New Year’s Eve Update

Hello Friends!

I’ve been enjoying my mornings with the sunrises. Today it will be rain and likely lots of it. I’m tempted to take a safer back route to avoid the crazies on the interstate but it’ll take way too long to get to work I think. Those crazies on the interstate are really getting crazier these days during the pandemic times. It’s as if they don’t care if they die or not so why not speed. It’s unbelievable what I’ve seen people do out there. I’m getting more and more fearful of the interstate. It seems there ARE NO RULES ANYMORE.

Yesterday morning in our work parking lot, I drank my coffee with the wind blowing in my face and watched the clouds rollover the sun rise. It was one of those “stop and smell the roses moments”. It was nice. I was thanking God for his artwork and for the moment to just stop and “remember who you are and where you are going”, a moment of thanks, of feeling blessed. I remember thinking “this moment is mine and no one can take it”. And that comes from me and my little time problem, ha! So much in life snatches so much of your time. I’m pretty guarded over my time. That goes waaaay back into the high school and college days I guess when time got tighter. And it’s been that way since.

I didn’t really get on here to begin talking about time. It is just one of the many side trails we could go off into. But that would take too much time (too much time to talk about time- ha ha) so we’ll keep going down the “what’s happening” trail instead.

What’s happening is that daughter Katy will be induced soon. Likely next week or first of the next one. They did blood work and all is ok but they asked her to keep the next appointment on Tuesday and will schedule a date then. So….we are preparing (already had been) to get packed and get ready to go once we have the date or get the call. We have made lists galore – what to take, what to pack, what to get at the store, what to eat on the way, and so forth.

I have also been working hard to get things done at work. It’s month end, quarter end, and year end. So I have been racing to get extra things done. All my reports are printed which have to be done before the next payroll run. My end of year Periodic Maintenance is done. And my tax tables are changed in the system. I did research on some of the states as I’m not getting mail that the states are sending out. I guess it’s going to someone else. I don’t know where it’s going so phbbbttttt on that. I just looked it up on the internet in our accounts on line to see what our new rate is and what the base wage is. Many did not change. A couple were electronic notices. But anyway, at least I knew where to find it. All that was taken care of.

So today I have to try to squeeze today and tomorrow in – as we are not there tomorrow. Part of Friday may have to be squeezed into Monday. Also have to work on holiday pay a bit today to figure those that are not eligible. Fun times. But this was an important week and now I will just spend January plowing through month end withholding payments, quarter end withholding payments (my weekly paid ones are done for this week), quarterly withholding returns, do my reconciliation report, then I can start on unemployment returns for the quarter, and then do all the many reports for Oregon (rolls eyes at their many taxes, lol) and then I will do all the unemployment returns and then all the year end reporting for all states and then the W-2 reporting. It’s quite the January. A lot to do. And I’ll be missing a few days of it. So the window will be tight. But I feel better remembering there is always a week of the month where I’m waiting on others so that means being off a week maybe won’t be that distressing after all.

We have been making birthday plans. It’s all tentative. You know how I feel about tentative plans, lol. But it doesn’t really matter. One way or the other on my birthday we will be going out. George says he will take me out just us and then we are going out with my SIL and BIL. Different dates of course. I’m not sure which one it will be on the 3rd. But I’ve picked my places! Stay tuned.

HBO Max

I discovered I have access to HBO/HBO Max. We have AT&T unlimited and so was able to get this streaming for free. I had to do a bit of research to figure all this out. It didn’t seem to be flashing at you anywhere. But I at least discovered it while checking into seeing how much it would cost. There were a couple of shows advertised recently that I thought we’d check into it. One was “The Flight Attendant” and we began watching that. I guess we’ll see how that turns out. I kinda had bad dreams after watching it, but I’m on the edge of my seat to see what happens. lol.

If you have these plans below as screen shot from my phone, you will be eligible for HBO MAX.

It’s not like we don’t already have enough to watch.

The to Do List is Stacking Up

What could be overwhelming, is actually a little fun – as long as it stays that way. There has always been lists of “What to do after Thanksgiving”, “What to do after Christmas” and “The New Year List”, and now there is an “After Texas List” and a “February List”. I’ve not gotten much further than that. But you know me and planning!

Most of it is simple. It’s not accomplishing big projects but just knocking simple things off. I mean doing my nails has been on the list for a week, lol. Downloading Big Sur on the Mac is on my list. Right now my lists are everywhere. Notes here and there. I’m looking forward to a “regroup” this weekend to get a bit more organized and to get some things done. I’ve not even had time to download December’s free audible book and now it’s almost time to download the January’s. (It’s not really free – I pay so much a month but get 1 “free” download a month with the subscription.) It’s been the best gift I’ve given myself. It’s also time tomorrow to put the Christmas decor up and I need to finish the video and get that up, but have to do George’s segment.

I’ve begun using my planner as the new year week started in the planner this week as New Year’s day falls into it. That was fun. Love the new planner. This week’s pages are full!

I have found that I LOVE THESE sparkling waters the best of any I have had. It has real squeezed fruit in it and it’s flavor is so vivid. I’ll be getting more of these!

George fixed a good dinner last night after my request for kielbasa or sausages meal. It was kinda cajun in a way. Poured over rice. Just excellent! Had red and green pepper in it. As well as onions and tomatoes. It was very good. He air fried the sausages which really took away a lot of the fat. So that was good!

I suggested we have a Brandy or Cognac after dinner. We watched Below Deck and sipped the last of a very good bottle of Cognac that George had received for Christmas last year.

Mr. Roger is a mess. He had the worst night ever a couple of nights ago. Last night George got up with him and they slept on the couch and when he went to sleep he brought him back to bed. We will keep working til we figure this out. But he is not liking the bed but when you put him somewhere else he howls because he wants you to be with him – just not on the bed.

Once he knows you are with him, (not on the bed) he does this……and snores to high heaven.

Well, I need to get ready and get this day done so I can come home and do all the things on my list here. Some of which is to give you all a year in review for the blog tomorrow. Put out my “here’s what I read” list. And there is so much but the focus will have to be as follows:

  1. Prep for Texas
  2. Finish next video
  3. Big Sur Update on Mac- have to get this done and a new security program set as the old one is about to renew and it doesn’t play well with Big Sur, want to finish the video soon in case it messes with iMovie.
  4. Christmas Decor up and out.

I can’t even remember what all else is on the list and it’s time to head to work. Yes I have to work on New Years Eve. So….over and out.

Oh and we are having leg of lamb for dinner tonight which was a Christmas present. Looking forward to THAT. I guess I’ll have to have a nap before midnight. I don’t see how I can possibly stay up that long. No way. What are your plans for today and tomorrow? Don’t forget to eat your black eyed peas!

The Give and the Take in Marriage

My daughter posted this recently and it cracked me up. Those eyeballs. That mouth. Uh oh. He’s a bit worried.

Early in marriage I used to get miffed and hold it in, if George wouldn’t do something I thought he should have already done. He finally asked what was wrong one day. I don’t even remember what it was. Might have been the yard needed mowing or a heavy box needed to be moved out of the way or more likely just “his stuff” everywhere in the common living areas. But he told me, if you want me to do something just ask me to.

I guess I never wanted to be seen as bossy so I kept a lot of things to myself until I felt it was time to do otherwise. I grew up amidst MANY women bosses of the family who controlled EVERYTHING- their schedule, their meals, their social calendar, the finances, what was repaired or not, made the major decisions and so forth. And much to my surprise, George wanted to do most of that in our marriage and he does control a lot of everything in our life in most of those realms. He asked to do the finances and he wants to do the cooking because he loves to. And I didn’t mind. And I also didn’t want to come across as “hand on my hips bossy” so I’ve gone along with it, but I was used to a world in which the women control things. But if something doesn’t please or suit, I usually let him know in issues that really matter to me. Being that he does control so much of things, I expect to be able to have a say when it’s important to me.

George had some very powerful women in his family as well that steered the way and certainly knew how to captain a ship. But while my Dad was very gentle and mild, his Dad was very mind set and independent, but also humorous and very kind – but he also was very head strong and knew what he wanted to do and where he was going. I am not an expert on his family and wouldn’t even try to figure out the dynamics. But I can certainly see enough that he had come from headstrong path and naturally so did I. I have more of my Dad’s spirit in me but Mom’s side seems to triumph on many occasions. I am very headstrong and know what I want. And while I can sit on the sidelines a lot of the time and let people steer the ship, I definitely know what I want and have surprised myself with my independent, relentless, resilient drive that I really didn’t know I had until it repeated itself and reared itself over again.

Boy did our heads ever clash. They still do. Lucky for him, I’m able to rationalize some, be patient some, wait some, understand some, keep silent some, let him have his way a lot, let him win an argument a lot, compromise a lot. However, I’m not one to let anyone run over me and if I’m treated as a doormat, ignored, feelings not considered, mistreated, misled, taken advantage of, and so forth – that is when there will be an issue. A big issue. I don’t put up with that from any human for very long before that ugly head will be raised and my voice heard.

George may not think I’ve been the above, but I could write a book on the times where I’ve done the italics. I don’t mind letting another steer my ship as long as I have input and a say so, an opinion, am heard, not dictated over, not patronized, am treated well, respected, and such.

I think we have come a long way in our marriage as far as communication, respect, and our ability to “get along”. Mostly it is being patient, keeping quiet until we are both in an open mind situation. But it has been a lot of give and take, and being willing to try and understand the other’s position. When one of us is closed minded and selfish, the conversation would never go anywhere. Marriage is just hard. Any relationship is hard. There are so many dynamics influencing each.

While things are never perfect, I’m happy that we have a safe place here where we allow each other to be ourselves, we weigh in on things, enjoy each other’s company, enjoy life, plan and execute things – even during a pandemic, rely on each other in tough times, and the good times. And then we eat well. We don’t always agree on where things need to be placed in the house, what dishes we will have or not have, when we will get the flooring, or the new car, what we will do in retirement, but somehow time passes and it figures itself out.

But this little pic above just made me think of all the marital fun of trying to figure out when to serve your partner and when to have a little individual time. Then you realize, oops I need to remember to be there a little more. So I need to work harder at trying to serve my spouse. And be more of a willing “help meet” that God intended. Things that would make him happy. I keep his laundry up for sure and make his coffee in the morning. I try to keep the house clean although I don’t go after all the spider webs in the deep corners – and don’t have time nor strength to do the windows. And sometimes I let it go to get in a video or two. When you quit being selfish and thinking of “me” and start loving your partner more, things start to relax and change. Once a partner starts demanding things the other one starts demanding too – so it’s nice to go the other direction and just love and help. I think that is what God intended for marriage to be. A companion that loves and helps. Who could ask for more?

I guess I better “suit up” (lol) and head to work. Monday and Tuesday were done in a 12 hour day yesterday. I had done lot of my Monday last Wednesday during those 3 longer days. It’s wild at the holidays. You may get holiday time but you betcha those hours have been worked either before or after. You get the time off in a row, but have to work it in advance or after because it all still has to be done. And it is being done. And it’s still nice getting the time off in a row – it just comes with a price. It’s not free for sure.

My mind wants to worry about when my grandson comes – about whether we will get to come as planned. We know from 2020 that plans don’t always happen. It’s been the most interrupted year I think I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s been the year of testing one’s anxiety, one’s faith, one’s endurance. It’s been the year of giving up self and letting God take over. And in this instance He will do what needs to be done and will have it be as He wishes. I’ve turned all of this over to God – many moons ago.

COVID is now officially in my workplace I’ve learned. I do not know if I have been exposed or not. The time has come and gone, I believe, for any exposure I’ve had. While it once was in my coworkers’ family member’s only, it’s now officially arrived at the office. My first selfish response was that this better not mess with my trip or my plans. I began to let my anxiety spike because YOU KNOW how determined I am….Texas or bust! Throw in my being a Momma Bear to my Kate and determined to be there in her hours of need, does nothing to calm my determination at all. Dare anything mess with my plans. But….the Spirit kicks in…

Then I relax and remember that God is in Control. If he wants me in Texas at the time, He will place me in Texas at the time I need to be there. He will see that my daughter is taken care of if I cannot be there. But I hope and pray that God allows me to be there but I have to remember He is in control and none of us can see the virus germs. And as much as we try to steer clear of them, wear or masks, and clean our surfaces -it’s still around us everywhere. We negotiate daily what we will do and what we won’t. We still have to live somewhat of a life. We’ve given up so much of our lives this year. We have to work and even have to be somewhat social for our sanity. We negotiate everything. We gave up Thanksgiving but had Christmas. We go out today but we do take out another day. Lord please BLESS us and lead us in our decision making. It was wonderful seeing family at Christmas and I thank you. Lord please protect us all and keep us safe! And place our feet where we need to be when we need to be! Amen!

Christmas Gifts from the Family

Good morning! A quick Pop-In this morning! I cannot believe I did not get the blog time in yesterday. I sat down to do that yesterday but was propelled into doing the next video. And would you know I worked on it for about 9 hours yesterday. I forgot to eat lunch. And quit when my daughter called, took a shower, and then it was dinner time.

I am almost through with the video but need to tape a short statement as requested by George, regarding Maisy. He wants to say a few words about our girl for the video. That is sweet. I will record that sometime this week. I’m hoping to release the video sometime New Year’s Day or this weekend.

I should not be blogging this morning either. I have to go do two payroll days in one. I should be getting ready, but I took a shower last night and I also got up about 30 minutes earlier. However, I have also worked in the laundry room and kitchen this morning and sliced up desserts for little containers to put in the freezer so we don’t throw nearly whole pies and cakes in the trash.

Our four day holiday was wonderful. I cannot believe it has gone by so quickly. George’s company gets New Year’s Eve also, which a lot of companies do. I don’t get that unless I burn a PTO day. However, if I’m working a day and a half today, I make take off an hour early or so Thursday and recoup some of that time back. So another 3 day weekend coming for me and another 4 day for George.

I promised I’d show my Christmas gifts as I do annually. It’s fun to take them out of the packages again and lay them out for the photos. I get to see what all I have again before putting it up. We are big foodie people so often we get and give food items. It’s practical! George bought the Maple Leaf Creme Cookies – actually we will both eat on this. I don’t think they will come out again until next fall. You get them from Aldi.

We will try the Swiss Style Hash Browns soon as the Chicken Enchilada Soup. I like Wild Rice and he found “the real deal”. Also have some almond chocolates for that 3 p.m. craving. Those will go to the office!

You see the note there about those “other two presents”. They were various forms of lamb. Lamb chops, leg of lamb, and some other cuts. That was one of my big gifts. Lamb is expensive. We love it. We usually don’t splurge for it unless we see a deal. He went to Sam’s especially to get this. Also while he eats hot sauce a lot of times, I like the Pickapeppa. And we were out. It’s good on most anything really but pork and chicken and probably what I use it most on as I like A-1 or Heinz 57 or creamy horseradish for steak. Those fudge dipped cookies look interesting and so we have a lot of cookies for those Netflix movies after dinner! We are good for a while.

I say that with confidence, because he also bought the Benton’s Peanut Butter cookies from Aldi – and LOTS of them. They go fast. You know why? THEY ARE (or are a close exactness to) the peanut butter girl scout cookies. They seem like the same thing.

He also bought me the good stuff….Carolina Gold Rice. It’s not your ordinary rice. It’s a category all in its own. A yummer! We often have given this as a Christmas gift. He ordered these over the internet, but you can get them in Whole Foods.

He also got every kind of Pesto it seems. We liked the Priano brand red sauce especially and have not tried the others. Most of these came from Aldi, not sure about the other brand. We put these on top of ravioli. We find fresh ravioli in Lebanon when we head out that way (about 30 to 40 minutes out) and this is excellent. I suppose it would work on the frozen ravioli as well. But if you can find fresh made ravioli – and put this red sauce on it – it’s a God send. You’ll think you are sitting in Italy having dinner!

He knows I’m a fan of pistachios! Those are going to work with me too.

I bought these for myself and had him wrap them up. I love my Liz Claiborne PJ’s every year. The top is soft and the bottoms warm. I’ve gotten to where I don’t want a flannel top as it gets too hot. But these are perfect.

Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken gave me this top. It is beautiful and warm! Also we have flavored coffees galore! Little K-cups.

George gave me this coffee we’ve not tried before. Looking forward to that.

I asked for more Happy. It lasts 2 years. It came with a “GWP” so I got all the little trial sizes of things and a little cosmetic bag. Love my “Happy”!

I also asked for this:

My Canon wide angle lense. So excited as this is the best lens for blogging. I will do a vlog showing both. He also bought the filter pack for me. I could have used that in the bright sun one day. I still have so much learning to do! Looking forward to that in 2021. Keep me locked up I guess away from COVID, I’ll get it done. 😉

This was a very thoughtful gift. It’s a Nest Temperature Sensor. The hallway is where the current one is, but you can have this in the room where you are and it’ll adjust to the room you are in. Our hallway is warmer than some of the other rooms so often it gets cold in certain places at certain times. So this will come in handy. I’ll break into these items over the next weekend.

I love these two candles! They smell so good and are good quality. From Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken.

I also love my airtight storage containers. We no longer keep flour and sugar on the counter area. Those times are gone. But we do need proper storage for our dry goods in the pantry that are easily storable and space saving. Once Amazon had XOXO brand, but I see that mostly they are selling the Chef’s Path brand. And Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken bought those for me. When comparing them, these seem to do the “air tight” about the same. Their top is a little different from XOXO but it still seems to be airtight. I had asked for these containers for Christmas when Aunt Martha asked what I would like or needed. And these seem to be perfect for our cause. I’ll be working on this over the weekend! Have to wash them and let them air dry and will redo our pantry! I love containers and baskets and often overby these things, lol! But this is a GOOD set and I”m looking forward to using them.

George bought me the little containers. We use them for packing dressings and dips in lunches. Or just about anything else that is small.

Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken gave me the Almay lip treatment! I am in love with this! Usually things break me out around my lips. But this is Almay and I don’t think it will. So far so good! I think I’ll always have to have this with me! ha.

George bought me a “coffee of the month club”. The first time they send samples and so I have to see what I like to know what to go on line and select. I’ll be doing that this weekend too.

I think George misses seeing me sitting and reading. He knows I love watching Below Deck – and I like knowing the behind the scenes on boat life. I am soooo looking forward to reading these! He knows what he is doing. I’m itching to sit and have time to read! This is likely to jump start me!

George bought a wine kit to make for me! Double Pinot Noir. He said when he saw that “I’m having that for Sonya”. I love my Pinot Noir. It’s just a good sipping wine! Very smoothe!

I think he may have to wait until Feb or March to start. Temps have to be at a certain place for the first week or two.

Mom gave me this beautiful quilt. My great grandmother did the quilt top and Mom had it quilted. It’s just beautiful! I’m going to order one of those quilt ladders to keep blankets on in our den. I’m always using them while we are watching TV. I love the pink and green color. It’s very cheery.

Mom also gave me some $$$ money. And I’m using that to buy a reading chair and little side table for my office. I need a dedicated spot for my Bible reading and quiet time along with a place to sit while watching YouTube’s on the Mac.

So I need to get to work now, but I’m so blessed and so happy with the thoughtful gifts. I realize my porcupine PJ’s from George did not make the pics. I snatched them up and wore them after my shower Christmas day. I guess that was the first gift I used. ha. They were cute and will wear those on really cold days/nights. I’ve been in PJ’s for 3 days ya’ll. It’s been wonderful.

More later after I get our payroll closed. What all did you get for Christmas?