Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A new post on The Big C

Cafe Press Shirt

Trying to buy gifts for Nate this year, and still not going ridiculously overboard was hard to do this year because for the most part, I don't have a car. So no running out and picking up "littles" here and there. Consequently, I did the majority of my buying over the web.

Nate really like John Wayne, and with the remake of "True Grit" coming out, I had to buy him the best version as a Christmas present - the original, with John Wayne in it! I also mosied over to Snap Fish to make him a new mouse pad, figuring that everyone needs a new mouse pad. I know the one that I have, is the one that came with the computer. It is thin and bent up, and cuts my hand when I get close to it's bent up edges.

I didn't know it, Nate has a desk, no computer.

Then I mosied over to Cafe Press for this wise guy shirt. I knew I was about out of time (yes, I really procrastinated this year) , so I asked them to please wrap it, before sending it. They did a fantastic job! No one could guess what the gift was, and everyone in the house shook or squeezed it at some time or other. When Nate opened it, I was really pleased with how well the picture was printed out.
Lastly, I know that we just had winter storm Adrianna. It ruined my son's Christmas visit and now the snow that came with it is having the good grace to start melting away. I can't wait for it to be gone, and for winter to be over.

I am not giving it one more line of blog!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Seance

I am reading another Heather Graham book called "Seance." I am enjoying it very much. It's just scary enough to keep the pages turning, but not enough to give me nightmares.

At this moment, I am trying to write a story called "The Development," and I found it interesting that the two of us chose to reveal what is in the killer's mind, without saying who the killer is.

I'm thinking of posting bits of my story on my blog as I write. May-be the feedback will keep me motivated, thinking and writing? I don't think that I am the solitary writer type.

Baking Soda and Vinegar or Frugal Cleaning

It's dawned on me that I haven't posted about being frugal in a while. I'm still doing the frugal living, as best I can with the UNCONVERTED, but I haven't written about it.

At Christmas, my daughters were making a lot of cookies, and I was doing a lot of cooking. We were all using the sink a lot, and it showed! See the first picture.

It was a complete, dirty, mess. I was ready to start cleaning it, when I thought, "You know, I should take pictures of the before, during and after of the sink to show that the frugal, non chemical cleaners really do work."

So, here is the sink before cleaning.

And this is the sink after sprinkling, ultra cheap baking soda on it.

Then I sprayed vinegar (I keep white vinegar in a
plastic spray bottle) on top. The big globs of white in the sink is where the baking soda and vinegar have reacted with each other.

Then I scoured the sink using a paper towel (yes, it should have been with a rag, but today I used a paper towel) and then rinsed the sink out.

And this is the sink afterward. See how clean and shiny it is? And no chemicals to hurt your septic system or the environment were needed!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Unconverted

So who am I to be the Christmas Tree Nazi? I'm not. Happily for all family members who preferred a tree bigger than my 3' kitchen tree, we did not wait for the tree we liked (the winner was BJ's) to go on sale but bought it mere hours before Santa arrived.

It was the second to last one.

But in keeping with my "less is more" mantra, dear heart and the kids that were home at the time, made paper snowflakes for the tree.

And that huge orange-y cylinder on the tree? Was the Cafe Press shirt of The Original American Pickers wrapped and sent by Cafe Press. Dear Heart knew it was for him, but had no idea what it was. I have to say that our experience with Cafe Press went very well. The wrapping was great, and the shirt came out fantastic. Everyone in the family got a laugh out of it. (You can see it on my webpage until Dear Heart models it.)

Let me remind you that this picture was taken fairly early in the morning after a late night for me. It's a mug from two of my son's and says $*#@!!!! Cancer, which is how I feel about Cancer.

And I got my second ever in my life box of Godiva Chocolate. Okay, so much for keeping things simple. Mea Culpa!! Mea maxissimus culpa!! But oh! Mmmmmm, deliciouso!!!

To end this post, on a happy and sad note, a cancer buddy stopped fighting with cancer on December 23rd and spent Christmas with her Savior. I am so happy that she is no longer in pain, but still sad. I always feel sad when one of my prayer and cancer buddies decide it's time to stop fighting, even though I understand why. So please remember Dovie and prayer for the repose of her soul, and pray for comfort to her children, Sissy and Harrison.

And have yourself a basic, happy and traditional Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Three Days Before Christmas

I can't believe that it's only three more days until Christmas!! I'm trying to stay within the spirit; to not only count my blessings, but to also really be appreciative of them. To forgive everyone who has wronged me, even people who I don't speak to (because of distance or because or circles just don't intersect anywhere), not just by my words, but truly, in my heart.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.

There had been rumblings among the unconverted that they might want to get a live tree that is slightly bigger, well a few feet bigger, than my little kitchen tree. Until they saw the price, added the stand (that would be used this year only) and realized it was the same price as the prime rib we're having for Christmas Dinner.

Which is a Christmas surprise. But I'm not nervous to write it here, because the people who will be surprised don't read my blog anyway. Hehehe!!!!

I have to admit, some of my Holiday Spirit has been abraded by the commercials that the major retailers have put on the television airwaves these last few weeks. One is Target and their catchy little song as a couple pop through their house hiding gifts inside of stew pots, under Frosty's hat etc. Then they ruin the whole thing with:

I don't mean to be mean
I don't mean to be vicious
But you're never gonna find my Christmas!

Really?? No, I mean, really?

Not to be outdone is crassness, WalMart's catchy little Jingle is "Less money, More Christmas!"

So somebody, please tell me when Christ's Mass became synonymous with gifts or presents?

And no, this is not me being bah! humbug -ish! Nothing could be further from the truth. I love Christmas. I love the celebration and traditions of Christmas.

However, someone needs to tell the retailers of the United States of America, that going into debt or even spending copious amounts of money is not the spirit or tradition of Christmas.

Neither is having family feuds or sniping at what is supposed to be a festive and joyful meal. I couldn't believe it when I read in a newspaper article that people dread going home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What is really annoying me, is even though I've denounced the spend! spend! spend! of Christmas, I every so often mentally go through my Christmas list and the thoughtful gifts that I bought and wonder, Gosh, is this enough? Should I have eschewed thoughtful and non-extravagant gifts for the big "Christmas maker gifts?"

Then when I come back to sanity, I want to kick myself for my doubts. For my momentary desertion to the other side!

After all, who's birthday is it anyway?

I can't wait for Christmas to get here and I'm not proud of some of my reasoning because part of the reason is that I can't wait for my vacillating between buy and buy-more to be over. I don't want any more "buy" Christmases, no matter if the economy recovers, or even if the economy becomes super - heated again.

Hopefully, next Christmas will be easier.

Cat Scan Update
My CAT scan Update

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Small Tree

As you may well remember, we were hit by the 200 year storm last March. Our lower level was flooded, and we lost a lot of items that were in storage including my son's brand new carpet (which I blogged about buying) and our artificial, 6' Christmas Tree.

Ever since November, my husband and I have been looking for a replacement. We've gone to every store near us, and when we were visiting my sons in New York, we even went to their local stores to look. WalMart, Target, K-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, The Christmas Tree Shop, Rite Aide, we've tried them all. The trees were either too tall, too short, had papery needles that I didn't like or trust, was to skimpy, or was just too expensive. So far, we don't have a new Christmas tree.

"We could always get a live tree." my husband said.

"Live as in balled, or live as in cut?"

"Whichever." he replied refusing to get into that conversation again.

I don't mind a live, balled tree. The only problem is, to get a tree that is big enough, you run into a quite considerable price tag.

I don't like cut trees. If we lived in the wilderness, or on enough acreage, where we could re-use the tree, I wouldn't mind a cut tree. In the winter, we could make it into a refuge for little animals and a feeder for birds. Come spring, we could put it through a chipper and make it mulch. But we don't live on acreage anymore, we live in a development where the neighbors get cranky at seeing brown, tinder dry trees that could set the whole neighborhood on fire sitting in their neighbor's yard.

The idea of ending a tree's life, so that it can end up with a bunch of other trees in a landfill makes me feel depressed. Even when I am reassured that the tree was planted on a tree farm for just that purpose, and that it's replacement has already been replanted on the same farm.

It's just hippies like me, that go out into the wilderness to cut down a tree these days. So there!!!! I've been told.

So I was home, and my husband was at work. I was looking around my small, little (I'm being redundant, I know), very un-Christmas-y home when the thought came to me "Heck! Both of us are too stubborn to buy the tree we like at such an expensive price until they have their half off sale. Why don't I put up my little kitchen tree in the living room, since there isn't room for a kitchen tree in this house anyway?"

So I did. My kitchen tree is about three foot tall, and fiber-optic. It looked great in my kitchen decorated with cookie cutters. This year it looks good in my living room decorated with candy canes. May-be at some time I'll put some garland on it, but for right now, it really looks good in it's simplicity.

If you read my previous blog, I'm in a "less is more" mindset this holiday season anyway.

"Really? You're okay with a three foot tree this year?" my husband asked with a little disbelief after he came home.

"Yes I am. It's a beautiful little tree, you know I've always loved it."

My husband had to agree, the tree was pretty.

Does anyone expect that people who have their Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday after Thanksgiving so the whole family can be together would be tied to the tradition of a full sized tree?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When Less is More

Perhaps it all started with the dreaded question "What do you want for Christmas?"
I realized that there were many little "remembrance" gifts that I would like to get, but there was nothing that was a "lovey" gift.
Do you know what remembrance gifts and lovey gifts are? A "remembrance" gift, is just a small gift costing a few dollars or even handmade to "remember" you to the season. In other words, the gift is a mere trifle.
Now a "lovey" gift is a whole 'nother story! A "lovey" is the gift that you circle in the Wish Book or a catalogue. It's the gift you dream about at night and you daydream about. It's the one gift you desire above all others. It's the gift that "makes" your Christmas.
This year, I desire no "lovey" gift. I really and truly realize that I already have everything that is important to me. I have children that love me. I have a husband that loves me. I will be spending Christmas with the majority of my children and my husband.
There is nothing more that I desire.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


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