Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 1/31

This film was a hard one to watch, so some of you might not have seen it. But it was a good one.

Name the movie with the characters Paul Edgecomb, Percy Wetmore, and John Coffey.

Bonus question: Who played John Coffey?

Answers on Tuesday!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cure for the Blogging Blahs

I've been a delinquent blogger and I need to apologize. Kate of Our Red House kindly bestowed an award on me 3 weeks ago and I am finally getting around to acknowledging it publicly (I did thank her back then, at least!) It's the "Marie Antoinette Keeping it Real Award".

Hmmmm. I wasn't sure what that meant at first, because all I remember of Marie Antoinette is something about saying "let them eat cake" when she was told the poor people in her country had no bread. Did that mean I was heartless?? (Well, only when it comes to picking movies Mighty Mom has never watched.)

Then I read a little farther and this is how she described it:
"I'm not quite sure of the history of this award, but it seems to be for someone who blogs, honestly, 'warts and all'." Okay, THAT I understand! So Kate, this wart's for you! It's my big, fat, procrastination wart, accompanied by a big case of the blahs. I'm sorry I was so long in blogging about it, but I am going to quickly pass this on to other wart-blessed bloggers. (That didn't come out quite like I meant it.)

Pinky of Cheese in My Shoe puts her battles with depression right out there for all of us to see. That takes guts. So does coloring her hair candy apple red. Or purple.

The aforementioned Mighty Mom of My Wonderful Life is a lot like my sister-in-law: in her head, out her mouth. She's nutty, dedicated, a long-suffering mom, and posts heroes on her blog every Wednesday. AND she packs a mean Thesaurus.

Then there's Mandy, who is raising 3 adorable little girls with the love and support of her family, and is getting ready to start a daycare center.

Here's someone you might not have seen me mention: Ellia, of GreenBeanBaby Art. She's one of the first bloggers I ever read, and I don't even remember how I found her, but I love her paper art--it's so unique. She blogs about trying to balance her artwork with raising two adorable kidsters, being an involved mom, and playing video games with her hubby. And this woman LOVES her coffee. Seriously.

Next is an award from another Stephanie, over at Quilting Newbie, who, bless her heart, thinks my blog is fabulous.

(Sshhhhhhh, please don't tell her otherwise. She's going to find out soon enough!)

The rules of this award are to mention 5 things to which I am addicted, and then pass it on to five fabulous bloggers.
I have such an addictive personality, it was hard to choose only 5, so I'll name the first ones that come to mind:
1. Carbohydrates (I'm not selective--any old carb will do.)
2. Blogs. My reader list never seems to stop growing!
3. Bejewelled Twist. I can totally lose 3 hours playing this game and not realize it until I'm nearly cross-eyed with fatigue.
4. Stephen King books, with some exceptions. I don't like the Dark Tower series and I don't like the ones he's written with Peter Straub. But I buy all the others I can get my hands on, even though I am disappointed in some of them.
5. Movies. (Who'da thought it?)
However, I cannot limit fabulous blogs to only 5. Didn't I just say I was addicted to blogs? So count yourself fabulous and feel free to list 5 addictions!

Now, for probably the most fun meme I've ever participated in, passed on to me by Julie of Pragmatic Compendium.

Here are the instructions:

1. Put your iPod (or MP3 player) on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag some Moms you admire who could use a laugh and a song.

"Look Away" by Chicago

"Chi Il Bel Sogno di Doretta" by Sarah Brightman (I have NO idea what this means--can anyone interpret?)

"Only an Ocean Away" by Sarah Brightman

"Home" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap

"Tell Her About it" by Billy Joel

IF SOMEONE SAYS “Can I have a snack?” YOU SAY?
"Stoned Soul Picnic" by the Fifth Dimension

"(They Long to Be) Close to You" by The Carpenters

"Havana" by Kenny G

"Looking Out My Back Door" Credence Clearwater Revival

"Summer Nights" Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta

"Everybody's Talking" Spanky and Our Gang

"Sparrow" Simon and Garfunkel

"If You Love Me, Let Me Know" Olivia Newton-John

"Northern Skies" by Dido

"Legend in Your Own Time" Carly Simon

"Somewhere Down the Road" by Barry Manilow

"In Paradisum" Sarah Brightman

"Lonestar" by Norah Jones

"7 O'Clock News/Silent Night" Simon and Garfunkel

"Lonely Looking Sky" Neil Diamond

"All I Ask of You" Sarah Brightman and Cliff Richard

"Lemon Tree" Chad and Jeremy

"Something Better to Do" Olivia Newton-John

"Silver Star" Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

"My Special Angel" by the Vogues

"Top of the World" The Carpenters

"Sam" Olivia Newton-John

"Home is Where the Heart Is" Peter, Paul and Mary

My favorites? My Personality as a Mom (legend, huh?), and toddler bodily fluids! lol

Okay, if you're a mom with an MP3 player, have at it! And please let me know so I can come read your answers!

(Looking over a few of my posts, there's a distinct possibility addiction #6 could be exclamation points.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 1/24

Jacquie was the only one to get all three answers correct:

i know this...see me waving my hand wildly and wiggling in my seat! it was baby elizabeth raised by the tiger lady in vermont. so, am i right?

I remember reading a long time ago, that they had to assign someone extra to help with the baby scenes, because Diane Keaton would just walk off and leave her lying on the bed unattended. Guess that movie was a real stretch for her! lol

Wonder where the twins who played baby Elizabeth are now? Well, they apparently continued to play her in the television version of "Baby Boom" that lasted only one season. This is the latest I could find through google:

Still cute, aren' t they?
New question on Saturday!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Stashbuster report Week #4

Same song, 4th verse. Zero in, Zero out.

I did get the paint this week, though, and hope to get it all done on my dribs and drabs of offdays. Seems there's always an appointment or errands or housework that takes up my one full day off.

I have been sewing a little, since I moved the Bernina and table into a corner of the master bedroom when the family was here. I've been trying to sew that binding on DD's flannel quilt, but the thread breaks about every 6 inches. I changed the needle and found a burr on it, and thought that would stop the breaking, but it hasn't. I've fiddled with the tension, but that didn't help, either. As the master bedroom has pretty dim lighting, it's driving me nuts re-threading that needle every 6 inches! I finally found one of those little aluminum threaders, and that has helped some, but nothing else does.

The thread is Sulky variegated, and is no more than 3 years old, and the bobbin thread is not breaking, so I don't know what else to do. Suggestions, anyone?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 1/24

Reach back into your memory banks, folks! This week's questions are from the 1987 movie, Baby Boom.

I'm making these easier with multiple choice answers.

1. What was the name of the little girl Diane Keaton's character inherited from her distant relatives?

a) Emily

b) Elizabeth

c) Hannah

2. What was Diane Keaton's character's nickname in the corporate world?

a) Tiger Lady

b) Bulldog

c) The Shark

3. Where was the 62-acre farm located?

a) Conneticut

b) New Hampshire

c) Vermont

Answers on Tuesday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stashbuster/Thrift Report #2

Let's get the Stashbuster Report for Week #3 out of the way first:

Zero in
Zero out

Yep, I'm on a roll here.

Now for the thrifting part.
I worked on half my goals: I got the flyer from my grocery store, and planned my menu, but then I didn't go to the store. I know, but it was the day it was so cold and the heater wasn't working properly and I couldn't get warm for the longest time, so I wasn't going out in the freezing weather when I was already cold.

That said, I got a new flyer for this week, and went shopping today. Today the weather was no better--it was about 21 degrees, but the winds were gusting up to 28mph so the wind chill factor was 6. It felt like 6 below! By the time I got all the grocery bags strung on bungee cords in my pickup, I couldn't feel my fingers, even with the gloves on. It took both hands to insert my key in the ignition and I had to sit with the motor on for 5 minutes before turning the heat on to thaw my fingers. Dang it, people, this is NORTH CAROLINA! NOT CANADA! Sheesh! Don't make me move to Florida!

Sorry. I had a passionate moment there.
Back to being thrifty.

One of the things I really wanted to check into was what to do with empty plastic jugs. The respiratory therapist who educated me on my C-PAP said to use only distilled water in it, not tap water. It only costs 79 cents/gallon, and lasts 2-3 weeks, so the cost isn't the problem--it's those empty containers I kept throwing away because I didn't know what to do with them.

So I googled it, and found lots of uses for them, but two really stood out for me. One is to cut the bottoms off and use them under my plants. Duh. Last summer it irked me to purchase those flimsy plastic saucers from Lowe's, and the solution was right in front of me all the time.

Another thing, and this is roundabout, is that freezers function better when they are full--something about diffusing the air around them--and one site suggested if your freezer is too empty, to put plain old cardboard boxes, such as cereal boxes, in them. How much better to almost fill one of my jugs with water and put them in there instead? As an added benefit, should the power go out, they will help keep the food cold that much longer.

Other things I did this week:
1. This week is triple coupon week at my grocery store, and though there are restrictions, I saved $50.00 today. I still spent a lot, but I know that the real savings won't show up for a while, when I'm able to start delaying buying some items until they go on sale again because I have enough from the last sale, or triple coupon week.

2. I still don't have the details worked out for sorting, storing and transporting coupons, so shopping is a very long process right now, but I did use some of the envelopes that come in my bills. J-Man has most of the bills set to pay through our online bank, so we usually toss the return envelopes, but they came in handy today. The ones with plastic windows work really well, because I can place the coupons for items already selected face forward and see which envelope they are in. As I collect more, I'll be able to label the envelopes by category.

3. Still haven't painted the sewing room yet, but had narrowed the choices down to two colors, using Behr paint chips from Home Depot. When I went online to, I found I could take a picture of my sewing room with my digital camera, and use their website to "paint" my room and see how it would look. Is that not the coolest thing? Only now, I've added back two more colors because they looked better than I'd thought when viewed online. But when I finally choose a color, I know I will truly love it.

4. I already mentioned baking, burning candles, and running the dishwasher to keep the house warm when the heater was on the fritz.

5. Millstone Coffee has those little vacuum-packed flavored coffee samplers that cost about $1.48 and make maybe 2 pots of coffee.

I'm not a fan of strong coffee, so mixing a teaspoon or two of the package with my regular coffee grounds (I have a 2-mug coffee pot) is enough to flavor my coffee without using the entire package at once.

Goals for this week:
1. Still plan to start going through my quilt magazines and pull out or scan what I want to keep. Although the mini-computer isn't here yet, I did buy a second thumb drive so I can have one all to myself for all my quilting stuff. I figure I can pare down even more if I scan the articles and patterns to the desktop, then download onto the thumb drive in categories. This will take a while, so once I start doing it, I won't mention it again until it's all done, probably months from now, unless the Thrift Muse strikes again.

2. Didn't get those letters written yet--back on the list for this week.

3. Clean out the "linen closet". It occurs to me that since the linen closet is right by the kitchen, if I get rid of and organize it's contents a little, I can use at least one of the shelves to store extra pantry items for when they go on sale--like bulk paper towels or even canned goods. Who says a linen closet has to hold linens?

Are these old hat to you? Anything to share? I'd love to hear, um, read it!

Movie Trivia Answer 1/17

Well, I can see that was a tough one! NOT!

Yes, of course, it was The Devil Wears Prada.

I'm with Pumpkin Patch Quilter--have seen it at least 8 times, if not more, and I still enjoy it! Is Meryl Streep not a versatile actress? Contrast Kramer vs Kramer with Sophie's Choice and Silkwood and The River Wild and The Devil Wears Prada:

We might just have to have a Meryl Streep trivia week. She ranks right up there with Johnny Depp and Dustin Hoffman and several other favorites who are true actors and actresses and not just the Star de Jour.

Okey-dokey, new question on Saturday!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 1/17

Okay, this should be an easy one for everyone except MightyMom.
She needs to provide me with a list of movies she's seen so I can pick a question she can answer.


What movie yielded this quote?

A: You look so thin.
E: Really? It's for Paris, I'm on this new diet. Well, I don't eat anything and when I feel like I'm about to faint I eat a cube of cheese. I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight.

Answer on Tuesday!


Last night was the coldest so far this year--not sure how far it really got, but at one point early this morning it was 4 degrees, with a wind chill factor of -20. When I took Tandi out for one last squat in the leaves, I breathed a thank you to God for home and heat. Just a few years ago, an ice storm caused a power outage in our little town, which lasted for 4-5 days in some neighborhoods. In our particular neighborhood, because we live up a small mountain, when we lose power, we also lose water, because it can't be pumped uphill. If ever there's a storm and we lose power, I immediately run a bathtub of water so I'll have some to heat on the gas stove for sponge baths, washing dishes, etc.

When the ice storm came that Dec., I was able to get a shower and get ready for work just before the power went out. I took J-Man's 4-wheel drive so I could be sure and get home the next morning. I got to work all night in a warm hospital, but the power at the house was still out when I came home, and J-Man was huddled in the bed, the dog and both cats with him. (The grandcats were home between holidays so DD could study for finals in law school.) It was painful for him, because when he gets cold, his left side, the paralyzed one, gets very spastic and contracted and it's hard for him to move.

We spent a lot of that day out and around, at Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Applebee's for early supper, etc. and were facing another bitterly cold night when we got home. I rousted up an old knit toboggan for J-Man's head, to help hold the heat in, and piled him high with blankets--virtually trapping him in the recliner, but at least he was warmer than the night before. I brought down several of my old kerosene and oil lamps from the ledge in the kitchen (though I won't burn kerosene in them--just lamp oil), and placed them around in the bathrooms, the living room and kitchen. Besides being a comforting source of light, they gave off a surprising amount of heat. I heated up some water on the stove and we drank hot chocolate, then I bundled up on the couch and went to sleep. About 9:30 that night, the lights woke us up. We were one of the fortunate families, our electricity restored in less than 30 hours. The temperature in the house was 56 degrees, but quickly warmed up.

In June of the next year, we bought thermal windows for the house. It wasn't on our list of things to do, but in calling some of the references for the company, one of the women who answered cited the past winter's ice storm as her prime reason for buying the windows. That cinched it for us, as well. The house has been more comfortable, summer and winter, especially after buying the new heating and cooling system last summer.

Then came last night--the coldest one our heating system has had to deal with to date--and the temperature in the house was only 64 degrees this morning, though the thermostat was set at 70. I phoned the company who'd installed the system--and got on the list for repairs. Seems they were flooded with no-heat calls today. Thank goodness we had a little heat, and the thermal windows to hold it in. As the day went on the wind stopped, the sun shone brightly, and I lit candles around the house--and made cookies! Nothing like baking to add a little warmth to the house!

Our repairman got here at 8pm this evening. I'd long since figured they'd have to put us off til morning, as it was dark and still so cold out there, but the temperature in the house had risen to 70 degrees with running the dishwasher and the oven, so we were fine. Still it was nice to see him--and find out he was a neighbor of ours! He even brings his children trick-or-treating at our house!

I love small towns.

In less than an hour, he'd found the problem and fixed it--a loose wire in the thermostat that kept the system from fully kicking in as it should. As the system is still under warranty, and it was their fault anyway, we didn't owe a penny. It's now 14 degrees outside, but it's a cozy 70 degrees inside, and I'm sending up another prayer of gratitude--for thermal windows and new heating systems and dependable repairmen.

And I sent a dozen oatmeal raisin cookies home with Chuck.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 1/10

Sorry to be so late posting the answers--have just been caught up in work stuff. I shouldn't be up now, because I have to be over there at 8am for a computer inservice, but my internal clock is out of whack again.

Okay, Salubrina is our winner for the week! She listed 5 of the 7 1/2 I identified, and I sat there with notebook in hand to catch them all.

LOVE this movie! best line in the whole thing is about the coffee and how it's made. hee hee hee hee

*drive mustang shelby
*sky dive
*see something majestic
*laugh until you cry
*kiss the most beautiful girl in the world - - - love the comment on how to accomplish this, and then the bitersweetness of when he is able to cross this off the list

oh, gotta watch this again soon.

The two no one mentioned were:
"Help a complete stranger for the good"
"Get a tatoo"

Carter (Morgan Freeman) started one: "get back in touch...", but Ed (Jack Nicholson) stopped him in his tracks.

New Question on Saturday--and it's a quote this time!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thrift Report week #1

I'm going to preface this with saying some of the things I'm trying, you probably already do. Most of you could give me tips out the yingyang for how to be thrifty, and I'm learning a lot out there in blogland.

It's not that I've never been thrifty or on a budget. But we've been in a far better financial position the last few years than ever before, and now that DD's been graduated from law school and we don't have to send her money every month, it's been easy to just get the little things we wanted, or eat out whenever we took a notion to. We pay gobs more on our credit card than the minimum payment, and in 18 months, the SUV will be paid off, so the credit card will be done shortly thereafter. We only use it for emergencies or major purchases now, like the heating and cooling system last year, and the gutters the year before, etc.

But I'm hoping to retire in 8 years, and it would be nice to get the house paid down and to get in the habit of being thrifty before it is absolutely necessary.

Besides being thrifty with our money, I'm looking for ways to be thrifty with my time, space, health, energy, and relationships. I miss opportunities all the time, but I'm trying to become more aware of them.

So, this is what I've done this week:

1. Used 1/2 dryer sheets instead of whole ones. I've not noticed a difference, nor does the static electricity seem to be any worse.
2. Am using the myriad of sample shampoo bottles from past hotels to clean the toilet. Soap is soap and it works just fine. I don't use the shampoo/conditioner combos, but I'm thinking this is probably better than harsh chemicals.
3. I bought way too much lunch meat when the family was here at Christmas. Ordinarily, we would eat off of it until it went bad, but I took half of each package and put them in zipper freezer storage bags and plopped them into the freezer for now.
4. This I started last year, but will continue; as my quilting magazine subscriptions run out, I will not renew them. With so much available on the internet via blogs, tutorials, and websites, there really is no need to clutter up my house with the magazines.
5. Began clipping coupons. What I can't use personally, can be used to buy donation items for the local foodbank.

1. Culled through the Christmas decorations for donating. Actually had one bin that wasn't full!
2. Pulled the box of 1997 tax info down to shred. It's been 11 years, so all that I need to keep are my returns and W-2 forms. The receipts and bank statements can be destroyed now.

I had to learn this the hard way. After going through all my CDs and loading them onto the computer, I was laboriously clicking and dragging each song into a folder or playlist to categorize them before loading onto my iPod. It was taking FOREVER! When DD figured out (though IM) what I was doing, she showed me how my iPod automatically does that for me, and I will only have to do a playlist for those songs I want to categorize by exercise, or blogger friends. If I'd asked for help, I would have saved myself lots of time and frustration. Independence is a good thing, but not when it costs needless time and energy.

What I didn't do:
1. I didn't separate out the Christmas lights to see which strings still work and which ones I want to group together by tree, outside, windows, etc. By the time I got to putting it all away, I just wanted to be done with it, so dumped them in the bins. Next year I will regret this.
2. By not checking all the lights, I couldn't make a list of what needs to be replaced, so as to check the sales now, or in July when it all comes back around again.

Goals for this week:
1. Begin sorting through my quilting magazines and either copy or pull out those patterns I want to keep. The rest will be taken to my quilting bee to give away. This will give me more space in my sewing room to get things off the floor and out of my way.
2. Get the flyer from my grocery store (forgot to buy a paper yesterday) on the way home from work tomorrow morning and see what is on sale.
3. Menu-planning, based on my coupons, and the sale paper. I hate grocery shopping and I hate planning the menu, but I have to admit, I am less likely to impulse buy or stand in front of the fridge at 6pm wondering what I'm going to cook for supper.
4. Write 2 friends, either email or snail mail, that I have been neglecting. Relationships are too important to lose.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stashbuster Report Week #2

Another non-productive week at the homestead.

Yards in: 0
Yards out: 0

I'm sure this isn't what Judy had in mind, but at least I'm not adding to the Stash.

On a more positive note, J-Man told me a day or so before Christmas that he'd meant to order me the EQ6 upgrade I wanted, but just hadn't gotten around to it.

Not one to let that kind of gift slip through my fingers, I told him I'd order it and he could just be the moneybags, umm, funding, and I got myself over to Judy L's site and ordered it. Unfortunately, she'd just sent the last one out that day, and wouldn't get any in until after the first of the year. Since the sewing room was emptied for relatives, I knew I wouldn't be able to play with anything for a while anyway.

Well, it came in this week, and last night I got it installed on the computer. The dinosaur computer couldn't handle EQ5, so I never learned about it. Once we got the new 'puter, I've been intending to sit down and mess with it, and now there's double the reason to do so! I will be loading the programs onto the thumb drive, so when the mini-computer comes in, I can sit in the sewing room and play with it, or leave the design up without hogging the desktop.

In the meantime, I've decided to paint the sewing room now that it's about 1/2 empty, so there are paint chips all over the walls and I'm hoping for a bit of sunshine today so I can see which ones I like the best. I've seen them in cloudy light, nighttime incandescent light, and now I just need a bit of sunshine to finalize my choices. Not sure that's going to happen today, as it's looking a little grey out there right now.

So I'm betting there won't be much stash-busting to report next weekend, either, but here's hoping the week after that shows a big jump (I mean reduction) in my numbers.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 1/10/09

Woohoo! TV is ON! (I'd be doing the Snoopy's Happy Dance if I weren't so darned sore.)

Actually, the repairman fixed it on Wed., but I had to work Wed. and Thurs. nights, and both shifts kicked my hiney hard! I had errands that needed to be done today, but after going down to the hospital cafeteria and eating breakfast, complete with a 12-oz Starbucks, I still couldn't work up any energy. Came home and slept 6 1/2 hours--way longer than I meant to.

J-Man has been trying to watch up the shows he had programmed just before the TV went out 3 weeks ago--all 126 hours of them! But once he went to bed tonight, the TV was MINE! ALL MINE!

Of course, I'm also trying to catch up on the 110 blog posts on my Reader, so I was not quite as focused--until I flipped through the guide to see what was available.

This is what I watched:

I was really glad it was on, as a friend and I wanted to go to our little local theater to watch it, but couldn't mesh our schedules before it went off.

So here is tonight's trivia question:

Name 5 items on the Bucket List.

Answers on Tuesday!

Monday, January 05, 2009

2.5 Weeks Without Movies (formerly Saturday at the Movies Answers)

This was Mighty Mom's challenge question for me:

Name the formerly married actor and actress who both played in one of the Harry Potter Movies...and which movie had both of them.

Being as I only know Daniel Radcliffe (we have the same birthday), Alan Rickman (I am in love with that man's voice), Maggie Smith, and Hermione Grainger by name, and have only watched 2 of the Harry Potter movies all the way through, I have absolutely no idea.

See? You all should have taken a poke at me!

Stashbuster Report Week #1

Sundays are supposed to be report day for Judy L's group, but as I worked (my hiney off) Sat. and Sun. nights, I'm going to slip this one under the door. It's a small one, anyway.

Zero in,
Zero out.

There. That didn't take long, did it?
As Christmas isn't completely down at our house yet, I haven't refilled the sewing room, either. Not that one really has anything to do with the other, except that I'd feel guilty playing in the sewing room while there were responsible adult things to be done in the rest of the house.

I've toyed with the idea of painting the sewing room while it is half empty, but it's the half that's still in there--3 FULL bookshelves and a desk--that are overriding that decision. I'll just spackle above the windows so I can put up the new curtain rod and save the painting for another day.

Goals for the week?
1. Spackle
2. Finish taking down Christmas and putting the REST of the furniture back in place. Besides, I have to clear out in front of the TV because the repairman comes on Wed, HALLELUJAH!
3. Re-fill the sewing room so I can participate, at least in a small way, in Judy's Quiltathon Weekend.

(Not sure why my signature isn't showing up anymore--guess it needs to be redone).

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Saturday at the Movies--foiled again

We are still without a TV in the living room and I just cannot justify sitting in the guest room or bedroom to watch TV without handwork or something--and the sewing room stuff is still on the back porch and wherever and Christmas is still only half down.

So, no movie trivia again this week.

Unless you want to challenge me.

Which is perfectly okay, and you'll probably win, because the TV receptors in my brain appear to be deteriorating from lack of use.

I think it's called dry rot.

The TV repairman says the part was scheduled to be delivered today, and he'll be out on Wed. to fix it, so maybe we'll be up and running by next Saturday.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Big Plan

Happy New Year, everyone!

Did you watch the ball drop? Did you enjoy that extra second we got? I thought it was a particularly nice second, didn't you?

Actually, I was busy transferring the rest of my CDs to the computer so I can group them into playlists on my iPod, and didn't even notice the time until 0019--and that ball was history. And since the TV here in the living room is STILL not functioning, there was nothing to remind me. So I just shut the computer off and went to bed.

I obviously don't have this iPod thing down yet--there must be an easier way to group all my music together in categories than to laboriously click each song and drag it to the folder. I have 8 or 9 Sarah Brightman CDs alone, so that's what, 80-90 songs that I have to click and drag? There's got to be an easier way!

In the meantime, as I sit and click and drag, I've been pondering the option of New Year's resolutions. I haven't made any in years, because they went the way of most Resolution Cemetery. So I'm not inclined to resurrect them, because what's the point?

However, new season, new year, a bit of quiet here as we adjust to Life After the Holidays--all has lead to some introspection. I've decided on a theme for this year instead: Thriftiness. I thought about "Frugal" but the definition had a negative cast to it:
1. economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: a frugal manager.
2. entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty: a frugal meal.

Meager? Scanty? Mmmm, no, just didn't inspire me.

"Thrifty", on the other hand, was more positive:
1. practicing thrift or economical management.
2. thriving, prosperous, or successful.
3. thriving physically; growing vigorously.

Now, we're doing okay right now, even though census has been low for a while, and I haven't had a full paycheck since September. We just aren't putting much in savings. All this has been simmering in my subconscious a while, I guess, and as I have become more aware this year of just how much we really have compared to the rest of the world, I've had to ask myself if I've been a good steward of those things I am blessed with: not just money, but time, resources, health, belongings, relationships.

The answer is a shameful "no".

So my Plan is to begin to ask myself, "Am I being thrifty with________(fill in the blank)? Is this the best use for _____________ (ditto)? What's the wisest move here?"

Now, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I know myself well enough to realize that if it is too hard or too time-consuming, I will get frustrated and abandon all good intentions. (I'm SUCH an extremist--it's so all or nothing with me). To be as successful at this as possible, I plan to start by taking 15 minutes each week to look at what I have done, haven't done, and could do better, and to formulate a goal for the upcoming week. At some point, I might be able to evaluate things on a more frequent basis, or spend a little more time at it, but for now, 15 minutes a week is do-able. And do-able insures success, which spurs me on to more effort, etc., etc., etc.

One way to do this is join Judy Laquidara's Stash Busters Group. As I bring all the fabric and supplies back into the sewing room/holiday guest room, I will re-evaluate UFOs and refamiliarize myself with the fabrics I already have.

This morning as I drank my coffee, I purged some cards from my recipe box of those dishes I will never make. Honestly, I know J-Man doesn't like ginger, or curry, or feta cheese, or lots of garlic (he's no fun), and to make those dishes would be a waste of food and time. Having the cards in the box wastes space, and makes me feel guilty that I'm not a better cook. That guilt is a waste of time and internal resources.

Small successes. Prosperity. Thriving.

I think it's a pretty good Plan, myself.





Would this be the appropriate time to mention we ordered a mini-notebook computer from QVC this morning?

I can justify it.

No, really.

You can email me if you want to know the reasons.

I just didn't want you all to think I wasn't being completely honest here.