Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Checking out for a few.

I'll be out a few days. It's not that I don't love y'all, but I'm going to be loving on my people. I also have to take the extra time to make certain that the child doesn't try to leave in just tights again. :)

So, I feel a little behind. I'm not overwhelmingly so, but I feel I am. When I look over the past 3 1/2 weeks, it looks like this:

- Sick for a week, having had to take off a day.
- Worked 44 hours instead of 24 hours the next week, making up for the day I lost and some.
- This past week was spent on the nature tree demo, including 13 hours worked from home and 2 3/4 hours worked on Sunday.

That brings me to this week. I managed to get to the grocery this evening, though dead beat tired. I decided that though the frozen turkeys were on sale for 59 cents a pound, it was well worth the extra 90 cents/lb to buy a fresh one. To my delight, I found that they ran out of frozen and marked the fresh down to 99 cents per pound to try to soften the blow. That made me so happy!

Though I usually go to the local discounter for the produce for my coleslaw, I opted to purchase it at my local grocery 5 blocks up. I figure that by the time I go to that store, that is time lost I don't have, I'll spend extra I don't need to and they may be out of the items I need anyhow. The buck or two extra it cost is worth the savings of money, time and sanity.

I've also made the decision to dry the clothes in the dryer for another week. Get me past this week. To my credit, I did hang two loads on the line. I just haven't had the time to rotate the laundry.

Hubs has taken on the project of redesigning shelves in the basement, so he is hard at work. The work that he has gotten done! He has our big Target wire shelves set up, so now I look like a grocery. He made one shelf for appliances and little used dishes. I have a food shelf and a cleaning shelf. How that makes me happy.

While at the grocery, I decided to buy a baked good for the Post Office Thanksgiving. Our local post office has a Thanksgiving dinner for any strays that don't have a place to go. As a PTA project, K-'s school provides all of the desserts for the dinner. Though I said I would bake, I've run out of time. They are getting a gorgeous strudel. I'm cheating, but I am providing.

I also decided to purchase Libby pumpkin for the pie, rather than use the pumpkin that I have stored in our basement. Right now, I haven't the time to cook the pumpkin and process it for a pie, but I will in a few weeks. Until then, Libby to the rescue.

Tomorrow is uniform free day, so I have a nice, comfy cotton dress for K- to wear. Hooray for no polyester uniform to have to iron.

I'll be out until Monday, so as to take time to slow down, show thanksgiving and love on my people. My plan Thursday through Sunday is:

Wednesday evening:
Bake pies and cornbread.
Prepare stuffing for turkey (celery, onion, apples, carrots and herbs).
Dress turkey and have ready to place in the oven Thursday morning.
Tidy house and clean bathroom.
Set rolls out to rise before bed.

Sleep in.
Bake rolls.
Roast turkey, bake cornbread stuffing, steam potatoes for mash, cook corn and make glazed carrots.
My parents at 2 PM. Bring 24 rolls and ramen noodle cole slaw.
Enjoy a holiday movie and games with my people.
In-law's over for pie in the evening.

Black Friday shopping with my sister. My shopping is done, so I'm going with her as support staff and a fun girl thing to do.
Decorate the Christmas tree!

Jammie day?
Decorating done?
Make some kid bracelets to sell.

Church door greeter at 8:30 AM.
No choir practice in evening.
Roll around in our need to do nothing.

Please have a wonderful balance to your week. Take a moment to stop. Sit and truly think of what you are thankful for. Don't be stressed out. The world isn't going to end if the stuffing is a little smooshy or if your carrots are underdone. Laugh and be happy that you have precious time together.

See you on Monday, my friends.

Smiles are included above.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Hodge Podge Day

Quite a few funny and/or neat things. Allow me to share.

1. Remember the Barbie Glam Vacation Home bit with Amazon the other day? Well, we took it as a sign that perhaps we should purchase something else. I saw the Barbie Party Cruise on sale in the Target ad for $29.99. I went up before work and scored it. Hooray! It was a $50.00 boat for $30.00. We were thrilled. The funny part is later on.
2. Both of my bosses were very pleased with the demo I did. Even the big man himself stopped me to tell me how nice my tree was. His wife, my other boss, called me to make mention of it and to say that a compliment from her husband is a big deal as he doesn't hand those out often. :)
3. They used the photographs that I took on the website and their social networking page. :)
4. Hubs and K- came to visit me at work so that they could see my trees. K- came in, took her coat off and made herself at home. I looked at her and noticed something missing. HER SKIRT! Oh sweet Pete! Where was the child's skirt? My husband's response? "You mean, those aren't pants?" as he is pointing at her cotton tights. "No honey, they are tights. They are not pants." He brought my child in without pants to see me. To his credit, she was covered. He didn't even notice that she managed to put her shoes on backwards. Her coat is long enough that I had her put it back on and she looked fine. I'm still laughing about it.
5. He brought me dinner from Wendy's.
6. My co-worker says that Hubs and his loving actions towards me are "dreamy."
7. A few of my co-workers have decided that Hubs is a cute guy. I think so, too. How's that for the kids saying that he was ugly in school?
8. I went by the craft store afterwards and returned some sprigs that I didn't need. (Since they didn't come from my yard, I felt like I was cheating anyhow.) I found that they will have a craft time for the kids on December 4 and 5. Fun!
9. I told my MIL that I would stop by Toys R Us to pick up the Barbie Stable that she wanted for K-. I cruised in and they didn't have it anymore. As I was talking to my MIL, I turned around and laughed. What did they have?
10. The Barbie Glam Vacation Home. Brand new. On the shelf. 5 of them. In front of me. The very item that I couldn't get from Amazon until January 6-21 and the lady at Mattel herself said was delayed for release until 2010. So,
11. With the encouragement of my MIL, I bought the Barbie Glam Vacation Home (she was on the phone with me and talked me through it even though it wasn't on sale.) MIL is buying the Barbie Party Cruise from me, which in the end was the same price as the stable that she didn't get and probably won't find.
12. While at TRU, I looked for the Ariel and Horse that my niece is aching to have. I found one on the shelf. It was $21.00 for the set and as she doesn't need the doll, my sister said to snatch it up since we found it online for $49.00 for the same blasted thing.
13. Then she wanted me to get the Polly water park. Turns out it was a Roller Coaster.
14. Then she wanted me to check out Liv dolls. They were out.
15. So, I checked out, had a total over $100.00, so I saved $10.00. Hoorah!
16. My Target purchases this morning earned me a $5.00 gift card with them. (We also bought her this for her birthday. She'll be so excited, as I purchased Hubs the vintage one for Easter. She's having a Star Wars birthday. Oh, how that child loves Star Wars.)
17. I turned in my homemade work-from-home time card today and they had no problem with paying me my home time. The bookkeeper didn't even question it. In fact, she asked if I had purchased anything because they wanted to be certain that they reimbursed me. How nice!

Smiles sprinkled in above.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It is finished.

Please, please, o' pretty please, if you can tell where I work from these photos, please do not mention it in the comments. I'm all weird about loving to stay anonymous on the blog. E-mail me about it! I'd love to talk about my lovely place o' employment privately with you. Thanks!

Now with that out of the way (sorry, but I'm sure y'all understand), I had my tree decorating demo this weekend. Mom came to help me. Yes, I have thanked her profusely.

It was a lovely day and I did the demo out in our middle courtyard. I did have a crowd when I started, but I think that I bored them to tears when I had to do the initial tying in of the sprigs and things. I did end up having one couple that stayed for an hour and 45 minutes.

Without further chattering on, here are some ideas of decorating with natural elements:

Spiky balls made with Sweet Gum Fruits. I sprayed the Sweet Gum Fruits silver, glued half cut round/pointy ended toothpicks in each hole, then sprayed with silver again. When the paint was still wet, I hit them with a little of the tinsel glitter that I used.

The Sweet Gum Fruits wreath that I made. My boss loaned me her Martha Stewart Living magazine that had this in it. All it is are Sweet Gum Fruits lightly sprayed with silver (I liked to not have them perfectly silver, so as to keep some natural color in them), lightly sprayed the front of the small straw wreath with silver paint, hot glued enough to floral pins to make the outer and inner rings, then glued the fruits on at a diagonal. When I was finished, I tapped some white school glue on top of the fruits and sprinkled the whole thing with some of the tinsel glitter that Martha Stewart is now selling at Michael's. I would love to cover the earth in that stuff. It. is. wonderful.

The milkweed pods from my yard. They were a little moldy looking, so I sprayed the outside with silver, pulled the inside guts out of some of them with really long tweezers, clear coated the fluffy seeds and finished by painting white school glue onto the interior of the pods and sloshed some of my favorite tinsel glitter in them. Yum.

Rather than going about it in a traditional way, I strung cranberries onto floral wire. The top cap is a drilled whole nutmeg. I just took the floral wire, turned a little curly Q at the top (to keep the nuts from falling off), put either the whole cranberries or drilled buckeyes on the wire and finished them off with an ear clutch (the rubber stoppers for your earrings.)

I also strung cranberries on memory wire used for bracelets. (Cut the memory wire in half or they will be way too long.) Just bend the ends with a little loop for the ornament hook. I also made some bay leaf poinsettias. I admit that they were the last thing I did, thought that they were a little hokey, but people loved them. Who knew?

I filled a lot of clear ornaments. This one is filled with hydrangea. It is a little tricky, but it is possible to get the full flower in there whole. You just need to use your gentle handies.

Lavender. The nice thing about the filled ornaments is that you can smell their scent. I think that the warmth of the Christmas lights will really make them smell lovely. It's a theory, anyhow.

Sedum from our backyard. Lightly and patch-like sprayed with gold, then I tapped some white school glue on the top with a flat ended artist paint brush and sprinkled some fantastic tinsel glitter on top.

Some dried Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate (vase number 1) and some Obedient Plant seed pods (vase number 2) sprayed gold (they looked bad before I sprayed them).

My tools. The glitter I've been singing the praises of (You go, Martha!) and the spray paint I used.

The tree before I loved on it.

The tree after I loved on it and I promise that this picture is dreadful. It looks lovely in person, but it is sitting at a slight angle and I didn't want to put this on there, but I figured that someone would give me flak about not putting a full picture on here. (Yes, the run-on was as exhausting to type as it was to read.)
Here's at least a better picture of the top of the tree!

Some close-up shots. I figure that they are self-explanatory.

My boss seemed happy. The crowd seemed happy. I have reclaimed my living room from what Hubs termed as "the forest floor." Hooray!

Smiles in my weekend:
- Getting the demo done. I'm not a very good public speaker. I was answering questions and tuning out the view of the public so as to not make myself nervous and little did I know that one of my best friends was not only in small crowd, but was asking me questions that I was answering in full! I realized that she was there and we got a good laugh. She told me that she just thought I was being professional. I told her that I was just being an air head!
- Hubs fixed the tub drain. Now the water goes down without coaxing it to do so.
- K- helping me do some of the ornaments for the demo.
- That I didn't burn the house down when the glue gun went out. Thankfully, I was sitting right next to it when it went, "ZZZT! ZZZT!" [Insert smoke, orangeness of light and burning stink.] I looked at the outlet, realized that was fine so I grabbed hold of the cord and yanked it out of the wall. Hubs bought me another glue gun and when looking at it tonight, he realized that it is separating and he is taking it back. We don't need another going out. (He bought me a high temp gun, which is why I think the second one is separating. It got really, really hot.)

I'm tired. I've got school uniforms to iron for the week, then off to bed. 'Night.