31 December 2007

The last day of 2007 has been a really good one. I went from last night where I ate too much and felt like a total couch potato, to waking up and being busy all day. I need a little of both. So, all but the big Christmas tree is put away. The thought of all that had to be done was much more intimidating that the actual doing. The big job is really the tree, and I'm waiting for Emily's help.

We did our usual New Year's Eve activity...an early movie, then dinner at Remomo's at Arundel Mills. We saw The Kite Runner. I would highly recommend it; I think it's an important movie. If you read the book, and loved it, you'll love the movie. I'm just chilling out in my pj's and robe, and the kids are watching Fantastic 4. I made my last banana cream pie of 2007. I'll bring that and Fumi salad to my parent's house tomorrow when we get together for New Year's Day. My mother ordered a deli platter with all the fixings, and she's really excited about entertaining the family.

I'm not much on resolutions. For years I had the same one: clean the basement. I finally accomplished that this year, and it was a huge job. This year I'd like to clean out my bedroom walk-in closet, along with all the other closets. I also need to have a will made. All do-able, and it's time.

I wish all of you a new year of health, happiness and laughter.
I'm packing up Christmas. Woohoo! I'm on a roll, so I won't tarry. It's looking so plain around here!

30 December 2007

I really didn't get the tree. I thought about it a lot. How I've always wanted one, but not necessarily a white one. How I'd never find it for that price again. Last night when Kit asked me if I wanted to go to the mall or to Caribou Coffee, I chose the coffee shop. I just didn't feel like walking the mall. Does anyone else live by a Caribou Coffee? It's decorated like a ski lodge. Flagstone walls and timbered ceilings. A fireplace. Tables and leather upholstered chairs. It's very cozy. Usually I'm there in the AM, and it was nice to see the evening mix of people. So, we just hung out till we were tired. I called my mother from there to see if she wanted to go to a movie with me today, and she was excited. I slept till just after 8 AM--very late for me--and called her up. She said she was ready. A little too early. Originally I thought we'd go to a movie in Annapolis and then go to the mall for you know what, but the weather was terrible and the thought of having to get the electric scooter for my mom seemed like too much of a hassle. I decided to just go to the local movie. I headed out her way and we went to the 11:00 showing of The Great Debaters. We both loved it. Then we went to Paneras for a lunch of soup and bread. Yum. I hung out at my folks house for a while, then called Kit on my way home. She was at the grocery store by Caribou, so we met there. Again. We sat in the leather chairs and hung out and talked. I just love coffee shops. Finally I came home, back to reality, and Emily, who was home from her NYC trip. And here we are.

I borrowed a bunch of movies from my dad, and think I'll just be hanging out here on the couch tonight.

29 December 2007

Yesterday did kick my *butt.* I wasn't used to working hard after being off for 5 days. I couldn't shake that sleepy feeling, and the 8 hours I was there felt like 12. Today was much better, although it didn't feel like a Saturday. I think half the shop took the day off. I did get to see Bon when she came in for a haircut. There were too many things to talk about for the 30 minutes we had. One of the reasons I like seeing my clients for chemical services is because we have more time together. A half hour isn't enough especially when it's a client and a friend.

I went to Borders. I had $5 in Border's bucks that had to be redeemed by the 31st, and I spent it on a $5 coffee drink. I read a stamping magazine and Consumer Reports. Nice. There's a family, a mother and two grown kids, that are in Border's every Saturday when I'm there. At first one of them had a laptop, now they all do. They play computer games. Today I saw they all had drinks from Arby's. I can relate to wanting to hang out at Borders. I find it interesting that they just use the space and don't buy anything. I don't think I buy enough for the time I spend there. Last time I was in Panera's I noticed a few people with Starbucks cups, and saw one man come in and sit down with his newspaper, Starbucks cup and pastry. I don't blame them for wanting to hang out at Panera's...I do. It's interesting that they'd bring in food from someplace else. Just an observation.

Here's a few pictures of the bountiful food and gathering of friends and family for Christmas dinner at my neighbor Kelly's house. It was so great to just walk next door! Kelly is a wonderful cook, and is happiest when she's feeding a full house. My sister and mother have attended the last two years, but this was the first for my father. Kelly sent everyone home with leftovers. My parents were very happy.

I wish a magic genie would come to my house tonight while I'm sleeping and pack up all the Christmas stuff. Just saying.

I think I'm meeting Kit tonight; I'm waiting for a call. She suggested meeting at Annapolis Mall. You know what's in Annapolis Mall, right? That white feather tree, unless someone else bought it. I hope someone bought it. If we go there, I have to look. If I see it, I'll have to buy it. I just know.

And that's it for now. Ladeda.

27 December 2007

It was good to be out and about today. I was home till about noon. I finished writing all my thank you notes. About 50 of them. I started last night, and it wasn't hard to do. I don't remember writing thank you's when I was growing up, but I believe it's the right thing to do when you receive a gift. I have a very hard time getting Emily to write them, but she does most of the time. I think it's a lost art.

I went to the mall today to do some returning and exchanging. I breezed through Starbucks, Bath and Body Works, Borders, and Marshalls. Then I got stuck in Macy's. I picked up a bunch of wonderful, vintage-looking Christmas ornaments that were 75% off. I found a few baby outfits for a friend who just gave birth. Then...I couldn't find a register that had a salesperson, or that didn't have a super long line. I waited in one for about 10 minutes but the cashier was having a hard time and seemed very clueless and just plain confused, like she'd never done this job before. I left that line. I finally got out of there, but it probably took a good 45 minutes to check out. When I was leaving through Lord and Taylor's, I saw a beautiful feather tree, all white, stripped of it's ornaments. It was a display tree. The tag said $450. My mind was saying I Want It! I asked one of the associates if she could find out the sale price, and she took my name and number and said she'd call. I got a call as soon as I got home and was told it was $125, and that I could use a coupon. Oh, I was tempted to turn around and get it. I told Emily about it when she got home, and she convinced me not to. She said, you can hardly sit on our deck chairs; the seats are tearing. She said, you want living room furniture. Even though the tree was affordable, and even though I still really want it, she's right. I don't need another tree here. She doesn't know about the ornaments, but they were really cheap. Funny that I have to hide it from my daughter.

I got a big section of my basement put back together. I'd just been putting things anywhere on the floor instead of putting them away in their proper place. The Christmas side of the basement...forget that. It's terrible and will stay that way at least for a few more days.

Tomorrow is a work day; the first in a while. It's been a good, long break. And I only have to work two days then I'm off again. How strange! But good. Emily leaves in the morning for NYC with her dad and step-mom. They'll stay for a few days and celebrate Christmas with his side of the family. I miss his family.

26 December 2007

I'll start by saying how happy I am to be at home today. In my pajamas and robe in the middle of the day. It's raining and dark outside, but nice and bright here in my family room. I've had banana cream pie and apple pie for breakfast and lunch, but not too much. I opened all my gifts from my clients while listening to a John Mayer CD. I had a nice, long phone conversation with my sister Ilene in GA. I've been home alone until 10 minutes ago when Emily's dad brought her back home. I don't plan on getting dressed or doing one thing around the house. I think I'll write my thank you notes for all the gifts I received because I'll enjoy that. I'll catch up on the newspapers. Not so lofty plans.

Here's some pictures from my father's birthday party....

The table is pushed back and dessert is displayed.

A close up.

Appetizers anyone?

JD's first time at a family gathering.

Time to eat!

Happy Birthday. Make a wish!

Me and the folks.

My brother's kids with Grandpa.

Guess who?

My nephew and his girlfriend. What a cute pair.

The only ones to carry on the family name.

My mom cracking up. She does that a lot.

My sister Lisa's boys.

My brother, me, father, and sister.

My brother Steve and his family.

My parents with six of their grands. The other five live out of state and were missed.

A great time was had by all. I think this day meant the world to my father.

Well, Em's been waiting for me to finish up here so I can play the Wii for the first time. First I have to pick up JD. Yes, in my pajamas. Later!

25 December 2007

And here it is, Christmas Day. Some of you are busy cooking. Opening presents. Relaxing. Traveling. I hope that whatever you do today, that you find some happiness in it.

Thought I'd post some pictures for you. Here's one of my Christmas card.

So I woke up at 6:00. Showered, did my hair and makeup, then put my pajamas back on. Hey, there's pictures involved in this day and I look much better with some 'help.' I got my breakfast casserole in the oven (Blintz casserole. It was outstanding and I'll post the recipe if anyone asks for it), finished wrapping gifts, wrote Santa's annual letter to Emily, and cleaned up a bit. Emily woke at about 9:00 and we opened our gifts. Then I picked up JD so he could spend a little time with Emily.

She was thrilled to get the Wii. She was expecting an IOU for it, and I was so happy that she was surprised. We set it up right away, then she and JD played tennis on it for a while.

I got two great gifts from Emily. Here's the first, a digital kitchen scale. Just what I wanted.

Could that be my surprise gift in there. A tripod? Yes!

We used the tripod and the self-timer to take this. Me and my 'kids.'

A few of me and Em.

She thinks she's as tall as me. Not yet.

Emily and her dad. We take this shot every year when he picks her up.

After JD went home, Em and I went to my neighbor Kelly's, as we do every year. I brought the casserole and presents. We exchange gifts with Kelly, her daughter Natalie, her sister Erin and her partner Kasey, our friend Barbara, Kelly's boyfriend Mike, and Kelly's step-father. We share this with them every year. Emily and I wear matching PJ's and pearls every year, and always show up dressed like that. This year we bucked tradition but kept the pearls. Emily and I came home so she could get ready to be picked up by her father. They took the Wii. Em doesn't know it, but he is giving her a Wii game package. Emily will spend the night and come home tomorrow afternoon. My parents and sister will be here any minute now. We will all go to Kelly's where we'll enjoy an afternoon of good friends and neighbors, to say nothing of a many-course prime rib dinner. Whew!

I'm so glad I found the time to write, and relax. Alas, it's time to get moving again!
To those of you that celebrate Christmas, I wish you a day of joy, of family, of peace. I really am so thankful that through this blog and yours, that I've come to know you.

I'm so happy that I'll be attending Christmas dinner as a guest! I can't wait to hear about your day!

24 December 2007

I didn't disappear. I only have a minute to write cause I'm at Caribou Coffee with Kit and have to get to the grocery store. The party was a huge success. I have lots of pictures and I'll write a post this afternoon to catch you up. In the meantime, enjoy this day that is probably so busy, for everyone.

Till later....

22 December 2007

Update...seriously tired here. The lattes wore off way too fast. It has been a long time since I drank it, and I've had a Coronita since then. The baked ziti is cooled, as is the cake, and I have 2 lasagnas in the oven. I'm tempted to frost the cake, but can do that tomorrow while the bread is rising. I am so glad I did all this cooking tonight instead of tomorrow. Everything always takes longer than you expect, and I don't want to be cooking while my family is here.

Last year I had my family over for New Year's day dinner. I made some fancy Martha Stewart meatloaf recipe that had a zillion steps. I had to go to three grocery stores to find the right meatloaf blend. I think the topping had carmalized red onions with bacon and who knows what else. It took forever to assemble. Then I made some Lipton's oven roasted potatoes that were supposed to cook for 40 minutes and would not brown or get crisp. I don't remember what else I made, but I was a slave to that kitchen. The meatloaf was so greasy. It was just a disaster, at least to me, and I was exhausted. That's why I wanted to make everything that I could tonight. Tomorrow I'll make the Rosemary focaccia bread, frost the cake and make the hot artichoke dip. I'll be serving Trader Joe's frozen Brittany blend vegetables and a salad along with the ziti, lasagna, and bread. We'll have the cake for dessert. And I'll relax. Afterwards.

So, I'm done in the kitchen for tonight. And glad. So ladeda.
Adios work. See ya in five days, woohoo!

I stopped by Starbucks on the way home for a triple caramel latte. The barista asked if I'd like extra caramel sauce on top, and I smiled and nodded yes. Then he asked if I'd like extra caramel sauce in the latte. Again the smile and nod. When he asked me if I'd like whipped cream I told him no, I had to watch my calories somewhere.

The cake is out of the oven. It had 2 1/4 sticks of butter, 3 cups of sugar, 6 extra-large eggs, a cup of sour cream, and other assorted ingredients. The frosting has almost 3 sticks of butter and a pound of cream cheese, along with other assorted ingredients. So, whipped cream? Do you think I'm trying to gain some weight here?

I've started making the Baked Ziti while the cake is cooling. If anyone wants to say a hello, I'll hear you by the sound of that "You've Got Mail."

Till then...

21 December 2007

It's a good thing I didn't write this morning. I was weepy and having a pity party. And that was after putting on makeup. Then I read Crusty's blog and cried again. But that was then.

Today was so long. It felt like 12 hours instead of 8. Two 11-7 days in a row are very hard. Especially when you're eating cookies and candy and donuts between clients. Sugar high and sugar low. There's just so much food in the salon this time of year. Anyway, today went smoothly. No cancellations, no no-shows like yesterday. I have brought home an unbelievable amount of gifts, and they're spread out around the tree. Actually, they're the only things under the tree as I haven't done any wrapping yet. I have some work to do. I'll wrap all of Emily's because the unwrapping is so fun. The rest of the gifts will go in fancy bags. I don't anticipate it taking too long.

I can't wait till the work part of tomorrow is over. No Borders, unfortunately. I'll miss that, but there's too many people out shopping and the parking lot will be crazy. I'll stop by Starbucks on my way home to get the caffeine I'll need. Tomorrow starts the cooking for Sunday's dinner.

My plan for the remainder of the night? Wrap a few gifts to bring to work tomorrow, then read the blogs I'm so behind on. I'll be back tomorrow!

20 December 2007

Surprise! A mid-day post. Why? Because of a cancellation. My first client of the day forgot her color/cut appointment. Then my 2:00 cancelled, as did my 6:00. So, not the busy day I anticipated. And when I don't work, I don't get paid. But I can sneak in some computer time.

I ran a whole bunch of errands before work. The first was to the library to drop some books down the chute. There, against the far wall, a homeless person slept, almost covered in a blanket, surrounded by his bags. It was freezing. Now I'll backtrack. There's a homeless man who's been around for years that walks the road I travel for work. I was thinking of him recently because I hadn't seen him in a very long time. Then, around a week ago, I saw him with a shopping cart near the library. I was relieved. Then this morning, there he was, asleep. I got into my car, but felt so bad for him. I gathered the money I had in my purse, walked near him, and after saying, 'excuse me' a couple of times, he lifted his head from under the blanket and looked at me. I think I stammered something about wanting to give him some money for food or something, handed it to him, and walked away. It just felt like the right thing to do. I know there's all kinds of thoughts on helping people that are homeless. I've learned a lot from Andrew's blog, and Fiwa's written about it. I don't give money to people that beg at the intersections, but this was someone who I've become familiar with. I still can't stop thinking about him laying there. I'd often wondered where this man slept. Now I know of at least one place. I hope that what I did made his day a little better.

OK...2:30 and time to get back to work. Later!
I'm so behind in my reading. It doesn't take long for that to happen during the week. I was all caught up during the weekend, the slow blogging time, just waiting for someone to post. Now it's like, slow down please? I can't keep up with you! I woke up way too early this morning. It must have been thoughts of Emily asking me to drive her to school so she could sleep longer. I said no, because I don't want it to become an everyday thing. She said something to the effect of, you suck. Well, yeah. So, I woke up at 5:00 AM, woke her to say I'd drive, then laid in bed for a half hour before getting up. I tried to think of what to do with my extra morning time. Try to fall asleep (not happening), get up and wrap presents, start cooking, write an entry? Write an entry won. It's 6:00 now and Emily's up and getting ready. School starts so early!

Thank you for the response to my word verification query. I only heard from people that don't use it, and everyone had the same feeling...they don't like it and don't use it. I'm in agreement. Still, it's available for a reason, and I respect the bloggers who choose to enable the feature.

So, it's Thursday, and a lot of you know it's my day off. I had big plans. Bon was coming over to spend the day. We were going to be cooking and hanging out. See, this Sunday is my father's 80th birthday, and I'm hosting a dinner in his honor. He did not want a party, so it's all family (except for the GA ones...too close to Christmas to travel; they will be missed) along with an old family friend, a nephew's girlfriend, and JD. There will be 15 in all. The usual thing to do when we all get together is for everyone to bring something, but I've been in the mood to cook lately, and want to have everyone over as a guest for a change. I thought that would be nice. All the cookbooks I've been reading, along with the new KitchenAid have put me in the mood to cook. I'll be making Hot Artichoke Dip and serving cheese and crackers for appetizers. I'll be serving Baked Ziti, Lasagna, mixed veggies, homemade Rosemary Focaccia bread and salad for dinner. I'm making The Pioneer Woman's 4th of July cake for dessert (minus the 4th of July topping. You have to read this recipe!). Did I mention that today was the day to prepare everything? With Bon? Right. Oh, I was also supposed to drive to Annapolis to pick up the DVD we've had made for my parents from all their 8mm film. It's a surprise, and we're presenting it to my father in honor of his birthday. Well, there's that 'best laid plans' thing. We all know it. While working yesterday, someone asked if Thursday is the day of the salon gift exchange. I said, oh yeah, and I meant to bring my gift in today because I'm not in on Thursdays. She looked kind of skeptical and said, I'm pretty sure I saw you on the books. I said no, that can't be, I'm off on Thursdays. I excused myself from my client to go look, and you can guess the outcome. Booked solid from 11-7. I'll just say that put a dark cloud over my head for a while. It was totally my doing. Our appointment book is on the computer, so I could see that I marked myself to work that day way back in May. I must have done it to accommodate more clients right before the holiday. Still...I was bummed. I'm over it now. I sent an e-mail to my siblings asking for someone else to pick up the DVD. I looked over my recipes and will have time to do all the cooking on Saturday after work and Sunday morning. It will all get done, just not how I planned it.

With that said, I'm ready to get busy. Have a great Thursday!

19 December 2007

I wanted to write earlier, but got busy with who knows what, then Emily came downstairs to hang out with me and chat, and now it's too late. So...I'm going to save what I wanted to say for tomorrow. Just thought I'd share that in case you were wondering where I was. Busy being not busy.

18 December 2007

It was great to be back in the swing of things after my two idle days at home. I'm starting to feel better. My voice is almost back to normal. Yes! The cold is on it's way out, and it's about time. As you can imagine, the salon is in high gear this close to Christmas. Busy! My station is piled high with gifts from generous clients. I bring them home to open on Christmas morning. It's a lot of fun, and Emily helps. It's hard to believe Christmas is only a week away.

To change the subject completely, I've always wondered why so many people use word verification. If you wouldn't mind, and you have it on your blog, could you tell me why? I've always been curious.

This isn't much of a post. Sorry. I'll try to do better next time. Off to bed for me!

17 December 2007

Another day at home. So unlike me, but something I could get used to. How strange to go from so much activity to so much sitting. This morning found me immersed in paperwork and phone calls. That stuff takes time! When I was finished, I went upstairs to complete the assemblage of my cards. I turned on Emily's computer, which is in our craft/computer room, and decided to click on the button for AOL's XM Satellite Radio for the first time. Well, wow! Emily has Bose speakers on her computer, and the music emanating from them was amazing. Who knew? I jammed to Christmas cover music while finishing the cards, then came downstairs to start the writing. I'm done! See that stack on the table? I drove to the post office and sent them on their way. Good-bye cards. We spent a lot of time together, but it's time for your new homes.

I came home to find packages on my front porch! I love packages! I've been waiting for this one.

I love The Pioneer Woman and look...she personalized my calendar. To Cheryl. I feel so honored!

And here's my new cookbook. I don't want to get it dirty! This is one of the books I borrowed from my library and I liked it enough to buy it. I will get it dirty. Doesn't that lasagna on the cover look great?

On that note, I'm off to make some dinner!

16 December 2007

Hi...it's me. The one that's been sitting on the couch for the past 7 hours (I keep editing the hours cause I've been at this for half the day). In my pajamas. Feeling = different. Lazy, head-achy, tired, restless, wasting the day, sick. On the one hand, I feel like cooking and working on my cards, on the other: I know this is the best thing I could be doing. I wish it was 9 AM again so I had more hours of the day. The TV is on and that's a rare thing unless I'm watching a specific favorite show. I've had the Biography channel on and watched an episode about N'SYNC and another on Britney Spears while reading the Sunday paper and editing my photos. And eating. I had a cheese omelet with a half bagel for breakfast. This is the same person who has oatmeal 345 days a year for breakfast. I'm approximating here. I had 5 leftover meatballs for lunch with a slice of the delicious dessert Bon brought to the party. I did drink 2 cups of coffee today and the caffeine is not sitting well with me. Oh, you want to hear about the party? OK, let me just run upstairs and take some Motrin and Sudafed.

The party was a huge success; I'm just saying. I thought the house looked perfect. The stage was set. Bon was here and wrote about it on her blog. The fridge was filled with Amstel Light and the cutest 7 oz bottles of Coronita that I bought thinking they were full-sized. Turns out to be the perfect size--they get finished instead of put aside when they get warm. There was lots of wine, sodas and bottled water. Let's see if I can remember the food. My friend Kathy made an awesome baked Brie and a shrimp mold. Another friend made brushetta, another, wings, and my neighbor her chili con queso with sausage. I made bourbon meatballs, a bread bowl dip with chipped beef, chutney cheese spread, baked artichoke dip, baked spinach balls, and chillied nuts. Kit brought an amazing platter with Shoreline Seafood's famous crab balls. For dessert we had decadant treats made my my friends Bon, Cathi, Bethanne and Laura, along with one I made. So, lots of good food to eat and drinks to drink. The house was filled. I think there might have been about 40 people. Emily was a perfect helper and took care of all the coats, and was in charge of the oven. Her boyfriend kept his eye on the recycling receptacle and the trash. People mingled and mixed. It was nice to show my home to my co-workers and others that were here for the first time, since I'm such a home kind of person and it really reflects a big part of me. The hard part of hosting a large party is that you never get to spend enough time with your guests. I realize being the host means that you're a facilitator. You put all the elements together/set the stage. I think my guests really enjoyed themselves. By about 11:00, my cold was back with a vengeance. It was hard to talk without coughing. I had a headache. I knew how I was feeling, but I put on a good act. I'd say most everyone left by 11:30, and Emily, JD and I went into clean-up mode. Emily washed every single thing. JD dried it all. I brought everything down to the basement. The house was once again spotless. I was sneezing, coughing and very head-achy by then, but happy that I felt great for the most important part of the night. Oh, and it only rained. No snow, no ice, total wrong prediction, thank goodness.

While I carried my camera around, I hardly took any pictures. I really regret that. None of them capture the mood of the evening. Still, here's a peek:

I can't believe it's 5:00 already. I've had the food channel on for the last few hours. Emily's been at JD's house, and just called to ask if she can go out to dinner with his family. That's fine. They're going to an all-you-can eat place, and if I felt better I'd ask to go along. Cause I never lose my appetite, and I'm really hungry.

If I don't end it here, you all will never hear about last night, so, later!

15 December 2007

Howdy friends!

The day is flying by. Work was fine. I had one major cough attack, the kind where you have to run to the bathroom to cough so you won't scare anyone and when you're done your eyes are all red and watering? I got over it and knock on wood, I haven't coughed once since. Now I'm high on adrenaline. I've got over 2 hours before the party and every thing is in place. Serving pieces, platters, chairs, flowers, etc...in place. Timer on to start the oven. Sterno in place. Oh, the music. I need to get that ready. I took time out to do something I enjoy and that Emily couldn't believe. Here's a pic:

Yes, I tied a tag around each of the 24 wine glasses, circled the opening with red glitter glue and cut off the ends of the strings. I found it calming to stand there and do that. Then I rushed around doing other things.

In two hours my house will be full to the brim. I can't wait! I think I'll go downstairs and take some pictures. Then do the music, then my make-up, then...?

So I still have a husky voice. Sexy some might say but there won't be any single men around tonight except two neighbors and they're not my type. I think I'll take some Sudafed and Motrin now and I should be fine.

If you all lived closer, I'd invite you over. I will post pictures. BTW, thanks for all your well wishes. It means a lot.

14 December 2007

Well, it turns out this sickness isn't the kind that goes away quickly. To look at me, you'd never know what's going on inside. Can't talk without sounding croaky. When I do try to talk, I have a cough. That just started tonight. So, I'm just going to smile a lot and be a silent hostess at my party. What else can you do? I'm not canceling. I have purposely stayed away from listening to the weather forecast. Cause I like the bliss that sometimes comes from ignorance. You know what I'm saying? I've heard bits and pieces about ice, snow, rain/snow line, etc for tomorrow night. That's all I'm saying.

Work wasn't too bad today. I only had one client too many, but he didn't know it. Tomorrow I work from 8-1:30. Can I say wahhh?

I worked on my Christmas cards this morning for about 2 hours. It was very therapeutic. They're almost done. I really didn't know if I'd get them done on time, but it looks like I will. I should be able to send them out on Monday.

Well, it's time for bed. Another early night. I wish I had some of that old-fashioned cough syrup. You know the kind I mean? I don't think they make it anymore. For good reason.

13 December 2007

I just finished reading all the blog posts I was behind on. I was way behind. Do many of you use Google Reader? I love knowing when new posts are up. The bad thing about Reader is seeing how far behind you are when you're not keeping up. Like, oh, there's 100 new posts.

I'm getting ready to have a toasted bagel with butter and cheese for dinner, then I'm taking a bath. Then I'm getting into bed with a book. It's a big TV night, but I'm skipping it. I'll catch up online.

It's been a long day, just like I wanted. I got a lot done, but in a relaxed way. G'night to all.
It feels so good to have a day at home. I know a few in a row would do me good. I've taken Sudafed and Motrin today. I won't take any over-the-counter medications on work days because I fear they will either make me hyper or sleepy and I don't want to be either.

I've been cooking and assembling food for the party. The bourbon sauce is ready for the meatballs. I don't make my own meatballs anymore; the ones from Sam's Club are just as good. The chutney cheese spread is done. The chipped beef dip is ready for the bread bowl. The hot artichoke dip is ready for the oven. The spinach cheese balls still need to be rolled. The chocolate topped oatmeal bars are cooling. The Chillied nuts are done. Usually I make more appetizers, but this year in addition to the large chafing dish of chili con queso with sausage that my neighbor makes, I know of 4 more people that are bringing appetizers. When people ask if they can bring something, I usually say that a dessert would be wonderful. I usually don't make the desserts. I know of three people who are bringing desserts, and I made one just to be sure there's enough. Everyone who comes to my party knows to come very hungry. I can't wait to eat all that good stuff.

The carbon monoxide alarm went off again this morning. At least it wasn't during the night. This time I called the fire department. They told me to wait outside the house for them to come. They checked all over the house and concluded that I have a faulty monitor. I'll buy a new one very soon. I'm relieved to know all is well.

It's another bleary, gray, rainy day. The bright spot looking out my window has been the sight of woodpeckers, cardinals, and other assorted songbirds at the feeder. I'd love to take a picture, but every time I get close enough, they fly away.

I'm going to sit on the couch now and roll those spinach balls while watching TV. I hope all is well with you, my on-line friends. Thanks for being a part of my life.

12 December 2007

I'll start by saying I'm so behind on reading your blogs. Busy and sickness are my excuses. I've pretty much lost my voice, and I plan on doing nothing but whispering when necessary tomorrow. I didn't want to talk today, but that's exactly what I did. It's hard not to talk in my profession. At least I'm not sneezing or have a runny nose. I just have a total head cold with a voice that barely squeaks out. I still have 3 more days till the party, so I have hope. I may just be the silent hostess.

I made the sauce for the meatballs and one of the appetizers tonight. Tomorrow I'll do laundry, make two more appetizers, and get out all the serving pieces, cutlery, plates and napkins, etc... I'll have everything set up by the end of the day. I think that will still leave me time to just relax. Yes, you heard me right. I've got to do it.

The carbon monoxide detector kept going off a while ago. We had to keep opening the doors. I was sure it was a malfunction, but Emily wanted us to leave the house. I thought of calling the fire department, but didn't think it was a serious problem. Emily sat outside in the cold. I read the manual. I think the problem was a low battery, so I changed it and that was about 20 minutes ago. No more alarm. I will be so bummed if that wakes me up tonight. I don't want any drama.

Well, it's time for bed. I'm sure I'll be doing some catching up here tomorrow. Till then...

11 December 2007

The day progressed from feeling sick with this cold to feeling very sick. I hope it's all uphill from here. If there was a way to leave work early and do my clients another day, I would have been home in bed hours ago.

I had a surprise visit from Bon today with a get well package. I still can't believe she did this for me. In the bag was a container of delicious homemade turkey soup. And a new Corningware container to heat it up in. With a spoon and napkins. And saltine crackers. And a package of Ricola lemon mint throat drops. And herbal teas. With a get well card. Bon, that meant so much to me. I'm not used to being taken care of, and I thank you.

Time to get some rest. G'night!
Good morning!

I just have time for a quick hello. Emily and I both are suffering with colds. It started out of the blue with hurting throats on Sunday night. Bummer. She's in bed sleeping, and I'm getting ready for work. I never call out sick. Like in at least 15 years. I always say, my clients would rather have me sick than not have me at all. I just hope I'm feeling much, much better by party day on Saturday.

Have a great Tuesday!

10 December 2007

I'm sitting in a booth at Panera's, next to the fireplace, on a gray and misty Monday morning. Cozy. Fortunately, rainy days and Mondays don't get me down. The only thing that could be better was if I hadn't picked a spot near a table that has filled up with 6 people in some type of meeting, but it's not bad. If I wasn't concentrating on writing, I might be interested in listening. I've always been curious about 'meetings' because we only have 4 a year in my salon, and for a lot of people, I think their jobs consist of meetings. When people used to ask what my ex did for a living, I'd tell them I wasn't sure, but I knew he had a lot of meetings.

I was so tired last night. Spent. Then, I couldn't fall asleep. I really didn't have much on my mind. Sleep just wouldn't come. After about an hour, I thought I should take something to help me sleep, but I was too tired to get up. Then, with a deafening siren, the house alarm went off, and I knew right away what had triggered it. I hadn't taken down the ornaments I hung in the threshold between the front door and the living room. The floor vent is right below the ornaments. The motion detector is above. The air made the ornament swing around triggering the alarm. Nothing like jumping out of bed and flying downstairs to deactivate the alarm, heart racing, thoughts of a burgler as a possibility in the back of your mind. Somehow, it didn't wake Emily. I went upstairs, took a pill and tried going to sleep. Couldn't sleep. Remembered another ornament hanging from a door frame in range of the motion detector. Back downstairs to take that down. Up to bed. No sleep. Light on, reading the Italian Classics cookbook. I think I fell asleep around 2:00 and woke up at 4:30. I decided to get a start on the day. I gathered the recipes for the appetizers and desserts I'll make for my party. Made lists of ingredients I have on hand and what I need to buy. Checked my wine supply. Made lists of paper good I have to buy. Decided to drive Emily to school, come here for breakfast and coffee, then go to Sam's Club and the liquor store. Then, I'm going home and spending the rest of the day in till Emily comes home from school. I would like to spend hours working on my cards. If we feel up to it, we'll go shopping. We both need outfits for this Saturday. And with that, I'll just say whew. And another thing: I inherited all my energy from my mother. Before she had her stroke 6 years ago, she was in constant motion. I miss that mother. She misses the person she was.

09 December 2007

Whew! Clean house. Wonderful party. Tired. Full. Three pieces of pie leftover. No fork in hand. I'll write a proper post tomorrow.

I'm busy getting ready for the Bottoms Up book club party. That's our name, by the way. I joined the group after it was established and you know? I never did think to ask about the name. When I have a party I make sure the house is spotless. So, having a party is great for my house. And the good thing about having parties a week apart (my big one is this coming Saturday night)? The house is still clean. I baked the crust for my pie last night, and finished it up this morning. Would you like to see it? Cause you know my camera is my best friend. Hello friend :))

So, I guess I'm not really getting ready for the party if I'm writing this. And with that, I bid you adieu.