Saturday, December 28, 2013

A thoughtful substitute.

My mom buys my siblings the yearly Whitman's Sampler.  We are not Whitman's Sampler people.  Not only did she not buy us the sampler, but she substituted it out with paper towels!  Hooray!  We don't use many paper towels here, but definitely needed them.  (I was down to the last roll.)

Lookie loo!  No calories!

Friday, December 27, 2013

A crisp breeze will fix that!

My parents asked what we wanted for Christmas.  I told my mom pillows.  Hubs' pillows were different states of flat and mine held no form.  I could bend that thing around like a pretzel.  Mom went forth and purchased really good pillows.  We were very thankful.  At home, we pulled said pillows from their plastic bags and noticed that they had a lick of smoke smell.


My dad smokes.  He smokes a fair amount.  My mom is a recreational smoker.  Sometimes it is more than others, depending upon the stress that my siblings are heaping upon her at the time.  She had the pillows upstairs in the living room, as opposed to under the tree.  Still.

"What are we going to do?"

I told Hubs to hand them to me and I would hang them on the line.

"But it's snowing or raining or something."

"It's not.  It is 17 F and has a little breeze.  Whatever is in these pillows will blow out before I bring them in."

"How long do you plan to leave them outside?"

"Until bedtime."

"That's not until at least 10 PM."

"And I will trudge out into the snow and pull them from the line then."

I should add that this discussion occurred at 3:30 PM.

You know what?  My solution worked.  They aired out for a good 7 hours on the line, as well as the casserole carrier that my mom and dad had made for me.  We slept well on the new pillows and neither one of us had any smoke issue.  They smelled freshly laundered and the crisp, breezy air fixed what ailed them!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Another reason as to why my husband should be sainted and other tales of Christmas.

I've shared with you in the past that I do not have good CD etiquette.  It has been a forever syndrome.  It drives my husband absolutely batty because he is the exact, extreme opposite.

It should be noted that I'm not intentionally uncaring about the CDs.  I don't put them on the dashboard to slide back and forth.  I do, however, have them in all of the wrong cases.  Sometimes they are not in cases, but in a stack.  Sometimes the stack is really tall.  Sometimes that stack gets referred to as the "leaning tower."

For Christmas, my husband did some rather lovely things for me.  It was very Pearl Jam themed, which is my love.  He bought me a stack of CDs from his favorite resale CD store including PJ Twenty (documentary and soundtrack), PJ Live on 2 Legs, PJ Live at the Garden, PJ Lightning Bolt (new for that one), Fugazi (The Argument),  the Lumineers, The Raconteurs (Broken Boy Soldier), Rush (Retrospective), Linkin Park (Minutes to Midnight and yes-- a guilty pleasure), but the very best thing-- he spent two days cataloging all of my CDs into binders.

I had stacks in the bedroom.

I had stacks in the studio in the three CD organizing racks he has purchased for me and on the top of my long glass organizing bin.

I had them on the movie shelf in the living room.

I had them in a variety of places in my car including in the door pockets, the front of the center console, under my seat (in a binder!) with another binder tucked into a back seat pocket.

He said that he has reacquainted himself with my full library (rather extensive, but not nearly as bad as his) and there were practically no savable jewel cases from any of them.  Some CDs come in the paperboard books like all of PJ except for Vs. and Ten, Cake and NIN.  All others that he could, he included the interior paper "guts" to the accompanying CD pocket.  He said that he now knows absolutely everything that I own in CDs.  Since he is a bit of a Rain Man about it, I don't doubt that he knows it even better than me.

K said, "MOM!  The entire bed was covered in CDs!"  I don't doubt it.

He even included his copy of Temple of the Dog in my collection for me to have.  That right there is a gift in itself.  He doesn't share his CDs with anyone, much less his wife who has had a sad history of CD abuse.  I've promised to keep up his organizational system.  I still haven't lived down the Faith No More cassette incident of 1994.  :(

I should also note that though we set a budget every Christmas, Hubs never stays within the budget because he says that I don't buy myself anything throughout the year.  (He doesn't count general clothing, underwear, socks and shoes as frivolous.)  He tried to be reasonable.  Our budget was $50 each and though we didn't exactly stick to that, Santa and I were at about $65 each for K and for Hubs.  I think Hubs topped out about about $100, thanks to sticking with mostly used CDs.  My love for music produced by independent labels does hike the cost up a bit, but I'd rather feed the little guy.

As for the little guy, I bought Hubs' wish list from Nuclear Blast, an independent heavy-metal label.  I even managed to find a Blu-Ray Stallone movie that he didn't own.  (I earned extra credit for that.)

K's gifts supported the not-so-little guy.  She received a sewing basket (a prettier print than this, though and a super Black Friday sale with extra off with a super early shopper coupon) and an AG sewing kit.  Santa left a balloon bending kit and extra balloons.  Her big gift was purchased by my in-law's (and K has promised to never tell Grandma and Santa the same gift again), but Santa was able to triumph with the entire movie collection of Harry Potter on Blu-Ray.  (Black Friday sale.)  Santa left some delightful items in her stocking, including a bin to gather up those blasted little rubber bands for the Rainbow Loom, yoga socks, an Angry Birds notebook that she longed for a while ago, more of the blasted rubber bands for the Rainbow Loom, sniffy erasers, puffy puppy stickers and letter stencils.

I made my in-law's a poster photo collage frame with a rubbing that we made when we visited the National Policeman's memorial. Uncle John's name is below with a collage of photos I took of Hubs, his sister and the girls.  My BIL and I kind of hung back, but I did have one photo of each of us that I included.  It was kind of a family project, with everyone hanging out and putting up with me as I turn into the tourist with a camera.  (They know this by now and just press on as if I'm not there.)

My mom gave me a list of kitcheny kind of things she needed and I granted her wish.  Sink mats, a set of "cheap" plastic bowls (I didn't buy cheap ones) and a silverware organizer is what she requested.  Hubs bought a suet feeder and some energy cakes for it for my dad, as well as a jar of this corn salsa stuff that he loves that we get at Bass Pro.

We gave more games and craft kits to nieces, nephews and cousins.  It was a great Christmas Eve with my cousins and their kids.  The White Elephant netted us a farting butt bank and a big pack of AA batteries and a bag of "chocolate" coal.  The White Elephant is as it is and unfortunately, my people thought that the bank was the greatest thing.  I banished it to basement to exist for the rest of eternity in my house.  It is to live on my husband's work bench.  It was on my kitchen table and I gave a giant veto to that.

We're spending a quiet day at home.  We didn't get out of our pajamas until noon.  K, thanks to a bit of loss of self-control, lost screen time today.  She is, however, having a grand time making a Barbie village in the basement.  I'm all for that.

To a quiet day in the neighborhood.  Ahh.  We all needed it.

Have a great day!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Steps toward completion.

Christmas isn't meant to be viewed as a marathon.  I do, however, feel like I'm at mile 23.  My mom called this evening to say that they would be by to pick chairs up that we had borrowed.  I decided that I would dash through and bag up all of the presents I had to send to their house.  I had the Christmas Eve bag with 6 gifts.  I had two large bags and two gifts of overflow for Christmas Day.  I was able to give a quick evaluation, re-wrap one that got the front punched out somehow, wrap two more (and add batteries to the one) and get those dropped into the sack, too.  I was just finishing the last package when my parents came in.

I'm waiting for K to go to sleep so that I can make some earrings for her for her special gift from me. I'm just making some really tiny drop earrings, but I have to get them done.

K's baby arrived today.  K got her baby hamster.  Yes, I'll take photos later.  I can tell you that he is charcoal with a white racing stripe on his underside.  Miss Stephanie gave her good instructions, have changed what we typically feed. (We fed H exactly what they told us.)  K is so very excited and Miss Stephanie was thrilled that K is so very caring and is completely responsible for every aspect of care of the hamster.  He is a baby.  He is very squealy.  He's keeping her awake, but I told her that she needs to get used to him and he needs to get used to her.  The wheel rides again!

Off I go to check to see if Sleeping Beauty is sleeping so that I can make her gift.