What I've been up to instead of blogging.

Thought I'd catch you up on what I've been doing instead of blogging.

Of course most of what was happening was just preparation for holidays. DD helped out tons this year with holiday baking since the kids had several snow days before Christmas break. It was kind of funny because she put her boyfriend to work helping... she's way smarter than I, she's training him early. I failed to do this and now can't seem to get hubby do much of anything that is considered my work. LOL
Here's one of her cutouts- she decided to do footballs along with the usual Christmas cutouts. Decorated with frosting, red hots for the holly berries and mini M & M's for Pittsburgh Steeler symbol. Almost all the goodies are consumed at this point. I made myself two sugar free treats to keep me from eating all the goodies she made. I made Russian Tea Cakes and Buckeyes using erythritol instead of sugar. Both were pretty successful- Russian Tea Cakes tend to be dry (buttery- MMM) so going sugarless didn't really affect the texture. The Buckeyes weren't too bad although erythritol does seem to give everything a bit of a minty effect- so the peanut butter middles are a bit minty. I used 90% cocoa Lindt chocolate as chocolate coating for them- so these aren't totally sugar free between the peanut butter (1 gm per 2 Tablespoons) and chocolate. These goodies were enough because I didn't eat any forbidden sugary ones and I didn't gain anything over the holidays either.

Kids really liked Christmas gifts. I'll do a separate blog on all the jewelry I got DD (and shoes/boots.) One of her favorite items was a leather messenger bag by Fossil-- DH used some hotel points he's racked up on biz travel to "purchase" this, watch for her and watch for middle son. Youngest son got a bass that allows him to play both precision style or jazz style. That was about the only thing he got since it was rather pricy. It does sound quite amazing.
I got upgraded software for my Mac and new router. DH thought that was terrible gift but it's what I wanted. Now he's eating his words because new software allows him to do slow motion on his movies. He puts together pole vault montages of his progress with an occasional slow motion section of a really nice jump. LOL Hopefully this will allow me to make some MMU videos. I have at least one request about brows.

A good friend of mine had a really tragic event happen in December. Her hubby, just turned 50 in Nov. died suddenly. He was seriously overweight and lived a rather indulgent lifestyle-- beer and cigarettes along with too much food. Also had asthma. She was awakened at 5 a.m. by him- hitting her, she tried to push him over to his side and quickly turned on the light when she realized something wasn't right. She called 911 & did CPR but he never recovered. She has two boys around the same ages as my own so it was absolutely heart wrenching. Fortunately he had good life insurance since he was the sole provider so she isn't facing the horrors of losing him and being destitute. He was originally from around where I live so he was buried here. She and the boys visited a few times while in town to escape a bit. The one night she was here, I was getting ready to put homemade pizzas in the oven when my oven BLEW. She saw this blue flash of light while I only heard a distinct "POP" as I was facing away putting some toppings on the pizzas.
The next day (Sat.)  I tried calling Sears repair-- they couldn't even check it out until after Christmas. Not acceptable since my mom and her boyfriend were expected for Christmas dinner of prime rib and yorkshire pudding!! Called one other local guy and got recording. Spent entire weekend without use of stove or oven... very difficult for me since I cook a lot. On Monday I called local guy again- he says he is no longer in business. I am freaking out because I didn't see anyone else listed. He starts rattling off other repair places locally. Dummy me- I looked in the wrong phone book-- we seem to get a bazillion phone books but one has 2 repair shops whereas the other has a good dozen. Called repair shop and she pretty much assured me it was the control panel, ordered the part for me ($350!!) and hubby had it repaired within 15 minutes after he got home from work. Did learn a very valuable lesson though- before buying any kind of appliance, call a repair shop for their recommendations. Repair shop woman said that my brand was known to have a lot of faulty electronic problems. Makes me think also that when buying a car, call a repair shop to see what they think. I took DH's co vehicle for new tires and ended up also having to replace the brakes- it had barely 50k miles on it but brakes were almost down to metal! Guy said he's replaced brakes after 20k because what the manufacturer puts on rather questionable quality ones.

Luckily my oven was fixed before Christmas so dinner was excellent. We had a nice visit with my mom while she was here. Also had best friend from high school visit over break. We had lost touch nearly 10 years ago due to a difference in outlook. She thought I had a really negative outlook because I assume that people aren't necessarily nice. I make people earn my trust and confidence. She thought one should always be assumed good until proven otherwise. Anyhoo, we lost touch. Then I heard from a classmate that her father recently passed away. So I contacted her through Facebook and we struck up our friendship again. DH is rather leery about this but I assure him that it's NBD. I'm such a different person from ten years ago- still have my "negative" outlook but just more confident in myself. Unlike before, if BF and I stopped our friendship again, it wouldn't affect my life all that much. I'm not too emotionally involved because I am really good with myself- with or without this friendship. I've always said the one most willing to walk away in any relationship is the one in power. So before Thanksgiving she came down for a brief visit while DH was out of town- figure it's easier since he's grown up with "outsiders bad" mindset. Then she visited again during the holiday break since she is a professor now and also getting her PhD- she had a lot of downtime between semesters. She is divorced and DD lives with ex- so I imagine her life can be kind of lonely, especially around holidays. DH is warming up to the friendship- he realizes that I'm different and it's not like I'm going to be running off to visit her. My priorities are still the same even with the renewed friendship.

In December the kids started track practice a few days a week. I showed up on the first day to tell the coach, guy I had helped run triple jump for years, that I was willing to help out when he needed. He asked how available am I... well as a SAHM with home businesses, I am pretty free with my schedule. So next thing you know, he's introducing me to the entire team as an assistant coach. My kids quickly came to my side at the first opportunity to ask WTH?? I assured them that I knew nothing about this until the very moment they did and I was only "coach" in that I would help the real coach with whatever he needed. So I head over to track practice for a few hours. I am actually enjoying it. I love the sport and the kids are really nice to me so I enjoy helping out. I know how overwhelming it must be for the coach because the real assistant coach can't be there until after his bus route is finished- so being the only adult with a pack of athletes would be very trying. I also admit that it gives me a little extra time with DD. Since she's a senior this year, it's becoming really apparent how limited our time is.
Although she is actually considering attending the local university-- apparently their honors program is really good and everything would transfer for pharmacy school. She recently took the ACT for the last time. She scored a 32 which actually guarantees her additional scholarships. Since she did that Governor's Scholar Program, she has tuition covered but these other scholarships would include rooming allowances and book allowances. She's really an incredible kid-- how many 17 year olds think in such mature ways? At first I was shocked she was thinking about staying in town but I am definitely warming up to the idea. Plus she said "It's not like I hate my home life-- so I don't feel the need to get away." so it's kind of a pat on the back that we're good parents. He he he.

January starts daily track practices so I have that going on. I am also working on window treatments for a client. Plus I still need to work on stuff to set up my online MMU store. Little by little I get things checked off the list.

I'm still hooked on knitting. My mom got a scarf, headband and throw knitted by me. She loved them. I knew she would, that's how my mom is. She totally loves the effort that goes into things, although I do believe her all-time favorite gift from me was an MP3 player. She just loves being able to listen to music while working out- either walking or on her exercise bike. She's so easy to please. It's really nice how we've become much closer as I've gotten older- one of the good things about getting older. Also knitted some scarves for various friends and am knitting myself loads of them in different colors. I like scarves-- warm and toasty, yet fashionable. LOL

I still haven't had contact with MIL/FIL. MIL called Dec. 26 but I wasn't going to answer and DH didn't want to either. BTW her gift to me was definitely too small-  so DD got it. Plus one of the sweatshirts she got for the boys was a pastel yellow (definitely feminine looking) Pittsburgh Steeler one. So he gave it to DD also. She made out like a bandit. LOL Then MIL called New Years and same. DH did finally call her on his drive home from work. It's funny because DH is actually relieved that we don't have to visit them- you kind of get a pass on that obligation when FIL threatens physical violence. I can honestly say that I don't miss them. Still have contact with the rest- funny because the kids are in more contact with each other now than before all this crap. Kind of telling how MIL tried to control info and who interacted with whom. So basically I've just been relieved of the really negative in-laws- including one BIL/SIL by marriage that I don't like... no Christmas card from them. LOL One SIL sent me jammies for Christmas as a thank you for all the MMU goodies. I feel loved. On a funny note- still single BIL has apparently been dating this woman for nearly a year. No one knew because he told GF he was an orphan-- although he must have fessed up since the visited the parents recently. Kind of telling about in-laws parenting skills- one actually denied they were alive, the others are pretty much content to have as little contact as possible, except for the one I don't like so much.

So that's what I've been up to. I have a long list of things I do plan to blog about and I am working on opening up a real MMU store. I guess that's about it.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's husband. That is horrible.

    You should totally blog about your knitting projects. I know I'd be interested to see.

    Wow, a real MMU store, like in a physical place? Not online?

  2. Tee- a real store as in real on-line store.

    I'll do my knitting projects sometime. Mostly just scarves but I love knitting on Saturday mornings while I watch mini marathon of "Sell This House." DH teases me that this is what I do EVERY day. LOL

    Totally a shocker about friend's hubby except that in the back of your mind you kind of think- "well, yeah, he didn't take care of himself." My heart just pours out to her because she is a widow at 44.

    BTW- thought of you this a.m. Had to take DD some scholarship stuff (finally went to school today) and then gassed up car right across from Walgreens. I headed over there but didn't open until 8, I was going to check out Jordana liners after your blog.

  3. That's great! (re: real online store!)

    How long does it take to say, make a scarf? I've wanted to try out knitting but scared I might poke my eye out with the needles.