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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wishes

It is 9:45 here at the lake and I am enjoying a lazy night in.  While the rest of you are dressed in sparkly spangly things I am sitting here in a flannel gown waiting for the last load of clothes to be done.  My mother always said if you go into a new year with dirty laundry you never catch up for the entire year.  While I am not buying into the concept totally, I did bring 9 loads of laundry with me.  No sense in taking unnecessary chances, right? 
OK, if I am going to be totally honest, our water service is adding excessive usage fees during the current drought.  We are already paying through the wahzoo monthly for a huge and very shady sewer deal that landed all involved with it in jail (Yes, Alabama has some issues with political corruption) so we have been bringing our laundry to the lake every month where our water bill is consistently under 25 bucks a month. Does anyone else think 400 percent for overage is a tad high?

Oh enough of the ramblings!

What I really want to do is send each of you my sincerest wishes for a wonderful and blessed 2017, so

Happy New Year All Y'all!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I Blame the Weather


We have been having unseasonably warm weather. While the rest of you are shoveling snow, wearing sweaters and drinking cocoa, we have been running the a/c and drinking iced tea.  The other day was no exception. I had started the day off wearing jeans, but has switched to capris just to stay a little cooler. Normally when it is cool I walk around the house in clogs, but it was hot so I was in flip flops. I am totally blaming the weather for what happened next



Every so often I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and am horrified at what stares back at me. No, I am not talking about the every day regular horrifying things I see in my reflection, instead I mean those out of the ordinary horrendous things.  A couple of days ago I had one of those incidents. After the immediate cringe the other day I started laughing because for a moment I thought I would audition for the role of the mother in "I Was a Teenage Werewolf". No, not because I bear some striking resemblance to Michael Landon, but because those things most people call eyebrows had gotten all wonky and looked more than a tad feral. I am not one of those people who go like clockwork to have them waxed or threaded, but most of the time I keep them in fairly good shape. Glancing in the mirror though, it must have been at least a month since I tamed the beast.  (For the record a 15x magnifying mirror is not the kindest thing to catch a glimpse in, and now you will notice in my joy list the need for a "spa day" weekly.  This is exactly why)

Now please remember, it was warm and I was in capris and flip flops (zorries to some of you, thongs to others) as I began my task.  I sat at my vanity table in my bedroom to begin the grooming and was about halfway through with one eyebrow when i saw something slide off the table before it struck my foot.  Ouch right on my bare big toe! But did I stop? No I continued on my job thinking the toe would quit hurting, but it didn't.  In fact it hurt even more__and more. And then I felt something wet between my toes.  Crap! I figured I had knocked over a bottle of nail polish that had klunked against my toe (possibly broken it) and spilled out, so I looked down to see what kind of mess I had created, That is when I saw my really small, incredibly sharp scissors perfectly imbedded  point side down in my toe, blood running down into the flip flop. Which would never have happened if the weather had been normal and I was wearing real shoes.  So I totally blame global warming!

Hi! My name is Anne, and I'm a dumb ass!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017 Navigating Life's Joy


I am starting this year with a list of things I want to do regularly just for the joy of doing them. This does not replace my monthly joy list, but is an addition to it. It will probably shorten my monthly list though since I am including some of the regular joy items here and listing them again would just be redundant. (Oh, who am I kidding? I have no idea how this will pan out. It might kill the monthly joy list entirely.)  If I think of other things to add to it I will, or if something isn't working  I will delete it. I just want a somewhat thoughtful guide for the new year

Daily
1. dance (counts even if I "dance" while seated)
2. sing
3. read something inspirational
4. read for the joy of reading
5. listen to music
6. stay abreast of the news
7. pray
8. play the piano
9. be thankful for everything
10. be kind
11. be receptive to life
12. keep a daily (or at least every other day) journal and record these joys


Weekly
1. try cooking something different
2. talk to a stranger
3. go somewhere just to browse (store, shop, museum whatever)
4. cocktail night
5. Facetime with the granddaughter
6. volunteer somewhere doing something
7. learn something new
8. have Mom up to eat (but not on the something different night)
9. have a spa night (or morning, or afternoon) at home
10. read a book

Bi-Weekly
1. make something for Christmas (gift, decoration, whatever)
2. listen to Christmas music while doing #1.
3. meet a friend for coffee
4. take Mom shopping or somewhere she can't go by herself
5. contact someone I have not seen or talked to for at least 6 months.
6. go somewhere different just to browse (shop, museum, market, whatever strikes my fancy)

Monthly
1. have guests for dinner
2. have lunch out with a friend
3. see a play, concert, ballet, opera, lecture, etc.
4. visit at least 1 relative
5. make 1 new acquaintance (this will require me going some different places )
6. explore somewhere new (can be local or out of town)

Quarterly
1. travel somewhere (can be a big or small trip)
2. learn a new skill

Monday, December 26, 2016

Stealing a Page from Lauralynne's Playbook

"You better think. . . "

Lauralynne from All That Junk In My Trunk has a wonderful idea for the new year.  I tend to make resolutions which last approximately 1 week and then the real me takes over and the resolutions are gone or put on the back burner just to be forgotten. Instead of a list of all the things she plans to do (or not do) she simply came up with a one word theme for her year.  You can read her post here.  I thought is was a brilliant way to usher in the new year, without all the hoopla and failure associated with a big resolution list.

After thinking it over (OK truthfully I only gave it about 15 minutes of thought and those 15 minutes were filled with thinking about other things at the same time plus fielding two phone calls.) I decided my inspirational word for 2017 will be PONDER.



I am prone to making snap judgements and  doing things impulsively. I would like 2017 to be a year of careful consideration.  By that I don't mean to imply that I will be rigid and  have no room for impulsive moments or spontaneity, but this year I want to actually think about the benefits and risks of  everything before leaping.

A few examples:

Time?
Cousin X calls and is headed into town for a few days and needs a place to stay, but I have planned on repainting the guest room.  The risk reward of that says hands down to put off painting and enjoy the company. But on the whole I do need to think carefully about my time and how and where to spend it, especially since it is finite. precious, and we can't manufacture more of it.

Judgement?
I see someone I know in public acting foolish.  My normal inclination is to rush to judgement.  This year I need to put judgement on the back burner, think things over and try to lean more to understanding the whys and hows of situations first.

Indulgence foods?
Occasionally is fine, but I am rarely inclined to turn it down.  This year I would like to make more purposeful decisions with food choices and this is where the pondering should come in. Celebrating with family of friends, fine indulge.  Chocolate just because__not such a good choice. And do I really need/want fries with that burger. Ponder first then eat.

Mouth?
Think before blurting!  Enough said there (Can you say filters?) I don't have to agree with everything everyone says nor it is my job to change their opinions. Plus does anyone out there really care if I think their skirt is too short or they have on the wrong color for their skin type.

Action?
It is lovely to think kind thoughts, but I need a bit of pondering to come up with a game plan to be more proactive with my follow through.  I need to come up with a plan of 52 volunteering opportunities for the year.

Family?
They see the best and worst of me.  Isn't it lovely that we will be careless with the ones we love the most.  This year I need to ponder situations then act rather than react (This is going to be the hardest for me, especially as Mom gets more and more fragile and impossibly demanding)

Finances?
Less is more needs to be my new mantra.  We are at the beginning of a coming transition and will be substantially downsizing in the next few years. I need any purchases to be wise purchases and need to only buy home things that are necessary to add value when we sell this house in a few years. (new dishwasher, updated master bath)

Lifestyle?
I need to think carefully about each possession we have and get rid of anything that does not add value to our lives or create joy.  I am not a minimalist by any means but we will be going from a large place to something much smaller and unless I want everything to follow me (I don't) I need to start systematically ridding myself of useless things.

Entertainment?
We need to purposely up our entertaining game. We have friends and a great places both here and at the lake to share fellowship.  Again I need to  think carefully and start having more people over  more often for very simple meals and great conversation. (Why do I think a dinner party needs linens, tablecloths and silver?)

So now I have pondered enough about this post and need to get on finishing up 2016 with a bang?






Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas Y'all!

In the spirit of Christmas, Old Navy sent me an email last night after midnight that the gifts I ordered the first week of December would not be available for 30 days, but they left me a number to call to cancel the order if I wanted to.  Why yes, I wanted to, so I called it immediately only to get a recording that they were not open but to call back in the morning after 8 EST.  Again, fine and I planned to call as soon as I woke.  But I woke only to find they had already shipped the previously unavailable items and they were shipping it as a rush item at no additional cost to me.  Then I looked at the estimated rush delivery date___12/28?!?!?!?!?!

So now I have a box full of items being shipped to me as presents I suppose for either after Christmas or to save and use next year.  Fortunately they were all filler presents and everyone here is an adult so no harm no foul, except for Son3's filler presents.  He flies out at 5:30 am the 28th.  Do we think the men in brown will be delivering that early?

Also in the spirit of Christmas and because I am from the south and prefer to make fun of myself before anyone else has a chance to here is my homage to Christmas in Alabama


I am off for a few days of merriment or mayhem.  Wishing each and every one of you a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

No Christmas Spirit

This is not exactly where I am with the lack of Christmas spirit this year, but it's not too far off either. I give My Beloved Sister a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle every year.  Each year she calls me a couple of days after Christmas to tell me she is finished with it.  This year I gave her 1000 pieces of a gray ombre circular puzzle,  No design, just a round ombre form dark to light gray.  Let's see her call me in 2 days now!

Then I saw this and thought that is more like me, especially since I went to  very trendy shopping place this morning. (For the record I had not planned on stopping there and looked somewhat like a homeless person,  Yeah, sweat pants, tennis shoes, long sleeve tee, muffler, toboggan on my head because I had not had a shower yet much less done my hair, no makeup and a backpack.  It was a good look!) You can't even buy  place to park there so I was traipsing all over downtown Homewood in all my loveliness. Amazingly every single merchant was very kind and was happy to sell me whatever they had to sale no matter how homeless or homely I looked. (Which makes me wonder should I quit trying and just look like a haint* all the time?)

Maybe instead of waiting for the Christmas spirit to wash over me I need to wash down some Christmas spirits?

*Haint is a southern term for an ugly scary critter generally from some supernatural realm.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Gift for Sis, but Mainly for Me

I love, love, love Lush's silky underwear powder. It is a wonderful silky smooth dusting powder with faint jasmine undertones. It gets really hot and muggy here so a nice dusting powder really is a great thing to have on hand. Until just a few months ago we had no Lush in Birmingham, and every time I was somewhere that had one I would buy 6 or 7 bottles of the stuff. It has no talc so I don't have to be worried about using it liberally, except for one small detail__the ridiculous price. I had just finished using the last of my most recent purchase (Thanks Lush in New Orleans) and am not ready to spend 9 bucks on two ounces of powder anymore so  I finally decided to see if I could find a hack for some DIY similar powder.  I found several and, as usual, decided to kind of sort of combine them to come up with something I really liked.  Jasmine was the overall recommended scent, but I am not a huge jasmine fan so I opted to leave mine unscented, (Which, by definition is a lie because it smells like cocoa butter.  It is not overpowering but still the smell is there. Than again, there are worse things than smelling faintly of chocolate.)

Now for the how to's.  In a large glass or enamel bowl mix 1 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup baking soda. 1/2 cup arrowroot starch and 1/4 cup finely grated cocoa butter.  Stir to mix well, then stir some more. Sift it twice and let it sit covered for a day or two (Once again I used a clean peanut butter jar).  Put a small amount in a shaker jar and enjoy.

For My Beloved Sister's gift I used a salt shaker from a box of silver I purchased.  A woman in our neighborhood was downsizing and the last thing she wanted to do was be stuck with polishing silver in her new space, so she sold every piece in a huge box for 60 dollars. I have used many of them as delivery systems for cookies or cakes.  (Most of it was silverplate, like the salt shaker, but there were a couple of sterling trays and a sterling bowl. Score! ) The box had 32 pieces in it so I am counting each piece as 2 bucks.
This make a cute (once again presentation is everything) and useful gift for her and she can always come here and get a refill when it runs out.  I plan on making this regularly and will keep playing with it until I get it just exactly like I want it. Right now it is just close, not perfect, but at a savings of 8 dollars a bottle I can deal with imperfection.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Festive Friday on a Friday?

Wow, I would be super impressed with myself except I know how lame this gift is.  In fact it is only partially homemade, but sometimes close has to do.

This is another gift for My Beloved Sister and one of the many cheap frugal gifts I am adding to her Christmas cache'.  A few months ago (or last spring) we were in NYC visiting Son3 and happened upon a street fair. (Because no matter when you visit the city there is a street fair, right) Someone in a booth was selling necklace pendants 3/$10.  I saw three I liked but could live without out them so I started to walk away, which is always very easy for me to do, when all of a sudden the price became 2 bucks each if I would still buy three.  I was perfectly fine buying them at that and actually bought them for myself. Typical of me, I unpacked my suitcase, put them in a box in my drawer and promptly forgot about them  When I was doing my pre-Thanksgiving serious cleaning I found them again and decided one would make a nice gift for My Beloved Sister, but I needed something to hang it from.  I guess I could have bought a length of black cording but I didn't want to spend any more money on it.  So I found some thin black yarn and decided to give finger knitting a try (see tutorial). I figured it would either work or not and I had nothing but a little time invested in it. Turns out, it worked perfectly as a pendant holder and she can pull over her head rather than having to fasten or unfasten it.


 















I will say that instead of doing some insanely perfect finish for the back I just tied it together in a series of small knots then trimmed any excess. It actually looks intentional rather than accidental but shhhh! We won't tell her right! The picture I am posting does not show it but the weight of the pendant pulls the kitting close together and lengthens it.  Again it looks intentional instead of a happy accident.  So yay, another gift ready for a quick wrapping before it goes to live under the tree.


Tomorrow I will post another gift I made for her, but it is mostly really for me, because I am just nice like that!

Until then get wrapping, shopping, baking, or whatever you do when the last week countdown starts!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Old Dog Seeking New Trick


Does anyone but me dislike the new blogger format?  I already know what I wrote, so why do I want it to pop up on the screen when I open blogger?  What I want to see is what all y'all (Southern term implying a bunch of y'all) have written. I like to see what everyone else is doing and what is interesting in your lives.  I am quite boring enough that I don't need to see/read about it again once it is written.  I find having to scroll down to the reader's list to get to the good stuff a pain in the rear. (Yeah, I know.  First world problems)

Does anyone out there know some handy trick I don't know that can change my setting so I see what I want to see  first (your posts) rather than looking at crap I wrote.

Waiting and hoping for relief!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Festive Friday on a Monday

Well another Friday has come and gone and as we have all found out, I seriously suck at regular posts.  What is worse is that I actually had this completed on Friday, but just didn't take the time to take a photo and write a quick post. Boo, me!

This is another gift for My Beloved Sister.  As I have mentioned before, we give each other many gifts each year, but have learned to be cost effective and make a bunch of them.  Since I know her so well and know what she likes (chocolate), it is generally pretty easy for me to think of something (chocolate) to make for her.

Thanks to a few bloggers who have posted directions to making this. I took your suggestions and tweaked them a little to come up with something I know she will enjoy.

Mint Hot Chocolate

1/4 cup powdered cocoa
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup powdered milk (I used Nido because it is powdered whole milk)
1/2 cup powdered creamer
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (optional but I keep it on hand all the time)
3 tablespoons powdered peppermint (about 10 individual mints whirled in the blender until powdery)

This is one of the easiest gifts I have ever made. Just toss everything in a big bowl and use a wire whisk to incorporate all the ingredients. That is it and it is about as easy as you can get. After it was mixed together the only thing I needed was something to present it in.  I had some large cello cookie bags left over from a project earlier in the year so I measured enough cocoa mix for 6 cups of hot chocolate (using 1/4 cup of mix per serving) and filled the bag.  I made a quick trip to Dollar Tree to grab a white mug, but there was not one so I punted and bought a clear one.  Once home I used Sharpie markers to draw a very simple snowman face on the mug.  When I put the bag of cocoa mix in the mug it looked funny so I wrapped the bag in white tissue paper, tied it with red and white baker's twine and the put it in the mug.  Finally, a snow colored snowman's face!  Since I had all the supplies except for the mug in my pantry already, I figure the cost of this gift including the mug is a little under 2 bucks.  Not bad for one more gift she will use and enjoy, because it's chocolate after all!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Drumroll Please!




Before I begin let me apologize for not posting this yesterday as I was supposed to.  I was at the lake where life is easy the the internet connection is sketchy.  I could never open Blogger entirely so I just waited until today when I was home.  I wrote each entry on the same size piece of paper, folded them in half and put them in a large empty and cleaned Yankee Candle jar.  After shaking the jar to mix the entries up well  I got TheHub to do the official drawing. So if you are going to blame anyone for not winning all the blame goes to him. And the winner in the first Anne in the Kitchen giveaway and new owner of an over purchased  (blasted fundraisers) cookbook is   Sluggy! 

I will get this in the mail in the next day or two.

Monday, December 5, 2016

December Joy List

Since I did no joy list in November I don't have to cross things off or explain my failures. November's joy was filled entirely by my family all being together and by Pip (the granddaughter) who radiates joy.  Now on to December!

 1. Volunteer at I.P.
 2. Listen to Christmas music daily
 3. Find and enjoy some free live music
 4. Bake and share cookies
 5. Take food to someone having a hard time
 6. Have Mom up weekly for dinner
 7. Take Mom out to see the Christmas lights
 8. Take Mom Christmas shopping (I admit this in not joyful for me but it is for her)
 9. Get Santa Letters addressed and mailed (Chore but joyous when it is finished)  Literally hundreds of letters to kiddies from Santa with the North Pole cancellation were mailed today to be re-mailed. I have addressed so many blooming envelopes my hands will not function right now. 
10. Spend at least one night relaxing with only the Christmas lights lit, music playing and a glass of         wine.
11. Gussie up the Christmas packages
12. Think of what I like most about each person when I send my Christmas cards
13. Take food to the food pantry
14. Have a small dinner party
15. Have neighbors over for dessert and coffee
16. Go to a play or Christmas extravaganza
17. Pray for world peace
18. Appreciate and enjoy the rain (Best lesson learned from a drought)
19. Make 3 Christmas gifts
20. Face time with Pip and talk about Christmas (or anything) 2nd time this week.  I miss her terribly
21. Light candles daily
22. Gather unused coats for a homeless mission
23. Toys for Tots donation
24. Donation to Foster Families Christmas Celebration
25. Quiet time daily with Advent meditations
26. Christmas Brunch!
27. Catch up with an old friend
28. Have a conversation with someone I don't know
29. Try a new food/dish Soup at a Persian restaurant in town. Can't pronounce it much less spell it.           Luckily it is on the menu as "soup of the day"  Whatever it is called it is delicious!
30. Try a new adult beverage
31. Make fudge (several kinds) and share the love!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Scruffy Hospitality!



This is a simple copy and paste of an article I really needed to read. It can be found at the Style Bueprint and I am linking the article here just in case thee are issues. I hope it will transmit so that each of you can gather some wisdom from it, that is ,if you are like me and need it.  Maybe we can indeed have the best Christmas ever!  Peace!



Scruffy Hospitality? During the Holidays?! Yes!

Liza Graves


‘Tis the season for the picture-perfect home, the picture-perfect meals and the enviable holiday party where again, everything is just perfect.

What’s up with our need to make everything so PERFECT? I know, I know. I am not the first person to ask this and I won’t be the last. But, during the holiday season, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, this need for detailed perfection is at its annual peak. Maybe that is why so many people hibernate in January. It’s not the cold weather. It’s recuperation from all that perfection that we tried so hard to maintain for the previous six weeks. Don’t get me wrong, there are people who excel and are energized by all of this planning and doing. But it excludes the rest of us who feel that if we can’t compete, why even try?

A scruffy Thanksgiving.

My own Thanksgiving meal this year took place in a kitchen missing upper cabinets, with drywall showing and food was served straight out of aluminum baking pans … there was no centerpiece on the table, but I found two candles. The feedback? The best, least stressful Thanksgiving ever.

And I’m not even going to pretend that StyleBlueprint doesn’t add to the frenzy. We’ve curated beautiful tablescapes, recipes, cocktail ideas, holiday homes and ideas for great gifts. But, let’s all remember that those tablescapes were made for a photo shoot. Those recipes? They were captured in perfect lighting and were likely the only thing being cooked at the time. Those cocktails? Well, let’s be real … if you want to make a gathering easier, just serve beer and wine, as hard as it is for this cocktail lover to admit. Those holiday homes? They have been fretted over for days to get them ready to shoot. Many had designers involved. The photos are likely edited to make them even more … perfect. Just like a runway model, where you see something to inspire your look, take those same cues from these homes … get ideas, but don’t think your house has to live up to them … unless that is your thing, and then go for it! And the gifts? If you are losing your mind, just get a food/beverage gift for everyone … they’ll use it or be happy to have it to pass on to someone else. Buy a case of wine or some coffee, or order brownies or oranges for everyone. We can take this down a few notches. Let’s remember that.

Which brings me to the topic of “scruffy hospitality.” I’m not talking about planning a nice party and having people over to your home that you haven’t cleaned up at all because you’re trying to “be real.” If you plan a party, clean up your house and prep, sure. Show people you care and wanted to make them feel special. But, what about the Friday night where you get home and think I’d really like to see some friends, and you text a few people and they are free too. Let’s leave time and space in our calendars and hearts for these impromptu gatherings. And, by all means, straighten up a tiny bit … wipe down your counters and maybe empty your sink. Make sure there is toilet paper and soap in the powder room … but otherwise? Order a pizza and have everyone else bring wine or whatever. Leave the backpacks by the back door and the mail on the counter. All those giveaway clothes you’ve had in bags to get to your car? It’s okay if your friends see them. Maybe those bags will encourage them to purge some items as well.

If you haven’t heard the term “scruffy hospitality” before, it was coined by a Knoxville, TN, Anglican priest, Jack King, in a sermon that he wrote a blog post about here. Here is an excerpt:

“Scruffy hospitality means you’re not waiting for everything in your house to be in order before you host and serve friends in your home. Scruffy hospitality means you hunger more for good conversation and serving a simple meal of what you have, not what you don’t have. Scruffy hospitality means you’re more interested in quality conversation than the impression your home or lawn makes. If we only share meals with friends when we’re excellent, we aren’t truly sharing life together.

Don’t allow a to-do list to disqualify you from an evening with people you’re called to love in friendship. Scheduling is hard enough in our world. If it’s eating with kind, welcoming people in a less than perfect house versus eating alone, what do you think someone would choose? We tell our guests ‘come as you are,’ perhaps we should tell ourselves ‘host as you are.’” — Jack King

You know that political statement we hear, “It’s the economy, stupid?” I feel like we need to say “It’s the relationships, stupid!” to ourselves every now and then as a reminder. Don’t let your own need for perfection outweigh your soul’s need to be real and connect with your friends and family. Invite people over. Tell them, “My wrapping paper is piled in the corner, and I’m wearing yoga pants. My plant is dead, but it’s too heavy to carry outside. All that said, I’d love to see you and share a pizza and catch up during this crazy time.” It’s probably exactly what they wanted and the permission slip they needed to be real, as well. Can you imagine receiving that text? You’d probably know you were in for the best night of the whole season.

Have you been waiting for your new furniture to arrive to invite people over? Don’t wait. That hole in the wall to be repaired? Put a frame around the hole and make a joke out of it … you’re friends will love you all the more for it. If I’ve learned only one thing in the past few years it’s that we really don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and who cares if your plates don’t match because you’ve broken too many? Who cares that having a perfectly tidy and organized house is just not your talent? You can run to the olive bar at the grocery store, add some cheese, grab some sparkling cider and wine and say “Welcome.”

And that goes both ways … be the guest with a gracious and nonjudgmental heart. If your friend invites you over and everything is not “just so,” be grateful for the invite even if you are the type who CAN do it all. Got it?!

Cheers to great parties and Christmas trees that are over-the-top beautiful. Cheers to the families who can pull off the gorgeous holiday cards, hand addressed in beautiful calligraphy. But cheers as well to deep breaths, messy desks, car trunks that still have summer’s goggles in them and a few piles of papers that you just can’t seem to file away. It’s okay. Deep down, we care far more about everything else. Let’s talk about it. Tonight. My house, or yours?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Card Swap and Giveaway






Hey y'all!  Since I have been a virtual friend to so many of you and shared your lives this past year I thought it might be fun to have a card swap among anyone who wants to participate.  The rules are so simple that there are no real rules.  Simply email me haljam3@gmail.com.  I will literally put everyones name in a hat and randomly draw 3 people for you to send a card.  Then I will randomly give 3 people your name.  In the end we will have 3 cards to send and receive. Buy them, make them, bake them__whatever you want your greeting to be. I figured 3 was a doable number for anyone.   The only real rule is to email me in the next few days.  That will give me plenty of time to sort it out and get back to each of you with your 3.   So if you are so inclined, or even remotely inclined, join in. It is a low cost way to bridge the distance between the virtual and 3-d worlds we occupy.

As an aside while I have been doing this major cleaning and purging I found several copies of a fundraiser cookbook I bought a few years ago.  It is a book of recipes sent from chef's across the country. I gave some to Goodwill but kept one copy to use as a giveaway.
Following a variation of
Sluggy"s rules, comment "enter me" in the comment section for 1 entry.  Post it in your blog with a link to this page for another entry.  Then everyday you post it on your blog with a link here is another entry.  Simple enough.
There are 218 pages of recipes, some from nationally known chefs and some from very generous restaurant owners who were more than willing to help.
All entries are due by December 9 with a drawing on the 10th.


Delayed Festive Friday Post

Today's post is in no way shape or form intended to be the ultimate gift from the kitchen, but simply a very inexpensive way to reuse some things you have in your house anyway to give a gift from the kitchen a little more oomph. After all it's all about the presentation, right?

I had originally planned on using this box to show 3 different gifts from the kitchen using the same container with very different looks, but time and tide wait for no one and I have been about as busy as I can be.  Since I skipped Festive Friday last week I thought I would go ahead and show you and trust that your imaginations are large enough to see other ways to use this.




Begin with an old Christmas card box, You know the kind with the clear plastic lids on them, right? Use enough wrapping paper and make sure you have enough to have a 3 inch border beyond all four sides of the box. The remaining tools are pretty basic.  I used a pair of scissors and a glue stick.  I am sure there are more complicated tools and directions but I am a simpleton at heart and almost always use the K.I.S.S*. method of doing things.














Turn the box bottom upside down and place the paper on the bottom of the box.  I will confess I used a smear of the glue stick to anchor the paper in place. Fold the long sides first, creasing the bottom and top edges, then do the same for the short sides. Now turn the box over so you can begin the folding and gluing part.





Fold the edges over the top edges of the long sides of the box, then fold about half or it under the first fold to make a nice smooth edge.  Glue the folded under edge to the paper much like hemming a skirt. Next, run the glue stick down the entire top edge of the inside of the box and glue the paper to the long sides of the box. On the short sides of the box, fold the ends like you are wrapping a present, then "hem" those edges also.  Run the glue stick down the inner edges of the box and glue the "hemmed" ends to it.  Since you are making those wrapping end folds you might need to glue down every fold.  I didn't, but again K.I.S.S. This is how it looks completely covered.






Before you do anything else, wash the card box lid thoroughly in warm soapy water, rinse well and dry with a lint free cloth. (I am talking seriously dry here, not like I do when I dry my hand washed dishes. Oh, who am I kidding? I usually let them air dry)

The next step is to make something homemade to put into the box.  As fate would have it, Son3 was returning to NYC this afternoon so I made him some peanut butter fudge to take back, but I confiscated a dozen pieces before I packed his to go.  This would look nice with truffles, turtles, buckeyes, chocolate fudge, divinity.  The sky and your imagination are the only limits!












Grab a few candy paper frills and line the bottom of the box. (Mine held a dozen. Mini cupcake liners would also work just as well.) Then set a piece of candy in each frill.
If you are putting cookies in the box,  line the box with enough white tissue paper to overlap all the cookies.  Cut a piece of white parchment paper to go on top of the tissue in the bottom of the pan, fill the box with cookies.  Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the cookies and fold the tissue over the parchment.








The last step is to put the lid on the box then slide a ribbon underneath the box bring it around to the top of the box and tie a bow.  If Son3 had not been walking out the door to catch a flight, I would have put some tiny ornament in the middle of the bow, but he was ready to leave and I was in a hurry.  Oh well, imagine something really cute attached to the bow. Now go make a list of everyone you want to have something that looks really cute for and get busy wrapping leftover card boxes.








Speaking of cards, If any of you want to be involved with a Christmas card swap email me your address to  haljam3@gmail.com  I read all of your blogs daily, even if I am living in chaos and don't have time to respond.  I would love to send holiday greetings to you and would even organize a blogging card swap for anyone interested.

K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid!














Friday, November 18, 2016

Finding What Is Important

If you read my blog you may have been seeing my posts about trying to make everything appear perfect in the house.  I had planned on having everything completed by noon today with the remainder of the day for cooking and decorating. As happens so often, when we carefully plan, life makes other arrangements.

Wednesday I got a phone call that a friend of our oldest son had died in a wreck.  We had been close friends with his family since the kids were little fellas but had lost touch lately except through FaceBook.  We are still close friends with his father  in law and mother in law, and see them every few weeks and it would never occur to us to not acknowledge his passing.  So last night I stopped cleaning to make some food to help with their extended family  lunch today and this afternoon I went to a funeral for a young man who died too soon and leaving a young widow and 2 young daughters and a broken hearted mom, dad, brother and sister. While I was going through the receiving line at the visitation before the services his dad hugged me, told me old friends are the greatest friends, and said nothing mattered but hugging my boys.

On the way home I was getting cranked up because I was sitting at a dead stop on the interstate, making a mental list of things I had not finished yet. In the middle of the stand still I mentally heard Bob's voice saying again, nothing mattered except hugging my boys.  The frenzy I had been feeling was gone and replaced by an internal peace, because life is uncertain and nothing matters except hugging my sons, dil and of course granddaughter.  The house is pretty darn clean and it might not be  exactly what I envisioned, but instead of seeing something askew  or not quite perfect I am going to heed Bob's advice and know that nothing matters except hugging them and enjoying our time together. Because  Nothing. Else. Matters

I know his entire family would give anything in this world to have Thanksgiving in a crappy dirty house all together instead of facing the empty place at the table. So I am now ashamed that I believed for even one moment that this Herculean cleaning frenzy was necessary.  We will be together and laugh and enjoy each other, and eat too much, and since I have sons will have some toilet humor, loud sounds and unseemly fragrances and it will be enough and it will be good!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

And the Moral Is

Once upon a time there was a woman (who shall remain nameless) who could easily live in a less than perfect state of being.  Her home would pass an inspection by the Health Department (well most days anyway) and she ascribed to the old adage that a home should be clean enough to be healthy but dirty enough to be happy. Since she had tendencies to be obsessive about things it was probably a good thing for her family that cleaning has never been one of her obsessions.

 Life was pretty easy, she kept their clothes clean (most of the time), she kept the house tidy (most of the time) and she cooked them delicious food. (except for the days when she served so-so stuff or they went out to eat) Yes life was pretty easy, and then, one day, she decided to make a complete list of everything that needed to be done before company would be there.

In the hands of normal people a list might just be a handy tool or a guide to stay on task, but when you a list like this in front of one of those "other kinds" of people, something as simple as cleaning out a powder room vanity cabinet takes on epic proportions and no longer will cleaning the cabinet do.  It then needs a new coat of paint and the rug in the powder room needs to be cleaned and while getting the steam cleaner to clean the run in the powder room, the upstairs closet has to be completely torn apart and put back together, but not before finding a picture one of the kids drew when they were in elementary school, which has to be framed, but who can frame kid artwork without first cutting a mat for it, then while looking for the exacto knife finding 2 tubes of watercolors that were out of place, which means cleaning all the art supplies and reconditioning the brushes before putting them back in the jar that holds them, but the jar had spots on it and needed to be cleaned....

Which brings me to her latest less than sane moment. After quick shining the hardwoods (and they do look lovely now) she decided the gourds she had dried a few years ago and still uses as autumn decorations looked "flat" against the fresh shine on the floors.  And because the world does not have enough idiots, she pulled out some medium gloss varnish ( I mean she wouldn't want to be garish) and painted it on the gourds which now have a lovely low luster and will be perfect on the foyer floor. Well almost perfect, she still has to run to Hobby Lobby and snag some fall colored plaid ribbon because she just decided they would look nicer in a big basket and a big basket requires a bow right?

And all of this chaos because of a stupid list!

Which brings me to the moral of this little tale.  Before the youngest graduates from college sell your home and move into a 1 bedroom condo.  That way when holidays are near and people come to visit you can put them up in a nearby hotel and eat in restaurants and everyone stays sane!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Clock is Ticking and I'm Still Cleaning

I fell behind this week. Time is fleeing, but I still couldn't get motivated, so now I am hurrying like crazy to try and finish everthing I have not yet done.  I would love to have Friday free and clear to do the last minute touches and also do some baking. (Who wants to visit home without a taste of their childhood on the table?)  Better still I would love to be like Samantha and just twitch my nose and have everything do itself, but I am pretty sure that is not going to happen.

Barring unexpected magic, I will be scurrying like a hampster on a wheel, so I can finish by Thursday night. That will leave me all day Saturday to catch my breath, enjoy some coffee on the deck, run the vacuum, dust one last time, cook something delicious, light the candles and get ready for their arrival at 9:30.





Week 2:
 1. Clean music room
 2. Deep clean guest room bathroom, Waiting for Friday right before they come
 3. Deep clean Son3's bathroom, Waiting for Friday before he gets home
 4. Gussie up the deck and screened porch
 5. Deep clean Master bedroom
 6. Deep clean Master bath  Deep clean dressing room
 7. Wash summer comforter and put away did this week 1
 8. Air winter comforter and shams and put on bed did this week 1
 9. Whatever else I think of this week to add to this list
10. Paint corner cabinets in the dining room paying to have this done today, best  money spent ever
Carry overs
Quick shine hardwood floors in foyer/lr and dr
Create a bedroom for Pip from my former office work in progress,  over 2/3 finished
Deep clean dressing room
Deep clean laundry room
Deep clean butler's pantry
Clean oven  doing a tad more baking before I clean it

Extras if I get to them, if not carry over to week 3 or possibly forget about entirely
 1. Wax cabinet fronts and doors
 2. Re-do kitchen table top Not going to happen.  Tablecloth right?
 3. Shampoo den carpet   decided a thorough vacuum and spot cleaning would work fine
 4. Take breakfast nook rug outside and wash it
 5. Get a few Thanksgiving decorations in place

Friday, November 11, 2016

Festive Friday

Finally, I am here on a Friday as I set out to do each time, but as we know, life sometimes kicks us in the rear and we have to adjust everything.  This week has been a fairly low keyed. I think I only had to do things for Mom 3 days this week and she had no non-emergency, "emergencies"so I call it a fabulous week.

As I said in previous posts, My Beloved Sister and I give each other a lot of Christmas gifts so we have to make some of them just to keep it affordable. (Yeah, I know we could just give each other 1 gift, but what fun would that be?) So once again, y'all get a peek at one of her presents.  I am really lucky she does not do social media, so she will never see this post.

She has an incredible complexion and does a wonderful job babying her skin. She is also one of those people who regularly exfoliates her legs and arms, so this sugar scrub will be a great consumable gift for her. In addition, she loves, loves, loves chocolate so that makes today's gift a no brainer.


Chocolate Sugar Scrub

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup solid coconut oil
2 tablespoons almond oil
few drops coconut essential oil (optional)

In a medium bowl mix the brown sugar and cocoa powder.  Add the coconut oil and cream it with the sugar/ cocoa mix. Add the almond oil and stir well to blend.

Spoon into a jar, and make it as fancy or plain as you wish. When I cleaned out the refrigerator I found a jar with about 2 tablespoons of jelly.  The jelly was incorporated into a glaze for some chicken.  Since I really did like the shape of the jar, I simply removed the label, washed it and the lid, then painted the lid with gold paint.  I have some small olive wood demitasse spoons, so I will tie one of those with a ribbon along with a tag letting her know what the gift is, and a warning to be careful when using it in the tub or shower because the oils can make the surface a little slippery.

Fortunately for me there is a little left that would not fit into the jar, so I have about 3 tablespoons of scrub to use on me. I massaged a little on my hands, left it on for a couple of minutes then rinsed it off. Oh my, and it left them feeling so soft and smooth!  I can't wait to try this on dry winter legs and feet. (Well, if winter ever comes here again! I am still wearing flip flops everywhere.) Smells great and leaves me silky.  Sounds like a winner to me!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Chicken Crack






This past weekend we were at the lake for a workday/football watching day.  I have been using up freezer items and wanted dinner to be easy and to use something from storage, so I pulled out 2 packs of chicken breasts (roughly 2 pounds) and did a google search using the words easy crockpot chicken. I was blitzed by something called Chicken Crack or Crack Chicken and 1 other name for it but I have already forgotten what it was.  It was simple, easy and since I had to stop at the store on the way to the lake anyway I decided to try it.



2  pounds boneless chicken breasts
2  8 ounce packages of cream cheese (I used the lower fat kind and it worked fine)
2  packs ranch dressing mix
1  pound bacon (I took the bacon out of the freezer but decided not to use it. )

Dump the chicken, ranch dressing mix and cream cheese in the crock pot in that order.  Put the lid on it and cook it on low for 8 hours. The directions also said you could cook it on high for 4 hours, but I had all day so I opted for the 8 hour low cooking thing.  When it is done the cream cheese will mainly be on top of the chicken, so use 2 forks to shred the chicken while mixing in the cream cheese.  If you decide to use the bacon, cook it nice and crispy.  I bought a soft Italian bread and sliced it about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Put it on the plate and spooned the chicken on top of it.  It looks pretty bad with nothing on the top of it, so sprinkle the top with bacon or roasted chopped red pepper.  This was insanely tasty and made enough for another dinner plus 2 lunches.  I plan on doing this one night when everyone is here because it cooks itself and I am all in favor of a one pot dump meal.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Decent progress but not finished!
This week:
 1.Create a bedroom for Pip from my former office work in progress, but over half finished
 2. Wash sheets and towels for guest room.
 3. Vacuum ceilings, wall corners, and crown moulding in foyer, l.r. and d.r.
 4. Wash all woodwork in the foyer, dining room, living room
 5. Quick shine hardwood floors in foyer/lr and dr
 6. Wash windows in foyer/lr and dr
 7. Deep clean laundry room/studio (I don't want to even begin this) Still don't want to do this
 8. Deep clean pool bath
 9. Deep clean dressing room
10. Re-arrange freezer foods to make room for a turkey or 2
11. Deep clean butlers pantry
12. Deep clean all kitchen cabinets, drawers and shelves
13. Clean oven (Understand the oven is self cleaning but I forget to do it)
14. Deep clean refrigerator
15. Wash all woodwork in breakfast nook
16. Wash breakfast nook windows
17. Vacuum ceilings, corners and crown moulding in den
18. Clean  den woodwork
19. Wash den windows
20. Wash breakfast room chandelier globes
21. Clean drawers and shelves breakfast room sideboard.
22. Create some Thanksgiving art

Extras if I get to them, if not carry over to week 2
 1. Wax cabinet fronts and doors
 2. Re-do kitchen table top
 3. Shampoo den carpet
 4. Take breakfast nook rug outside and wash it
 5. Get a few Thanksgiving decorations in place

I am keeping this week's list shorter on purpose.  I have commitments Tuesday, all day, Wednesday half a day and Friday until about noon. If I do get everything on this list done then the house will be ready for guests, and I will have the entire following week for finishing touches, advance cooking and shopping and Thanksgiving decorations. If I don't get it finished I will be working with my back against a wall__as usual!

Week 2:
 1. Clean music room
 2. Deep clean guest room bathroom
 3. Deep clean Son3's bathroom
 4. Gussie up the deck and screened porch
 5. Deep clean Master bedroom
 6. Deep clean Master bath Deep clean dressing room
7. Wash summer comforter and put away did this week 1
 8. Air winter comforter and shams and put on bed did this week 1
 9. Whatever else I think of this week to add to this list
Carry overs
Quick shine hardwood floors in foyer/lr and dr
Create a bedroom for Pip from my former office work in progress, but over half finished
Deep clean dressing room
Deep clean laundry room
Deep clean butler's pantry
Clean oven

Extras if I get to them, if not carry over to week 3 or possibly forget about entirely
 1. Wax cabinet fronts and doors
 2. Re-do kitchen table top
 3. Shampoo den carpet
 4. Take breakfast nook rug outside and wash it
 5. Get a few Thanksgiving decorations in place

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 3 on the attempted use it up freezer/pantry challenge

Once again I am only listing days and meals that used foods from my food storage, and once again I have not used enough.












 Have any of you tried these bags yet?  I really do like them













Monday
Dinner  hot dogs with trimmings, cole slaw, Fritos, chili (for dipping said Fritos in of course)
used 1 pack hot dogs (f) 1 small container kraut (p) 1 can bean less chili (p)

Tuesday
Breakfast: blt salad
Dinner: guava/spinach stuffed chicken, steamed vegetables, sliced tomatoes
used: 2 slices bacon (f) 1 pack chicken (f) bag broccoli/ cauliflower/ carrot mix (f) 1/2 bag chopped spinach (f) 1/2 pack guava paste ( p)

Wednesday
Dinner: bbq pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, coleslaw
used: 1 pack pulled smoked pork (f) corn (f)


Thursday
Breakfast/lunch: smoked sausage, apple, coffee
Dinner: skillet meal, ground beef, leftover smoked sausage, potatoes, onions and squash. Thought Son2 was going to eat with us so I padded the meal with the sausage. He didn't, so leftovers!
used: smoked sausage (f) small pack ground beef (f) pack squash ( f)

Saturday
Breakfast: egg bake using leftovers from Thursday dinner with spinach added, kiwi
Lunch: pizza, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers
Dinner: crack chicken, tossed salad, French bread
used: 1/2 bag spinach ( f) chicken pizza (f) 2 packs chicken (f)

Sunday
Breakfast: bacon, eggs, toast
Dinner: tacos with all the fixings
used: bacon (f) 2 small packs ground beef (f)

Now on to week 4 and a hopeful clearing frenzy!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Festive Friday

I fully understand how lame this is, but it is part of a compilation gift for My Beloved Sister.  We only had each other as siblings while growing up and we are just 19 months apart so we have always been extremely close.  When we became adults we decided we would give each other 52 Christmas presents each year (one fore each week) but most of them were very small to zero cost items.  A free sample of detergent was wrapped and given, or some swag key chain or ball point pens.  It didn't matter as long as at the end we had about 52 wrapped presents. Over the years (we have gotten old and lazy) the number decreased and now we only do 15-20.  We usually give each other a couple of "real" gifts and fill in with the fun things we pick up . (I found a great set of vampire teeth after Halloween for a quarter.  She will love them!)

One of the "real" presents she wants for this year is a small colander. I was a reviewer for Amazon items for a brief while and would occasionally get free or small fee items to review.  One of them was a collapsable colander so after reviewing it (Yes Beloved Sister, you are getting a colander than has been messed with) I tossed it in her gift pile.  I couldn't figure exactly how to present it, because with cheap crap presentation is everything, so I decided to stick a bag of BOGO croutons and some salad dressing then wrap the whole thing in an Ikea dish towel (.79).  By my count that would be 4 gifts in one.

Today While I was cleaning out some of the kitchen cabinets, I found an old magnum bottle from champagne we got in a gift basket last Christmas. So now, instead of having to buy a bottle of salad dressing I have a much cuter item to stick in the colander.

Basil Infused Wine Vinegar

This is a very technical process so pay careful attention, ok!


Take a cup and a half of wine vinegar and heat it to where it is just about to boil.  Add 1 tablespoon of dried basil, remove it from the heat and let it sit for about an hour.  Strain it through a sieve to remove all the basil bits.  I used a pyrex measuring cup to strain it into because it has a pour spout.  Rinse the sieve and pour the vinegar into the bottle through the sieve once more.  Easy Peasy!

If I had used a clear bottle rather than the green champagne one I probably would have dried a stem of fresh basil to stick into it for looks, but it would not show through the green glass so I figured there was no need t worry about it.

This also would work well using champagne vinegar and would actually be prettier in the bottle but I had none and was not inclined to go to the store today.

Now My beloved Sister will have the beginnings of a very nice oil and vinegar dressing for the lettuce she can wash in her colander.  Nice cheap present plus I had every component on hand!

You can try your hand at this using any herbs you have on hand, but dry them before you infuse them.  I don't exactly know why but it is something about bacteria on fresh herbs, shelf life and food safety.  Even though I made this today, I will most likely put it in another container and use it myself, re-wash the champagne bottle and make her more closer to Christmas just for the food safety because I don't want to take up refrigerator shelf space just to insure it's safe at Christmas. Another option would be to process it in a Mason jar and 10 minute water bath, but that is way too much trouble for one container of infused vinegar.

Anyway if you have a sister who asked for a colander for Christmas you might want to try this.  It also might be good with a nice olive oil and a pair of salad hands or tongs for a salad loving friend.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November Joy List


October came and went in a flash while I was waiting for it to happen. One day it was October 1 and then I blinked and it was Halloween.  I guess I am fairly content with what I knocked off the list.  I could have done more, but I honestly don't know where the time went
So here is the wrap up and then I move to November. (Or November snuck up on me and beat me over the head announcing it was here)


October Joy List
 1. Pray for the entire world
 2. Volunteer at Independence Place
 3. Volunteer with a food pantry
 4. Learn a piano jazz tune
 5. Find and enjoy some free music  +party across the lake with a live band+
 6. Mentor someone using SNAP
 7. Reconnect with an old friend
 8. No TV at least one night per week (read and listen to music)
 9. Read 4 books
10. Try a new food
11. Cocktail Night each week (try a seasonal cocktail on the deck, weekly) 
12. Go to a play or opera
13. Have a small dinner party
14. Create some art 
15. Maintain the daily joy journal
16. Take food to someone having a hard time
17. Be intentional about gratitude
18. Burn a scented candle daily
19. Make at least 1 Christmas gift
20. Meet SIL and BIL for dinner (meet halfway in Tuscaloosa)
21. Take Mom to see Uncle Bob  *Not going to do this. U.B.'s wife is now critical*
22. Visit a small town in Alabama
23. Start Thanksgiving preparations
24. Do the Halloween decoration thing
25. Buy a pot of mums for the front door
26. Buy some mums for someone who can't buy their own
27. Spend a restful weekend at the lake place
28. Work on the family cookbook
29. Work on the lake cookbook
30. Go to a local lecture
31. Have Mom up to eat weekly. She does not want to come here, so I am taking dinner to her house and eating
32. Take Mom out at night at least 3 times.  *Tried but she is somewhat reluctant*
33. Sit on the deck and listen to crickets
34. Do something totally out of character for me (no idea what yet) Sang in front of others (I never do this)
35. Look for the good in every person I encounter (even if it means looking hard)
36. Mend 2 squares on "Nana's" quilt

November Joy List

There will be no actual list this month.  Since I will have houseguests for 2 weeks my list is simply to get things ready for them and enjoy having all my family together. I addition, we are doing the big Thanksgiving meal with my extended family, so we should have roughly 50 people for lunch.  I plan on a November of cleaning followed by much fun, laughter, and love. If that is not an ample joy list I don't know what is!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

And the Countdown Begins

I don't know about the rest of you but November 1 begins my countdown to the holiday season.  This year we are having the entire family here for an extended Thanksgiving visit, so I am having to get my rear in super gear earlier than normal.  Son1 and his family will be here the 19th and Son3 and guest arrive the 22nd. I have a million things to do before they get here, along with a few obligations along the way, so I have decided to start me a weekly list, post it here and see if the fear of public humiliation will keep me in check. (Probably not since I have a really thick hide, but hope springs eternal) So I implore anyone who reads this to please hold me accountable to my list.  Left to my own devices, I will find any and all reasons to half ass my plans.

I am listing this as a weekly adventure rather than daily.  Mom is my wildcard, so I try very hard not to make this a daily thing since my day can change at the drop of a hat based on her needs/wants/demands.

This week:
 1.Create a bedroom for Pip from my former office work in progress, but over half finished
 2. Wash sheets and towels for guest room.
 3. Vacuum ceilings, wall corners, and crown moulding in foyer, l.r. and d.r.
 4. Wash all woodwork in the foyer, dining room, living room
 5. Quick shine hardwood floors in foyer/lr and dr
 6. Wash windows in foyer/lr and dr
 7. Deep clean laundry room/studio (I don't want to even begin this)
 8. Deep clean pool bath
 9. Deep clean dressing room
10. Re-arrange freezer foods to make room for a turkey or 2
11. Deep clean butlers pantry
12. Deep clean all kitchen cabinets, drawers and shelves
13. Clean oven (Understand the oven is self cleaning but I forget to do it)
14. Deep clean refrigerator
15. Wash all woodwork in breakfast nook
16. Wash breakfast nook windows
17. Vacuum ceilings, corners and crown moulding in den
18. Clean  den woodwork
19. Wash den windows
20. Wash breakfast room chandelier globes
21. Clean drawers and shelves breakfast room sideboard.
22. Create some Thanksgiving art

Extras if I get to them, if not carry over to week 2
 1. Wax cabinet fronts and doors
 2. Re-do kitchen table top
 3. Shampoo den carpet
 4. Take breakfast nook rug outside and wash it
 5. Get a few Thanksgiving decorations in place

Week 2:
 1. Clean music room
 2. Deep clean guest room bathroom
 3. Deep clean Son3's bathroom
 4. Gussie up the deck and screened porch
 5. Deep clean Master bedroom
 6. Deep clean Master bath
 7. Wash summer comforter and put away
 8. Air winter comforter and shams and put on bed
 9. Whatever else I think of this week to add to this list

This makes me tired, because I really don't want to do all this! I need a maid named Hazel who lives in the house, cooks, cleans and calls me Missy. Since that is not happening I need to crank up some loud fast music, get off the computer and get crackin'.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

Another Halloween in the BOOks!  Hope yours                               was Happy!