Kicking January Out of the Way Today / Here Comes Fun February

Good morning! I am going to work today feeling good about our weekend. Even though work ended up hogging much of each day, we were able to accomplish a lot. I mean just getting the Christmas trees and Christmas stuff out of the way was a big deal. I was able to finish getting the rest of the normal Nic Nacs back out and those tubs out of our den. And while I obviously didn’t get anywhere near all the things I’d hoped to, we got some things done that I didn’t intend on that were big things.

And guess what! We have our Hot Springs weekend booked with Katy and Cody and Little Roo! Katy picked out a nice and cutely decorated 3 BR house on VRBO (River Roo gets his own room so he can sleep good). So excited to get that done. I figured it would be after Feb 1 when we got that done so that was another surprise for myself.

I also was able to set up a focus board for myself so I know “where I’m at” when I come and go! And I listed my goals for 2022 for things I wanted to work on, change, fix, improve. One section is for the video work. I also have to keep track of what date I’m on with my iPhone photos/videos so I can put them either in my 2021 or 2022 photo files or I can put them in video project files (either way both are kept) and that is how I easily can go from video to video. Probably in Spring or early summer, I’ll have another quarter’s worth to go through. But I always have to know where to begin in my photos on my iPhone. I have gone through all of them through Dec 18th, lol. I also have a section here for Mom’s needs and my own desires and to do’s. It doesn’t list them all but at least the couple of weeks anyway. I was really happy to get this done.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So I got some work done and the day really went fast. I worked mid day into the afternoon. George had needed a hair cut but we really didn’t get time as I worked until after the game started and then he was into the game and then we went to Mom’s and took BBQ and took her the couple of packages of frozen biscuits and her mail, which had some important things in it. I was just feeling like it’d been a week and she was probably ready to see us. But I appreciate being given the week this past week to focus on Work Impossible. It should be a show, lol. I made a list on the year end returns and/or w-2 reporting for all the state I do, and it’s 3 legal pad pages long. I’ve done about 2.5 of it and all since Friday. Nutzoid. Some states go by fast though as some have ZERO employees and some have just a few. Even with ZERO employees you still have go in and file zero, to keep the state open. We usually keep them open in case a sales person is put there again. So anyway I’ll go try and knock out a few more today but we will not meet the goal of getting it all done. I don’t think we ever have but we get close. We are down to the manual hand entry of hundred or so employees depending on the turnover. You don’t do that overnight. It takes about a minute or two to enter each person and other minute or so to check it b/c if you don’t balance it’s a night mare to go back and figure out. So anyway, Jan 31 is finally here, we are not through but at least the deadline is coming and going. And Mom’s fixing chili tonight for us and we’ll celebrate. lol lol lol

I also have Wed night to get nails/pedi done but may have to change if the weather gets bad. We have another system coming through and I’m not sure of all the details yet, but my nails/toes are horrid. I’ve put it off b/c of work so I could stay late, and my nail place is closed tomorrow. We have plans with neighbors Thursday night and my other opportunity would be Friday.

Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on Pexels.com

Little Roo was dedicated at church yesterday – meaning he was prayed over and “given to God” to become His to work through and he is being raised to do God’s will. There is a sweet photo of them at church yesterday but I don’t really want (well I do, but I won’t) to post it here.

So I tried to find a wallpaper to use for February for my iPhone. I didn’t really find exactly what I wanted yet, but here are a few I downloaded from Canva, if you need one.

I went with the last one.

So I’ve cleaned up the debris from the last video and I’m ready to download Final Cut Pro! I will wait til I get some time though – might have to be this weekend. Saturday is Fancy trim day and Mom wants to go to Bed Bath and Beyond and then get a few groceries. So maybe late Saturday or Sunday I’ll get time. We’ll see.

One of the things we’ll be doing though is focusing on the house this month as we have friends over on the 19th. We only have this weekend and next to get everything ready. So yes, February is a busy month too but at least it will be more fun, one can only hope.

One of the changes we are making this year is to have a creative night during the week instead of watching TV together. Because we can’t get the time on the weekends so much anymore it seems so we will be starting that soon. George has some recording he wants to do and I have, of course, things I’m working on that I never get to do. We might also read those nights – it’s just a night to accomplish things we aren’t getting to otherwise due to changes and more responsibilities. Here is George’s Christmas present that he wanted.

It’s amazing how different we all are. I mean if I had to learn what all those knobs and buttons do I’d go crazy (crazier).

OK well I better get to work and try to knock out what I can on the remainder of these w-2 reports for the Impossible Month and get payroll ready to run tomorrow. It is what it is and it is what it was. lol.

Stay tuned as at some point this week I’ll be giving you a rather humorous list of what all this blog should have been named! ha.

So welcome to February (tomorrow) and I have never been so glad for February to be here. We are picking an Asian place for Valentine dinner and have a list to choose from (did you think we’d do it any other way?) Tonight we start knocking a couple off – we will each cross one off the list – until close to Valentine’s and we will have decided where to go. We picked low cost, no reservations, no waiting options.

What are you looking forward to in February?

Explorative Cooking, Putting up Christmas Finally, Working on the Weekend, and Seizing Back my To Do List

Thanks everyone for your support and in watching the YouTube version of “Less Hustle More Coffee” and our tribute to Roger dog. Above is my screen shot for a story on Instagram. If you have not watched the video and want to, see my previous entry where I have embedded the video. I also have a tab of Videos here at the top of my blog next to my “About Me” section. It takes you to YouTube where you can see ALL of the videos. On the iPhone it’s at the top of the blog also using what they call the hamburger icon or the three bars stacked on top of each other – the icon that is used commonly for “menu options” and you will find it there too.)

Experimenting with “Pan Cakes”

Well I made myself some breakfast yesterday. I started out by making oatmeal and decided to try a little experiment. I had seen the Polar Bear girl make a Norwegian breakfast or perhaps Swedish – what do I know. She uses whatever she has in the house to make pancakes. Once she used a banana that was really ripe to use it up. So I crushed up a banana, added an egg, cinnamon, and a bunch of oats. I guess I could have added flour or cornmeal ha, but I was trying to keep it healthy. I put honey over it.

Was it the same as a pancake? Unfortunately no. But I can see why they eat it with fruit, or with applesauce, or a bit of whip cream over it. I have an intense craving for pancakes with maple syrup but it really does a mess up of my blood sugar like nothing else does so I stay away from them. Even if I eat protein with them it really gives me the shakes so I stay away. The good thing I learned though is that – THE METHOD – of taking something like fruit or a vegetable, adding an egg and some form of grain and then flavorings – I’ve proven to myself that I can make a flat bread cake of any kind. So that is kinda cool. It would have been better if I’d thrown just a little brown sugar in there. Come to think of it – that was the ingredient she used that I did not have, also she put brown cheese on top, which I don’t think we have around here. So I’ll give it another go sometime. It was fun to experiment. Even if the first one was not so good, it’s the concept of being able to tell when the consistency is right and when it’s ready for frying in the pan. I used Pam, lol.

It was “Time”!

Yes, I had work I needed to do but, I was waiting on the sheets so I could make the bed as I use the bed for part of my desk layout at home (it holds my calculator and files, lol). So while waiting we knocked out the Christmas trees, removing ornaments from the den tree and the living room tree. This is normally my job, and then George takes the trees downstairs for us, but I’m lacking on time these days so George was kind to get started on the project. We have company coming in a little over two weeks so we need to get the house flipped to normal so we don’t have so much at the last minute. Normally my house is in good shape but it’s not had a thorough cleaning (I did a little one).

I had gathered the Christmas and dumped it on the sofa weeks ago. I had packed a few tubs but still had some left. And even this morning I have those Santas and pillows to put up. Mainly need to put trash bags over the Santas and could really use another tub or two for the Christmas pillows and smaller Santas.

This is a reality blog so you get to see my house when it’s messy just as you do when it’s all cleaned up. The floors also need another round of cleaning. I also have a lot of stuff to take down to the basement that I’ve stacked by the vent (by the stairs) to take down. It felt freeing to get the Christmas trees undecorated. It also felt like I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to b/c I needed to be doing year end reporting.

Working this Weekend

I worked about half the day and got quite a bit done. I will be working some more on it today. While the deadline comes tomorrow (and there is no way we will make it as there is way too many w-2’s to data enter by hand and I didn’t get the info til Friday), it will still be busy over the next couple of weeks as we I mean “I” wrap this up, but I’m excited that I have been able to get a chunk done and behind me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that my rush is about over and I’m going to enjoy getting some of my time back.

Yesterday I had said I’d tell you what all was on my list. At this point, I’m not sure I can even remember it all, but as I start working on everything it will all come back. And for starters let’s just go from here what I can remember as I start Feb 1 as Sonya’s New Year! Since I didn’t really get an opportunity to start much of my New Year off with any time of my own.

February 1 is the new January 1 – List of To Do’s:

  • Nails done – getting this done this week. I will look at the calendar later and plan my week out. Likely not tomorrow as I’ll probably do what I can to knock everything out tomorrow that I can.
  • Toes done – debating whether I should do both both in one. I usually like to do them separate, but I think for the sake of time, I’ll just do both at once.
  • Make Mom’s heart scan appointment
  • Make my Colonoscopy appointment
  • Download my last Audible book and cancel the service as long as you can still keep the ones you have downloaded, I have to check.
  • Cancel Isagenix autoship
  • Plan for company coming and get the house ready
  • Go to Hobby Lobby for plant and flower stems to put in vases. I’m looking forward to perusing the entire store!
  • Mail something that I have for River
  • Work on new video Intro now that the Roger video is done (removing Roger and changing a few things around)
  • Help George in the basement
  • Car wash
  • Update my Mac software
  • Download Final Cut Pro and watch videos for training
  • Order vitamins for me and for Mom
  • Work a puzzle (pretending I have my winter January back in which to do so)
  • Write the company “ONE” about their breakfast bar having soap in it (yuk, likely from where they didn’t get all the suds out from cleaning their equipment).

Not as Urgent but on the list:

  • Pictures ordered from Shutterfly
  • Fix bluetooth headphone issue with Mac
  • Meeting with myself over coffee to brainstorm over Less Hustle More Coffee, blog and vlog directions
  • Move bed from my office and move the filing cabinet in
  • Move china cabinet from downstairs to upstairs and figure all that out
  • Clean out office drawers and reorganize it after the bed is gone
  • Move the files from plastic drawers to the new filing cabinet
  • Use our gift cards from Christmas to go out to eat
  • Talk to George about cable/streaming
  • Window cleaning – this is becoming urgent but I dread it
  • Jewelry project – I’m getting annoyed now and that will make me go ahead and do this
  • Get a dog
  • Cannon Lessons
  • Make homemade bread
  • Read
  • Develop a new challenge for myself
  • Get a passport made
  • Work on Rivers book
  • Find out the name of Grandaddy’s ship
  • Work on my list of Blog/Vlog projects
  • Cook some
  • Find some podcasts that I like
  • Consider writing a book that I have always wanted to do
  • Do things on our bucket list
  • Other home projects

These are the things I’ve been wanting to do for some time. And I’ll start in on them Feb 1! Maybe even before. 😉

So that’s all for today. I am going to get a shower, get some work done, and then do my Sunday list of things such as ironing, getting meds and vitamins in the container for the next 7 days. And then we told Mom we would come over for dinner tonight, and take her the Pillsbury biscuits from the freezer (we couldn’t find them the day we went to Kroger and did her grocery shopping). We will take her some important mail that arrived and check her mail box over there.

So my heart is glad. Even though I still have a lot of work to do left, and will likely still work a bit extra over and above the extra I already do, I can feel my precious time coming back to me. We won’t be preparing for Christmas, we don’t have a lot of extra things now that the busy wild ride from fall thru January period is over. We can plan and do things now. We can get things done in the house. We can enjoy the ART of living now and knock off some things on our OWN agenda and on Mom’s. I know, I know, we will still be busy, and our days will be full, but at least it won’t be all on top of the the holidays and the impossible year end/quarter end processing that just really sucks out what little personal time we’ve had. So yay! I feel like we are coming back to life and it kinda feels like we are headed into spring.

Normally January is my hibernation month. I was going to claim it in February and I may still claim some hibernation days. But if the temps rise, I’m good with excursions and getting out more and doing things. I know we have many more winter days to come in the next couple of months but we also have some surprise pretty days in February and March that we are teased with. And those will be our fun days!

Ok off to work now and to plan my week ahead. I’m sure something will change it but first up is getting my nails done! They are broken to pieces. And my toes need care as the nail is digging into the sides, :-O. Back to some pamper time and self-care so I can come back strong and be there for the world again later.

LOSING OUR PET: TRIBUTE TO ROGER, Mizithra Cheese Spaghetti, and Other Updates

Finally, the Roger tribute is done. It feels good. It’s taken me all month and then some with all that has been going on. I’d love it if you would watch on YouTube and give me a subscribe (it’s free, as few things are) and we have lots of content coming. I post about every 3 weeks in video. The YouTube channel is a few months behind our real life, but my goal is to close the gap some this year as my experience increases. I’m currently at ONLY 52 subscribers but that means the world to me that 52 of you care enough to follow along. George always brings the humor. And I’m honored that he will take part in my video adventures. Don’t miss a one and subscribe! We tried to make this tribute to Roger a happy one. And while tears flowed when putting it together, I was able to keep it from a sob fest. I specifically chose music not to be so sad. I spent a lot of time on the music and picking the right songs. I hope you enjoy my creation and our remembrance of our little Roger.

Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese

What is Mizithra Cheese?

Mizithra cheese is a Greek whey cheese from sheep or goats or both. It has a taste that I would say is similar to feta but has a stronger taste. It really doesn’t taste as strong as some of the goat cheese I’ve had. It has a milder taste. It is harder to find these days since the virus hit and inventories and choices have minimized.

I first learned about Mizithra from “The Spaghetti Factory” in Nashville. I used to order “The Manager’s Special” with it’s two types of spaghetti, half in half, one of which was included browned butter with mizithra and the other a basic marinara. The two together is divine.

So George fixed the noodles, and then basically just used a jar of marinara spaghetti sauce and had some brown butter sauce to pour over. I did not quiz him on the makings of the browned butter, but I assume he melted butter and knowing him probably added some seasonings of some sort. It really just adds a layer of flavor and you pour that over half the noodles and sprinkle the grated mizithra over it.

Where do you find Mizithra?

I found a block or a “mound” of Mizithra at Kroger. I would say that perhaps any of your grocers that specialize in a variety or good assortment of cheeses may have it. Our smaller Kroger near us, did not, however the larger Kroger about three miles away that serves a heavier population – had it! I was so excited. Enough so that I may splurge and go back again and buy some more! ;-). I love it so. It’s a good winter meal too with the hot spaghetti sauce and warmed butter side by side over the hot pasta.

I thought about our dinner all day yesterday, looking forward to it while at work slaving over the last minute year end process. Oh my gosh, I’m going to get myself started here. Only a paragraph I promise! 😉

QE/YE Update

If you have been following me along, you know that Quarter End/Year End, aka January, aka “The Impossible” Month that we make Possible, has nearly been killing me, frustrating me, worrying me, stressing me, and just over all agonizing me. And all the while life itself still happens – family, caring for Mom, doc appts, birthdays, trips, flu, and all sorts of things. Anywho or Anywhy, the deadline is 1/31 in which everything “should be done” or is “supposed to be done”. I’ve worked late, skipped lunch, worked some on the weekends, worked while sick, and done everything I could in December and January to support the cause. I was given the w-2 reporting information for the year end returns and w-2 reporting that has to be done yesterday morning. So I have two business days (one of which is primarily targeted toward payroll processing) to do about 26 states worth of reports on line to each of their websites. (Insert your favorite horror face picture here). Needless to say I have brought a suit case of files home to attempt getting some of these done. However, I have a lot of things to do at home this weekend as well (laundry, and other responsibilities, and life balancing tasks, etc.) and even if I worked non-stop it’s not enough time to get it done, but I’ll work this weekend (dammit – sorry to curse but it’s better than the f-bomb which I might have dropped yesterday) to try and minimize our company impact. Yes I know the work week is already off balance, by NOT working the weekend and this just gives work more and more of your already off balanced life. But isn’t that the American Way? No time for family and friends? But I am taking a chunk of my weekend back and getting done things I need to do. I will work on it as much as I can, but it won’t be finished. If we want it to be finished, we have to find a different way to do things. As much as I want to be a hero, I’d like for there to be a possibility to be one and in this case, it’s just not feasible. lol Too much to do in one month and too much that waits til the last minute. Ok promised ONE paragraph. Technically in my head, it’s just all over already. I’ll do what I can in the few days that are left. So I’ll set it up this morning and do state w-2 reportings off and on all weekend rotating work and home duties and yes, even personal things I want to do. Like the video that was completed. Yay! I am a person and I deserve to have a life. At least a morsel of it. Tribe has spoken.

And George has also just informed me he wants a hair cut this weekend. Mom has some things she wants me to order for her. But I am looking forward to February. It’s so close I can smell it. I will blog about that tomorrow – all the things I’m looking forward to doing and accomplishing in February!

Cold Weather

Our temps have been dipping again. It snowed yesterday. Scared me a bit but it hit heavy on the way home. I’ve had to upgrade my wardrobe to include some warmer things. I ordered this wonderfully thick shirt/jacket from Amazon. I wear it both as a shirt and use it as a jacket if it matches what I have on enough, lol. I love it! Here was when the snow started on the way home.

Going over the lake was beautiful. The water had turned a very cold and angry looking green, and you could see snow coming in the distance. I think I would love living in a house overlooking a lake – as long as it wouldn’t flood, lol. It’s so intriguing to watch.

Overall, I’m very happy this morning. I may have work to do, which I’ll give some of my priority time, but I’m so happy it is the weekend and we are home. I have fixed a pot of coffee and I’m sipping it out of my Blue Lobster mug from Maine. It’s my favorite mug as I like the old timey coffee mug shape with it’s thickness and of course I love the logo, as well as the “lucky to be different” message. I can see February 1 coming ahead. I sense a smell of more freedom to be able to live my life. I’ve held off on so many things to focus on work, in January. Feb 1 is MY new year and I’m looking forward to it. Tomorrow I’ll be explaining why and what Feb will bring! Yessssss!

Ok off to try to conquer The Impossible. lol

What are YOU doing this weekend? And are you going to watch the Roger Tribute? We love him and miss him. I’m leaving you with a pic of our little buddy. We miss him so much. We miss the love of a dog. My tribute could not do justice to what he meant to us.