Monday, November 28, 2011

Didn't I say "never again" last time.....

I would say that I don't believe I've ever been so tired in my life, but I know that would be a lie. I HAVE been.....just last year as a matter of fact.

Every year I say "never again", only to repeat it every Thanksgiving and every Christmas. I've been trying desperately to "pass the torch" as they say, to my daughter. HA, She's no fool.....she's refusing to take the damn thing. I'm speaking, of course.....of the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. How we slave for hours upon hours only to have it devoured in less than 15 minutes.

And then..........there's the clean-up. Oh the dreaded cleanup. Everyone is so full, no one wants to move, but the food has to be put away, otherwise it will spoil. The dishes have to be done, otherwise the food will dry on them, making it twice as hard to clean. Thank God for dishwashers. When I was a teenager, I was the and my grandma. Now, teens disappear quickly after a meal, so mechanical dishwashers are a blessing. Nothing is more wonderful than to walk into a nice clean kitchen after a huge meal like that. Tell me what it feels like, will ya? By the time we get all the dishes cleared up, the men-folk have decided that they want some leftovers heated up......or maybe a turkey sandwich and oh about another piece of pumpkin pie. More dishes, more crumbs. It's never-ending.

Each year I cut one more thing out of the equation. Pretty soon, I'll be making turkey TV dinners in my robe and slippers. This year squash was the one to get the ax; last year it was sweet potatoes, year before that, rolls. Yes....we always had BOTH sweet potatoes and squash. Why? Well, when I foolishly accepted the torch from my mother, that was on the menu. I've been dropping items from that menu every few years....and the last few have bit the dust every year. In all one misses what I drop; there is just SO MUCH of everything else. Hate to admit it, but I have just about got it down to bare bones; if I cut much more, it will surely be the dressing for example.

My family LOVES my dressing. It's something they talk about in July and their eyes glaze over. Yes, I'm happy that I've made my contribution to history as the best lil' dressing maker around these parts, but I really do want to pass things along now. I'm tired. Really tired.

My email in box has been crammed with emails all shouting Black Friday. Never have I gotten so sick of a phrase in all my life.....except for this new one; CYBER WEEK or sometimes, CYBER MONDAY. Those emails began filling up my in box the very minute Black Friday was over. I have no idea what CYBER WEEK is....although I'm guessing it has something to do with GREAT, HUGE BARGAINS all week long if you buy online. BUY, BUY, BUY.

With the economy like it can people buy?

Ah.....but they ARE.

The stores are crammed. Black Friday found swarms of people climbing all over each other to BUY. I can understand a good deal...........but not this. And they don't stick to their word. Black Friday kept on boasting that you could get Black Friday deals on Wednesday. Same with the Cyber Monday hoopla. Get Cyber Monday deals on SATURDAY....get a head start on EVERYONE cause only a choice several million people know about this SECRET. Bah.

So I hope everyone had a happy and a safe Thanksgiving. I hope you made some really good memories and most of all I hope you all really thought about why we should be thankful. And even though I've been grumpy about being tired, I do it because it's a joy to see my family come together for this meal of thanks in a land where we have much to be thankful for.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Little of this and that.....

They have discontinued my very favorite coffee. I had very little warning, just an email about 2 weeks prior to my shipment of K-cups, stating that my subscription had been cancelled and I'd have to find another brand. Wow....not so easy. I finally went to another website and ordered some Caribou coffee. Yes! It's very good. I like it. I don't like the higher prices of coffee in general though. It's almost enough to make you stop drinking it.......almost. Give me my coffee so I'll still be a nice person. LOL

My whole family is sick with the flu. Thank goodness I hadn't been around them for about a week or more before they came down with it. The kids are better already, my daughter is doing a much slower recovery; she says it's the sickest she's been in many years. And no....she did not get a flu shot. They should all be ok by Thanksgiving. Now.....if I can just keep from getting it, everything will work out fine.

That may not be easy though. I will be giving my flu shot a real test. A lot of my co-workers are sick. And......DA-YUM......I hate it when they come to work sick; hacking and coughing all over the place, spreading germs to everyone. It's enough that we have to put up with the public coming in that way. Sometimes people just lack common sense.

Yesterday it snowed here.......hard. Huge big fluffy flakes were coming down so hard and fast it was nearly a white-out. It may have lasted 10 minutes, then cleared up and not one single flake could be found anywhere on the ground or on anything. This is just a warning of things to come, I fear. And....yes, you guessed correctly. I'm not fond of snow.

For the second year, my co-worker and I split the cost to furnish a needy family with all the groceries necessary to have a very nice Thanksgiving meal. We don't know the family's name, just that they live in our community; we are doing it through the church. We do know that there are 3 adults and 4 children; two of which are teenagers. Teens can eat a lot, so we bought a little extra. We will also be 'adopting' a family for Christmas. Right now, I'm not sure if it will be the same one or not.

Every year I send money to the Rescue Mission for Christmas. It's amazing how many people they can feed with a small donation. I've been contributing to them and Toys for Tots for over 25 years. I imagine this year they will have a lot more people to take care of. God Bless them all.

I really do hate the time change. My system is all off schedule. It may be daylight when I drive into work, but it's dark when I come home and I don't like that at all. It's hard for me to drive after dark; the on-coming headlights tend to blind me, especially if its raining (or snowing) and you have to have your wipers on. I'm grateful I don't have far to drive. I wish they would just pick a time and leave it alone!

My anti-virus program did a software change recently. They sent a pop-up so I could upgrade but I kept getting an "error" through windows. I googled it and discovered it was a windows error and not the fault of the anti-virus program. I tried to fix the problem myself using recommendations I found online but nothing I did worked. I finally broke down and called the number I was given to Microsoft.....except it really wasn't Microsoft. It was a place called Omni Tech Support.

I'm not going to bad mouth this company because, after I managed to get through their high pressure sales pitches for their software and services, they did solve my problem and, consequently, anti-virus was upgraded just fine. I did have to pay for their services and I did let them remotely fix my system. I'm still a bit nervous over all that but I watched everything they did (not that I'm any expert....but it didn't look like anything covert was being installed or activated). I guess this may be what we can expect in the repairs done remotely. I sort of like that in a way because you can get service quickly. It did take them nearly 3 hours to repair my computer, which looked to me like something in my registry was wrong. The thing I didn't like was that I didn't get any kind of receipt and I didn't get any kind of explanation of what was wrong or why it happened.

Afterward, I googled the company and found that reviews of them are mixed; people either love them or hate them. I didn't sign up for their "plan", which was horribly I can't tell you if it's a good plan or not. All I can say is that the tech did fix my problem and for a cost that probably was not any higher than what I would have paid for someone to do it at their shop.....but I had it fixed that very day, within hours......where taking it someplace.....well, you know how long you may have to wait when you do that.

That's about enough of my tidbits I would say.........are you asleep yet? LOL If I don't get back by Thanksgiving, I wish all of you happy times making good memories with those you love. Oh....and I have a recipe for a Pumpkin Dump Cake, if anyone wants it for the holiday. Just ask in the comments.

Keep Smilin'

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thoughts on Christmas

I received the following as an email, then today a Blogger friend posted it and I copied it from her to pass it along. Give this some serious thought this year and every year until we are back on our feet again. (jobs come back home). Thank you, dc of Things I know for posting it.

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high

gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods --

Merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This

year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine

concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift

giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes

there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in

a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates

from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some

health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned

detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a

book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down

the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift

receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or

driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift

certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about

a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this

isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town

Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or

motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a

local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is

struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin

their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery

and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave

your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at

your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese

lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about

fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to

burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that

China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about

US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow

their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our

communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

Please make THIS the new American Christmas tradition.