Saturday, November 17, 2018

I'm Crunching Time and It's Not Working Well

Time is crashing in on me. Today will be busy, starting with packing product that arrived at the shop on Thursday. I've got it checked in and almost everything is ready, but I have minimal time for packing before Thanksgiving, and immediately afterward is our annual Two-Day Sale which can sometimes be very intense and busy. I'm also bringing my staple gun to the shop to get the holiday garlands up, and I'm going to have to spend a bit of time updating my emailing list with names as well as updating the email flyer that goes out to my customers. I have three days to accomplish all of this before my day off on Wednesday. I don't want to end up missing something important before my holiday season really kicks off. 

I'm experiencing a serious time crunch now. I only have
a very limited time period to get things ready for
our Black Friday/Small Business Saturday 2-Day Sale. 

Although it was snowing hard at the shop when I left last night, As I drove closer to home, the flakes almost disappeared. We were supposed to get snow overnight, but looking out early this morning, my driveway looks clear. That makes me VERY happy because I won't have to build shoveling into my early morning. I don't mind shoveling at the shop - it's less of a time crunch when I arrive there than when I'm trying to get to the gym in time for when the doors unlock. 

As much as I may want to stretch time, it seems to exist
quite nicely without my specific input and changes go into
a very full and never-checked suggestion box. 

I'll be spending my Thanksgiving Day (next Thursday for those of my readers outside the US) roasting a turkey, watching football, and painting more of my Solstice Cards. There's still a LOT of work to do on them and I'm starting to feel a bit of holiday panic. *sigh* It will all get done, but I'm going to be hard-pressed to make it happen. 

I could use another week, but I know that's never going
to happen. Still ... a girl can dream, right? 

So, as I fall into my own, personal time crunch nightmare, I wish all of you a wonderful weekend. My cheese grater arrived yesterday and it seems as if it will work perfectly. The drums fit tightly but interchange easily, the construction is all stainless steel, so easy to keep clean and sanitary, and it's not a huge item. I haven't yet washed it thoroughly and found where I want to keep it, but it will have a home by the end of Wednesday. I'll be back on Monday, so enjoy your weekend and be good (but not TOO good). 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Excited About A Cheese Grater? Yeah!

I'm getting excited about a cheese grater. It's silly, I know, because there's so much else to get excited or to wrap my head around in my life right now. So much else ... except I'll be getting my new cheese grater delivered at the shop today and I can't wait! 

I really like cheese, and enjoy some on my nightly
salad. It's less expensive and you often can get a
better variety of cheese in block form instead of

Why a cheese grater? It's pretty simple - I like cheese on my nightly salad and a few months ago I found a lovely light cheddar with cranberries block cheese in my grocer's dairy section. It's a beautiful, hard cheese and shreds wonderfully, so I've been buying these blocks and shredding them on my old straight grater that must be almost as old as I am. It's a lot of work, and I always live with fear of shredding my fingers too. It's also messy - my counter ends up strewn with cheese bits. 

This is the type of cheese grater I've used for many years, and
I keep it in pristine condition. But it's not the easiest to use
and I'm always afraid of grating myself on the grids.
(I'm rather disturbed by the photo of the
grater on top of the antique hand too. EWWWW!) 

I had just about had it when I shredded a large block on Wednesday, so started researching rotary cheese graters. Yes - I went online and researched. I could have gone to my local Target store, or Walmart, but instead I went online to find out what to look for in a rotary cheese grater. I discovered I wanted stainless steel for cleanliness, interchangeable discs for fine or coarse shreds (along with a slicing disc), and something that wouldn't take up a lot of drawer space since storage in my kitchen is cramped. 

I'm getting this one delivered at the shop
today. It consistently hit the top-10 lists
when I researched, and since it's totally
made of steel, it will clean easily and
keep well. Now to find the perfect place
to store it. 

If the grater had been expensive, I would have passed. My straight grater works and I don't like wasting money on toys. But the grater I chose was less than $20, and I'm calling that money well spent to save myself from shredded fingers and to make my workload a bit easier. I ordered a LUVKITCHEN rotary grater from Amazon and it is scheduled for delivery at the shop today. I'll be doing the happy dance, and since the design allows it to be hung inside a cabinet, I'll find the perfect place for it to reside. Next time I need to shred a block of cheese, I'll be ready! 

On that note, have a truly wonderful Friday. We're supposed to have one nice day (today) followed by several inches of snow overnight. Our winter has come 1-2 months ahead of schedule and I'm NOT happy about it (although I'm sure the skiers and snowmobilers are ecstatic). For me, this is WAY too early, but it is what it is. I'll be back tomorrow and we'll see if the weather predictions were correct. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

My Life in Hyper Drive

Yesterday ended up with more running around than usual, but I found almost everything I needed. Having been unsuccessful in finding twine/string of the appropriate thickness and twist, I'll leave that up to DH to look for today (and tomorrow if necessary). I'm expecting a large shipment to arrive for the shop today which needs to be checked in, packaged, and ready to sell no later than mid-week, so that we can go into our Holiday season fully stocked with the things our customers love for the season. My work is cut out for today, for sure! 

It's time for me to shift into hyper-drive. Maybe I should get the
assistance of a Hadron Collider, which can, potentially, open up
a black hole. Oh goody - more "boys with their toys" options
to destroy the universe through a missed mathematical symbol.

My time-frame is totally on hyper-drive now and I really wish I had been a bit more aware of the darned calendar. You'd think, since I have calendars everywhere in my various rooms, that I'd actually look at them - at least more than just to write down my daily weight and how many times I've been at the pool this year. But no!!! Even though I enter those things onto one of my wall calendars every morning, I obviously walk through the daily reality of the month with a unidirectional focus. Silly me! 

I've used Stabilo Fine Tip pens for my artwork for years
and years. I adore them. I'm using them on this year's
holiday card, but am finding that I need a larger tip, so
I need their medium or large-tipped version in a few
specific colors. I really wish I had remembered this
errand yesterday. It's going to be a lot harder to get
them now. 

Still, I'm progressing. I'm totally immersed in the painting and color for my Solstice cards now. I had planned to shop for some larger-nibbed colored pens yesterday, but forgot to add them to my errands list. That now leaves me with two choices - either mail order them, or work on the painting (of which I still have a LOT to do) and buy the pens I need next week Wednesday. If I push it out until next week, I'm pushing my luck a little bit - trusting that my local art supply store will have what I need in stock. If I push off until next week, if they don't have what I need, I'll be dead in the water. 

The larger Stabilo pens are called their 68, whereas the
pens I usually use are their size 88, the extra-fine markers.
Although I only need five of these colors, they're not
super expensive and I think they're only sold as a set. I'll
have to find them and get them ordered quickly. 

So, while I figure out my best course of action, I'll wish all of you a wonderful Thursday. I've assigned purchasing appropriate foods and a bird for Turkey Day to DH, and he will conquer said shopping either today or tomorrow. I'm hoping he can find a small bird - 12 pounds or so. We'll see. All I know for sure is that he'll be eating the majority of it - two days of turkey is my max. I'll be back tomorrow morning, so be good, be kind, and smile a lot today. Pass happiness to others - it's free and it can do so much! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Time Is Moving Too Quickly!

Time is getting away from me and I have to get this written and posted. It might be my "day off", but it's a super busy one, and Thanksgiving is only a week away! I have to spend some serious time on the computer today updating our mailing list and doing an update for our after-Thanksgiving-Day-Sale email. In the middle of all of this I still have to do my regular Wednesday errands and shopping and look for a couple of extra things that might take me to unexpected shops (things like packaging twine - who buys/needs that stuff anymore? Actually, I do - I need some for some packaging and display items for the shop). It's going to be a hectic day, I can tell already. 

I'm super rushed today, and have a TON of errands before I can
actually start my housework. I could use a few more days
between now and Thanksgiving, but the calendar isn't going
to change just to accommodate me! 

I also use my "day off" to relax a bit, but I'm not sure I'll be very successful at that right now. I have a LOT to do on my cards - hand painting takes serious time - and I'm running behind on my personal schedule for those too. I'll be putting a final "call for cards" into my blog/posts around Thanksgiving, but you can always message me earlier if you want to make sure to get onto the list. The more the merrier ... I'm not making them for the sake of filling "open" space in my days. They need to be sent out to friends and family - it's their purpose in the world. 

I need to knock my mailing list into shape - not just the store's list for
my two holiday sales, but also my personal list for sending out my
Solstice cards. Are you on that list? Make sure you are! Send me
or message me your address. I'd love to send you this year's card. 

But, since I slept until my alarm for the second day in a row, and had a BUNCH of emails to handle before I could post today, I'm just going to end today's blog here. Short, sweet, and a bit rushed, but still reaching out to my friends and readers and still able to get a couple of pics to plug into it. Have a truly fabulous Wednesday and I'll return tomorrow, hopefully with a bit less rush. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Dreams - The Psychology of Fun

Do you dream about people? Of course many of you do. Dreams are interactions between your subconscious and the dream world, but how you interact within them differs by each person. Many of my friends and family interact in dreams with people that they know - family and friends. Although I've interacted with a few friends in dreams, I've never interacted with family as I can recall. DH dreams sometimes feature me alongside him, but I've rarely had dreams with him present, and when I have, he's usually in a supporting role to my character. 

Dreams are important to mental health. For a long time they
have been used as a basis for psychological analysis, but
I'm not sure they are the "...window to the mind..." that they
are often portrayed as. 

Why think about dreams in today's blog? Because last night I had a dream where my partner-in-crime was someone I've never met before and he spoke Russian, a language that I don't speak. I was waiting for him to arrive, and he finally did - late - and after a discussion (not really sure how I actually understood what he was saying since I don't speak Russian and didn't speak it in the dream either) - we segued. 

I certainly wouldn't have had much luck riding a bicycle
at speed through a flooded field like this one. Nope - I think
I'd end up on the flooded ground very quickly. 

Dream segues are rather odd shifts in movement, perspective or time (or sometimes all three). Suddenly, from the discussion we were having, he was one of a group of bicyclists, and I was a spectator, also on a bike, but among a larger group of spectators, attempting to get my bike through a flooded, plowed field of black earth. The standing water was quite deep, and I was thrilled because my bike was cutting through the water like it was air. 

Obviously physics gets tossed to the wind in dreams. In real life, the water would have created a serious drag against the bicycle's progress and if that didn't stop me dead in the field, the plowed furrows of earth I was crossing over (which would be mud under the standing water) certainly would have. I dream and then awaken, and then I wonder what on earth I had been thinking! 

Although I've had dreams of urban racing down roadways, I'm just
as likely to be racing through overpasses and over highway gaps,
or running through abandoned structures and swinging across
to far-off balconies and hidden hallways. Dreams can be a lot
of fun, and I certainly am much more physically fit in them! 

I'm quite sure dreams aren't reality, not even a secondary reality, but mine often deal with racing various vehicles (the cars are a lot of fun), and water often plays a prominent role, I frequently dream of unusual architecture, housing and industrial, and architectural features that create obstacles to be overcome. My subconscious has a field day when I allow it to roam unchecked. 

What do you dream about? Are your dreams firmly grounded in reality, or do your dreams allow you to suspend the mundane and fly among the stars? Share with me - how much of your true reality do you pull with you into your dreams? Have an excellent Tuesday and I'll be back tomorrow. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

It's Monday - Random Thoughts re Movies and Government Paperwork

Since Veteran's Day fell on a Sunday, today is a Federal Holiday to commemorate the date. That means a lot of people will have the day off, but not me. Like most small businesses, I can't afford to be closed except for major holidays, so we'll be open for business and it will be a regular day in paradise. The weather people are promising we'll warm back up by the weekend which will give us an opportunity to rake up the leaves which have fallen. I suspect it will be our last hurrah before winter roars in, so we'd better get moving on them. 

Bohemian Rhapsody for me was all about the music. Of course I cared
about Freddy Mercury, and the film could have gone much farther into
his sexuality, but it didn't and it was still a good film, worth watching,
and well worth the listen because ... the music!!!! 

"Bohemian Rhapsody" was marvelous. The music was fabulous, of course, and even though the story of Freddy Mercury was slightly altered, the changes were pretty minor. The script dealt with his family quite well, and treated his AIDS in a dignified manner, but didn't go into either subplot in great depth. It's been argued that the film pushed Freddy's sexuality under a carpet, but I didn't feel that way. I thought it kept the focus on the music, so it was successful to me. Even DH enjoyed it, although he's not a Queen fanboy. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it highly. 

The next film I want to see is "Grinch". I love the story, have seen
all of the various permutations over the years, and have to add
this to my viewing schedule. 

Chickie and I are looking at going to see "Grinch" soon, probably next week. It hasn't gotten the greatest reviews, but it hasn't been panned either. Basically, the reviews are saying that it doesn't bring anything new to the genre, but that it's better than the Jim Carrey version. Not high praise, but I still want to see it. 

Mountains of paperwork, that's what I'm generating
just to get our plans locked for retirement. It's
totally ridiculous and we'll be shredding things
for months! 

DH's Medicare application is now in the hands of the SSA in Chicago. I envision a piece of paper floating down from a lit opening far above, and landing atop a mountain of other applications. A creaking door opens at the bottom of the vast mountain of paperwork and a single, hooded being reaches out, pulls a single page from the stack reaching far above his head. The pile shifts as the drudge turns, leaves the room. As the door closes behind him, several more pages float down from the light onto the dark mountain. *sigh* 

So, it's Monday and the start of a new week. Go out there and make it a good one and I'll be back tomorrow. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Freddy Mercury and Veterans Day in the Cold

It's been a really stress-filled week, and tempers have flared a bit over a few days, so DH is giving me Sunday - a gift of whatever I want to do (since his football team has a bye week anyway - LOL). Still, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. We're going to an early showing of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and I'm really looking forward to it. A lot of my friends have already seen the movie and everyone was really happy with it because of the music - which really is the major reason to have a bio-flick about Freddy Mercury anyway. 

In general, "Bohemian Rhapsody" has gotten good reviews, and it's really
all about the music, isn't it? But there are serious inaccuracies and
liberties taken with the movie so, if you're interested in checking
them out, here's a link to one website. 

It's only the 10th of November, but we're in the deep freeze. If this is how the season is starting, I'm already dreading January and February - our true deep freeze months. It's 12 degrees F right now, -11.11 C for my Celsius friends. COLD! We're supposed to climb out of this deep hole into the low 50's (10 C) by next week Sunday. These are the days when it's next to impossible to figure out what to wear and I guess that's how it's going to be. Temperature swings like this also lead to colds and flu, so I'm trying to dress accordingly and stay healthy - a good goal. 

I guess I'm going to be all bundled up for winter today as I head
out. I haven't snapped on my imitation fur hood yet, but that's
coming too. I think my hat and scarf will be good enough while
I wait for the doors to be unlocked at the YMCA. 

I'm thinking a brunch after the movie might be delightful, and then returning home and continuing painting my holiday cards. I've fallen a bit off schedule over this past week because of all of the Medicare debacle. Oh ... got an automatic letter response from the SSA. Apparently our home office is in Chicago and we should have a response within 30 days. That's really pushing things out to the max and means DH won't be officially enrolled in the health care policy we wanted until January. We'll have to see what happens, but I suspect telling him to make an appointment at our local branch to try and push things along won't be welcomed or obeyed. We have other things we have to concentrate on now. It is as it is and we've done our best. Miracles can still happen ... probably won't, but it's still a possibility. 

Now it's a waiting game and I'm not a patient person. 

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day - November 11th. I've lived through too much war and conflict and by now I think that rage and anger are endemic to the human race. At this rate we'll be a small blip on the Earth's history, far eclipsed by the long eons of the dinosaurs; and, of course, the insects will inherit the earth - or what remains of it after we've destroyed it. *sigh* 

World War I was titled "The War to End All Wars". That,
unfortunately, didn't last long. Despite our bloody
history, we still should take some time to remember
and honor all veterans - it's a tough job and I certainly
couldn't do it. 

So, I'm going to wrap this up and call it a week. I'm looking forward to swimming some of this stress off in the pool and then bundling up in my parka, hat, gloves and scarf. I still need new gloves, but what I have will do, and I just have to roll with the punches - I've been TOO stressed over the past month or so. Have a happy Saturday and a great weekend, and I'll be back on Monday.