Monday, December 30, 2013

2014- A Banner Year

So, I guess everyone is talking about the ice storm of 2013. I remember the one in 1998 whereby I slid sideways down a gravel driveway in my Jeep.  My then 10-year-old son had read the drivers manual, and suggested I put it in part time 4 wheel, and whaddya know, I drove outta there. I even picked up some kids on the way into school.  I only hope I don't become one of those boring old people "remember the ice storm of '98?"

Anyway, alot of people lost power, and some unfortunates in Toronto are only getting theirs back today. As bad as that might be, the Mayor and the Premier, as well as hydro crews from Toronto and other provinces worked very hard over the holidays to get the situation under control.  They can only be commended. Mr. Ford, to his credit, brought a catering truck to a local housing community, and got yelled at by some of the residents.  Local grocery stores donated food to people who had lost the contents of their fridges, and you know, people were still whining.  I think it's shameful- because certainly this was caused by weather conditions.  The ice laden branches were taking out tree limbs, it was a disaster.  We only lost power for roughly 10 hours, so I can't complain.
This is the weeping something tree, and the branch is frozen.  It looked very surreal. There was no salt or ice melter to be had in the stores for several days. We stayed in and celebrated.
Missy Mew gave me a gorgeous x-stitch she made, and a book about the making of MTM. I am a huge fan of that show.  Sonny O gave me some Crabtree and Evelyn bath stuff and a Tim Horton's card.  FC got me clothes, books and a white gold necklace. 

I am officially turkeyed out, as well as devouring Quality Street and marzipan. I feel sick. I deserve to feel sick.

So for the upcoming 2014, it has been declared that it will be a banner year. My usual thoughts are of saving money, eating better and exercising. I just won't go gung-ho and burn out mid January. That never works. Small changes and positive thinking work better for me.

Thanks to all my blog buddies for another year of friendship- and may 2014 bring you peace and joy.

From me and the kittens.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

No Tannenbaum

Ten On Tuesday is 10 Cultural Traditions You Observe.  I don't really tie myself to any one particular traditions or culture, unless it involves marzipan.

When you don't have small children around, things tend to slide.  But there are a few things it wouldn't be Christmas without:

1. I always get a new ornament or two for the tree, and write the year on it.  Because Miss Mew has her own home now, I passed on the box of ornaments that I collected for her, and now she has a start on her own collection.
2. Bake cookies.  Miss Mew and I made Lavender shortbread, Ginger Molasses and Candy Cane this year. I got a cookie scoop when I was in the states, and it is the best gadget ever.
3. Watch Christmas specials and movies.  I love Blackadder's Christmas Carol.
4. Marzipan, and lots of it.
5. Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
6. Christmas music- I love Loreena McKennitt, and actually don't mind Andy Williams. Der Bingle is just annoying.
7.Looking forward to the new books I'll be getting. How do I know? I order my own gifts.
8. Turkey legs and cranberry sauce.
9. Even better- turkey sandwiches and mayo.
10.Eggnog cake. I buy it. But you can make it.

It snowed heavily on Saturday, and we're getting more now. I love snow, as long as I don't have to drive in it. And since I made alot of gifts this year, I don't have to go near a mall. Just last minute groceries.

Kittens are not co-operating. I wanted to get a picture of them with bows on their heads, and I had to give them some to play with. I'll wait until they're asleep.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Things On Your To Do List

On Tuesday mornings, FC puts out the garbage. This is a fundamental difference in our personalities. He is a last-minute kinda guy.  I would have it out the night before. However, if I take on garbage duties it will be mine forever.  So, I don't.  He's out there freezing his keester off.*

At this time of year, the list is pretty long. Here's the ten:

1. Wrap gifts. (did it all yesterday)
2. Bake cookies- Laura is coming over and we'll do it together.
3. Make a budget that I can stick to in 2014- ya right.
4. Organize bills and stuff for taxes.
5.Write cards- did that on Sunday.
6.Try and get the Raging Success to clear his room up.(sure)
7.Try and get FC to clean up the downstairs room (uh huh)
8. Get Laura to do my hair.
9. Wash kitchen and bathroom floors- hands and knees stuff.
10. Relax- and watch all the Christmas shows.
Actually, because I missed the Parade this year, I watched on the laptop. Tino was fascinated.
Howard slept through it. I understand that Mr. Ford was asked not to attend.  How hilarious is that?
I have finished another scarf/shawl thing. It's been pretty cold, and will be all week.

Time to put my feet up and watch the Grinch.

* I just returned from the GO Station, and I saw 2 people wearing NO SOCKS- and one had on shorts.
I am not kidding.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Favorite Housekeeping Shortcuts

December, eh?  After having a slight meltdown last week, my friend and I went and did a blitz of shopping, and got a few things to finish our lists. Now I can relax a bit, although I need to wrap and bake, but I can take my time.

I'm the type of person that if I know something needs to be done, it will bug the hell out of me until it's done.  Probably to a fault- and I've tried making lists, and setting schedules but I don't like regiments or rigidness. So I just get on with it, in a haphazard sort of way.

1.Keep the entranceway to your home clear, and that way people will think the whole place is tidy.
2. I like the floors clear, and I sweep the kitchen and bathroom every day. I wash them every couple of weeks.
3. Get rid of stuff so you can dust your surfaces. I will avoid dusting anyplace that requires moving a ton of knick knacks (isn't that a stupid phrase?) so I got rid of a whole pile of it.  I hate anything "decorative" like vases lined up- what purpose do they serve?  So, unless I love it or need it, it goes.
4. Keep your bathroom tidy- wipe the counter (after you have cleared it off) and make sure the toilet is clean- at all times. Nothing is nastier than going to someone's house, and having to wee, and blech. That stays in my mind forever.
5. One challenge I face is keeping my kitchen counter clear- so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.
6. Wash your dishes, and scrub the sink.  The first room you see into is my kitchen, and I like it to be tidy and don't want used dishes sitting around.  The guys who live here are a challenge because they use a glass and leave it on the counter. That's why we have a dishwasher.
7. If you leave things for a long time, like laundry or vacuuming, it is 10x worse, so at least once a week, devote an evening or morning to it. It really doesn't take that long.  I like laundry, but I hate to vacuum so I'll come over and do your wash if you vacuum my house. Deal?
8. Put things away- file papers, return the tools to the toolbox, everything should have a place.  I hate wasting time looking for something because some asshat forgot to put it away. (can you tell it annoys me?)
9. Give perishables for gifts- cookies, chocolates, and things like that. Then once it's done, no one has to drag out that ugly mug you re-gifted so they don't offend you. If you don't like it, chances are no one else will.
10. Life is not about housework- it's about friends and family, and you would like your home to be a place people can feel relaxed in. Not a museum, and not a place that someone is afraid to sit in for fear of messing up the cushions.
 I made this Creel Hat and Mitts from an Anne Hanson pattern for FC. I may make the cowl too.
 Tino likes to play with the cord on the camera-
...and Howard wants to know what is in the box. It smells a little bit ovine.

ETA: This was in the mailbox this morning.