Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Christopher- My Little Ghoul!!

Born on Halloween, 2004.
How Time Flies!!!!!!

This is the cake I made for him!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trying to Hold Out- As Promised.

I can't mention it til after Halloween.

Thanksgiving I can talk about tho.
It's a month away!

Our house is so upside down there's no WAY we can host Thanksgiving Dinner here. So my daughter has decided to have Thanksgiving Dinner at her house this year. She really can't afford it-she's been out of work for almost 6 months now- but if everyone would bring a couple of dishes if they attend- it won't be too hard on her budget.

When I have it at my house- I probably should have done more of that type dinner- but the kids were just starting out on their own with growing families, and on limited budgets. Tradition in our family has always been that you go to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Well, me being the control freak I am- always wanted the Perfect Norman Rockwell holidays- and so up until a couple of years ago- held the dinners at my house with some, but usually minimum, help from anyone. I knew exactly what dishes I was making and where they would be placed and if anyone brought something extra- it was an EXTRA TREAT! And if they couldn't afford it or something happened at the last minute they couldn't attend- then it was perfect anyway and no one was disappointed or upset because they felt bad and/or it was counted on for being part of dinner.

But the past few years I began asking the kids to bring certain things to the dinners. I was getting better and they were getting stable enough in their financial situations to take on more responsibility for the events.
A couple/three years ago I was upset tho. Big Time.
We had the dinner here. Everyone knew what time dinner was going to be- and one of my kids didnt have a car at the time. So their sibling went to pick them up at their house. Sibling w/o vehicle and their family wasn't ready. So Sibling that went to get them came back here and then-after us deciding to delay dinner for them- went back in an hour. Sibling without car and family STILL not ready. So sibling came back- we ate dinner and finally - after two MORE HOURS-Sibling _w/o car) and family showed up. We were all in the living room and we thought sibling w/o car and family would grab a plate and then come join us and we would have nice visit.
Nope- Sibling w/o car, and family went into the kitchen, ate dinner, and left. Barely stopping long enough to say hello and goodbye. I AM NOT KIDDING.
You have no idea how upset I was by that display.
It's also been increasingly hard for us to co-ordinate these dinners. Clay and Kathy used to alternate holidays with the two families...One year they would have Thanksgiving with us and then travel to Georgia to be with Kathy's side of the family for Christmas. The next year- it was Thanksgiving with the Georgia family, and then that Christmas with us.
I LOVED that solution!!
But since Dad and Clay left us- we can't seem to get anyone together for anything. Someone (including me) is usually working on every single holiday, seems like. Year before last I did Thanksgiving here and Christmas........that's when I told the kids that NEXT YEAR- meaning last year- THEY were going to do Thanksgiving Dinner if we had one. That gave them plenty of time to get it planned together.
And guess what? We didn't have a Family Thanksgiving Dinner. Kathy and her mom was scheduled for Georgia that Thanksgiving and Julie had to work on Thanksgiving Day and Marie and Frank were separated(which matters little to us because they aren't divorced yet and her and the kids are always welcome and they KNOW that), but they could have planned it for the weekend before- or the weekend after. Thanksgiving Dinner isn't like Christmas CAN postpone it a few days....anyway....

My point is- Julie is taking up the tradition this year. And I'm glad for it. She'll be a wonderful hostess!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Everything's Changing....

It is.

The roads we've rode over for my entire life have been recently changed. Totally different. Straight-aways in places curves used to be- curves in places that were straight as an arrow roads I used to drag-race on as a teen. So many of the places I link so many precious memories to are gone away, changed into shopping malls or parking lots or are occupied by totally different businesses than the ones I remember being there. Even the places Paul and I have made memories at are closing down. Boarded up- looking so lost and forlorn it almost makes me cry. I feel like something in the universe is shifting, changing familiar places into something out of "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

It feels eerie....strange...unfamiliar.
I feel uncomfortable on my own stomping ground....and it makes me sad and lost.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stuff We Have Made-Up....

2010 New Years Resolutions.....Revisited and Examined.

I posted this back the first part of the let's see how these are working out for me since the year is almost up, but I do have time to work on t a bit more......... How I've done is in Red.

1)First and foremost, FINALLY lose this excess freakin' weight!! 26 years is way too long to still claim it's "Baby Fat" I still haven't lost, don't ya think?
Well, Not bad so far- Lost a grand total of 52 pounds and still losing. Yay Me!

2)Buy a piece of property and move into our own place and quit wasting money on rent..
Nope- hasn't happened yet.....

3)Go on an overnight trip to Charleston. I love that place and miss going there. Even tho I'm definitely NOT a Beach Bunny, I think a trip to that lovely city won't hurt every 5 years. Charleston isn't exactly a beach town, anyway!!
We DID go to Charleston recently- but spent the night in Orangeburg. Not the overnight holiday we had planned- but we had a lovely trip there anyway, so this is a completed in my estimation.

4)Figure out a way to shape my eyebrows while wearing glasses. I can't figure it out because my glasses get in the way with them on- and with them off I'm blind as a bat up close- and I don't want to pay 15 dollars to have them waxed and shaped every month.
Another hit!! I DID find a way to do it- I found that using a (and this sounds gross but it works)-
nose and ear hair trimmer works really really well!! I can wear my glasses while I'm doing it too - and I can also take my glasses off and still be able to see what I'm doing!! I can really control the shape too. Thinking OUTSIDE the box really works sometimes!

5)De-Clutter my house. Really.
Working on it...slowly but surely. Got a LOT done- but still dreading the main hallway sorting. We've been using the back end of it for a storage area. UGH!

6)Get everything done/bought/paid on time. That would take a miracle, tho.
Except for the medical bills- we are doing pretty well on this one. We set a budget and am sticking to it pretty closely!

7)Have at least ONE romantic candlelight dinner with my husband.
Hmmm....not really. We DO eat by flickering TV light pretty often on my nights off tho...does that count??

8)Buy a new bed.
God, of all the things I REALLY WANTED to happen- this was at the TOP of my list...and no- we didn't buy a new bed. I did buy a memory foam pillow last evening tho- does that count for anything???

9)Be able to keep my car neat and tidy.
Well....KEEP isn't in there- but NeatER and TidyER is. Good enough.

10)Ditto on my Kitchen.
Yeah- BIG improvement there. I can't bake in a dirty kitchen.

11)Plant a vegetable garden and have it flourish. Unfortunately, this will probably never EVER happen in my lifetime. I did NOT inherit my family's Green Thumb.
Was totally right about this- just isn't EVER gonna happen. Plant it-yeas, it grows, sure....producing anything or FLOURISHING? NOPE- NEVER. Think I'm giving up on this one.

12)Find a fool-proof way to pick WINNING lottery numbers. There has to be a system or a method to the madness and I want to be the one to figure it out. Just ONCE!
Ummm...yeah-NO. Have you heard me blogging about figuring this one out? Then no.

13)Read 10 books that aren't trashy romance novels. Once you've read five hundred-which is about how many I own- you've read them all anyway. There's only so many ways a pirate/cowboy/knight/bandit/Scottish lord can ravish a girl without it becoming ho-hum.
Yep- got off the trashy romance novel kick. I've read probably 25 books this year that had nothing to do with trashy romance.

14)Pay off most of my debt........ I'm working on that one.
As I said before...working on it.

15)Finally find make-up that doesn't a)break me out....b)look like an oil slick landed on my face after 30 minutes.....c)make me look like Ronald MacDonald is my beauty consultant. Something with light coverage and natural would be nice.
I found two, actually! I found the Bare Minerals line- and for a liquid foundation- I found that almay works really well with my skin type. I use them together along with Milan pressed powder. I use Wet & Wild eyeliner(which I have never used in my life before now) and just about any brand mascara and eye shadow. I'd say this one was a BIG YES!!!

16)Finally get my nails to grow out past my fingertips.
Another hit! I now am able to grow long lovely nails. I started out by buying some nail hardener and used it faithfully for about 6 weeks. and I still keep it on and rarely use nail polish.

17)Buy a pair of sneakers that not only LOOK great- but are comfortable as well.
Yep- I found that WILSON plain white Tennis Sneakers fit the bill just fine. I have yet to find an all white Nike+ sneaker tho. So I'm walking in my *loud-ass* pink & white and silver ones. UGH.

18)FINALLY be able to wear my boots again. I have 4 pair I bought 4 years ago and still can't get on because...(see #1 above).
Well, no. I gave Julie two pair of them that a wet climate wouldn't help, ie my suede ones. And even with the huge weight loss- I STILL can't fit in the ones I have left. but I'm working on it- haven't lost ALL the weight yet- so there's still hope.

19)Buy a pool so I can learn to swim properly. (Maybe that property I want to buy will have one on it already- a two-fer!!)
No. Just No.

20)Save some money.
A bit- it's hard to save much when we're pretty much living from paycheck to so many other Americans do as well. I did pretty well, I think!!!
Dang- I may make a list next year as well!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why Can't I get OVER It Already???

Okay, I'm freaking out a little bit here, so maybe y'all can help me out with this problem???.....

I wish I could get back into walking extra again. The weather, thankfully has cooled off a good bit here and I COULD go on my walks again, but since the night I heard that growling, I just cannot force myself to go walking on my own again. I don't LIKE this side of me. I haven't actually been afraid of anything like this since...well...... never, to be honest.
I have tried reasoning with myself, I have thought, "I have a 9mm I could take with me", I have tried going OUT the DOOR and only got as far as the top of the driveway(ours-which is part of the main drive from the road) before turning back.
No- you know what- I take it back..I HAVE been this psychologically damaged once before....when I had that bad accident in Anderson I had to take almost a year off work because I just could NOT force myself to get behind the wheel and drive. Not even the 5 blocks to my mom's house.
Any suggestions on how to get over this mental block, guys? Cause I really do want to get back out and start losing again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Kitchen Witch Rides Again.

Probably not going to have a Pod-Cast this week on Watermelon Helmet. We're having some serious Computer issues with our desk-top, PLUS we've been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off with some personal business and we both are just drained- both physically and mentally- at this point. I was in the perfect mood to do one on things that piss me off or annoy me- but I'm afraid Paul wouldn't have gotten to talk at all and we would have had to title it The Bitchy we just decided to let it go this week....we'll be back next week tho- full force.

I can't wait.

Isn't this Autumn turning out to be wonderful??? We had our cold front move in last night- I mean Paul and i was sitting relaxing, and all of the sudden the temp PLUMMETED about 10 degrees in the matter of a couple of minutes. It was like a scene out of "Day After Tomorrow"....Freaky.

Our cats, Logan & Lucy, continue to terrorize us with their antics....yet somehow manage to entertain us enough that we don't want to choke them....most of the time. Now they have picked up an annoying habit of getting all up under you when you head anywhere NEAR the kitchen...or even just look like you might be thinking about going there. But then....Logan did save me from a terrible death that time when he killed the copperhead in my kitchen, - so he can annoy me all he likes. Lucy has saved me from nothing except......well, nothing actually. So she better not push it.

My daughter, Julie,*waves to Julie* called me the other night telling me she was having a problem with Christopher's Birthday cake.*waves to Christopher* She said he finally told her he wanted a cake with the following items on it...Scoobie Doo, Bats, Pumpkins, and ghosts. She said she called everywhere and the most reasonable price she could find for someone to do it is 45 dollars. OMFingG!!!! It's FLOUR, MILK, SUGAR and EGGS, people!!! 25 dollars I could see charging- but Jeebus Crisp!!!!!
So I told her to give me a day and I would see if I could help her out. Karen and I at work *waves to Karen* did a little research during our lunch break- and I decided I could do the cake for Julie. I found a coloring page with a relatively simple Scoobie Doo drawing I can use for a template in the lower right corner of the cake. Then I found a Haunted house drawing I can use for a background in the upper left of the cake. I already have some Halloween sprinkles that have bats and ghosts I can put all around the Haunted House and for the pumpkins...I got a big bag of those creme candy Pumpkins and am making a big ole Pumpkin patch below the haunted house along the pathway leading up to the house.
I'll take a pic and post it here when it's finished.It's the biggest challenge I've had since Paul asked for a Spider-Man Cake for HIS Birthday a few years ago.

I made my Niece's Birthday cake earlier this week and brought it to her. It was one of the most awesome and EASY cakes I have EVER made. I used my own Cream-Cheese Pound Cake recipe and then just got a tub of ready-made vanilla frosting and added a HUGE scoop of peanut-butter to it and mixed it up and then thick-glazed it over the cake. I then made a simple ganache from a bar of milk chocolate, vanilla and cream, and drizzled it over the top of the peanut-butter glaze. I think I added a bit too much chocolate- but Tiffany LOVED it and it tasted like absolute HEAVEN, so I'm not complaining.

Next one I make I'm putting a Maple Glaze on it tho. That's an AUTUMN or Thanksgiving Treat!!!
Chilli time is coming too. I got all the stuff I need for it as soon as our first frost hits. I'm soooo looking forward to it.

Hmmmmm.....Maybe I'm not in as witchy a Mood now after a good nights sleep- but there still won't be a Podcast....Unfortunately, we are still having the computer issues and all our Podcast programs are on the one that's screwed up. So.......until next week, Kids!!!!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Odds & Ends...Bits & Bobs.....

In case you don't know the back story- Paul and I are getting ready to move to a new home- if we ever get the details worked out.....and I've decided to weed out as much of the possessions as I can from before Paul and I were married,(minus my and my kids sentimental memories things, of course) so we can have a somewhat "fresh" start in OUR new house- you know, like most newly married couples do. Altho we've been married for over six years, we still consider ourselves somewhat newlyweds-mainly because we have yet to buy our fist home together, pick out our first set of not-hand-me-down furniture,and I have yet to meet his side of the family except for his parents who have visited us a couple of times since our wedding...LOL. I had a full house of "stuff" and had been living in this house for over two years when Paul and I finally got things sorted so we could get married.
Okay, so, anyway, I've been de-cluttering and sorting stuff around the house in anticipation of the move to the new house. A bit at a time. I figure I'll go into high gear when we get closer to actually moving into our new place.
I've gathered most of our photos and Paul has scanned them for me and stored them on our computers. Plural. Not taking chances on only one computer and something happening like it crashing and losing it all and having to try and get them all gathered and scanned again.
I've went thru closets and given away/donated clothes out the yen-yang. I've given away a few special/sentimental items to people I want to have them. I've given away/donated books we don't think will sell at a yard-sale or on Craig's List or e-Bay.
One thing I have carefully avoided to this point, tho, is going thru our Christmas things. All 20-odd boxes of it. Well, today, I HAD to go thru the things we have stored in the storage building. I woke up and got dressed and decided to just bite the bullet and go out to the storage building and drag out all the boxes of Christmas stuff. Well, I went thru those boxes with a fine tooth comb. I finally found my kids "Special" ornaments that go on my tree every year- they usually hang them on there themselves. I'm keeping them- I thought about going ahead and giving them to them- like I did their stocking holders a couple of years ago- but I found I'm not quite ready to let those go yet. I'm keeping my Golden Flying reindeer ornaments I bought at the Big Asheville North Carolina Farmers Market with the kids when they were little. And, of course, I'm keeping our Crocheted and Tatted Snowflake Ornaments my Mom gave us, too. All these are lightweight and small and mean so much to me/us, I just can't let them go.
Now my problem is letting go of my Department 56 Christmas/Snow Village Collection. We have about 19 houses/buildings from the various D-56 collections all blended together to make our own big Christmas display every year. Here's a pic of about maybe half of them.....Last year year we had to split them up into two separate displays- this is in the living room- the other was in the kitchen.

We haven't decided on keeping any of them yet. We may choose ONE House to keep. I dunno. I did decide to keep a couple of the smaller accessories, tho. We have a smaller piece that is a gazebo with a Christmas tree stand set up in it with a few people figures molded into it. I also have a horse and sleigh with figures molded into it I'm going to keep. Basically, we're going to bring a few pieces as a "starter set" so we can build on it together in our new home. I think that's a good compromise. We can sell the bigger pieces Like the skating pond and the ski slope and chair lift and add to our nest egg for starting out fresh in our new home, yet still have some pieces with some sweet memories connected to the my kids and Christmases Past.
I also kept a set of Tiny Christmas Cherubs my daughter gave me, A Christmas stocking my Grandmother Miller crocheted for me when I was like ten years old and a snowman Christmas ornament my daughter and her fiance gave us that is ceramic and has a chain of snowflakes -each with a Grand-Child's name wrote on it. I've got to ADD to it tho.....Elijah has been born since and isn't on there!! I think we need to go to Gatlinburg and get another one with blank snowflakes on it so we can add them ourselves as new babies are born!!!
Anyway, I think it's a good start.
Especially since it was the one part of the sorting for the move I was dreading most. It'll all work out. Meanwhile- if you know of anyone who would like to buy one(or more) of the Dept 56 pieces- please let me know- drop me a line and we'll work it out.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Learning Process....

I've been doing research on different diets and exercise programs over the past 6 months and this is what I've learned....
1) Some of these diets are DANGEROUS.
2) Almost ANY diet will work- if you stick with it.
3) Eat as Cleanly as possible- in other words- avoid processed and fast food as much as possible.
4) Drink plenty of water.
5) Exercise in some way, shape, or form- every day.
6) Sugar is NOT something our body needs to survive. It just tastes REALLY REALLY GOOD!!!