Monday, October 31, 2022

Oct. 31 - Happy Halloween!

Well here we are at Halloween.  A lot of places had their events over the weekend, and really, yesterday felt more like Halloween than today will, but I'll still try to be frightfully festive for one more day.  We live in the country so we don't get trick-or-treaters out here.  Our kids are grown and there are no grandkids, so we don't even get to have that fun through them.  We didn't carve pumpkins, didn't watch scary movies all month like I'd hoped.  I feel a bit disappointed with myself for not trying harder because I came into October so excited about Halloween.

One thing I'm excited about is that I made it a whole month of posting every day!  I stuck to it with my old family Halloween photo every day!  It's been a good exercise in getting back in the routine of blogging, and I'm very happy about that.  Again, didn't really post as much spooky fun stuff as I'd hoped, but just forming the routine was a good base to build on for next year.

Yesterday was our usual football and Yahtzee Sunday, which was quite relaxing once again.  I made pumpkin spice pancakes (the Walmart mix) for breakfast, got the kitchen cleaned up, and worked on laundry throughout the morning.  We watched the Vikings win again.  SKOL!  And then the Packers lost again last night.  What a nice way to end the day.  hehe

I've enjoyed showing the pics of paper crafts I've done, so thought I'd show a few more.   I love making tags, like gift tags, but those are hard to sell when you can go to Walmart and get like a million for just a dollar or two.  So when I saw these lip balm tags on a website a few years ago, I knew I had to make some.

These actually sold fairly well when I was making them.  One lady ordered about 10 of them two years in a row, but she wanted them empty so she could roll up cash inside instead.  I've always imagined making cool looking Halloween themed ones, but haven't done it yet.  I haven't made any all yet this year.  They're so handy though, whether you actually use it as a gift tag, or just include it in a goodie bag.  Good for stocking stuffers, class parties, special trick-or-treaters, even baby showers, bridal showers, wedding favors.  Man, the more I write about them the more I think I need to get busy making some!  I just really have not put any effort into paper crafts for a couple years now.
Day 31 of my old family Halloween photos . . .
2015 - A few miles from where I live is a quiet country road called Callan Road.  Supposedly it is haunted.  I'd never heard these stories until well into my adult life, even after living here my whole life.  It was when my brother moved back from California that I first heard about it.  He was visiting our house for the first time and realized how close we were to 'Witch Road.'  I was like 'Huh?' and he was shocked, 'You've never heard of Witch Road?!'  He told me what he could remember, then I did some Googling.  Legend says the home of a witch was burned down and she now haunts that area of the road.  There is also the ghost of a little girl who haunts that area, but whether she was killed in the fire or a supposed victim of the witch, I'm not sure.  Oooooooh, sounds fabulously spooky!  Except, there is no proof to it, and the stories come from like the 1950s, not some fantastic 1800s legend or something.  There have been many ghost hunter type TV crews out there to investigate but I don't think any have ever encountered anything.  Even so, I've driven down that road (pictured above) a few times since learning about it, and you just can't help but feel anxious.  It's still a bit of a spooky thrill! 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Oct. 30 - More Paper Crafts

I did my usual grocery shopping yesterday morning, bright and early as always.  It was a shock again to see how much prices have gone up.  What can we do though?  Hubby took his dad's groceries over to him when I got home. Often, Boychild1 will be here doing laundry on Saturday mornings but he did not do it this week.  So once hubby left for his dad's I just got a few things done around the house then settled on the couch with some true crime on TV and a new game on my phone.  I'm sure there were much more productive ways to spend my day but, well, what's done is done.  lol

When hubby got home later we ended up playing Yahtzee and watching the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror marathon they've been having daily.  We're getting quite obsessed with Yahtzee lately.  We even played several days during the week after hubby got home from work.  Even had to buy a fresh pad of score sheets while I was at Walmart yesterday.  A pretty mellow day all around.

I enjoyed showing those pics of the paper 'cakes' last night.  Sometimes I feel a little unsure how much to show for fear that people think I'm just trying to push my goods.  But it was fun to share those pics last night so I thought I'd show a few more today.  These are some other styles of little treat boxes that I have done.

I've done some really cute Christmas themed ones in this style too but can't find those photos at the moment.  These scallop top boxes hold a lot more than the square ones above.  The square ones are quite small.  They're super cute but their lack of space is their downfall.  Like I said yesterday, this is the kind of stuff I'd really love to do more of, start building large bundles for things like birthday parties, baby or bridal showers, things like that.

Well I've got a neglected kitchen from last night and this morning (pumpkin spice pancakes for breakfast!) that I need to take care, and get some laundry started before we settle in for our usual Sunday afternoon of football and Yahtzee.  There is a game in London at 8:30am but apparently it's on ESPN's streaming service, which we don't have.  We DO have NFL Sunday Ticket though, and they claim you get every Sunday game on that, but we don't see it showing up in the guide.  Ripoff!

Anyway, just one day left till Halloween.  I think most places have all their events this weekend though, so tomorrow will be kind of just a normal day.  I suppose the world will jump right into Christmas mode tomorrow.  lol

Day 30 of my old family Halloween photos . . .
2015 - This was the last year we did any real Halloween decorating outside.  I soooo wanted to do this again this year but the storage tote that has these lights and things is buried in the farthest corner of our 'back room,' and I just didn't have the heart to move everything to try and get to it.  Like I said with yesterday's photo about carving pumpkins, "Maybe next year."

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Oct. 29 - Paper Cakes

I didn't get a chance to post this morning and have been away from the computer most of the day, but didn't want to miss the daily Halloween photo, not when I'm so close to completing the month.  Since I have no real post prepared, I thought I'd share some pics of paper 'cakes' I made a few years ago.  I love how these things look!

Each slice is a little treat box.  The top comes off, and there is space for a few small treats, some folded up cash, small piece of jewelry . . . anything small you can think of.  I think the pumpkin pie slices would be nice to set on each person's plate at the Thanksgiving table, maybe a little note of gratitude inside.  Or keep the slices together as a pie/cake, and if you're playing games, the winner picks a piece to reveal their prize.  Just so many fun things you could do.  This is the kind of paper crafting I'd really like to do more of but have never put full effort into figuring out packaging and marketing.  If I remember, I'll show some other little treat boxes I've made in tomorrow's post.
Day 29 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2011 - This is probably the last year we carved pumpkins around here.  Mine would have been the one on the right.  Simple, remember?  lol  I don't know why we ever stopped carving.  I mean, yeah, the boys were older and were never really into it, but hubby and I used to enjoy it.  We're not carving any this year either.  Maybe next year.
Have you/will you carve any pumpkins this year?

Friday, October 28, 2022

Oct. 28 - Craft Thoughts & Blood Sugar

Happy Friday!  Still dark outside as I write this, only 39 degrees, but supposed to be a bright, sunny day with temps near 60.  I have no plans or anywhere I need to be today so we'll just see how the day unfolds.

I had to go to Walgreens yesterday to pick up two prescriptions.  They said they didn't have one ready, and did I want to come back later in the day?  I said I'd come back tomorrow (today), but now I think I'll just wait till Monday when I'm back in town for my mom's shopping anyway.  I did finally find out why they're only giving me one insulin pen at a time now.  Apparently there is a shortage of the nighttime insulin I use, or at least a supply chain delay of some sort.  Well that sucks but at least someone finally told me.  Here I'd been getting snippy because my prescription is for more than one pen at a time.

My blood sugar numbers have been trending high lately.  Last night they jumped quite high at my suppertime check, and then of course crashed after.  That's always distressing, but I ate my 15 Skittles and felt better very quickly.  Sometimes it's a battle.  Now my first check this morning is high again.  I'll see what my lunchtime check is, and then might have to message my doctor.  Maybe not.  She'll just tell me to adjust my dosage, which I already know how and when to do.  All my labs were good and normal last week, so I doubt she'd have me come back in for anything.  We'll see.

My thoughts kept flip-flopping yesterday about the whole craft thing.  The later it got in the day, the more I'd come back to thinking I won't give up.  I have soooooo many stamps and dies and things for paper crafting, and I do enjoy doing it.  I'm undecided on soap though.  That's not something that can just sit around and wait for a buyer like paper crafts can.  So if I can't find a way to get it selling more consistently, I might be giving that up . . . again.  Hubby's still going to take a break from things, wants to get the shop rearranged and finished, some other things taken care of, but will do the occasional little project when he has the urge.  So I guess I'll carry on.  Until my thoughts abruptly switch and tank again at least.  LOL

Day 28 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2011 - This is our old cat, Lynx (aka Fattycat).  He died almost three years ago at the age of 18, but this photo was from 2011.  Minion was just a kitten then and had gone in to be neutered right around Halloween.  When I picked him up, he was wearing this Halloween bandana.  It was so cute, with him being a black cat and all.  Minion was still all dopey when he got home, not feeling social, so we put the bandana on Lynx and he was kind enough to pose like a super hero in a cape.  lol

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Oct. 27 - Crafter Frustration

Thursday, 29 degrees and heavy frost on the car from what I can see in the still-dark of early morning.  Four days till Halloween.  A lot of places will probably have trick-or-treating during the weekend.  I think one of the small towns I live near is actually having it Monday evening, and that's cool to me.  Back in my day, trick-or-treating was always on Halloween.  More recent times saw most places moving it to 'safe and convenient' daytime hours on whatever weekend happened to be near Halloween.  People eventually started to grumble and it seems it's gradually moving back to late afternoon/evening times now.

I promise I don't have a goal of making grumpy, ranting posts every day but lately that seems to be my thing.  And I have one more day of venting, if you'll bear with me.  Okay, yesterday something happened that really got me riled up about Etsy and left me disheartened about crafting in general.  I was watching a couple random videos on YouTube that came up in the sidebar suggestions, both were about packing orders for these girls' Etsy shops.  As I watched each video I could feel the rage building.  I even went to each of their Etsy shops to check things out further and yeah, that's when it all went to heck for me.  So one of the shops has just over 700 sales but I don't know how long she's been selling.  The other shop had over 22,000 sales in "about two years" of selling!  Normally I would be all 'That's awesome!' but no.  No, no, noooooo.  The problem I have with each of these 'creators' is that they aren't really 'creating.'  They have all their products made "over seas" (China) for pennies, and then sell them with a huge markup on Etsy.  Even their packing materials are custom printed in bulk "over seas."

Now, these girls might be creating their images or designs on their own computer but that is the extent of their 'creativeness.'  The images are probably from sites or programs that allow you to use their images in your own way, so again, are they really creating anything at all???  Oooh, I'll take this cute ghost image and make it my own by flipping it and maybe changing the line color . . . look what *I* made!  And then I'll send that file to some cheap ass company in China and have key chains, stickers, notepads, etc. made to sell in my Etsy shop!  Ohhhh, I work so hard!  This Etsy shop is my full-time job now!

What a bunch of crap.

It seems everyone and their neighbor owns a Cricut now.  I used to have one but sold it because it gathered more dust than anything.  I will give a tiny bit of credit to Etsy sellers who are making things with a Cricut, things like decor signs or custom shirts.  But when people are churning out freakin' bookmarks,stickers, cards . . . ?  And have 22,000 sales in two years?  There is no hope for those of us who truly are making handmade products.

Hubby and I have had conversations of frustration a couple times in the few years we've done sales as Achy Joints Creations.  There is often a scoffing attitude from shoppers, 'I can get that for half the price at Walmart.'  But the more frustrating part is when it's an event that direct sales vendors (Tupperware, Scentsy, etc.) are allowed to sell at, and people have nooooo problem swarming those booths to pay top dollar for commercial goods.  Again, no hope for truly handmade products.

I've said to hubby here and there over these past few years of doing sales, that we're probably wasting more money trying to earn extra money than if we did nothing at all and just saved our pennies.  A big part of the reason we've been doing Achy Joints is to get some extra income since I quit working.  We did have long term dreams of opening our own physical shop somewhere, but we've pretty much given up on that now.  I mean, even all the so-called local craft shops don't even feature truly local or truly handmade items.  They go to trade shows in Chicago or Minneapolis and buy in bulk whatever items are trending for the season.  It's all just SO frustrating!

So watching those two random videos yesterday really set me off, and now I almost feel like I've suffered a loss in some way.  Like the last of my hope and ambition is gone.  Maybe I should turn my creative energies to something just for myself, like scrapbooking or art journaling.  Something that still lets me play with pattern papers and stickers and images and doo-dads.  Ugh!  

And why do the weirdest things have to set me off in such big ways?!  UGH!!!!

Okay, enough of that.  Thank you if you made it through my rant.  I'm not looking for answers, just needed to vent.

Day 27 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2010 - A couple of our own pumpkins that we grew that year, carved into jack o' lanterns.  Pretty sure mine was the ghost, much more simple pattern.  LOL

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Oct. 26 - Pumpkins & Funkos

Well today's not starting out any better than the past several days, and why should it?  *deep sarcasm*  The internet is barely working and the cat is puking all over the house.  Yep, wonderful.  I'm just feeling like I need a break from all the annoying things raining down lately, feeling like I just want everyone and everything to leave me alone for a while.  Maybe I'll park myself on the couch today and rewatch all of the first season of House of the Dragon again.

Speaking of House of the Dragon . . . are you familiar with Funko Pops?  Those big headed, sort of cartoon-y version figurines of all things popular?  I had a thought yesterday and did a quick Google search and . . . 
YESSSSSS!!!!!!!  It's a Daemon Funko!
They have several of the other main characters too.  I laughed so hard.  I mean it's not at all surprising, but I didn't expect them to be so quick in having them.  And yes, I already ordered a Daemon one, although it's slightly different than the one pictured.  Yes, yes, yes, I love pop culture stuff like this.
Really not much else to post about today.  Yesterday was rather crabby and boring, trying to sort out the email problems and whatever other little problems of the day popped up.  My blood sugar numbers are up, which I'm adding to my list of problems although, as hubby pointed out, they could be up because of my other problems.  Stress supposedly affects blood sugar numbers.  Just one more reason to get stuff taken care of and get my mood shifted.

Day 26 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2010 - We had a garden this year, the only year we've ever planted pumpkins and squash.  We had a great harvest!  In fact, we had way too many for ourselves and were giving them away to friends and family.  That was a fun time.  It would be fun to grow them again but they really spread out into the grass and it became difficult to tend because we couldn't mow and the grass got so long, the pumpkin vines tangled in it.  Not sure how people do it, or if that's just how it usually goes.

So we're only a handful of days away from Halloween now.  Are you still in a spooky mood, or have your thoughts already moved on to Thanksgiving and Christmas?  I suppose if you have younger kids or grandkids it's easier to still be excited for Halloween.  I don't have either though, so my thoughts keep jumping ahead.  We did have Hotel Transylvania on last night though, and that's always a fun one for Halloween.

But anyway, just curious where your seasonal thoughts are at this point.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Oct. 25 - Email, Etsy, and Daemon

Our temps have slipped back to chilly.  It's 49 degrees right now, just before 7am, with only a high of 51 predicted.  It's supposed to be gray and rainy all day too.  I kinda like that.  Even though it's dreary, it makes it feel cozier to just be inside, also adds a bit of a Halloween vibe.
Like my blog title states . . . It's always something!  Along with all the things I talked about in the last post, yesterday brought a couple new hassles.  My email is not working right.  All day it's just been downloading duplicates of the same emails from the previous two or three days, along with anything new.  I tried Googling for answers but of course you get a thousand suggestions from ten years ago, so you don't know where to even start.  I couldn't get into my internet provider's actual email section yesterday, and only just finally got into it earlier this morning.  Everything seems fine looking at on the actual server, so the problem must be with my email program.  I've uninstalled it and am currently downloading it again.
I'm stubborn and don't like change, so no, I haven't jumped to gmail like everyone else.  I'm still using my original email from my internet provider.  At times like this, I wonder if would be easier to just make the change, but the few times I've used gmail for other things I've found it such a hassle to get into because of Google's confusing way of connecting all accounts.  I'm just rambling now and you all are probably like, 'What's so complicated?  I use it everday!'  lol  We'll just agree to disagree, and move on.
The other new hassle yesterday almost gave me a freakin' heart attack.  Etsy closed my Achy Joints Creations shop!!!!!  I had several minutes of ragey anxiety building and driving me nearly to tears before I got an email saying the shop was now reinstated.  It all goes back to that hacker incident from Friday morning.  Etsy did step up and refund the money I was scammed out of, but in the process they closed my shop, reset my password, pretty much completely disconnected me from any further hack related misfortunes.  So I had to reset my password AGAIN, reconnect bank account to my shop, jump through a bunch of hoops, before they let me back in.  And did they do anything to the shop I reported?  I have no idea.  There was no mention of it in the emails from customer support.  So they probably did nothing.  That pissed me off, but at least I got my money back.
In other news . . . House of the Dragon finale.  Ohhhhh my.  I wish I could say more but a certain someone (staring at Carrie) isn't caught up yet.  Daemon was sort of a mixed bag in this one.  I was quite disappointed in him in *that one scene* but then there were still some caring gestures scattered throughout the episode.  Ugh, so much to say about it all!  I need to find a House of the Dragon chat group or something.  lol  I think I still want to do a full post with my thoughts on the first season overall.  Carrie will just have to avoid that one for a while.  hehe
A bunch of other things on my mind today but I'm going to end this here and try to get some things done.
Day 25 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2009 - This was back when I used to go all-out with decorating.  We had SO much fun Halloween stuff!  This pic is just one section of the loaded buffet.  I like that I had two of my Cherished Teddies figurine scenes included in the display.  I haven't had them out in many years now, and I don't even know why.  I think next year, since I only do minimal decorating now, I will get those out again.  I would go grab them today and enjoy them for the rest of this final week of October, but I have a ton of Cherished Teddies and they are all packed away in their boxes, stacked in many piles in a closet.  I don't feel like digging through all those stacks to find the few I need.  lol  Next year though!  Next year!

Monday, October 24, 2022

Oct. 24 - Rough Discussions

It's a rainy Monday morning here.  Temps will still be in the low 70s today but drop back down to the 50s tomorrow and through the rest of the week.  Forecast shows today and tomorrow will be rainy.  Once again, glad we got the final yard work done on Saturday!

We had planned on going to a local apple orchard yesterday morning.  It's one of the biggest in the area, but in all my life of living in the same area, I've never been to it.  Hubby and I got more interested in the place during our time selling at the local farmers market because that orchard would also sell there.  So yeah, it was the Minnesota Vikings bye week, weather was great, we had nothing else going on . . . but in the morning we decided not to go.  Part of it was that we don't need to be spending extra money, and another part of it was that all the yummy bakery treats we would have seen would have been things I shouldn't eat.  We've also had other things on our minds lately and decided to just relax at home instead.

I made pumpkin spice pancakes (that mix from Walmart) for breakfast, then got the ton of dishes done and the kitchen cleaned up.  I'd been neglecting it the couple days before because we'd been doing stuff.  It was really bothering me by Sunday morning!  LOL  Anyway, got that all cleaned up, started laundry, played my wizard game for a while, and then at noon we settled in for our usual afternoon of football and Yahtzee.  Packers lost AGAIN!  Hahahahahaha!  We are so happy about that.  As mentioned, the Vikings did not play this week.

Hubby and I had several discussions throughout the day, most of them very depressing.  We decided we probably will not do the farmers market next year, or maybe even the next few years.  He's tired of feeling pressed for time trying to create things for Achy Joints.  The break we took this year was supposed to be so we could get some other things taken care of but we never did anything about those things.  His shop was never totally finished back when he and his friend rebuilt the barn.  They'd just gotten it to a usable point, excited to be able to make things, and figured the other things would be finished over time.  So the shop is still without heat, has no dust collection system, still needs to be finished in some areas like under the roof eaves.  He'd like to have a ceiling put in to help with lighting, and with heating costs.  We need to find a better setup for the saw mill, and get going milling all the logs we have piled up around the shop yard.  Just tons of stuff like that.

Hubby also admitted that he's had the sobering realization that he will most likely not be able to retire early, like he'd really been hoping to.  This came after talking to my old coworker at the local event last weekend.  That guy now sells insurance and Medicare plans.  Hubby said just hearing the prices of such things is what made him realize he won't be retiring early.

That, of course, led to a discussion about whether or not I should go back to work, even if it's just part-time.  When I was struggling so much in the final year or so at my job, it was hubby who said, "Maybe it's time to just quit."  I asked him what he meant, quit that job and find something else?  Or quit working all together.  He said quit all together.  Our goal at the time had been for me to work until our house was paid off but the situation got so out of hand that I just couldn't make it that far.  I've been plagued by guilt ever since I quit, seeing hubby coming home each day with all his aches and pains, and hearing about his work related stress.  It's one of the reasons I haven't been fully able to just relax and embrace my 'retired' status.  I've thought here and there about getting a part-time job, something simple and close to home.  And now the conversations from yesterday have me all stressed out, thinking that's what I need to do.  Hubby never said he wanted me to go back to work, but he also didn't say 'No no, don't worry about it.'  His lack of comments on the situation has me thinking that yes, he wishes I'd go find a job.

And then, like all of that wasn't depressing enough, I got an email from one of my brothers asking if I'd be willing to be his person who takes over his accounts when he dies.  (I don't know what the name is, POD, but I don't remember what the 'D' is in this situation.  Power of D-------)  He explained that if he dies first, his wife will be that person, and then when she dies, her oldest son will get it.  But if she dies first, because my brother has no kids of his own, the responsibility would come to me.  She is 10 years older than him, but he has MS, so you never know what could happen.  They'd already talked to me a couple years ago about the house.  He owns the house we grew up in.  Similar situation, if he dies first the house will go to his wife, only this time when she dies the house goes to me instead of her oldest son.  If she dies first, the house will then go to me after he dies.

His email was troubling to me because of a rumor that's been quietly going around among some of my siblings, a rumor that this brother with MS also has cancer.  I've dismissed this all along because the way one sibling keeps telling it makes no sense, and I would think the family would have been told if there really was cancer.  I mean, when he was diagnosed with MS years ago, they informed the whole family.  So yeah, I've dismissed the rumor . . . until now.  This email, is he just getting all his ducks in a row because we're all getting old now?  Or is there something more?  I did finally ask him when I replied but haven't heard back yet.

So this led hubby and I into another discussion of how it's kind of a huge mental burden to be the responsible ones that everyone turns to.  He takes care of his dad and is his dad's medical power of attorney, or whatever that is called.  I take care of my mom and am her medical power of attorney.  I could be responsible for my brother's house, and now responsible for his accounts after death.  I had to fill out my own medical power of attorney papers when I was in the hospital last year, and that was kind of jarring.  Hubby's best friend/coworker asked us to be guardians of his autistic daughter if anything should ever happen to him.  (She's an adult now but can't live on her own.  It's already arranged that she would go to a group home if something were to happen to her dad, so we'd only really be signing papers and making sure things happened in that situation.)  Ya know, on one hand it's nice that people feel so confident in us, but on the other hand it's like 'Enough!  We don't want your burdens dumped on us!'

It was quite a deep and heavy mental day.  Maybe we SHOULD have gone to the orchard just to lighten things up!

Day 24 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2009 - Another year of carved pumpkins.  Those little tools and stencils really were a game changer for making jack o' lanterns!  Again, I don't remember which was mine.  I'm thinking maybe the witch/moon one.  Even with those handy little tools, I still wasn't ambitious enough to do finely detailed designs.  lol

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Oct. 23 - Word Search & Pumpkins

Sunny and 55 degrees already on this lovely Sunday morning.

Yesterday, I went grocery shopping early in the morning.  I was a bit sad to find my thoughts are already shifting towards Christmas.  I mean, I love Christmas and am excited to get there, but what happened to my Halloween excitement?  I think because a lot of annoying little things are going on, I've just sort of gotten distracted.  So I stayed away from the Christmas stuff that is already out at Walmart and made sure to wander every aisle of the fall/Halloween stuff.

Hubby took groceries to his dad when I got home from shopping, then stayed and played cards like usual.  Boychild1 was here doing laundry so we chatted for a while, mostly about House of the Dragon, which he has not seen yet but is interested in.  He helped with one tiny little project outside and then was on his way.  I ate a quick lunch after he left then headed outside to get some things done.

Since this weekend's summer-like weather is probably the last we'll get for this year, I wanted to mow the lawn one last time.  I used the push mower to get all the 'detail' work done, like up close around the house and things like that, then hopped on my good ol' rider to do the bulk of the yard.  I picked up some things to put away for winter, like the garden hoses, moved the rakes and shovels and wheelbarrow into the 'garage,' (really just a junk filled shed these days), and rearranged the few small decorations on the porch.

Hubby got home from his dad's later in the afternoon and we cleared some space in his workshop to be able to get lawn mowers and a couple other things stored for winter.  Then we came in, munched some leftovers for supper, and played Yahtzee for a bit.

I don't know if I mentioned in an earlier post that the septic guy did finally show up on Thursday.  That was perfect timing because we were then able to refill the hole and get everything back in order before the last mow of the season.  As I glance out my window now, it's nice to know all that yard stuff is done now for winter.

I came across this word search puzzle in my book some time ago and have been meaning to share it here.  Just some simple fun for any other fall loving folks out there.  Go ahead and print out a copy!

Day 23 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2008 - Ahhh yes, we finally gave those little pumpkin carving kits a try this year.  We'd always been skeptical that those tiny little tools would actually do anything, but wow, were we amazed!  The kit we bought had a book of stencils, so that's what these designs all came from.  I can't remember for sure now who carved what but I think the cat was mine (of course).  They all looked so cool!

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Oct. 22 - Effin Hackers!

Happy Saturday, friends.  We've fallen back into summer here in Wisconsin.  I'm writing this later in the day than usual, and it's already 74 degrees, bright and sunny.  It will be warm again tomorrow and then start slipping back to colder temps after that.  This will probably be the last summer-like weather so I've been trying to get some things done outside.

Anyway, f*ing hackers!  I got an email notification yesterday asking if I'd recently logged into my Etsy account.  The time and location didn't match anything that would have been me, and then sure enough, I got another email confirming my $174 purchase from some Etsy shop.  WTF?!  So I quickly changed my password, and sent a message to the seller telling them to cancel that transaction.  I called the credit card company but they said to wait and see if Etsy will refund the money first, otherwise they'd have to do a full fraud claim, cancel our cards, and issue new ones.  So I contacted someone from Etsy and explained the situation.  She said we have to allow the seller 48 hours to respond, and they would get involved after that if I didn't hear anything.  Well I'm pretty sure that shop itself is part of the scam.  It's very iffy looking, some jibberish bunch of letters for a name, only two items (that are not even acceptable in Etsy policy) listed, no other info.  I mentioned all this to the girl I was talking to and she said she'd have someone more involved in their fraud department contact me.  That ended up being a form letter email with links to how to change my password, etc.  Wow, really?

So now I wait for those 48 hours, knowing full well there will be no response from the 'seller' because it is all part of the same hacker/scammer system.

But really though, what is wrong with these people?!  Go get a real freakin' job!  EARN your money and the things you want in life.  Excuse my language here . . . Stupid, fucking, lazy, jackasses!!!!  I have no sympathy for whatever life situation you might claim has driven you to this.  I have no sympathy for anyone who does this.  There is a special place in hell for you.

Yes, I am PISSED.

Let's try to turn this mood around.  Day 22 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2007 - This is one of the last times we really decorated outside for Halloween.  The two white headstones, the large wooden pumpkin on the left, and the wooden mummy/coffin on the right were all made by me and hubby.  The names on the headstones are the names of our online game characters from that time.  I see this also from before we had our roof and siding redone, and had a new back porch built.  Aww, I also see I was still putting the old style decorations in the windows.  Remember when holiday window decorations were thin cardboard and not the clings they all are these days?

Friday, October 21, 2022

Oct. 21 - All Turned Out Fine

So, I've been awake since 2:45am.  Got up to use the bathroom and couldn't get back to sleep.  I tossed and turned, then just sort of gave up and started thinking about things to get done today.  I don't like to get up before hubby leaves for work because he has his own morning routine.  So I just rested, snuggled under the blankets, with thoughts wandering.  I was just dozing off FINALLY when I heard him leave, and decided I'd go ahead and sleep for a bit.  But nope!  Minion started scratching on the door and jolted me awake, a mere 12 minutes later.  Uuuuuugggggggghhhhhh.  So up and at 'em it is.

It's a 'warm' morning again, already 40 degrees as I write this.  We're supposed to get up to 70 today, and sunny, so I have a bunch of pre-winter things I'd like to do outside.  We'll see if any of that happens.  lol

I mentioned yesterday that I did go back to the hospital, bright and early, to get blood drawn for labs.  I was there and back by 7:30am, so not a huge inconvenience to my day.  Then of course I waited anxiously for my results to be posted on MyChart.  I didn't realize how much I'd really been worried about it all until I got the notification that results were ready.  A feeling of dread washed over me as I waited for the site to load . . . 

But all is well!  My A1c is 6.1 and my average blood sugar for the past six months is 128!  Six months ago they were 6.0 and 126.  So while I'm a bit disappointed they went up, to only go up that wee little bit is a relief.  All my other numbers (cholesterol, etc.) are right in range, kidney function stable, doctor's note said everything looks good.  *PHEW*
Still, I want to get back to being a little more careful.  I feel like I've been getting a little too lazy about foods I shouldn't really have.  In my one meeting with a diabetes educator (before insurance said they wouldn't cover it), she said diabetics don't really have to give up anything.  They just need to really be careful with portion sizes and how often they have such things.  She said to a lot of people, the tiny portions of some things make it not worth it to them so they do just give up a lot of things.  My first six months after diagnosis, I deprived myself of so much because I was terrified.  The next six months, after she told me that, I went back to enjoying some things again but in much more controlled amounts.  There are still some things that I'm just afraid to have, so it's easy to stay away from the really bad stuff like candy.  But other things, it's nice to be able to have a small amount of, like one cookie, or a handful of chips.  I do not do sugar-free things very often, because sugar-free is not always low carb, and I'm leery of all the artificial sweeteners.  But anyway, pat on the back for a good checkup!
I posted two wax melt scent reviews just before this post this morning.  Check those out if you're a home fragrance fan.

Day 21 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2003 - This was the last year the boys went trick-or-treating.  I'm pretty sure they'd stopped already a year or two before this, but I know this was the absolute last because we went with a friend of ours who was taking her 1-1/2 year old daughter for the first time.  Boychild1 was 9 years old, and a grim reaper.  Boychild2 was 12, and a ghoul of some sort.  I think we actually still have these last costumes hanging in a closet upstairs in their old bedroom.  Should I haul them out and ask if they want to go trick-or-treating this year?  LOL

Melted - Pumpkin Cider (Scentsationals)

Pumpkin Cider - 'Just-picked, crisp orchard apples blended with harvest pumpkin simmered with aromatic cinnamon and spicy clove bud enhanced by golden nutmeg and sweet vanilla cream.'
This is a very nice scent for fall.  It's a little sweeter and creamier than a traditional cider scent.  I think the apples give it that sweet note, while the vanilla cream and pumpkin make the overall scent more of a warm, almost bakery type.  It is a deep, full scent.  I wish there was a bit more of the spice coming through, and would like it to have more of that familiar cider note, but it's still a really nice scent.

Unfortunately, this was just too light.  I melted two cubes (about 0.8 oz. worth) in my tea light warmer and didn't really notice the scent anywhere in my house.  Maybe it's one of those that does it's work on a more subtle level, making your home smell nicer without being obvious.  Sometimes those are fine, like if you have company coming and don't want to risk something so strong.  I just wish it had been stronger though.

*** UPDATE ***  When I melted this again, the scent and throw were much stronger.  I don't know if the furnace was running more and stirring up the air more, causing the scent to move around more?  Whatever happened though, it was a great surprise!  So yes, give this one a chance!

Melted - Amish Kitchen (Front Porch Candle Co.)

Amish Kitchen - 'Warm aroma of spices, cinnamon, fresh pumpkin, and buttercream cookies.'
I love this scent!   Even though there is pumpkin and spice in here, I wouldn't call this a fall scent because the sweetness of the buttercream cookies sort of takes over.  That's okay though, because now I know it's a great bakery scent for any time of year.  It's not just a simple cookie scent though.  No, it's sweet and warm and very creamy.  It almost seems like there might be a hint of maple.  I suppose the pumpkin and spice do show up to add a little something but I don't think you'd ever recognize it as pumpkin if you didn't know it was there.

I melted one 1 oz. tart in my tea light warmer and had strong scent and throw.

This is a great, warm and cozy bakery scent, great for the cooler days of fall and winter (or anytime really).  I will definitely be getting this one again!

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Oct. 20 - Don't Like One But Like The Other

Okay, I've been to the hospital for that bloodwork already this morning, and am now back home and trying to play catch-up on my normal morning routine.  It's much warmer this morning than it has been, I think 37 degrees while I was out.  The wind has finally died down.  I think we're supposed to get up to the mid-50s today and low 70s for the weekend.  I'll take it!  We'll probably try to do one more mowing of the lawn and then pack the mowers away for the winter.
I ended up not doing much (again) after the doctor appointment yesterday.  It was a super quickie appointment, just a diabetes checkup.  I saw a different doctor because my regular one is on maternity leave.  This new doctor said everything was looking good, my blood sugar numbers look good, everything is "well managed and under control."  Just have to wait for the bloodwork results today.
Anyway, once I got home from that, I did some laundry and had wanted to get some other things done but ended up not getting to them.  I did get some photos taken for some soaps I want to get listed in our Etsy shop.  Sorted through the increasing piles of junk on my desk.  Called the septic guys to see when they'd be here to inspect and pump.  (I called them nearly a month ago.)  Not much else happened yesterday.

I tried to watch the second episode of The Winchesters yesterday but had to give up.  I tolerated the first episode, hoping it might grow on me over time, but nope.  I love love LOVE Supernatural, and it's like they're trying to hard with this prequel.  There are a lot of things I don't like about it but one of the biggest is still that they aren't staying true to the Supernatural lore we already know.  I'm kinda disappointed now that Jensen Ackles (Dean, from Supernatural) is part of the creative team behind this show.

On the other hand, I am really enjoying House of the Dragon!  I think I like this show even more than Game of Thrones.  I'm sad there is only one episode left in this season.  I've seen mentions that we might have to wait two years for the next season?!  That sucks.  I'm really loving all the memes popping up about the show.  I may or may not be spending waaaaaaaay too much time scrolling Instagram lately because they're so entertaining.  This one below is my favorite at the moment . . . 
Oh my gosh, if you know the character Daemon, you know why this is so funny.  I love Daemon, have from the first episode.  I saw an article a day or two ago about one of the show's writers or creators being baffled that everyone loves Daemon so much.  She's like, "Whyyyy?!  He's not a good person!" or something along those lines.  You have to watch the show to understand.  He's done some pretty questionable things but there is something 'good' about his intentions.  Well, some of the things he's done can't be explained away, but most of the time . . . lol  It took me a bit to get actor Matt Smith's Doctor Who out of my mind, but he is all Daemon now.

Okay, enough of that.  I probably just bored you all to death if you're not a fan of the show.

Day 20 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2001 - That is Boychild1 in the center, in the white karate outfit.  He was 10 years old, in 5th grade, and this was some of his classmates at their school Halloween party.  Once again, I really don't remember anything in particular about that year's Halloween.  That's sad to me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Oct. 19 - Off To The Doctor

A super quickie post today.  I'm off to the doctor bright and early this morning.  It's just a 6-month diabetes checkup.  I assume they'll do bloodwork.  I'm curious what my A1c will be, as I think all diabetics always are.  It dropped insanely from the time I was in the hospital to my 3-month post check, and then dropped a bit more 3 more months after that.  (From 16-something in the hospital down to 6.1 at that second post hospital check.)  I don't feel confident it will still be that low this time.  lol  I feel like I've been pushing my limits of 'Well maybe just a little . . . ' on foods I should just be avoiding.  We'll see!

Anyway, yesterday was a crabby day for me.  Too many things on my mind and just couldn't get going on anything.  Hubby and I played Yahtzee after supper just as an attempt to get my mind off things.  We usually only play on the weekends.  Slept a little better last night but still kept waking up from stressful dreams.  I'm thinking this doctor appointment is weighing on my mind way more than I realize.  Hopefully once I'm out of there this morning I can focus on other things and turn this mood around!

Day 19 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2000 - This is Boychild2, 6 years old, and inherited the black ninja outfit that Boychild1 used to have.  It looks so big on him!  lol  I think I mentioned with yesterday's photo, I don't remember anything in particular about this Halloween.  Boychild2 was in school now by this point, so they both probably just dressed up for their school parties and we might have been skipping trick-or-treating by now.  I know I mentioned somewhere that they'd never really been big fans of it.  "We can just buy candy!" they'd whine as we trudged along in the cold Wisconsin October weather.  lol

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Oct. 18 - "Mother!"

The snow we had yesterday morning was melted by noon, and that's okay with me.  It was lovely to look at from inside the house but once I had to be out in it to go to my mom's, I was over it.  LOL  Plus, it was so windy yesterday!  It's still windy this morning, and cold.  I'm so not ready for winter.

It was a bit of a frustrating visit with my mom.  She gets fixated on the weirdest things sometimes, and just doesn't understand a lot of things in the world.  I'm sure a lot of it is because she has too much time alone, too much time to think about things, and watches the news too much.  Her latest little obsession is that she insists one of her legs swells up everyday so she hauled out some old compression socks they'd put on her in the hospital after her hip replacement surgery.  I've seen this supposedly swelled leg and you can barely even tell.  It's no worse, probably even less, than anyone else at the end of the day.  At her last Wellness Visit with her doctor (in August, I think?), she mentioned it and the doctor looked and was not at all concerned.  My mom said she puts those socks on at night and the doctor said, "Oh, no no no, don't wear them at night."  My mom argued that she needs to get rid of the swelling so she puts them on at night and her leg is better by morning.  The doctor explained she should wear it during the day to PREVENT the swelling, and that they shouldn't be worn at night because the body will heal itself during the night.  My mom does the nod, "Okay," thing but I found out just a week or two ago that she still wears them at night.  I scolded her, reminded her what the doctor said, and explained it to her again.  She tried to argue with "I know but . . . "

So last week she showed me some compression socks in one of the many catalogs of useless crap that she gets, said she wanted me to order them because she thinks they'll be better, be easier to get on and off because they have a zipper on the side.  I was like, "I'm not ordering those.  I'll look for something at Walmart."  (Another of her annoying habits is that she returns EVERYTHING!  It's nothing to her since I'm the one ordering/shopping and then having to return things.  I hate doing it even when it's absolutely needed, so to just willy nilly return things drives me nuts.  I put my foot down about it a while ago.)  Anyway, found some 'light compression' Dr. Scholl's white socks for her to try and took them to her yesterday.  Her first response?  "I hope they're not too tight.  I don't like when they're tight."  GAH!!!  Do you not understand what compression socks are, Mother?!  Sooooo very annoying, but what can you do?

There was another annoying incident yesterday about a phone conversation she'd had with one of my siblings.  The story that was told is something I'm already aware of, and something that makes no sense.  I think it's sort of a 'telephone game' situation where the story changes each time it's told, ya know?  Anyway, it all seems to come back to one other family member, and it was funny because my brother (who stays at my mom's) compared that family member to Gladys Cravitz on Bewitched.  LOL!  If you knew this brother you'd find that even more hysterical.

But yeah, a frustrating day at Mom's.  By the time I got back home I was not feeling motivated to do anything anymore.  I watched Y&R, dozed off for a few minutes on the couch, then made supper.  Hubby and I watched this week's episode of House of the Dragon, I tried to find some stuff on Amazon that he wants, and then went to bed.  I slept horribly all night, super weird and stressful dreams, and waking up about every hour.  Ugh, ugh, UGH.  I'm dragging this morning.

Day 18 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
2000 - As Boychild1 phased out of Power Rangers, he shifted his attention to Dragon Ball Z, and that's what his costume was that year.  He was nine years old here.  I don't think we even went trick-or-treating.  I think, if anything, he went over to a friend's house in town and maybe they went.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Oct. 17 - Snow!

Wheee!  Woke up to snow this morning!  We'd been hearing mentions of possible "mixed precipitation" in the forecast the past couple of days, and yesterday they even flat out mentioned a chance of snow, but I don't think anyone was expecting this much.  It will probably melt by later today but that's okay.  There is just something exciting about that first snow!

Not much happened yesterday.  I did my shopping early in the morning.  Hubby took groceries to his dad, and stayed to visit and play cards for a while.  While he was gone I did laundry and couple little things around the house.  I was already watching the Vikings game when he got back home, and we settled in for a Sunday of football and Yahtzee.  Seems to be our new Sunday tradition, and I'm quite liking it.

Vikings won.  SKOL!  5-1 now, and firmly in 1st place in the NFC North!  Packers lost . . . again.  That makes us happy.  *evil chuckle*  Hubby said Aarogant Rodgers wasn't even playing by the end of that game but we never heard why.  And of course all the local radio and news channels are carrying on like there's been a national tragedy.
Now that the craft sale from this weekend has come and gone, my thoughts are to shift my interests back to our online presence for Achy Joints Creations.  As I've said a bunch of times already, we've pretty much taken a break from it for the past year, since I got sick last September.  We're still not sure if we want to dive back into things next year, get back to the farmers market, stay busy with new projects.  We've talked a couple times about just putting it all on hold until hubby can retire.  Not quite sure yet which path we want to take at this point.  But I do know I can give the Etsy shop more attention and reapply myself to online efforts over the coming winter months.  Hubby's shop is not heated except for a large, portable torpedo heater, so he doesn't spend much time out there during the winter.  And with the high cost of fuel for that heater, he'll probably spend even less time out there.  But I can still make soap and cards, and tend the online side of things.

So that's where my thoughts are for now.  I'll be heading over to my mom's this morning, as usual on a Monday morning, and when I get back home I'll start planning how I want to go about things.

Day 17 of my old family Halloween photos . . . 
1999 -  I see Boychild1 is in the same ninja costume from 1998, so I wonder if this might be another pic from 1998 instead of 1999?  Boychild2 was in a devil costume that my mother-in-law had made.  They are obviously not dressed for trick-or-treating so this must have been just to get a pic of the costumes.  Hmm, I don't remember much about this Halloween.  If it really is 1999, we were leaving for Germany on Nov. 1, so that's probably why we didn't do much.  Does it really matter?  lol  Ninja and devil, that's what they were dressed as!