On barium and pancakes

Friday morning, Justin and I drove to the hospital on Hilton Head, where we sat in the waiting room for, I don’t know, 45 minutes?  And then they took Justin away to make him drink a barium smoothie and barium smothered crackers and other barium flavored things for about 15 minutes, if that long, before telling him that there’s nothing wrong with his swallowing, so whatever the problem he’s having, it’s not because of that.

Wohoo.  What a way to spend a morning.

So we went back home and he went to bed because poisonous heavy metals and chemicals to which he’s allergic do not a happy husband make.  While he slept, I went shopping at thrift stores to find a bowl to replace the one I dropped Thursday afternoon.  That was the second such bowl I’ve destroyed at work and I’ve determined that if I’m going to go through them at this rate, then I’m going to stop paying any more than $1 for them.  I tried on some clothes while I was there, and then stopped trying on clothes and stuck to house wares because new clothes are so overrated.  And three hours, a delightful conversation with my sister, and $1.07 later, I’ve got a “brand new” bowl to take to work, microwave oatmeal in for a couple months, and then accidentally drop somewhere in the building.

Saturday was much more sedate, with a lot of sitting around and watching TV and poking at computers and letting Justin rest.  I did some organizing projects that I’d been meeting to get around to doing and watched too much “Ghost Whisperer” just because it was on TV.  And I got most of our movies inventoried on to the iTrackMine website. (Useful website, by the way, if a bit time extensive without a barcode scanner.)

Sunday, Justin was supposed to run the computer at church, but he woke up freezing with a fever and shaking, so I called the worship pastor and we both agreed that Justin should just stay in bed; so I tucked him back in, with a couple extra blankets and an electric hot pad and let him sleep away the morning, while I finished inventorying the movies and video games and tidied the house and organized the closet in my office a little better and started a loaf of bread in the bread maker and basically just puttered around the house for hours.  (Run-on sentence!)

Later in the afternoon, after Justin was up and showered and everything, a friend of ours stopped by to play card games and hang out.  It was so much fun!  The last time (which was also the first time), we met somewhere in town and ate dinner together and chatted, but it just wasn’t comfortable.  This time was so much better.  We laughed, we played card games, we introduced her to “Wonderfalls,” we played Wii games, and we watched Justin make pancakes for dinner.  It was great!

I enjoy so much having people over to the house.  Making friends and cooking them food and hanging out, relaxing and laughing.  It’s wonderful!

Today, Justin’s still not feeling tip-top, but he hasn’t been tip-top for months and months, so we’re used to this.  Hopefully we’ll hear back from his doctors soon to figure out what to do next.  Meanwhile, I’ve got a lot to accomplish at work because I’m going to be out of the office part or all of the day on Wednesday and all day Thursday because Mom and Dad are going to be here (YEA!!) and there’s a lot to do before then.

Happy Birthday, Nathan!

Another short post.  Yesterday, I just really didn’t feel like talking to anyone.  And I was going to log on and just say “I don’t feel like talking” but I couldn’t even type it.

Today, I had low-level anxiety about everything and nothing at all and it was so frustrating because it made no sense.  I made it until 4:00 and then the headache that had lingered all day started pounding and I went home and curled up in bed for a couple hours.

But I felt better after my nap and I finished the bizarre movie I started yesterday (Ink — it was actually quite good, but definitely bizarre (and the first few words are the F-bomb shouted really loud, so that was surprising, but it wasn’t a recurring thing)), ate dinner with Justin, watched NCIS, and had a really wonderful conversation with Nathan when I called to wish him a happy birthday.  And I made a surprisingly yummy dessert.

So apparently food pictures are the theme lately, but I didn’t take any photos.  I’ll tell you all about it through, and then I’m going to bed.

I took 2 apples, pealed, cored, and sliced (thin slices that I cut in half again) and two little 2-cup Pyrex bowls.  And then I followed the Apple Pie by Grandma Ople recipe from AllRecipes.com, cut down for 2 apples.  So I melted 2 tablespoons of sweet, unsalted butter in a pan, added 2 1/2 tablespoons of flour to that to make a paste, and then added 1 tablespoon of water, 2 tablespoons of white sugar, 2 packed tablespoons of brown sugar, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.  I brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer while I took a package of Pillsbury crescent rolls and put them in the Pyrex bowls so the wide side of the triangle was at the bottom and the thin points folded over the side of the bowl like a flower.   I then put the apples in the crusts and, while the recipe says to pour the melted sugar mix over the lattice of the crust, I wasn’t sure that would work for rolls, so I spooned it right onto the apples and folded the crust over top.

The rolls say to cook them for, I think, 15 minutes at 350, so when I checked them at that time, the top of the pie-puffs were nice and brown, but I could see that the parts in the bowl were still not cooked.  So I put foil over the tops and let them cook for probably another 15 minutes.  I forget how long it was.  I just kept looking until the rolls inside the bowls were nice golden brown — putting the foil on top was definitely a good idea because they wouldn’t have gotten much too dark otherwise.  I took them out, gave them a poke to make sure the apples were done, and let them cool.  They were totally cool by the time we were ready to eat them, but a quick nuke took care of that.  We actually cut one in half, put the halves in bowls with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and ate it that way, just because we weren’t sure if the roll was going to work.  Also, because they’re huge.  (Still, can you guess who’s not on her diet?)

It was surprisingly good!  And not terribly difficult to put together.  I was surprised about melting the ingredients together on the stove, but it was really, really good.  I used my Pampered Chef spatula that resists heat and it worked excellently for that.  The Pyrex bowls were the prefect size, and obviously oven safe.  And while it just didn’t seem like crescent rolls were going to be the right choice for the crusts, they worked out really well.

So there you go!

Happy birthday, Nathan!


Whoops!  Forgot to post something yesterday.  But two posts on Wednesday should count for something, right?  🙂

Yesterday was just crazy.  I got up and went to work and don’t even get me started on work.  Ugh.  The scheduling of projects right now is just ridiculous.  I’m going to be at work most of today because they scheduled five or six airplanes this week and we haven’t managed to finish even one of them.

Anyway, I worked a full day and then went home, except instead of going home, I actually went to the grocery store to go shopping with Justin.  And we got an impressive amount of food for an impressively low amount of money just because they had so many “buy one, get one free” sales going on.  Even the check-out clerk was impressed.  Anyway, we met at the grocery store so we could do some shopping and I left there while Justin was in check-out so I could make it to band practice, where I sang with the guys until about 8:30.

So I left the house at about 6:45 yesterday morning and didn’t get back to the house until after 8:30.  And then we had dinner, cleaned the kitchen a little, and I made another attempt at making sugar cut-out cookies from this recipe I’ve been fighting with for a couple days.  The recipe said “mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for a day or overnight.”  So I left it for a couple hours, tried to make cookies, and the batter was still very sticky.  So I left it for two days in the fridge, figuring that would help.  I pulled out a handful of batter last night, rolled it out, and it was still much too sticky to work with.  I tried adding more sugar, a recommendation from the website where I got the recipe.  I powdered the surface of the counter with powdered sugar (another recommendation).  I tried rolling it out directly on my cookie sheet and taking off the excess batter.  Nothing works!  So I finally decided I was tired of it and would just do drop cookies.  I table-spooned some batter onto my cookie sheet and threw it into the oven.  They looked great!  They flattened out to nice round cookies, the color was good, they smelled delicious.  And they completely adhered to the face of the cookie sheet.  I tried it twice, the first time I let them cool on the sheet and then had to hack them off with my spatula; the second time, I scraped them off directly after they came out of the oven and they still left dough stuck to the sheet.

I threw the batter back into the fridge and gave up.  It was already 10:00.  I was done.  I need them for the party on Saturday, and I want to have time to frost them before then, but I wasn’t going to make any more progress last night.

So I went and sat on my chair in Justin’s office for a while before deciding to just go to bed.  Where apparently I sweat like crazy because Justin asked me if I was feeling okay when he came to bed.  And then I had a dream about a giant cockroach climbing on me.  Which was still better than the dream the night before about the girl who wanted to make out with me to make Justin jealous.  That was just uncomfortable.

Anyway!  Hopefully today will go well.  I have a lot to accomplish at work, if I ever get the data that I need to do the work.  And then we still need to get the house ready for the party tomorrow.  We’ve got more than 10 people coming now, I think.  It’s going to be a tight squeeze in our house, but it should be fun.  We’re starting at 5:00, but before that, we’ve got a book club meeting at 1:00.  So we’re going to have to get everything done tomorrow morning.  It’s going to be interesting.

I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes!

Welcome to May! Hang on to your boots!

What?  No one else finds file cabinet organizing as exciting as I do?  Impossible!

I actually have A LOT more to talk about filing, but I’m going to take it elsewhere.  I’ve got the website for my organizing business, so I’m going to post all these over on that site.  And I’ll link to it from here so you can know that I’ve written something, but I won’t post it here so you don’t have be completely excited totally bored overwhelmed by it over here.

I’m writing about it because I’m helping a client through this process right now and it’s helpful for me to write it down so I can work through the whole thing.  Paperwork can be really complicated, so it’s nice to be able to really focus on an aspect of it at a time, work through my thoughts, and get them down really clearly.  But I recognize that it’s not always terribly interesting to read.

I recognize it, but I don’t always understand it. 🙂  I mean, how can that not be interesting?

Anyway.  Welcome to the beginning of May, if you somehow missed that change-over.  Did April go by really quickly for anyone else?  And May looks like it’s going to be a very busy month for me.  We had plans to go to the Ren Faire in Atlanta last weekend, but stuck around the house so Justin could be sick at home instead of on the road.  He’s starting to do better, now that we’re on day 7 of him being sick.  Day 8?  MANY days. 

In other news:

  • Tuesday is my sister-in-law’s birthday, so we’re trying to figure out how to celebrate that with her when she’s busy celebrating it with all of her college friends.  Plus, she needs to do laundry, so she’s got to come visit.  Mwha-ha-ha-ha!
  • My parents are going to be within 6 driving-hours from our house all next week, so on Wednesday we’re going to go meet them half-way between for dinner. 
  • Sometime in the next couple weeks my mother-in-law, step-father-in-law, and grandma-in-law are all coming to visit and pack up my sister-in-law for the summer break.  Apparently they may or may not be bringing their adorable puppy.    I don’t know when they’re arriving or for how long they’re staying.
  • One of these weekends we’re hoping to go to Myrtle Beach to meet up with a couple friends.   I have no idea which weekend this is happening.
  • Some local friends of ours are moving and they’re going to need help moving, I believe, on the 22nd, if we’re in town.
  • And if there’s a free weekend somewhere in there, we’re still hoping to make it up to the Ren Faire.

Why does it all have to happen in May?!

Plus, of course, there’s the usual craziness with work.  We’re completing one or two projects each week this month.  Compare that to next month, when we’re planning to complete three in the entire month.  Who creates this schedule?!  Drunken baboons?

 But whatever.  Life is good!  It’s pouring down rain today and even that is good because it’s better than the 85% humidity and burning hot sunshine that we had yesterday.  And I remembered my umbrella.  And I got to talk with both of my parents last night and that was fantastic!  And there was a new Castle when we weren’t expecting one.

So life is busy, but life is good, and I’m feeling happy!  I think I’ll go for a walk.  😉

Babbling about the weekend

Well, we finished watching Tin Man over the weekend.  More terrible writing and cliché situations and things where they just really should have thought it through more thoroughly.  The underground place where criminals and other low-life went to live seemed a lot like a Chinatown.  The shape-shifting turncoat redeemed himself, but the only other dark-skinned character remained the evil witch’s faithful servant to the end.

Justin and I agreed that they should take the idea and give it to Joss Whedon.  Half of the characters, including the most lovable and innocent ones, would die in the end.  Parts of it would be absolutely terrifying.  And it would turn out so much better in the end that we’d thank him for it.

We’ve also started watching Battlestar Glactica.  Justin found the 2-part mini-series that brings you from the older series up to the new one.  I don’t feel like looking up the details on that one, but I’m sure you’re more than able to find that information if you need it.  Wikipedia:  The Source of All Knowledge.

Anyway, we watched the first half of the mini-series and I really enjoyed it.  It’s gritty sci-fi, like Firefly, but without the witty, light-hearted banter.  It’s tragic, like . . . lots and lots of stories.  War of the Worlds, Independence Day, I am Legend, Titan A.E. *Grin*  It’s humanity fighting for her life against something she created.  It’s television that doesn’t pull punches.  And it’s fascinating—an enemy that fights against the tools of war, for the total annihilation of life, and can hide itself perfectly within the population.  I’m really looking forward to seeing where this trip goes.  I really have no idea.

I really had a lovely weekend.  I got home Friday afternoon and poked around the house for a while.  Justin was working from home since no one else from his office was going to be actually in the office that day.  I sat and worked on an Excel file that should help us create a functional budget, as well as show clearly where we are with our debt and our savings situations.  I’m trying to have it all set out clearly so we can really start pushing down on the debt and packing away money for travel and such.  It’s been a mess so far, and I’m trying to make it work better.

Saturday we cleaned house.  I mentioned needing to dust, right?  I dusted for 4 hours.  Along with washing windows and tidying and getting the house looking great.  Justin cleaned the bathrooms until they sparkled and you could eat off any surface, if you didn’t mind the addition of ammonia to your meal.  He vacuumed, I dusted.  He put in a fold-out drawer at the kitchen sink.  I dusted.  This house hasn’t been this clean in a long, long time.

So on Sunday, we rested.  I worked on sewing projects.  I have several pants and a skirt that needed mending, and a couple pillows.  I sat watching NCIS while hemming the legs of a pair of pants, pinning the seams back into my skirt, and sewing the stuffing back into the pillows.  And then I sat for many hours pulling out the stitching along the hem of another pair of pants.  They’re made of this really flowing, slippery fabric and each leg is about 3 feet around.  They’re very flouncy.  The hem came out once before and I did a really bad job of sewing it back up.  The fabric gathered and one leg ended up shorter than the other and it just wasn’t good.  I’m hoping that by undoing all my previous work, I’ll be able to get it to work out much better.  I worked on pulling stitches for hours.  I finally went to bed with about six inches left to go—about 30 minutes of work.  I plan to finish unstitching tonight, iron in a new hem (the pants were too long in the first place) and manage to get a neat, clean seam started.  I might do it all by hand, since it’s such a difficult fabric.  But I’ll find out once I get started whether that’s going to actually work better or not.

It’s going to be another long week.  I’ve been working on a complicated project at work.  A project where again and again I find myself completely out of my depth.  I don’t have enough training to understand all of this yet.  Thankfully there hasn’t been much a time crunch, but if it’s not finished by the end of today, things will get dicey.

We had another meeting this morning about the RIF (Reduction in Force) situation.  There’s still no definite information on what’s going to happen with us here upstairs.  So far as I know, the people downstairs in production are still going to be on furlough for several weeks in the middle of summer.  Across the whole company, from what I understand, we’re losing 1,200 employees.  Each department is looking at a 10-15% reduction.  I’m really not sure how that works out, other than losing 2 or 3 people from my department.  Possibly.  We’re still standing on the gallows, waiting.  Just waiting.

I’ll come back and rant about this sometime.  Not about the RIF, exactly, but about the reason for it.  But not today.

I just saw that the beautiful Amy, the fantastic woman who greatly improved my older brother’s life by agreeing to marry him, linked to my post about organizing (Organizing categories and the Landing Strip).  Thank you, Amy!  I appreciate the promo!

For anyone new and reading this because of the link, I’m trying to start a small professional organizing business.  It’s been very slow-going.  But hopefully things will start to pick up soon.  More news on that as it happens.  But now and then I’m going to try to post about things that I’ve organized around my own home and ideas I have about that whole thing.  Feel free to drop me comments or emails with questions and thoughts about that.  Most of the time, obviously, this blog is just about me rambling on and on about whatever’s going on in my world.

Okay!  I’m pretty much out of time on my lunch and I’ve got to get this up and posted.  I hope you’re all having a fantastic day!  I’m still sitting here waiting for the rain that was supposed to start falling on Thursday.  (Who stole my rain?!  Give it!)  But hopefully the weather over all your heads is beautiful today.