Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 2008 Round Up

Blinkie by: Jo's Blinkie Obsession (no longer active)

Monthly Round Up idea borrowed from Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
Lots of recipes, does that count? I read a little more of The Eight, but I'm having trouble getting into it and/or sticking with it. Might switch books.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
All sorts of shows and movies. Some I hadn't seen in ages, but only one was completely new: Mad Money (it was fine; not really good or bad). I did introduce my parents to WALL-E and Kung Fu Panda, though.

What special days did I celebrate and how?
Christmas with lots of family and presents. My parents' 35th wedding anniversary, for which I cooked them a nice dinner and Jacob and I purchases a commemorative brick for Georgia Southern.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
Give: I sent off a surprise gift to a friend, and it was very well received! She said it made her day, which is so nice to hear. I love being able to surprise people like that. Also mailed a good number of Christmas gifts.

Receive: I won't run down all of Christmas stuff. But I did receive another gift from Heather at the beginning of the month. I won a drawing on her blog, so she sent me some beaded stitch markers (for cross stitch, not knitting) that she made. She and I bought some beaded fob charts ages ago, two each, and agreed to trade once we had each comleted our two. She has both of mine. I got one of hers a while back, and she sent me the other one in the box (she having just recently finished it, see pansy near bottom). And last but not least, I asked her for a graphic novel/manga recommendation, and she not only picked a good one, but she bought me a copy. And it is an honest to goodness manga, too! You read it right-to-left, "back-to-front" (from a USA perspective). They left everything exactly the same, just translated it to English. (If I'd worked at it, I might could have squeezed it in for my previous 101 Things list, but I wanted to enjoy it.) And to go along with my spiffy manga, she made me a bookmark. Does she rock or what?

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
None really, thank goodness! I was afraid I was getting sick the week before Christmas, but it really turned out to be just weather changes making my nose run. Mom and Jacob did get sick while they were here for Christmas, though.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Cooked over Christmas, which was mostly fun, except for the setting off the fire siren thing. DH's work Christmas party was good, too, as was the Hammontree (for lack of a better identifier) get together in Covington.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
* Restaurants: Pizza Plus in Covington, The Oceanaire in Midtown
* Recipes and/or Foods: Non-homogenized milk (yes, I'm a true city girl, I'd never had it before), lobster, Crab, Asian Shrimp Rolls (that we won't be making again), Baked Pot Stickers, Pizza Swirls, Bacon Cheese Ball, Mini Quiches, Marinated Salmon, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, Baked Potato Soup (made from homemade baked potatoes, also new), Chicken and Dumplings, Pie Crust Cookies, Christine's Special Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Toffee Cookies, Red Velvet Cupcakes, and Homemade Hot Chocolate

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Luke's advent wreath to count down the days. And a brand new television that we are totally loving!!

What were this month's disappointments?
A couple of the recipes were a little disappointing. And my project that was going well and then started to crash has now officially crashed and burned as of 1 PM on New Year's Eve (joy).

What were my accomplishments this month?
Getting it all done for Christmas! That was quite an accomplishment. Getting the fire siren disarmed with the help of the security company. And writing a poem about it in less than 6 hours.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?
Surviving Christmas without too much whining. Now we just have to re-adjust to having three less playmates, which is a little painful.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
We shocked Mom with her KitchenAid Artisan mixer. She's a hard one to surprise, so that was great!

Currently feeling: bring on the new year

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Twas the Night Before Christmas in 2008

I present an original poem, by Erin Warren Gaston, with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore. There are some rather imperfect rhymes in here, and some of it sounds like it was authored by Yoda. It was written in about 6 hours between last night and this morning, so please, be gentle. Hope you enjoy!

Twas the Night Before Christmas in 2008

Twas the night before Christmas
in 2008.
There were three in the kitchen
and, for food, three more wait.

We were making finger foods,
as many as we were able,
with visions of a feast
covering the table.

There were shrimp puffs and brie,
pot stickers and chicken,
sausage balls and pizza rolls;
there was much finger lickin'.

My mother was stirring,
an egg I was beating,
and Jacob was chopping,
while a pot was pre-heating.

"I wonder," I thought
as I glanced at the pot,
"how long it will sit there?
It's getting quite hot."

Then the pecans were finished,
but we like them nuttier,
so into the pot
Jacob tosses the butter.

There was swearing and cursing,
oh the words he did utter
as the overheated pot
started to sputter.

The kitchen was filled
with sizzling and smoke,
so I opened the back door,
hoping we wouldn't choke.

Then a sound met my ears,
twas some house's alarm!
But it sounded far off
and could do us no harm.

And then, from the front porch,
I heard the door banging.
I opened it up,
and my mouth was left hanging.

For what did I see
standing there on my porch
But a Clarkston police officer
holding a torch!
(that's a flashlight to all the Americans)

His forehead was wrinkled,
his mouth slightly frowning.
I stood there quite baffled,
my heart loudly pounding.

"Yes officer, may I help you?"
I said with some fear.
"It's from your house," he answered,
"this alarm that I hear.

I was just driving by
when I heard all the noise."
And there in that moment,
I lost all my poise.

"It's from our house!" I shouted,
sounding quite shrill,
and my living room erupted
in a Chinese fire drill.

I rushed to the closet
which houses the alarm,
with no clue what to do,
but saying "darn, darn!"
(or something like that)

DH ran up the stairs
to access the attic,
while I dialed the phone
and tried not to panic.

I called the security
company number
and explained that the police
were starting to wonder

How a family could live
7 years in an abode
with absolutely no clue
of the security code!

The woman who lived
in this house right before us
never gave us the numbers
to stop all this fuss.

Then Luke broke down,
he couldn't understand why
everyone was so hyper,
and he started to cry.

He wanted so badly
to help, he did say,
but I needed him somewhere
out of the way.

Officer Hobbs was now looking
somewhat relieved.
Realizing we're not robbers,
he prepared to leave.

Mom stood in the foyer,
and told him farewell,
as the alarm guy on the phone
explained how to end our hell (sorry).

To my father, I gave cutters
and said, "Clip the wire.
Either that or we must call
the Department of Fire."

Blessed silence descended,
and we all made merry.
How happy were we?
Very very!!

We finished the cooking,
though it was rather late.
Still, it was very yummy,
and quite worth the wait.

We did finally get
the poor child in bed,
while my brother fretted
hoping not to be dead.

And to him, I said,
despite his distress,
"You realize, dear brother,
I will definitely blog this!"

The rest of the evening
was really quite boring,
and we were all laughing
about it by morning.

Yet there is still one thing
that my brother should fear:
we will definitely retell
this story each year!

Currently feeling: hoping for a calm Christmas Eve next year

Monday, December 29, 2008

101 Things in 1001 Days - The Final Verdict

Here it is, the final update on a journey that started way back in April of 2006. I didn't do so well, but I didn't do so badly either. I could have cranked out 6-7 more in December if I'd worked at it, but there were other things that needed my attention, so I let them go.

The updated original list is below and shows the completed items. The final word: 46 out of 101 items complete. That's not quite half. Ah well. Perhaps I'll do better on the next one. Look for Version 2.0 to be posted January 1, 2009. Appropriate, no? If it weren't for the timing of when this one ended (December 27, 2008), I would never do something so cliche, but it's just too easy.

101 Things in 1001 Days

Last Updated: December 29, 2008

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Begin Date: April 1, 2006
End Date: December 27, 2008
Time Remaining: 0 days, 0 hours, 0 minutes

Items Completed: 46 out of 101
Check   indicates a completed item


1. See a dermatologist to have my moles checked.
Check   2. Take a multivitamin every day for 30 consecutive days (hopefully becoming a habit after that). Completed April 2, 2006 to May 1, 2006
3. Give blood.
4. Don't eat "fast food" (McD's, Wendy's, etc) for 30 days.
5. Try at least one new recipe per month.
6. Learn to make a pork dish.
7. Learn to make a fish dish.
Check  8. Learn to make a shrimp dish. Completed December 2008
9. Learn to make cheesecake (using a springform pan and everything).
10. Learn to make something involving yeast (I have never had a yeast recipe turn out correctly).
11. Learn to make something involving kneading (I have no idea how to knead).
Check   12. Learn some CSS. Completed April 2-5, 2006
13. Revamp my website (changing the graphics *does* count).
Check   14. Revamp my blog template (just changing the graphics does *not* count). Completed April 6, 2006
Check   15. Rejoin the workforce (or try; whether or not I get hired isn't necessarily up to me). Completed August 21, 2006
16. Start going to church again (defined: attend services 3 Sundays a month for 3 consecutive months).
17. Attend a Catholic mass (I am Protestant, but I've always wanted to go to Mass).
Check   18. Stop cussing; I'm really not bad, but I tend to cuss while driving, and Luke is usually with me (defined: no cussing for 30 days). Complete July 2008
Check   19. Call Connie (my best friend) every 6 months. Complete
20. Call Sandy (a friend I greatly miss seeing) every 6 months and try to plan a time to get together.
Check   21. Post comments to at least 3 blogs each week (barring out of town trips, power or computer failure, or a truly serious life issue). Complte
Check   22. Blog at least twice each week (barring out of town trips, power or computer failure, or a truly serious life issue). Complete
Check   23. Send at least one RAK, even if just a card, every 3 months. Complete
Check   24. Have our friends over at least once a year. Complete
Check  25. Go out by myself once a month. Complete
26. Get a pedicure.
27. Get a "real" haircut and style.
Check   28. Buy new undergarments (my current ones are ancient). Completed August 2006 (various dates)
29. Wear jewelry once a month (besides the earrings and wedding band that I *always* wear).
30. Primp for a date with DH once every 3 months, including make-up.
Check   31. Find a new shade of lipstick I like (currently only 2 I like, and I've been wearing them for years). Completed January 2008


32. Move to a better school district, or have a firm plan in place to do so.
Check   33. Have new family portraits made. Completed November 2006
Check   34. Print some photos of Luke and put them in an album (currently, they're all digital only). Completed 2006 (printed scrapping layouts)
35. Go on vacation with my whole family (husband, child, parents, brother).
Check   36. Get away with my husband, just the two of us, once a year. Complete
Check  37. Use the china and crystal at least once a year. Complete
Check   38. Decide if or when we want another baby. Complete
39. Make a will.
40. Bug my family (husband, parents, brother) until each person also has a will.
41. Have DH's cousin and family over for dinner.
Check   42. Visit BIL at his new house (whenever it gets finished being built). Completed March 3, 2007
Check  43. Decorate Luke's room when he moves to a "big boy bed." Completed October 2008
Check   44. Take Luke to Walt Disney World (he's already been, but we want him to be old enough to enjoy it). Completed March 15, 2007
Check   45. Take Luke to a baseball game. Completed March 17, 2007
Check   46. Take Luke to the beach (as in down on the sand and water, not just the pier or boardwalk). Completed May 25, 2007


Check  47. Restore our savings account to the amount we agreed. Completed April 2008
48. Start a Roth IRA.
49. Start a college fund for Luke.
50. Roll over my 401(k).
Check  51. Buy a new vacuum. Completed June 2, 2006
Check   52. Buy new dining room chairs (and maybe a table). Completed December 22, 2007
Check  53. Buy a new mixer (preferably a stand mixer, but a new hand mixer would be fine). Completed October 2008
Check   54. Replace my ruby earrings (I recently lost one). Completed August 19, 2006
55. Start taking the Sunday paper and using the grocery coupons.


Check   56. Eat Japanese (Hibachi) at least once a year. Complete
57. Go to an NBA game (the only major US pro sport I'm missing; baseball, football, and hockey I've done).
58. Go to the symphony (I've never been; I know, it's sad).
59. Attend a cultural event at least once a year (symphony, opera, ballet, theater, etc).
60. Visit the farmer's market every 3 months.
61. Visit a museum once a year.
62. Visit an Asian market.
Check   63. Go to the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Completed May 6, 2006
Check   64. Go to the Georgia Aquarium. Completed November 12, 2007
65. Visit Arizona.
66. Visit Texas again.
Check   67. Visit another country (Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Europe, Australia, doesn't matter). Completed October 19, 2006
68. Average reading a book a month (12 per year).
69. Read a graphic novel (suggestions anyone?).
70. Read one non-fiction book per year.
71. Read one of Shakespeare's sonnets every month.
Check   72. Average seeing a new movie each month (12 per year; theater, DVD, or television). Complete
73. See all "Best Picture" Oscar nominees before the telecast if possible (they may not play here, and I won't do horror or gory films).
Check   74. Watch Firefly (the series, probably borrowed from Ginny since she offered). Completed August 18, 2006
75. Host a stitching get-together at my house.
76. Start stitching again (defined: 5 hours per week for 3 consecutive months).
77. Finish A Midsummer Night's Fairy (been a WIP for at least 5 years).
Check  78. Finish my beaded strawberry fob (again; I gave my first one away, then restarted it before Luke was born). Completed August 2008
79. Make a temari every 6 months, each one a different pattern.
80. Get cards for Christmas alphabet scrapbooks organized.
81. Make at least one Christmas alphabet scrapbook a year.
82. Re-learn to crochet and make an afghan for Luke.
83. Take a beginning quilting class.
84. Learn to set up the sewing machine and sew a straight seam.
85. Make a quilt for Luke (I already have the fabric).
86. Ride a new roller coaster.
87. Learn a new card game.
88. Learn to juggle (I gave DH a learning kit for Christmas; defined: juggle 3 balls for 1 minute).


Check   89. Correct my Social Security information (just found out part of it is wrong). Completed June 26, 2006 (confirmed)
Check   90. Renew my passport. Completed August 2006
Check  91. Get a copy of my own birth certificate. Completed June 23,2006Check  
92. Back up the computers every 6 months (at least). CompleteCheck  
93. Burn digital photos to CD every 6 months. Complete
Check   94. Try Firefox (the browser). Completed April 4, 2006
95. Update DH's wardrobe matrix (don't ask) every year.
Check   96. Have our foundation inspected. Completed May 2008
97. Get my bedroom tidy and organized.
98. Clean out my drawers and closet; get rid of clothes I don't wear.
Check   99. Box up the clothes Luke has outgrown. Completed November 2007
Check  100. Frame my Disney lithograph that has been sitting in the closet for over a year. Completed June 6, 2006
Check  101. When 1001 days are up, update this list, then make a new list, including carrying over any of these not completed. :-) Completed December 2008

Currently feeling: time for a new 101 list