Friday, January 1, 2010

More goal oriented, less resolutionary.

Resolutions bum me out. I mean, the initial creation is exciting. "Look what I'm going to change this year!" Then you slip and you feel as if you should be put in the corner without your supper.

I don't like the feeling of thinking that I should reprimand myself.

So! I've decided to create some goals for the new year.

1. Paint the kitchen and give it the proper redo. Y'all might recall that I purchased the paint this past summer. Well guess what? The summer came and went. The fall came and went. The winter will not come and go with off white eggshell paint on the walls. If I can dedicate 1 day each week that K- is at school, it will take me several weeks to get the job done, but it will be done. Oh my heavens, I can't stand my ugly kitchen for one. more. second.
2. Get the studio rolling again. Okay, okay. You've got me. This was on last years list. K- wasn't in school until the end of August and I was still busy doing the many hours a day mommy gig. She was more important to me than the creation of work. I did make children's bracelets and sell them. Believe it or not, I sold quite a few. After goal #1 is completed, I'll treat myself to goal #2.
3. To make at least 4 new meal items a month. It could be a new side dish. It could be a brand spankin' new roast recipe, like I'm trying out today. Does it slightly frighten me that I just put nutmeg and cloves in my crock pot with my evenly seared roast? Certainly. It could be, and I hope that it is, good. I'm just tired of eating the same stuff. I've managed to eat healthier than last year, but I need to dust off the crock pot festival and see what new things I have in there, too. I think that it is reasonable to do one new thing a week. I can't go do a Julie/Julia here, but a bit of new stuff will never hurt.
4. Keep walking K- to school. Obviously, in terribly inclimate weather it isn't reasonable to drag her the mile there, but it is good exercise for us both. My hope was to lose 13 pounds last year. While my weight went down a little, I've been walking and making more muscle. Muscle is more dense than fat, therefore takes up less room, but weighs more. I'm not going to harp on the weight, as long as the getting a bit more lean is happening.
5. Purge more stuff. I've been good at purging this year. Actually, a bit better than I usually am. However, more needs to go. Already just in the kitchen, new pans will be arriving. The old pans will go to my mother. When the kitchen is painted and complete, as a reward, I will buy some new dishes. (Probably IKEA or Target. If I get them at IKEA, I can at least run an occasional piece replacement if need be.)
6. Positivity. Less stress. More planning. Smiles.

- I'm still in my pajamas and it is 11:45 AM.
- Dinner is in the crock pot and cooking away.
- Calling sauerkraut balls "party balls" to K- so that she would try them. She didn't like them, but at least she tried them. To note, I didn't like them either.
- We were able to complete the Christmas family celebrations. K- was able to have her own special time with the grandparents and that was good for her. It still didn't feel the same, but at least the redo was done with snow on the ground.
- The snowplow came through last night and K- and I were so excited! Hey, we live on a dead end street. We don't get top billing when it comes to snow plowing. We had gotten probably 6 inches total, then it rained, snowed and sleeted a little on that. The roads in our neighborhood were way mooshy and I knew if they didn't plow, it would be like driving on broken hunks of iceberg. (The temperature was slated to go down quite a bit.) They went up and down and up and down and sprinkled salt along the way. Then, of course, I politely asked Hubs if he would consider freeing the end of the drive of the road hunkage so that we would be able to get out without feeling like we were backing over someones house. Having the driveway sealed shut with solidified hunks of road gunk is awful. Hubs happily went out to free the end of our tiny driveway.
- A new year. Hooray!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Still spit-spattering with the posts.

Hey look! We have a snowstorm brewing! And yes, my hip is going to give me fits, but I had to scoop K- up and do the lickety letters to the snow with her. (Yes, a Super Why reference.)

So I'm happy to say that we survived the Christmas Stomach Flu '09. Now grant you, the 24 hour stomach funk kindly had its 24 hours completely involving the hours of Christmas, starting at almost exactly 12 AM Christmas to 11:59 PM Christmas night. No bother. K- and I chose to err on the side of caution and remained under the hazmat tent until Sunday morning. We stayed in, watched movies, played Barbies, read books (we got to 300 with our 100 book challenge) and learned to count to 100.

We busted out of this joint for church, ran home for some gifts and had a lovely lunch date with our friends that will be moving back from Milwaukee in 6 months! In the meantime, we were able to catch up while the girls enjoyed the germ infested McDonald's play area. (Much Purell was used, thankyouverymuch.) After the McD's adventure, we trotted on to Kohl's. K- had received an outfit for her birthday, but unfortunately it was a size too small. We were able to return it (thank you for gift receipts) and I helped K- to pick something out. It took 45 minutes in their minuscule toy department, a few tears and some "no, that is too much" to arrive at the choice of Kohl's version of Bendaroos and a small My Little Ponies Ponyville play set. It rocked Miss K- $2.69 over, which I told her will be her allowance for the week. (It's not that I can't pay the $2.69, but she has to realize that you can't go to the register with not enough money and still come out with your purchases.) In the 45 minutes we spent choosing (she was tired, as I figured out when she fell fast to sleep when we drove away), I wanted her to choose something that would be creative. We have bunches of everything else she was picking. Since the outfit was from a teacher, I wanted to honor her gift giving by purchasing something that she would approve of.

The generic Bendaroos? First, the person who thought to sell wax covered string for $15.00 + a box should get a hearty hand shake. Who knew something so basic and somewhat dumb sounding would work so well for kids? Their profit has to be out of this world! Secondly, K- came home and started to spell with the sticks. (Her idea.) Educational! All those tears rejecting Melissa and Doug stamp kits, Leapster/Leap Frog items, Tinker Bell Magic Wand book, puzzles of all sorts of characters, Crayola play sets, I Spy books . . . all traded in for a box of waxy string, smiles and learning galore! See, a desperate mama digging into the deep, dark recesses of the displays paid off! (I should say that K- is never one to have issues choosing. Clearly, this was a tussle of tired proportions.)

So, we've rescheduled Christmas. We should let Christ know. Today was our first day of reschedule. The play date was to occur yesterday, but since I'm puke phobic, particularly with a family due to set off on an 8 1/2 hour drive in a few days, I wanted to make certain that we were cleared to play. Stomach flu and driving are a really, really bad mix.

Christmas with my family has been rescheduled for tomorrow evening. Mom is making an "I'm sorry that you only got shredded wheat and 4 generic packaged Chips Ahoy-like cookies for your Christmas meal" pot of soup and dessert of leftover something-or-anothers.

Hubs' parents are kind enough to accommodate us for a reschedule for Tuesday night, where we will be having our traditional Christmas morning breakfast for dinner. My MIL had the table set, so I think that she kept it set since no one was going to drop in anyhow.

We've opened our gifts from my sister-in-law already, but we usually wait to do that with my in-law's. K- was itching to find out what was in her package and the LL Bean envelope was beginning to stare me down, too. Turns out that Aunt Kristin, Uncle Tom and the girls sent K- a beading set (funny, since I sent the girls some beaded necklaces I made!), a nail set for pedicures and manicures (complete with french manicure strips) and Set 1 of the Bob Books. K- has really enjoyed picking up the Bob Books, reading cover to cover and feeling like she was accomplishing something. She has liked them so much, that I just scored the second set from for $5.49 including shipping.

I've kind of been an online ordering fool these last few days. My SIL gave us an LL Bean gift card, so I was able to shop the sale section to find myself a new pair of TEK 2 boots (their version of Gortex and I need them for snowshoe-ing and walking K- to school), gaiters (those cuffs you wear that keep the snow out of your shoes and pants) and a coral skirt to wear with my bathing suit. (I have bathing suit modesty issues.) I was able to use my $10.00 credit from the purchase of my coat, so we still have a fair amount of money left over for Hubs to find himself something lovely. (Though guys don't dig "lovely." Well, most guys. I do work in an art gallery, though . . . ) Hubs insisted that I purchase a new pair of boots. My current pair of Timberlands were originally purchased 13 years ago, when I worked at the old gallery. While they are a lovely oil tanned leather, they have lost some of their waterproofed quality over the years.

So that brought me to today's purchases. My neighbor gave me $150.00 in Kohl's gift cards for Christmas (he also bought Hubs a portable air compressor and K- a couple of big toys). I knew when I saw the gift cards what I wanted to buy. Folks, I need to replace my set of pans. My set of Wearever pans that came from my in-law's served us very well. They were 10 year warranty pans and have lasted us that wonderful 10 years. The teflon is beginning to show a little wear (though not chip chunking into our food, but I don't want to get to that), so I did some research while we were physically at Kohl's. I tapped, flipped, twirled and scoped out every pan set they had. I came to the conclusion that I really did want what I had originally set out for-- a good set of hard anodized Calphalon pans. (The same that I had in the Wearever, just one step up.) I found what I wanted, but knew that the previous days online research suggested that I could purchase them cheaper from my computer chair at home. With $150.00 in gift cards, a 15% discount from My Points, free shipping and my own donation of $34.00, this fine set of cookware will arrive on my doorstep in the next couple of weeks. My old set will go to my parents vacation trailer. Hallelujah and Amen.

I didn't stop there! Hubs was requesting my placing our standard monthly re-order with the Vitamin Shoppe for his work out stuff and for more Oscillococcinum. With sales, an additional online coupon code for $15.00 off $75.00 and free shipping, our $320.00 bill came to $133.00. (No, we never pay close to full price, but it does pay to shop around and online. The surprise $15.00 coupon was a very nice find.)

I love coupon codes! :)

So, that is where we are at. I have to go back to work tomorrow. I get to start resetting the gallery displays from the march of the sale shoppers. This is where I have to truly be creative, as the next few months are rather dry on incoming orders and we are kind of stripped of merchandise. It's okay. It keeps me going.

When people ask me to gift wrap their Christmas sale purchases, I promise to only chuckle on the inside. ;)

Smiles are added in above.

Have a great week!