Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 49 - Making the List

Tis the season for….. lists! It’s that time of year when I realize that Christmas is coming fast and start making lists. The only good thing about not seeing my sisters at Christmas is the fact that everything is pushed up a bit. All my to do’s are based getting stuff done in time for the shipping date for my sisters’ stocking packages. Once I get those done and shipped, the heat is off and I can enjoy the last week before I fly back to Rhode Island for Christmas at Carolyn’s. Let the countdown begin!

Now I’m usually pretty strategic (it’s my #1 theme in the Clifton StrenghtsFinder) about getting things done but that goes into overdrive this time of year. I cram things in before work, over lunch, whenever I can to get multiple things done at once so I have more time at home when I finally get there. So Monday wasn’t just going to knitting after work, it was getting gas, stopping home so I could deliver something to a knitter, getting pizza and stopping at the store for my last swap item then going to the library. That and a 30 mile drive all in 65 minutes. That kind of thing. In every available minute.

With Thanksgiving being so late, there was leftover turkey to deal with. I skipped swimming on Tuesday in favor of taking care of all the turkey. I divvied up the last of the stuffing into little casseroles then covered it with turkey and gravy and it went into the freezer with a dollop of cranberry for mid-winter turkey fixes. Then I cubed up all the breast meat into one cup portions and into the freezer it went. Last but not least was the pot of soup then a small quiche just to have some non-turkey. Done! Nora and I did a Trader Joe’s run on Wednesday for all the fun Christmas stuff and I was back in the pool after work. I had intended to spend a leisurely night watching Survivor and relaxing but something that happened on the drive home nixed that.

One of the benefits of swimming after work is that I miss “rush hour” traffic, which is nothing much in Lincoln compared to back east but it’s still nice to miss it. I had just turned onto highway 77, which is the 2 lane road I’m on for 20+ miles between Lincoln and Wahoo. As is often the case in Nebraska where no one understands the concept of keeping right expect to pass, you get a granny dying in the left hand lane because 3 miles up the road she’s turning left. Well there was a Dodge Charger in the right lane that purposely kept pace with the granny (going 50 in a 55) and blocked the entire highway causing a clog of cars. He finally inched up and a string of cars passed the granny on the right. As soon as the 3rd car cleared her, the charger stepped on the gas and shot away. Jerk. I didn’t give him much thought until I was north of I-80 and he continued to be a jerk, doing the same move over and over. As we headed further north and the other cars thinned out, I made a concerted effort to get away from him but no matter what speed I went, he matched it, with occasional bursts of speed followed by slowing down. Since I was the only other car on the road, I was beginning to get worried but couldn’t lose him. Then I was going just below the speed limit (65) in the left hand lane in an attempt to avoid him when he swerved in front of me and slammed on his breaks. I slammed mine on, sending everything in the car flying and just when I was about to hit him, he floored it and sped off. I was shaken but had noted his license plate so turned off at Ceresco to put some distance between us. I got back on the highway but caught up with him again further on (WTF!) so cut over to the old highway via a gravel road. As soon as I got home, I called the cops. They listened to my story, took his plate number and my name and she said she’d tell the deputy and he’d most likely contact the guy. Sheesh! Talk about on edge! I was shaken and wondering if I’d have to worry about encountering him other nights. I nuked some quiche, poured a glass of wine and settled in for Survivor.

Well the TV was on but I wasn’t paying much attention while I was trying to find a hotel for the 2 nights in New Orleans before the cruise in February. Come to find out, it’s smack in the middle of Mardi Gras so everything was super pricey or fully booked. Between the highway drama and worrying about finding a hotel, I slept like crap and was up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. Like up up – out of bed and on the computer. I finally was able to fall back asleep for an hour before the alarm went off. I was not as tired as I’d thought I’d be on Thursday and after a few emails with Connie, I booked the Hyatt for $200/night. Expensive but centrally located and close to the docks. Best part? Done! After another whirlwind night (pool, eating in the car and straight to the library for book club), I slept great Thursday night. Good thing because I’d need my energy for everything I planned to do over the weekend.

I had a big list for Friday too. I opted for a quick lunch with Layton so I’d have time to run to Menard’s afterwards. It took me longer to walk through the store to the garden center than it did to pick out my two trees and a wreath. I had them loaded in the car and was back to work. There was another list for after work too but I was home with groceries and ready to start my weekend by 6:30. Nice.

Getting the first blast of Christmas tree smell when I got into the car Friday night went a long way towards getting me in the Christmas spirit. Finding that it was story time with Santa at the library when I stopped to prep a Friends deposit on Saturday morning sealed the deal. I went home and had my wreath on the door and my outside tree up and decorated in short order. I then headed into the spare room to dig out all my stocking stuffers and see if I had any holes. Since the spare room is my dumping ground and holds most of my yarn, this was no easy step. I was happy to see I had plenty for all the stockings. Now it was time to neatize the entire house and clear the bar so I could get the calendars done. Between all this I was madly knitting on my sister’s Christmas socks, which would have to be done before I could ship stockings. Pressure!

Fast forward to Sunday night. The chores were done, the calendars were put together and all the scrapbooking stuff put away. The bar was clear and ready for wrapping. The only thing I didn’t get done was to go through all my Christmas stuff so I could donate the extras to the library’s holiday decoration sale. There was a box in the middle of the floor that would first up on next week’s list but there were more boxes in the basement that’d just have to wait. All in all, I was pleased with my progress and was even in the home stretch on Dottie’s second sock. I ended the week making a big batch of turkey tetrazzini with the last of the turkey stock (enough for the week’s dinners, to share with Andrea and put 2 small casseroles in the freezer) and getting a thank you from my friend Cindy for the socks I’d sent her earlier in the week. Then I got a note from the designer and she wants to use my socks on her pattern page. All good. Check them out. 

Now for the next week’s list. Ho ho ho!

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