Saturday, December 22, 2007
Hotel Sanitation? If you've got to stay in a hotel at any time during your holiday travels, beware - and bring your own cups and a container of Chlorox wipes.
Holiday Sweaters This is just too funny.
Friday, December 21, 2007
1. James (There's so much I could say to show why he's #1...)
I'll leave it at that for today. If I post 20 blessings every Friday, I'll be done this time next year - what a challenge! Feel free to play along!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
For today’s Idea Thursday, I’ve been thinking about devotional books. I’d like to start a daily personal study, but I need a guide. Something with a workbook would be good. Do any of you have a favorite? Ideally it would be a daily study, 20-30 minutes of reading and reflection. Please share with me any study you’ve done that you really liked, or studies you’ve heard of that sound interesting.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
If you're like me, you have a hard time remembering to take your vitamins or daily medications. When your child is sick and things are more stressful than usual, keeping track of medications becomes even more complicated. I've done a couple of things that make life easier when Wendy is sick.
1. We got a chart from her doctor with weights and the appropriate doses of Tylenol and Motrin. This chart lives on the side of the fridge. At the bottom of the chart, I record her current weight and the date after any visit to her doctor. That way I can see at a glance what dose she needs.
2. My whiteboard (which I've blogged about before) serves as a running of list of when she got what medication. This is great for those awful ear infections when she's getting antibiotics, Tylenol, Motrin, and eardrops. Basically, all the medicine lives on the kitchen counter out of reach. When I give her a dose of something, I write it and the time it was given on the bottom of the whiteboard. It's way WAY more reliable than my memory! (Without my whiteboard, I'd be thinking, I know I gave her the Tylenol at lunchtime, but was it before or after Guiding Light?)
I hope these tips help you out. Simplifying our sick days works for me - what works for you?
Monday, December 17, 2007
I'm kidding. I would never really do this. Because she wouldn't fit in the mailbox.
So last night during a screaming fit I noticed something in her mouth...something that wasn't there before. So naturally I poked my finger in her mouth and found - molars! The poor sweetie cut her first two upper molars! I wasn't expecting it, and was attributing her bad behavior to, umm, brattiness. But no! Two molars have cut. And now that they're down, my baby has mostly returned to her normal sweetness. I'm so glad!!
My friend Tiffany has started a "Monday Madness" theme in which she lists 5 things to get done that week. I think I'll join in, because I'm forever making lists and not accomplishing my tasks. Maybe putting them out in the blogosphere will make me more accountable to myself. Here goes for this week:
1. Put up the Christmas tree. I know, I know, we're way behind. I intended to put it up last week, and then there was the plumbing fiasco, and here we are, just a few days from Christmas, with not a decoration in sight. Unless you count two rolls of wrapping paper sitting on top of the piano as decoration.
2. Wrap presents. This is probably my least-favorite task of the holiday season. I enjoy the planning, shopping, baking, decorating, but I do NOT like wrapping. But as soon as I can see the dining room table again, I plan to start wrapping. Which leads to #3...
3. Find dining room table. I have not been the housekeeper I should be for the past...umm...we've been married 9 years. In our current house, we have a dining room between the kitchen and living room. We have a nice dining table with nice chairs. And currently said dining table and chairs are loaded down with piles of junk. The junk mail that didn't make it to the trash. The half-finished craft project. The pet supplies that I was sifting through the other day. Coupons. Receipts. You get the idea. If I find the table, we'll move on to #4
4. Start having meals at the table instead of in the living room. Wendy needs to learn to eat at the table instead of sitting in our laps. And also, when we sit in the living room to eat, it's way to easy to turn on the TV and zone out, instead of interacting with each other.
5. Get ready for our trip to Florida next week. We're leaving the day after Christmas to go visit the Allen/Martin clan in Tallahassee. We need to leave as early in the morning as possible, since it's such a long drive. Therefore, I need to be prepared in advance!
Wish me luck in accomplishing my tasks!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
It's true. Those are the profound words spoken by my resident engineer, a.k.a. James. He was replacing the bathtub drain on Sunday, to fix a leak into the crawlspace. After a lot of work, a trip to Lowe's, and a lot more work, he got it done...only to discover that while the drain had been leaking, the problem was much bigger than a pesky tub leak.
*cue ominous music*
Yes, in the nature of homes owned by the Allens, the problem is not simple, small, or easily fixed. James discovered that the pipe leading from the washing machine and bathtub drains was connected to...the crawlspace. It wasn't hooked up to the main line going to the septic tank. It was just an open pipe, draining all of the water from the tub and the washing machine directly into the crawlspace. And it's been doing it since we bought the house. Ick.
It could be worse - it could've been the line from the toilet that was emptying under our house. Then again, if it HAD been the toilet, we would've smelled it right away and figured out the problem, rather than going for a year with a wet crawlspace.
So for now, we are camping out at my folks' house. I'm very thankful we have family living nearby so that this is an option. We've been trying to get the crawlspace to dry out so that James can fix the drain problems. It's not drying out very quickly, since it's so humid and wet outside.
My folks' house is much nicer, bigger, and newer than ours, but you know? It's not my home. I'm ready for our plumbing to be fixed so I can come home to my very own crooked-floored, drafty-windowed, tiny old house.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Baked Potato Soup
4 large potatoes, peeled, chopped, boiled, and mashed
(leftover mashed potatoes work great!)
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup butter
6 cups skim milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups crisp-cooked, crumbled bacon
1 cup fat-free sour cream
5 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese (shredded)
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Slowly blend in flour with a wire whisk. Gradually add milk to the mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in salt and pepper, and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly. When milk mixture is very hot, whisk in mashed potatoes. Add green onion, sour cream, and bacon, whisking well after each addition. Heat thoroughly. Add cheese a little at a time until all is melted in. Garnish with cheese, bacon, green onion, etc. as desired.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
She was a cutie and the spunkiest of the bunch.
And on the plus side, one of the other two got a new home yesterday! So only one left! And then somehow I'm going to find the money to get Matilda spayed.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Yes, the kitten that the neighbor "wanted to keep" had been hit, and was laying in a mud puddle, half-frozen but still (barely) alive. I told James to go get the neighbor to see what she wanted to do, as I was picking the kitten up to assess the damage. He got the neighbor, and her response was, "Well, I don't want to see it. It's just a cat." No questions about how bad it was, no offers to take responsibility, no nothing. "It's just a cat." What, so she would've just left it to die in the cold, wet mud puddle??
I brought the kitten inside, and dried it off and warmed it up. It was immediately apparent that it wasn't going to live; its back was broken and its abdomen was filling with blood. If I was still working, I would've rushed it to the clinic to put it out of its misery. Instead, knowing kitty wouldn't make it to an emergency call at the vet 15 miles away, I cuddled her in a towel, rubbing and cooing until she died in my arms.
I am so mad.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Since we moved in, I've been taking care of the cat. I don't really mind caring for one outdoor cat; she keeps other strays away and probably keeps our snake & mouse population under control. When we moved in, I assumed she was just a neighborhood stray, because she was skin & bones & dry fur. After feeding her & petting her for a few months, she turned into a beautiful, friendly girl. HOWEVER - they neighbors claim she is their cat. They don't feed her, they don't take care of her, and they certainly haven't gotten her spayed.
I put a sign out today for "Free Kittens." We've had Matilda's latest litter living on our front porch for almost 4 months, and the neighbors have done nothing about it. So the neighbor girl comes over with a friend to look at the kittens, then says, "Oh my gosh, those are my cat's kittens. My mom wanted to keep the orange one." *grrr* I was very nice to the girl; it's not her fault, after all. I asked her to please have her mom let me know if there were any others she wanted to keep.
Inside I was fuming. You claim this cat - that you don't even feed, for heaven's sake - and her kittens. If it wasn't for me doling out the kitten food, these poor kittens and their mother would've been severely malnourished during the drought this year. And now they want to keep one of the kittens, one of the female kittens? I can just predict what will happen next spring...Matilda with show up with her first litter around April 1st, and this little orange kitten will show up with her first litter on April 2nd. We'll have two momma cats and eight kittens on our porch. Where does it end??
I haven't even started on the dogs. The dogs that roam all over our yard doing their business, the dogs that tear into our trash, the dogs that bark all night outside our windows. The dogs that are chained to trees for their entire lives, only interacting with a person when the boy goes to feed them once a day. When he remembers.
I think what bothers me most is not knowing what to do. I feel like I have to feed Matilda and her babies, because I couldn't stand seeing them starve. But how many litters are we going to have to raise and give away?? Do I try to get Helen to spay Matilda and whatever other female cats she's keeping? Do I sneak off and get it done myself, knowing that Helen will never do it? And what about the dogs?
Any suggestions? Anybody want a kitten?