Sick Day

Today I took my first sick day of the year. At least I think it was. They are pretty rare days. This cold is dragging on and on. Not just for me, but for the kids, too. I think I just got a bad bite of it. Knowing that taking off at the end of the week would be much (much) harder, I decided it would be better to say home today since I have off Wednesdays, too, and rest up. I’ve been taking some Mucinex to make my cough more productive, and have been trying (moms know it’s not easy) to do as little as possible. So I’m still doing laundry, cooking and managing schedules, but I’m not doing hard cleaning, taking walks, or using my brain beyond the necessary.

Beyond that…

I did it. Now onto Holidalies 2010.

Monday Oh Monday

Another day of feeling under the weather. Better, but still riding the wave of fatigue. Even though I worked at home today, I took the majority of the time off. I ran some basic errands (stopped at the office, then to Goodwill) and came home. That’s about all I could handle.

Wrestling started today for the boys. They were pretty excited. Frank’s one of the coaches. Now that he’s on first shift it is so much easier. I don’t know how we made it through last year with him on second, the boys all needing to be somewhere at the same time, and me with one car. Thankfully I had a casserole frozen and ready for evenings like this. It takes some planning, but it really is helping us to stay in better shape financially. Just knowing that I had dinner semi-prepared, in the oven baking was peace of mind. I used this Cheesy Beans & Rice Casserole recipe one day after making a load of kidney beans and having nothing to do with them. So glad I did. Everyone liked it, and we had enough for leftovers. My kind of meal.

First Day of Advent

First day of Advent.

Went to church.

Ate burgers at Red Robin. Delicious.

Purchased an early gift at Best Buy.

Stopped at Dick’s. Got Under Armor, looked at soccer shoes, going to wait and check for better prices.

Picked up our tree.

Came home.

Played our early Christmas present, Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Ate pizza.

Sucked on multiple peppermint sticks to keep from coughing.

Watched Date Night with Frank.

Whined about my inability to sleep.

Came upstairs.

Checked Facebook.

Wrote this entry.

Grasping Euchre

Despite my not feeling well, I made it to a neighbor’s house for a couple hours for a little post-Thanksgiving cheer. I had been hoping to be feeling better, but this cold is kicking my booty. I brought along a batch of the Girlfriend’s Graham Cookies with me, fresh from the oven. Two days prior I had mistakenly made the batter, thinking I was making Magic Bars (same ingredients, different method). No way was I going to chuck the batter! I just covered it and stuck it in the fridge. Glad I did, because it came in handy.

Frank and I, and the twins, went over. We had a jolly nice time. The hostess is one of the ladies from bookclub. There was one other bookclub person there (a few more were invited, but hadn’t come). I sipped water, and had a wine-7up, and a small glass of bubbly for a birthday toast. We had finger foods, and I met some people I did not know, caught up with one I hadn’t seen in years.

And I played a bit of Euchre.

The weekend of our bookclub retreat I played Euchre. I’ve been trying to learn for years (unfortunately it is rare, and strangely happens only when I’ve had a couple drinks and there’s not much learning in me). I’ve learned Spades and Poker, but can’t seem to grasp Euchre. This time, I played with a “helper” who didn’t know much, but knew more than I did.

The majority of my hands were horrid, I didn’t feel well, and we ended up losing. But, I’m watching and learning.

I went home a bit early, Frank stayed a little later.

Wah I’m Sick

Still not feeling so great. Have a cold that settled in my throat and bronchial tube, runny nose. Stayed in bed all day, except for the shower. Watched a lot of TV, thankful for the laptop. Hate being sick. Five days off of work and I have to feel cruddy.

Contemplating forcing myself to go to a movie with Frank. The kids (3 youngest) are saying at their cousin’s house tonight and the oldest is hanging with his girlfriend. Would be a nice night for us to do a little something. We’ll see.


Long night. Not really, but I’m tired.

Cousin’s birthday. Had half-price margaritas, free taco bar and karoke. Sang Push It. Realize I’m not the world’s best rapper. Legs ache from all the shopping, cooking, standing today, but overjoyed and excited for Thanksgiving. Feel blessed, enjoying the moment, and thankful for being able to maintain things as they are. Much to be thankful for.

The Power Of Eggnog

Eggnog is something I have not made from scratch. Yet. Suprisingly. Considering the amounts my family consumes from Thanksgiving to New Years, it really would make a difference in our budget. I’ve tried nearly every  ‘nog in town. The organics are good, but the the one that seems to be the majority favorite is Anderson Erickson Classic Egg Nog. Right now the only place I’ve found Anderson Erickson’s Egg Nog is at Hyvee. And, yes, I did drive clear across town at 9pm to stock up on eggnog.

I don’t really even wanna look at the nutrition information on that puppy, ’cause they use the real deal: milk and cream. But, you just can’t expect good flavor if you don’t. I picked up 3 cartons , hoping there would still be some leftover for Thanksgiving in two days. Ten bucks says one of the kids has a glass for breakfast, and one  carton will be gone by tomorrow evening.

Because I’m from Wisconsin, I like a nice dose of brandy in my eggnog. Mmm. I serve myself in little bitty glasses so I don’t go overboard. I just had two, and washed it down with one final sip of eggnog and my tummy is telling me that I overdid it. (The dairy products are starting to get to me. It’s a bad day when I run to Culver’s for my pumpkin malts during the holidays.)

When we were teenagers in love, Frank’s friend Bob would grab a carton of eggnog and drink it. All. By himself. I remember him walking down State Street with us, carton in hand, tilting it to his mouth. I don’t know that I had ever even tasted eggnog at that time, but I knew his way of consuming it was not normal. I don’t know if he had any liquor in there, but something tells me he didn’t. He just liked the eggnog.

100 Books List Meme

I may or may not have done this already. I can’t remember. But, I need an entry, and a meme will do.
The BBC apparently believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here:
(Indicate which books you have read…)

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – read some, but not others…
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth.
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Interesting list. I think my count was 24. There’s probably just about that many that are on my “to read” list, sitting on my shelf. Some of them are definitely worth reading, but some are a waste of time. I didn’t see Pinocchio on there, but it is a MUST READ, especially if you have young kids. The real version, not the Disney one. We read it as a family and Sal was enthralled with it for months after. He re-read it again and again. I just had to say that.

Light Switch Cover Decorating

This is an older post, but as I was coming up the stairs today, admiring my lightswitch plate, I was quite pleased, thinking that I should make some more of them. They have lasted years and look as good as when I first made them. Still can’t believe it. This project is a totally cheap and easy way to spruce up something in a room  for pennies.

Light Switch Decoration

After re-painting the livingroom and entryway, I decided to change the light switches and electrical covers. After looking around at Home Depot, Menards and the like, I figured it was going to be more money than I wanted to spend to get all new ones with the colors I wanted. So I decided to revamp the prominent ones by using supplies I had on hand . The one new thing I did get was the scrapbook paper, the rest I had on hand (and you should, too). My pictures didn’t turn out so hot, but you get the gist.

scrapbook paper (or paper of your choice)
glue (I used craft glue)
razor blade cutter (man I can’t think of the name right now – exacto knife, maybe?)

I took the scrapbook paper and made an outline of the lightswitch cover.


step2.jpg step2z.jpg

Then I took the glue, mixed it with water (about a 1:3 ratio, glue:water). With a paintbrush and some fingers I smeared glue on the back of the paper, placed that over the lightswitch cover and smeared generous portions of the glue/water soluntion on that as well. I let that dry a bit, then repeated that 2 more times.


After that dried I put a clear protective spray over it that I had on hand (2 coats). I don’t know if it was necessary, but since I had it If figured I might as well use it for extra protection. I also did a little trimming of excess paper at some point during the process.



They look pretty good, but I can see things I may have done different, like trimmed a little more or maybe even did a couple more coats of the glue water to make it even more durable. But oh well.