Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On The Road

My first Christmas without my dear husband was spent flat on my back on my sofa, barely conscious. It was a miserable day. I don't think I even ate anything, just spent the day whimpering and gobbling anxiety medicine.

Last year, I felt up to spending the day with my best friend and her family, who are like a second family to me. It was good to get out and be around friends, and good to come home to some quiet.

This year, I'll be with Le Boyfriend. My life has changed so much in the past three years. This latest development is one I frankly never expected. I'm still feeling my way in many respects, and I know he is as well.

But we're in this together.

Monday, December 22, 2008

To Do List

Make a special request chocolate chip sour cream pound cake? Baked and cooling.

Pick up an iTunes gift card for Le Boyfriend's son for his Christmas present? Nicely packaged in a special gift card box.

Clean the house? Standards for what constitutes clean are diminishing as we speak.

Pack for trip to Le Boyfriends? I've thought about starting, does that count?

Still on the schedule for today-dentist appointment at 12:15, pedicure at two, grab a bite to eat after that & then back to the house.

Should have scheduled time for a nap.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bathroom Pics!

The curved shower curtain rod-it really does
add a lot of room in the shower.

Guess what this is! My shadow is
an added bonus.

The new vanity

The light over the sink-still waiting for this
to be hooked up and the ceiling light
to be put up (and the installation of
an electrical outlet).

I realize that without 'Before' photos, there isn't much context for the 'After', but trust me, the 'Before' was reeeaaalllly bad.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bathroom Pics and Other News

Bathroom pics this weekend-I was waiting until the ceiling light was in and mirror hung, but my hopes of that happening before New Years have dimmed.

Today is our last day at work until January 5th-rumor has it some sort of 'brunch' will be provided. Because that's what we need at the office-more food. There have been so many treats and goodies delivered this week that I'm sure I'm due to explode any minute.

Still mighty warm here. Had the ceiling fans on last night & I'm mighty tempted to bump the AC on just to take the edge off. Forecast for Monday-high of 49. At least I get to wear my new jacket.

My Christmas present to me: four new tires, at almost four hundred dollars. They're rated to 80,000 miles, so at least there's that.

And off to work for a day that will be over around eleven-I do enjoy the perks of this job.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Per Jennifer's Request

Grits and Sausage Casserole:

2 lbs mild ground pork sausage*
4 cups water
1 & 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits, uncooked
4 cups (1 lb) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten

Brown sausage in a large skillet, drain and set aside
Cook grits in 4 cups water, simmer five minutes (be sure to let them cook down pretty good) stirring occasionally
Remove from heat, add cheese and next three ingredients, stirring until cheese melts
Stir in sausage and eggs (grits are tempered from the milk and cheese)
Spoon mixture into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 350 for one hour or until golden and set up
Let stand at least five minutes before serving

I've found this works best when you make it up the day before and keep it in the fridge overnight. Let it sit at room tempurature for 30 minutes before putting in the oven.

*You can mix it up with a pound of mild and pound of spicy/hot sausage. Also, you can experiment with the seasonings--I've found Tarragon mixes well with either the Thyme or the Garlic Powder.

This is a great Christmas or New Years Eve dish. It keeps well in a covered dish in the fridge and reheats nicely.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I've Been

trying not to talk to much about my usual 16 days off over Christmas (a perk of working for a school district), because its 1) obnoxious, 2) other folks don't really get this kind of luxury even in good times and 3) these ain't such good times.

I have to say though that next Friday cannot come soon enough. I'm not going into boring detail except suffice to say I began the day by shooting off a snotty email to a coworker (that I later apologized for-not so much because I'm really sorry but hey, I do have to work with the guy) and ended it by almost hanging up on someone from the state department. And had to call her back and apologize. She was just doing her job, didn't deserve my shit. On top of that, it took five attempts to send a photo to the newspaper because their system kept kicking it out, and I keep getting messages here at home from a collection agency for someone who is not me.

I was just ill-natured and cranky all day. The last couple of years around this time, I could sort of blame it on the ole grief monster.

But at this point, it just boils down to the fact that I'm a bitch.

ETA: I just finished whipping up my sausage & grits casserole to take to work tomorrow & the mere act of doing something* for someone else has improved my crankiness somewhat.

*Does it count as 'doing for others' if I'll benefit too? Because I lurves me some of this casserole, but the recipe just makes way too much for me to fix for myself. Hence the 'treating the office' dealaroo.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Goal for Saturday

Make a run to the nearest shopping mecca-like town for all those giftie things for co-workers, co-worker's children, manicurist and hair dresser.

I have a coupon for CostPlus World Market. I plan to be there when the doors open at nine, finish in there by ten or so, blow through Target, grab some early lunch and hightail it back here to Tinytown.

There had been some discussion (and by some discussion, I mean one person in our office was agitating for it) that we eat out for our Christmas lunch, but the decision was made to do what we've done in the past, which is for the maintenance guys to grill out & folks bring a range of desserts.

So the one person who wanted to eat out is pouting. I want to punch him in the nose. Whilst bellowing 'STFU, dickhead'.

What? Not so Christmassy cheerish? You seem surprised. I thought I'd established the not feeling it thing earlier.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Things Are

quiet around here. The bathroom saga is ongoing. I 'might' get my mirror hung and the electrical issue tended to by this weekend.

It seems as if folks around here are laying low, due in large part to the economy. So many of the jobs in this community come from some sort of government funding, be they state jobs at the various agencies or with the school district. We're all waiting for another budget cut. While there probably won't be any jobs lost on our part at my district, it's still hard to know your friends and neighbors are hurting.

It's a vicious cycle, isn't it? I admit, I hadn't given much thought to how interconnected everything is. But if the two car dealerships in town have slow business, then they cut back on the advertizing. Which directly affects the local weekly paper and radio station.

It's hard to celebrate the drop in gas prices, although that has brought some relief. The thing is, we're at the mercy of whatever they want to charge. It's not like if you find a deal on soup and stock up on some cans. You can't really 'stock up' on gasoline. Who knows what price they'll stick it to us with next summer?

Uncertainty. It's the new black.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Sunny

and warm here today.

Tomorrow and Wednesday? 70's and rain.

Thursday into the weekend? High's in the fifties.

Like a weather yo yo.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Treat

It Happened on Fifth Avenue, along with Miracle on 34th Street, is winging its way to me from the faboo Buy.com as we speak. I know Le Boyfriend will probably find IHOFA terrifically schmaltzy, and I don't care. Into each life, some schmaltz must fall.

In a few, I'll be off to snap some photos of our town's Christmas parade for the paper, then a run to the grocery store and Dollar General to stock up. Beyond that, it's going to be a quiet weekend at home catching up on laundry and other household tasks, with a break mid-afternoon to take in Holiday Affair and The Shop Around The Corner. I'm a sucker for those old Christmas movies, in case you hadn't noticed.

Be gentle with yourselves.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Christmas Treat

I love this movie. I can remember watching it every year on Channel 44 out of Tampa, Florida. It's a great story that manages to focus on a couple of post-war issues including profiteering and the housing shortage without beating you over the head.

My present to me!

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Bathroom Saga

Day Six Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Eight, and fourteen minutes.

So when I said 'This time Monday', I hope you noticed I didn't commit to which Monday. Because apparently 'finished' will be over this weekend.

The biggest work inside is done-I now have a bath towel bar and tp roller. Still no lights. Maybe tomorrow for those. The last two things to go in will be the hand towel bars and a mirror-but I'm thinking the better bet will be a wall cabinet. Which means a trip to C-town, since the likes of that won't be found here in Mayberry. Works out that I have meeting up there Friday.

As for the trash in my backyard-it's been piled into a trailor that as best I can tell will probably be there until Head Blind Monkey again needs said trailor. Because he's an idiot. And possibly the laziest human being that is able to walk upright.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I spent it in Georgia with Le Boyfriend. I whipped up the T-day meal for him and his mom. They cleaned their plates, so I reckon it was all good. The stuffing was moist and the gravy was only a bit lumpy, so I'm calling it a success.

Photos of the bathroom will be posted once all is complete. Woo hoo.