Friday, July 31, 2015

Natters - Decluttering Sentimental Things

Question for you all.
How do you sort through and declutter things that have sentimental value to you?  

As I get older, it's on my mind more to declutter and simplify.  Are all those projects I haven't gotten to yet really important any more?  Are all those things I've hung onto all these years ever going to have a use or even see the light of day outside their boxes in the attic?  When I'm dead and gone, what kind of mess am I leaving others to sort through and clean up?

The main thing on my mind right now is old cards and letters.  I've saved them all for years and years, over 25 years worth at this point.  Recently I'd decided to just get rid of them, maybe only keep a few of the most special ones.  After the disaster of deleting old posts from this blog though, I'm kinda having second thoughts.  Why do I keep them?  I don't ever get them out and look back through them.  Why can't I get rid of them?  Because maybe when I'm older and retired and have more time on my hands, maybe I *will* look back through them then.  Why not just keep saving them and if I never do look through them and they get thrown out after I die, oh well?

What should I do???

(And let's not even get started on what to do with the boys' baby things and school things . . . )

Thursday, July 30, 2015

719 Walnut Ave. Candles - 2015 Fall Scents

719 Walnut Avenue candles do not get enough credit because they are found at Walmart.  That's fine.  It gives me something unique to blog about and I know there be will plenty of these candles left for me.  I admit I was leery about them for a long time, until I saw one YouTuber do several reviews and she had consistent good things to say about the brand.  Last fall I finally tried one (Pumpkin Waffles scent) and was so impressed that we went through two of those, and I bought an extra one to hold on to for this year.  Well, several days ago I noticed they have the new fall scents out, and while I dashed into the store today for something totally unrelated I decided to go ahead and get the set.

Caramel Apples - 'A perfect combination of crisp apples enrobed in rich caramel.'
Mmmm, this is a yummy caramel apple scent.  It's slightly stronger on the caramel, but the apple note is still there.  The caramel is rich, with a hint of saltiness.  The apples are sweet and juicy.

Cinnamon Apple Cider - 'An inviting fusion of warm, crisp apple and sweet cinnamon.'
Cider scents are not big on my list of fall favorites but I always seem to still have some each fall.  This is a nice one, very warm and deep.  It's a really nice spiced apple scent but that spice is not sharp or harsh.  It brings the warmth to the scent.  And that tell-tale cider note is there, softly simmering the apple notes.  Very nice and cozy.

Caramel Cinnamon Roll - 'Treat yourself to this sweet blend of spicy cinnamon, rich caramel, and creamy vanilla.'
This could be a year round bakery scent but it does work for fall because of the cinnamon and caramel working together.  You kinda just think of all the fall goodies like caramel apples and spiced things.  The caramel is probably the strongest note.  Once again, that cinnamon is not harsh, but instead is lending a warmth to the scent.  The vanilla adds a creaminess which makes the caramel that much sweeter.  This is a yummy, warm weather bakery scent.

Classic Flannel - 'A clean citrus and juniper blend, enriched with patchouli, sandalwood, and amber.'
This is not the type of scent I would normally buy.  I mean, look . . . patchouli, sandalwood, and amber are three scents I don't care for and here they all are together in one blend.  I got it though, sort of for blogging purposes, but also because hubby might like something like this as a break from all the apple and pumpkin and cranberry scents I'll be overloading him with during the fall season.  I don't hate this scent, but nothing about is fall-like to me either.  It doesn't even really strike me as a linen or laundry type scent, like I would think flannel would be.  What I get from this is something sort of outdoorsy, almost manly.

These 719 Walnut Avenue candles 14 oz, 3-wicks, and cost $4.93 at Walmart.  I will be keeping my eye on these to see if there is any kind of pumpkin scent this year.  If not, bummer, but I still have one saved from last year.

Have you tried 719 Walnut Avenue candles?
Are there any in this fall line that look interesting to you?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Glade Fall 2015 Preview

You know I love fall, and I've been keeping on eye on the Walmart shelves for first signs of fall scents.  Last weekend I was surprised and oh so happy to see they're starting to show up!

Let's take a look at the Glade fall lineup of scents.  I only actually saw the apple and pumpkin ones in-store that day, so of course I checked the website when I got home to see what else would be coming out.  It looks like five scents again this year, which seems to be the norm.  I'm pretty sure, judging by scent descriptions, that one is a renamed scent from last year.  And of course, one is going to be a Target exclusive.

So let's see!

Apple Tree Picnic - 'Notes of meadow grass and wild berry surround you in the tranquil chill of a fall day. Scents of cable knit musk stay close to keep you cozy beneath the autumn sun.'
  • Golden Sun Accord, Wild Berry, Meadow Grass
  • Orchard Blossoms, Royal Gala Apple
  • Cable Knit Musk, White Woods

Fall Antiquing - 'Warm scents of sandalwood send you on a cozy trip down memory lane. Mixed notes of fresh coconut and creamy vanilla leave you excited to examine odds and ends on rosewood shelves.'
  • Water Fruits, Pink Grapefruit
  • Coconut, Peach, Lily of the Valley, Jasmine
  • Vanilla Palm sugar, Violet , Sandalwood

Hit The Road - 'Notes of fresh air let the car’s top down, revealing a perfect fall sky that leaves you feeling free and limitless. Hints of frosted herbs and autumn bark create a chill in the air, reviving you.'
  • Summer Sky Accord, Mandarin, Herbs
  • Blue Rose, Petitgrain
  • Oak Musk, Applewood Musk

Pumpkin Pit Stop - 'Meadow grass and hints of wild berry wrap around you in an inviting embrace, while rich notes of whipped vanilla and crystallized caramel remind you there’s always room for another slice of pie.'
  • Golden Sun Accord, Wild Berry, Meadow Grass
  • Orchard Blossoms, Royal Gala Apple
  • Sweet Cream Frosting, Vanilla, Caramel
(Look how similar this one is to Apple Tree Picnic.  The first two lines of scent notes are identical.  And equally curious is the fact that there is no pumpkin note.)

Sunset Walk - 'Aromatic notes of basil, oregano and parsley take you on a refreshing hike through a rustic forest. Sweet hints of dried cranberry, plum and pear follow closely behind for some serious trail fun.'
  • Herbs
  • Dried fruits
  • Roasted Chestnut, Patchouli, Spice, Vanilla
(This is the one that I'm quite sure is the same as last year's Sage & Thyme Market.  The descriptions are nearly identical.)

These scents will be available in all the usual forms like candles, wax melts, sprays, and oils.  New this year is a larger sized candle.  The regular ones are 4 oz. and sell for $2.98 at Walmart.  I did not see the new larger ones at my store, and the website did not have details about size or price.

I'm a little disappointed.  Maybe I'll find one I like once the others are on the shelves and I do some proper sniffing.  What do you think?  Do any of these interest you for this fall?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28 - Finally Back To Normal!

Wow, guys.  I'm sorry for my mental day and the mess that came after.  I deleted all personal posts, going all the way back to the beginning of my blog (2008) in one of my low mood 'What's the point?!' days, and then spent the next week or so trying to figure out what to do about it.  You might have seen all the old posts coming and going.  I *did* warn you about that, remember!  Things just weren't working out and I decided to give up on the idea of trying to 'save' all those old posts.  I was just going to continue on and let it be a lesson learned.  But then when I came here today to try and do a normal post, it just felt so weird to jump back into old news and not have any of that there for people to refer back to.  So yes, I went ahead and reposted the 2015 things only.  I still hate the mess of it all but I'm going to try and leave it now and get back into the swing of things.

Please note, while I was able to retrieve the old posts, I could not save the original comments you all might have left the first time around.  I don't expect you to re-comment, but feel free if you'd like too.  lol
I still need to clean up some font and spacing issues in those reposted posts, so excuse the little bit of mess that's still lingering.

I will probably continue to retrieve and save the older posts to a Google doc and then onto a flash drive for my own personal use.  I'd intended all along to eventually print everything out to have a paper copy of all the memories to tuck away for later.  Kicking myself royally for deleting stuff instead.

But anyway!  Let's move forward.

Still nothing new happening with the My Room project.  

Casey's exciting new job position hit a snag and he's probably going back to his original position.  I was in tears about it this morning, not because he's stepping back down, but because it's just one more example of how screwed up that place is.  Why is wanting to step down?  Because he's supposed to be training for the next two weeks in the new position.  His training so far in the first two days has consisted of his trainer going home early both notes and all the other line operators screaming at him like he's supposed to already be an expert.  I told him if our useless HR lady won't let him go back to his previous position he should demand to be trained on first shift where we have enough experienced people to actually do it.

Hubby was in the emergency room last week Thursday.  He got a metal chip in his eye at work.  We both freaked because a coworker/friend of ours lost sight in one eye (and nearly lost the eye itself) in a similar incident about five years ago.  Hubby did not screw around though.  When they couldn't flush it out at work he said he wanted to go have it looked it.  Everything turned out okay.  *PHEW*  They tried to get it with a swab but ended up numbing his eye, using some dye and something else, and managed to get it that way.  They examined the eye with a magnifying glass type thing and said there was a tiny dimple where the chip had been but it hadn't pierced any layers and all should be fine.  They gave him some antibiotic ointment that he had to put on his eye four times a day for several days, and gave him a tetanus shot.  Work paid every cent of the bill, and the boss's wife even called that evening to see how hubby was doing.

In my last 'real' post I was talking about the baby raccoons that keep getting my bird feeders.  Well, I started bringing the feeders in at night.  It's a big pain in the butt, but things I read online said if you take their food away for three or four days they'll move on.  It looks like they've stopped coming around the feeder area, but Casey and hubby have spotted them in a completely different part of the yard . . . by the apple tree.  We kinda laugh about that, like "Yeah, you can go ahead and eat all those little things."  It's an ancient apple tree, not one that we've ever tended in hopes of having the apples to eat.  I've brought the feeders in four or five nights now.  I'll try to stick with it several more nights in case they get bored with the little apples and come back to the feeders.  Ahhh, country living.  *snort*

Anything else happening?  Oh!  I've been on a wax break for a couple weeks now and I'm quite liking it!  I still get the urge to melt but I think it's purely habit instead of really wanting to melt.  Not to worry though!  Fall is creeping closer and I will indeed be diving back into melting and wax-posting at that time, probably starting about mid-August.

So how have you all been the past couple weeks?

(REPOST) July 18, 2015

Happy weekend, everyone.  Sounds like it's been hot and stormy all over today.  I woke up to a whopper of a storm shortly after 5am, but once that passed it was a pretty nice day.  There was all this talk about a heat advisory for today because the temp was supposed to be 91 with a heat index over 100.  I was soooo not looking forward to that because with the morning rain it would be miserably humid.  We lucked out though.  Temp never got over 85, I don't think, and there was a nice breeze all day.  We did pull shades down later in the day and had a couple fans going but overall it wasn't that bad.  Tomorrow is supposed to be hot and stormy again though.
In my previous natters I mentioned Casey had bid on a higher job position.  He found out that he did indeed get that spot.  That's kind of exciting.  I bet it'll be nerve wracking for him at first, even though he pretty much knows the job already just from helping out lately.  And it's more money for him.  I keep teasing Ty that Casey can afford to move in with him now and help pay the bills.  Ty is absolutely like "Noooooo way!"
Hubby went fishing with his two coworker friends again today.  They go way up to Green Bay, out on the one coworker's big boat.  Today was not as successful as the previous outing, but they still did pretty good.  He said the weather was a concern, choppy water that almost tipped the boat a couple times.  They even waited the first few hours at the boat launch to see if things would clear enough for them to go out.
I just kinda chilled today because of the heat and humidity.  Ty came over and did his laundry, hung out for a while and played video games with Casey.  I had to move my bird feeder posts around today because our furry little raccoon friends keep wreaking havoc out there.  We knew it was raccoons doing it but we couldn't figure out just HOW they were doing it.  There is a mommy-coon and her four babies living somewhere nearby because we see them quite often.  One of the babies is black and so dang cute.  Well anyway, three of the babies showed up early enough in evening yesterday that we were able to watch their antics, and found how they were able to hug-climb the part where three feeder posts were close together.  Ah ha, you little buggers!  So today I went out and removed two of the unneeded posts and repositioned the other two so they're far apart from each other.  I'm curious to see if they'll be able to do anything now.
I tried to upload a video of the little furry fiends several times today but our internet must be too sucky to handle it because the screen just stayed on 'uploading video' but never gave any indication that anything was being accomplished.  The video is cute but it was so funny after because I actually opened the window and stuck my head out, and had a talk with these three babies.  They hunched in startled cat positions and stared at me at first, then two decided to head for the field and one missed that memo.  He continued rooting around in the grass for a bit then when he realized he was alone he ran to the nearby tree and crawled up a few feet, then started doing the saddest little chirpy-clicky cry.  His brothers by the field must have been answering him because he eventually headed off that way.  I know raccoons shouldn't be considered cute little visitors.  Hubby's all gungho to shoot them and get rid of the problem but I am against it.  They're babies!  And we DO live in the country.  If I can figure out a way to post that video, I definitely will.
Other than that, not much excitement at the moment.  Did my shopping today but didn't bother to look for anything new or exciting.  Considered stopping at Target and Dollar Tree since I'd gotten a later start than usual because of the storm.  Usually I'm in and out of Walmart so early that the other stores aren't even open yet.  But in the end I decided nah, I don't need any cute dollar stuff right now.  If hubby and I are out and about tomorrow though, I think I'll see if he wants to stop for the heck of it.
Today is my brother and sister-in-law's 27th wedding anniversary.  I did send them a card.
Today would also have been my grandma's 100th birthday.
Well, I'm off to read before bed now.
Anything interesting happening in your corner of the world this weekend?

(REPOST) July 14, 2015

Well, plans for my medieval game playing movie watching craft doing room are on hold yet again.  The stereo is about a half inch too tall to fit into the TV space of the entertainment center like I'd hoped.  So without that option, I'm rethinking it all . . . again.  If it's not going to be a gaming and/or movie watching room, we don't need the TV.  If we're not needing the TV and the stereo doesn't fit, we don't need the entertainment center.  I'm totally willing to give both away but I don't think the entertainment center can be moved again without breaking in the same spots, and everyone has the flat panel TVs now so I don't know who would want this old heavy beast.  So for now they're are still just sitting in that room.
Do I carry on with the craft room after those things are gone?  No reason why I can't at that point.  Except, well, during this time of halted productiveness I've also been reconsidering the craft room idea.  We're not crafty very often.  In the past we've just set up the old card table in the living room and worked there.  That way, if I'm doing something crafty and hubby's watching TV, at least we can still keep each other company.  Since we're not often crafty, do we need a room for that?
Then I considered just turning it into a guest room.  We have a spare bed and dresser upstairs.  Just haul them down here and set them up in that room and be done with it.  But wait.  We never have guests that stay over anymore.
So what the heck can I do with this room?!  It's been bothering me so much I was beginning to feel physically ill.  Sounds stupid, but it's true.  I'm sure that a lot of other little stresses balled into this one to create a seemingly spare room based anxiety attack, but still.  It was making me INSANE a few days ago, until Casey finally snipped at me, "Why does it matter?!  You haven't done anything with it for a year so what does it matter if you don't do anything with it right this minute?!"
Ah, Casey.  He is often my voice of reason because he's somewhat unfiltered.  Of course, it pissed me off when he said it, but it did seem to work.  I've put that whole room project on the back burner for now, like it has been for the past eleven months since Ty moved out.  I think I still want some shelves for my many photo albums, but other than that, it might just become a storage room until a true better use presents itself.
(I'm still stressing about the TV and entertainment center sitting there though.)
In other news, the machine shop Ty works at was bought out by another company.  They'd been dreading this because they'd heard horror stories of companies buying smaller shops and gutting them to reduce competition.  They were all sure they'd be unemployed soon.  But no, it seems this company is going to keep things going.  Ty was here this weekend filling out new paperwork for insurance and 401k and stuff like that.  *phew*
Casey has finally decided to bid up for a different position at work.  His supervisor has been having help out on the lines when they're short on people, and it must be enough of a confidence booster that he finally went ahead and bid on the job.  He says "I'm doing it half the time anyway."  This would be good for him financially because it's almost a dollar more than his current position pays.
Casey has also made an appointment with a local guy to get his car fixed.  His car is one Ty used to have.  It's got some major body damage from multiple animal mishaps over the years.  A couple of large raccoons and a deer have definitely left their mark.  He considered getting a new car but then decided he liked this car, and since most of the car is still excellent he'd rather put the money into just fixing what needed fixing.  The guy can't get to it until August though.  That's fine.  It's been banged up like this for years now anyway.  Another month won't hurt.  I'll try to get some 'before' pics before it goes in.  He does have enough money in the bank to cover the repairs but he wants to go get a small personal loan to cover part of it.  This way he can also build some credit for himself.
As for me, I haven't been doing much.  I switched days with a coworker so I had Monday off.  The downside is I have to work Wednesday for her, and then my scheduled Thursday and Friday.  Three 12 hour shifts in a row is hard for this old person.  
I finished the second book in the Percy Jackson - Heroes of Olympus series.  My post for that went up earlier today.  I'm looking forward to starting the next book when I finish this post.  I also bought both of the Percy Jackson movies the other day.  It's a version of the DVD that has both movies in one package, and it only cost $9.96 at Walmart so heck yeah, I grabbed it.  I would like to see more of the movies made but it sounds rather iffy whether that will ever happen.  If I knew there were going to be more, I would have bought the individual DVDs instead.
On a DVD note, if anyone is remotely interested in The Tudors series from a few years ago on HBO, I noticed the entire set is available now for rather cheap.  I think it was like $35 or something like that.  For the complete collection.  That's pretty darn good.  I think I paid close to $100 back in the day and have a big, oddball style package that doesn't fit on any shelf.  I love The Tudors.  I'd like to watch it again.  Maybe as I relearn how to sit and relax and just read or watch movies, maybe I'll marathon my way through the series again.  (I do have a couple old posts about the show.  If anyone is interested, I will link them.)
Alrighty, this post is getting lengthy so I'll go for now.
How have you all been?

(REPOST) July 9, 2015 - Feeling Better These Days

[Can't retrieve this post yet for some reason.  Keep trying.]

(REPOST) July 7, 2015 - Some Old Wreaths

In chatting with my waxy bloggy friends recently, I had mentioned finding an old bag of wreaths that my mother-in-law had made for me many years ago.  They were interested in seeing them, so here I am, finally getting them posted.
My mother-in-law if very crafty.  She used to be into way more different types of crafts than she is now.  She had even quit her regular job many, many years ago to focus on starting a craft business.  That had eventually turned into mostly sewing, but it's these flower craft type things that I liked the most.
She had made up a bunch of various sized little wreaths to celebrate different holidays and seasons.
This was a spring or summer one, I think.
A bit more fall-ish.
4th of July.
(Or I suppose even Memorial Day.)
A larger 4th of July one, but I much prefer the smaller one with it's bolder colors.
Another for Valentine's, maybe?  It's rather mooshed and drab looking after years in a bag in an attic.
Spring or summer.
Cute Easter one.
I think this was supposed to be for New Year's, but I was never fond of it.
I'm thinking of taking the things off this and trying to come up with my own New Year's idea.
I thought of Julie right away when I saw this one again.  It's a beachy summery themed one.
And there they are.  I might be crafty in some areas but not in stuff like this.  Even though some of these are rather blah, I think I would still struggle too much in coming up with ANY idea what to do.
Are you a fabulously creative wreath maker?

(REPOST) July 6, 2015 - My Room Update

Hello!  How was your holiday weekend?  We didn't do much here.  Saturday we did some yard work, and the boys came over so we played Munchkin.  That night we *tried* to shoot off some fireworks but the friggen mosquitoes were SO bad that we quickly gave up.  We usually drive down the road a ways to a spot where we can see a nearby town's fireworks show, but we didn't even feel like doing that this year.  We did discover that we can see the same show from our upstairs hall window.  We'll have to remember that next year!  lol  And then Sunday we had a little cookout with some friends that came over to help dig up some blocks from a small retaining wall we're removing.  They wanted some to build a fire pit at their place.  You're doing the work to get them?  Then heck yeah, take all you want.
I did have some crabby frustrations Sunday and most of it involved 'my' room that I've mentioned.  We'd gotten the old entertainment center put back together, an the old TV hauled down from upstairs earlier in the week.  So yesterday, while waiting for company to arrive, I finally started digging out the old game consoles and seeing about getting everything set up.  First I had to have hubby cut a long board that I could put behind the entertainment center as a spacer to keep it out from the wall.  We found that when the TV was in place, because it's big and bulky old school kind, it needed to poke out the back of the stand.  The spacer keeps the whole stand away from the wall so the back of the TV doesn't directly touch that wall.
We lifted the ten thousand pound beast of a TV into place and then I started running the cables from the back to get the old game consoles hooked up.  Except, they wouldn't work.  Ok, slide the TV out and turn it a bit and have one person hold/balance it while the other shoves their head and hand into the limited space to try the cables in another set of hookup spots.  Nope, game still doesn't work.  Hmm, ok, unhook that console and try a different one.  Get the helper back several times before deciding to just pull that bitch out and set it on the floor where there is easy access until things are figured out.
We have an old SNES, N64, Gamecube, and Playstation (One) and none of them would work.  Usually the old games had to choose channel 3 or 4.  But the slightly newer but still old TV wanted input Video 1 or 2, or Component (I think?) 1 or 2.  After making an ungodly mess of consoles and cables all over the room, Ty finally got the SNES to work on Video 1.    We eventually got the Gamecube to work too, but could not get the N64 or the Playstation to work.  They boys remember the N64 being very iffy even back in it's finally playing days, and Casey was pretty sure the Playstation had stopped working a long time ago.
Well alrighty.  I was tickled just to have the SNES working at least and sat down among the mess to play some old favorites, only to find out that it's all very sensitive and delicate.  You have to get the game cartridge in *just right* or it won't read it, and then you can't bump it in any way or you lose the connection.  I also found we can no longer let it sit to go get something because the game freezes and you have to turn it off and start all over again.  Yay.  This wasn't turning out to be much fun afterall.  Well no, that's not entirely true because I did have fun playing Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts for a while.  I couldn't favorites like Super Mario World or Legend of Zelda to work at all.  Boo!!
(I think I mentioned the old Zelda game as Link's Awakening somewhere.  That's incorrect.  It's called A Link To The Past.)
I eventually gave up and just left everything strewn about the room, figuring I'd have to rethink the plans for the room.  OH!  I forgot to mention that part of the plan was to bring our old DVD player down and hook it up in here so I'd have somewhere to watch things while hubby was watching man movies on our main TV.  When I went looking for that old DVD player yesterday, I couldn't find it anywhere.  Doh!  So that was another part of it all that frustrated me and had me reconsidering things.  I also decided that five inches of space behind the entertainment center was going to be a bigger problem than I'd realized.  Not only did Minion decide it's an awesome place to play and be naughty, but anything I want to put on the top shelves will easily get pushed back and fall off down behind.  *grrr*  So nearly ALL of my plans for the room were shot down yesterday.
I had some lingering crabbiness about it all this morning, but Casey showed me something that has pretty much changed everything now.  About a month or so ago he had bought himself one of those Wii U gaming systems.  I'd kinda scolded him at the time about not being careful with his money.  Today I had to laugh at that because . . . !!!! . . . he showed me that we can get a ton of those classic old games on that system!!  They are not some horrible updated remakes, but the actual old games!  You do have to pay for them, but they are quick downloads.  I was all excited, like "Oooh!  OOOHH!!!!  Get Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts!  And Kirby's Dream Course!"  So while I was at my mom's this morning, he bought and downloaded those two games.  WOOT!!!!  We can also get Zelda, and Super Mario World, and who knows what other old favorites I haven't even thought of yet?!
So yes, I had a blast playing (and sucking, big time) those two games when I got home from tending my mom.  I showed hubby when he got home from work, and he had a good laugh trying to play them too.  Then I told him about all the problems with 'my' room and how I was probably going to ditch those ideas.  And it's all good because we've already come up with other plans for that room.  I'll tell you about the new plans in a different post because A) this one is long enough already, and B) I need to take some pics of something first.
Sooooo yay for things working out afterall!
Do you have any old favorite games?
Let me know which ones YOU spent way too many hours playing!

(REPOST) July 1, 2015 - Doldrums & Decorating

It's July now, huh?  Part of me has the usual 'This year is flying by!' but I'm surprised to find a slightly larger part of me has thoughts of 'We're only just starting July?'  I guess I kinda like that feeling because it seems like time is no flying by so much.  When I really stop and think about it though, it's more of a 'same old, same old' thing, where the days just blend together and pass by.  Oh well, things could be worse.  And hey, we're just that much closer to fall now!  
You may have noticed my daily natters posts are becoming iffy again lately.  Well, I almost quit blogging recently.  My waxy bloggy friends talked me down from the ledge twice in about a week.  I've been having the 'I quit!' urge more and more lately, and I'm trying to keep in mind that a lot of it could just be stress from other things making me feel like the blog is a waste of time.  June was a very frustrating month for me at work and at home.  Some little health issues towards the end of the month didn't help things either.  But really, it was probably all connected.  I've taken some extra bits of time off work lately though, and things seem to be leveling off there, so I'm hopeful July will be better all around.
I'm off for a week over this holiday weekend.  Through a combination of my regular days off and the holiday, I only had to use one vacation day to get seven days off.  That deal was too good to pass up!  I don't really have any plans for this lovely break.  There are things I'd like to get done but I'm not pressuring myself too much to get those things done.  Yesterday I went to my Mom's . . . did her laundry and took her grocery shopping.  Today Casey and I started putting together the old entertainment center that will be in 'my' room.  It's the entertainment center that used to be in our living room but then went into Ty's room.  When he moved out last summer, it went along to his apartment but some piece got broken in the move.  He bought himself a TV stand and I said I'd try to save that old rickety one.  So, it came back home and has been sitting, disassembled, in Ty's old room for months now.  That room is going to become 'my' room, which will have an older style TV and our older video game consoles like the SNES and N64.  It will also have our spare DVD player.  Since we only have DirecTV in the living room, I'm hoping putting the spare DVD player in the other room will encourage me to start watching movies again, maybe start up our Netflix again.  And putting the old game consoles in there will hopefully let me enjoy all those older style games that I loved so much.  I can't seem to get into the newer stuff like I could that good ol' simple stuff.
And yes, this room will hopefully become my library AND my medieval room!
Since the 4th of July is right around the corner, I did a little decorating.  The 4th is usually a holiday I don't decorate for at all.  Maybe if I have one of those little flags on hand I'll pop it into whatever flowerpot is on the porch but beyond that it's not something I even own decorations for.  I've felt drawn to it this year though.  I did buy a few little things from Dollar Tree and Target's Dollar Spot, which you've already seen in long ago haul posts, but I thought I'd show you those things again now that I have them in place for the holiday.
I think this bunch of flowers might have been from Walmart actually.  Gah, I can't remember now.  Anyway, I have them in the usual spot on the corner table in the living room.  I just put some blue tissue paper in the glass globe vase so the stems wouldn't be an eyesore.
That little $3.00 pillow from the Target Dollar Spot sits in the big recliner by the window in the living room.
A $3.00 rustic looking, wooden slat flag from Target's Dollar Spot hangs above the buffet, the usual center of my decorating.  That little patriotic bowl was $1.00 from the Dollar Spot and is being used as a candy dish.
Even a red-white-blue colored box of tissues to sit on my desk.
This fireworks-looking dish towel was part of a patriotic 2-pack from the Dollar Spot, I think.  The other was blue and had red and white USA embroidered on it.  As feared though, the towels are totally non-absorbent so I ditched the blue one and moved the fireworks one to the kitchen table as a mini runner instead.
This small wreath (like maybe six inches) was made by my mother-in-law many years ago and was only just recently rediscovered by me.  It's now hanging in our entry room, next to the inner door that leads into the kitchen.  It's one of the first things you see as you come into the house.
And outside by the back door (our main door) is this sparkly patriotic star that I got at Dollar Tree.
That's it.  Not much, but I like it.  I don't even have any flags at the moment.  I'll try to grab some of those little ones when I go grocery shopping Friday.  We don't even fly a regular big American flag.  I always felt guilty about not having one until a friend from Germany said something to me way back in 1999 that made me feel okay about it.  We'd just been to Germany at that time and when we were back home, that friend had been asking me how I liked his country.  One thing we talked about was that I'd found it hard to find a German flag anywhere, whether to buy or just displayed in general.  He shrugged it off as "We don't need flags to know we're German."  Some people will probably scoff at that, but I think it's kinda cool.
Well anyway, just thought I'd pop on while I'm in a pretty good mood and kinda touch base.  I *am* feeling pretty good about things at the moment, like I do want to continue blogging.  I'm going to head back to the entertainment center project now, and will hopefully have more to write about tomorrow.
How have you been?!

(REPOST) June 24, 2015 - Weeds & Birds

This was my view while mowing the lawn the other day.
I had a somewhat unexpected day off today.  Yesterday we found out one of our lines will be down for a few days so I jumped at the chance and used a 'general purpose' day to have today off.  General purpose days are unpaid days off that we earn from perfect attendance.  They're kind of sucky in that, well, they're unpaid, and you also can't use them next to a vacation day or a holiday.  But whatever, any extra time off I can get at the moment helps.  I'll have a short week next week too, because of the holiday.
I tried to keep busy today.  Too many of my days off lately have been spent staring at the computer.  I could at least be reading or even watching some movies.  But no, I sit here and hope something exciting will happen online.  Bleah.
I think I've mentioned that hubby and I sucked on yard work last year, and haven't been doing a very good job this year either.  Doesn't help then whenever we want to do something, one of the tools doesn't work.  Like, the trigger thing on the weed whacker is broken.  Hubby can still use it but it's trickier.  The pushmower doesn't start now.  I prefer that one to do 'detail' work around the house and yard.  Of course, my beloved riding lawn mower died this spring, and we bought that other one.  I still don't like that other one so my desire to get out there and mow is slim.
Anyway, the flowerbeds are overgrown with weeds and today I decided to finally do something about it.
I didn't get the whole bed done.  It extends about twice as long as this off to the right, along the whole side of the house.  While I didn't get this one finished, I did get areas on two other sides of the house done.  I also hauled a very heavy birdbath to a better location near the feeders, and dragged the wheelbarrow out to pick up the tons of sticks and branches all around the yard from storms we had Monday.
This branch was pretty funny.  It's dead and fell from a tree during the storm, but look at how it landed.  That sucker was jammed about three inches into the ground!
This partial tree also blew down Monday.  It had originally snapped and most of it came down many years ago in a much worse storm.  This part had remained standing and we'd just left it there.  The little tree to the left had been a little offshoot from that partial, and we're glad now that we'd let that little guy grow.  So this large part will need to be hauled away now.  Hubby says he'll take care of it this weekend.
We had a little incident with bird feeder poles yesterday.  We have different types of feeders on those shepherd hook poles and over time they've started to sag and lean against each other.  Last fall a little sparrow had somehow gotten his head stuck in the 'v' where two of the pole cross.  I noticed commotion from my window and ran out like a crazy lady to free the poor little thing.  I spread the poles apart and he fell to the ground.  I stepped away and watched.  After a few moments he hopped away into taller grass and I left him.  I didn't see him after that.  Well yesterday, Casey heard a bird screeching like crazy and looked out to find a woodpecker had its leg caught in that same 'v' spot.  He ran out and separated the poles.  He said the bird's leg was very obviously broken but after a moment it flew up into the tree.  I don't know if birds can survive with a broken leg . . . ?  I haven't seen it today so at least it hasn't fallen out of the tree or anything.  That was enough though.  When I got home from work I immediately removed that one pole and placed it well away from that area.  I also put a gap filler (cardboard and black tape) in the 'v' where the two hook loops meet, so no birds get stuck in there.  
The hummingbirds were a bit confused when they flew to the usual spot, but quickly located the new spot.  It's right next to the house now.  I can't see it as easily from my window, but if I lean over a bit more I can now get a much closer view of the lovely little creatures.
Even this silly oriole had no problem finding the feeder in its new spot.
Today is Casey's one year anniversary at his job.  
Tonight is the season five premiere of Suits.
Tomorrow I'm going to Target to see if I can find the new things I've been starting to see in haul videos.
Anything chat worthy happening with you these days?

(REPOST) June 20, 2015 - Can't Find My Happy Place

I've fallen back into my unhappy place lately.  I can say with certainty that it's about 99% work related.  It's just not getting any better.  Thursday I almost walked out.  Friday morning I almost called in sick.  And then Friday morning I burst into tears while talking to my supervisor.  A couple other people saw the meltdown and solemnly supported me in quiet ways, which of course just makes you want to cry more.

I know if I'm not going to leave there, I need to find a new way to deal with things.  I have to give up on the idea of changing things.  I have to focus on just doing MY job and staying alive on this sinking ship.  I've already found some small bits of relief and humor by spending a few extra minutes throughout the day with the people who seem blissfully unaware of problems.  I'm sure you know the type.  The ones who just always have a smile and can find humor in anything.  Oh how I wish I could learn to live like them.

Why don't I just leave there?  Believe me, I've been thinking about it more than ever lately.  A huge part of it is just plain fear.  I've been there so long.  Despite all the crap, I'm comfortable there.  I'm not the clueless noob, and haven't been for a long time.  I hate change.  I'm a person who thrives on routine.  There are also things like me having the insurance because hubby's work offers a crappier insurance deal.  Things like it being very close to home.  Things like having the days off to go help my mom, and give me some mental health breaks.  The twelve hour shift kill me, but I think I'd still prefer to do that and have my days off.  Then again, I've been doing 12 hour shifts for eight years now.  To change back to 8 hours is . . . change.  I already mentioned that change is bad.  (For me anyway.  lol)  I would prefer to just leave there and not have to work anywhere.  We could get by financially but we're doing so good now on paying off debts, and are going to be able to really start paying off the house soon.  I'm not willing to give up yet and dump that burden on hubby.

So, yeah, I'll be working on some new ways of coping now.  I'm not one to request prayers but man, any help I can get right now would be greatly appreciated!

In other news, Ty's 24th birthday was Wednesday.  We decided to wait till today (Saturday) to celebrate since we'd all be home.  We had tacos for lunch, and I'd made a cake for him.  He opened his gifts and seemed to like them.  But then he admitted he was feeling well.  He'd been lounging on the couch while he was here, which is normal for him.  But after eating he just felt like crap and decided to go home and take a nap.  I sent Pepto home with him and gave him motherly instructions to stop and get some 7Up and/or ginger ale.  He said he would.  I doubt if he did.  I'll text him later and see how he's doing.

Tomorrow morning we're going out for breakfast again.  This time it's a Father's Day get-together, again with hubby's parents.  The boys were going to join us but Ty's cancelled now, understandably.  Not sure if Casey will actually go or not.  He's anti-social like me, and he's sooooo not a morning person.  Hubby and I might head over to Kmart after breakfast, and might stop at Ace Hardware too, just to snoop around and see what fun things they might have.  I noticed a Green Bay Packers toolbox in the Ace sales flyer.  This particular Ace often has Vikings things (wOOt!) so we're hoping they have the Vikings version of that toolbox.  This Ace also has a nice little section of Yankee tarts and votives.  Why a hardware store would have Yankee tarts and votives, I don't know, but I'm glad they do.

That's about if for now.
How have you been?

(REPOST) June 12, 2015

We didn't get flooded out overnight.  There are some pretty big puddles in fields, but overall it's not too bad.  It still rained throughout the morning but by afternoon we had bright sun and all the drama was forgotten.
I didn't find anything overly interesting while shopping this morning either.  I'd seen someone online showing all the stuff that Walmart used to have in their little version of a 'dollar spot' now in the clearance aisle, so I was hoping to find those things in my store's clearance too.  There is a ton of random junk in that aisle, for sure, but I only saw one or two things from that former 'dollar spot.'  Bummer!
I did see these rolls of fabric tape on clearance.  I almost grabbed the smaller, washi sized ones, but since they were fabric I wasn't as interested.  Maybe I should have grabbed some anyway for swaps or giveaways.  Actually, yes, dangit.  I know someone I could have sent these too!  *kicking self*
Casey went over to Ty's to hang out for a while today.  That was kind of cool because they don't really do that much.  He also needed to use Ty's much faster internet to update some games on his PS4 or Xbox or whatever system he's currently wild about.  Then he came back home and headed to bed so he could get a bit of sleep before going to work tonight.  He would normally be off on a Friday night but he volunteered for tonight as a sort of apology for walking out last week.  Ty then came over here for the rest of the day and hung out and had supper.  Other than that it's been another rather mellow day.  I did a lot of little busy work things like fill the bird feeders, do last night's dishes, get some bills paid and mail ready to go.  I also watched some haul videos and a couple episodes of Snapped.  Can't beat that!
I thought I'd have way more interesting things to write about for the day but I guess not.  Kinda makes me wonder why I was so gungho to start up this daily journal thing again.
So yeah, I'm off to read for a bit before bed now.  I work this weekend so there probably won't be much to write about the next three days.  I guess that means YOU have to tell ME something interesting.

(REPOST) June 16, 2015 - Work & Game of Thrones Suck

This pic is from earlier this year, the view I had when I went out to my car to go to work.  That's our neglected greenhouse, with the sunrise behind it.  It looked so cool, like there was light blazing IN the greenhouse.
Anyway, I tried to post Saturday night but after 12 hours at work my mind was just not wanting to form meaningful sentences.  Then I just let it go for the rest of my three day work weekend.  Saturday was just ridiculous.  I've said before that it's the total lack of management that has gotten it to the hopeless situation it's in now.  There are just so many small issues that could easily be dealt with, nip things in the bud, and work your way back up to the larger things.  But no, they are all so focused on the wrong end of things.  As a lead person, I'm supposed to be an extension of the supervisor.  I'm the eyes and ears out on the production floor when they can't always be there.  Lead people are supposed to have a bit of authority, like in the smaller areas.  But no, combine this totally disrespectful me me me society with the lack of higher authority and the lead people have become nothing.  Try to tell someone something and you're pretty much ignored.
It just really got overwhelming Saturday.  I could count the endless violations all around me, and it was way more than usual for whatever reason.  It just got to where I was actually thinking of just quietly giving up and walking out the door.  But why should I be the one to leave???  It's so frustrating.  To constantly be going to the supervisor to report these ongoing violations is just making me look like a nag.  Most of the time the supervisors won't respond anyway because they know it's become something out of their hands too.  They're so desperate to hang on to people that they don't want to discipline and risk having to fire someone.  Really?  Even though these people are crappy employees and not doing their jobs anyway???
There have been times when I take an "I don't care!" approach and ignore the crap going on around me.  But then it bothers me because those people are winning.  Saturday I wrestled with my own sanity on how to deal with it all.  It's easiest to just ignore it like everyone else.  For my own mental health, that's probably what I should do.  If no one else is going to do anything about it, I can't carry the total weight on my old lady shoulders.  Where is that getting me anyway?  Nowhere.  I thought maybe I could just silently keep track of the things I'm seeing and quietly slip a weekly report into the Big Boss's mailbox, just something to keep them reminded of what's going on.  I could keep waging war against these idiots.  It might not solve any problems but it would be a constant burr in the sides of the offenders.  For now though, I think I need to take the ignore route for a while.
Sunday was a bit better because I was cruising that Ignorance Is Bliss Road.  I still see the offenses and my blood starts to boil, but then I just remind myself 'I don't care today, I don't care today,' and focus on something else.
Monday was better too because I just stayed away from sources of negative energy as much as I could.  Of course, keeping to myself more allowed extra time for thinking about other things just to keep my mind occupied.  And that lead to me feeling all mopey and insecure about other things.  It put me back into my 'What's the point?' mindset in regards to blogging and Facebook and most things I've whined about in recent times here on the blog.  Had a bit of a heart-to-heart with someone last night and am feeling a bit better about things this morning.
Add into all of this, that crappy Game of Thrones season finale and . . . yeah.  I've been struggling with that show the past couple seasons, but have really been on the verge of giving up this season, especially the past few weeks.  The show just doesn't make sense to me anymore!  What purpose is it serving to shock viewers by killing off all the characters anyone cares about, and only be bringing in disgusting, despicable, ugly new characters that no one will ever care about?  The books, the author . . . blah blah blah.  I've been hearing for a long time now that the books and the show started changing drastically after the first season/book.  I'm hearing now that once the current show writers took over more, that it's gotten even farther away from the books.  From little bits I've been finding out in the past few days, apparently we'll be having Medieval Walking Dead eventually because all these beloved characters "aren't really dead."  Wtf?  I don't even care.  And if the author is somehow being swayed by the popularity of the show, and writing the new books accordingly, well that's crap too.  I'm curious about the ratings for Game of Thrones since the beginning.  Is it still high and climbing?  Has it leveled off?  Is it dropping?  Ugh, just so mad about that show.
Well, I have some stuff to do before heading to my mom's this morning but I'll hopefully be back later with a regular Tuesday post.
How was your weekend?

(REPOST) June 11, 2015 - I Forgot

Too early for football, you say?  Nah!  Not when my boy Ponder is only backup quarterback and I might not get to see or hear about him after this off season stuff.  He's wearing #9 now as a Raider.  I'll have to get used to that.
I forgot to post last night!  I have no good excuse.  I just flat out forgot.  Ooops!  Luckily nothing much happened yesterday.  It was a work day, and pretty mellow again.  Nothing much has happened today either.  I must still be stressed though because I've been having weird dreams, including the one where I have to be somewhere and people are waiting but I can't find any clean clothes to wear.  Do you ever have recurring dreams like that?  It used to always be that I couldn't remember my locker combination at school.  Somewhere along the way it's become the 'can't find clean clothes' version.  Any dream analysts out there?  I usually just take it as stress and feeling out of control about something.
We have flash flood warnings all around the area for tonight and tomorrow.  We've had light rain off and on all day but in the later afternoon it started to really pick up and stay more steady.  They're saying some areas could get up to three inches of rain.  We have a small creek just a little way off our property.  It usually runs as just a trickle but I noticed someone in an SUV slowed down and stopped by it this afternoon.  I don't know if they're just checking all waterways in the area or what.  I mean, there is no way this particular little stream could do any real damage even if it did flood, so I'm not worried, but I do wonder what they were looking at.
Still plugging along on my Percy Jackson related book, whatever the proper name is.  The Lost Hero?  I'm over 3/4 of the way through and am enjoying it but the story is rather busy and complicated, and you know I don't like that.  Maybe if I read larger chunks at a time I'd be able to keep up with all the little stuff going on.  I hope they aren't all like that in this series.  (Julie, did you start reading it???  You've probably finished already.  lol)
I had brief ideas of becoming more active on Instagram but frustration at being a total clueless noob had me giving up on that pretty fast.  There was a time when I could catch on to all that kind of stuff so easily.  Now I feel so outdated.  So yeah, looks like I'm stuck with Facebook and this blog.
I melted Pure Caramel, from Shayz Scentz today but I won't be doing a Melted post about it.  I really didn't smell anything from it.  Even on cold sniff it was light but I thought I'd at least get *something* from it warmed.  Nope.  I suppose maybe there was the faintest hint of a subtle background type scent, but no, in general you never would have known I had anything melted.  Oh well, I'm over whatever it was that made me order from there again anyway.  Just working my way through the last few I have from that order.
Well, I guess I'll go read a bit more before bed.  Tomorrow is shopping day.  Hope I find some goodies!
Anything exciting happening in your corner of the world?

(REPOST) June 9, 2015

I feel this way too, Fatty.
I worked today so there's nothing overly interesting to report.  It was a pretty mellow day actually, which is rather these days at that place.  I heard parts of some scandalous stories about some coworkers.  I need to get the full stories tomorrow.  Don't judge me!  We all love some dirt, you can't deny it.
Wanted to talk about Game of Thrones with my TV/movie addict supervisor but we were both busy.  He's all in love with Arya and her whole story line.  *rolls eyes*  That's probably my least favorite storyline right now.  Another coworker was trying to tell me, in choppy English, that Jon Snow is the power that killed the White Walker, not his fancy sword.  I think next season might be quite interesting after all.
Super short and boring post tonight, but I just can't think of anything else worth nattering about.
I'm off to read before bed.
How was your day?

(REPOST) June 8, 2015 - Happy 25th Anniversary

Wedding day - 1990
Wow.  I cringe when I look at these pictures.  LOL!  But yep, today is our 25th wedding anniversary.  We didn't do anything special.  That's a bummer, but I'm okay with it too.  Over the years we'd tossed around ideas of what to do for this milestone.  Early on we'd toyed with the idea of a cruise or going back to Germany or something.  In more recent years the ideas were more like an extra weekend in Minneapolis, or maybe Door County, which is the hot spot for Wisconsinite getaways.  Earlier this year I'd debated whether we just wanted to host a big party here at the house, out in the yard like we'd done for the boys' graduations.  About a month or so ago I finally just decided nah, I didn't want that hassle.  The thing that bummed me out most about it is, like I think I've mentioned in a recent nattters post, it seems like people don't get together and celebrate things like they used to.  My mom actually seemed more disappointed than me, and I suppose a big part of it is just that.  She even said it too, about how people don't celebrate things like in the old days.  I'm kinda kicking myself now that the day is here and it's just like any other day.
We did go out for breakfast yesterday at the little local place we've been going to lately.  Casey paid for that treat.  We got a card from my mom, with a bit of money in it.  Other than that, it's just another Monday.  Hubby and I didn't even get anything for each other.

Moving on . . .

So we finally have a Triple Crown winner.  Horse racing used to be my obsession when I was a kid and young adult.  I had big dreams of working on a horse farm.  Ha, yeah, that didn't go anywhere.  And after I got married and had kids, my interest in the sport got pushed farther and farther away.  Now it's sort of to the point where I don't like to watch because I kinda feel what those animal activists scream about, that it's abuse to make these beautiful creatures race.  I'm not boycotting it or anything like that.  I've just become too sensitive to the possibilities of broken legs and horrible racing accidents.  So no, I was not watching this year even though I knew there was a chance for a Triple Crown winner.  I finally got a chance to watch a replay of the end of the race and I'm still a sucker for the beauty of those magnificent creatures, and the grand traditions of the Triple Crown.  I cried watching American Pharoah extend his lead, listening to that announcer screaming.  For a moment or two that old love was still there.

Game of Thrones last night.  WTF?!?!  I won't go into details but what Stannis did almost made me walk out of the room and give up on the show for good.  Like we'd just been talking about in comments last week, the cruelty and violence for shock value has gone over the top.  But then the dragon scene had me bawling for different reasons and I will at least finish watching this season since next week is the finale.  I'd love to have someone to discuss the show with!

I've been thinking for a while now about getting a P.O. box and listing it in my sidebar contact info.  It might sound rather arrogant and greedy, like 'I want this so people can send me stuff,' but I think it could be handy.  There have been times when people have asked to send me things.  There have been times I've asked to send others things.  It is an awkward situation, to ask someone's address if you're not already close to them.  It could be fun to get into doing swaps and pocket letters, and definitely fun to do card exchanges around the holidays.  So anyway, I found out it's $48/year to rent a small P.O. box at my local post office.  That's not really a lot for a year, but it's more than I thought it would be.  I'm going to think about it a bit more.  What do you think?  Should I do it?

I'm also thinking . . . again . . . for the millionth time . . . about discontinuing my individual Melted posts.  People say they're very helpful as a reference tool, and that's cool, but they are probably the lowest page views out of things I post.  They can be a monotonous chore to write too.  I'm thinking about putting more effort into the cold sniff impressions in haul posts, and maybe doing individual posts on ones that really stand out.  This also lets me just melt and enjoy, and not have to keep track of just what the scent was like and how strong it was and all that.  Sooooo, you might not see any more Melted posts.

Other than that, nothing much happening today.
How was your Monday?