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Archive for December, 2012

Happy New Years! Stay Safe

December 31st, 2012 at 05:44 pm

Today was certainly a day of rest here. I was plum tuckered and slept in...then just relaxed most of the day. I did go grocery shopping and picked up the fixings for chicken piccata for DD3 for tomorrow night, which is her request for her last meal here before she leaves for Alaska. I will have plenty of left overs for a couple of days and got supplies to make some enchiladas for the rest of the week.

I booked our cruise tonight. We have never been on one, but always wanted to go one one. We will be going to Alaska in August. I am so excited. We will be in Seattle for a couple of days before the cruise, so I hope to see some of the sites there too. We opted to go for a room with a balcony. Having never been, we opted for this option, so that we could have a quiet spot to enjoy the trip, if the business gets too much. (The hub will just be getting off a three week rotation, so too many people with no plan b is not a good thing)..

yippee!

I will be home again tomorrow...and then back over on the coast all day Wednesday...then back here Thursday and Friday...so this week will fly by.

I am working on goals tonight and tomorrow. Will post them when I have it all figured out.

Happy New Years friends. Stay safe tonight!


No spend weekend on the coast!

December 30th, 2012 at 07:39 pm

I am back from my working weekend. It was such a great opportunity. I stayed at a wonderful hotel on the coast and was on a team that audited a company that has recently was assumed by the company I work for. Very busy, but also a lot of fun, great time with the coworkers and I enjoyed some wonderful meals. The weekend was a no-spender- since the job paid for everything. The best part? Well, that was the weather. It was sunny all weekend...not warm, but very sunny and gorgeous.

I am so glad I have tomorrow off.

At Christmas, I received a gift basket from our janitorial company. Although I am not responsible for managing this function any longer, I received this beautiful gift- which had pasta, dipping oil, red wine, etc.. I decided to try the oil on some pasta tonight for dinner and wow, is it wonderful. I also decided to have a glass of the wine, and it too is very nice. I will enjoy another glass tomorrow night for new years eve.

DD3 leaves for Alaska in two days. Am I ready for this? The closer it gets, the more anxious I get.

I am planning to use time tomorrow to set my 2013 goals. Looking forward to seeing what I come up with!

Unexpected taxes on the bonus...BOO

December 27th, 2012 at 07:16 pm

Got a not so nice surprise in my paycheck today. The $350 cash bonus I received from work was added to my income and taxed and my paycheck was $70 less than normal. :/ HR added an extra 30% to the amount we received to cover taxes, etc...but obviously, that wasnt enough to cover the expense. I shouldnt complain, but ouch. Not expected, not so cool. Thankfully I hadnt spent it, so I can just deduct $70 from savings and add to the household account.

On the other hand, the hubs paycheck had quite a bit of OT and was $531 more than I budgeted. I will need to loan another $155 to dd3 because she learned today she will have to pay for her cold weather training next week, which we hadnt budgeted. This will be paid back out of her earnings while she is in Alaska. Her tab is growing...airline ticket, cold weather gear, hotel, etc...

Tomorrow we leave for the coast for our working weekend..the good part is that we will be off by 3pm each day and we are staying in a ocean view hotel. THAT will be nice. AND, I get Monday and Tuesday off, followed by 3 days and another weekend.

Smile life is good!



Working weekend ahead-

December 26th, 2012 at 09:48 pm

I deposited the $350 into the visa rebate account, which had $197 already, bringing the total to $547. Once the other rebate and bonus money is received, I will transfer all to ING.

I will be working all weekend, starting mid day Friday until late Sunday night. The job is paying for hotel, travel, food, etc- so this weekend should be a no spender. Then, I will be able to take a comp day on Monday- which I plan to use to grocery shop. Tuesday is a New Years and a paid holiday...so next week will be a short week.

The place we like to go to for weekend getaways is having a special while the hub is home next. Pay for 3 nights, get two nights free...so I booked a home for 5 nights! We split the cost with friends, so it makes for an inexpensive getaway. I always look forward to these trips. This one will cost $75 per couple per night. The house has two master suites with king beds..so each couple will have a nice retreat.

Tomorrow the hubs paycheck will hit pending. This is his first check since he started working the remote road (and significant OT). Until about May will be quite a bit more than normal and the extra is going to go to debt.

Because of the weekend ahead, I wont get my Christmas decorations down until New Years this year. Another reason I enjoy having an artificial tree!!

Time to settle down and refocus

December 25th, 2012 at 09:01 pm

I love the Holidays and giving and visiting- the prep, the anticipation. I also enjoy when things settle back down and I start planning for the New Year.

I hope everyone had a wonderful day-

Tomorrow I plan to start the savings account for the 2012-2013 bonus money. So far I have received $350 in cash, $197 on the visa 1% rebate for the year. I will be getting two more rebates/bonus payments that will also go into this savings.

The hub has been working 17-20 hours a day this past week. I dont know how he does it- thankfully, there is an occasional day that is back to 12-14 which allows him to get some rest. The extra money he earns will be going straight to debt.

I definately fell behind on housework with so much company in and out this past week and so much going on. Knowing this week is going to be as busy as it is, I am a little anxious about staying on top of it all. One day at a time this week...



DD3s 21st Brithday

December 24th, 2012 at 09:24 pm

Today was DD3s 21st birthday. I took her, DD1, DD2, one of our 'adopted' daughters (DD1s bff from age 12) and DD3s BF out for drinks and dinner. I treated everyone and it came to $200. I had budgeted a little more than that, but because it was Christmas eve, several of the friends that DD3 invited backed out. However, she had such a nice night. My baby is an official adult. I just got off the phone with DH- reminiscing about the last 21 years. We are blessed, indeed.

Tomorrow, I have a couple small gifts for each of the grandkids who will be stopping by, but mainly, the day will be just relaxing and planning 2013.

This coming year is going to be very busy work-wise. Thankfully, I have 29 days of vacation. I am trying to plan a week off every 3-4 months and a day or two here and there. Hopefully, pacing the vacation days will help to avoid burn out.

What a blessed day today was. My baby is all grown up.

Family Christmas is done- what a great day!

December 23rd, 2012 at 05:23 pm

We had our family Christmas this morning. It was so wonderful to have all the kids and grandkids together. I got up early and got the bread dip in the oven and made the bacon, sausage and eggs for the breakfast burritos. Just about the time it was already and in the warmers, everyone arrived. For future years, this was a really easy meal to prepare and keep warm...and it was a big hit.

This was a very smooth running day. Everyone loved their gifts - I didnt see any disappointed little ones, so I must have done ok... I think everyone was just excited to be together and having DS and his family here. I know all the cousins were having a blast together. By noon, they had all left for other family gatherings...and so I snuck in a nap.

Tomorrow DD3 turns 21. Hard to believe- I have to work 6 hours tomorrow and then I am not sure what the plan is for DD3- She is keeping her options open. Smile- but i know she will test out that ID at least once. I hope after that her and her siblings opt to come back to moms.

Christmas will be very low key. I have a couple of small gifts for each of the grandkids that will be here. And then DD1 is hosting dinner.

The rest of the week, including all weekend next weekend is VERY busy at work. Big changes this week that require working through the weekend next weekend. Thankfully, I will get to comp out some time and take New Years Eve and New Years Day.



Done and DONE

December 22nd, 2012 at 09:51 pm

My son and his family arrived safely today. We had his sons third birthday and then I picked up the few final gifts I needed. I AM DONE. Good thing, because the stores were crazy today and I am sure they will stay that way through Christmas. Way too many people for me.

Tonight all the kids went on a party bus with all the kids to look at christmas lights around town. I hung back at home and am sitting with little Z. I had planned to finish up with housework and getting dishes ready for tomorrow morning...but he wants to play. So, he wins. We are playing and having fun until everyone gets done with the party bus. Then, I will finish up with the chores. Everyone is coming over at 9am, so I wont have to get up super early..` All gifts are wrapped. I just have to prep food for the bread dip and breakfast burrito bar.

I work on Monday until 3 and then I am off on CHristmas. DD3s 21st birthday is Christmas eve, so her siblings want to take her for a drink/toast. Because we are doing our big celebration tomorrow, CHristmas morning will be semi quiet. Then, I work through next weekend- part of it out of town. However, I will get new years eve and new years day off.

The hub has checked in a couple of times. He jumped right into 17+ hour days. He loves the work, but I hope he doesnt burn oout too soon

Ok...bread dips are made and in thr fridge, a load of dishes are running in the diswasher. All gifts are wrapped and ready to go in the morning. I have a fe more to dos..but those can wait til I have mhy batteries recharged in the morning. Gramma ray is plum pooped tongiht.


Day off preparing for the families arrival!

December 21st, 2012 at 07:20 pm

Today was a vacation day. I slept in a bit, then went to the grocery store and got the makings for breakfast burritos and bread dip for the 23rd and Christmas morning- Im feeding quite a crowd (20-25) on the 23rd and about 10 on Christas morning- spent $107 at the store. I went to my grandsons (4) preschool program- so sweet to watch little guys performing. Our superstar really really really wanted McDonalds for lunch...sigh...for the toy of course. At least lunch was only $15 for four of us.

Then, I came home and finished wrapping gifts and made dinner. Why do days off always seem to fly by?

My son and his family have started the trip up, but winter weather will keep them from making it all the way tonight. The passes are closed due to snow and ice..so DS and his family will stay at a hotel tonight and finish the trip up in the morning.

Tomorrow is GS (3) birthday party...and then tomorrow night we are going on a party bus, in our 'ugly' christmas sweaters, to see the Holiday lights around town. Should be a great day with the family.



End of year bonuses and rebates-

December 20th, 2012 at 07:16 pm

Today was Santa day at work. I am so blessed to have a job I enjoy that is so generous with us. I received a $50 gift card- to a store that I chose that carries just about everything from groceries, to household, to clothes and toys. Then, I received $350 in a cash bonus. I wasnt sure if we would receive the bonus this year, so it was a very pleasant surprise.

In a few weeks I will also receive a 1% rebate on all interest earned or paid on my personal accounts, plus I have earned almost $200 in cash from the 1% visa rebate. THEN, we have achieved all of our goals this year, so I am eligible for a 5-6% bonus on my salary. Big Grin With the exception of the gift card, I will put all of this into a savings account and let it ride.

If the weather and road conditions cooperate, DS and his family will be here tomorrow night. However, the passes have been hazardous most of the day today, and tonight promises freezing weather. I called DS today and made him promise that he would stay somewhere safe for the night if the conditions were bad. I would much rather have them safe than here if its a choice.

Been checking out sites and prices for the cruise next summer. With so many options, it will take some study to make sure I book this correctly. I do know that we want a balcony...beyond that, not so sure.

I am off tomorrow..need to grocery shop and pick up a birthday present for GS who turns 3 tomorrow and has a birthday party on Saturday...

Then, just putz around the house getting ready for family!!

Life is good!




Almost the weekend, cant wait!

December 19th, 2012 at 09:07 pm

The hub called from Alaska tonight. It is always good to know he made it back there safely. He will stay the night in Anchorage and then leaves for the North Slope first thing in the morning.

I really appreciate technology when it comes to staying in touch with loved ones. Tonight my son posted videos on facebook of my two grandbabies (5 and almost 3) singing in their Christmas program. It was so cute. They both look like miniature versions of their dad, which brings back memories of him as a little boy. I cant wait to see them this weekend.

I work tomorrow and then have a three day weekend. I plan to use Friday (my day off) to get the grocery shopping and last couple of gift shopping done. I have lists and a plan, so I should get done by mid morning. The family will all be here on Sunday morning for our family Christmas. I will make brunch - breakfast burrito bar and bread dip (family tradition) Saturday is my sons - little boys birthday party. He is three this year...where does the time go??? And then Saturday night we have arranged a party bus to take all of us (kids and grandkids) and a few friends on a tour of all the Christmas lights. Everyone is wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. lol.

Should be a fun weekend ahead.

New tires and (fingers crossed) a cruise!

December 18th, 2012 at 07:17 pm

Last night we had a weather warning. This morning there was about an inch or two on the ground- the roads were an ice patch. On the way to work, cars were sliding all over the place. Luckily, I made it to work just fine. The hub is leaving tomorrow, so he took my car in to have tires rotated and it was good timing, because my two front tires were too worn. 2 new tires, $200. I have that in the car fund- so thankfully, it wasnt a hit to the budget right now. I knew the tires were showing wear, which is why we were getting them rotated, but I am really glad we had them checked and the new ones put on.

The hub is packing tonight. This is his first rotation of only two weeks home, followed by 4 weeks gone. Frown It means extra paychecks...but these are long stretches. Thankfully, I have Holidays and kids to keep me busy.

The cupcakes at work were a hit. (once I fixed the frosting issue) They really turned out tasty, and everyone seems to be enjoying having them to snack on. Tomorrow, we are having our end of year lunch with our department at Olive Garden. I am looking forward to spending the lunch hour enjoying co-workers offsite at a free to us lunch!

On an really exciting note..the hub and I want to take a cruise this year- a first for us!! I have been saving since September for the trip and will continue saving through August. We looked online tonight and have decided to book on Princess Cruise Lines. We will be going on an Alaska cruise, most likely next August. I signed up for their emails, hopefully that will result in getting a few deals before I book. I like that they have 100% refund until the end of May if we cancel. By May, we will know for certain if the dates we pick will work.

Reminder of my limited talents. :/

December 16th, 2012 at 06:40 pm

I consider myself a fairly good cook...I also enjoy baking and dont do too shabby...but a cupcake decorator, I AM NOT. I baked a couple dozen cupcakes tonight. Vanilla and red velvet. I have chocolate frosting for the vanilla and buttercream for the red velvet. How hard can it be...

I put the chocolate frosting in a baggie, snipped off the end and made little swirls on top of the vanilla cupcakes...and guess what? It looks like my dog dooed on them. So NOT what I anticipated.

So I fluffed out the frosting with a knife and will just fluff the frosting on the red velvet ones too.

They smell delicious, and now they dont looks so bad either. :P

I got the last of the gift cards today and now I just have to finish wrapping this week.

I am curious to see what is waiting at work tomorrow, having been gone unexpectedly for most of last week. I have some year end projects that will take most of my time.

On an exciting note, this week we will get our Christmas gift from work. For the past 10 years they have given a $50 gift card plus a cash gift of about $300 to exempt staff. I usually use the gift card, but for the past three years I have put the cash, the end of year dividend rebate, and our yearly rewards bonus that we get in February into an ING savings account. I have just 'let it ride'. I enjoy that it is building up a little more each year. Towards the end of each year, I round each account up to the next $100 from any interest earned during the year.

We have hit all of our goals this year so I am really hoping that we get the max payout on the rewards, which is 6%. Big Grin I wont know what it will be until later in January though.

Well, the last of the cupcakes are cooled, so time to go frost and cover them to take tomorrow.




DD3 got the call!

December 15th, 2012 at 08:21 pm

DD3 got her much anticipated phone call today. She will be heading to Alaska on January 2nd. Unfortunately, that is one of a few VERY busy days for people to travel...and her one way ticket was as much as we normally pay for the hub round trip ($650). In spite of that, she is very excited. She finally has a date to go AND she gets to be home for her 21st birthday, which is Christmas Eve.

Today the hub and I picked up a few of the last gift cards I needed for the adult kids gifts. I wasnt able to get one of them because the store didnt open for an hour or so- so I still have that to pick up this week sometime.

I decided to make adorned cupcakes for my co-workers as my gift to them. Tomorrow, I will be baking while watching the Packers game. I have 9 people on my team, and the cupcake makings for at least two dozen ran $$6. I have a stockpile of leftover Christmas cards from years past that my intentions didnt pan out- so this will be an inexpensive treat/gift.

NOW, I have to figure out a plan for DD3s birthday. We all anticipated she would be in Alaska by now, so we dont have a plan for the birthday. Unfortunately, the hub leaves on Wednesday, so he wont be here, but I know all her siblings and friends will be happy to help her celebrate.

As always, another very busy week ahead. I am scheduled to be off next Friday. If all goes ok this week, I FULLY intend to take that day...since DS and his family will be arriving for the Holiday weekend and I havent seen them since September!!

And the verdicts...

December 15th, 2012 at 03:10 am

The trial ended today and the jury was able to reach a verdict. Our focus was shaken by the news in Connecticut. Certainly, the mood was more somber as we came to the decisions.

This case was around medical marijuana- and involved state and federal law. There were two defendants, each with his own attorney. I now know more about growing, harvesting, DNA, dry vs wet weight, the medical marijuana act, etc...etc.

There were three key players. The two defendants and the money guy who turned state witness to try to get a lessor charge. HE was the one who should go to prison for 40 years, IMO. One of the defendants was found guilty on all counts, the other- not guilty. It was heartbreaking to see the guilty guys family react to the verdict, knowing he will be heading to prison.

Very tough week of learning and deciding someones consequences.

PLUS, being away from work, THIS WEEK was not good. We have huge changes about to happen and I have lots to get done in a very short period of time. Plus, Christmas is approaching all too quickly now.

My heart goes out to the families who lost their children today. I cant begin to imagine their pain.

And the trial continues...

December 13th, 2012 at 06:39 pm

Today was day three. Tomorrow, we may get to start deliberation in the afternoon. I doubt we will have a verdict until Monday. I really hadnt anticipated this hiccup to life right now. It is tough when you know a decision could affect someone for the next 40 years. I cant imagine how people on a death penalty trial do it.

DD2s dog got in her house today while she was at work. She rents. THe dog tore a huge hole in the carpet, chewed up a pair of dansko shoes, several of the kids toys and did a few other naughty things. She definately cant afford to replace everything..Having bred dogs for years, I know the owner has to train and take responsibility for a pet. But I would be hard pressed to keep a dog that was that destructive. (This isnt the first damage he has done.)

Tomorrow is payday, but I havent had time to review budget this week. I guess I will figure everything out when I get back to work next week. The good news is the hubs paycheck is $180 more than budgeted.



Jury Duty....

December 11th, 2012 at 06:59 pm

With everything going on at work this week, I crossed my fingers this morning that I wouldnt be selected for the jury. But as luck would have it, out ofover 50 people I was one of the 12 selected. I am on a 3-4 day trial. This could not have happened on a worse week. Tomorrow I was supposed to make a pesentation and I have a huge project due on Friday. But now, I will be sitting in court. To make matters worse, the defendants bank where I work and I helped put the evidence togeher for this case. I tried to explain this to the judge, but he still felt I could be impartial. The judge is seriously old..he nodded off during testimony this afternoon.

Needless to say, my week has been turned upside down and I am scrambling to pull off work stuff on my breaks and lunch times..

The hub and DD3 went to the coast today to ride their quads, so I am home alone tonight. Nice to relax and kick back. Listening to evidence and testimony all day was brain taxing.

I hope the case wraps up early, but if today is an indication, there isnt much luck in that.

Jury Duty and Iphones

December 10th, 2012 at 07:41 pm

Tomorrow I go to jury duty. Work is so busy this month that I had hoped JD would be cancelled for tomorrow, but no such luck. I really hope it is a one day obligation..there are too many deadlines looming to be tied up for more than a day.

For the last few months, the hub has been asking if we could change cell phone plans. US Cellular didnt work as well in Alaska as some of his coworkers who had Verizon. We decided to switch and it wasnt cheap with the new phones..We will see how good of a decision this was in a couple weeks when the hub is back on the slope. The good news is we will pay off the new phones and the switch this month. We went with the new iphones. Not the most budget conscious decision weve ever made, but the hub was happy. I do find it easier to navigate than my old android was.

The hub made dinner tonight..super easy french dips with aus jus. It is nice to come home to a non-empty house and dinner made. Smile



Went to the snow today!

December 9th, 2012 at 06:49 pm

Yesterday was the ornament exchange at DD1s and then we went to pizza with friends and played dominoes at their house. It was fun day. Dinner was $48 (tip included)

Today, we went to the mountains to get DD2 and her ex their Christmas trees. We had to go farther than normal to get to the snow, but it was worth the drive. They found beautiful trees and the grandkids (8 and 4) had so much fun playing in the snow. By the time we left, everyone was tired, wet and a little cold. All signs of a great snow day. The weather was great. Cold, but clear. The tags for the trees was $5 each.

We had pb&j sandwiches for lunch while there. We also took some chips and snacks that we had on hand. Dinner tonight was leftover soup.

Here is a picture from our day:


Hub is catching up on sleep and payday!

December 7th, 2012 at 08:57 pm

I worked a 5 hour day today. Ahhh.. it was nice to get off by 3- but I got home and the hub was sound asleep. It is going on 9pm...he is still sound asleep. I spent the afternoon catching up on laundry, wrapping gifts, made a big pot of black bean and chicken soup and visiting with DD3 and her friend's little one "ella" 18 months, who DD3 is babysitting tonight.

Today was payday- and it filled up all the fun buckets..food, entertainment, gasoline and allowance. Plus paid the bills due at the beginning of the month. I still had plenty of my allowance left in my wallet, so I deposited my December allowance in my savings account.

Tomorrow, DD1 is having an ornament exchange. We usually have one every year, but last year, things were too busy so it never happened. However, I had bought an ornament as saved it...so I wrapped it and its ready to go. I hot-glued baby pinecones to the wrapping, so it looks really cute. The ornament is from a company called Bronners...they sell some cute ornaments online. This one is a pink pig with high heels. I love whimsical ornaments.

Adding just a couple of free pinecones with some hot glue really makes a small present special:




Tomorrow night we have friends coming for dinner. They are bringing rib eye steaks..and we just have to supply the other fixings. I have potatoes and the works- so we will just need salad makings and bread.

Sunday we are planning to go with DD2, her kids, her ex- who is the grandbabies dad and we love, DD3 and her boyfriend..to the snow to get DD2's Christmas tree. I will also get some pine clippings to put in the house to help make the house smell wonderful. (I have an artificial tree) We will make a day of it. Bonfire, hot cocoa, kids playing in the snow, etc. Should be a great day! Sometime this weekend I hope to get out to my parents shed to get their Christmas decorations to divide out to the kids. They really want to add some of these to their collections. My parents loved Christmas, especially my mom..so she had lots of special ornaments.

DD3 got a Kindle from her boyfriend...he bought it at a pawn shop...(gotta love a 20 year old that knows how to shop for bargains!!!) However, the kindle broke, so I loaned her mine to take to Alaska. I can read books on my Ipad or pc, so hopefully this will work for both of us while she is gone.

So glad the weekend is here. It will be a busy one- but filled with fun, friends and family!!




Long day today, more of the same tomorrow and unexpected check in the mail!

December 5th, 2012 at 08:50 pm

Today was a whirlwind. I left the house at 5:30am and we didnt get back until 7:15pm. Lots of time in the car and visiting outlying offices.

Got home to learn there was an issue and I will need to be at work at 7am. Tomorrow will be a very busy day.

The good news is today was a no spender. AND I received an escrow refund from my mortgage for $56!!

Tomorrow morning I will see what the hubs pending pay is. I am not expecting much extra on this check- this paycheck funds allowance, entertainment, gasoline, and the food budget for the month.

I am scheduled to take Friday off since the hub will get home tomorrow night. But because of the issue at work, I may have to work afterall...I will know more tomorrow.

Tonight, Im pooped.

Lunch out today- enjoyed it too!

December 4th, 2012 at 09:07 pm

Lunch and dinner were as planned. Oatmeal and chicken/quinoa. But I didnt have a lunch plan and I really needed to get away from my desk today- so I treated myself to come Atlantic salmon at Red Lobster for lunch ($14 including tip). It was wonderful. The meal was fabulous and the quiet time by myself was so refreshing. Tomorrow will be a 13 hour day with 4 co-workers on a road trip..so the lunch today was a real treat.

Tomorrow will be a no-spender,since meals will be paid for by the job.

I have a list of to-dos to get done before the hub gets home late Thursday night. Hopefully I wont be too worn out tomorrow night when we get home to tackle a few of the to-dos. We have a 2+ hour drive on either end of the day. I am taking a knitting project and a work project...plus my kindle.

I plan to get the work project done first and then use the rest of the travel time to do things I enjoy.

No news today on the MRI- which I hope is good news.

The hub is one day closer to coming home. I have a honey-do list all ready for him- starting with new windshield wipers on my car. Allthis recent rain is making it obvious I need new wipers.

Not much else new today. Just a busy, productive day.



The Christmas tree

December 3rd, 2012 at 08:43 pm

DS had the MRI today. It took about 30 minutes and the results will be back Thursday.

Today was a no spend day. I had oatmeal for breakfast and when I looked back up at the clock, it was already 3pm. Needless to say, an insanely busy day. I decided to just make a bagel for late lunch and then I came home and had a left over hoagie pot roast and cheddar sandwich for dinner.

Tomorrow I have oatmeal made for breakfast and I have chicken defrosting for dinner. I just need to figure out lunch.

I thought I would share a pic of my Christmas tree. I have an artificial tree that I bought a couple of years ago for under $100. In years past, I have paid $30-75 per year for fresh cut trees and really love this tree for the savings, and because I can leave it up without it becoming a fire hazard and because it doesnt loose the needles everywhere. Plus, I think its kind of pretty. The presents are mostly grandbaby gifts. My ornament collection started in 1978 and I have added at least one ornament per year since. They all have special meaning.





Missing the hub

December 2nd, 2012 at 08:25 pm

I am not the only one who misses the hub when he is in Alaska...

Here are our pets...both cuddled in his chair waiting for him to come home...

These are also the main reason I needed the new vacuum. Smile

Jake, the lab and Harley the cat...


Lovin the crockpot-

December 2nd, 2012 at 07:08 pm

Super easy crock pot roast= 1 roast, 1 can beef consume', garlic salt and Montreal steak seasoning. Put roast in crock pot, pour soup in, sprinkle with garlic salt and steak seasoning to taste. Thats it. Cook on high for about 4-5 hours, or low for 6-8.

We shredded the roast and served on toasted hoagies with a little cheddar. Either with the strained gravy from the crock or with bbq sauce.

DD3 had dinner with me and we have plenty left over for tomorrow night.

I got most of the remaining presents wrapped today. I dropped of the wreath to my friend- she loved it. Smile

Aside from left overs tomorrow, I will make chicken on Tuesday. The rest of the weeks dinners are taken care of- working on Wed night, dinner out with girlfriends on Thur..then the hub will be home.

I took Friday off to spend with the hub. I am always glad to have a short week to look forward to. Especially this time of year.

DS has his MRI tomorrow, but we may not know anything until Thursday. waiting is so tough when one of your kids health is at stake..Praying all is ok.

Making Wreaths

December 2nd, 2012 at 10:58 am

I will be relieved to have DS's MRI done tomorrow so we know what we are dealing with. I offered to be there, but he said no- that he is fine. I guess at 28, he doesnt need mom for a test. Smile I wilsh they lived closer though. He is telling me he is fine, but I can tell by his questions that he is concerned too.

I am making wreaths this weekend using the pinecones I collected at the vacation home we go to. I will give one to the friends that usually go with us. I think she will love it! (And they cost about $7 total!) I am also making one for DD1 and DD2.

Here is mine:



I bought a new vacuum this weekend. I was with DD2 and Costco had an instant rebate on a Dyson $299 after rebate. I have heard pros and cons about Dysons, but both my daughters have one and swear by them. So, I decided to just do it. I got it home and oh my, does it work really well. AND the cord is long enough to reach almost all of the house without changing plugs. It works great on the hardwood to get up pet hair, and it is works fantastic on the carpets...and after a week of keeping the pets out of the bedroom I can say that ped hair/dander and my lungs do not play well together. I have been sleeping so much better!

I am making a big batch of oatmeal for lunch today and breakfast this week. I also have a roast in the crockpot for dinner tonight.

Wednesday I will traveling to various branches for the day so, all meals will be covered by the job. Thursday night two friends and I are getting together for our annual Christmas dinner. Then, the hub gets home Thursday night at midnight- I took Friday off. So should be a fun busy week ahead!