Sunday, December 27, 2015

Still here, in spirit, anyway

This is week two of vacation, and I can finally say I'm actually relaxed. Or was, until late last night in bed when I had a minor panic attack over what I needed to get done at work. I managed to fall asleep, but woke up around 1:30. That was pretty much it until about six, when I finally fell asleep for a couple of hours.

This is a pattern when I'm on a long break, one brought on, I think, by varying from my usual sleep and wake times by more than an hour at either end. While I don't actually mind being up at five when I'm on vacation, the fact that most businesses don't open until four or five hours later rather puts a crimp in my shopping plans.

Instead, I've been staying mostly at home and Cooking All The Things. As I said in the last post, I've a backlog of things I'd like to try and a freezer stuffed with all sorts of yummy ingredients.

In addition to the meatballs mentioned in the previous post, I've made seared tuna steak (inch thick fillets two to a package, sold frozen by Peapod), a quarter, boneless spiral ham, potato gratin, delicious pan seared lamb chops (actually had two packages, so made them both - lamb sandwich tomorrow) and a bunch of smaller dishes.

To help clear the decks, I'm having a small dinner party Tuesday. Small, because everyone seems to be out of town this week. There may only be three of us (plus the guest dog), but there will be two main dishes. Baked ziti, simply because I want gooey, cheesy Italian comfort food, and a chicken cordon bleu casserole (I froze the substantial hunk of leftover Christmas ham especially for this dish).

After putting off some errand-ish plans from last week to this, I find myself frustrated by the forecast for a winter weather event tomorrow. Two to three inches of snow isn't exactly a "storm", but the freezing rain after it, plus fifty mile an hour winds makes it more than just a nuisance. The start time is around ten a.m.

Because I needed a few things for the dinner party, I'm trying out the concierge service at the local high end grocery. You shop on line, they pull all the groceries, you go to the store at a prescheduled time and they load everything into the car. I still have to haul everything up the basement steps, but unlike Peapod, Sendik's has no minimum purchase.

You can also purchase wine, which you cannot do from Peapod (they sell it, but because they load the trucks in Illinois, they can't transport the stuff over state lines, I think).

Yeah, the earliest time I can pick them up Monday is 10 a.m.

I should be home before the worst of it starts.

Still have a bunch of running to do this week. I won a gift card from a national fabric store chain that just opened a second location in the Milwaukee area - about five minutes from home. I also need to go to the local Bernina shop to pick up a specialty foot for my machine that rolls and sews down hems in sizes (depending on which foot you have) from 2 mm to 6 mm. A friend wants two scarves split, as they are each about two feet wide; the foot will make everything much easier.

Still much to do at home, though I did get the Christmas tree taken down tonight and into its wonderful storage bag. I may have mentioned I bought a new tree this year - the last tree I will ever buy, based on needing to bring the cost-per-usage down to a reasonable rate. It has a cute little bag in which to store the stand, screws and box with extra lights and fuses, plus a giant, heavy-duty plastic duffel bag for the two sections of the tree. The tree fits without really having to squish much, which means less "fluffing" to get it set up next year - score.

Also took down the real evergreen swag that I put on the mantel. It is just barely contained when you put a 30 gallon trash bag over each end. I think I have it set so it won't shed needled all the way down the basement steps and out to the garbage. If not, the basement steps should be vacuumed, anyway.

I read an entire book this afternoon. It wasn't very long; unfortunately, it wasn't very good, either. It was set up in the arctic, and I had visions of something like Alistair McLean's Ice Station Zebra, which I dearly love (yeah, melodramatic spy stories are my thing), since the plot was similar. The ideas were good, but the writing left a lot to be desired. Still, it was great to just sit and read without looking at the clock.

It's almost my usual bedtime. In order to fix this weird sleep cycle, I should start getting ready for bed. Tomorrow comes early, with a lot to do before the storm.


melissa said...

"the last tree I will ever buy" Doesn't it feel strange to make statements like that? I get it, 'cause I say these things too. Like we're going somewhere soon?!?!

Diane said...

Yeah...I've realized that even with my freakishly long-lived genes, I'm more than halfway to my expiration date". And I'm fine with that :)