Friday, November 16, 2018

Five Things for Friday

1. As you can probably deduce by my lack of posts over the last week, I still haven't gotten the problem fixed in which my blog will no longer upload photos. I've been pretty busy with other things anyway, and will continue to be for the next couple of weeks, but I'm falling behind in my catch-up schedule and I don't like it! I'm really hoping that Peter will work his old IT magic from our college days and help me get this fixed when he's home next week. Because a blog without pictures is like a night without stars. Ha ha ha (but really, it kind of is!). #bringbackthepictures

Well look at that! The hashtag worked--a picture was brought back! Apparently I can still upload clip-art and internet pictures, just not my photos. ❓❗ I'm offended by my blog.

2. I've followed the news about the California wildfires closely over the past week, and it breaks my heart. I've literally cried while watching the news footage and reading articles and seeing pictures of what's happened out there. I feel so bad for the people and families and children and pets who have lost their homes and their communities. I can't even imagine losing your house and all of your possessions like that. Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary from the world, and that's gone for thousands of people. I know that it's the saving of people's lives that really matters, but it's still a major tragedy to lose so much. 

I'm terrified of fire, more than any of the other natural elements. It's incredibly powerful and all-consuming and destructive and HOT and deadly. I never want to live in California, never, never, never. It's beautiful (in parts), but it's a plague-ridden state--wildfires, earthquakes, tsunami risk, drought, heat, no four seasons (except maybe in the north), liberal as heck...no thank you. We had the opportunity to move to CA years ago for the solar company that Peter is a part of. I'm so glad we didn't. My dad is from CA and his sister's family still lives in the house he grew up in in a town outside of L.A. California is fun to visit, but like I said, I'll never live there. 


3. My mom and I went to see Disney's new Nutcracker movie (since the guys of my family weren't interested 😞. Where's my missing daughter(s) when I need her?). I thought it was very nicely done and I really enjoyed it. I don't know why it hasn't done better in the movie rankings. It's a mystery to me why some genuinely good movies do poorly and others that are junk do so well. 🤷

(The owl!!)

Speaking of The Nutcracker, yesterday I bought tickets to Boston Ballet's Nutcracker for December. It's a long-standing favorite of mine that I haven't gotten to see in ten years! And yes, the guys of my family will be attending. And they're gonna like it!! Because Boston Ballet makes it magical and does it right! (They better at that price! 😱)


4. Speaking of Christmas things, it's NOT too early for Christmas music and I've been loving the new Hallmark Christmas Channel on Sirius Radio. It's Channel 70. You're welcome!


5. Still speaking of Christmas things, I want THIS advent calendar for December:


And I'm going to read THIS book for the holiday season:

Hazel Gaynor is a historical fiction author who I like, and I think this book is especially appropriate since we just celebrated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I (it's a novel of WWI, at Christmastime in Paris, apparently). 

I'm hoping to get our Christmas tree one week from today, the day after what will hopefully be a splendid Thanksgiving feast with my family at our new house!

I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Murphy's Law

I'm afraid a small tragedy has befallen my blog. Last week when I was putting together a post, all of a sudden it would no longer let me upload pictures because of a server rejection. In my ten years of blogging, that has never happened. I've tried multiple times since then to upload again, in different browsers and everything, and I posted in the somewhat useless Blogger help forums and still haven't been able to get it fixed. So, I'm working on it, and if I don't get it figured out then hopefully Peter will be able to when he's home next week. He's saved my blog from nearly certain doom in the past, so why not again? 🙏

Just as I was getting on track with getting all caught up on the blog here--and I was even ahead of schedule--this happens. But I shouldn't be surprised, because it goes along with how hard this year has been in different ways, some of them significant and others not as big but still bothersome. 2018, I won't be sad when you're done and gone! (Famous last words? I hope not!)

I can still post on the blog, as you can see here, I just can't post pictures. Since at least 90% of my blog posts are picture-based, this poses a problem, so I won't be posting as much until this gets fixed, but I'll still do some posts, like Five Things for Friday. So dry your eyes, at least you'll have that to tide you over until The DSJ is back up and running again at full capacity! 🤞

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

November 2017 Randoms

To begin with, a few blasts from the recent past as far as my blog posts are concerned...

My favorite spot in the house. Look at that beautiful tree filling up the window! I loved that tree and that view, especially in the fall.


Boo Boo used Sam's taco costume as a bed again. Cozy cozy!

Violet got in on that a little bit too.

Putting away the Halloween decorations. 

And putting up the Thanksgiving decorations.

Beautiful (and expensive) owls

I think this turned out to be the last time we busted out the bounce house before we moved.


Sam designed this cool "grim reaper hand"

A pretty November sunset

I ordered these books for myself from John's Scholastic book order. I've always liked book orders (and the books that they bring!).

I caught Boo Boo mid-yawn and thought it was cute. He looks like he's rocking out. 😂

By the end of the month, Brian our elf had magically re-appeared from the North Pole!

Sam was really into rocks and geodes at this time last year. Iowa's state rock just happens to be the geode. I think it's really cool that geodes look like plain rocks on the outside, but on the inside they're sparkly and beautiful. It just goes to show once again that the conventional wisdom is correct--don't judge a book by its cover!


I got a kick out of this article in The Wall Street Journal about the Hallmark Channel. It's one of my favorite channels, and I enjoy their Christmas movies, which are sometimes cheesy but always sweet.

This particular line cracked me up: "Snowy epiphanies about what really matters." 😄
That's a classic "hallmark" of Hallmark Christmas movies!

Peter and I went to an Orchestra Iowa concert and there was a cellist who resembled Ross Poldark!
Do you see him? Middle row, second one in. The cellist behind him sports a decent resemblance to the dark and handsome Poldark as well!

My dad and I went to the movies to see "Murder on the Orient Express." It didn't disappoint!

And there were two new Hot Cocoa food products that I had to try. 
They were both tasty treats, but of the two, I liked the Hot Cocoa Cocoa Puffs better!



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Autumn Day

I took these pictures on a beautiful crisp November Saturday last year in the backyard.

Boys in a tree


Boy in a leaf pile

Helping my dad to re-hang the ninja line to a different tree.

I like the little windblown leaf at the top of this photo...

And the doggies.


It was a beautiful autumn day!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Five Things for Friday

1. Quick Halloween re-cap: it was a success! The weather was good, the kids were happy and had a good time trick-or-treating with their friends, and I had more than enough candy to give out. I knew this was a popular neighborhood for trick-or-treating so I wanted to be prepared. It was good to meet some new neighbors too and to have them get a look at the new lady of the house. 🙋
Also, at John's school yesterday, the students could bring in a bag of candy to donate, so John did that and was entered into a drawing for an Amazon Fire. And guess what? His name got picked and he won it!! 🙌 


2. Overall, October was a good month. I was determined to be more organized and get my act together better than I'd done since the move this summer. I deemed it "Organized October" and although it kind of fell apart in the latter half of the month, I was still able to get a lot done. I find it personally satisfying to make a list of one's accomplishments, and here were some of mine in October:
  • I finally finished hanging up pictures throughout the house
  • I cleaned out and organized the garage
  • I finally got the guy to come out and shut down our sprinkler system for winter and help me with turning off all of the outside water (something I'd been stressing out about, imagining bursting water pipes all around the yard--there were some cold nights in October!) (If you're wondering where Peter was in all this, he's literally home for less than two days a week, so I'm pretty much on my own right now with the business of the house!) 
  • I hired our lawncare company to do the snowplowing this winter. I'm so relieved to have that task delegated. Massachusetts tends to get a lot of snow. Now that I've hired out the plowing, I say, BRING IT!!
  • I bought a new couch for the basement rec room and a desk for Sam's room (but neither of them will be delivered until December)
  • I found doctors for Peter and I, got our records transferred, and scheduled appointments for us 
  • I found a dentist for all of us, got the records transferred, and scheduled appointments 
  • I found a good massage place with a good therapist and got a great massage (but I still really miss Jerri at Peaceful Nature 😢)
  • I found a good facial studio here in town (right near where I used to live!) and got a wonderful facial. She said I have beautiful skin that looks and feels years younger than it is, and that she could tell I take really good care of it. I thought to myself, when you have hair woes like I have, you make sure to take great care of your skin. At least I have a lot better control of that!
  • I went to the temple
  • I read three books (Crocodile on the Sandbank and The Angry Tide were great; Little Fires Everywhere was not)

So overall, it was a productive and fairly well-organized October.
Now that my dad has left to return to Utah (he was here for six weeks) it will be easier to focus and get things done. Some projects for November are getting started on organizing the basement storage room (I can't even tell you how much work that's going to be), starting a regular exercise routine again, and for the first time ever, hosting Thanksgiving for my family!


3. I've decided to do a monthly 10-day fast from social media because I think it's good for me.
Thank you for the inspiration, President Nelson!


4. I'm glad The Conners on ABC is happening and that the show was saved after the controversy with Roseanne happened in the spring. I think most of the humor is funny, especially from Becky, Darlene, and Aunt Jackie. But the show isn't as good without Roseanne. Her absence is definitely felt and can't really be filled in. I still wish they'd let her come back, but it would be pretty hard at this point because lots of people would freak out and protest. Not to mention, her character was killed off. What a disappointing end to an enduringly popular character and show.


5. Yesterday, I voted early ✔ at my old town hall on Main Street. I love living in my hometown again!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween 2017

Sam decided to be a taco for Halloween last year. 😆 He saw the costume at Target, he loves tacos, there wasn't any particular superhero or other character that he was into, and so it was a perfect match. 

The costume turned out to be a hit! People got a real kick out of it, much more than I thought they would.


I made sure not to skip the ward trunk or treat party because I'd found out two days earlier that we were going to be switched into a new ward the following Sunday at Stake Conference, so this was was sadly our last activity in the Iowa City First Ward.  


  
 

And on Halloween itself...
John was in a very bad mood that evening and ended up not being allowed to go trick-or-treating because of the way he allowed it to affect his behavior. I swear that kid was possessed. But right before that happened I was able to take a few pictures. He was using his zombie football player mask from a previous year's costume.



 At the end of the night after the boys had gone to bed, Boo Boo made a nice cozy bed for himself on Sam's costume. I think his attitude was, if you can't eat it, then sleep on it!

As for Halloween TODAY, it won't be so very different from last year, minus John's bad mood. 🤞 Sam wanted to be a taco again (🙌) and I wouldn't be surprised to see Boo Boo curl up again on the abandoned costume at the end of the night. John is going to get another shot at trick-or-treating and is planning on going around with a friend, probably with the same mask that he didn't get to use last year, or a Patriots helmet.

🎃 Happy Halloween!! 🎃

(Expect to see pictures of Halloween 2018 next May. Halloween in May, why not!? I'm continuing my planned-out schedule to FINALLY get ALL CAUGHT UP on the blog. And I'm happy to report that I'm running ahead of schedule at this point. It's gonna happen!)