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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012: Modest Goals Set And Happy Times Ahead

Wow.  It's here.  2012.  I remember when people freaked out about 1984 and Big Brother.  Now it's way past that, Big Brother is still probably out there, and I'm ready to start fresh again.   I am big on beginnings and endings.  The end of the calendar year is time for me to refocus, clean out the junk and plan to start afresh with enthusiasm and, perhaps, some misplaced optimism.  But it's there for a few days, anyway :P

I've written myself a goal sheet that takes me to June of 2012.  My goals for this year are modest since I've decided to stop putting so much pressure on myself.  That doesn't seem to work, so I'm backing off.  I'm going to run for fun, take my health and eating habits and work to improve them, and get my financial house in order.  All this, and cleaning out the junk in my house--which may be the toughest job of them all!

So here's to a new year; another year to spend with my sweetie--which means the world to me--and focusing on my houses--the one I live in, my body, and the mental house.  Keeping them clutter free, peaceful, smelling like lavender, appreciating everything I have, and working to make them all a better place.

Oh--you didn't think I'd forget about books, did you?  I'm not setting a specific goal this year.  I'm going to read like I always do, and read what I want.  I plan on reading some great stuff, and keeping track of it all.  And setting my book reviews and podcasts out into the world for more people to see and hear.

Happy New Year, everyone!  May you have a safe and happy night and a wonderful 2012.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Signing off for a few days as I get some much needed sleep (!) and relax on Christmas Day before the fun of January returns and bored people with nothing to do (even though they've just been given mucho gifts) make my January goals of relaxing and getting back into working out a lovely dream.  Hope everyone eats too much sugar, has a bit o'drink, and enjoys the lights!

get it here

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Great Stocking Stuffer For The Aspiring Writer

We've been selling these little gems in our store for months, and now we've found out they are great stocking stuffers.  I just bought some myself (for myself, naturally) and can't wait to get  the creative juices flowing.  They can be used as a game, or as a way to start yourself on quick writing drills.  All you do is toss the cubes, and whatever pictures come up, you use to create a story.  Teachers use these in class, parents use them at home, and I can't imagine a better gift for someone who either wants to start creative writing, or already does and needs a little kick in the pants to get moving.  Pair these with a journal and some pens, and you have a great gift to give.

I've decided that this is going to help me start writing again in 2012.  Who knows? All I know is that this is going to make the cold winter months a great time to stretch that imagination and start writing.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Demand A Christmas Where No One Has To Do Anything Ever

It's the week before Christmas, and I have found myself once again floundering under the weight of Christmas prep.  Considering that I don't have kids, or a hubby, and a boyfriend that lives at his own house, you'd think I would have nothing but time and not much prep to do.

You would be wrong.  When you don't have kids or a hubby, you fill your time with other things that soon become vital to your well being and make your life sometimes a scheduling crisis.  For me, that's reading waaaaay too many books, working and then thinking about working when I'm not, thinking about buying presents, saying I'm done buying presents, then buying more.  

Then there is the "what shall we have for Christmas Eve dinner this year?"  question.  Each year I generally have to work until 6:30 on Christmas Eve, which leaves me a short evening to spend with Bud.  I am usually tired and only want to relax , drink and eat something that has too many calories to count.  Usually I've had a lasagna ready, and Bud comes to my house, puts it in the oven, and has the place all cozy for Christmas when I get home.  This year I dithered over whether to have lasagna again, or maybe a beef tenderloin, or something different.  Bud and I have decided to have snackies.  Various cheeses, dips, dipping things, and booze.  And a movie.  And Christmas lights.  And maybe I can talk him into opening one present that night.

Now that that is figured out, my all consuming thought is how to get my homemade booze presents to my friends and when to make cookies (which are a requirement for Christmas.  Christmas does not exist without cookies.  Sorry Jesus.)  If I make them too soon, we will eat them all.  If I wait too long, I won't want to make them, since I will be working purely on robotic mode, and not human mode.  Must hit the perfect time--perhaps next Wednesday?

I'm not even trying to think about our family Christmas, which won't take place until January 7th.  Thankfully my niece has offered to host it at her house, so now it's just a matter of calling (nagging) everyone to tell me what food they are bringing and making sure we have plenty of carbs, meat, and desserts.  And someone must make the family cheese ball, or all hell will break loose.  We simply cannot gather together without our beloved cheese ball.  

And exercise?  Ha!  Many plans to go to the gym, and many times not going to the gym.  As more than one customer has so brilliantly told me "You sure get your exercise running around here, don't cha?"  Yes I do.  Thank you for coming in  and asking me about books that are in each corner of the store.  Thank you for the sweaty brow and the aching feet.  Working out would probably make that smile plastered on my face actually look genuine and sincere.   

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies: A Bite of Heaven

With just Bud and I it is unnecessary for me to bake dozens of cookies, even though I would love to do it!  My mom would only make homemade cookies at Christmas:  chocolate chip, sugar cookies (using a special glass to dip into the colored sugar), and decorated cookies, too.  It's hard to make enough cookies when you have 8 kids at home, dying to chow down.  

Bud would eat all the cookies I make, but be filled with self-loathing while enjoying them.  So to save him from feeling guilty for not being able to withstand the cookie temptations I could throw his way, I only make two types of cookies the week before Christmas:  chocolate chip, and chocolate crinkle cookies.  I must admit, the choc chip cookies are just the slice 'n bake variety (which Bud just loves), but the chocolate crinkle are homemade.  They are like little bites of heaven! Click for the recipe courtesy of are very easy to make.  You even get a few hours to sip some mulled wine or a hot chocolate in between mixing and baking!  Or if you're really ambitious--go work out at the gym so you can enjoy some without the guilt. 

I'll be making some of these this week, along with pumpkin bread, banana bread, and who knows what else?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What The Heck Is That?!

My niece took a picture of her dog Jack on Sunday at her house.  I was there, as were my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew.  None of us saw anything usual, but if you look behind Jack, you will see something odd that none of us can explain.  What do you think it is?  And no, nobody was wearing white that day, either.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Something Happened to the Snowflakes

One day the snowflake background was here, the next it was black.  Try as I might to fix it and return the snowflakes to my blog, they refuse to budge.  This may mean I have no snow coming my way, or it may mean that my blog doesn't like the snowflake background.

In either case, here's my new background for the season!