Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Blackest Black Friday

I am that person that looks forward to Black Friday every year. I am the person that got angry for people posting how horrible it is that shopping was starting at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.

This year was different. I didn't find anything I HAD to have. I didn't find the need to go out at 8:00 p.m. or midnight. That is not to say that the thought didn't cross my mind fifty three times, because it did. But by the time the end of the day rolled around, I wanted a HOT shower and some comfy pajamas. I wanted nothing more than to stay up and watch Friends reruns on Nick and Nite.

The plan was to kind of get up early and head out. I slept horribly, tossed and turned all night (partly in anticipation and partly because I am stupid). Finally got up around 5:30, read the paper, got dressed and made it to the mall around 6:30ish. We went to JC Penney first. The lines were out the door! Kind of insane since I haven't been able to find anything in that store or online since the BIG CHANGE. We felt up a couple of flannel shirts and then headed out. No desire to stand in line for a cheap flannel shirt.

We hit Bath & Body Works. Ran into a friend and left with a burning nose, some Wallflowers and a headache. Herberger's (part of the BonTon family) was next. It was near bliss. The lines were short, the shoppers were nicely dispersed and we actually found a couple of things to buy. The big thing with Herberger's is they always have a $10 off $10 or more. The problem is there is only one hidden item in the store that it is good on. Well maybe not one item, but very few. You can't use it on Door Busters, or Incredible Values, shoes, cosmetics and certain lines of items like Columbia or Fossil. And just about EVERYTHING is a Door Buster and what isn't is an Incredible Value. Mom ended up using the coupon on some nylons. She picked up a down comforter (always their biggest seller at only $19.97 any size) as a gift and some slippers. And that was our haul.

We headed home for a quick bite to eat and then headed to Missoula for a bazaar and to hit the Farm. It was a lovely ride over (seemed long). We got to the bazaar and left disappointed. It was fun last year, this year seemed really different. It was a lot of high profile type of stuff, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, furnishings. We left empty handed and headed to the mall. I must have been high off of tryptophan to have wanted to go on Friday. I knew if we didn't go on Friday we wouldn't go. I bought two things in the mall, two turkey sausages from The Farm (Hickory Farm). I attempted to purchase some items at JC Penney but when the incredibly bitchtacular cashier rudely yelled that the line started in a different location (despite having a clear line), I left the items where I was standing and walked out. We entered and rather quickly left Sears. It seemed sort of uncleaned and very haphazard. In a word it was trashy.

We had a lovely lunch and then hit Target. I had some success at Target, picked up three gifts I believe. So that was a plus. Barnes & Noble, usually a favorite haunt of mine really held nothing for me. I couldn't find the magazine I wanted (perhaps the issue I am looking for is not out yet) and they didn't have the knitting book I wanted to look through and since I don't buy physical books, we just left.

At this point I was tired, achey and sort of crabby. People were pissing me off. We walked to Michael's, where I found some things I wanted but Mom sort of talked me out of it and I figured I could get it online later. (Foreshadowing: I can't!).

We got gas and snacks and headed home. We made it before it got dark (barely) and settled in for the night.  I looked all over the internet for the Michael's items I didn't buy and could not find them anywhere. After a Google search, came to find out they are specific to Michael's and are not sold online. Seriously? I had sort of planned to make a trip to Bozeman today since it is a touch closer but it snowed and I was not willing to deal with the pass for a few little items. Hopefully they will continue to sell them and I can pick them up next time I am near a Michael's or by some miracle someone will sell them online!

And that was Black Friday. It was by far the worst we have ever had. It was not fun at all and was just a total let down.

Thankful for New Ideas

Hi Everyone! I hope that you all had a fantastic holiday (if you are in the US) and a great Thursday (if you are elsewhere). Mine holiday was very low-key and family focused, just the way I like it.

I have been MIA, but I am now above ground and have some things coming up that I am very excited about and wanted to give a little preview of what you might be seeing here post wise.

First up I am on a HUGE organizational kick and started today with my bathroom. My mantra right now is "A little goes a long way". I didn't want to do it all in one day (well I did, but after a while I would have just started shoving stuff in hidey holes to get it done). I am taking a little piece each day. I even remembered to take photos! Yay! Photos! Everyone loves photos. I will be sure to post the process

I am also going to tackle my desk area to make it a lot more organized and very user friendly. I hope to work on some paper crafting projects there as well as school and blogging and other writing and graphic design stuff. I have photos of the disaster before as well.

I am working on preparing for 2013 and doing all my planning and setting up my binders and planners, all of which I plan to share. I have been doing a lot of pinning over on Pinterest trying to figure out which direction I want to go. I am hoping to use 2013 to figure out what I like and adapt things and/or design my own pages.

Christmas is coming. I am hoping to have some decorating photos...if I ever start decorating. I am hoping a little elf comes and does it for me this year. And by little elf I am hoping Mom takes charge! Wishful thinking.

I have just a few days to decide if I want to do a Christmas/December journal and what kind. I see a lot of online perusing in the next few days.

I am also considering doing DePhoMo which is December Photography Month in preparation for doing Project 365 for 2013!

I want to upgrade my phone to a smartphone, but the only line eligible for an update soon isn't due until January and the earliest the store here can do it is January 9th. I am a bit impatient so I hope to call the provider and see if I can sweet talk logically outline why they should let me upgrade now (more money for them). I have himmed and hawed (not really sure how to spell that or if it is one about going to a smartphone and tacking a data package on to my monthly service. $30 is a chunk of change when you are trying to budget and justify. Plus the expense of the phone. But I am really really wanting to do it so I am going to take the plunge (if I am permitted on the diving board so to speak).

I have been battling some ailments. I am not sure what is going on with my body but I must have pissed it off in some way because it is punishing me. I am starting stretches and hope to work into a light yoga plan by the 15th of December. My end goal is to be doing yoga & zumba on alternating days beginning in January.

So that is what I have going on. It feels like I am going in all different directions, but it also feels invigorating and exciting. I am trying to make changes that will make me happy and will be the beginning of good habits.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: November 20. 2012

I thought I would change up the Ten on Tuesday thing a little bit. I find it so hard to follow prompts or themes sometimes, especially when I could never come up with three things, let alone ten things (i.e. horror movies). I am just going to make it random.

Let’s get started.

  1. WaxVac – I don’t know that I would trust a vacuum in my ear. It is too close to my brain and I have burned off enough of those cells already.

  2. Black Friday – it used to be my favorite holiday, now they have ruined it by putting the ads online and beginning things as early as 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. What is the point of getting up early on Thanksgiving to look at the ads when they have been online for a few weeks now?

  3. Reruns – tis the season for the repeats to begin on all the television programs. I miss the days where they did holiday episodes. This is why I store programs on my DVR so I have something new to watch.

  4. General Hospital – So Faison is alive and pretending to be Duke to get in the sack with Anna. He revealed himself to Robin & Duke. When he revealed himself, the mask he peeled off included Duke’s hair. So my question is, why when Faison as Duke is with Anna, does she not notice that his hair is not real?

  5. I will be so happy when November is over if for no other reason than we can stop this Thankful project on facebook.  Some people are so damn fake to begin with, but then you add this to the mix? A recipe for annoyance.

  6. Inside Voices – Do you, as you get older, notice that sound bothers you more than it did in the past? There are some very loud people in the office and their voices grate on me. Gone are the days I can block this out. I love the peaceful quiet, I am a bit more productive.

  7. The Holly Station – Dear old Sirius has switched the Love Station over to the Holly Station. They did this a few weeks ago. Now I don’t mind the occasional holiday tune. But I depend on the Love Station to get me through sometimes. Sometimes a girl needs a good love song on her way home to her two dogs.

  8. Flooding – Now I am not talking about the watery kind. I am talking about the email kind. Last Thursday my email was flooded with nothing but problems and issues and stupidity. I actually pulled out a few hairs because it was less painful than dealing with the emails.

  9. Macy’s Parade – Do you watch the whole thing? Do you flip between stations to find the one that has the least amount of commentary? Do you really watch the whole thing? Who has five hours to watch that?

  10. Thankfulness – I don’t do a thankful post because everyone does it and I don’t like to just take one day to be thankful. I am thankful every day for a lot of different things, but most importantly I am most thankful for my parents and my sister. And I just wanted everyone to know that.

So what is happening on this Tuesday for you? Are there ten random things going through your mind? Hit the comments and let me know. You can even give me some topics for next Ten on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Roundup: The Excuse Edition

Would you believe me if I told you the reason I haven’t posted since Friday is because I have been snowbound without internet access? If you said no, you know me well. You probably also answered something like, “No I wouldn’t believe you because I know you are a procrastinator and never follow through.” And you would be half right. I often do follow through, just on my own timetable, unless I am given a hard deadline or unless it is work related.

It is no shocker that I fell off the proverbial wagon of NaBloPoMo, or whatever it is called. I was religious about posting for nine days straight. Then Saturday rolled around and I sort of ran out of things to write about. Then I was going to get back on Sunday, then that turned to Monday, then yesterday I didn’t have ten things I like to cook, so here I am on Wednesday making excuses. Which is the one thing they tell you not to do.  And by they, I mean people who tell you how to blog.

That sounds kind of crazy doesn’t it? Blogging is not hard. It is simply posting things that interest you that you hope interest others. Yet, I have an entire Pinterest board filled with tips on blogging.

I realized a long time ago that I will never make money blogging. As much as I would like to become one of those fantabulous bloggers that make a living doing it, it is not in the cards for me. First, I don’t generate a lot of traffic here. Second, I don’t have one thing I like to blog about. I am all over the map. Third, I hate ads on other blogs, so I really don’t want to put them on mine and that is how you make the money. Fourth, I don’t have giveaways mainly because I have nothing to giveaway and every time I go to enter one, you have to jump through 639 hoops and you still don’t win.

I am serious on that giveaway thing. I went to two last week because they sounded awesome. One I had to like 16 facebook pages and then post a comment. 16! Are you kidding me? I am trying to get less junk on my facebook feed, not add to it. And posting a comment for each one with all those whirly word things you have to figure out? No thank you, I will save my sanity and just buy whatever it is they were giving away. Nothing is worth liking 16 facebook pages for random shit. The other one, I had to take multiple quizzes and check in each day for some ungodly amount of days. If I had time to do all that, I would be a blogger with shit to giveaway.

I don’t mind the “leave a comment” giveaways. That is easy enough to do. But to make me go all over the internet and then tweet it to my 103 followers, well no thanks.

I wish I had the patience. I wish I had the time to invest in figuring out how it all works and how to make it all work for me. But to tell you the truth, I kind of like my way of doing it. I like being able to use the word shit when required. And quite honestly there is nothing I do in my life that makes me an expert on anything. Well I am sort of the Excel Queen around the office. I know more about Excel than any normal person would ever want to know. But I don’t want to blog about that. That would put me on the verge of being some sort of pre-nerd. And I rather like not watching The Big Bang Theory. I will stick with being a pathetic dork!

So do you make excuses? Do you have the time and the energy to enter giveaways? And if you do, do you ever win? Hit the comments and let me know.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Friday Four: November 9, 2012

I was trying to wrack my brain thinking of what I could post about today and decided I should consult my calendar/spreadsheet and was super excited to find out that it is indeed Friday and that I could easily produce a Friday Four. Now what do I want today's topic to be? Hmmm...

Four Things I Plan To Do During my Snow Day Weekend

  1. KNIT - I hope to get some quality knitting done this weekend. What could be more perfect than curling up on the couch in my Mommy Quilt and knitting away on a Brrr Bear that is being knit in Winter White?
  2. READ - I haven't read in a while and I have a new book that I can't wait to start. I am sure that will lead to a nap and that is great too!
  3. WRITE - I've been feeling a little creative lately and want to get some things down on paper hard drive. A few projects I have in mind.
  4. SNUGGLE - With temperatures dipping into single digits and possible below zero digits, I think I can convince a certain someone to snuggle up with me on the couch or bed. Perhaps I could get two snugglekins and we could lay on my bed and look out the window at the snow and ice!
What do you during a snow day/weekend? How is the weather going to be in your neck of the woods this second weekend of November? Hit the comments and let me know.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The First Snow

Snow has fallen. Our first snowfall of record started falling sometime in the early morning hours. I snuggled in my bed and pulled the curtains open this morning and just watch it shimmer in the lights. Then reality hit and I had to get ready to drive in it.

The roads were slick. As usual sanding trucks had not been out. I think I saw one of those of so fantastic de-icing trucks out laying down the lovely corrosive mixture that really does nothing other than make the snow melt so there is no traction on the ice that lies beneath. I made it to work in one piece. I am sure it helps that my commute is less than five minutes on a clear day and that I leave so early that few are on the road. I did have to venture out around 8:45 and as usual people were driving like it was the 8th of July, not the 8th of November!

It has continued to snow the majority of the day and that is fine by me. The snow creates this beautiful winter wonderland that is much nicer to look at than brown grass and dirt. The bare trees are much more beautiful with snow.

I believe the snow is going to come to a halt and the freezing temperatures are going to set in. That might not be as much fun. I think the coldest day is going to be Saturday. Of course. That is errand day in my household and I would just love to do it in below freezing temperatures.

I hope this is the first of many snow days. I absolutely love it. It makes the holiday season a bit more magical and cozy. I love that I can crawl under a blanket, do some knitting and sip a hot coffee, look out my window and see snow drifts.

Are you in love with winter? Does snow excite you? Hit the comments and share with me, your thoughts on winter and snow.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Day After

Ahh…the day after.

I wasn’t planning on watching the results come in last night. I held off until around 8:15 p.m. and then local returns started to come in online and well that was the end of my returns free night. I had spent a few hours flipping channels trying to find ANYTHING to watch, all while keeping an eye on twitter. 98% of my twitter feed is East Coast tweeps so they were getting local and national returns.

While the presidential race was big for me, I think local races were more pressing. A lot of local/statewide races were so CLOSE! Our Chief Executive race was decided by 153 votes.  It was a nail biter for sure. I expected the race for Sheriff to be a lot closer than it was.

Statewide races were close too. We didn’t know for sure until around noon today who our new governor was going to be. The race for US Senate was close too, it was called before eleven this morning.

There are a lot of relieved people in my office. It is always a stressful situation when your business is all contracts with the state and federal government. Yes, plenty of happy and relieved people. Actually a fellow co-worker won a seat in the house of representatives for our state. He worked is butt off and ran a good, solid, clean race. He has some great ideas. I hope he is able to make some progress on his bill.

It always matters who wins and loses, but even if it isn’t the candidate I prefer, I am always proud to say I voted and who I voted for. So in case you are wondering, I cast my vote for President Obama. I feel that he is the right choice for our country and I really hope that both parties can come together and do what is right for our country.

And with all that said, I am so happy that this election is OVER! I wasn’t campaigning at all and I feel drained by it. It feels as though a weight has been lifted and now it is time to start gearing up for the holidays and the arrival of 2013!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Having a Voice

Everything today and probably for the next couple of days will be about Election 2012. As I type this, it is all over the television stations. “We interrupt your regularly scheduled programs for Campaign 2012 coverage” all night long!

I do my part. I vote. In fact I voted over a week ago thanks to that wonderful absentee system. It makes voting so much easier. The only hard part is putting on the five stamps it took to mail it back in. Still it is cheaper than getting a parking ticket trying to return it to the courthouse. I often think of how many more people might vote absentee if they provided postage paid envelopes. Imagine it. You don’t have to leave the house at all! No standing in line (I feel for you all in populated areas! Two+ hours in line!?!?), you can do it naked if you want to. All you have to have is a pencil. Just a pencil, nothing else! If I were a clerk and recorder (that is our election official), I would find a way to budget for postage paid absentee envelopes.

I must admit that I was absolutely stunned when the mail man delivered mail today. I thought they got the day off for the federal holiday. I was scheduled to work today (let’s not talk about why I didn’t), but I thought that banks, government offices, etc were all closed. I mean our garbage collectors took the day off! No garbage pickup, but I got mail!?!? How crazy is that???

I won’t be tuning into election coverage. I am most concerned with local races, so I will be checking the websites for updates. Polls don’t close until 8:00, so I would imagine soon after that they will start posting numbers from the absentee ballots they have counted and whatever they have from earlier in the day. The most important local races for me are Chief Executive (think mayor) and Sheriff (we have a one-stop cop shop (sheriff/p.d. combined)). State senator is going to be tight and governor will be as well.

In the next few days we will know who are leaders will be. Some of us will be relieved, some even more stressed. At least we know that we had a voice, win or lose, we get to have a voice and that is what is so amazing about our country.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Music Monday: November 5, 2012

This past Thursday, I attended the Stayin' Alive Canada concert here in Montana. They are a Bee Gees tribute band out of well Canada. They played all of my favorites plus some. You probably don't know this, but I am a HUGE Bee Gees fan. I have been ever since I first learned how to play the Saturday Night Fever record on our old record player. That soundtrack is the ultimate album to me. When asked what one cd/album I would want if stranded on a desert island, the answer is always Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. When the opportunity arose to go to this show, it was a no brainer.

I thought I would share with you my top five favorite Bee Gee songs (ranked in no particular order)

  1. How Deep Is Your Love
  2. Tragedy
  3. Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)
  4. More Than A Woman
  5. Jive Talkin'
It is hard to just pick five!

So do you love the Bee Gees? What is the one album you would want if you were stranded on a desert island? Hit the comments and let me know.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Questions of the Week: November 4, 2012

Do you find yourself asking a lot of questions? I seem to question just about everything. Here are some of my most intriguing, most bizarre, and most quizzical questions of the week.

  • ·         Why do football games take eight hours to play? Seriously there is a time clock, set at 60 minutes for one game, yet games take all day to play.

  • ·         Why is it that I can pickup and clean at 7:00 p.m. and by 9:30 it looks like I haven’t cleaned in months?

  • ·         Why do we find complete train wrecks so darn attractive/entertaining? I’m looking at you facebook friends.

  • ·         Why doesn’t Google Reader re-subscribe me to blogs I have unsubscribed from?

  • ·         Why do I sound just like Gloria Gaynor in my car and like Goober in my shower?

  • ·         How do you not know who Gloria Gaynor is?

  • ·         Why do we find another $12.57 worth of stuff to buy to get free shipping instead of just paying the $4.50?

  • ·         How do football kickers miss? It’s the only thing they do. Don’t they practice?

So what burning questions did you have this week? Hit the comments and maybe I can find the answers. And if you have the answers to mine, let me know!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Locked Out

As I type this I should be watching the third period of the Pittsburgh Penguins/New Jersey Devils game. But I’m not. It has been 4 months, 23 days, 1 hour and 10 minutes since the last NHL goal was scored. The 2012-2013 season was set to open on October 11, 2012.

The NHL locked out players on September 16, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.  The NHL & NHLPA knew the CBA ended on September 15, 2012 way back in 2005. That means they knew in June 2012. But no hurry to get anything done. And still there is apparently no hurry to get anything done.

I don’t know all the particulars they are disputing. I know a chunk of it has to do with Hockey Related Revenue and the honoring of all signed contracts. It is a money game, as everything is and while both sides complain of losing money, it is not enough to get something done.

History repeats itself. That is the old adage.  Sometimes we forget because the first event was decades ago, but this is the second lockout in the last eight years.

Both sides are quick to point out that the fans are the ones most hurt by the situation. But neither side seems to want to change that. The meetings they have had have never lasted beyond two hours I don’t think. Two hours is sometimes how long it takes a group of us at work to decide where to go for lunch on Friday. Two hours is a quarter of a normal workday. Two hours is the commute for some of the staff members of the league and teams that are locked out. Two hours is NOT enough time to settle anything, let alone a billion dollar plus industry.

The PA says the owners are taking a hard line, the owners say the PA are not willing to listen. Who is right, who is wrong? Both? Neither?

They have cancelled the first two months of the season. They have cancelled the Winter Classic. The next cancellation will likely be December games or the All Star Game. One thing I think all fans can agree on is that the cancellation of the All Star Game is no big deal. My question is, at what point do they just cancel the season? Do they already know there is no hope? Are they stringing the fans along? Are they toying with us as they dangle this season by cancelling two/three/four weeks at a time?

I thought we were supposed to live and learn. To learn from past mistakes. So why didn’t the NHL learn from the last round of negotiations? Why didn’t they start negotiating early? Will there be any fans left to watch the games if and when they do return? When do diehard fans give up hope?

Friday, November 02, 2012

Friday Four: November 2, 2012

Four things I am looking forward to this weekend…

  1. Cleaning. Is anyone ever looking forward to cleaning? I don’t know that I am looking forward to the actual cleaning part as much as I am the result, a clean living space and bathroom!

  2. Reading. I think it is time to pick up a book again. I think I am in a relatively organized place and can fit some fiction in.

  3. Catching Up. I have a few things to catch up on. Filing is a big one, cleaning (as I mentioned), DVR (a few weeks worth of shows there), knitting (I plan on finishing a project), email (my inbox is stuffed!).

  4. Being. I am looking forward to just being, being with my family, with my boys, with myself. Just being peaceful and restful and happy.

Do you have anything that you are looking forward to this weekend? Share it with me. Hit the comments section.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


I thought I had missed the “Blogging Month”. I thought it was in October…Blogtober. Apparently there is a NaBloPoMo. National Blog Posting Month for November.

It seems as though everyone picks November as their “Month”. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, held every November. I am part of another site that holds NoJoMo, November Journaling Month. In December they hold DePhoMo, December Photography Month. One is left to wonder what the next few years will bring.

I am not trying to discredit. I am actually trying to join in. I used to do NoJoMo with such passion. I would force myself to write everyday and if I missed a day, I felt like a failure. I still do stuff like that, but I am learning that a little lapse does not a failure make.

I quit doing NoJoMo because I felt like I was just writing words. Words without meaning. It felt like a chore and not like something I wanted to do. I got nothing out of it and as I grew older it just seemed less and less important.

I tried NaNoWriMo twice. The first year I did not have anything. I didn’t have a story idea, I didn’t have characters, I had nothing. I thought, foolishly, that it would all come to me on November 1st and I would be able to churn out a novel in 30 days. That everything I needed had been planted with the determination to do it and it would fully sprout on November 1st and all I would have to do is cultivate it (very easily) and today I would be living as a great novelist making tons of money and spending my days in a quaint little home office overlooking something quite inspiring. Good God that never happened. My seedlings didn’t sprout, they just left a little nub of a weed.

The second go around at NaNoWriMo, I had at least an idea and I had some characters. So I was set. Things were going to come together. I started at the beginning and then fell limp somewhere after the first chapter. But I had some great stuff for later chapters so I started writing those. Then I couldn’t figure out how to connect them. I was meeting and exceeding my daily word count, but I didn’t have flow. I realized somewhere around the 10th day that I should have prepped a little bit. I should have had the story, the characters AND an outline. Fail. So I quit. What was the point of having lots of little bits, but nothing that tied them together? Plus I might have some sort of ADD where I start doing something with grand plans and then something distracts me. Like Pinterest.

So here I sit again. I have already made the announcement that I don’t plan on doing NoJoMo. But I am announcing today that I am planning on doing NaBloPoMo. If I can get past the name. I thing it is the Blo part that throws me. It just doesn’t seem to work. But in the world of shortening EVERYTHING, I guess that is what you are left with.

I throw out all past instances of failure and start fresh. And as usual I take it to the extreme and extend it across all of my blogs. Is it sad that I have multiple blogs? I am interested and talkative about so many different things that they don’t all seem to fit in the same blog. Perhaps I should examine that further. Like, say in therapy or a twelve step program for procrastinators and wannabe overachievers.

So, here is NaBloPoMo entry number one. Twenty nine more to go. Seems doable.

Are you participating in NaBloPoMo? Are you my sister who has yet to set up her blog? If you are the latter, please email me, I would love nothing more than to set up your blog!

Happy Blogging and Happy November and whatever, if any Na…Mo you are participating in.

PS. Check out my other adventures..