Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let's see, what have I been up to?

On Boxing Day, I went out to my cousin's farm with various family members. We played wii, the kids tobogganed, and we chatted. We drove out in the morning and back after supper, so we were only there for about six hours.

The day after that, we took my niece to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs at the cheap theatre. She didn't want to watch it, but in the end she agreed that it was a good movie.

Monday we went shopping and my mom bought a new computer. I set it up that evening and have been gradually getting more things sorted out on it. I still need to transfer stuff from the old computer, but I think I've finally got the two computers connected properly.

Tuesday I got together with a friend for lunch and then Wanda and I took my niece skating. I didn't last long - I need new skates - but my niece lasted close to half an hour.

Today I babysat my cousin's 5 kids. Well, her oldest didn't really need babysitting - he's twelve and was mostly asleep - but I watched the younger ones plus my niece, who came along to "help". After that, I dropped my niece at home, then met another friend for lunch. After that, a bunch of us headed over to visit some friends of the family.

In other words, I haven't forgotten about this blog, I've just been crazy busy.

On the job hunting front, a recruiter contacted me this week. I've also got a second interview set up for next week.

I'm also watching the airport security news and hoping that they get things sorted out before I have to get on a plane. It appears that none of the new regulations should affect me because I've traveling domestically, but I'm hoping I don't have to get to the airport too early, since I have a crazy early flight as it is. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Well, I'm at my parents' place. It took three of us an hour to get the wireless internet working today, but I'm finally able to check my e-mail.

I got in a little early on Wednesday - around 11:10 p.m. - then headed to the house to wrap gifts and chat. I finally got to bed around 2.

At 5 a.m., I met the new dog. By 7, my niece was down in my room. Suffice it to say I'm still a little tired.

Yesterday, I took my niece and my cousin's two girls shopping to buy gifts for their parents. They were really good, but occasionally I did have to ask them, "Who are we not shopping for today?". people around us laughed when they all said, "Us.".

The quillos are finished. Here's a picture of two of them (one unfolded, and one folded).

If you look closely, you can see the edge of the pocket on the red one.

In the afternoon, we painted Christmas ornaments, then headed over to my aunt and uncle's place for supper and gift opening.

Remember that gift I made a while ago? It was a necklace for my sister - she likes elephants, and I found elephant beads. Here it is:

(The small heart-shaped beads are green. The elephants are small and red.)

Today started with brunch, then church and far too much food. My niece, my sister, and I built a giant Lego house (which I'm too lazy to take a picture of, because it's all the way upstairs).

I'm too lazy to come up with a point, so let me end with pictures of my niece and her dog:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ready to go

Well, so far today I have:
- burned my pictures from 2009 onto a CD
- gone to the bank
- cleaned the kitchen
- de-crumbed the toaster (which is technically part of cleaning the kitchen, but doesn't happen every week)
- glued a plastic leg back onto my glass cutting board
- put the granite-protector stuff on the kitchen counter
- cleaned the bathroom
- finished packing
- mopped the floors

I'm ready to go. I even have an hour to spare.

I suspect my anti-procrastination project will take a nose dive in the next couple of days, since I won't actually be here, but we'll see.

If I don't manage to update tomorrow, have a good Christmas, everyone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Where is that sweater?

Well, it has been a busy couple of days.

First of all, I have a new house sitter. (My previous one realized that she couldn't do it right now, much to my relief.) I'm now comfortable with leaving.

Many years ago when I was in Ottawa as a co-op student, I worked with a group that had just done their Myers-Briggs personality tests, and my manager got me and another co-op student to do ours as well. When we were getting our results, the woman who was doing the analysis looked at me and said, "I bet you have really organized closets."

Today I organized my closet. There's always some sort of order to it, but it does get lost when I'm lazy putting clothes away. However, I wanted to pack a sweater that I couldn't find, so I went through and organized it today.

I also vacuumed under the couch, since I moved the couch thinking the sweater might have fallen behind it. Then I noticed that the lampshades were dusty, so I vacuumed them.

(I still can't find the sweater.)

Changing the subject, I call my niece a monkey. She usually says she's not a monkey.

When she was about two, I was at their house and we were eating fruit salad. She asked my dad for the bananas from his salad. He gave them to her. She asked her mom for her bananas. She asked my mom for her bananas. She asked me for my bananas - and when she had everyone's bananas, she looked up with a big grin and said, "Only monkeys eat bananas."

Anyway, I always tell her that monkey elbows are my favourite snack. She then bends her arms and, when I go over to nibble on them, straightens her arms out so that her elbows disappear.

Tonight I was talking with my mom on the phone. She was trying to figure out what we were going to have for Christmas dinner, and I said, "You know my favourite food, right? Monkey elbows!"

My niece heard me and said, "Auntie Colette, here are my monkey elbows."

"Can I have some?"

"Oh, they're straight now.... Pointy. Straight. Pointy. Straight."

Soon she'll be too old for stuff like this, but it's fun while it lasts.

She might even stop roaring at me on the phone.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My weekend

Yesterday was my annual Christmas chocolate making extravaganza. This year, I made both milk chocolate and dark chocolate - heavy on the dark chocolate. Some are filled with truffle - plain, or with chopped macadamia nuts or almonds in it. Some have whole almonds in them.

I also made 1/2 a batch of shortbread.

Today I made 1/2 a batch of chocolate shortbread (which sound good, but I'm not terribly impressed with it) and a 1/3 batch of schnecken.

I also made three polar fleece hats for the kids.

I think I'm beginning to figure out what happened to my weekend.

Did I need to make any of this? No, I did not. But I like baking, and I like eating chocolate, and it wasn't like I was super busy this weekend.

Also, I had planned to give some to my house sitter when she came by today - her grandmother is quite sick and not expected to last long.

She hasn't been by yet.

This has been a recurring problem over the last week. I understand that this is a difficult time for her (and I've offered to find someone else), but she says she can house sit. She just hasn't followed through by coming by to familiarize herself with the alarm system.

This is actually a big problem, because my insurance states that I must have someone check the house every day in the winter or I'm not covered if the furnace quits. If she hasn't been able to come by once in the last week, what are the odds that she'll come by every day when I'm not here?

I think I'm going to have to fire my house sitter.

Like I said, I understand why she's flaky right now, but frankly I can't financially afford to be without insurance.

Anyway, back to the anti-procrastination project. Yesterday and today I worked on the furnace room, and it looks much better. It could still use some work, but I'm happy with the state it's in now.

It turns out that working on something every day makes a big difference.

How many times have I learned that in the last two years?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another post about boxing

I didn't get much done on the anti-procrastination project today - I did tidy the one bedroom a bit, but nothing serious.

This morning, I checked out the job listings and updated my resume on Monster and Workopolis. I went to the gym at lunch, then I spent the afternoon reading The Blind Side. I had started it last night, but the first chapter was very football-centric, so it took me a while to get into the book. Once I did, though, I somehow ended up reading the whole thing instead of doing anything constructive.

I finished just in time to leave for boxing. Today was the last class of 2009, so naturally it was a hard class - 16 stations, 8 of them punch outs, 4 of them driving forward punch outs.

A punch out is basically two or more students taking turns on one heavy bag. Usually we do step in/step out punch outs - i.e. you step in, hit the bag in the appropriate combination, then step out - or standing in punch outs - i.e. you stand in and hit the bag constantly.

Today (as a special Christmas treat), we had 4 driving forward punch outs. Normally, the bag hangs straight down (at a 90 degree angle from the ceiling). In a driving forward punch out, you walk forward as you punch until the bag is at a 45 degree angle to the ceiling. That doesn't sound too difficult, but it means you are hitting an 80 pound bag while trying to keep it from shifting too far left or right. It's a challenge.

This week, we had two people per bag, so out of a three minute punch out, we each were punching for one and a half minutes.

When I got home tonight, I discovered that for the first time ever, I have a blister on my knuckles from boxing. I blame the punch outs, but the truth is that I probably had my hand wrap bunched up or something.

In level one and two, the sessions were very predictable - after I'd done the class a couple of times, I knew what to expect each week. Level three seems to change every time.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Early Start

I got up early this morning to make it downtown for my 8:30 meeting with the recruiter. (OK, I got up at seven, but these days that is early.)

I ended up leaving a little later than I wanted to, and traffic on the Queensway was slow, so I ended up getting to the area around the building at 8:25. I had no time to spare, so I parked at the first place I saw - which cost $14. I could have looked for somewhere else, but again, I had no time to spare. I figured it was my own fault for being late.

I made it to my meeting just on time. I talked with the recruiter for about half an hour, then I headed back to get my car. The parkade was a lot more crowded than when I had parked. As I went to leave, the attendant asked if I had been there less than two hours. Since it had been less than an hour, he took my parking slip and gave me $7 back. That was much closer to what I had expected to pay, so I was very happy about it.

I had considered taking the bus (which would end up costing me around $4.40), but I decided that I wanted to stop and drop off my old computer and video tapes on the way home.

They weighed my 14 pounds of video tapes, since I had to pay for them to be recycled. The computer recycling gets paid for by the province. It was pretty quick - the longest wait was for someone to come to help me, but even that was only a minute or two.

After all of that, I made it home by 10.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Making room

Well, the anti-procrastination project is continuing. Today I went through all of my old VCR tapes in preparation for disposing of them tomorrow. I'll take in the tapes and my old computer on my way back from meeting the recruiter tomorrow.

It's amazing how many video tapes I had. Since my VCR hasn't been hooked up in over a year, I really, really don't need to keep them. Getting rid of them will leave me with a lot more space in
the entertainment stand.

It will also result in two more items getting crossed off the to-do list. That leaves one outstanding item - cleaning out the furnace room - so apparently that's something I should start focusing on. There are very few days left. Of course, the to-do list doesn't need to be done by the end of the year, but I work better when I have a deadline, so I'm going to try to get it done.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Easily distracted by anything shiny

I met with the recruiter today. It was a good meeting, but the job he had me in mind for is essentially off the table - they made an offer to someone. Still, a good meeting.

On the way there, I stopped at Lee Valley Tools. I'm consistently amazed at the service there. This time, I had ordered my stuff yesterday for pickup. From parking (right in front of the door in the express pick-up spot) to turning on the car to leave, I think it took a minute.

I also returned the call from the other recruiter - I'm meeting with her on Thursday. This could be interesting, because I am having problems concentrating on anything this week, and it's just going to get worse as the week goes on.

In other news, a while ago one of my anti-procrastination projects was going to be to fix a cloth shopping bag I had that one handle had come off of, but I couldn't find it. I found the bag while doing my organizing, and today I sewed the handle back on.

I also finished my Christmas shopping today, as well as putting the rest of my pictures into albums. Since it's almost Christmas (when I won't be home), I'm getting motivated to get a lot done. If only I had an attention span of longer than 10 seconds.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Counting down ...

Well, work continues on that bedroom. Yesterday I organized more material, and today I dealt with papers exposed by moving the material. I have extra motivation these days - I need to get to my Christmas fabric (which I use instead of wrapping paper) so that I can pack it.

I also finally got my Christmas cards in the mail. (It took me a while to figure out how to write a Christmas letter that didn't consist of "This year sucked. Hopefully 2010 will be better.")

I also talked with a recruiter today. I'm meeting with him tomorrow. I also got a call from another recruiter, so I'll have to return that call tomorrow.

Both Kathy and Sydney did this today (originally by Mandy), and like the lemming I am I'm joining in. Feel free to share your own answers in the comments.

(1) What is your favorite Christmas movie? Hmm. I have a few movies/TV show episodes I like to watch around Christmas, but my favourite would be Muppet Family Christmas.

(2) What is your LEAST favorite Christmas movie? I don't know. If I disliked it that much, I probably wouldn't watch it.

(3) What is your favorite Christmas song? I have 105 songs on my itunes Christmas playlist. How can I pick one? I like many of the traditional carols as well as a bunch of the newer Christmas songs. This year I'm enjoying Elf's Lament by the Barenaked Ladies. Unlike both Kathy and Sydney, I like Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer - probably because my cousin loved it growing up and we used to do plays to it on Christmas - up until my grandmother died on Christmas Eve. Then it just seemed inappropriate. (She was not run over by a reindeer.)

(4) What Christmas song(s) drives you crazy? What's that horrible Beatles Christmas song? Oh yeah, This Christmas. Not a big fan of that one.

(5) What is your favorite Christmas drink? (i.e. egg nog, hot chocolate) I'm not a big fan of hot drinks in general, and I've never tried egg nog - the concept seems horribly wrong to me.

(6) What is your favorite Christmas memory? Sitting around playing board/card games. Also, the year one of my sisters and I went together and bought my sister Wanda tickets to a concert that she really, really wanted to go to. She was so excited she was literally shaking when she opened the present.

(7) What is the best toy/gift you've received on Christmas? Wool socks. I love wool socks.

(8) What is the worst toy/gift you've received on Christmas? Hmm. I can't really think of one.

(9) What do you LOVE about the holidays? Cookies. Lights. Hanging out with my niece. Cookies.

(10) What annoys you about the holidays? People who overcommit and then are grumpy about it. Don't make your lack of time management my problem.

(11) Do you prefer star or angel on top of a Christmas tree? Or something else? Star.

(12) What is your family favorite recipe at Christmas? If you asked many of my relatives, it would be homemade apple strudel. Personally, I can take it or leave it. I'll go with schnecken. Or shortbread. So basically cookies.

(13) Are you a Grinch or a Who at Christmastime? A Who. But when I sing, I use English words.

(14) Christmas light displays - Love them or Hate them? Love them.

(15) Santas at the mall - Fun times or Creepy? I guess I'll go with fun, although they're mostly irrelevant to me.

(16) Christmas cards - do you send them, yes or no? Yes, invariably timed so that they arrive after Christmas.

(17) What is the best thing about Christmas, in your opinion? Hanging out with my family.

(18) What is the worst thing about Christmas? Not being able to go home and get away from my family.

(19) When do you put the tree up and take it down? The tree goes up the last weekend in November/first weekend in December. It comes down the day I get back - usually around Jan. 1.

(20) Out of the 12 days of Christmas, which day and item would you want your true love to give to you? Hmm. The drummers and pipers sound loud (unless they come with an off switch). Also, my house isn't big enough for leaping lords or dancing ladies. Do the maids come with their own cows? They must, right? Otherwise what are they milking? That sounds destructive and messy. As Andy demonstrated on The Office last week, birds are trouble. I guess I'll have to go with the rings. At least they're quiet.

(21) Why do you think that Grandma got run over by a reindeer? Well, she'd left her medication. And she was stumbling, so I suspect she'd had too much Christmas cheer.

(22) Who is your favorite reindeer? Olive. You know, the other reindeer?

(23) Do you believe in Santa Claus? Sure.

(24) What is your favorite smell at Christmastime? Cinnamon. (There are those cookies again.)

(25) What would make you happy at Christmas this year? Playing with my niece.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Belly dancing

This afternoon, I continued organizing the material I have lying around. I made a lot of progress, but it's not done yet.

Tonight the Olympic torch arrived in Ottawa. There was a big ceremony of some sort on Parliament Hill.

I know that because Wanda and I got downtown as it was ending. There was a stage set up in front of the Parliament buildings, and someone was singing. Everyone was walking around with candles with red plastic cups over them. There were portable booths from Royal Bank and Coke. We even saw a walking bear on the street. (I'm a little confused as to why someone was dressed up as a bear, but someone was.)

We weren't there for the torch - we were downtown because we were going to a belly dance show.

Wanda has been dancing for seven years, and she is doing a couple of workshops this weekend. The instructor was part of this show, and I agreed to go with her.

I've been to a belly dance show before, but it has been a while.

I enjoyed it. The first dancers were definitely the worst of the night, but the quality improved quickly. There were a couple of groups of dancers, as well as several individual dancers. There was even a hoop dancer.

The second last song was "Santa Baby", and it consisted of a dancer dressed as Santa who danced and pulled other performers (and Santas - I'm not sure why there were suddenly a dozen Santas around) up on stage. It was cute.

Unfortunately, it was followed by the finale, which consisted of all of the performers and Santas on stage moving to the music. That went on far too long, especially since we had just seen the same thing.

Overall, though, it was an enjoyable show.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The aftermath

Well, today I have a red spot the circumference of a golf ball on my left arm (from the H1N1 shot). The muscle underneath is hard as well. I was a little concerned about boxing with my sore arm, but it wasn't a problem.

My interview went well, I think. I can never really tell. I'm not 100% sure about this company, but like every other company these days, they do two interviews before hiring anyone, so I'll have time to think about it if they call me back.

This evening I continued putting my pictures from Africa into photo albums. Man, I have a lot of pictures of monkeys. There's still more to do - my safari pictures are not yet in albums - but I'm making progress.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another Busy Day

Today was a busy day. I started the day by running a couple of errands, then I went to the gym. Every day I get an e-mail with the new job postings around Ottawa, and by the time I got home from the gym, it was in my mailbox. I went through the new postings (and applied to one of them) and started preparations for my interview tomorrow.

When I needed a break, I finished off the third apron.
This evening, Wanda and I went and got both flu shots (the season and the H1N1). I've had the flu twice this year, which is two times too many. My right arm (which is where I got the seasonal flu shot) hurts but the other one doesn't. I suspect that will change tomorrow.

And, this evening I addressed all of my Christmas cards. I definitely won't get them mailed tomorrow - that will be another crazy day - but hopefully they will make it into the mail this weekend.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yesterday was one of those days where I realized I hadn't updated after I turned off the laptop, so this is again two days in one.

Luckily, I've been working on the same project for those two days.

Remember the bedroom I said I was going to finish cleaning/organizing before I left for Christmas? I'm continuing on that project. Yesterday and today I started going through the shelves in the closet. I found some ornaments I had as a kid that I will give to my niece. I also found the mute for my trumpet, a bag of pinecones (which got turned into a craft at Sparks last night), markers (that I had forgotten I owned), and a variety of other craft-related things.

Today, I made another one of the aprons and started on the third. I needed to find some contrasting material, so I cleaned off two of the shelves in the closet and started organizing my material in an effort to find what I was looking for.

Changing the subject (as I often do), aren't people supposed to be winding things down in preparation for Christmas? Yesterday, a recruiter got in touch with me to set up an appointment for next week, and today I found out I have an interview on Friday. I guess Christmas is still two weeks away, but I seriously wasn't expecting much to happen in December. (I'm not complaining, I'm just surprised.)

Monday, December 7, 2009


Remember way back in June? I was on the cruise, and I bought a rug somewhere in Greece. (I think it was Athens, but I'm not sure and I'm too lazy to check.)

Anyway, at the time, we all promised that we'd e-mail the woman who sold us our rugs a picture of the rug in its new location.

That was six months ago.

Possibly more.

Today, I finally e-mailed the picture. I found the e-mail address during my cleaning event on the weekend, and it seemed like the thing to do today.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why are weekends so much busier than weekdays?

Today was another busy day.

Remember how yesterday I talked about how much shredding I wanted to get done this week? Well, I finished it all today. It was made easier by the fact that I brought the downstairs shredder upstairs - it's not as finicky about whether the pages are exactly straight and it handles a few more pages than the other one. I have three paper grocery bags of shredded paper ready to go on Friday.

Also, I mentioned that I was supposed to be making some Christmas presents but hadn't started yet. I'm making aprons for my niece and my cousin's two kids. Today I started and got one of the three done. I'll post pictures when they're all done.

As if that wasn't enough, I finally patched the hole by my thermostat. Two years ago, I got a new furnace (with a new thermostat). Naturally, the new thermostat was smaller than the old one, and there was a screw hole visible. I patched and sanded it today. I was going to paint it as well, but I didn't have much paint left, and it has dried up. I'll probably leave it - if a hole in the wall didn't bother me for two years, I doubt a small unpainted piece will bother me.

Finally, I made rolled sandwiches for a Christmas party I'm going to tomorrow night.

(I also carried out a top-secret, Christmas-related errand today, but I can't tell you about it because it involves someone who reads this blog. If it turns out like I hope it will, I will fill you all in after Christmas. )

Saturday, December 5, 2009

One step forward, two steps back

I decided yesterday that I want to get the one bedroom (the one with the desk that I've been cleaning out in it) done before I leave for Christmas. Accordingly, yesterday I did more tidying in there.

Today I cleaned out the filing cabinet. I found a bunch of stuff that I can't believe I saved, much of which is now sitting in the recycle bin. This included a report I wrote in grade 11 (with it's nicely stenciled cover). I also found a replacement bank card*; another letter that I apparently couldn't be bothered to open, but did manage to file; the user manual for the furnace I got rid of two years ago; and various other out of date papers.

Of course, I also found lots of papers that need to be shredded - so my almost non-existent shredding pile is now huge again. I've decided I want to get them all shredded by Thursday, since the last paper recycling day that I'll be around for is on Friday. It's achievable, but, you know, dull.

In other news, I had planned to make three Christmas gifts. It is December 5, and I have made exactly zero of them. I need to get on that, too.

That's right, between the sewing and the shredding, the next week will be a very exciting week around here.

* I have no idea why I got - and then didn't use - a replacement bank card.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Procrastination away from home

Well, as I mentioned yesterday, I took the car in today. I had them drop me off at ITO, where I worked on my Java course again. Admittedly, I was procrastinating about it - it had been probably 6 weeks since I'd been there. I worked on it for about two and a half hours (and got 3 modules done). The sad part is that I only had 4 modules done up to this point. Luckily for me, the modules today went a lot more quickly than some of them have in the past.

I'm going in again next week for another presentation, so perhaps I will get more done then.

As I'm writing this, the TV is on - a leftover from watching one of the cringingest episodes of The Office ever (and anyone who watches The Office knows that it's often a show that makes you cringe). Anyway, there is yet another commercial about the ongoing battle between the cable companies and the local TV stations about a potential new charge for local TV.

The thing is, I don't care which side is right. I can watch TV for free on the internet - or I can buy a season of TV on DVD every month for less than my cable bill. There is a definite limit as to how much I'll pay to watch TV - and my cable bill is currently pretty close to that limit.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Busy as a bee

Sometimes I wonder how I got everything done when I had a job.

Today I went to the gym around noon.

I also applied for some jobs, deposited more cookie money in the bank, returned a book to the library, got another book out of the library, and returned the excess cookie supplies to the grocery store.

I did some more cleaning of the desk and shredding of papers as well.

Tomorrow I have to take the car in (the steering is making some noise), so I will be gone all day. (I'll get them to drop me off at ITO, since I can work on my course in the morning and go to a seminar in the afternoon.)

Friday will be the usual busy-ness of the gym and boxing. Saturday I plan to do nothing. I am very much looking forward to it.

In a completely unrelated note, I recommend Rick Mercer's rant from last night (found here). My personal pet peeve is people who stop their carts in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mmm, cookies

Tonight at Sparks we made cookies in a jar.

Basically, you take a 1 litre jar and layer the dry ingredients for the cookies in it. You include instructions on how to bake the cookies.

It's definitely our most involved meeting of the year, and we had 4 parents come in to help (for a total of 8 adults). We do an assembly line with one adult at every point along the way (and one adult entertaining the other girls).

This afternoon, I had to print out the instructions. Luckily, my friend Jennifer gave me her old printer a couple of weeks ago. (The other printer is in Wanda's room, so I can't use it while she's sleeping. Since she works nights, that can be a problem.)

Today I set up that printer and downloaded and installed the driver. It worked well, and I was able to get everything printed. (Thanks, Jennifer!)

Making the cookies went well with one minor mishap - one girl dropped her jar on her way out the door and it broke. Luckily, we had made an extra jar as a thank-you for a guest we had last week, so she ended up taking that one home.

Here's the recipe we made:
Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookie Mix In a Jar

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (clean inside of jar with dry paper towel after this layer)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup raisins
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup flour mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt

Layer ingredients in order given in a 1 quart wide mouth canning jar. It will be a tight fit, make sure you firmly pack down each layer in place before adding the flour mixture.

Here are the instructions that go with the mix:
Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookies
Empty cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend mix.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix until completely blended. You will need to finish mixing with your hands. Shape into walnut-sized balls. Place 2" apart on a parchment lined or lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 11 to 13 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to baking racks to finish cooling.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.