Thursday, December 31, 2009

You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!

It snowed last night! Not like a little dusting, but real snow! We're at about 1-2" and still falling. I can not remember a winter like this. My dad claims that it shows that global warming is hooey. From what I've read, if we didn't have global warming, this would happen more often. I don't know. Either way, we've had three major snows and it's only December!

My new baby, Evie, won't stop meowing! I'm thinking she's teething, or she's upset that Wicket doesn't like her. Probably the former. The other thing that worries me, though, is that she is sneezing as well. And her nose was running yesterday. I thought she was being cute, rubbing her nose on my face, until I realized she was wiping off the snot! She has a vet appointment in about half an hour. I'm praying my baby won't be sick for the new year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

People and Things I Love

Beyond the expected boyfriend and family, of course.

I love Garrison Keillor. He makes my heart skip multiple beats. Not in a lusty, gotta have him kind of way, but in a way that makes me want to live in his world. Everything about it feels perfect and beautiful, even when it's sad. I love how he wears red tennis shoes, even when wearing a suit. He makes me think of my favorite professor in college. They're probably about the same age.

His work makes me think of the place I grew up. Yes, I've moved back here, but it's not the same. The fall festival I loved so much has withered into a mere shell of what it once was. The major town here has exploded into a city of yuppies. My gorgeous, independent local coffee shop that supported local artists was obliterated when Starbucks came through town.

Preparedness for the New Year

For Christmas, I got a solar-powered, crank-powered flashlight/radio/phone charger. I also got 8 cans of peas, partially because of my pantry, and partially because my brother and I expressed an interest in canned peas for holidays since we only had frozen as kids. And for the coup de grace of my preparedness gifts, I got 250 rounds of ammo for my 38. My parents are awesome :o)

Eventually, I'd like to have a rifle, and sell my revolver to get a pistol. But it will be a little while. I'm encouraging *B* to go hunting with his dad again, but I have a hard time eating venison. I don't eat a lot of red meat, and the venison I've had in the past seemed really bloody. *B* is going to have to make it and not tell me what it is for me to eat it. I am open, though, to trying new things.

I think that I'm well on my way to being prepared, but there's a lot more that could be covered. I am planning on buying gamma buckets as soon as I am financially able. Because of Christmas, and our mortgage being a pretty substantial change, it might be a little while.

I was surfing the web today, and came across this Newsweek article on preppers. It seems to me that when my grandparents were younger, the idea of keeping a stocked pantry and money on hand was an ordinary idea. Now, the media makes it out to be a big deal, like 9/11 and Katrina helped create the idea of being prepared. We're just getting back to what we once did as good homemakers and providers for our family.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What a Surprise!

I got the best Christmas present ever. While it wasn't what I was desperately hoping for, it was very good nonetheless. May I present to you:


My mom, along with my dad and brother, got me a kitten! As you can see, she's a gorgeous tuxedo cat. She's purrfectly symmetrical (I couldn't help myself). She just loves to purr and be cuddled, which is what I do best. Her name, Evie, sounds like the letters E and V. It's a common nickname for Evelyn, and was the main character in V for Vendetta. Wicket is not at all happy with her being in the house though. It will be a long, slow few weeks until they get used to each other. I'm praying for a somewhat quick acquaintance period.

We went to see all of our close family on Christmas Day, but went to *B*'s parents to see extended family yesterday. We ended up sleeping over because it was closer for *B* to get to work. Then, we saw my extended family today. Talk about running around!

To top it off, we went to Ikea tonight to get some pieces of furniture that we really wanted for the house. Yes, we could have lived without them, but I think they complete our rooms.

I am totally beat from all of the running around. I will post much more extensively tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We Made It!

We weathered the storm (pardon the pun) quite well. We got two feet of snow! That hasn't happened since I was about 7 years old. As it's such a rare event, I took a million pictures :o)

That's a normal size picnic table right there - the snow went well over the seat.

We walked down to a local park to see what it looked like outside of our neighborhood. This is a good indicator of how much it snowed. *B* is just shy of six feet.

This is Main Street of our little town. Isn't it gorgeous!?

*B* taking a much deserved shovel-break.

This is picture number two of me on this blog. Not the best picture of *B*, but it's Christmas break. He's entitled not to shave or wear contacts :o)

Even Wicket got into the action! We weren't afraid of her running, unlike other times of the year. We tossed her out into the back yard earlier in the day to see if she'd like snow. A few seconds after this picture was taken, she was pawing at the door to get back in.

I've gotten so much done in the last few days. Almost a year after I received it, I made a good playlist for my digital picture frame. Before, we just threw in whatever card was full. Now, they're good pictures that make me happy.

I've finally gotten my meds in order. I am so thankful for it, too. I was pretty miserable. I'm still working with a psychologist. I'm starting to think teaching (or at least teaching physics) is not for me. The more I talk to her, the more I realize I dread work. Not as much as other jobs I've had, but still more than I should for a career. She made a really good analogy - what would you say about a relationship where you're together because he's an okay guy and there was no one better around, but you didn't love him. That made a lot of sense to me.

I also reorganized our pantry this week. For my birthday, my brother got me 24 boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. That means we now have enough cornbread mix to feed an army!

Isn't it a gorgeous pantry? I've asked for gamma buckets for Christmas, and I plan on getting/making more shelves like those shown here. We've got plenty of vitamin C fruits, veggies, and canned soup to last us for three months. I'm so proud! It feels so good to not NEED anything. There are things I go to the store to get (like the ingredients for our awesome dinner last night), but nothing I MUST get.

Speaking of last night, I made prosciutto-wrapped pork loin with pears and sweet potatoes. It...was...AMAZING! I got the recipe from Real Simple. Oh so delicious, and very, very easy.

I'm also very excited for our Christmas Eve dinner. We're going to a very nice (so my brother says) local restaurant. I've never called to make reservations anywhere before, and I've never been there before, so this is going to be fun. *B* even said that he'd dress up for it. I just have to get him a dress shirt. He only has two collared shirts, and they're super casual.

I love Christmas!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Break

I'm so thankful that it's Christmas break. While I haven't finished my Christmas shopping, I still have a little bit of time. I was going to go today, but the snow changed that idea.

Right now, I've got cinnamon raisin bread in the bread maker. Tomorrow morning, I'm making cinnamon rolls for breakfast, assuming that *B* doesn't make it into work of course. I'm a bit worried that he will try to go in tomorrow morning and get stranded. Not that I have a problem being alone, I just prefer not to be.

I'm sad to say I've been rather sick lately. I have had a headache for 3 days, and I've been really nauseous. I have a feeling that it's helped along by my meds problems. Today, my blood pressure was through the roof and my right eye was twitchy. I have doctor's appointments this week to get everything squared away. I am hopeful that everything will get squared away and fixed by the new year.

Hunkering Down

We here on the east coast are getting ready for what is to be the biggest snow storm since I've been alive, or at least since '96. They're already forecasting 10-20 inches of snow for our area. That's unheard of! It's both a good and bad thing that today starts Christmas break for me. Good: I have no where to be. Bad: This snow wasn't useful in terms of getting days off of school.

We are very prepared for the storm, but I decided that we could do with some niceties: orange juice, fresh fruit, etc. So we went out to Food Lion. It was a little busy, but not crazy. When we went to get my prescription refill at Rite Aid (next to Safeway), the parking lot was ridiculous. It took me ten minutes to get out of the parking lot alone! It seems like everyone is rushing out last minute.

I'm very excited for the snow, even if it means staying inside. I have a book and a magazine to read if the power goes out. I'm hoping it doesn't come to that, but either way I'm ready for it!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

So Proud!

*B* got accepted into a nighttime masters program! Things work out so well. He will transfer in January to a daytime job that is mostly Monday to Friday, then in the spring start taking classes that are just down the street from his work at a pretty well known college! He will have an MS in Environmental Biology. This does mean, though, that his tiny raise that he would get from transferring will go toward tuition instead of helping me pay bills. But I'm going to teach him how to do the FAFSA today, and hopefully he can get aid.

On a slightly sadder note, we found out the other day that his mother has to have her gallbladder taken out two days before Christmas. She will be laid up over the holiday! We're going to make her a get well basket, but she's really a go-go-go kind of person. She's going to be miserable... I hope that she can recover quickly to enjoy some amount of the holiday.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's 6 am...

...and I have been up for 2 hours. I just wrote a paper for my science methods class. Today is the last class and I am SO thankful. This has been the worst class I've ever taken. After 2 or so weeks, our first teacher quit. Our second teacher has never taught this class before. I really can't say that she taught anything. She read some bullets on some PowerPoints. No elaboration, just bullets. For the last FOUR classes, we've been teaching mini lessons. There are only 10 classes total, and we canceled two! The assignments don't have explanations, just rubrics. You have to figure out what they want you to do by reading the rubric. And my last paper, the highest score on the rubric just says "demonstrates understanding with more than one example" for six random concepts. Mind you, we never discussed these concepts. I had to assume what she means by "science and the community" and "the historical and cultural applications of science." I am so glad today is the last day, because I am beyond frustrated with this class!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Medication Troubles

I had to go to a doctor to get my medication adjusted. I went in knowing I had a problem with anxiety, and I came out with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I didn't believe him, but I took the medication anyway. He put me on a mood stabilizer and an anti-depressant. I feel awful. I'm unhappy, unmotivated, and uninterested in anything. I've been nauseous lately. The smell of salmon today made me gag. It's an awful existence. I need to find another doctor. I have a terrible time making appointments, though, so I keep putting it off. My lack of motivation doesn't help.

On a good note, *B* got a transfer approval. He'll be working much closer to home and much more normal hours. I'm really hoping that this change will improve our time together. Lately we've been somewhat distant. Or rather, I've been distant and he's been supportive. I hate acting that way, but I can't help it. I really can't. :o(

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Let it Snow!

We got over 5 inches of snow yesterday! That's a big deal for around here, and probably the most we'll see all winter. Wicket seemed to enjoy it, as she ran out the back door when I opened it. Usually, I freak out and run after her, but I knew that she wouldn't get far in the cold, wet snow. She pawed around for a good two minutes and ran right back inside. Good girl :o)

Because of the snow, we couldn't go to get a tree like we wanted to. It took me an hour and a half to get home from school yesterday morning when it's usually a 45 minute trip! So instead, we addressed all of our cards to be mailed tomorrow, had some mildly spiked coffee, baked cookies, and watched Christmas movies.I love spritz cookies. We happened to go to Joann's (a craft/fabric store) the day after Thanksgiving and I saw a spritz gun for $6.99. I just had to have it. So yesterday, I made 5 dozen chocolate spritz cookies in varying shapes.
When I was little, I had a teddy bear hamster. If you don't know, they are what most people who think of hamsters imagine. We gave him a tree-shaped spritz cookie for a treat, and he stuffed the WHOLE thing in his pouch. It was bigger than his head! You could see the outline of the tree through his cheek. It was hilarious.
More spritz cookies. YUM!I only made half a batch of shortbread, because I didn't pull enough butter out of the freezer ahead of time, and it was eaten quickly. I have four left this morning. Side note - I've cleaned that pan a million times, and those splotches are still there. It used to be my mom's, and that's how I got it. Any ideas?

I'm really hoping that we'll be able to get the tree. Last year, we waited until the weekend before and I didn't feel I could enjoy it. We used the little lights last year because that's what *B*'s family does. This year, we're using the big, C8 light bulbs. I like them much better.