Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dough a deer, a female deer... No, wait. Wrong song.

I was the dough lady today.  I actually spent the better part of the day preparing the cookie doughs that I needed to bake my cookies.  To do it all in one fell swoop seemed reasonable.  At least then, I only trash the kitchen with flour and whatnot once.

The cookies will be baked tomorrow. 

I have the following prepared and chilling:
Ginger (for Ginger Kisses)-  It needs to sit overnight anyhow.
Red Hot Sugar Cookies-  I'm thinking that they might benefit from some overnight rest.  The cinnamon flavor will settle in better.
Crunchy Peanut Butter
Chocolate Chip
Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip-  I've learned to steer clear of flying cocoa powder.  One year, I ended up inhaling a huge cloud and ended up ill.  I swear that the upper respiratory infection I got (I started coughing right then and didn't stop for 6 weeks) was an inhalation cause.  I was so sick.  Antibiotics and a lot of Mucinex were involved. 
Butter Crisp-  Very easy cookies that involve Rice Krispies and a box of cake mix.
Thumbprint AKA Fingerprints-  K- has some ideas about how best to place the indentations into these.

I have a couple of batches of brownies to make and a pan of Almost Candy Bars.  Those change flavor by the year, so I'll be winging it on that.  As long as I have the cake mix crust and sweetened condensed milk top, all the rest is up to whatever I have. 

I will be caffeine driven.  It has to happen tomorrow.  My Susie Homemaker apron will be on and my trusty side kick will be at my side. 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I just need to vent.

We have bad sportsmanship.

We have people who know that they are looked up to by the younger set and choose to make bad choices regardless.  Though she says that it is no big deal, I had a discussion with K- about what she did, why it is wrong and about how her or her famous character will no longer be in our home.  (She was on a minimal basis only because of items she had received, not because of things we bought or encouraged.)

I had a mother and daughter, in their mid-50's and mid-20's, fighting in front of my cash counter yesterday.  A co-worker had to walk away to regroup.  A customer who wanted to get something was so disturbed by it that she apologetically told me that she "gave up" and left. 

I also had a flurry of very needy, need-to-know-your-name customers so that they could specifically belt out your name from any corner of the gallery to have you come running.  Yesterday was packed.  The folks were in and making up for lost time from the winter weather occurrence of earlier on in the week. 

I had one lady who was very irritated because we were busy and couldn't snap-to right away and let her into jewelry cases.  Now, I did call for back-up and thankfully, Sherri came running.  This was the same lady who purchased her items as if each was solid gold and truth be told, the average price of the 6 items she bought was about $7.50.  Each sale is crucial.  Still, please don't act like you own the joint at any time of any sale ever. 

The charge machine also ran slower than cold tar yesterday. 

Also, a lady came in with a barely signed credit card.  I asked for ID, she told me that it was in the car and, "You aren't going to make me to get it ARE YOU?"  I took down all her information.  "Well, I just don't understand why people ask for ID all the time if the card isn't signed."  "Well, we're looking out for you.  Thieves are out there and people steal stuff."  Rrrr.

I am trying to pull together a holiday party for K-'s classroom.  (I'm writing this Thursday AM because OH! I need to vent.)  I have a book exchange scheduled.  I sent home two notices stating if they needed a new book provided for their child, to please let the teacher know.  The teacher was contacted by two parents.  We had 4 additional children sent with nothing.  Now, it is covered and not a big deal, but if they needed it provided, why wouldn't they let us know in advance?  One book was wrapped in white tissue, so that you could see what book it was.  It was probably all that they had and I re-wrapped it.  I did request gender neutral books and that one was Littlest Pet Shop.  Let us hope that a girl gets it or is willing to trade with a boy for it. 

:After party note:  K- was the recipient of The Littlest Pet Shop book.  She was so excited.  She didn't realize until later that the book was very well used.  The only way that my child noticed was that there was a page missing.  She couldn't understand why.  Never mind the marker on the corners, the name written on it or the very worn cover.  When I explained that it was a sheet of stickers that had been removed, she said, "But Mommy, Mrs. S- repeated several times that the book needed to be new.  A- didn't follow directions."  (She said it in a mortified that someone didn't follow directions tone, not a ick used book tone.)  "Well baby, my thought is this.  Maybe A- didn't have enough money for a new book and she decided to give up one that she loved very much.  This book was well loved and even more valuable because she gave it up special just for the book exchange."  Now I don't know what the true reason was, but my explanation seemed to work out just fine for K-.  I told K- that she loved the book and was so thankful to A- when she got it, that it shouldn't matter new or used.  She agreed. 

I sit here this evening in a much different place than I was this morning.  I spent a few hours with K- this evening trying to track down a rather expensive book for a hopefully inexpensive price while on the way to drop a box by my in-law's to have shipped.  Turns out that I looked Barnes and Noble up online tonight and the very book that was $25.00 just a few days ago was marked to $14.61 and I had a 20% off coupon in my e-mail box.  I was scattered and irritated, but stopped to remember that I needed to tell K- that I wasn't frustrated with her, I was just frustrated because I felt like I couldn't take care of the remainder of a gift because the requested gift cost more than I could spend at that point.  (It was supposed to be a filler item that was going to be $5.00 or so.)  She was very kind and said, "Don't worry mom, it's okay."  I have to remember to be more in tune to the flip-out's that I'm having.  Her behavior can wear on me some days, but the same holds true for her.

This season is supposed to be a season of love.  It is a season of celebration.  It shouldn't be a season of over-extending (monetarily, physically, mentally).  It shouldn't be a season of irritation. 

I've taken in, processed, dumped (thank you, by the way) and let it go.  Thanks for being a set of eyes for my venting session. 

Smiles in my day:
-  Any other kid would have made it well known that the book that was received was used.  I'm so glad that K- got it.  She was so blinded by the fact that it was a wonderful title that she wanted that she didn't realize the wear. 
-  Mr. B- talked to a school board member who is looking into exactly why they've decided to move our crosswalk and lovely Mr. Jim.  When the school is reconstructed, all of the entrances will be to the front, which faces the street that is now losing the main intersection crosswalk that we currently use.  I thanked him for checking into it, as I also stated that I'm not willing to add 2/10ths of a mile to our walk in the AM when I don't need to.  I told him that we will be crossing at the school street and I even informed the officer in charge of the crossing guards that, too.  The officer disagreed with the move, but traffic engineering decided that is what they wanted to do.  I'm so glad that the school board is checking into it!
-  That K- goes to such a wonderful school.  A friend has been sharing tales about their school.  The school is just up the road, an elementary in our same district and it is a raving mess.  Seeing their lack of communication and organization makes me even more thankful for our little school every day.  In fact, I did mention to her that she could always change schools and she mentioned that idea again to me today.  I told her that open enrollment is January.  Who knows where it will take her, but stories she tells me makes our school sound like a golden palace.  It is to us.  :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tips in review

I decided to take a jog through Works for Me Wednesday Christmas past and post some things that y'all may or may not find helpful.

Gift wrapping.  I work at an art gallery and we have free gift wrap.  I can probably wrap about anything with anything if I would need. 

Cookies Part 1

Cookies Part 2

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be taking part in Cookies 1 and 2. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Plans. I have 'em.

I've been a little non-existent because Christmas!  It's right around the corner!

The other night, Hubs helped me haul the items up from the gift shelf in the basement so that I could start wrapping them.  I would have wrapped them downstairs, but it's a lot warmer up here. 

I'm happy to report that I only had to do one gift switch from my original labeling. 

I was able to scare up some things for additional kid gifts for the family Christmas Eve.  Each child has three gifts to open.  All of us cousins purchase gifts for the other kids.  Sometimes the count ends up uneven because of financial issues and others pick up the slack. 

This year I got the pleasure of providing 6 additional gifts. 

The way we look at it is this; we only spend $5-6.00 on each child.  If purchasing a few extra gifts evens out the count for all the kids, then it is all worth it.  I did have some items stowed away.  One child is receiving a 4 book preschool pack that I made up of books off the 75% off Target dollar rack.  Another is getting Monopoly Deal that I got for $3.25 from a Walmart clearance.  There is a jewelry kit that I purchased for a whole $1.97.  I have a Mad Libs pad that I bought for $1.98 from Barnes and Noble clearance and an additional lip gloss that was left over from my gift bundling that I did with some bracelets for the older girls.  I had my nephews that I was able to recycle gifts to that I purchased for my cousin's sons, but they never show up and we were tired of sending gifts along. 

K- has been off for the last two days.  She was off Monday for snow and Tuesday for wind chill.  Hubs happen to have been home for both days, which was wonderful because my lovely in-law's just flew back from Chicago and we weren't sure that they were even going to be able to get back to Ohio for quite some time.  They did hit a window from airport to airport, but flew in a blizzard on the way here.  They arrived safely, but it was really better that they were able to rest. 

Hubs has been continuing to work on the house.  He replaced all the outlets in the kitchen, which also called for him to finally bite the bullet and map the house on the electrical box downstairs.  In doing that, he is convinced that the people who did the circuit dedication must have been high, drunk, both or otherwise.  He did get it all done and it is wonderful.

So the balance of my week is:
-  Getting a book for my niece, boxing their gifts and getting them to my father-in-law to ship on Monday. 
-  Working all day on Thursday at school and sandwiching the IEP review in the middle of all that.  Remember that K- is on an IEP for speech and she has really started to blossom with some pronunciation problems.  The funny thing is that with her, it is truly an out-of-mouth issue, but it isn't causing spelling/reading issues.  That is really a great thing. 
-  Making cookie dough on Thursday night so that when I drop K- off for school on Friday, I can bust a move back home to get my Christmas baking rolling.  I kind of figure that what I can get done on Friday and maybe Saturday will be it, so I've got to get myself completely organized baking wise to get the job done.  I will be baking chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate chip/chunk, peanut butter, ginger hugs, raspberry thumbprints, apple cinnamon oatmeal, sugar cookie red hots and brownies.
-  We'll drop in to see Aunt Donna on Saturday.  I must call to let her know.
-  Sunday, I'll be baking, prepping and decorating for K-'s birthday on Monday.  I'll be working part of Monday, so I want to have as much done as possible on Sunday evening so that it isn't an issue.  Oh, I also need to drop by the church to pay for the room rental (a love gift, thank you my lovely church!) and pick up keys.  K- wants pizza and that's certainly not hard.  I have a Little Caesar's coupon for pizza and crazy bread, so that will be handy.  I've been gifted enough Sprite to keep NE Ohio well hydrated.  We'll make a Sam's Club run on Sunday to pick up some individual chippie bags (flu season, you know) and a veggie tray.  I'll bake rainbow cupcakes with rainbow frosting and we'll have a cupcake bar where the children will be decorating their own.  Because of all the Sprite, we'll be having Fizzy Lifting Drinks.  (Sprite, rainbow sherbet and sprinkles.)  Can you tell that we're rolling Willy Wonka?  ;)  We'll be watching the classic movie and taking a crack at a pinata. 

Busy, busy.  It's all in how I pace myself. 

Smiles in my day:
-  Hubs working so hard.
-  Remembering and getting up at 5 AM to hide Buddy our Elf on the Shelf.  Do you know how many nights a week I end up roaming the house in the middle of the night to give Buddy a new spot to sit in?  Shhhh.  K- doesn't know that!
-  Yes, I remembered to hide Buddy before I fell asleep tonight!
-  Giving K- her home spelling test this morning and she got them all right.  It makes me feel better, because I was a bit lax in reviewing them with her.  Having the first two days off school didn't help, either!  I know, excuses, excuses.
-  The Biggest Loser finale tonight.

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Waffling weather

Slush rain. 

Hold on.  Snow.

Wait.  Rain.

Back up. Flakes.

Nope.  Rain.

Wait again.  Large.  Seriously large flakeage. 

The thermometer is twitching and flipping up and down so slightly, but enough that it is hovering at the freezing mark.  One twitch in the wrong direction and the weather changes completely.  The road is full of slush and my guess is that the road crews are busy dealing with the main roads (as they should be) and that our road will turn into rock hard masses of glacial-like street icebergs. 

Have I mentioned that Hubs is a half hour north of home in the Tercel (I offered the truck) and we are all under a Winter Storm Warning?  Ah yes, he has a puppet show scheduled for this afternoon and my guess is that he might have some volunteers show up and maybe two families.  Maybe.  They haven't called a Level 2 snow emergency; a plea to the public to stay off the roads, but not mandatory. 

We'll be having turkey rice and veggie soup this evening.  It seemed like the thing to do. 

I've put a pot of water on to cook.  Too bad that I'm clean out of cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg and anise to cook in it.  It always makes it smell so nice and holidaysie.  (How do you spell that non-word?)

K- wore the jammies inside out last night.  Tonight will be the flushing of the ice cubes, the wearing of the jammies on the flipside and a spoon under the pillow.  I have no idea where the pillow spoon thing comes from, but we're hoping for a snow day tomorrow.

So for today, we're officially in.  We've been by the grocery and have even stocked up on baking supplies.  I would be pleased as punch if I get a day in to do nothing but bake. 

Have a great, safe day!