Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday was a busy day around here! I didn't make it to church, but I got the shopping done, the laundry done, and then Ralph and I dusted and AJ vacuumed, and AJ and I decorated the house for Christmas! Ralph helped dust because I was moving some of his 'stuff' and asked what he wanted done with it - I didn't think it needed to be just stored on a shelf (because of the dust). He agreed that it probably shouldn't be there, cleaned the dust off of all of it, and put it away somewhere. After we got the house done, AJ and I started in of the leaves in the front yard!

All of the leaves are not off of the trees yet, but a lot of them are, and I thought it looked a little tacky to just leave them waiting until the last one fell (the usual plan around here). Alli went down for a nap, so we got started - Ralph came out and helped too! It didn't look too bad right after we finished, but I am sure there are more leaves on it now. Ralph said he was going to mow the lawn today - which will make it easier to rake the leaves next time too. The grass was pretty long under all those leaves.

We put the leaves out in the garden for mulch (thank you again David for rototilling the garden for me!) All those leaves were just piled up right by the fence, so AJ and I decided to spread them around a bit. Then, AJ decided that it would be even more fun if the dogs helped us. It was! I went in and got the camera after the first couple of minutes and videoed it. So cute! Koori wanted to stay by me, so when I got out to video it, she didn't play with AJ as much, just stood in the corner looking at him, checking on me - what a funny dog!

Thanksgiving in Susanville went good - good food, good company, good fun! It is amazing how much the 'boys' have grown. Since I only see them once (or twice - if we make the camping trip) a year, I really notice. Jeff's older boys are becoming 'men', and little Jakie isn't so little any more! Time does fly, doesn't it!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

We're off to Susanville today, for my family Thanksgiving. I don't know for sure how many of us will be there, but we are bringing an extra. Dallas is coming up with us to keep AJ company. I doubt that I will see them all day, until it is time to eat. They will probably be in the computer room all day! Ronna was going to try to get over, but I don't know that she will be able to. It is a long trip from Ft. Bragg!

Friday, November 27, 2009

What a great Thanksgiving! I wish I had the day off today, though, and that I could have slept in! I wish I could have just slept in, even if I do have to go to work - Alli woke up bright and cheerful at 4:15 this morning. She played nicely in her room, but....we were both awake. I finally gave up and got up at 5:15.

Thanksgiving was great - Auntie Inez is doing good - she is 92 now. Debbie (Pat's daughter) made Parkerhouse rolls (Auntie's specialty) and was asking for pointers from Inez - Debbie didn't think hers came out right. (They were wonderful - I hardly got to eat any because every time I put one on my plate, Alli would take it from me!) I was listening hard to Inez' pointers, just in case I ever try to make them too! Debbie also announced her engagement yesterday. She will be moving to Barbados! What a shock! I'm very happy for her!

What happens when you stuff everyone with turkey and all sorts of side dishes? They take a nap! Angela (Debbie's daughter), Alex and Allison all napped after dinner. (Alli and I napped after we got home too, which may be why she was up so early this morning!) The side dishes I took turned out pretty good. The honey glazed carrots weren't very glazed, but they had a nice flavor to them. Pat said that last time she glazed something, it took a long time for the glaze to thicken, so I may try cooking the glaze longer next time. The Brussels sprouts gratin was good too. Pixie (Larry's daughter) had brought Brussels sprouts too - luckily a different recipe - so we had plenty of Brussels sprouts! Pat made a roasted butternut squash dish that was wonderful as well - along with the wonderful dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, turkey, etc. Too much good food!

Since I was making veggie dishes yesterday, I had the morning free, so....I pulled out my sewing machine and whipped up a hat and scarf out of fleece. I'm not real happy with the scarf - the design could use so work. (The design was mine - I had extra material left over from the hat - hmmmm - what can I do with this???) The first picture is a a bit blurry and over exposed, but it shows the hat off a bit better than the other.

I also took pictures of my snowflakes and gloves I have made recently. Our 'Christmas bazaar' starts Monday, so I will take them in to work today and try to get a display set up. I am undecided about whether I want them to sell or not. If they sell, I have to make replacements for my gift list. If they sell, I will have some extra money for Christmas shopping!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! Today is our 'local' Thanksgiving - spent with Ralph's family. Pat is a wonderful cook, and we are looking forward to it! Saturday, we will travel to Susanville for my family's Thanksgiving. Two Thanksgivings for us - Yippee!

One thing to be thankful for......Dad was released from the hospital yesterday. He was released to go straight home, which I don't think he was ready for, but there weren't a lot of options. There isn't a place at a 'skilled nursing facility' or a rehab place open, and staying in the hospital was making him worse. At least at home he will have to get up and walk to the bathroom, etc. Hopefully, he will do his therapy and exercises, and actually get better!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I love school holidays! No rush to make a lunch for Alli, get her backpack packed, get both kids up, showered and dressed! Alli's daycare doesn't care if she comes in her jammies (she doesn't, really!) and they feed her breakfast! AJ is usually still asleep when Alli and I leave, so my stress level is really low in the morning right now. I have plenty of time to play around on the computer, clean house (not!) and just take my time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another early morning around here. Alli was awake at 4:45! She didn't get up until 5:15 or so, but I was awake! For whatever reason, AJ slept on the couch in the computer room last night, so I woke him up this morning when I came in. He asked if it really was 5:30 and decided he was going back to sleep for a while. Lucky kid!

It looks like Dad may be moving back in to Susanville. He has agreed to go to the skilled nursing facility there, now to get his doctors to agree and to get him space there, etc. We are hoping he can be there before Saturday, and we can kidnap him for Thanksgiving dinner. I think that is the only reason he has agreed to move to the nursing facility - the chance to be home for Thanksgiving. They keep trying to convince him that we aren't sending him to the nursing home permanently- it's just a temporary measure to get him strong enough to go home.

We are busy at work - which is a good thing, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing! I was hoping it would be a slow week because of vacations, but since I am short handed because of vacation coverage, we are still busy! I felt like I was pretty much at a dead run all day yesterday, and I don't think today will be much better. Maybe Wednesday? I think Friday will be slow because no one knows or cares that we are open on Friday - they are all either shopping or staying far, far away from the shoppers! (I vote for staying far, far away!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

I now have the proverbial 'sore thumb'. I cut the tip of my thumb Saturday morning, and since then have found out how many things that you do actually use your thumb! To add insult to injury, I then burned the same thumb Saturday night (on broccoli - really! how dumb is that???) Sunday was supposed to be a cleaning day, since Saturday didn't turn out to be one, and I needed to clean, but...I was wounded! (Good enough excuse?)

I am actually wondering if I am coming down with something. I have no energy, a headache, and I just don't feel 'good'. I don't feel bad (except for the headache part), I just don't feel like myself. Hopefully, it is just a slump or something, and I'll bounce out of it quickly! I don't want to get a cold!

I took the kids in Saturday to have Christmas pictures done. Our Walmart is in the midst of a conversion to a Super Walmart, and this weekend was the first weekend it was open as a grocery store as well as a regular Walmart. I usually go to Walmart early in the morning, when it is still sane there. Our pictures were at 1:00, so.....we got to see all those people in the "People of Walmart" photos. They really are out there! Scary! The photo booth at Walmart has been wonderful over the years. The two girls working on Saturday did wonders to get Alli to cooperate and smile. They got some nice pictures of her. They even got some good pictures of AJ - sometimes hard to do too! I don't know how many more years I can get him to do Christmas pictures - each year I think it may be the last - he will be 17 is January!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A new me! Or at least a new picture of me! I got my hair cut yesterday, and had AJ take a couple of pictures. Not the best focus, but I probably look better with a soft focus anyway! I love the new cut - it should be easier for me to style too! (Always good in my book!)

What a week! I didn't realize it had been a week since I posted - time is flying. I can't believe Thanksgiving is on Thursday! We've been invited to Larry and Pat's for Thanksgiving, and I am on the lookout for a good veggie dish that can take being made at home, travel and sit around and be reheated and still taste good! Any and all suggestions are appreciated!

We will be traveling to Susanville on Saturday for Thanksgiving. Hopefully Dad will be in Susanville by then. He is still in Reno - on his 7th week in the hospital, and he isn't happy about it. He still does not have good lung functions, and has a cough, and is pretty weak (that goes along with not getting enough oxygen!) We are hoping to get him out of the Reno hospital and into the skilled nursing facility in Susanville, where it will be easier to visit him. If he is in Susanville, it may be possible to even have him visit for dinner on Saturday. If he is in Reno, he won't be able to, so we may be making a Reno trip on Saturday instead of a Susanville trip. I really hope he is in Susanville by then!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dave came down and did work around my yard for me! He got the garden rototilled, and hauled stuff to the dump for me. I managed to finish one yard job I wanted to get done - I'm proud of me! While Dave was working in the garden, I started cleaning up along the south fence. This is an area that is way overgrown - a peach tree that died, and has come back from the root stock, so we have nectarines, two rose bushes - one a rambling/wild rose that was growing up the oak tree, and one a beautiful coral color, but you couldn't get to it to pick the flowers, and some dead bushes that needed to be pulled out.

I couldn't cut through all the rose canes - they were too large, so I had to enlist Ralph for that part. I got the tree trimmed up, the roses cut back (the wild rose is actually cut back tot he ground - if it doesn't survive, I will be okay with that!) May next plan for the area is to make sure there is drip irrigation out there, and plant some more roses!

You can see how long some of the rose canes are. Dave said he had to fold some of them three times to get them in the back of the truck to haul off. He managed to make two dump runs for me - but needed a third! Our dump closes at 4:30 on Saturday, and isn't open on Sunday. (Shhh! Don't tell Ralph! It looks like we will have to fire up our truck and use it for a dump run!)

I still have time today (I hope) to do some more yard work. My hands are a bit stiff this morning, so I need to do something today to limber them up! (I was pulling grass out of the garden yesterday, as well as working the clippers - muscles I don't use too much sitting at a desk!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A quiet morning this morning! Alli woke me up at 4:45, but she went back to sleep! I, of course, was wide awake! She still isn't up, and it is 6:30! That little rascal! I have a house full of people (Dallas spent the night, and my brother is here) so I've been quiet so I didn't wake anyone else up! I need to go get Allison up, so she can get fed and showered and go to the store with me. She has Horse Therapy this morning, and I have a Trustee's meeting, so ...we need to get started!

Here is a little angel I made on Wednesday, when I had the day off. She is so cute! I am thinking of making several of these for gifts this year - we'll see! I always think I can do more than I actually get done! I picked up material for Christmas presents last weekend, and haven't gotten any further than that on them. I will have to get started on those, too!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day! A big 'thank you' to all veterans! I admit, I'm not doing anything special to honor vets today, but....still - a big 'Thank you" to all!

Someone forgot to tell Allison that today was a day off! She was up before 5:00 this morning! Oh well - I can use the time in better ways than sleeping, I suppose! She went to bed early last night, so I was expecting it.

Last night was Alex's end of season soccer party. It was held at a BBQ place - all you could eat BBQ sandwiches, salad, etc. The sandwiches came out on platters of about 15 sandwiches each, and the first three rounds went exclusively to the boys. When they were finally slowing down a bit, we parents could grab a couple of sandwiches of the plate before they were devoured. It was comical to see the boys gravitate to the new plates when they were brought out! There were 20 boys on the team, plus families, so it was a large group. AJ had 4 sandwiches himself, and he isn't a huge eater. They were very good - if you didn't mind waiting for the ravenous horde!

The coach had nice, funny things to say about each boy on the team. There was a lot more talk and stories for the boys that are seniors this year. Most of these kids have been at the school for several years, so I have seen many of them grow up. Looking around the room last night at all the 'boys' that were 12 and 13, and are now 17 and 18 - how fast they grow! AJ was honored for being able to 'fill in their shoes' when the seniors left - a reference to his size 13 feet!

I got flowers at church last Sunday! I did a Notary service for a couple from church, and they brought me flowers!

After church, I had AJ help me in the yard, and he trimmed up my roses for me. He trimmed my Fairy Rose bush, and we put them in a vase as well, so I have two vases of flowers! I hardly ever have flowers around the house, and now I have two vases!

Since I took Monday off, I decided that I needed a real 'vacation' day, and didn't do much around the house. I lazed around, watched TV, watched a couple of movies, and made a doily! It is a small doily - about 8 inches across, but it reminds me of Christmas! It is actually called 'Snowflake Doily', it is!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Mission accomplished! Although my list wasn't really very long, I got almost everything done yesterday. I even did a few more things that I had planned! I made a clean spot in my kitchen, so spent about an hour scrubbing it down yesterday - not on my list, but I am very happy it is done! Alex and I spent some time outside yesterday and got the garden area pretty well cleaned out. I need to go back out and rake up the plastic pieces that we couldn't pull out. The plastic I laid out last spring worked well....for a while. If I had kept up on the weeding, and been able water with a drip, it probably would have been fine. As it was, the weeds still took over. I will try again next year, and modify the design a little bit and see if it helps. Little Brother will be down next weekend to rototill the garden for me, along with some other fall chores. Yippee!

Alex and I had just come in from cleaning up the trimmings and putting tools away yesterday afternoon - ready to move on to the next chore, when Ralph said he heard my cell phone chime a second before. I picked up the phone, wondering who was texting me on a Sunday, and it wasn't a text. It was a reminder of a scout meeting in town in 20 minutes! Alex flew into his scout uniform and I brushed off what dirt I could off of me, and off we went! Both of us had completely forgotten the meeting! We made it right at 4:00, but weren't the last ones there. It was only about an hour long, so I stayed in town for it. That is the officially reason I did not finish my chore list, really!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I did it! I didn't think I would, but I did! I stood in line for over 3 hours yesterday to get the kids vaccinated for H1N1. When we got there (at 10:55) it took us 5 minutes to walk to the end of the line. I already had started thinking of all the other things I could be doing, and why this wasn't going to work! I finally (after moving 20 feet in almost an hour) decided that we would stay until Alli started acting up, and then we would leave. Since we were there at lunch time, I expected her to start throwing a fit as soon as she got hungry! I had brought snacks and toys and a cup of water for her, but I didn't expect a 3 hour wait.

Alli was so good! She spun around and around and around most of the time. After the first hour and a half, we got into an area that had tables and planter boxes that could be used as seats, and she sat pretty much from there on out, playing with her toys, or just rocking. It was much easier for me to keep an eye on here while she was sitting than she she was spinning and walking around. Alex was a great help! He sat with her if she was too far away from me, and kept her occupied with her toys. I didn't have to break out the snacks until 2:00 - and she got her shot at 2:10.

This picture was taken as we were almost into the gym where they were giving the shot. This picture shows maybe a third of the line from when we got there. I didn't go look to see how longer the line was than this when we left, but it was at least this long still. Alex was so bored! He went back and sat in the car when we first got there, but even that got too boring for him.

We stopped at Burger King on the way home to pick up lunch for the kids - a reward or bribery??? Alli ate her lunch, wanted more, and since there wasn't any more, threw a fit. She walked into her room screaming, lay down on her bed, and fell asleep. Almost that fast. She didn't sleep long, but woke up in a much better mood. She ate an enormous dinner ,and went to bed early, too! It's tough work being good!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

It's the start of a beautiful weekend! The rain was clearing out yesterday afternoon, temperatures should be in the mid-60's....beautiful! Now, if I only get around to getting my yard work done that I want to! I have a list (I always have a list!) of little projects to get done outside. We'll see if I really get any of them done!

AJ's school left a phone message yesterday. There is a swine flu clinic today at one of the local high schools from 10:00 to 4:00 for kids only. I would love to get both kids in, I have the patience to stand in line with half of Shasta County? I will keep in in mind, at least! Yes, I know they need to be immunized, but only two clinics in Shasta County from 10:00 to 4:00? I think their chance of exposure to swine flu will be greater than their chance of making it through the line to get immunized for it! We had one case confirmed at work yesterday (and she has been there all week) so I have been exposed. I don't work closely with her, is still a small place.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I love Fall! The color changes, the smell of wood smoke, the crisp mornings! We are supposed to be getting some rain soon, too. I know I will get tired of the rain, but the first few storms are wonderful!

I started a list this morning of 'thing to do' this weekend. I have Monday off, so I have a three-day weekend :). Of course, I already have enough stuff on my list to fill those three days, and I just started making it! I don't think AJ has anything going on this weekend, so I can make him help! I may not get the outdoor items done - depending on how much rain we get, or truth be told - any of the items on the list done, but I can at least make a list, right?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

AJ's team won their championship last night! This is the first 'official' championship for soccer for the school. The governing board for high School Athletics (CIS??) just recognized Fall Soccer this year as an official sport, so the are the first team to win a Championship. Pretty cool! AJ even played for at least 1 full minute! It was a tight game the first half 1-0, U-Prep ahead. They won 3-0, but fought hard for it, so....AJ wasn't in the line-up. He was happy he played, and very happy he didn't let them score against them while he was in!

AJ's usual position - on the bench!

The pictures aren't the greatest - the game started at 7:00 last night, so they played under the lights.

I got a call from Mom while I was at the game - they were moving Dad from Rehab back into the hospital. He had been scheduled to come home on Tuesday, but they canceled that because he was running a fever. They thought last night he might be heading for pneumonia, so shipped him back to full care. We'll know more later today, after they get him admitted, etc.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Daylight Savings hit us today! Alli was awake at 4:30 this morning. I wasn't too surprised, since she went to bed at 7:45 last night. Oh well, she will catch up, and then we play it backwards next Spring!

Here is a pumpkin my niece, Sarah, carved for Halloween. Not a bad picture - considering it was taken at night after Sarah lit a candle and put it out on the fence! It looked much better in person, really!

Just when all the trees were turning a couple of weeks ago, we had a huge wind storm. It has taken a couple of weeks to get more color on the trees, but...the the colors are pretty now! This is a tree in our neighbor's back yard. Our leaves turn yucky brown and fall off - just waiting to be raked up and hauled off - not a lot of fun leaves for us! Lucky for us our neighbors have good leaves for us to enjoy!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Home again from Susanville - quick trip this time. Mom had 'stuff' going on this morning, so Alli and I left earlier than usual. That gives me time to come home and clean and do laundry, the shopping, etc. Bummer!

Dad is doing well. I don't think he is as well as he thinks he is. He is ready to get out of the hospital, but I don't know that he is as ready as he thinks he is to be home! It will probably just take time for him to get his strength back up. He is pretty weak right now.

Alli was so good on the trip! We went almost directly from here to Reno - just stopping for a few minutes to pick up Mom in Susanville, and then in to the Rehab. The original plan was to take Dad out to lunch, but....he was at lunch when we got to Rehab! Mom and Alli and I went on to lunch without him. Alli had (for her!) good table manners at the restaurant, and except for choking on a french fry, was a perfect angel! We went back to Rehab, and visited with Dad. The first thing Allison did when we walked in the room was sit down on Dad's bed. Unfortunately (for Allison) the bed is wired to set off an alarm - to prevent Dad from getting out of it by himself (see prior blog entry about how he broke his hip!) We had to wait for a nurse to come and re-set the alarm. Since they knew he was in his wheelchair, I don't think they were too excited by the alarm - they didn't respond very quickly anyway! (Evidently, Dad sets it off all the time, and not because he is getting out of bed by himself anymore.)

After we got everything quiet again, we took Dad outside for a while. We spent about an hour outside, just talking. Alli played the whole time on a set of steps they have in the courtyard - sitting, laying, climbing, etc. She was such a good girl! I had told Mom that we would stay as long as Alli was happy - thinking that we would be there 30-45 minutes! By this time, Mom and I had really run out of things to talk with Dad about, and were ready to leave, but....Alli was being so good! We ended up staying over two hours, without a single fuss from Allison. She was about to fall asleep in the chair back in Dad's room when we finally left. We paid for her 'good behavior' later, though. She was a pest at the store - deliberately pushing into us, and not listening to me (with a grin on her face - she knew she had been good, and deserved the time off!) All in all, a good day for her!