It’s been a long time since I last posted and strangely enough, that was intentional. Truth be told this blog is not turning out to be what I intended it to be. Or perhaps, what I intended to do was more than I could handle. Within about a month of starting the blog, I was completely stressed out. I was freaking out and spending a ridiculous amount of time figuring out my ‘blog plan.’ I’d sit down for at least an hour every day coming up with ideas of things I could blog about. Perhaps having someone like myself, who has a plan for everything, running a blog that started on a whim was not a particularly well thought out decision? I started wondering if people thought what I was writing about was stupid, if they would think less of me if I didn’t post something, and just various negative thoughts. Then I started wondering, is anyone even reading this freaking thing? Slowly but surely, I’ve decided it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if no one reads it. It doesn’t matter if someone does read it and things I’m the village idiot. It doesn’t matter that what this was supposed to be and what it is aren’t the same thing. Truth is, if I’d just relax and let it come naturally, I think I’d actually enjoy writing it. The few times I’ve had something I thought was interesting and worthwhile to write about, I did enjoy writing about it. So, I’m gonna write. Maybe not every day, maybe not something that blows your skirt up every time, but I’m still gonna write.
So on that note, I thought I’d catch you up on the few good deeds/accomplishments/marble changes that have happened since I posted a loooooong time ago.
I FINALLY sent off two care packages to the US military. My brother-in-law is in the Air Force and is currently stationed in Guam. Some of the men in his unit are stationed in various places overseas and I sent two of them care packages. Truth be told, I had this genius idea for National POW Day. I’m willing to bet very few people actually know that there’s a National POW Day, but there is. This year, it’s on September 21. Sadly, between the time I had the idea and got the mailing addresses and the time that I actually mailed the packages, one of the guys had already been shipped back to the States. Ok, well, that’s not sad news, it just means I suck. Then again, the one guy that did get his package sent me a super sweet note telling me what a horrible week he’d been having and that the package that my hubs and I sent him really cheered him up. He even sent me a Christmas card. So then again, maybe the timing was perfect. Luckily the one box that didn’t get delivered made it all the way back to my front door (looking seriously beat up, but intact nonetheless). I contacted my stepsister and asked for another address and I’m going to repackage the items and send them off to another deserving soul. Hopefully this time it won’t take me several months to do so. My goal is to get it done this weekend.
Secondly, I cooked dinner for the local fire department. It’s not a huge feat, it’s only 4 guys, but still, I emailed the fire chief and asked for permission and we set a time and date and I went to work. Unfortunately, I came down with my first ever bout with the flu a day and a half before dinner was supposed to be delivered. So, while feeling like I’d gone 8 rounds with Mike Tyson and running a fever of 102 I put together a roast, hash brown potato casserole, pesto green beans, and rice krispie treats. I had some grander plans but in the end, I was happy with what I cooked. Mom and the hubs had to drive it over there and I tried not to touch any of the disposable pans so that I wouldn’t transfer any of my squirmy wormy germies to anyone. I never heard a peep from anyone so I hope that they enjoyed it.
Thirdly, I survived Christmas. Strangely this was a major feat this year. For some reason, and I have no idea why, I was seriously behind this year. Normally I have the majority of my shopping done by the summer and my wrapping done by Thanksgiving. This year I was doing my shopping the week before and wrapping the night of. Some of my gifts didn’t even come in on time and I had to print up “Santa’s Late!” flyers and put them in boxes and wrap them. It was pathetic. Then we had our annual Christmas family merry-go-round adventure. Since both my parents and my hubs’ parents are divorced it means that we spend Christmas at 4 different locations. We spent the 23rd with his dad & stepmom, the 24th with my dad & stepmom, the evening of the 24th with my mom, the morning of the 25th with my mom, and the evening of the 25th with his mom and stepdad. It’s sort of a zoo. I can’t wait for the first year that we have our own place and can have everyone over. I love to entertain so it should work out perfectly.
Fourthly, I spend New Year’s weekend cooking for the freezer. The hubs and I did the same thing last year and it worked out great. We made Please Cheese Me (a healthy version of mac & cheese), Lentil Vegetable Soup, Slow Cooker Taco Soup, my own recipe for Mexican Cabbage Soup, spaghetti sauce, and chili. We made big batches then froze them in small quantities in our freezer so we have easy, go-to meals when we need something. I use the soups for my lunches all the time.
Please Cheese Me: http://www.hungry-girl.com/newsletters/raw/1298
Lentil Vegetable Soup: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Lentil-Vegetable-Soup
Slow Cooker Taco Soup: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Taco-Soup/
The other recipes either came from my head or a cookbook so I’ll have to get them for you another time.
Fifthly, I initiated the first ever Big Saturday Breakfast. This just happened last Saturday and I had about 15 people over to the house for a casual Saturday morning meal. I told people to come as they pleased between 9 & 11 and hang out. We had a Scrambled Egg Bar (think the self-serve hibachi places where you pick your ingredients and they cook it), fresh fruit, muffins, and Lil’ Smokies (cocktail weenies). Since I don’t eat eggs or cocktail weenies I’ll just have to take everyone at their word that things were good. I can only hope so. Everyone seemed to have a really good time and it wasn’t real stressful on me which was huge. I chose an easy menu, and we ate everything on clear plastic plates w/ plastic silverware and disposable cups. Not particularly classy, but I didn’t have to spend the rest of the day cleaning up either. My hope is that this will become a quarterly thing and every few months we’ll have another one. I guess the turn out for the next one will tell.
Sixthly, and lastly, I signed up for 5 sewing classes at my local Joann’s store. Last year I got a super-nifty sewing machine that I wanted and it’s never even made it out of the box. So, this year I asked for gift cards to Joann’s so that I could take classes and learn how to use the thing (other than as a giant paperweight). Then, my stepmom gave me the heads up that Joann’s was having a ½ off sale on their classes. So, off to Joann’s I went. Between the 5 classes and the supplies for the classes my total came to approx. $350, however, with coupons, sales, and gift cards my out of pocket expense was only $16. Can we say super-sweet-freaking-amazing deal?!?!?! So this Thursday I’m off to take my first class. I’m excited… nervous, but excited. I sort of am the village idiot when it comes to sewing. I know nothing. I know less than nothing. I even make my poor husband sew on buttons because I don’t know how. Hopefully though, that’s all about to change.
As New Year’s approached and everyone started talking about resolutions it sort of got me thinking about things. No, I didn’t make a resolution, but I did sort of scold myself and hopefully point myself in the right direction for some changes. You see, I’m an idea junkie. Basically what that means is that I spend an inordinate amount of time gathering all these ideas for things I want to try someday. I have binders and binders and binders full of recipes, craft ideas, interior decorating ideas, and travel destinations. The problem is, I spend all my time gathering these ideas and organizing them neatly into binders but never actually bringing any of those ideas to fruition. I’m tired of that. So incredibly tired of that. So, I’m working to change it. In a few weeks I’m hosting a girls night at my house where we’re going to do some Valentine’s Day crafts. I’ve been running around gathering materials and doing various dry runs to make sure that all of my ideas work and at least look sort of cute. They’re easy crafts that don’t really take any skill but at least it’s something… something more tangible than a piece of paper with an idea on it. It’s a start, and you have to start somewhere.
So, that’s all I can think of for now but I’m sure there’s more. I’ll post more as I think about it or as new things happen.
As a side note, my dad had a big birthday in November but he’s a professional Santa (yes, I’m serious, he does this for a living and is great at it) so November and December are his crazy busy months. Therefore, we decided to celebrate later. Dad wants to go to Lake Tahoe so that’s where we’re going. The whole family is going hopefully. Anyways, since the hubs and I are on a seriously tight budget we wanted to make sure that we didn’t overpay for our plane tickets. I asked my stepsis if she had any suggestions for fare watchers and she suggested kayak.com. So, I signed on, looked up my flight and put in my email address for them to send me reminders. I’m sooo glad I did. When I first looked up the flight the prices were $470ish. I decided to wait and watch and see what happens. Kayak sends you one update a week and tells you if the price has gone up or down. The price stayed solid the first week (went up about $5 or thereabouts) and then took a nosedive the next week down to $290. I immediately jumped on it and bought our tickets (I can’t imagine that prices will drop much, if any, lower). Then I got another update this week that the price is at $290 still. So, I think I made the right decision. I tell you this because if you’re planning a vacay and want the best rates, I highly suggest kayak.com. They saved me a lot of money and for a budget-conscious-save-every-penny-use-a-coupon-for-everything person like myself, I was quite pleased.
Oh, super-side-side-note… it’s been in the 70s for a couple of days now. I realize I live in Texas and all but 70s in January? Really? Come on! Then yesterday we had a ridiculous storm. It was pitch freaking dark outside and there were several tornadoes in the area. It was nuts. Mom was home with the dog thank god (who was scared whit-less). Mom said she shook (the dog, not mom) for over an hour straight. Poor sissy baby dog. Then today, it’s in the 40s. I’m sorry but this is just ridiculous. It’s winter. Be cold, and stay cold. 70 degrees is for March!