Well, we're headed out tomorrow for mom's. While we're there, I'll only have access to a dial-up connection; so don't be surprised if next week is just as quiet as last week.
Poor Sweetie, he's actually feeling much better but he just can't seem to shake the cough and it's been keeping him awake at nights (me too, but I'm not as miserable). He's tried the Quils, both Day and Ny, and cough syrup, and lozenges, but he's still coughing. So today I tried looking up remedies online and found a doozy here, and they got it from Herbally Yours by Penny C. Royal, 3rd Edition. I had all the ingredients in my spice cupboard, so he decided it was worth a shot. It seems like it took 30 minutes to an hour to kick in, he's still coughing but the fitful bouts seem to have stopped:
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
Whisk together and take by the teaspoon-full. (He took 3 teaspoons of the stuff and said it tasted a bit like Tabasco sauce, but sweet.)
This weekend has been mostly about getting ready to go. Mom had a list of things for me to bring up to her, the biggest of which were some shelves from IKEA. We have two IKEA stores here in the Bay Area and these are the nearest stores to her. The shelves mom wants are only $25 each but apparently IKEA wanted over $200 to ship them to Oregon because they're over-sized packages. The challenge for me was figuring out how to fit them in the Subaru for the trip up. At 75" they fit, but just barely, and Sweetie will have to ride in the backseat on the way north. Love you mom.
Also on mom's list was some sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, and daikon radish sprouts. Because of all the Asian grocery stores here, we can get the oil and vinegar for way less than she can. And the diakon sprouts are something new. I'd tried them and told her about them, so she's curious to try some. I'm not sure if they're still in season. We'll stop at the vegetable stand on the way out of town and see if they still carry them. It's the only place I've ever seen them.
The last item on mom's list was my Christmas lights. They were hers to begin with and became mine with one of her moves. She has had some clear lights strung in a Japanese maple tree on her patio but they recently flickered their last. And since I don't decorate for Christmas (I can't see the point since we don't have children and we're always traveling to somewhere else for the holiday) she wanted them back.
I was positive I knew where I had those lights stored. Dead positive. So of course I waited until the night before we leave to go dig them out of the garage. Oh yeah, you guessed it. I can't find them. I've found every other ornament and Christmas related item I've ever owned, but the lights? Forgeddaboudit. I have this little voice whispering in the back of my mind that tells me I already gave them back to her when she lived in San Jose and needed to replace the lights on that patio.
Oh well, give it a month or so and all the holiday decorations will be on clearance anyhow. BTW, Target is a great place to go for marked down and clearance items and not just Christmas decorations either. I have it on good authority (my cousin's hubby works for them) that they do not return items to the warehouse from the stores, so they keep marking it down until it sells. If it doesn't sell, they give it to Goodwill.
With the economy being so tight and holiday shopping upon us, I thought you might find that tidbit useful. Oh, and not from my cousin's hubby, but most Target stores follow the same mark down schedule (your local store may be different so checking with an employee wouldn't hurt):
Monday - Kids Clothing and Electronics
Tuesday - Women's Clothing and Domestics
Wednesday - Men's Clothing, Toys, Health & Beauty
Thursday - Lingerie, Shoes, Housewares
Friday - Cosmetics, Housewares, Automotive
Also, all clearance items have orange tags. In the top right corner of each tag you'll see a number, 15A, 20A, this is the percentage the item has been marked down. So if you're on my list this year, don't be surprised if you find something from Target under the tree.
I'll probably have lots of shopping posts and tips as we head into the holidays because, you guessed it, I haven't started my shopping yet. Last year I was finished by Halloween, this year, oh well. We'll start with this one, if you have a kid on your list that loves to know how things work or is otherwise a bit geeky, any one of these 17 items (prices range from $15 to $150) might be just the ticket. Well, maybe not the cutesy guitar for Guitar Hero or the Darth Vader t-shirt, but the other 15 ideas sound good.
Speaking of Star Wars, during my web surfing today I ran across an excerpt of Carrie Fisher's new autobiography Wishful Drinking here. I thought I would just skim through it, but I found myself really reading it. I like Star Wars and all, but I wouldn't call myself a "fan". I do like Carrie Fisher though. Wishful Drinking is due out on bookshelves December 2, but Amazon already has it in stock.
Last thing and then I better start dinner (we're having Kahlua pig fried rice and lots of fruit to clean out the fridge before we leave), I mentioned in yesterday's post that we're planning to do some casual house hunting while we're up north. Sweetie would really prefer a newer construction (10 years or newer), but we're willing to look at remodeled older homes.
One of the things we're noticing as we look is that, unless the developer left trees standing on the lot, very few of the newer homes have any mature trees. It's not as if this is a deal breaker, but trees absolutely add to your home's appeal and value. Not to mention the potential for saving you money while you still own the house and the environmental benefits of more trees. J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly talks more about the benefits of adding trees to your property.
Fall is the perfect time to plant a tree, but there is a lot to consider before you run out and purchase a tree. Check out the Arbor Day Foundation's database and try the advanced search.
You'll want to consider the soil on your property, vegetation zone and sun exposure; you'll want to determine how tall and wide you want the tree to be at maturity so you don't plant too close to your home or to power lines; you'll want to think about any leaves and seeds the tree may shed annually that will require clean up; you'll also want to consider the tree's root system among other things.
Some trees have tap roots that sink deep into the ground and other trees have shallow roots that spread out underground making it next to impossible to grow anything around them. The house mom purchased has trees of this last variety and since she's an avid gardener, it causes her no small amount of trouble.