Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Know what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving! Everything!!!!! Seriously what is there not to be thankful for. I tell just anybody who will listen that I have been blessed beyond measure. Even if I don't always say it out loud I try to make a point everyday of appreciating everything I have.

Well this was Wendy's first time to host a big holiday. I'm sure she stressed for weeks about it but she shouldn't have. It was wonderful as I knew it would be. She is a great hostess and has a beautiful home that we can all fit in so I knew everything would be perfect and it was. I hope you know Wendy this means that the torch has officially passed.

I've taken this online class called Stories in Hand. While I haven't officially written any stories it has made me think more about my childhood and what stories I could write. As I was thinking about my childhood Thanksgivings I was stunned to realize that I don't have any memories of Thanksgivings at my house. With my dad being a Highway Patrolman I know we didn't get to go very far for holidays as those were days he needed to be on the road. I do have memories of Thanksgivings and Christmases at the city jail. My parents were friends with the sheriff and the city policman and they too probably didn't get to spend the holidays away either. So we would have the meal at the jail which was also the home for the sheriff and family. My other memories of holiday meals are at my Aunt Ev's or Aunt Dorothy's. Now whether they were just Sundays around the holidays or if they were yearly occurences I don't remember. But I was saddened to think that I have no memories of Thanksgiving at "our house". Now of course that doesn't mean we didn't have small, just our family, meals, it's just that they didn't give me any memories. Now that both my parents are gone and most of my Aunts and Uncles are gone too,there really isn't anyone to get stories from. I think that is why I've started to become more interested in journaling and writing "stories". All too soon the people we count to help us keep those memories alive are no longer around or able to tell the "stories".

Well tomorrow Amy, Wendy and I are hitting the stores in the wee hours of the morning. I've been going off and on since Kyra was 3 and we would stand in line at Lewis for Beanie Babies. Even though it is absolutely crazy it's a great time. Don't know if I'll buy anything or not. What am I saying of course I will. Heck somebody has to get this ecomony back on track. Might as well be me. And both Steve and I just got paid and all the bills are paid. Let the good times roll.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let the Holidays Begin!

Yesterday was the Festival of Trees. I've been going to that for about 12 years. I may have missed a few but for the most part it has become my annual start of the holidays. I think Kyra was about 3 when we first started going. It seemed back then that there were more interesting trees and more games for the kids to play but it still is a great way to put me in the mood for the holidays. This year Kyra's musical group from high school sang. I think she performed one other time with girls chorale too but I could be mistaken. And if going and seeing all the beautifully decorated trees didn't put me in the mood, then the snow we woke up to yesterday morning sure did. It was one of those 1 inch snowfalls that are just perfect. Not too much to cause any problems and just enough to make everything white. And the best part - it shouldn't last too long because it is supposed to be about 40 degrees today. It could do that routine all winter. Yeah right!

I definitely had a play day yesterday. I spent most of the morning doing computer things and blog reading. Very productive don't you think? I called Amy about 10:30 to tell her I had signed up for another online journaling class and she invited me (or did I invite myself) to go thrift shopping and to Hobby Lobby. Anything to get out of doing this den clean out. So we went and did that. She's on the hunt for vintage ornaments and Kyra just likes thrift shoppping. I used to love to go to thrift stores with Glenna and I'm glad that Amy and Kyra are doing that now so I have someone to go with when the mood hits. It's like looking at my life in things. All the styles that have come and gone in decorating. Gives pause to what I buy now because I know at some point it will be in the thrift stores with people saying "Can you believe we had that in our house?" We definitely are a disposable society. Don't need it now so get rid of it and get something new and improved later. No wonder we're in a declining economy. We used to have the same toaster forever. If it broke we took it apart and made it work again. Now they make things so we can't do that and we have to buy a new one. Or they come out with new and more exciting colors so we want that new color.

By the time I got home yesterday I was in major pain. I don't know if I did something in the morning when I was slipping on the snow at a thrift store or if walking at the Festival in new shoes did it but my hip was really acting up. I'm sure at some point I will probably need a hip replacement. It's been a problem clear back to when I was pregnant with Amy. I remember always getting a catch in the hip. Two years ago I know I either pulled it out of the socket (thanks PT person for telling me that could have happened) or strained the muscles but whatever happened it took a year to get better. I've had twinges since but nothing like last night. I hope that with babying it for a few days and taking some pain meds it will go back to the way it was, virtually pain free. That should really give me incentive to lose weight.
Well today we need to run some errands. I invited Scott's for brunch if they wanted. So we'll do that and then go to Sam's and Target and maybe Michaels. Oh and if we did World Market that would be good too. And then I need to work more on this den. I wish I had room to take everything out and start over. I'd keep all the same furniture but try and figure out how to get more storage in here. It's a great little room for keeping all my projects and such but it's such a little room with such a little closet and I have too much stuff. And no, I don't think I can get rid of my stuff. I have plans for all that stuff. Of course I might have to live another 50 years and retire tomorrow to get it all done, but that's beside the point.
Off to stare at my piles in the den.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Middle of the week recap

It's hump day as they say. The middle of the week. As usual it's a pretty mundane week. Wake up, go to school, come home, do a few things, watch a little tv and go to bed. The story of most of our lives. I think very few people lead exciting and adventurous lives. I'm really quite happy with my little dull life, thank you very much but it doesn't make for blog entries. So what have I done this week so far. Monday night was Haley's orchestra concert. I am so struck by how much they learn and how far they come with one or two days a week of instruction and a little practice. Most of these kids have only been playing for a few weeks, especially the band students. You can start orchestra in 4th grade, but band doesn't start until 5th. Anyway, can we say wow! I remember when Amy was in band. They always put the orchestra with the band concerts. They were torturous at the least. There was so much squeaking and squawking it practically made your ears bleed. In those few short years between Amy's grade school concerts and Kyra's concerts they must have changed how they taught because the difference is amazing. These concerts were quite enjoyable. And I am so happy that my grandchildren have the opportunity to experience music. Steve didn't have orchestra where he went to school so his knowledge is somewhat limited. I did have an orchestra at my high school but I've learned the most working in a middle school and listening to their concerts. Everyone should learn to appreciate the beauty of a good orchestra. Off my soap box now.
Yesterday was just a normal day. Most of the time my highlight of the day is taking Kyra to and from school. It is such a blessing to spend this time with her. And because I take her home and stop there for about a 1/2 hour everyday I get to see Kirby and Kyler. Well some days, some days they're off busy doing their own thing. It's all good anyway.
Today was supposed to be warm about 50 degrees or so. Can we say they lied! I don't think it got to 40. I told Kyra she didn't need her heavy coat. She thanked me when I picked her up for giving her such good advice. I doubt she'll listen to me anytime soon when it comes to the weather. I finally typed Wendy's email address into my school email list. I don't talk to her as frequently as I do Scott so it will be nice to communicate a little easier with her. Of course today if I had just read her blog this morning most of my questions would have been answered. Note to self read Wendy's blog in the morning!
See my life is pretty dull. No good stories. I'm hoping this weekend with the festival of trees, I'll have some new pictures to post. And then next week Thanksgiving. Let the holidays begin.
Off to see about supper. Not doing so good on the cooking blog. We're eating pretty simply or just grabbing too much fast food. Need to work on that.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another weekend bites the dust

Here it is 8:00 Sunday night and the weekend is coming to a close. I keep thinking how it nice it would be if I had tomorrow off like last week, but alas it is not to be. I think I struck a fair balance of work and play. I'm sure I could have done way more but heck I might need something to do next weekend. Hahaha.
So Saturday Amy called about 12:15 and asked if I was up for a field trip. Sure I'm always up for field trips, shopping trips, just about anything really. Kyra was going to volunteer for Salsa at an animal shelter and Amy wasn't sure where exactly it was so she wanted me to come along and be navigator. Such a mistake taking me to an animal shelter. I really just want to take them all home. It's a good thing I live in town and in a small house. So after we dropped Kyra off we went to the mall to feed the boys lunch and kill some time. Well let me tell you it was crazy. Last Saturday Amy, Kyra and I went to the mall and it was just a normal busy Saturday. But this Saturday was totally out of control. Younkers was having this huge sale and people must have come from everywhere. We knew we were in trouble when the parking lot was packed and we had to park way out on the end. Then just trying to walk through Younkers was a challenge in itself. And the food court, well lets just say that finding a place to sit was not an option. We shopped for a little while and then went back to the food court and snarfed a table. If this is any indication of what the rest of the holiday season is going to be like count me out. Except of course for Black Friday. I just like the craziness of that but otherwise forget all the crowds.

Today was just a lazy Sunday. I just hung out and worked on some projects. I'm coming along on the sweater. I'm about half way done with the front now and then it's just the hood and putting it together. I'm also taking an online class called story in hand. And I started putting together the album. I'm excited to start writing stories of my life. I actually cooked a nice little supper too. This week is Haley's orchestra concert and I think Kyra's show choir thing. Should get me out of the house after dark at least a couple of times this week.

Well Desperate Housewives is on. I think I'll knit a little more and watch some Sunday night tv.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas.

Ok maybe not quite but with the little bit of snow on the ground and the fog it just seems like Christmas is just right around the corner. Of course it is just really right around the corner. I'm really in the mood to buy presents and make things. Too bad working gets in the way of all my fun time. I need to get out my planner and make some lists and put down all my ideas before they fly out of my brain. I used to remember everything. Now I need to write things down or off they go into neverland.

Today was a strange day. We had a substitute today which in of itself isn't a big deal. But one of our students was gone and that usually isn't a big deal either. This student though is the one that effects my day the most. Two periods of the day another EA and I change and lay this student down. We go to another room and it's just the three of us, nice and peaceful. After we lay her down we have 30 minutes that we sit and visit and knit or do something useful. It is really a treat after all these years of constant going and doing. Anyway with this student gone we couldn't justify going and just sitting in the room but we really didn't have anything to do either in any of the other rooms. If we would have had our regular teacher she probably would have found something to keep us busy. So we felt like lost souls with no home. I know poor us but it really is harder to not have anything to do than to be really busy. I'll take really busy anyday. Hopefully things are back to normal tomorrow.

After many months of missing and chatting online with Haley, we finally connected on google talk this morning. It used to be so nice to chat a little with her in the morning or later at night when she couldn't sleep. I think I'll still miss hello but this will be nice. Even though I see and talk to my grandchildren more than most grandparents it's nice to have a little daily dose of conversation with them.

I finished my sleeves last night. Woohoo!!!!!!!!!! Now I'm on the front which shouldn't take too long I hope. The neck instructions seem a little tricky but maybe once I'm that far it'll make sense to me. I'm worried most about the hood and sewing the thing together. I really hope it turns out well because it's fun to see a skein of yarn and watch it turn into something wearable. I have always loved crafts and needlework just for that reason. You take virtually nothing and turn it into something beautiful. Feeds that creative spirit.

Can you believe I'm on Facebook? When Steve's brother was here he said he was on Facebook and how he had reconnected with some of his classmates. We talked and I said I didn't think people my age were on Facebook but he is only 7 years younger so I thought who knows it might be worth a try. Well I was more right than he was. I put in my high school and year and what do you know. 3 people from a class of over 300 were there. Yep we're a happening group, keeping up with all the latest and greatest. But I did discover some of my coffee friends and who knows, maybe the word will get to my classmates yet. I'm not holding my breath.

I love this quote.

"Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can - there will always come a time when you'll be grateful that you did."


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ice, Snow, Poppies and Sleeves

How's that for a title? I woke up this morning to a nice coating of ice all over everything when I let the dog out at 5:30. I was so grateful that I didn't have to go to work today. I've driven to work so many times in bad weather that I didn't need to add another one to my belt. Now within the last half hour or so it's turned to snow. Very pretty snow I might add, nice big flakes coming down so soft and gentle. If we have to have snow already then this is the kind of snow I want. What would be great is if this snow only lasts a few days and we wait another month or so before we get any more. Like that will happen.
I was watching the CBS morning show this morning while I was knitting my sleeves. They are doing a decade a day for this week and today was the 60's. It was so fun to see some of the old commercials and clothes and all the footage of things I so remember. But one of the hosts had a paper poppy in his lapel and talked about when he was younger they always sold these paper poppies as a way of making money for the veteran's organizations. I had totally forgot about those! They were such a part of my childhood and young adulthood. Most of the men always sported a poppy in their shirt buttonhole and sometimes even as a kid we would buy a poppy and thought it was so cool. I wonder when they stopped doing that. At least I think they aren't selling poppies anymore.
So I'm finally seeing the finish line with these sleeves I'm knitting. After ripping them out about six times I'm almost to the end. If I wasn't such a perfectionist I might have been done much sooner. Since it's a sweater that hopefully Will will wear, I want it to be able to hold up and not fall apart and to look halfway decent. My goal was to finish the sleeves on these 4 days off and I think I'm going to make it. Next is the front and the hood and then I can try and figure out how to sew it together and my first sweater will be done. Yeah!
Well today is my last day of my 4 day weekend. It was so nice to have 4 days with no commitments tied to it. So many times during the school year there is a holiday involved with our days off that I never feel like they were truly days off. Like Thanksgiving (which I totally love). We have 5 days off. Wednesday I'll make pies and whatever else for Thanksgiving. Then of course there's Thanksgiving. Hopefully we'll shop on Friday. Saturday and Sunday I'm planning on putting up my tree and decorating. So see I really enjoy these days that are mine to do with as I please. Not that I always get done everything that I plan. I did accomplish quite a bit. Today I'm hoping to put some order to my den and figure out how I can keep everything I need in there and still use the space. I really need a big closet for that room. Since that's not happening I have to figure out some way to make it work. I can't scrapbook if half my stuff is downstairs and half is upstairs. What I wouldn't give to just have more space. As much as I try to get rid of stuff, there is so much stuff that I know as soon as I get rid of it I'll wish I still had it. I work with two diversely different people. One keeps everything. If we have hat day at school she can pull out a cool old hat she's had for 40 years. Her house is anything but neat but she is a most interesting person. The other person is a neat freak. If we decide to go out to eat some Saturday for lunch, she can never make it because she has to clean house. Trust me her house is always clean and she doesn't keep anything that isn't necessary. She's a nice person but not nearly as interesting because her life is so structured. They always buy groceries on Thursday. She plays bingo always on Tuesday. Anyway my point is I would like to fall somewhere in between these two. I want enough structure that my life doesn't get out of control, but I also don't want to get so tied to how my house looks that I miss out on things. So my den needs to find that balance today. It is totally out of control. Hopefully I can get rid of enough stuff that I can do what I need to do in there. Wish me luck. I like my stuff!
Well goodness I've rambled quite enough. I need to get to work on a few of those chores and finish those sleeves.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

What a difference a week makes!

Last week it was 70 degrees and a picture perfect day. This week this is what is greeting me in the morning when I step out and get the paper. Nice huh? And man is it cold, a bone chilling 20 some degrees. I kinda like the snow but it's going to take some getting used to with the cold.
So how is my four day weekend going you ask. Pretty good. I spent most of it yesterday shopping. Amy wanted to get up early and get to Walmart by 8:00 to grab a special on a laptop she had seen online. I'm always up for a shopping trip so I said sure I'd love to go along. Well after much confusion from the Walmart staff. (Like we were just standing around the electronics area with a few other people waiting for it to hit 8 o'clock. Two minutes before 8 they say oh you need to get a number from the customer service area. Great, a line is forming with people who already have numbers.) Long story short Amy got a number and while waiting in line I decided that it was just too good a deal to pass up and I got a number. So by 8:30 both Amy and I had laptops for $298 each. I thought Steve might not be happy because we really don't need another computer but luckily he was ok with it. So after that we went home for awhile and waited for Kyra to get ready and then we headed out to the mall. Both Kyra and I wanted new winter coats. I found what I was looking for right away but Kyra wasn't quite as easy. She has definite ideas of what she likes, just like her mom did at her age. Amy says it's just pay back. I guess I go along to say uh huh, yep that's right. But I got a coat, some tarts from Yankee candle and a new top and jeans. Not bad for a days work. And hopefully I helped the economy too. Haha.
Yesterday I spent alot of time thinking about something called project 365. The only way I knew about it was in the photography area, where you take a picture every day for a year. I think that is such a cool idea and would love to do that. But then I read about this couple who took Rachael Ray's 365 No Repeat cookbook and decided to make a recipe from that book every day. They started at the beginning and worked their way through to the end. All this made me think that I need to start some 365 projects of my own. Particularly in the cooking department. Realistically I know I couldn't cook something different every day. There's only 2 of us and we would have too many leftovers, but I could try and cook about 5 meals a week. Sometimes I have to make something a project before I can get excited about it. Especially things that have become quite mundane like cooking. So I started another blog called Colleen Cooks 365 (there's a link to the left side of my blog). I'm hoping by blogging and documenting it will give me that nudge to actually do it. Time will only tell, but hey nothing ventured nothing gained right.
Less than 3 weeks until Thanksgiving my favorite holiday. I love Thanksgiving because it's just about getting together and enjoying your family with food and traditions. There's no pressure to find the right gift or any of that. This year I'm particularly excited because Wendy is hosting it. It's like passing on the torch. I thought maybe I might be sad about that but heck no I've done it for so many years like 30 something that it will nice to be mostly a guest. And the best part is I still get to make some of the food. (By the way Wendy I hope you got my email, outlook was being weird this morning)
Well I've rambled on enough. I should go knit on a sweater. I've only attempted the sleeves about 6 times but this time I think I've got it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Blizzard Warnings???

Yes that's right. There are blizzard warnings for the western 2/3 of the state. We just have a winter weather advisory here. Gotta love living in South Dakota. Why just Friday. Amy, Wendy and I sat outside handing out Halloween candy. We didn't even need coats. And now they are talking about 32 inches of snow in the Black Hills and 1 to 2 inches here. I don't think I'm ready for winter yet. I remember the first 2 years we were back in South Dakota after living for 3 years in California. Both years 1976 and 1977 we had Veteran's Day blizzards. And if I remember correctly it was terrible weather the rest of the winter. Maybe it only seemed terrible because we had been away from all the cold and snow for 3 years but I do remember there being snow on the ground all winter. We really have had such mild winters lately and especially it seems they haven't started until later in the season that a "normal" South Dakota winter might be really hard to take. But there is nothing we can do about it but enjoy what ever comes our way.

Well election day is over. History was made, the first black President for the US. I loved listening to Whoopi Goldberg on the view yesterday. She put it so well when she said she could now put her suitcase down. Unfortunately I think there is still a portion of this country that doesn't share that feeling. I think Barack Obama will make a great president. All great presidents have been great orators and Barack is one of the best. When it's all said and done it isn't as much about what his policys are as it is about how well he makes us feel as a country. If ever our country needed a great cheerleader it is now. Enough with the politicalness.

I could probably post more but I must get ready for school. Two more days this week and then a 4 day weekend. Yahoo!!!


Monday, November 03, 2008

Where did October go?

Wow here it is the 3rd of November already! Can it only be 3 short weeks until Thanksgiving and only 53 days until Christmas? And in just 2 short weeks is the Festival of Trees which always starts the holidays for me. The weather has been so nice that it seems surreal that the holidays are so close. Though I have to say my mind is wandering towards Christmas all the time lately.

It was a very quiet weekend here. Saturday I cleaned some and did some computer things. I should put my computer somewhere else so I could get my den cleaned. I come into to clean and next thing I know I'm sitting at the computer. Guess it could be worse. Later in the afternoon Haley called and wanted to know if I wanted to come with them to Looks Meat Market. Of course I would love to go. I don't get to do many things with Wendy and kids because of their busy schedule so I jumped at the chance to hang out with them for awhile. After Looks we hung out here for awhile and then went to Perkins for supper. It was a very pleasant day. Yesterday was about as lazy as a day could get. I should have spent the day outside since it was about 75 degrees. Could be the last one of those we get to enjoy. But alas I spent it in the house doing odds and ends. I finished the back of Will's sweater and started working on the sleeves but realized after a couple of rows that one sleeve had 26 stitches on it and the other had 28. Oops. Ripped it out and will start over today. I'm excited to get it done because I have never made a sweater before. Hopefully it will be one he can wear at least once and not be one that has arms done to the floor or something.

I almost forgot to talk about the Halloween party. Friday was the Halloween party. It was so fun to see all the kids and meet some of Haley's friends and Hannah's friend. Both Scott and Wendy wore costumes. It was just eerie to talk to Scott in his. He had a mask that was just hard to look at it. I think it creeped me out more than it did the kids. And Amy she could hardly even talk to him. I think I took pictures of it but they are still in my camera which Kyra has. I'm not doing a very good job of getting pictures on my blog. Goal for November more pictures and more entries.

Well this is a full week of school, one of the few in November. Next week only 3 days. Yeah!!!!!!!! Tomorrow is election day. I will be glad to have that over with. Maybe we can find out what else is going on in the world after Tuesday. I really want to start dieting again. I know I wasn't going to talk about it anymore but I still do need to get it under control.

Guess I should go get ready for school. I don't have to pack a lunch because we are cooking with the kids today. That's always a challange but fun. I need to clean out my knitting bag a little too.