Monday, December 29, 2014

One Last Tree

I hunted for this image and finally noticed it hanging out---- all alone--on the desktop.

Yesterday was my LAST day of 2014 at work. (For Sure) A long, painfully slow day.  You can chat with your co-workers just so long before you start repeating yourself, over-sharing, or giving advice (BLAH!). I should have brought my book to work and found a sunny spot in the greenhouse to read it.

Today has been quiet.  I baked another batch of chocolate chip cookies for G, turned some "getting old" bread into crispy croutons, went on a walk with my friend from the library and have a pan of cornbread ready for the oven--we are going to Patty's house for dinner.

G is working on building two end tables for our bedroom.  Using the remaining wood from his desk project. I hope he will let me paint them black to match the bed.  He also has a pattern for Bluebird Houses.  Not that we see any here---too many trees.  They like a meadow.  But some of the little Goldfinches or Chickadees might like them.  I hung a few clementines (the ones with seeds) out for the birdies.

I spent an hour "pinning" German and French recipes to a new Board.  I am very new to Pin interest.
I am very new to most everything.  I collected quite a bit of moss and intend to build myself a nice little moss garden.  I am loving the terrarium I made.  The bird I found at Goodwill looks perfect sitting in with all the ferns.  My paperwhites are showing flower buds already.  I can't stand the flowers.  Stinky. But love the green foliage.

A few of the amaryllis bulbs are sending up flower stems.  I love them.  Not stinky.

Well, I have to go preheat the oven and mix the cornbread batter and get that in the oven.  Might be nice to change into something nice for going out to dinner as well.  I spent ALL of Christmas Day in my pajamas.  And I wasn't sick or anything.  Just never got dressed.  Sigh.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The 2014 Christmas Tree Cards

I actually made 12 but had the first one in a sealed envelope before remembering to take pictures of all of them.  The iPhoto download wasn't as horrid as last time, but still more trouble than it ever was before.

I used brown Kraft paper cards from JoAnn's and a white gelly roller pen with a point 4mm tip.  I only used one pen for all the cards and it still has ink.  My past experiences led me to buy a package with three pens as I have found then to be unreliably inky.

I think the whole process took three hours.  The first ones are very tight with short needled branches.  As I got looser and more comfortable with the "making" the trees became more "shrubs" as my daughter pointed out.  She got 2/12 and her tree is very tightly needled.  My son is getting 10/12 and his is much more "mellow".

We had a lovely Christmas.  Not too many presents.  Simple food.  Riley loved all the company (one extra person), his stuffed dog toy and the bone.  He's very, very sleepy.

The Christmas Burritos were delicious and the Pumpkin Pie was extra good.  We played several games--two which were new.  We didn't play Scrabble.  I have more than a dozen new glue sticks and three packages of index cards.  Thank You Santa.

Now to the belts!!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

The cards are in the mail.  I stopped, almost in time, to take pictures of this year's card.  Tomorrow. Or the next day.  I promise to post it.

The problem?  I was working right up until 5 pm today.  No time.  I was standing in the kitchen yesterday making cheese pierogi for my daughter and prepping potstickers for G and I to eat tonight, after I got home from work.  Standing and cooking until 8:30 or later.

Then the couch where I dozed off and on until I went to bed.  Up at 6:30am.

I had the day off yesterday.  Seems so long ago.  I walked with a friend.  Nice in the drizzle.  And then the grocery store.  I must have circumnavigated the store five full turns (meeting and chatting with so many people I don't see very often--some I don't even know :-0).  Forgetting something each and every time.  I had to buy for three holiday meals and desserts.  The pressure was tremendous. Forget something and there isn't time for a "do-over".  Now what was the four pounds of butter for???

No presents (and there aren't very many) are wrapped.  Tomorrow.

I helped quite a few people find presents.  Well, I made them presents.  Potted three citrus trees and found, with help from sweet Anna, care sheets on the internet.  Prettied up the plain bonsai we had for sale with nice rocks and moss.  Proper Bonsai.  And then got to add rocks and moss to two bonsai starter plants.  Used the plastic grid I got at JoAnn's and the bendable jewelry wire.  The guy who asked me to make them was very happy.  I was happier.

It was a good day.  Not the way I like to spend Christmas Eve.  But good.

Our tree looks wonderful.  The best tree, ever.  I have EVERY ornament we own on it plus two large plastic reindeer and a large old plastic monkey.  I have the monkey where I can see him (while sitting on the couch) and his smile is infectious.  His arm is falling off so he will need some emergency room treatment after the Holiday.  Super glue I think.  Old plastic isn't pliable.  Once upon a time he must have been soft and bendable. Such a cutie.

When you have a lot of ornaments it helps to buy a tree with lots of "holes".   LOL

I still have potato and sauerkraut pierogi to make, a large pot of spaghetti and meatballs, a pumpkin pie and some pretzel, caramel, pecan and chocolate "candy" and the Christmas Burritos.

I will report back and perhaps have added BELTS to all the Santa Suit ornaments.  Good thing I like making things during Christmas and not actually FINISHING them the same year.  OMG.

Merry Christmas.  To Every One Of You!!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Not Riley's Squirrel

Some other, more clever, faster on the camera, person took this picture.  But this is what is getting Riley all crazy.

It's right there on the other side of the glass.  He can almost SMELL it.

Our squirrel was standing on his hind legs, nose pressed to the glass and arms stretched out to the sides of his body.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Only Ten More Days

At about this point, I have lost interest in working.  It's not fun. This is week #39.  Time to be unemployed.  Redundant.

The sun was shining today, so the greenhouse was nice and warm and humid since I watered everything.  And I cleaned up the Venus Flytraps.  They had gotten all funky and green.  Fertilizer.  So I washed them off, clipped off the green and gave them fresh water.  Hoped that a new home was in their immediate future.

G and I finally got our acts together and mailed our son's Christmas box.  Really, we have only one child who lives "away" and we can't seem to get the box in the mail any sooner (usually later). I can't say what's inside as he reads this blog.  Hi! honey.

I bought white gel pens and brown kraft paper blank cards for the annual handmade card.  I just have to find time to start drawing.  I know.  Purchased cards would be easier.  But not me.  I got the idea from a few things on PinInterest.  I started my first file.  PI sent me a congratulatory email.  Really.
I must be their slowest new member.  Months and not one "pin".

We have also been to our first (and probably only) Christmas party.  I wore a skirt.  YIKES.  And black tights.  But my closet came up short on what I could wear on top of that skirt.  I did notice a number of women wearing cute short sleeved tees (holiday types) over long sleeved black tees.  It was interesting.  Two glasses of red wine and I had a terrific headache at work the next day.

The Christmas Tree is still in a bucket in the garage.  I am being to think the tree is also becoming "redundant" in our lives.  Not needed.  Too much trouble.

I did some shopping at Wally World this morning as I was over an hour too early to go into work. It was very entertaining.  I forgot to buy a coffee at Dunkin in the lobby.  Darn.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Still Making Santas

I went back to Joann's and got the tiny white pom poms with my newest 50% off coupon. Just thinking about sewing all those tiny white buttons (and really do I own 16 white buttons that size?) was making my head ache.

It is raining, 30-32 degrees and while G and I were having a lovely Italian lunch in an otherwise empty restaurant--the power to our street had gone out yet again.

Home. Generator. Neighbors calling to ask why we had lights on and they did not.  Finally the power company truck and the lights.

I am thinking about "being sick" tomorrow.

Oh--funny story.

The dog (Riley) has been barking in the kitchen dining room early in the morning--waking us up.  Had no idea why but this morning I was awake, drinking coffee and reading the paper.  I looked over and there was a damned naughty SQUIRREL standing on his back legs, on the outside window sill, nose pressed to the window, arms stretched out, pressed to the window.  And Riley, going nuts.

If I had only had my camera.  Would have been the best blog post ever.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Making Santas

I saw this "ornament" in the Crate and Barrel catalog---just a picture of the tiny suits hanging on the tree (upper left in photo).  No item to purchase.

I had to go online and find the actual ornament.  Made in India for $6.95 each.   Five inches by five inches felt or wool.  Hard to tell.

I had a Joann's coupon a few weeks ago and when I visited they had the best premium red felt (really good color).  So I bought a half yard of it and a quarter yard of white.  Then I had to make a pattern.

I cut up an entire manila file folder making the jacket.  Arms too short.  Arms sticking out too far. Hat too tall, too wide too whatever.  I finally cut one and made the entire thing and it took far longer than I expected.  I wanted at least a dozen for the tree.  I had one.

Then I turned to the American Industrial Standard.  I did one thing--over and over.  Then did the next thing, on all of the suits, all of the hats.   As you can see the suits are sewn (8 of them) but not trimmed.  The hats (which I do at breakfast, before work), have trim and are ready to go.  The belt is wrong and I am not enchanted with the two buttons but I am not going back to buy tiny pom poms.

I still only have the ONE finished.

We'll see.

Just Beginning To Wrap It Up

At work we are in the thick of it.  Wreaths, custom and ordinary.  Swags, which are getting more popular each year.  Fairy Gardens.  Yes!!!  I love making them and the customers seem to enjoy them as well.  I have another waiting to be made for Dec 12th delivery.

My tree---too big and not very pretty according to G--- is in the garage, in a bucket of water waiting to be installed.  Not yet, I say.  I want a day of rest.  Reading.  Writing a post.  Making a pot of soup. (lentil this time from a German recipe)  Starting to work on my handmade cards.

What I really want is to sleep.  I am very tired.

We are working longer and more often--we didn't hire any Christmas extra help.  The parking lot is covered in slippery ice.  I rarely get home before dark.  I think I am working more this year than I did last year with TWO jobs.  Or it just feels that way.

We lost power at 5 pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  I had baked my sweet potatoes, made a pumpkin cheesecake and made two batches of the boozy cranberries.  Then dark.

On Thursday I was trying to figure out, with the generator as the power source, how I would cook dinner.  Only one outlet had power as we have a small generator that is mainly for lights, fridge, microwave and furnace.  I had a Nesco roaster in the attic and decided to put the turkey in it and then have G drive it over to our daughter's house (with power) and roast it there.  I had the other menu items ready and on the cold porch waiting---hoping the power would go back on.

On the way home from dropping off the turkey/roaster, G drove down the road and asked people if the had power.  Turns out they all did.  Just our street was down.  The Squirrel Buster Thing had tripped.  So, G went looking for a power truck crew.  And found one a few streets away.  Asked them to check the pole and throw the switch.  They said they would consider it.  After they were done reattaching wires to a house.  About an hour which would bring the time to 2 pm.   I set my little timer and then went on sewing little Santas out of felt.

Before the hour was up.  Bing.  The lights came on.

We're calling this the Thanksgiving that G Saved.  Our Hero.

I fired up the stove, G went to get the turkey and we managed to sit down to dinner by 6 pm.  It was all very delicious.

All the leftovers are gone.  I have a few roasted sweet potatoes (from this Tuesday) and a few cups of green bean casserole.  G ate the last piece of pumpkin cheesecake yesterday.

Now we are facing Christmas.

I seriously think working retail at this time of year really puts you OFF the holiday.  I have no interest in shopping for anything.  I am thinking about baking cookies--lots of them like in the "old days".  And perhaps some Chex mix for the gang at work.

Other than that it may be a grilled cheese sandwich and some baked beans. Fa. La. La.