Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ahh, Sunny Florida

Our Christmas Eve day was different this year; usually we get together with my extended family, Aunts and cousins and all, but for various reasons, that didn't work out this time. So we stayed home and my oldest son and his fiancee' came up and we had our own Christmas - and my oldest's birthday - celebration.
Then John, me, and the younger boys left Christmas day to come down to my parents Florida home.

OMGaaaaahhhhh.....When we left home it was chilly and raining and miserable. It rained on us to nearly the Florida state line. But then we passed some magical point and all of a sudden I was folding up my blanket, taking off my jacket, Kevin was coming out of his clothes, and we had to turn the A/C on. Soooo niiicccceee!

Got here to Mom's and she had the windows open and fans going. I looooved it. This is so my kind of climate!

We went out on Dad's boat and did some fishing, but guess the fish had big Christmas dinners because they were not biting.  John didn't care, though, he just enjoys fishing (the rest of us like catching, lol).

Citrus ripens in December in Florida, so we picked a bunch of fresh pink grapefruit from the neighbors tree. Yuum! Love grapefruit. Doesn't seem to be any orange trees around here.

Tomorrow we're headed to my sister's over in Central Florida to spend the rest of the week with them.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Book Whoreding

Based on several reader-buddies recommendations I started reading the Rock Chick series by Kristen Ashley this week.

Book One is called Rock Chick. India Savage is a cop's daughter/Rock Chick/book-store owner. Liam is her best friend's older brother. Indy was in love with Lee for many years, until he told her she was like his little sister.
One night, she and her shop's Barista, Rosie, who has a lucrative side business growing primo Weed, get shot at by some goons who's looking for a bag of diamonds that Rosie has/had.
Lee is a Private Investigator/Scary Guy who did love Indy all along, but didn't think it was right to tell her when he was headed off to the Special Forces and might not have returned home. Now he decides the time is right for them, if he can keep Indy alive long enough.

The characters of this book bore a strong resemblance to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum and Ranger, and I'm not a real fan of what I perceive as "copy cat" books.
But if I discounted that one thing, or hadn't read the Plum books, then this book was an enjoyable read.
Lee is a total Alpha male (Yum!), Indy is strong and independent, but Lee makes her seem girly. I like that.

Book Two is Rock Chick Rescue. Jet is an employee at Indy's book store, and also a waitress at a local strip joint, trying to earn money to support her mother who suffered a stroke. Her ne'er-do-well father shows up in town with a large gambling debt, and the bad guys keep trying to use her to find or get to him.
Eddie Chavez is a Cop who likes Jet, and appoints himself her caretaker/bodyguard/lover.

Other than the characters, this story is a whole lot similar to the first book so far.

These books are heavy on the F-word, but light on the graphic sex.

I'm only a little ways through book two, with five more to go:
3. Rock Chick Redemption
4. Rock Chick Renegade
5. Rock Chick Revenge
6. Rock Chick Reckoning
7. Rock Chick Regret

While we're on the subject of recommendations (sort of), in addition to books recs, I also like recipe recs sometimes...when it seems like something the family would like, and is really easy to make.
Recently some of my gal pals at the Fire Wives Message Board  I frequent chatted about something called Oreo Truffles, which I'd never heard of, but my kid loooves Oreos, and these were almost ridiculously easy to make.

All you do is chop up a package of Oreos into fine bits. I usually put Oreos in a ziplock bag and hammer them, which ends up making a gooey mess, because I didn't know you put them in a food processor. I got out my little mini-chopper and sure enough, it worked great.

Leave out some of the cookie crumbles for topping if you want, and mix the rest with a block of cream cheese. (I used my hand to mix it, it was easier.)

Melt some chocolate or white chocolate or any other kind of chips you prefer in a double-boiler or the microwave.

Form the Oreo-cream cheese mixture into little balls, then dip/coat in the melted chocolate chips. Put on wax paper to harden. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs if you want to.

Turns out my kid didn't like these. So I sent them to the Firehouse with J, where I hear they were devoured.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hoping For A Better Next Week

Last week was rough. My son and his fiance' came up last Sunday and we had our Christmas Tree Day, which was fun.
But apparently my cycle sync'd up with hers (I never really believed that really happened). I started that evening, but I'm pretty sure it was early (you'd think after 30+ years I'd know exactly when, but I don't). I was okay on Monday; but instead of doing more cleaning out, I ended up spending the day just moving a lot stuff around to make Ryan a Computer Repair area.
He has been collecting a bunch of pieces and parts of computers, and told me this was the biggest problem with his room mess, so if he had a place to work, he could figure out what he could use, and be able to get rid of the rest. Okay, so I shift a bunch of my stacks of stuff around upstairs, and we cleaned off the piled up folding table from the carport and toted it upstairs. He got all the computer misc. sorted out on/under the table....hasn't touched it since, and his room isn't looking a whole lot better.

Tuesday I didn't feel good, so I spent the day in bed, reading and relaxing. Wednesday I had PMS. I cried because I made J feel bad, and I wanted to go to the Beach.

Thursday I felt better, and spent some time in the kitchen. I needed to make Kevin some more white-chocolate-dipped-Oreos. This is the only time of the year that I'll make them for him, so I keep him plenty supplied during this time.
And Ryan had been asking for some Gingerbread cake. I hadn't ever made Gingerbread cake before, so I got online looking up some recipes and found an easy sounding one, and I had all the ingredients in my cabinet already!

(Yep, I was reading on my Kindle while doing my baking)

At some point after this, that Bug the boys have been battling for the past month attacked me.
Ryan came down with it the week before Thanksgiving, complaining of aches, sore throat, congestion. Rushed him to the doctor to find out it was Viral and nothing to do but wait it out. Kevin got it the day after Thanksgiving and missed the whole week of school.
Since I knew it was Viral, I treated him at home the same as Ryan, but then five-six days later, he was making no improvement, so off to the Doctor. He had the Viral thing, but had also developed Bronchitis. So he got a breathing treatment, an inhaler and anitbiotics.
Within the next couple of days Ryan said he thought Kevin gave it back to him. I said, No. No way, you can not be sick again, so just stop.
They weren't sick sick, but they both kept blowing, coughing, and off and on sore throats.
Thursday morning, Kevin woke up as sick as he had been before. Pretty bad. But there was only two days left of school, so I dosed him and told him to stick it out.

But Thursday afternoon, it got a hold of me. This bug hits fast, and hard. I sneezed hard a couple of times, then that was pretty much the end of my breathing for awhile. Blowing, coughing, aching everywhere.
I felt terrible, and when I when I feel bad, I get desperate to feel better, and just kind of take whatever I can find in the medicine cabinet. If one thing doesn't work well enough or fast enough, I'll find something else. I went to bed but couldn't go to sleep. My throat kept getting dry, causing coughing. I finally got some throat drops, but I think I took some non-drowsy meds and even though I laid there, still and heavy, like my body was asleep, my mind was still awake. Then my legs started jerking around. Ugh. Misery.

I was awake all night. At our usual get-up time Friday morning, I went to wake up Kevin and he looked as miserable as I felt, so I said, eh, just go back to sleep.  I went to bed, too, and slept for most of two days.

I am always preaching that sleep is the best medicine. It works every time, I don't know why no one believes me. I got up yesterday evening, feeling almost good as new.  Kevin's still not doing that well. He doesn't do anything, lays around and plays his online game, but he doesn't sleep. Sleep is the body's best healer. I don't know why, but it really works.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Decor

Last year I created this little vignette on top of my Sweetheart cabinet, including my little Silver Christmas tree.

I found the tree at the Dollar Tree some year or years before I actually got it out and used it. I liked it because it reminded me of the tree my family had when I was a kid.

At first I only had the tree, and it looked kind of plain, so I set out to find some mini-tree ornaments. I found the mini-ornament balls at Target for $2.00.

This year I was able to find a string of battery-operated Tiny lights at Dollar Tree, and a Star tree topper at Micheal's craft store for $1.99.

I think I still need to find or make it a tree skirt, now that I'm using it in a different way.

Awhile back I posted about Play Scale, Barbie, Dioramas, ect.  Here's the result:

I ended up not even using any of my old Barbie dolls. I never could find any clothes for One-Arm-Ken, and it just seemed kind of dumb to rob Joe of his clothes when he would work just fine (redhead Barbie liked him better, actually) in the set-up.
I had Army Specialist GI Joe for a good many years, still in the box (his twin brother is still upstairs in his box). They were on clearance at Target one year so I bought a couple to save as collectibles, but now I figure they probably aren't ever going to be as popular because today's kids mostly aren't growing up playing with them like kids from the 60's and 70's did.

The Barbie I found a couple of weeks ago at the Goodwill store when I was looking for Barbie clothes. She's a Redhead Barbie, I couldn't pass her up. (Having three boys, I haven't kept up much with Barbie dolls since like the early 90's, so I don't know what Barbie this is. I didn't even know there were any redheaded Barbies.) Her dress and shoes came from the Dollar Tree also.

They are sitting on my fireplace mantle because I didn't have any place else to put them right now. Maybe later I can build (by "I" I mean J of course) a little 1-room house/livingroom box with walls and a fireplace mantle and such that I can decorate up.
Gingerbread cookies and Candy Canes snacks.
Joe's getting a new Rifle for Christmas.
I think the little wagon is for Barbie's niece because she
and Joe don't have any kids and probably never will.
Joe shopped for Barbie at Victoria Secret, but the famous Pink gift bag hasn't made it under the tree yet. Although I have to wonder if that's really a gift for Barbie, or him.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Book Whoreding

Last week I posted that I was reading Karen Erickson's "Playing With Fire" series. I finished all of those, including a fourth book: Notorious.

The series started out well, I enjoyed Book 1, but went downhill from there for me.

Book 1: Forbidden, featured Austin and Micheala, who are roommates. Austin is Bi-sexual, and has fallen in love with Michaela, who thinks Austin is gay and not interested in her.

In Book 2, Tangled, Trevor wants Scarlett, who wants Drake, who wants Trevor. Trevor ends up with Scarlett, and one day Drake goes to ask her if they are together. She tells him yes and he's heartbroken and says, "Too bad we can't share him", and she says, "Maybe we can".
She doesn't say, though, that she intends it to be a one-night thing, not a permanent tri-ad, and then when they are all together she looks at Trevor, asking him with her eyes to promise that no one is going to get hurt, and he promises with his eyes that no one is going to get hurt. Really? Because I never hear them inform Drake of this.

In Book 3, Scandalous, it really goes to hell in a handbasket.  Alexa has had a crush on Eric for years, since she was a young girl and he was her brother's boyfriend.  She sees him again at her brother's wedding and she still has the hots for him. They end up kissing, but then he breaks it off and admits he has a boyfriend.
He goes home and admits to said boyfriend what he did. The boyfriend, Brandon, suggests Eric invites her to meet them for a drink. Before they ever even meet, Brandon is hot and horny for Alexa. About ten minutes into the meeting, he's angling for a threesome. She agrees, but doesn't want to be with him.
Except then when Eric's doing her, she's hanging onto Brandon's neck and calling out his name.
In the end, Brandon and Alexa end up together and Eric's kicked to the curb.

In book 4, Notorious, Eric is into heavy drinking and anonymous sex. He meets Stacy, who's finance left her for another man. Neither of them want to get together, but they end up together. One day Stacy meets her old friend, Alexa, for lunch, and Alexa, not knowing Stacy is seeing Eric, admits she and Brandon aren't doing well and they were thinking of looking Eric up and inviting him back in. Stacy tells her Eric doesn't want to get involved with them again and they get into a big argument.
Not a few pages later, Stacy is asking Eric how he feels about sharing her with another man. Are you kidding me? After what happened the last time he shared? This author thinks it's okay to be so completely thoughtless with someone's feelings, and that's romantic?

I also read Cowboy Casanova by Lorelie James.  I had thought I wouldn't enjoy it much because the excerpts were taken from when they were in a BDSM club, and I don't really care too much for it.
But turned out they spent the majority of the book not at the club, and I liked Ben as a person, and the sex was good, and the story was good.

And, last but not least, I read Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich.

This is book 18 (or 21 or so if you count the novellas...which this one actually kind of seemed like) of the Stephanie Plum series.

Stephanie Plum is an inept bounty hunter working for her cousin's bail bonds business in New Jersey. Her antics and her crazy family are (were) hilarious....for about the first dozen books.
Like most other readers apparently, I absolutely loved the first several books of the series. But then it just got to be the same things over and over again. Eighteen books later, she has no more of a clue than she did in Book 1.

Oddly enough, I enjoyed this book, though. I can't explain why. I must have just been in a good mood.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It Worked!?

A couple of weeks ago I posted about this book, Stop Clutter From Stealing Your Life.

I had really only skimmed through the book before and had said I was going to get back and read it more thoroughly, but I haven't really had the time. Or maybe the inclination. I've been doing pretty good de-cluttering this week.

One of the things I had read about in the book when I looked through it earlier was the theory that Money Flows.  It flows in and out, like a river into an ocean of abundance. It can't flow into a cluttered home or mind. You have to take the physical action to get the flow going.

The author talks about how the secret to prosperity is giving. "Norman Vincent Peale said that giving is the secret of the law of abundance. “To receive the good things of life, you must first give.” It is part of the natural flow of money. It flows into your life and you let it flow out. More flows back, 10 times more than you give. Jesus proved this with the loaves and the fishes and countless other teachings."

He told how when he went to church, he could only squeeze out a dollar for the collection plate, and that hurt. He said his minister told him to not tithe anything he couldn't give with a glad heart. That she would rather someone give a dollar gladly, than $100 grudgingly, But, she said, you get back what you give. You get back 10 times what you give, so if you only want $10 back, give a dollar.  He said he put in $2, and a few days later he received a check in the mail for $20!

I'm not a big believer in Cosmic Woo-woo, but at the same time I like to think I'm not completely closed-minded about stuff-that-can't-be-explained.
I am a dis-prover - not sure if that's a born personality trait or one I picked up on when I started working on my family genealogy - but most of the time when I think I've seen or felt something or something odd happened, I will generally try to think of an explanation for it. At the same time, I know I've seen a ghost (spirit, whatever), there's no doubt in my mind, so I can't even try to explain that one away to myself.  There's been a couple of other instances that I'm about 99% sure had to be some sort of cosmic woo-woo stuff.

I discussed it with Ryan, my middle son, because he is thinker and can reason things out. He also doesn't think I'm a nut-case, lol. We have a lot of pretty good discussions.
Anyway, he thought it over and said, Well it probably wouldn't work if you knew you were giving just to try to get something back.
Which is probably exactly right.

Besides, as it stands lately, I'm not able to give away money - or at least not without grudge.  Our finances have been crap recently, and I can't figure out why.
I'm not that great with math and numbers, so the way I know we're on track is if there's a general certain amount in our checking account. But here lately our account balance has plummeted, with no apparent explanation.
There's been no unauthorized spending or withdrawals, no real out of the ordinary expenditures. Not even Christmas shopping. I bought my Kindle, and a laptop, I thought that explained it until I realized both of those things were charged on my Amazon store card, and I haven't paid but one payment of $39.90 so far.

The fire dept check goes in the bank on every other Thursday night. The doctor's office check goes in the following Tuesday, then the ambulance checks are issued Friday of the same week. Strange as it sounds, it was almost like the money was coming in as quick as we could spend it out.
Then, it wasn't.
I can't figure out what's happened.

Anyway. As I tend to do when there's a problem I can't deal with, I'll tackle one that I can deal with. Which, lately, has been my Cluttering problem, and my desire to get my livingroom fixed before Christmas.

If you remember from my post of last Thursday, it was some Wish list requests that got me to feeling generous and wanting to go through some toys and stuff to see if I had some things to give to help someone.
Didn't start out so great, my first give - the train items - weren't given with an easy heart.
However, that same evening, a lady that I met several years ago through a local message board, posted that her son's cellphone, class ring, and car keys had been stolen, and did anyone have an AT&T cellphone they weren't using.  I had one, which I was keeping in case one our phones breaks before upgrade time (has happened several times) but when she asked, I didn't even think twice. I even drove to meet them halfway across the county to give them the phone.
For no reason or ulterior motive, other than it seemed like the right thing to do.

Later that evening, J texted to say he'd been offered not one but TWO shifts on the ambulance next/this week.

At the time I still hadn't thought anything about the giving-getting connection, since I had a lot on my mind with the toys and the livingroom work.

The next day, on Friday, I felt good picking out some of the toys to send to J's partner's little girl. Along with the rest of the toys I let J donate to the thrift store, I also sent a lot of my booty from my shopping deals. Most of the stuff is stuff I don't want and just want out of the house, like a massive amounts of vitamins, feminine itching cream, probiotics, homopathy medicines, etc.
But one thing I had a lot of, went out of my way to get, and even spent some of my own money on (sales tax) was a large amount of Children's Advil medicine.  The week of Thanksgiving they were on sale and earning me a dollar profit after coupons, but only like .35 after sales tax, which wouldn't be worth my time driving around to other stores buying up the stuff only to donate. This week they weren't on sale, but was still giving the reward, so they ended up costing only sales tax after rewards.  Usually I won't pay sales tax on something I know I or someone in my family (a lot of times not even then, ha ha) won't use.
But my kids had been sick the week before/of/after Thanksgiving, and I was feeling compassionate, knowing there were other sick kids out there and their parents were spending their money on cigarettes and beer and makeup and stuff rather than medicine.
I know this thrift store gives food and items to people in need, so I feel good that this medicine will get to the kids who need it.

While J was gone to take the stuff to donate, I heard my next door neighbor outside and went out and called to her because I had collected up a bunch of Dark&Lovely free-after-coupons hair relaxers this week that I intended to see if she wanted. She did, and while I was there I asked her if she could use any body wash and toothpaste. She could so I came home and bagged her up several things of body wash, toothpaste, deodorant...seems like there was some other stuff because there were 5 bags in all, but I can't remember what all else I sent to her.

That evening I opened the mail to find a $340.00 check from where we overpaid the Oral Surgeon for Ryan's wisdom teeth surgery in September!
(They still owe us another $410.00, too!)

So what's the explanation - coincidence, or cosmic woo-woo?
And will it work anymore if I'm thinking about what I'll get back while I'm giving?

I'm not sure that part will apply anyway, because my brother-in-law came up today and I sent them home with a bunch of stuff, and also sent a lot home with my son. I wasn't even thinking about getting anything in return. Then again, I wasn't altogether thinking about helping them out, either. I was more glad to be getting rid of it out of the house. Still, other than the Children's medicine, getting rid of stuff out of the house has been my main point the whole time, and that didn't seem to matter....IF this is a case of cosmic woo-woo after all.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Tree Day

Our "Christmas Tree Day" is a relatively new tradition for us. Before a few years ago, we'd just get up one day and decide it seemed like a good day to go for the tree.

Before my Mom moved away and/or stopped spending Christmas in Georgia, our tradition was to go to her house around the first weekend of December to have a birthday dinner and cake for her, and the all grandkids would help her put up her tree.

We would put our tree up sometime after that.
We never put it up before December 1st, but some years we did not long after. Those years it seemed like the tree was up forever. Tooo long. I was tired of it before Christmas arrived.
Then other years for one reason or another we would be late getting it up, and it wasn't up for long enough. We'd be taking down before we'd even gotten time to enjoy it.

At some point in time, I hit on the perfect time for us, which I call our "Twelve Days Before Christmas".
Our Christmas is really more on the 24th than the 25th, so I figure it from that, so our Christmas Tree Day falls generally around the 12th of December.
Not always exactly (rarely exactly) since it has to be a Saturday or Sunday for Kevin to be out of school, and I have to work around everyone else's work and/or school and/or other festivities.

Still, for awhile, we'd just pick a day around the 12th and go get the tree and put it up, no big deal.
But then a couple years after my oldest son had moved out, he was apparently missing doing the things with us that he used to didn't care much for. He called me up one day a couple or so years back and asked me when we were going to get our tree, and said they (meaning him, mostly) wanted to go with us.

So they came and we all went to get the tree, then back at home I cooked lunch or dinner, and Christmas favorites like Rice Krispie treats, fudge, chocolate-peanut-butter-no-bake-cookies, white-chocolate-dipped-Oreos, etc. while they put up and decorated the Christmas tree.

(Looking back through my digi-pics, I see the first year they joined us was 2007, so this marks our 5th Traditional Family Christmas Tree Day party. Wow, times flies!)

This year's Christmas Tree Day fell on Saturday the 10th. We headed to our favorite tree-getting place, Silver Creek Christmas Tree Farm.

Last year it was cold and snowing on the day we went to get the tree. We kind of just ran to the first trees we saw and pointed at one and said, that one's good, get it and let's go!
Today was chilly, but practically balmy compared to last year. So we were able to walk around and look at more trees.

Of course the boys ended up in the Big trees field. Trees out in the field don't look nearly as large as they become when you take them into your livingroom. I kept having to say, yes, that's a great tree, but find one like it about half that size.

"Small" tree at the Tree Farm
Turns into Big tree at home
Why the Christmas Tree pic is so dark. I was attempting to learn to take a picture of the tree in the dark after reading some photograhy tips I found at Pinterest.  Obviously I stopped reading at "Using a tripod....".
I have a tripod, but have never used it. I guess I like to be free to move around, I don't know what. Anyway, I set up the tripod, turned on the camera on "Twilight" screen....and it didn't work.  Oh well, I will try again.

More pics from Christmas Tree Day in my Facebook album.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Gone & Done

The toys are gone to the Thrift Store (Helping Hands charity store), the painting is done (the part I was working on lately), and we are ready for tomorrow (mostly).

Tomorrow is Christmas Tree Cutting/Decorating day.

I got the wall-primering finished last night, then this morning after I took Kev to school, I came home and got started with the painting.  Didn't take long, even with taking breaks I was done by 10:00am.

John came in and we left to go run some errands. After we got back he and Ryan helped me with putting the livingroom back in order and cleaning up.

I picked a couple of the toys that weren't really gender specific and asked if J thought his partner's little girl would like them and he said he thought she would, so I feel good that they are going to her.
Then I had him talk me into just putting the rest in the box, and him carrying it to the thrift store..
So, they're gone. (Sniff) But my livingroom looks nice!

Still a good bit of work to do - the ceiling, trim, painting the windows...and closet door? Can't decide about it. It's ugly as it is, brown, but I just can't picture it as white, either.
Anyway, compared to how it's looked for a pretty long time, it's looking really pretty nice to us right now.

I saw a picture in a magazine of a room painted this Blue and they'd painted the trim a dark, Chocolate brown. I liked the way it looked, so I also bought the Chocolate Brown paint. But the Blue with the White doors/trim actually looks really nice in there, and now I can't picture how it would look if I painted the doors and trim brown, and don't know if I would really like it now or not.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Mental Illness Is A PITA

Recently one of the Freecycle groups I belong to allowed one day for people to be able to post a Christmas wish list, because there had been so many sending in posts begging for presents for their kids or whatever.
(People are stupid and can't seem to grasp the concept that Freecycle is about giving stuff you no longer want away rather than throwing it in the garbage, and is not a charity!)

I'm not usually known for my generosity, mostly because I know too many sorry-assed lazy bums who expect to be handed stuff instead of having to work for it like the rest of us do.
I am also of the School of 'If you don't have it, and can't get it for yourself, then do without'.
I'm sorry but your kid does not need a Nintendo DS, PSP, or Playstation for Christmas.

Anyway, there were some pretty humble requests, things like people needing a winter coat, clothes and/or shoes for their kids, ANY kind of toy for (girl/boy) (age) years old (Some people were specifying by Name exactly what toys they wanted someone to give them).
I have a good bit of stuff that was on some of the lists just hanging around here taking up space, so I picked a few of the requests and have started putting some stuff together to give. Mostly clothes.

The thing with toys is, my youngest is 17. Most of the toys I have are probably a decade old. No Dora, no Cars, no Toy Story 3, never even heard of Lapaloosy (?) until this Wish List thing.

At any rate, I decided it was still worth going through the toys I had to see if there was anything anyone might could use.

It didn't start out well. I started with the red tub full of Kevin's "babies" (stuffed animals). As bad as my memory is 99% of the time, I remembered where just about every one of those "babies" came from. Like the Stingray from Grand Cayman, when we went on a big family cruise and went swimming with the Stingrays. Or the Fairly Godfather Goldfish Kev won at the Guess-Your-Weight booth at the Carowinds park in N/S Carolina because I knew they wouldn't be able to guess his weight. He looked tiny, but he was a little Bamm-Bamm kid, muscle instead of baby fat, so he weighed more than he looked. It always surprised the nurses at the Dr's office when he went for checkups.  (Was that cheating the game, you reckon, me knowing that?)

Anyway, my project nearly came to a screeching halt before it even got started. Then I told myself, you know what, you don't have to deal with this right now. Put them aside and move on.
I went and got a garbage bag to put the "babies" in for now, and when I was digging on down towards the bottom, I found some babies that really weren't as sentimental. They were more like the rest of the toys, bought because he saw it and wanted it, or given to him by someone who knew he liked stuffed animals, but you know, no real memory attached to it. So I was able to chuck those into a Give Away bag.
I still kept more than I got rid of, but at least I did get rid of some. Progress.

Then I moved on to a large cardboard box of toys. Again, didn't start out well. At first sight I didn't see anything I thought I could get rid of. But then my Alter-voice asked "What the hell do you think you need to keep all that for?"
"Because it was {Daniel's/Ryan's/Kevin's}."
"So, maybe they'll wish they still had their old toys one day."
I went through a period where I wished I had my toys from when I was a kid, and actually bought alot of the stuff I remember from off Ebay. But now I don't even want the stuff anymore, and anyway, it was probably some sort of insanity on my part and probably the boys won't even feel the same way. John's never yearned over old toys long gone. Or my sister, or brother-in-law, or anyone else I really know, I guess. Apparently I thought it was a common thing because of the people I was "associating" with (other "Toy Collectors" online).

So after thinking it over, it was alot easier to start tossing stuff into the Give Away pile. Just in case, though, I got Ryan to come look at everything and put stuff in his hand and he didn't seem to express any regret at seeing it go. And, to make doubly sure, I had Kevin look over it when he got home, and he said there was nothing he cared about keeping either.

Easy, over, and done, right? Ohhh noooo. Not with me. It seems I have this control problem. Like, I have to control where it goes, or who it goes to.
My Alter-voice is saying "Throw the junk in the box and take it to the Thrift Store, or offer it on freecycle and let someone else deal with it, for crapsake!"

The stuff in the box is pretty close to shit-nobody-would-want. I'll donate that to the thrift store and maybe they can make a nickel or dime off it.
The other stuff it more decent stuff, but different aged stuff.  There are some younger kid toys, and older kid toys, so I need to make sure it goes to the right aged kid. If I give it all to one person that only has a younger or older kid, then the rest of the stuff is worthless to them. They might throw it away (yes I do know people just that stupid).

So I started dividing it up into groups to offer on freecycle. Today I gave a grouping of Train related items: Kevin's blue/white striped engineers cap and wooden train whistle we got when rode the Tennessee Valley Railroad during one of our Spring Break trips a few years ago (waahhh!), a bubble-blower train whistle, a poster of a vintage train engine, and some Thomas the Tank Engine toys.

But the person wasn't coming until after 5:00, so I didn't list any other toys to give away because I didn't want the same person to hit me up again and say like, I want that, too...I want it all...because I'm greedy greedy.
Alter-voice is asking, "What the hell do you care, as long as it's out of your way, and out of your house?!?"
I don't know! I don't know!

While the voices in my head continue their argument, here's how much of the livingroom I got primered last night, before I ran out of the stuff. Had to go to WM this morning and get another gallon.
I'm going to get the rest finished up tonight, and then hopefully painted tomorrow. I'm really afraid I'm going to run out the Blue, too, since I had to repaint the whole first wall because I messed it up, and I really don't need another whole gallon of it. But a pint isn't enough, and paying for two pints isn't much different from paying for a gallon so that would be dumb.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Wednesday Book Whoreding

Strangely, it seems like since I got my Kindle, I'm reading even less than before. I thought maybe it was because I'm so used to being on/reading on my computer, now when I sit down here in front of it and there's no book open and waiting for me, I just go somewhere else.

Like Pinterest.
That has got to be one of the funnest sites I've been involved in. To be such a lover of the written word, I love, love, love seeing all the beautiful, sweet, creative, funny, all the pictures around Pinterest. I'd hate to know the amount of time I've spent looking at and collecting pictures, and visiting many of the websites where the pictures came from.

If you Pinterest, leave me a link so I can follow.

But also, I've been doing more with my coupon shopping again lately.  I guess 'Tis the Season, for shopping, and if I'm going to shop, I don't actually want to spend any money doing it, ha.

And, I have to give lots of credit to the fact we've made some fantastic progess in the refurbishment of our livingroom.
Last time you saw my livingroom, I had finished the sheetrock and priming/painting the wall behind the fireplace. I had to shove some crap around in the diningroom to make room for the buffet that belongs in there, but has been living in the livingroom (along with the matching china cabinet) because I had planned to work on the diningroom before and didn't want them to get damaged....uh, I lost my train of thought.

Anyway, We now have sheetrock on the ceiling (which I willl NOT be taping and sanding. We're going to buy a ceiling  to put up in there sometime after the new year), the ceiling fan lowered to allow for the new ceiling, the NFL blanket taken down and replaced with nice, new colonial window blinds, and I finished sanding the last two walls to be painted. I have even taped the door and window trim, and the primer and paintbrush is laying in the floor just waiting for me to get up and get in there.

So, the book(s) I have read lately have been Forbidden: Playing With Fire Book 1 by Karen Erickson, and I'm partway through Tangled: Playing With Fire Book 2.

This series is Erotic-Romance, heavy on the erotic, which is what I was looking for last week. Sometimes when I'm looking for erotic-romance-heavy-on-the-erotic, they can still be a little too porny, not quite enough lovey for me, but I enjoyed these stories.

Or, well, the first story at least. I haven't really quite gotten far enough into the second one yet.

Book 3 is Scandalous, which I will get back to after I take a break to read Cowboy Casanova, book 12 of The Rough Riders series by Lorelei James.

I love the Rough Rider series, most of them anyway, but I'm not sure this one is going to be at the top of my list. I'm okay with some private BDSM play, between a couple, in their room at home, whatever. But the whole lifestyle, BDSM sex club thing doesn't really toot my horn.

I had something else in mind I was going to post about, but I've forgotten what it was. Oh well. Maybe it'll come to me while I'm primering the livingroom walls. (Hint to self)

Monday, December 05, 2011

My Firefighting Husband

It's that time of the year again, for the annual Physical Fitness Testing. J got his Lt. to take pics while he did his just for me!
(I have been asking...though some may call it whining, bitching and/or nagging...because I can't ever get pictures of him at work actually doing something firefighter-y. If I get any it's when I go to the station and take my own and he just sits and fake smiles at me until I'm done.)
So here I finally have some real action photos: