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Archive for December, 2014

Goodbye 2014....Hello 2015

December 31st, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Reading some of your blogs, it is interesting how many of you are taking inventory of your year. For some it has been a fabulous year and for others, not so much.

Hope 2015 is a year of blessings and joy for all of you.

I don't make resolutions. It isn't that I don't need to improve, but being a realist, I rarely keep up with them. I do have a couple of things I'd like to see if I can carry out.

Last year a couple of my friends listed the titles of the books they read throughout the year. I'd like to do that as well.

We went to the library today and I'm on my never ending question to figure out how to better organize my kitchen. I tease DH we need a bigger kitchen with more storage. I also know if we had a bigger kitchen with more storage I would just find more things to fill up that storage.

One goal that I continue to have is to living below my means. I believe most of you share that goal.

As we say goodbye to 2014 and look forward to 2015, hope it is a wonderful night and a lovely year.

Hubby is Excited

December 30th, 2014 at 09:25 pm

My husband is all excited. Thrilled.

DH is one happy boy. We took an adventure the meat market!

My boy loves his food. I often wonder if he married me because I can cook. He says "It helped." I tease him he isn't very romantic.

But, I digress. Yep, we journeyed to one of our local meat markets. I haven't been there for awhile. Unfortunately my meals have been sort of stuck in a rut as well.

We are ushering in the New Year with steaks. We used to go out to eat on New Year's and it usually was crazy. Not to mention expensive. Seems like some restaurants would have a special menu which would jack up the prices.

So, in the calm of our home, we plan to have steaks and baked potatoes with salad and homemade bread on New Year's Eve. The steaks were on special.

For New Year's we hope to have baby back ribs. Unfortunately the ribs were not on special. However, I think eating at home is more economical than eating out for the same types of food.

Lunches are leftovers reworked from previous meals. Today was a bonus day...a friend had made a ton of sloppy joe mix and she gave us some with some buns...we added chips and fruit salad and had a tasty meal.

As you can tell we are not party animals. I'm not apologizing for this. We enjoy a good video or a fine book for entertainment and good food is always a blessing.

I just have to chuckle over my husband. Some men collect fine wines. He prefers a good steak!

R.I.P. Silas

December 27th, 2014 at 10:34 pm

A few blogs back I mentioned a former student at one of my schools was sent home and in hospice. He was visited by Adam Richman as one of his last wishes. He had many wonderful things happen to him...he wanted to go on a motorcycle ride so a group arranged for someone with a side car to pick him up and lots of other riders rode alongside...he visited a local market he always wanted to shop in...Lots of people prayed, visited, and cared.

Silas lost his battle earlier this week.

His mother and family were very supportive and as upbeat about it as could be...they said he was comfortable in knowing he would be healed and in heaven. Instead of a funeral dirge, they had a celebration of Silas' life as the memorial. Strong, strong people they are. How blessed Silas was to have so many people love and care for him and celebrate his life.

Quietly Adam Richman also came to this service. That just amazes me that a celebrity can be so kind. So many times we hear stories about how self centered celebrities are and demanding. It just shows what a classy guy Mr. Richman is. He made sure the service was about Silas, not him.

Silas' passing reminds me that we need to appreciate who we have in our lives. Yes, some are blessings and some are thorns. Silas lived 16 years and everyone had wonderful things to say about him. I don't think the same would be true about me. Maybe I need to work a little harder and be a better person.

And appreciate the blessings I have.

It Sparkles! It Shines!

December 26th, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Yes, indeedy, it sparkles and shines, and cools and freezes. Since the fridge was starting to look bare, I took the time to pull everything out and clean everything. It wasn't bad, but it made me feel like I had accomplished something. While I was doing this, sent DH to Aldi for our weekly run so when he got home, I had things organized and it looked tidy.

I used some of our left over ham and made ham and beans. I had left over cornbread so it made a nice supper.

Since I'm still recovering from whatever it was (or is) I didn't leave the house. I really had no desire to fight the crowds for the returning or the sales. I took down a bunch of the decorations, did some breathing treatments, and rested in between. I have some books and magazines that are due tomorrow at the library, so I wanted to finish those so I can return them. It would have been a no spend day if we hadn't had the Aldi run, but that's OK. It was a planned expenditure.

Had an interesting phone call yesterday from a relative. Seems they wanted to bake an apple pie, but had no apples and wanted to know if the local grocery was open. Really? On Christmas Day? All I can say is everything is done last minute and then mews when things don't work out. We are sort of put on the spot because they claim to have little savings, lots of bills, and we have so much. I will agree, we are blessed. But I am a planner. I plan meals. I plan shopping. I plan savings for Christmas. So, I know this makes me sound like Scrooge, but I have trouble feeling a lot of sorrow for their predicament.

Hope you had a good day after Christmas and Boxing Day for those of you who celebrate it.

Christmas is nearly over

December 26th, 2014 at 12:49 am

It's early Christmas evening. The day is winding down. Kind of makes me melancholy. All the excitement and planning and it is almost over.

Like about every Christmas, I get something like bronchitis. I think it has to do with being asthmatic. Yesterday was not a good day. I'm feeling better, but still have a ways to go. I was disappointed to miss Christmas Eve service last night, but somehow didn't think it would be wise to go for both my sake, and the other people in the congregation.

We had a low key Christmas, relaxing and nice, with a fine dinner. We opened presents and I had the luxury of reading a mystery this afternoon.

The paper had a bunch of ads for after Christmas sales. I know my email was blowing up with ads. At this point, I'm not sure there is anything I could use even if I felt like shopping.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Taking Inventory

December 23rd, 2014 at 04:14 pm

Christmas break began for me yesterday. Yay! Fortunately I can actually relax.

Throughout the year we put money in a Christmas Club account and saved what we thought we would spend. I also shopped sales for presents throughout the year and stowed things back. As for baking, I bought things on sale so I would have it in my pantry. And last week, one of the grocery stores had a special on flour (78 cents for 5 lbs), sugar (88 cents for 4 pounds) and powdered sugar and brown sugar (88 cents a package) so I bought one of each to replace what I used.

Last summer as we went to thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales, we found wrapping paper very cheap so I bought that. We also found Christmas cards reasonable. Yes, I'm one of those old fashioned fools who still sends Christmas cards. I like sending them as well as receiving them and although the postage is expensive, I think writing cards and letters has become a lost art.

We shipped our two presents to friends earlier this month, mailed our Christmas cards at the beginning of the month, and I baked and gave out baskets of goodies. I wrapped presents and other than one present we need to deliver, that is taken care of.

I have my Christmas Eve and Christmas day menu planned and items purchased.

I am not dreading the after Christmas bills because everything is paid for. It is a good feeling. I am very blessed.

Christmas Stash

December 13th, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Life has been hectic with work, illness, and Christmas.

We went last weekend and DH picked out his tree, brought it home, and decorated it. It used to be you'd choose the tree and they would make you wait for a ticket and then send you in to pay. This year they immediately send you in to the "showroom" with ornaments, Christmas decor, candles, etc. I guess to give you more time to be tempted.

Perhaps I've become a cynic, but all I said to my husband as I looked at the inflated prices was...just think, come June, much of this stuff will be at garage sales for next to nothing.

We hit garage sales and thrift shops last summer. I found brand new rolls of wrapping paper for 50 cents and a $1.00. I found Christmas candles that were new and in the package with the price tags still on them for less than a fourth. And I bought Christmas cards that were brand new and very reasonable.

As baking goods have gone on sale, I've been stocking up. Last weekend I created 5 baskets of goodies to give as gifts and I baked some more cookies today for gifts. Last summer a thrift store has a dime sale and I pick up really nice baskets. I make sure they are clean and I wash them out as well. They make for a nice presentation. I did repurpose a bowl like vase last weekend when I took some goodies to a friend in the nursing home. It was one of those bowls for fresh flowers that had a sponge in it and the bouquet in it. It was just the right size to put fudge and cookies in (with waxed paper on the bottom and the sides) and foil on top to keep it fresh and could tell her not to worry about returning the bowl.

To add to my "stash" we put in money each month for a Christmas Club. We received the check in November and DH and I went shopping when things were marked down, and things are paid for. No debt! Woo hoo!

I know the economy depends on major Christmas shopping, but my economy depends on my staying within budget. Having a Christmas stash has sure helped. How about you, do you have a Christmas stash?

Some people are angels

December 1st, 2014 at 10:48 pm

My blog will brief.

A student at one of my former schools has brain cancer and was brought home this weekend for hospice. His family created a Facebook page for updates called Stand By Silas. One of Silas' dying wishes was to meet Adam Richman.

Adam Richman made a surprise visit to see Silas and posted a very beautiful commentary. He made this happen in a matter of days because he cared enough to do so. I have utmost respect for Mr. Richman!