Weekend Rewind 1/31/16

weekendrewindrevised

It’s time for Weekend Rewind – my weekly casual post to chat and catch up. No prompts, no rules – anything goes.

Let’s get random…

Two weeks until the return of the Walking Dead, everyone! February 14th! Is there something else going on that day? It sounds familiar. I have a hot date with Daryl Dixon that night and that’s all I’m focused on.

We are currently on Flu Watch 2016. My husband came home this morning after pulling the night shift at the nursing home and said that the flu is sweeping through the facility. He wore a mask and washed his hands obsessively but we all know how viruses work. It’s a matter of time. I armed myself with Lysol and went to battle around the house – faucets, handles, light switches all sanitized. I preached soap and hand sanitizer to the kids. I won’t go down without a fight.

I continue to stalk my local stores for Cadbury mini eggs. I am still egg-less. Cadbury execs, you really should market them for all holidays and not just Easter. I know you also release them at Christmas (though I had a hard time finding them this year – and thank you to my good friend, Violet, for sending me some!) so I know you get the idea. You could make pink/red/white ones for Valentine’s Day. Red, white and blue for Fourth of July. Orange and Black for Halloween. It’s an easy concept, the M&M people have figured it out. Take notes from the Peeps people, also. Get cracking, Cadbury. #Minieggsallyearlong

My older daughter, Kiera, is quite crafty. She got a sewing machine and sewing basket full of goodies for Christmas. She has made several things. She also loves youtube craft and DIY videos. Yesterday she made dominoes out of construction paper and also an arrow shooter with which to knock them down. Then she made a cool origami bird.

Speaking of my kids… there is a lot of sibling rivalry between my two girls. They bicker a lot and they are always making sure that one doesn’t get more or do more than the other. For example, if I ask them to throw some trash away, all hell breaks loose if one has more pieces of trash than the other (and don’t think that I don’t take advantage of this when it is housework time). Being an only child, this is a foreign concept to me and honestly, it drives me a bit bonkers. My husband, the oldest of three children, assures me this is normal sibling behavior. Yesterday, we were making cookies. After mixing the dough, I gave them each a beater to lick (yes, I am THAT mom that risks salmonella to let my kids act like kids). The little one was standing next to me and I reached over and stole a little bit of dough off of her beater as a joke (and because raw cookie dough is the bomb). Cue jealousy from older daughter. She actually whined, “No fair! Take some dough from me, too!”

Anyone excited for the Superbowl next weekend? I don’t have a horse in that race so I’m more excited about the snacks and the commercials than the actual game. I am kind of iffy about the halftime show. Coldplay is okay but then they added Beyonce. I’m probably in the minority but I’ve never been a fan of hers. So tell me, are you rooting for Denver or Carolina?

Have a great week, everyone!

 

 

 

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Freedom

His fatal mistake was that he considered her fragile, like gossamer that would unravel in his hands. Protection turned into possession in his mind.

She seemed fragile, yes. However, her soul was a river of steel, strong and fierce. When she realized this, her power awakened.

Determined, she slowly built shelters in her heart and mind – havens from him. She trained. She evolved. She became a force that he could no longer control or manipulate.

One fateful day, she summoned all of her energy and wielded it like a sword. With a white-hot passion and a resolve as cold as winter, she ran him through with her blade. The last word that he heard was the one that she whispered in his ear.

Freedom.”

 

Weekend Rewind 1/17/16

weekendrewindrevised

It’s time for Weekend Rewind – my weekly casual post to chat and catch up. No prompts, no rules – anything goes.

Let’s get random…

January has been hectic, friends. My husband has a new work schedule which has taken some adjustment. The kids are always busy. My work has a life of its own. Stress has stealthily moved in, unpacked its bags and become quite the unwelcome guest. I have been taking some time and distance, trying to set things right in my own home and fortify relationships.

We saw the new Star Wars movie recently (in 3D, which I highly recommend) and I absolutely adored it. As a casual fan of the franchise, I have to say J.J. Abrams scored a home run. I was so impressed with Daisy Ridley (Rey). Rey reminds me so much of my antagonist in my current WIP (or at least how I imagine her to be).

St. Louis is no longer dealing with flood waters but we are now saddened by the loss of our Rams. The NFL team owner, Stan Kroenke (or StanK, as we call him here), finally got his way and moved the team back to Los Angeles. StanK never really wanted to be in St. Louis and has done nothing to ingratiate himself to this city or the fans. We supported the team whole-heartedly, like St. Louis sports fans do, and loved them despite their dismal play in recent years. We continued to fill the seats even when the team was nothing but a big bunch of suck. When StanK started talking about moving back to L.A., St. Louis responded by putting together a proposal for a billion dollar stadium. In the end, none of it mattered. StanK wants to be in the land of sun and money and celebrities so he can line his pockets with more dough. He is even spending his own money to build a new stadium in L.A. I’m sure that the Rams will do well there at first. They will be the shiny new toy. But if they continue to suck (and they probably will), they will lose their luster and the L.A. fans will quit supporting them (like they did 20+ years ago when their then-owner brought them to St. Louis. Irony much?). In St. Louis, we are moving on and shaking off StanK’s terrible lies and accusations and looking forward to the beginning of baseball season.

It is the freaking middle of January and we still have our Christmas tree up.

Our local store had a tiny display of Cadbury Easter candy earlier this week. Normally I hate when stores put out holiday candy two or three months before said holiday, however Easter = Cadbury mini eggs = my weakness. I am craving those things something fierce. The display only had the tiny bags (single serving bags? What the devil?!) so I bought a couple, hoping that the bigger bags would be on the shelves in a few days. I was at the store today and the display is gone and there is no Easter candy. None. There is just Valentine’s Day candy. What fresh hell is this? Was the small display just a teaser? I am now stalking this store and as soon as the mini eggs hit the shelves I am stocking up.

Lastly, this week brought the sad news of the passing of Alan Rickman. He was a true chameleon, a talented and versatile actor. From Dogma to Die Hard to Harry Potter (and so many others), he never failed to portray his character perfectly. I will probably most remember him for Severus Snape, such a complex and heartbreaking character. He brought a little bit of magic to the screen. Always.

Have a wonderful upcoming week, everyone!

Weekend Rewind 1/3/16

weekendrewindrevised

It’s time for Weekend Rewind – my weekly casual post to chat and catch up. No prompts, no rules – anything goes.

Let’s get random…

It’s my first Weekend Rewind of 2016! Happy New Year to all! Whether you rang in the new year out on the town or at home in your pj’s, I hope that you celebrated in a way that made you happy. My new year’s eve was pretty typical. I watched movies with my girls all evening. My husband worked until 10 pm so he joined us then. My kids were able to stay up until midnight and we watched the countdown on tv. Quiet, casual and just the people that I love the most – perfect.

Our rivers have crested and the flood waters have receded considerably. All major interstates are open in St. Louis so my commute tomorrow should be uneventful (not that I want to go, I absolutely do not). In my neck of the woods, we had a couple of levee breeches and our local bridge to Illinois is still closed. Things are improving quickly, though.

My husband started working at the nursing home again in October. He works a lot of hours and he is on his feet his entire 8 hour shift (or 16 when he pulls doubles). He also does a lot of lifting. As a result, he has lost a lot of weight. He was about 220 lbs when he started and he is about 185 now. He also recently started going back to the gym and training. I can really notice the difference, he looks great. I am really proud of him. He has type 1 diabetes and he is 41 years old. Getting in shape is very important for his health. Since he started taking Adderall last year, I have seen a focus and motivation in him that I never saw before. This has now extended to his fitness. As happy as I am for him, I wish some of his determination would transfer to me. I am just hoping that my pants fit tomorrow morning after my holiday foodapalooza. I am not a resolution person, but I do want to find an exercise program that I can successfully follow (and stick with) given my back and joint pain. I am researching yoga.

We had our girl scout cookie kickoff today. This is the annual event to get the girls excited and ready to start selling cookies. Our sales start Friday (1/8). We had a great turnout so it was successful. Cookie time as a girl scout leader is stressful. I dread it every year. It is our main fundraiser, though, so it is a necessary evil. I do love those cookies. I need to start calculating how many squats I need to do to burn off 20 boxes of thin mints.

Speaking of cookies, my older daughter made cake mix cookies Saturday completely by herself. She mixed them, dropped them on the cookie sheet, baked them and put them on wax paper to cool. She even washed the dishes and wiped the counter. I love that she wants to do things like this and I love the confidence that it gives her. She is a talented young lady. She made a second batch on Sunday and got creative by putting rolos in the middle. If anyone is interested, here is how to make Kiera’s famous cake mix cookies: Mix one box of cake mix (flavor of your choosing), 1/3 cup vegetable oil and 2 eggs. Form dough into one-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 (325 for dark or nonstick pans) for 9-11 minutes.

Have a great upcoming week, everyone!

 

The Flood of 2015

In the lower Midwest, December weather is unpredictable. We can have anything from balmy weather to ice and snow storms. I can recall many New Year’s Eves where our plans were shot down due to icy conditions. A couple of years ago, it was so warm that we had tornadoes. And this year, as we count down the last hours of 2015…

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A warmer-than-average month with record rainfall has resulted in unprecedented flooding of major rivers (Mississippi, Missouri and Meramec) and smaller bodies of water. Interstates have been closed, making travel in the area difficult.

These are areas in south St. Louis. It is a good thing that I am not working until Monday because I couldn’t get into the city even if I wanted to.

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This is the interstate that I take into the city: I-55. It was the last major artery to close. This was taken Wednesday morning. The waters rose through the day and overtook the highway by evening.

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It is not just travel that has been affected. In many areas, homes and businesses are submerged. The damages are staggering. Close to twenty people have died due to the flooding.

In my area, the farmers are greatly affected. They have been evacuating the flood plain all week, moving grain and equipment to higher ground as the Mississippi inches higher and higher.

My town is on a bluff, tucked away from the threat of the river. However, creeks and streams are flooding as well. These are taken about one mile from my subdivision, blocking one of our routes to the interstate.

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We are all anxiously watching the weather reports and crest predictions, waiting for the waters to abate.

To all of my friends affected by this flood (here and in other areas of the country), stay warm and dry. Be safe and DO NOT try to drive through water-covered roads.

Happy New Year to everyone. Here’s hoping that the start of 2016 brings us drier conditions.