Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday: Save/Steal Vs. Splurge

Happy Tuesday!! I hope you had a wonderful day. I sure did. Great day at work, followed by some library/magazine time!!! And tomorrow is Wednesday!! Woop!

This week is the first Show and Tell Tuesday of 2017! I am linking up with Andrea to tell about how on how I Save, and where I Splurge. Or is is where I Splurge and how I Save??

 To be honest, I am horrible at saving money! I have tried to save money in the past, only to spend it on something that we need. Since we are only a one income couple, with Anker getting PWD about 10 months out of the year. On paper, we should be doing ok, but sadly, we are always behind....buuuut this is not about saving money...it is about where we save vs where we splurge. I/we like to spend money. I am not gonna lie. It is the "little things"...coffee, snacks, the odd small thing for our house..the really seem to eat up the money by the end of the month. To be fair, though...we don't spend a TON of money. I always see/hear/read people spending money, travelling here and there. Well, we don't do that.

So.....


Where/How We Save/Find a Good Deal:

Local Library: Books, magazines (i get most of my magazines from the library), movies, and even some CD's I get from the library. And, when we do buy these things, we get them for cheap, or for a good deal.

Dollar Store: Gals, I am NOT ashamed to use the dollar store for a fair amount of our purchases. Food, house items, accessories, gifts. Even books can be found there. I buy a fair amount of our snacks at the dollar store. #noshameinmygame

WalMart: I love Wal-Mart. If I do buy magazines, I will go there and get 3 for $10. I will also get our food, clothes, shoes, etc there.

 No Credit Cards: We have done away with them. We are still making payments on them, but we don't use them anymore.

Bundle our TV/Internet/LL Phone: This is also a splurge (see below), but it is about $150 for all three, and I think it does bring the cost down in the end.

Thrift Stores: I have no problem (most of the time) with buying things at Thrift Stores. 'Nuff said.

Store Brand/On Sale Items: Whether it's food, clothes, or household items, I have no problem with buying the store brands...and if I can buy things when they are on sale, all the better. I also get mutton/beef from my family when I can.

Fast-Food: This can also be a splurge (see below), but when we do eat out, we will eat out at McD's. Wendy's etc. We go to a "nice" restaurant a few times a year, and that is mostly when other people are paying, OR when I am going out with/for a girls evening.

Shop/Drive Local: Since we now live in another area of town, we have to go "up the hill" for all church-related events, Wal-Mart/Costco (when I go), seeing my brother and his wife, the movie theatre, or any other major shopping trip that can't happen on this side of town. But guess what? I cannot go here and there...so I try to save on gas whenever possible. Even if it means me missing church, or saying no to things when I feel that I can't afford the drive up there. Yes, I am *that* person who is weird about gas. But, that is one of things that I don't mind scrimping on, so if I have to, I will say no, or if I have to go up town, I will (as any normal person does) do a bunch of things at once. It's not just he gas, either...it's hard on the breaks to go up and down all the time. Trust me, I lived up the hill, and I went up and down the hill ALL the time!

Buy Used: Whether it's from one of the local bidding/buy-sell groups, thrift stores, or from friends, I try to buy used whenever possible.

Free is For Me: As above...if I see things for free, or if I can get things from friends/family for free...I am not too proud to take it (so long as it goes with my decor, etc). My SIL will give me magazines sometimes.

Grow our Food: We grow a lot of our own veggies in the summer. We also get veggies from Mom or my brother when we can.

Cheap/Store Brand Make up/Toiletries: As stated above, I will buy cheap make up, hair products, toiletries. I am thankful that I don't have to spend big bucks to buy the good stuff, due to allergies or health issues.

Cheap Haircuts/Low Maintainence: Both of us are pretty low maintenance, and I am very thankful. I get my hair cuts at a local cheap hair salon, and I NEVER get my nails done. Anker rarely buys clothes (he could use a few more clothes!), and he recently cut his own hair!

Don't Drink: We rarely buy alcohol (when out, or otherwise). It is just too expensive for us to buy a bottle of (even cheap!) wine every week. Plus, I am the only one that will drink it. I will, however, buy them on occasion.

Handy Hubby: Yah, he can fix pretty much anything!!! Our car, our laptops...he keeps things going long after they should be disposed of!

Cheap Dates/Date Nights In: We rarely go out on dates...part of this is the fact that we have no money, and part of this is the fact Anker doesn't want to go out. At any rate...we have cheap dates....either I go out and grab something, and we stay home, and watch a movie, or IF we do go out, it is for a walk, to the ice cream shop, a coffee, or somewhere free. We/I rarely go to movies (date night or not).

Free Apps: I refuse pay for an App. True story. All the apps I have on my phone are free.

Where I Splurge:

Coffee: When I go out for coffee, I like to go for Starbucks. (However, surprisingly, I don't buy Starbucks pkgd coffee in the stores...I will sometimes buy some in the Starbucks store). Yes, it is expensive, but I don't get my hair at expensive places, nor do I get my nails done, or get expensive clothes...this is my "thing". I love my Starbucks...or when I am in a pinch, I will go to Tim Horton's. I try not to go out too much, though, as this can add up.

Magazines: Yes, I borrow most of my magazines, but this also my downfall. I used to get WAY more magazines, but I have been trying really hard to not buy them much in the last few months. But, when I do buy them, I will go to Wal-Mart and get 3 for $10.

Fast Food: Again, this is also a save when it comes to going out to dinner in general, but it is also a splurge (well, it more like a "trap"!), as it seems that I do go out a fair amount (I don't go out a ton, but it does add up).

TV: We don't have Netflix...we have TV. We have our TV/Cable through a local provider, and it can get expensive. I hope to move it to the next tier down in the next couple of months. But, on the upside, we DO PVR A LOT of stuff, so, in a way, this is a save as well.

LL/Cell Phone: We have an LL phone, mainly b/c it comes with our entertainment bundle. I do try to keep our cell phone bills down, but again, it seems to add up.

Heat: We have to have our heat up, due to Anker's Raynaud's Disease, and has to have the heat up higher than most people.

Games: Hubby plays a couple of online games. He likes to spend a few bucks each week on them. It makes me mad, but at least he's not out at the bars.

I am sure there are more things that I could think of, but those are the ones that I can think of that I am willing to share! What do you save and splurge on?





Weekend Wrap Up

It's Tuesday!!! I hope your week is going well so far. Mine/ours is going well. I am feeling tired, but what else is new?

Here is my/our wknd:

Friday: An early morning mtng with the teacher. Work, then to the library for a few#s minutes. I saw K and H, and we chatted for a bit. I read magazines, then came home for awhile. We didn't have much supper, as we weren't that hungry. Yes, we are bad for not eating at night. We were treated to the movies by my Aunt and Uncle. The guys watched Rogue One, and we gals watched Hidden Figures. It was amazing! Looooved it! I will be definitely buying that this summer. I usually stay up late Fridays, but I was actually quite tired, so I went to bed around 11:30.

Saturday: I slept in, and relaxed on our bed; playing on my laptop, and I watched Dateline. I actually watched two episodes, and they were both good. I chatted with my mom, and then went to Starbucks, where I read magazines, and had a coffee. Then, I went to the library, and then back home. We were given a turkey around Christmastime, along with some Christmas Dinner items, which we hadn't used up yet. So, just as I was leaving, we put the turkey in, and when I got back, we put the rest of the dinner together. It was REALLY good!!! So, we had dinner and watched Concussion, which was another awesome movie. It really got Anker and I talking, as the movie centres around CTE, and although he doesn't have that, he does have a TBI, etc. It got us talking, which is always a good thing. Then I watched Coal  Miner's Daughter, which I had never watched before. It was a little slow, but good.

Sunday: I ended up staying home, as I slept in again. Then we took the tree and the rest of the decos down. Yes, they were still up.  #sorrynotsorry I am very glad that that got one. We have so much space now! We got rid of the white desk just before we put up the tree, and since we don't have anything there at all now...well, it looks a bit...bare! I did two loads of laundry, then I went for a walk, then I did some devotions, and I read magazines. I then Facebook video called my sister. We talked for an hour or so, and we got caught up on our lives. She will be home is 6 WEEKS!!! I cannot wait!!! I didn't watch TV on Sunday...I listened to music, and read magazines, which was nice.

So, that was our wknd!!! I hope you had a great one as well.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Five on Friday

 I actually cannot blv it's Friday already! This last wk went by fast! I had a great week, and I hope you all did, too. Here are some of my faves of the week (not in order).

1. Steeped Tea Party

On Sunday evening, I hosted my first ever (of any kind) online party! B/c our place is small, and I stress about having people over, not to mention that fact that Anker doesn't get out of the house, having an in-house party stresses me out a bit. I know that these online/FB parties are all the rage, and I have even been invited to, well, LOTS (I don't think I have actually really "gone"to one!). Well, I gotta say that I had fun, and that I would definitely do another one. I love that I can shop in my jammies, just chilling out at home. I love a night out with the girls as much as the next gal, but I also love me a night in. Plus, you can invited 100 people! I had gone to a tea party at K's before Christmas, and although I hadn't bought anything, I did love their products. Most everyone who came to my party bought something, so I got a lot of credits, which turn, allowed me to try some of their stuff.

2. Coffee with a Friend/Trying a New (to me) Coffee Shop 
My friend Jill, and I have been trying to get together for MONTHS! Btwn my being a hermit, our living on opposite sides of the city, to her busy life, to my getting sick, Christmas, etc..well, it's been awhile. We FINALLY got together on Wednesday for an hour visit, while her daughter was at gymnastics. I also got to try out PDK Cafe, a place that has been open for just over two years, but, b/c of the location (downtown, pay for parking), and to my forgetting about it, I have never been had the chance to try it yet. It was SO GOOD! Their donuts are fabulous (I even was nice and brought one back to Anker, plus I brought one home for the next day). Their mocha was DELISH! I will be definitely be going back.

3. Victoria on PBS

I am loving this new series! Yes, I do realize that most of these are things that I have previously mentioned. Well, what can I say? Really, what can I say? These are the exciting things happening in my life. Ha! Seriously, though..this is going to be a great series. I am not sure on how many seasons it will air...maybe 10?

4. Winning A Pasta Dish

I won a pasta dish from a local pizza place (not sure why I am having issues with posting links right now). I ended up buying another $8 pasta dish, and they were both really good. Plus, I have found one of the best garlic breads ever! I always love winning things!! I had actually one a few GC's from  them before, but I had never redeemed them, b/c they were only $5 (when a regular dish is usually $20+, you tend to not worry so much about going clear cross town to grab a measly 5 buck GC), but I thought a pasta would be worth it. Plus, I picked it up after church on Sunday. Bold Pizzeria.
 


5. A Great Week.

I generally had a great week. Anker got some (sort of) unexpected money from PWD, a spent Thursday evening with a friend, the work week went well, and tonight, A and I met up with my aunt and uncle and K, and we went to the movies. The guys saw Star Wars, and we girls saw Hidden Figures. Amazing! Watch it. I also cleaned up my blog layout a bit, and I am deleting some blogs that I no longer follow/inactive blogs. I went out for coffee (alone, of course), had some library time, read magazines, got kicked off of the FMC bloggers group...(true story)..it was a great week! It really was! Oh, and Anker started taking down the tree this week, and we are having a turkey dinner (just the two of us) tomorrow evening. Or maybe just the turkey. Who knows?

Have a great weekend!






Thursday, January 19, 2017

Weekend Wrap Up

I haven't done one of these in a while, either. I may link up with Tiffany for tomorrow's link up, but if not, here it is, anyway.

Friday: I had a short meeting at work with the teacher at 8. Worked, and I left work around 3, and I headed to the library. K (my SIL) texted me to see if I wanted to come up for a movie. I said "sure". I left around 4. I went and grabbed something for supper, and we tried out the new chicken place. Ok, it is now Thursday evening..ha! But I am bound and determined to finish this post. Ok, so we tried out Mary Brown's Chicken, and grabbed a few things groceries (I think). The food was good, but kinda pricey. I hung out for a bit, then went up to K's, and we watched a movie. We visited for a bit, and then I came home around 11. I stayed up until 1 am.

Saturday: I decided to get all productive, I did three loads of laundry, hung up two calendars, did dishes, and put some Christmas stuff away. Our tree is still up, but Anker started taking it down today (Jan 19). I listed to Christian music on Stingray, and then went out to grab a few more things from the grocery store. Came home and ate supper, and then watched THE RING, and journalled, and then watched PRETTY WOMAN. I think I stayed up until 1 am then, too.

Sunday: I got ready to leave for church, went to church, helped out with nursery, and then went to Starbucks and read. I went and got my FREE pasta from Bold Pizzeria, and I ended up buying another pasta dish. They were both good, but I loved the Penne. Yum! I relaxed for awhile, and then called my cousin. We talked for an hour. I am not sure what else I did, but then I hosted my first online Steeped Tea party. I had never one before, and I had no idea on how it would go, nor did I know on how it would work. I have been invited to a few online parties of various kinds, but I have never really "attended" them. I loved it, and I will be hosting another one in the future. I finished with that around 9, and watched TV, I think, and then started on Victoria on PBS, but I decided to re-start it the next day, as it was two hours long, and I wasn't really catching most of it. So, that was my wknd. How was yours?

Well, I noticed a day or ago that she did have her link up up, so I thought I would link up this week.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Day in the Life: Janurary 16, 2017

I was re-inspired to do another A Day in the Life Post when I saw/read this post, I saw on April's  blog. I haven't done one in FOREVER, in fact, I can't even remember when I last did one. So, without further ado...here goes! And yes, I may or may not have done a few extra things so that I can put it on the blog :)

6:30 am: My phone AND radio alarm wakes me up (did I tell you that I am not a morning person?).
6:45: I sometimes play on my phone in bed, or as I am sitting up ON the bed...this morning, I chkd the weather. It was a balmy -7c this morning! I also text Mom, and wish her a Happy birthday (cause it really is her birthday!)!
7:00-7:30: I get ready for the day; I get my coffee ready. Anker always makes a fresh pot, but I had some left over from yesterday, so I thought I would drink that instead.
I assemble my lunch for today.

I get my breakfast ready (yes, that is waffles in the toaster!)

I eat said breakfast: Blueberry waffles and a banana with a touch of syrup. Yum!!

I play on my laptop; I play on FB, check the blogs, pay a bill, etc.




7:45: I get dressed, and I get my makeup on (I haven't worn make up in ages!), and pack my stuff to go. I am a bit sleepy.


My purse, magazine bag, backpack, and coffee :) I pack a lot of stuff, though I don't always take my backpack. A Monday morning selfie is a must (cause, I have makeup on, yo!!)!

8:00: I start the car. As I am waiting, I check the news
Do a devotion on my Bible App...
...and then I leave.

Did I tell you that I love my 8 minute drive to work?

8:10: I get to work, I say to my friends, put my stuff in my locker....
..change my shoes..and discover that I shouldn't have worn my white socks that day...sigh.
We all have a good laugh about it :)

 I greet the kids in the class, and the teacher.

8:30-9:50: Work.

9:50-10:05: Recess. I have an apple and two small pcs of garlic bread.



I play on my phone, and chat with friends in the staff room.

10:05-11:45: Work

11:45-12:15: Lunch. I forgot to take a picture...but it is what I took a picture of it earlier..pasta that I won from Bold Pizzeria, a yogurt and garlic bread. I play on my phone, and chat with friends.

12:15-2:40: Work.

I started work tired and a tad grumpy, but it continued to get better...so, yay!!!

2:40: I chat with a few of the students' parents, our teacher, a few other people, and I leave early (for me...I usually say until 3 or 3:30 sometimes...mainly to chat).

3:00-3:30: I spend some time at the library. I pick up my holds, and I finish reading a magazine.
3:30-4:00: I do a quick run to the dollar store. I hope to grab a few groceries, and some black socks, but I only find a few food items, but I do find some black socks :)


4:00-5:00: I grab a Hazelnut Latte at Starbucks (cause, you know, to get stars for the States' MLK Long Weekend! #stargoals). I read a magazine, and I text Mom. I wanted to see on how her birthday was going. I also texted her the "turkey challenge" that was going around at Christmas. She fell for it! We banter back and forth for a bit. I tell her that my gift to her is a bunch of magazines (the few that I have bought) that I will give her when I am done. She liked that idea :)





5:00:  Head to the store and grab wieners for dinner. Head home

5:15-6:15: Greet hubby, realise that he has made another batch of Caramel popcorn, do dishes, think about starting dinner,  start a load of laundry, turn on my laptop.

I start playing my Train Station game, peruse Facebook, hammer out an email, check my blog, and quickly go through my reading list (I follow over 200 blogs).

6:15-6:45: I move our laundry over, and eat dinner with Anker, while watching the news. We actually don't eat together very often at night (sad, I know). I usually eat in our room (again, sad, I know). But we need to spend more time together, and this is the easiest thing can do.
We had wieners, beans and Mac N Cheese. I do realize it isn't healthy. We don't have a ton of meat in our house right now.

6:45-7:30: Clean up, do another sink-full of dishes/clean up the kitchen a bit (Anker had swept earlier), and assemble my lunch (only to realize that I have a "hot lunch" tomorrow...lol. Oh well).

7:30-8:45 (current time I am finishing this up): I put a sweater on/in one of the local FB bidding groups, start this blog post, sit down with a bag of popcorn, watch Y&R, bring the laundry in, and relax for the evening. From after I leave work, until bedtime, I check my phone (mostly Facebook, and IG). I am finishing the day by watching JJ.

 Sitting down with my popcorn and Y&R
Bring in my laundry. I was hoping to get started on folding it, but I think I will leave it for tomorrow.
Well, there you have it. Some days, I am NOT productive at all when I come home, but tonight I was, and I actually felt good about it. I hope you have a wonderful week, and Happy MLK Day to all my American Friends.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Five on Friday

Happy Saturday!! Though I am happy to be back to the routine (not that it's much, but at least I get up, and go to work, instead of sleeping the day away), this is my first week of working 5 days, and I was SO happy when 2:30 rolled around yesterday (Friday)!  It was a great week, though, which makes my heart sing! I am very h Here are some favourites from this last wk:

One

Caramel Popcorn.

I have never been one who really loves Caramel Popcorn. I mean, I really like it, but it hasn't been my fave treat. Well, last Saturday, I went to my friend T's house for the evening, and I decided to buy popcorn (in a bag, already popped, which I NEVER do!), and it was uh-mazing!!! So, Anker made me a batch this week...then me made me another batch. Ugh...it was SO GOOD!!! We have to stop eating like this!!!

Two

Healthy Habits

Time w/ Hubby

I have a bad habit, which probably started around a year ago, when I was off work (and probably before that, as I would often go into our room after my wknds of work); I go and spend hours in our room. I know it's not healthy, either for me, or for our relationship, but I tend to esconce myself in there (or here, as I am doing this in our room now). I think it comes from the fact that Anker watches a lot of shows that I don't care to watch, my computer remains chained to the outlet, and I have my books, magazines, and shows and movies that I watch. Anyway, I have made the conscience decision to spend some time with him during the day. Well, a few days this week, we did some time together watching tv. Yes, I know it wasn't undivided time together, but I will take it. We got caught up on our TV shows, and watched Deepwater Horizon, and ate our suppers together. Today, we cleaned together :)


A New Magazine Rule

I am a slight magazine addict, and I am realizing that it is getting out of hand again, so, I am putting a few guidelines in place for myself. I am going to have to read a few devotions from my buffet of devo plans on my app. And, I am only going to take out the magazines that I really like from the library. Thankfully, I don't buy as many as I read. We will see on how long this goes for.


Three

Mary Brown's Chicken

A new restaurant opened up in our neighbourhood earlier this week, and of course, I had to try it out. I was SUPER busy, but I was in and out in half an hour. I wouldn't say it was AMAZING, but it was good. I loved their taters. Their chicken isn't as greasy as a certain fried chicken chain, and had lots of great spices. I am not going to rush back, but I will definitely try it again.

Four

A New Niece or Nephew

This didn't happen this week, in fact, we all found out in October, but I kept forgetting to post it. My brother S, and his wife N, are going to have a baby in June!!!

This photo is courtesy of N's mom (yes, I did ask if I could use it!). I am SO EXCITED!!! She has been having HORRIBLE morning sickness, which I hope will pass SOON!!

Five

Victoria on Masterpiece/PBS

Oh man, I cannot wait for this to air!! I found out about by fluke (once in a magazine that I read, and then for a second time in a book that I borrowed from the library, where the author of the book...called, Victoria, is one of the consultants for this new show), and I am SO EXCITED!! Since we don't have NF, I missed out on seeing The Crown, and so I am really looking forward to seeing this. I think it is going to be more than one season, too.










The One Question I Hate (FMC Edition)


****I am partnering with Fertility Matters Canada to blog about topics surrounding infertility. Instead of doing a new one (which I did last time it was "my day"), I thought I would share one that I had one over a year ago. I originally posted  this over a year ago, and I think it is great to share again. I in no way get any compensation from doing this. I do it b/c I want to get the word about infertility out there. Head on over, and take a look!!****


 Since before becoming infertile, and even a bit since then, I would often ask if a couple are going to have kids...or, I will ask if they (particularly the woman) if they have kids. I never really saw that as intrusive, especially if I asked it a certain way, and yes, I still will ask people if they have (or are going to have) kids. But, in the last couple years, I have actually grown to hate that question. When someone asks "do you have kids", I actually become uncomfortable. I don't know what to say. I sometimes say "no", or sometimes I will give them the whole (or part of) story. I will sometimes just say that we have a cat, and I have a nephew and nieces whom I love.

Whenever someone asks that question, I will often become sad, and it reminds that we don't have, nor will we ever have kids. I feel that there is something wrong with me. Like, I am not normal. I will quite often rush through my answer, sometimes even changing the subject. It makes me sad, b/c I know that eventually people will stop asking if we have kids. I often wonder if my mom gets questioned about not only A and I, but my other brother and sister who also can't have kids. I wonder what my parents say, or think. I often wonder if my parents view us as normal, or different. I sometimes feel that they treat us differently, b/c we don't have kids...and also b/c Anker has health issues. People ask about A and K still...on whether they will adopt another one. I usually say that they are thinking about it (which is true), and then move on to something else. It's not that I mind talking about it...nor do I think that it isn't any of their business (which, it isn't, but everyone asks personal questions these days, and thanks to SM, everyone knows everything about everyone), but again, it just drives home the fact that we won't be happen.

And yes, people ask us if we want to foster/adopt. And yes, we would, but no one would give us a baby, since A is over 50, and we both have health problems, not mention that adoption costs like, 1M$. LOL. And yes, though I know that foster is free (and it pays money), and I would love to do that,but  A doesn't want to. Same thing with Foster To Adopt. It's all well and good to say all that, and yes, I have asked people the same thing, but it isn't like you flip a switch, people! It is a process! It takes time, energy, and sometimes money to make things happen. Not to mention that you both have to want to do it. Hubby doesn't want to, so that kind of makes things a bit difficult. People have told me that I/we don't want kids bad enough if we aren't willing to Foster/Adopt. Well, that IS partially true...but it's not like losing weight, or saving money, people have WANT to give you a baby. If a person is sick/not well, then you are (almost) automatically rejected. I am not being negative. I am being real.

And that's just on how it is.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The "Sick" Christmas (of) 2016

I cannot believe that I had over 2 weeks off from work, and I only blogged once! You would think I was busy or something! I see that the Five on Friday posts are happening, but I think I will wait and post next week. I/we had a pretty good Christmas! I would give it a 8 out of 10. Or maybe a 9 out of 10. Ha! Seriously, though, we had a great time.

I spent most of my holidays sleeping, eating, cleaning out our fridge/kitchen/microwave, going for coffee, meeting with friends, burning candles, drinking, hanging with family, tobogganing, baking, watching Christmas movies (watching way too much TV, as usual), going to the library, listening to Christmas music, sleeping (oh, I already mentioned that??), driving through the snow, shovelling snow (ok, that was today, but still), trying very hard to NOT get sick, shopping at the last minute for Christmas gifts, shopping with hubby, tracking Santa, reading magazines,updating my IG (and spending way too much time on FB/Twitter, in general), calling family, and well, that is all...I think!

I won't do a daily play-by-play, bc, well, that would take forever, and be boring! I will give you the highlights, however.

Dec 16 was the last day of school. We had PJ day, and had lots of snacks, and watched movies. I got so many gifts from the students' parents, which was really sweet.

The next day, it snowed pretty much all day. I picked up Isaac from the airport, and we went to McD's for coffee and waiting for our other brother to pick him up. I would post the selfie of us, but I don't look very good.

I went to church on December 18th, and then ran a few errands,went stopped by at my boss' house for a bit, as he and his wife were having a Christmas Open House, and invited people from work, their friends, etc. I stayed there for an hour or so, and got to meet some people, then came home. I helped with nursery, so I kind of had to go (yes, I actually braved the roads and rove up the hill!). The next week, we just hung out, relaxed, and did a lot of the stuff that I mentioned above. I spent an evening of watching Christmas episodes of FRIENDS and BBT. I never did watch The Nativity Story this year. I did, however manage to get a few days of Christmas devos in. I had two days of being very productive, which made me feel good about myself. On Dec 23, H came over to bake cookies with me. We also watched movies and had snacks. H had a fun time, and I enjoyed spending some time with him, and his parents enjoyed the afternoon at the movies. Christmas Eve, Anker and I ran out and got last minute Christmas gifts. We didn't end up going to Vancouver Island, as we didn't have the money, and Anker got a cold. I am glad that we didn't go, as we had more money for gifts, but we were also sad, b/c we were both looking forward to it. After getting the gifts, I gift-bagged them, and then we spent the evening together. I think we watched something. I can't remember. We ended up opening our gifts (a European tradition), and by opening, I mean we took them out of the bag. Yes, I bought my own gifts. It is what is is. I got a few things from the dollar store for myself, and I got Anker some socks and some re-usable hand warmers, and some Brandy Beans. We watched SULLY, which we thought was pretty good, Anker went to bed, and I spent the evening washing up, packing, icing the rest of the cookies, tracking Santa, and I spent time gazing at the tree. I stayed up until 1:45 am (true freaking-story!!). I had a really fun Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day, we woke up early, and got ready to leave. K and A had invited us for Christmas morning brunch, and I am really glad we went. Anker helped H put together some of his Lego he got for Christmas, and we had a lovely time together. K made an amazing Baked French Toast dish...it was SO good! At around noon, we set off for the ranch. We visited, for awhile, then we opened gifts. We had Mexican for supper that night, which was a howling success! We had something like 20 people for dinner. Because Christmas was on a Sunday, not only do we all go to church, but Dad is a minister of that church, so Mom didn't want to be dealing with turkey and a big meal (trust me.. we have done this before...which may or may not have included a broken oven, cooking turkey in a microwave/convection oven.., and it's not fun!), as well as opening gift, and we family coming in from out of town. I think it also had to do with Mom and Dad having just gotten back from Mexico :) We had enchiladas, a taco salad, a green salad, of course, chips and salsa! It was all SO GOOD. We just relaxed afterwards, and played games, and visited. I think H and I started a game of Battleship.

Boxing Day, I helped get the dinner on, and hung out. I think we watched some HERBIE movies (Anker's sister gave him the four dvd set for Christmas), which H loved. We had a wonderful Turkey Dinner (Anker and I brought green salad for both meals), complete with Plum Pudding. Oh, my goodness! When I die, I want to be covered in plum pudding sauce and whipped cream. Y'all, it is AMAZING!!! Seriously, though...it is very good. I may or may not have had seconds. We played a game, and then visited, and some of them watched Magnificent 7, and I went back to my aunt and uncle's (where we were staying), as I wasn't feeling great (I just needed a break from people), where I read and called my cousin. Tuesday, the 27th, we all hung out and did various things. It was also the morning that one of the Aunties woke up feeling ill. The day before, Uncle T had missed our turkey dinner, as he had a cold/flu combo.Mom and I went for a drive the country store to grab a few things, and we had a nice short visit. We said out goodbyes to S&N, and went about our various winter activities (reading, eating, watching TV). I ended up going sledding with A, K, and H. Wowza...was that a work out! I hadn't tobogganed in YEARS! I had fun time, but came back COLD!!! Tuesday evening, we all just sat around and (guess what?) ate, watched TV, and visited. Ha! Actually, I only read one worldly magazine while I was there and I read three Guideposts (my aunt gives them to me every Christmas, and I try to give them back to her to read)! So, that is a total of 1,000 magazines, and 0 books read in 2016! Meh, what can you do? K and I were good daughters and did dishes twice on Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, Anker and I were still debating about staying another day, when, the moment we arrived at my parents', H (in a typical young boy fashion) stated "Gramma, and Daddy are sick. They threw up!" It was then we decided to say "buh-bye!" and, after a quick breakfast, visit, and Dad saying that we didn't have to head off so quick (oh,but we did..there was a plague up on the house!!), we were on our merry way.

                                                         I think these are hysterical!!
The roads were wonderful (both there and back!), and we got home around 1 or so. I went to the library, and ran errands. The 29th-31st, I did library runs, relaxed, watched movies and tv (one day I watched 5 episodes of Y&R), and generally wasted the days away. NYE, Anker and I ran out and got a few fun foods for that night. We got back just as it started snowing. We ended up watching Ben-Hur, which was actually pretty good (the new movie), and we got caught up on 3 missed episodes of Code Black. Anker went to be around 10, and I stayed up until way past midnight. It was also during last week, that I got a tad sick. No throwing up, mind you, buuuut sick enough that I didn't go out on Friday evening with my friend, nor did I want to eat much during the wk. Even Anker got a tad sick. I DID manage to make a few coffee runs in btwn getting sick. K also got sick, as did the other one of the uncles, H, and also brother J. Hence the title of this post..."sick" as in people got sick, and "sick", as in it was a cool/awesome Christmas! Pretty sick, huh? :)

NYD, I decided to stay home. I was actually planning on going to church, but btwn my not fully feeling well, the roads (the snowstorm we had the night before) being what they were, and my sleeping in, I decided to stay home. I DID end up going out around 1, and I met my friend for coffee, and some shopping at the drugstore, and then came home. A and H came over for an hour or so Sunday afternoon/evening. Anker and I just hung out in the evening. Monday was the last day off for me, and I had every intention of staying in my jammies, for at least most of it, but I ended up visiting with A and K for a bit, then went to Wal-Mart. First though, Anker and I chatted for a bit, and we watched the last bit of the Rose Bowl Parade. In the evening, we just hung out. I started on "American Crime Story: The People VS OJ Simpson" last night, and so far, it is really good. It is due back at the library tomorrow, but I think I will try to watch it all (or at least most of it) before returning it.

So, those were my holidays!!! I will probably do a picture post tomorrow (or maybe this wknd), but as I want to get this published, I will post this now, and add pics either to this later, or as another post. I hope that everyone has a wonderful 2017!!