Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know, I'm a day early. *G* But tomorrow I'm going to visit Mom & Dad for the holiday and might not have a chance to post. I'm off work today; we had a half-day holiday, so I took annual leave for the other half day so I didn't have to go in at all. Five glorious days off! *happy dance*

So what will I do with these five glorious days? Well, today I'm going to make cranberry salad and do some general household drudgery. I also hope to get my Christmas cards ready to go in the mail. I didn't send any last year (in protest of postage rates) and felt a bit like Scrooge afterwards, so this year I'm sending out a few. I'm not actually going to mail them until Friday, though. It just seems WRONG to mail Christmas cards before Thanksgiving!

I still have a little knitting to finish up, so I'll probably work on that this afternoon. I was able to get my grocery shopping done yesterday afternoon after work and before Madrigal practice, so I don't have to leave home today if I don't want to. And since it's currently 22 degrees outside, I probably won't want to!

I need to do some serious decluttering in my home office; I hope to get some real progress made in there this weekend. I'd better make myself a list, or I won't get anything done. I know me too well!

Madrigal rehearsal went well last night. We've worked hard, but it's been fun. We only have one more rehearsal before the concerts, so I hope we have our act together! There's one number I'm not confident about at all. I brought my music home so that I can work on it some on my own this weekend. I need to add that to my "To Do" list.

So, it's my day off, and what time did I wake up? 4:30. Sheesh. And, being a considerate apartment dweller, I don't want to make too much noise this early. Even though I have one neighbor who shall remain nameless who currently has visitors for the holiday who apparently live in a barn because they have kids who run, yell, jump off furniture, etc. The only thing that has saved them from my wrath thus far is that they do put the kids to bed at a decent hour.

Bah. Humbug.

Well, since it's too early to start noisy housework, I think I'll make myself a pot of good strong coffee and get out the Christmas cards and go ahead and get that done. Off I go to begin my day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jack Bauer's Back....Sorta


"24" returned this evening as a 2-hour "event", "24: Redemption". I was happy to see Robert Carlyle, who I adored in "The Full Monty" and "Angela's Ashes". Unfortunately, he didn't survive the episode. Dang it.

So, how was the return of "24"? I don't know. I don't feel like it's returned yet. Sure, Jack Bauer was in it....there was gunfire and violence and even a brief bout of torture. But too much time was spent in Washington with the transfer of power from Powers Booth to a new president, Allison Taylor. That's right, boys and girls, a WOMAN president. She has an extreme case of helmet hair and speaks in cliches, but may prove interesting in the long run. I hope so.

Jon Voight is apparently going to be Evil Guy this season. *yawn* Powers Booth appears to be in cahoots with him. *double yawn* The new Madame President's son is mixed up in a mess thanks to a junkie friend who got caught with some information by the Bad Guys. *triple yawn* Worst of all, Jack just doesn't seem to be his usual self....he's softer, somehow. Not the Jack of the "Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas" fame.

Hopefully, January will bring improvements. If not, I'm giving it up. After the last season was so dreadful, I swore I wouldn't waste my time on another full season if things didn't look up right away. Tonight didn't give me a lot of hope. The only really interesting character in the 2-hour episode got blown up. Dang it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oh, Goodie, A Snow Day!!

Anyone who knows me (or reads this blog, for that matter) knows how much I enjoy a snow day. As a child, I waited anxiously for that magical announcement on a snowy morning that school was closed for the day. Now, at 54, I still watch for that magical announcement to scroll across the bottom of the television screen.
Yesterday morning, I was happily surprised to see our announcement change from "snow schedule" (2-hour delay) to "CLOSED"!! *YAY!*
Now, what to do with my snow day.....I consider them a gift, not to be wasted. I spent the first part of my day doing household chores. Less to do over the weekend! I called Mom & Dad (currently in Pigeon Forge) to see what kind of weather they were having (cold, but no snow to speak of). They were enjoying a chili bake for lunch. That made me crave one as well, so I made one for my lunch, too.

The afternoon was spent knitting and watching things I'd TiVo'd this week and hadn't watched yet. As I rummaged in my "pantry" kitchen cabinet for canned chili for the chili bake, I ran across some applesauce and apple cider I'd bought some time ago with the intention of making apple butter in the CrockPot. So, I went online to find the recipe that had set off the initial purchase and assembled everything I needed. I put everything in as directed and let it cook all night. This morning I awoke to the heavenly aroma of cinnamon and cloves, all mixed in with freshly-brewed coffee (my coffeemaker has an automatic timer). It was just GLORIOUS!

The apple butter is still cooking, thickening gradually. I hope it turns out well. If it does, I'll make it from time to time just to make the apartment smell like it smells right now.

My plans for today? I want to rearrange my dining area a little. I changed things in there several months ago and have never really liked it, so I'm going to change them again. That should keep me out of mischief for awhile. Then later, I have more knitting to finish up. It's awfully cold outside today (17 degrees as I'm writing this), so there's no incentive to go out. I think I'll get my apple butter finished up, move the dining room around a bit, then throw a DuraFlame in the fireplace and pile up in the recliner with Meggie, my knitting, and the remote control. Ahhhhhhhhhh....gotta love a snowy Saturday!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


When I woke up this morning and turned on the local TV news, I saw school closing announcements crawling across the bottom of the television screen. Unfortunately, the school where I work wasn't on this list. Oh, well. There's enough snow out there to be pretty, anyway. It's awfully cold, though...25 degrees as I'm writing this. I can do without that!

And to top it all off, yesterday I learned that the Madrigals are going to have to sing a few numbers at a tree lighting ceremony this afternoon. Outside. In the bitter cold. Ho-ho-ho.

Mom and Dad are in Pigeon Forge...sure hope they have better weather there, but I kinda doubt it. I'll bet that Cades Cove is pretty, though.

Better get off here and eat my lunch so I can get back to work on time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Good Weekend

It's been a good weekend. I was off Friday and spent the morning running errands (oil change, Wal-Mart, grocery shopping, gas fillup) then after lunch went to Mom and Dad's to visit. The weather was nice Friday....warm enough to be out without a jacket.

Saturday morning, the weather turned seasonally cool and rainy, which made me VERY glad I didn't have to go anywhere. I did a bit of household drudgery, did a little knitting, burned a few movies I'd TiVo'd onto DVDs, and rested. Late that afternoon, Kris and I had a good Skype visit.

This morning (Sunday) I burned a few more DVDs, did a little laundry and made some lo mein soup from a recipe I'd seen on television. (Not bad at all.) I dug around in the Christmas decoration bins enough to find Meggie's reindeer antlers and took her picture to go on this year's Christmas cards. She really, REALLY hates those antlers! She quickly became bored, as you'll see from this photo:

Cute, huh? *LOL* I did manage to get a pretty good photo of her, though, and ordered the cards. After I got all that taken care of, I settled into the recliner, with Meggie and my knitting in my lap, a DuraFlame log in the fireplace, and the remote control by my side. All in all, a perfectly lovely afternoon! I heard there were snow flurries this morning (and more flurries expected early tomorrow morning), but I didn't see them. I love being able to stay inside near the fireplace on a cold, gray day!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Catching Up AGAIN

I've been a delinquent blogger....two MONTHS, for crying out loud. Time gets away from me sometimes, that's for sure. Okay, so what's been going on since September?

Well, MeggieDog and I made our last two camping trips of the season, one four-day trip in September at Grindstone and one six-day trip in October at Hungry Mother State Park. That was the first (and probably last) time I camped at Hungry Mother. Mom and Dad were camping, too, so that was great. We went up on Monday morning and left on Saturday morning. The first part of the week was wonderful; we nearly had the campground (Camp Burson, just outside the actual park) all to ourselves. I don't think there were more than 10 occupied campsites at any time including our two sites. The weather was great, warm for October with cool crisp nights. The fall color was beautiful, and we had a wonderful time walking some of the trails around the lake and across the dam.

Unfortunately, on Friday, campers started coming in bunches! The campground doesn't afford much privacy for tent campers when there are people camped on the neighboring sites. Not only were the campers noisy, but the proximity of the campground to heavily-traveled Route 16 proved to be a problem on Friday night. I was camped (for sake of convenience) near the bathhouse. Well into the wee hours of the morning, traffic would pull off Route 16 so that carloads of people could use the bathroom facilities. Not only was it noisy, but I didn't feel particularly safe. Even though I have a set of walkie-talkies that Mom & Dad & I use while camping (one in the tent, one in their camper), I still felt ill-at-ease. Never again. If something happens that I have to camp there again, I'll be as far away from the road as possible, even if it means having to take a long hike to the bathhouse! I said I was going to try not to grouse too much, though. After all I had 4 great nights and only 1 crappy one. *L*

Good news about gas prices: a couple of months ago, regular gasoline was running $3.999 here. When I left work Friday, the Shell station at Exit 14 had their regular gas priced at $1.999! I don't remember the last time I saw gas less than $2.00 per gallon. It's certainly a welcome relief.

Of course, the Presidential election was last week; I'm relieved it's finally over and hope for a few weeks of no political ads before the next round of campaigning kicks in.

Heidi the Yorkie, owned by my friends Beth, Joey & Amy, is the proud mama of 3 puppies....I've posted a photo on Flickr (link on the right). Last I heard, all was well. They sure are cuties!

I've been doing a little crocheting of small Christmas gifts while watching TV. Nothing fancy. I've also got a couple of knitted gifts that I've started but need to finish. I want to try to get those completed so I'm not in a last-minute rush. You know all about good intentions, right? *L*

We've already had our first "snowfall"; when I woke up on Wednesday, October 29, I found just a small amount of slushy snow on my windshield. But the closer I got to the office the more snow I saw. In fact, there was a brief period of hard blowing snow just a mile away from work. People just a few miles further north said they had a pretty good covering of snow on the ground, but I didn't get that at home. It'll be coming soon enough, I'm sure.

We've had pretty warm temps this past week....low 70s during the day. Some rain moved in Friday evening, though, and things cooled down quite a bit. In fact, it's only 43 degrees outside right now. Cloudy, too. A good day to stay in and be cozy with a cup o' coffee.

Unfortunately, I'm in for another reason today. Meg wasn't well yesterday; it seems to have been something viral. She was awfully sick, but PeptoBismol and canine aspirin seemed to have pulled her through it, thank goodness. Today she's much better, able to walk up and down the hall on her own (she was too weak for that yesterday morning). She lapped up some warm chicken broth a little while ago and seemed to enjoy it. It was great to see her appetite back! I'm awfully tired today (probably from the stress of watching her feel bad as much as anything else), so I'm staying in to rest up for work tomorrow.

I made myself a pot of delicious Columbian coffee earlier, so I'm freshly showered, in my comfy sweats, sipping coffee, and preparing to pile up in the recliner with Meggie beside me, knitting in my lap, and the remote control nearby. It's such a gray day I might even light a DuraFlame log in the fireplace and really treat myself.

First, though, I'm going to check in on my friend Mare's blog and catch up a little on her. :-)