Saturday, December 06, 2014

This and That


I have been away for a few days because I have been busy avoiding all the things I need to do!  There is something in my personality that makes me just stop when things get hectic.  I have always been this way -- I tend to avoid chaos.  And that is what I have been busy doing.

Yesterday was my son's birthday -- he turned 39! How in the world did that happen?  Oh well, at least he is the only one aging!

I have been having fun waiting for the mailman these days.  I don't know about anybody else but shopping in actual brick-and-mortar stores is dismal -- they don't have a large variety of things and I guess a stockroom is a thing of the past.  So, I have done most of my shopping online.  I used to love Christmas shopping in stores, I loved the decoration and the displays but now I seem to get a kick out of the mailman coming around and leaving packages on my doorstep!  I am still waiting for one more thing to arrive and I will have received all my purchases and can set about wrapping things up and put them under the tree.

Oh, wait -- I haven't put the tree up yet......reference paragraph #1.

I have been playing with DIY dishwasher detergent.  I am forever on a quest to do things frugally with fewer chemicals in my house.  I will never buy commercial laundry soap again and I think I might have found an acceptable recipe for DIY dishwasher detergent.  It is 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Washing Soda, 1/2 c Kosher salt and 5 pkgs. of unsweetened Kool-aid lemonade mix (or you can use citric acid).  The first load I ran turned out really great except for a couple of things -- this stuff isn't ever going to get tea stains out of cups if it has sat for a while.  I didn't use a rinse agent.  With the second load I did use a rinse agent -- white vinegar.  I didn't put it in the rinse agent receptacle because it might corrode the rubber gaskets and things so I put it in a small glass in the top rack.  It worked really well but I have to say that to use this method, you really have to make sure that dishes are rinsed off before loading the dishwasher.  I know that sounds like a lot more work than it should be but the pay off is that you aren't overcome by chemical fumes when you open the door at the end of the cycle.  I will continue to use this until it is gone and then I will re-evaluate if I really like it.  I think I will but time will tell.

I have been trying to keep up with the Christmas movie marathon but I keep falling asleep.  My favorite Christmas movie of all isn't really a Christmas movie but traditionally I watch it at Christmas -- "The Bells of St. Mary's" with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.  I began it last night and about 45 minutes into it I was snoozing quite well in my chair.  I really don't like it when that happens.  So, to update, I have watched PART of "White Christmas" (again with Bing Crosby) and PART of "The Bells of St. Mary's".  I have watched several things on the Hallmark Christmas channel but honestly, I can't remember the names of any of them.  I have watched "You've Got Mail" which is sort of Christmas-y and "Love Actually" which is definitely Christmas-y.  I am planning to watch "Sleepless in Seattle" and, of course, "The Christmas Story".  Hopefully I will catch "Miracle on 34th Street" and no way will I watch "Home Alone" -- that is the most painful movie I have ever seen.

Unrelated to Christmas, I have really been enjoying "Doc Martin" and we are now beginning the final season and I am really going to miss it when I have completed the whole thing.  I have also started the series "Call the Midwife" which I am enjoying as well -- I really like Miranda Hart.  I cancelled my Hulu subscription and instead subscribed to Netflix streaming and I am really glad I did.  While I enjoyed "The Rev" and "Coronation Street" on Hulu I am finding a much bigger variety on Netflix.

I am also continuing with the Agatha Raisin series.  I have really enjoyed all the books so far but I am not enjoying this one -- "Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist" quite as much.  I don't know why but I am almost done so I can move on with the next one.  I really wish we were going to receive the new Agatha Raisin series here.

And last, but not least, I have been working on a baby quilt for the new baby in the family.  It involves rabbits and stripes and I will show a photo when I get done with it which should be soon.  It is going to be a gift for her christening. 

So, that is what has been keeping me busy as I try to avoid the chaos.  I can't believe it is already the 6th -- this month and this year will be gone before we know it.  I remember when my father was waiting for the countdown to the new millenium -- and that has already been 14 years ago. Time is just flying by and I don't think I like it -- so, I am avoiding the chaos and trying to slow the pace and enjoy my days rather than just rushing through them -- I want this beautiful season to last a while, I want to savor it and all it has to offer.