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?

Haircut Woes and Birthday Joys

Hey there! I realized since I did my Year in Review post, I had not posted about our dinner at Aunt Gwen’s who we lovingly call “OAG”, for Old Aunt Gwen, when George taught Katy to call her that for fun when she was tiny. It stuck. We had a nice time at Gwen’s. Her house beautifully decorated, conversation always fun, and her lasagna makes me long for the recipe. We did this on the 30th of Dec.

Our November and December has been such a whirl that I don’t know which way is up. It’s been fun, exciting, but I’m worn out. My next goal in life is to get caught up on sleep and rid myself of the dark circles and puffiness under my eyes where I’ve had so much on every to do list that it has hampered my ability to sleep. I think the brain has to have “think time”. And when you don’t get it – you wake in the night doing it. In the couple of days I’ve tried to use my drive time as think time so that my mind can just ramble through what it needs to. I’ve also ignored my to do list since the 1st b/c every moment has had something planned this week so no free time to try and knock anything out.

Why is time always a problem and why do we always try to fill our time up? Are we afraid we are going to be bored?

Mom and Dad

Mom posted a pic this week on Facebook of her and Dad back about when they were first married. I didn’t have that pic. I do now! 😉

George’s ham pot pie

I don’t think I have posted this here. Forgive me if I have. I think I only posted to Facebook but George made this with the leftover ham. It was really good.

Roger and Little Bit’s “Stare Down”

Roger and Little Bit had a “Stare Down” this week. Roger won. The stare down lasted for two or three minutes it seemed. Maybe it was just one or two but it seemed forever. George kept telling Roger to stop it but he can’t hear. I really didn’t think it was a big deal, but I guess George knew what was going to happen. One of them finally moved and the cat ran out and Roger chased him – both going at lightning speed. It was pretty funny. Especially since Roger is so timid and laid back and friendly and often scared of Little Bit in Little Bit’s turf (outside on the porch). Inside, Roger had the lead and confidence and ran him out of the room.

New Year’s Day was nice. It was just a total forget the world, forget the to do list, forget everything day. I did what I wanted – didn’t even do laundry and usually I want to do that. I played on the new iMac – still kinda setting up some things and figuring it out. I will be for a while. I also watched some YouTube shows on the iMac, having brought a comfy chair in and setting up a make shift foot stool. George laughed. I think he was laughing as I was using it as a TV. I mostly think he’s happy I’m enjoying my gift. I also took a nap and then it was dinner time. And I believe we watched Below Deck. On New Year’s Eve we watched a Julia Roberts movie (directed by Tom Hanks and also he was one of the main characters.) I’d never heard of “Larry Crowne”, which I enjoyed even though the ratings reportedly were not as good as hoped.

On the 2nd, it was hair cut day. If this were a conversation I’d say “don’t get me started”. I’ve grown my hair out for many months now to get out of the “feathered” stage and have long layers, so that I could get a different type of cut than what I usually get.

Me, on Ugly Sweater Day at Christmas time.

So I have increasingly had a problem styling the back as it grew, but I liked it long on the top. So I picked out these hair styles below to give to my hair stylist as an example, of keeping it long on the top and short in the back.

Me, after Hair Cut
Ya’ll don’t get a big pic of this – I look horrible in this pic!

However, I ended up with a feathered hair cut again like always. I was so upset. I cried when I got home. It took so long to grow the top out of the feathers I had before. I guess I will google what makes your hair grow (in foods) and eat that for two months. lol I would never want to hurt her feelings but I think the stylist knew I wasn’t happy. She left it long in front of my ears like a bob at first but since the top was so short I didn’t like that and had to get her to cut that off. I cut more of it off when I got home. And I’ve never been one that liked the style of longer hairs in the front hanging down like fangs or wings. The long part was supposed to be on top. Anyway, you can’t glue on cut hair so it is what it is.

I wasn’t sure how it was going to look but I did not like the style, so I came home and stuck my head under the bathroom faucet and poured water on it and restyled it. It looked better styled with a round brush to give it body and make it look longer. But it was ruined already. The tears just poured. I think I look horrible with the cut. It makes my nose and cheeks look big. The longer layers distract from that. I had wanted to keep it longer on top like the pictures showed and just have the back shorter at the nape of my neck. I had been so excited for weeks about this cut.

George, knowing he had a crises on his hands the day before my birthday, tried to cheer me up by giving me a birthday card to open that had come in the mail that day. The timing was impeccable.

I don’t “still got it” but at least the message made me laugh. And with descriptives using my middle initials. How sweet. I DO wish I could have that dogs head of hair and start over.

Anyway I look like an old woman that I am I guess – birthday at 57 and short butchy hair cut feathered all over. I’ve a good mind to go ask Rod Stuart how to just spike it up all over and do that til it grows out. I’m at such a loss. But, I’ve got to do something different. But what? Nothing? I guess it just has to grow and I’ll just have to get over it. I have some research to do I guess to try and find someone that thinks they can do this cut. I really didn’t think it was that difficult of a cut. I just don’t want heavily feathered hair like a bird. I want long soft layers.

OK anyway, it is what it is and it will grown and I will get over it, but I cannot control my feelings and I’m very disappointed. I think it’ll take about six months to get the layers on top back down to a reasonable size. I will probably like the cut better in a couple of weeks. Right now it is just so tight against my head that it’s hard to even get any body in it. So looking on the bright side: Getting ready in the mornings sure will be quick. lol And I don’t want to hurt the stylist’s feelings. She is a good person and I can’t account for what went wrong. I just can only account for my disappointment. It was evident by my reaction. I also have decided not to color it again due to where I had that surgery. So I’m afraid it might be seeping in. It seeps in the pores anyway and I just don’t want the chemicals in my body anymore. So I will begin to look old soon. If not already by this cut. I must go back on the shakes in a serious way to get rid of those fat cheeks!

Deer in the back yard upon arrival home

Yesterday – my Birthday was fun. The first thing I thought of when I was drinking coffee is that I would order myself some Cracker Barrel on line and pick it up 45 minutes later on the way to work. Cracker Barrel is 2 min away from my office. I got there in record time but had to wait like 30 minutes. I would have had time to get seated and eat almost. I did have some time to shop and bought a plant. They had some great deals and I needed to get out of there before I bought lots of clothes.

I did buy the plant. Of course it wasn’t on sale. But it was my birthday and I had blow money left. lol

It meant so much to me that Lauren brought over a little gift. Also had conversations with friends Tracy and Mia and others who went out of their way to say Happy Birthday. Of course there were lots of messages from family, nice little messages and texts from church buddies. We have not been in a while since I usually just worship on the go – in the car or office as church takes a 1/2 of a day, and with my psyche, I just need down time. But nice to hear from them. I really didn’t think they had missed us. lol Anyway Facebook was fun. That Story thing was new where people add a birthday message to your story. That was nice. I liked that.

After work I got my nails done and they needed it desperately. They tried to charge me too much though but it was a misunderstanding they said. No problem I let them know it was wrong, lol.

Then we went out to eat Mexican last night at Margarita House. What a crowd. It was good though. Once inside someone dropped a big huge trey of dishes in the hallway. Scared all of us to death as it was really loud. I guess everyone was turning to look at my hair cut and they had a mishap. lol. JK

Anyway, we came home and I watched some of my shows on the big TV. I just needed to zone out for a bit. Had been a long hectic day of looking up over a 100 people’s PTO’s – coding them and having to figure their PTO’s using last week’s report and subtracting out this week’s report which had the last week’s PTO used on it – so I didn’t allow PTO to go through that wasn’t used while our PTO system is “under construction” for the adjustments that take place end of year. Thank goodness next week it should be back to normal. If not I’ll be looking at three reports to get totals, lol. Also keeping a tracking list of the hundred folks that took PTO on the 30th or 31st or both so those can be tracked out of their 2020 totals. So a time consuming day and the more forms I did the more forms that were sent. I thought I’d never get through. Biggest PTO week ever since I’ve been in PR. Didn’t have time to work on tax stuff for monthly, quarterly, or year end stuff. The next few weeks I will have to come in early, stay as late as I feel comfortable doing without people being there. And probably will not have much lunch time just to get through. It will be a busy month work wise. The busiest ever I think. The last two weeks were holiday weeks and they were pretty nutty.

So here we are to the current day of Jan 4th. George and I are going to do some birthdaying at some point and I’ll let you know how that goes. We also do Christmas and birthdaying with my SIL and BIL tomorrow. So much fun ahead. But today I need to go so I can get laundry done and work on the house some. I’ve not had time to do laundry all week – well I could have done it on New Year’s Day but didn’t.

Oh, George gave me $85 in credits for Amazon to order what I wanted. And that along with the $50 Mom gave me, I have ordered some new tennis shoes (two pair), some lipstick (2 colors), and some body wash lotion for winter, and also some cute kitchen dish rags. George took the other $85 for him on Amazon. We split our money back from ordering things on Amazon. I think that is so cool. I bet Target and Walmart wished they had been more successful with their online shopping. I just got tired of them not having what I wanted and they changed to that Shipt program where you have to pay the service. So it began to not be worth it to me anymore. I just buy at the grocery now since I go to buy fresh foods anyway and pet food. I know that Amazon has their own Prime Pantry or whatever, but I’ve still been able to find what I need through Amazon almost perfectly even food at times. I’m not paying for additional services through shopping unless it’s a major thing for me. Amazon is enough. The rest I’ll just go buy in person.

Maisy girl Ready to go to Bed!

She was waiting for me to go to bed last night. And for her “meat treat” from George. She knows the routine. I get up, grab my phone, get water for bedside table, and take her out and they get a meat treat while I brush teeth and wash my face, and then she comes to the bedroom about the time I get in the bed so she can join me. We talk and play a bit and I rub her tummy and she licks my hand for more. Finally when I say “let’s go seepy” She will move over onto George’s side and we snooze.

Snoozin’ was good last night but I did have weird dreams when sleeping in this morning. Anyway better go get that laundry started. Hope I don’t get this long hair caught in anything! LOL