Friday, January 31, 2014

January 30th - Recovery from the Snow Day

Things were a little slow around here this morning - school is still out (that doesn't affect me, of course!) - roads had re-iced, and it was cold!  I had taken a loaf of bread dough out of the freezer last night, so I made some cinnamon rolls this morning.  Yummy!  Bill didn't leave until late morning, as he had to pick up some supplies for his job and he didn't want to deal with any messes.

I spent the rest of my day doing as little as possible.  It is amazing how quickly I become totally lazy!  I did work on my family history files and got all done that I can do until the supplies come in.  (Note - they arrived late this afternoon, so maybe tomorrow I can work it into my schedule.)  I did manage to do a few of the necessary things around the house, but only the necessaries!  I also worked on the Bathcrest books.  I need to get them finished up so Bill can think about doing the taxes.  I will probably have to work on that some more tomorrow, too. 

All my frenetic energy just plain wore me out, so I also took a rather long nap.  Although my sinus infection seems to have cleared up, I guess I am still a little low on the energy level.  I even cooked a quickie kind of dinner, so we were able to eat something besides cinnamon rolls today.

Since the temperature got a little above freezing today, most of the snow has melted.  It is supposed to get up to 50 tomorrow, so that should finish it.  I guess that means it is time to get back to normal.  Whatever that is.  It has been a fun and interesting week for us - so glad we were not part of the horrors that many had to endure.  It is also good to hear so many good Samaritan stories coming out.  People really are mostly good.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 29th - Fun Snow Day!

While much of Atlanta struggled to get home from work - many had still not made it yet by this morning - in our little world all was well.  We got the least of the mess.  There is ice and snow and it is foolish to be out unnecessarily, but we do not really have any major problems.  In fact, once the sun came out, the stuff on the roofs and roads began to melt.  Of course, anything in the shade stayed frozen since the temperature never got above the 20's.

Lisa, David and kids drove over this morning.  The main roads were clear enough to be able to drive.  They stopped at Costco on their way and bought a sled for the kids.  The only real icing was along Prospect Church Rd.  In fact, there was one vehicle that had skidded off and was in the ditch.  David brought the family on over here and then went back to see if he could help them.  He had thrown the chains in the back of the truck, so he was able to pull the car out.  I think they were very grateful people - much cheaper than getting a tow truck!

Ashby and Brooks were so excited to play in the snow at our house.  They had already played at home, but we have a better hill for them.  It is to the side of the house and there isn't the danger of going in to the creek at the end!  They had more fun - sliding, making snowballs, making snow angels, and just running around in it.  Ashby spent quite a while in the playhouse in the backyard, making things with the snow in the little kitchen.  They were in and out all day - mostly out!

They did head back home before the sun went down, since with all that melt they could expect everything to refreeze and turn back into a sheet of ice.  That is the biggest problem driving here - ice.  Don't listen to those people who claim that we just don't know how to drive in snow.  When it is just snow, we can do fine.  The layer of ice that develops beneath the snow is the problem!

There is plenty of blame being thrown around for the absolute chaos that has happened - thousands stranded on the interstates all night, children not being able to get home from school and spending the nights at school or even on buses, etc.  There is no doubt that emergency preparedness was not practiced, but there were also other factors that caused the gridlock.  Oh, well.  At least I am safe and sound and didn't have to deal with any of that.  I do feel sorry for many friends who were caught up in, though, and couldn't get home.

So, for us, it was just a party day and we did have fun.  In addition to the playing, we made some cookie bars, baked some frozen bread, picked up a deli chicken at the grocery store and had chicken and rice, laid around watching TV, laughing and having a great day.  Love the family - it would have been boring without them here!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January 28th - Snow - With a Vengeance!!!

Snow had been in the forecast, but it said that north of Atlanta would probably only get a dusting.  Sometimes they are wrong.  We actually ended up with an inch or two, but the further south and west you go, the more the snow.  We are fine here and Bill was in Gainesville for a job today, so had to problem getting home.

Unfortunately, there are a few thousand other people who can't say the same.  When the snow came heavier than expected, every business in town sent people home early and the roads can't handle that much all at one time.  Add to it the fact that there was considerable snow and ice and driving was slow and dangerous anyway....  Well, chaos and gridlock are the nice words to describe the result.  Motels filled up, gas stations ran out of gas, people were stuck on the roads everywhere.  Just glad we were not in it!

The worst was the school children in Cobb County.  They had early release, but the snow came even earlier than they had thought and by the time they released the children to buses, most of the buses had to be recalled and the children were stuck at school.  Parents couldn't get to the schools to get them, because of the total gridlock.  I understand there were maybe 400 students who will end up sleeping at schools.

There is nothing like a snowstorm in Atlanta!  When it is forecast and they react in advance to close schools, etc., and then nothing happens, everyone laughs and makes fun of them.  Then they have an experience like today and everyone is accusing them of not being prepared in advance.  I guess it is a no-win situation for the school officials. 

On the bright side, it is beautiful outside, with all the snow.  Bill and I are both home; we have electricity; we have plenty of food; we plan to enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 27th - Finally beginning to feel a little better!

As the day went on, my sore throat got less and less so.  The worst part is how hard it is to swallow and how much it hurts when I do.  But it wasn't as bad as yesterday, so I figure by tomorrow I should be back in pretty much full swing. I took it easy today, though, so I really will be even better tomorrow!

Other than a few routine household things, I worked on my family history files a good bit and got quite a few more finished.  I am beginning to get low on some of the supplies I need, but I had submitted an order to Staples over the weekend, so I hope it comes in a couple more days.  I got about half of the Bacon line done today.  Hopefully, I will be able to finish that tomorrow.  Then I will have half of mine all done.  It actually is going pretty fast now that I have worked out a system.  And they are already in decent shape, so adding a few things isn't as bad as I had thought it might be.

I watched this week's episode of Downton Abbey this afternoon.  I never get to watch it when it is broadcast on Sundays.  I am glad they post it on PBS to watch at my convenience!  I also took a nap, although I ended up mostly just reading and resting.  I don't think I ever actually fell asleep.  I still needed the down time.

I am beginning to see the end of this round of the sinus trouble.  I hope it is the last one this year.  I have not had so many flare ups in years.  I certainly hope the next round of bad weather doesn't set it off again!

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 26th - A "Not the Best Day of the Week" Sunday

I had every intention of going to stake conference this morning, regardless of how I was feeling, but it didn't happen.  My throat is so sore that I can hardly swallow - but still no fever.  About the time I needed to get dressed, I realized that I would never be able to sit there through two hours, so I just gave it up.

I did put some boneless pork ribs in the oven on a very low heat to let them cook all morning.  And I pulled out some potatoes, broccoli and apples - all from the weekly produce delivery - and got them ready to cook when Bill got back home.

Other than that, I tried doing a few computer things, but just didn't have energy and ended up back in bed by late morning, which is where I was hiding out when Bill got home.  The meat was cooked and falling apart, so I put the rest of the food to cook, and we actually had a nice Sunday dinner with just the two of us.  I added some barbecue sauce to the meat, steamed the broccoli, boiled the potatoes, and made fried apples with butter and brown sugar.  The kids had been invited to the home of some friends to celebrate one of the children's birthdays, so they didn't come over. 

I sat around for a little, but by mid-afternoon I went back to bed and this time slept for a long time.  I accomplished absolutely nothing today - unless you count that I actually cooked a meal - and it feels like a totally wasted day.  My throat is worse this evening, so I am beginning to wonder if I am going to have to make a trip to the doctor one day this week.  There is still no fever, so I really don't think it is strep or a cold - just sinus drainage - but it could get infected if it persists too long.  So irritating!!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 25th - Still Yucky!

I expended so much energy yesterday that I still have none today.  And the sore throat and headache and achy everything else is still there, too.  Yuck.

I did get three loads of laundry done, including replacing the sheets.  I also straightened a bit and cleaned a little in the kitchen.  At least the place looks good.  I also spent a good bit of time on my family history files.  I got one of my grandfather's lines all done - and it looks good.  In fact, there were several things I saw that I just wanted to stop and work on!  Next to not keeping a research log (my worst bad!), jumping from thing to thing is my second worst bad.  But, I stayed on task and finished the first file.  Three more of mine to go and then four of Bill's.  Although, I doubt that I will try to do all of it at one time.  It makes more sense to do it as I am ready to work in a specific file. 

This weekend is stake conference - one of the broadcast kinds - and Bill had meetings in the afternoon.  I was feeling so bad by evening that I just stayed home.  When he got home, Bill said it was a really good meeting (it is always the best).  Among other things, the first counselor in the stake presidency was released.  We are already speculating on why that is, but I will control myself and wait to see.

So, another yucky day and no end in sight, but I am excited about the files, so it wasn't a complete loss.  I hope I feel better in the morning.  I will probably go to conference anyway, as I don't want to miss everything!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

January 24th - Still feeling Yucky, but a great day anyway!

I still have the sore throat and headache - sinus stuff always takes a while to clear - but I just loaded up on meds and had a great day anyway. 

I met Lisa and Brooks at the mall, where we spent a while at the play area.  He had a ball.  It is always more fun when there are not too many children there.  Then we had a cup of pretzel bites - a "must have" whenever he is there.  After walking the mall a bit, we went to the food court for an early lunch.  It wasn't really that early for them, but it was for me, as I had eaten breakfast just a couple of hours earlier.  I had a little snack, though.  A little more walking, then playing on the coin operated cars for a while, followed by a ride on the train, and our mall time was over.

We drove on over to Ashby's school since Lisa was the mystery reader for the day (but she was taking me to do it as a surprise for Ashby), but were still a little early.  As luck would have it a big crane and a small bulldozer were working on the edge of the side road right beside the school.  Since Brooks is absolutely crazy over trains and mighty machines, we just parked in the lot near where they were working and he got to watch those mighty machines.  He gave us a running description of what they were doing - digging, dumping, tapping down, pushing, etc.  It certainly filled the time!

We then went in to Ashby's class room.  She did not know we were coming, but she knew there would be a surprise.  One of the other children saw Lisa and shouted, "It's Ashby's mom!"  Then Ashby turned and saw me, too, and got all excited and shouted, "My grandma, too!"  Once all the big hugs were finished, I sat in the chair at the front with all the children on the floor around me and we read the two books we had brought from home.  One was the Berenstains Bears about the bicycle and the other was about PJ Funnybunny wanting to be something besides a bunny.  The children were very engrossed and it was a lot of fun.  Ashby stood right up beside me the whole time - proud as she could be!

Then we all headed home.  I stopped at the library on my way home to return a book and to pick up six more that had come in.  Actually, they were the same books that I had not gotten read and had returned last week.  I had requested them again before I even returned them.  Now I will have 9 weeks to get them read.  That means I am down to about 11 books out now, which is down from the 20 I had a couple of months ago.  After doing just a few things at home, I had to take a nap.  I had really spent all my energy and though I may not be contagious, this sinus flare-up still saps the energy level.

Bill got home while I was resting and when I got up, we fixed some spaghetti for dinner and watched a little TV - before I couldn't stand it anymore!  I went into the office and worked some more on resetting my family history files.  I think I am going to like what I am doing, but it will take a while to get everything converted over.

I finished another book this evening so I keep plugging away at the pile!  I had a really fun day with the kids.  It even ended nicely with Billy calling while he was driving from Des Moines to Cedar Rapids.  It sounds like he is doing well.  He started his first class this week and is excited about that.  The other class was not held since Monday was a holiday, so next week will be the first class.  He is also enjoying the job more as he is finally feeling like he is up to speed on the project. 

It has been a good Friday!

Friday, January 24, 2014

January 23rd - Yucky!

Every time the weather changes, so does my health.  At least, anything related to the sinuses.  The sore throat that threatened yesterday is full blown today.  Add in headache and achy and tired and that pretty much does it for my day.  No fever - so it isn't a cold or flue, just the sinus thing again. 

In honor of feeling so yucky, I didn't do much.  Fortunately, it was a quiet day already.  I did some spend quality time at the desk working on family history.  I have my things sort of organized and have been thinking of what to do to make it better.  Today I worked on putting that together.  Redoing any big project like this is just done one family at a time, but I am happy with the changes I am making.  I will eventually get it all done.

I took a long nap this afternoon, probably three hours.  I guess I needed it!  Bill had to go out for a church assignment this evening and I was so cold that I bundled up on the couch with my fluffy blanket and the electric blanket over it.  I watched a movie on Netflix and then started watching another show, when Bill got home.  It took that long for me to really get warmed up!

What a lousy day!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

January 22nd - Wednesdays are all about Family History!

And I guess they will continue to be that for quite a while! 

Today was my day to work at the family history center.  A friend called early and asked if she could ride with me, as she had a couple of things pop up in FamilySearch and she didn't know how to fix them.  That is one way to make sure there is a patron! 

Actually, two other people were there as well.  My regular partner at the center could not be there, so she had a substitute, plus another consultant came in, too.  It was a very productive morning.  We got my friend's problems all fixed, plus we found some new information that she had been trying to find.  Success!

She and I stopped at Moe's for lunch on our way home.  It is always a good day when one can have a burrito!  Back home, I had a load of laundry to do, and then spent some time on the computer, plus a few other odds and ends.  During the morning, I had started noticing a sore throat again and by afternoon, it was getting pretty bad.  The weather has just changed again, so I am pretty sure it is sinus again, but darn! it is irritating - and it hurts!  I even took some meds for the pounding headache and rested a while.  I never fell asleep, but I was feeling better when I got up - well, except for the sore throat.

This evening I was at the church.  I didn't have anyone come to work with me, but I did get a chance to chat with the bishop, who was so excited because a non-member friend had asked him about genealogy after finding a lot that her mother had done.  He had told her I was an expert and would help her in any way she needed.  He couldn't wait to tell me all about it - and to copy me on the email he sent back to her.  I had also taken something to work on, so I was busy the whole hour I was at the church.  I have suggested that we let the other ward in the building know that I will be there on Wednesday, in case anyone wants to come over for lessons or help.  They have new family history consultants who are not sure what they are doing yet.

I was so tired when I got home that I didn't hang around much before I was in bed.  I didn't even read all that much before I called it a day.  I hope this goes away quickly, but I will probably have to deal with it for a few days anyway.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January 21st - Another Day on the Run!

I started the day with my water aerobics class.  When I got home, got showered, hair dried, etc., it was time to for a friend to pick me up for lunch.  We went to Chipotle and had a very tasty meal.  She is my visiting teacher, too, and has had a rough month and just needed to talk to someone.  Her 19 year old son is deaf and he got married two days before Christmas.  She learned he was getting married when she got a text from him that day.  It is easy to understand her depression over his choices - too young, extra struggles with life because of his lack of hearing, needing to go to school, always hoping he would serve a mission, etc.  His new wife joined the church a few months ago and hopefully her testimony is strong enough to see them through some tough times.  It can be so frustrating when our children just won't listen to our advice.  They think we don't know anything, when we have already experienced much of what they are facing and actually know a lot.  At least, she got to unload a little and I think she felt better just getting out and laughing, as well as talking. 

Bill's job for the day was postponed, so he ended up being at home.  He took care of several things that had piled up - like sending out invoices, some phone calls, etc.  Then at 3:00, we went out to see a movie.  We saw the new movie about Jack Ryan and we both enjoyed it.  I thought the car chase scenes were a bit much, but it has an interesting story line that I liked and the actor playing Jack Ryan is quite good - not to mention the best blue eyes ever!

Our evening was a quiet one and I headed into bed rather early to read.  It has been a good day and a little different than the "normal."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 20th - Fun Day with the Grandkids!

Since Ashby spent the night with us, my day started focusing on her.  It actually started about 2:00 am when she climbed into bed with us.  We have a king-size bed, so there is plenty of room, but she really likes to cuddle.  She was as tight to me as she could possibly get!  It was nice, though.  She doesn't move much, so when we were both back to sleep, there was not a problem.  It is fun having her with us.

We got up, got dressed, had some breakfast, and around 8:00, Lisa dropped Brooks off.  She and David were going to the temple.  Their stake was having a special stake temple day, so they went to participate.  It was a Monday holiday and so many people are off work that stakes often ask the temple to open for the morning.  Our stake does it on Labor Day.

So, I had a fun day with Ashby and Brooks.  They were both really good and played and made me laugh and all that good stuff!  Brooks is still so into trains that he immediately set up the Thomas the Train track, but decided he wanted it to be one long track - all the way across the room.  That stayed there all day long, and he was playing with it more than he was not!  Ashby had her new Barbie type dolls from the movie Frozen and played with those a lot, but she also played with a bunch of other things.  She was also singing "Let it Go" from Frozen most of the day.  By the afternoon, Brooks was singing just as loud as she was. 

David came by to pick them  up around 4:15 or so, so we had a nice, long, fun day together.  Brooks never napped, so I am sure he was ready for an early bedtime.  Ashby sat in my lap for a while when we were doing quiet time and actually fell asleep.  It must have been that 2 am interruption in her sleep last night!

We were supposed to go to Empty Nesters this evening, but Bill had worked all day and got home shortly before 7 and was totally exhausted.  We have reached an age where it is sometimes wiser to rest than keep going and this was one of those times!  I must admit, I was pretty tired, too.  I love having the kids here, but it does take a lot of energy - and I had my sleep interrupted at 2 am, too!

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 19th - I Do Love Sundays!

Sunday morning was nice and relaxed, as it will be most Sundays this year.  We had french toast for breakfast, since we will not be having a big meal later.  Church was also good.  The talks were excellent.  And, likewise, the RS lesson was really good.  That lesson was taught by a first-time teacher and she was so nervous, but did an excellent job.

My class went well, too.  It was the last formal lesson for the course and was on submitting names to the temple.  For the month of February, we will do some workshops to review what we learned and to answer questions or problems that they may be having. 

I wasn't home all that long when Lisa and family arrived.  Brooks did not take a nap, so they came on, but had already eaten.  We had planned on popcorn, snacks, and dessert, instead of a full meal.  It made it a little more relaxed, rather than coming home and trying to get a meal on the table and eating so late.  We had a fun rest of the afternoon and then did the popcorn and brownies.  I did fix a pan of bacon for BLT's, which Bill ate when he got home.

It is going to take a little adjusting to get Sundays to work now.  The last time we were on the late schedule, it wasn't such a problem, for some reason.  But the kids are a little older now and it seems to be harder.  Whatever works is what we will do!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 18th - Busy Work Day, aka Saturday

What is there to say about Saturdays?  At least, when Saturday is normal.  Bill had a job, so I was home all day.  And I was working, too.  It doesn't take much to imagine the day:  laundry, dusting, cleaning, etc.  The house looks really good, as I did do a little more than the usual weekly stuff. 

I also had time to work on some computer stuff, mostly family history.  We had a good presentation on organization at the meeting earlier this week, and I have been trying to get my things better organized, so I worked on that some.  I just can't quite decide exactly what I want to do about a numbering system, which I have never really used.  I can't decide if the method demonstrated in the class would be as efficient as it seems.  At least the files themselves are organized!

I also read some more in my new Female Ancestors book.  It is very interesting.  Since I will do the book review on it in March, I want to be prepared.  I also had a little time for some research.  I am missing having time to do as much of that as before.  I keep thinking I will get a handle on everything else, so I can do actual research, but so far that isn't really happening.

I was tired, too, so mid-afternoon I laid down and read a little and then fell asleep.  I finished the book I was reading, Broken by CJ Lyons.  It was really good - a teenage girl who is dying is given a week to prove she can actually make it in a real high school.  And then the surprise ending!  I had suspicions from early in the book, but that didn't detract.

Bill didn't get home until almost 7:00, so we just had a quiet evening, not really doing much.  I heated up some chicken & noodles al fredo that we had gotten at Costco and that was about it.  He relaxed in front of the TV, I played a game or two on the computer and then went in to bed to start my new book.

Boring, boring, boring!  But all is good.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 17th - Errands Run

Besides the expected things, I made a run to do errands today.  I have gotten so I would rather just be at home, so it takes a bit of effort to get myself out to do other things.  Today, I got gas, picked up a prescription, picked up some sale items at CVS, and returned a stack of books to the library.  Quite a few of the library books are not read yet, but I had reached the max renewals.  So, I had requested them again online and then returned them.  I will go pick them back up next week. 

I got into family history and spent quite a bit of time immersed in that.  There are so many things that I need to address with family history that it is hard to accomplish anything - I get a little here and a little there, but nothing really finished.  I think it is time to develop a master plan again, so I stay a little more focused.  Today, though, I did focus pretty well and got a lot done.

Poor Lisa has strep again, but David has been able to be home a bit more than usual, so he has been there to help with the kids and to make her homemade chicken soup.  Hopefully, no one else gets it from her.  They have had enough of that for a while. 

This is another of those "not much to talk about, but actually did a lot" kind of days.  The story of my life!

Friday, January 17, 2014

January 16th - Visiting Teaching

I decided to do deep water at my water aerobics class today.  I had done it a couple of times when they had a drop in class for deep water, but I usually like to be with Bonnie.  Since she is still having some leg problems and can't come, I thought I would try it again.  It was fun.  I think I may keep doing it.

Back home, I got showered and had some breakfast.  Then my companion picked me up and we went to visit Bonnie - yes, the same.  We had a fun visit and must have chatted for an hour.  We ended up making some plans for some things to do together in the future - like a movie afternoon at my house to watch "Saving Ephraim" and a day trip to Helen and Babyland General.  We actually did also get the message in and had a nice discussion.

That means we are finished with this month's visiting teaching.  Our third sister has just brought her father into her home to care for him and didn't want any visitors at home for a while, until he is adjusted better.  We have talked to her, but it will not be a home visit this time.

When I got back home, I had all the things that didn't get done all morning.  Mostly, I was at the computer or the desk taking care of a variety of things.  I got the outline for Sunday's lesson typed up, since I had finished the prep on it last night.  I read another chapter in my new book about finding female ancestors.  As the king of Siam would say, "Etc., etc., etc."

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 15th - Busy Family History Day

Today was the monthly meeting of the Gwinnett Genealogy Study Group, so I was busy right off the bat this morning.  I picked up my friend a little after 9:00 and we headed down to the Lawrenceville church building.  The new stake director was already there, so he got out the projector and screen so I could get that set up.  Meanwhile, everyone else was getting tables and chairs set up.  The meeting started right on time at 10:00.  All the presentations were really good and I picked up some great ideas for organizing materials and also for archiving things.  After the meeting and the steering committee meeting, we finally got out of there.  We stopped for some lunch on the way home.

At home, I did the things that didn't get done in the morning, but I must admit that I didn't overwork myself!  I spent a block of time reading the new book about finding female ancestors that came last week.  I will be doing a book review of it for the March study group meeting.  I think it might be a possible topic for a presentation at some point, too.

This evening, I went over to the church to see if anyone would come for the family history class.  I have only had one person say she planned to be there and she is not dependable, so I wasn't sure.  And I was right - no one came.  I had planned for that possibility, so I had something else to work on (my Sunday lesson), so it wasn't a waste of time.  Plus, I had a chance to talk to the High Priest Group leader a little, as well as the bishop.  I will be there again next week, just in case! 

When I got home and got a bite to eat, I relaxed a bit and then headed to bed to read.  I finished another book and started a new one.  I may never get all these books read, but they are all so good!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 14th - Evening with Friends

I ended my day today by going out to dinner with some friends.  We went to the new Cheesecake Factory at the mall.  So good!  One of the "girls" was in town from Idaho for a disability hearing, so she invited a few of us to join her for dinner.  There were the four of us and we had a great time, catching up and laughing.  The food was good, too, and we definitely ended with some cheesecake.  This place just opened a couple of months ago and I had not been there yet.  Of course, I probably won't go all that often, either, since I don't do restaurants that have an hour wait to get seated.  No food is that good.  This, however, was about friends, not food, so it was fun.

The rest of my day was pretty much routine.  I had water aerobics in the morning, followed by the usual things around the house.  I spent a good bit of time on family history.  My last Sunday lesson will be this week and it will be on submitting the names for the temple, so I wanted to make sure I had that all planned.  As usual, when I get into the file to do something, I end up working on one thing or another.  I think we will actually continue the class another week or two, but there won't be a formal lesson. 

I even managed to sneak in a nap.  I was very tired and I knew I wouldn't make it this evening without a little pick-me-up.  As it turned out, it was a good thing.  I didn't get home until almost 11:00, which is when I usually go to sleep.  And, I still had enough energy to read my scriptures and a chapter in my book.

Good day!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 13th - I Think Normal is Finally Returning

Today finally seemed like a normal day.  With all the holidays and then internet/telephone problems, things just have not been "normal."  What that really means is that I had a rather boring day, but I kept busy doing all those usual things that one must do at home.  I didn't even leave the house!

It also means that there isn't anything exciting to write about!  After all, straightening the house, cleaning the kitchen, working on family history, working on lessons, printing out some things, etc., are just ....... well........ normal!

And, believe it or not, I love it!

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 12th - Trying to Figure out the New Sunday Schedule!

So, just the second week on the afternoon church schedule and we are still in a bit of a state of chaos at home.  Having the morning at home is fine.  I got dinner in the crockpot and started.  I reviewed my lesson.  Plus a few other relaxing Sunday morning type things.

Church meetings were good, as usual.  My class went well.  Next week will be the final formal class and then we may take a couple of weeks for practicing, at least for anyone who wants to continue.  I was surprised the chapel looked so good, after the major flooding last week.  The bishop and clerk's offices, however, are not in such good shape.  Fortunately, nothing interfered with services.

Back home, I finished up dinner by putting the broccoli and apples on top of the dinner in the crockpot and baked some crescent rolls.  Brooks was asleep at home, so Lisa and Ashby were the only ones who came over.  We just fixed plates in the kitchen and ate in the living room.  Ashby had brought her CD of Frozen and we listened to that.  She knows every song by heart.  Lisa even posted an hilarious video of her singing one of the songs on FaceBook.  She can really belt it out!

We decided that trying to have dinner so late is just not going to work this year.  They are hungry by the time they get home and waiting another 3 hours is just too much.  And, if they eat a little, they eat a lot.  I think we will just do popcorn and dessert this year.  Plus, Bill didn't get home until around 6:30. 

We both had meetings to go to at 7:00, so Lisa and Ashby took off.  Bill headed to the youth fireside and I went to the Family History meeting.  I do not like the chaos!  Fortunately, they are only going to do these meetings every other month.

Maybe things will get smoother as we go along.  I sure hope so.  I really don't like 1:00 church!  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 11th - Whew! What a Week!

I have not posted a blog all week, in case anyone noticed, because the internet has been down since Monday evening.  It was finally fixed today.  I mean - a whole week?  We had freezing temps on Monday and Tuesday, so when it went down, I just figured it was related to the cold and would be fine in the morning.  Not so.  I let the morning pass and by mid-afternoon, it was clear that it was not going to get fixed without my intervention.  After a 2 1/2 hour phone conversation with AT&T, running all their diagnostics, etc., she finally said that she would have to send an internet technician, but it would be Thursday afternoon before one was available.  I was a little irritated at that much delay, but there wasn't much I could do.  He showed up on Thursday as scheduled, checked the internet and promptly announced that there was nothing there.  Duh!  I had figured that out on Tuesday.  He was nice, though, and went out to work on the box.  After a delay where he went to get a part, he finally came back and said that it was a digital problem and they would have to send the digital guy out, but that wouldn't be until the next day.  So on Friday, the digital guy comes.  Again, he was a very nice man and he worked for quite a long time, until he thought it was fixed.  As he was sitting in his truck closing out the order, I checked it one more time and suddenly it was NOT working again!  I ran out and caught him in time.  After some more checking, he announced that it was a power problem and another guy would have to come out.  He didn't know if they would make it that afternoon or the next morning.  I guess they came out and did something, because the same guy showed up again on Saturday and spent a couple of hours working on the box in the rain and lightening.  He finally announced that there had been two problems, and when the power problem got fixed, he was then able to figure out our problem.  And "our" was not just our house, but some others that were involved as well.  Long story to just say - it seems to be fixed.  Here's hoping it lasts!

Other than waiting around for repairmen all week, I was mostly at home.  Monday, Bill's job was rescheduled, so he and I went out for lunch.  On Tuesday, it was so cold that almost everything was cancelled - like school and my water aerobics class.  On Thursday, I did go to class and it felt good to work out again. 

Friday was my birthday, so Bill and I went out to breakfast before he went to do a job.  That evening, we met Lisa and family at Provino's for a birthday dinner and then went over to their place for a little bit.  Poor Brooks has a really nasty ear infection, torn ear drum and all, and David and Bill gave him a blessing.  Then he ran around playing monster with Ashby, David and Bill.  You would never know he was sick, except for the oozing from his ear.  He had to get an antibiotic shot earlier in the day, since the previous meds had not helped and that was his great trial.  His poor hip hurt for a long time afterwards.  Hopefully, that will do the job, along with the oral meds he is on.  If not, next stop will be an ENT and the possibility of tubes.

So, I have mostly kept busy at home.  I have been using my iPhone for checking emails and FaceBook and learning a lot of things about how it works.  There have been a lot of things, though, that I really don't want to do on such a small device - like typing a blog!  Here's hoping next week is a little smoother!

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 5th - New Sunday Schedule

So, today we switched to the 1:00 church schedule - not my favorite, but it does have some advantages.  At least I don't have to hurry around in the morning, making sure dinner is planned and that I get out of the house on time.  On the other hand, by the time I get home, the afternoon is pretty much shot.  In the balance, I'll take the early schedule, but I would rather be at church on Sunday than at home, so I am not going to fuss about it.

This morning, I did the final pre-prep on dinner, so that it would be quick to finish up.  I did a meatloaf, though, so that will have to cook for an hour and a half regardless.  I did leave a note, just in case the kids came straight over from church and were here before I was.  That didn't happen, as they went home and let Brooks get a nap first.  He is recovering from another ear infection and was pretty tired.  That actually worked out fine, too, as it meant we ate later, so everything had time to get cooked.  Along with the meatloaf, we had baked potatoes, black-eyed peas, fried apples, a green salad, and rolls.  It was good!

My family lesson went well today.  We are on the second lesson about record research and I used one of the students for my example of how to research to find the next generation.  It was perfect, as I was able to teach some techniques, as well as show them how FamilySearch works.  Everyone really got into it.

I got my temple recommend renewed today, too.  It expired the last day of December and I had forgotten to get it done.  The second counselor in the stake presidency was in our ward today, so that made it easy.  I had the interviews back to back and I was done.  He was on the stake high counsel back in my stake RS days and he often asked me to accompany him on his speaking assignments.  Then he was a bishop during my Public Affairs days and we had a number of interactions there.  It is nice to personally know the stake presidency members.  It adds an extra level of comfort, I guess.  In this case, I have worked with all three of them, so that is even better!

After dinner, we had Venett take some time and show us some of her pictures from her recent trip to Russia and Switzerland.  They were very interesting and it made for a fun hour.  In between, there is always more than adequate entertainment provided by the muchkins, who are cuter every day!

It was a good Sunday, as they all are, and hopefully in another week or two I will have a routine figured out that works smoothly. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 4th - Finally Getting Back to Normal - or at Least Closer!

Saturdays are usually busy with routine stuff and to day was just that.  I finished getting the Christmas stuff all down and into boxes.  Well, Bill still has his lights outside, but he will take care of that.  I also did some straightening around the house, maybe 5 loads of laundry, computer stuff, planned and pre-prepped for Sunday dinner, etc.  Pretty much a normal Saturday.

We had planned to go to Costco and refill the freezer, but Bill had forgotten that he was the one in charge of cleaning the church today, and he had not called anyone to help.  He went over and did it by himself.  Then he was only home a short while when he got a call about helping someone move the last bit of their stuff after the truck they were using broke down.  So off he went again.  His day was even busier than mine!  Needless to say, Costco will wait.

So, I ended the day with things back in place in the house, which feels great.  I like Christmas and the decorations, but I love it when they are finally put away again.  I still have all the Christmas bins stacked to be carried into the attic.  Maybe Bill and David can do that tomorrow.

Tomorrow we switch to the afternoon session for church, so I will have the morning at home to finish up anything needed.  That does take a little pressure off Saturdays, but I really prefer morning church. 

I spent some of my computer time planning out my week and month.  I also need to give the house a deep cleaning this year, so I worked out a schedule to accomplish that.  I figured it wasn't a big rush and if I did just a little each week, I could have it all done by June.  I can't believe that I used to clean out every drawer, cupboard, and closet twice a year.  Now, if I do it every two or three years, I am happy!

So, it feels like things are starting to get back to normal.  In my case that means - boring!  But, I wouldn't change a thing.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January 3rd - Funky Friday!

I am running out of things to call the days this week.  The days are all so low key that nothing much exciting is happening.  Then again, I am still enjoying myself.  Today was another one of those kinds of days.  Bill did have a job, so I was here alone.  Doing as little as possible!

I kind of spent my time between the computer and trying to get the Christmas decorations put away.  I have everything down except the nutcrackers (they are on the dividing wall and Bill will have to climb up to get them) and the tree itself.  I think everything else is down and cleaned and the normal things put back.  We will get the tree down tomorrow.  Oh, and Bill has the outside lights to take down, too, but that is his responsibility, not mine!

I worked on my Sunday family history lesson and I think that is pretty much together.  I had a few other projects to do at the desk, so I kept pretty busy all day.  In the afternoon, I took a short nap, but I ended up mostly reading.  I finished one book and started another.  I did finally doze off and slept for a half hour or so.

Billy called this evening.  He was on his way from Des Moines back to Cedar Rapids and was bored.  We may hear from him a little more now that he making that commute on the weekends.  He sounds good and is happy to be back in the condo in CR.  He likes the studio that he rented in Des Moines, too, so that is good.  He is anxious for classes to start, but that isn't until the last week of January.

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 2nd - Still Feels Like the Holidays!

Since this is the first real day of the new year, it would have made sense for life to start to get back to a normal routine, but I failed to do it!  With the decorations still up and Bill not working today, it just felt like another holiday.

I did manage to get one load of laundry done.  Well, I started it in the morning and then forgot about it until late in the afternoon, when I finally remembered to put it in the dryer.  Hmmm, maybe my brain forgot to come into the new year with me!  Later, I started putting away a few of the decorations.  I can't stand to have the place get all messed up, so I take one box at a time and get it done.  It will probably take another couple of days to get everything down.

I went out to lunch with a friend and her daughter.  We went to Mimi's and had a great time.  The daughter is 11 and she enjoyed being one of the grown ups going out for lunch.

Back home after lunch, I did a few computer things.  I got into FamilySearch, but I had to use Internet Explorer instead of Firefox.  I can't figure that one out, but at least I was able to check the family tree of the person in my class and her tree will be a perfect example of how to research records.  It took me just a few minutes to find the set of parents that she has been frustrated trying to find.  It will be a great learning opportunity for the whole class.

I was so tired that I finally took and a nap and ended up sleeping way longer than I should have.  It meant I wasn't really ready to go to sleep when it was bedtime.  I had eaten such a big lunch that I wasn't hungry again until into the evening, so I just had a popcorn kind of night and read my book while Bill watched something on TV - I think it was a big game, but I didn't even watch it.

I ended up reading in bed until well past when I should have.  Oh, well.  This was still a holiday - maybe tomorrow I will have a more normal day.  Then again, maybe not!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January 1st - Happy New Year!!!

After our big party last night (Ha, ha!), we laid low today.  I guess you could say we started off the new year at a new low! 

About the only thing I really accomplished was to make some cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  I had put out a couple of loaves of frozen dough yesterday, so I just rolled them out, let them rise a little, and baked them.  Yummy!

I spent some time at the computer, but I had trouble with FamilySearch not letting me search records.  I hope it works tomorrow.  One of the students in my class gave me her user name and helper number, so I could look at her tree and use it for my lesson Sunday.  We will be talking about how to search for records on FamilySearch.  But, with the site not letting me do what I wanted, I didn't really get anything accomplished.

I also managed to sneak in a rather long nap in the early afternoon.  All my hard work made me tired, I guess.

Mid-afternoon, the sister missionaries stopped by.  They had been out tracting for a while and were on bikes, so they were getting cold.  They just wanted to warm up a little.  I fixed them some hot chocolate and we had a nice visit.  Then they went off to tract a little bit more, before coming back here.  Bill had volunteered to drive them and their bikes back to their apartment.  Of course, he can't take them in the car without me, so I went along.

Once we dropped them off, we were almost to the mall area, so we went on over to Macaroni Grill for a nice dinner to start the new year right.  It was very good.

So, even though I did nothing of value, it has been a good beginning to this new year.  Here is hoping that each day can be a good one - for us, for our family, and for everyone!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December 31st - A Fun Ending to Another Year

Most of the day was pretty much the norm.  That is, until we headed over to Lisa's in the late afternoon.  She had planned a series of activities for the children to make the new year celebration fun for them.  And it was so fun for us, too!

She had balloons taped to the glass door with times written on them - starting at 5:00 and going every half hour after.  Inside each balloon was an activity.  They took turns popping the balloons at the appropriate time.

At 5:00, the activity was to make pizzas, which was also our dinner.  And they were so good!

At 5:30, they made party hats.

At 6:00, they made brownies.

At 6:30, they made paper plate clocks and noisemakers.

At 7:00, they made a time capsule.

At 7:30, they danced in the dark.

At 7:50, they poured the sparkling cider and got ready for the new year celebration.

At 8:00, the balloons at the ceiling dropped, they blew noisemakers, popped streamers, and toasted the new year.  After all, it was New Year somewhere!

They had so much fun, and so did we.  It took another hour to get all calmed down again.  For late night entertainment, Ashby played her violin and sang and Brooks played his drums.  So cute!

Once Brooks had gone on to sleep, which took about 10 seconds once he got into bed, Ashby came down and read us a bedtime book.  "Twas the Night Before Christmas" never sounded so good!  Then she was off to sleep, too.

We hung around for a little longer, talking and enjoying the evening.  We didn't try to stay until midnight, though.  We are just too old! 

Happy New Year, everyone!!!!!!