Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Jan. 31 - Ignore Adulting Day

Good morning!  It's another frigid one here in Wisconsin.  It's currently -11, with wind chill making it -24.  We have a wind chill advisory until 10:00am this morning.  And we'll make it all the way up to 7 degrees today.  Brrrrr!  On the bright side though, it's very sunny, so if you don't have to go anywhere today, at least it looks like a nice day.

I've been outside already this morning, bright and early.  I had to run something down to the mailbox, but mainly had to get the bird feeders filled.  They were empty all day yesterday and I felt bad because I'm sure the poor little guys need the food to stay energized and help stay warm, but dang, it's been so cold that I was just a whiny baby and didn't want to do it.  I forced myself out there this morning though, and got it all done.  We have several feeders of several varieties, four on the north side of the house and four on the south side of the house.  Hubby can watch the north side from his chair in the living room.  I can watch the south side from my spot here at the computer desk.  I wore my thick, bulky gloves so my fingers wouldn't freeze.  Ironically, they froze anyway because the bulkiness of those gloves made everything clumsy and longer to get done.  Doh!  But all feeders are full now and the birds are happily swarming them.

This is the latest puzzle we finished.  It was only 750 pieces this time.  We usually do 1000 piece ones.  Hubby did most of the work on this one, so he says he's leaving the next for me.  And yep, I already started the next one yesterday.

So, typical Monday, I went to my mom's yesterday, did her laundry and shopping, and played a few games of Yahtzee.  When I got home I got caught up on The Young & The Restless, then watched the latest episode of Last of Us.  I was a little bit 'What the heck is this?' about that episode because it veered away from the creepiness, but in the end it was a very sweet episode.  My neck pain eased up as the day went on.  I took more ibuprofen before bed, and this morning it is about 99% gone.  *phew*

I did get some slightly worrisome news last night.  Sunday night my sister-in-law messaged that Brother1 had been to the ER that day with a high fever.  They'd done a bunch of tests and taken blood for more tests, but didn't find anything initially and sent him back home.  Yesterday (Monday) morning they got a call and were told to get him back to the doctor asap because further tests show he has sepsis (blood infection).  So they headed back to the ER and he was promptly admitted to the hospital.  My sister-in-law said they think it came from a recent sinus infection.  This brother started chemo earlier this month, and that's on hold now.  He has cancer but I can't remember what kind at the moment.  He's had it for a while and went through chemo about six years ago.  The doctors said it's a slow cancer, no cure but chemo can knock it back enough to usually go several years before needing chemo again.  But anyway, I messaged him a bit last night and he seems to be in good enough spirits.  This is the same brother who was in the hospital not long ago for RSV and pneumonia.  I said to him last night, 'You just like the food there, don't you?' and he replied with, 'Yep, and the comfy bed.'  lol

And here is Cinnamon, the depressed cat who Boychild2 says is doing much better.  Looks like he's living his best life to me!  lol

I think today will be another Ignore Adulting type day for me.  I finally got set up with that free version of one of the games I play, and I'm really wanting to dive into that today.  I'm also wanting to work on the new puzzle.  I'm wanting to do a bunch of other more fun/less responsible things, like watch more TV, blog a ton of things I've been putting off, just all the lazy things.  I have a lot of these types of days lately, I am aware.  That's the problem with 'retirement' though, too much time and no accountability.  (I always hesitate to call myself retired because I'm not of retirement age and my choosing to quit working situation was not some ideal dream situation.)

So I'll quit babbling here and try to decide which lazy thing to do first.  And I'll enjoy the sun pouring through the window next to me, without having to worry about being out in that bitter cold.

Stay warm, folks!

Monday, January 30, 2023

Jan. 30 - Mental Junk and Last of Us

Well hello!  I think I'm ready to start posting again.  It's cold this morning, 2 degrees with a wind chill of -13.  They say we'll get all the way up to 4 today, and then drop to -11 (real feel) tonight.  Brrrrr!  I'd wanted it to seem like winter but not to this extreme.  We also got snow a couple times while I've been missing, maybe about 5-6 inches combined.  February starts this week and while that's still technically winter, I'll be totally okay if it goes back to springlike weather.

So, last week really spiraled for me.  I think it was Wednesday when I made that quickie post because I was so eager to get a million things done.  I did get some things done, but not the things I'd wanted.  Computer and internet delays interfered that day.  Then Thursday I'd just put up another quickie post, thinking I was going to do all the things I'd wanted to do on Wednesday.  Nope.  Mood and mental stuff started getting in the way.  Friday I didn't even bother posting and don't even remember what I did that day, if anything.  I know I made a batch of my Oatmeal Balls somewhere in there, and finished a puzzle. 

I don't think I've posted this one yet.  It was a very pretty 1000 piece puzzle, one of them I bought cheap after Christmas.  Hubby did a fair bit of this one, and most of the next one (no pic yet) since it seems I'm phasing out of puzzles lately.  I'm having more of an urge to just lounge on the couch and get back to watching movies and shows we have on the DVR.

Anyway, Saturday was shopping day.  My car got stuck in our driveway as I was leaving.  Hubby had to push me out with his truck, then plowed while I was gone.  Shopping was okay.  I didn't take a lot of time to look at extra things just because I'd been feeling so blah.  I did look for a book I want, thought it had come out earlier in the week, but didn't see it.  (Found out it's release has been delayed.)  I did take a quick look for some t-shirts for myself.  I'm in desperate need!  As always, couldn't find any I liked in the women's section but did grab a House of the Dragon shirt from the men's section.  lol

Hubby took groceries to his dad's when I got home, stayed and played cards, as usual.  While he was over there and I was home alone yet again, my mood started to sink again.  I sort of yelled at myself that enough was enough, and stomped into the kitchen to busy myself.  I whipped up some homemade banana bread, did laundry, several other random things, and then felt better about just sitting down to watch TV.  I eventually did work on the latest puzzle a bit, and by the time hubby got home I was feeling better.  We, of course, played our wizard game until suppertime.

Yesterday (Sunday), Boychild1 was here for laundry.  He's usually here on Saturdays but wanted to switch days this week.  While he was here, we all watched Last of Us . . . 

Ok, have to interrupt to ask, are any of you watching that show????

So anyway, hubby and I had already seen the first two episodes of the show but Boychild1 was watching for the first time.  Hubby and I are so hooked that we gladly watched again with him.  The show is a Walking Dead type, zombie type thing.  It's adapted from a popular video game from years ago.  Both of the Boychildz played the game and are well familiar with it, but only Boychild1 is interested in watching the show.  Oh my gosh, I want to do a more in depth post about my thoughts.  I know I keep saying that about a lot of things but I really do still hope to do those posts.  For now though, is anyone else watching??

After Boychild1 left and we had lunch, hubby and I settled in for an afternoon of playing our wizard game.  We had football on TV in the other room, turned up loud so we could listen while we played.  My mood was much better Sunday, but my physical well-being took a hit.  I can't win.  I felt really bleah and 'off' through the afternoon, like something I'd eaten wasn't agreeing with me, headache, chills, fatigue.  Ugh!  I also had a growing pain along the back/side of my neck and down through my shoulder.  It sometimes felt like a muscle kink, sometimes just felt like major body ache.  It all eased up after I was up and moving around again to make supper and then to do dishes and clean up for the evening.  But man oh man, the kink in the neck is real this morning!!!  It intensified about a thousand times while I slept.  I've already put icy-hot type stuff on it and taken ibuprofen.  It's helped a bit.  Hopefully when I'm moving around to do my mom's shopping this morning it will loosen it up more.

And yep, I'm heading to my mom's soon because it's Monday.

Hope you're all doing well!  And staying warm!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Jan. 26 - Another Quickie

I started out really productive and motivated yesterday morning but all that was derailed by an unexpected and HUGE update on one of my games here on the computer.  Huge update + slow internet = go do something else for the next couple hours.  Ugh.  And since several of the things I'd been wanting to get done were computer related (taxes, etc.), that's exactly what I did.  I switched to my list of non-computer things, like sorting the stack of bills and papers from 2022, making a batch of Oatmeal Balls, and whatever other puttering things I could find.  I guess it turned out to be an okay day because I did get several things done, but I got really down about it all again in the evening, and now have to try and get those things from yesterday done today.

So this is another quickie post just to keep up daily posting.  

Have a good one!

Melted - Tea and Cakes (CFTKR)

Tea and Cakes - 'A queen's delight!  Sweet orange and almond tea cakes served with a cup of steaming black tea!'

Another of the Candles From The Keeping Room wax melts that was gifted to me recently, this one was lovely, but light.  On cold sniff the orange cake really comes through, but when warmed, those tea notes really come to the forefront.  I'm not a tea expert so I can't really break that part of it down more than just saying it smelled like tea.  lol  The cake notes, more orange than almond, sit quietly in the background.  A very nice blend if you're looking for something subtle and homey.

I melted this 0.9 oz. tart in my tea light warmer and had lighter-medium scent and throw.  This is one of those scents that you almost don't notice, until you realize, 'Wow, it smells really nice in here.'  Although it was lighter than I usually like my scents to be, I think it was nice enough that I would have it again if given the chance.  (It's hard to order from CFTKR, unfortunately.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Jan. 25 - Super Quickie

Happy Wednesday.  It's 27 degrees here in Wisconsin, and still dark out since I'm up earlier than usual.  Forecast says it will be a snowy day, with 1-3" now through Friday.  I guess I'm okay with that.  Temps drop to low teens this weekend and then down to single digit temps for most of next week.  Not thrilled about that.  lol

I'm up earlier than usual today, not really by choice.  I kinda woke up when I heard hubby leaving for work and couldn't get back to sleep after that.  I'm even posting this earlier, before the routine of doing my 'dailies' in my two games, because I have a million things to do today and want to get going on them right away.  Some are wants, some are needs.  I did absolutely nothing yesterday and of course, now I'm getting all down on myself about it.  And no, I'm not a person who is all 'It's okay, self care first!'  No, it was just plain ignoring things and laziness yesterday.

So this is a quick and probably pointless post but hey, at least I'm still posting today!  LOL

I hope you're all having a good week.  If I haven't been commenting on your blogs recently, please know that I am still reading them at least.

Alright, I'm off to tackle this day!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Jan. 24 - Frustrating Mothers & Old Movies

Tuesday morning, cloudy and 29 degrees here in Wisconsin.  January 24th already.  Cliche to say but where the heck has time gone?  Christmas was a MONTH ago already?!  I was missing the whole holiday season the other day.  It seemed like I enjoyed fall in general more than any of the actual holidays.  The excitement of decorating and getting the whole holiday season started . . .   Ahhh, I'm really hoping I can enjoy it all more this year.
So yesterday was Go To Mom's Monday, as usual.  She decided to go along shopping with me this time.  We've all said she needs to start getting out more again but ugh, it's just so much quicker and easier for me to quickly do her shopping on my own.  But whatever, I guess.  She wanted to stop at Dollar Tree and have a look around, pick up a few things.  Fine, I haven't been there for a while.  I rarely go there anymore, since they raised the price to $1.25 at the start of 2022.  Most things weren't actually a deal there even at just $1.00, and they're certainly not a deal there now.  My mom doesn't realize that though.
Anyway, we stopped there first, thinking we'd have a nice look around.  Nope.  It was inventory day, and there was a whole crew all over the store, in every aisle.  It made browsing awkward, so we just got her few things she wanted and left.  Then we headed over to the grocery store.  That took a while longer, having her along, and I started feeling really blah as it got past my usual blood sugar check/eat lunch time, so I tried to sort of hurry her up a bit.  I still had to go to Walgreens after that to pick up my prescriptions.  Luckily they weren't too busy and we were on our way back home.  Quick finger poke and an inhaled lunch, and I was feeling better.  We got her laundry, bills, etc. all taken care of, played a couple games of Yahtzee, and I was glad to be out of there.  Sometimes it's just really stressful for me to be over there.  It's frustrating how she doesn't understand so many things about how the world works.  I don't mean in an old lady, dementia type way.  I mean in a general lack of understanding way.  It's like I'm the parent trying to explain things to a kid who just doesn't want to learn.  Frustrating days like that just bring up all the problems we've had in our strained mother-daughter relationship.
Boychild2 was here again when I got home.  He'd stopped over for something, forgetting I'm not home half the day on Mondays, and then just stayed until it was time for him to go to work.  I worked on the puzzle a tiny bit after he left but then it was close to when Hubby would be getting home so I started supper.  We had those Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes again because they're new to us and quite yummy.  Hubby added mushrooms to his this time.  I can't stand mushrooms.  Blech!  Then, of course, we played our wizard game for a while.
A bit of a frustrating day.
I've been watching old movies on YouTube lately.  Our rural internet is very slow and spotty.  There is no way we can do any of the streaming services.  Even just watching YouTube videos can be challenging at times.  Also, we only have one TV in the house and I turn that over to hubby in the evenings since I have all day to watch what I want.  He's usually watching wrestling or Battlebots or Forged In Fire, stuff like that, which doesn't interest me.  And since many of the YouTubers I was following have become annoying to me lately, I've been looking for other things to watch on the computer in the evenings.  That's where old movies, TV movies in particular, come in.  If the internet is behaving, I will search for old After School Specials (remember those?!) or something I remember from the '80s, and spend an evening watching.
I just finished this one last night.  Love, Lies and Murder (from 1991) is the true story of 14 year old Cinnamon Brown, who was manipulated by her father to murder her stepmom.  It took several days to get through this because it's over three hours long. I've seen it a couple times before.  The father in this story absolutely makes me sick.  Also, this was Moira Kelly's first roll.

 Made for TV Mayhem: Shattered Innocence (1988) is now on DVD! 
I also recently watched this one from 1988.  Shattered Innocence is the true story of Colleen Applegate/Shauna Grant, a naive midwest 18 year old who headed to California and became a drug addicted porn star.  She was dead by age 21.

You know what, instead of just mentioning them here, I should do some review posts about the old gems I watch on YouTube.  Yes, yes, I'll try to do that!

Well the morning is ticking by quickly and I have a bunch of things I want to get done before my afternoon puzzle time.  lol  

Have a good one!

Melted - Potpourri Spice (CFTKR)

Potpourri Spice - 'A spicy combination of freshly ground cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, ginger, and clove.'
This is one of the wax melts that was gifted to me by an old bloggy friend recently.  This one is a typical 'walking into a craft store' scent, especially a craft store around the holidays.  lol  It has that nice cinnamon scent, easily recognizable, and then all those other spice notes swirling around it.  It absolutely reminds me of those bags of scented pine cones you get around the holidays.  Spice haters would probably not be interested in this one, obviously.  I'm okay with spice scents but the really 'dry' types are not my favorite, and this is one of those.  Still, it is a nice enough scent and makes me think of cozy little cottages and, well, craft stores.
I melted this 0.8 oz. tart in my tea light warmer and had strong scent and throw.
I enjoyed this scent and the fact that it was gifted to me, but if I was placing my own order I would probably skip this one.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Jan. 23 - Weekend Recap

Happy Monday!  It's a cold one here, 19 degrees with a real feel of only 8.  They say it will be nearly 30 later today.  I hope so.

Did your chosen teams advance in the playoffs?  I know a certain someone who is probably celebrating the Chiefs victory, hehe.  I do like Mahomes and the Chiefs, but I was hoping the Jaguars would win, let the new guy, Trevor have a chance.  Ah well.  I was happy the Eagles won.  I wanted the Bills to win because I still like Stefon Diggs even though he did abandon the Vikings a few years ago.  And I don't really care about the Cowboys or the 49ers but my pick for that game was indeed the Niners.

So what all happened this past weekend?

Friday, Boychild2 came over for a bit to fill me in on his kitty, Cinnamon.  He still hasn't heard back from the vet about the blood and urine tests.  Usually they're right on it and call back the same day.  We're wondering now if the vet office might still have Boychild2's old phone number on file.  But anyway, the boychild was telling me the vet had given Cinnamon some fluids, injected under the skin, because he was a bit dehydrated.  They gave him a med to stimulate appetite, and sent some extra meds and a couple cans of special food home.  The physical exam didn't find anything wrong.  Boychild2 said the med must have really helped because as soon as they got home Cinnamon was eating and drinking, and seemed much more his normal self.

Other than that, I think Friday was one of those forgettable days for me.  I worked on the puzzle a bit, but don't remember anything else noteworthy.

Saturday was the routine grocery shopping day.  I tried to take a bit of extra time and just enjoy myself, tried to browse the Valentines aisles, tried to find a couple simple t-shirts for myself.  As usual though, I ended up feeling like I needed to just hurry and get the groceries and get back home because people were waiting for me.  Hubby took groceries to his dad and stayed to play cards and visit, as usual.  Boychild1 was not here for laundry this week but ended up coming over anyway to try and help me figure something out.

We're trying to get a free version of one of the games I play.  Both of the boys easily got it figured out and set up on their gamer computers but I couldn't get it to work on my computer.  That's why Boychild1 ended up coming over.  We tried but still couldn't get it to work.  Then we just chatted for a while, and he headed back home.  I barely worked on the puzzle Saturday.  When Hubby got back from his dad's, we played our wizard game the rest of the afternoon.  We had football on in the background but did not actually watch either game that day.

Sunday, Hubby wanted to play our wizard game as much of the day as we could and I was all for that.  First though, I had to do a ton of dishes that I'm falling into a bad habit of ignoring these days.  I got the kitchen cleaned up, started laundry, went outside and filled bird feeders, trekked down to the mail box for the mail I'd never bothered to get on Saturday . . . and had done all this by 8:00am.  Woot!  Then we sat down to play Wizard101 all day.

We took a break for lunch.  I made Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes, a new to us recipe, and they were quite yummy.  Boychild1 happened to stop over during that time so he was able to try it too.  He'd come to finally bring the Swiffer mop that I'm borrowing, and some other things, and to try and get that other game working on my computer.  He also had another update on Cinnamon, who he says seems very much back to normal, is eating and drinking and playing again.  He said he Googled the med the vet had given him and found it's basically an anti-depressant.  Well, then.  My son's cat is depressed and my brother's cat has asthma.  LOL  Who knew cats had such human troubles?

We still couldn't get the free version game working on my computer and I didn't want to spend any more time fighting with it, so Boychild1 headed back home.  Hubby and I continued our wizard game marathon.  We had football on in the background again but did not actually watch.  We had leftovers for supper and I was good about getting the dishes done and kitchen cleaned up this time.  Yay me!

And that's about it for this weekend.  Some small frustrations but otherwise just a mellow few days.

I'll be heading over to my mom's this morning, the usual Monday routine.  I have to stop a couple extra places this time, and have to make several appointments later, when I get back home.  Yes, it's that season again where all the appointments seem to happen at once.  Bleah.

I'll get this posted, get ready to head out for the day, and wish you good Monday vibes.

Recipe - Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

I've been wanting to find recipes to try lately since hubby and I are bored with the same old, same old each week.  I'm not much of a cook so the easier, the better for me.  When I saw this recipe on a YouTube channel I enjoy, I thought I'd give it a try!

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 4 slices Provolone cheese (chopped, to melt in meat mixture)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Swiss cheese slices to top sandwiches

- Cook ground beef with peppers and onions
- Drain beef mixture, then add remaining ingredients
- Bring to a simmer
- Serve on buns with a slice of Swiss cheese, and toppings of your choice
Since it's only hubby and I here, I cut this recipe in half.  There was still plenty.  I don't think I've ever had a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich so I had nothing to compare this to going into it.  Hubby loves Philly Cheesesteak though, and said he enjoyed this very much.  The only thing he said he'd change would be to add mushrooms.  We also used just plain, cheap hamburger buns.  I think I'd like to try some other style bun next time.  But overall, this was very quick and easy, and very yummy.
UPDATE - When I made this again, I added an extra slice of cheese to the meat mixture, and hubby added mushrooms to his.  He said it was so much better that way.  So if you like mushrooms, consider adding them.

(I got this recipe from MossFamilyTV on YouTube.)

Friday, January 20, 2023

Jan. 20 - Hard Puzzles & Game Blogs

Friday, Friyay!  I mean, it's all the same to me because my homebody days are mostly all the same, but I'm sure plenty of people are excited to be heading into the weekend.  It's a chilly one here this morning, 28 degrees with a real feel of only 17.  We ended up getting maybe three inches of snow yesterday, which wasn't too bad compared to what they were predicting at times.  And now we'll start about a week of temps only in the 20s.  Ah yes, true winter is back.

So yesterday I was talking about my cleaning struggles.  I will be checking out FlyLady and Clean Mama to hopefully get some guidance and learn to build some routines.  I also did some thinking about just picking a room and tackling it, floor to ceiling, one wall at a time until all my biggest concerns are taken care of, and then trying to implement some routines.  Regardless how I end up going about it, I got so disgusted (with myself and the state of things) and frustrated yesterday that I attacked the kitchen floor with a mop.  I didn't finish the whole room and it definitely needs more work but it felt good to be doing something.  I'd like to clean the windows upstairs today.  I'm pausing on the mopping until I get some better cleaning supplies when I go shopping tomorrow.

It's done!!!  That troublesome jigsaw puzzle we've been struggling with is finally done!  Wow, this one was a bugger.  That whole blue-white waterfall section on the right and center is what was so hard.  I put a note in the box to remind us next time just how hard this one was.  LOL  And yes, I started a new one as soon as I'd finished this, taken the pic, and tore it apart again.

Boychild2's cat, Cinnamon had his vet appointment yesterday.  If you remember, he hasn't been eating and has been sleeping more.  They did take blood, urine, and stool samples for further testing but otherwise said everything looked okay as far as the physical exam went.  Boychild2 is coming over today for a bit, and I'll get more details then.  (He's letting me borrow his Swiffer mop. lol)

I had the funniest thought while coming here to post this morning.  I always do my 'dailies' on both of the games I play, do that before I blog each morning.  My funny thought was to start a blog for one of the games, write it as though the characters were real and writing in their journals.  I could take screenshots of different things, and just really have a good ol' time making their lives sound real.  I think I've mentioned this idea before, but maybe it was on one of my previous blogs when I failed in my attempts to return to blogging.  And I know it probably wouldn't interest most of the people who currently read here but it might find a gamer crowd who could appreciate it's humor.  The whole idea is really cracking me up this morning.

Well, I should get going.  I have a few random things that have been nagging at the back of brain for far too long that I want to get done.  I also need to figure out a grocery list instead of waiting till the last minute tonight to try and come up with meal ideas.  Not sure when Boychild2 will drag himself out of bed and come over, so I'll try to get the other things done so we can just sit and chat.

Oh, and I have to refinish a simple bird feeder that hubby had a nail vs. knot problem on and had to sand a big section.  It's just a feeder for us here at home so really, I don't need to redo it, but I will just to have it look nice.

So alright, I'm outta here!
Have a good one!

Melted - Blackberry Jam Butter Cookie Waffle Cone Ice Cream (CFTKR)

Blackberry Jam Butter Cookie Waffle Cone Ice Cream - 'Little chunks of blackberry jam and butter cookie mixed with vanilla ice cream and stuffed in a waffle cone.'

Quite a long name, huh?  And pretty self explanatory.  This is such a nice scent from the indie vendor Candles From The Keeping Room (CFTKR).  It's such a cozy bakery scent with the warm buttery notes from the cookies, and a gentle, dark berry sweetness from the jam, all swirled together in the creamy, vanilla ice cream.  This is delicious and homey.  This is another of those scents that would be perfect if you have company coming, because it is not overbearing, nothing harsh about it, just soft bakery that I think makes anyone feel comfortable.
I melted three of the little waffle shaped tarts (0.8 oz worth) in my tea light warmer and had medium-strong scent and throw.
If I'm ever lucky enough to order from CFTKR and this one is available, I would definitely get more!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Jan. 19 - Teach Me How To Clean

Well, we did get the snow that was predicted.  I'm not sure how much since I haven't been outside yet, but the ground is thoroughly covered.  It's also a mess out there apparently.  The temperature is right at freezing so they're saying on the radio that it's heavy, wet snow, and that what's still coming down is more of a mist.  Area schools are closing, and I've only heard the snow plow go through once so far.  Good thing I had nowhere to go today.

So that darn puzzle is STILL not done!  We're down to maybe 50 pieces left and I've resorted to laying them all out by shape on some sheets of white cardstock, and systematically trying to place them one at a time instead of just browsing to find something that looks like it will match.  Also doesn't help that Minion keeps laying his chubber body across the whole thing.  It will be done today though!!!!!!!

Nothing exciting to report from yesterday.  I did laundry, put away our Vikings things for the season, stared blankly into space for a while and thought about some paper crafts I'd like to do, got cranky about current story lines on The Young & The Restless.  lol  Today is looking like it will be equally exciting, except I don't even have laundry to do.  I really should deep deeeeep clean some areas of the kitchen and bathroom but, ugh, who willingly does that?  I keep telling myself that once I get this long neglected and embarrassingly dirty state of things taken care of, it will be so much easier to maintain cleanliness going forward.  But man, the thought of tackling the current nastiness is overwhelming.

I think I've mentioned before that I struggle with regular cleaning because I was never actually taught these things.  My mom raised six kids and probably found it easier to just shoo us all outside to play while she got things done, instead of teaching us how to do things and help out.  And then in my working years, my menfolk didn't help out much.  I mean, yeah, that's partly my fault because I didn't put my foot down about it, followed my mother's example of 'easier to do it myself,' but then didn't really do it myself because I was never taught good techniques or routines.  So now that I have all this time, I struggle to get going on the things I've always struggled with anyway.

I've heard of the FlyLady system of cleaning but have not looked into it.  Maybe I'll do that today, read about cleaning instead of actually cleaning.  LOL

Oh, and guess what.  I ignored last night's dishes again.  I do NOT like this new habit I'm forming.  Must get back on track with that at least, if nothing else.

Alrighty, I'm off to do . . . something.  Wish me luck!

Recipe - Oat Balls / No Bake Energy Bites

There are many versions of these so-called Energy Bites out there.  I'd found and made one version just shortly before being diagnosed with diabetes a year ago, and then found a slightly different, more diabetes friendly version after.  I've tweaked that recipe a bit more and am sharing my version here.
I was making these every couple weeks for a while.  I even had plans to make seasonal variations.  I did make a pumpkin spice version in October but then all the holiday rush set in and I haven't made these since.  I suppose I could still make the peppermint version I had planned, minty cool for winter.

Anyway, these are so easy to make and great to keep on hand if you're wanting something just a bit sweet.
Oat Balls / No Bake Energy Bites
  • 1-1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon**

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter***
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract**

Mix everything together in large mixing bowl.

Cover mixing bowl and chill in refrigerator for about 2 hours.

Roll mixture into 1-inch balls.  (I use a cookie scoop to make this process much quicker and easier.)

Enjoy!  Or refrigerate for later.

* I find mini chips work better, but regular size are still fine.  I've also used different flavors such as semi-sweet, milk chocolate, pumpkin spice, etc.  I want to try peppermint chips for winter/Christmas.

** For fall, I replaced the cinnamon with 1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice.  For Christmas or winter, I want to try peppermint extract in place of the vanilla.  I've also wondered about using maple syrup in place of the honey but have not tried that yet.

*** I have used crunchy peanut butter but find that creamy helps hold the ingredients together better.  Also, I go slightly over the 1/2 cup called for, like a slightly heaping 1/2 cup.

What other flavor ideas would you try?  The recipe I originally used also had coconut in it, but I've taken that out and added more oatmeal to make up for it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Jan. 18 - Blogging, Cinnamon, and Jury Duty

Happy Hump Day!  It's 31 degrees and partly sunny on this Wednesday morning in Wisconsin.  Temps won't get much higher today, only up to maybe 34, and then winter returns tonight.  The latest forecast is predicting 3-5" of snow for this area tonight and tomorrow.  Temps will only be in the 20s after that, for about the next week.  At least it will seem like January and winter, and not like springtime March.

I just spent a huge chunk of time putting together the wax haul post that went up just before this one.  People don't realize how much time blogging actually takes.  Well, my simple daily posts like this, where I just sit down and natter for a bit, those don't take much time.  But more 'put together' posts with photos, links, descriptions . . . those take time.  I received that order yesterday and quickly took photos even though it was a cloudy day and lighting wasn't great.  I then made a point to immediately get them moved off my phone and edited and into my blog prep folder so I'd have them ready to go this morning.  And that post still put me way behind schedule for today.  lol  Ah well, I'm enjoying being back to blogging so it's a price I'll have to pay.

I thought I was going shopping today, just a non-rushed little shopping trip for myself.  I'd wanted to get some things decluttered and ready to drop off for donation since I was going to town, but that didn't happen, and the more I thought about it last night, the more I talked myself out of going shopping at all.  I always do this!!!  Well, I mean, it is still early enough that I can still go, but I doubt I will.  Sensible me says I don't need to be spending extra money, and that I should just stay home and relax.  The thing is though, I feel I do too much of that.  I've said how I think my mom needs to get out more.  Well, if I'm being honest with myself, I think I probably do too.

Just . . . not today.

That darn puzzle is still not finished!  We're getting ever closer, and I wanted to just give up on it yesterday but Hubby said no, he'd finish it.  We both worked on it yesterday but nope, not done yet.

Boychild2's kitty, Cinnamon, is not feeling well lately and has a vet appointment tomorrow afternoon.  Apparently he's not been eating much, sleeping a lot more, and is very clingy.  Do cat's get January blues like people do?  Because Minion's not been himself lately either, with all his pickiness and pestiness.  Although having said that, he IS sleeping nicely this morning and letting me get things done.  Hopefully Cinnamon is just feeling blah at the moment.

This is funny, considering what bloggy friend Della was dealing with recently.  Hubby got a jury duty notice yesterday.  LOL  Well, it's just the questionnaire, and not an actual summons at this point, but it still cracked me up.  He was not thrilled.

And now I must get this posted and get things done.  This morning is flying by already.  I have dishes from last night to do (again!) and it's laundry day.  I'd like to do something productive instead of sitting down to that dang puzzle, but I'm not feeling too confident that will happen.  At the very least, I'll get Hubby's jury duty paper taken out to the mail box.  LOL!!!!!

On that note, I'm outta here.

Wax Haul - Beezy Tarts

When I posted about that happy mail package last week, I think I talked a bit about the fun of ordering from indie wax vendors back in the crazy days of my original blog.  After posting that I was trying to think of other favorite vendors my little group of bloggy friends had, and then I remembered . . . Beezy Tarts!
Beezy had become the absolute favorite of one of the ladies in our little group.  I had placed small orders a couple of times and enjoyed the wax.  Beezy had gained popularity because he was a guy (well, still is, lol) in what was mostly a world of ladies in the wax vendor business.  He didn't have an overwhelming amount of scent options, which could be good or bad, depending how you looked at it.  Good, because you didn't get lost in hundreds of scent blends that started to all sound the same.  Bad, if you were looking for unique scents, things beyond the basics.

As mentioned, I had ordered from him a couple times back in the day.  Years have gone by, and I'd pretty much forgotten about Beezy Tarts until that day last week.  I looked up his site and was happy to see he's still around.  Like most indie vendors, it looks like he's gone to an open/close site policy, where he's only taking orders at certain times.  I find those vendors/sites to be frustrating.  If I want wax, I want to be able to order when I need it, when I have the time and extra money, not on some odd schedule where the site will be open the third Thursday of next month for a couple hours.  (That's a random example.)

Luckily though, it appears I happened to catch his site while it was open, so I quickly placed an order.  I will say though, I'm not absolutely sure he works on an open/closed site basis.  I had just noticed it said 'The website is open for Ready To Ship,' and jumped on it.

So let's take a look at what I got!

Vanilla Frosted Grahams - 'Vanilla frosted graham crackers with hints of raisins and cinnamon.'

Banana Nut Muffin - 'Freshly baked banana nut muffins. Perfect blend of bakery, nutty, & spice.'

Lemon Sugar Bundt Cake - 'Sweet lemon, buttery cake, with a French vanilla drizzle on top.'

Blueberry Lemon Donut - 'Freshly baked cake donut with plump blueberries & lemon zest.'

Apple & Oats - 'Apple slices, steel cut oats, raw honey, tart apple peel, vanilla extract, and a hint of maple sugar.'

Jelly Donut - 'Sugar, fried dough, sweet vanilla, and strawberry jam.'

Country Berry Hot Cakes - 'Fluffy hot cakes, topped with freshly sliced fruit, and sticky syrup.'

Creme DeMenthe Whip - 'Hints of creamy coconut, whipped cream, crème de menthe, and creamy vanilla bean.'

Rain (Yankee Type) - [no scent description available]

That is my order, and I couldn't be more pleased.  In case you haven't noticed, bakery is my favorite scent group.  As always, I will do more detailed scent descriptions as I melt these, when I do my Melted review posts.  Smelling these though, ahhhhh, not only are they divine but they really take me back to those fun old days.  I'm quite sure I'll be ordering from Beezy Tarts again.

Beezy's tarts come in little plastic condiment cups and are what we used to call 'scent shots.'  Mine all weigh 1.8-1.9 ounces, and cost $1.85 each.  That's very affordable in today's indie vendor market.  And these are big enough that I can cut them in half and get two melts out of each one, getting even more for my money.

My order came nicely packaged in the cute penguin cello bag you see in the top photo.  I was also happy to find a freebie included, that blue donut shaped one.  Vendors who include freebies or samples really do help themselves because it can often open a buyer's eyes to scents they might otherwise skip.

My order also arrived very quickly.  I ordered Friday morning, Jan. 13, and received the package Tuesday, Jan. 17!  That is another point of awesomeness in today's indie vendor market, where the trend is to have long TATs (turn around times).  The only thing I did not like is that Beezy uses flat rate shipping.  It makes it easier for him, and probably works out for the better if you place large orders, but those who place small orders or are just trying him for the first time, the high flat rate shipping might make a person change their mind about ordering.

Overall though, I'm super happy with this order and so glad this vendor popped into my mind after all these years.  I'm already excited to see what scents he'll have this fall!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Product Review - Cookie & Caramel Bars (Great Value)

I noticed on Instagram last week that Walmart now has Great Value versions of some big name candy bars.  They have dupes of Snickers, Milky Way, KitKat, Twix, and Hersheys (plain and with almonds).  I was curious about this because I do buy a lot of Great Value versions of things.  So when I saw that my Walmart does indeed have these, I bought a pack of the Twix-dupe.

Boychild2, Hubby, and myself all tried these.  (I only had one small bite since I am diabetic.)  Results were interesting.

The first thing I noticed is that the bars look a bit longer and skinnier than actual Twix.  Everything about them seems softer too.  Like, Twix has a nice crunchy cookie, slightly thick and chewy caramel, and the chocolate has that sort of firmness that gives you a slight 'crunch' when you bite into it.  These Great Value bars have a softer cookie, much softer, creamier caramel, and soft chocolate.  That all put me off a bit.

The taste, to me, is also far different.  I couldn't figure it out until Boychild2 voiced his opinion.

"They taste like those elf shaped fudge cookies," he said.  Yes!!  You know those Keebler cookies, E.L. Fudge or something like that?  Two elf shaped vanilla cookies with chocolate cream between?  These Twix-dupe candy bars taste just like those cookies!  I love those cookies, but if I'm supposed to be eating something copying a Twix, I want it to be more like Twix.

Hubby's thoughts surprised me.  He tried one later, after Boychild2 and I had already tried them.  We did not mention anything to him about what we thought, so as not to sway him.

"Mmm," he seemed pleased.  "I don't think anyone would be able to tell the difference!"  And he happily gobbled up his pack.  What??  LOL  I told him what Boychild2 and I had thought, and he shrugged with a laugh.  He stands by his opinion.

So we're a mixed bunch here.  I did not care for these and would stick with actual Twix.  Boychild2 did not care for these because they taste like those Keebler cookies and he doesn't like those.  Hubby likes these just fine and says there is no difference between these and the real thing.

And there you have it.

If you or anyone you know has tried these, I'm curious what you/they thought.

(These come in packs of six, and I did not think to note the price.)

Jan. 17 - Candy Bar Dupes & Brand Loyalty

A mild, wet, Tuesday morning here in Wisconsin, already 37 degrees.  We got some rain yesterday, and a good amount more last night.  Winter will return tomorrow night though.  The forecast keeps bouncing back and forth between 1-3" and 4-8" of snow Wednesday night through Thursday.  So I guess we can expect, uh, maybe 1-8"?
The other day when I talked about Minion being such a pain in the butt that morning, and wondered if it was sensitivity to the wax melt scent . . . I don't think that's the case.  I did not melt anything yesterday, and have not melted anything this morning and he's doing it again, refusing to settle.  He's not quite as picky about food or as wildly troublesome as that other day, but definitely not his routine self again.  I'm glad it's probably not the wax though!  I'd hate to have to give up melting them.
My mom did indeed decide to go along shopping yesterday.  She mainly just wanted to get her hair cut.  We did that, popped over to the grocery store after, then headed back home in the rain.  We played Yahtzee, of course, and I headed home a bit earlier than usual.  The weather was so dreary and I was feeling scattered and blah.
I did not get the latest puzzle done yesterday, even though it's close.  Hubby worked on it in the evening and he didn't finish it either.  This one is proving to be difficult.  We also suspect there are some pieces missing.  It's not one of the new puzzles I just bought.  This is an older one that we've done a few times.  I should be able to finish it today.  I'm excited to start one of the new ones.

Did you know that Walmart now has their own Great Value versions of several big name candy bars?  I saw on Instagram last week that they have copies of Snickers, Milky Way, KitKat, Twix, and Hershey bars (plain and with almonds).  I was quite curious about this for some reason.  While I can't (or at least shouldn't) eat them myself, I did get a pack of the Twix-dupe for hubby to try.  I'll have a separate little review post about it, if you're interested.

This candy bar thing kinda fits into something I've been wanting to ask about: brand loyalty.  Are there any brands that you are super loyal to, as in you'll use pretty much anything they put out?  I'm often mildly fascinated by people who are Bath & Body Works fans, will use all the body washes, lotions, lip products, candles, room scents, without question.  Or the Scentsy people who do the same, even though there are probably far better body products than what Scentsy provides.  Or things like Norwex.  I'd love to be one of those people, you know, 'Oh, Burt's Bees has a new cream?  I'm there!'  I must be too cheap and picky though, because no brand holds my total interest like that.  How does the candy bar dupe fit into that?  I suppose because I do buy a lot of Walmart's Great Value products.  Some are pretty darn good, and some I even prefer over brand name alternatives, and they're cheaper most of the time.  I'm just babbling now.  But if you understand what I'm talking about, I'm curious what your thoughts are about it.
Well, Minion is still being a brat and I have dishes to do, so I'll let you go here.  I'm getting pretty good at ignoring dishes from the previous night, and I'm not really happy about that.  lol  Routine is everything to me!
Have a good one!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Jan. 16 - Vikings & Dragons

Monday, another week.  It's very mild here in Wisconsin, already 36 degrees at 7:00am.  We're supposed to have a rainy day but from what I can tell (still a bit dark out), that hasn't started yet.  Supposed to be a rather wet, sloppy week.
Well, the Vikings game last night didn't turn out as we'd hoped.  They lost to the Giants and are out of the playoffs.  In a weird way, I'm relieved.  If you know anything about the Vikings, Vikings fans, or non-Vikings fans' trash talk, you know the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl, and never get very far in the playoffs.  It's legend.  It's lore.  It's sort of well accepted even among Vikings fans.  So in a way, I was very nervous about last night's game, not that they'd lose . . . but that they'd win!  LOL  Of course we want our team to win, and some day they will win the Super Bowl, but for now it just seemed weird that it was even a possibility.  I don't know how to explain it.  lol  So yeah, I'm oddly relieved they lost that game and all is right in our Vikings Won't Win The Super Bowl world.

Hubby says the football season is done as far as he's concerned and he doesn't even care who makes it to the Super Bowl.  I'm still a bit curious, and hope Trevor and the Jags make it.  I wonder what we'll do on Sundays now?  Playing Yahtzee while watching football had become our routine.
Oh!  Funny thing happened during the game.  We had paused it early on because I had to take care of a couple things in the kitchen, then never got caught up to real-time after.  Late in the game, maybe half way through the fourth quarter, Hubby's friend messaged him something about the Vikings' loss.  True, we were losing at that point and we'd kind of given up hope but this season's Vikings have been known for their comeback wins.  So his friend's comment about losing, and we were only about halfway through the final quarter, we were like, 'What?'  And then yessssss, we realized we were still about ten minutes behind because we'd paused the game earlier.  DOH!!!!  lol

Something I keep forgetting to mention is that I bought the first season of House of the Dragon on DVD a couple weeks ago.  It came out just before Christmas and I think I bought it the week after.  I'm very much looking forward to watching it again.  I wonder what new things I'll notice, or if I'll see things differently now.  We've had it saved on the DVR all along but now we can delete that, and free up some space.  I'm curious about the extras included in the set.  Hopefully those deleted Daemon scenes are there!  And as I watch this time, I'm going to try and finally post my thoughts about the show.  I might do a post about each episode, and then a general season wrap up post too.  We'll see.

So, it's Monday and you all know what that means.  I'm heading over to my mom's this morning.  I'm thinking she'll be wanting to go along with me this week because she's been wanting to get her hair cut.  I was sort of hoping it would be raining already because then she might want to stay home, but at the same time, I do think she needs to start getting out more.  It's just that it's so much quicker and easier for me to dash into town and get the shopping done on my own.
Nothing else planned for today.  Hubby's working overtime again this week, so I'll probably just work on the latest puzzle when I get home this afternoon.  I have so many things I want to do, being a new year and all, but not enough time.  Or should we say poor time management, hehe.  I am hoping to maaaaaybe head back to town one day this week and do some leisurely shopping just for myself.  And if I do that I'd like to finally stop at the St. Vinnie's store in that town and drop off a box of decluttered/donation items.  But to do that, I need to actually declutter some stuff and get a box of things ready to go.  You see the struggle here?  LOL

But anyway, I'll get this posted and get a couple small things done before I have to head out.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Jan. 15 - Pesty Minion, v2.0

Happy Football Sunday!  It's very sunny today, which is nice, but temps have gone back to chilly.  It's 28 right now, but 'feels like' only 17.  Looks like we have a wet week ahead, probably mostly rain since temps will be in upper 30s.  It's so hard to remember we're only still in January!

Friday was another forgettable day.  I really don't remember what I did besides working on the puzzle with true crime shows on TV.

Saturday (yesterday) was the usual grocery shopping day.  I kinda just whipped through that without looking at any extra things.  Hubby and I are getting bored and frustrated with the same old meals week after week, yet neither of has any ideas for other things when it's grocery list making time.  I'd like to start trying some of the yummy sounding meals I see on blogs or from the couple of YouTube ladies that I like to watch, but I just never take the time to do it.  It's just hubby and I so I'd have to half or even quarter the recipe compared to what the large family ladies make.  I also have my stupid diet restrictions which really cancel out most of the things I'd love to make.  Uuuuuuuugh.  I'm just whining now, I know.

Anyway, whipped through grocery shopping.  I stopped at Menards after Walmart.  They had the cheapest jigsaw puzzles around Christmastime so I wanted to see if they had any left.  Plus, it was the last day of their bag sale, 15% off anything that fit in the paper bag.  They did have puzzles left, and still on sale!  I could have crammed a whole lot more into the sale bag but I only picked three (one 1000 piece, and two 750 piece), and also had to get some suet bars for my mom.  With the sales, I only paid $12.72 for all three of those puzzles!  Yay!  That's about what I'd pay regular for just one at Walmart.

Hubby took groceries to his dad when I got home, stayed and played cribbage.  Boychild1 was here doing laundry in the morning.  Boychild2 came over in the afternoon with his laundry.  Hubby and I played our wizard game in the evening while listening to the Seahawks-49ers game, then watched some of the Chargers-Jaguars game in the evening.  I gave up watching after Trevor was picked off the 3rd time.  Imagine my surprise to find out that actually came back and won?!  lol

Minion is being an absolute pest again this morning, won't go to bed, is bothering both hubby and I.  I'm getting really short tempered and frustrated with him doing this so much lately.  I can't figure out what his deal is!

I had other things I wanted to post about but my foul mood now has me forgetting what all that was.  The Vikings don't play till later this afternoon, so we're hoping to be able to play our wizard game until then.  I'm doubting though, that Minion will let us.  He'll be walking in front of the screens, knocking things off the desks and kitchen counters, pushing us out of our chairs . . . 

The cat really is the boss.

Hope you've had a good weekend, and don't forget . . . SKOL!!!!!!