Friday, December 30, 2011

Cockroach Killers

Have you ever seen those really pointy toed cowboy boots?  I realize they have actually made it to the somewhat "fashionable" world of western wear.  However, when we lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, they were NOT in style.  Anytime we saw someone wearing them Brent would say, "Look at those Cockroach Killers."  Apparently the pointy toe is really good for getting into corners.

Today at work I noticed a bad smell in our department.  Our bathrooms have drains in the floors.  They were designed for showers.  However, nobody actually showers in our bathrooms, so gases build up in the drain pipes and they start to smell.  Our friendly environmental services repairman taught us to pour water into the trap every so often to alleviate the smell.  It works like a charm!

So today I noticed the smell.  I dumped some water down the trap, and the smell remained.  So I dumped some more.  I was on my fourth cup (I was using a large foam cup) and wondering how many cups it would take.  Suddenly a cockroach no less than two inches long climbed out of the drain.  It took all of my willpower, but I held the scream inside my throat (so as to not alert patients to the fact that critters were invading) and jumped up and stomped on it.  However, as I was turning to stomp the quick little critter, three more came darting out...

I stomp, stomp, stomped gave a great big shuddering "Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh" (insert zombie-ish moaning sound) and scratched my body all over, then convulsed some more as I put on a glove, grabbed a paper towel and disposed of the still antenna waving horrors...


I had only seen roaches one other time at our hospital, and those actually climbed out of one of a patient's bag and up my arm...And believe it or not, I stifled that scream to, in an effort to not offend the dear lady.  I calmly handed her bag to her as I tried to subtly stomp the roaches that I'd just flicked off of my arm.  She calmly dug a banana out of her bag and began to eat it... Completely oblivious (desensitized) to the roaches that were swarming inside it.


After she left I killed three more roaches in that bay and nearly had a heeby jeeby breakdown.

Back to present day:

I tried to nonchalantly leave the bathroom to call environmental services.  I decided not to call at the nurses station as we had patients in the department.  I went to an office, and one of the PAs was on the phone.  I went to the front desk, and there was family in the waiting area.  My supervisor wasn't in yet, so her door was locked and I felt weird about waltzing into our doctor's office to use his phone without him there...

I wandered back to the holding area just in time to see one of our female patients come scurrying out of the bathroom and say, "There are BUGS chasing me in there."

Color me mortified!  I said, "I'm so sorry," and walked in to the bathroom to find four more roaches running around the floor.  I stomped, stomped, stomped, stomped, slammed the door shut, leaving the light on, and tucked a blanket under the door.

Now, I realize the blanket wasn't going to stop them, but I was hoping they would want to prefer the dark, and therefore not come out of the drain since I was leaving a light on...

I then gave up all pretenses of subtlety and called environmental services who helpfully informed me pest control was coming that very day, but they were going to ER first...Of course the pest guy had other errands to jobs first.  I don't understand how any pest problem could be a bigger deal than ours.  But there ya go...

Later on I went to chat with the lady and apologize AGAIN and express my mortification over the roaches.  "I have NEVER even seen a roach here.  I am so sorry for your experience."  (Okay, so I fudged a little, but the other roaches were carried in and mostly out by the same patient.)  She laughed and told her family how I saved her from attacking bugs.  We were all laughing about her hysteria when her sister said, "I love your shoes!"

"Thanks!  They make great roach killers!"

And you guys thought they were a purely frivolous purchase!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


A few weeks ago, the following conversation ensued in our car.  I believe it was on the way home from one of the girls' Christmas concerts.

Me:  Hey girls!  I finally bought that Michael Buble' Christmas cd.

Girls:  Yeah!  Put it in now.

Brent:  I finally saw a Michael Buble' video.  It made me mad.


Me:  Why?

Brent:  He can sing and he's good looking.  And he can dance.

This statement was met with much hilarity and laughter from the female gender in the car.

Me:  Honey, you don't have anything to worry about.  Michael Buble' is good looking in a pretty boy sort of way.  You are ruggedly handsome.  I prefer rugged manliness.

Popcorn:  That's right Dad!  Who cares about clean when you can have rugged?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stress Eating

When a crisis arrives and I'm at home the immediate reaction is to clean the entire house from top to bottom.

When a potential crisis arrives at work, my immediate reaction is to wish I had some fountain Dr. Pepper and Nacho Cheese Doritos.

Yesterday at about 3:30 my supervisor said, "Is Dr. G going to do that ICU patient tonight?"

"What ICU patient?  He didn't mention it to me."

"It's that patient that coded this morning.  He wants to do her tonight, and he needs anesthesia, but they can't come until after 6."

Well, great.  I immediately began needing some Doritos and DP.  After all, if she coded odds are she's pretty sick.  And I hate dealing with really sick people late in the evening.  The rest of the crew has left, and that leaves the call nurse, the doctor and two radiology techs... unless you drag the ICU nurse into the procedure with you...

I went out to ask the doctor if we "had" to do the case that night, or could we wait and do it the next day and we'd book anesthesia...And of course, that would mean our entire department would be there in case things started going south...

He called the attending doctor who responded, "I think her gallbladder is obstructed.  If that is the cause of her sepsis, then she won't make it through the night."

Well, crap.  I called the anesthesiologist who was immediately annoyed that we were wanting him to put a patient under for a procedure when her labs were terrible, she's on the ventilator, and her blood pressure is still sketchy even though she was on the maximum dose of pressor meds.  (Pressor meds are given when a person's blood pressure is too low.)

 Oh, I just feel compelled to tell you in an aside note that one time I tried to refuse to do sedation on a very sick patient with Dr. G, because I was almost certain they were going to die on the table.  I wanted them to stabilize the patient more before we did the procedure.  He looked at me and said, "Andrea, this patient is going to die very soon if we don't do this.  So, he can either die with us trying to save him, or we can do nothing and he will still die."  What do you say to that?  We did the case, and the patient lived.  But I swear I carried knots in my neck and shoulders from the stress of that case for weeks afterwards....

After speaking with the anesthesiologist, I reported back to Dr. G that the anesthesiologist said I couldn't bring the patient to our department until he had seen her himself in the ICU.  And I was very okay with that...

However, my dad gum doctor just said, "That's okay.  I'm on my way to the ICU right now.  I think we are just going to drain her gallbladder, so I will just need sedation, and you can do that.  Come with me."

I could?  I didn't WANNA do sedation on this lady!  Grrrrrr...I grabbed my DP and chips and headed out the door with him...

(Thankfully, one of the radiology techs that was NOT on call had ran down to the cafeteria and bought me a fountain Dr. Pepper and Cool Ranch Doritos as they were out of Nacho Cheese...She knows me well.)

He and I took off down the hall, sharing my bag of Doritos...Yet, he pointed out that he thinks it's tacky to eat and walk at the same time.  I told him to "Shut up and eat a chip."  And he did.  He knows when he's living dangerously.  (By the way, we tell each other to shut up on a regular basis.  In fact, I pointed out that I've told him to shut up more than any other human in my life.  He said it's ditto for him, unless we count his sister and that took an entire LIFETIME to reach the quantity of shut ups that he's given me.  We aren't sure if this is a good thing or not.)

He walked into her room, where three family members were at bedside.  He immediately started telling them what we were about to do.  As he was talking, I noticed that she was on continuous hemodialysis...This means her kidney function was so poor that they had a machine hooked up pulling her blood out and cleaning it continuously.  I then noticed that her blood pressure was 66/47.


I immediately went to find the ICU nurse and tell her that if I had to take this patient and sedate her, then she was darn well coming with me.  And to shove a few more Doritos in my mouth and suck down some more liquid Xanax...Well, fortunately, the nurse had already talked to the attending and convinced her that the patient would probably not survive the transfer to our department and subsequent sedation.  She told Dr. G this, and asked if there was any way possible he could put the drain in at bedside.

"Sure.  We can try that."

How do you spell relief?

Well, we put the drain in at bedside, and the poor woman hurt tremendously as we did it, because her blood pressure was too low to give her anything to ease the pain.  The doctor kept asking us to give her something for pain, but the ICU nurse was adding a new pressor med, and another ICU nurse had joined us for moral support, (and to hold her down because it really did hurt,) and we were all presenting a united "refusal to give pain medicine" front...So, it hurt her really really badly.  But she lived through the procedure.

Dr. G said this is the first time he's drained a gallbladdder without giving some serious meds to get through it.  The three of us just put on our callus nurse faces and said, "Well, now you can check that off your list."  And we all thanked each other for the good work, and I went home, slurping on my drink and wishing I hadn't shared the last of my chips with the doctor...

So, what do you want to eat when you are stressed?  Do you eat at all?  Do you go into a frenzy of activity?  Perhaps you curl into the fetal position and stare at the ceiling fan...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Santa Came!

Well, here it is about 5pm on Christmas day, and the girls are locked in their rooms playing with their new Barbies, after a Just Dance 2 dance marathon, Brent is out playing with his new drill, and I'm sipping on a cup of coffee, trying not to be mesmerized by the lava lamps that my girls received and somehow ended up plugged in on our fireplace hearth.

I find those things eerily hypnotizing.  I can't even imagine if I was tripping on acid or smoking dope...Not that I've ever done either of those.  But my brain is tired from lack of sleep and too much sugar...

We stayed home this Christmas, just the four of us.  I love it.  While I miss my family on the day, it is nice to just be home as a family and truly focus on why we are celebrating instead of rushing from place to place and trying to convince my girls that they really don't need to drag all of their new toys with them.

Popcorn woke me up at 2:04 AM this morning. She was bouncing our bed and joyously exclaiming "Santa came!!!"

And I barely slit my eyes open and said quite grumpily, "GO TO BED AND DO NOT GET UP UNTIL AT LEAST 5AM!!!"

And I promptly went back to sleep.  Next thing I know, Bookworm is bouncing my bed.  "Mom, Dad!  It's after 5!"

And sure enough it was 5:58AM...

So, I drug my bleary self into the living room to be wowed by the bounty Santa brought us.  A fishing pole for Bookworm, a doll for Popcorn, and he got me this awesome sign that I can't wait to decide where to put it:

How hilarious is that?  Anyway, about 6:45 my phone alerted me I had a text.  It read, "Well, if your kids haven't woke you, I am.  Present time!  Merry Christmas!"  It was from my brother.

I laughed.  I brought my phone into the wrapping paper explosion known as my living room and read the text.  "You know, when we were little, Uncle David used to wake me up in the middle of the night to go look at toys.  We would take our stockings over to the tree and hold the items up to the tree lights to try and figure out what we had."  Of course, we had a real tree, not an artificial like ours is, and it was not absolutely solid with lights like mine is now. So, it really was kind of a guessing game to figure out what some things were.   David was always very certain that I understood that I MUST put all of the goodies back INTO the stocking in the exact order that I REMOVED them...

It was years before I understood that rule.  I simply followed it as I knew he was much better at trickiness than I was, so I'd better listen to his wisdom.  After all, he'd already sent me in to our parent's  room AT LEAST once to see if we could get up.  I would always wonder why I had to be the one to ask if we could open presents, and he was always very honest that I was the youngest and cutest, and therefore the most likely to be able to coax them to get out of their warm bed. 

Anyway, David was the master of Christmas stealth and he was quite firm on the keeping all contents in their original order.  And now I laugh at that, considering there were four kids, and if Santa was as freaked about getting our stockings filled before any "creatures were stirring" like I'm sure he is at our house, then I'm pretty sure the order of filling the stocking wasn't that well inventoried.

Aaaanyway, to make a long story longer, I told the girls that David and I always peeked in our stockings before the 5AM allowed rising time...

Popcorn smiled slyly  and said, "I got up and looked at all of my stuff last night."  And then when she looked in Bookworm's stocking (her nosiness knows no bounds, apparently) and spotted her sister's very coveted Aunty and Uncle dollhouse dolls she simply HAD to wake her to share the excitement.

Apparently partners in sneakiness runs in the family.

P.S.  Gentle Reader, I'm almost certain I've shared this at least once before.  However, every year as we start to dig through our stockings (my favorite part, by the way) I grin to myself as I remember the magic of Christmas for a child.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Letters and Cats

To continue his Christmas card tyranny over my life, Studmuffin gave me a lecture on the NECESSITY of giving cards to everyone in church who gave us a card.  We have this mail box that sits in the hallway, and you put the cards in the box according to last name.  I've always avoided this, as I see these people, and feel they are up on my life, so giving them a card seems superfluous.  Studmuffin said "it's the right thing to do."  Since when did he become the voice of social etiquette in this house, Gentle Reader.

He is currently signing cards that I bought last year and never got out.

The really funny thing about that is I had bought the cards and even ADDRESSED THE STUPID ENVELOPES, but because I had never gotten around to writing my annual Christmas letter, I REFUSED TO MAIL THEM OUT!!  Guess what?  As of last week we had ten cards in our church box...And I had exactly ten envelopes left over that weren't addressed.

If that isn't the hand of God reaching down and saving me from a lecture from my husband, Gentle Reader, I don't know what is!

I did write my letter this year.  Studmuffin made sure it got printed, as I really was resisting even writing the darn thing...I've become a little jaded as in previous years I've mailed out well over 50 cards and only gotten 10-15 back...Please, refrain from mentioning that the gift Christ gave us was freely given, and thankfully I don't have to earn it.

I confess I'm a little too human in the Christmas card department.  This year I weeded my list down to 30, not counting the ones my husband is signing to place lovingly in the church Christmas mail box.

In other completely unrelated news, guess who came to our house last Friday night?

Popcorn was so excited I thought she was going to weep.  All she wanted for Christmas/birthday was a kitten.  However, since we have TWO children, and we previously had TWO kittens, Studmuffin felt quite certain we needed TWO more cats (remember ours disappeared).

Are we insane, or WHAT???

So, just to clarify the count:  We have two dogs, Kelsey and Chesney, both of which live in the house about 50 percent of the time.  We have Oliver, the tom cat who will live forever and ever as far as my children are concerned.  He lives outside.  Unless he decides to live in the garage.  Or the house.  Or even Studmuffin's shop.  Basically, Oliver is king of this castle, and he lives wherever he wants to...

And now, to add to this chaos we have two four month old Russian Blue cats.  They are litter mates, and were headed to the  pound, until we decided to "save" them and give them to the girls.

I'm sure there's a diagnosis for crazy people like us, but I really don't want to know what it is.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Touch of Class.

Tuesday night the girls were in bed reading...

I was laying on the couch with my sedative (a fleece blanket over me and ice pack to my lower back.)  I was all decked out in my very best flannel pajamas.

At one point (somewhere between Last Man Standing and before we started Buffy on Netflix) Brent turned to me and said, "Bret called to tell me he decided to mount Barrett's buck."  Bret is his brother.  Barrett is his nephew.  This year Barrett got a ten point buck when they went hunting...

Brent got NUTHIN'.  Unless one counts the privilege of taking his nephew hunting...And I can assure you he doesn't.

Not that I care if he gets a deer...  Well, I care.  But only because my husband feel his testosterone levels are somehow linked to the quantity of animals he kills per year.

Anyway, he felt the need to tell me Barrett's deer will be mounted.

I tried to look interested...Secretly, I was just relieved said deer will not be in MY house...

"He's decided on the European mount."

Great.  He expects interaction with this conversation...

"What does that mean?" I inquired brightly.

"It's where they use this super confusing process that leaches all of the flesh off of the skull to make it super white..."

Okay, that's not what he said.  But I think that was the gist of it.

"Yuck.  Who would want to do that?  Mount a deer skull in their living room?  Gross."

He suddenly sat upright from his reclining position.  "I'm going to do it with the next coyote I get.  It's really classy!"

And at that, Gentle Reader, I began to laugh.  Hard.

And loud.

And quite obnoxiously...

I'm talking straight from the gut laughter.

Seriously?  A deer skull?  CLASSY????

He got a little huffy on me.  I have no idea why.  

"I'll prove it to you!  Just wait!"  And he victoriously pulled up a picture much like this on the computer:

Gentle Reader, I am afraid this did NOT make me come around to his way of thinking...I fear it only made me laugh harder...

He was quite put out with me...

While in no way am I able to deny that I lack all sorts of sophistication or refinement, I can't quite figure out how that monstrosity is going to elevate us in any sort of societal circles.

But that's just me.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Worst Cheerleader. In the WORLD!!!

I went to the chiropractor yesterday,and somehow he convinced me I need to return today...

I was nervous and needed a Xanax before going...However, since I have a little bit of fear when it comes to mind altering substances, and alas I also had no prescription for such substances, I compensated instead with three cups of coffee.  Because that is how I always wisely handle stress.  Well, either coffee or cleaning, but since I was down in the back, cleaning was out.

Anyway, while at the chiropractor, I learned he had recently been in my home town to go quail hunting, and that the basketball tournament was going on...And he was blown away by how packed a town of 1200 could be for just a tournament.

I told him I remembered this tournament well.  It was always the second weekend of December when I was in school.  I can remember because I often had to cheer on my birthday...

And that annoyed me.

It was kind of like going to work on your birthday.  It just shouldn't happen.  As a matter of fact, I have ALWAYS taken the day off on my birthday, except this year someone else asked off before I got the chance (I don't want to name names or point fingers, but seriously Tom...You act like your brother lives in California and you only see him once or twice a year.  I swear, sometimes you are so SELFISH!!!)

Anyhoo...I worked.  And thankfully I didn't have any patients crash...Because that happened one time when I was working on my birthday, and the entire time I was pushing drugs and trying to avoid what I feared was an inevitable code I kept thinking, "Nobody should have to deal with life and death on their birthday."  So from then on I took the day off on my birthday.

But this post is not about nursing.  It's about cheer leading...

And the fact that I think I was the perhaps worst cheerleader ever.

Of course, nobody realized what a TERRIBLE cheerleader I was.  I kept that secret in the darkest recesses of my heart.  The secret?  I don't care for sports.  I have no idea WHY I was a cheerleader, except it was a group that I knew I would belong in, and the group would be "my" group, and therefore I wouldn't be the loser who wasn't in sports...Because that's sadly kind of how small town life is.  There's the sports people, the band people, and the losers...

Hey!  I don't make these rules!  I'm just listing them as I saw them in high school.

So...I didn't have the self discipline to learn an instrument.   Cheer leading was the only alternative I could see in my quest to avoid total dorkdom in the eyes of the greater LHS school district...

Besides the fact that I can be really loud, and I am bossy...And let's all be real that being bossy is at the heart of cheer leading:  Come on guys!  You can do it!  Shoot it!  Shoot it!

Ooor, how about yelling DEFENSE!!  DEFENSE!! over and over and over...

It's really just a giant session of lecturing athletes to do what they're supposed to be doing anyway.

Sadly, I have no good football analogies, as the only thing I garnered was that we only had four downs to get ten yards, and then we lost the ball...And touchdowns were good...And sometimes they got extra points for kicking...And I could never figure out when we were supposed to go for a field goal, or why some touchdowns were six points and others were seven...

Again.  I was quite obviously the best, most dedicated cheerleader.  EVER.

I did actually understand Basketball.  I knew exactly what was going on all through the game.

You can congratulate me now, if you wish...

My senior year our boys basketball team was awesome.  So awesome that they went to the state play offs for the first time in like twenty years or some such ridiculously large amount of time...

Do you want to know what my reaction to our play off status?  It is truly a sad, sad, thing...

"Well, crap.  This means I have to cheer one more game.  I have to wear purple at least one more time.  And I have to act like I'm happy about the whole situation or I will undoubtedly be tarred and feathered by the entire town."  I'm telling you, Gentle Reader, sometimes it is just so DIFFICULT to be me.  Seriously.  You have no idea.

Well, based on our standings when we went into the State Tournament if we even lost one game we were eliminated. Out of the running...



Guess what, Gentle Reader.

We lost.  And while all of my fellow schoolmates and townsfolk who had driven 150 miles to watch their hometown heroes sweat, sacrifice, and give their all for the glory of the Tigers wept and hugged and said, "You boys played great.  You did a great job.  We are so proud of you..."  and blahbideeblahblahblah....yadayadayada...

I sat their and put on my best, most sincerely sympathetic look and secretly in my heart of hearts said, "Thank goodness I never have to wear purple again for as long as I live."

And I didn't for over fifteen years.  In the last two years or so plum has gradually made an appearance in my wardrobe.  But purple as in royal purple with gold like the LA Lakers?

Not so much Gentle Reader.

Not. So. Much.

And you thought I had already revealed all of my deep dark secrets!

Monday, December 12, 2011


My parents never allowed us to have pets in the house. 




I once had a beautiful calico kitty that I got from my Aunt Christina named Callie.  It seemed as if she was in going to live in the house forEVER...It seems very unlikely that she was in the house for any lengthy period of time at all, but I do know it was definitely long enough for me to fall madly in love with her and be ready for her to stay inside forever and ever and EV-UH!!!

One day my dad was home sick.  Now remember, Dad is a farmer/rancher.  If he was home sick, he was SICK sick, not just "I feel a little crummy, so I think I'll stay in and rest" sick. 

So Dad was home sick.  And lying in bed.  Surely he was knocking on death's door for these two events to occur.

I came home from school and Callie was outside.  I went in the house with all of my righteous indignation as only a middle school girl can have.  Believe me, I'm becoming VERY familiar with the righteous indignation of middle school girls...

"DAAaaadddd, why is Callie outside?  She is an INSIDE cat."

Dad looked at me in all of his fatherly fatherliness and he said quite sternly with no voice raised (he seldom raised his voice, if anything when he was REALLY angry he would talk very quiet and I'd cry), "That damn cat will never be in this house again."

Shock!  Horror!!!  He swore!  And in reference to my precious beautiful sweet little kitty!

"But DAAAaaaddd, I want her to be an inside cat."

"That damn cat climbed on my chest and pooped on me while I was asleep!  She will NOT come back in."

And that was that.  Thankfully, I had enough sense to keep my mouth shut on any further thoughts regarding the unfairness of an outdoor cat.

But just in case any of you happened to wonder about the relevance of the above photos of FOUR dogs...

These are all my parents granddogs that come INSIDE the house every time their children descend on them.

I have strictly forbidden any reptiles in our house...Especially pet snakes.

I'm a little nervous about what sort of grandpets my children will come toting home in about twenty years or so...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Busting My Buttons

I told this story at work this week.

Then I regretted it, as it portrays me as perhaps even more pitiful than my coworkers already view me...Well, not all of my coworkers, but some, and the some were in the room as I told my tale...After all, my perception (which is probably very skewed) is that they can go buy a new outfit, or (covet covet covet) new knee boots at any time, and not suffer feelings of remorse and guilt...Of course most of my female coworkers don't have to buy clothes for growing children... And they may not have the fear of debt that I have...

Anyhoo, this story was prompted by my friend telling a group of "the girls" in the break room about her doctor scolding her for weight loss.  She is a little bit of a thing, and she is going through a very tough time, and is losing weight she doesn't have to lose...She apparently can't eat when she's stressed.

Can we just stop right here and say I totally CAN'T relate?  I eat when I'm happy.  I eat when I'm sad.  I eat when I'm stressed.  I eat, I eat, I eat. 

Moving on...

She was talking about the revelation that with her dress pants she could move the button over so that they wouldn't fall down!

And then, this story unfolded from my lips.  A story that I regretted starting before I was even barely into it.  Because, clearly none of them could relate, and they were all flabbergasted that I would own such a thing, much less admit to it...

Are you confused?  Well, allow me to explain.

I have this beautiful pencil skirt.  It is black Pendleton wool.  And it belonged to my Grandma Irene who is 91 years old...It somehow moved from Dawn, to Paula, and ended with me....I have gone long periods with not wearing it, but then the mood strikes and a black pencil skirt with my black high heels, or better yet my high heeled knee boots is just the thing.  If you know nothing about Pendleton wool, let me assure you that it is not scratchy.  This skirt has no lining, but it is not itchy at all.  It is soft and warm and gorgeous, even if it is probably 50 years old...

But that is not the story.  Well, the skirt is the story.  But it is really just the background to the story, and you all know my stories MUST have background!

Several Sundays ago, when it was quite cold I decided it was a Grandma's skirt kind of day.  Complete with a bright blue turquoise cashmere sweater and lovely fuchsia scarf tied artfully around my neck.  I was feeling quite pleased with my wardrobe endeavors, Gentle Reader.  Quite pleased, indeed...

As I pulled on the skirt I thought to myself, "My, this sucker is tight.  Oh well, no big lunch with this puppy on!"  And then as I zipped it up, the hook that goes to the hook and eye closure (it has a button on the outside with a hook and eye inside) fell off.  I sat it on my dresser and decided that the fifty year old thread had given out, but I needed to be at church in like ten minutes for praise team rehearsal, so I needed to get going...

I told Studmuffin goodbye and was hollering at the children to please brush their hair before leaving, and was headed out the door when a gigantic sneeze over powered me.

And my button flew off and across the room!

Well, I decided I apparently needed to do garment repair double quick.  I grabbed a spool of black thread and quickly sewed back on the hook, and moved the button over about a quarter of an inch and lo and behold that skirt was loads more comfortable!

I arrived to rehearsal a few minutes late, but praising God that he made sure I sneezed BEFORE I left the house so my button didn't go flying while I was on stage!

Do you know what my coworkers had to say about this story?  Not much, Gentle Reader.  Not much.  They would not believe me that the skirt is a timeless classic.  They were a little horrified that I was wearing a skirt that was fifty (maybe even sixty if I really think about it) years old.

Perhaps that is what motivated me to actually buy new clothes for myself last Friday?

By the way:  My hair was so pitiful today that I actually washed and BLEW IT OUT and then USED THE FLAT IRON!  It took me twenty five minutes just to do my hair.  How do people stand it?  I am so used to just throwing in a little curl cream and letting it air dry as I do various chores.  I think I will have to get my hair cut sometime in the near future. 

My husband stated he loves my hair straight.

"Are you saying you don't like it curly?"

Poor man.  He just can't win.  Regardless, I can barely be bothered to do skin care, so I'm pretty sure my hair will continue to be it's normally wild curly self...

And having straight hair makes me wonder:  How do people with straight hair stand it?  My curly hair stays away from my face and really never touches my skin or face.  My straight hair tickles my neck and is constantly touching my cheeks.  It is driving me CRAZY and my hands are constantly in it...

Yes, I simply MUST schedule a hair cut soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

From Frizzy Hair to Christmas Tidings

I turned 36 yesterday.  It was a GREAT day.  My husband took the entire family to eat at Red Lobster.  Popcorn insisted on ordering lobster.

She thought it was the scariest looking thing ever.  But she ate a few bites...And she tried scallops and shrimp cooked three different ways, none of which were fried popcorn shrimp.

She mostly ate her rice, some steamed broccoli and cheddar biscuits.

I tried not to shudder at the fact that I could feed the family for a week on what we paid for one meal.

You will be pleased to know that I then went shopping.  FOR MYSELF.  And I bought stuff for myself alone!!!  I know I refer to shopping a lot in this blog, but what my followers who know me only through blogland don't realize is that I am still wearing clothes from before my children were born.  It is a sad thing to look in my closet.  I thought of getting rid of everything over three years old.  But then I realized I'd have no clothes...

My back has been bothering me.  I feel as if my body has betrayed me.  I exercise.  I watch my weight.  I lift patients that weigh as much or more than me...And that seems to have outweighed all of my endeavors to have a healthy back...Did you know I think people who have back pain are annoying?

Well, anyway I find myself VERY annoying, so therefore I'm sure my coworkers are getting tired of my refusal to lift patients this week.

My hair is also betraying me.  I need to color it.  I haven't had it cut since late June.   It is a frizzy mess with gray roots showing.  Perhaps I shall take time from my life to get it cut.  Perhaps I have betrayed it instead of vice versa.

I feel as if I should write my Christmas letter/cards.  However, I can't decide what to say.  Should I tell them of my aging body?  Perhaps I'll mention my frizzy hair and kids with dramatic tendencies that comes from who knows where.

Or maybe I'll tell them all about our animals...How we went from two to five in just a matter of weeks.  And now we are back down to three.  Our pregnant female cat disappeared one day and we haven't seen her since.  Of course we have hawks and owls and of course the coyotes who come to my back fence and look in at our animals on a daily basis...Now all Popcorn wants for her birthday is a little kitten.  SOOoooo.  Does anyone have a kitten who will be ready to wean on December thirtieth? 

Studmuffin is finishing our Christmas shopping today.  At least I think he's finishing it.  Until I remember another gift I forgot, we are finished...

Do you need a Chesney story?

Well, as you can see from my last few posts, we have new decorations out.  She has been really good to leave them alone, as being scolded makes her tremble in fear.  Unless it involves Popcorn's socks, and then she will risk severe punishment for a taste of that delightful funk...Anyway, a few days ago I heard Bookworm yelling "Chesney, no!!"  And then I heard Popcorn's panicked rejoinder...

I came in the room to find them wresting a porcelain doll that my Grandmama gave me for Christmas one year as a child from her jaws.  My grandparents seldom gave us gifts as they had 16 grandchildren and five children...So obviously buying gifts would be a little overwhelming.  Well, one year they gave all of  their smaller granddaughters a little porcelain doll.  Here is what mine looks like:

Isn't she cute posed on the reindeer my mother in law made a few years back?  She used to have a bonnet, but it has been lost at some point through the years.

Anyway, I offered Chesney a sock, and she quickly dropped the doll with no complaints.  The girls both chorused relief, as it would be terrible if Chesney ate the doll.  I agreed whole heartedly.  Then Bookworm said, "Yes, those bits of porcelain would have cut up her insides"...And I silently thought that I wasn't particularly thinking of the harm the DOLL would do her if she ate it, but rather the harm I would do the DOG if she ate the DOLL!

The doll is now happily posed safely in a tea cup on my piano, out of the jaws of death...

 And the dog is currently safely chewing on an old sock that I have Popcorn put on every day or so, just to keep the right proportion of her foot funk in it, (okay not really, but only because Popcorn is a disobedient child and refuses to humor me) and she is quietly lying at my feet by the fire, and Kelsey is sitting with her head on my arm rest...

And I can't help but be sort of glad that we have dogs in the house.

Considering I was raised in a no pets allowed in the house family, I never thought I'd say that!

Well, I shall sign off now.  But not before I end with yesterday's chuckle courtesy of Bookworm.  The middle school Gifted and Talented children were given the privilege of going to see the Nutcracker in Norman.  AND they got to go to OU the campus and eat!  ALL BY THEMSELVES!! (We will not discuss the stress hives I had over this.)  Anyway, I asked her what she thought of the Nutcracker...Well, it seems she was too distracted by those tight tights the men were wearing.  Let's just say that she never wanted to see that many details of strange men's anatomy.

Then, she and her buddy went to eat at ChikfilA.  However, her friend only had five dollars, and they were hoping to hit Starbucks before they had to return to school...Well, Bookworm pointed out that if they ordered just a sandwich and water they would have enough left to get cocoa at Starbucks.  Yes, my 11 year old has mad money skills...

So, they ventured into Starbucks after their feast of a classic ChikfilA sandwich and filtered water...They ordered the smallest hot chocolate they had...

"And Mom, can you believe they charged four bucks for a little cup of hot chocolate?!!  You could buy a whole box of hot cocoa mix for like a dollar!  And it didn't even taste good.  They overflowed it with whipped cream and it tasted horrible!"  Of course, my kids hate whipped cream, and she didn't know to tell them to hold the whipped cream.

So, I'm happy to report I'm raising a daughter who recognizes the value of a dollar, and knows how to make her money stretch...And she values modesty...

But I have to confess that my other daughter said, "I want to go see that!" when Bookworm described her horror over them men's apparel.

So, there ya go.  My universe is apparently in balance.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Christmas Traditions

Are you sick of Christmas posts yet?

Well, I'm sorry, but I have at least one more for you...

Brent asked me to get my tires rotated today.  I loathe doing anything of that nature...So, I quickly informed I simply would have no time to deal with such frivolities today.  No INDEED.

Instead I must do forty dozen loads of laundry...When will my children learn that their jeans do not need to go in the laundry every blessed time they remove them?  When, when, when, when, my soul is crying out.  After all, everyone else realizes you must change your underwear every day.  And a new shirt is required daily...But pants?  You can wear pants FOR.EV.ER

Oh, and I must go to the store for some supplies for the endless Christmas baking I'm wanting to begin.

Oh, and I'm ever so eager to get going on my annual Christmas obsessions!

Do you have any Christmas obsessions?  I have too many to count, but here are just a few I have to share with you.

Color you excited!

Hold on to your seats, Gentle Reader!!!

Every year I buy a Christmas jigsaw puzzle.  And I obsess over it.  And I sit down to finish one little area...

And two hours later my back aches from bending over and changing positions twenty times to get a new perspective on the pieces.  This year I wisely bought a 550 piece puzzle so my obsession could be a little shorter lived.  Oh, and the annual Christmas jigsaw puzzle is another reason I simply had to get out the table that Brent was so agreeable to pack away for all of thirty minutes last weekend.

I love Walter Wick books.  I love that his pictures tell a story, and I love the challenge of finding each hidden item.  I buy a new Christmas book every time I see one.  I saw a Halloween one this year and barely restrained myself from starting a new obsession.

As I sit on my recliner, by the fireplace where all recliners belong, and type a few posts to sustain my eager readers for the next several days, I'm day dreaming of making fudge.  And ginger cookies.  Oh, and I'm very eager to make some shaped sugar cookies, and get an assembly line of butter frosting going for a great big cookie decorating frenzy!

I think I will stick to a quick batch of fudge...But first I'm off to wrap some gifts!

For now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Prettiest Sight to See...

Is the holly that will be on your own front door!
(Name that tune.)

I always say that fall decorations are my favorite...

Until it's time to drag out all of our Christmas decorations, and then I realize that these are my favorite decorations.  I love the fall for the colors, and the change from blistering heat to energizing cool weather...But I love my Christmas decorations as they are surrounded with happy memories, and many of them were made with love by friends and family.`

 My mom made this snow man for me one Christmas.  How cute is he?

A lady at work was talking about putting her tree up yesterday.  Her theme is cowboy with hats and boots and ropes.  She asked me what my theme was.  She literally laughed at me when I said my tree is hodgepodge..."I suppose you have hand made ornaments on there too?"  I replied, "Of course!" and she laughed even harder...

I decided she had never seen my tree, so she is unable to understand the simple beauty of a tree bursting with ornaments.

Could this tree or this girl BE more beautiful?  The girl was all dressed up for her very first band concert.  Can I just say, she totally rocked some "Jingle Bell Rock."   I love my tree, and I love my hand made tree skirt from my mom!  And I love all of the homemade gifts I can see in just a glimpse, complete with all of the ornaments my husband and I've exchanged through the year.

I love this little glimpse of love.  The Santa and Mrs. Clause, who obviously takes better care of herself than good ole Saint Nick...And the tree made at some Christmas party by Bookworm in 2006.  And then I see the snowman that appeared in my stocking one year.  I was trying to remember who made me the crocheted stocking.  I know I've had it since I was a child. Any input from my mom would be helpful here. You can see that instead of sparkly tinsel we use wooden bead garlands, that I bought the year I graduated nursing school.  I know when I bought them because I had a real income, and it was the first year we weren't using a tree we got from Brent's grandma, and we had money to buy ornaments!  Our hand me down tree was hideously lovely affair with the thick stove pipe cleaner branches.

These adorable ceramic snowmen were from my Grandmama Dolly's house.  We lost her this past January, and her birthday is December 21, so they will always make me smile.

See the wreath?  My family has a homemade gift exchange tradition (which the men are trying to rebel and stop, but I vote we women stand firm and united.)  My sister made that lovely wreath for me!  The tall ceramic angel was a gift from Grandmama Dolly one year.  The tea cup was a gift from my sister Dawn several years ago, the tree cut out of old barn siding was made early in our marriage alongside my mother in law...Read here:  She told me step by step what to do, and wisely allowed me very few tasks.  Translation:  I think I mostly cheered her on!  Also, if you enlarge the picture you can see a cute little Santa painted on a piece of drift wood, again made by my mother in law!   Finally, the Nativity. I just love Nativity scenes.  I have four scattered through my house, from this ceramic one given to us on our first Christmas by my mom, to a wooden folk art Nativity, and even an inexpensive one I bought solely so my girls could have one to play with.  It is a cheap little resin affair I got at Walmart for about five bucks.  But the girls look forward to getting out every year!

So.  There is more than you ever wanted to know about my Christmas ornaments.  I have so many I find it ridiculous when I try to pack it all away, or have to hall it all out.  But then, as I start scattering them around, and packing away our "every day" decorations in order to give our house a celebratory feel, I can't help but feel you can never have too many Christmas decorations!
Oh, and I feel I MUST respond to KiteFlyer's comments on my previous two posts:  First of all, that TV is the largest one we've ever owned, and when we got it, we thought it was ginormous!  And by the way, that was only a few months ago.  Second, my husband DOES use antlers in all of his decorating, and his favorite character from Beauty and the Beast is most certainly Gaston.  Third, the balls are still there!

What about you?  What are your very favorite ornaments?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Glimpses of Progress

I got the chance to chat with a friend from Arlington, TX.  It is amazing that we have lived apart for seven years now, yet when we talk, we are right back to where we were before, with merely a lack of specifics in our daily lives to fill in...But the basics of the friendship are still there. 

Do you have friends like that?  I think they are truly the best kind to have. 

Anyway, I learned that she moved into a new house TWO MONTHS AGO!!  And she had failed to notify me she was even considering moving!  Gasp!

Then, yesterday afternoon in the middle of my furniture crisis I had a thought, "Didn't Roni close on her new house yesterday?  Does that mean she's moving in today?  I wonder if I can pawn any of my furniture off on her, since she's adding 2000 square feet of living space..."

So, I called her.  And then I sent her a picture of the roll top desk that Brent and I actually bought for ourselves with our very own money the first year of our marriage.

It is beautiful.  But it isn't as practical as it once was, as we NEVER use our desk top computer.  Consequently, the desk has become a place for throwing, piling, or shoving anything we don't want to deal with...

And it was taking up precious living space.

Before I knew what quite happened, we were delivering the desk to her, and Brent was helping Roni's husband unload and carry furniture.

We got home about 7pm last night to discover that sure enough!  The Christmas boxes were open and strewn all over the house.  The tree was semi erected, and I had decided to move the dining room table that had belonged to my great great grandmother needed to go.

Don't worry.  Not AWAY away.  Just to the attic...

So, Brent disassembled it...

And the top would NOT fit in the attic.  Nor would it fit under the bed...

But, the good news of cleaning out from under the bed, is we found this zither that my mother in law dumped on me at some point.  I've officially become her "I hate to get rid of this, but I don't really want it, so I'll give it to Andi" person.  In other words:  I'm her land fill...

The girls quickly pounced on the zither, and quickly endeavored to learn Silent Night.

After much shoving of furniture around boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations, I ended up with this arrangement:

The recliner is now where all recliners belong:  By the fireplace.

 The TV is where I would have put it the day we moved in, if not for the lack of cable cords there.  However, now that we only have antenna, that problem is solved!  And, the tree is now where the desk was, so my Grandmama Dolly chair still has a home under the window dividing our dining and living room!
 Please refrain from letting your eye wander to the room beyond the living room.  I still have stacks of junk decorations on my hutch in the dining room to sort through and eliminate or pack away.

Any ideas as to why blogger decided to flip this picture???  it won't even let me rotate it sideways in the hopes that it loads correctly.  Weird.

As you can see, the table is back.  We had sort of toyed with storing it disassembled in the garage.  But then I realized I missed it.  And it had only been gone a few hours...

So, Brent got out his screw driver and reassembled it, and I'm proud to say he did not utter one word of complaint...

So, today my folks are coming down to watch the girls in their church Christmas program.  And as of 1:30 pm, I had boxes hither thither and yon...

And I am missing a box of decorations.  It is the box with half of my Christmas dishes in it.  We looked through every single box in the attic.  Twice.  We have no idea where it's gone.  It has Santa's milk glass in it!  What will Santa drink out of with no specially designated mug!  It has our stockings in it!  And my favorite red table cloth with white snow flakes all over it! 


Well, the good news was, as I dug through too many boxes that are filled with junk treasure to admit, I realized I simply HAD to drag down two more boxes than planned...

 Does anyone remember these red Avon dishes?  I always loved them.  One of my friends from childhood's mother gave them to my mother for me to have...Is that statement confusing, or what?  You see, Peggy's kids did not WANT the dishes, and I think she bought them from my mom when she sold Avon.  Hence, she decided that I would enjoy them.  Apparently, even as a child I accepted all gifts offered to me.  At least, that's the only reason I can imagine for her suddenly giving me all these lovely dishes...Oh, and there are several more than I have pictured!  Isn't that just crazy?

Oh, and what do you think of the red balls suspended from the antlers in the light fixture?  Studmuffin felt they detracted from the overall manliness of the antlers.  I said quit being a baby...

I had such fun arranging the table.  I have extra place settings, and plan to use these dishes as this is the table we eat at every day, and we truly endeavor to eat dinner together as a family every night.  I will load them in the dishwasher, and pull the extra out of the cabinet!

Look at me and my Better Homes and Gardens self!!!

Or, is it Better Trailers and Gardens?

How about you?  Are you dragging out decorations and treating it as a rare treat to dig through and rediscover ornaments that were home made or given to commemorate your love for your husband?

I would love to hear your Christmas traditions!

Stay tuned for glimpses of my pitiful attempts to add Christmas cheer to other nooks and crannies in the house!

Aren't you just on pins and needles??

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm Feeling Chatty, But I'm Home Alone...

So, I decided to open a post and share my super important thoughts with you!  Brent and the girls are Christmas shopping, and I dare not disrupt that.

It is raining.  Chesney is really good about ringing the chimes to go out now.  However rain and golden retriever equals one stinky dog.  I am tempted to take away her water so we won't have to go outside to potty...

The girls scratched up my Santa Baby cd.  I have resorted to Clay Aiken's Christmas album which is really old, and makes me understand why some people hate Christmas music.  He is just so Broadway...And I love Broadway.  But not Broadway Christmas music...I prefer jazzy versions.

My Grandmama Dolly chair is in my normal Christmas tree spot.  Not sure where to move it.  Or where an alternate place for the tree is.  I have too much furniture.  Please don't offer any more pieces to me, as I'm terrible at saying "no" and am usually quite convinced I NEED whatever is being offered...

Unless you're offering new couches...that I get to pick out.  Mine were worn out a few years ago...Now they are disintegrating at an alarming pace.  I've taken to sitting on a pillow when I sit on them as they sink so far in.  Is that an embarrassing thing to admit?  I already have blankets tucked under the cushions in an effort to fluff them...I just don't understand.  They are Lazy Boy.  I bought them in 1997.  Surely that is practically brand new in Lazy Boy standards???

I moved Chesney's old crate to the garage, to be toted up to the attic by Studmuffin when he takes up the empty Christmas boxes, and now full fall decoration boxes.  This was a significant decision as Freckles had taken over Chesney's crate.  We were leaving it there, as we figured she was going to have her kittens in there.  So, just to be clear we had a dog bed for Kelsey, a small crate for Freckles and a large crate (big enough to last until she's full grown) for Chesney all in my living room...

Freckles went missing some time after lunch on Tuesday.  We have not seen her since she went outside.  It was too early for kittens, so I know she hasn't gone off to have them.  And she is the neediest cat I ever met, in that she constantly wants petted and talked to.

So, she's truly gone.  We are all super sad.  I hope the crate being gone doesn't start a fresh wave of tears from Popcorn.

Who, by the way is now asking Santa for a kitten for Christmas.  Good grief.  Maybe the erected tree will distract her from the missing crate...

 Even the tiniest piece of shell in a big snack bowl full of candied pecans is enough of a dirt taste to make the entire bowl, including those you already ate, completely unappetizing.

And I'm officially having a "we have too much furniture in this house" fit...And most of it was handed down to me, so I feel as if I'm stuck with it for the rest of my life...

Of course, the problem is that we moved to a house that is minus an office and family room...And we have only parted with one sofa and one recliner.  So, just in case you don't grasp what I'm saying, I've crammed three rooms worth of furniture into one room.  Yes, my living room is a good size.  But let's be real here:  It isn't THAT big!

I've been in this house three and a half years...Which is nearly at our maximum for one home.  Consequently I'm feeling the itch to paint or get all new furniture, or possibly move...

Only one thing is very clear:

Drastic measures are about to be taken, Gentle Reader.  You want a little sneak peak don't ya?

Here you go:

Drastic.  So stay tuned.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Terribly Lengthy Post, So If you Have Anything Better to Do, I Understand

Last night we had our annual Ladies Taste of Christmas at church...Each lady brings a snack to share and hopefully will bring an idea for decorating or crafts to make...There are tables set up with lovely cloths to enhance your crafts...

I stayed up late Wednesday night when I realized I was going to have to rush from work to gymnastics for Popcorn then to directly to the event...I had to stay up late so that I had a snack to share!

Heaven forbid I show up to a church social with no snack to share!!

Guess what?

I'm really glad I made those candied pecans as we nearly ran out of food...


(does anyone say "not" anymore?)

No, in fact the food went on forever and ever.  It was so much as to be disturbing.

I had to lead carols...

A Capella...

And I assure you that was NOT awkward in any way shape or form.

The worst singing experiences are in front of small crowds where you are forced to use a mike when CLEARLY it is not needed, and you can see the face of every single person in the room.  Give me a crowd that I can't see with a spotlight in my eyes on a stage over a small intimate gathering any day!

And the Christmas craft idea/decorating idea?  Well, the same ladies that ALWAYS display did fantastic.  I decided to be brave and bring samples of the ornaments my girls are making for friends.  And I brought my gift I made for my family's home made gift exchange...

I seriously wanted to hide my pitiful offerings, but decided instead to proudly display my crafts for all of those noncrafty folks that I know are SOMEWHERE out there (although they are obviously NOT bloggers as so many of you are crazy creative.)  I put out my girls little ornaments, and my humble home made gift.

And I mentally said "Take that Super Crafters!"

I had a BRILLIANT idea for a post today while I was at work.

I have no idea what it was....

I do know that somehow my nine year old is unable to understand time...Oh, she can read the time...And she can write any given time on a face of a clock...

Ask her what time 5 past seven is? 

She is completely baffled...

I have explained it and explained it...

She. Doesn't. Get. It.

I'm pretty sure that this is a failure of the public school system and in no way any fault of mine...

The same reason she doesn't understand that 75 cents is three quarters of a dollar...Ask her how much three quarters is worth and she knows it's 75 cents...Try to change that to three quarters of a dollar and she is utterly confounded...

Same with quarter after 9, or a quarter to 8....

HELP!!!  I went online and have printed off some time practice sheets.  We are starting at the very basic and gradually working up.

Guess what else?  My sixth grader scored off the charts on the achievement test in math. 

Strangely, I still have to explain her math to her nearly every night...She will do an ENTIRE assignment wrong, and never realize that it's wrong.  Every day she brings home her math...And too many times to count she will have missed eigth or ten CONSECUTIVE problems, because they are all of the NEW problems, which she THINKS she understands, but obviously doesn't or she wouldn't miss them!  So I will hand it back for her to correct...

Which of course she CAN'T do because she doesn't understand why it's wrong.

So with much weeping and gnashing of teeth on BOTH our parts, I explain the correct way to divide fractions or how to solve 3/4x=7...

And then she will do them all correctly with very few errors...

WHY am I having to teach my children their math?

Sometimes I think I should just home school them...

And then I remember that I work...

Oh, and the small fact that we have much weeping and gnashing of teeth when I'm teaching them...

So.  Tonight I'd planned to get out Christmas decorations (of course first we had to put AWAY the fall decorations) but instead we ended up reviewing time and fractions.

Now I'm so mentally exhausted that I'm drinking a cup of Christmas cheer while the girls are watching The Grinch and Studmuffin sleeps on the couch...

Was this the worst post ever???

Oh, wait!  I have one more issue to whine tell you about!

I had a lady ask me about my girls and "did I still have to work full time."

(Am I the only one who feels put on the defensive by that question?)

"Well, I actually only work 30 hours per week, which has been working out okay."

"Let's see, you've been doing that for two years now?"

(The strange thing is, I know this lady truly truly means well.  She has decided to take on a mentoring role for me.  I'm just not sure I'm embracing her mentorship.)

"Well, I'm not sure when I started.  This summer I just worked Monday through Wednesday."

"Oh, well that's nice.  What do you do for child care?"

Well, of course I no longer HAVE child care.  It isn't necessary as I take them to the bus stop and Brent meets them at home after school.  However, I'm not sure what we will do this summer.  Bookworm will be going into seventh grade, so it seems silly to pay someone to baby sit her when I was babysitting for others by the time I was that age. 

And of COURSE she regrets that.

I said, "Well, my girls are only 17 months apart, so to say they would be ALONE is not really accurate.  They have each other."

And then I ended the conversation as quickly as possible and sat down to be surrounded by SAHM's who I love but hate because they all stay home and home school and I'm sure teach their kids "scripture in the morning and scripture at noon and scripture at bedtime" in the words of my youngest child who will be a GREAT mom...

And I realize that this post seems rather whiny when in fact I've been in a really good mood all week, riding on the high of a great weekend with family and realizing I'm nearly done Christmas shopping!

So, if one focuses on a cup of eggnog in my hand...half filled instead of half empty boxes of fall decorations...and two ridiculously beautiful girls curled up together on my couch, I have nothing to complain about!

Tomorrow Popcorn is going shopping with her dad as she is near panicked to have not even begun shopping for her sister (this is sure to take hours) and I'm assembling the tree and cleaning house in the morning so we can actually put out decorations as a family tomorrow night...

I love putting out the decorations, and my husband hates it.  What is UP with that?

Oh, and I somehow volunteered myself to bring three dozen cookies to church for the annual community tree lighting put on by the chamber of commerce Monday.  So, obviously I will also be baking cookies...

Which is one of my very favorite thing to do!

What are your plans for the weekend?