Daily Support - Mon. Nov. 30th thru Sun Dec. 6 th

tikanisNovember 30, 2009

Good Monday morning! Rise and shine and make today count!

Tikanis : )

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Good Monday all,

Thanks for starting us off Tikanis. How was your dysfunctional family Thanksgiving? Do tell.

I hope everyone gets back into the "swing" of things and checks in. I am still full from Thanksgiving day!! Now I have to figure out what to do with all the leftovers.

DH and I got alot done this weekend. Almost ready for winter now! That is always a good feeling.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 8:49AM
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Good afternoon!! Where the heck is everyone?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 4:23PM
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I'm here!

This morning was CRAZY at work! Still trying to catch up from taking Thursday and Friday off.

My 2 college DDs were here for the week...I LOVED IT! I haven't been that happy in a LONG time. They are SO helpful and funny! We had a great Thanksgiving together!

Well, Baby V just got an adoption case worker assigned to him...finally. She is reading the file this week and will contact us next week to let us know how things will work. Looks like he'll be with us through another holiday season though....so LOTS and LOTS of pictures are going to be taken.

Speaking of pics...We took our yearly family picture on Thanskgiving Day...getting a whole family of girls to agree on which picture to mail with holiday cards is REAL FUN, lemmee tell ya! lol

I am going to start exercising tonight and logging on here EVERY DAY to report it---I need the accountability process. I am thoroughly disgusted with myself in the bod department.

Okay, enough of these scattered thoughts...BACK TO WORK!

Did I ever tell you how THANKFUL I am that SS Daily Support is here? :-)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 6:34PM
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Happy Monday

I already missing Dancing with the Stars. Doing some work from home this evening; my assistant is still on vacation. Nothing like a long vacation to show your manager how much you do. Hopefully, she will be back tomorrow! I just cannot keep up the pace. LOL!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, but I'm waiting to hear from Tikanas! We want pictures too. hahahaha

Hope everyone has a great week.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 7:43PM
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Good Tuesday all,

Rabbit, Rabbit!!!

I hope everyone checks in today.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 7:00AM
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Good morning!

Lots of rain here, so not sure why I'm up - ha! Still excited over last night's New Orleans Saints-New England Patriots game. Never thought it would be so one-sided, but happy the Saints are still undefeated. I like the Patriots, though.

Follow up on my cheap Levi 512 jeans - Love them! Especially the black ones. I also wouldn't pay $200 for jeans, especially now, with my weight in transition.

We had a wonderful time in Destin. Ate and shopped a lot, but got a lot of good walking in. Saw "The Blind Side" - was really so much better than I thought it would be.

Hope everyone has a great week.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 7:18AM
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Welcome back Jan. Oh yeah, the Patriots got their butts handed to them!!! Curious about your jeans - Levis used to be always for straight people, not curvy. I take it they have changed? I haven't considered Levis in 20+ years.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 8:51AM
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Good morning all!

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was wonderful! (Mine was less than so, but it was pretty much expected)

Sorry I haven't been here; I am battling Medicaid (for my heart-adopted mom), and it has become my full time job,it seems, so much to the point that my grades in one class has slipped. Sigh. I hope this will be over soon.

Well, here's the (late) list of the ornie exchange:

BJ sends to Tikanis
I send to Dee
Suzanne sends to Donna
Milkdud sends to BJ
Dee sends to Milkdud
Donna sends to Suzanne
Tikanis sends to me

How about we open the packages on 12/23? Too late, too early? Just right? :)

Gotta go--I have homework hanging over my head--yee!



    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 9:15AM
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suzanne, Levi's Perfectly Slimming 512 bootcuts are definitely for the curvier women, like me (unfortunately, I'm pear-shaped.) Has a bit of spandex in them, also the tummy control. The black jeans are especially flattering. Lee jeans has something similar, but I couldn't find them locally.

Need to fix some cereal or something. My stomach is growling.

Is tonight's Biggest Loser the finale? I missed so much last week. Couldn't believe Allen got kicked off.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 10:57AM
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Sounds like we all had a nice holiday! The____ Dysfunctional Family Reunion went off without a hitch! What a lot of fun. It was great to see so many people that I haven't seen in years! Gotta hand it to my sister who put it all together. A good time was had by all!
Sorry, no photos yet : )

BJ, how fun to have your daughters home. I can imagine the squabbling over that family pic lol! Don't be so hard on yourself!! We have ALL been there (or we never would have found HERE) and you'll be back in the swing before no time. Good idea about logging exercise.....

Suzanne, I would love to see pics of your place in the snow when it hits... Glad you are prepared for winter.

Jan, Blind Side is on my list! Glad you are giving it a good review. I hesitate to buy clothes right now, too, as I am close to my goal, but not QUITE : ) I do love a nice fitting pair of jeans.

Dee, now you know what happens when YOU go on vacation! That work has a way of just piling up, doesn't it?

Maddie, I am sorry to hear about your Medicaid woes. Don't let those grades get out of hand. I'll give you a dollar for every "A" ; )

The ornament exchange is ON!! The date is fine with me.

I. too am grateful for this group. Let's see that our octopi keep their legs and that our WW leaders are happy with us this week!

Back later to post exercise.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 11:05AM
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Rabbit! Rabbit! I don't think it can be said often enough, do you? (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!LOL)

It's great seeing so many 'familiar faces' posting here this week! It's like a homecoming. YEA!

Maddie, thanks for posting the ornie exchange list. I just love my partner! I don't believe I've ever had BJ for anything in the past, so this is special this year.

Jan, welcome home! Glad you balanced eating and walking so well that those jeans still fit.

Dee, I'm assuming that you're smiling this morning because your assistant has returned.

BJ, I could see a huge smile in your post. How great to have everyone home for the holidays.

Suzanne, it's actually very cool here for a change - 46 F. It's also wet and messy, but at least it feels like Christmas for a change.

Tikanis, glad to know that your dysfunctional Thanksgiving turned out to be so good.

I had a great trip to see my oldest Dson and his wife last week. Easy driving, too, for a change. I was able to take the tollway all the way across Dallas for the first time, and that was heavenly! DDIL's parents were there, and my youngest Dson and his family arrived later that same night. A lot of eating, sightseeing, shopping, and visiting and laughing went on all week. Traffic on the return trip was HEAVY for a Saturday. Then, I was also feeling sickly from allergies, and that didn't help at all.

Anyway, today is my Red Hat Christmas party at the community center. It's being catered for the first time ever, and it's a surprise! Tonight is my church women's yearly Christmas dinner, and it will be held at our local Chinese buffet which I've managed to avoid since moving here. Wish me luck!

Got to get ready to go, but I felt so good today and I wanted to check in with everyone. Have a great day, everyone!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 11:26AM
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Tikanis, glad to hear that your dysfunctional gathering went well. You will love "The Blind Side." I want to read the book now.

Speaking of "dysfunctional," I need a kickstart or something to get me in the holiday spirit. Our family get together is going to be on a Sunday afternoon the week before Christmas at our mom's, 3 hours away. There are 24 of us left in the family. We are not exactly the Cleaver family. There are some members I love seeing, some not so much. I'm sure they feel the same way about me. There are even some that really make me very uncomfortable for various reasons.

Plus, we have never gotten the gift swapping thing down right, for as long as I can remember, and I'm 59 years old. You would think that a family our size would be willing to draw names, but that never worked out. Since our mom is the official hostess of this event, I suggested that she send out a note for everyone to at least RSVP, and perhaps mention either no gifts or drawing names, and maybe bringing a casserole or dessert. Just keep everyone on the same page, but, noooo, she wants to buy for everyone and keeps thinking we're going to one day turn out to be like the ending to "It's a Wonderful Life."

So, I already have a knot in my stomach. I keep telling myself I can do anything for one weekend, even buy 22 gifts that don't have to cost that much. I hate that I get this way but know I'll get through it. What keeps me going is that if anything else, I'm doing it to keep our mother happy, so that is worth it, I guess.

You all seem to have such a wonderful attitude about the holidays. Do any of you have similar families and, if so, how do you cope?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 12:18PM
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(((Jan))) My family all buys for one another, so I'm no help, but I thought you might could use a hug or three about now. Buying for 22 people is really a lot though, so I hope you get great ideas here that you can pass on to your mom and that will be well accepted by her.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 3:43PM
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Jan, I know how you feel. My family (which is DH's family) is large and we used to have to buy for everyone, including all the nieces and nephews which is 23 people all together. My SIL used to find these outrageously expensive gifts for us to "chip in" on for mom and dad - I mean in the thousands for each couple. Through some miracle we finally got everyone to agree that we would draw names among the siblings with $100 gift limit! and not buy for any kids except the God children that are ours Through an even greater miracle we have a Yankee Swap which is the most fun! We also have all come to terms with the notion that we cannot buy mom and dad anything that they want or need!! We give of our time and that is what is important to us. In your case it is your mother driving this - in mine it was my SIL. Have you ever proposed a Yankee Swap to you mother? Or having a very modest dollar limit on the gifts. Lord, 22 gifts is alot and really takes the fun out of it. I can feel the knot in your stomach. (((HUGS)))

I think alot of folks have issues coping with the holidays, especially Christmas. The commercialism and endless spend, spend, spend really gets me down. It seems the true meaning of Christmas has been lost over the decades. I think you should give a gift because you want to - not because you are expected to. How to move away from that mentality with families - I don't know. It should be interesting to hear other chime on this perennial "issue". I am all for putting the Christ back into Christmas!

Tikanis, I will post some photos of last winter to wet your whistle! The last two winters here have been really something!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 4:21PM
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Got a business dinner tonight and I hope I get home at a decent hour. (Already had a business luncheon that included white rolls and chips; I'm almost napping here!)

Milkdud, is there a way to get me your addy? I don't see your e:mail here.

Leave tomorrow night and looking forward to 4 days in NC. Hope to keep in touch.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 4:44PM
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Dee, I have my email listed now, I hope!

BJ, would you please email me your snail mail address?

Ladies, I confess that I did BADLY at dinner tonight. Who knew that we had such a fantastic Chinese restaurant here in Crosby?!?! I hate that I now know it because it's only 2-1/2 miles from my house, darnit! LOL Anyway, I did fairly well, then the president of our group passed around a tin of her homemade and fantasticly delicious chocolates. I had a peanut butter one and a chocolate cherry.

TOPS weigh-in tomorrow is going to be ugly. But, I have to go. It's also our yearly 'assessment' meeting where the district head honcho attends and grades our meeting. I'd ask for good luck wishes, but it won't help any at this point!

Well, it's my bedtime. Too much good food, the last of my sinus problem, and cold rain outside. See y'all on the flipside!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 10:20PM
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Good Wednesday all,

Milkdud, I am sure your weigh in will be good! What did you have at the Chinese restaurant? Do confess it all sister, you will feel better! LOL

Has anyone been enjoying the full moon officially called the Full Cold Moon) ?? It rises early evening in the east and sets around 6:30 am in the west! It's really spectacular - a reach right out and touch it full moon. The night is illuminated so well by moonlight that I was able to watch a group of three deer walk slowly up to the barn from the far, far end of the field. Yes, I should be sleeping but I wasn't! When I go to do my barn chores I don't need to turn on outside light because it's so bright! I can see very clearly. I just love moons like this. I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.

Maddie, thanks for taking care of the ornie exchange. Donna, you and I need to exchange addresses!

Marci, I hope you are well. Please check in.

Raeanne, where are you? No ornie exchange for you this year?

Jan, how are you this morning? Feeling better I hope. Venting is good for the soul.

MIA's, I miss you.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 8:58AM
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Good morning.

milkdud, if it makes you feel any better, I haven't been eating the best these past few days. I'm sure you'll do fine today.

I'm trying to get back on track, but haven't been able to walk (same cold rain and wind here, but it should be clearing up this afternoon.) My leaves need raking, my Christmas stuff put up, and I haven't done any of it yet. Maybe today will be a good day to do it.

Suzanne, yes, I feel better today. Thanks for listening. I had the sweetest dream last night about my sister, who passed away a year ago. It's actually the first dream that seemed real and she looked so beautiful. As far as Christmas goes, I'm just going to play it by ear. I've decided that the world will not end if I don't bring everyone a present. At the least, I will go with a smile on my face and a dessert/casserole in my hands and wish everyone Happy Holidays. Or, I might go shopping and buy out the stores (cheap ones, ha!) Worrying about it is a waste of time.

suzanne, I am a moon watcher, too, and this one has been beautiful. I didn't see it last night because of all the rain, but Sunday and Monday it was beautiful. I love it when it's so bright it looks like daylight. We had one like that Halloween night and my sister and I sat out by the outdoor fireplace until 3 a.m.! (It really is magical with a few glasses of wine - ha!)

Let's have a good day.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:22AM
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Good morning!

"Plus, we have never gotten the gift swapping thing down right, for as long as I can remember, and I'm 59 years old. You would think that a family our size would be willing to draw names, but that never worked out. Since our mom is the official hostess of this event, I suggested that she send out a note for everyone to at least RSVP, and perhaps mention either no gifts or drawing names, and maybe bringing a casserole or dessert. Just keep everyone on the same page, but, noooo, she wants to buy for everyone and keeps thinking we're going to one day turn out to be like the ending to "It's a Wonderful Life." OK Jan, are you me? :) This.is.exactly.what.my.MIL.is.like. This drives me nuts (not a far drive admittedly), but per her decree, we must buy gifts for every single person. I'm surprised that she hasn't insisted on the next door neighbor's dog-groomer's first-cousin's boyfriend's uncle. I'm hard to buy for, only b/c I buy what I want (mostly) during the year, so the items that I *really* want are ridiciously expensive (i.e. I wouldn't dream of letting anyone buy them for me). This year, I have asked for money (to be put towards a personal item that I desperately need, or an Electra bike that I desperately want). (OK, she asked me first before I told her.) Well, I was told no, that she wasn't going to give me money, she wanted to see me open presents. ??? I am at my wits end b/c I don't need more stuff. Seriously. I'm not 12 and won't pout if I don't get to open presents. I truly need (not want, n.e.e.d.)the personal item (unfortunately, it is expensive), and any money would be put in a savings account for it. So, I'm kinda in the same boat with ya, Jan. No advice, just lots of (((((((hugs)))))))))



PS--even as I type, DH is pressuring me for a "list".

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:50AM
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Maddie, thanks so much for making me laugh this morning! Also, appreciate the hugs! Your circumstances do sound very familiar - ha!

I did score a minor victory this morning. I called Mom and offered to type up an email to be sent from her, asking that everyone RSVP by next week and also bring a dish or condiments, so we could finalize the menu. Also, her clubhouse does not allow alcohol on premises. My youngest sister knew that last year but still kept going to the car to sip on her beer (which looked ridiculous.) So, I included that in the memo. If my family members can't go a few hours without alcohol, we've got bigger issues than presents! Might also narrow down the attendance - which means less presents to buy. Hmmm, I might be onto something here.....

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 11:15AM
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Happy Wednesday!

Maddie, thanks for organizing.

Suzanne, I will email you - glad we will be exchanging.

12/23 sounds good to me.

I have been so involved in this construction (and enjoying every single minute of it) that I lose track of time! Suzanne, you will have to tell me how to post pictures. I have lots to download. Once the floor is completely down and the fireplace mantle stained I will post before and after pics. That should be tomorrow or Friday - will try and post over the weekend.

((Hugs)) to all. I know what it's like having to buy for everyone - no fun. It's not just cost but having to figure out what to buy. I don't like buying a gift just because I have to get something - it's important the recipient enjoy it or it be something they wouldn't buy themselves. Fortunately we knocked that off several years ago!

Dee, enjoy your time at the vacation home.

Cold and rainy tonight - saying possible snow on Saturday.

Take care and I will definitely pop in more!!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 5:39PM
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Donna, can't wait to see your pictures of your new construction!

I wanted to let you know your post encouraged me to send a note out to all of the family (except our Mom) and suggested that we not exchange gifts this year. Used the reasoning that it's been a pretty crummy year for most of America, some of us have to travel, some have to pay for hotel reservations, etc. I just said for everyone to bring a smile on their face and a dish for the menu! (I did say this rule did not apply to Mom, who remembers everyone on just about every occasion.)

See how much y'all help me! Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 6:56PM
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Good Thursday all,

Hope everyone is well today.

Jan, good for you on being proactive! I think it may be a relief to many family members. I hope you get a positive response. Let us know. You could always offer a dollar amount or better yet a Yankee Swap. Do you southerners even know what that is? LOL

Jan, RE: Levis 512 - how much do those jeans stretch and bag out in the course of the day?? I purchased two sizes. My correct size fits beautifully - really comfy. I bought a size smaller. I just hate it when you start out with a gorgeous fitting pair of jeans and then they bag out in the most unflattering places before too long!

Donna, can't wait to see photo either. Here are the simple steps for uploading photos here. It's easy.

1. Go to Photobucket.com (I am sure there are other sites that let you do this but I use this one) Create a FREE account. Then upload your photos in an album.

2. Once you have done this you can view each photo. Point your cursor under the photo and a little screen will come up. Check of the photo in the little box in the left hand side. Under that you will see HMTL CODE highlight that code and copy (it may automatically copy for you - it will say copied).

3. Come over to the thread you want to copy it into. I usually open up this forum and am ready to go.

4. Paste the code into the Message box - just like you were posting.

5. To check to see if your code was properly pasted hit preview. Your photo should come up.

6. You can type text before or after the code but don't type over the code.

7. Voila! You should have a posted photo.

Don't forget to send me your address.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 8:47AM
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Hi "y'all" : )

I DO NOT know what a Yankee Swap is! Please inform!

Jan, Maddie, I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to try and please EVERYONE re this gift giving business! After thinking about it , I believe that I would do one of two things:

1) mile sweetly at Mom and say "that just doesn't work for us this year" and do what you want or....

2) assemble a photo collage of past family gatherings in a nice frame and....

3) give one to each family with a card stating that your intention from this Christmas forward is to do a name draw for the gift exchange or to donate a lump some to a charity in the name of the whole extended family. Which would they prefer?

This gives 'em a whole year to mull this over. You can send out cute reminder cards around October of next year and arrange the name draw yourself, thus putting you back in the driver's seat ; )

Moms and MILs surely know by now that life does not always go their way and will get over it.

Maddie, if DH is insistent, let him handle the whole thing. You have enough on your plate with school and finals coming up! (thank you for taking time out to arrange our exchange, by the way)

Just my 2 cents. I just don't let anyone pressure me (or guilt me) into an uncomfortable situation any more.

Suzanne, I love full moons! I sat on the porch and went all dreamy the other night just staring at the moon. No, I didn't howl...

Donna, what are you building? Post those photos! lol!

Milkdud, I LOVE Chinese food too. Hard to keep away from. How are Olivia's limbs today?

I managed to lose a 1/2 lb last week. I was very surprised as I hoped to just break even. I am falling down in the exercise dept. though. I need to set a regular time for it.

Off to see patients!


    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 11:10AM
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Good morning!

Would you believe we might be getting some sleet and snow this weekend? Isn't that wild? Last month we had late tropical system move through, and this month sleet/snow. Strange.

Suzanne, that was smart of you to buy 2 sizes of jeans. It does seem like the black jeans fit better/keep their shape than the denim blue jeans do. But I haven't worn them much, so time will tell. My neighbor was with me when we bought ours and noticed the same thing.

Don't laugh, but I'm not sure I know what a Yankee Swap is. Is that the same as Dirty Santa?

This morning on our walk we almost got run over by a neighbor who was going too fast and also text-messaging. It really scared us. He later called from work and profusely apologized, which was nice of him, but whew, wouldn't have done much good if he had hit us! We had no where to get out of his way!

Better get moving. Have a wonderful day.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 11:11AM
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Apparently the Yankee Swap is something like Dirty Santa but I like the Yankee Swap name better!! LOL

Another variation on the gift exchange is a fun game called Yankee Swap. Suitable for small to large groups, the game, also going by Yankee Doodle or Dirty Santa, adds an element of excitement and humor to traditional gift giving.

In Yankee Swap each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift and places it in a designated area. Guests are given numbers as they arrive, or their names are randomly drawn, and they select and unwrap gifts from the pile in that order  with a twist.

The person who receives the number 1 will pick a gift (that is not their own) from the pile and open it for all to see (or models it, reads it, or demos it). During the selection of a wrapped gift, the participant may visually inspect the gifts, pick them up and/or gently shake them.

The person who receives number 2 then chooses a gift and opens it, and then must decide whether to keep it or swap it for the first playerÂs gift. Each person in order then gets to select a present, open it and decide whether to keep it or swap it for any other gift someone has already opened.

Opening of gifts and swapping takes place until all the presents have been chosen. Finally, the person who picked first gets to choose from all the gifts or keep what he/she has already received. In the end, the gift you are holding is the gift you take home.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 11:34AM
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Maddie - I thought I responded to your first shout out about the exchange. If someone else ends up joining in I will pair up with them. Thanks for keeping this tradition alive.

Lots of great posts here this week.

Jan - Thanks for the update on the jeans.

BJ - I will say a prayer that things get settled soon for Baby V.

I have an art show this weekend, 2 Holiday parties, and dinner with friends and I am way behind on my preps for the art show YIKES. I will try to read these posts more thoroughly tomorrow. See you then!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 3:19PM
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Maddie & Raeanne - I will add my name to the ornamnet exchange if that will help.

Let me know.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 7:46PM
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Hey! I just had to check in and see how everyone is today.

My 3 friends and I shopped for the Angel Tree kids today and spent 8 hours altogether and about $1500 buying clothing and toys for 40 kids. I am totally shopped out as of now! We still have to wrap everything, then arrange to deliver them Christmas week. It seems like just last month that we last did this, but it was a year ago. Such a rewarding, but exhausting, day!

YEA! Marci and Raeanne are joining us in the ornie exchange! Great news!

We're supposed to get snow down here in SE Texas tomorrow afternoon. We'll see! If not, we're going to a Sunday School Christmas party around the corner. I'm making fairly healthy broccoli bites like my DDIL fixed last week for us. I'll post the recipe one of these days soon. It's really a good little finger food type veggie.

Olivia still has all her limbs, but only because I was disqualified from the contest because I had an unexcused absence from missing last week's meeting. I actually gained weight, but I chose to spare her limbs since I can't be in the race any longer. She's just so darned cute that I couldn't do that to her! LOL

"See" y'all tomorrow!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 10:32PM
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Good Friday All!!


It is a beautiful and sunny day here. I am still marveling at the moon we have. I cannot remember so vivid a moon nor can I remember having moonlight for over twelve hours. it must have happened but was no doubt cloudy! I am really enjoying it's glory!

Jan, I have my 512's on today and I will let you know how they bag or don't bag. I am hoping for the latter. LOL

I got one Christmas project done. I have this cute little recipe called Chocolate Mug cakes which you make in a mug and coo microwave. It's fun and the cake is good. I made one each for my nieces and nephews, 12 in all. I got some 14 oz Martha Stewart mugs at a discount place for $1.00 each, made a mix for each mug, dressed it up with chocolate chips (an optional ingredient), wrapped them in cellophane bags and tied with a red ribbon and tag with the recipe on it. They are so cute. I should take picture for you to see.

I am so excited about the weekend. With the short days I don't get to see much of my animals in the daylight. My hens will be able to roam the chicken park all day long! I will get the chisel out and get the mud off my mares...it's unreal how they love to pick the softest dirt to roll around in.

QOD: What are your weekend plans? Are you getting in good shape (shopping) for Christmas? I know Milkdud is miles ahead of me.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 9:08AM
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Good morning.

Can't believe it's Friday already! Just got in from walking and my hands are almost too cold to type! I love walking this time of year - everyone's homes are decorated, the camellias are blooming non-stop, and it's cool so we walk faster.

Milkdud, can you believe we're supposed to get snow? I spent yesterday in the yard, raking (I know there are blowers, but raking is therapeutic for me, blisters and all!) Also cut back my mexican heather, lantana, and pentas. I was pooped beyond belief by the time I came in and cleaned up.

We have been invited to our new young neighbors' SEC football championship party. It starts at 2 p.m. They're really cute, and so excited about being in their new house.

Now that my shopping list is not so overwhelming, I'm looking forward to getting out and shopping next week.

Suzanne, I hope your 512's are bagless today! Talk about workouts - it sounds like getting the mud of your mares with a chisel is definitely work - wow! Your chocolate mug cakes idea is a great one, and sounds delicious!

Have a fun day and get ready for the snow!


    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Jan, I won't really use a chisel!! LOL I cannot believe you have Camelia's in bloom. I always thought of them as such a delicate and romantic flower. What is Mexican Heather and Pentas? Keep your fingers cross for a bagless day! LOL

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 9:52AM
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suzanne (you could have fooled me about the chisel - I know nothing about horses - ha - can you tell??)

There are several types of camelias - some bloom now, some bloom later. There's one that blooms now, during the holidays, that is deep pink with the yellow middle - it's even got a holiday name, maybe "Noel?" I don't know and don't have one, but every time I see one, I want it.

I have the miniature sasanqua camelias that are blooming now, hot pink, and then two others that have buds but no blooms. The other type is called Japonica.

Mexican heather is a small tropical (no wonder you are not familiar with them) - evergreen shrub that blooms tiny purplish-pink flowers on them. Pretty maintenance free. Mine got entirely too big this year and took over a good part of my front bed, so I really cut them back.

Penta is another small pinkish flower that grows all summer and is maintenance free, gets nice and full.

My house is a wreck, but I've got the mantle decorated, front door wreath hung, and the ornament boxes in, waiting on the tree.

How are your jeans hanging?

Will check in later,


    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 1:17PM
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Good afternoon from cold and SNOWY SE Texas! It's been blowing flakes for the last 4 hours at least (I slept late, alright!:)).

Hubby is still at work, which I don't like as he has big bridges to drive over to get home. Everything non-emergency is closing down all around the Houston area, and of course, our social plans for this evening are off. I will still fix the broccoli bites because I want to practice getting them perfect for when we do need to take a veggie dish.

BJ, thanks for emailng me your address! How's Baby V these days?

Raeanne, good luck with your art show!

Jan, I wish we had wider streets around here so that I'd feel safe walking, but we don't. We do have camellias blooming, too. A woman brought some to our TOPS meeting, and they were as large as a dinner plate and gorgeous bright pinks.

I still have one more gift to buy, and that's for my sorority's Christmas dinner and exchange. We do the "Chinese swap" with our gifts. It's cute how everybody has different names for the same basic game. What we do is let the first person choose and open a gift, and that's it for them. (We've all drawn numbers beforehand, and that decides the order of picking.) Then the 2nd person can choose to either take the 1st person's gift or choose one of her own to open. If she takes the 1st person's gift, that 1st person gets to choose an unopened gift then. Then it moves on to person #3. A person can only pick someone else's gift 2 times. It's fun unless you open something wonderful and don't want to lose it! LOL

Suzanne, I hope you get to play all weekend with your critters! And, your gifts sound wonderful. I do have to wonder how Martha feels about her mugs going for a dollar though. LOL

I have so many projects to complete around here this weekend, so this snow is a blessing for me. I need to finish wrapping everything I've bought and get my Christmas cards done and packages ready for mailing. So much to do, and for me, lots of time which I can easily waste. :)

Wishing everyone a terrific Friday doing whatever you want that makes you smile!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 2:23PM
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Well, anybody's jeans baggin' or saggin'? My Lee ryders do a bit by the end of the day (not sure of the cut...) but have been a Godsend while dieting!

Thank you for clarifying the Yankee Swap! There ARE many names for the same fun practice!

Hi Raeanne! Miss seeing you here... Hurry up and stop being so busy : )

Milkdud, snow?? I'd like the broccoli bites recipe when you have time.

Jan, I need to do some yard work myself. Good workout, eh?

Suzanne, I love the Chocolate Mug Cake idea! How clever!

QOD: Tomorrow is my annual Gingerbread House Making Party! A bunch of us get together at my house and decorate them, make cookies and gab a lot. My cookie dough is made and I have to roll out and bake the house pieces tonight. Tomorrow I will make Quiche, pita chips, tzatziki and eech and cut up raw veggies. I have to see one patient at 7:00 am so it will be a busy day, to say the least.

Sunday, I have a potluck at church. I have been "church shopping" and this will be my 1st function here...

My sister's B-Day is Wednesday and I want to surprise her with something special at work. Any ideas ladies?

I love reading about what everybody is doing!


    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 10:10PM
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Tikanis - Do you have a company called Edible Arrangements anywhere near you? They make bouquets and arrangements from fruit and they are beautiful and delicious. We had one sent to our parents on their 60th anniversary and they loved it.
Here is a link that may help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Edible Fruit Baskets

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 7:10AM
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Good Saturday morning!!

It is cloudy and gloomy here. We are expecting our first snow today all the way from SE Texas!! Thanks Milkdud, LOL

Tikanis, I agree with Marci about the Edible Arrangements - they are awesome and such a great idea. If that doesn't appeal to you I have on more than one occasion called a restaurant that was near where DH was working (when he was a crane operator in Boston) and had them deliver right to his crane a big, beautiful shrimp cocktail! If not shrimp they could deliver a special dessert with a candle or something fun. I had to pay for the fancy glass which was minimal but it was always really fun for DH.

I am pleased to report that my Levi 512's did not sag at all. The got a wee bit loser but no sagging. They are hands down the most comfy jeans I have ever owned. Thank you Jan for the recommendation! I would NEVER gone to the Levis section based on past experience!

Today, after I take the chisel to my mares LOL, I am going to make the dough for two types of cookies. I am also going to rearrange my refrigerator freezer and take some of summer's bounty that I have frozen down to the chest freezer that is in the cellar.

Marci, I am glad to see you posting a little more. I miss your insight and thoughtful posts.

Raeanne, good luck with your art show. I miss your post ALOT

Jan, what kind of a response did your email get?

Here are my mug cake gifts. If anyone wants the recipe let me know.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 8:01AM
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Good morning!

Suzanne - I do, I do (want the recipe for the Chocolate mug cake - yours are so beautifully "packaged." So glad you are happy with your jeans. I was, too. The other brand they recommended was Lee Jeans - something like Perfectly Slimming? I've noticed that quite a few brands are pushing the slimming, just in time for the holidays.

The response to my email about no presents has been favorable, so far. Haven't heard from my brother yet, but he usually checks in with our mom on the weekends. His wife makes the best muffalettas (sandwiches with olive salad, Italian meats, etc.) So, we drafted her to make those, hope she's willing to!

We didn't get the snow. It made it all around us. My sister in Jackson, MS called and said they had huge flakes coming down and went out and took pics. I got up around 2 a.m. and peeked out but no snow. But it was so bright (must of been that pretty moon trying to peek through the clouds.)

Hope everyone has a great weekend. We will be headed to our neighbors football/Christmas party around 3. Hope I don't offend anyone by cheering for Florida - Tim Tebow appears to be such a class act and role model for other college kids and athletes.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 8:47AM
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I am just going to post this for everyone. I am not taking credit. It was in our small hometown paper by a woman who does a recipe column each week.

Chocolate Mug Cake (mug must be a minimum of 14 oz)

4 TBS Flour
4 TBS Sugar
2 TBS cocoa powder
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
3 TBS milk
3 TBS oil
2-3 drops vanilla (optional)
2 TBS choc chips or walnut (optional)

Mix dry ingredients into greased mug. Add egg, oil,milk and choc chips or walnuts if using. Mix well but don't over mix. Place in microwave 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. This is best if slightly undercooked.

Jan, I put the mix into small cellophane bags and put into cup. I put choc chips (I used swirl and hersey minis) into a piece of saran wrap and put them on top. Then I sprinkled the remaining chips (so they would not be eaten by moi) over the top of each cup. Put in a large cellophane bag and tie with a ribbon.

I made the tags with Avery business cards. The recipe is on the back side. I had a terrible time doing this but managed to get what I needed before pulling my hair out! I think it is a fun gift for anyone but especially kids. You must force yourself to try one! LOL

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 9:24AM
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Marci & Raeanne are adding their name to the list. Is it too late for me to add my name as well? We moved from Thanksgiving until Wed., Dec. 2. Aubrey has a new sister as of Thurs., Dec. 3. Her name is Morgan. I am so excited. I actually have the ornament already as I bought it last year I think before we decided to do cards instead. LOL

You cannot imagine how much we had to move. I threw away a ton of stuff & gave away another ton & still have a couple of tons left. I can't believe that we could have so much in such a small apartment.

I love reading about what is going on with everyone. I hope things will settle down for me next year but my sister says she is getting married, DD says she is getting married & she is supposed to graduate from college so it isn't looking like things will slow down anytime soon & I HAVE to go see the new baby sometime! ;-)

LMK if I can get in on the ornie exchange. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Good Sunday morning from snowy New Hampshire! Yes, it had to happen, winter...I am grateful that we had such a lovely November. Having that extra time will make winter a little shorter and more tolerable (fingers crossed). Anyway, it's lovely out right now.

Everyone is seeking the sun today because it's cold and windy.

I am shoveling today - what are you all up to?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 9:39AM
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Suzanne, I'm so glad that I popped in to see if anyone was up! What gorgeous photos to see first thing this morning!!! Thanks for posting them.

I'm finishing my breakfast, then I'll get dressed and we'll head out to Sunday school and church. Maybe we'll do lunch out afterwards - who knows? Today is the day we finally get all our Christmas things out of the attic and start decorating. Yesterday, I spent most of the day at the library, either shopping the sale or working it. Afterwards, we checked out the Christmas Open House at the community center, then had a late lunch at Peso's. I finally "broke the fast" at 8:50 this morning after a 3:30pm lunch yesterday. I was starving!

It's cool here - 45 F.- and cloudy so far. Again, I love those photos!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 10:07AM
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Good Morning!

Hi Patty!!

Jan, That's a GOOD reason to root for a team, in my opinion. We need good role models. I have never watched much football; have been a lifelong, die hard Baseball fan. I think I need to pick a team...

WoW Suzanne! Beautiful photos! And "Everyone" looks so happy : ) Thank you for posting these. What's your temp today? So, 2 burros, 2 goats, 2 horses? Is that right? and let's not forget the chickens! Wish I was there....
Thank you for posting the recipe for the Chocolate Cake Mugs. What a GREAT idea!

No shoveling for me today. My gingerbread house party was a success. I changed the menu at the last minute and all went well, with plenty of obligatory leftovers for DS.

This morning I am off to church, then over to my OLD church for an hour for the woman's class I used to regularly attend for a visit. Should be fun, though I expect to get a bit of "guilting" for no longer being a regular participant. You know, it wasn't an easy decision to leave, but I felt I'd "outgrown" the group and needed to move on.
Anyone experienced anything similar?

Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 10:15AM
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NHSuzanne - Those pictures are postcard perfect. What a beautiful sky. I may make those mugs for my college age nieces. Thanks for posting.

Raeanne and Patti - The 3 of us should just exchange among ourselves. Patti, I don't have an ornament from you, so maybe you could send to me. I'll send to Raeanne an Raeanne can send to you. How does that sound?

My job is sucking the life right out of me, but I have managed to get in the Christmas spirit this week. I am working on Holiday recipe boxes for all the cooks in my family. I found a great site called Shabby Princess with a free download for Christmas recipe cards. I spent most of yesterday (after attending a beautiful Christmas wedding) typing the recipes. Now I need to upload the recipes to Costco, print out the Recipe boxes and put them all together. I posted a link below for anyone who is interested.

My house is decorated and most of my shopping is done. I just have some on-line shopping to do for my DS and figure out what DH wants. I bought myself my Christmas present yesterday......a Kitchen Aid mixer. I was using my parent's old mixer, which was a wedding present, 61 years ago. Let's just say it was time to upgrade. LOL I also bought a new lens for my Nikon SLR. DH will be retiring next summer and who knows what the money situation will be, so I treated myself while I still could.

I will try to post more often. I have been going into work early, working thru lunch, staying late and bringing work home. Like I said, it is sucking the life out of me. I already wrote my letter of resignation and will turn it in in February. I am ready to quit today, but I know that isn't the right thing for the kids, so I will tough it out until May. Then I can decide what I want to do for the next 2 years until I can retire for good. Who knows, maybe I will find a job that I love and I won't want to retire at all! LOL


Here is a link that might be useful: Holiday Recipe Cards

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 1:12PM
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Good late afternoon, friends.

Marci, I have been in that position before, so worn out and knowing I needed to find a better way to earn a living. I remember working for a non-profit - lovely people, it was the best and worst of jobs, (very worthy cause) but finally reaching the breaking point and deciding to quit. It was after a holiday special event/fundraiser and I was in tears, so exhausted, didn't get home until after midnight. My husband said "If you are serious, maybe you should call and submit your two-weeks notice now." I can remember this clear as day, lip trembling, saying "I cant, everyone (the director and vice-director) is on vacation!" I, too, worked another year, and nothing changed - long, long hours, too many special events, and personal life was beginning to show a strain, so quit, after that same annual event!

Suzanne, I love your photos - how beautiful it must be in your neck of the woods! Did you see the moon last night?

The neighbors' party was fun yesterday, although my team (Florida) lost. Towards the end of the party, my husband commented to our young neighbor, that we had to be the oldest people there! About that time, a couple was at the front door, and as she answered it, she turned to us, with a sweet grin on her face and said "Not any more!" as an "older than us" couple arrived.

My "other" favorite team, the New Orleans Saints, barely beat the Redskins in overtime, so they are still undefeated. Tikanis, the Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, is another good role model for kids - he seems to be the "real deal."

I was watching Tom Brady being interviewed after their loss, and he looked awful (which is hard for him, because he is very handsome.)

My decorating is done, now it's time to really do a serious house cleaning.

Have a great evening....


    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 6:13PM
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(((((Marci))))) I've been in your shoes before, and I can almost promise you that when the time is really right, you'll know it. Once you submit your resignation in February, I hope and pray that your burden lightens if only in your mind. There's something about knowing that you're almost done that seems to make things easier to take.

Back to Christmas decorating!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 7:58PM
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Marci - that sounds like a great plan. I will send to Patti.

Suzanne - the first snow is always so gorgeous. Thanks for posting those photos - beautiful as always. Also thanks for posting the mugs and recipes - how cute! I may make them for a few people that I like to give a little something to.

Marci - I also was in that same position and that is actually the main reason I left my preschool position. When something makes you feel that badly, it is definitely time to move on. I love my Kitchen Aid, they last forever too.

Tikanis - I always loved hearing about your gingerbread weekend. I am glad to hear the tradition is still alive and well.

Jan - I can endorse your Lee's. I wore them 2 days in a row and they still look great. I will see how they are after I wash and dry them. I will get the Levi's 512 next.

Milkdud - Hope DH made it home safely. My girlfriend's flight to Houston was postponed yesterday. I felt so bad for her as she hates to fly to begin with.

The art show was a bust. I sold some notecards and prints, but not enough to say it was worth spending 2 days there. I honestly think it was just a sign of the times - we did everything exactly the same as the last few years but the people just weren't around. We did share a lot of laughs and good conversation.

I am exhausted. Sweet dreams all...

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 8:31PM
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Marci~I would be thrilled to send to you. That sounds like a plan to me.

NH Suzanne~Love the pics as always.

It sounds like everyone is doing good. I love the sound of the holidays around the corner & it has been cool enough here the past few days to get me in the spirit too. The neighbors put lights up for our apartment so our whole building is decorated. It feels like Christmas for the first time in years here in Florida. We feel like it when we get to TX but with us not going this year I was afraid we would be disappointed. Things are really looking up. :-)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 8:54PM
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