same time...it's kind of worrisome.

 

13. The odd/weird things I do when nobody else is around.  Other than make up goofy songs and sing them to the dog I can't think of anything.

 

14. What I do when I can’t sleep.  Toss and turn. Pray. Get up and read. 

15. The winter/holiday season tasks I enjoy.  Decorating, cooking, baking, finding the perfect gifts for everyone (not wrapping!), helping others, even shoveling snow (as long as it isn't too deep and heavy). 

Saturday 9: The Christmas Song

Hi everyone! I'm getting around late again this Saturday. It's been a long day of marathon Christmas shopping...it's the first real chance I've had. I was successful, though. I'm happy to say the kiddos are done and our daughter and son-in-law are if not done, then nearly so. Yay! Tomorrow Tim and I will start wrapping and maybe I'll even get some cookies made.

So, until then I'm going to relax and join in the Saturday 9 fun. Thanks Sam for providing the music and questions.

Saturday 9: The Christmas Song (1964)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
1) While this song was published as "The Christmas Song," many people refer to it as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire." Have you ever roasted chestnuts (in an open fire or in the oven)?  I think I did them years ago in the oven. I don't like nuts at all so I must have made them for someone else. Our son-in-law's family loves them and roasts them every year.

2) Ricky Nelson sings that turkey helps make the season bright. Many of us just had turkey last month for Thanksgiving. Do you enjoy turkey all year around? Or do you consider it a seasonal dish?  I don't mind it. We might have a turkey breast a couple of times a year, but I only roast a whole bird on Thanksgiving and possibly Christmas.

3) He wishes "Merry Christmas" to kids from 1 to 92. Who is the youngest person you will celebrate the holidays with? Who is the oldest?  At 3, our granddaughter Leah is the youngest and at 80, my stepdad is the oldest.
 
4) "The Christmas Song" is a perennial favorite and gets lots of play this time of year. Is there a holiday song that you think is overplayed, and that you hope to not hear again (at least not until December 2023)?  It's a tie. I find both overplayed to begin with and thanks to the younger folks at work I am totally and thoroughly sick of them this year.





5) This version of the song is from The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, the sitcom that ran from 1952 to 1966. There were 435 episodes in all. Is there a series whose every episode you've seen?  I'm sure there are several, but the most recent one is probably The Big Bang Theory. Love that show!
 
6) Life magazine coined the phrase "teen idol" to describe Ricky's popularity. In your younger days, did you have a crush on a teen idol?  I had quite a few. It started with Donnie Osmond and went on up through a lot of the teen idols of the 70's and 80's.
 
7) Do you have a funny/ugly holiday sweater?  No. I have a few t-shirts, though, featuring moments from Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story.
 
8) Have you received many holiday cards this year? Did you send many?  So far I'd say we've gotten about half as many cards. I know more and more people don't send them (I didn't myself for several years), but the drop this year seems to have more to do with the economy and people's financial situations.

9) If you were Santa, what cookie would you like kids to leave for you on Christmas Eve?  Oatmeal Scotchies!

In case I don't get the chance this week, I wish you and yours the very merriest of Christmases. May it be filled with family and friends, love and laughter, and all God's blessings!




Currently...

It's 8:30 on Sunday evening. The weather is clear and calm. The temperature is 27 degrees. Tim is already asleep and I'm enjoying th...