Friday, December 29, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas, everybody!!!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all.... a Good Night.

'Cause it's late in Memphis!

Go to sleep!

Why are you reading this still? GO AWAY!


Keeping ME from sleeping just so you can look at my beautiful tree...

You DO know I can't open all those yummy presents until Ive been to SLEEP, don't you?


Saturday, December 23, 2006

A breakthrough

Just had to let the world know we've had an animal breakthrough at our house. This morning as I lay wrapped in my robe and flannels and socks and jacket and shirt (I was cold!), the puppy curled up next to me and went to sleep. Then Titai softly padded over and curled up on my chest, soon followed by Oberon, who squinched himself on my lap and chest and partly on top of the puppy.... AND WE ALL FELL ASLEEP THAT WAY! Titania was within PAW distance of the dog and she PURRED. Of course, Pris was asleep from the start, but its still progress, right?

Lots and Lots of Squee

Our camera battery is DEAD and the charger kind of got smooshed into a few hundred pieces by an airline-that-shall-not-be-named the last time I flew to the City (what city you ask? THE ONLY ONE THAT COUNTS! ahem. That would be NYC for the uninformed) so I don't have photos to post of the exciting happenings this week.

1. We have drywall folks! and it has tape and mud on it!

2. That means that, yes! the electrical rewiring project is complete! We are wired! (similarity to our normal state of mind acknowledged, but differences CAN be seen because we now have lights. You know, thanks to WIRING. squee!).

3. Plumbing! LAUNDRY! WHEeeee! After 4 weeks and going through our drawers frantically pawing through mismatched socks to find the last wearable pair of undies, the plumbing is finally fixed and working and Ive done about 11 loads of laundry so far. (clean undies! shirts! jeans! wow! Who knew I had so many clothes?!) We still have about 4 loads to go.... at least.... and that might not be counting sheets and bathroom rugs....maybe.

4. I have a stove. Now, this may not seem to be a big deal to all of those of you out there who have WORKING KITCHENS, but for a woman who's been cooking with a toaster and microwave for 2 months and doing dishes in the bathroom sink (that doesn't drain properly and is sitting on top of a rotten, 40-year-old vanity cabinet. Oh, btw, did you know that you can use a plunger on a sink and it works just as well as on a toilet? Don't worry, I didn't use the same one on the sink as on the toilets, but the concept was there, so we bought a new one and lo and behold, it worked! Slightly better drainage achieved for only $5.78). Anyway, back to the stove! Its gorgeous. All black and steel and shiny and its one of those "newfangled" things with a radiant glass surface so I don't have to worry about my pans tipping because the coils are warped. Wheee! Just in time for Christmas, too. :-) One problem though, the guys who delivered it asked me if we needed a 3 or 4 prong cord and I carefully dug through Hubband's box of electrical stuff and found a big round plug that had 3 prongs so I told them 3 and then when they left I realized I'd been looking at our dryer plug and the stove should have been 4. oops. Now we'll have to return the plug and get a 3 prong. >blush< BUT! I can cook our turkey on Monday. :-)

5. I have MEDICINE. While this is causing me to feel more than a little crappy TODAY, I have great faith that by tomorrow it will be nearly done fighting the nasty green and brown infectious cells rampaging through me and I'll actually be able to breathe without coughing, wincing from stabbing head pain, and choking (in that order). Major squee.

6. Did I mention drywall? The final step before CABINETS?

7. My Mother-in-law is coming to stay for a week and she arrives tonight. This is cause for GREAT SQUEE and also great consternation as I will have approximately 5 hours (from sundown to her flight) to get the house cleaned up and at least SEMI-presentable. I know she won't mind the construction stuff, but I really think she'll want to be able to have space to put a bed. Unreasonable perhaps, but still... you know, beds are good for sleeping and what not.

And on that note, I realize that my hands are shaky and I haven't yet eaten this morning and since I must eat to take antibiotic and must take antibiotic to be well and must be well to help Hubband hang cabinets..... Im off to toast some eggos and make microwave oatmeal (just because I HAVE the stove doesn't mean its hooked up yet or anything. Sheesh people, what do you expect?!)

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sibling Rivalry, Part Two

Many of you have been asking how the kitties are dealing with our newest arrival. I would say.... about as can be expected. For example, Titania, who is not fond of dogs even when they are 10 miles away locked in a car behind a fence and muzzled, runs from Priscilla and maintains a height above the floor no less than puppy-jumping-range at all times. If the two ever do meet face to face, Pris barks and tries to pounce and Titai swats her, hisses, and returns to the aforementioned level above jumping range. Oberon has taken Pris under his poor disabled paws. He cleans her, he beats up on her when she's being too hyper, and even on occasion will sleep with her. They all get along.... about as can be expected.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

As requested...

More puppy pics have been requested, so Ive gone into my camera and pulled everything off that I have to date. These are the "cream" of the crop...

Fighting nap time...
I believe, do you?
First morning home.... sleeping in with Dad.
Later that week, watching TV with Dad.
Merry Christmas!

Sibling Rivalry

Can't you just hear her pleas to "Play with me, Obie! Play!"

'Tis the Season, eh?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Silly Songs with Andrew

As I was slaving over a hot computer... ok, fine, not slaving... I was chatting with Hummingboyd and the Elf, but STILL! Sorry, Im easily distracted these days. Anyway, as I was saying. When I was here, ensconced in my office "working", a voice wafted through from the living area of our house.

By the time I became aware it was Hubband singing, he was doing a riff about cabinets and how great they will be and his "wife will cook for all times". As I giggled and started to tell the girls he broke into the chorus:

"Darlin' DAARRRRRLINNGGG COOOOoook, FOR ME" (da da daaaa duh dunnnnnnn) and punctuated it with the swish of the broom as he swept up sawdust.

He came into the office later and when I hummed the song to him, he blushed (he's so cute when he does that) and said "Yup, today we have Silly Songs, with Andrew".

I think we watch too much Veggie Tales.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

On the Side of the Hill

I dont think I would say I am anywhere near OVER the hill, but Im definately climbing it and nearing the summit. Today, I turned 30. In fact, in about 5 hours I will officially have lived on this earth for 30 years. I was born 5 days after my FATHER's 30th bday, and thinking that by now he had 2 children.... I feel a little behind. hehe.

The day has been fun, although my "real" celebrations were while DangerElf was here and yesterday with the hubband. My MIL really made my day extra special... Ive been craving Fox Pointe coffee ever since we left Oak Harbor and she sent my fav, pumpkin spice, for a bday gift. So tonight? I had pizza with extra garlic dipping sauce, cinnaburst dessert pizza, and 4 cups of pumpkin spice. I probably wont sleep until Im 31! I got phone calls from the family, kisses and bites from the puppy (and the hubband... >blush<), cards, and my present... its been a good bday. I even got to celebrate by hearing a great holiday concert by the U of M music department. Wheeee!

Happy Birthday, Me.

Friday, December 01, 2006

New look

Another new look... this one because I found I was having trouble reading the light color print on the one Queenie had started for me, and with the holiday's we've been so busy we can't work on it, soooo, Ive saved the template we started and will use this one in the interim. Hope you like it!


Happy birthday, Daddy!!!! Congrats on entering a new decade, getting a new house, and settling in your new town. :-)

Birthday elf

Happy Birthday, Ash! For 5 days, 7 hours, and 18 minutes you are THIRTY and Im still "in my 20s". HA!

Seriously.... Happy birthday to the best friend a gal could have.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Introducing Priscilla Shelby (or Eleanor) Boyd

We went to Chattanooga, TN for Thanksgiving this year to spend the holiday with DangerElf's side of the family. As we were pulling out of town, we saw the CUTEST puppy playing in the grass at the side of the gas station and couldn't resist going over to scrunch her. The owners had driven down from Cleveland just to pick her up and told us all about her 10 brothers and sisters.

Priscilla Shelby (or Eleanor) is that puppy's sister... and the newest addition to our family! We couldn't resist...ESPECIALLY when we found out that the puppies were purebred, but since they weren't REGISTERED they were less than HALF the cost of a purebred!

Here's some more shots of "our girl" as we met her and prepared to bring her home. She is currently sacked out on the couch next to me, heaving enormous puppy sighs of satisfaction. We, however, are exhausted. We didn't get home until almost 2, weren't to bed until around 3, and with puppy and baby Jaime and 2 cats and a 3-year-old? NONE of us got enough sleep. Ahhh, life with babies!

Oh, and her name? We couldn't decide between Shelby and Eleanor for her middle name. See, we LIVE in Shelby county, so you know, the whole LOCALE thing and that's kind of cool... but then there's also the fact that she's speedy and brown and the "best" so maybe Eleanor after the car in Gone in 60 Seconds... What do you think?

Monday, November 20, 2006


Have to give a big shout out to Krissa, who came to our work bee yesterday at 10 am and was here involved with working, choir concerts (didn't I mention that? Hubband sang in a long concert last night and the music moved me to tears. It was beautiful), and even clean up! THANKS KRISSA!

Also a big thanks to our church friends Daleena (sp?) and Roni who came over at 8 o'clock at night to help us finish getting insulation into the walls so Hubband and I can drywall this week before the wee ones arrive. (NOT our wee ones, the DangerElf's wee ones!)

Our World

Wow, I think this is the longest I've ever gone without a post since I started the blog! It just goes to show you how crazy things have been over here in Tennesseeland.

Queenie began the painstaking process of updating my blog (see!)... we'll do some tweaking one of these days. :-)

We got the new back door installed:

Hubband finished installing the new recessed header in the attic, we tore down the old one and the old sink wall could finally be removed, he ran the new wiring, did some repairs to the current plumbing and began the process of moving the sink, and we got the windows removed, boarded up, sealed, and the insulation put in.

POUF! All that's left before we can finish the drywall is to replace our current electrical box and run the new wiring for the stove. I think Hubband plans to do that today, but since he has an Algebra test tomorrow, the studying MUST come first!

We have had a couple other newsworthy happenings... yesterday when my high school buddy Krissa was here helping us out, she and I took on the noteworthy job of framing in the second window hole. As hammering upside down and above my head is not my forte its not TOO surprising that as some point I had the hammer rebound and the handle caught me high up on the right cheekbone. Im hoping it doesn't bruise, if it does? Thanksgiving photos this year will have me with a doozy of a shiner! So far, its just swollen. I have high hopes.

We finally got our notification from the Navy regarding our move refund. HALLELUJAH! Not only that, but the amount was such that we will be able to potentially get ourselves a stove and fridge that actually work for our Christmas present to ourselves. w00t!

Now I am off to work... with a gorgeous fall scene out of my window. Hopefully.... I'll be able to put in my daffodil bulbs at lunch time. We had a frost last night!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Hating of the black

There was overwhelming negative response to the black, so Im back to the pink .... BUT! Queenie is going to fudge with it for me, so perhaps we'll leave the pink behind. THANK YOU QUEENIE!!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New look

this is my temporary look. I haven't been able to get the time to actually create a new template so Im sort of cobbling together this one for the time being. Can't figure out why my sidebar is CENTERED but when it was LEFT it overwrote my text so at least that is fixed. No time to do more right now. Anyone out there wanna design and write me a kickin' new template? 'Cause you know, all my friends and family have so much free time on their hands...

Autumn thoughts

This is my favorite time of the year. I woke a little late today so I haven't had time to shower and dress. Instead, Im sitting here at my temporary computer station by the front windows, with the sheers pulled back and the window cracked to let in the crisp fresh air. The clean fresh scent of the earth after rain, the bright blue sky without a single visible cloud, and the tree just turning to gold across the way all have conspired to make me a very content person. I wrote a poem about the fall the other day, the first poem Ive written in months. I wasn't sure I wanted to share it, since its just a "draft" so to speak, and as a writer Im terrified of "bad reviews". However, what is life without a little risk? :-)

Golden spiral through
the misty grey
vibrant red pulse
penetrates fog and
heartbeat of Autumn fighting
conversion until the
the last and the
brightest leaf
falls, gently succumbing
to the roaring, spinning
wheels of Winter. She
steals Autumn's kiss
raping her colors
with her winds and
Autumn falls with
only a whisper
a sigh
and silence under

Oh the trials of Renovation and "Gag orders"....

The police have called us to have us elaborate on our statement regarding the afore-obliquely-mentioned incident. I was advised by several parties to not post a full description of the incident until either more time has passed or the police have resolved the incident. Sorry guys! It HAS been written, as I said, so just holler if you want to read about it.

We got our new back door (mostly) installed yesterday! Its amazing how much more light is let into the kitchen area. I really think if we paint a nice bright cheerful color in there it won't even be noticeable that the 2 windows are gone. And the windows? Are our next project. When Hubband gets home from work this afternoon, we're going to tackle the enormous project of knocking out and removing the steel frame of a window, then reframing, putting the exterior board on, insulating, etc. Our goal is to finish 1 window today and then do the header, final demo, and wiring by Sunday morning so we can use Sunday to replace the electric box outside and the 2nd window. After that? Its just drywall, paint, lights, scrape the ceiling, hang the cabinets, and lay the tile. GRAVY!

Do you see how nicely positive I am? Of course, you're not seeing me last night after we finally got the door (mostly) done and the house looked like a tornado had ripped through and stuck its fingers into every corner of the house and just twirled them all up and let them fall. I had to get out of the house so we went to Patricks for dinner. Again, not really in my diet, but ohhh, the turnip greens are sooo good...and they panfry the cornbread.... and the fried chicken stays crispy even with the bechamel on it... and... well, I was going to say something about their insanely delicious cobblers but we had enough willpower to resist them last night. And when we got home, I didn't even start gnashing my teeth or tearing at my hair again. In fact, I dont even think my eyes were wild for more than an hour or two.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


So this Monday we had a scary/surreal experience that even the police are saying is odd. In fact, a detective told us that the whole incident was "unheard of" in Memphis as a whole, let alone our quiet and poky neighborhood. I dont want to post about the incident as it is still under investigation. If you're really curious, email me and I'll send ya the whole big post I wrote up but can't use.

I did get something out of the fear and adrenaline though, I used them as an excuse to eat a giant cinnamon roll and drink real, caffeinated coffee with CREAM. Other than that, though, we haven't let it get us down.... Last night? On the way home from Costco we entertained ourselves for 20 minutes by whistling the theme to the Andy Griffith Show and testing out different harmony lines.

We're such dorks.

Oh, and in other news? Some CD that was released about a year ago apparently is making it big on the Memphis scene right now and one of the songs on the album contains my cell phone number. Yes, MY NUMBER. Ive been getting calls all day from preteens. Thank goodness we got a call from a DJ last night, so we were forewarned.

The back door is being put in as I type! Photos are hard to come by as our digi battery is on its last legs (wont even recharge). We have video though, does that count?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cabinet Heaven!

Well, they aren't anywhere near being INSTALLED yet, but, hey! Look! Cabinets!

In fact.... cabinets, cabinets, EVERYWHERE!

We're thrilled.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I can't believe I missed the ubiquitous Halloween post!

It was an interesting one...Hubband got home from work around the same time I finished and we ended up crashing out and taking a luxurious TWO HOUR NAP. Yes, people, we NAPPED... on a WEEKDAY... for TWO HOURS. Didn't get us very far on the kitchen or studying or anything like that, but boy did we come out of it feeling better able to attack our projects! We also woke up QUITE suddenly with the remembrance that it was DARK outside and KIDS were coming and we didn't have our lights on! The candy was properly placed in a bowl for easy dispensation! After rushing around getting everything ready we promptly waited another 1.5 hours before anyone arrived. hehe.

Oh well. It gave us time to run to KFC and pick up dinner and then settle down in front of the tv to watch Hellraiser: Bloodlines while the trick or treaters came by (we knew we wouldn't get anything done on the house since Hubband had to study after the kids came, so we just took the evening... kind of like we took the afternoon. Daggum it.). Well, let me rephrase. Hubband watched the movie... I watched snippets of it with my face covered by either a book, my hands, or Hubband... whichever was closest at the time! The story was full of needless gore (hello early 90s horror movie!) but did have a somewhat interesting plot line. You see, there is this puzzle box... and it... but then... and then the kid... but it was actually in the past... and now... but REALLY the whole space station is.... and .... see? Interesting, eh? That's about as much of it as I watched. >grins< Still, fun to push the "envelope" on Halloween.

In other news... our cabinets are being delivered today! I rushed around this morning trying to clear spaces for them in this disaster of a house. We have furniture, kitchen items, miscellaneous stuff, and renovation materials scattered hither and yon and piled high on each available surface. This is going to get interesting. Hubband is trying to get Sunday off work so we at least have ONE WEEKEND without sickness, me gone, him working, etc. The goal is to have the wiring done and the door in by the end of the day Sunday. Saturday night, he's hoping to replace the header with an "up" header (instead of hanging UNDER the beams and on top of the supports, it will have the beams hanging from IT while its on top of the support...) and we'll also knock down the entire "arch" that is in the way right now. Then, next week, we pop out the windows and frame them in. He's already cut a lot of the lumber for that so it really just takes a dry day with him home early enough to take advantage of the sunlight.

Hubband has TWO tests today AND one tomorrow, so please pray for him! Tests are always a bit difficult for him...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Catching up

Have you ever noticed that after a trip it seems to take WEEKS to get back into a routine? Im playing catch up all over the place today. Work is about the only thing on schedule! The good news is that part of my catch up is with an old high school buddy I haven't spoken to in 12 years. We're currently having a gabfest on instant messenger and its so good to hear from her!

Other catch ups... Im behind on the blog, missed at least 3 posts last week that I MEANT to make, we're behind on the kitchen renovation, behind on the cleaning, behind on the laundry, and the dishes, and my reading....

Feels like Im behind everything. Back to playing catch up... and hopefully I'll hit a burst of speed and get back in front of the pack soon.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Jersey, armpit of the world....

I can tell Ive been delinquent in posting lately, when my readers have no clue where or why I am where I am. To remedy:

I work as a field employee for a company based in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. My managing editor, who also happens to be a personal friend, has been trying to figure out a good time for me to come into the office for training that can't be accomplished long distance. For many reasons, that occurrence has not taken place until this week. Last Thursday, he was able to figure out how/when/where on the booking travel issues and as of Sunday I was here. Although both of my sisters live in the general area, the commute to the New Jersey office from their homes is 2.5+ hours in traffic EACH WAY, so I am staying in a hotel near the office where I can be picked up and dropped off each day with minimal gnashing of teeth. I'll be heading to the city for the weekend, spending a couple of nights with each sis and attending the dedication of my nephew, Jacob, at church on Sabbath.

Its very different being in New Jersey instead of New York/Connecticut and even more weird feeling to be back in an office atmosphere after over 2 years of working "from home". I find myself both more and LESS productive -- more productive because I dont have the mail coming in, the doorbell ringing, the cats attacking crickets, the hubband home from class occasionally, etc. but less productive at times because unless I close the office door I find myself tuning into all the conversations in the corridors and staring at fly spots on the wall. I have automatically closed the office door upon my arrival this am. So far so good.

The hotel is pretty nice... it was recently renovated and so far my only complaint about the actual hotel location/amenities is that last night around 1 am some sort of building/car alarm was set off and continued noisily blaring its message of disturbance until almost 4. Beyond that... I actually slept much better last night. The first night, probably due to a combination of no Hubband, strange room, coffee on the plane, and tension, I only slept for about 3 hours. Coming to my first day at the office with bloodshot eyes and black bags under my eyes wasn't in the plan!

Tomorrow I have a meeting with the department head, which should be interesting. Ive actually never met her in person so it will be nice to finally put a face to the name.

Its funny that Hubband and I are both feeling this separation so much... you'd think after 7 months of deployment and umpteen weeks in a row of work ups while in the Navy we'd be used to it. We function fine. We even have fun. But it feels like something is missing and we're both just chomping at the bit to be back together. He sent me a picture of the kitties on my phone last night saying "Mommy we miss you". VERY cute. Its nice to be here, but Sunday's homecoming will be fun. Also... this gives us the opportunity to experience the "other side" of separation since usually it has been HIM leaving and me keeping the home fires burning. :-)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Insights and Eavesdroppings

My trip to New Jersey was an uneventful yet extremely interesting one. Hubband was able to get a couple of hours free from the restaurant and take me to the airport, where we had dinner together before he had to head back to work. While grabbing our dinner, I overheard (I was in the middle of it all at the table where we were eating, and poor Hubband actually had to dodge the attacking woman at one point while he waited for our order) a fight between two middle-aged women. One of them, apparently, had decided that the other one had "gotten her own way" for the entire vacation and that it had been "ruined" as a result. She stomped around the restaurant, insulting her one-time friend (who seemed very bewildered), embarrassing her husband (who tried to smooth things over with their friends and calm her down), and finally ended by announcing at the top of her lungs that she "wouldn't do it anymore" and didn't "want to see your face anymore". She even went so far as to say "Im done with you", while drawing the lapels of her "Fort _____, Wyoming" jean jacket snugly around her neck. Her husband looked even more sheepish and tried to talk to her, sending deprecating glances to everyone in the restaurant, but she would have none of it, slamming the items around in her carry-on. By this time, her friend and the friend's husband had gathered their own belongings and departed to wait for their flight. We were relieved when the husband finally shooed her out of the area.

Hubband and I finished our own meal, said our goodbyes, did a little discreet snuzzling in farewell and I went through security (in front of a girl who carried on at least 5 loud conversations on her cell phone while also talking to her traveling companion... all of the above were regarding the romantic lives of "Christine" "Stu" and I think "Holly"... apparently Christine and Stu had dated, but he was now dating Holly, who was Christine's friend... well, you get the idea -- also behind a woman who was obviously ready for own child, talking incessantly to the baby of the girl in line behind her and flashing her engagement ring excitedly while proclaiming that by "March" she would be married! She was 38! She wanted babies! The whole line knew about it!>grin<).

After collecting a bottle of water and heaving a couple of sighs over the absence of Hubband (its amazing how quickly we have readjusted to having each other everywhere... neither of us slept well last night, either...the first time we've slept apart in months), I wandered to my gate and found... the 2 middle aged ladies again. This time, the hurt was snuffling quietly into a napkin while her husband patted her leg and looked helpless. The Noisy and Immature one (good grief, at her age she should have learned either to speak up about her own wishes or at least accept the choice of a group with some small measure of GRACE) was still slamming around the items in her handbag, complaining to her long-suffering husband, and generally giving off an air of Injured Party that was completely unbelievable. I have to say, perhaps the other friend really did take charge, but I still was thouroughly disgusted by the Immature one's behaviour and attitude.

After all that, our flight arrived in Newark about 50 minutes early, but surprisingly found a gate immediately. I collected my suitcase and waded through the hawkers at the entrance until I reached the taxi stand. One man tried to convince me I was going to pay 65 dollars in the cab to reach my destination and he'd take me in his "nicer" car for the same price!!! Knowing that from LGA and JFK those "great rates" are lies for the unsuspecting tourist, I declined and got a cab (total: $54). Of course, my cabbie promptly got lost in the wilds of New Jersey and it took over an hour to get to my hotel.

Now, after a mostly sleepless night (no hubband, strange bed, strange noises...), Im editing pediatrics and reflecting on strange it has been to come "home" from "home" and to be staying in a hotel while Im here....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Day of Rest

Im lounging until Hubband wakes up. Sprawled out on the couch in my robe and nighty with cat accessories (one at my head and the other squished into a couch pillow). We're taking a "Home Sabbath" today....

Im being shipped off to New Jersey tomorrow afternoon for a week of work, a weekend of family, and probably at least 1 evening of friends. What with the need to do laundry, pack, etc. We decided we'd rest at home today, do a nice bike ride or something this afternoon in the sunshine, and then go to bed early and get up refreshed to prepare for the trip. Hubband has been threatening to kidnap me somewhere tomorrow afternoon so I'll conveniently miss my plane. :-) This is our first separation of any length since he got home from Cruise. It is "only" a week, but feels longer somehow.

I logged in ready to be eloquent and tell at least a few of the Interesting Incidents of the Past Week, but I find that Ive run out of "oomph" as my mother would say. Instead of thinking back over the week's happenings, Im staring out the window at the leaves and dreaming of coffee and waffles. I think I'll go make them... and then sit on my front step and breathe in Fall.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Tip of the Week...

This week I have been putting together a calendar full of tips and facts so I'll just share one of those for the tip today...

A "blue moon" is defined as the second full moon in a single calendar month -- this occurs only about once every 2.5 years.

Interestingly, this definition, while considered correct today, originated from a mistake in a publication of Sky and Telescope magazine in 1946. Previously, the definition of a "blue moon" was the third full moon in a season which contained FOUR such moons.

Interesting eh?

And just as a bonus...

Moths have no stomach.

Books for the week

Im a little late with this post... its been a crazy week! We haven't even had time to do anything more to the house because our evenings have all been filled with other things...

So, this week! Its a very short list...

Dance of the Gods (Nora Roberts) Very good... can't wait for the next in the trilogy to come out. Its due in November, as is her next in the JD Robb series. My only complaint was that the physical descriptions of the women in the Gods trilogy are VERY similar to those in the Key trilogy...But Im sure most people probably dont read Nora as avidly as I do and would never catch the similarities.

Gaudy Night (Dorothy Sayers) Haven't finished this one yet, but its a fun departure from the standard Peter Whimsey novel as this one is told from the viewpoint of Harriet Vane, a detective story writer who is friends with him.

For work, Ive been putting together a calendar of "tips and facts", so Ive also been reading a lot of World Records books and Almanacs, etc.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Clearing the Air...

Ok, I seem to have started a firestorm with the photos I posted of our renovation/demo due to a lack of pictured safety equipment. Let me clarify that we ARE taking precautions!

After pulling up the carpet and flooring and making the one small hole (pictured) in the drywall to verify our ability to move a beam, we used face masks AND safety glasses, and even went and bought new ones after we saw how quickly they "clogged" when we were working with that nasty old insulation. We also wore LONG SLEEVES and LONG PANTS and GLOVES and immediately washed any nicks and scratches with antibacterial soap. I PROMISE we're being careful! hehe.

I love that you all are worried about us, we sure know we're loved! The part we're really not looking forward to is when Hubband has to crawl under the house to work on the plumbing... we already bought him a full body tyvex suit and he has his gloves and such, but that isn't going to be fun!

In a side note... while the insulation we found is VERY old, there was a nifty little reference for us tucked into one of the walls. It was an original bag for the insulation! Nicely labeled with manufacturing date (1952) and ingredients (wool, and some sort of synthetic like polyester that I can't think of right now but is NOT asbestos). Cool, eh? We also found a Christmas package bow and label. Gotta wonder how THOSE got in the wall! Must have dropped down from the attic or something.

And so it begins....

This last week saw us receiving the financing for our kitchen, ordering the cabinets, tearing out carpet, and starting demo...

I have to say, as much as I enjoy the whole renovation process and most of the work is usually at least INTERESTING if not fun... our demo process was none of the above. Have you ever breathed 60-year-old insulation dust? Ripped out a huge piece of drywall, tripped over the one on the floor, and ended up crashing to the floor? Slammed your sledge into the drywall and have it hit a hidden double stud, bounce off the wall, and send the few tiny chips of drywall it dislodged straight into your eyes? All of those incidents happened to us in our first major day of demo. The good side? Since Friday afternoon (and with taking Friday evening and all day Sabbath off...) we have accomplished the following:

Ripped up carpet and pad
Pulled out carpet tacks, staples, and tack strips
Pulled off the crown and baseboard molding
Ripped out two sections of rotten subflooring
Removed the drywall from 3 walls
Pulled down 2.45 cabinets (the only ones we had)
Pulled drywall off an existing soffit
Removed the soffit framing and insulation
Pulled up 2 layers of linoleum
Scraped up about half of the final layer of linoleum (original to the house)
Made 3 runs to Home Depot and 2 to Lowes

Not too shabby, eh?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Two Years ago today....

Thank you for 2 wonderful years, my love. I have only grown to know you better, to love you more, and to know that our life together is better than I ever dreamed it would be.

I love you, here's to 50 more....

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tip of the Week

Dont sit in sweatpants on a microfiber couch with a laptop in your lap and then scoot forward and pick up the laptop. This results in a significant electrical charge running through your body as the static you've generated interacts with the laptop battery.

Yes. Sadly, Im speaking from experience.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What Im Reading ...

This week has been so busy, and we've been out and about so much, I didn't get as many books in...

1) Patricia (Grace Livingstone Hill): I thought I hadn't read this one yet, but by the end it was quite familiar. Still a nice Friday evening/Sabbath afternoon read.
2.Wildfire At Midnight (Mary Stewart): Again... I think I have read this before, but am not sure if it were perhaps published at some point under another title... VERY good mystery. I love MS because her heroines are always smart, flawed, stupid, etc. at all the right times.
3. Carry on, Jeeves (PG Wodehouse) Ive just discovered the Jeeves books and love them. VERY fun.

I also got Morrigans Cross and its sequel Dance of the Gods. Ive started rereading Morrigans (since I read it in the bookstore last time...). Also started reading Killjoy by Julie Garwood, then realized I'd heard it on an audio book. *giggle* I guess it has just been a "rereading" kind of week...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Disappointment in The Departed

If you plan to see The Departed, do not read this entry!

Saturday night we met up with the youth group and got TCBY, then headed to a movie. The gang wanted to see The Departed; I was so-so, didn't mind, but wasn't sure I wanted it to be the first movie I've seen in the Theater since Rhonda visited us in Oak Harbor before the move. Hubband? Was adamantly against the movie. Not only does he not generally enjoy gangster movies, he doesn't like Matt Damon, Leo DiCaprio, OR Jack Nicholson (I know, I married a freak). We decided to meet the gang for ice cream and if we couldn't change their minds about the movie we just would head home or see something else on our own. There was nothing else playing. The gang wasn't sure about anything else anyway, and AK had to get up at around 4 am so didn't want anything that started late... so we went to The Departed (Hubband: "We came to go to a movie with the gang, lets go to a movie with the gang!").

The Good: The movie was excellently written, well-directed, and the acting overall was top-notch.

The Bad: Everyone dies. It was worse than a Shakespeare tragedy, too, because not only does everyone die, the good guys die FIRST and the bad guy's death isn't any sort of closure of the case or the issue or anything, its just this sickening BANG in the head.

The Worse: Lots of blood. Lots of swearing. Lots of drugs and weird love triangles.

The Worst: The last 20 minutes of the movie. Up until then, I wouldnt' have said to anyone "go see this", but at least I wasn't feeling that it was a total waste of time and money.

Comparison movies: 3000 Miles to Graceland plus Pulp Fiction and a little Dangerous Liasons/Quills thrown in for good measure.

After the movie, everyone told us that they should have listened to us and gone to see something else. Only Hubband and one other guy liked the movie at all, and Hubband liked it only because all the actors that he dislikes died!

What a waste of a Saturday night on the town...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tip of the Week

Im going to try and give out tips every week based on what Ive read over the week, be it blog or book or periodical or work-related. They may be truly helpful, or just totally random bits of trivia that have floated through my brain (like, did you know that the flood lasted EXACTLY 5 months? It started and ended on the 17th day of the month...)

This week's tip comes to you after reading this post by Dooce. In it she mentions her disappointment in the removal several years ago of the TOSTADA from Taco Bell's menu.

My Tip:

Since the advent of the Crunchwrap Supreme, Taco Bell Tostadas are once again available. It may not appear on your local TB menu, but if you order it they will make it for you, they have never even asked me what it is or had to question the price. I think its still on the cash registers!

Eat up!

Hilarious and Horrible at the Same Time

We brought Obie home from the vet on Friday afternoon and he was NOT a happy kitty. They had been able to get his xrays accomplished fine (without the radiologist they could tell in this set IMMEDIATELY that he does have a congenital defect in the bone structure of his pelvis. We find out more tomorrow), but they did have to knock him out to do it. They let us come back and get him from "population" ourselves. It was kind of funny because he was growling and glaring at everyone until he realized it was DADDY talking to him and then he gave this plaintive little yowl and tried to stand up and get to Hubband. Well, he was still mostly drugged and couldn't walk so the poor guy kind of toppled over in the crate and Hubband had to scoop him up and carry him to his "home" crate.

We got him home and he tried to get out of his crate and talk to his sister, who immediately hissed at him, smacked him in the head, and ran away. Poor guy! He tried to take a few steps and his back end just gave out. It was kind of funny in a horrid way... it lasted all night. He'd try to walk and would be so relaxed that those weaker muscles in his back end would just give out. Hubband said he looked kind of like a jack knifing semi every time he took more than 1 step because his front end would go one way and the rest of him would just sort of swing out to the side and collapse.

Today he's doing better, and we're looking forward to finding out what our options are for treatment, as well as the "official" diagnosis. There has been talk of using him as a case study as it appears to be a syndrome that regularly appears in canines (particularly german shepherds), but not in felines! Who knows... we're just glad he's home and feeling pretty good. He spent the morning curled up on a throw pillow on the couch next to me as I worked. Tough life!

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Bookish Kind of Gal

Apparently, not everyone reads as voraciously as we do in my family, a fact which never fails to surprise me. Even at my busiest, I will devour an average of 4 books a week. If Im swamped with work and cleaning the house and keeping up the yard and running errands, there is still the 5 minutes while the coffee perks in the morning and the oatmeal is cooking, all those times you have waste in the bathroom, meal time, etc. With the coming renovation (read: building) of the kitchen, I think my reading time will shrink slightly. However, just to give you an idea... Here is what Ive read since last Friday:

1. Morrigan's Cross (Nora Roberts)
2. Wait Until Midnight (Amanda Quick)
3. Shadow Game (Christine Feehan)
4. A Busman's Holiday (Dorothy Sayers)
5. How to Kiss a Frog (dont remember who the author is)
6. White Flower (Grace Livingstone Hill)
7. The Enchanted Barn (Grace Livingstone Hill)
8. The Admiral's Bride (Suzanne Brockman)

At the library on Monday and Wednesday evenings, I also read/studied several books on writing/designing HTML templates, wandered in the history and food sections for around an hour each, and even poked my nose into gardening and comparative religions.

Its amazing to me that I had time to read all that when Ive felt completely overwhelmed with work, bills, vet visits, pet worry, remodeling research/ideas, etc.

So, what are you reading?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Neurological or Congenital?

Many of you know that our cat, Oberon (the puddle who adores coffee), has been having some difficulty with his back legs over the last couple months. These problems first became noticeable around the time of our move and began to worsen over the last few weeks that we became quite worried. I was able to get a recommendation for a vet from a friend and we made an appointment.

The Drama

First off, I ADORE this cat. I adore BOTH my cats, but Oberon (aka Boopy, Boo, Oobers, Obi-Wan Kenobi cat, Obie, etc) has a special place in my heart. Perhaps because he has such an attitude, I dunno. He's just a major love bug and cuddler and ... anyway! We have been quite worried that something HORRID was going to turn out to be wrong with him AND we had a very bad experience with our last vet, so we arrived at the office with no little amount of trepidation.

When we first spoke with the vet (who we love and adore, incidentally), it was so NOT encouraging that I ended up sobbing in the treatment room the entire time they had him in back getting his labs done.

We ended up being at the office for over 2 hours and Boo had a shot, an exam, xrays, AND blood work. The doc showed us the xrays and pointed out that, encouragingly, there were no lesions or anything that on first look was at all bad or scary. He did have some small kidney stones forming, but that's easily treated by changing his food a little. We told them about his hypothyroidism diagnosed by our old vet and they were VERY intrigued as apparently that is a rarity in felines. Knowing that the old vet had really done a number on Obie, the new one went out of her way to pet and coo at him as well as inform us every step of the way what they were doing and why.

The Diagnosis: An ongoing drama!

After all the results from all those tests came in, here is the breakdown.

1) He has an extreme form of hyperesthesia, which basically means he is hypersensitive. This is why he doesn't always like to be petted on his back and why during petting sessions he may suddenly snip at the person who had him in full blown purr just moments earlier. The hyperesthesia may be caused or worsened by whatever is causing the weakness in his back legs

2) The weakness in his legs and hindquarters could be caused by a neurological problem that would require an MRI to further isolate/diagnose.

3) His blood work came back GREAT (even his thyroid levels were RIGHT ON, which causes much curiosity on my part as to the competence of that other vet. grrrr), so that took away the worries that there WAS cancer or something hiding in his system.

4) The weakness could be caused by a problem that the radiologist found on his xrays. Our vet did not see the issue at first look, but when the radiologist looked them over at her request, it appears that Obie has either a congenital or injury-related problem with his pelvis that could be cutting off the nerves and reducing blood flow to his legs. Whether this, in combination with the neurological/hyperesthesia has all combined to make the problem worse or is the problem all by itself has yet to be determined.

Next Steps?

So, we will be dropping him off on Friday morning to be put to sleep (NOT permanently!) and have a full xray panel completed. Yesterday they gave him a shot to calm him down so they could do basic spinal films, but they will need to put him in some positions that require he be asleep so no one gets bit, scratched, broken, etc. The results of those films will tell us what direction to go next. If the pelvis truly isn't an issue, we've ruled out all but the neurological causation and could then move on to an MRI or simply trying a few different treatment options and isolate that way.

Please keep him in your prayers. We love our kitty! He is family! I'll keep ya'll updated as we know more.....

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Working on it...

Well, you are stuck with this template for a while. I don't like any of the standard blogger templates and am slowly (but surely!) working on a new one of my own(ish) design. Im going to test it out on another page, so you'll probably forget we even had the "template change" discussion by the time it changes. hehe. Oh well. Im not a designer! (said in an austrian accent, of course).

I went to the bookstore today while Hubband was at work and read a book. A whole book. I still want to buy it, but at least now Im not agonizing over the fact that its sequel comes out in 4 days and I haven't even read the first. Of course, while I was there, I found out that 3 more of my fav authors have published new works. Im now about 6 months behind on my reading! WHATEVER WILL I DO?! Back to amazon to update the wishlist and make more trips to the library and bookstore. Its the only thing a girl CAN do...

I also saw the 2007 guide to publishing is out. Its a $30 book, but has been subdivided by category now (novel, poetry, etc). It made me renew my resolve to work on my novel. I'd love to be able to finish the manuscript by this time next year. Then I could actually justify spending that $30 since I may end up selling my book out of the deal. I could probably finish a draft of it even sooner than that... if I could just get past the fear that it sucks and WRITE. Typical, isn't it?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Its unanimous

Well, the overwhelming consensus is to change, so now I just have to figure out HOW I want to change it! :-) Bear with me folks, there may be weird looks ahead.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thinking about a change...

Im getting tired of the pink here... I sometimes feel as though Im drowning in pepto bismol whenever I read my own blog (yes, I read my own blog... how else would I get ideas how to write my stuff better?! After all, an editor is an editor is an editor... even when they are a writer!). I got this design from Zoot and I LOVE IT... just... maybe I'll go in and change the pink to something else. Or maybe I'll actually try to design my own page... or maybe I'll dig into my change jar (I get all the money I find when doing laundry as my play money) and *gasp* actually PAY A TALENTED PERSON TO DO IT FOR ME! Or, since I have talented people IN THE FAMILY... I could just play the "I suck at html" card and have my SIL or Sis do it. hehe. What do you think? Are we ready for a new template here at the nest?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Our Pride and Joy

We brought home a tightly wrapped bundle of joy on Thursday and by Friday evening it was humming with pure contentment. In spite of the sleepless hours getting it snugly into its new place in our home, and the scraped knuckles, encounters with enormous bugs, and numerous wonderings if we had made the right decision, within an hour of its humming? So were we.

No, we did not get another kitty, or a puppy, or a baby... we got a DISHWASHER.

A glorious, beautiful, stainless steel contraption that has taken hours of work out of every day of my life... and increased the amount of times Hubband can help with the dishes. He always has helped when he could, but my love of actual cooked meals creates many many dishes and therefore helping is a longish proposition and homework infinitely more important in the scheme of things than scrubbing pots and pans.

So, he took a few hours of his time on Thursday and carved out a place for our new contraption.

He looked at our electrical and plumbing and ran screaming to his algebra homework.

Friday, he spent hours working on wiring, buying and returning numerous plumbing apparati, and finally... tightening the last nut and caulking the last seam of pipe, and starting the very first load.

Life is good.

Monday, September 25, 2006


In the shower this morning I was having a very serious talk with myself. I had discovered a latent annoyance (latent! who am I kidding!) with celebrities who's entire goal of life seems (I say seems because I do not know these people, only the face they present to the world) to be to shop and party and buy all the latest and newest toys. While I know that this is in part why they are famous and why they make so much money, I can't help but wonder why more people with money aren't more responsible about it.

If I were really fabulously wealthy, I would want to give to charities, of course, but one of the greatest dreams I have is to have that money and be able to find someone or some family who is deserving. Not because they have had seven million hardships, but because they try so hard every day to manage things and keep going and still do the special things. A family like so many of my friends have... who dont NEED a large influx of cash, but would have so much fun buying gifts for their family and fixing all the little things that need fixing, and maybe buying a new winter coat for the first time in 8 or 9 years... Wouldn't that be fun? Perhaps the desire is a selfish one, as I wish sometimes that that would happen to us.

I actually dreamed the other night that I won a contest for $20,000 to decorate one room in my house AND ONLY THAT ONE ROOM and I was very upset because that much money? Could almost renovate my entire house and leave a tidbit leftover to get Hubband that mixer he wants (sound, not food). Of course, I'd also love to buy my sisters a trip to a spa, surprise my MIL by getting her out of debt, fly my grandmother to meet her newest Great Great Grandson in CT, etc.

Come on Paris, Lindsay, Nicole, Jessica... wouldn't that be more fun than yet ANOTHER trip to Barney's or Rodeo Drive?

On the flip side...

Yesterday morning I drove Hubband to work and passed the crossing guard who usually works over by the University. He was working at a church who's parking lot is across a very busy street from the actual church buildings. I have noticed this man before, mostly because he gets so much enjoyment out of his job. "Twip twwwweeeeeep tip whooop" goes the whistle as he firmly plants himself in the way of oncoming traffic, brandishing his "stop/slow" sign and whistle like a Celtic warrior with his lance and sword. He is a small, thin, older black man with a bounce in his step. As I picked Hubband up (a mere 20 minute after I dropped him off... they didn't need him at work), we passed the guard again, walking away from the church, still garbed in his bright orange vest, still bouncing, and smoking a cigarette with obvious enjoyment of the sunshine and nicotine.

There is something to be said for job satisfaction.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cabin Fever

I realized this morning that other than the daily walks around the neighborhood that I have been taking every day I haven't been out of the house since Monday. MONDAY! We have a small house, people, and its no wonder Im contemplating eating everything in sight, turning into a TLC-loving couch potato, and taking random naps and snipes at the cats/hubband. I decided today that this was a problem and demanded that I be taken on a date tonight.

Working from home is always held out to us as the "holy grail" of the working world. "Have your cake!" they say "Eat it too... in your PAJAMAS!". But what they dont tell us is that working from home will limit the work you can do. You will not be able to have a widely varied set of duties because the company can only send you certain types of things. This wont matter for the first year or so until you've worked your way through each one several times. After that? It gets old. Then there is the fact that the only human interaction you get is outside the house or with your husband/kids/pets. Some days I'll have someone knock on my door to sell me something and Im ready to invite them in for tea! cake! cookies! TALK TO ME PLEASE! Finally, working from home means that when your spouse comes home at the end of the day and wants nothing more than to collapse on the couch and watch reruns of SciFi shows with a pile of snacks at the ready... you have been in the house all day, and want nothing more than to leave it!

I will admit that being in a town where we know very few people (all of whom work or are in school OUTSIDE the home) and sharing a car and living off a single salary (for the moment) probably add to the problems. After all, if Hubband has the car I can't very go somewhere outside the neighborhood! And if I take him to school, I still have to worry about finding something free to do and am still alone.

Have any of you ever experienced this? Are you all still like the guy who came to check if our BellSouth telephone service was still the "best deal" for us and spent 10 minutes talking about how lucky I am to work from home? If not, if you're like me... got any suggestions on how to do something inexpensive and outside the house in an hour or less?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I have now officially created my very first recipe. Now, I dont mean one of those where you just randomly throw things into a pot, I mean taking a true diversion from an existing recipe and changing it SO much that all that remains is about 2 ingredients. I have created....

Brandied Peach and Strawberry Smush

Its basically a quick cobbler, but with canned brandied peaches, fresh strawberries, a small sprinkle of sugar over the fruit, then 3/4 of a french vanilla cake mix, a stick of butter, a little more sugar, and pop in the oven until the fruit juices bubble up through the top. The VERY edges and top of the whole thing get a little crispy, but everything else is this glorious smush. Its the only way I can describe it. I was very pleased, but please note. IS VERY RICH. hehe. I think it would be well served with a little lemon sorbet to give it a bit of tang. Hmmm or I could put some lemon zest in with the fruit.....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Another Post Full of Miscellaneous Unrelated Information

I have driven in most of the largest cities of this continent and am still amazed at the stupidity/audacity of drivers in Memphis. People never use a turn signal, speed limits aren't even "guidelines", yellow lights are the signal to speed up, no one checks their blind spot, and having someone cut you off from the right while they themselves are cut off from the left while someone from behind you decides to zoom across 6 lanes of traffic and over a bit of grass to get an exit is perfectly normal. Last night, however, we were so shocked by a driving incident that we laughed all the way to our destination. In fact, Hubband, who reads the blog about once a year, turned to me after the incident and through gulps of laughter said "You HAVE to blog THAT".

We were driving to Sears last night to ogle dishwashers and refrigerators. Sitting at the corner of Dunn and Getwell, waiting for the truck in front of us to turn left so we could turn right, we were honked at by the car behind us who apparently didn't see the HORDES of traffic (full on rush hour folks...) rushing by. There were about 3 cars on Getwell in the center lane trying to turn left onto Dunn, so the car in front of us couldn't even turn into the turning lane if the near lanes were clear (which they werent), let alone get all the way across 5 lanes of traffic to go left. The car behind us kept intermittently honking until finally the truck ahead turned left INTO oncoming traffic, zoomed the wrong way for about 100 feet swerving to miss oncoming cars and then jumped into the center turning lane before cutting off a mercedes in the right hand lanes. Now, why was this somewhat frightening occurence funny? Because she did the whole maneuver IN FRONT OF A COP who literally glanced over at her as he continued on his merry way, HE EVEN SHRUGGED AS HE PASSED OUR CAR!

I never want to hear someone complaining about driving in some sort of traffic again. I would choose LA or Manhattan over Memphis anytime.

Since the weather has gotten cooler, Ive been turning the air off and opening our brand new beautiful windows. Not only does this air out the house and save us electricity, the cats ADORE it. The window to the left of my desk looks out at the fence and the trunk of what is arguably one of the biggest trees Ive ever seen barring a redwood. Its limbs cover all of our house and about half of our neighbor's house (and yes, we know that's unsafe... trying to figure out how to get rid of it!). Squirrels LOVE this tree, and the kits will sit on the edge of the desk frozen into strange and wonderful poses while quacking nearly uncontrollably at the furry varmints who sit on the fence and quack back. When both sides tire of that game, the cat in question invariably wanders to the window on the right side of my desk, which faces our front yard and provides a suitably all-inclusive view of the neighborhood. As of right now, Obie has the place of honor and is presiding over it with equanimity if not grace.

My father in law was here this weekend and we had tons of fun. He'll be coming back through briefly tonight, and will share dinner with us, my high school friend Krissa, and our new friend from church, Rachel. Everyone but Hubband and I are pretty much full on vegetarian (no flesh, but cheese and milk ok), so I decided I would do one of our favorite "mexican" meals which include enchiladas with lashings of cheese, onions, sauce, and other goodies, and my mom's green chile rice. I very carefully planned out how many servings I would need, bought ingredients, and brought them home to realize that Im going to have to paw through all my kitchen boxes to find dishes big enough to use to cook them in! I am so used to having all my casserole dishes, mixing bowls, etc. that I didn't even realize that they aren't yet unpacked.

We applied for a home renovation loan yesterday... have heard nothing yet which I hope is good news. I figure no news is better than "no" news. :-)

I tried a new type of coffee yesterday and it made me miss my pumpkin spice from Fox Pointe. And APricot Creme... sigh. I think I'll have to order some for my bday. :-) OH! Speaking of that auspicious entering the next decade kicking and screaming day... it appears that my "twin" sister will PROBABLY be able to spend our bday here! WITH US! TOGETHER! WHEEEEEEEEEE. Im trying not to get my hopes up because I, of all people, know how plans can be thwarted. But I am going to go research all the fun things we can do here in town... and look up spas.... and maybe even take a little foray into the world of tatoo parlors because we think that this may just be the right time to get our first tattoos....maybe.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Miscellaneous Little Notes

Today when I went to deposit a check (yeah Verizon Wireless refund! Yeah Verizon overpay refund!) I passed this store and just couldn't resist the sign in the window. (Undfortunately, none of the shots I took with my camera phone came out clear enough) There was a white sheet of paper taped in the window of Paco's Cafe (closed Tuesdays) with a blue and white picture depicting the fact that the Paco's has male, female, and handicapped restrooms available. Above the image it said "Costumers Welcome". I wonder what they would do if I walked in without buying food, while wearing a Princess Leia outfit, and asked to use their restroom....

We also have now had TWO bathroom disasters in 24 hours. At 11:15 last night, hubband was nastily knee deep in guck from a toilet overflow that threatened the master bedroom. We were able to confine the mess to the bathroom, but he ended up having to fix it by HAND and then pratically BATHED in bleach before he showered and came to bed. Tonight? The other bathroom decided to get in on the fun. This time, he was able to catch it and stop it before the actual overflow occurred, but I still made a rush run to Rite Aid for a plunger. Twice in 24 hours is pretty indicative of the fact that we will probably need one in the future!

Our cat has started channeling Queenie's cat, Augustus (aka Auggie, gus gus, NEEERRRDDD, etc). He has started losing his train of thought during a bath and ends up sitting there with a leg wrapped around his neck watching the world go by as though all were hunky dory. Who knows, maybe that is comfortable in middle-aged cat land. He also has started mimicking Auggie's call to the household at 3 am. Instead of just a random "MRAOW" noise we hear plaintive little "huh whoa?" "HA WHOOOAAAA???"s coming from the hall outside our door. The first time he did this? We both sat straight up in bed, looked at each other, and cracked up.

My niece has started protesting nicknames. Sis tells me that today for instance she told her Daddy very firmly " "I told you three times dont call me fuzz or stuff, I AM GRACE". At least she knows. :-D I wonder how she'll react to her Uncle calling her Gracie Poo when she's 14...

I, the inveterate chocolate hater, have been craving the stuff like mad for about 3 weeks now. No, not pregnant, not even hormonal... just craving it. I finally gave in and bought some hot cocoa. Hopefully that will assuage the evil demon that is asking for that ... STUFF.

I have tried to call my sis THREE times in the last 4 days. WOODSIDESPRITE?! HALLO?! ARE YOU THERE?!!!!! I finally resorted to singing incredibly off-key songs to her answering machine. I think we're bonding. I've asked it to let her know that I am in need of a Plantier Girl Chat Fest. We'll see what happens.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hard to Remember

Today is the 5 year anniversary of one of only 2 days in my life that I try my hardest to never relive. Because I was in New York City on 9/11/2001, because I walked out of the city through smoke with my brother-in-law babbling in my own form of shock and horror while those around me were silent in theirs, perhaps because I relive it every time I see the images, hear the newscasts, etc. I have spent most of each anniversary trying NOT to remmeber. I know that so many lost so much more than I did that day... For them, the ones who lost more than their sense of security and bubble of carefully preserved innocence, depending on your point of view, perhaps the remembering is healing. Perhaps it can help them bring back the memories of their loved ones.

For me, if I even smell a Dunkin' Donuts Dunkachino I am suddenly fighting back tears, choking through a ball in my throat and swallowing back nausea because it floods my mind with memories of huddling on Mom and Dad Sikora's couch for 3 days straight with my sister and her husband and our pets, glued to the search for survivors and flinching when the military planes flew close over the house there on Long Island. Walking down a city street on a brilliantly sunny day and feeling happy that Im doing so can bring back walking the last block to my office on a beautiful Tuesday before smoke and flames and death. I can't hear an ambulance or fire engine without my mind and heart freezing for a few brief seconds.

If I try to tell people who ask me about that day how it really was, I can't continue, so I brave through it with a glib tale of meeting up with my brother-in-law and walking to Queens where we met our family. I pass it off as a note of how great my friend is... the one who didn't stop to find out what was going on but simply bought a pair of tennis shoes and walked home.

It has been 5 years since that day. I still refuse to watch the documentaries, just the trailer of the movies that have been produced are enough to give me a stomach ache and bring on a flood of tears. It took me 4.5 years to be able to sit down with my husband on a Sabbath afternoon and try to look through a book of photographs taken on that day... and it took me 3 full days to be able to make it through the entire book. I had nightmares for a week afterward.

Hubband just called me on his way home from school and asked if I had seen the media coverage of the anniversary and when I said I had been avoiding it... he understood. He knew that I avoid it not because I dont care, but because I can not bear the thought of reliving it in even a minute way. So forgive me for not telling you the "whole" story, for not reliving that day over and over when asked and sharing every minute of how I felt, what I saw, what I did... Because I cannot. I will always remember those who sacrificed their lives and those who died senselessly in a rotten sneak attack by a dreadful group of people... But like the day my mother died, this day will always be a day that I live to forget. Not to remember.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Flashing lights...

We had a big excitement in the neighborhood yesterday. The part of it we could see started whenwhat seemed to be a group of people started yelling at each other. They got a little closer and we realized it was actually 3 people, their friends, and people from almost every house they passed as the 2 guys pushed and shoved each other down the street adjacent to ours. Within about 5 minutes, a police car appeared and the 2 cops inside separated the men and put one of them into the back of the car. Then another car appeared, then an ambulance and still MORE police cars. When I looked outside next... there were NINE police cars on the corner. None of them had their lights flashing, and the EMTs from the ambulance were just kind of standing around in the middle of the road. Starting to get a little worried, even though the cops also appeared to just be standing around, I called the police station and asked for information. Wouldn't you? I mean, 9 cop cars on a little tiny street in a big city makes one think maybe its something bad that you really dont want in your neighborhood... well, it was and it wasn't. Turns out it was a "domestic dispute with a weapon". The only weapons we had seen were the fists of the 2 guys who had been playing basketball together until they were tipped off to the fact that they were both involved with the same woman! No one was badly injured, no one was arrested (as far as we know), but it sure felt like a return to the small town to have that many police cars respond to such a little fracas! Our initial worry turned to amusement as we watched several of the police cars come and go... empty but for their drivers. Apparently it was a slow day and this was the most interesting place to hang out. Not the water cooler for these guys... donut shop? Pshaw. Lets go hang out on Mink Street instead! Im surprised one of them didn't bring food and turn it into a real party.... Although, we did leave around that time to get Hubband to his evening class so who knows... we may have just missed the pizza delivery by moments.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The results are in!

Went to the doc today and they did a mammogram and ultrasound ... turns out it IS just a cyst as we hoped. Hurrah! The doc wants me to come back in 6 months, but said that unless it gets bigger or painful the cyst should eventually go away on its own. Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Busy Boyds

Whew! We had such a fun/busy weekend I hardly know where to start. We took Sabbath "off" as usual, although we did do some putzing around the house after sundown. By Sunday morning, however, all bets were off! We slurped up breakfast and coffee, slathered ourselves in mosquito repellant, and attacked the jungle of our front yard.

Before (this was actually taken in April, before it overgrew itself by another few feet of bushes and inches of leaves...)

We spent approximately 6 hours raking, pruning, digging up unwanted bushes, and spraying round up on all of the grassy stuff lining the driveway (tried to dig them out as that is where our daffodils and tulips will be planted next month, but they did NOT want to come... roundup was the next option). At the end...this is what we had!

Yesterday was Hubband's first day of work at the deli, and it went pretty well. He's still antzy to find something a little better paying and more "interesting", but he's been pleased so far with the management... we'll see what happens. After he got off work we went to Lowe's and spent a happy 3-4 hours planning out our kitchen. We discovered that we have good taste! All of the cabinets we liked best were, shockingly, the most expensive ones. >sigh< We got the design/layout finished though, and have an appointment on Sunday with the designer to price out the lower-end cabinets. The upper-end fully custom cabinetry would have run us around $10,800 ... and that was installing them ourselves! >gulp< We're hoping to spend about that on the entire kitchen, but our guy was encouraging, and pointed us in the direction of a good but less expensive line. We found some things there we actually liked better so we'll see how that helps our bottom line. Once the cabinets are chosen, we get to move on to the counters (hopefully granite!), appliances, backsplash tile, light fixtures, and sink. Woot! It really is a lot of fun... and a lot of work! We're getting a better idea of how much we'd like to get our home equity loan for, though, and we're going to a cabinet and a flooring liquidator warehouse to price out their options as well. :-)

We're also excited about the prospect of our first visitor! My FIL is going to be in Nashville on business next week and will be driving through on Friday on his way down to some more business in MS... We're hoping to coerce him into staying all weekend. :-)

Im off to work ... I'll leave you with a picture of my boys... just for grins.