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dooley's Blog

Back to work!

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:59 am

Wow! I had three days off. They sure went faster than my work days. I wonder what I did with them.
On Sunday, we went up to Prescott and had lunch with Dan and Laurel. That was an if when we got up because on Saturday Laurel wasn't feeling well. Dan called on Sunday morning and said she was feeling better and thought it might have been the eggnog she finished up on Saturday morning. We went to the Celtic Crossing Irish Pub. We had wanted to go to the Wildflower Bread Store but it was just too crowded and too noisy. The pub was nearly empty when we arrived but was filling up fast when we left. We thought about going to do some shopping but didn't want to put up with the crowds. They were rude and pushy and grumpy. We stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few things and came home. I made spaghetti for supper. We listened to Christmas music and wrapped the few presents we had left. We took all the ones for Dan and Laurel and her two kids up to lunch and gave them to them for under their tree. The kids went to California with their father so it was only Dan and Laurel at their house, too. It gave them a chance to spend some time together without kids and moms around.
Monday, a day which we traditionally go shopping, we got up and went up to breakfast. We stopped at the mall but didn't see anything great. I started to buy a book but didn't. I just wasn't in a shopping mode I guess. We again stopped at a grocery to buy milk which we forgot on Sunday. It's a good thing we didn't want to buy much because there were no carts and people were squabbling over carts that people were pushing to their cars. I thought two people were going to have a fight over one. We quickly got our milk and a bottle of eggnog and left. We were home early and put on some Christmas music and didn't do a lot of anything.
Well, the cheesecake saga! I had never made a cheesecake. I had never tried to make a cheesecake. The boys make great cheesecake so why should I make one. BUT, see, there is always a BUT. There was cream cheese and sour cream and stuff left from making cookies so I thought I could make a cheesecake for dessert on Christmas. I couldn't find the recipe that Dan gave me awhile ago so I got out a cookbook and found a recipe that didn't sound too hard and followed it exactly. I should have known when it said that I didn't really need a springform pan that I should have looked for a different recipe. Not that it would have mattered because I don't have a springform pan. I gave it to Dan because I would never be using it and he needed one. It didn't look too bad when it came out of the oven. But it said leave it cool some more (other than the hour in the oven with the temp shut down). So, I let it cool and then attempted to tip it out. I covered it with the plate and tipped it over and it sort of collapsed into this gooey mess all over the plate. It was more like cheese pudding than cheese cake. It tasted okay, sort of. dr says maybe it was the altitude and I should have adjusted the oven temp. But, Dan makes good cheesecake at this altitude. I know that it is the last cheesecake that I will attempt. I think I will keep to cookies and muffins and coffeecakes. Bread is pretty easy, too.
I made chocolate fudge pudding from a box for dessert and put Cool Whip on the top.
Now, dishes are done and the evening is closing down to bedtime.
We had a good day though the wind was blowing something fierce. I didn't go out. There was a fire and it seemed like a good thing to set by it and read and do puzzles in my puzzle book.
Our youngest son called and we talked about the new gadgets his boys received and the ones they wanted but didn't receive. He was on call but hadn't had to go out. He's taking time off this week to spend with the boys because Wendy has to work. He's going to go shopping for a new car. The boys (5 and 9 yrs old) told him they needed a new car because the automatic door locks squeal when they lock and it's too noisy. Trust kids to decide something like that for a reason for a new car. I told him to be careful taking the boys car shopping or he'd end up with a Hummer or a tank. He just laughed at that. I hope he isn't thinking along that line.
Anyway, tomorrow is back to work and with the library being closed for three days, it will be a very busy rest of the week.
Ground breaking for the new library is January ll, 2008 and it will take a little over a year to build. They are looking at a move-in date of April, 2009. We got a special invitation from the city for it. I wonder what day Jan. 11th is on. Probably it will be on my day off. If so, I think I will skip it, special invitation or no. Have a good evening! dooley

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Three Days Off

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:10 am

Wow! I have three days off in a row this week and three days off in a row next week. Next week I only work Wed, Thurs and Saturday. Then, I work the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th. Then back to my normal Mon thru Thurs and Saturday. I only work 20 hrs per week but some days it seems more. The supervisor told me yesterday that starting after the first of the year we would have an evening volunteer Monday thru Thursday and on Saturday, too. We already have three volunteers on Saturday so that will make it much better.
This morning was so slow. I got out my lost book list and looked for lost books all morning. The lost book list has books that have been missing more than a year. They've already been through two missing lists so you usually don't find any of the lost ones, but it is a step you need to take before you delete records and order new ones. Joanne was looking for the trace books which is the first list and I had the missing list a couple of weeks ago. Those books we didn't find will go on the next lost list. Usually they only do lost lists once a year.
But, about 12:30 the people started pouring in the doors. It was all we could do to keep things checked in and put on the shelves. The video's and DVD's were the most popular things checked in and out and people were upset there wasn't a better selection but everyone seemed to have the same idea. Since we won't be open again until Wednesday they needed enough to last them for the three days. People check out ten or 12 or more at a time. How can they set in front of a tv and watch movies for a couple of hours times 10 or 12? We don't have tv or cable or even a vcr or dvd player. It just isn't worth the money. If parents turned off the tv and the kids had to play or read they would be much better off. Well, not if they have those video games they can set and play by the hours.You'd have to throw those away, too.
I'll get down off my podium now.
So, what have I done since I got home. I made supper. I wrapped some presents. I talked with Brian's niece and her mother. I don't think I have talked with Shelley's mother since she divorced Shelley's father.(Brian's brother) Shelley was all excited. Her baby was born on the 13th so he's almost 10 days old now. I can't think when my kids were that old.The youngest turned 40 this year. Yikes!
I was telling her that when our oldest was but a few weeks old he was napping. We forgot and left him sleeping and went to the store. In the middle of an aisle I yelled, "The baby." We left the cart and ran all the way home. We were about four blocks away. Of course, he was still sleeping but we were so scared he'd be crying. We never did that again. Shelley couldn't believe it either and she was laughing and promising not to do it.
Shelley is the one I am going to make a Winnie the Pooh quilt for. I promised it would be finished before summer. She said he would use it no matter when I finish it. I can just see her trying to use it in 90 deg. weather in the summer.
When this Christmas stuff is finished I will get started on it. Just think, no more cookies to make, no more stollen or breads to make. I will have LOTS of time. LOL
Until gardening season rolls around, so I guess I'd better get started on it as soon as January rolls around. That's just around the corner. Our checkout period is for three weeks at the library. It was really strange to be telling people their books are due in January. I means that's a whole new year and we aren't done with the old one yet. I think I might keep the old one a bit longer so I can get my projects finished. I can't start a new year with so many things not done, can I?
I guess I'd better go and get started. I can begin with the supper dishes. Have a great tomorrow. dooley

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Busy Day!

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:08 am

So, I got up at 6:30 and checked in here at the Stew. We went out to the truck and it was snowing. It was sticking on the ground a bit and we worried that it would get worse as we went up the hill. But, when we got to the highway it had turned to rain and a couple miles up the road the rain stopped and by the time we got up to the library the roads were dry. Everyone was amazed that we had some snow here and they didn't. The official altitude for Mayer is 4,418 ft and the official altitude for Prescott Valley is 5,102 ft. It should have snowed there first but I think the system was moving from the south and we were on the northern edge.
I was early because we left because we were worried about the weather and we worried needlessly it seems.
The book drop was there so I helped the ass't director unload it and check it in even though I wasn't on the schedule for today. Then, I helped set up stuff for the party. We had a good time and there were lots of good things to eat.
When the library opened at 10 am I left with dr. He had gone shopping while I was at the party. We went looking for a wagon or a cart that he can put the log splitter on for easy moving. Yep, he found a log splitter a couple of weeks ago. After we looked about every where and couldn't find exactly what he needed at a reasonable price we stopped at Costco and there was just what he needed. He only needs to put a piece of plywood on it for a bottom that will be stable enough to hold it and it was under $50.00 which was about half what everyone else wanted. We did buy some Christmas things, too. After deciding that we would look and buy things together instead of buying things neither of us wanted we got most of it done. We are meeting Dan and Laurel for lunch on Sunday and can look around some more or do it on Monday as shopping on Christmas has been a tradition for years and years. The only time we didn't shop on Christmas eve was the year we got Chance. We went on the 23rd because it was supposed to storm on the 24th. If we had gone on the 24th we would have missed the people set up outside of K-Mart with the box of cold, shivering puppies.
We were going to have something to eat at Costco but it was such a busy mess that we decided to go elsewhere. We ended up stopping at Denny's for a hamburger and then coming on home.
It was cold in the house. Though it isn't raining or snowing there is a strong wind blowing down from the North Pole I think. dr started a fire and I started making stollens. I made four of them. Of course, it was cold so they took their time raising. While they were sitting there, I started the oven and made shortbread cookies. We didn't have time to make them on Sunday while the kids were here. I was telling dr that Gloria doesn't make cookies. She's only 22 and has three kids. She said she only knows how to make oatmeal cookies. I've been taking cookies to work each day and telling her to take the leftovers home. She says they don't last long, but of course there aren't many to take home. So, we decided to make a box just for her to take to the kids. There are mostly bar cookies left so after we finished eating our clam chowder, I mixed up a batch of brownies and put them in the oven and shaped the stollen and set it to raising a second time. I washed up all my mess of dirty baking things and put the stollen in the oven. I had to do it in two batches so chose the two that had raised the most and than the other two. Now, they are both done. It's 9 pm and I should go to bed but first I have to find a box for Gloria's cookies and then I have to frost one stollen to take to work in the morning. Then, dr set out some gifts that need to be wrapped, but I think I will do those tomorrow night because we don't need them until Sunday.
While we were in Costco, I picked up two baby outfits. One is for Brian's niece. She had a baby boy on Dec. 13th. The other is for our honorary son who lives in Alabama.
He spent more time at our house while he was growing up than he did at his home. He even went on vacations with us. He was the same age as our youngest. He has a little boy who is two and they just had a new baby on the 19th. So, I picked up a cute outfit for him, too.
I think I have a mug of decaf tea waiting for me. I don't keep it on the computer desk since I drowned my mouse last month. Have a good night. dooley

Last edited: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:51 am

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Some odds and ends

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:16 am

Should I start with odd or end. Okay, odd! Friday, I have to get up at 6:30 am to go to a Christmas party on my day off. The full time people at the library all work days and the part time people work evenings. They say that so the part time people can go to the Christmas party they have it from 8 am to 10 am the last day all of the full time people work before Christmas. Three full time people work on Saturday and three part time people work on Saturday. So, I have to get up early on my day off and go to a Christmas party. The director makes the main egg and sausage scramble and everyone brings something. I made rosette cookies today. I almost gave up and decided on something else. Half way through the iron got too hot and the rosette stuck to it. I had to scrap it off and wash it and then heat it a little and try again. I know now that when the rosette starts to fall off on it's own while still in the hot oil that I need to take a break and let it cool a bit. The oil is too cool and needs to heat a bit. Anyway, I managed to get enough to take and have them layered in a box.
Maybe there was only one odd.
The end is that Fintin isn't coming at the end of the month. Tom and Kirsten aren't coming either. They started adding up the cost of gas, motels, entry fee for the race, etc and decided they had better stay home. Last year they had friends to share some of the cost. They have an added expense this year too named Fintin. Also, a new house. I'm going to miss seeing Fintin and Erin, but I understand too many extra expenses can ruin a budget quickly.
Brian's niece called. Her baby was born on Dec. 13th at 12:17 am. It was due on Dec. 12th so it wasn't too far off. They named him Aiden Michael. That's pronounced Eden but I'll bet it gets mispronounced and misspelled quite a lot.
She told us that they put grandma on a low calorie diet. She didn't tell us soon enough. We already sent a box of high calorie goodies for Christmas. I guess they will have to ration them. Why put a 92 year old person on a diet just before Christmas? Is it going to make a big difference in their life if they eat a bit of candy or a cookie for Christmas?
So, we bought Fintin a Christmas present on Monday. We stopped at Oshkosh B'Gosh at the Outlet Mall and bought him a red plaid flannel shirt and matching bibbed overalls lined with the same flannel. The overalls are brown instead of blue and has lots of pockets. Now, what does a baby need with lots of pockets? I put them in a large padded envelope and mailed it off today. I sent Erin a gift card to the bookstore. All of my grandchildren love to read. I sent Ben and Jacob bookstore gift cards, too.
We have all of our shopping done but for each other. dr asked me, "What do you want?" I say, "I don't know." I ask him, "What do you want?" He answers, "I don't know." I guess we both want the same thing. I don't know. But, where do you buy it? We won't have any of the boys home this year. Dan is usually here but this year we thought he should be with his "new family." He says Laurel's kids are going to be with their dad and he and Laurel haven't decided what they are going to do. But, it's a good time for some time to themselves. Her mom is going to friends. So, this is the first time in 46 years that we haven't had at least one around for Christmas. We aren't going to be doing much either. Maybe I should put a lot of books, etc. on my list. Except I don't have a list yet. Is it too late to start a list? If I don't get all the cookies made for which I bought supplies to make, can I still make them after Christmas? So many questions, so few answers. I really think it's time I was going to bed.

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Cookie Day!

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:13 am

Today was cookie day! We had a great time. I got up and made breakfast and cleared the table. I started my chicken heating up a little so I could de-bone it and strain the broth for the soup. I made the noodles and ran them through the noodle machine instead of rolling them by hand. I cut them with the machine too. I thought I cut them in short strips but they turned out longer than I thought. It was fun to watch them eat the longer noodles in the soup.
I made sugar cookie dough and gingerbread dough before Dan and family arrived so it could chill. I made some brownies, too but they turned out more cake like. I think I must have added too much flour though I did measure it exact. They were good though. Avery walked through the door and said, "Do we have to wait for the brownies?"
Avery is 17 and Tim is 14. Thanksgiving Avery didn't have much to say but today she was very talkative. Tim immediately went out to play with Chance. Chance loves Tim. When Dan went out to tell Tim it was time to eat he came back shaking his head. He told Laurel,"I knew we should have brought a change of clothes for Tim." The ground hasn't quite dried from all the rain during the past week and Chance and Tim found every bit of mud and puddles they could find I think. I found a pair of sweat pants that would fit him and he wore those the rest of the day.
After lunch, we turned to the cookie making. Avery and Tim rolled the sugar cookie dough and cut out the cookies. I don't know how many they made, but I made a double batch of dough. Laurel was frosting and decorating the cookies. Tim stopped to help her. Avery finished the sugar cookies and quit to help decorate. Marty(Laurel's mom) and I made cream cheese spritz cookies and coconut butter balls. I wanted Dan to make shortbread cookies. He makes them great. But, the oven was in continuous use so he said he would make some tomorrow and bring them to the library on Tuesday. Marty kept the dishes washed up which I blessed her for doing. There was only cookie sheets left to wash.
They was a lot of talk and even more laughter. Marty was listening to the talk around the table. She said there was more laughter in the house since Dan came than there ever was and it was great. You could tell the kids really like Dan.
So, they rolled cookies, cut cookies, baked cookies, decorated cookies and they brought tins to take cookies home. They did leave me plenty of cookies, too. All in all it was a great day. They left about dark and Tim went and told Chance goodbye before he left. Chance is worn out for all the play and running. She had a good time too.
I've missed having the boys to help with cookie making and a lot of family things since the boys left home. I think we are truly blessed to have these honorary grandchildren around to make things fun. We did this instead of inviting them for Christmas because now that he has a family I think they should have a family Christmas in their home.
We had good food, good cheer and a great time making cookies. dooley

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Busy days!

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:22 am

I'm not sure if it is the Christmas Season or if things are just busier lately. I never seem to get done. I went to the doctor on Thursday. What a wasted trip? I had to go on Monday and get blood drawn so they could check the thyroid levels. When I went to the doctor on Thursday she said they were coming down but were still too high. So, I need to come back the first week in February and go to the lab a few days before. Now, don't you think they could have just picked up the phone and told me that the levels were still high and I needed to wait a couple more months before coming in.
Yesterday, dr and I got up early and went to estate sales. We had one that we went to first because the man who runs those sales always has good stuff. It was way up in the mountains, 6,500 ft. elevation. There was snow up there and it was COLD! But there was stuff inside and outside and we bought a lot of stuff. We went early and were going to breakfast before we went to more sales. But, we spent a considerable amount of time at that one so it was late when we left there and we had to backtrack down the mountain. Not too far though. We stopped in Prescott. Now, our truck seems to know we go to sales because on the way to breakfast it spied another sale sign and turned off the main street and we went to it before breakfast. dr bought a lot at this sale, too. Then, we started to breakfast again. But, it was ll:30 so we went to the Thai Restaurant and had their lunch special. Curry. Great stuff! When we left there, we decided we'd better go home because we both had things to do, but, you know we stopped at another sale and bought some more stuff. By now the truck was getting full so we again started for home. I wanted to stop at the grocery store for just a couple of things. Do you know it must be against the law to just buy a couple of things at the grocery store? We finally made it home at 3 pm. It was cold in the house. We have no central heat. We use a wood burning stove. So, while it was heating things up I made some bar cookies. They are easy to stir up and get going. Then, I made a pineapple/pecan coffeecake to take to work today. I put fish in the oven and baked a sweet potato. dr loaded the truck for the flea market. It was cold today but he did fairly well anyway. He had some bad news. A friend that we've known since we moved to Arizona and was another flea marketer died last night. He was diabetic but was doing well and was there yesterday to set up his tables. What a shock!
Now, I have to go see if I can find the dining room table because Dan and family are coming to lunch and to make cookies tomorrow. I'd hate to have them eat standing because I couldn't find the table. I have all the things we need for cookie making and I have chicken cooking for chicken noodle soup. I'll make the noodles in the morning. I want to stir up some sugar cookie and some gingerbread cookie dough so it can chill before they get here. I bought this teddy bear cookie cutter that makes about eight or nine inch tall cookies. I thought it would be fun to make those and decorate them.
It's going to be in the upper 50's tomorrow if the forecasters are right, but then when are they ever right. No rain or snow, I hope. None is in the forecast until Wednesday and Friday. Have a good evening. dooley

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More rain than snow

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:13 am

Coming home tonight it was raining and the temp said 39 degs. I was glad that it wasn't any colder because maybe it would have be rain mixed with snow and maybe it would have been freezing rain. But, we are home and it can rain away the night. Tomorrow is supposed to be still cooler and snow. It said an inch or two of slushy stuff. Slushy stuff is a bit slippier than I would like so it should be either rain or snow, not both. Don't I like to complain a lot?
We went up early today so I could get blood drawn. The sun was in and out all day so it was drizzling all the way and then it quit. I think there was rain here while we were gone because we came through some large puddles down the street.
This morning when it was sunny I hurried out and put the last bows on the garland on the fence. I thought about a picture but decided to wait because it was trash day and the street was lined with trash cans waiting for pickup. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
Not a busy evening at the library. People must have been expecting the snow and stayed home.
I think I will have to make some more cookies tomorrow. Today, I did the big tree. Well, I started the big tree. I still have a lot of decorations. I've had 46 years to collect them and our trees have gotten smaller since there are no kids home.
We had an email from our son in California today. He will be coming the end of the month to run the 24 or 48 hour race in Buckeye, Az. and they will bring Fintin. I went and asked for the day off that I didn't already have off. It's a Saturday so I don't know. But, Gloria said it was okay with her. Anne is off already so it will make it a bit short but maybe someone will be working for her. I will find out tomorrow.


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Rain and snow

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:53 pm

Last weekend we had a couple of inches of slow rain which soaked into the ground. We hadn't had much rain all year so it was really a welcome rain. It was sunny and warm all week and Friday it started to rain again and now the ground is wet it isn't soaking in so much and it's getting squishy with mud out there. Still, we do need the water and it will soak in eventually. The trees and bushes have tree wells so they are getting a good soak. Hopefully in the spring they will grow and we won't notice that they almost died this year. We have water restrictions through the winter to try to conserve some of this rain. I'm very happy that we did not get the rain that the northwest did. It rained all day Friday and I took the opportunity to heat the house and do some baking. I took some to work and gave some to our neighbor as I am diabetic and it isn't wise to keep too much around here. Cookies are my downfall.
It rained here yesterday, but in Prescott Valley where I work at the library, it was just cloudy, windy and cold. When we got home the rain had mixed with snow which I am definitely not fond of. I shoveled my share of that stuff back in the midwest for a long number of years. But, it turned back to rain and it got cold enough to freeze it so there was ice on things this morning. It melted when it warmed up a bit. Never did warm up too much but it rained for most of the day. I didn't get the bows put on the rest of the garland on the fence. I looked in the exercise room and the geraniums are blooming still. I gave them some water because some of the leaves were getting brown. We never got the plastic back up so it isn't too warm in there.
It is supposed to rain Monday and Tuesday here and maybe an inch or two in Prescott. That means when I go to work tomorrow and Tuesday there might be a little on the ground. I'm hoping not on the streets though. I have to go up to Prescott Valley early tomorrow to have some blood drawn and to the doctor on Thursday. Yuck! The ten day forecast shows it warming up into the 60's the beginning of the next week and that's what I like for winter. None of this snow stuff. dooley

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Another day off!

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:21 am

I had another day off today. It's cloudy, gray and raining. It's rained all day. This must be our winter rain though the weatherman says not to get used to it as we will have a drier than normal winter. Tomorrow is supposed to be partly cloudy and colder. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday is supposed to be rainy.
We went out this morning to go over to Cordes Lakes, about 8 miles. There was a traveling tool sale at the community and the advertising paper said they would have a log splitter. So, we went through the rain, fog and low visibility to buy one. Guess what! Yep! They didn't have any. The man was a smart aleck. He said they hadn't had any of those for two or three days, like we should have come earlier. I have no idea where they were two or three days ago but we were there today when they first opened. dr wasn't a very happy camper.
We stopped at the post office and then came home. I turned on the oven and made dr some soft chocolate chip cookies. I usually make dunkers out of them. He doesn't dunk though so he likes them softer. Then, I mixed up some oatmeal bread. I make it with yeast and some molasses. While it was raising, I made some chocolate tea bread. It made three loaves so there is one for us, one for our neighbor and one for me to take to work tomorrow. While that was baking, I mixed up some stir and drop sugar cookies. You drop the dough on a cookie sheet and then dip the bottom of a glass in colored sugar and smash them a bit. I baked those while I put the bread in pans and set them to raise a second time. I had to cool the oven a bit for the bread but by the time it had risen to it's doubled size the oven was ready. I kept the dishes washed up so all I have to do is the two bread pans.
dr came home and made soup. Vegetable with beef and sausage in it. He says it's almost ready to eat. I guess I could go and put plates and bowls on the table and see if the bread is cool enough to cut without squashing it.
I have my little bear tree up but not the big tree. Maybe that will come on Sunday. dr cleaned off all the wall shelves and we brought out all of the bears for Christmas. I didn't count them but I know there are 112 in the dining room. I'm afraid to start counting the ones here in the living room area.They are everywhere you look and some places where you don't look.
I've invited Dan and Laurel and her kids to come next Sunday and have soup and sandwiches and make Christmas cookies so I made a list of ingredients. Glenda sent me an e-mail with a list of a couple hundred cookie recipes so maybe later I will sort through it and print off a few. I have already printed some from the food network site. Maybe I will try some different cookies this year instead of the same ones that I make every year. Of course, we really don't need cookies but I do give a lot away and take some to work.
I still have cards to finish so I'd better go and get the soup on the table so I can use it later to write. Have a nice evening. dooley

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A day off

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:03 am

It was cold when we got up this morning. It's been a strange fall to say the least. It was warmer than normal and I can say that we haven't had frost. At least none that I have seen and we haven't had to scrape the truck windows any morning. We hadn't had any rain since August. It was a very dry year here. It started raining here Thursday night and rained until Saturday night. The timing wasn't the greatest because a couple of Christmas parades had to be postponed or canceled. But it was a nice steady rain for the most part and there were no gully washers that ran off into the washes. We must have had a couple of inches going by what I dumped out of containers in the yard. There was a bit of wind up the hill yesterday but it didn't do too much major damage. A few signs or fences down.
But with the wind and rain it felt colder than normal. We just aren't used to it yet. It was 30 degs. That was enough for that extra large mulberry tree in the front yard to start dumping it's leaves. They must be a foot or more deep in places. I'll have to go clean them off of the walkways tomorrow. We had some tea and a bagel while we were deciding what to do with this day off. Friday when I had a day off I didn't feel great so we didn't do anything. It was rainy and dreary that day. Today, the sun was shining and it promised to get warmer. We decided not to wait for it to get warmer here. We got into the truck and headed down the hill to Phoenix to enjoy their warmth. It wasn't going to be hot there but it was going to be warmer than here.
The traffic wasn't bad but I'm not fond of freeway driving so I turned off onto New River Road forgetting the washes that flood during rains. There wasn't much traffic on that road so I worried about it after I saw a sign that said, "road flooded." But, the water had gone down and the road was just wet, not flooded. I made a wrong turn and we ended up back at the freeway, just closer to Phoenix. I'm good at making wrong turns because I made another one off the 101 freeway. But, this one took us just where we wanted to be without all the hassle of trying to make a left turn off of Bell Road. Major streets in Phoenix are usually six lanes wide with turn lanes at stop lights. We stopped at Trader Joe's for a few things. We like to buy their frozen fish and Chance likes their peanut butter biscuits. There was a small discount store next to it so we went and bought a few things there. Since Trader Joes's is on the outer circle of Arrowhead Mall we decided to go there for lunch at the Mile Hi-Deli. That was a very wrong decision. This is one giant mall and there were NO parking spaces. We'd have been better off staying in the parking lot at Trader Joe's and walking the two or three blocks to the stores. We left and went back out onto Bell Road and went a couple of miles east and stopped at a Lonestar Steak House for lunch. It was very good. We haven't been to a steak house in a long time. After we left there we went on across town and stopped at the Sunflower Organic store. I like to shop there and I bought some bulk fructose and some golden raisins and a lot of fresh vegetables. They have really good kale, swiss chard and I bought some more leeks. Maybe I will get my leek and potato pie made. After we left there we ran into some traffic and it was getting on toward evening and we decided to start for home so we could get up the hill before dark. It's about 3,500 ft higher in altitude. I'm not fond of that twisty ride up the hill. But, for once, we came right up. There was very little traffic and we only passed two large trucks and they were in the right lane where they are supposed to drive. At the very top a few cars going very fast pushed past us but for the most part drivers were mostly courteous today. We got home shortly after 5:30. After a cup of tea and a rest I made salmon and rice for supper. Chance enjoyed her share. dr made a fire and warmed the house. He's playing with Chance now or trying to. She is trying to ignore us because we disappeared for the day. She likes us to stay home where she can keep an eye on us.
Our neighbor's put up Christmas lights today so maybe tomorrow I will drag out ours. We really do have to do our today's chores tomorrow. This includes packing up some things and moving bears so we can fit in a little bear tree and our regular size tree. It isn't essential that we have a little bear tree but we've always had one for the last 25 years so it wouldn't feel like Christmas without it. As for Christmas shopping we have several things in mind for Dan and company and the others who live a great distance will get gift cards to the book store. They seem to like them. I ask if they were tired of them and they said, "books are good." Andy said the boys get too many toys anyway. Of course, Fintin isn't old enough for books yet but maybe they could buy them and save them for when he is older.
I had an email from Wannabe. She's thinking of coming out for a couple of months this winter instead of a couple of weeks. I think that would be great. I will save all my leave hours to take some time off then. Tom says he probably won't be able to come over for the 24 hour race this year because they had a lottery to limit the number of runners and his number wasn't drawn. He is on a waiting list but he isn't too hopeful of getting called.
We had a "good" day off and did something we wanted to do instead of something we had to do. Sometimes you have to use your day off for a "day off."


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