Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday Misc.

--We had three nice Christmases - two with Mike's family and one with mine.  Always nice to see family once again.

--I took my sister to the airport this afternoon.  We met Andrew and his girlfriend at an Atlanta Bread Company for lunch first, which was nice.  She got safely on her way, while I went into town to a bookstore I always like to visit.  A waste of time and gasoline - it is closed until Monday, January 4.  So I came back home, and made a detour to take a huge bag of stuff to my favorite thrift store, one run by Mennonites to support an orphanage in the Caribbean.  (It's clean, well-organized, and well-run.  And I can usually find decent skirts there.)  I noticed ominously that there were no cars in the parking lot.  Sure enough - closed until Monday, January 4.

--Each Sunday for months I have faithfully cut out the Sunday crossword from the comics in the newspaper, and since it has been a very busy semester, I just "filed" them on a stack on the bottom shelf of the end table.  This vacation I've started doing some of them.  The one I finished yesterday was quite interesting--the long clues all were about various things that are "not found online."  For instance - "Poe story not found online?" or "Rink group not found online?"  etc.  And the first few answers I got (in these cases, "The Purloined Letter" and "Curling team") oddly had letters missing.  Then I realized--the answer to all of the answers was that "URL" was missing.  All the answers contained the letters URL somewhere.  Either someone is incredibly clever or someone has too much time on his hands to make up crosswords.

--If you have too much time on your hands:  Some of the other clues were "Rare plants not found online?"  "Coffee bean holders not found online?"  "Stitch pattern not found online?""Alien greeting not found online?"  "Hard candies not found online?"  I'll put the answers at the end.

--I love rain.  I love to sleep to the sound of rain.  But it is incredible the amount of rain we have had this fall.  It is better than drought.  But it is a lot of rain.

--Several things to get done this week.  I have a fleece blanket to sew (one that matches our bed better than the USC Gamecocks that I throw on top of it now, when needed), some cherry jam to make, Christmas stuff to get put away, and several other small projects.  But this is a great week for such things.  I love this week every year.

--Finally--the Christmas card that did not get out as early as it should have.  So--Happy New Year!!

Answers to above: Fo(ur l)eaf clovers, B(url)ap sacks, Knit one p(url) two, Take me to yo(ur l)eader, and So(ur l)emon drops.  Clever!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

18 1/2

Well, I am down 18 1/2 pounds since early July.  That might not seem like much for that much time, but it was hard won.  For the last month I've been stuck at a plateau, but that is OK too.  Just maintaining during the holidays is good enough.

But even 18 1/2 pounds is enough to notice some significant changes.

  • My clothes fit better.
  • I don't snore as much.
  • I haven't had any reflux (not major, but still not easy to deal with in the middle of the night) for months.
  • It is easier to bend down to pick things up off the floor.
  • And most of all, my knee is not giving me as many problems.
This isn't something I care to address often in a public forum.  But it's like a Christmas present to myself.  Happy 18 1/2!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday's Fave Five, 12/18/15

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

This is actually being written on Thursday, as the next 36 hours will be a zoo. Finish the day, make cookie dough for tomorrow and bars for tonight, all-school Christmas program tonight, half-day school tomorrow, then my homeroom is coming to my house for a party.  Then I will be completely, totally spent.  So I will write this today and then set it to upload tomorrow morning.

1. I had a very nice birthday on Tuesday.  We went out to a nice restaurant on Monday night; I got many remembrances on Tuesday; and Andrew bought and repaired a doorknob that night after I went to bed.  Some people may scoff at practical presents; I love them!!

2. I read recently that the lesson plan for all teachers for the week before Christmas is:
  • Scrape students off the ceiling.
  • Repeat.
and that is really true.  But it has been a good week.  Spirits are very high, and we have a good group of students here, so it's a good thing.

3. Our neighbor Dawn gave us a beautiful poinsettia that is gracing the center of our kitchen table.  It is huge - I've never had such a big one.  That was really kind of her.  

4. I got to play for a quartet on Sunday Morning - "Oh, What a Savior" - and it was really fun.  Really fun.  Sometimes playing is stressful; sometimes it is fun.  This was fun.  :-) 

5. And finally, the lady who helps me once a month bought my elliptical--and it wasn't even actively for sale.  It's been sitting on the porch ever since we filled in the pool and took everything out of the pool house (thinking we were going to sell the house).  She posted on FB that she was looking for one.  I don't use it much; I prefer going to the gym.  So she bought it.  A little extra Christmas $$ in the pocket--

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"The Cherry On Top" of the Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a good day.  We went out the night before to a nice restaurant, and all day yesterday I received birthday greetings by cards, email, Facebook, text, and in person.  That's especially nice for a December birthday, because some years, through no one's fault, December birthdays do get a little overlooked - just because of the busyness of the season.

Also yesterday, the knob on the pantry door jammed completely.  Mike had to use a screwdriver to get it open.  It's been more and more difficult to get it open in recent weeks, but was one of those home maintenance jobs that gets overlooked sometimes simply because there is no urgency to get it done now, when other things are more demanding.  But I am getting some (I assume) arthritis in my right thumb, and opening that door was becoming more and more of a challenge.

This morning, functioning in the usual early-morning fog, I went to the pantry, and immediately noticed that it opened fairly easily.  More easily than it should have just because Mike had forced it open last night.  Then it added up.  Andrew and his girlfriend had gone out last night, bought a new knob, and after we had gone to bed, he installed it on the pantry door.  It looks like, but is nicer than, the old one.  I am very grateful.

It was a great birthday present.  Kind of like a cherry on top of the "sundae" of a good day.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday's Fave Five, 12/4/15

LINK to Friday's Fave Five Host Blog

 1. On Monday night I got to go to our local Civic Center to hear Carly Fiorina speak.  She is intelligent, articulate, and can answer town hall questions very well.  I was very impressed with her.  I was also next in line to have my picture taken with her when she was whisked away - so this is the best picture available.  It would be great if she could debate Hillary - that would be very interesting!!

2. Andrew's lady friend loves to decorate.  So on Tuesday, Mike and I left the house, and they set up and decorated the tree, as well as put up a lot of other decorations.  What a wonderful treat to come home to a tree that was decorated better than any tree in recent memory.  No pics yet but they will follow.

3. Having five days off for Thanksgiving was really nice.  My sister and her friend were here from Texas, visiting our folks.  We had a 1:00 Thanksgiving dinner, and later in the evening went to be with Mike's family at an oyster roast.  Good times.

4. It's been a very hectic week, but I made it through just fine.  Bed will look very good tonight, however - after I get home from helping in the nursery at church during a Christmas concert being held tonight.  Whatever possessed me to offer to help on a Friday night, after a busy week - who knows.  But it was a good week.

5. Today we had a talent contest at school.  It was really a skit contest, and each class came up with something to share.  My homeroom did a parody of "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch."  We played the YouTube on the projector, and on the stage, they pantomimed the activity on the YouTube.  This picture is our Grinch.  I found his hat at Party City the other day, got a black T-shirt and some lime green paint, and painted the Grinch body on that (following a T-shirt pattern I found on the internet).  We didn't place, but they had a great time.  All the school came, and there were some great skits.  The seniors sold snacks for a fundraiser, so it was a good afternoon all around, and great for PR and morale.