Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

I have this memory from childhood, skating with my childhood best friend, Melissa, at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds Ice rink.  It was December 23rd and we had an epiphany.  It was Christmas Eve Eve, which means tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!  We had the epiphany like it had snuck up on us, but in those days time seemed to drag.  Christmas Eve night was the longest night of the year and took forever to arrive.  These days, time slips by faster and faster and I can’t believe it is Christmas Eve Eve once again.  And now that I think about how long ago that was (sometime between 15 and 20 years ago), I feel old.  That isn’t how you are supposed to feel at Christmas!  But alas, times have changed.  Instead of going to the skating rink with my best friend today, I’ll be headed to the gym for my last gym workout of the week (it is closed tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday), then to Costco and the grocery store to beat the last-minute Christmas food shopping rush.  Then I’ll clean the bathtub.  Woooohoooo!!  I’m full of Christmas Eve Eve fun plans today!  Oh well, that is what it means to be an adult, I suppose.  I hope my old buddy Melissa is doing something more fun on this Christmas Eve Eve.

For many of you, this is your last work day of the year, for some it is just the last day of the week.  Either way, I know you are all soooo ready to get out of there and completely not interested in doing any work whatsoever today.  With that in mind, I am taking a cue from fellow blogger BarbeyGirl over at In the Night Life and will now share with you 31 things you may not know about me:

1.  One of my most favorite subjects is the monarchy.  I’m not talking modern monarchy, although I am looking forward in earnest to the impending Will and Kate wedding.  I’m talking Plantagenents, Yorks, Lancasters and Tudors.

2.  One of my ancestors is Mary Boleyn.  Yep, Anne’s sister.  I am a descendent of her daughter, Catherine, who many historians believe was an illegitimate child of Henry VIII.  That may explain my obsession with the British monarchy…

3.  I have many favorite movies, but if I had to pick just one it would be “A League of Their Own”.  I always feel inspired after watching it.  My favorite Christmas movie is “Christmas Vacation”.

4.  I have been working on knitting a blanket for my mom for 2 years now.  It will be finished in 2011.  It has taken wayyyy longer than it should have, especially since I’ve been unemployed for 10 months of that (not all at once though).

5.  I have an orange belt in kickboxing.

6.  As a result of #5, I can break your arm and kick through a block of wood.

7.  Paris is my favorite city on the planet.  Whenever I’m there, I feel like I’m home.  Past life maybe?  My husband feels the same way.

8.  I used to HATE doughnuts when I was a kid.  Now I love them, but don’t eat them.

9.  I lived in Japan for 6 months for my husband’s work.  I’m sure many of you know this, but, oh well.

10.  I don’t like talking on the phone and much prefer to text.

11.  Things irritate me very easily.  I am working on this.

12.  I am a grammar/spelling freak.  I’m not saying I am always correct, but I nitpick when other people use improper grammar/spelling.  My husband hates this.

13.  He thinks I missed my calling as an English teacher.  He also thinks I could be a chef, but it turns out that culinary school is a little too expensive.

14.  I used to spend money like it grew on trees.  Now I have to be wrestled for every dollar I part with.

15.  The longest I have worked at any job since graduating college is a year and a half.  I get bored.

16.  I hate when people talk about politics.  Most of the time they have no idea what they are talking about and it always leads to disagreements.

17.  I hate when people try to push religion on me.  I also hate when people talk excessively about their religion and bring it up in every conversation.  You are entitled to believe whatever you want, I just don’t want to hear about it every time I talk to you.

18.  I also can’t stand people who always talk about their children.  Do you have a life besides them?  Maybe this is because I don’t have any and maybe I will be just like them if I have children someday.  Sherri, this is not about you 😉

19.  It makes me very angry when people are consistently late.  If you are going to be somewhere, be there within 5 minutes of when you said you would.  Don’t waste my time.

20.  I’m a registered Republican voter.

21.  Even though I hate political talk, I’m going to do it right now.  I think this country has fallen far from what our Founding Fathers intended.  Times change, but the ideals are still applicable.  They are probably rolling in their graves.  Don’t tread on me!

22.  I make my own laundry detergent and it rocks.

23.  I wish I owned less stuff.  I am going to work hard on accomplishing that in 2011.

24.  I used to be a complete slob.  Now clutter stresses me out.

25.  I feed my cats no-grain cat food.  They eat like I do and the change in their behavior and coats has been remarkable.

26.  Last month, we bought 1/4 grass-fed beef.

27.  I had three majors in college: International Business Management, Marketing and Management.  I also had a minor in Spanish, among other things.

28.  I met Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

29.  I used to be Vice President of the Bee Gees Fan Club for people under 21.

30.  I ate chicken testicles in Japan.

31.  I was a vegetarian for one year.  I gained weight and felt very low on energy, even though I was very careful about my nutrient balances.  I need meat.

Hope you enjoyed learning some things you didn’t know about me.  If I don’t manage to blog again in the next two days, have a very Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Published in: on December 23, 2010 at 10:16 am  Comments (2)  

I’m baaaaaack!

Kana’s visit last week proved to be way busier than I thought, thus – no blog posts.

We had a wonderful time!  We went to the Natural History Museum at the U of M campus in Ann Arbor,  Lions game (which they won, boo-ya!), Canada for shopping, the Henry Ford Museum, the DIA and lots of shopping and eating.  Her stay here went by so fast!  When I drove her back to the airport Friday, it really seemed like she had just been here one day.  Now she is in NYC and I hope she is enjoying her time there!

Kana and Stacy tailgating before Lions game

Kana and Stacy tailgating before Lions game

Something very exciting happened the day she arrived (besides getting the first floor finished and fully set-up).  I received a call in the afternoon for a job offer!  I’ll be working part-time (24 hours per week) doing office work for an agency that helps children find foster homes.  I start January 3rd.  I think this will be a nice balance of having something to do and make money, but also have plenty of time to do work at home.  Because of this job offer, I had to visit my wonderful doctor last week for an impromptu physical, blood test and tetanus shot.  On Monday.  During the snowstorm and horrible icy roads.  But, I made it there and back without issue, and my blood results came back with flying colors.  My arm still hurts from the tetanus shot though.

Another thing that happened during Kana’s visit is that I ate like absolute crap.  Poutine, sliders, onion rings, Mexican, Italian, Hershey’s kisses, Japanese Kit Kats, honey-flavored pretzels, and so on.  By the end of the week my body was waving the white flag.  “MAKE IT STOP!!!!”  But, it took until today for me to wake up and say “time for a change”.  So I am cleaning up the diet.  Starting January 1st I am doing The Whole30 (http://whole9life.com/2010/05/whole-30-v2/).  If you want to do it with me, by all means!  I almost have my mom on board 😉  As sad as it is for me to admit, the hardest part will be the no alcohol part.  But, I think this will be good for my alcohol moderation.  I have two New Year resolutions: work out and train to be able to ski a 15k race and drink less alcohol.  Last year my resolution was to give up drinking all soda except a root beer here and there.  I had two root beers this year and no other soda.  I kept my resolution last year and I know I can do it again this year.  The Whole30 will help me to start off 2011 on the right foot.

3 days until Christmas!  11 days until 2011 and The Whole30!

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Exciting Saturday

It is an exciting Saturday here at the Happy Beehive!  TJ Mack has come to paint our new walls, Nick is going to install the knobs on our kitchen cabinets and I just found out there are two Christmas Tree Shops in Michigan.

I know the last one seems unrelated to the first two, but if you have ever been to a Christmas Tree Shop, you can understand my excitement.  The name is quite mis-leading.  Nick theorized that the Christmas Tree Shop must be like Bronners, but it is quite different.  The Christmas Tree Shop is a place to find bargains galore on anything and everything you can imagine.  Sure, at Christmastime you can find Christmas-related items, but the rest of the time the possibilities are endless.  As much as I want to jump right in my car and snap up bargains today, I think a Saturday 4 weeks before Christmas is probably not a great time to go.  So, I’ll go during the week on my leisure time.

I’m not going to post any pictures of house renovation until the painting is finished, but

here is a picture of my cat watching squirrels outside to tide you over:

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on December 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm  Comments (1)  
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Daily Roundup

Productivity:

  • Peeled and cut for various uses, 10 lbs of carrots
  • Cleaned out the refrigerator
  • Cleaned out the back of the truck – it was full of boxes, plastic and paper from the hardwood flooring.  I broke down the boxes and bundled them, gathered up the plastic, and separated the paper — all for recycling.  Also, this was done in 20 degree weather…

Nutrition:

  • Coffee
  • Cheddar cheese and Boar’s Head Pepperoni (I didn’t want to cook anything and make the guys jealous)
  • Spinach dip, guacamole, peppers
  • Primal Cavatini – zucchini, squash, mozzarella, sauce, pepperoni, ground grass-fed beef, parmesan, mushrooms

Budget:  Let’s not talk about the budget while the house is under renovation…

Tip:

  • Cooking things in bacon fat is one of the great culinary joys of life.  Cook up your bacon (preferably in a cast iron skillet and preferably nitrate-free bacon).  Strain the bacon fat through a fine mesh strainer into a Ball canning jar.  Store the jar in the fridge.  Whenever you need to cook something in bacon fat, nuke the jar in the microwave for a minute or so (depending on how much you have in your jar).  The point of straining the bacon fat is so you don’t end up with little pieces of bacon in your bacon fat jar.  This way, the bacon fat will stay good for a long time.  Remember, fat is your friend.  If you think you can’t eat bacon fat, or beef fat or any other kind of fat because it raises your cholesterol, you are mistaken.  Fat is what gives you your energy.  If you think carbs give you your energy, you are mistaken.  Educate yourself – http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ and http://www.marksdailyapple.com
Published in: on December 1, 2010 at 8:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Blog Slacker

Well, my brother just called me out for being a blog slacker, so I figured I would post something.

I’ve been slacking because I’ve spent the past two days out of the house while our Bamboo flooring was being installed.  The boys are back today too, installing trim.  They should be done with everything by lunchtime tomorrow, at the latest.  Hopefully we can get the painter in here soon!  Kana is in the air as I write this, on her way to NY City then St. Louis.  She’ll arrive in Detroit a week from Friday.

I am so thankful that my good friends Mark and Nonie have let me hang out at their house the past two afternoons.  I don’t know what I would have done!  In the mornings I went to the coffee shop and then the gym.  It has been so nice getting back to the gym.  I am planning on skiing in a cross-country ski race in January — my first since I graduated high school.  In order to not finish dead last and totally embarrass myself, I need to get my body somewhat conditioned.  So after two days at the gym after a long hiatus, I’m pretty sore.

I just heard this from downstairs: “DAMN!  That is f*cked up!  That is just bad!”  Not very comforting.

I also heard: “Joe, I just saw your buttcrack.  It kind of turned me on.”

I think they forgot that I’m here…

Published in: on December 1, 2010 at 11:30 am  Comments (1)  
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