Monday, November 30, 2009

And So It Begins

I used to think that the end of November was entirely too early to be decorating for Christmas. But tonight we are decorating our tree. And so I thought I should decorate my blog as well. I hope you will find it festive. I mean, it's just changing the colors, I know. But it's all I've got.

I do have a confession, actually. With just one month left in the year, my New Year's resolution from this year to run 365 miles is completely shot. I have a couple of disclaimers before I give you the full extent of the bad news. First of all, it took a few weeks into the New Year before George was able to retrieve my treadmill from my parents' house. And then, more significantly, I promptly began caring for three sick children until I became so sick myself that I was hospitalized for a week and subsequently faced with a few months of recovery. Summer was touch and go for no real reason except that I was miserable. And then, right when I began to pull myself up by my bootstraps at the end of the summer and even worked through the three mile barrier, I started working! I also know that there are days that I ran that I forgot to record my mileage, and that for every mile I have run, there is at least a half mile that I have walked (I always warm up and cool down with at least a quarter of a mile, and there were plenty of days during recovery where I just walked), but I only counted the miles I ran. And now here we are at the end of November, and I have been a little more consistent for the last month, but I am still really almost 300 miles short of my goal at this point! Can you believe it?! It's so embarrassing! With only 31 days to go, I am hoping I can at least hit 100 miles for the year. And that should be quite reasonable, given the original goal of 1 mile a day. But the thing about December is it's busy. Still, I think I can do it... not that it makes me any less of a failure for the entire year. But here's to no pneumonia in 2010, and a hundred miles in spite of it in 2009. I'll let y'all know if I make it. How embarrassing if I can't even do that?!

Well, I hope you are all feeling ready for Christmas. Because here it comes. I picked up my (winter rose) poinsettias today, and made another stop to purchase the forms to make my wreaths. The boy scouts where we bought our tree yesterday gave me a ton of trimmings, so I am already thinking another E is in order. I did so love how it turned out last time. So I guess that's what I'll be doing this month, making wreaths and running that last 30 miles. What about y'all?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Anybody Want a Peanut?

Okay, well if two other kind souls are having the same search issues as me, I know it isn't just me. I'll just wait and see if the Blogger people can fix it. Hilarious that Blogger is powered by Google and the search function is what is broken! Some people do not think it is hilarious at all though. You should see the yelling and screaming that is going on on the help forum. Every now and then someone reminds everyone that we get our blogs for free. And then the next person says they don't care and they are changing over to Wordpress. Lots of people have been changing to Wordpress. But I'll stick with Blogger. Me and Blogger go way back.

Enough talking shop, let's talk The Princess Bride. It is only $7.50 at Target right now, and the cover alone is worth that:


Evidently, this is called an "ambigram." (According to Ken Jennings' blog, which I stumbled upon looking for a picture of the cover.) Do you see it?


It's the same upside down as it is right side up! It's inconceivably cool, don't you think?

Pumpkin

Really? Just one comment? All I am asking y'all to do is type in a word up there in the blank white box by the orange B and tell me if you get any results. P. U. M. P. K. I. N. And let me know what you turn up. There are 28 posts with that word in it, so if you get two, you know it's not working. If you get a whole bunch (you don't have to count), it is working, at least a little.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Troubleshooting

The weather feels quite November-y now, doesn't it? It was awful to drive in all that rain today though! I am so glad to be out of it! I'm home now, with a giant cup of coffee/ hot chocolate/ Bailey's Irish cream/ whipped cream. Yowsa! Also, I am watching last year's video tapes of Christmas on the Food Network. It doesn't get much better than that! And then over on Annie B's blog, she's talking about Christmas baking! I too am going to get cracking on some Christmas baking within the week so we can take some goodies (as well as gifts) with us to Michigan for Thanksgiving. We are doing sort of a whirlwind trip because we have friends that are also coming here for Thanksgiving that we want to see, so we are traveling back home the day after Thanksgiving. I'll also need to have a few little things to offer our friends when we return. So, it really is about that time!

I am having a problem though. I can't find any of my recipes on here using the search bar up top. However, Heather said she found my pumpkin cake by searching the other day. It's confusing to me. When I search "pumpkin," I get nothing. I actually get nothing when I search "church" or even "St. Louis," both of which I mentioned even two posts ago. It appears that my search engine will only find results on the most recent two posts- which is hugely convenient? No, it's not. Anyway, there are about 400 comments on the help page from other bloggers with this same problem, which has been going on since July. My question for y'all is, can you search my blog? Just try "pumpkin." And Heather, if you see this, how did you find my recipe? I am going to add myself to the list of people needing help on the help site, but it would be helpful to them, I'm sure, if I could tell them a little more- for example, that y'all can search, but I can't. In the meantime, if you can't search, I have opened my blog back up to being searched by Google. So you could do a Google search "pretty funny for a girl" (in quotes) and pumpkin to turn up that recipe in the meantime. It's not very straightforward, but it does get you there in a roundabout way... One other alternative, I just discovered that I can still search on my "edit posts" page, so I could copy and email you any recipe you might need. Not that y'all will be baking any of my recipes any time soon, but just in case.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Merry Tune

So speaking of things I love, I have to say that I adore the song "Maybe" by Ingrid Michaelson. It's like an anthem for adolescent Abby about 15-20 years too late. It just makes me smile. Because I know that 16 year old Abby would have had it blaring from the tape deck in her little green Volvo with the windows down and the sunroof open every day on the way home from cross country practice. And I just want to tell her that it doesn't go the way she wants it to go, but that it goes alright in the end. And it's a happy thing to be able to say that- that even though it's not the culmination of all things hoped and prayed for, it's really good. And instead of being embarrassed for or still a little sad for adolescent Abby, I kind of cheer for her when I hear that song, because "in the future" she's going to be okay.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My New Best Friend

I didn't end up having a drink last night. Instead, I had three or four of my new favorite thing, Dove Peppermint Bark. Jennie Ray, I'm talking to you! These are so so yummy. Dove chocolates have been a Christmas time staple for me since my sophomore year in college when Jennie, Kimmie, and I became enamored with Dove dark chocolate bells. Sadly, it has been many years now since Dove has made their chocolate in generous, dense bell shapes. They changed them to Dove "presents" while I was still in college, and the result is a much thinner and boring piece of chocolate. Still, I consume bagfuls every Christmas season. And yes, I am that one person you see wandering through the Christmas section when you find yourself in the back of Target for a bag of dog food weeks before Thanksgiving. It's shameless really. But I have made lots of friends. I always ask the one other person back there what their excuse is for being in the Christmas section so embarrassingly early. I've been delighted with the answers I've gotten, everything from a lady who throws a Christmas in July party every year in red, white, and blue and has to grab the blue ornaments as soon as she sees them because they are so hard to find, to hearing about people's families who live in different places that they will visit soon and bring early gifts. You should try it! Stroll on back for a bag of Dove peppermint bark and make a friend! Well, a friend besides Dove peppermint bark- because you will be delighted to make its acquaintance.

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Brief Rant

Today was a hard day. Chicken fingers are being served for dinner, and I may even allow myself a little whiskey and coke here in a bit. But oh, the calories.... Anyway, I'm just tired, I think. And a whole lot of other stuff. But especially today, I am tired. It is frustrating to start the week exhausted. The day after our "day of rest" and I am exhausted. The thing is, Sunday never feels like a restful day at all. Does anyone else feel this way? Sunday is increasingly my least favorite day of the week. This should not be. The whole scurrying to dress three children and ourselves to get out the door to be thirty minutes away in time for a nine o'clock service and not getting out of the building until half past noon and half past starved, and then back out of the house again by five thirty to be at evening worship by six which is entirely too early to have eaten by if you didn't eat until one but then makes supper entirely too late because you are getting home at eight and school is in the morning and the kids are exhausted and starving all over again is just out of control. Is it just me? And what is the solution? Because I am really fighting Sunday lately. And like I said, this shouldn't be. And besides that it shouldn't be, it sure does make for rotten Mondays. I think I will have that Jack and Coke after all :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Random Information

This will only be useful to St. Louis people, but it is worth letting them know. You can buy the dough at Dewey's to take home and make your own pizza. You can refrigerate it for up to five days or freeze it for longer if needed. Dough for a small pizza is $2.50, for a medium pizza $3.00, and for a large pizza $3.50. So it's both less expensive and tastier than a Sam's pizza, and perfect in a pinch! Because sometimes you just don't have time to wait for dough to rise, and Dewey's dough is ready to go! (That sounds like a commercial jingle "Dewey's dough is ready to go!") Just thought I'd share. (Look at me being all brief!)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Random Solicitation

I am always looking out for good books to get Amabel to read. Since she has been in school, her reading has slowed a little, but she still goes through a book or two a week it seems. She really loves children's author Eleanor Estes. She has just finished reading Estes' The Witch Familyand there is a sequel that I am having trouble finding in any of the library systems for which I hold a card. It is called The Curious Adventures of Jimmy McGee and is available for purchase on Amazon. However, I'd rather just borrow it. None of you happens to own this book do you? If, by an off chance, you do, would you be willing to lend it to us?

Another book I am having trouble locating is a book called Twig by Elizabeth Orton Jones. This one is not even available for purchase except in the used section for $14 and upwards. If I could get a new copy at that price (less than $180!), I would probably buy it, even though I haven't read it before. Read this charming description: "After she is made tiny by magic, Twig finds friendship and adventure with Elf, the Fairy Queen, and the Sparrow Family." Does anyone know anything about this book? Better yet, does anyone know where I could browse through a copy or even borrow one? Is $14 a lot for a used book? It sort of seems that way. I think I am kind of a snob though- I'm not much for purchasing "used" anything. Except cars. And clothes, if they're nice. The problem with the Amazon used section is that there are no pictures. Hmmm....

Speaking of things that are hard to come by, I'll mention this in case anyone is interested. I just got the new American Girl catalog and discovered that Kirsten is being retired. I mention it in case she was your favorite (or a favorite of someone you know) and you hope to get her for your little girl. This is the last chance to do so. Most of her clothes and accessories are already sold out, actually. I just thought it would be a shame if you were holding off until later for some reason (she won't be around then, so buy her now and save her). I feel like things like that happen to me all the time! I think, "I wish I had known!" So now you know.

Sorry about the boring post. I'll try to write something more interesting tomorrow.

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