Happy Holiday Happenings!

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It’s been a busy and fun time of year. So much going on, and just about all of it good! Yesterday was the beginning of actual holiday get togethers. My daughter in law and son came to spend an early Christmas with my sister and her family. Jeff, Ellie and I were there too. Sean is an amazing cook, and yesterday he served two different kinds of sliders. To say they were delicious would be an understatement. One type was chicken based, and the other was ham and cheese. We all loved them. We also had a few drinks and even more laughs. Then, afterwards Amanda and Kevin came back to our place for a late dinner. Everyone enjoyed the chicken tenders, spicy mac and cheese and corn on the cob. It was a good night, actually – a great night. It was wonderful introducing JB to them. He of course charmed them completely!

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And tonight we return to what has over the years become somewhat of a tradition – a monthly Pay Per View party. We did one last month for the WWE’s Survivor Series, and it was a fun time, a great success. Tonight’s show is called TLC – Tables, Ladders and Chairs. The wrestling is always important, yet the focus a great deal of the time is the food, the drinks and the desserts. Tonight we will be having chili, three different kinds of chicken drummers, rice, cornbread, and pasta with a meat sauce. Of course there will be snacks like chips, dip, salsa and queso. Deserts apparently will include brownies, cupcakes and some homemade very moist Banana Nut Chocolate Chip muffins. I’m looking forward to resuming this, as we had gotten away from it for a while. As much as I love wrestling, lately the shows have truly been lacking. A rumor in the wrestling world is that Vince McMahon, the owner and operator – the big shot – will be getting involved even more in an effort to turn things around. I certainly hope this is true. My Sheamus is wrestling tonight I believe, defending his Tag Title with Cesaro. I do think they will retain, and I hope they do. But honestly, as long as he’s there, competing…Lisa will be a happy girl.

Hope everyone is having a good Holiday weekend time too!

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Random Ramblings about the Holidays…

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Thinking about what to write was interrupted by thoughts of what I have got to do for the Holidays. This is not a bad thing, it is a good thing. I am happily looking forward to be in the Season this year.

A random fact, thought or whatever you’d call it is the fact that, even as a young teen doing Christmas shopping, I always included myself as a gift recipient. Aside from small gifts for a few friends, my Christmas shopping consisted of my Mom, my Dad and my Sister. Honestly though, I divided the budget I had (which came from babysitting) to include myself. I have now and usually in the past treated myself to at least one thing for Christmas that I would have wanted. As a teen, I remember buying a bottle of perfume that my mother loved for her, and since I loved it too – got one for myself. This didn’t translate too much during the years I was raising my kids, but recently it has returned. Currently, there are two Tampa Bay t-shirts in one of my online shopping carts. Do I need these? No. Do I want them? Yes. Especially since they honor the Team Captain (I don’t have one of his shirts) and another player (I in fact do have one of his, but this one is just too perfect to pass up). I am still going to try to make up my mind.

The Christmas song I hate the most, without a doubt is Paul McCartney’s “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime.” I hate it with every ounce of my being. About three years ago, my sister and I were in a dentist office when this rotten song came on. At the same time, we both said we hated it. A few weeks later, our hate for this song turned into us planning a Christmas In July party, which ended up being a blast and one of the best days of the summer.

Christmas music was never my thing. While my ex-husband did love Christmas and enjoyed all that came along with it, his taste in songs he played were more of the sad, instrumental kind. I always felt a bit depressed while he played these songs, because while nice I felt they were a bit of a downer. Now that I’ve been on my own for the past few years, I find that I do in fact like Christmas music. It’s just that my taste goes more for the happy, uplifting and joyful songs. I love Jingle Bells and Jingle Bell Rock. I love Santa Claus is Coming to Town. But I still hate Simply Having. And I always will.

Years ago, when I was home raising the kids I did a lot more holiday baking. One year in particular I did more than ever. We would eat a few of whatever I’d made, and I would freeze the rest. It was a great thing, because defrosting a few just before we would go for a visit or had people to visit would give us a wide variety of treats to choose. My freezer currently has room, so I started some almost-mass baking last night. First up was Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins. They are moist, and taste more like cupcakes. Mmm mmm good…

I do not like the traffic that holiday shopping brings. Once I get into the stores, I don’t mind crowds (unless they are like the massive hoard that was at Kohl’s on Thanksgiving night). I have seen happy looking people. On long lines. Not upset, not anxious. This year more than other years I am seeing people looking like they are in legitimate good moods. It’s nice to see. Now I understand this could be because it is still kind of early, and that we still have two weeks left. I must admit though, I will be trying to finish up what I still have to do and get during the week. The weekends are going to be nuts. Probably.

What other random thoughts have you all got about the holidays?

Ho Ho Ho Happy Holidays…

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It’s exciting getting ready for the holidays. It’s not exciting getting ready for the holidays when you aren’t feeling quite right. Nevertheless, since my feeling bad comes and goes, yesterday I pushed myself to do a few things and I am very glad I did.

Jeff and I went out for breakfast yesterday, and he finally met my friend and former co-worker, Patsy. It was great introducing them, and we had a great time. The food was good, very delicious. As I thought, Patsy and I did a lot of talking about our former place of employment, and I feared Jeff was going to feel left out. He seemed to enjoy our talking. He’s such a good man.

After leaving Patsy, we did some grocery shopping at Walmart. I found an electric curling brush there that before I could only find online, so that was a good thing. And the place wasn’t even that crowded! This is also a good thing.

We brought all our things home, and then scooped up JB (our youngest cat) to get him to his Vet appointment. He hasn’t been breathing right for a while – we thought it was just his adjustment to a totally different atmosphere here in PA, but recently his nose started running and, well it’s just gotten worse. The vet examined and said compared to his file from Florida, he had lost two pounds. That is huge for a cat. I got more and more upset, but I tried to remain calm. They did a bunch of tests after the doctor confirming by examining him that he had a sinus and upper respiratory infection. About a half hour later after waiting, they came back and said he was negative for feline HIV and Leukemia. Thank god, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. The rest of the blookwork tests should be back today. I knew I loved him, but when I saw his beautiful eyes staring me, I realized just how much. So fast forward to me being $326 poorer. I don’t care, he is more than worth it. It’s just going to be very interesting to give him nasal spray drops twice a day and antibiotics also. Hopefully he will realize it’s for his greater good!

It was time for dinner, and we had planned to meet my sister, her boyfriend Sean and his daughter Eowynn at a restaurant that is filled with decorated Christmas trees. Area companies compete to win best of the best, with each tree being dedicated to a certain charity. Some were very creative! My two personal favorites were the one by the Eyecare Center that had decorations to look like eyeballs, and the Oncology Center who decorated their tree in blue prescription bottles, each adorned with different colored cancer support ribbons. That one was edged out in my mind, mainly because it was blue and silver and white – coincidentally, colors from my team – the Tampa Bay Lightning! The food was delicious, the beers were good and reasonably priced, and we were together as a family. What a perfect night celebrating the holidays with my loved ones.

Today, who knows what will go on. I feel better, but more like staying home. Not relaxing – organizing. Going through gifts I’ve bought, seeing what else I still need. It will be a good day. Tomorrow the sales change, hopefully the mail today will include the new circulars – so I can plan my attack!

Saving money? What have YOU done?

I was home today, feeling unwell and not doing much of anything. And it got me to thinking, spurred on by a favorite money-saving site – have you ever done anything crazy to save money?

I can’t say what I have ever done has been crazy. Maybe it has been what people would consider unorthodox, or wrong, or just not…common. A few things come to mind.

One thing I did quite a while ago was to purchase two or three cans of “spread.” What these so-called spreads were, right now I don’t remember. But I do remember thinking, oh…these will be good. For get togethers, for snack times during games, whatever. So opening them up, and spreading them on crackers – Christine (as you know, my best friend) and I tried them. Let me just say that they were…not good. The first bite we thought they were ok, we were smiling. That is, until we swallowed. Soon after this, we realized that although we had never consumed canned cat food – this was what it must taste like. The cans and the spreaded crackers promptly were launched into the trash can.

As wrong as it might sound, I have looked at used “underthings” in thrift stores. Now I know that this is the rule – buy anything used, but not this kind of stuff. I kind-of uncomfortably got over my slight reservation to look at these items as I looked at other used garments – I made sure they were clean (they were), and I made sure they would fit me (they would). As with any other used item, I planned on thoroughly washing these items – and as I have always said, once these things roll around in my washing machine, in my hot water – it’s all good. So right here, right now – I admit – some “underthings” that are now mine are previously owned.

I love my Jeff, and he loves me. I am a lucky woman. I want to send him to work at night with good-tasting food, something to look forward to during his night shift. At Dollar Tree, I found “Virginia Sausage (Hot)” and thought he would enjoy it. My only reservation was that the three decent-sized links were $1 (like I’ve said, it was at Dollar Tree). Cooking them up, frying them with peppers and onions – they smelled delicious. Putting them in a container after having added some tomato sauce – I felt bad, guilty…I don’t know. I guess it was because it was, basically…cheap. The next morning when he came home, I asked how his dinner was. He said it was delicious. And I believed him, but I guess I had doubted myself because the cost was…minimal. I am glad I can continue to provide for my loved ones in an economical way.

All of this got me thinking about what others have done in the quest to save money. Would love to hear. Care to share?

What exactly is aging poorly?

I turned fifty-five years old in April. I must admit, I am happier now than I have been in a long, long time. I have wonderful kids, a great man by my side and friends that I consider family, and vice versa. But a lot of the time, I just don’t feel good. And I don’t know why.

Is it age? I don’t know. What I do know is that I just cannot shake things off fast anymore. Before I used to feel bad with a cold or whatever, and I would pop a cold pill or two, drink a bunch of fluids and then I would be on my way. Now if I am feeling bad, I just can’t. I can’t do anything. For the most part, I just have to stop. And rest and be done with the rest of the day, or night.

The latest battle of feeling unwell started on Thanksgiving Day. I had really chapped lips, on both the top and bottom. My mouth looked like a clown. And before the night was done it had spread to my right eye. It’s a good thing Kohl’s was CRAZY INSANELY CROWDED because I looked bad and didn’t need to be out in public scaring anyone. I truly did look awful.

For the past three weeks, I have been unable to get rid of these things. I have tried everything – I used medicated creams, just plain water and vaseline – whatever else I could think of. I am addicted to chap stick as I have stated before, and fearing one of those tubes could be contributing to this, I haven’t been using them at all. I don’t know what to do, I am at a loss. It would be one thing if it looked bad yet didn’t hurt, or if it hurt but looked ok. All during this time, I haven’t felt well. Haven’t felt good. I have been off, to say the least.

Does anyone out there have an experience with this skin thing? Do you think odd feelings of just not being right are the results of everyday, normal aging? Would love to hear from you all…

TOO EARLY FOR SNOW!!!

Last year, at this time my sister and I were getting ready to go away for the weekend trip of a lifetime – a great, quick getaway to Dublin, Ireland. Fast forward to now, one year later – and I am sitting on the carpeted floor in my living room, watching Maury and looking at the SNOW outside my window. I truly hate it.
I kept thinking all week while watching the reports that they must be mistaken – it would just HAVE to pass us by, right? Wrong. No such luck. It started about two hours ago, and it is sticking. The news reports are saying that this storm is coming in waves – snow, then rain, then more snow. And of course, we all know what this means – ice. It is hard to distinguish what is worse – the snow, the cold or the ice.
Jeff is on a four-day work week, and somehow lucked out to having tonight through Saturday be his time off. This is a good thing. I have started work as a home health aide, and it’s looking like I may get skipped on the shift tomorrow, or at least it will be starting later. This makes me happy – as if anything can during times like this. Have I mentioned that I hate this weather?
I will be making my specialty Shepherd’s Pie tonight – having the oven on will warm up the place, and I need me some Irish comfort food.
Stay warm, y’all…..

Makeup…Do You Get What You Pay For? Maybe…

As I mentioned earlier, my son and daughter in law were recently married. Truly, it was a perfect day with all members of both families getting along very well, and everyone was happy.
The morning of the wedding, the girls – me, Amanda, her mom, my ex’s GF Lorraine, Chris’ GF Bre – we went to get our hair and make up done. We were stunning, if I do say so myself. And no doubt, once I’m really settled and back up and running here – I will post pictures of all us beautiful people!
I was very impressed with the salon, which was Lords and Ladies, in
Exeter, PA – they have a few locations. The girls working on us were nice, friendly, professional – and amazingly talented! So much so that I decided to go to their Fall Makeup Class. It was very reasonably priced, and besides – at that time, two weeks after the wedding – I was suffering from Amanda and Kevin withdrawal, so I just HAD to go!
The class was very informative. Now, yes – I have watched videos on makeup applications on you tube, and they have helped. Very much so. But in person, I don’t know – it was different, better. The class was five of us. Me, another woman in her I would say early 30s, and three teen girls. It was a fun night.
The technician taught us all tips, which we all obviously needed different ones. Then the night was wrapping up, and it was time for the sale – the hard sell, as I thought. It was none of that.
I did very much like the age-defying foundation, and it truly seemed to make me look better. That, combined with the setting spray – they have been a wonderful addition to my makeup collection. As with most other things in my life, I have a lot of…products. And a lot of these items came from not-quite-so-high-end stores. In many ways, I do believe these made and continue to make the difference in my appearance.
However, I am a thrifty person – despite liking how I look. So for quick runs out, errands – or even to the gym, because going there I don’t want to frighten anyone – I use my makeup. But my older stuff, the old reliables. Older foundation, older eyeliner. I even use a pretty much no name mist setting spray. Now being a bargain shopper and always looking for a deal, I have to say – for what I used this for, I must admit – the results were good. As good as with the more expensive stuff? Maybe. But in reality, probably not.
What I did find was the fact that I took the time to properly apply these (lower priced) products, and they made me look good. So a lesson was learned – yes, it’s great to treat yourself to a product or two that you consider higher end, and you will love the results. But it doesn’t matter if not all your products are top of the line – you can still be pretty, gorgeous, and the bell of the ball, as they say!
What would be the product or products you all out there consider a splurge? Consider worth paying more $$$ for? I know that I just cannot use certain mascaras – cheap or not, they just don’t work! Would love to hear your thoughts on this…
P.S. the makeup used at the class was Mirabella. It is very nice, and if you do in fact decide to treat yourself to some of their products – I do not think you will be disappointed.

Wow, it has been a LONG time…

Hello there. I knew it had been a while, but I didn’t realize it had been this long. So very much has happened since July.

Wwll, my living situation in Florida changed. I was living with my cousin and her adopted grandson. She was approved for disability, but her payments would not be coming in to her until January. So between her not getting anything, any money until then, and me not having a job – no other choice could be made. Sadly, we decided to give up our rental house and part ways. My cousin went back to her ex, a good man who was and will be the only grandfather her boy will ever know. Jeff, my shining star – despite loving Florida – decided to move home to Scranton with me. True love, that is what this is.

My amazing friend and now landlord Ellie gave us an AMAZING deal on the other part of her house (it is a duplex). We have a ton of room and a ton of storage. Truly, we are blessed.

I will continue to update. Jeff and I have adopted another cat – JB, he came with us from Florida. I just could not leave him there. In September, the 29th to be exact – my son Kevin married my wonderful daughter in law, Amanda. We are truly blessed.

To be continued, happily…

The sadness over leaving my boy…

…has been overshadowed by yet another delay in my travelling life time. I do not know what I can do to have a decent flight, either way – here or there, going or coming. Getting here was for the most part pretty good. Going home, not so much.

As I was saying goodbye to Amanda and Kevin, I felt my eyes tearing up. I saw it in his eyes too, and the last thing I wanted to do was to make him feel worse. So I made some stupid comment about how I hated telephone solicitors (one was calling as we were saying our goodbyes) and then it was ok. I walked into the terminal with tears in my eyes, trying to find the Allegiant counter. I found it (this is a small airport here in Allentown) and I knew the flight was delayed. According to the app on my phone, it was to be a ten-minute delay. If that was only the case. The plane at that time had not yet even left Florida, which meant we were looking at a long delay. Oh joy.

So I tried to make the best of it, and got to the gate. Called Kevin and joked on the phone about how I must have the worst luck of most travelers we know. I suddenly didn’t feel like crying anymore, which was a good thing. It did make me feel happy that my boy offered to come back to pick me up when and if my flight got cancelled (which we all know could happen).

I continued to make the best of things, if I could – I came to the PA Pub here at the airport, and met up with my girl – Stella. That’s Stella Artois. Love her.

Happy July!

Here’s hoping that everyone reading had a very happy 4th! I certainly did, as I spent these past few days in Pennsylvania. I was here to celebrate my son Kevin’s 28th birthday as well as my future daughter-in-law Amanda’s Bridal Shower.

The weekend just could not have been any better. I was a little apprehensive because I had not seen my ex sister-in-law and niece in quite some time, and I had never met my niece’s little boy. Everything went very well. We were all pleasant and gracious to one another, and the little guy is absolutely adorable. I cannot say Amanda was too surprised, as she had a feeling she was going to have a shower – she just didn’t know when it would be.

Our family and friends were very generous, and she got some really wonderful gifts. Amanda’s mom and aunt did a great job in setting the place up, and the food at the restaurant was just wonderful. After the presents were opened and the shower ended, we went back to Amanda and Kevin’s house for a birthday barbeque. This was also a good time, and everyone enjoyed themselves very much. For Kevin’s birthday the next day, Chris stayed over and the four of us went to a very famous smorgasboard restaurant here in the PA Dutch country.

The next day, we decided we were going to go shopping, but first decided on having a nice lunch out at this charming little place by a creek. It was just beautiful, delicious food in a gorgeous setting. Leaving there, we drove through the hills of Lancaster County and found a few treasures. In my last post I detailed what is my newest “thing” at thrift stores – men’s bathing suits as shorts for me (so my old body doesn’t have to look foolish in booty shorts). Also on this shopping excursion I found a pair of fancy shoes for the wedding, which is in just about 86 days! They are pretty, silver and shiny – I wish they were higher, but reality is that I just cannot wear heels without looking like something is wrong with me as I walk!

I’m sorry that my trip here has come to an end. I honestly don’t want to leave. I really don’t. Especially since yesterday we went and picked up a rabbit – his name is Arthas Tucker Rosentreter, and he is just adorable. I will talk about this little guy another time.

Thank you for the fun, Amanda and Kevin – I love you both!