Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Hello Salty Goodness!

I found a delicious crunchy salty snack that has a reasonable amount of fat and a lot of protein and fibre. Yes, I’m talking about dry roasted edamame.

I successfully lost around 65 pounds this year.  I’d like to get at least another 65 pounds off in 2012, if not make it to my goal weight. That means I have to make some more changes, like going cold turkey on Slurpees. Yes, my loves, my last Slurpee will be today. It also means I need to find some healthier things to snack on.   The dry roasted edamame was an experiment, and I’m pleased to say I like it. It’s not as cheap as, say, a bag of chips, but the nutritional benefits far outweigh the chips, as does the lack of greasiness.

I also bought some kale, and tonight I’m going to experiment with making kale chips.  The recipe I’m following is pretty straightforward–toss the kale in a bit of olive oil; sprinkle with sea salt; put in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until they’re nice and crispy.

I’ve also decided to go back to being vegetarian. I picked up some great vegetarian & vegan cookbooks at Half Price, and one of my goals for January is to prepare one recipe a week from either the vegan slow cooker cookbook or the vegetarian slow cooker cookbook.

For 2012, instead of setting a bunch of resolutions at the beginning of the year, only to fail abysmally within two weeks, I have decided to set monthly goals.  I figure I can do anything for 31 days. If some of them end up being permanent changes, well, awesome. But if I choose, after 31 days, to focus on other things, well, that’s awesome, too.

I’m spending the last day of 2011 having lunch with Liz and the Monster. Then Liz and I are going to go see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. And I’m going to Barnes & Noble to spend at least some of the gift card Joe got me for Christmas. And I will probably go to World Market with Liz. Then I’ll either watch Doctor Who with Joe, or else I’ll read.

2011 was a really rough year for me in more ways than I feel free to express on this blog. The things I have written about–losing two dogs and the house fire–are enough to deal with in one year. The other things have sort of pushed it over the edge.

I am declaring 2012 my year. It is going to be a fantastic year!!  I know–I have Faith (I am Faith). Wishing you all a very safe and very happy New Year!

Read Full Post »

Happy Holidays!




Whatever you may be celebrating this time of year, Happy Holidays to you and yours!



Read Full Post »

Happy Turkey Day!

I’ve had a good one.  Slept as late as I could manage, alas, I was still up around 7:30ish. Which, when you consider I usually start work at 7:30, isn’t that bad. Of course, I’m talented at sleeping until the very last possible moment on a work day, rolling out of bed, throwing on clothes, brushing teeth & hair, and running to the car. So maybe 7:30 isn’t that great, either. Oh well, it’s better than tomorrow.

Tomorrow the incomparable Izzybella and I are going to be at Half Price Books at 7 a.m. You see, HPB is giving away tote bags with $5 gift cards to the first hundred customers, and one of those hundred will instead receive a $100 gift card in the tote bag. Izzy and I hope that that lucky person will be one of us. Doesn’t matter which, because we’ll share. Plus, HPB has a really good coupon special tomorrow: $15 off a $50 purchase, or if you’re only buying one or two items, 40% off the highest priced item. Your choice. Seriously? Izzy and I can do a lot of damage at HPB, so we’ll have fun.

What else is on our schedule, you might ask? Well, we shall be going to Enchanted Forest, the awesome metaphysical shop I described earlier this month. We shall be eating out somewhere, I’m thinking Spiral Dinner, so I hope Izzy is in agreement with that. And we shall also be going to see a movie: Breaking Wind–oops, I mean, Breaking Dawn. And we always go to World Market and Target in the afternoon on Black Friday. Not necessarily to buy anything, just to go.  And we need to go to Hobby Lobby to purchase items with which we shall be making some Very Special Christmas/Solstice Gifts for some Very Special People (Jehara and Amethyst, I’m looking at you). And I guess other than that, we’ll do whatever the heck we feel like doing, which will mainly include staying as far away from malls as is humanly possible.   Oh, yeah, and Izzy has to renew her driver’s license. I’m hoping the DMV will be far from crowded tomorrow. Somehow I don’t really see people lining up to get their licenses renewed on Black Friday.

Since it is Thanksgiving, I suppose I should tell you what I’m thankful for.   I’m thankful to be approaching this holiday season about 65 pounds lighter than I was this time last year. I’m thankful that the incomparable Izzybella is my sister, and that CCJames, Jehara, and Amethyst are my soul sisters. I’m thankful for my mother and for my dad and my stepmonster, whom I adore madly. I’m thankful for all of my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews. I’m thankful for my little Emmylou Who. I’m thankful for Joe, who loves me even when I’m distinctly unlovable (but don’t worry–I love him when he’s distinctly unlovable so it goes both ways). And I’m thankful that I had Molly and Scout for as long as I did, and I’m missing them hard. I’m missing Chase. The world just isn’t the same place without him, although he has visited me in dreams a couple of times, and the last time he was being a real stinker. Hope I gave you a good laugh, Chase!

So I’ll check back in tomorrow night when I will be exhausted beyond belief, and glad that I don’t have to do it again for another year. And Izzy’s birthday is coming up soon, and I’m excited about that.

Peace out!

Read Full Post »

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday. Early, I know–usually we wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving, if not later. But I need a little Christmas, right this very minute.

Since our enormous tree and virtually all of our decorations got cooked in the fire, Joe went to our storage unit where we had a puny 6-foot tree I bought for $15 probably 15-17 years ago. And he had to dig through everything in that unit to find the one box of decorations that remain. May I just say that my tastes have changed a whole heckuva lot in the last 15 years. Virtually none of the decorations that are now adorning my scrawny tree are any that I would buy today. There are a few that I’d like to keep and display, but the vast majority are just dreadful. I’d like to just chuck them right into the garbage at the end of the year. Of course, Joe won’t let me. He’ll put them back in the box and haul everything back off to the storage unit. All I’m sayin’ is I’m getting another tree and more decorations before next Christmas.

And if you’re interested in seeing what I look like right now, I made a fish-face photo of myself and posted it on facebook. Okay, it’s treated with funky colours and overlays, but it’s reasonably accurate. Except I’m cuter than that.

Hope you’re having a good holiday week. Mine would be better were I taking off more than a day and a half (Thanksgiving and Friday afternoon), but I can’t complain. At least I have a good job and good teammates here.

Read Full Post »

Ten points if you know where the title comes from!****

So for weeks I’ve longingly looked at the autumn decorations in such stores as Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls. I’ve petted some of the prettier ones. (I don’t know why I do that, I just do. My stepmonster has a table that I pet every time I’m at her house, because it’s so beautiful and feels so silky soft.)  And once in a while I’ve even gone so far as to turn the item over and see how much it costs.

But they never make it into my shopping cart. Because our house burned down. And we’re now living in a 1 bedroom apartment. And if I buy any Halloween decorations, my husband will be very put out. Not only about spending the money, but also about where the heck are we going to store them once Halloween is over.

So I mentioned this to Sarah-bear at lunch today, and she promptly offered to loan me some Halloween decorations because she has plenty. What a wonderful solution! Joe won’t be able to complain because I will neither be spending money nor trying to find storage space once the holiday has passed. Sanschu, Sarah-bear!

Ooh–just had a deliciously wicked thought. I’m gonna buy Emmylou a costume! mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Izzybella thinks it’s abominable for people to dress dogs, but I think it’s cute. Joe and I got Scout an adorable little jacket last year, because his hair was so short that he got cold very easily, but he ate it off of himself. Emmylou’s going to need a jacket and perhaps a raincoat, but the apartment will be warm enough we won’t need to keep it on her inside. But yeah, she’s gonna get a Halloween costume, and I’m going to put it on her, and take her picture, and post it on this blog, and there’s nothing Izzybella can do about it!!!!!!!

And hey, if anyone feels so moved to loan me Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring decorations, I will not say thee nay. Because we’ll definitely be in the apartment over Christmas, and if we’re still there when spring rolls back around, I shall not be surprised.

It makes me sad to think of Scout not being here with us, and Molly, for that matter, at Christmas time.  When Molly was an only dog, we got her a big stocking full of doggie toys every year.  On Christmas Eve we’d hang it from the mantel, and she would stare longingly at it. We let her have one toy on Christmas Eve, because when I was a kid my parents always let us open just one gift on Christmas Eve and it was cool, and then on Christmas morning we’d dump all the contents of the stocking onto the floor, and she would be seriously blissed out.  She’d always rip out the guts and puncture the squeaker on one toy, but over the next few days she carefully distributed the toys to her hiding places throughout the house.

When we adopted Scout, he was in a serious chewing phase, and bless his heart, and Molly’s too, for that matter, he destroyed all of her years’ worth of saved up toys in mere days. So when we let them have their stockings on Christmas, he would rapidly destroy all of his toys in succession. Molly got a little more aggressive with her own toys, because she knew if she didn’t, he’d get them.

I think last Christmas we just gave them each a toy at a time, so that we could drag it out a little bit longer.

This year will be our first Christmas both without Scout & Molly, and with Emmylou. She’ll get the stocking this year, and she’ll get a toy on Christmas Eve, and she’ll get the remainder dumped onto the floor on Christmas morning. Knowing her, the toys will not last long.

It’s actually very cute watching her play with the toys. One weekend I was sitting in the living room reading, and surreptitiously watching her. She went to her toy basket, got out a toy, and took it and placed it under the dining table. Then she got another toy out, and put it in the hall leading to the bathroom. Then she took another toy out and played with it. Very cute.

Going home from work yesterday was sad. I miss my little Scout boy so much. Knowing he’s gone makes our home so much more quiet, more empty, even though all he’s had the strength to do lately is sleep.  I’m glad he’s not suffering anymore, though. And Emmylou is resilient–I think she’ll be okay as an only dog.

Because right now I cannot bear to think of adopting another dog. Every moment I had with Stan and Molly and Scout is precious to remember, but the pain of losing them nigh unbearable. Emmylou is still just a puppy, and heaven willing and the creek don’t rise, we’ll have her around for a good long time.



****Radiskull and the Devil Doll. And if you’ve never seen any of the Radiskull episodes, shame on you! Google and watch. Thank me later.

Read Full Post »

It does appear as though the direction we’re taking is rebuilding the house. Joe was there yesterday evening with the adjusters and mooring company, and they’re going to be gutting the house either tomorrow or Monday. And instead of it taking 2-3 months, as they originally estimated, it’s now looking more like 4-5 months. In other words, we’ll be lucky to be home by Christmas.

Joe got my wedding ring out for me, as it had been left in my jewelry armoire that will have to be replaced. And he got SGB’s manuscript off my brand new dresser that will have to be replaced. Are you sensing a theme here? Yes, the furniture is going to have to go. Even the brand new stuff that we got last Saturday. Less than a week ago, it was, and yet it seems a lifetime.

On the positive side: the hotel is just 10 minutes from my office. I can only hope the apartment they put us into next will be as close. Another perk of being in the hotel: free breakfast. Someone else doing the linens and making the beds. Clean towels every day. That’s good, right? And we get to have the dogs with us. (Poor babies–they’re so discombobulated they don’t know what to make of things. And how do you explain it to them? I’ve tried, but you know, they’re dogs, probably not understanding anything I say.)

Other positives: I get to go buy new clothes. And shoes. And at least one more handbag. My house on the inside will be all new. I get to buy new furniture. Yes, I’ve already started looking. (Hey! Stop laughing! Yeah, it may be 4 or 5 months until I get to go buy that new furniture, but if I start looking now, I’ll have a good idea what I want and where to find it when the time comes.) And new makeup. Sephora, here I come! And a new piano.

It’s just that when you try to sit down and think of everything that you’ve lost, it can be very overwhelming. I was making lists yesterday, and they only covered the bare minimum of what was in any given room. All my junk jewelry–cheaper to replace than to try to clean. The 3 or 4 fascinators I never got to wear–will the smoke smell ever come out of them? A basketful of scarves. My books. Notes from my Shakespeare & Chaucer classes (just in case I ever decide to teach English). Journals. Blank books. Note cards, stationery, books where I’ve scribbled down favourite recipes. Cookbooks. Beautiful leather-bound very expensive books about the Crusades and various medieval writers. All my numerous copies of The Canterbury Tales. Notes from my Dante class. My grandmother’s journals (which I devoutly hope are in our storage unit but I’m afraid they might not be). Photographs. Holiday decorations. Mostly things that others would attach no value to, but to me are priceless. The clothes that I was planning to pass along to the incomparable Izzybella or Sarah-bear. The clothes I’ve been saving as I’m on my journey to smaller sizes.  All my beautiful shoes–the cream brocade grannie boots, the black lace guess do-me heels, my bitch boots, all the wedges and heels I’ve been purchasing over the last 6 months or so. And my handbags–most of them comparatively inexpensive, but still hard to replace.

Heck, even my bathroom scale! I don’t know how I’m doing weight-wise, because I haven’t been able to weigh myself since last Sunday morning! I know I’ve been doing some stress eating, but compared to what it would have been pre-banding, it’s absolutely nothing. But I like seeing the numbers on the scale every day. It keeps me focused.

The ugliest bridesmaid dress ever, that I was going to take to the cleaners and then sell on e-bay. Now I guess I’ll just stomp on it and let it be thrown away. The most beautiful formal that Izzybella got some years ago, and that I swore I would someday wear. The baby christening gown and blanket made by my grandmother years ago, that I was planning to pass down to my niece when she’s old enough to have children, that my stepsister’s daughter was blessed in, that Izzybella was blessed in. That I won’t throw away, of course. I will make every effort to have it restored because that, too, is priceless.

And the most treasured things of all are the memories. Memories of Molly, when we first brought her home, with her adorable afro, lying on the floor doing the Molly Flop. Stan gnawing my shoe that was bigger than he was. Molly burying full bags of Joe’s Christmas candy in the back yard. Chase putting on Joe’s heavy gloves and heading for the fireplace, startled when he was stopped, and explained, “I Joe!” Chase seeing me pour out the dregs of a milk carton for his brother, and started bellowing, “Milk! Milk!” and not calming down until he saw me take a full milk carton out of the refrigerator. Alannah and Kyle climbing the tree in our back yard. Chase wandering around nakey after his baby pool-soaked diaper fell off. Christmas Eves with Ben & Janine and their kids. Clover coming to give me a shot in the butt when I was doing IVF trying to have kids. Danny and I, staying up all night after watching Blair Witch Project because we were too spooked to turn the lights off. Crying my heart out in the long days after the IVF failed. Molly peeing on an area rug right after we told Joe’s friends from Australia that she was a good dog and never tinkled in the house. Christmas after Christmas after Christmas. Joe making huge pots of mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner. Joe making huge pots of mashed potatoes for the two of us, and danged if we didn’t manage to eat every bite. Molly being incensed at Mom’s being allowed in the then-yellow room, when she wasn’t, and defiantly going in there to tinkle the day Mom left. The bathroom door constantly coming out of its hinges. That Christmas morning when I sent Molly in to wake up Izzybella, and she enthusiastically complied, jumping onto Izzy’s stomach and kissing her face. The day I drop-kicked a multi-pack of Wolf chili because I was in a snit, and dang near broke my toe. Joe playing guitar so loudly that I could hear it from the inside of my car as I pulled into the driveway. MoMeNTuM meetings. Jehara bringing me my beautiful awesome wonderful zen box that’s now smoked out. Dancing in the living room with Joe. Dancing in the living room with Molly. Having Molly join me when I was practicing yoga in the living room. Spending three months sleeping on the recliner in the living room after having had knee replacement surgery. Laughter, tears, arguments, hugs, kisses, joy, sorrow–the soon-to-be-torn-down walls of our home are replete with the emotions and events from the past 13 years. Those things can’t be replaced. But the new walls will be erected, and in 13 years, we’ll have 13 years worth of memories to look back on.

Read Full Post »

Monday Joe and I went to see Transformers with my bestie Clover and her family.  As the trailers were playing, suddenly a familiar logo came on the screen and I gasped audibly. 

I’ve been diligently staying away from any photographs, trailers, snippets, interviews etc. until after I’ve seen the movie. So this was the first trailer I had seen for the last Harry Potter movie, and it was COOL!

Jehara is coming from Arizona, and D., Izzybella and I are all going to see the movie together. If you’re local and want to join us, please please please let me know!!!!  We’ve got a hotel room for Thursday night and Friday night. There will be British themed noshes, and everyone has to dress up, including the incomparable Izzybella who, despite being a fantabulous actor, dislikes dressing up.

I am going as Bellatrix. I have a cute black maxi from Torrid that has a skull near the bottom, and I’m going to get some accessories at Hot Topic, and try to figure out how to get a death eater henna tattoo on my forearm.

My name is Chauceriangirl, and I’m a dork.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »