Shampoo Games and Christmas Items

Over the years with all the travel I’ve been blessed to do – even with work – I have a collection of little shampoos, conditioners, and lotions from the hotels I’ve stayed. I have them separated into little bins in the closet shelf. I have used these through the years when going to Mom’s house or friends houses at overnights and it’s been nice, but the bins are overflowing and hardly getting used. So I decided during these Pandemic times, that I would start using them up. I mean maybe I should wait for retirement or perhaps RV’ng if I am ever lucky enough to get to do this in my life. But life has no guarantees, so I decided to just start using them.

Much of everything I do in life has a “game” about it or at least a “game plan”. Or an order. I’m methodical about most things. It’s why sometimes I have a hard time deciding something or answering a question because I go through a list of pros/cons through my head and decide if there’s something I need to do first, last, or instead, LOL.

So here’s my Shampoo Rule. I keep 3 varying shampoos in the shower. I think your hair does better when it has more than one type of shampoo. One is always my Suave Rosemary Mint shampoo or the Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo from Trader Joe’s but we rarely get there. The 2nd shampoo has always been an Herbal Essence shampoo because my hair has always done well with it, and usually it was a color one or the original one. But I’ve gone natural now and my color one is almost gone. I’ll replace it with the original most likely as it’s done best with that.

The third shampoo has always been the WILD CARD – it’s the one when getting low, I’ll pick any shampoo I want to try. This has been a fun system as I have my favorites plus getting to try other ones too.

As for conditioners – well, I mainly use VO5 Kiwi Lime as it is easy to wash out. I have deeper ones for the weekends but find I’m impatient with them. So I bought a spray on conditioner to use and like that from time to time when I remember to use it. I recently bought some shampoo and conditioner bundles to try and so the game is – if you use the shampoo you use the corresponding conditioner that goes with it so that I won’t just wimp out and use the VO5 and never use them. That’s the rule. Or I can just use none or the spray on if in a hurry.

Back to the shampoo. So….I have decided my little travel shampoos will become my 3rd shampoo until they are gone. I have made some little shampoo travel containers out of my system’s little cleansing bottles. They are a little bigger than these and I can use the shampoo from the big bottles to fill them if I ever need a smaller travel size.

So….game on. My 3rd bottle of full shampoo (the wild card) is almost gone so I’ll start using these up. I figure I’ll keep a start of about 5 little bottles so I won’t have to keep digging into the closet bin to get them every day. That will at least be about 2 to 3 weeks worth since I’m also using the other two bottles (Rosemary mint and Herbal Essence). I could also use the closet space for toilet paper! We ALL will be hoarding TP now until we die. LOL

Publix had their candy on sale for half price. Probably will have that all across the other stores? Maybe? Just letting you know. Quite a deal I’d say. I did not partake but it’s tempting.

I have a little Christmas pile started. Well there is that little turkey back there in the back. Doesn’t he look lonely. Actually he looks scared. As he should be. The holidays are coming around. Aren’t the elves cute. That came from the Dollar Store. I had been wanting some Christmas trees. And these are candles. I’ll be using them for decor. We will use them on our Christmas table.

I’m looking forward to the holidays this year. Except we won’t get to see our daughter though. That part makes me sad. I think George is sad because of it too because he keeps saying how different it will be. He kept saying that when his parents were gone. It’s sad. I am excited about it because Mom and my Aunt and Uncle are coming. And WE are here and alive and I feel we should make it as special as we can. We are not guaranteed any time at all. With Covid around, and us being heavy set – ok fat – we will have the harder time with heart disease or stroke or other issues looming about over our heads. So it makes me think we should enjoy the holidays regardless of the situation. But I guess it is really sad for him with no family from his side of the family at Christmas Day. As for our daughter, she is growing our grandson and it’s NOT the time to travel that close in. So we will miss seeing them. And I thought maybe we’d still get to do Christmas but we are shipping the gifts this year. In future years we can hopefully plan to eventually have a gift opening at some point. But I think we should plan to have a great holiday season this year and try to make it special to overcome what we will be missing.

I even ordered a pack of Christmas “Red Truck” socks. Mine have dwindled over the years and so as a sock lover anyway, these made me happy! You can see them barely in the pic above.

And so I’m off to do a few things. It’s payroll closing day. So an important day. Yesterday was a busy Monday as the plants had a lot of stuff they were holding on to, to send. Hardly had any emails all week then Monday BAM! It wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. But wish that procrastination was not the name of the game. Nevertheless, I still had a bit of time to work on the quarter end yesterday and of course did not find the $1700 ish dollars. So…I’m not sure how to find this. Everyone’s numbers seemed correct. I’ll have to defer to the experts til I learn what rocks you look under. Last conversation I had with my boss she wasn’t sure either. So I don’t know – maybe we need to look at the spreadsheet again. Maybe it’s just a simple thing we’ve missed. Usually something that makes you go “DUH”.

Onto more coffee….I like to hit publish and then go get a 2nd cup and read what I wrote. Secretly, I don’t even spell check until after I’ve posted. I’m sure it’s not a secret as you probably see my spelling errors. It’s usually a missing word where the computer is saving as I’m typing and missed a beat or it’s a word like “cents” where my brain has misfired and used “sense”. I know which one it is but my fingers sometimes have a misfire from the brain. I try to have time to spell correct. Honestly sometimes I just barely get through getting my ideas on the pallet here. Some days there is not time for spell check so I apologize for that. I don’t claim to be a Pro. Just raw and real as I can be without getting into trouble. If I could say what I thought I’d be forever alone and fired as no one likes to see the truth in black and white, LOL. So I keep some of my reality to myself but most of it. I’d say 95 percent of it is raw and real. The other 5 percent that is missing is me being nice and not mentioning the flaws and rudeness in others. I have them too. I mention my own quite frequently.

Ya’ll have a good one. Coffee here I come.

Online Shopping for Holiday Prep and Vlogging Equipment Wish List

Yesterday was relaxing. It was cloudy all day for the most part and a bit misty as the tropical storm headed out. The winds were not what they said it would be and neither were the storms. It was mostly just rain.

After finishing my Canon EOS M50 lessons for the day I ironed and ordered the LTD Commodities order. Magazine above. You can order a magazine at I ordered a couple of sets of Christmas sacks, some Christmas Socks, a couple of Christmas gifts, some ornaments, and a Thanksgiving plaque. I was disappointed that after ordering I got a reply that at least 3 of the items I ordered was on backorder and out of stock. What? This is a brand new catalog? My guess is —you guessed it —it’s probably on that slow boat from China and they don’t keep it in stock. Big EYE ROLL on that. I was thinking of not ordering from them anymore. I already have something on backorder I ordered a month ago from their fall catalog. If I don’t get these items in before they are needed, I’m going to 1) complain to the company 2) Quit buying from them. Even Amazon is getting bad about this.

We have quit buying from stores, so the stores are limiting items and then you go on line and you can’t get what you ordered. So it’s getting to where you can’t get what you want when you wanted it and that is not acceptable. I think we’ll go back to making our own things eventually, and back to trading my thing for your thing. LOL. Sounds good to me. I’ll take a grocery sack and stick and bow on it and say Merry Christmas. Draw my own design on those brown grocery bags. They are sturdier anyway, LOL. I know I’m being silly.

Photo by Jessica Lewis on

For some reason, I’m more excited about the holidays this year. I have in the back of my mind that in the next few years we’ll be seeing a grandson in our living room. And we have Momma coming for Thanksgiving and then Momma and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken will come for Christmas we think. Missing will be our Katy and Cody as Katy will be as pregnant as ever and too late in the pregnancy to travel. So we will miss them terribly. But I am elated with joy that we get to experience the holidays in our own home. YES! I’ve wanted this for years. I will miss Thanksgiving in Texas though as we had a lot of fun out there the last couple of years. Things are changing now.

I had in my head that we would be taking Christmas with us out there in January for them to open then but with the new baby no one will have time for that. I remember how tired I was that week. But George says we will mail their packages. So being that is the case, I guess we will have to consider size of what we are shopping for and it will need to be mailed early in December. So I need to get my game on.

Photo by on

My vision of helping Katy with the baby in January is blurred by the fact that I can’t vision where we will be staying – hotel, car, some combination of both. The dogs will bark at the hotel and they will likely have to stay in the car while we are visiting or one of us stay outside with them but it will be winter. I’m just so confused over it all. We don’t want to leave them here and it’s no good to take them, but we will. We will just have to figure it out I guess as we go. I’d love to trade in my car for a truck and buy a micro minnie with the solar panel option and comfort package option and we could live off the grid including the cold weather. How cool would that be. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about that. But George won’t want that. It would be a solution. Anyway, my mind cannot get past how we are going to handle January. So I just try not to think about it. I can’t stand not being able to plan but there is not a stinking thing I can plan about this trip. Normally I would be looking forward to a trip/vacation. I’m looking forward to seeing my grandson though. But not the trip itself this time. It’s kind of sad. It’s just the way I’m wired. I like to know where I’ll be and what the plans are. Right now so far it’s the car and a dingy hotel and I’m not looking forward to that AT ALL!

But at least there is this:

God will provide. I’m hoping! I’m not even broken but I do know He can figure this out for us. I sure can’t!

Vlogging Equipment

This seems to be the wide angle lens I need for vlogging. They said this was the main one right here. That way you can see more than your face but part of the background. I guess that is what part of my problem has been. The other part is not knowing what I’m doing yet. So this little baby will be key. I am asking for that for Christmas. I think George will be getting it for me.

Then there will be a microphone need at some point. I have been able to control the sound with iMovie though for now. So we’ll see. They come with a wind muff thing on them and that is critical if you are outside. So this is a “at some point” thing. I can save up blow money for that pretty easy by just not eating out as much.

I need a RING light too for lighting in my office or wherever. I haven’t researched yet to see what kind. But I need to get that on my Wish List too. I might even go ahead and get that one. They aren’t much.

I guess I will start trying to put the next video together. I’m not as excited about it and that is not a good sign. LOL I will start to video more in the upcoming days. It will be a hodge podge of things we’ve done since Texas. Mainly eating, cleaning, and such. But we’ll see. It’s at least fun to work on.

I’m feeling down this morning a bit. I am sure it will pass. The coffee is helping! I think I’ll go back for more.

Photo by Efdal YILDIZ on

Tornado Watches, Christmas Decor, and a Time to Mourn

Well, trying to enjoy a little Saturday morning here but the weather is playing havoc all around. Hopefully the power will not go off and hopefully no trips to the basement. What was supposed to be the worst weather to our south, has us with Tornado Warnings north of us, now meaning that we are in the wild weather path. And at 66 degrees and gusts to 40 – not a good scene. All the elements coming together. So we are under a Tornado Watch now. And the reddest part of the storm headed straight for middle TN.

I’ve brought in cushions from the front porch furniture which I never do, however it’s about the windiest I’ve seen. I was worried I wasn’t signed up on any alert system as I deleted the local news teams alert apps. However, our county through Nixle sends a text, I have the weather radio going and we have the news on. So the alerts are dinging my iPhone watch, coming through on the iMac and going off on the weather radio and TV. No shortage of alerts here. lol.

This week I have focused in on the To Do’s and have been able to get a lot done at work. Still much to do but on track for success hopefully and all timely. I have finished with all the Dec Withholding payments and have moved now toward doing the Withholding returns for the quarter, some with a Year End return. Many I have to wait until the w-2’s come out to do a final report. So I will finish up the withholding returns this next week and begin working on the reconciliation report I have to do and towards the unemployment part of closing the quarter. The there are LOTS of Year End reports to be done for each. So I’m trying to get in early and have been staying to 5:30 most days – except yesterday – I went in earlier instead of staying later. I left – I think around 4:15 or 4:30 or so since I was cooking. It was a treat to leave a little bit early.

The Makings of a Spaghetti Sauce

I fixed Spaghetti last night and this time used the green pepper. It really adds a special taste to the sauce that I like. I made enough that I had 3 lunches left to take and put that in the freezer. The picture above is before I added a jar of Spaghetti Sauce – not homemade of course – but when you work FT – short cuts are allowed. There is still plenty of homemade love and attention to the rest of it. I added some Chianti wine to the sauce from the bottle we were having. And added some Cherry Balsamic Vinegar. I totally forgot to add anything sweet, but it must have already had some sweet in with the Cherry Balsamic Vinegar as we really didn’t need it. Or perhaps the green pepper added an element making the sweet not be so important. I didn’t miss it. I usually add a bit of honey to the sauce. Weird I know but the elements of sweet, heat (red pepper flakes), sour (the balsamic vinegar), and salt (already added) need to come together to add layers of flavor. I also added Italian herbs and had sautéed onion and canned tomatoes along with the pepper and eventually the meat. I love building up a sauce and/or a soup! These things are easy for me. And fun.

I didn’t get a pic of the final version as we devoured it when it was done. I also try not to use enriched flour anymore for the noodles. It has to be spinach, gluten free, or pasta made with a variety of things like veggies, beans, brown rice, quinoa and so forth. It helps with the digestion and of course nice to get something that is actually healthier for you and provides nutritional value.

This week, my orders came in to give the kitchen an uplift. I’m not sure how much of an uplift it will be. It’s not much to show for the $ spent, but I’m giving it my best shot. The cactus curtain topper came in. I ordered two so I can ruffle them up with waves instead of going straight across. It should give it a clean and cute uplift. I’ll try to do before and afters.

I am most excited about the chalkboard. I paid $29.99 for a pretty big one that is made well and easier to write on and easier removal of the chalk without so much smudge. It’s the perfect size and white washed distressed trim around the edges. George will hang it for me and we can do our meal planning there. The other chalk board we had is just too small.

I’ll do pics soon. I hope we get the chalkboard hung this weekend, but…I imagine the Christmas putting up will come first. George, to my surprise is already taking down the tree ornaments. lol. I told him I was going to blog first. I did, however, gather most of the Christmas items earlier in the week and they are ready to be packed.

So, I’m looking forward to getting some things done today. And these warnings are going off. Planes are flying low and sound like bombs going over as they descend and the sounds scatter through the atmosphere. I guess they are all in a rush to get on the ground before this line moves in.

It’s all about to go down. Hopefully will be here tomorrow to give an update. In the mean time I’m going for more coffee.

I do have sad news about our neighbor that has been in a coma, having stopped breathing during her sleep and revived. They did an MRI but there was no brain activity. I’m hearing this from other neighbors. I did speak to the son last night who was outside while taking their dogs out and let him know we were praying for them. And they are letting her go from the machines on Sunday. I told him we wanted to bring dinner to them at some point but didn’t know their schedule. He said church had a line up nights and he could go get the schedule. So I said it’s ok, we will get with you in a few days and bring dinner. (I have decided that it is ok to wait to do things for people after the event has happened because when everyone else is back to life and it’s time to go back to routine – it’s nice having those pockets of people that are stragglers to come around and be there for you.) But this has all been such a shock and so I can’t imagine how much of a shock it is to the family. This one has been hard to swallow. She is/was such a bright spot in everyone’s world. My heart hurts for what they are going through and this situation has been with me in my heart and spirit and thoughts and prayers all week.

In the verses of scripture – “there is a time to mourn” and most definitely it is for our neighbors and for us too as we think, pray for, and try to figure out how to be there for our neighbors. I’ve told them we will be happy to do anything as we are right here – can help with dogs or whatever needed. Just what can you do but try to support. Nothing can bring their Mom/Wife back and it just breaks my heart. The two teenage sons (high school and college) – and although almost grown, will be difficult and I will be praying for them continually as time goes forward.

For the good news, my niece gets her license. We miss her and do not get to see her often but I have her birthday card going out in the mail today. She turns 16 and gets her license on the 13th.

I think my Dad passed on the 12th of Jan – back in 2006. So tomorrow will be 14 years. Wow. If I’m thinking of it right. We moved here in 2008 to MJTown.

Anyway, I’m truly off now to get more coffee and wait for these storms to blow through. And dive into the Christmas “putting up”. And we’ll see what happens from there.

What are you doing this weekend? And what’s the weather like where YOU are?