Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006

Farewell 2006! I took this photo from my deck a few minutes ago. As you can see, it's a rainy New Year's Eve here, but quite warm. The temperature is currently 55 and comfortable. The two bright streaks you see in the parking lot are caused by a vehicle which came through just as I was taking the photo. (I was using a long exposure to get as much light as I could.) Near the left of the photo you can see (between the two buildings) that some of the folks in the neighborhood still have their Christmas lights up.

I took mine down the day after Christmas (which I usually try to do). I've had a busy week, but it's been just wonderful. I've managed to get some closets straightened a bit and do some reorganizing. I've been awake early each morning (usually by 5:30), but have enjoyed the luxury of lazing in bed and watching movies and reading until the hour is decent to start making a bit of noise doing household drudgery. (My attempt at being kind to my neighbors...*G*)

Mom and I went to visit Aunt Orph (actually Daddy's aunt) for a little while Friday. She's 96 now, and it's just a joy to spend time with her. She was crocheting when we arrived. Not only does she enjoy crocheting, she's really wonderful at it. She can just look at a piece of crocheted work and know immediately how to duplicate it. It just amazes me.....I can barely crochet an afghan with a PATTERN.

Today I cooked a pot of black eyed peas (have to have some tomorrow for luck). I had some walnuts left over from holiday cooking, so I made spiced nuts with those. I'll post the recipe at the end of this post. Now the apartment smells like cinnamon and cloves. *YUM*

Tonight Mom and Dad have gone to a New Year's Eve get-together that Daddy's cousin is having. I was invited, but I've never liked to be out on New Year's Eve. There are so many people out driving with perhaps one too many celebratory drinks in their system. I just feel safer being home.

I usually feel a pang of nostalgia seeing the old year out. Oddly enough, this year I feel only a sense of anticipation for a great 2007.

Happy New Year, all!!

Recipe for Glazed Nuts:

1 egg white
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pound walnut halves (use walnuts, pecans, almonds or a mix)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg white until foamy. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and vanilla. Add nuts, and stir to coat. Spread evenly onto prepared pan.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until well toasted and golden brown. Remove from oven, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Monday, December 25, 2006

What a Great Holiday!

It's been a really great Christmas. Saturday night I talked to Kris and El (Sunday morning their time). I would have loved for them to have been able to be here for Christmas, but at least I get to talk to them. *hugging Skype*

Sunday evening Mom and Dad came to my apartment for Christmas Eve. We had some goodies (cranberry meatballs, ham ball, veggies and dip, ribbon salad, pumpkin muffins) and exchanged gifts. I had hoped to be able to have a fire in the fireplace for Christmas Eve, but it was too warm for that. I'd have hated to have a fire and run the air conditioning at the same time!

I went to Mom and Dad's for Christmas dinner. We were joined by friends and had a wonderful day. Too much food, but after all, it was CHRISTMAS! *LOL* We had roast chicken, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, potato salad, cole slaw, cranberry relish, green beans, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, and rolls. Desserts included red velvet cake and carrot cake. I'll be paying for that for days, no doubt!

When I got home, it was obvious that MeggieDog had slept all afternoon. She was very happy to have me home, though. :-)

One of the Christmas gifts I received was a kit to grow an amaryllis. I thought it would be interesting (since I have a notorious failure rate with living plants) to post a blog with the progress. You can find "The Amaryllis Project" by clicking here.

Well, I'm full of holiday food and Meg's wanting to hit the hay, so I think I'll put my jammies on and watch TV in bed for awhile. What a wonderful Christmas this has been!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Three More Days....

Just three working days until *drumroll please* CHRISTMAS BREAK! And, boy am I ready for it!

I had an awful time at work yesterday getting people to do what they should have done already without being asked. Which slowed up my getting what I needed to do finished. I'd hoped to wrap up the last of the keyed transactions yesterday, but couldn't get enough source information to finish. Dang it.

That means I won't get to finish keying until today. Drat. Drat. DRAT.

*taking a deep breath* *holding it* *releasing it slowly*

So, off to work. With a BIG thermos of coffee. *LOL*

Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday, Monday

I had an appointment with my endocrinologist Friday (Type II diabetic, y'know) and got good news/notasgood news. Good news: I'd lost another 11 pounds. Without really trying. Hopefully when I start actually TRYING it'll be more. *LOL* Notasgood news: My blood pressure was up a little. Not dangerous, but up. My guess is that the unusual stress of the last month or so is the culprit. Could also be that I had to rush terribly to get out of the office in time to make my appointment.

So, added to my ToDo List:
  1. Start paying serious attention to diet and exercise. Especially exercise.
  2. Stress management techniques I've been taught in CommonHealth classes must be put in place.
This will be a fairly stressful week at work, but it will be a short one, thank goodness. After I make it through Thursday, I'm off until January 3. YAY!

And when I return on the 3rd, the new fiscal assistant will be coming in to work. That will help, too.

Speaking of work, time to hit the shower and get ready.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Shopping

Well, I may not be ready for the holidays, but I'm finished! I stopped at Wal-Mart last night and picked up the last of the odds and ends. Oh. Except for some canned chunk ham to make a ham ball. They were sold out of that.

Did you ever wonder if anyone reads your blog, or it's the same as keeping one of those diaries I had as a little know, the one with the lock and key. (I always wondered if all the keys were alike. *noting that I was a bit paranoid as a kid*)

There are never any comments on my blog, but then again, I read a lot of blogs and never leave comments, either. Hmmmmmmmmm.

Ah well, got to get to the grindstone. More later.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Leslie Harpold's Advent Calendars

I just found links to each of Leslie Harpold's advent calendars and wanted to include them here, just in case anyone would like to reminisce a bit.

Missing Someone I Never Knew

I just read on "Not Martha" (a favorite site that I read almost daily) that Leslie Harpold has passed away. Reports say that she died alone (probably of bronchitis), and that her mother found her on Sunday.

A couple of years ago I followed a link from "Not Martha" to Leslie's Advent Calendar, which has been bookmarked on my computer ever since.

It became a holiday tradition for me. I looked forward to clicking a new link on the calendar each day; each link led to holiday games, recipes, reminisces.

I noticed that the calendar hadn't been updated since December 7, but just assumed that a busy holiday schedule may have delayed the update. When I read of her passing, I felt a sense of loss. I'm sure that across the internet, this sense of loss is felt by many.

Fare thee well, Leslie Harpold, and thank you for the lovely holiday memories you evoked for me.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fa La La La La......

I worked a half-hour past my usual quitting time last Friday, so I'm taking that half-hour this afternoon so I can get a small headstart on after-work crowds and finish up (I hope) my Christmas shopping.

I actually need to go to Wal-Mart, but will probably leave for work early tomorrow morning and do that on my way in. (Less hoopla in the parking lots early in the a.m.)

We've finished with the Madrigal season. It was a lot of fun, and I'll miss it.

At work, we finished with the interviews for the new fiscal assistant today. We had some really good applicants. I'm definitely encouraged!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Holiday Spirit Ensues

Tonight is the last concert of the season for the Madrigal Singers. Had I mentioned that I'm singing with them this season? It's a lot of fun, and I hadn't done it in several years.

We start rehearsals in August, once a week, and sing only Christmas concerts. It's a great group of ladies, and we sing a variety of types of holiday music. I'll miss it when it's over.

The Christmas shopping is nearly done. I'm usually finished by now, but it's been a different kind of season (see last post).

We're interviewing now for a new fiscal assistant; I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good one. The pool looks great, so I'm encouraged.

I've got to find my recipe for cranberry salad, since that's what Mom wants me to make for Christmas dinner. As I remember, it's not difficult to make; I just need to know what to pick up at the grocery store!

Ah, lunch break's over. More later. Stay tuned. :-)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Another New Beginning

Ah, I see it's been awhile since I posted. Well, things have been a bit strained, and I really just hadn't felt much like posting, to tell the truth. My relationship with Randy was in a rapid decline. He wasn't spending much time with me, blaming it on working extended hours helping his brother with his construction business.

The time we spent together dwindled down to a couple of hours or so each Sunday afternoon. No matter what time he told me he'd arrive, he was at least an hour (if not two hours) late. He'd come through the door, spoiling for a fight. "Yeah, I'm late. Now jump all over me." *sheesh* He called me daily, but those calls kept coming later and later in the evening. Those calls also often began with him baiting me toward an argument. "Yeah, I know I said I'd call this morning. I forgot. Big deal."

Thanksgiving morning, he was to be at my apartment by 9:30. We were going to Mom and Dad's for dinner, and I wanted to get there early to help Mom finish up. As had become his habit, he was very late, but I was determined that we were going to have a good day. (There'd been so few of those lately.) He came through the door picking a fight. I said nothing about his lateness, trying to keep the mood light and pleasant. However, he was determined to make me unhappy. It was not a pleasant morning.

After Thanksgiving, things declined even more rapidly. On the Thursday after Thanksgiving, I didn't sleep because he hadn't called until 11:00 pm and was particularly nasty to me. I finally decided that enough was enough. On Friday morning, I called and arranged to have the locks changed on my apartment. That afternoon, I took the few things he had remaining at my place to his sister's house so he could pick them up there. That evening, I disconnected his cell phone (which was in my name) and changed both of my phone numbers.

After I decided enough was enough, I found out that he'd told his siblings a month earlier that he and I had parted company, and that he was seeing someone new. Funny that everyone was notified except ME!

Am I bitter? No, not really. I'm more relieved than anything. I'm just glad it's over. I'd given a lot of myself to that relationship in the nearly four years we were together, and got very little in return. I waited all last weekend for grief to kick in, and it never did. Guess that tells me something, eh? *LOL*

So, to the New Woman in his life, I wish you luck. You're going to need it. He's a LOT of work.