Friday, December 30, 2005

Shopping hounds

We've really been overdoing it. I guess it's fun to have someone to shop with and either Bri or Sean go out with me. Yesterday we dropped the Tracfone off to Brian's dad at his house. It was not a nice visit. I won't get into it too much, but Mr Grouch basically kicked us out. Brian just had to mention about his dad going to see his lovely only living sibling, a sister who happens to be in a nursing home near us. I said that if one of my brothers didn't visit me, I wouldn't like it. Well he told me to mind my own business, etc. He remarked that I said too much and asked us to leave. I was upset because I was trying to be encouraging and he took it the wrong way. It's going to be a long time before I go over there again. I have my mom to think about anyway. I remember some good advice from an old friend- I have my mom to take care of, and Brian has his dad to worry about.
I got to buy a few goodies in the mall over there and then I used a gift card from Barnes and Noble. I bought a calendar that gives you a stamped piece (embroidery) for each month. I like handwork anyway, so these will be a snap to stitch up. We went in Walmart and they had a lot of stuff left over but all I bought was the Jergens lotion mentioned in my previous post plus some chocolate covered cherries.
Today we went to a farmer's market. There is a store in there that has great items for me to sell on eBay. They were an excellent price. We sat on a stool at one of the little restaurants where I had a Philly cheesesteak (I had a salad for lunch) and Brian had a grilled tuna sandwich.
We headed to the mall so Brian could look at watches in Boscovs (he had seen some in another Boscovs yesterday) and they didn't have any. I bought some jewelry there. I went to Strawbridges and got two chenille sweaters for $20 (as seen on tv) and a 3 foot feather tree (I really wanted one for my cross stitched ornaments, so now I have two things I can use) and these feather wreaths that were $60 marked down to $15 (one for me and one for mom). I really need to stay out of the stores, but I just love a good bargain. Just like my mom and she's a packrat too!
We got invited to a wedding, my neighbor's grandson. We don't think we will attend as it's way over in Brick, NJ near the shore and the only people we know are the neighbors, their son, daughter-in-law and kids. The last time we went to a function they had,(their daughter graduated with Sean), the parents hardly said two words to us. I think it would be a lot of trouble for us to go and sit and twiddle our thumbs. We will send a nice gift. The son has been serving in Iraq for almost a year. Not sure if he is coming home to get married and is being shipped out again. If his mom was close to me, I'd know all that.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Fads of 2005

Hey, did you see these in the People year end issue?
They call it the Rubik's Cube of number puzzles. I tried it...never finished one!
half pug/half beagle....really cute!
Sean uses it and Xanga went 'bye bye'.
Jergens Natural Glow
self tanning lotion that flew off the shelves. This is the first I heard of it.
Nut necklaces
Nope...wonder if they have an aroma
Ballroom Dancing
I have two left feet, not into this. My mom, who grew up watching movie musicals loved the ABC show.
Just saw the movie and have a new interest in these brave little troopers.

Stitching Blogger question

How do you balance your stitching time with your other obligations such as work, household chores, etc.?
I'm a nightowl...I stitch all night long...that's the answer. I can hardly stitch during the day as I have other chores, errands and computer time (eBay listing, etc). I stitch while sitting in front of the telly. It tends to take me longer to finish projects too.
Brian and Sean have been home and I have hardly stitched at all. We've been figuring out broadband (taking off programs we don't need also) and going out at night to shop and visit, so that's a very unusual occurrence.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Good bye AOL

It really wasn't that difficult to leave it. The only good thing about it lately was it's email and AIM which we can still use! They really try to keep you from going, but not once did I hear the word 'free'. If I had heard that word, I may have kept it a little longer. We vanished a lot of their clogging files from our computer. More room for photos and fun stuff.
I went food shopping today. The store was dead-fine with me. My best buy were 5 bags of those 'purdy' shiny bows in all sizes and colors for only $1! I said five bags! I would have bought more, but no room in the cart. I'll have to get more as I use and reuse them for a number of years.
Brian and Sean have been home and will be home until next week. Brian fixed a broken shelf in my hope chest today. Cosmo the cat had tried to climb on it but it slammed shut. He is one lucky feline. Bri also spray painted a scratch on my van from me hitting a hunk of ice coming out of my mom's driveway-twice! I think the mean neighbors had something to do with that.
I am dying to go to Wally World and get some marked down stuff. The parking lots been pretty full these last few days after Christmas. I need to get my brother Ken a birthday gift (he'll be 39 on Jan. 8th). Love that guy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My favorite girl

My sweet niece Tori of course! We were at their house delivering some Christmas goodies and getting a few in return including the pretty red scarf covered with stockings I just put on in the above shot. I am feeling somewhat better today. We went to Best Buy to exchange the portable DVD player and then to my brother's house. We decided to eat at a place called 'The American Grill' and waited about 45 minutes for our dinner. Brian's and mine were lukewarm and had to be sent back. We also had a 40ish couple near us making out right in public. Ugh. That was our entertainment for din din. We went to Borders afterwards and we got some 50% off calendars. I got a crochet pattern a day desktop and a Monty Python desk top. Sean got a weather calendar with facts for every day. And I got my mom a watercolor a day calendar. I won a oil painting set for her from eBay and it never came. So I hope she has fun with this calendar. I have a complaint about the eBay item. The second item in a month that hasn't arrived yet.
~Update-I was issued my second refund thanks to paypal for the oil painting set that didn't come. What's going on with these people on eBay? Am I the only honest seller? ; )

Monday, December 26, 2005

After Cmas blues

It's been a day of trying to muster up energy. It seems to have vanished for me along with the holiday. It's really hard for one person to prepare a big meal on little sleep. (Up and down all night from achy legs, etc.)
Today I stayed in my bathrobe until 1:45. I ate some leftover eggplant parmigiana and headed for the shower. I tidied up the gift boxes and noticed Sean's little 20 Question hand held game and played with that and beat it a few times (with eggplant as one thing I was thinking of). Then at 3 I blew my hair dry and just laid across the bed and snoozed!
Sean had gone out with a gal pal from high school and a few others to the movies, so the house was quiet for us. Brian's been listening to his new Cream cd and trying to register his dad's Trackfone. It's been busy all the time.
We just had burgers for dinner and I am still in a vegetative state. I need to take back the guys main gift-a portable DVD player as the screen won't brighten up to see the movie. Maybe tomorrow? Maybe.

Three brothers

I was switching my fave places to Comcast and ran across my oldest brothers photo album page. I could never really view it with dial-up. I found a photo of him I liked, kept it so here is an edited photo of Dave along with my middle brother Don (in Florida) and little bro Ken (swinging daughter Tori-Dave took the photo).

Here's one of Ken's face. ; )

Whenever I see your smiling face...

Mom Jeanne and me out to dinner on Christmas eve
My nephew Kenny, niece Tori and of course my Sean at my brother's house. Kenny had been sick the day before. This is also Christmas eve.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Totally burnt out

I really am. I was vegging on the sofa at 7 pm last night. In the last 4 days, I baked 6 kinds of cookies, made fudge, peanut brittle and a 20 pound turkey. Almost messed up the last few things I made. Actually the first batch of peanut brittle has some waxed paper stuck to it and wasn't quite crisp enough. I thought I'd make it thinner brittle and put unoiled waxed paper on it to roll it down. Live and learn.
The fudge was easy and taste good. Whew.
My peanut butter pinwheels almost got tossed. I put the rolled up dough in the freezer and forgot about it! The chocolate inside was too hard to slice. I put the 'log' in the microwave and the dough started to melt with the chocolate. After a half hour back in the frig, they could be sliced and baked.
I needed to really tidy up more, but I really couldn't muster up the energy to do so.
I better go to bed soon as we will be going to midnight mass after we come home from spending Christmas eve with my mom.
Have a lovely holiday.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Cross stitch tree

Sean and I went shopping for last minute gifts last night. The bargains are amazing! Wish I was loaded. ; )
We ate in Ruby's Diner (this burger wasn't as good as the last one) and headed into Borders (where I bought 4 magazines!) and something else. I wanted to run into Pier One. They were having a 10% off sale. I believe the Christmas stuff was already on sale. This little gold metal tree was near the door and I told Sean I thought it would be perfect for my Cross stitch ornaments until I get a big feather tree (whenever that will be). It had a price of $20 on it. I knew I'd get $2 off. So when all was said and done, it was $12! It was the last one they had, so the guy had to take their decorations off it. It's on top of the computer desk. The other decorations there are a Santa in a fur suit, a funky birdhouse, a candle I decorated a few years ago, and a Snowbaby using a computer.

Greenery basket I just made

I was telling you about the pretty basket shown in the Best of Christmas BH&G magazine. I just had to make one! Mine's a little different. I used an oval basket similar to what they used, but more greenery and dowels for a trellis. It's on my front step landing to the left of the door. The first photo is inside where the basket is in front of my rolltop desk. The three candles are lit and the camera shutter is slower.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Why do I stitch for charity?

Though I did not stitch for this sweetie boy Brian, I just think this photo tells it all. I hope Vicki doesn't mind that I 'lifted' it from our group...

Finally hooked up

I just had to wait a long time to be able to post. It was slower than the dial-up. Perhaps when all the AOL stuff is removed, we'll see a difference. The videos looks good, just like watching tv!
We had our share of problems, which I anticipated. Brian and I were both on the phone with tech support. He couldn't get online and I couldn't get to the email. Now they are figured out. They didn't hook up the voice over internet, so that will be another service call on Jan. 3rd for that.
The cable guy complained about getting the cable up through the attic, but to me it didn't seem like it took that long.
While they were here, I made chicken corn chowder (not bad, could have had more of a chicken taste to the broth-I had to add veggie broth to my homemade broth to stretch it out a bit) and some cranberry orange muffins (from a mix). Wow-I'm cooking a lot lately!
More tomorrow.
Comcast is running much faster today. I was looking at my email within seconds, same with webpages. Maybe we just needed to get our account 'verified'. ; )
I noticed that '8' AOL things startup when the computer starts up. So when we lose that, getting booted up to use the internet should be much faster!
The only thing was a weird http addy in the address line that no one looked at. Hmmm.
Today I get my hair done, so I'll truly feel ready for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Short as heck post

I made about 8 or so dozen cookies today. I didn't count, but filled up a huge tin with chocolate chips and a smaller tin with Russian tea cakes. Doing the above wore me out. Bummer. I'm going to bed after I tell you that Sean got a 3.6 for his first semester in college. Nice to have a smart kid.
Maybe I'll be posting after the Comcast guys hook us up tomorrow. I am not looking forward to to having chain smoking strangers in my house (most reek).
Take care....zzzz....good night!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Gorgeous magazine

I've been really busy today. Brian was nice enough to go to the grocery store with me in the late afternoon as I knew I'd have a big order. The local Superfresh had 12 packs of Coke products for $1.69 with a coupon (if you bought 4). I rather drink cold green tea from Wawa, but I need the caffeine at this time of year to keep me going. I only drink a can a day and will quit in January. I also bought a spiral cut ham for Christmas dinner.
Anyway, yesterday and tonight I wrapped all the gifts we had. I have a biggie for mom to wrap and I'm waiting on an eBay item to arrive for her. That was serious wrapping-like 4 hours worth. I actually put the radio on tonight and listened to Delilah on the radio. Sean was out with some of his old friends who are home for Christmas. They saw King Kong (he said he'd give it a 'B'-too overdone).
We went to Ruby Tuesday last night and then Kmart. I bought two magazines-The Best of Christmas by Better Homes and Gardens and Country Sampler Decorating Ideas. I read 'Best of' from cover to cover. What a beautiful issue. It's full of how I like to decorate if I had the products, (some greens are hard to locate or pricey though I have holly and evergreen) space and stair railings. There is something I think I can make from the issue by next weekend-a basket with artificial greens and candles tucked into the the top. There is a trellis coming out of the top-not sure if I can swing that. I may have a metal trellis somewhere. It was something that really caught my eye. Hope I can get around to making it. Tonight I will read the other mentioned magazine. I love Christmas magazines!
Tomorrow is cookie day, well the first of probably two days I will put aside for cookie baking. I have to cook the turkey on the 23rd. I may cook it at mom's, but not sure if I will if the cookies aren't finished.
I forgot to tell you about the stocking that I bought at Tuesday Morning last night. It's quite long (about 2 feet) and mostly tapestry. At the top is faux fur and then the various tapestry fabrics and large green rosettes. I told Brian he could load it up if he wanted. I debated about buying it, but it goes well with the Victorian theme. It was priced at $80, they wanted $40 and I got it for another 40% off. I'll have to take a photo as it's quite unusual.
I am working on cross stitched ornaments too. I have a kitty half completed. My brother found stuff at a thrift shop and included a large white piece of evenweave which had some rust stains on it and had to be cut up into small squares. I tried over one, but it looked to bunched up as the fabric is soft. I actually want to do the puppy that is part of the designs in this book. Since I finished Nate's train, the little bear for Johanna is due in March and is more than half finished. I want to spend some time on my RR project and continue a few other projects. I committed to a Liberty Bell or Independence Hall as a special quilt design (all landmarks). That's due in the summer.
Hope everyone is well and that things are wrapped and under the tree. Tomorrow, think of me up to my elbows in chocolate chip cookie dough!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Look, I'm a Cartoon Character

I've never watched 'South Park', but thought it would be fun to make myself into a cartoon character like Mindy did on her blog. Gee, I really need a nose, don't I? Speaking of South Park, when it first came on, we got a note from 'concerned parents' about not letting the kids watch it. As you can imagine, that was several years ago and it's still on. Guess someone liked the show.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Penguin Power!

If you love nature and animals, you'll have to see this 85 minute National Geographic movie on the life of the Emperor Penguin and what they endure just to survive. The babies are so cute! And before they are born, the dads spend a lot of time holding the eggs up against their bellies to keep them warm. Amazing photography! If you click on any of these, they make great wallpaper.

Did I say broadband?

Man what a hassle! We cleaned out half of the closet (I found a lot of gloves and cute hats plus a few coats I haven't worn in a while) for the cable guy. Brian was up in the attic last night and said if the guy looked for the light fixture up there under the insulation he could drill a hole and drop the cable right through next it (top of closet). There's already a hole in the side wall of the closet for the speaker wire. The guy showed up about 3:15 and I showed him where the computer was and he asked where the cable was. I reminded him we don't have cable, we have a dish. You guessed it, they are coming back on Tuesday and it's a long drawn out process of running a few hundred feet of cable to our house, through the attic and to the computer. I could kick some butt!
I heard from my friend Karin who is in Nice, France on a cooking school trip. She is disappointed with the hotel but loves the scenery and the cooking school's creative student chefs. She went to Monaco and blew some Euros at the slots. I guess she is also going to Cannes, but over the weekend she'll have free time to sightsee. What a neat trip. I can't wait to hear all about it.
Tomorrow I'll probably wrap gifts. Our bedroom is the storage room and I am running out of room to walk around. It looks so bare under the tree anyway.

Hopefully broadband tomorrow night!

Yeah! It's finally going to happen-we hope. The guy showed up last Friday when it had just snowed and we had called to postpone it the night before. We are trying to figure out where he will run the cable. We're thinking through the attic, down through the closet in the family room and then through the wall so nothing is showing like it is now. If he does that, then Sean and I have to clean out the closet before he gets here. Ha!
Of course I'm not feeling chipper tonight. Who knew I had been PMSing? And my gum or tooth hurts. I hopes it's all hormonal. I just bawled out the dentist's receptionist for reminding me to pay a bill that I had a week to go on. Geez Louise. I told a pal that she probably put a Sicilian curse on me (pretty sure she is an Italian lady). She gets use to people ranting about their overblown charges and I bet she zoned me out and was really thinking- 'Send us the money, send us the money' or 'I need to add to my Santa collection' (she says she has 100s of them).
So anyway, wish us luck with the 'new fangled' broadband.

Reality shows finales

I really only enjoyed one out of three. The one that was a no-brainer was on tonight. Randall (originally from Philly)won 'The Apprentice' by no surprise to me. He's a brain-5 degrees, Rhodes scholar, etc. He'll be fixing up the casinos in Atlantic City.
Survivor should have rewarded Stephenie (a Delco girl-from Delaware County in PA like me) who was on her second episode of Survivor. She backstabbed a couple of big mouths-like they wouldn't have done that to her. Too bad.
The Amazing Race was won by a group of ornery siblings-3 brothers and a sister (just like my family). They were arrogant and rude. I was pulling for the Phil Donahue look-alike dad and his three daughters who came in 2nd place-a very close second.
TV will be boring for me in the next month or so. My brother in Florida likes to watch The Apprentice and Survivor too. There's always HGTV or TLC!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A cross stitched square for Nate

Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo? Track 49, can you lend me a dime...
I almost included the first part in the square, but then decided not to. Sure hope Nate likes this for his Love quilt.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Stitching Blogger question

Take a minute to reflect on your blog reading habits and preferences. What do you prefer to read in stitching blogs? (Progress, tips, family life, experiences, etc.) How much do you think you are influenced by other stitching bloggers? Question by AngelSan

I like to see finishes rather than works in progress. If it's something recognizable, than that is one thing, but please don't take photos of four rows of stitching.
I like to see new designs and how projects are finished or displayed.

Here are my new specs

These are both tinted and by Edie Bauer. I didn't realize the brown ones were so dark, but they don't seem dark when I am wearing them. Yes, I looked tired from too much running around today. The bottom ones are like a pewter color. Please note-hair has been edited as trip to hairdresser isn't until next week. ; )

Two trees

It's a bit crowded, but here is my Mom-mom's Martha Washington sewing cabinet with my cross stitched ornament tree and my gold fairy tree. I need a bigger XS tree.
Close up of the XS tree plus a few pieces displayed next to it. I made the hummingbird, Celtic cross and one you can't see of Amish girls and a quilt. The two teddies (red ribbon) was found at the Goodwill and I redid how it was finished. I did make the pieces on the table top too. Can you see the silver walnut hanging on the tree? It's a sewing kit I won off of eBay. I wired it and added it as a ornament.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Thank goodness it's Tuesday

Monday was so weird. First, Brian calls up and tells me someone who graduated with Sean was just arrested for a series of odd things he did Thanksgiving weekend. (Working at a newspaper, Brian gets to see police reports). Not only did he break into vehicles and residences, he set fire to them! And he totaled his car. They found out who it was by his fingerprints left at the scene (apparently they took fingerprints after the accident). He was charged with 8 counts of various charges though was released on $25K bail. His parents are really nice people. We have known these people (not friends, but fellow sports parents, school helpers and fellow church goers!) for at least 13 years. I don't know what got into this kid's head, but we are in shock about it. Good luck to them! It was on the news and on a local news' website too.
I went shopping yesterday (Wally World) and got most of my shopping completed. I can't really think of anything else I need to buy for Brian and Sean, but I need to get some gift cards for my nephews. I haven't been to my favorite shopping haunts like TJ Maxx and Tuesday Morning. Money is tight as the oil bill was outrageous and we will be needing more in a few weeks. We did get a break with the nicer weather as we usually have oil delivered in October instead of the end of November.
Brian said something mean last night when I complained about getting overwhelmed-he said 'Christmas is just one day'. Now why would he say that when he makes various shopping trips the weeks before Christmas? He really needs a little Christmas spirit.
Speaking of spirit-I would love to go to Disney World at Christmastime thanks to a Food Network special with Raven Simone (remember Rudy from 'The Cosby show'?) The decorations, food and entertainment look spectacular!
Sean will be finished finals tomorrow. I am hoping he'll remember my chicken salad hoagie for lunch today. He owes me as he didn't answer the door yesterday when the mail lady had a 22 pd package and now it has to be redelivered. My brother in Florida sent everyone in the families gifts here. I don't know why he did this as I live the farthest away from everyone. Mom's in more of a central location for us. I planned to go to mom's to help her with her tree (she is having an awful time assembling it) and now I have to wait for someone to be here for the package, though I noted on the receipt to just leave it on the front step. I don't want anyone stealing a big package.
Hope everything is running smoothly for you. Back to cleaning!

A few of my favorite things

This is a 'brass' Santa and sleigh banner that's at least 7" long
I bought this in a little Christmas shop in Mullica Hill, NJ on a trip to my brother's house one year. It has about a 18" cord and a rhinestone eye. It reminds me of the moon you see in those old silent movies.
A very small part of my snowmen collection. I love the miniature ones the best. I haven't even opened the other boxes of snowmen I have.

My Belsnickle collection. I just received 6 new ones from an eBay purchase. The little display came from eBay too! The detail is wonderful though overexposed here.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Oh Christmas tree!

I took this so the lights would show up. I am putting a teddy bear tea party in the front until I get the gifts under the tree. I haven't even opened another two crates of ornaments. Sean said there was quite enough on the tree. It's in a perfect spot next to the fireplace although it's right next to the dining room table (small house). I'll take some close-ups of my favorite ornaments. Some are over 20 yrs old! Many of the ornaments I used were Martha Stewart balls in various shades of pink with some clear ones too. I had them for 3 yrs and this is the first year I used them.
Here's what the tree looked like last year. Quite different I think!
I also added lights to the front hedges that run along the front of the house. I used: red/white, blue/white and gold/white.

Me and the little guy

A sneak peek of the tree with me holding Cosmo.
The tree is missing almost all its ornaments.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Pink and white

So I got my way with the tree. I told Sean I have been holding off on the pink and white lights until I thought he'd be away at college and I could do something other than multi-color lights. I like the different colors, but I wanted a different background for my Victorian looking ornaments. Sean didn't go away to college, not yet anyway. So the guys couldn't get in touch with their feminine side at all this afternoon. I'd say there are more white than pink, though the hot pink dominates the middle of the tree. I put the pink flowers around the top for a 'garden' for the angel to rest in. I'll post a photo tomorrow when everything is looking fine and dandy. I think I'll skip the ornaments today as I am bushed. Still getting over this cold. My sinuses are getting irritated from the dusty boxes. We need to change kitty litter to that crystal stuff.
We are loving all the yummy Trader Joe stuff I purchased the other night. We just had the herbed turkey lunchmeat and ginger/sesame chips for lunch. Sean piled into the 5 layer taco dip and taco chips.

So things are slowly getting finished. At least the upstairs-the basement is scary!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Snowy photos

Here are some of the photos I liked best. It's so cold and blustery too! The snow got a thin coating of ice so it's nice and crunchy.

Care for a seat?

The trees look like they've been painted partly white.

Yet another thing that wasn't stored away for the winter. Don't the cherubs look cold?
Moon windchime against the shadowed snow.

One man's junk... another man's treasure. I don't think these Goodwill
finds are junky at all! Especially when I got 11 things for under $18!
The roses have lights in the middle and were $2.99.
The little Victorian dolls are porcelain with curly hair-also $2.99 each.
The snowglobe in the rose box is an ornie-$1.99.
The little organist works and plays about 6 tunes-he's from 1982-99¢ (though I gave him some wings and made a ribbon cover for the battery).
The Santa salt shaker and little angel lady are old-49¢ each. I found a real Winnie the Pooh dressed like Santa along with a handmade ceramic snowman (with 'x's for eyes), a little Mickey Mouse collectable and a sparkly snowman head ornie. Most were 99¢

Stitching Blogger Question

Have you done any charity stitching, been in one, or would like to organize one?
My middle name should be 'charity' instead of Carol! LOL
The main org I stitch for-and I have stitched at least 30+ squares is 'Love Quilts'. Then I have done stitching for 'Cole's Quilts' and 'Operation Teddy Bear' plus a MSN Cross Stitch group. I am signed up to stitch for OECS (for older folks in nursing homes over in England), and I plan to do a few squares for them shortly as I have deadlines looming for LQs.
Charity stitching for kids is great. I love seeing photos of the sick kids with the finished quilts wrapped snugly around them. I stitch some things for family and friends (and they have to be really unusual), but I think giving away what you stitch to strangers takes commitment and love for your craft-well it takes it to a different level.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Update on today

So I'm kinda tired in a good way. I feel like I accomplished a few things-checked them off the 'to-do' list.
First I got to my mom's about 2. I was running late. The post office wasn't too bad, though the two women in front of me weren't prepared at all-the workers were boxing and taping their items. Totally unfair. I want to tell Barbara CL that I sent her a 'surprise' in the mail today. It's in appreciation of our love for cross stitching and it's nice to have a new friend like you. Thanks dear. I hope you like it.
Sean came from class and we went to the Kindy Christmas place-total bomb (expensive) except for their lights which they are known for. I got some pink ones-my guys are gonna love me this year and mom got gold lights. I think mine were $2.39 for 50 (I got two packages).
Next stop- Goodwill. We unloaded about 6 bags of stuff. I thank the man who dropped off at the same time so the worker didn't know who gave him 30 pairs of shoes. I got rid of Jane Seymour's pregnancy exercise book. Why I still had that is beyond me. We went into the store and they had tons of Christmas stuff. I look for the old things and got a little Santa salt shaker and some collectable ornaments from Hallmark. Sean got a nice American Eagle Outfitter sweater.
I decided to treat Mom and Sean to the Outback Steakhouse (no Ruby burger). Like Barbara (from her comment), I am not a big red meat eater, but I did get sirloin. Very good. I am glad mom liked her steak and she has some for tomorrow.
Fortunately, the American's Best Eyewear store was a few stores down from the restaurant. I had to wait, but I am getting two pairs for about $100 less than what Sean's cost from Lenscrafters (robbers). They are both Eddie Bauer. One pair is a rectangular tortoiseshell (my smart look) and the other are a goldish-green, the color is named 'oyster'. Both have tinted lens. They'll be ready next week. I thought I could get some for mom, but you need a prescription. Her frames are in terrible shape and they are new. I believe she sat on them.
We dropped by Macy's to get the makeup I get from Estee Lauder every year. I don't wear makeup around the house but never go out without it-too scary!
The last stop was Trader Joes. I love that store because of the variety. I wish we had one around here. I got some excellent goodies for tomorrow such as crumpets, layered taco dip, chocolate chip dippers, etc. I'll make some eggplant parmigiana for dinner.
It was nice for Sean to be able to follow me home. My brakes have been grinding a bit. I still have some shopping to do. I actually got a list from Brian-I put him on the spot and made him write one out. I'll be ordering a few things online.
Watch for snow photos tomorrow!

A little post

I'm off to my mom's before the 'big storm' that is suppose to blow through tonight. Sean heard it was suppose to be more of an ice storm. Oh great! You don't know how many times I landed on my butt because of slipping on ice.
I don't know if I am looking at eyeglass frames today. There is a new Christmas outlet store that opened near mom. They just opened several locations in the Philly area when there use to be just the one in South Philly. The Kindy's ads are so short and funny, but they make you want to check out the super bright lights, etc.
I also have some bags (shoes and Sean's old clothes that aren't probably that old) to drop off at the Goodwill and we will probably look around in there too.
I am craving a Ruby's Diner burger, so maybe Sean can come over after class and we can eat there for dinner.
Don't know if we will get the Comcast broadband tomorrow because of the weather as it's a late afternoon set up. Crossing fingers.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Update on eBay

I mentioned earlier that I had to report a seller to eBay as I never received my item. When I got on the computer this morning, I saw a resolution email letter from paypal. The seller had refunded me my money. I was glad, but sad too. Seems like I was being lied to big time. I looked at her auctions and she had relisted my item! So I had to leave her negative feedback. For two weeks she lead me on and then she hadn't even sent it. You don't lie to a seasoned eBayer like me. Now I have to look for another gift for my mom.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


It takes a little thing like finding an old letter to set me straight. I am sure you could tell by my previous post that I am feeling stressed by the looming holiday. I sat on the floor in the living to go through some of Sean's old school papers (from 6th grade and up!) that I need to move. They've been in a big green box for too long in the living room (nice decor). I am not lazy. Around the time those papers started to accumulate, I was suffering from the ill effects of Lyme Disease. I am still not 100%. I have other issues, but I try to do the best I can with little help from the guys here. So I saw the folded up note among the algebra and school papers with penciled printing and I opened it and caught my breath. It was from an old friend who really turned into more of an acquaintance over the years. Sandy hand wrote all her notes every year to me so I could catch up on what was going on with her family. What touched me was the part that said 'life is wonderful'. It was 1999, Sandy was 39 and had less than 4 years to live. I don't know what cancer took this sweet woman, but she is still touching me through her words today. I just sent off a card to her family yesterday. I had to continue to do that, for them and in memory of her.
I feel better now.

Packrats should skip Christmas

I am not kidding. I had a horrific experience when I went to look for pink ribbon. Now I knew Brian had the 'bright' idea of storing the Christmas tree on a shelf in the basement-the long way (wouldn't it make sense to store a rectangular box upright?). So everything that was on the shelf got put on other stuff that was already sitting on the floor. I had a bird and a half tonight. I'm not talking to you know who.
Today Brian stayed home because he didn't feel well. He's got the post nasal drip and a cough. He had himself all set to go the doctor (he made an appt!), and I told him to try one of the new cough medicines that each of us bought separately yesterday. So he cancelled the appt and saved us the co-pay. I gave him the run-down: Do you have a fever? Did you cough all night? Are you bringing anything up? (hope you aren't eating). No to all. I told him he has to take the medicine faithfully which he hasn't been doing.
I also have to clean around the computer. What a mess. Books and papers everywhere. Brian had a whole trash can full of papers just sitting next to his chair. Earlier I was adding books to the bookcase and stacking by category on the floor. I can't take all the dust, so I threw in the towel for the night.
I had to report a seller to paypal as I never received my item from them. I won something for my mom on the 19th of Nov. and paid for it the next day. The seller made me add $2 for using paypal. I never do that to my bidders. Then she said she'd send it out the next day. So to make a long story short, I am still waiting. I am also out $26 as she charged $8 for shipping a rather light item. I thought I'd give a new seller a whirl and now this. It's now up to paypal to help me as that is who eBay referred me to. eBay owns paypal anyway. Wish me luck.
I have the fireplace mantel almost decorated. I have to go and organize the stuff that is falling out of the bags and boxes (that's what is bugging me and not being able to reach the shelf). I have to wear a dust mask to work down there too.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Keepin' husbands on their toes

Need I say more? Carter Oosterhouse is a carpenter (thinking kitchen) and all around nice guy (Three Wishes tv show with Amy Grant) and he's so cute! He's wearing a John Deere hat (my gr, gr, gr uncle-you knew that right?) And I could be his somewhat older sister! ; )

Getting there

I was bound and determined to get out of the house today. My cold is past the endless tissue stage into the Elmer glue stage. So when the first snowflakes started to fly, I really got myself going and gathered up about 7 packages plus all my Christmas cards to mail. The post office wasn't too bad. I usually am really orderly and they love that about me-lol. But, because my package to Ireland was larger or something, I had to fill in another larger custom's form. I hate saying what's in the package as it's suppost to be a surprise. Then some of my Christmas cards were bulky and needed more postage. I bought a few sheets of 23¢ cent stamps and stood and 'weighed' each card (I can determine postage pretty well now) out in the lobby. I still have about 8 packages to mail over the next few weeks. Some can be stamped by me.
I even managed to get a decent food order though I forgot dish soap and dry cat food. Darn! I was trying to fill my brown paper bag with frozen things and the deal was to get an extra 10% off those items. I saved an extra $4.00!
Not much decorating here. I think this weekend looks promising for the inside decor, mainly the tree. We bought an artificial one last year that opens like an upside down umbrella. I did put up my Snowman triple wreath that I made a few years ago. He has cone shaped clear lights on him.
Tomorrow I have to clean for the Comcast guy-basically around the computer. I don't know where he will run the cable for broadband.
Does anyone know if you can get sick from someone who has a cold sore other than getting one yourself? My mom had a nasty cold sore (I don't remember her having any before this one) at Thanksgiving and then I got the bad cold, so I was wondering if she gave me a virus.

Mister snowman (from a few years ago). He actually looks better with his lights turned on!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Puffy eyes

I look so attractive with my puffy eyes. Even Brian said, 'Are you sure you don't need some medicine, you don't look so good.' Looks like I've been crying over 5 sad movies in a row. I am sick of being sick with this dumb cold. I haven't had a cold like this in ages. I have a Christmas schedule that I try to adhere to every blasted year. The cards are written out. The decorations outside are still in their boxes. I can only do so much.
I made dinner and the chicken was like shoe leather. I used my George Foreman grill knock-off (it's like 10 yrs old anyway) to make the chicken have those grill marks. It looked good. Then I dumped it in the sauce and the toughness took over. It was a Betty Crocker box mix I was trying to 'doctor' up (doctor, ha ha!) It was similar to the chicken dish I love at the Olive Garden. I did print out that recipe which is lost in here somewhere.
I actually finished a cross stitched item as a gift. It's not finished all the way. I need motivation to finish it and three other things, like a body power surge. I got other gift things together to analyze what I can send this week and what I can send next week.
I sure hope I can get out tomorrow as I've been house bound for 4 days. We are expecting a few inches of snow in the late afternoon or early evening.
Darn, need a tissue. I'm investing in Puffs.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Stitching blogger question

Do you have rules in the way you stitch? (i.e., Do you start in the middle? Do you determine which blocks to stitch first? Do you always start from the top or the bottom? Do you have special paths to prevent wasting thread?)
After a few decades of stitching this is what works best for me. I start up at the left hand corner and work down. I tried in the middle, but working up is frustrating. My friend Nancy said she starts in the right corner and works over to the left. Not necessarily a leftie trait, my dear.

12 hours

Yep, almost 12 hours in bed for lil' old me. I haven't been sleeping well because of my post nasal drip. My cold has finally settled in my sinuses, lucky me. I could barely keep my eyes open by 9:30 last night. By 10:15 I hit the hay. I normally am up until I get tired until about 1 am or so, so my guys knew I wasn't up to par. I didn't get to sleep for a while though. I was up at 5:45 am eating something and letting the cat up. I then went back to bed until 10. Exciting, isn't it? Brian has a cold too and I am praying Sean won't get it as final week is coming up.
All my Christmas cards are filled in and stamped. I have to make sure I have enough postage on some of the heavier ones.
Phase Two for Christmas is decorating outside. With my cold, I thought I'd skip that until next week or so unless someone else wants to decorate. We are suppose to get some snow, so that may have to be postponed anyway.
You should have seen me trying to cross stitch last night. I was missing the holes and it took 10 minutes to do 10 stitches. Needless to say, I gave that up.
I feel better today, but I'm not pushing myself to do anything except to maybe clean off the dining room table. That seems tame enough.
I just read on the website 'Dead or Alive' (we were wondering if someone they were showing on tv was still with us and he still is-Sherwood Schwartz the creator of the Brady Bunch is 89) and I saw that comedic actress Wendie Jo Sperber had passed away at age 47. She was the cute chubby actress on 'Bosom Buddies', Tom Hanks first (and only?) tv show. She had been an 8 year survivor of breast cancer and helped to promote the breast cancer postage stamps. Sorry to read this.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The first of December

I can't believe it's here already. I managed to order three gifts (four if you count something I ordered for myself) from today(they had $1 shipping). I found a site that tells you which online sites have discounts and discount codes. I'll check more into them. I am not buying alot, so I want to be very selective.
As I type, I am printing off about 10 photo collage newsletters. They are taking forever. I had to buy two new ink cartridges and nicer paper today-$30! I had gone out late to run errands as I am still sluggish, but not terrible. I didn't go to my mom's again. I'll try tomorrow, but that's also Friday, so I don't know what I'll do.
Earlier I was proofreading a paper that Sean is writing with his English group on the recent wars in the former Yugoslavia. Talk about dry material! They read 'The Bone Woman', so they had to pick a subject relating to that. I think it needs some more tweaking.
I almost have all my Christmas cards written out. I plan to skip some people who just never send any back. I am also sending to a few online friends who haven't written lately. I've been friends with these couple of people for about 7-8 years. It's too bad when they stop all communication. One has a rare condition and I was afraid to call her. I did a search and she had made a page about people sending cards to her mom who has lung cancer. It hasn't been updated since early September. Hopefully my card will answer some questions.

Your self-esteem

Found this on Mariska Hargitay's website (saw a link on another blog that said she was expecting!)
Excellent Sense Of Self

You are great at weathering storms and picking yourself up when you are down. You know where to go to get help when you're not feeling so good about yourself, whether it's a friend, relative or someone else who you know sees you in the best light. Not only do you feel like you are a worthy person but you also feel strong enough to be there for others and it is through helping others that you also garner some of your sense of self. The fact that you feel you have a lot to be proud of means that you can take even the smallest accomplishments and recognize how they can be just as important as the bigger ones. You are the kind of person who is good at looking at the big picture. You know that what is happening today is not necessarily true for the rest of your life and you are strong enough to get past the bad days—you know that as time moves on, you are only going to get better and better!

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