Sunday, December 28, 2008

Blackout !!!

Around 7 p.m. on the day after Christmas, the entire island lost power due to a storm. Mikayla and I were home at the time. Luckily, I have quite a few candles and a few flashlights. I also had water in the fridge. Unfortunately, we didn't have much to eat !!! When the blackout hit, I hadn't prepared dinner yet. But, Mikayla and I had each finished a bowl of cereal to tide us over until meal time. (Yes, we eat dinner pretty late sometimes).

When the power went out, I lit the candles and we sat around figuring out what we would do. I used my cell phone to send T a msg on Yahoo Msgr, so he'd know what was going on. My cell phone battery was dying, and I did not want to go out to the car in the storm. Of course, I had no idea when he'd be able to read the message, but I thought I'd notify him anyway.

Mikayla and I sat in the living room for a bit, trying to figure out what we'd do. My hope was that the blackout would be short-lived, but there really was no telling how long it would last. My cousin, J, text messaged me to see if I was okay.

I decided to do something productive and tidy up my bedroom by candlelight. Mikayla kept me company by wrapping some birthday gifts in my room for a birthday party she was to attend on Saturday. I went through my closet pulling out shoes and clothes I plan to donate to Goodwill. That kept us busy for a little while.

Then, we got hungry and searched the kitchen for something we could eat. Unfortunately, I don't have one of those propane stoves, so we had to settle for chips and salsa. Thank God for the bowl of cereal we had eaten earlier !!! *Note to self: buy propane stove!!!

Then, we decided to play the video game on her cell phone. To this day, I still hold the high score for that game, and I really have no idea how I did it! *LOL* Mikayla has been trying for almost a year to beat that score but still has not. We challenged each other during the blackout. Somehow, I managed to beat my own high score !!! *LOL* Eventually, the battery on her phone died so we stopped.

We kept looking outside and saw that everything was pitch black. At 11 p.m., we decided to go to sleep. We got up a few times during the night to check on thing but still no electricity.

The next morning (yesterday), I woke up and immediately went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. We slept in that morning (Saturday). It was 10 a.m. I flipped the switch in the bathroom and -- BEHOLD !!! -- electricity !!! YAYYYY !!!

Well, we survived the night with no electricity, but unfortunately, the groceries didn't make it. I had to throw out a lot of the stuff I had JUST BOUGHT on Friday! UGHHHH !!!! Last night, we went out and bought all new groceries to replace what had to be thrown out.

Early this morning, I got a text message from T. He had just read the messages I sent and was checking to make sure Mikayla and I were okay. I was glad to hear from him and happy to let him know that the worst was just some groceries spoiling. I guess I really can't complain when I have several friends complaining about snow where they live!

Mugs & Mags Swap

I'm in a private swap group that was recently formed. The group consists of a bunch of ladies who all like to scrapbook. The ladies are all uber talented. I feel like the least talented of the bunch, but I am excited to be included in this group as I know that working with them will push my creativity to new limits!

One of the swaps we're doing is a monthly partner swap. This swap doesn't involve any actual scrapbooking. All that is required is that you put a package together for your assigned pal following the theme for that month. The theme for January 1st was "Mugs & Mags".

With this theme, we were to include a coffee mug, a magazine the person likes (we filled out surveys) and some other goodies that the person would enjoy. The idea was for the recipient to use the items to unwind after the holidays. What a neat idea!

Here is my goody package from my pal. Items include: Shape magazine, purple coffee mug, some flowers for scrapbooking, lip gloss (YUM!), peppermint sticks, a cannister of Suisse Mocha and large bag of peanut M & M's (it's T's fault that I got addicted to these).

Another Year, Another Gingerbread House

Mikayla loves the gingerbread house kits we get from Costco. For about $10, you can get all the necessary components to put a nice-sized gingerbread house together. We never actually eat the gingerbread house. We just have fun putting it together. This year, I let Mikayla have free reign to design it as she pleased. It didn't take very long to put together, and she did it while we were actually watching a DVD. I'm not so sure what was going on with the red dots, though. It was part of her design, but I commented that they looked like blood spots. Oh, well.... Here is her creation. Sorry for the over-exposed pics. I took the easy way out when taking the pictures (fully automatic settings!) . *LOL*

Christmas Gifts

I managed to get Mikayla a few things. She really wanted a gift card to Macy's to have her own little shopping spree, so I went and got her a $50 gift card. I also got her some enamel bracelets that were marked down from $17.50 each to only $3.49 each !!! WOOT! I found a cute black hat that was marked down to $17.00. I thought she could wear it with jeans and a t-shirt. It's a really cute hat; and, I confess that I bought her the hat with intentions of borrowing it from her in the future ! :) The best find that day was a purple t-shirt with a fleur-de-lis in rhinestones. I couldn't believe it ! Those are 3 of her favorite things: purple, the fleur-de-lis and BLING !!!

I really am not too sure what spurred her interest in the fleur-de-lis this year. I think it started when we looked up T's hometown of New Orleans. Mikayla has a love for all things French/Parisian and when she saw the fleur-de-lis, she immediately took a liking to it. Now, she loves ANYTHING with a fleur-de-lis on it. I was ecstatic when I found the t-shirt, and it was definitely her favorite present this year.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas !!!

Well, it's Christmas Day, 2008. I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by. It's definitely been a challenging year and, to be honest, I'm glad it's almost over ! I'm looking forward to a new start in 2009

One of the biggest challenges I had to face this year was with my career. After 8 years on the job, I got laid off in September. The mortgage company I worked for decided to close all of its retail offices throughout the nation, giving us 48 hours' notice. It was definitely a very trying time for me, but I kept my faith and pressed forward. Thankfully, everything came together and I now work for a different company with the same people I worked with at my old job.

Despite that, I have much to be thankful for. I am grateful to have a roof over my head, a warm bed and food on the table. More importantly, I am glad to be healthy and to have my daughter in my life. I really don't know what I would do without her. Children just have a way of putting things into perspective for you -- and my daughter does that all the time for me.

Anyway, it's almost 4 in the morning on Christmas Day. Mikayla and I decided to open our gifts at 2 this morning. Money is tight this year, so I couldn't splurge on her the way I normally do at Christmas. I still managed to get her several gifts and was glad that she loved everything. I'm glad she understood why I could not get her anything extravagant this year. I am very lucky that my child is not one to insist on keeping up with the joneses and does not demand that everything come with a designer label. I guess Mama taught her well. ~LOL~

We are just getting to bed now and plan to put a gingerbread house together later on. For some strange reason, I decided to visit this blog and delete all of my old entries (there were only four) and start over. I hope to keep up with this in 2009. Wish me luck with that. Merry Christmas !!!!