What to do on a day off?

I had very little planned for today, since I normally would be in Las Vegas for the MLK holiday weekend. I decided to use the time off to prep for school which starts next week. I managed to clear off the area where I do school in the garage. It had gotten buried when we had to move stuff around to get the new washing machine in when the old one broke.

I have a lot to do still, since I learned that our storage unit had been broken into at some point, and I need to get the police out with the locksmith and the property manager before I can find out what has been taken. I have no idea how long ago the break in happened, since the storage place no longer has security, and they didn’t inform me.

Anyhow, since I can’t deal with the unit until Wednesday at the earliest, I am attempting to get my reading done. I have 3 books that are almost finished. I think I can finish at least 2 of them.

I also plan to pre blog several posts so they will go out on time. I have already made a list of my school books and bookclub books that I’ll have to read between now and March. Let’s see how far I can get!

I also joined two games on Goodreads to help me move along on my reading challenge. At least a book a week. Very doable for me.

I requested books from the library and put bookmarks into my school books. I have a stack of stuff, including library books, to go into my car to start next week’s projects.

I still have to find a way to honor MLK on the holiday in his honor.

I’m mostly planned out, but we’ll see!

Starbucks holiday drinks

Starbucks holiday drinks

The above linked article tells about Starbucks holiday drinks and what to be careful about when ordering. Many of them have a lot of saturated fat and the article reminds us to use these drinks as a treat, not as part of our main diet.

What the article fails to mention, though, is what happens when you substitute nonfat milk, or request no whipped cream. The fat and calorie content decrease, but the article doesn’t tell us by how much. I would think that this would be an obvious addition to the article, but it seems that the author has neglected this information.

Common baking mistakes

Common baking mistakes

Now that so many people are doing their holiday baking, the above linked article will help you not make the same mistakes that many people do.

I rarely bake, but I can’t be bothered with the scale, especially since most recipes are written with cups, etc, and not the weight.

I also never sift my flour or powdered sugar.

My biggest baking and cooking crime is being forgetful. I forget to set the timer or I turn the timer off and “I’ll get to it in just a second.” then I will totally forget what I was doing.

This list is great. It goes through everything that could possibly go wrong. Take a look at it and see what you might be missing before you start your holiday baking.

Sleeping in with Pets

The pets are used to a regular schedule. Around 7am, the cats are kicked out of upstairs and take their positions in the kitchen, waiting to be fed. Around 7:30 am, the dogs are brought down, separately, to empty bladders and return to bed, or join the school session, depending on the day’s plan. On the weekends and holidays, the pets don’t seem to remember that they don’t need to make sure we are ready for work.

One weekend, I was attempting to sleep in. Between my bladder and the cats, I managed to get to 8 am. At least with my bladder, I can get to the bathroom and back half awake and can sometimes manage to get back to sleep.

I was sound asleep and I felt one of the cats climb onto my bed and onto my chest. I reached out to pet the cat and found out that it was Mini. She accepted the pets and ear scratches and went away. She came back several more times before she decided that I needed motivation. I got a nip on the elbow and I decided to get up.

Who needs alarm clocks when you have pets?

Winterfest 2019

The amusement park near us has a winter themed event every year. They light up the trees and poles and have photo op places all along the walkway. They have shows and winter themed characters walking around greeting the children. My sister and I took her children during Christmas week.

We went to dinner first at a Thai place. It was delicious. The kids were reasonably well behaved. The man at the next table was not. Why is it that the more boring the story, the louder the volume? He had a ton of stories. Each one more boring than the previous one.

We moved on to the park itself. It was beautiful, but cold. The lines for the rides were long and it was dark so we could see the lights better. We informed the kids that there would be no riding rides that night. They were happy to run around.

We did see a show that the kids sat through. They mostly enjoyed it. I enjoyed being inside where it was warmer.

After several rounds of photo taking, we headed home. I was home way past bedtime, but it was a fun outing. Hopefully we can do it again next year.

Christmas cookies

My friend makes hundreds of cookies each year to give as Christmas gifts.  My daughter and I are called in to help.   Along with my daughter’s usual tasks, she added gingerbread man decorating.  My daughter, the art major, decided to have fun with it.These are some of the gingerbread men that she decorated.  She used a toothpick and white and dark chocolate to make faces on them.Jam filled cookies.  More gingerbread menThe middle of the packaging process.So many boxes of cookies We were exhausted after two days of baking and packaging.After the second day of baking, we took ourselves out to lunch.They started us with the preparations.  Limes on the table.Garlic noodlesFinally the main part – crab, shrimp, and crawdads.   I would forgo the crawdads next time, but everything else was delicious, but messy.  Such a change from the cookies.   It was a good, packed weekend.  I did go home and sleep, though.