Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Between Holidays

Christmas was great, and mostly none the worse for being celebrated on Saturday.  The tamales I ordered from New Mexico finally got here on Saturday--but were room temperature, so weren't safe to eat.  I have a bone to pick with both the US Post Office AND the New Mexico catalog.  They were shipped from NM on Mon. the 21, Priority Rush mail, but didn't arrive for 5 days??  What's that all about?  

So we only had green chile stew, because I don't really care about cooking anyway and didn't want to spend the whole day in the kitchen. And everyone was fine with that.  Not sure what we'll do for New Year's, as we don't have a tradition for that meal, but it's all okay.

I gave J-Man a Kindle, the new edition that will audibly read to him.  Having only one hand, sometimes it's hard to do something as simple as scratch your nose when you're trying to read a book.  He's also a bit dyslexic, and the adjustable font size and limited number of lines on a "page" make it easier to keep his place. Since we gave DD the first edition last Christmas, she's been able to help him figure it out, while learning about the new features. 

J-Man gave DD money on a Visa card to start a dining room set fund.  She has 2 chairs bought for her at a yard sale, and a drop leaf sofa table also bought at a yard sale, and that's it.  When she moved into her tiny one-bedroom apartment with no dining room and minimal kitchen, she got rid of lots of her furniture, as well as her artificial Christmas tree.  Now she has lots of space, but not much else, and is slowly buying the pieces she wants. This is the year of Gifts for the Home, as the catalogs put it.

I bought her 4 place settings of open stock Oneida flatware, and she's still trying to decide if she likes this pattern or wants to exchange it for another. I also put 4 cloth napkins in her stocking, each rolled up and tied with a small ribbon.  She pulled them out with a puzzled look on her face and asked why I was giving her fat quarters!  Only a quilter's daughter would make that mistake, right?

She bought me Jinny Beyer's book, Quiltmaking by Hand, which has been on my wish list for a couple of years, and J-Man got me a new watch (I love funky watches) and this.  I saw it on Rare Bird Finds and fell in love with it.  It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I will get to try it out!

J-Man says he ordered the Supreme Slider for me, but it hasn't come in yet, and knowing his aptitude (or lack thereof) with the computer, we can't be sure he really did order it.  Guess I'll have to check the bank statement, as his email box is a mess.

Anyway, it's been a great few days, as I was off for 4 nights, but now have to go back to work for a couple of nights.  It's been nuts at work--in fact, they called me Sat. night to ask me to work extra--so I'm not looking forward to it at all.  DD doesn't leave until Saturday morning, which means we'll get to watch the ball drop together.  And I've gotten her hooked on Ghost Whisperer (evil grin), so we'll spend a few hours watching back episodes.  I did get to spend some time sewing yesterday, starting the borders on the string quilt I'm making her.  It felt good to crank up the Bernina again! It won't be finished before she leaves this time, but maybe within a couple of weeks.

All in all, it was a wonderful holiday season here in the NC mountains.  Hope you were able to make some beautiful memories with your loved ones!

P.S.  There is STILL snow on the ground!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas, everyone!

We will officially have our Christmas on Saturday, as I worked Christmas Eve, and I want to be totally awake and rested to enjoy everything. (Besides, I haven't wrapped a darn thing.)

We HAVE received two early, unwrapped gifts, however.

Gift #1:  DD made it in okay.  Because of the office being closed for the weather and the holiday schedule, she didn't have to use 3 vacation days to come down as she thought, so is now planning to stay until Sat. 1/2, instead of leaving Tues. 12/30!
(Of course, it may take that long to work out the insurance stuff, as I scraped her car with ours while backing out of the garage tonight. But who's sweating the small stuff?)

Gift #2:  J-Man had a complete metabolic panel of bloodwork drawn last week--the first in almost 2 months.  All his lab values are normal.  Not just borderline, but solidly, right-smack-dab-in-the-middle of normal. We may never know what caused the liver failure, but that's okay.  It's gone and he's fine.

We're all together for Christmas.  Everything else is secondary.

 I hope all of you have a blessed Christmas, too. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

After the Snow

Well, the snow surely threw a monkey wrench into all kinds of works this weekend!  I think we got a total of about 10 inches--and it was a wet snow.  There are some pretty sizeable snowpeople around town.  Wal-Mart and the little neighborhood mall  plowed the parking lots, but piled it up in random spots, so cars are parked crazily throughout--and this is NOT the time to be skimping on parking spots.

I shoveled snow for 5 hours on Saturday just to get out of my driveway.  The plow was late getting our street done, so the neighbor's car had to be manipulated to the side of my drive so I could get to work.  I went out Sun morning and brought in my day nurse replacement so I could sleep there at the hospital and work Sun. night, then took my aide home Mon. morning.  Some folks just worked their buns off trying to get in to work--and some didn't bother.  It was an unusually tough weekend at work anyway--only the sickest of the sick were there--and the scant amount of personnel really made the workload heavy.  When I left to come home Mon. morning I warned everyone the phone would go unanswered if they tried to call!

DD got about 2 feet at her place and she was homebound from Fri. evening to this morning.  She stopped by the grocery store on the way home to stock up and said the Blockbusters in town were all empty--there had been a run on folks stocking up for the weekend.  Here's a photo of her car after it quit snowing:

That black spot is her driver's side view mirror!

And here's one of her parking lot and neighborhood townhomes:

Looks like a Christmas card, doesn't it?
Now I would have loved to be homebound for 4 days with plenty of food and movies and snow on the ground and nowhere to have to be, but she was having major cabin fever.  The HOA plowed her parking lot, but the street to the main road didn't get plowed until yesterday.  We were afraid she wouldn't get to come home for Christmas, as there is another front coming in on Thurs., but she's leaving this morning.  Hurray!

Just a couple more pictures before I finish getting the house ready.

This is the yard card that goes up every year in front of our house:

See that white glow out in front? That's not a UFO--that's the spotlight that shines on the card.  It's buried.

It occurred to me that with the spotlight and the cords submerged under the snow, we were just asking for an electrical fire, so it's all been turned off for a few days. Mon. evening after I got up, I decided to take a wooden spoon and scoop snow away from the lights and outlets.  Now the top of the snow is all crusty and Tandi can run all over it, but not an overweight adult female.  I lost my balance and fell face forward into a snowbank.

Dignity is my middle name.

BTW, the wooden spoon was no match for crusty snow.  Maybe it'll melt down enough today that I can turn the lights on to welcome DD home, as I'll be at work before she gets here. 

Two more nights and I'm off for the weekend!  Woohoo!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Look what's going on at our house!

It started snowing about sunrise and has been going all day long.  There must be sleet mixed in, because it's not a quiet snow at all.

Our neighbors can't get up the hill to their house, because her tires are bald, so they've backed into our driveway for the time being.  Fortunately, I don't have to work until tomorrow night, because we can't get out of the driveway now. It's usually my lot to have to work when it snows--but I lucked out today! 

There's beef stew in the crockpot and flannel sheets on the bed and the rest of the ornaments to put on the tree and a great recipe for caramel apple cider ready to be tried out and a Christmas movie playing on the TV.  Could it get any cozier?

Actually, there needs to be a quilt here somewhere.....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two-week time delay

That's what I seem to be experiencing! I finally have my reader count under 50, but I haven't kept up with my own blogging.  I'm behind in Christmas preparations, I just found the Christmas cards today, the tree is up with lights but no ornaments,  and I have to get out some thank yous. "Time flies when you're having fun" they tell me.  But they also say time seems to go faster as you get older.  Well, either I'm getting old rather quickly, or I'm having lots more fun than I am able to remember. 

The Friday morning after Thanksgiving, we left for my daughter's in VA--a 7 1/2 hour drive.  (I need to remember to send a thank you card to the vet for the doggy Prozac--Tandi traveled really well!) J-Man caught my virus and then passed it on to DD.  It was a family thing--share and share alike. It was nice to see her little city and her office and be able to visualize some of the things she mentions.  She made a point of driving us past one of the hospitals in town. (Did I mention she's trying to persuade us to move up there?)

Mealtime for the animals was a bit busy, but they minded their manners pretty well. 

( left to right: Beautiful But Dumb cat, Cute Chihuahua Mix dog, Tandi, Grumpy Old Man cat)

 It was a nice time, over too quickly as usual, but she's coming down here next week and it'll be good to see them all again.  Yep, the cats are coming, too, as DD has lost her cat-sitter.  Grumpy Old Man cat hates to travel and will yowl approximately 4 hours of the trip.  Beautful But Dumb cat will yowl some, because if Grumpy yowls, it must be the thing to do. Cute Chihuahua Mix dog loves to ride in the car, however.  She's a great little traveler.

Better DD than me.

In the meantime, amongst all the shopping and MD appointments and laundry and work party, the mailman has been mighty welcome at my house.  Look what he brought:

Fabric won from Kate, my name kindly chosen by  Archie, her cat:

Note the Halloween colors! And it has such a nice hand to it.

Fabric bought from Maggie via her eBay auction:

(just the fabrics; the rest will be explained later)
I love batiks!

And look what Lettie sent me from Hawaii: gorgeous fabric, a mug rug, a pincushion, and a yo-yo key ring!

Lettie is the yo-yo queen!  Check out her blog to see what she can do with yo-yos!
Isn't that pincusion just the cutest thing?  Can you see the little bead "sprinkles" on that doughnut?

And macadamias! Omigosh, if these make it to Christmas unopened it'll be a miracle!  What a sweetheart!

And just because I was a good girl and hauled hiney over to my gynecologist's office for the first time in 3 years, I treated myself to these little goodies from one of the local quilt shops:

(OK, now it's time for the rest of the picture)

I had every intention of making that table runner from some Christmas fabrics, but it ain't gonna happen.

In addition, I bought these from fabric.com:

I really like that "Bottled Poetry" fabric. I'd thought of making DD some napkins from it, but it's so pretty, I'm thinking of placemats instead, because I just can't cut it into small pieces!

The holiday plaids were intended to become Christmas gift bags, but again: ain't gonna happen this year.

The bad news is brother and his wife won't be able to come up for Christmas this year. 8^(.
The good news is I don't have to empty out the sewing room for them, so I might get to work on DD's string quilt.  It's on my list of hopeful finishes for Finn's UFO challenge.

Speaking of which, I did finish one item on the list:

It's a tablerunner made from 3 of 12 swap blocks I got 8 years ago.  Hand-pieced and hand-quilted, it was a soothing bit of handwork to take along to appointments or watch TV and do.  In fact, I was actually able to use it for about 3 weeks! The other 9 blocks are assembled into a table topper, but that's only made it to flimsy stage. That one will be machine-sewn for sure.

Well, that's my month in a very large nutshell.  Not much happening, to have been so busy. I have to say, though, I haven't been stressing about what's not getting done. Usually I'd be totally over-committed by now, and pulling my hair out from frustration.  Maybe it was J-Man's illness that made us all slow down and just enjoy being together, no matter what. Maybe it's just tiredness. Or anti-motivation.

Because I swear I didn't take any of Tandi's doggy-Prozac.

Movie Trivia Answer

Saturday's question was about the Christmas comedy fluff "Deck the Halls".  Danny DeVito's goal is for his house to be seen from space on "My Earth"--much to Matthew Broderick's dismay. 

Question: Near the end of the movie, what do Buddy and Steve do to bring their families back home to them?

They took Buddy's lights and made a trail all the way from the hotel back to the house, where Buddy and Steve had cooked a Christmas meal.

No one had an answer for me this week--most of you probably hadn't seen it.  This was the first year I did, and though it wasn't that good, it was an easy movie to multi-task to!

New question on Saturday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Silent Monks Singing Halleluia

Saw this on Shellhawk's blog and had to steal it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday at the Movies

Today's movie is another bit of fluff--in the form of Christmas Comedy.

 Near the end of the movie, what do Buddy and Steve do to bring their families back home to them?

Answer on Tuesday!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 12/5

Ooops!  Forgot what day it was!
The movie was "Bride Wars".  The question was to name two of the ways the brides sabotaged each other.

Both Pokey and Karen came up with the answers:

Pokey said...
Oo-o, we just watched this again last week. My favorite mean thing was the chocolate to make 'Liv' not fit in her Vera Wang dress. Then there was the always popular hair color switch.

Karen said...

I know this one - blue hair, gaining weight, stealing the perfect dress, putting the wrong video in for the wedding... !

Nice going, ladies!

New question on Saturday.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 12/5

Okay, it's back! 
This week's movie is a fluffy one--a definite chick flick--but easy to watch.

 Your question?  Name two of the ways the brides sabotaged each other.

Answer on Tuesday!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Week Late...

...but here is this year's TV holiday specials guide.


Hope it's not too late to find your favorite one.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Grace For Thanksgiving Day

by Alice Kennelly Roberts

Dear God,

Wherever we may be...On this Thanksgiving Day...

Gathered with loved ones in our homes...

Or many miles away...

We bow our heads, remembering those...

Who shared Thanksgiving past...

Those who have walked with us awhile...

Whose love will always last...

We thank Thee for the joy of friends...

The food before us set...

And for a tiny Pilgrim band...

Whose trials we can't forget...

Help us to sift the good and bad...

The hatred and the strife...

Grant us the wisdom and the strength...

To lead a useful life.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Showing my Age

I have finally become my father.  Which isn't altogether a bad thing, but, well, you decide.

Last week I was at JC Penney, exchanging a few items.  As I left the store, I passed stacks of jeans with frayed seams, rips, and threadbare areas--old-looking jeans with new prices.  There are racks of jeans in better condition at Goodwill!  Heck, just buy twice as many at the local thrift store for the same amount of money, and rough them up a bit!  Am I out of the loop here?

Then one of our young nursing assistants was talking about a band he likes, named "P____(insert male body part here) Monkey." Said they had some good music. Now I don't like rap, or grunge (do they still do that?) or heavy metal, but there are some sounds out there I really like these days.  However, I told Eric I would never be able to discuss their music with him, because I refuse to listen to a band with that name.  He said I was judging a book by its cover.  I said anyone who willingly names their band something you wouldn't want to discuss with your grandmother is showing more of their character than a simple book cover.
Am I wrong?

Thirdly, Mighty Mom posted a challenge a couple of weeks ago to "show your greyness."  Well, here you are folks:

Unlike my father, who was bald long before his death at age 47, I have hair, white though it may be.

So.  Did I show my age?

PS.  I missed the flu shot from work last month due to J-Man's hospitalization, so now I've come down with a mild case of it.  Hope to answer your comments and visit all your blogs soon.  In the meantime, have a Happy Holiday week!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Uneventful Week

Not much is going on in Scrapsville--well, not much of interest.  There is always work, and always housework. I did get my first full paycheck since early September.  The bank account breathed a little sigh of relief.  I figured out, I only worked 4 days in October.  I was on call sometimes, and I took PDO, but only 4 shifts did I actually work. Except for the pay, I could get used to that!

Took the hammock down this week. Raked 17 bags of leaves--and there are at least 3 times that many still out there, but I ran out of bags.  Got most of the Halloween stuff packed away, but I need to buy another plastic bin.  I'm considering a small storage facility for the Halloween and Christmas bins, as well as the boxes of past tax information, the bedside commode we got, but never used, the artificial Christmas tree, and the boxes of milkglass I own, but have no place to display.  The garage is getting a little crowded.

Let's see: what else?  I took a couple of boxes to the vocational thrift shop to donate, exchanged some items I bought for the J-Man which were the wrong size, and dropped off a shoebox of toys at a local church for Samaritan's Purse.  I made up the box last year and missed the deadline, and would have missed it this year, too, except I heard it mentioned on the local radio station. I had every intention of making up a couple more, but didn't realize the deadline was so soon.

Oh, and took Tandi to the vet for routine bloodwork.  Since we are going up to DD's this Fri. (a 7.5-hr drive), I wanted something to settle her down.  She doesn't like riding in the car and she freaks out at rest stops with all the people and the noise.  He gave her something he calls "Doggy Prozac" that won't sedate her, but will ease her anxiety.  I hope it works. Our last dog loved car rides, but Tandi is so neurotic.  She's also about 5 pounds over what she weighed last year, so she and I started walking some.  We won't talk about my weight, except to laugh hysterically at the mere thought of a 5lb weight loss making a difference.

I finished one of my UFOs, but haven't taken a picture yet.  I need to do that and mark it off Finn's list.

BTW, I'm leaving the poll open until Monday night, so let me know how you feel about continuing the movie trivia game.  There have been only 4 votes so far, maybe because I haven't posted much lately and people haven't seen the poll.  If most all are in favor, I'll restart it next weekend.  What the heck, it's a holiday and a good time to watch movies--if you can outvote the football watchers, or find another TV!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pothole's voice

Well, I did a (very) little digging, and found out our gal who does the voiceover for the pothole isn't even blond! I coulda sworn she was!

Her name is Dayci and here's her picture:

Cute as a bug, isn't she?

Her resume says she was educated in Chapel Hill, NC,  (Sorry, Jen!) and that she can do several different accents.  I'm thinking this is the accent that'll get her more jobs.

Okay, a small segue into another subject: Movie Trivia.  I took the month of October off while dealing with J-Man's illness and Howloween and now November's half over.  (Sheesh!  Where was I?)

Is this something y'all want to continue or is everybody tired of the game?  I'm going to watch movies anyway, so it's whatever you folks want to do. Let's see if I can manage one of those polls in my sidebar, but if I can't, just comment and let me know your choice.

Oh, and the person who visits from Albuquerque--I'm curious: do we know each other from when I lived there?  If you don't feel like letting the whole world know, you can just email me using the addy in my profile.  Inquiring minds want to know!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Geico Pothole Commercial

I absolutely love this commercial! I don't know if it's the gal's accent or the ditziness, but it cracks me up every time. J-Man humors me and instead of fast-forwarding through it as he usually does with all commercials, he stops and plays it for me.  

It  doesn't take much to amuse me.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Giving Thanks

Gee, it's been a few days since I posted, but it doesn't feel like it. I think I'm still living in Halloweenland. My yard looks like it, anyway. There has been so much to do this week, I haven't taken everything down yet. Tomorrow I need to go back over to the hospital for a competency testing on the new upgrades to the computer system before it goes live on Sunday. Even if census is low, everyone scheduled will have to come on in to work, because the system will crash and nothing will go as planned. That's always the way it is when we go through a major "upgrade." But hey, it's a living!

Today was MD appointment day. First J-Man saw our primary physician and had another clotting test done. These results were therapeutic, so he stays on the same dose of the blood thinner. His color is better, less sallow, and the swelling is minimal. Except for some lingering tiredness, he's feeling well. Everything's status quo.

Then we saw the gastroenterologist who reviewed the biopsy results with us and questioned us in detail about J-Man's meds and medical history. They still have no answer as to why his liver shut down, but Dr. R. is going to research the past medications and one of the ongoing ones to see if there are any rare incidents of liver failure with them. It's possible there was a latent liver problem from even as far back as the stroke and some medication may have triggered a strange reaction. He's still a walking mystery. But there's nothing that needs to be done there, either. Next visit is 3 months.

We have been so fortunate to have the terrific doctors and staff that we do. Because of his swiss cheese memory, J-Man's perceptions and timelines can be unreliable, and I have to be his walking memory bank. But everyone always asks him the questions first, which is so vital to maintaining his dignity. Then, if I have to modify or correct his answers, no one makes me feel like an overbearing wife. We have dealt with many healthcare personnel in the last month and not once have we had an unpleasant experience. Not once.

Well, if you don't count insurance issues.

And we don't.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Photos of the Night

Somewhere I read to leave your setup in place until the night after, so you can take pictures.  For those of us (like me) who are up to the last minute placing or rearranging props, this is a mental sigh of relief.  There was no rain today, only a strong breeze, so it was easy to go out and relight all the candles and pumpkins and take some photos. 

Here are some daylight photos and their night counterparts:

And some of my favorite pictures:

(Y'all were right--this garnered the most goosebumps from visitors!)

(A reluctant Tandi)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

In the Midst...

...and the mist! 

The rain stopped for about 3 hours--and has started drizzling slightly again.  Not enough to deter many ToTs and not yet enough to put out the candles or the tiki torches, thank goodness.

Had to scrap so many plans--the corn stalks died and the X fell for the last time.  I propped it back up, but ditched the corn stalks on it.  One of the teens just asked me where was "the PVC guy", because I finally just dismantled him.  He kept falling apart in the mud, because his supports gave out, and wouldn't hold up wet clothing.

I've had them from about 18 months old (you know who's eating their candy!) to teens in hockey masks and skeleton masks.  And as long as they make an effort, I don't care how old they are.  I've even offered a couple of them grocery sacks to take around, because all they had were their pockets!

The best part of the evening so far?  A little guy about 3 years old in prisoner stripes came early.  His mom prompted him "Now, say Trick or Treat!" 

Instead he looked up at me and said "I wike your house." 

Worth every anxious, frustrated moment of the season!

Not What I'd Planned

Yesterday was spent putting the last layer of papier mache on the hands.  Yes, I was cutting it close. I also picked up 6 more pumpkins and last-minute supplies to finish the outside, and stopped by Wally World to get a new DVD and some munchies.

 I just barely got home before the rain and my guests arrived--two gals from work who came over for a short movie night.  They are not into horror movies and Halloween madness, but we sat around and watched the old black-and-white version of "Night of the Living Dead" and ridiculed the blond bimbo and the police chief with the ammo belt slung over his shoulder.  It's a little hard to be frightened by that movie anymore.

We also watched "Trick 'r Treat"--just released this month.  It was never at the theaters; it was supposed to come out in 2007, but was released to DVD instead. I liked it myself, and even though there were some dark moments, we didn't really find it scary. 

Maybe the levity of poking fun at the first movie was still hovering around, or maybe it was because we were all together. Whatever. It was still a good movie, with some really interesting twists.  I'd definitely recommend it.

It's still raining.  15 hours and counting.  I haven't weather-proofed the tombstones or the hands yet, haven't stuffed and dressed the farmer/hatchet man, haven't carved the first jack-o-lantern, and now I'm wondering if it will be worth the effort. I'm thinking the kids will all go to the malls or to indoor carnivals and festivals rather than traipse around in the dark, wet night.  

See the PVC dude back there?  Hatchet man?  He might just be a ghost instead, with sheets thrown over him at the last minute. 

The birdbath was supposed to hold a bunch of old sticks and leaves and 3 foam skulls.  IF I get the jack-o-lanterns carved, one may go there instead.  Somehow, skulls floating in a birdbath just aren't scary.

Sigh.  I may get to watch a LOT of scary movies tonight.