Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Beautiful Sunrise

  • And, this picture doesn't NEARLY portray the beauty of our sunrise this morning. The sun rose at approximately 9:34 this morning. Anyway, the sky directly above the house opposite of us that looks white/clear, was a beautiful burnished golden color. Just incredible. As you looked higher above the house the gold color turned to a golden-pink and then to an almost fuchia pink before going purple then blue. Just incredible. But it's COLD out this morning!!!! Our thermometer out back reads: (just a minute, I'll run & check) 7 or 8 deg. above zero at approximately 9:53 am. *sigh* It was freaking freezing when I let the dogs out this morning. It dropped to about zero last night, from what I could tell. Our high temp predictions for today are looking to be between 15 and 25 deg. above zero, but I highly doubt it'll go as high as 25.
  • Dad and I are going to go into town in a while to get some new shelves cut for my kitchen cabinets. I've got really tall cabinets, but each segment of cabinet is divided only in half. That means there's a LOT of wasted space as I have very few things that actually NEED that much head-room in my cabinets. Also unfortunately, we live in a modular so none of the pre-cut cabinetry will fit our cabinets. We'll have to get the shelves custom cut for depth & length. But, Dad still thinks it shouldn't be more than about $25 for the 4 cabinets we're having new shelves cut for. I guess he priced out things at Home Depot (or was it Lowes?) the other day and said that the board itself is about $23 dollars, then a couple more dollars for the cutting-work in their "lumber shop"..... And I'll get to come home & tomorrow put in my new cabinet shelves and rearrange my cabinets. And fit in all those utensils & accessories that are currently floating around my kitchen without homes.
  • Dad's going to take DD out for dinner tonight, and then she'll spend the night at his place so that DH and I can go out for dinner ourselves. Our reservations are for 8 pm at the Turtle Club. I'm thinking, escargot for appetizer, prawns (for me, prime rib for DH) for entree, and creme brulee for dessert. *grin*
  • **********
  • Tori, the most memorable piece of advice I got when I married DH came from this older woman at the church I went to. To paraphrase, she told me that the honeymoon was NOT going to last long, and that I wouldn't even always LOVE DH. In fact, there were very likely going to be times that what I feel for him comes awfully close to hate, and the trick was to get on past these points and not let those moments push you into divorce. She said that in the decades that she and her hubby had been married (and, they still ARE!), there were hours, days, MONTHS that she couldn't stand him. But they've toughed it out and are still married. And I think that's too often the problem a lot of folks our age have, they have a couple of bad months, so they decide that means they'll NEVER love each other again and go ahead & split up and get divorced. And we expect too much perfection from each other. We want it all GIVEN to us, and when it doesn't happen that easily then it must not be meant to be. In reality it takes a lot of hard work & effort. A lot of tears & struggling. And that's EVERYBODY'S marriage. You're right, I've never truly heard anybody say that their marriage is perfect and they've never fought. And the one or two women who I've seen profess that on their blogs....... I just kinda wonder when the other shoe is going to drop & their hubbies take off. Or when the wife is going to have a nervous breakdown from bottling things up for so long. Or if she's a doormat who won't stand up for herself...... Because even "good christian women" who's marriages are 30, 40, 50 years long have said that no marriage is without it's disagreements & struggles. No marriage is that perfect, because no 2 people are that perfect.
  • I've gotta say, the older woman who gave me that piece of advice wasn't wrong. There have been times (even documented on my blog here) where what I felt for DH came awfully close to hate. But, we're past that for now and on to the "love" again. *grin*
  • BarefootG: my dress cost all of $69 from the JC Penney's catalog. It's ivory, instead of pure white because I figured it wouldn't be entirely appropriate for me to wear true white with a child in tow. *wink* Besides, pure white doesn't look good on me. Ivory suits my skin-tone better. *BWG* And my shoes were $10 on sale at AAfees (the army/air-force "department" store).
  • Anyway, THANKS ALL for the anniversary wishes. I need to finish this post up, gulp down my coffee, get my butt dressed & head on over to Dad's to meet up with him & head into town.
  • Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

10 Years of Married Bliss?????

So, 10 years ago.... This was us. I was 18, he was 23. Our daughter, not pictured here, was 2 months old.

I know it's NOT been all married bliss. Far from it some days. (Including a bit of a "disagreement" last night.) But it's certainly been an...... interesting decade.

After this picture was taken, we moved in with the inlaws for a couple of months. 3 months, it was. THAT was considerably less than blissful as well.

(FWIW, DD thinks that the hubby and I look odd in this picture. And "normal" in the next pic. I just remind her that the next picture is reasonably how she's used to seeing us every day, but she'd barely known us when this picture was taken, and certainly doesn't remember us looking that young. And skinny.)

So, here we are 10 years later. Easily 40 pounds heavier (on my part, DH may be more than that). It's all that good cooking, I tell ya! Considerably more sleep-deprived and less "made up". Wouldn't you know it, I'm wearing a concert t-shirt (Montgomery-Gentry concert) and have messy hair because I'd been making dinner. DH thinks he looks like he's stoned. He's really not. At least, he wasn't at this point. He wound up taking some percoset a little later for a tooth-ache. (Yeah, I know, again! I'll be nagging him to make another dentist appointment.)

Well, there you are. 10 years. Sometimes I can't believe it's been that long. Other times it seems like it's been longer than that. In the past couple of years we've finally come to the point where our spats don't last long, and don't happen often. As bad as it sounds, it's become "comfortable". Most of the time we know what to expect from each other. I wouldn't say we know how the other thinks, necessarily, but there's some understanding of how the other would act in regards to certain things. We have our routines. We have things we've come to share as a couple.

Naw, not all married bliss, but certainly not bad, either. It is what it is. Some days are better than others. Just like the rest of the life.

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some pics to share.....

  1. (Blasted Blogger!!! It keeps running my paragraphs together. So, I'm using some bullitpoints to try to seperate my paragraphs instead, since Blogger's not cooperating & posting this the way I MEANT it to be posted. (Nicely spaced, no weirdness.)
  2. First, a picture of my most pathetic puppy-girl as she looked at me so longingly a little bit ago. Just for reiteration's sake... This is Jenny. (Puck is in on the couch, minding his own business and grateful that he's not getting kicked off the furniture by me the way DH does.)
  3. Can you tell she's absolutely starved for attention, as she pushes her way out from under the computer desk???? I mean, she doesn't want much..... JUST my undivided attention, is all. *sigh* Yes, I gave that pathetic mug some snuggles before going & taking this next pic.
  4. This one is primarily for the benefit of my mom & middle sis. These are a few (a very few) of the ornaments we had on our Christmas tree when I was a kid & teenager. My baby sis, K. decided a few years ago that she didn't like all the hand-made & varying ornaments that Mom had collected over the years, including many wooden ones from Germany. And unfortunately most of the German-made ornaments have broken. There are only 4 left. But, K. was going to toss the lot of them in favor of a bunch of cheap, plastic & ribbon gold & red balls & bows from K-mart & clear lights. Dad saved the box or ornamentsuntil I'd had a chance to look through & pick out any I may want to keep. I think Mom may have as well. Shelli, I don't think, did get to keep any, though Dad set aside any ornaments that had her name or birth-year on them. Anyway, Shelli is staying in AZ for Christmas this year, and Mom is staying in Hawaii, and I know that Shelli's tree looks awfully sad, decorated with only a strand of gold plastic beads & a couple of gold & red ball ornaments. So I told Shelli that if she wants a few of the ornaments we had as kids, I'd be willing to send them to her.
  5. Shelli, here is the pic. Let me know which ones you want, if you do indeed want any. (The only one NOT pictured here, which was on our tree & doesn't have my name or birthday on it is the craftsman toolbox ornament, which I didn't figure you or Mom would want anyway.) Mom, same goes. If there are a couple of the ornaments you'd like, let me know & I'll send them on down your way. I suspect, though, that you may have some that you salvaged before K. tossed the rest. But, there you are. Just let me know. Love ya!
  6. I've always loved those little light-up ornaments set in the box-top. The couple of house-shaped ones were absolutely fun, as a child, to peer into when all lit up. A little glimpse into another world. And the sugar-plum-fairy ballerina ornament.... *sigh* What little girl's dreams are made of, ya know..... Dad got me a couple of light-up lighthouse ornaments for Christmas in the last few years that I now love as well. Though, they do not have little vignettes inside to gaze at, the way the few above do. But, they DO light up, and they ARE lighthouses, so that kinda makes up for the lack of tiny vignette.
  7. As I mentioned to Barefoot Gardner the other day, I loved to get up a few minutes early on a christmasy morning, pad out to the family-room where we had our tree, plug in the extension cord so that the lights were lit & sometimes softly blinking (and, if blinking, Dad's train ornament would buzzz-stop-buzzz-stop-buzzz-stop-buzzz-stop for a few moments till disconnected from the light socket) and I'd lay there softly waking up while gazing at the tree lights while wrapped in an afghan & laying on the couch. If I can get away with it (read: do not have dogs frantically herding me to the back door for their early-morning potty-breaks), I still do this on occasion. BUT, we don't set up our tree the day after thanksgiving, the way we did in my parent's home. I'm hoping my hubby will bring the tree in from the shed in the next day or so. That way I can get it set up & decorated this weekend.
  8. We have a little 3 foot-tall table-top model that sits on top of our coffee table. We DID have a 5 foot floor model (the only tree I've ever been able to reach the top of!) but we decorated ourselves right out of a spot to put that the year after we first got it. I think the hubby put the box with that tree down in the crawlspace in hopes that someday we will re-decorate the house, leaving enough room for us to set that tree up again. *grin* But, our little table-top pre-lit tree is great, too. I just wish it had multi-colored lights instead of the plain, clear lights. I grew up with multi-colored flashing lights on the tree, and somehow it always seems so much more magical when the lights are yellow & green & blue & red and blinking slowly than when they're just pinpoints of clear light.
  9. Ok. Enough for now. Must get my 20 minutes of exercise done this morning before getting ready for work.
  10. Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Recap....

So, all in all things went well.

I was up at 7:45 so I could have the turkey (a 23+ pounder) in the oven by 8:30. The directions on the outside of the wrapper said that UNstuffed, my turkey should take only about 4&3/4 hours to 5 hours. I figured it'd take longer than that, and if we were lucky we'd be eatting sooner than our 3:00 pm meal-time. Wouldn't you know it, though, it appears my oven isn't heating up as well as it should and by 2:30, the turkey was still about 20 deg. cooler than it should have been. (The dark-meat areas are supposed to be brought up to between 180 and 185 deg. F. for food safety purposes, 170 in the white-meat.) At that point, it was actually about 150 deg. F. in the dark-meat section of the bird, and 140 in the breast. *sigh* So, back in it went, and Dad and I alternated checking it every 15 minutes until my meat thermometer FINALLY read 180 in the thigh of the bird at about 3:30. We finally got to eat at 4:00 pm, instead of 3:00 pm like origionally planned. BUT, all the food tasted fantastic! And there was OOOOOOOooooooh so much of it left-over. *grin* Well, not so much stuffing, and just enough potatoes to make some croquets with hopefully, but with everything else we had tons of left-overs. Dad brought a pecan pie (*DROOL*!!!!) and a pumpkin pie.

Dad showed up about 1:15, and helped out here & there as needed. My inlaws showed up at about 2 pm and the three of them & DH sat around chit-chatting, one or another coming into the kitchen every few minutes to help me with something or another.

I kinda had some frustrating moments when my Dad and my Father-in-Law started discussing the high price of oil, and how they wish "the environmentalists" would just get their noses out of Alaska's business and let us drill in ANWR and if we had more control over the price of the oil before the oil companies got to it (and this point I DO agree on) we wouldn't have oil at $3.07 a gallon, now.

(I'm sorry, but I DO see how badly the oil companies treat Alaskan soil & oil and how much profit THEY DO make off of it. Alaskan oil belongs to ALL Alaskans -it's in our state constitution- and yet we let the oil companies do what they want with it AND set the price, and STILL charge US -the owners- an arm & a leg for the oil that we're "letting" them exploit. If we took more control of our oil ownership rights, even if we DON'T ever drill in ANWR, you wouldn't see the CEO of Exxon raking in billions per quarter while we shell out at 3 dollars a gallon at the pump, and higher for our home heating oil.)

Then of course they started in on how Global Warming is a bunch of balogna & the environmentalists are full of bull, and there is NOTHING wrong with the environment and "Bring on Global Warming" for us Alaskans. *shaking head* I REALLY badly wanted to jump in, but I figured I was one against 3 or 4 (at one point my Father-in-law's best friend stopped by and was spouting off with my dad and father-in-law and hubby about it). Didn't figure that it was a good subject to get into, with 3 (or 4) close-minded old butt-heads. And of course, the point was made over & over that if the environmentalists have their way, each of them is going to have to STOP driving their over-sized, gas-guzzling, industrial-strength Dodge trucks, and keep their houses either colder or smaller, and therefore it just COULN'T be true, this global-warming thing, because then they wouldn't get to enjoy the material goodies they've worked SOOOOOO hard for the last 40-odd years for, each of them.

There was a part of me yelling "EACH of you has at least 2 grandkids who are going to have to deal with Global Warming, if it IS true, do you REALLY want to leave them THAT legacy so that you can enjoy your big trucks in the 10-odd years you've got left?????? But, again, I knew it wouldn't make any difference. *sigh* Talk about frustrating!

That was the worst of the day, though. Once they migrated away from the subject of global warming, it was actually kind of an enjoyable day.

My Sister-in-law called and apologized to DH and I and DD for her attitude & actions in the last couple of years. (You coulda knocked the hubby and I over with a feather, when we realized why she was calling, and I'm NOT joking!) Turns out her third child is due in April, at the same time her 2 sons each turn a year older. (April 14th for the younger, April 26th for the older, "late April" for the peanut.) *shaking head* I told her that she's REALLY going to have to avoid sex in July if she doesn't want to keep having kids in April. (Hell, for that matter, I hope she has a tubal when she has this one, if this pregnancy makes it to term.) So, as of right now we're going to tentatively try to have a good christmas. DH and I are still not completely trusting of her change of behavior & attitude. It's just that we've watched her go from nice to nasty & back & forth again & again, so many times. We'll take the apologies, we'll forgive, but we won't forget, and we'll be aware that things could change in a heart-beat with SIL yet again.

I was in bed & asleep by 10 pm, and DD didn't even come home from skating with her best friend till after I'd gone to bed. *wry smile* I even got to sleep till 9:15 Friday morning. Which, after not getting to bed till 1 am Thursday morning, then getting back up at 7:45..... I needed the extra sleep. LOL


Let's see..... My menu for this week looks like this:

Saturday (Tonight): Turkey soup
Sunday: Meatloaf & Mashed potatoes
Monday: Mac&Cheese & hotdogs or cheddar-wurst
Tuesday: BLT's
Wednesday: Chicken Piccata
Thursday: Dirty Rice
Friday: Kalops (recipe to follow)
Saturday: Clam Chowder

Here's the recipe for Kalops. I've only made it once, and it's a Swedish dish from what I know. But it's good. Or, it was good last time I made it.


2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp veggie oil
2 lbs stew meat
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1-1/4 c beef stock
2 Tbsp sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Heat butter & oil in skillet. When foam subsides, add meat & brown well on all sides. Transfer meat to 3-4 qt casserole dish with cover. Add onion to skillet & cook till soft & transparent. Scrape into casserole; add flour & toss ingredients. Add salt, allspice, pepper, and bay leaf. Pour stock into skillet and boil rapidly for 2 to 3 minutes, deglazing as you go. Pour into casserole. Bring casserole to a boil on top of the stove; cover tightly; then set in lower 1/3 of oven. Cook, lowering oven temperature if necessary, so that sauce in casserole barely simmers. In about 1-1/4 hours, meat should be knife-tender. Remove meat to deep, heated platter and cover lightly with foil. Skim fat from liquid in casserole. With whisk, beat in sour cream, 1 Tbsp at a time. Taste & season with salt & pepper, reheating if necessary. Pour finished sauce over meat & serve.

This is a good one to pair with buttered egg-noodles.


It got so warm here on Thursday (no global warming?) that it was the second warmest Thanksgiving in recorded history, for us. The warmest Thanksgiving having occured in 1944. This year it got up to about 45 deg. F. We had snow dripping off the eaves all day long. The back deck was covered in slush instead of snow. And the roads are now slicker than snot! NOT fun driving!!! It has, of course, cooled down a bit. Today it only hit 30 above. Not quite warm enough to thaw more snow, thank goodness. And by mid-day it had started snowing again. Really tiny, fine flakes coming down pretty steadily, but not terribly heavily.


Friday (yesterday) DD and I went over to Dad's and took Jenny (our 3 year old "white idiot" dog) with us. She gets along fabulously with Dad's dog, Shiloh. It was kinda bitter-sweet, though, because she didn't spend the whole time we were over there mauling on Shiloh and the two of them running hell-bent-for-leather around & around the house. You could see that while she's still a young dog, she's outgrown the puppy-level of energy. Instead of laying exausted, side by side on the floor, when they were done running, and continuing to try to maul each other, Jenny & Shiloh instead sprawled out & kept each other company but were very mellow. Shiloh is, of course, starting to slow down just a bit at 6 years old. He's a lazy big boy. *wry smile* He's also a rather barrel-chested dog, so I know that within the next couple of year's he's going to start being rather elderly. Dad is still talking about finding another home for Shiloh so that he (Dad) doesn't have to take Shiloh with him when he leaves state. I don't know...... I know Shiloh doesn't travel well, but I also don't think he'll do well away from Dad permanently. I hope Dad keeps him.

For lunch, Dad made these open-faced sandwiches he saw on Rachel Ray's 30-minute-meals at one point. It was garlic toast (though RR origionally used thick slices of french bread), spread with dijon mustard, topped with cooked, ground ham, then a couple of spears of asparagus, and finally swiss (gruyier cheese, in the origional recipe) and broiled for just a couple of minutes to melt the cheese & heat the ham & asparagus through. These things TASTE good, but DANG are they messy to eat!!!! The ground ham falls all over the place, the asparagus pulls right off the top, taking the cheese with it..... But yummy! *wry smile* He also had a "Creme Brulee" cheesecake that he'd picked up. Now THAT was delish!!!!!! *wink*

And, of course, we came home & had turkey sandwiches for supper. NO WAY was I cooking after Thursday's feast!


I think that's about it. Now I've gotta go get our Turkey soup finished up.

Have a Blessed Sunday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pictures, New & Old....

Just wanted to share some pictures, today. Don't really have any blogging to do, so I figured pictures were a good compromise. This one was taken today at 3:30 as the sun was getting ready to set to the south-west of us. You can just see the setting sun reflected in the clouds above the roof-lines behind our house. It was actually about 40 deg. F. above zero at that point. Got so warm that the snow was starting to melt off the roof-tops.

Next picture, here's some of the crafting I was doing pretty recently. The aprons hanging over the back of my couch were made for a Samhain exchange for a decorating group I'm on, on yahoo. I couldn't post the pic till now, even though I completed this weeks ago, because I just found out that my exchange partner actually recieved it, and I know she sometimes reads my blog here and I didn't want to give it away. Anyway, the main crafty part was the two aprons. Matching Mother-Daughter aprons for her & her daughter with purple & spirals & ghosties and beetle-juice-inspired pockets. *grin* Eventually I'm going to complete that afghan I've been working on and I'll post a picture of it here too. I just need to figure out how best to combine the 20 granny-squares that will make the body of the afghan.


Next, here are some family pictures that I thought I'd share.

This is Dh's Grandma. The one we refer to as "Great Grandma" and in this picture she's holding DD when DD was only about 3 or 4 months old. Great-Grandma is MIL's mom.

Here is my MIL (Mother-In-Law). I think this pic was taken a few years ago when she and the FIL (father-in-law) were down at Clam Gulch for some clamming. I THINK that's what she's holding in her hand.

This is a pic of my FIL (Father-in-Law), taken god-knows-when. I mean, this was taken well before I met DH. He's in their old ford pick-up.

Next, a picture of my hubby as a 12 year old. *grin* He would NOT be pleased to know that I'm posting this here, but who cares! He was just too cute! And, I just realized as I posted this photo that this picture looks to have some major stains all over it. Weird. And disappointing. So that's NOT a real blemish on his cheek. *wry smile*

Next is an old pic of DH and his sis (SIL, or Sister-in-law) before she became a b**ch. I think he was about 10, and she about 7, in this pic. Again with the, they would NOT be pleased to know I'm posting this, but that's ok. Oh, and SIL finally did tell FIL that she's prego again. She and her most-recent boyfriend gave him the news last Friday night. He didn't have a heart-attack from the news, but DH said that FIL sounded somewhat less-than-pleased at the news, and yet resigned to the fact that SIL will do whatever she damn well pleases with no consideration for how it affects those around her, as usual. On the PLUS-side, her boyfriend insisted that they get married if she's going to be bearing his child. So they are now engaged. Not QUITE a first for my SIL, but darn close. (SIL has actually been engaged LESS times in her 30 years of life than my baby sis has in her 24 years of life, though their "notches on the bedpost" are probably about equal.)

Next, a picture of myself when I was about 16 years old, I believe. I don't know WHERE this was taken. Maybe down in Valdez???? Anyway. I figured if I was showing old pics, I'd better put one of myself in here as well.

And last but not least, as promised, here is DD's most current school pic. We're somewhat less than pleased with her weird smile. Almost more of a grimace than a smile. She seems to prefer smiling like that, but...... *sigh* Whatever. Gone are the days when I could get her to smile cutely, or get really great candid photos of her.

So, that's it for now.

Have a GREAT Thanksgiving tomorrow!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Just the usual....

It's been so busy here I haven't had time to chat.

So, let's see, a run-down of my week.

Wednesday after work I came home & made a Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake for our Thanksgiving party at work on Thursday. We had fish fillets & tator-tots for supper.

Thursday was the Thanksgiving party and as usual there was an overwhealming spread of totally yummy food! Lots of stuffings & desserts, and a couple of different options for yams & green-bean-casseroles as well. *grin* Man, I really think that the folks at my library can probably out do any church-potluck you can find me. We're really a bunch of fantastic cooks!

Unfortunately Thursday night I also got hit by a tummy bug that's been going around. I had 2 coworkers out all last week and I suspect this bug is probably the reason. Anyway, it kept me up half the night.

Friday I got up, ran DD to school along with the canned & boxed food bought for the Thanksgiving food drive, and stopped in to let the librarian know that I wouldn't be volunteering. I was so tired & felt so crappy that it just wasn't going to work, me doing any work at the school that day. DD got to go see a African Dance instructor & demonstrator as a field trip. She said it was lots of fun because instead of just talking about it and demonstrating the dances, he had the kids get up on stage with him & try as well.

In the mean time, after dropping her off at school I went over to the grocery store & got my weekly shopping done. I also swung into the hardware store & bought her a mini-leatherman. It was $32 dollars for the MINI version. *sigh* DH was giving me heck for getting her a good quality tool, instead of a cheap-o version. I reminded him that he has no problem shelling out for good quality hockey gear, so why should I skimp on something that is at least as handy?!?!? (And later got a good jab in when he stated that DD needed a new goalie stick & that it shouldn't cost more than $40 or $50. I reminded him that THAT is more expensive than some CHRISTMAS GIFTS I could think of, and will wear out a heck of a lot sooner. *grin* He just stuck out his tongue & told me to "hush". *wink*)

Saturday, yesterday, we started out very early. We were up at 6:30 so that we could have DD at her hockey game on Ft. Wainwright (the army post between North Pole and Fairbanks) and properly geared up by 8:15. Rather than driving all the way around the post to the front-gate, we met my dad at his place just about a mile outside the back gate, and he took us on in his jeep. Thank goodness for military retiree parents!!!! *grin* Instead of having to stop take a half-hour at the front gate getting a single-use temp-pass for DH's truck, all we had to do was show our id's at the back-gate, with Dad. Since he was driving a vehical that already had the military sticker on it, our effort (and our time) wasn't greater.

DD's team won the game 9 to 3. Not the shut-out DD was hoping for, but certainly not a bad result for her team, either. The thing is, age-wise these two teams are very evenly matched. Evidently NOT skill-wise, though.

After retrieving our truck from Dad's we went back into town for a goalie stick for DD (the blade on the old one was cracking & peeling apart) then to Sam's club for dog-food and a couple of other things that we can't get at the grocery stores. (Bulk fish, for example!) We picked up a couple of 6-packs of CFL's while there and DH came home replaced almost all the light-bulbs (those that weren't already CFL's) in the house. (He forgot the lights in the "hall", as I just discovered this morning, but as he doesn't ever use that light I suspect he really did just space about those bulbs.) The irony is that he's still not doing it out of concern for the environment, but more because all of his friends report the money they've saved on their electric bills, having CFL's in their lights instead of regular bulbs. Well, whatever it takes!!!!! I've always known he's a guy who follows his wallet instead of his heart. *sigh*

When we finally got home, I spent the next few hours cleaning house. I finally got the top of my dresser cleaned off of all the junk I had piled up there. (Only to pile some more back, when I realized that it was stuff I still wanted or needed, but didn't have any other place for.) I got started on the pot of Split-pea soup I decided to make instead of Chicken noodle, and then set to cleaning up the kitchen & living room a bit when Dad showed up over half an hour earlier than I thought. LOL He consistently shows up early, presumably to help, but I think moreso because he's lonely at home & knows there'll be activity & noise & people at my place. *grin* Ok. And not long after Dad showed up, our next-door neighbours called to ask when dinner was. (We HAD extended the invitation the night before when they brought over a couple of plates piled with beer-batter fried halibut chunks & tator-tots left from THEIR supper.) So, I told them about 6 pm, and sure enough they showed up promptly at 6. All I had left to do was make sure the 5-cheese garlic-bread was completely heated through and serve up dinner. It was very, very yummy. Not only did I have a big ol' ham-bone (left from my ham a couple of weekends ago), but I also threw in 1-1/2 onion; a cup & a half of chopped celery; 2 hand-sized potatoes (chopped, with skin on); a half a head of cabbage that I had left from the last time I made kimchi, chopped somewhat finely; 3 cloves of garlic, chopped; salt, pepper & a small handful of red-pepper flakes; and a bag & a half of split-peas. VERY, VERY Yummy!!!! And with giving J & T a big bowl to take home, and Dad a slightly smaller bowl, that left us with just enough for DH to take for lunch on Monday, and no extra.

Sunday. Today. Let's see.... DH and DD were up at 8 this morning for Goalie Clinic at the only indoor ice rink "in" North Pole. (Dad lives a 5 minute walk from that rink, though it was a roller rink when I was growing up.) The clinic session started at 9:30 and will run till 10:45 (just a few more minutes). I slept till 9 this morning before getting up, letting the dogs out then doing my 20 minutes of exercise. (I've been very lax about exercising the last couple of weeks. I need to get back on track.)

Tonight's supper is going to be sloppy joes. I've got some burger buns we had for burgers on Thursday night that didn't get used up. I need to use them so I have more room (and less tidying to do) for Thanksgiving.


So DH told the MIL (on Wednesday, I believe it was) that she's got until tomorrow (Monday) afternoon to tell the FIL (or to get the SIL to tell the FIL) that SIL is having another baby. Supposedly the SIL was planning on springing the news on the FIL on Thanksgiving. (After the inlaws leave here they're heading to SIL's boyfriend's house for dessert.) Anyway, DH (and everybody else he's talked to) thinks the FIL will handle the news slightly better if he finds out before thanksgiving. And, seeing as FIL's got very high blood pressure and is already under a lot of strain (he & MIL aren't getting along at ALL, any more, and all she ever does is nag, nag, nag, which just shoots his BP higher & higher), we don't think it'd be a great ending to Thanksgiving, all of us racing to the ER because the FIL has a heart-attack. *sigh* Anyway, so if the MIL or SIL doesn't tell FIL about the newest pregnancy by tomorrow afternoon, DH is going to do it. Hell, the FIL's best friend knows the news, and has told DH that if DH chickens out, he's going to tell FIL himself! (FIL's best friend is DD's best friend's grandpa, and the dad of one of DH's best friends.) So, we'll see what happens.


It started snowing again Thursday night (though Thursday started out rather bitterly cold at -20 that morning) and hasn't really stopped since. Oh, it's stopped SNOWING for an hour or two, but not more than that, and the sky stays overcast & gray.

Man...... Friday night, though, DD and I got to get a close-up look of some of these big, white flakes as they settled on DH's grill. It was really rather neat because it was warm enough that we could stand outside & with the porch-light at the back door lighting things up, we could point out individual flakes & compare the shapes & the points & the sizes of individual snowflakes. Of course we couldn't actually touch, and more than a few snow-flakes melted from the heat of our breath as we were trying to look more closely at them, but it was pretty fun!!!! And though I know that supposedly all snow-flakes have only 6 major points, I swear that's not true!!!! I saw one snowflake that looked like the inside of a bicycle wheel with about a dozen equally-sized small spokes that did not end in a rim. Another one I actually counted 7 points on. A few snowflakes looked to have 8 points. All very, very pretty!!!!!


The menu this week is a simple one. At least, until Thursday it is. As I already said, we're having sloppy joes for supper tonight. Tomorrow night will either be hamburger helper or steak & baked potatoes. Tuesday night will be whichever DH doesn't make for supper tomorrow. Wednesday night we're going to have pizza. And Thursday will be Thanksgiving.

For Thanksgiving I'm making the turkey. Rubbed down with olive oil, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning. With a couple of stalks of celery & an onion stuffed inside, maybe.

Stuffing is going to be premade stuffing cubes, chopped onion, chopped celery, & a mix of chicken broth & cream-of-mushroom soup to moisten the bread cubes.

Mashed potatoes will be made with baby-reds, scrubbed with the skins still on, then mashed with half&half and real butter.

I'm making home-made yams this year. I'm going to be baking them, then mashing them with orange juice & brown sugar. Then topping with mini-marshmallows & baking.

The gravy is Heinz Homestyle turkey gravy and the cranberry sauce will be whatever brand of whole-berry sauce that I bought. (DH ONLY likes this heinz brand of gravy, and I'm not up to making cranberry sauce myself.) The rolls are also store-bought heat&eat flakey rolls.

I bought a couple of pounds of fresh asparagus that I'm just going to simmer lightly in lightly salted water & serve with butter. Nice & light & fresh & easy.

I DO have the ingredients for green-bean casserole, but I'm not convinced that we'll actually need it, with everything else I'll be making already.

I've got lots of pickled beets & beans & olives & such to make up a munchie platter, and the MIL will be bringing her crab-ball & crackers.

Dad's bringing dessert, though I'm not sure what he'll be bringing precisely. I think he may be leaning towards a pumpkin cheesecake, though. Which is perfectly fine with me!!!!! *grin*

Friday, for supper, we'll be having Turkey sandwiches. *BWG* Probably Saturday, too!!!!! *wink*


So, that's a look at the past few days, and the coming week as it's already been planned. I hope y'all have had a great weekend.

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More "christmas" shopping....

So I was talking to DH last night about the metal puzzles I have in mind for DD, and his comment was that he wouldn't bother because he doesn't think she'll like 'em anyway. That she'll probably look it over for a couple of minutes then toss it to the side & never pick it up again because she can't figure it out. I told him that it's MY hope she'll start USING that brain she's got (and a darned smart one, when she uses it!) to try to figure it out, that I'm sick & tired of giving her cheap plastic & electronic crap when it breaks & wears out & rots the brain, and I want to give her things that challenge her & will put up with whatever abuse she can heap on it. He just kinda responded with "Well, whatever, but I don't think she'll like it."

I also realized that at 10 years old, she's old enough for a swiss army knife or a mini-leatherman of her own, and that'd be a good thing to put in her stocking. Again, DH seemed to think that she wouldn't like it, and what's the point in giving her one???? Ummmmm, they're useful as hell!!!! And she's 10!!!!! Plenty old enough for her first pocket knife. I don't think I was too much older when I got my first swiss army knife. I now carry a mini-leatherman & a 2" folding-blade knife with me every day. And find uses for both of them EVERY day!

It's kinda ironic how DH is discouraging all these hands-on activities & pressies, when I know he grew up running almost wild himself. And knowing how he encourages her in sports, and certainly doesn't make her feel as if she shouldn't be rough&tumble "just because" she's a girl. And yet when I talk about getting her a knife or a leatherman, he shoots them down because they'll be uninteresting to her because she's a girl and she's not old enough to appreciate them. *sigh* I don't care. Fortunately stocking-stuffers have always been MY jurisdiction (he wouldn't bother with a stocking for her at all, and would tell her "the truth" about Santa if I'd left it up to him), so I'll put whatever I darn please in that stocking. And I AM getting her a pair of silver hoop earrings for a stocking stuffer, as well.

So, here's the list for DD now:

* Jenga (got it)
* "The Daring Girls Guide To Everything"

Stocking stuffers:
* Swiss Army Knife or MiniLeatherman
* metal puzzle
* silver earrings (coming in the next week or so)
* leather pocket-change pouch (got it)
* leather design-punch tool & key-ring kit (got it)
* Mini Kaya (American Girl) doll
* a GC for downloadable music

I think that sounds like a reasonable mix of girly & tomboy-ish for a 10 year old girl. And it's a reasonable mix of fun and useful.

(Oh, and for the record, I DO want to get the "Dangerous Boys Guide" as well, but not as a christmas pressie to DD.)


On a some what less personal note, I want to again recommend a couple of books to everybody. Specifically 3 by James Howard Kunstler. The most immediately relevant is _The Long Emergency_. If you haven't already read this book, I very strongly recommend that you get your tail to the nearest library & borrow it, and failing that, beg, borrow or buy a copy from a friend, a neighbour, or your nearest bookstore.

2 other highly relevant books by him that I strongly recommend are _The Geography of Nowhere_ and _Home from Nowhere_. They discuss the hazards of the suburban lifestyle we've gotten ourselves into in the last couple of generations (or roughly the last 60 years) and the reasonable ways we can fix our transportation & housing problems before Peak Oil makes things impossible to fix, and also impossible to live with.


I think that's it for today. Gotta get my tail in motion & do my exercising so I can get something to eat before heading to work.

Have a Blessed Day.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Baking bread & Christmas shopping.....

I have today off from work for Veteran's Day, so I'm actually being able to get some bread baking done today. It's been months since I last made bread and I've been wanting to do so for the last couple of weeks but just haven't had the time. Today, it's getting done. I'm going to go punch down the dough after the first rising here in a few minutes, and get it going for the second rising & baking. I'm just making my Onion-Dill golden egg bread, so the recipe is somewhere down in my archives.


Christmas shopping..... Hmmmmm..... DH wants to get himself & DD a Wii for Christmas and call it good. I'm just not so happy with that idea. For one thing, I'm kinda tired of them collecting these brain-rotting video games & doing nothing but sitting on their bums playing them & being anti-social. (Not that either of them is as bad as other kids & hubbies I've seen, but the point being......) I'm not terribly far along with my christmas list, but here's what I've got so far.

Mom: Know what I'm getting her, but I won't say here.

Shelli: Know what I'm getting HER, but I also won't say here. (Sorry, they both read this blog. So, no beans getting spilled.)

Big K., Little K. and B: a $45 GC to Walmart & they can buy whatever junk they want for Christmas

Dad: Probably a GC to Sportsman's Warehouse so he can pick out something he actually wants or needs.

FIL: No idea
MIL: no idea
SIL: No idea (and, should we really bother?)
Nephew 1: no idea
Nephew 2: no idea
SIL's current BF: who cares. He's not part of the family yet so we're not buying him anything.
Great Grandma (Dh's grandma): not sure yet, but we're leaning toward a GC for her hair salon.
Aunt M. (Dh's favorite Aunt): no idea

DH: a cut-steel welcome sign with a cut-out of wolves howling at the moon on the inside of this oval, underneath the "Welcome".

DD: So far, just a generic version of Jenga. Also want to get her "The Daring Book for Girls". And so far for stocking stuffers I've got a couple of small leather-working projects. I would like to get her a couple of metal brain-teaser puzzles for her stocking as well (we'll see, these look more expensive than I thought they'd be). And maybe a GC for some music downloads. Also going to get her the American Girl Kaya mini-doll. Other than stocking stuffers, I don't know that there's really anything else TO get her. Esp. if DH decides to get them a Wii. I'm not going to go shelling out a crap-load more money if he gets one of those things. But, at the same time I DO want her to have SOMETHING under the tree on Christmas morning, and SOMEthings in her stocking. But I'm still not going to go overboard if _I_ can help it. And obviously whatever _I_ get her or "Santa" puts in her stocking is hopefully going to be something worth-while. That's why I'm leaning towards metal brainteasers & puzzles.

I think that's it. So, I've got a start on our christmas shopping. Some if it I'm going to leave to DH (his parents, his sis -if he wants to get her anything at all, his nephews -so the SIL can't blame ME if she doesn't like the gift, and Grandma & Aunt M.) The items for my mom & Shelli are going to be gotten online. Getting Dad a GC will cut down on shopping time immensely. And considering K's previous distain of whatever nice things I've gotten her, and her current financial situation, I think a Walmart GC will be the best bet for the 3 of them.


Tori, just to answer your question...... I know that there are plenty of reasons for me to leave my current workplace. But at the same time, I DO love the kind of work that I do. And, I've got great insurance for my family through this workplace. If I were to leave this library and come back to the library here closer to home, I'd still be doing the type of work (and with a boss that I get along with) but I would be forfeiting insurance for my family and would only be working 10 hours a week. That's just not an option. And, I'm sure there are other places I could work that would provide insurance and be closer to home, BUT, would they be places where I'd be doing the kind of work that I love best???? So, that's kinda the quandry I'm in. And for now the decision is going to have to continue to be shelling out gas $$ and putting up with a boss that I don't like and who doesn't like me, in order to do the kind of work that I love and have insurance for my family. But, I'm also keeping my eyes open for a job closer to home.

Supposedly a couple of weeks ago there was a position open at the local HS (where DH and I went to school) for a library assistant. It was a full-time position, but it paid $16+ per hour, and is a brief walk from my house (we live less than a 14 mile, as the crow-flies, from the HS I graduated from). But, it was open internally (ie: open only to other school district employees) and hasn't yet come open externally. (So, either they found somebody from internal who qualified, or they're putzy-slow about posting the job for external applicants.) That's just one possibility. If I can hold out for a couple of years, I'm sure that a position out here at NPB Lib. will open up eventually. That's another option.


Other than that, Dad took me into town with him for lunch at a new little place called the Kosmonaut Kafe. It's a little Russian deli/store in Fairbanks. We each had a bowl of Borcht & shared a cabbage pirozshky. YUM! The bowls of borcht were HUGE (we could have easily done with half!) and it wasn't cheap. It was $27 & change for the two of us. Of course Dad also got a "Russian taco" (I forget the real name for them) to have for supper tonight, and we each got something to drink. But, oooooh was it good! That borcht is really, really warming & hearty. The pirozshky (or however they spelled it) was one big deep-fried cabbage dumpling. Kinda like if I filled my fry-bread dough with cabbage filling before frying it, really. YUMMY, YUMMY, YUMMY! I would DEFINITELY eat there again, given the chance. I hope they stay open because it's nice to have options for food around here, instead of the multitude McD's, Burger Huts, Pizza Kings, Taco-ways and Sub-bells that we've got. We do have a lot of oriental resteraunts, as well, which IS nice (don't get me wrong, I love oriental cuisines) but sometimes it's nice to have something hearty & filling that ISN'T your standard American fare.

Anyway, I must go punch down my dough & get it rising a second time so I can have fresh-baked bread with dinner tonight. *drool*

Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Countdown to Solstice....

First, to answer some questions. Em and PeppyLady, yeah, our sunrise comes later & later this time of year, and our sunsets come earlier & earlier. As we approach Yule, we get less sunlight each day, until finally around Dec. 21 the loss/gain stalls and we have about a week of consistently only 3 or 4 hours of sunlight (it's been a couple of years since I've followed it precisely, so pardon me for being a little imprecise). At that point, the sun will rise sometime around 10:30, and set around 2:15 or so.

The school kids won't get to get out & enjoy the sunshine at all if temps are too cold for recess. (The lowest acceptable outside-recess temp USED to be -20, but lately the schools haven't been letting the kids out if it's colder than -10. Makes for some long, cramped, indoor-winters. And a LOT of cabin-feverish kids. *wry smile*) And those that work in window-less buildings often don't see the sun at all unless they are smokers or purposefully take 10 minutes of lunch to go out & get some sun. When I worked at a mall a couple of years back, I'd get to work at 9 in the morning, before the sun rose, and would leave at about 2:30, as the sun was setting. That, combined with working in a position I hated, and a strained relationship with the hubby, made for a VERY hard winter for me. (That was the winter I started blogging.)

I think, right now, that the sun is setting sometime not to long after 4 pm. And this morning it was up sometime around 9 am. We lose about 6 minutes of sunlight a day. Then, right about Christmas day, we'll start gaining sunlight back, first only 3 or 4 minutes a day for the first week or so, then we'll start gaining about 6 or 7 minutes a day, after that till the Summer Solstice when our night never gets darker than twilight for a couple of weeks.


Here's my menu for the week.

Sunday: Pork tenderloin & stuffing
Monday: Tacos
Tuesday: Glorified Hashbrowns
Wednesday: Fish & chips
Thursday: home-grilled cheeseburgers
Friday: Bangers & mash (using johnsonville brats, since I can't afford good british style bangers)
Saturday: Chicken Noodle Soup (it fell through this weekend, with all we had going on).


The Simple Mexican Chicken that I posted about last week was simply ok. It wasn't great. Kinda bland. DD really liked it. DH thought it was "good". I only thought it was ok. *sigh* Whatever. Not a recipe I'm looking forward to making again, though I'm guessing DD and DH would approve.


I had a wry laugh at myself the other day. I found myself at the school on Friday really enjoying my 3 hours of work in the library. And the Librarian, when I got ready to leave, reiterated (as she does every week) how happy she is to have me come in and help, how much that helps her enjoy HER time with the 4 classes that come in, and how much she appreciates the time I spend straightening & organizing the shelves. And it occured to me, I enjoy my 3 hours a week there of UNPAID work MORE than I do my 30 hours a week of PAID work at MY workplace. Not that I don't enjoy the patrons. Or the work, at work. But, I don't enjoy my boss. I feel greatly unappreciated. And once again, I'm faced with the realization that I WOULD (and do!) do this job for free, in a place that I enjoy. If it wasn't for the loss of insurance through my job, I'd not have too much heart-ache going in to work Tuesday and telling them to "take this job & shove it" and go back to North Pole Branch at 10 hours a week in a library where I feel wanted & appreciated. It's not about working only 3 hours, or 10 hours, versus 30. It's about being allowed to do my job without politics, without a steady diet of disapproval by my boss, WITH folks that I enjoy seeing on a daily & weekly basis (the patrons at least as much as the coworkers, if not more sometimes). And it's about...... I'm not wasting fuel going to the elementary school (or, at least, I COULD walk if I wanted), or over here at NPB Lib.

Fuel prices are up another 8 cents since I filled up last Sunday. Now they're at $3.07/gal versus the 2.99 I filled up at last week. *sigh* I asked DH last night "at what point do we say 'F-it, Kati, you can't AFFORD to go to work?!?!'" and he just shrugged and sighed & agreed and said he didn't know. Mentally, emotionally, AND financially, I'm almost at that point. I'm very close to saying that I just can't afford it any more. VERY close. And I hate that. And I realize that at least financially, that's not going to change, though emotionally & mentally I greatly wish it would. And I realize that I would do myself and the environment a WORLD of good if I could park my car semi-permanently except for Dr's appointments & grocery shopping and walk to work. (Even in the middle of January, at -50 or -60, it's doable, though considerably less-than-pleasant. But, one of my current coworkers bikes or walks from her apartment to work EVERY DAY, as she electively DOES NOT have a car and lives within walking/biking distance of work. It just takes bundling up before you go.)

*sigh* The hard choices are coming, people. And I know that when I say that here, I'm preaching to the choir. But when I say it at home, or at work, I'm not listened to, and I HAVE to say it. So, preaching to the choir or not, I'm saying it here. We're coming to the point, VERY rapidly, where it's just not feasible to carry on a job that's further than walking/biking distance from home.

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Wouldja look at this Sunrise!!!!!

So this was taken from the front door this morning at about 8:20. Just for posterity sake, that is: 8:20 am, Nov. 9th, 2007, North Pole, Alaska. *grin* That's looking over the top of B&W's house. DD looked out the window and she said "Mom, wow, come look at this." This was taken a couple of minutes after that, as I had to find the darned camera first. *grin*
Mom's always posting beautiful pictures of Hawaiian Sunsets at her place, so I figured it's about time I post an Alaskan winter sunrise here. *grin* And ooooooh the colors were spectacular. This pic really doesn't do them justice. The florescent pink & absolutely divine lavender of the clouds, with that bit of golden sunrise thrown in...... *sigh* Just lovely!!!!
Anyway. That's really pretty much all I've got to share.
Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wishing we'd bought the damned doll......

So you remember me saying that we got DD a MP3 player for her birthday??? And that it was $118 dollars and came with a free month's subscription to yohell music???? Well, here I am to strongly, strongly suggest that my friends don't EVER BOTHER with buying a s@ns@ mp3 player, and CERTAINLY don't bother with yohell music unlimited. They're both rip-offs. While we had the month's subscription, DH "downloaded" more than 90 songs onto DD's mp3 player, only to discover that when the subscription ended, so did her ability to listen to the damned songs. Oh, her player still had them on there supposedly, but she couldn't listen to them because her subscrip. expired. It was starting to resemble Goblin-logic in Harry Potter. You pay for it, so you get to "own it" till you die (or, till the subscription expires), then the ownership reverts back to the seller. *shaking head* So, yesterday DH decided to shell out the $70+ for a year-long subscrip to yohell music unlimited so that we could download more music for DD on this player that we already spent $118 on. Yohell tells you on the FRONT page of their schpeal that you can "play and save music to ANY PC" through your subscrip. That you have "Unlimited Access from ANY PC without paying PER TRACK", no mention of having to actually PURCHASE the tracks once you've got the subscription. In fact, it says the exact opposite. That once you have the subscrip. you don't have to purchase the tracks individually. They're yours for the listening & downloading. That's what the front page says. That's what DH signed up for and shelled out $70+ that we can't really afford. Then, when he started trying to download songs for DD, the program kept refusing to let him unless he shelled out another $.79 PER TRACK! *shaking head* He even emailed the tech folks for yohell music unlimited and they said that oh yeah, the subscription only allows you access to see what music there is, and have the right to download for less than the $.99 per song that anybody else would have to pay. *WTF!!!* So, she's now got 30 songs on her player that HE downloaded from OUR cd's for her listening pleasure. *sigh* I guess that's what we're going to do: download from music we already own. What a freaking rip-off!!!! I'm totally wishing we'd gotten her the American Girl doll instead. At least that wouldn't be useless after 30 days unless you're willing to continue shelling out a small fortune each month.


As far as work goes. I went to talk to BIG Boss Lady on Monday. (And, I didn't have to worry about pissing off Boss Lady by going over HER head, as she wasn't the one who wrote the memo to us pages. It was FROM BIG Boss Lady, so going directly to her shouldn't cause any problems.) So, I told BBL that I couldn't in good conscious sign off on having read the memo without bringing my concerns to her first. She made a couple of valid points (1: that if I DO NOT finish my pick-up, fine, but don't rely on verbal messages, leave a note for the folks who are in the next morning) for my sake. I pointed out how hard it is to get the job done in the time allotted (and I wasn't the only one who'd brought this up, so she knows that most of us have the same problem) and that by the time we get to the END of the pick-up, that's left plenty of time for somebody to be disarranging the shelves back at the beginning, and it's impossible to keep going back over & over again to straighten up behind people, that eventually it's going to have to be "good enough". She said that this is a valid point and when the first couple of pick-ups don't end till after 9:05 or 9:10 themselves, a third or fourth pick-up that includes going back up & down each aisle would be out of the question. So, all in all a successful talk with BBL. I felt pretty good after talking to her. Esp. when she said that other than leaving notes for KO the next morning, she felt that CM and myself weren't the focus of her concern, that we were doing a reasonably sufficient job with our Monday night pick-ups.

Things were going well until a couple of hours later I'd had a woman at check-out who was very confused about how we run things and kept getting upset when I told her (repeatedly) that I couldn't renew an item for her if she didn't have it with her, that I'm not qualified to do such and my computer doesn't have that kind of capability. The library director was thankfully there and able to get her to go to circulation with him to get the situation straightened out, but as she walked away she asked me if she had any overdues. I replied that she had one "delinquent item" but that it wasn't blocking her card, and she said "oh, that's probably the one that was due Sunday." I simply reqplied with "that's a possibility, I don't know but the folks at circulation can tell you what it is." And she left with the Library Director (who's a great guy, by the way!).

So, shortly after her confusion, I got off my shift at the check-out desk and went to get my outdoor gear on and go empty the outside book-drops and BOSS Lady (my direct boss, not HER boss) came up and asked me if I'd told the confused woman that she had a book that was due back on Sunday. I responded with "No, I told her that she had 1 delinquent and that she could find out what it was at the circulation desk and SHE responded that it was probably the one due back on Sunday. I don't know WHEN it was due back, or what it was, and I didn't say anything of the sort to her!"

BL: "Well, YOU shouldn't be telling her that she's got ANY delinquents!"

Me: I've seen CM, and KO, and LG, and CF, and EC, and EVERYBODY ELSE tell folks RIGHT UP FRONT that they have delinquents on their card. I make it a rule NOT to say anything up front because I don't want to deal with arguements. But, this lady asked me a SPECIFIC question, and I wasn't going to LIE to her! I didn't do anything that is ANY different from what ANYBODY else here does, and YOU even said we are ALLOWED to make the distinction between "delinquent" and "blocked" with this new system.

BL: Well, yes, but...... Maybe it's a better idea if YOU don't say anything of the sort any more!

Me: She asked me a direct question, and I don't believe in lying when asked a direct question.

BL: Hmmmmm..... (and she walked away)

Now, as I said to BL, I didn't do ANYTHING wrong. I didn't say ANYTHING that shouldn't have said. I didn't MISLEAD or do ANYTHING different than I think CM would have. Than I've seen PW do (when she was working with us) or LG (BL's favorite kiss-ass page) or even KO (the Senior Page). So, why she's ranting at me about it, I don't know. She herself even gave us the go ahead to say that there are X-number of "delinquents" if it pops up on screen. *sigh*

So much for having a good day at work Monday. I don't know WHAT I did to piss off BL so much that she hates me and now seems to enjoy finding ways to chew me out for things that I don't deserve a chew-out for. I wonder if she somehow found my blog and has seen that I've ranted about her before. *sigh* Oh freaking well. I'm not mentioning her or anybody else by name. And this is MY blog, and if I want to rant about work here, NOT on work-time, I damn well will!

I was SOOOOOO damned happy to have yesterday off! And I've got next Monday off as well. *grin* It's veteran's day and the lib. will be closed for the day. Of course that means I'll miss Biggest Loser next Tuesday as I'll be working Tuesday night instead of Monday, but that's ok. Any day off as a holiday is ok by me.


The Dr's appointment yesterday went well. DD's ear infection did NOT reoccur. And her lungs sound clear & un-aggrivated according to the Dr. And the Dr. agreed that we can try DD off the asthma meds. BUT, if she has ANY flare-up, we're to get ahold of the Dr. and get her back on the meds. Ok. We can do that. And DD will still have her rescue inhalers here at the house and at school & daycare. And we've got some Pulmocort Respules put away for emergency if needs be. So, if she has a flare-up, DD won't be without meds to help her through until we can get her on her Singulair from the Dr. again.

So, it was a good appointment. YEAH!

Unfortunately DH is still fighting this cold. This morning he woke up sounding very rough & his voice hoarse. He was hacking & coughing so I tossed him his bottle of cloraseptic and told him to take it with him to work. I wish he'd let me make him my ACV tea and would take some of our Vit. C. drops like DD and I have been. That's how she & I are staying healthy. If he'd just get over his dislike of vinegar (at least enough to drink this stuff a couple of times a day) he'd be feeling better by now. As it is, this cold has lasted longer than any other cold I've ever seen, with him. But, it also hasn't bothered him EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yesterday he sounded fine, the day before that a little bit of a cough but not bad. Sunday, he didn't have any problem, but spent all night coughing Saturday night. This morning he sounds miserable. Tomorrow he'll probably sound fine again.


This weekend I get to go shopping at "The Holiday Marketplace". *grin* I LOVE this winter bazaar. It's the absolutely nicest there is in town, and the biggest as far as I know. (It's a craft bazaar, but it's also kind of an indoor "fair" type feel. Not with all the exhibits & rides & such, but with all the vendors that come up from Anchorage that we only see now & at the fair. So, it's a blend of hand-made goodies, and more eclectic store-bought goodies. Things like "hippy" wear that you can only get here in Fairbanks these two times of year.) They hold it at the Carlson Center every year about this time in Nov. and I generally don't have any $$ saved up, so I have to stand around with my proverbial hand out to DH for the check-book or cash. This time I've saved $45 from several of my most recent paychecks to spend without having to endure his sighs & glares. He says he's ok with me spending some $$ on myself, but he's also rather grumbly when he just doesn't see the point in what _I_ want to buy. LOL So, this $45 is for ME. We may spend more $$ on christmas gifts on others, but that'll come out of our joint account. This is MY mad-money. *giggle*

Unfortunately we also found out that DD's got a practice at the U. at 3:30, which is all the way up on the hill on the other side of town. Thankfully the Holiday Marketplace opens at 10 am, and I told DH I want to be there no later than 11 am so I've got plenty of browsing time before we have to leave for practice.

THIS is the only kind of shopping I really love doing. Of course it'd be even better going with girlfriends instead of the hubby & kiddo, but hey..... I'll take what chances I can get. I don't like clothes shopping. I DO like grocery shopping, and craft-shopping borders on love. BUT, shopping for goodies at the fair & at the Holiday Marketplace is GREAT!!!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. And the crowds don't even bother me, because invariably I see somebody that I want to catch up with anyway. *grin* OOooooooh, I'm so looking forward to spending 3 or 4 hours browsing lots & lots of goodies on Saturday.


I think that about covers it for now. I've gotta go do my 20 minutes of exercise so I can get something to eat. *grin*

Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Time for a new post, I suppose.....

Well it's been really the "same ol' same ol'" around here lately. Busy, not not really anything new going on. DD had non-stop hockey last week it seemed. Tonight she has practice at the U. at 5:30 again, but then there's no hockey again till Sunday.

Tomorrow is her appointment with her Dr. to discuss her asthma. And not a moment too soon as it seems her ear infection may be returning. She finished her antibiotics on Saturday morning, and was complaining again last night that her ear felt kinda sore. *sigh* It's not the first time it's taken multiple rounds of antibiotics to clear up an ear infection, but I was hoping that because we caught it before there was any real fluid build-up, maybe one treatment would kill off the infection. If it's infected again, we'll have to use stronger antibiotics this next round. The last time she had an ear infection that wouldn't go away, she was 5. And at that point ear-tubes were discussed as an option. Fortunately the infection finally cleared up and no ear-tubes were needed. Not sure if they'd put ear-tubes in a 10 year old. I hope it doesn't need to be discussed, though her ENT (who's also the ENT for half of her team) is fabulous. I just don't want it to be a necessity. But, tomorrow's appointment should be a very easy one. Literally the purpose is just to assess her asthma condition. She hasn't had an attack since spring, and even that wasn't a full-blown attack. None of the colds she's had in the last 9 or so months have triggered any attacks. DH and I are hoping that she may be outgrowing her asthma. At the very least we're hoping we can take her permanently off her Singulair. We've still got her Pulmocort respules if needed (to prevent, when it becomes apparent she needs the help) and her Albuterol inhalers & nebulizer to treat any attacks as they happen. But, again, she hasn't needed them in so long. Maybe, maybe she's actually outgrowing this. Oooooh, we hope so!


This week's menu looks something like this:

Sunday: Fried Cabbage & Kielbasa (I like it, DH and DD aren't quite so fond.)
Monday: BLT's (hubby's night to cook)
Tuesday: Pork Steaks & Madam Woo's Spicy Szechuan Noodles
Wednesday: Simple Mexican Chicken (new recipe, will post further down)
Thursday: (don't have anything planned, unfortunately)
Friday: Chicken Celery stir-fry (made grilled cheese & tomato soup last friday, instead of this stir-fry because DD & DH were gone that night)
Saturday: Grandma's Chicken Noodle soup (literally, DH's grandma's recipe)

Here's are a couple of recipes I made last week that we enjoyed, and the Simple Mexican Chicken that I'll try for the first time on Wednesay.

Chicken Paprika-Dijon

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
4 Tbsp paprika (I didn't use nearly this much, probably 2 Tbsp at most)
2 cans cream o' celery soup (or cream of mushroom)
1-1/2 cup water
Cooked rice as side-dish

Place chicken in skillet with olive oil & sautee till turning golden on each side and cooked through. Remove to seperate plate. In same skillet combine soup, water, mustard, paprika, and pepper; heat to boiling then reduce heat to medium. Return chicken to skillet and turn to coat. Cook 5 to 10 minutes at medium heat or till warmed through & sauce thickens. Serve over rice with plenty of the sauce.

Fake Steak (Taste of Home recipe, first time we've made it, geared toward feeding a crowd, so quantities must be reduced for a single family)

2 c milk, divided
1-3/4 c dry bread crumbs
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
5 pounds ground beef (I used a pound & a half.)
2 cans (26 oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

In a bowl, combine 1-3/4 c milk, bread crumbs, onions, salt & pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 24 oval patties, about 4 inches x 2-1/2 inches. Place in 2 greased 15"x10"x1" baking pans. Cover and refridgerate for 8 hours or overnight.

(I didn't read the recipe far enough ahead to know that this was supposed to be done in advance, so I simply made the patties & browned them in a skillet before putting them into a 13x9x2" pan & covering with the sauce & continuing to bake.)

Bake, uncovered, at 350 deg. F. for 15 minutes; drain grease & juices. Combine soup & remaining milk; pour over patties. Cover and bake 20 to 30 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160 deg. F (the patties will remain slightly pink inside). Yield: 24 servings.

(I served this with buttered egg noodles. We all 3 really enjoyed it.)

Simple Mexican Chicken

2 cups chicken, cooked & diced
1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup (or Cream of Chicken Soup, though I'll be using a can of Campbell's Creamy Chicken Verde soup)
1 can evaporated milk
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp chopped onions (I'll probably increase this to half an onion.)
1 bag corn chips
2 c grated cheese

Line dish with corn chips. Pour first 5 ingredients (I'm assuming you mix them first) over the chips. Top with grated cheese & bake at 350 deg. F. for 20 minutes.

I'm not really sure what a good side for this dish would be. Maybe it doesn't need one as it's got corn-chips in there???? Anyway. We'll see how it goes. I think it'll be pretty yummy.


On the work front, I got into work yesterday and found a note on the work-room table from my boss's boss saying that we're not doing a good enough job with our end-of-the-night pick-ups and that she's finding books still out of place on the shelves when she inspects in the morning. Can we say MICRO-MANAGMENT?!?!?! What she wrote up is that our first pick up (because, remember, we're supposed to do 3 in an hour's time) should take us only 15 minutes (never mind the 10 to 15 minutes it takes to UNLOAD our cart-full of books). Our second pick-up should take no more than a half-hour. ***WTF?*** Like hell it does. And she stressed that NOT ONLY are we supposed to be pulling out-of-place books off the shelves, we also should be straightening the shelves & "facing them out" as we go. This takes WELL OVER a half-hour! Esp. to the level of precision she wants it done. Then, AFTER that middle pick-up round, we're supposed to go back out and do a third pick up that should ALSO include going up & down each aisle to pick up any books that may have been missed in the first 2 go-rounds. *shaking head* The woman doesn't have a freaking clue, evidently!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I start my pick-up at 15 to 20 minutes BEFORE 8 pm. I don't even take an evening break, I only pause long enough to use the restroom & get a drink of water. I combine my first & second pick-ups because I know I don't move as fast as some & I find it reduces my time greatly to combine them. When that first pick-up rakes in anywhere from 70 to 120 books (and from 10 to 40 magazines), it takes a good long while to get the books all put on their respective shelves back in the work-room. My LAST pick-up often doesn't start until around 2 minutes before 9, and there's NO FREAKING WAY I'm going to spend another half-hour going up & down each shelf picking up any books that may have been mis-placed by patrons browsing until the last possible minute. I KNOW I'm on the clock till 9:15. I often don't get done until then. I recognise that. But I'm NOT going to stay until 9:30 just so I can make sure every freaking shelf has been checked & double checked for ANY book that may have slipped by my radar.

She also said that somebody has been shelving the books so that they're hanging over the shelf by an inch, instead of pushed in an inch. I'm going to mention to her that this seems to be happening primarily in the sections that LG is shifting. Let's see what the Big Boss Lady makes of that. LG is "practically perfect in every way" according to Boss Lady and BIG Boss Lady. Let's see what happens when I mention that this is happening in the same areas that LG is doing her shifting project in.

Anyway, I'm going to go talk to Big Boss Lady today and tell her that I too have problems doing the pick-up in the allotted time, and that I'm not the only one. One of my coworkers already talked to BBL about it. I figure that if we all go to BBL and tell her that we have a hard time with it, she's BOUND to realize it isn't just one or two of us. My coworker CM, who's one of the fastest AND most thorough has commented on how hard it is to accomplish. My former coworker ME said the same thing before she quit. My former co-page (she's now in the mailroom) PW used to comment on how it was nearly impossible to accomplish this extended pick-up in the time allotted. And PW, and CM, and ME were (are) all liked by Boss Lady and BBL. So again, it's NOT just me!

*sigh* Even knowing that this note wasn't aimed only at me yesterday, I was out in the stacks shelving, humming Johnny Paycheck's song "Take this job & SHOVE IT". Not that I'm going to. But I felt like it yesterday. It just grates how we're being pushed to accomplish more & more in a very set amount of time, and when we don't accomplish it, we get berrated.

And, I might mention that these same two bosses don't go around expressing their happiness with a job done properly OR exceedingly well. They only say when they're displeased. And I'm aware and understand that our job should be done properly without any Kudos. That's what our paychecks are, the kudos for doing our job. BUT, when a person goes out of their way???? Shouldn't we be hearing something from our bosses on that????? I know for a fact that the patrons appreciate when I'm helpful & pleasant & even when I gently handle a child who's misbehaving. I've been complimented by the patrons myself. (Which DOES help, knowing that SOMEBODY sees the effort it takes to smile, some days. Or to not yell at the kids, like some of my coworkers do. Or stopping for a moment to express an interest or concern in the patron's well-being.) But, the fact that my bosses never acknowledge the GOOD things we do, but focus solely on the poorly-done things. *sigh* It's very frustrating. As I said, I don't want to be patted & coddled for doing just my job. But even a smile & a "I liked the way you handled that" when I do well with something that ISN'T part of my job description...... It would go SOOOOO far to evening out the disgruntlement I'm feeling lately at work.

*sigh* Anyway. So I'm NOT quitting my job, but man...... I'm very glad that neither Boss Lady nor Big Boss Lady were in yesterday.

And I'm so glad I've got tomorrow off. It'll make for a nice short week.


I think that's it for now.

Have a Blessed Day!