My love of cooking…

One of my goals for the year is to become a better cook and start using the many available resources I either own (cookbooks and magazines) or have access to, like my Cook’s Illustrated online membership.  I’ve had this online membership for the last two years, and its really a huge benefit. I can access how-to videos, some of them specific to a recipe they are featuring either online or in their magazine; I can browse the current magazine or past issues; and my absolute favorite feature is that I can save any of these videos, articles, or recipes online, and access them at anytime.

The only downside I’ve seen is that I’d love to be able to access the Cook’s Country website without having to pay to be a member also…or some sort of discount for being a member of both. But that’s just me being cheap/frugal. If you use the website(s) as much as I do, or want to, it’s totally worth the $19.95/year fee.

Other favorite sites (and free!) are All Recipes, MyRecipes and Taste of Home.

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Getting organized…

So tonight A is off duck hunting, spending the night in MS at his parents, so I’m home watching movies, hopefully knitting at some point and thinking of all the things I need to do this weekend. Did some organizing to-do’s, like loading the Firefox morning coffee add-in, and programming some pages for it. Now I need to research Evernote and OneNote, and see how other people are using those two programs. Personally I love OneNote…it might have been the most important factor in buying MS Office Home and Student version last year. I love blank paper and blank notebooks, and it’s like an electronic version of the best possible spiral notebook you could ever create.

What I’m liking about Evernote is that you can access it anywhere…email notes to your notebook from your phone or work or whereever, and it’s added automatically. I could access files I need to work on at home by emailing them to my notebook from work, since I can’t log on to my network from home. This could really come in handy someday. And it’s free…there’s a limit on the amount of stuff you can upload each month, but I’m not even close to it at this point and my usage will probably never be more than the free amount. But if it was, I could easily afford the $6 a month for more storage space.

I really do need to become more organized…and I can always learn from others’ ideas and ways of using things like this.

Diary-wise today, I wanted to murder my dentist. I woke up at 6 AM with an excruciating earache. One of the teeth I had a root canal on a week and a half ago has been hurting for several days. I called them on Tuesday, but no one called me back, so I called again yesterday. They called in antibiotics, which I expected. But I did NOT expect the pain this morning…I’ve never had a tooth hurt like this after a root canal when it was supposedly not that infected when they did the procedure. So I called them first thing and told them it was hurting all the way up to my ear, and they basically told me oh well…they didn’t have time to look at it today, and to give the antibiotics 24 hours to work. This time I told them to call in some pain meds ’cause it’s Friday and I’m not going to wake up like this tomorrow. This was at 7:45 AM…they finally called them in at 1:15 PM. And thank goodness, because the tooth is still hurting. I’m hoping I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling much better. I’d wanted to leave work early today and just go home and load up on meds and get some rest, but I sucked it up and stayed. That 7 hours of overtime this week will come in handy the end of the month.

Goals for 2009

I think I’m beginning to accept that procrastination is a huge part of my personality. For instance, it’s almost halfway thru January, and I’m just now getting around to thinking thru my goals for 2009.

I’ve seen this around blogland, and I’m feeling the need to document things this year, both in my personal life, spiritual life and in my crafty-life.

Personal/Home:

  • Get Direct TV. This is not a lofty goal, more of a to-do; and prompted by the fact that I’m trying to watch the Golden Globes and my digital tuner keeps cutting out. REALLY frustrating. I read in today’s paper that the government coupons are all gone…and this is something I’ve wanted for a couple of years now, so I think I’m worth it. DH may not agree – he feels that when we have cable TV, we tend to watch too much of it, and in different rooms, so we don’t spend enough time together. I would agree, but I think if we did have it again, especially when he gets back to working days instead of nights, we can cuddle on the couch while watching Turner Classic Movies.  (in the time it took to type this one paragraph, my TV still hasn’t tuned back in to NBC. UGH!)
  • Get my house clean. REALLY clean. I don’t mean spotless, I just mean out of the CHAOS state it’s been in forever. I plan to use Flylady to do this…babysteps. This is beyond frustrating for me because I want it clean NOW, but I keep reminding myself that it didn’t get into this state overnight, and it won’t get clean overnight. But I would like to be able to have friends and relatives over by March and not cringe when the doorbell rings.
  • Begin meal planning and cooking again.  Most days cooking feels like a chore to me, especially after a long day at work, and that’ s a shame because I really enjoy cooking. And I really enjoy homecooked food, instead of the frozen stuff we eat most nights. And we need to save money; it’s ridiculous how much we spend for food each month. I’ve got a literal ton of cookbooks, many of which I’ve never made a single recipe from. I want to change that.
  • Get daily/weekly/monthly/biannual/annual cleaning routines into a calendar I will use on a regular basis. I don’t know if that will be one in Microsoft Works, Microsoft calendar (or whatever is on my computer) or Google calendar, or something else.
  • Begin using technology to my advantage – using OneNote, Evernote, Google Docs, etc. Find out more about what technology is out there and customize it to my needs.  Find more ways to use my computer to my advantage…I know it can do so very much to help me organize my life, and I’m not utlizing it to its full advantage.
  • Buy or have A build bookshelves and other items around the house that are desperately needed…like a kitchen table, instead of a pool table, in our dining room. 🙂
  • Begin keeping a binder of decorating ideas and really planning how I want our house to look – in terms of paint, linens, curtains, furniture, etc. Maybe hire a decorator or artistic friend to help me with this.
  • Start maintaining regular contact with my friends. I’ve been a real slacker lately in terms of emailing my good friends, and I never call my best friends, which is awful.

Spiritual:

  • Begin having a regular quiet time. I’m terrible at this; I want to do it in the morning so the rest of my day goes smoothly, but I hate losing sleep. I’ve read and reread Laine’s letters and know how much I would grow spiritually and how much both my life and my husband’s life would benefit if I would just make the sacrifice to do this.
  • Begin going thru the many, many bible studies I have. Like Beth Moore’s studies, Elizabeth George studies, Experiencing God, etc. I want this year to b e a year of spiritual GROWTH, instead of the a stagnant life .
  • Find a church (whether a new one or the one where we are members) and begin attending regularly. I’d like to get involved in a women’s study if possible and meet some women my own age.
  • Read thru the entire bible this year.
  • Make it my mission to have a significantly better marriage by the end of the year, by praying for my husband daily and attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage conference.

Crafts/Hobbies:

  • Set up a studio at home for quilting and knitting. Get my yarn organized and put away.
  • Get my yarns photographed and put into Ravelry.
  • Get my Ravelry queue in order and cleaned up. I didn’t take advantage of the ‘favorites’ feature as intended when I first joined, so I have tons of things in my queue that I won’t actually knit.
  • Try my hand at colorwork.
  • Finish or frog my UFO’s. And there are MANY.
  • Finish the Christmas wall hanging quilt I’ve started.
  • Complete at least two of the other quilts I’ve purchased material for.
  • Make at least 16 pairs of socks this year.
  • Make a pair of mittens.
  • Knit one classic cardigan that I will actually wear.

New year, new adventure…

I’m hoping that I can be a little more regular with posting in 2009. Someday I’d like to be able to look back at what I’ve written and take a trip down memory lane.

Last night was definitely one to add to the record books. A found a great deal on a 4 wheeler (from a friend of coworker) and bought it late yesterday, then loaded it up on his trailer and headed to MS to duck hunt with his dad and brother. Duck season only lasts two more weeks, so he’s trying to take advantage of it. This trailer is a homemade trailer he’s been working on for weeks, poor guy, but this is the first time he’d used it.

So he’d gotten just past the Kerr road exit on I-40, just outside of Little Rock, when he lost a tire off the trailer. Thank God, he made it to the side of the road and didn’t lose the trailer or the 4 wheeler. He called me just after 6 PM to ask me to load up some ramps and grab some tools, then drive out to meet him. I got there a little after 7 PM. We loaded the 4 wheeler in the back of his truck and headed back to the house.

A little background – A had worked all night long Thursday night and had had about 90 minutes of sleep all day. To say he was tired would be an understatement.

By the time we got to the house, he’d gotten a second wind and was ready to grab a jack and some tools, go buy a trailer tire and head back out to fix it…so that’s what we did. We got to Lowe’s just as they were closing, but the nice girl standing guard at the door let us in to buy a few bolts, lock washers and nuts, along with some Lock Tight thread stuff. We ran thru the Chick-fil-A drive thru and headed out.

By the time we got to the trailer it was around 10 PM. A grabbed the jack and learned it had picked last night to stop working (it’s a pneumatic jack he’s had for years). So he had to lift the trailer every time he had to put a bolt in, and I had to try to turn the tire and line things up. It took more than just a while to get it done, and neither of us were very happy by the time we got on the road. The trailer was wagging from side to side and we were both worried it wouldn’t make it back…we stopped twice to try to fix it but finally found if we got above 60 mph, it was fine (it was an empty trailer at that point; we’d left the 4 wheeler at home.

On the way back, A was saying he felt fine, wasn’t tired, and would probably try to leave the house about 2 AM to go on over to MS and meet up with his dad and brother to hunt. Now keep in mind that he’s not going to actually hunt, because he doesn’t have a MS hunting license and it’s pointless to buy one with 2 weeks left in the season. This is all about using the new four wheeler and spending time with his family.

I begged him to stay home and told him I would strap myself to the front of the truck if necessary, but I didn’t want him to go anywhere with everything that had happened and him not getting any sleep. He didn’t want to do it, but he agreed. By the time we got home, it was 1 AM. He took a shower and started playing video games; I went to bed.

I woke up at 2:30 AM because my phone was ringing. He had decided to go anyway, but this time he only made it 15 minutes from the house before the tire came off again.

It was hard, but I was able to bite my tongue and not tell him AGAIN that GOD DIDN’T WANT HIM TO GO TO MS THIS WEEKEND.

So I’m barely awake, but I put on my shoes and jacket to leave to meet him again, wondering where on earth we’re going to find the money to buy another tire since the one we just blew $60 on is now by the side of the interstate, and I can’t find my keys. Why can’t I find my keys? Because A has them…since I drove when we went to fix the flat on the trailer, he’d just left them in the ignition and used them. And…drumroll please….he has his keys too. I have no way to go and meet him.

So he drives his truck down an embankment to try to level the playing field between his tailgate and the ground, so he can drive the 4 wheeler off the trailer and back into the truck. Thank God it worked…but the truck then got stuck. At 3 AM. Fortunately a really nice guy stopped and somehow helped him get unstuck so he got home.

But the trailer is still sitting by the side of the road…less than a mile from the central Arkansas State Police Headquarters. I figure it’s either been towed by now, or there’ s a nice ticket on it. Or maybe they mail those to you? Who knows. I guess we’ll know soon, though…

A has been asleep all day long. It’s now 7:30 PM, and when he does wake up, he says we’ll go buy a new tire, get the trailer home, then return the tire and get our money back since he won’t be using the trailer again.  Which sounds fine and good…but now I’m sleepy. 🙂

edited to add: we went to fix the trailer on Sunday morning and it was still there…no ticket, no note from the state police, nothing. And no trailer tire…which means another $60 down the drain. VERY frustrating. We got it home…where it will stay for the indefinite future.