Christmas Gifts and Updated To Do Lists

Christmas Gifts (Mine and George’s)

Yesterday was pure bliss – it was my 26th day after day – postponed by 2 days. I got up and began doing laundry and there were about 5 loads I did. I also ironed pillow cases – the white ones to put back on the beds as extra pillows. The guest room sheets are washed and put back on the beds. I picked up the house a bit. I also cleaned some in the big living room where the tree is and finished sorting boxes and sacks. I’d only had time to do 3/4 of the living room on Christmas Day before I had petered out.

I began putting my Christmas gifts out and I love doing this almost as much as opening them. I look at them and experience the joy again before putting them away. I took some pics to share. Before I do that, I want to tell you that:

  1. We do a lot of our annual shopping at this time of year.
  2. We also use vacation time to shop for things we need and want as we have the time and we are in different than normal places with different than normal shops. And this year’s vacation time fell at Thanksgiving so we did a lot of our own shopping and gave to the other to wrap. Tops seem to be cheaper there in that little town of TX than they are here by about $10. So if I found something I liked, we bought it. Even Walmart had cute clothes there and my size was not already taken b/c it’s a small town.
  3. We always buy a lot of little practical things that will last a while – just to wrap things up as you will see: rice, coffee, grits, nuts. The more to open the better – and food gifts are big in our family. Things like olive oil and vinegar – get an upgrade with better quality and things like that.
  4. My big gift from George is not shown and that is the iMac. My heart swollen with love that he wanted to do this for me and he was even going to get the bigger Pro one but that was too big and powerful for what I need. We did get the big screen on this one and I plan to use this room as my SheRoom lol – as if it wasn’t before! No he can use it too of course. He teasingly told me I could not name the room a SheShed name. lol. I will take a pic of it and the office after I reorg the office a bit. I need to redo it and clean it. The bulletin board is too low to use as the iMac hides it. And I want to add a chair in here so I can watch YouTubes. So I kinda want to move some things around a bit. This is my goal today to work on this.

So George and I discovered Plantation rice a year or two ago and it is so good. I said it is even it’s own category of food. lol Well, we only get some if we go to Whole Foods which is about twice a year or maybe three times. So he stocked up on that. What a great gift. And notice the Amish red popcorn behind it. Red popcorn is my favorite to cook up in the Whirley Pop. But the plantation brand also had peas and grits too and various types of rices so he got them all. On the right here you can see they have their place in the pantry. We will be eating a lot of grains and beans.

A big huge WRAP coat from Sam Moon in Dallas

Maisy followed me around yesterday. I was thinking she must just get tired as I know I probably put in a couple of miles or maybe three in the house yesterday. I was moving all day long.

I stopped to play with her while doing the sheets on the guest bed. The closest to playing she will do is that she seems to enjoy you putting a cover over her and she works her way out. She even put herself under the cover yesterday. So whoever sleeps in the bed next may have a few Maisy hairs mixed in, lol. Also notice the new PJ’s she is sitting on. I wish I’d bought two pair. I love those Liz Claiborne’s. I can only get them before Christmas. They hold up for about two years I think, but the 2nd year they are faded, but I wear them every week faithfully. JC Penny sells them. But they will be all gone by now, I’m sure. So next year…

Katy gave me a Tugie blanket and now Tugie can sit on my lap again. Oh that girl. I miss her so. My little Frito.

George always gives me those Winter Spiced Nuts. I love them. You can only get them before Christmas. And one can is already gone. I have to be careful with those. I binge eat them.

Alexa for the car!

I’m really excited about this one. I can’t wait to get that going in the car! Wow! That blows my mind. I’m going to have to read up on that. That adds a whole new element to the commute. Also I asked Alexa on the house Alexa, to send me a recipe for something. She will email it to you. I have not gone in to see if she did. But that is cool. She’ll read the ingredients and if you are happy with it, she will send it.

Isn’t this the truth?

We also got money from Mom and gift cards from Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken and Katy and Cody in addition to gifts.

So I put all these things up yesterday and worked on my wardrobe for next week and also worked on my to do list some.

Current To Do List

Not necessarily in order but here are my goals for the week:

  1. Mail off some family Christmas gifts – yes it’s late. But I ran out of time b/w work and company coming.
  2. Get nails done.
  3. Check Isagenix – do my next order. Don’t need much.
  4. Buy a hostess gift for a dinner we are going to soon.
  5. Transfer over some $ from Isagenix payment to our account.
  6. Back up the old computer
  7. Transfer important files to new computer
  8. Send a friend some RV You Tube shows that I watch that she wanted.
  9. Decide what is for dinner on NYE. We are doing Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon on New Years Day.
  10. List up my Year in Review for the blog
  11. Decide where to eat for my birthday coming up.
  12. Grocery
  13. Clean up the office and rearrange and consider decor as needed.
  14. Consider my goals and targets for 2020.

Most of that really will be done today. However, not really wanting to get out today. So nails and grocery and getting hostess gift may have to wait.

Upcoming To Do List After the 1st

  • Get a bluetooth printer
  • Reschedule dentist appointment cancelled due to work needs
  • Schedule doc appointment for BP meds
  • Make the April grooming appointments (she books quickly)
  • Make plans with Richard and Kathy
  • Confirm plans with Don and Lisa
  • Ring cleaned and prongs checked
  • Make a Texas video – I may just not do one this time as I’ve deleted most of my videos and time has passed. But I’m leaving it on the list b/c I might use it to practice making videos on the iMac with iMovie.
  • Use Walmart Card (work gift)
  • Make a Bucket List for Winter (Jan/Feb/Mar)
  • See how we did on the Fall Bucket list (Oct/Nov/Dec)
  • Buy dishrags for the kitchen – some cool ones, lol
  • Buy my lotion body wash for winter
  • My 7 books of all time that impacted me. This intrigues me so I’m keeping it on the list. I want to do it and share it on FB.
  • Magazine project. Time to organize all those recipes, travel spots, and ideas and plan to put them in action and “bring them alive”.
  • Picking a Bible Study
  • Working on a writing project (one of them finished by the way on Christmas Eve as we sat in the living room – it was a book for my daughter and I gave it to her on Christmas Day. It was a book you fill in called “Reflections from a Mother’s Heart”)
  • Upload my Apple gift cards (George and I split them as they were a gift together). I will use them for apps as I do the monthly iTunes thing that is paid and you have access to any song at any time. But I’ve started buying apps at times if it is something I will use.
  • Plan a trip with Katy
  • Plan and book our Amelia Island Trip
  • Carve out some days for fall to take George to the mountains and get a cabin and some time away.
  • Fix a casserole – I’m thinking something tomatoey like a “Beefy Mac” kind of thing!
  • Fix a pasta salad with my spinach bow tie pasta
  • Make orzo salad.

I’d say I have enough to keep busy eh? And at work it’s also busy:

  • Month end of December taxes due to by Jan 15th
  • Weekly taxes for this upcoming payroll and make sure all paid for last week as it was such pandemonium
  • Quarter end withholding taxes for states we file quarterly.
  • Quarter end Return Filing for WH taxes by Jan 30th
  • Quarter End Unemployment taxes and returns due by Jan 30th.
  • Most states have year end reporting that have to be done once per year aside from the above. I have a list.
  • Reconciliation Report for WH and Unemployment – internal report.
  • Do any filing of returns if anything is amiss and I know we have to do one for 1st and 2nd quarter of last year for one state.
  • PTO forms, finish filing them for 2019 and put them away.

So there is no shortage of anything anywhere as far as where to spend time. lol

It is supposed to rain 2 to 3 inches today. So – I think I’m staying put today. However, we may actually have to get out in it. But I hope not.

I will likely not blog until New Year’s Day so that I can get in to work early and get payroll related items done. It’s going to be a very rushed payroll and there is a large amount of things that have to be entered and changed – it’s a holiday week so HOL pay added and subtracted for those absent the day before and after the holiday and new hires. A lot of things to enter from advances done last week so all comes out in the accounting/payroll records. And a tractor trailer load of PTO’s to enter for last week. Some for two weeks. So yeah, busy everywhere. I like it busy but not insane. Friday was insane, but hopefully this week will be better. I think what makes an insane day hard is when you want to help and do but you know you only can do so much and I knew Friday was coming to a head before Christmas but you can’t stop a train on a whim. I was hoping it all would work out. It did kinda mean a group of people had to pow wow and get it done. If not for that it still wouldn’t be done, but grateful that even the insane days are doable. I didn’t freak out. I was panicked and had tears in my eyes b/c I knew I couldn’t please everyone at once and it was frustrating. But with help we were able to please most. I just hope to not have a repeat of THAT. You provide instructions and prep and hopefully people will comply. You can only do so much without setting up a 24-7 living area. Someone said it was not pleasant getting urgent messages at their lunch time. I replied with “at least you GOT to take a lunch”. ;-).We laughed. It was a pleasant conversation not one of ill will. But it’s all good. I’d have taken a lunch but an hour worth of work would not have been done which would come to a head again later, by making payroll late this next week. So no lunch time for me. Oh I’ll eat! Just at my desk or thrown down quickly. And I probably won’t get lunch until we have a full week b/c a Holiday for me means having to work that amount missed to be caught up again so I don’t really get to feel the effect of a HOL since the hours are tacked on the other days of the week but it is nice to at least have the day off – I wish that happened every week so we had more balance. It is what it is and I’ll gladly work the hours and through lunch to keep from being eaten alive by the masses. It’s kinda like keeping the dogs favorite Fresh Pet in stock. We pay if we fail to go the store. They will eat us alive and bark til we get it. Only in the case of payroll, I often pay for someone else’s choices. lol

Ya’ll have a good New Year! Back in 2020! Unless I get a sneak one in!

Christmas and the Aftermath!

Good morning. It seems like forever, being able to have time to blog. Thus the title of my blog – being even more of a mission than before? I mean at this point, should we not be slowing down? I am indeed drinking coffee. I’m on my 3rd cup. And thinking about another but it will be decaf. I just like the warmth of it.

We had a marvelous Christmas with my family.

Christmas Eve, in the afternoon, Mom and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken arrived, along with Fancy and Coco. That morning I made sausage balls. Neighbors dropped by with baked goods and food gifts. (Ashamed we did not have anything ready. But we decided to feed everyone a meal in a neighborhood party we’ll have later on as a return gift. Next year I’ll be prepared. We have such good neighbors. I guess it never occurred to me to do this. But it is a kind gesture.)

The doggies were good and fun!

And if you really want to know how their personalities were over Christmas – their faces tell the story. Maisy was subdued, a little skeptical but tolerating everyone, Roger slept unphased, Fancy was happy to be there as long as she was with her Momma, and Coco was a little confused being in a new place. She mostly can’t see and barely can hear. She did respond to my voice and was able to stare straight at me so I think she must can see some. She would get lost looking for her Mom and Dad (my Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken) and we would have to steer her in the right direction or they would go and rescue her. When we left the room to go eat or something, she would get lost again. She is so cute. We were so happy to have them all. Meal time was fairly easy for them and they went out often.

We ate well! I hadn’t really planned on it but as everyone arrived, I filled the pub table with a few snacks to hold everyone til dinner.

Thanks to neighbors, and coworkers, and Publix (lol) we had a few things to set out. Katy spent a good part of the day with us as well. We had YouTube playing Christmas music and a fireplace. Which I’m sure we were all tired of by day 2.

We also had a great meal of Prime Rib, Wedge Salad, Baked Potato, and Peach Cobbler and Ice Cream. I enjoyed getting everything ready with the table, using the Christmas dishes, and even enjoyed the clean up. The meal was fairly simple to pull off. We enjoyed doing this very much. And dinner was excellently cooked by the Master Chef, George. And the wine was excellent. We have saved this Arrington Vineyard “Antebellum” wine just for Christmas. The wine is soaked in whiskey bourbon barrels and it gives it a flavor. I like this wine as a slow sipping wine to enjoy with every sip. The Arrington Vineyard, owned by country music artist Kix Brooks and a businessman, John Russell is where the wine was made.

We stayed up late and talked and each told stories from our child hood about a Christmas we enjoyed, or a gift we got – we went around the room and told stories. It was fun. We actually stayed up later than we meant to by doing this. Then we had to take doggies out again and Santa of course came while we were still up. lol. I think there might have been Ms. Clause there as well. She was just sneaking things about as was Santa. I am not sure I slept so well, having been thinking about the next day and a few other things on my mind. I was awake off and on and having missed most of my solid prime sleeping time from 9 to midnight (only time guaranteed to sleep straight through), I was struggling the next day. Answering questions and functioning before coffee is hard for me on little sleep. I get very bear like. I kept having to remind myself I had to be gracious host or they won’t come back. lol Once coffee set in though – I began to perk up. George had cooked most of the breakfast meats the day before: country ham, country sausage, and country bacon. I had rebooted the table with a fresh scene, different decor, and our regular white dishes.

We opened our stockings before breakfast and then ate and once all that was over, it seemed to take forever for the gift opening to occur! But soon Katy and Cody arrived and we opened gifts. I don’t know why I didn’t take pics during that – other than we were just having a good time. Everyone loved their air fryers and cook book and accessories. It was a big Christmas. We are all blessed. And thankful. I will take pics of the gifts as I put them up.

So everyone began to leave around 3:30 to 4:00 and while I needed a nap, I made myself stay up so I’d sleep good and not continue this sleep cycle (lack of sleep) I’ve been in. I tackled the house as best as I could until I hit a wall. I showered put on PJs and goofed off the rest of the evening. I think bedtime was around 8 or so and I did get a good night’s sleep to come back on Thursday to work. I had a very busy but pleasant day of doing after payroll activities, such as paying taxes, uploading 401k, doing my Thursday check run, getting the garnishment payments out and getting garns ready for next payroll.

Upon arriving home, George said “I think we need to set up your iMac”. I said “I agree”. So Thursday night we set that up and I began making it “mine”. I love it. I was surprised by the stereo sound of my iTunes playing. And I spent time setting up the settings via my phone so that it was including in the iCloud and back up – on reminders, notes, calendars and photos so that these things will be synced/available immediately across all devices. Ahhh though, the dominos impact sets in. Having photos accessible (on of the features I was looking forward to) meant my iCloud storage was not good enough. I was pushing the limit. So I bit the bullet to pay the .99 month for more storage. Lots more storage. Before I knew it – it was 10:30 and I still needed to do my bedtime routine and take Maisy out. George was in bed and snoring

Friday, I awoke having slept good but just not long enough. I was anxious to get the day going and also anxious period because we had a lot of critical things to do for year end payroll processes that had to be done before the next payroll run. I still had to do my pre-payroll duties of coding PTO’s. I had a list a mile long of things needed doing. One thing I knew for sure is I was not working on the the weekend. I worked the weekend before while family was in town and worked most of the time they were here. It’s been a crazy ash of a 6 weeks, and I (putting foot down) have declared this weekend as sacred. Normally I take the 26th off to recover from all the stress and anxiety that this time of the season brings. I had conformed my mind to be ok for holding on through 26th and 27th and holding off to have the weekend. But anything messing with that is going to have to mess with ME! I didn’t mind conveying that message if needed. Matter of fact I believe I conveyed it before it was needed. lol. Lack of sleep, stressed, bear like – don’t touch this! lol. So I started the day yesterday “done” before it ever began. I knew it would be tough because the list was so long. I had to run 2.5 hours of reports on a Greenbar printer and sit and wait for it to run b/c it had confidential data on it. A waste of a precious 2.5 hours but necessary. Done close to lunch time at that point, I still had about (who knows how many) PTO forms to code with plant, hourly or salary, their average pay, the number of available PTO, and hours taking at the top. Each has to be looked up on the computer. Except PTO was already cleared out for the year and I had to use a report for that. And I think everyone in the company had vacation time this week (not me, lol) and I had to upload the new 401k enrollments online. I’d never done this before but it was fairly easy. The emails kept pouring in with PTO’s at all hours of the day and stopped an hour after the deadline finally. I had to sign off on 3 different check runs (I am one of the signers for a/p checks). I had to check to see if it was a full moon b/c I had so many emails and questions and so many employees wanted things. Of course each person’s question – they don’t realize I have 30 other people asking for things at the same hour. Most of the time handling the 4 plants is easy but yesterday I saw that at this time of the year another person would be handy. Anyway, it was just pandamonium. Then I got a call to cut – about 12 manual checks immediately – for PTO’s that were turned in late that had missed the deadline. I weighed my options and decided to stay and remain employed. lol While I have sympathy for those involved, I’m still only one person. My bosses realized the reality of the impossible day I had yesterday and were gracious to jump in and help. I did the computations, my immediate boss cut the checks, our HR manager took the checks and or sent them via overnight and bought me an ice tea b/c he was trying to uphold my morale in an impossible day. My Controller did the same by rearranging some things we had planned. We got through it. I still didn’t get finished doing what I needed to do by about an hour but I will go in an hour earlier Monday. Once 5:30 came – it was me and the cleaning people and maybe another person or two and so I refused to be by myself there after dark. I needed to leave anyway as it had been a long day. Pretty much worked 4 days worth of work in the last two with the longer hours.

So I survived yesterday (barely) and was glad when it was over. I think I will describe yesterday as a nightmare. I will rank it as 3rd worst day ever in payroll. The first was when I was still b/w jobs in training and trying to learn while being bombarded with the old job – 14 hour days and then the 2nd was also during that time frame and the check statements wouldn’t print and we had to do them by hand. So yeah, yesterday rank and it stank. I was so glad to be home and glad it was over. I had anticipated it to be rough and it was. Mainly just b/c we were already slated to be overwhelmingly busy and then trying to fix everyone’s emergencies and downfalls and issues. Had it been a more prepared payroll on everyone’s part, we’d have been better off. It is what it is, and one day I’ll tell my grandchildren about it – if I live that long and don’t stroke out before then. Why in the hell I have to pick the most stressful jobs in the world, I have no idea. AT least I love what I’m doing – until something like yesterday happens where hell meets pandemonium.

Where do my phrases come from? I mean last night in the middle of the night I woke up thinking that my day should have been recorded and on tv…lol…it was akin to a Die Hard movie crosses reality show Survivor, with a little mix of Lucille Ball in there with me trying to organize that Greenbar wad of Tyrannosaurus reports that was spitting out so slow until the end where some report didn’t have as much data and it spit out faster that I could organize it. I had to put it on pause to catch up and not be strangled by paper. Anyway, laughter at that scene at 3:30 this morning, when I remembered it. Then visions of my hands on hips and declarations of “I ain’t working this weekend now”, lol. (Momma coming out of me there, putting foot down.). No one had asked me to but I didn’t want anyone getting any ideas, lol.

So Katy and Cody came by this morning about 4:30 to pick up their Christmas gifts and Findlay. Cody got a gun rack from his parents so they waited to get that loaded before taking their gifts. So I got a text from her and they are in Arkansas right now.

Prayers please for all as they travel (Katy and Cody back to TX and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken back to FL today).

It has taken a while this morning to get the blog entry figured out. I’ve saved some favorites in my Safari set up. I googled how to use Safari. I really wanted to have Chrome but read an article to give Safari a chance as it’s quite simple and useful and pleasing to use. So I had to google how to pin things to the top bar and also how to create book marks and to put things in your favorites so it’s on the main page also (desktop icon of sorts when you open safari).

So many things are different – from the way you scroll or pin things. I did go in and set up a right click on the super mouse thing. But I’m not changing the direction of the scroll unless I stay confused – since it will be opposite from works. You can change the direction.

It prompted me to upgrade the software so it’s on the Catalina software. Not all the bugs have worked out and today my Safari got stuck and would not close. I had to get my phone and google how to do a forced close. Once all that figured out I went to blog and couldn’t upload pictures. I thought that was the case anyway. It won’t upload from the portal but after a google was reminded that you could click and drag the photos into place. It never worked in windows for me on my laptop so I never used that feature. Who knew it would work in Mac. That was a delightful surprise.

So as of right now I don’t think I can print anything and I think we are going to get a bluetooth printer for the iMac in here. Ours is pretty old at this point anyway. It has bluetooth but it never really worked. Katy’s computer it worked on and I had the same one and it would never work on mine nor George’s w/o the chord. So printer needed. Anyway the next thing is to also get my graphics loaded on this PC so I can blog with them. I’m hoping that is easy. I’ll back everything up to the hard drive and connect it via USB and hope that will allow me to copy over. However, I’m not sure that is how a Mac works. We’ll see. I will also need to work on how to do paint shop pro and may consider learning the new Pixelmator which is fairly cheap as those things go. Free for 15 days. So that is on the list. I will need to be able to do things with photos and graphics. Then later will need to be able to do video but that is a later goal.

I really like having photos already on the computer from whatever is in my phone. And being able to see text messages come across the screen, and notes and reminders on everything. It’s a sigh of relief and continuity and at this point – that is why I need. So going from a discombobulated day yesterday to a fun two days of Christmas holiday and payroll recovery.

I wouldn’t change much about my life but about right now I’d love to just take off in an RV (a little one) – take off for a couple or three months and go to Miami and keys, then thru TX and see Katy and Cody, and then on to the South West and onto CA. As the weather warms head up a little further and then across the mid country and come back. Ahhh yeah, de-stressing just thinking about it. Ah but I’d miss my new iMac. And my recliner. And that would be oh so irresponsible of me (to be w/o my iMac).

Well, I’ve much to do today and I’ve blogged a long time this morning. One day I’ll laugh about the end of year payroll run (not likely any time soon) but I’m just happy now to have two days in a row off to chill out. Much needed. But even at the end yesterday’s long day, I was so thankful for those that rallied around to help. I was not alone and that was much appreciated. Enough to help you deal and cope and I was grateful and happy with that. To have someone understand and be there to pull you though means a lot when you are traumatized (yes, I would go so far to use that word about yesterday, lol).

Anyway ya’ll have a wonderful weekend and hope you enjoy yours too.

Pray for our travelers.

And I’ll leave you with a photo below that reminds us of what the Christmas spirit should be the week of Christmas and it will hopefully revive my spirits again after such a hectic week with funeral, payroll, Christmas, and keeping up with so much in one week. Be Merry, Peaceful, and lets look toward a Happy New year 😉 in which we can once again work on our 2020 hopes and dreams.

Conflicts and Complexities of Christmas – oh and Exhaustion

Yesterday I went to work and discovered a plant had not followed payroll instructions (sent twice) and sent a bunch of late PTO forms for last week after payroll had closed. ::sigh:: So that is how my day began yesterday. What could have been a smooth short week where we have extra work could have been smoother for everyone and my answer is simply “we will do what we can with the time we have” and as I understand it from my boss, there is a lot of year end stuff to do and not much time.

In addition to not having time, I left half day yesterday to attend George’s Uncle Robert’s visitation and funeral. A very sudden death and a much loved person by his family and friends. Having given work the best of me since July with crazy hours and –well you saw who worked Sunday –when I could have been out with my daughter having fun – I decided I was going to this funeral with George and in support of the family. Work doesn’t get me first. I wanted to be there for the memorial/celebration of his life. So there was no asking – it was simply “I’ve got to leave to go to a funeral”. And I did.

Oh I know I’ll pay for it when I get back this week. But I’ll drink my Ionix like I did yesterday, and everyone, including me, will just have to face the facts: There are two days left to work in the week. There is one of me. There are critical deadlines. And something will have to go b/c there are four days of work to do, plus month end, year end, and quarter end. Not all of that has to be complete by Friday. But some of it does. We will do the most important things first and sadly it won’t include time to do a lot of extras.

I did the “after payroll processes” and ran some reports, organized for my 401k, garn, and tax uploads I’ll do later in the week. And spent most of the morning stuffing the TN plant checks so they would be ready for delivery Thursday morning.

I left work feeling exasperated. I needed to go the funeral. I needed to be at work. Decision was already made. I was exhausted – having rushed around all week, and we have had things we’ve been doing at night – grocerying, eating out, trying to insert family time with Katy and Cody in town. They have not gotten the best of me. I’m spent by 6 or 7 having been going since the 4 o-clock a.m. hour. And what has not helped has been the lack of sleep. Waking up at 1:30 every morning and hoping to snooze again before 4. But one feels guilty having these thoughts when there are grandchildren that just lost their grandpa and family that has lost their Dad. How devastated they must be here at Christmas, and then my problems don’t seem so bad. There are also others that are seriously ill. Another family lost their child, and another George knows lost their teenage son. So my tiredness, is nothing compared to the ailing going on in others. And I reign in my thoughts and feelings of being thankful that we have each other and we have been able to pull off a really difficult season and hopefully give a wonderful Christmas to everyone. It still doesn’t change the fact that I’m exhausted before Christmas starts, or not worried about how the rest of the week will go, or counting up how many years left til retirement when I can freaking enjoy the holidays for once. But at least we all still have each other.

I also know that for my story, is another’s story slightly different but much the same – we are all struggling to get through the holidays – the pressures, the timelines, the moods (including our own) as the short weeks occur and additional work is on you – and some with sickness in their family and some with themselves, and most of us battling sinus issues anyway as it’s 30 one day and 60 the next. Some with funerals, some with family members who are difficult, __________ fill in the blank with your own situation. It seems that all flaws, problems, and responsibilities and issues become magnified at this time and a light shines down upon them. I think the devil likes to try to use Jesus’ holiday to create the most havoc and distraction that he can – the sorry toad that he is. No wonder heaven kicked him out. He didn’t make the cut, didn’t make the grade, and literally his elevator doesn’t go to the top. Let’s just take this time to say that he is kicked to the curb, homeless, and will find his home in the basement one day. Til then he travels to and fro (hope it’s not in an RV) seeking who he can devour.

So back to yesterday…after the funeral, we went out to eat at Swaney Swift on the square in Gallatin. And it kept entering my mind…I’m off for the next two whole days! It felt as if we were about to board a ship heading for the Bahamas. And there’s presents in our near future!

Swaney Swift Restaurant, Gallatin, TN

It once used to be a drug store and now a restaurant and milkshake (diner) atmosphere. Mainly burgers but have other things too. I got a salad. We had a beer.

Christmas Tree on the Square, Gallatin, TN

Then George reminded me we had to go to the store again for the fresh stuff and a little surprise. I had completely forgot with the funeral and the work situation and the crunch time and the lack of sleep. Somewhere in there since working Sunday – I’d kinda given up on my to do list. There wasn’t much time to do anything extra – not even time to look at it really. But thank goodness George is able to see through all the muddle and huddle and keep us on task. So off to Publix we go, me so tired I could stretch out across the ham and turkey’s and sleep in the middle freezer section.

All I could think of going home was bed and how every little thing at that point was as arduous as the climbing of Everest: The small drive home, the climbing up the stairs with grocery bags, the putting up of groceries, taking the dogs out, rebooting the laundry, feeding the dogs. Would it ever end?

I put up the important stuff and left the rest on the counter – the laundry I may have to rewash – I was done – we took dogs out. George fed them. I hit the sack! Sleep was good til 1:30 when Maisy woke me up wanting to go outside. I took her out b/c she was about to jump off the bed to go. So then back in bed I couldn’t sleep. I waned to get up and start doing things but I was only with less than 5 hours – I want to enjoy this day! So I took a few squirts of sleep spray, drank some water, took several deep breaths and after an hour went to sleep. I woke up again and thought why can’t I sleep? and I realized oh I was sleeping – I was dreaming – so I must have been sleeping.

So that is what’s been going on the last day or so and today I’m going to get my shower done and reboot the laundry and make sausage balls and straighten up the house a final time (it’s pretty much clean – just where we have lived in it the last couple of days). And then our dinner starts tonight and Christmas day tomorrow and…I get my iMac! I won’t get to do anything with it til Saturday – I don’t think. But I’m looking forward to it.

And for two days, work is erased from my mind, I’ll be in the present (in the presents, lol) and will enjoy the time! Someone may have to remind me to go to work Thursday – I normally like to have the 26th off to unwind. But it’s all good. I made my mind up it was ok to work on the 26th when I got to go to Texas. (It’s not but I’m sucking it up!) And then we’ll go from there. But these two days are mine and no one but family can have it! Sawwwwwry (in your best Carol Burnette voice). lol

Work, Funeral, and a Little Excursion

I didn’t sleep well on Saturday night. It was both humorous and kinda sad. It was our first night with Findlay, and normally seamless, but we decided to let her decide whether to sleep in her crate (her bed) with door open or on our bed or wherever and we had an extra dog bed in the bedroom. She slept in crate for a while and at 1:30 she jumped on the bed on top of me. That is the humor of it. You want to bust out laughing but you are half asleep. I mean imagine being asleep one minute and the next a CockaPoo landing on you from mid air. Then she had to “explore” the frontier in the darkness and scurry around to greet each person and animal in the bed, disturbing all – and had I not been so tired, I would have giggled my way through the morning.

However, I kept waking up and thinking about George’s Uncle Robert that has passed. I was thinking about work. I was thinking about what I needed to finish for the holidays. I was wondering if I’d get everything done. So I did not get proper sleep going into Sunday morning for the payroll processing. I was wondering if I’d be able to go to the funeral and when would it be. All I knew was that company was coming for Christmas and that we would do what it took to accommodate all. I was so wiped as I headed out just before daybreak to close 4 payrolls.

It was both exciting and scary – being there by myself to do the payroll. No one there anywhere around and I had the building to myself. But bushes checked and an empty parking lot, it seemed safe to go in.

The office no longer smelled like diesel fuel. I was able to get through the time sheets in record time. Plants had done their work and only a few corrections had to be made. No piece work issues. Well only one where someone (every week this happens) adds something and puts an old date on it. All month someone has put stuff in October. They are probably like me and can’t grasp that time moves so quickly along. Although the month has sent us in overdrive and who can forget it now if you are busy with the shopping, decorating, cleaning, baking, wrapping. Somehow we have managed to do it all.

So I was able to get through it all and do two days of work in just one day. Amazing how much on a regular day – there would be so much more to do – an outbox, an inbox, conversations, answering questions, calls, emails, and it all adds up. With no interaction whatsoever and PTO forms already in – it was much quicker. I did have one person that hadn’t been put on payroll yet, and no one had turned in a time sheet for the person anyway, and I didn’t have the information to fix it so had I been at work with others I’d have probably held up payroll a while – to get it fixed. But yesterday I charged on and will likely have to do a manual check for this person. And when there is no one working – there is no one in the system changing things when you are half way through payroll and something’s different and it has to be fixed back or reprinted- and no one is there to chase out of payroll when you are needing to run payroll reports and only one person can be in it at a time. So these factors all made it go quickly. I didn’t have any problems at all. And I went to work with no makeup on. lol

So about 3:15 I left to come home and was able to go out with Katy and Cody and George and I didn’t miss anything – other than the day off that I wish I had. But knowing this was coming and I’d lose yesterday – we broke our necks during the last two weeks during the nights and on Saturdays to get things done. It is almost here and we are in pretty good shape.

And we have the news that the funeral arrangements are posted and the visitation and funeral for George’s uncle is today. So I will be leaving work early today and so will George to be with our extended family. It is very sad that this has happened right before Christmas. My heart hurts for the immediate family – his wife, children, and grandchildren. Our Christmas has been jolted a bit by death in our community with the child being run over in the Christmas parade here, a death at George’s work that stunned everyone, and now a death in our own extended family.

All that said, let me focus on positive things – like our time with Katy and Cody last night.

Yee Haw Brewery, Nashville, TN is the Disneyland of Breweries

We stopped by Yee Haw so Katy and Cody could see it. They were excited. The decorations were fun and the gift shop sections are huge as is the biggest TV screen we have ever seen.

Overlooking my Kolsch, at Katy and Cody who did a Smoky Mountain Moonshine tasting

Then we went on to our dinner reservations at Texas de Brazil and thoroughly enjoyed the salad bar, lobster bisque soup, and then all the meats that come around when you turn your card over to the green side. On red they leave you alone. The steaks were awesome, and the bacon wrapped chicken, the lamb, pork and fish. Yum.

The meal was excellent and we headed home and food comas set in. I was so blasted tired before the day began, but I tried to enjoy the moments. And bed felt so good. I slept good and we kept Findlay in the crate bed which she is used to and will go in it on her own. If she stayed with us all the time we’d try to get her to sleep in routine with us on the bed but it would take a while to make it work with three doggies, lol. The other two are not fond of space invasions by other critters in the night. We are lucky they let us humans sleep with them in their bed. ha. But I feel great having had a good night’s sleep.

And I’m looking forward to tomorrow and Christmas Day. We are off and I’ll be making sausage balls and getting ready for our company when Mom and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken, and Fancy and Coco come for a visit. We are very excited and that has given us some extra happiness during the season – knowing we get to host Christmas this year.

So I better get ready and get on the road to work. I have no intentions of being early since I gave up my day yesterday. I am getting some of my time back by blogging this morning and will also get some of it back by leaving early for the funeral/visitation today. Anyway I will get done what I can, and that is that. The main part is done anyway.

If I can I’ll pop in over the next couple of days, but probably going to be really busy. I’m back at work also on the 26th and will be looking forward to being off the weekend. I think I can squeak by without having to work on Sunday for the New Year’s holiday but the timelines for Monday and Tuesday will have to be more rigid. I have to send out my specifications today for this week’s expectations so I will have to decide in the next few hours.

But once we get through the funeral – I will be a free bird for the next two days and then work two and then off two. Lots of things have to be done on the 26th and 27th and printed and set up after the last payroll and before the first payroll run of the year.

Ahh, better go……….

Christmas Update

I had to go back and read where I left off. Seems I last blogged Wednesday. Highly unlike me – although since in the new job, I’ve blogged a little less so I could get in earlier. But – we have been focused on getting everything ready and I have focused on getting ready for 2020 at work – and cleaning and just trying to survive and rest too. So something had to go.

Drink and a Dinner Out: Taking a Fun Break Mid-Week

We did indeed go and get some goof off time Wednesday night after work. We had some errands to run anyway and we had a couple of gift cards burning a hole in our wallets. So off to Cheddars we went.

Thursday, we had our meal event at work. I meant to get pics and I forgot to take them. We had pasta. It was really nice. Thursday night I finished up any wrapping I had that had come in for George, a few last minute surprises.

Tis the Season for LOTS of caffeine

I have focused on getting a lot of things ready for 2020 processing. And have also had extra caffeine as well to knock off fog from the pasta, a little bit of sugar (this time of year ya know, you allow yourself a bite or two), and also the worst of it – the construction company working in the building next door has for some reason decided to do me in. Fumes are coming into my office and making me about as high as a kite and a little nauseated at one point til I got out of there and worked in someone else’s office for a bit that wasn’t there that day. Apparently it’s fumes from a kerosene heater so they could work. It smells like diesel fuel. My boss called someone and maintenance came over as did the construction manager. I was so embarrassed but yet it really was a problem. I’m hoping it is gone when I go back. Friday was NOT pleasant. I started to take off and go home early but I really wanted to get done what I wanted to get done. Me=Stubborn.

Christmas is almost ready.

So we began the clean up last night and especially diving in this morning. We went to the store around 8 a.m. and got there early so you could get through the aisles. Recently at these after work runs to the grocery – it’s been a little crazy – parking heavy and then once inside you seem to be in everyone’s way – even though you were there first. (One of my major pet peeves). So we had a very pleasant shop this morning and came in and got everything put up. The house has been vacuumed and picked up and cleaned up. So we are ready for Christmas now.

The afternoon passed quickly. I stopped and rewarded myself with quick You Tube videos. And caught up some, but I am sooo behind on all my travelers.

I have also in recent days, while needing a quick side bar, downloaded a web cam app. It has really captured my attention and is addictive. There are pet cams and fish cams and port cams and ocean cams and hair cut cams and OMG even living room cams. I have really enjoyed watching this one family get ready for Christmas with their living room cam. It seems invasive but they allow you to see it and it’s all clean. Reality TV at another level I guess. So I did that to unwind this week instead of my games. On Thurs night the Mom was wrapping gifts and then last night she was a busy bee and she even had her son running around doing things giving him projects. I had to laugh as they have 3 dogs. One is a big one. It’s fun to watch the dogs. So I pop in on their household (it sounds so wrong, lol) and this morning at 5 while I was drinking my coffee – 2 of the dogs got up and wandered around. lol Later today when I took a break, I popped in and they were having their Christmas party with the family. It was precious. The dogs sitting in people’s laps, the people loving on the babies, a pregnant person came in and I loved watching all the people come rub her belly and smiles and hugs all around. It was so sweet. I felt like God or something – snoopin’ in on the family. I will have to look up the webcam app and also let you know what to look for. I’ve always loved webcams – just the ability to take you somewhere where you are not – like sunset cams, the beach, and so forth. You know me – I love real life adventure. Anyway I’ll let you know soon when I’m able to look it all up. It’s all fresh and new and I’m in a hurry today.

The Pet Table

Katy and Cody have just come and gone. We had happy hour. I will share pics later. I started this blog earlier today and just now finishing it up. It’s just that way.

Also we have had a call that there has been a death in the family and we are waiting to hear more information. Regardless of what is going on, I will be still hosting our family get together here as my family comes up on Christmas Eve and we are having a Christmas Eve dinner. Christmas Day it is Christmas with everyone. It’s a rare time and our family has rarely been able to get together here at our house. So we’ll figure it out and I’ll be there for George as needed and work around whatever is happening. It’s very sad and we got the call just as Katy and Cody were walking in the door and getting their appetizers.

Well, that said, I’ve got to work tomorrow. And it’s kind of weird to know that you alone are responsible for so many people getting paid on time. I never feel that way the other weeks, but I feel that way this week since I am working tomorrow. I’ve know this day was coming for a while and even so – it ends up being our day to spend with Cody and Katy while they are here. Sadly I can’t participate until the end of day. It is what it is. We have reservations tomorrow night at a nice restaurant out – just the four of us. We are all looking forward to that. It’s our celebrating their birthday’s which is in December and sort of our Christmas activity together while they are here.

So, I’m going to go and will share more later. I’m not sure when. Just a lot going on b/w work, Christmas, family coming and now a death in the family – so I’ll be back when I can.

My pretty Maisy!

On a good note, we have our “Fin Fin” (Findlay, Katy and Cody’s doggie) staying with us for the week. And Katy and Cody brought us a cooler full of deer meat, sausage, tamales and I’m not sure what all. There is even pheasant in there. All an early Christmas gift for George.

So, gone to go talk to George and await news on what is going on.

Taking a Little Goof Off Break

MMMMM, that coffee is good this morning! I could have slept and slept. I was awake between 12:30 and 1:30 and had to pray and take deep breaths and a few squirts of the Isagenix Sleep Spray that has melatonin in it to get back to sleep. When the alarm went off I did not want to get up. I could do a nose dive on the lap top right now.

Cleanse day went well Monday. I was able to get through it. We finished our wrapping Monday night – other than the two gifts coming in and gift cards. Also spent some time Monday thinking about food and the timing of when to have what. Not everything complete there but working on some ideas – like what to have when Katy arrives for Cocktail Hour and then what to have for Christmas dessert and what dessert to have for the Birthday couple. Main meals already planned out, but getting the grocery list up.

Yesterday I was able to get all 4 payrolls closed in record time. This is because everyone sent PTO’s on time and everyone checked and fixed time entries and piece work issues and all was smooth. Only had one issue to fix where a plant had entered an October date that was showing on the payroll but they responded with a quick fix and I was back in business. This will hopefully give me time, which I’ve not had, to try and file a couple of updated unemployment tax returns for the difficult “tax” state of Oregon where there are multiple taxes – a city tax, trimet tax, and so on. I will get as far as I can – and will have to ask for help for the rest. By Friday I hope to have time to work on it since I’ve finished the payroll early by a couple of hours.

Last night after work I went to the grocery store for a quick run, mainly because we needed Fresh Pet and Buddigs (sandwich meat). The dogs will eat us alive if we don’t have those things available. They also have Buddigs twice a day for a “meat treat” delight – which started mainly to wrap up heart meds for Tugie but all got their own bite too. Now Tugie is gone but the doggies look at us like “where is my meat treat?” so “meat treat” time continues. They still eat Science Diet in the mornings, sprinkled with Fresh Pet bites. And Roger has to have a bite of Buddig on his Fresh Pet too or he won’t begin eating. He will look at you and wag his tail and plead with his eyes, till you have built his dish completely. They have trained us well.

When I got back from the store, even though I mainly needed pet food – I came back with a couple of work lunches, bread, sandwich meat (for us, lol), and black bean hummus, and – yeah I was hungry. Also needed a few things low on like mustard, laundry detergent, and a few other supplies. I carried all I could and had George go down and get the three bags that was left. And this was sparing -as most of the list will wait til Saturday to do. I enjoy going to the store and taking a little tour through.

Anyway – once home last night I was zonked. We have been going non stop. And with things coming together – and after we finished one of our little Christmas projects – I sat in the recliner, grabbed my iPad and played games til dinner was ready. I had hit a wall. Then we watched Below Deck and I played Blockaduko until my battery ran down in the iPad. Finally (and probably later than normal) we took dogs out and I went to bed.

And I’m sipping coffee this morning. I told George I’d really like to go out to eat tonight and take a break. He needs to go get something for work so we are going to use one of our gift cards I got so far and go out to eat on it. I just need a night off and a night out. Then we can get back to cleaning and final touches and the final schedule of what time to cook what.

I’m taking my vitamins now and drank my “Isagenix Fruits” yesterday. I am taking a salad for lunch today (a kit I bought). But my energy is waning a bit by days end. Or perhaps it’s just that my “will” is waning. I get about 3 miles of walking in a day (just going about the house or intervals of moving about at work b/w restroom, breakroom, taking things to HR, or filing things, etc.). So it’s a fairly active day I guess. I don’t know how other people compare. I’m always on my feet at home but take breaks mid day on Saturday for an hour or so and then again at end of day – I like some recliner time watching a show or playing a game for a few minutes. Always up though and moving about – doing laundry or something.

Anyway, that is about all I know. I’m going to go get more coffee, get the makeup on, the hair done and scoot out for the day. I am doing the “after payroll” stuff today which is: Letting the plants know how the schedule will work with the payroll closing for this current week we are in and what to expect on the timing of things. I will stuff Nashville’s checks. Not sure why I do it and not the plant when the other plants stuff theirs, but it is something I actually enjoy doing after heavily concentrating on payroll – it’s fun to do something completely mindless when it’s over. I’ll pay the federal 941 taxes, and all the state withholding taxes that are due on a weekly basis, and upload 401k and also will prep (reconcile) for the Thursday check run where I pay the garnishment agencies for all the garns, wage assignments, and credit union too for what came out of payroll. I think this will take most of the day. Tomorrow and Friday I’ll do my check run and will fill payroll requests as needed, and begin working on the next payroll and catching up on those returns and coding PTO’s and prepping for 2020. We have our Employee Christmas Meal tomorrow and it’s pasta! 😉

OK off to the coffee! And would like to ask Travel Prayers and Blessings for those traveling this weekend: Katy and Cody traveling and also my Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken. And we will get to see them soon. But I worry about them being on the roads. My Aunt Martha comments on the blog under the name of CocosMom.

Your Christmas coming together???? Do you ever stop to goof off in the midst? lol

Holiday Hustle

Well, it has taken me a bit of forever (three days) to get on here and get a post in. However, it’s crunch week everywhere. It’s ok. I knew it would be busy. It’s kinda fun, kinda tiring, until I’ve reached the point of tiredness that I don’t feel good, and I begin to lose things: whatever I’m looking for (tape, scissors), my patience, my temper, and then my immunity. So I’ve had some kind of sinus thing going on with my ear and throat that comes and goes as it pleases.

However, I have things at work boxed up which was a physically challenging job as the boxes are quite heavy to move around, not to mention the mental challenge of making one of those boxes from 1 sided piece of cardboard to a 3D box. It’s like making a tackle to wrestle it down into shape. But the files are ready for archives now. I also began prepping some things for 2020 such as my wall calendar for payroll purposes.

We had our Secret Santa reveal and a little cookie party at work. The person that I had Secret Santa, also had me as theirs, which was fun. Everyone really enjoyed this. I am sure there are some that would prefer we not have ANY fun at work but for the few short moments we were away from our desks we did build companionship getting to have a “little fun” together. And if you have ever had the opposite in a place, you really appreciate it. And laughter is always a good thing. Everyone had fun sneaking gifts to one another and guessing is always fun.

I’m grateful for the folks at work that take the time to do this. Very creative, and thoughtful, and kind, and sharing and caring! I could go on but we all enjoyed it. It made the busy week a lot more fun.

Saturday morning we had to leave the house at 10:15 or so to be able to get to a party at 1:00. (Rolling my eyes here). The Christmas parade was going to be blocking our street. So we had to get ready early and I was a little miffed at not getting that precious, productive, Saturday morning time to work in the house with so much to do, but I just let it roll so I would not be a miserable cow. We went several places and I was able to find a Christmas gift for someone on my list. And a few things very reasonably priced too. I also found a sweater for $15.99 that used to be a $49 top at Rosses. A very good brand. I needed a few more warmer pieces. Some I am getting for Christmas but I kept this one. So then we headed over to the party (ornament swap) and had a great time.

My glass of wine, a tree, the presents, and Albert

I might have left with the same ornament I took. I loved that little doggie.

Little doggie is now on the tree

And then Saturday night we came home and it began to hurt to swallow. However, after cough drops, ear swabbing, sleep, and prayer, on Sunday I was much better. I have no idea why this is happening here and there but I was better yesterday. I tried to keep a lot of hot liquids in – coffee, tea, more coffee. And drank some water as well.

So yesterday I had the WHOLE day to get things done and it was a critical day for me. George went to the Titans game and invited a friend, Ron, to go on my ticket since I could not go. We have just been too busy and I could not lose the day. But this gave me an opportunity to get George’s stocking tested and all his gifts wrapped. After assessing I decided to order two more things via Prime on Amazon and got that done. So two more things coming to wrap. Anyway, all of it wrapped that I had. I also wrapped a couple of things for people at work that have been so nice to me this year. And I began getting some of the rest of the stuff wrapped.

I seemed yesterday that I dropped or lost everything I touched. It was quite annoying. lol I tried to enjoy the day but just really didn’t feel too good. Anyway, I got a lot done and for the sake of sanity and morale also fixed popcorn and watched a few short You Tube shows. Other than that I was on my feet most of the day. Took care of the doggies, cleaned the kitchen, made homemade chicken vegetable soup, and made to do lists and planned this seemingly impossible week this week. However, I do have most of this Saturday, for which I’m grateful.

I have to finish wrapping, make the grocery list for Christmas from our menus, go to the store, clean the house and so forth. Much like everyone else in the world. It will come together. I think I’m going to have to make sausage balls ahead of time and freeze them. Unless I make them early on CHristmas Eve. There’s a few things that the timing is interesting on. And of course I have plans for the next two payroll days – I’m closing on Sunday of next week (plans after) and the New Year’s one I’m closing on Monday and have plans after. So hopefully all will go well. The events are at night so it should be ok. But if it comes down to it, these family events WILL happen! But you know me. I worry a bit. But as we say, it will be what it will be. And the family events will go on and we’ll have to do early morning next day payroll fixes if a problem occurs b/c I’m already giving up two Sunday’s for payroll events and I WILL make these family events after hours where everyone has already tried to work around us. I looked at next year and thank goodness it’s leap year and takes the holidays toward the end of the week so I won’t have to give up weekends next holiday season. I may look to take those days off later- b/c giving up a Sunday to work is awful. lol It’s like pulling a tooth w/o pain meds. It’s my day of getting things done at home. I also looked on my PTO form and have a lot of PTO hours left. I didn’t think I did, but I’m not worried about it. Forty of it will roll over. I think I’m losing two days according to that. But I think when I refigured my PTO I was thinking that last year I might have not had as much rollover, but anyway I was glad to see b/c I was thinking I had taken 8 hours over my allotment. Or maybe it just didn’t get coded. But anyway regardless unless the time just presents itself with everything done and ready for 2020 (it won’t), I’ll not take any more days. It’s been rough not having more time to get ready for Christmas. And the roughness is not over yet, but I think I’m over a hump.

So this week will focus on final wrapping, grocery, and cleaning. And will try to enjoy the week. I think we are usually further along than this and like to enjoy that final week of having everything done, but I missed that milestone by about 1 day off. I could have knocked out so much if I’d had another day. So this week I will try to focus on getting things done and hopefully getting to bed on time.

I truly am looking forward to my weekend time in January – and I hope no one plans much b/c I want to hibernate!

It’s raining and pouring and we have flood warnings out.

So as much as I have whined about not having the time needed – I do love Christmas. I knew this would be a busier one than normal but I love the decor and even the craziness of it. It just makes for a good challenge I suppose. Making it all come together. I am ok – just trying to pull it all off while working FT and having like next to NO time and still trying to get sleep!

Better go take dogs out, get make up on, and get to work. How are you progressing? I hope you are further along and able to just enjoy the holidays now. That would be my dream! Once I get the house put together and wrapping done – we are almost there – I’ll take pics!

Secret Santa and a Surprise Gift to Myself

My Secret Santa has been so good to me this week. It’s really been fun to come in to work and a gift be on your desk each day. So fun!

I plan to use the planner as a Gratitude journal and I’ll have a years worth of Gratitudes by year end and will do a blog post on them.

My sponsor in Isagenix (Lou, Lisa J’s husband) texted me and said I was about to go under 100 BV and would lose my points (to get paid). I only needed a few points. I also had my coupon in for $200 off products from doing the Isabody challenge (all you do is track weight and take pic and upload). Also they had the skin care line on sale for Christmas and I get 25% off for being an insider as I call it – by keeping something in my monthly shipping box (auto ship). I have at least one item in there that ships every month and I can change it up, the other times I just order what I want. Since I’ve slowed down on the products some, I’ve not run out as fast. (You get tired of the same things all the time). However, I was able to gift myself this nice skin care line. I’ve wanted to try it for two years but would not pay for it. I had used my $200 for vitamins and supplements and other products. But since I’m so well stocked, other than strawberry shakes, I ordered myself this. I have been using the Bamboo scrub which was pricey but really good and it lasts a while. It gives Clinique a good run for the money. lol But I do think the Clinique lasts a little longer and perhaps is a little less oily, but at my age now a little oil is good. It does a good job. That is the only thing I’ve tried. So I’m looking forward to this. My Rodan and Fields is almost gone.

I’ve still not done any wrapping after work other than get my Secret Santa gift wrapped each night. There’s always been some errand to run. Wed night I went to Publix to get Rx Meds (BP meds) and a few other things Christmas related. It was about 7 when I got home and then we ate, watched the British baking show and I headed for bed.

Oh ok so…this is a little intrusive but I must share – it’s too funny….I won’t say who – but it wasn’t me – but an big elf just landed a big fart in the shower and then said “yeahhhhh baby”. lol lol lol

After “the elf’s” shower I asked how the “big one” was. And he said “aww it was great – those lima bean leftovers from lunch” as he rubbed his belly. He said “we need to get on the news and see if it registered on the Richter scale. I said it may have and he said – regardless it measured on the Rectum Scale.

So last night I needed to come home and make 4 dozen cookies. I’ve been getting home fairly quickly at night as far as zipping down the interstate and getting to our area. However, last night, on the night to get the cookies made – traffic took forever and I was low on gas. My reminder light NEVER came on. I have never run out of gas and I feared it was going to happen last night as we sat and heavy traffic and my needle moved past E. It said I had 45 miles to drive but then the mileage when off and then the gas menu itself went off. I felt like I was entering the twilight zone, where things began to deteriorate fast.

I wasn’t able to go toward my house and the nearest gas station because yet another wreck blocked the way so I went the other way and found a place to park at a shopping center til I could figure out where the closest Shell was. I couldn’t get to the one that was .08 miles away and there was one 8.4 miles away but that was too far. So I had to think out of the box. Do I sit here and turn car off and try to wait out the traffic and then go the .08 miles away at the Shell when I can get to it? Then I saw Kroger. They have gas pumps. So I went to get gas at Kroger. I was in a hurry and didn’t want to fool with the Kroger fuel points, but made a mental note to do that later. I’ll compare and see if it’s cheaper to do that. We’ve always just used BP and Shell because it seemed easier mainly b/c it’s habit and you get the bill later all at once. Once I had a full tank of gas, my mind eased and I didn’t care about the traffic so much. The wreck had cleared, traffic was still stuffy but I was able to get home pretty quick from there.

I got the cookies made. I had enough for George and I to have one. I told him, (after watching so many British baking shows), “look at that gloss in that chocolate”. It was surprisingly shiny. I’m not sure but I think you have to have the temp of the chocolate get to a certain degree and cooked long enough to get the gloss? I can assure you it was purely by accident other than I did let it boil for about 90 seconds before taking it off at medium heat. Anyway these were chocolate oatmeal cookies with peanut butter. For the most part I don’t usually put nuts in things I take to work because one has a nut allergy but for once I’m catering to the masses that love peanut butter as there will be lots of others that don’t have nuts -so a good time to take it but I will put a note on mine that it has peanut butter!

I totally forgot to take a pic. But these are no bake (you heat on the stove). It’s kinda like making fudge without the fuss, but dumping oats and peanut butter in it. I also used a vanilla and brandy infusion as a little side kick. They were good, but with a cup of sugar per dozen of cookies – yeah – it was quite good. An invitation to diabetes awaits? I only had one but I did lick everything in sight with the chocolate on it – the stirring spoon, the tasting spoon, scraping it from the pan, lol.

It was 10 when I got to bed, instead of 9 ish. And so George had to wake me up this morning. I have a habit of somehow turning my alarm off via my watch when I’m tired. I don’t even know I’m doing it. Or perhaps my phone was on silent and it didn’t wake me up. But oh it was hard to get up.

But the coffee is good this morning and today is the Secret Santa reveal and cookie swap. Have to wrap our ornament’s tonight for tomorrow’s ornament swap at Paul and Judy’s.

Then Sunday, George is going to the Titan’s game. We were both invited to go but since I’m not taking any vacation time at Christmas I don’t have any days to wrap so I have to say no to a lot of invites so I have time to get our Christmas ready. So he’ll go to the game and I will wrap. I will start with his gifts while he is gone and get that done and test his stocking. Then I’ll go with the rest of the wrapping. I just can’t get into the groove of it unless I have a chunk of time. It’s no fun at 7:30 or 8:00 at night when you are tired, hungry, and spent already. I like to be creative at the wrapping and when I get up at 4 something every day – by that time – any creativity or activity period is about over.

And I’m off to get make up on and get out the door. I will say this though before going.

I absolutely loved this book and I’m sad it’s over. It was great!

I’m now reading this one…(well listening via Audible)

It seems a little dark in the beginning. She seemed to have kindof a rough childhood. But I’m interested to hear about her life.

Anyway….best get off to work. The monthly taxes are done and I’m trying to get ready for 2020 as much as I can and figure out how to redo a couple of returns where someone was put in the wrong state early in the year. And getting ready for next week’s payroll.

Ya’ll have a fun time and hope your season is still jolly? Hope your trees are up and shopping about done and that you too will be getting things wrapped and then we focus on the food and groceries and baking and such. I’m really struggling a bit not having time off, but I’ll survive. One way is saying “no” to overscheduling our time. We would literally have everything scheduled up in all our free time if I let it. But I have to reserve time to get the wrapping done and to clean for guests and to prep. And that is that! And I’m looking forward to doing that Sunday! A day to myself to try to conquer Christmas.

Moving Right Along

We have really been on the move but have tried to enjoy at least a small quick show during dinner each night. Coming home I have done chores such as laundry and ironing and taking care of dogs some and then getting my Secret Santa gift ready for the next day. Monday night though I had my nails and toes done. It was nice to sit there for an hour and go through emails and delete and check on them. I’m really bad about reading the emails but sometimes it is something important. I guess I’m going to have to set up email alerts on my phone but that will annoy the heck out of me. I did have a few important ones in there.

After the pedi and mani Monday night I went to the Everything is a Dollar Store. It was probably about 7:30. It felt like 10 p.m. to me. But I had a few things to get, including Christmas sacks. Got that done. Then dinner was ready when I got home. I was surprised that it was after 10 when I got in bed. I’m not sure why I was surprised. Bed felt good and I didn’t want to get up Tuesday Morning.

Tuesday morning came with the rain turning into sleet and snow for the drive in and I was blessed with an earache that shot pains up into the top of my head. I haven’t really had much issue with sinuses other than the usual nagging need to clear my throat. The pains were uncomfortable and stabbing sharp but came and went during the day – when I moved a certain way, swallowed, or moved my jaw. At first I thought it was something to do with my new crown, maybe the gum was becoming infected around it or something but no I put a mixture of alcohol in my ear and vinegar and it hurt like the hades. So I think I maybe scraped the skin with a q-tip the day before (I remember one q tip being particularly without enough cotton) and perhaps it was sore and around nerve endings. When I used the alcohol/vinegar mixture on it – it was excruciating much like alcohol does on a raw sore. I dealt with this all day. Hot coffee seemed to help, Tylenol taken twice yesterday (which I’ve not taken in a long time) didn’t even knock much of the edge off. Last night I came home and mixed up Ginger Essential Oil with Tea Tree Oil along with a little Olive Oil. It seemed to soothe it like it did once before. It didn’t hurt much after that. It’s not hurt much today either – just a minor dull pain once. I will put more of the oil in there and may take it to work. But I’m relieved it is mostly gone. I really just wanted to sleep yesterday. And that is truthfully probably what my body was telling me to do – we have moved so fast and furious lately. But the payroll called and I got all four plants done, despite it. I can tell if I cough the top of my head hurts. So something is still sensitive in there a bit. I’m not sure what is going on.

My Secret Santa has been nice to me. I have enjoyed the nuts this week and also tore into the Reese’s for one of them anyway – when I was in the middle of closing a big payroll during lunch time. You have to hurry and get through with it once you start so no one changes anything on you in the middle of the process – I was hungry at Noon at ate the Reese’s to carry me til lunch. I had a very small lunch – 3 little baby wings and 3 carrot sticks – which was about two tablespoons of chicken in the wings. And then leftovers from a company sales meeting was brought in just as I was thinking “I’m still hungry”. I had green beans and potatoes and a tiny smither of roast beef. It was from Cracker Barrel. Ok – I had a biscuit with Strawberry Jelly on it. So I’m trying to eat light today. George had a nice meal for us last night. But I feel good today and the coffee is good. Just need to have a low calorie, mostly liquid day. I am going to do a Cookies and Cream Shake today though to get some good vitamins and minerals and protein in me.

Albert’s Annual Christmas Party

We will be going to Albert’s Annual Christmas Party and Ornament swap this Saturday at Paul and Judy’s. What fun it always is and we get to see everyone. We are looking forward to that. Friday we find out who are secret santa is and do our final swap. We also have a cookie swap so Thursday night I’m making the no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies. I’m making enough to take to Paul and Judy’s. And some for George b/c he loves those. One reason I chose those. The last I remember, they were pretty easy to do.

I made an Image of a Bible Verse via You Version. I liked the verse. It’s easy to make an image out of it if you like the verse. Then you can share it. It seemed to be a good one for this week. It’s a shame we have enemies and even more a shame if it is someone that is supposed to be close to you and in support of you. But, people get all twisted up in their thoughts and don’t know which way is up or down or sideways when it comes to the truth. So this kind of thing is always on my heart. Thankfully I don’t have too many enemies. I try to stay away from the ones that have risen up to prove that they are.

This is where the focus needs to be. If you do have a friend, treasure them.

And I need to go and get on with it. Ya’ll have a beautiful day. Supposed to climb into the 40’s and the threat of snow is over for now. It had been too warm to do a lot of damage ice wise to the roads. So getting there was slow yesterday and had to take alternate routes that took longer, but supposed to warm up a bit. And tonight we’ll hopefully get some wrapping done. I organized it a bit yesterday pulling everything out of the stacks. We’ll get there. Christmas is indeed coming!

Merry and Bright with a Few Delights

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, Sortof

Well, I had been craving cinnamon and some kind of dough – whether it be a donut or bread. I made these yesterday using the Pillsbury croissant dough. I rolled it out a little bit fatter (it didn’t want to roll out much more though). I melted butter in a pan, added enough cinnamon and coconut palm sugar and blended together and then chilled it to thicken so I could spread it on the dough w/o it going everywhere. Once it chilled even the slightest it was a little hard to spread but I got it on there and then I rolled them up and then sliced them. I used the pillsbury instructions for baking which I think was 9 – 12 minutes. I think in my oven it took about 11 as I let them brown a bit. They were heavenly. We ate them all, I will just say! 😉

And it fulfilled some of my “holiday baking” wishes. 😉

Wow this weekend we DID get a lot done, as per yesterday’s entry. I had my doubts. But we are still not through. Much of the shopping done though, so that is a plus, but the decorating done, the to do list made and we will having company in just a couple of weeks, seeing our daughter again, and Auntie M and Uncle K, and MOM! We are almost ready.

George came back to my office and used the white board for the menu planning. We had a little office planning meeting. And I’ll take a pic soon and share our Christmas menu. Everything coming together and that makes me happy. It was a critical weekend to transfer the house over from Harvest Fall Fest to Christmas Time’s a Coming.

Little Bit came in for a nap

One of the things I did this weekend was wash the guest bed sheets and get them back on the bed. George uses the bed for a huge desk (his real desk shares the guest bedroom) but he spreads out over the bed. I had to remove his stuff and was startled to realize there was a cat there in all the mix. It made me do a Julia Roberts laugh.

So finally got the cat off the bed. It was almost a fight with ripped sheets and all (no only a few holes) but I finally got the bugger off the bed. I usually don’t disturb his naps but when you need to get something done with the time you have – you go for it.

And then when it was time to but the comforter back on the bed……..

Maisy takes over the comforter and makes sure it doesn’t go anywhere
Little Bit continues Nap

And then Little Bit continued his nap. And I went on to the next project.

The Den Tree, in Honor of Granny Jan
The Living Room Tree

While I finished up the decor, George started wrapping. He would wrap everything first I think. I don’t wrap til the decorating is done. 😉

I worked a bit a lot on the laundry yesterday, but I didn’t get to iron. I have enough pants though I could get through a week w/o it. But I’ll do that mid week. It doesn’t take long.

Mid way thru the day – for a late lunch – I fixed bologna sandwiches. I had been talking about it and I asked George to get lunch meat since I had some good whole grain bread that didn’t feel like it was leather. And I fixed us a rather gourmet bologna sandwich that I was complimented on. It did look like the bologna was given more respect that it should have been with spinach for lettuce and shredded cheese. lol

George had a few creations of his own yesterday. The Christmas music turned off, The Titans were on. And for dinner we had these.

Yes I think we had leftovers. But they were great. I made a salad with spinach, mandarin oranges, blue cheese, grilled chicken (I keep chicken strips in the freezer – you skillet saute them in olive oil for 8-9 minutes from frozen status and can add to a salad). I made a honey mustard vinaigrette to go on top of it. It was good. I also got a compliment from the main chef on that. 😉

So with that I will close. I am not going to the movies this week as the Little Women movie was not out yet. Christy and I are going after Christmas. Looks like it comes out on Christmas Day.

Now that all the decor is done – we begin wrapping. But I am getting my nails done tonight. They won’t be nice for Christmas though b/c I get them done every 3 weeks and that won’t be til after Christmas. Oh well.

My foot did better yesterday. It is only certain angles when I’m walking that it hurts and that makes it hurt even when sitting as it aches. But I didn’t have as much of an issue yesterday.

And Katy’s red ant sting is better. Not sure if I mentioned it, but she is better. I was a bit worried about it. But she is back to wearing regular shoes now.

Anyway, ya’ll have a good week ahead. I gotta go get this next payroll done and also work on the monthly taxes that have to be done by the end of the week. Plus a few other exceptional things that I’ve not had time to work on. So a critical week at work this week. But I won’t be staying late as too much to do at home. Plus I don’t want to be there by myself since it gets dark so early so I won’t be doing that. I might go in early a morning or two.

Have a happy Holiday Hustle and Bustle. Try not to let the stress get to you. Maybe I’ll make my own version of “how not to stress during the holidays” and we can try to go by that (me included). There is always something or someone that tries to push your stress buttons during this time of “joy”. lol But we can get past it.