Exceedingly Mundane

tidbits of random nothingness

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Posted by Stace

December was a blur

December went by in the blink of an eye!

After we were both sick at Thanksgiving and I was basically down for the count the first week of December, I spiraled into a mild panic about getting everything done. But Tim was right (as usual), we got most everything done, and it all worked out okay. πŸ™‚

Tim took off his one day early in the month and we knocked out most of the shopping. He’s great about getting most of the guy gifts, and then trying to help me with all the girls. We stopped for lunch at his choice, Raising Cane’s (fried chicken strips, delicious but not overly healthy, a fairly common theme for us in the month of December, LOL!) I was able to start wrapping after that, along with all of the gifts I had ordered from Amazon. The carriers (UPS, FedEx) have finally learned where we live, and we are no longer missing deliveries like we did when we first moved here (so many packages didn’t make it and were returned, with UPS saying, address unknown; the down side to being in a totally new area and street). We had two Christmas trees this year, but I only wrapped presents and stuck under the new 9′ tree in the keeping room. We sent out cards, but seem to get fewer and fewer every year. I guess people just don’t do cards as much as they did a generation ago. I baked cookies and made treats and took to all the new neighbors. We had a great Sunday school party a week before Christmas – great food, great fellowship, had fun playing charades and singing Christmas carols.

We had our traditional three Christmases – one with Tim’s family on the Saturday before Christmas, one for ourselves (first in the new house!) on Christmas Eve and then with Gail and family on Christmas Day at her house. Tim and I got up on Christmas Eve, had our once yearly Christmas sticky buns and coffee and juice and then opened our presents to each other. Tim got some gadget-y gifts from me like a bluetooth car code reader, an iGrill mini, and then golf clubs he picked out. He got me a beautiful charm bracelet, a gold long tiered necklace, some earrings and this shiny new MacBook Pro I’m typing this blog post on!. After we finished our presents, we had Suzanne over to hang out and have our meal – Tim grilled ribeyes for him and Suzie and I had a nice piece of salmon, baked sweet potatoes, salad, and some acorn squash. We went to the early Christmas Eve service at church and it was candlelit and just beautiful. Suzanne came back after her early service, and even though it’s tradition for me to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve, Suzie had just seen it (for the FIRST time) a few days before, so we watched my other favorite Christmas movie, I had just watched it the day before, “The Bishop’s Wife”. We missed my Dad a lot this year, my first without my daddy and my first without both of my parents. I don’t like being an orphan πŸ™

A couple of photos… Tim plopping out our sticky buns:

Sticky Buns

Tim with his new bluetooth code reader for the vehicles:

Bluetooth reader

Stacy’s new wok (that I bought and wrapped, because I had no idea I was getting a Mac!):


Tim with his new golf clubs (Taylor MC irons):

My new Mac!


And my new charm bracelet, Tim picked out every single charm for me! So sweet πŸ˜€

Charm Bracelet

After Christmas, we stayed busy but nothing spectacular. I did my annual day after shopping, stocking up on paper, bows, etc and also picked up a few decorating items for next year. I still need to get a lot of things for the house, both for everyday decor and for seasonal decor. We are still just using everything from the old house, and a lot of it is 15-20 years old. Yikes! I both love and get frustrated by trying to find things for the new house. I’m not Martha Stewart and I don’t have a great eye for things and how they will look in the house or go with other things I have or want to get. It’s a constant struggle for me. Tim helps a lot and it pains me greatly to admit that he is a better decorator than I am, and even though he’s COLOR BLIND, he’s better at putting things together. Sigh.

We got everything packed up and shoved back in the attic. I do love my Snow Village and Christmas decorations, and always hesitate on putting them away, but then once I get started, I get rolling and am ready to get it put away. There’s something about having the space back and ready to start a new year πŸ™‚

We spent a quiet New Years Eve and New Years Day. We usually do, but this year more so than most. Tim worked New Years Eve, but they did let him go around 2 PM and so he ran to the golf course to play before dark. Don and Gail had spent the night before, headed to the hospital to see Don’s mom in ICU (as I type this, she has been in ICU for 3 weeks and on a ventilator for 2 weeks). They got here the night before NY Eve and we all went to the new Longhorn Steakhouse that opened up a couple of weeks ago, very good. New Years Eve, Don and Gail had thought they would go home, but ended up coming back here again to stay. Both Ole Miss and Ms State were in bowl games on New Years Eve (and both lost, very sad), and we watched the State game New Years Eve night. The new neighborhood proved to be a great place for watching fireworks! At the old house, we were in the city and fireworks were prohibited. Our here in the country, apparently not! Several people shot fireworks off and on from dark until midnight, including our new neighbor Brian and his family (2 doors down) who shot some great ones. I should have dug out my tripod and read about photographing fireworks. I took a lot of shots but most of them are not good. Anyway, New Years Day, we went to our new neighbors house for food and football, over to Tim and Becky’s across the street. Had a great time visiting with the new neighbors. We watched football most of the rest of the day (well, Tim did, I mostly read Unbroken, so I could try to finish it as he wants to go see the movie soon).

That hits the highlights I guess πŸ™‚ I would like to say I’d do better about blogging in 2015, but I’m not making any promises. I don’t think anyone reads this anymore anyway! πŸ™‚ I have so many things I want and need to do in the new year… I can easily see me letting blogging slip to the side again.

Posted by Stace

A Blur

Well, the last 10 days or so, since my last post, have gone by in a blur. I’d like to say that I had something fun and exciting to report, but alas, I do not. We’ve just been busy with life. Tim is busy with work, and we’ve both been watching tv, watching movies, reading books, ordering Christmas presents online, etc. Tim has played golf a couple of times in the last few days, since the weather has warmed back up. 70’s during the day and 50’s at night do NOT feel like Christmas to me, but Tim thinks that is great golf weather, LOL!

Let’s see, last weekend, we watched a bunch of movies, mostly on the DVR that I had recorded from a free preview weekend. We watched “Contagion” with Matt Damon, “Tower Heist” with Ben Stiller, “This Means War” with Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine, and Tim also watched Contraband with Mark Wahlberg. It was nice to get those free while Uverse offered a free weekend of HBO and Cinemax. I tried to watch one of my Harry Potter blu-rays a few days ago, but the blu-ray player is messed up again. Tim had trouble with it before, with the audio, so he re-wired some stuff. Now, the audio works great, but no picture coming from the blu-ray to the TV. Blah.

Brittany had a birthday a couple of days ago. I cannot believe that girl is 19 years old already. She was two when Tim and I got married and lots of days I still think she must still be a little girl πŸ™‚ She’s all grown up though, we just miss seeing her and her brother and their cousins.

Tim has been working some lately on our web camera. He’s got a recorder set up for it now, onto Hambones. I like being able to pop it up and see what’s going on outside and see who’s at the door! Now, he can record the events to disk, in case we need them for any reason. Nice πŸ™‚

I need to get busy with wrapping Christmas presents and doing cards. I think this may be my last year for cards. We don’t do pictures of us or Beau or anything fun, and I don’t really know if it means much for others to just receive a card that I sign. I just do so much online now, that doing anything in the mail seems like a waste these days, LOL!

I’m enjoying having my Snow Village and tree lighted up all day and most of the night. I always miss them when we take them down in late December, it always seems empty after enjoying them for a month!

Posted by Stace


I don’t know why I’ve always walked by these in the grocery store every year, and never picked any up to try. This year, I rectified that and bought a bag of Cuties Clementines a week or so ago. And… I really like them!

I think it’s a nostalgia thing for me. I am pretty sure that Santa put an orange in my stocking every year, growing up. I remember thinking the oranges were O.K., but I wasn’t fond of the peel and all the seeds. Maybe later, Santa switched to tangerines. And those were better, but these little Clementines are good! They’re small, so a good size for portion control, and easy to get into.

So, how about you… is there a food that is really nostalgic for you this time of year? Something your mom or grandma always made, or put in your stocking, or you always got to have this time of year? Leave me a comment and let me know!

P.S. ALL of my presents are wrapped, I’m dancing a happy jig over here! πŸ™‚

Posted by Stace

Weekend Update

Well, here we are on the second weekend in December. Wow, this year has alternately drug by and flown by. Some days during the summer, it seemed like summer would never end. Some days when
my tinnitus was so bad, I wasn’t sure I’d make it through a day. Then, at night I couldn’t sleep and wasn’t sure I was going to ever sleep again. But summer finally ended, with our hot temps, and I’m glad to say that my tinnitus is a bit better, too. It’s not gone — I’ve given up hope that it will just go away, and although I pray daily for that mercy, I’ve resigned myself that I will hear it every second, for the remainder of my life. But I have made many changes with diet, food and medicines, and either a combination of those or something *has* helped. I’m thinking the gingko biloba has made the biggest difference, but it might not be that. Either way, it is better and I’m learning to co-exist with the noises in my head.

Summer finally ended, and my favorite time of the year began – football season! The Saints are currently 9-3 today (game in an hour or so, so hopefully 10-3 soon, LOL!), and we are cautiously hopeful about the remainder of the season and their playoff chances. We’d obviously love to see them do well again, after so many years of being perennial losers.

OK, for an update of this weekend:

We’re a day shy of two weeks (yikes, typo, thanks Michelle!) days from Christmas. Wow, where has this year gone?

This is the second weekend that Tim is having to work a ton, for his big project at work. Last weekend was so bad. He worked three nights in a row, including one night where he didn’t go to bed until 7:40 AM. I cannot pull all-nighters any more. Just can’t. I feel so bad for him, but am so grateful that he has a job and works so hard to take care of us and provide for us.

I’ve gotten most of the Christmas presents wrapped. I have 3 or 4 left to go. I got the Christmas cards finished and mailed a few days ago. I’m seriously contemplating NOT doing any baking at all this year. My mother-in-law does a ton, and we just don’t need it around our house. I won’t have anything to take the neighbors and that’s my only drawback. I’ll have to think a bit more on that.

Yesterday was semi-warm (60’s) and today a front has blown through and it’s COLD. Current temp, 39, wind chill 29. Cold for us.

Yesterday, I planted pansies. In years gone by, I always had pansies planted by Halloween. I didn’t even want to plant them this year, I’m OVER planting annuals, but Tim talked me into it. And he helped πŸ™‚ I hope they survive our overnight temps of 20’s for the next couple of days.

And yesterday, I ordered, for the first time ever, Amazon’s Deal of the Day! LOL! They had a stainless steel Breadmachine bread machine on special and I used some of my Swagbucks money to order me one πŸ™‚ I hope it is a good one. My last bread machine (Sunbeam/Oster) has been going strong for 11 years, and while it still works, it doesn’t mix the ingredients as well, and it’s gotten really LOUD. Distracts everyone in the house while it’s running. So, Santa Stacy ordered herself a new one πŸ™‚

Oh, and I’m still LOVING, absolutely loving, my Kindle! Tim got me the Wi-Fi one for my birthday and I just love it. I’ve gotten so many great free books from Amazon and I’ve downloaded a couple of Christmas books to read. I really love reading on it, it’s so light and easy to hold πŸ˜€

Posted by Stace

She’s a Keeper!

I gave Tim a really good list for Christmas this year (well, 2009, still hard to believe it’s 2010), and he did a wonderful job of getting me both things I wanted from my list and surprising me. One of the practical things I asked for was an electric kettle. I have never owned a traditional kettle that you use on the stovetop to boil water. I have always used my microwave to boil water, I don’t know why. But when people are over and it’s cold and everyone wants hot chocolate, it’s hard to boil a lot of water fast for 4 or 5 cups of cocoa.

Enter my new baby! She’s a keeper. She boils water really fast (although she sounds like a freight train after a minute or two), and the water is really hot. Almost too hot. But I can boil enough for a cup of hot cocoa or cider or tea for me, or for a crowd. I know it’s not something I’ll use year round, but it is wonderful to have for the winter. And after all, we’re having a really cold winter around here, so she’s getting a good workout lately. Yep, she’s a keeper πŸ™‚

Posted by Stace

Merry Christmas!

We’re busy celebrating Christmas with family, so I won’t be posting much until after the holidays. I’ll try to post some after Christmas, and before New Years. I have one or two reading challenges that I am probably going to participate in for the upcoming year. But until then, I won’t be on the computer hardly at all. I wanted to stop and wish each and every one of you a very blessed, very joyous Christmas!

From our family to yours – Merry Christmas!!!

Posted by Stace

Poll – Your Tree and Lights

I know everyone is busy, as are we. I thought a quick poll would be the best way to blog right about now! πŸ™‚

Today’s Christmas-themed poll is always a favorite of mine. My tree and my Snow Village are some of my most favorite decorations, and I always love hearing about what other people have and how they decorate at their house. Everyone has their own traditions and reasons, and it’s always fun for me to read about them.

[poll id=”7″]

Feel free to leave a comment about what you have at your house, if it’s the same every year, different every year or this year for a certain reason, or whatever. Or just vote and go about your business of being a Happy Elf this joyous Christmas season! πŸ˜€

Merry Christmas!

Posted by Stace

QOTD – Presents or Gifts or …

Christmas PresentsToday’s Christmas-themed “Question of the Day” is an easy one! It’s all about the presents or gifts under your tree. Do you wrap more presents using wrapping paper or do you use more gift bags? Do you try to wrap your presents as you go, or do you have one marathon wrapping session? Does your wrapping paper have a color theme or other theme? Or is it a mish-mash of colors, patterns and styles?

Here’s my answers – I try to wrap most of my presents, and I use an assortment of paper. Not the expensive stuff, or something with a nice coordinating theme. I buy a lot of paper from Walmart and Target the day-after Christmas and put it up for the next year. It’s whatever colors or patterns or paper catch my eye. It’s a total riot of color under my tree, not well-coordinated at all πŸ˜€ I try to wrap as I go, but I usually end up having at least one marathon wrapping session. I like to put on a Christmas movie and wrap while watching one of my favorite classics. Tim will help if I ask him – he’s good about doing the paper, then I do the bows, tags, etc. He won’t volunteer but he will help if I ask πŸ™‚ I usually end up putting a couple of things in gift bags, but I try not to overdo it on the bags. I think it’s more fun to unwrap something on Christmas morning, rather than just opening the top of a bag and finding the present under a layer of tissue paper.

Oh, and for the record, I have only wrapped one present so far this year. I hope to get started today. The weather is dreary (raining and sleeting, we were supposed to get snow flurries, but so far, nada) and it’s a good day to stay inside and try to wrap some presents.

How about you? Do you have a well-coordinated tree as far as the presents and gifts go? Are there a lot of bags under your tree? Are you up late on Christmas Eve, still trying to wrap everything and get it under the tree, or do you have yours wrapped a couple of weeks (or months?!) ahead of time? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Posted by Stace

Christmas Meme

I’m going to fall back on an old favorite, doing memes. I did a lot of memes when I first started blogging, but I don’t do them very often now. I think I got burned out! I’ve seen this one at Annie‘s blog, as well as several other blogs, so I thought I’d swipe it and play today. Feel free to keep it going at your blog if you’d like!

1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly wrapping paper, I like for people to have things to open at the holidays. I do fall back on gift bags if it’s an odd size or last minute thing. Very few though

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. And pre-lit now (post here when we bought it two years ago, Tim hates stringing the lights!)

3. When do you put up the tree? After Thanksgiving and Tim’s birthday

4. When do you take the tree down? After Christmas but before New Years

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but Tim doesn’t, so I rarely buy any

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hello. I can’t remember my childhood. I have no idea!

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, and I’ve blogged about it before – it’s olive wood and my mother-in-law bought it for us in the Holy Land. A family treasure, to be sure

8. Hardest person to buy for? a tie between my dad and father-in-law

9. Easiest person to buy for? probably my mother-in-law or sister Gail

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I joke with Tim about the year he bought me a vacuum cleaner…. (oh, and I have blogged about that too. It seems I’ve already blogged about everything imaginable here, huh?!)

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It’s A Wonderful Life to watch on Christmas Eve, and The Bishop’s Wife while wrapping presents πŸ™‚

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? After Thanksgiving and Tim’s birthday, usually around the first of December. I’d start earlier, but I don’t get any suggestions or ideas until I beg for them. It’s like pulling teeth on both sides of the family!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Goodness, all of it! I miss my mom’s divinity, and I do love fudge, but I don’t turn down any sweets or “special” food πŸ™‚

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear

17. Favorite Christmas song? I couldn’t pick one, but I tend to like more traditional hymns like O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, Joy to the World, O Holy Night, etc. I’m really enjoying the new Faith Hill Christmas CD this year, very traditional and she has a great voice

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. Always. We travel to Tim’s parents, my sisters and rarely stay home. This year, for only the second time in our marriage, we’ll be home on Christmas Eve and able to spend time at our house. I am unbelievably excited about that πŸ™‚

19. Can you name all of SantaÒ€ℒs reindeer? Yes, thanks to the Rudolf song!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We’ll open 3 times this year, the Saturday before Christmas (Tim’s side), Christmas Eve (just us and Beau) and Christmas Day (at my sister’s)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The materialism and overdone-ness at the season. We’re all such consumers and it’s about buy, buy, buy. The crowds and the traffic bug me too.

23. What I love most about Christmas? being with family, celebrating the birth of our Lord

Posted by Stace

QOTD – Putting up the tree

It seems that the only thing I post about lately is either a Question of the Day or a poll, but hey, they’re fun and I enjoy doing them! I really enjoyed reading everyone’s answers on last week’s Thanksgiving polls. We had a really good Thanksgiving. My dad stayed with us for four days, and then we celebrated Tim’s birthday over the weekend. Needless to say, we’ve been really busy.

I took a lot of photos over Thanksgiving and have posted some on my Flickr account. Family shots πŸ˜€

So, since Christmas is just a couple of weeks away, and I have yet to buy the first present, I thought I’d at least try to get my decorations up. I got my Snow Village put up on Friday, and Sunday night, I worked on the tree. We still have the outside decorations and lights to do, but I’m not sure they’re going to get done this year. Tim does those, most of them on a ladder, and he’s feeling quite a bit of pain in his back and shoulder. He’s not sure if he pulled a muscle or has a pinched nerve (I personally think he swings a golf club entirely too much, LOL!), but it hurts from his neck down to his shoulders and upper back. So, the outside lights might not get up for a while, if at all πŸ™

While I was getting ready to put up our tree (yes, it’s artificial), I had to move furniture. It made me wonder – does anyone else have to move things around to put up a Christmas tree? So, that’s today’s Question of the Day — do you have to move furniture or other stuff to make room for your tree, or any of your Christmas decorations? Leave me a comment and let me know!