Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving & Black Friday Ramblings

So...Happy Thanksgiving! It was the in-law's turn for Thanksgiving so off we went on Wednesday evening to the remote town of The Marshmallow's youth where about 25 of our family converged for a chaotic if cozy Thanksgiving dinner. It was fun, I grudgingly concede!

I was invited by my sister-in-law to participate in Black Friday this morning. After reviewing the ads, and reminiscing about the nightmare Black Friday of last year, I decided against it. I mean really, who gives TV's and other expensive electronics for Christmas? I guess there are lots of people who do but I usually shop those sales when I'm waiting for a great sale on that stuff for our family. And honestly, the economy has not been kind to this family this year and there just isn't a great deal to spend on superfluous stuff so I just stayed in bed.

Black Friday has become increasingly crazier every year. I remember years ago it was frenzied but it wasn't insane like it has become. Last year, we stood in a line at ShopKo for over an hour, and then I may have blogged about the Toys R Us scheme/scandal that occurred that really soured me against going out anymore. The online deals are nearly just as good and can be accessed from the comfort of my own home at a more sane hour. If I do go next year, it'll be only to maybe 1 or 2 stores and will be a "just for fun" type thing instead of a "do or die" shop extravaganza like it's been in the past.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Deed is Done and I Couldn't Be Happier

This year Renee (my sister) and I upped the amount of caramel popcorn that we decided to make. Last year I thought we made a ton but this year we surpassed even our own expectations.

10:00 begin - "This is going to be so great!"
12:00 - "This is fun!"
1:00 - "We work so well together; it's like being double!"
2:00 - "We have how many batches left to make?"
3:00 - "Who said this was fun?"
4:00 - "Who's getting all this freakin' popcorn anyway? Isn't there someone we can take off the list?"

We're pretty organized about our plans and I'm glad Renee is the boss of me because after about 2:00, I became a drone. Glassy-eyed, sit my butt on a chair, useless brain-cells. She was reduced to just giving me orders. Go Renee!

At least I get to go to bed! Poor Renee has to go to work tonight too!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I USED to Love Mondays

...and now I dread them. Ever since school started, I feel like I just do non-stop running all day long.

Run the carpool kids to school
Run to work
Run through my routine at work
Run back to pick up SP
Run home to get her ready for dance
Run home to finish my paperwork to submit for my other job
Run out to pick up the carpool kids from dance
Run home and get ready for my church meeting
Run over to the meeting
Run home to get dinner started
Run to my next job...

Today was no different. Except that amidst my running, I found a few minutes to get my eyebrows waxed (yeah!), and also my upper lip that I finally let the girl talk me into. I'm to that point where I'm fishing for ways to make myself feel like the semi-attractive person I used to feel like. And now that I have no fuzz on my upper lip, I'm sure I'm going to win Mrs. America.

I also found time to run to the grocery store and buy some necessities including molasses I need for the annual marathon caramel popcorn fiesta that Renee and I are doing tomorrow. See last year? I needed 1 more jar of it and I put it in the back of the Jeep and headed home. When I got there, I opened up the door, and that stupid bottle rolled right out and smack onto the driveway. Have you ever had to clean up molasses off a cold driveway? Oh my gosh. It seriously spoiled my mojo today - I had to carve out plenty of time to get it off or else I think I'd have a hardened, condensed patch of molasses there for the rest of eternity.

And then I had to find time to get BACK to the store for more. Nice. It wasn't as bad as this picture though. Can you even imagine? After today, I just shudder.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Truly a Miracle

I had mounds of trepidation upon pulling out the bags of Christmas lights today. Flashbacks of the past three years compelled me to nearly take Valium prior to this monumental task which lay ahead of me for the rest of the afternoon.

Last year, I had neatly coiled up all of the lights separately in bags with their hangers still attached, which I've now learned is a very smart thing to do.

My memory served me well in what "to do" and "NOT to do". I did one string at a time, inside. Laid them out, tightened the bulbs, attached broken hangers and made sure they were all working bulbs. Then, and only then did I even go outside.

Each string went up as if I were a pro. I felt exonerated in my abilities as they each bulb attached neatly and quickly. The whole task was done in under an hour. Amazing!

I did have to climb up on the roof one time which, had there been a video, would have been worthy of sending to America's Funniest Home Videos - mostly me getting down. My belly's big and I had to sort of lay on it and shimmy around until I could get my feet on the ladder. I wasn't scared but it was definitely needing my intense concentration and all of my balancing faculties.

Anyhoo, the job's done - and I'm glad of it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Lights

For those of you who were around last year reading my blog, you'll remember the fiasco I had with them.

I got them up last year while the weather was still really nice and then they were there just waiting for the day after Thanksgiving when I personally feel it's acceptable to finally turn them on without making a spectacle of yourself to your neighbors.

I've had so much on my "to-do" list lately and lights are one of them. I really need to do it before I get so top-heavy that the task is a dangerous one. Since I'm NOT doing the runway lighting I did last year, it shouldn't take as long as last year (!), so hopefully I can bang it out tomorrow morning.

I hope to report success!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Circus Animal Cookies

Bankrupt. Yeah, that's right. They're gone. If you like them, you'd better stock up! Are you as sad as me?

Sorry Oh, Hey! It was worthy of repeating!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Now What

The doc just called and told me to check out Salt Lake Regional.

I. don't. think. so.

Looks like a change of doctors is in my future.

Just Perfect

A friend cautioned me to check LDS Hospital to make sure they took my insurance. I was pretty cavalier about it but called anyway. um...they don't. CRAP!

I can't deliver at Lakeview Hospital, my preference, because of I've had a C-section and now since I want to try VBAC, they're too small to handle that serious of an emergency should I rupture or something. TMI? Sorry.

I can go to the University Hospital or St. Mark's - both of which are at least a 20 minute drive which could be worse but really sucks when you're in labor.

I know St. Mark's has a great new Women's Center but I have no idea about what the U is like. I've worked at both of them on a limited basis but as a patient, I have no first-hand knowledge.

So...again - your opinions would be of use to me. Do they both have private rooms? How are the nurses? Do you wait a ton of time for your call-light to get answered? How cost-effective are they comparatively?

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I Finally Got It!

Yeah! I finally was able to buy my grain grinder! I've been waiting for a long time but finally got the one I wanted at a price that seems reasonable to me.

And now I can start using my vast supply of wheat berries which is mainly the point of having them in the first place!

I've been enjoying so much the kitchen classes on wheat and wheat bread that our local Ace Hardware puts on. For the most part, they are free and you often get a 10% coupon off of whatever you buy that day which is actually how I got the grinder at such an affordable price ($225, normally $300 for those with inquiring minds).

I have acquired several really good wheat bread recipes through these classes and am making my very first loaves with freshly ground wheat right this very minute. I'm so excited - I just preheated the oven.

The smell of fresh bread will soon be wafting through my whole house - come on, there's just nothing better, is there?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Hey, does anyone have anything good, bad or otherwise to say about Kirkland diapers?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Cat's Vacation

I sent the cat on a 3 month sabbatical to my grandma's house to ease my allergies a bit. I haven't updated this blog with my myriad problems related to the cat but let me tell you, they aren't a few. And the slew of medications I am "supposed" to be on to alleviate my problems ... well let me just put it this way - I'm not for them.

So the cat's been sent away as of about 4 days ago and SP and and I went to visit him this evening. He seemed so happy to see SP, and we were both happy to see that he was well taken care of, and appeared to be quite content. He's in a true cat-lover's home and will likely put up a fight when we want to bring him home.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

What are you going to do with all the pumpkins you have hanging around that you didn't carve?

Last year, I pureed them all up and canned the fruit. I'm not sure I'll do that this year because although it wasn't a huge amount of work, it was a process that I'm not sure I want to endure again this year. Perhaps I'll use them in my pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving though - and some pumpkin custard, which is a favorite of mine.

But today, we made roasted pumpkin seeds. There are loads of recipes out there for these using a variety of different ingredients. Our favorite is this:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups pumpkin seeds (preferably dried overnight)
1 1/4 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp melted butter
1 1/4 tsp salt

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray (important!). Combine seeds with other ingredients and mix well. Spread the seeds onto a single layer on the baking sheet and put into a preheated oven at 250 degrees. In my convection oven with the setting on "roast" it took only an hour. It may only take slightly longer if you dry the seeds over night. If they are wet from the pumpkin, it may take as long as 2 1/2 hours. They're done when they're dry and crunchy.

Voting - Check!

In case you were wondering (and live right around me), the voting booth in our district was completely without lines as of about 30 minutes ago. Lucky me!

So that's done, and whew - it wasn't a huge process. Now the waiting begins.

Going to Vote

It's 9am and I have plans to go over to the elementary school this morning some time to vote. I have a few things I need to do before I go but I'm pretty worried about the line. Plus, the weather's miserable. It's raining/snowing and I was hoping I could just walk over there so I don't have to figure out where to park. It's looking like walking might be out of the question, especially since I'll be taking the tike with me.

I hope everyone has either already voted (like I should have) or plans to get some time to do it today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 1 Down

I've not had a particle of sugar today and the craving didn't really hit hard until around 5pm.

I made SP put all of her Halloween candy in her her room where I couldn't see it. She's a very pretty good kid and won't eat it unless she asks so I don't worry about it being in there.I dumped out a 1/2 pan of brownies, threw out the twizzlers and put the bowl of M&M's away so I couldn't see them anymore.

I'm still jonesing pretty bad but I'm also dead tired so if I had to choose between a Twix and my pillow, my pillow is going to win.

How long is it going to be hard like this? A week, two? #$%^%$

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cross Your Fingers

Starting 6am tomorrow, I am done with sugar. That is my vow.