Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beginning to look like Christmas

While the boy was outside this morning doing yard work, I pulled the Christmas tree out and got busy decorating.
Now I just gotta get me some presents to put under it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Test run

I pulled out my new die cut toy and got to testing it with some scrap paper.
So easy and so fun. Now to remind myself that I don't need to rush out and start collecting dies.

Cuttlebug cutie

We braved the rain this morning to go run some errands, including a trip to Joann's so that I could check out some scrapbooking stuff that was on sale. Top of my list was a manual die cut/embossing machine. I have an electric Cricut, but I needed something that I could use dies with and emboss with. Since their machines were 40% off I was able to score a Cuttlebug (because my first choice of a Sizzix was sold out).
Much to my surprise it came with a free four-pack of embossing plates and a postage stamp design die. So far I've lovingly caressed the plates and read the instruction manual, but I haven't hefted the little beauty out of the box yet and started experimenting. So excited to have a new toy that I'll only use once or twice a year, but Lord knows I needed it!

Now I'm back down on my ass reading the paper and enjoying a hot cup of cinnamon flavored Starbuck's coffee (I had a $1.50 off coupon). Chris is out in the garage making noise and playing around with his rusty bike frames. Boy stuff. Oh, big news - while out grocery shopping Chris ran next door and finally got his long, luscious locks cut. Now he looks like those murals of John Bidwell downtown - short hair with bushy, graying beard. And I, like Annie Bidwell, am ridiculously short. We make quite the pair.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Our black Friday involved sleeping in until 9:00 am before dragging ourselves out of our warm, warm bed into our cold, cold house. It's been getting down into the 20s at night which makes it really hard to be persuaded to get up and get moving. And certainly not at some ungodly 5:00 am hour. Instead of hitting the sales today we stayed at home and did busy work. Chris raked about 50 pounds of leaves in the back yard while I went and played in my craft room for a little bit. I was able to finish one card before getting bored and wandering back out into the living room.
I at least got to play with some of my new stamps that just came in the mail.

This afternoon we watched one of our Blockbuster movies, The Book of Eli. It's a post-apocalyptic movie with Denzel Washington. Meh, I've seen better. We're taking it back tomorrow and trading it in for another one. I'll be along this time so I'll be able to karate-chop any bad ideas right out of the boy's hand.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for food

This Thanksgiving was just the old man and I, with a last minute appearance by my mom. Since we weren't feeding hundreds we had a very simple and minimal menu. I started the day by making some brown sugar bacon waffles for breakfast.
Definitely a hit with the boy. Bacon infused waffles - what more could he wish for? In the late afternoon, in between football games, the Canadian put together our pork tenderloin loosely using a Giada recipe. First was a layer of stone ground mustard mixed with peppercinis and green olives.
Next was covering the whole thing in bacon.
Two hours later it was ready to come out of the oven.
Along side of the pork we had green bean casserole, stuffed candied sweet potatoes and rolls.
My mom showed up about an hour after we ate (she had to work today) so I heated up a plate for her while we sat and chatted. For dessert I made an apple crisp, but the Canadian is still so full from dinner that he's not ready yet. I, however, already gobbled up my serving.
I wish I had vanilla ice cream to go with it, but I wasn't that smart. It's definitely going on the shopping list for the leftovers though!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tiny visitors

We had visitors today - Susan (C.) and the boys stopped by to say hello on their way home from bible study. When they came in C. asked them what the rules were and Andrew said "we can wrestle with Chris but not with Susan". Hehehe. Chris obliged and swung the boys around like monkeys and even C. hopped in to give Chris some pointers.
Boys have an incredible amount of energy. Phew! Eventually the lack of cool stuff at our house had the kids begging to go home so they could play on the computer, but not before I made them pose for a picture for Aunt Susan.
C. had to hold Andrew otherwise he wouldn't come out from behind the ottoman.

Yesterday in the mail I got a packet from work. My boss had mailed me some work to keep me busy during my absence.
He left a funny note that he was sending some reading material for me in case I was getting tired of watching "combat reruns" with Chris. Amen brother!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Are you seeing this??

The old man and I ventured out today and went to the movies to see Unstoppable. It's the runaway train movie with Denzel and Chris Pine. It was surprisingly very, very good. Chris is a fan of any Tony or Ridley Scott movie (this was Tony). We haven't been to the movies in a couple of weeks so it was nice to get back to our normal routine.

While we were there I ran over to Trader's to get some milk and while in line was sucked in by these little beauties;
Chocolate covered joe-joe's. OMG. And in four mouthwatering flavors...
Dear joe-joe's, I love you. Hey! No peeking around the corner trying to read the nutritional stats! If you have to look, then you can't afford (to eat) these things...but those two cookies I just ate were the best 260 calories I've consumed all week!

Monday, November 22, 2010

New stamps

Today's activities can be summed up by this simple equation: me = couch + tv. I didn't go anywhere (other than Safeway for last minute Thanksgiving grub) or do anything harder than press play for all my recorded Giada episodes. It was my first day completely off pain pills so I was painfully aware of every ache going on in my body. The back of my thighs feel bruised and hurt every time I sit down, my right leg is still bleeding, and I smell like a dirty bum. I depress myself.

Unfortunately I'm out of scrapbooking as I finished my last page last night,
It was for mom's early birthday trip to the winery in Vina at the monastery. I love all the fall colors. I could have made more cards today, but I wasn't inspired. Until I got some new treats in the mail, that is. New stamps from Papertrey Ink.
The big set on the left is of banners, then a small set of some standard greetings, and one of a dress form with some more sayings. Super cute and begging to be used. Maybe I'll feel more like crafting tomorrow, which also coincides with my shower day, so I might actually be able to stand being in the same room with myself. Excellent!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One more...

Out of boredom last night I went back into my craft room and worked on my next scrapbook page.
It's a simple layout from one of my online scrapbooking classes. And I got to practice using my sewing machine a little bit more. I still suck at it, but at least I'm enjoying myself.

We're raptly watching the last NASCAR race on ESPN. It's a three-way race for the title. We're cheering for Jimmie or Denny to win. I don't want to live in a world where Kevin Harvick wins anything, ever. He's a super douche and doesn't deserve anything more than a punch to the baby maker. It's true, nothing good ever came out of Bakersfield, California. I mean, have you been there?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Churning out the cards

I took a break from scrapbooking today and worked on cards instead. It was cold and rainy out so there wasn't really much else to do.
Now it's time for a little 'What Women Want' with Mel Gibson and a hot bowl of chicken soup.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Doctor visit

I had an early morning appointment with my surgeon this morning to check if my non-dissolving stitches were ready to be taken out. When Chris reminded him why we were there, after he was ready to dismiss us, he had the nurse come in and take out three stitches on each side. All the stitches I'd been eyeballing were apparently the dissolving type and were left in so it wasn't nearly as dramatic as I thought it'd be. He told me to stay in my garment for at least another week and then do whatever makes me comfortable. Leave it on for another week or two, switch to some kind of spandex legging or just free ball it. I told him that as long as my legs were swollen and touching each other I'd probably wear the garment because it protects the stitches and tape from each other. I don't go back now for another three weeks for him to check my progress.

My big plans for today included baking some cookies, just because I had all the ingredients (and they were my favorite from last Christmas).
Chai snickerdoodles. They're rolled in a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cardamon. I finished them just in time for a visit from my co-worker, Kari, who brought me a peppermint mocha from Starbucks which was perfect to wash them down with. Good stuff, Maynard.

I didn't do any scrapbooking today because I'm down to my last four events before being totally caught up and with two more weeks off from work I need to pace myself. I did my last page last night which wasn't really for any event in particular, just a page about Chris and I.
I used papers and embellishments from my Studio Calico kit and completely scrap-lifted the layout from one of the Studio Calico designers. I love that they use the same materials from the monthly kits we get in the mail so I can see lots of great ideas to do with mine.

No big plans for the weekend, other than making fun of those fools up the hill in P-town who are going to get hammered with snow. Ha! We're currently out of movies, so hopefully some more show up in the mail tomorrow. The last group we watched were Ghost Writer (loved it), Wolfman (only Chris watched it), and It's Complicated (mortified me). Chris is in charge of the queue and doesn't remember what he's got lined up next so I guess it'll be a surprise!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday morning errands

After our new favorite show, Regis & Kelly, was over this morning we got all duded up and headed into town to run our errands before it got all crazy-busy out there. I'd sent more photos to WalMart to pick up and then sweet talked Chris into taking me over to Maisie Jane's to pick up some thank-you gifts for my surgeon and the surgery center. Last time I delivered goodies from Great Harvest Bread Co, but I didn't want to get the same thing twice so I branched out a little bit. Maisie Jane's is out on the south end of Walnut/Nord and mainly deals in nuts, but also sells sweets and other edibles from local growers. From their website I'd already eyeballed a sweet & savory almond gift set that looked perfect and luckily was able to find it in their store.
I grabbed one set for each office and will drop them off tomorrow when I go back in to get my stitches removed (hopefully).

This morning I also talked to my mom and found out it was okay to open a package that she'd had shipped to me from Lucero Olive Oil in Corning.
An olive oil and balsamic vinegar sampler set. I'd worked with the sister of the owner, and she'd given me a little three bottle sampler earlier in the year which I'd absolutely loved. So I showed a bigger sampler set to my mom as a Christmas idea for me, but she made it a Thanksgiving gift instead! Seven different flavors of olive oil (including a lemon and mandarin orange) and five flavored balsamic vinegars, including my new favorite - blueberry. They're little bottles, 50 ml, which is like the size of small, restaurant size Tabasco sauce bottles. It's the perfect size to enjoy each flavor without being stuck with it for six months. And if you find one you love, you can always buy one of the bigger bottles. I can't wait to bust it open!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One week down

One week later and I'm running around much easier, sleeping in bed again, going on outings to Barnes and Noble, and able to sit up in a chair long enough to craft. Not bad since I didn't even leave the house for two weeks after the first surgery. While up and about yesterday afternoon I spent some time in the kitchen and made a lemon torte from one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks.
Pie crust filled with a tart lemon pudding mix and then covered with a marshmallow creme/cool whip topping. We gobbled it up like hungry little monsters.

I finished up some more scrapbook pages this afternoon;
The last two pages used papers and supplies from the scrapbooking kit my sister got me for my birthday. They're all fancy and glittery.

Now we're settled back watching It's Complicated with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. It was Chris' pick and it's slightly mortifying me. I keep screaming and covering my face. It's like watching your parents doing things you shouldn't know about. OMG - seriously, this movie is killing me. Ka-chunk.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fall into baking

When my warden wasn't looking I wandered outside this morning to check out the fall colors in the neighborhood.
The Japanese Maple by the front door is changing to a deep red and the ornamental plum trees are in their full red glory. I love this time of year.

I was first one up this morning because my back was starting to ache from not moving all night long and I needed a pain pill, so I got up and got breakfast started. Chris had picked up some apples at the store yesterday so I made a Dutch apple pancake.
This time of year always reminds me of baking and gets me itchin' to be in the kitchen. While we were at Raley's this morning I accidentally found a baking display full of every flavored baking chip imaginable. I limited myself to three...
Heath toffee bits, cinnamon chips and a mix of dark chocolate and mint chips. No, I don't currently have plans for any of these, but if I did find a recipe I'd want to be ready, right??

Monday, November 15, 2010

Carefully crafting

I was finally able to sit in a chair long enough today to do a little crafting. I'd previously printed off some photos so I had stuff to work on and got my layout for Oktoberfest done;
Next, I've got some birthday and San Francisco photos to work on. Tomorrow sounds busy!

One toasted toaster oven

After six well served years, our little toaster oven was sounding a little worse for the wear. The heating elements were warped, it was making a scary clicking sound, and one of the adjustment buttons broke a while ago. So, while Chris was out running errands this morning, he stopped at Kohl's and picked up a new toaster oven that was on sale for $25 and used a $10 off coupon we got in the mail for a super deal.
It's a little smaller, but that just leaves me more counter space to make a mess on.

I had another visitor today, Pam who used to be our receptionist at work, stop by for a quick hello and bit of gossip. She liked my compression garment, saying they just looked like leggings since they have lace around the ankles. I also talked to some co-workers who were just checking on my progress and were glad to hear I was doing so well. Wouldn't want them to forget about me yet!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gifts for the invalid

I had my first visitor today when my mom stopped by to check on me this afternoon and to bring the invalid gifts of healing. A plethora of candles;
Candles to perhaps cover the stench of my intermittently washed body, or just because she knows I like them. Either way I was happy to have them and immediately had the Canadian light up some of the cinnamon orange tea lights. Sniff, sniff....ahhhhhh, delightful!

New bling

I got some new Silpada earrings in the mail yesterday that I'd ordered from a co-workers party.
Big, free formed silver disks. I really like them - they're simple and classy. Did you notice....I'm not wearing a housecoat. I've got a loose purple dress on over my compression garment. It's going to be in the low 70s today so it was too stinkin' hot to be wearing a full length fleece housecoat. I'm down to a half pill every six hours and it's doing wonders for me. No more dizziness and nauseousness. This afternoon I'll throw some shoes on my swollen feet and go for a little jaunt around the block. I can walk fine other than I've got so much padding around my knees I can't bend them that well so I have to take small steps. Small, penguin waddle steps that is.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hitting the wall

Other than getting up to do the dishes or to tinkle, you'll find me cooling my heals here;
While I was kicking ass the day of my surgery and the following day, Friday started to catch up with me. I was hurting, the pain pills were making me nauseous, my gastroparesis starting acting up and I'm only able to eat a bite or two of each meal before getting full, and I slept - a lot. I don't have high hopes for today either. After my 4:00 am pill popping I didn't get back to sleep well and finally got up at 7:00 am because my stomach was rolling and I had a headache. As soon as Chris showed his face this morning I made him fetch me a cookie for breakfast to calm my tummy. I would gladly take stinging stitches over upset tummy any day. Hopefully I'll feel more human after my shower this morning. A hot shower and some hot peppermint tea could be just what I need.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Greetings from the couch

This morning was my much anticipated leg surgery. Chris dropped me off at 7:30 am and I think I came home sometime in the one o'clock hour. This was 100 billion times easier than my first surgery. I can get up on my own, as long as Chris moves the ottoman out for me first, and I can walk pretty normal and I don't hurt. It's just a little stinging on the incisions. Best of all, I got another sweet compression suit to wear.
They had to remove so much tissue that I ended up with two drains again, but this time they're hooked to my ankles and the tubes are being head steady in my garment so I won't bump them like last time.

I've been napping on and off today, but nothing like last time. My friend Lulu, who lives down the street, stopped by and brought lots of food for us.
Chicken and rice casseroles and soups, plus some pot pies for Chris. And of course a container of desserts - Lulu is a trained baker. I had some of the soup for dinner and it was perfect. She kept everything pretty bland in case my stomach was queasy from all the drugs, which it was. With all the pre-shopping we did and all of Lulu's food, I think we'll be set for a couple of weeks!

We go back to the doctor in the morning so he can change all the football padding I've got stuffed in my garment and he can check the drains. I already warned Chris not to ask me to look at the incisions when they're exposed because it grosses me out and I try to pass out every time. Maybe I'll be ready to look in 6 months. Maybe.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bulletin board banditos

About two weeks ago I was called in to the assistant head-cheese's office and assigned the glorious task of revamping the outside bulletin boards where we post notices and agenda for commission and council. I scratched out an idea on paper and sold it to her, but then had the unfortunate task of making my sketch a reality. Knowing that I was in over my head, I called in the assistance of my live-in handyman, Chris. He took my idea, improved it, and helped me get all the supplies I needed and basically built the damn things for me.
A mock up of the project;
It's two, 2.5' x 3' pieces of particle board covered in a brown burlap that each have two pieces of trim board (painted black) that have little hooks screwed in them to hang the paper off of. And then, instead of having to paint some wood letters black, I found 6" black chipboard letters at the scrapbook store for only $0.50 each that Chris shot with a quick spray of black paint to help reduce fading. I think we're (Chris) actually going to get one side completed tonight which is great since Tuesday is my last day at work until December. Then I can get boss-lady off my back (and never agree to any other ridiculous project)!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Clairvaux Vineyard

For my mom's birthday (not until December) she wanted to go see the monks out in Vina (between Chico and Red Bluff) and their little winery, New Clairvaux. Neither Chris or I had been, though the 'rents were members of their wine club and had gone out multiple times, so we thought it sounded like a great idea and made plans with mom to go out before the weather turned and before my surgery. They open the tasting room at 11:00 am so we had mom meet us at 10:30 am at our house and then headed out.
After going through their little hall of information about their monastery and winery, we bellied up to the bar for some free wine samples as poured by resident monks.
Once we were sufficiently buzzed, we got the low-down from the friendly gal at the cash register about where we could wander and where we couldn't. Armed with a loose understanding of what we were doing, we headed down a marked path until we came across a quaint little church that was open to visitors.
Next door to the church was the Sacred Stones project which is the reconstruction of an 800 year old Chapter House from a monastery in Oliva, Spain.
They've only constructed a small portion of the total project, but when completed, will be absolutely magnificent. Sierra Nevada brewery paired with the abbey and will be working on Trappist-style abbey ales for 2011, proceeds of which will go to the abbey to help fund their project. From the Chapter House we headed over to a section of the property set aside for people on retreat. There was bookstore and chapel that guests could walk through.
We really enjoyed our visit and our wine tasting. The weather was perfect and since we were there right when they opened we had the place to ourselves for a while. Good pick mom, good pick.