Monday, December 15, 2014

Oh, Monday.

Some Mondays sure do live up to their reputation.

I had made my dentist appointment for 10 am on purpose. I like to take my time waking up in the morning and knew that in December that mid-morning would allow me to make stops on the way to and from the office. Trying to multi-task during the holidays--I should have known better.

I left the house early so I could drop by a store to grab a gift card. When I got there I slipped into the parking space right in front and made a quick call to HD. He didn't answer and then I realized that the store wasn't even open. OK. That's no problem. I can come back after the dentist, right?

When I got to the dentist's office, early, the office wasn't even open yet. Staff meeting. It was only a few minutes until they opened. No problem! They got me in right away and I got started with the hygenist but before we had made actual progress we had to evacuate the office. Gas leak! Rather than wait for an unknown amount of time, (they were estimating 2+ hours,) I left to run the rest of my errands. I couldn't even get the toothbrush heads that we needed.

I hit Costco for a couple of things: razors and an item for a friend. I thought of a couple of other things while I was in the store, and went to the personal care section to grab the razors. Which weren't there. Our Costco now only carries 2 types of men's razors, neither of which were HD's preferred brand. Of course. A text to HD solved the problem and off I went to my next stop.

Up the road at Lowe's I needed 2 things: specialty light bulbs and keys cut. I was helped by the most helpful person that I've ever encountered in that store with the light bulbs. Seriously, the nicest guy. He even directed me to where I needed to go for the keys. So I get to the key cutting kiosk..... and wait. And walk out into the main aisle to find someone to help me. And wait. And look for someone. And wait. After 5+ minutes of, literally no one coming by the key booth, I left. (This is a common problem at this store. The last time I was there, almost 2 years ago, I was told by a sales person that I was stupid. No, I'm not kidding.)

So I grabbed lunch on the way home, and I'll try again this afternoon. Hopefully Monday is done being a brat, because I'm totally done with dealing with it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gift Giving 101

Melissa from Rock and Drool wrote a great post of blog topics and I've been kicked into action. (Thanks Liz!) Check out the list, get over your blogstipation, and get writing, already! Yes, I know it's the holidays but there is more than one idea that will only take a few minutes to write and publish. Get moving! I'm using #96 but giving it my own twist!

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I've always prided myself on being a pretty good gift-giver. Yes, some people are super hard to buy for but that doesn't mean that you can't do a good job of finding something great to give them. Here is a list of ideas for great gifts and thoughts on how to find the perfect gift.

  • What is this person's hobby/passion? This is kind of a no brainer, but does your friend/family member love golf? Fishing? Knitting? Music? Sports? Wine?
  • The easy answer here is a gift card to a store that supports that hobby, and that is a great place to start but not the only place.
  • You could go for the experience... A round of golf at a local favorite course, or a 'dream course,' a boat rental for a day on the lake, a specialty class, tickets for a concert, tickets for a college or professional sport, a day of wine tasting. 
  • Go small: find little things that pertain to that person's passion: a bracelet, a book, a pen/pencil/pad with a logo on it, a coffee mug, key chain, license plate frame, tshirt, etc..
  • Do you have a shared history? Think 'Memory Gift.' There are dozens of things that you can get with pictures: mugs, iPad or Kindle covers, phone cases, Christmas ornaments, photo books, throw blankets, key chains, you get the idea. 
  • Get a journal and make the first entry a letter to that person about why they are so important to you.
  • A trip to the restaurant/museum/place that means the most to your shared memories. Bonus if you can do it together!
  • Many destinations now have online gift shops which make it easy to get something from that location--think Grand Canyon, Hawaii locations, ski lodges..... Where did you say you met your spouse? 
  • Add to their collection. Most people have a collection of some sort. It can be an easy gift if you always keep your eye out for a unique addition to that collection!
  • Something useful is good, but make sure they need/want it. For example, if someone is asking for a new vacuum-GREAT! then get it. If they haven't asked for it, it wouldn't be cool.
Some solid suggestions and ideas that I've used/been given:
  •  A hand-carved, collapsible basket/trivet to add to my mom's heart collection. She had never seen one before, (nor had I,) so it was an obvious choice!
  • A set of high ball glasses with a cassette tape on the side with a wax pen to write the name of your 'Mix Tape'. This was for my brother who used to sit in his room for hours making his own mix tapes on a tape to tape machine in the 80's.
  • A wine glass with 'shoes' hand painted on it for a friend that has a shoe obsession.
  • A bag of Hershey's kisses with the tags replaced with personal messages.
  • A bag full of little Bronco's memorabilia for my son who is a giant fan: rubber bracelets, book, lanyard, etc.
  • One year I was giving everyone pajama pants. I was able to easily find a pair for everyone with one of their interests/favorite colors/characters on them, except for one person. I think I googled something like 'music pajama pants', and came up with a pair that had an all-over keyboard pattern for the music lover. Not super easy to find but perfect for the recipient.
Some websites where I get great ideas and gifts:
And finally, for the really, really, really hard person to shop for, what about a donation to their favorite charity in honor of them? That's the gift that gives twice!

Share your favorite website for unique gifts in the comments or tell me about your favorite gift idea. See? I haven't even started my Christmas shopping yet and I need your ideas, too!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rain!

It is raining in Southern California. Actually, it's been raining for about 24 hours and supposed to rain for much of Wednesday too. Unless you live on the other side of the world you've heard about our drought. It's pretty bad but after today we can finally exhale a little.

I really should have taken a picture and texted it to Tracey. She didn't believe me that it actually rained here. I could have used a visual for this post, too. Bad blogger, I guess.

Libby has been perplexed by this all day rain. She usually loves to hang out outside most of the day, chasing birds and making friends with the people that walk along the horse trail behind our house. Hanging out inside has made her act really funny. She has followed me around a lot, slept in places that she's never slept before, been hyper and playful. The funniest thing though was this morning when I knew that she had to go to the bathroom but it was raining pretty hard and she wouldn't go out. I grabbed my shoes and an umbrella to try to coax her out. She was not fond of the umbrella (which was good. I was not about to become that dog mom.), because she didn't like the sound of the rain on the fabric. I had to walk out in the squishy grass before she would go. That started a trend, obviously, and now it seems that if it's raining she won't go unless I walk her out. This isn't looking good for the rest of winter.

Maybe tomorrow I'll take a couple of pictures and post them. I know that most of you are totally laughing at us Californians and our 'big rain storm' but when it's all you get? You take it. And take pictures of it!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Housework Help!

Now I need your help. We have almost 1,000 sq. ft of dark hardwood flooring. I have a great vacuum that has carpet and hard floor settings that I am happy with. I've been using Pledge squirt and mop stuff that is fantastic. (Before that I was using a spray and mop solution from the Gold Canyon Candle company that I also loved.) The mop that I use is adequate.

My problem? I need a 'floor duster.' You know, the kind that is kinda fluffy and can go under the furniture, and has a washable, extra soft mop end? The one that I had broke today. Actually, it was the second one to break. TWO have broken. Does anyone have a suggestion of one that maybe won't break? I would actually prefer one that does not have multiple pieces because they always break.

This is silly, I know, but if I can't ask my tribe then who can I ask?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Elephant in My Room

For Day 30, I thought I'd kind of 'save the best for last,' so to speak. I don't think it's the best, but I suppose it's the biggest news around here.

We quit smoking at the beginning of the month. HD decided that we were going to quit a few months ago. We went to our doctor and got Chantix. It's been 25 days or so.

Yes, I said that HD decided. Not me.

To be quite honest with you, I did not want to quit. I still like it. Not the optimum conditions for quitting. He has talked about it pretty seriously for a few years now and when our life insurance came up for renewal this year (more than doubling in cost if we simply renewed as smokers,) he decided that the time was now. While I haven't necessarily been on board, I have participated. All month.

For anyone out there wondering about Chantix, it works. But you really need to read the package insert and talk to your doctor. If you are taking medication for depression it is critical that you talk to your doctor. For the first 2-3 weeks we both felt like zombies. It's better now, somewhat. Also, there are other side effects that effect the intestines. No more details, but be forewarned. Ahem.

I'd like to say that I'm happier and feel better but I don't really feel like anything. Except having a cigarette. I still think about it all.the.time. Well, that's not true. At the beginning it was really bad but now it's only during my biggest trigger moments-while having a drink, after a meal, those types of things.

HD likes to talk about it to get support. Luckily he can talk about it all day at work or with whoever he wants. I don't like to talk about it because it makes me want it more. Talk about 2 drastically different styles! I have talked about it with him because he needs the support and he has specifically not talked about it with me because that's how I need support. Weird, but it works.

So there you have it. The Elephant in the Room that I still don't want to talk about but thought you should know about.