Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Back To Cooking

This year I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in four years--and I'm kind of looking forward to it. After our youngest left home, I just didn't feel the need or desire to put on a big production for just the two of us, so we bought our dinner from a local grocery store. The food was very good and I only had to heat everything up, so we did this for three years. I suppose we could have gone to a restaurant to eat, but then we wouldn't have had any leftovers--and isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about? :)

Anyway, for around $50 this is what we got for our dinner: a 10-13 pound turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, a broccoli salad, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, rolls, pumpkin pie, and Cool Whip. (I think that was it.) I only had to make mashed rutabaga and the meal was complete. Everything was 'homemade'--real potatoes and gravy, etc. We always thought this was an excellent value and soooooo much easier than doing everything myself!

I never found Thanksgiving dinner to be a very difficult meal to prepare--it just is a lot of work. And, actually, it isn't so much the amount of work but the fact that so much has to be done last-minute that got to me. The 30 minutes to an hour before mealtime is so hectic. Oh, well, I will try it again and see how it goes!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you will be surrounded by people you love and will have a pleasant day.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Something I Want

I keep thinking about getting myself a laptop. While our desktop isn't quite a year old, I have wanted to, also, have a laptop for a long time. The trouble with this whole thing is this: I can't afford the kind I would want. Because this would be MINE (and not OURS like the desktop is), I would want to have a Voodoo, Alienware, or Falcon Northwest brand. I'm talking a fully tricked out gaming machine. Now, I don't NEED a gaming computer because I don't play games. BUT, if I got a gaming computer, it would take several years for it to become obsolete for the things I would do with it. The only way this would possibly happen is if someone decided to, nicely, give me $3000, $4000, or $5000+. Ain't gonna happen. I am sad. :(

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Feeling Dumb

While I ALWAYS have fun taking the Quiz of the Day over at mental_floss, there just are some days I feel soooooo dumb. Today is one of those days: I only got one question right and THAT one I guessed at! Oh, well, they always have an interesting Fact of the Day to read.

Retouched Photos

Here is another site that shows how a PhotoShop professional can make a picture better. Amazing work.

Little Bit of Nothingness

Our typical weather: a couple of days ago the temp was 14 degrees with a wind-chill temp of 7. Today, it is in the upper 30s! I just hope this doesn't continue all winter--it is so hard to try and adjust to such widely varying temps.

Grace was weighed again yesterday and she gained around 4 ounces--the doctor was so very pleased. She was expected to only gain 1-2 ounces--I guess she is eating okay now. :)

I was talking to C last night when Noelle--the 2 year old--announced that her diaper was "gross." AND she wanted her mother to change it. Now, describing the dirty diaper as "gross" is A LOT better than what she could say--and a lot funnier! C isn't quite sure why she started saying "gross," but we figured the babe heard "That is so gross" too many times when someone changed her. It always amazes me to hear little kids say the exact things they have heard adults say--and adults never quite realize how closely kids are actually listening! A lesson to be learned. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Yesterday Lawn Mowers, Today Snowblowers

Yep, we, once again, got winter in less than 24 hours. Everything turned to crap outside around 10:00 last night and the entire world turned white. K is out snowblowing right now--when he got home this morning, he couldn't even make it into the driveway. He managed to get the truck off of the road and had to leave it. But, then, this isn't all that unusual for those of us living by the big lake.

Now, the snow that came is that wet, heavy stuff. The temp didn't go down all that much--actually, it still is about 33 degrees out there. This, of course, caused all kinds of nasty problems.

First, a little background. K works at a power plant in our city--for a company that doesn't supply the power for this city. (It's complicated and not that interesting.) Suffice it to say, MOST of the time if something happens where he works, it doesn't affect us, and if something happens at the city power plant, it doesn't affect anyone but this city. (Not very clear, but it'll do.) Well, last night was one of those rare occasions when we WERE affected. Anyway, around 12:45 AM, the heavy snow broke a static line at K's plant. This in turn touched one of the power lines. Then all hell broke loose. I guess it looked like a lightning storm with all the flashing, etc. And I guess it was pretty loud at the same time. (Thankfully, no one was hurt during this.) When all this happened, the power went out all over the city. And I was left in the dark, by myself, for (what I thought was going to be) the entire night. Now, being without power in the summer brings a whole set of problems, but not having power during the winter is another story. My first concern was heat--obviously, without power there was none. Just KNOWING the furnace wasn't working made me cold--and the temp didn't really go down more than a degree or two the whole while the power was off! Talk about mind over matter! Then, because I wasn't tired, I couldn't figure out what I could do. I found a radio that works on batteries so that I could have some noise going on. Then I found my little book light so that I could read till I got tired. Before I got a chance to go to bed, the power came back on and all was well. The lights were out for less than two hours.

All in all, things could have been a lot worse. If the temp doesn't go down a lot today, we could lose a lot of the snow that is on the ground. I just hope this isn't a (bad) sign as to how things will go this winter. Yuck!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


We are under a winter snow warning for tonight and tomorrow. They are calling for up to 16" of snow by the time it is all said and done. Fortunately, for this type of storm, we are too close to the lake for most of it to bother us, but 5 miles away it will be pretty darn nasty.

Yesterday, K put up the new stormdoor on the front of the house and I covered the windows with plastic. We are trying to do all we can this year to save on fuel costs. (Of course, we didn't want to do this in a timely manner, so we waited until the first storm was almost here! :) ) Living in an old house like this, there just is only so much one can do, though. At least we are doing something. I don't even want to think about how much we will be spending to heat this place this year.

Today I went to the grocery store to stock up--as I do every time they call for a winter storm. I act as if we live way out in the sticks and won't be able to get out for weeks at a time! Just another one of my quirks! Today was a bit quieter in the stores than has been the case for the past several days. Today is the first day of the firearm deer season, so the stores have been packed with hunters getting their supplies for deer camp. I stay far away if I possibly can. Most of these men--yes, there are women hunters, too, but I am only talking about the men, now--go to the grocery store only once a year: in time for hunting camp. You will find groups of men--sometimes wearing their camouflage outfits--wandering around the store like lost little puppies. To say they have no idea what they are doing is an understatement. I truly believe some of them get to their destination and find out they have only purchased beer, steaks, and toilet paper. But then, to some people, those things are all you need to have a party!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Bunch Of Stuff

Some things going on in my life:

Grace had a doctor's appointment last week and she only gained one ounce. C has to give her supplemental formula so that she can gain a bit faster. Other than that, she is doing well.

C had to see the doctor again last week because she had a bad reaction to one of the blood thinners she was taking. Because of this and the fact that all of the tests they did for a blood-clotting disorder came back negative (just as they did a few years ago when they ran them the last time), she is going to have to see the hematologist sooner than she thought. Maybe this doctor will be able to come up with some answers as to what is going on with her. At least, thankfully, she is feeling fine and whatever might be wrong probably won't affect her life other than during/after pregnancies--hopefully.

I have officially declared myself a pretty cool grandma! I received our oldest granddaughter's Christmas gift the other day and it is quite neat. I ordered her an mp3 player and I think it is going to be a big hit with her. I love being able to actually know what is going on with modern technology and to be able to buy gifts that the kids might actually want.

We took one of our road trips last week and managed to get some shopping done. I think we did rather well, but we still have more to go. I only have to get one more of the 'bigger' gifts for one of the grandkids--I have all of the rest of the kids taken care of. Other than the kids, we really don't do a whole lot of gift-giving. I stopped doing that when my family started to treat me like something they wanted to scrape off the bottom of their shoes!

We were going to go shopping again this week, but the weather doesn't look as if it will co-operate, so it might not happen. I really like to get my Christmas shopping done in the stores before Thanksgiving--it just is way too crazy afterwards. And I don't particularly care for the season, so it is doubly bad for me to be in the stores during the month of December.

While we haven't really gotten snow--just a few flurries--we have had several days of high wind warnings this past week (and today.) I found this to be a bit spooky--after all, last week was the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. (Here is a website dedicated to the tragedy.) True, the winds haven't been quite as strong as they were then, they still are whipping around pretty good. I even had to call our neighbors and let them know that their house was 'falling apart'--I think they lost a soffit or part of the eave.

And, finally, I'm still trying to reprogram my sleep habits. I have had limited success, but I still am doing a bit better than I was. I actually manage to get to bed at night, so that is good! I just have to work at it some more.

Monday, November 07, 2005

My Visitors

Most of the people who visit my blog happen to just stumble onto it. I figure they click on the button that says 'next blog' and then move on. I do have several people that come back again, and there are some who are regular readers. To those who keep coming back, THANKS.

One thing I am amazed at in regards to the people who visit my blog is the fact that so many of them are at work while they are surfing the net. The last time I worked outside the home, we didn't have computers, so I can't imagine how that would have worked. I find it very interesting.

I also am amazed at how many people from different countries happen to stop by--again I know it is that 'next blog' button, but it still is neat to see the many countries of the world represented. I also have people from all across the US, but my repeat visitors seem to be from the Midwest. Hmmm, we must have SOME sort of connection--maybe the fact I'm here in the Midwest? :)

To all my readers, have a wonderful day and an even better week! Stop by anytime--hopefully I will have something here to make you want to come back.

To Save A Life

(There STILL are good reasons we use the internet--not just for gossip and trivia! Read on.)


Is It a Stroke?

This was published in a monthly newsletter where a friend of mine lives and he sent it on. I had never heard this advice before and hadn't a clue. Perhaps you hadn't either and would like to file it away in the back of your head.

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say any bystander can recognize a stroke asking three simple questions:

* ask the individual to smile.
* ask him or her to raise both arms.
* ask the person to speak a simple sentence.

If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

After discovering that a group of nonmedical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions.

They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting last February. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and prevent brain damage."

PASS IT ON...............

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Just Waiting

I was going to wait till there was some definitive answer before posting about what is going on with C, but heaven only knows when THAT will happen. I guess I just kind of left things up in the air, so I will tell the latest.

I posted how C had to go to the ER because of blood clots in her arms. Well, she went to see her own doc later last week and he doesn't feel as if she should have gotten so many blood clots from having the IVs in the hospital--this just isn't "normal." He feels as if she may have some sort of congenital blood clotting disorder and is having tests done--then she will have to see a hemotologist to decide where to go with the info. The thing is, she went through all of this testing after Noelle was born--they wanted to know why she had lousy pregnancies--and they didn't find out anything. I don't know how they think this time will show anything different, but we will wait and see. Right now the doc is trying to regulate her meds--blood thinners--so she has to have blood drawn every day till her "numbers" are where they should be. (I have no idea WHAT the numbers indicate, but this is what is going on.) So, we wait, again! Story of my life. :) Of course, I am not the one who needs comforting or anything---after all, it is C who has the problems--but I am a mother and I do worry. And, to a lesser degree, they might find a genetic disorder and it might indicate the need for testing, etc. for me, K, and our other daughter, A. I'm not that concerned about myself as I haven't had any indication of anything serious, but I do worry about A and what will happen when she starts having kids. Time will tell, I guess.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rock My World

Well, there are changes going on in my life and I'm not too sure how I feel about it. First, my posting might be a bit sporatic, at best, as my time is being used very differently these days. My doctor is trying to reprogram my sleep habits and I am having a hell of a time trying to get in the groove. For some reason or other, the time seems to go by so much faster during the day than it does at night. I don't know if I find so much more to do during daylight hours, but it seems as if I just don't have the time I'm used to having. I have been so busy trying to get things done before I have to go to bed, that I don't have time for the things I WANT to do. I have to, grudgingly, admit that I MIGHT be feeling a bit better by keeping "normal" hours, but it might be a struggle for me to keep this up long-term. The hardest part is living a "normal" schedule while K is doing shift work--very hard to get anything done around the house while he is sleeping all day. Oh, well, I guess if I feel really good living like this, I will keep it up--we'll see.