Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of December . . .

. . . and I've actually finished my December Daily album.

December 19th

December 20th

 

December 21st

 

December 22nd

 

December 23rd

 

December 24th

 

December 25th

 

December 26th

 

December 27th

 

December 28th

 

December 29th

 

December 30th

 

December 31st

 

All I have to do is add a picture from tonight's New Year's Eve festivities.

Things I've learned (to keep in mind for next year):

1. Do not pre-number my pages.

2. Only go until December 25th.  We just really don't do anything cool after that.

OH, Christmas Tree

Conversation last night:

Phillip:  I think our tree is really starting to lean.

Me:  Yeah, we should take that down tomorrow.

 

View this morning:

Whoops.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pics

Some Christmas pictures that pretty much sum up my holiday:

The portrait we got done for mom; she cried.  After she noticed it, which only took an hour.  So observant.  (I'm in the middle, the guy is my husband.)

Self-portrait taken during Christmas breakfast.

Opening gifts from my husband on Christmas morning.  I love Christmas morning.  Notice the pajamas.  They stayed on until 3:45 in the afternoon.

I really do love my jammies.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gone so soon?

Where has the holiday gone?

We've been so busy, I feel like I've missed it!

Had a great time at all the Christmas festivities. Our last one was dinner at our best friend's house (the ones who just got married). So much fun.

Phillip loved his surprise Rock Band. We've been playing a lot! I am AWESOME at the drums, but I couldn't play that guitar to save my life! He was so enthusiastic about it; I love that.

This week, I want to get my December Daily finished. I already ordered photos for my actual Christmas scrapbook. Really looking forward to getting some of those stories down on paper.

I hope everyone's holiday was wonderful!! I'm going to try and post a few pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December Daily - Day 15

Backtracking a little bit today.

Phillip has been getting up so early to go hunting!  He snapped these photos last week, when he got up at 3:30 to go goose hunting with some friends.

Craziness.

I started to write on this pic with my Signo pen.  It totally crapped out on me, but then I realized, "Hey, I can totally do this in PSE!"

Looks better anyway!  I think I'm going to start doing this more.

I <3 Christmas.

I love Christmas.

Yes, there is quite a bit to get done.

Yes, it can get expensive with all those gifts.

Yes, I am up to my eyeballs in Christmas cookies and wrapping paper.

But isn't that the point?

To me, there's just something magical about getting together with family and friends to celebrate a miracle. To celebrate family. To cherish each other.

I used to dread parts of Christmas (ahem, going to my father's family) because of all the bad memories and the awkwardness. Now I've learned to simply ignore him and his new wife, because Christmas is about being happy.

And I have the power to be happy.

Plus, no one else likes them either. (Wow, sorry, that sarcasm just totally slipped in there by mistake. I do NOT know HOW that happened!)

New train of thought:

I think my husband got me some really cool crafty gifts. I think this because, naturally, I have shaken them and felt the presents. Couldn't help myself.

I love the gift part (obviously) but I really like all the Christmas stuff. Although I could probably do without shopping at Walmart on December 22nd. What was I thinking?

My plans for this holiday season:
(We are going to be so busy! Love it!)

Tonight -
Make more cookies. Yum.
Finish wrapping gift cards.
Work on December Daily. (Fingers crossed.)

Tomorrow -
Bake apple pie. Yum again.
Chinese food at Phillip's mom's.
Spaghetti & meatballs at my grandma's. Super yum. Highlight of my year. Plus, there's punch. Super secret family recipe punch. Oh, yum.
Sleep in Christmas pajamas.

Christmas Day -
Open gifts.
Mom's for Christmas breakfast in our pajamas. Fun tradition. Seriously, if I didn't think they'd fire me at work, I'd just wear pajamas all day, every day.
Early dinner with Phillip's dad's family. (With apple pie).
Enjoy evening at home with my husband.

Friday -
Work. Not so much fun.

Saturday - Christmas party at my best friend's house. Official end to Christmas activities.


See, busy, but fulfilling.

I just love it. It's a personal choice. You can get caught up in the chaos and act like it's the worst thing in the world, or you can let yourself be enveloped by the holiday spirit. It's out there. And as far as spirits go, that's some good stuff.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Printing Woes

I normally print all of my pictures through Snapfish (or Wal-mart, if I'm in a hurry). I very rarely print anything at home, mostly because it's more expensive to buy the ink and paper than to order online.

For my December Daily, I have been printing my pictures every day at home on my HP printer (supposedly a photo printer).

I purchased the "good" photo ink, thinking it would make my pictures look almost as if they were printed professionally. (It doesn't, although it is better than just using regular colored ink.)

One of these photo printers is roughly $20. I've printed roughly 20 pictures so far for my album.

I am out of ink.

This is just super ridiculous. $1 per photo? For a 4X6? And not even including the cost of the paper?

Jeesh.

Printing at Snapfish costs me $.08/photo. The math works out that I am paying 12 times more to print at home! Ugh.

I am fairly confident that my at home printing will be pretty limited from now on. I knew it was more expensive, but WOW!

If there was a good one-hour place in the town where I work, I would probably just go there everyday. But my one experience with the local pharmacy was a nightmare.

Too bad Wal-mart is 45 minutes away.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 11, 12, 13, 14

Caught up.  Sort of.

December 11th

Wrapping presents to stick under the tree.  I'd like to make tags for them, but I'm not sure I'll have the time.

December 12th

Fires in our fireplace.  So cozy.

December 13th

2nd Annual Holiday Shindig.  Fun for all.

I used an acrylic album piece for the right-hand side, repeating the same pattern on the back.  I ended up with three pages for this day.

December 14th

I'm so impatient when it comes to knowing what I am getting for Christmas.  Frustrates Phillip so much.

 

OK, getting there!  Got 4 days done tonight, so hopefully I'll be able to work a few more in tomorrow.  I also need to finish up my Christmas shopping at some point.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weekend Update

Whew, we have been busy lately.





OK, not so much, but it sounded like a really good excuse for the fact that I haven't blogged in a while, or uploaded pics of my December Daily.





This weekend was actually sort of busy. I took off from work Friday (woo-hoo) and went shopping. Now, I should have been finishing my Christmas shopping, but apparently I prefer to shop for ME. That's right, a sweater, some camisoles, and 2 new pairs of jeans. I normally take about 6 pairs of jeans with me into the dressing room with the thought that it increases my odds of finding one pair that fits and looks acceptable.





This time I just picked up two pairs. Dang if they didn't both look like a million bucks. So I got 'em. Hey, it's hard to find jeans that I like. I just left the tags on the second pair so I could take them back later if I want to. I've worn the first pair twice already.





Fun fact? They are a smaller size than I would have even DREAMED of trying on last year. Which just proves that you do not have to give up the best things in life (AKA Coca-cola) to lose weight.





I also made a trip to Sam's Club for household supplies and to WalMart for groceries. I realize that I could have gotten some groceries at Sam's, but do I really need 20 pounds of flour? No, I really don't. Nor do I need four dozen eggs.





Friday afternoon was cookie baking time! I always get super excited about baking cookies, then halfway through vow to never make them again. I have a really short attention span, apparently.





I made gingerbread people (took forever!) and chocolate chip cookies. I love the Toll House recipe for chocolate chip cookies. It really is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. Those Toll House ladies sure know their stuff.





By late Friday night, I was SO SICK of cookies. Bleh.





And Phillip kept sneaking them. Every time I saw him, he had a cookie.





I spent Saturday morning cleaning my house for our holiday party. The party was super fun. And the cookies were a huge success. Lots of raves about the chocolate chip.





I spent most of the night playing with our cousin's 4-month old son, who is just all sorts of cute and adorable. Babies make me happy.





Lots of fun, we got to see some friends that we see pretty infrequently as well as just relax.





On Sunday, my sisters, Phillip & I got our portrait taken for my mom's Christmas present. I know she is going to be surprised. I'm so excited to give her this. The pictures turned out really well. The photographer was actually a friend of my middle sister's, and she really did a great job.




Phillip and I then went to his grandmother's church to watch her Christmas drama. She called it a pageant, but that reminds me of little kids reciting the Christmas story, and this really was a mini-musical. Very nice.


We finished our weekend with a fabulous meal at Harry's. This restaurant is awesome! We don't eat out a lot, but when we do, we like to go someplace nice. We actually had the rehearsal dinner for our wedding at Harry's. We both enjoyed some delicious soup (their crab bisque is ah-may-zing!). I had a great grilled duck salad, and Phillip had steak and mashed potatoes. Yum. I'm hungry again just thinking about it.



Getting ready for Christmas this week, but I promise I am going to try really hard to get some December Daily pages done tonight so that I can post! I feel like I've been neglecting my scrapbooking.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Weekend.

I really am doing my December Daily. I'm just super lazy about actually getting the pictures of the project taken and edited. Will do tonight. (Maybe.)

This weekend was full of holiday spirit.

We (and by we I mean my husband) put up our house lights on Saturday. My contribution to outside lights normally goes something like this:

"Looks good, babe."

And then I walk back into my nice toasty house and pretend to be super busy.

On Sunday, we made the trek to our not-so-local landscape shop to pick up our tree. We drive about an hour, because this place normally has a really nice selection of the big, 11-12 foot trees we like. They are also a little cheaper than the local places.

Oh, but not this time. Their bigger trees were $125. Per tree. My husband almost fainted. (In case you're wondering, high prices don't make me faint. Just blood. And needles. And talking about surgery.)

Are prices for real trees about the same in your area?

We ended up going with a slightly shorter 10 foot tree, which, quite frankly, is still plenty big and looks lovely in our living room. And it was slightly more affordable, though not much. When did Christmas trees start costing over $100? Jeesh. (I know we could buy an artificial and not have to do this every year, but I am totally against artificial trees. I once threatened that I wouldn't come home for Christmas if my mother put up a plastic tree.)

I do love this tree. It is so full that you cannot see the trunk. Beautiful. I will post pics tonight so you can admire my tree-choosing abilities.

The bad part about getting a tree is moving furniture to accomodate said tree. My husband is super strong. Me? Not so much. We lifted our two couches no fewer than four times to get them into perfect position, and I am SO SORE today. My legs and back are aching. And it really irritates me when he says, "If you lift with your legs, you wouldn't be sore."

Uh, if my legs were strong enough, that would probably work. But I have to use my ENTIRE body to equal the strength of one of his legs.

Although the moving is tough, the end result is wonderful. I do love Christmas and Christmas decorations.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How to Knit

I've decided that I want to learn to knit. I'm 98.4% sure that I do not possess any of the required patience to knit. Heck, I have trouble counting sometimes.

But I want to do it.

So can anyone recommend a good, how-to, knitting for dummies type book? I have never picked up a knitting needle in my entire life, so I'm talking VERY basic here. If you learned from one, or know of a good book (or youtube video you'd recommend) let me know!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Yay for Christmas packages!

Check out what greeted me last night:








































One of the boxes was a present for ME! Goodies from my secret santa on Coordinates Collections. Cari sent me an adorable card, loads of fun scrapbooking stuff, candy, and the most adorable decorated "C." I love it. Thanks!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful . . .


  • for my husband and his love and support

  • for my family

  • that I am slowly letting go of the past

  • that I have a bright future to look forward to

  • that I am 15 pounds lighter than last year

  • for our beautiful home

  • that we have steady jobs

  • for our health

Less serious:



  • Coca-cola

  • Dunkin' Donuts Coffee

  • New York & Co clothes

  • cheese

  • Black Friday sales

  • scrapbooking

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop!

This month the challenge was to "build" a floral embellishment.  The point was to do something OTHER than Christmas, but I couldn't resist pulling out PTI's Merry & Bright set just one more time.

I really liked this set because I thought that the geometrical trees could be used for lots of other purposes.

Like making a flower. :)

I started out by stamping the striped tree twelve times in Summer Sunrise ink on Lemon Tart paper.

I trimmed six of the trees at about the third stripe in to make them just a tad shorter.

Then I attached the trees in pairs, "fat ends" together.  I layered the trees to form what oddly resembled a Christmas tree star.

 

I rounded the points with detail scissors to give my "star" a more floral look. 

I then punched a circle out of Lemon Tart cardstock for my flower center.  I layered the circle under a clear button attached with glitter glue.  I added the flower to my Summer Sunrise card base under a PTI white layer stamped with Polka Dot Basics (in Lemon Tart) and a layer of Lemon Tart cardstock.

I also added a strip of Summer Sunrise satin ribbon.

The final touch was a stem cut from Ripe Avocado cardstock and the "celebrate" sentiment from Wedding Day stamped in Summer Sunrise.

Close-up of the flower embellishment.  I like this card.  Pretty simple, but it uses a stamp set in an unexpected way, which I love!

(I'm thinking about adding leaves to the stem.  Any thoughts?)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Emergency Contact

My sister just called needing my address.

Me: Why?

Sister: I'm filling out forms, and you're my emergency contact.

Me: Really? Why do they need my address? Is someone going to mail me a letter if you end up in the hospital?

Sister: That, or if I get arrested.

Me: Silence.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jack & Leia (with picture!)

Today we continue our animal saga from yesterday.

About 5 years ago, my then-boyfriend decided he wanted two beagle dogs for rabbit hunting. They were pretty cute, I guess, but again, they weren't at my house and I didn't have to take care of them.

Jack and Leia (yes, as in Star Wars Leia) quickly proved that they loved to make trouble. They liked to bark at obscene hours and they liked to run away.



Guess what they didn't like to do?

Hunt.



Just to be clear, I have always been very clear about the no-animal rule with my husband.
Even when we moved in together and got married, Jack and Leia remained at my in-laws house. I was completely satisfied with this situation.

My husband, not so much.

The dogs were constantly running away from the in-laws. One time Leia was gone for three days and had to be taken to the vet for a huge gash in her side. That's a different story though.

Sunday, my mother-in-law decided she had had enough. The dogs were going, one way or the other. I had since come to terms with the fact that one day, the beagles would probably come live with us. At our house, anyway. Outside. In a kennel.

However, I didn't think it would be so soon.

To be honest, for the first few days I hardly noticed they were there. My husband took care of them in the morning before work and at night when he came home. It was as if they weren't there at all!

Then he went to crop school for three days.

"Hey, honey," he says before he leaves, "you'll be okay feeding the dogs, right?"

Uh, what?

"Of course," I hear myself saying. "If I can handle twenty sheep, I think I can take care of two dogs for three days!"

Sometimes, I am an idiot.

Tuesday night was my first attempt. After work, I normally go to Curves and pull into the drive around six. At six o'clock, it's pretty much DARK.

There are no lights by the kennel.

It is 33 degrees.

And windy.

(Oh, it gets better!)

I grab their leashes, because NO WAY am I going to search for the little buggers in the dark.

Boy, are they excited to see me. I feel so special!

We do pretty well with the whole leash thing, and Jack and Leia drag me off to the field so they can use the bathroom. Then I drag them back to their kennel while I refresh their water bucket and give them their food.

Alright, I am totally doing great! The dog-feeding mission was a total success!

Oh, wait. Spoke too soon. See, we have the kind of doors that you can open from the inside even when they are locked from the outside. See where this is going?

Yep, totally locked myself out of the house. I mentioned that is was cold, dark, and windy, right?

After I cussed at the doorknob for about three minutes, I remembered that we keep a hide-a-key on the side of the garage. It's the kind where you enter a code, and the box opens to reveal your key. Whew, what a relief.

Except it's dark, and I can't see to enter the code. I fumble around for fifteen minutes, no joke, before I am finally able to get the key. Yay!

(I also just remembered that I was unable to close the box to replace the key, because at this point my fingers are numb. I need to remember to tell my husband that the key is laying on the grill. Hey, it seemed pretty safe at the time!)

All in all, not my favorite way to end an evening.

The next morning, I wake at 6:30 (ugh) to make sure I have enough time to take care of the dogs before work. I have to admit, they were angels. I didn't use their leashes, but they stayed right in the backyard. The whole experience took me maybe ten minutes. Definitely the highlight of the whole dog-ownership situation.

Last night, I decided to reward them for being so good by taking them on a nice long walk. Again, they were super excited to see me. We started out on our walk (with leashes this time) down our lane. For beagle dogs which weigh all of 20 pounds each (if that), they sure can pull. My back and sides ACHE today. But, again, they were pretty good. I skipped Curves so I'd be home before dark, which was a wise decision. Too bad I didn't think of that Tuesday night.

Now that we've caught up on the dog chronicles from this week, let's focus on this morning. When I rediscovered my irration with pets and animals.

Since Jack & Leia were such good dogs Wednesday morning, I figured it would be okay to let them off the leash again this morning. Oh, big mistake.

You see, we live right next door to my husband's grandparents. And they have cats. And Jack found one this morning. Jack proceeded to think it was a fantastic idea to chase the cat around both of our yards, completely ignoring my yells and whistles. Leia also thought this was the opportune time to explore underneath the barn.

So here I am, running around chasing these stupid dogs (because, yes, they have definitely become stupid this morning), shaking their feed bowls to get their attention (which, by the way, always worked with the sheep).

Remember how I said that it's been cold? Well, this morning was no exception. It was 28 degrees. I dressed in my husbands insulated camoflauge hunting pants, gloves, and a hat before I went outside. I look like Ralphie's little brother from The Christmas Story and I feel like an idiot.

Then Pop-pop comes outside to feed his cats. I swear he was laughing at me.

Twenty minutes later, I have successfully rounded up both Jack and Leia. They are fed, watered, and have been on the receiving end of a very stern lecture. They know (I think) that I am very, very angry with their behavior this morning.

Then, as I close the gate, I see this:







Well, crap. How am I supposed to mad at that? Apparently I'm not as bad-ass as I thought I was.

(Jack on the left, Leia on the right. Also, please excuse the insane pet-eye in the picture. I barely had time to dress myself this morning, let alone actually edit a picture.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So Not an Animal Person

Have I ever mentioned that I grew up on a farm?

We had over two dozen sheep, two horses, and a dog.

Oh, the sheep. My sister and I started with market lambs as a 4-H project when I was 8. We each had a lamb. I am pretty sure the goal was to teach us responsibility, taking care of something other than ourselves, etc. The actual result was that I developed a huge complex about getting dirty. Sheep stink.

Some of you non-farmers are probably thinking, "Oh, but they look so cuddly." Nope. Sorry to burst that bubble for you. Sheep are loud, stubborn, and stinky.

I named my first lamb Lamb Chop. I was so creative as a child. I also had a black cat named Blackie. And her kittens were subsequently named Brownie, Stripes, and Spots. The goldfish I won at our state fair? Oh, yeah. Goldie.

The first few years of raising lambs was quite fun for my sister and me. (And I? I never get that right. Someone please correct my grammar.) Then we had the (not-so) great idea to purchase some breeding stock so we could have year-round fun and breed our own market lambs, rather than purchasing them from other local farms.

Thus began my hatred of cold weather and mornings.

My sister and I would "feed up" every morning before school. Normally we switched off days, so each of us only did 2-3 days per week. Our father fed up on the weekends. This was obviously pre-divorce, back when we were a family and all loved each other. Wow, I am a little bitter this morning.

Feeding up wasn't too awful. Basically, we would fill the water buckets, throw in some grain, and toss some hay in the hay rack. Maybe a ten-minute job.

Until winter. In winter, the ice buckets froze. And you needed to get the buckets out of the pen, thaw the ice buckets if they were frozen solid, and then refill them with super cold water from the hose. If the stupid person who fed the night before (probably me) forgot to unhook the hose from the faucet, you also had to thaw the hose as it was likely frozen solid as well.

Suddenly, a ten minute feeding lasted over half an hour. Did I mention it was cold? Super cold? Oh, I did.

So cold.

Slowly, I began to develop a hatred for the sheep. I hated feeding them, I hated walking them, I hated washing them (super stinky!), and I hated shearing them. Shearing was probably the worst. It takes forever, unless you're really good. Which I wasn't. It also takes forever when you are also shearing both of your sisters' (Little Sister was old enough at this time to join the fun) and possibly your cousins' sheep.

I'm getting the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.

I also despised showing the sheep at fairs, because, again, I totally blew.

I continued showing sheep (begrudgingly) through my senior year of high school. I only showed through high school because I needed a project for my SAE in FFA, which I will happily explain at another time if those little acronyms mean nothing to you.

Then I was free!

And I swore I would never have another animal so long as I lived.

Fast forward to my senior year at college.

I moved into an off-campus apartment with two of my sorority sisters, one of whom had a dog. She swore it was well-behaved and hardly ever barked. I thought, it's only nine months. How bad could it be? I don't have to take care of it, I just have to live with it. The dog won't be in my bedroom. Maybe we'll love each other!

Oh, to be young and naive/stupid again.

She was totally right about the barking thing. That dog (Bella) was super quiet.

But oh my goodness she stunk like it was nobody's business. And we hated each other.

I hated that she peed on the floor and constantly stunk.

She hated that I gave her looks filled with contempt and loathing.

The experience solidified my "no animals" ruling.

I generally deal very well with other people's animals, especially dogs. I like them well enough. I just don't want them in my house. Ever. At all. For any amount of time.

I also don't want to take care of them.

Side note: I hear people say that before couples have a child, they should get a puppy, so they learn how to take care of a being who can't care for themselves.

Stupidest thing I've ever heard.

A child will eventually learn to take care of themselves. A dog will ALWAYS need you to feed it and change it's water.

Now, I'm sure that some of the few people who read my blog are animal lovers. I would never try to convince you to do otherwise. I'm all about free choice. It's just not for me. I'm sure your dog/cat/lizard is absolutely fantastic, and I would be happy to visit with them. OK, not the lizard. But I don't want one of my own. And don't you dare bring your animal to my house.

My point is, I'm used to animals. I've had my fair share. And some of them had their good points. But I really don't want to make the life-long committment to being an "animal person."

Until, last Sunday, animal ownership was forced upon me.

More tomorrow. With pictures of our acquisition.





Also, I have this theory that I detest the thought of animals in my house because although we had a myriad of critters running around, we never had a house pet. (Except for Goldie, of course, but I hardly think that counts.) My only first-hand experience with an animal in the house was that one year in college with Bella the stinky dog, which turned out horribly.

So, if you have a house pet now, did you have one growing up?

Or if you fall more into my category of no-pets-in-the-house, why?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Home Alone

OK, how many of you put your hands on your cheeks and yelled when you read that?

I know I did.

My husband is gone for three whole days to crop school to renew his credits as a Certified Crop Advisor. (No, none of that was a typo. Just go with it.)

So what, you may ask, am I going to do for 3 days? (I do realize that you probably don't care what I do, but you are reading my blog, so it's a possibility that you do.)

(I also just realized that I use paratheses quite a bit. Does it bother anyone? I feel like I use them when I'm explaining something. It's my cyber-speak for hand gestures.)

Sorry, got off track. (Big surprise, right?)

Oh, did it again. I really can't help myself.

Ahem . . .

So while my husband is learning all about nitrogen and soybean rust, I will be doing pretty much nothing.

I plan to do some scrapbooking, some internet surfing, and some eating of foods I could never get away with cooking if he was home.

Like feta cheese. And artichokes. Together. Or black olives.

Seriously, every time I make some kind of white sauce, he asks before tasting, "You didn't put any of that feta stuff in here, did you?"

He won't eat feta, but he will eat squirrel. Weird.

Or as I frequently tell him, "You're such a dork."

To which he replies, "Well, you're evil."

We love each other so much.

Monday, November 17, 2008

:)

I am having a really good hair day.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Stories in Hand w/ Jessica Sprague

I am taking Jessica Sprague's Stories in hand class over on Jessicasprague.com. (Duh, I guess you could tell that from the title.)

So far, it's a pretty neat class. She has given us hundreds of prompts in order to "spark" stories. These are stories that we want to tell in some way, maybe through our blog, maybe through scrapbooking (maybe both!). She's basically developed a place to keep these stories as we think of them.

I'm a few days behind, and I'm working in the Roots section of our prompts. One that really caught my eye was, "What is your earliest memory?" Mine is kind of weird, but it's pretty vivid. I was about 3 at the time.

From the time I was born until just before my 4th birthday, we lived in a single-wide trailer at the end of a dirt road. As anyone who has ever lived in a trailer knows, they generally aren't well insulated. All kinds of little creatures can get in if they really want to. We constantly had mice, bugs, etc.

On this particular afternoon, I was sitting on my bed in my teeny-tiny room eating bacon bits out of the jar (I know, weird! I warned you!). Suddenly, a little mouse ran across my bed.

Clearly, he/she smelled the bacon. I screamed like a little girl. Mind you, I was a little girl, but still. My mom came running into the room, worried that I had hurt myself. My mom always thought I was going to hurt myself. I guess I was a little clumsy.

Not a very lengthy memory, but very vivid, and the earliest I can remember. I learned an important lesson that day: if you're going to eat Bacon Bits straight out of the jar with a spoon, do it in the kitchen.

Or on someone else's bed.

Or maybe I shouldn't have been eating Bacon Bits straight out of the jar AT ALL. I don't know. The moral of the story is a little fuzzy at this point.

All I know is, I never want breakfast in bed.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weird dreams

I think I'm getting sick. I'm achey, and I'm having weird dreams.

Not creepy or scary, just odd.

Last night I had a dream that my husband and I were cooking dinner together. While that is a little weird in itself, because cooking together is definitely not normal for us, the really strange part is that I have no idea where we were cooking. As in, I have never been in that house in my life.

But I loved it! It was the kitchen I never knew I always wanted. Not that I don't love my kitchen, because I totally do, but hey, we're not rolling in dough here. I had to draw the line somewhere.

I drew the line at my dishwasher. (And I apologize now, because this post is totally not going where I thought it would, but apparently I'm in a stream of consiousness kind of mood.)

Have you ever looked at the features and options on appliances? Or cars, electronics, etc? You know how there's always that one thing that makes you think, "That option can't be that important. I'm not going to spend $X for facial recognition/seat warmers/insert other option here."

And then, after you have had the appliance/car/electronic for a few weeks, you think to yourself, "Wow, really wish I had seat warmers?"

(I swear I have a point this time. Bear with me, people.)

Well, I thought I'd save $300 or so by opting not to get "Quiet Power" for my dishwasher. Because, really, how much noise can a dishwasher make?

Oh, you would be surprised. I sure was.

We cannot run the dishwasher while we are in the kitchen, eating dinner in the dining room (okay, we pretty much eat dinner on TV trays in the living room), or watching television. Hey, we might actually want to talk to each other. And we can't do that while the dishwasher is running. Or washing. Whatever.

We set the timer and run it overnight while we sleep on the other end of the house. On a really quiet night, I can still hear the noise.

Which is why I think I've been having weird dreams. Nah, just kidding. I thought I'd try to give this post SOME sense of continuity. I failed.

Don't judge me. I'm still on my first cup of coffee.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted!

And I didn't even get a sticker.

Did you vote? I went before work, and even then the lines were longer than I've seen in the past few elections.

If nothing else, I do believe that this will be a record turn-out for voters, which is a good thing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yeah, I'm a fainter.

Had a check-up today, and my doc wanted me to give blood (no worries, just standard stuff).

Thinking back to my last queasy episode, I was slightly concerned and warned the technician that there was a (very) strong possibility that I could faint. She took the blood, and I actually felt okay!

For about 45 seconds.

Then I felt the symptoms: shaky, flushed, overheated, dizzy. Told her I wasn't feeling well, and could I please have some water?

20 more seconds. Said I was pretty sure I needed to lie down immediately. Okay, she'd walk me to a bed.

Woke up on the floor.

Why does this keep happening to me? Jeez. I feel like a big loser.

At least this time I managed to get about 5 steps before falling.

Asked the technician (Marsha, who was super nice) if I could just lay on the floor for a minute. Felt a little better, got her to help me to a bed so I could rest and drink my water.

When I got out of the office, the first thing I did was call my husband and tell him (keep in mind, he's probably on a combine).

Me: So I'm a fainter.

Him: What?

Me: Fainter. Your wife's a fainter.

Him: Oh, tell me you didn't.

Me: Yep, I'm a fainter. At least this time I was actually giving blood, rather than talking about it.

Him: Yeah, I guess that makes it a little better.

Me: No big deal, happens all the time.

Just par for the course, I guess.


Also - I'm doing Ali Edward's "Week in the Life" project this week. I know, I'm a few weeks late, but better now than never. It should be really fun, especially as my week as really started off with a bang (started off with a thump?). I'll try and post pictures daily, as well as my thoughts. I'll probably take my journaling right from the blog.

Today's thoughts so far:

  • Woke up and realized that since hubby is away for the night, I will wake up on my anniversary (tomorrow) alone.
  • Wisdom tooth check-up from last week's surgery. Everything good! Waited 35 minutes for a 7 minute appointment. Grrr...
  • Went to AC Moore with my 25% of total purchase coupon. Grabbed some super fine clear EP, glitter glue, notepads, a sweatshirt & a long-sleeved tee. Score.
  • Had time to kill. Went to bank. Went to the mall. Got my rings cleaned at Zale's. Tried on 4 dresses and 2 pairs of jeans in Old Navy. Discovered that nothing looked as good as the jeans I was already wearing.
  • Walked around the mall for a while. Bought hand lotion from Bath & Body works. Wow, the smells in that store make me a little nauseous. But their spa hand cream is awesome. And my hands currently look disgusting.
  • Annual exam. Went to the wrong building (I do sort of recall the receptionist telling me on the phone that they moved). Exam went fine, minus fainting episode.
  • Wal-Mart. So much better in the middle of the day, with hardly anyone there. Easy peasy.
  • Fifer's Orchard for fresh apple cider and apples. Oh so good. I refuse to buy supermarket apple cider.
That's it for now. I'll finish up later.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Economy.

My co-worker's husband was laid off yesterday.

I am ashamed to admit that one of my first thoughts was, "Glad it wasn't me."

Oh, I know that makes me an awful person. I do. And I immediately regretted the thought, but it happened, and I'm just being honest.

Then reality started to sink in. With the economy and the job market in such a volatile condition right now, it could be me. It could have been anyone. Very scary realization. I mean, here's someone who was good at their job, and was let go not because of performance, but simply because of tenure (more specifically, lack of tenure).

I have been at my current position for one year as of Wednesday. Scary.

So now this family of five, with one child still in daycare full time, has to figure out what to do. Yes, they were financially responsible. They have money saved, they did not overextend themselves, and their bills are all manageable. But that doesn't make it any less anxiety-inducing. I feel for them, and hope they make it through this time relatively unscathed.

What is really frustrating is that there are many people out there, who, through no fault of their own, are tightly strapped for cash. They didn't take out risky mortgages or pile on the credit card debt. They didn't do a poor job at work. They simply had bad luck. I feel for these people, much more so than the homeowners/borrowers who caused or at least partly caused their own problems.

Maybe that makes me slightly heartless, but it's how I feel, and this is my blog. So there you have it. If I want to choose to feel sorry for one group and not another, I can certainly do so.


I do fervently hope that the economy turns around soon, as truly everyone is affected in some way. I avoid looking at my 401K, for example. I hope the House passes the bail-out bill today, and I hope it works. I hate the fact that my tax dollars are paying for someone else's poor judgement, but I realize that we need a major change, or everyone will suffer.




On a happier note, my best friend is getting married tomorrow, and I am so excited for her! My husband and I are going to the rehearsal tonight, and then I have to be at her house tomorrow morning at 7 for hair and make-up. Talk about a long day! We are both going to be exhausted, so no posting for me until Sunday at least.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Such an old man...


I am constantly teasing my husband that he is such an old man. He loves to talk about the weather, watch Wheel of Fortune, and go to bed early. He's an 80-year-old in a 25-year-old body.

Nothing illustrates my point quite as well as his comment last night. He went to pick up his tuxedo for a wedding we are in this Saturday (he's the best man, I'm a bridesmaid). The dressing rooms at the tux shop were being remodeled, so he had to try everything on at home. He pulls on the pants and says, "Hey, adjustable waistband. I wish all my pants had this!"

I cannot make this stuff up.

I must have stood there for the longest time, laughing so hard my stomach hurt. He's so funny sometimes, and he really doesn't mean to be.

By the way, he actually DOES have a few pairs of "adjustable waist" pants. They are his work pants from Dickie's, seen here.

Secretly, I sometimes wish my pants had an adjustable waistband. Lucky men.

I'm weak. (AKA Ode to Coke)


I did so well for so long. But I couldn't take it anymore. It just stared at me every time I opened the office fridge.

"Drink me. You know you want to."

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And I did.

And it was fabulous. I missed you Coke. You always know how to brighten my day, with your sugary sweetness, your effervescent carbonation (is that redundant?), and your satisfying "pop" when opened.

I'm sorry I was away for so long. Seventeen long, lonely days. I tried to resist your charms, but you sucked me into your deliciousness. Oh, how I longed for you.

I never want to be separated from you again. The 140 calories are SO WORTH IT! I mean, I can burn that by walking to the bathroom a few more times during the day. Conveniently, drinking a can of Coke will enable me to do just that! See, it is perfect.

I love it, and I'm not giving it up again.

So there.


Note: I am slightly ashamed that I have no willpower, but in the long run, there are worse habits to have. I don't smoke, do drugs, or drink heavily. I'm not a gambler. I don't drive aggressively (OK, sometimes I do).

Just let me have this one vice, people. I would rather exercise more and eat less than give up my Coke for one more day.

(I am doing pretty well on my other challenge items, so at least it's not all been a total letdown. I do have some self-esteem.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rain.

We needed it desperately.

And today we got it.

Our weather has been rainy since about 10:00 this morning, and I love it! We needed this so much, although it's too little too late for most of the area farms. Could be good news for our 40 acres of lima beans though!

Thank you, rain.

I just wish I didn't need to go grocery shopping. No fun in the rain.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the other sister

I have written a little bit about my (littlest most little?) youngest sister (age 17), but not too much about my younger (in the middle) sister(age 21). I am remedying that problem today.

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I know, she looks so innocent.

She's currently a few hours from home, studying to be a CSI (no, really) at a small college that she loves. I wish I had some cute little story to tell about her as an introduction, but nothing is coming to mind that has happened recently. So I thought I'd do a quick list.

Twenty random quirks/personality traits/things that make her tick:

She has the best dry humor.

Never afraid to let anyone know where she stands.

Truly does not care what anyone else thinks.

Super smart. Bio-major smart, people.

Does not share well. OK, maybe I don't LOVE this about her, but it makes me laugh and is definitely a part of her personality.

Would do anything for her friends. I am always so impressed with how tight she and her friends are. I have a few close friends, but she has friends coming out the wazoo.

Timid until you get to know her.

Never calls me. I always have to call her.

Likes hugs.

Hasn't drank any soda in over five years. Clearly she has never felt the addictive power of Coca-Cola. (I'm barely hanging in there, by the way.)

She has gorgeous curly hair. No one else in our family does. I'm so envious.

Was a college cheerleader.

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Note: I have no idea where she is in these pictures.

She and my youngest sister still fight like they are ten years old. It cracks me up. And drives my mom crazy because they both still live with her, although middle sister is only there during the summer and some weekends.

She met her boyfriend while working at a seafood restaurant.

Completely unorganized, a trait she clearly inherited from our mother. Youngest sister and I are more the type to arrange our closets by color (and actually, I do).

Definitely not a morning person.

Great with kids. She's also great with people her own age. I cannot recall ever knowing someone who didn't like her. If the CSI thing doesn't work out, she would make a fabulous kindergarten teacher. (Totally off-topic, but it amazes me how many people spell kindergarten incorrectly - you grow things in a garden, kids go to kindergarten. Same thing with "congratulations." I especially love seeing "Congradulations Graduate!" Oddly enough, you hardly ever see it shortened to "congrads." Hmm. . .)

Back to my sister -

When I got married, she put pictures up on her Facebook page. Including the one of me in my underwear, getting reading to step into my dress. When I asked her to take it down, she says, "Oh, I didn't think about it." Uh, thanks. Glad everyone got to see my panties.

She loves to read.

Like me, she loves to shop and get a bargain. She must have over 50 pairs of shoes that cost her $10 or less. Pretty impressive.


So that's the 411 (wow, haven't used that term in a while) on my middle sister.
I am definitely thankful for her. She rocks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Love online shopping.



I love that there are so many options available to me with the click of a mouse, and I can literally order anything I can dream of over the web. There are items I would never be able to find in my relatively rural area that are suddenly easily obtainable.

My favorite thing about shopping online is the online reviews that other customers leave. Since I usually base most of my buying decisions on "touchable" quality, it is reassuring to find out what other customers liked/disliked about a product and how well it is represented in the online store. Many times, it has been the customer reviews that have convinced me to buy one product over another.

I dislike shipping costs. This is probably pretty universal, and while I totally understand that companies have to charge shipping, if I can avoid it, I will. A lot of my favorite stamping/scrapbooking sites offer free shipping with a certain dollar amount of merchandise, which I try to take advantage of when I can. I also like Wal-mart's "Ship to Store" policy. You can order online (great for items that they don't carry in the stores), and then pick it up in the store 7-10 days later, with no charge for shipping! I realize this is a way for them to get people into the store to buy more stuff, but it works great for me! I go to Wal-mart at least every two weeks for groceries, so I can combine trips, actually saving money.

Right now I'm thinking of buying these stools from walmart.com:

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I have a small area behind my kitchen counter where we have always planned to put stools, but I just haven't gotten around to it. I love high backed stools like these but space is pretty limited, so I think my choice will be a better fit. I like that they aren't the plain round stools that I have seen over and over again. I wanted something a little different, but not something that would instantly draw my eye. I don't want my stools to be the focus of my entire kitchen.

The only decision I have left is whether to buy 2 or 3. I think I will probably start with 2 and see how it looks. I can always order another, because I won't feel bad about the shipping!


Goal notes: I am doing really well. The only item that trips me up is taking a multi-vitamin. I can remember at work, but I forget to take it at home. The soda thing is still really hard, but I am getting a little better. Wearing my little sister's jeans on Saturday really motivated me. If we start wearing the same size, that opens up a whole world of wardrobe choices for me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Company Car

So thankful to have a job that includes a company car. No gas bill for me!

I had to take my car to the shop for an oil change today, and I was thinking about how lucky I am to not have this expense right now. No gas, no car payments, and no maintenance responsibility. The only thing I pay for is a car wash, though I really think my company is willing to pay for that too.

But that would just be greedy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Today I was thankful that I could relax. Things have been going pretty smoothly here lately. Today, I really didn't have anything to do! I worked on some cards, vacuumed, and did laundry. Oh, and took a nap (which was quite lovely until Middle Sister called and interrupted).

We had a lot of fun last night at my little cousin's b-day party. Got to roast marshmallows, which is one of my favorite fall treats. I love to light them on fire until they are crispy and black. Delicious.

Had dinner tonight with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law. Homemade chili, another fall favorite, made with peppers from our garden this year.

She loved the card. Interview is on Wednesday, so wish her luck!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Diets & Exercise

Grateful:

Tonight I fit into my 17-year-old sister's jeans. Something must be working! (I sincerely hope it's not the "no soda" thing, because that is killing me. But I did go the entire week!!).

Friday, September 19, 2008

When opportunity knocks . . .

. . . kick the door down.

My mother-in-law has an interview next week for a full-time job with a great organization. Although she has been working almost full-time for well over a year now (30+ hours a week), this will be the first full-time job she has had in a long time. She's been waiting for this particular job to open for about a year now, and I want to wish her the best of luck. This would be a great position for her, and I have a really good feeling about it. I'm going to leave this in her mailbox Monday morning:

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(I totally CASED this from stampztoomuch on SCS)

I'm thankful for new opportunities today. As I mentioned yesterday, I was offered the opportunity to work with a wonderful company last year. At the time, I was pretty happy with my current position. I had just been promoted, and things were looking up for me. When a friend of the family called last June, I wasn't sure if I was interested or not. My husband and I talked about all the pros & cons, and we decided I should send a resume in, "just in case."

Well, within a few months, I was frustrated, stress, and not seeing anywhere near the earning potential in my current job that I was expecting. I was actually making less than I did before the promotion, and we were very worried that the spiral would continue downward.

So when I was called in August for an interview for the new position, I was super excited. I ended up with the job (obviously), and learned a great lesson. Even though I was content at the time, it was important to look at the big picture and take a chance on a new opportunity. Instead of being in an incredibly stressful environment, working long hours for little reward, I am in a position where I am able to help others and really have a potential to learn and grow.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Financial Stability

I'm often grateful that my husband and I are financially stable. We both have good jobs with very secure companies in secure industries. We have a mortgage, but it's reasonable (and fixed for the full term). We have a car payment and other bills, but we both have good money sense and stay on top of and ahead of our current liabilities.


We also live within our means, and have no desire to do otherwise. So many people get into financial trouble because they live for the instant gratification that a new car or a bigger house can bring, but we are satisfied with what we have, and I am thankful that we share that mindset.

With the current economic conditions, I think it's important to recognize that individuals need to take a little more responsibility for their own finances, and not expect someone to fix their problems for them. I have never felt entitled to anything, and for me the true satisfaction comes when I have earned something.


I'm thankful that I can look at the stock market and think, wow, that sucks, but know that my investments (what few there are so far) are diversified enough to give me a sense of security.


I'm extremely thankful that I no longer work in the housing industry selling new homes! Our situation would be totally different if that were the case, so I suppose I am also grateful that a family friend thought of me when a job opened in her company last fall.






On a lighter note, I have not had a Coke for 5 days and it is driving me up the wall. Seriously, I can taste that bubbly, carbonated goodness on the tip of my tongue. Every time I go into the break room, I have to tell myself that surely I am stronger than that little red can. To keep myself distracted, I must have drank 10 full glasses of water today. I have to pee about once every 45 minutes.





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I miss you Coca-Cola. But I gotta be strong.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I love a good bargain.

Today I am thankful for coupons, sales, and bargains. Whenever I get a good deal on an item, I feel like I've won the jackpot.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hobbies

Grateful for hobbies.

My husband has insisted for years that I needed a hobby. I was always super-involved in school - cheerleading and FFA in high school, coaching and sorority in college - and to be honest, I was relieved to lighten up a little when I finished school and we got married.

He has tons of hobbies - farming, hunting, fishing, etc. He believes that doing something you enjoy is a great way to relieve stress. I agree, but couldn't really find something on which to focus my energies.

In steps my MIL, who introduces me to the world of stamping and cardmaking. I was extrememly reluctant at first, believing that I lacked the creative gene. She convinced me to come to a holiday card-making party with some other in-laws last October. I came, announcing that I was just there to be helpful to whoever needed it. Before I knew it, I was going home with over 15 cards to send out, thinking, "What just happened here?" I had so much fun that I attending two more "stamping parties" and was hooked. I have since been immersed in the world of scrapbooking and stamping, joining some awesome online communities. I am just in awe of the creative genious that exists right at my fingertips, via the internet.

I love all the possibilities this hobby has opened up for me. I feel like I can view myself as a semi-creative person, which is a huge deal for me. I also love that it is allowed (and even encouraged) in the stamping/scrapping world to steal and build on other ideas. Here's a scrapbook layout I recently completed that I completely "borrowed" from another scrapper ( who is much more talented than me) on Coordinates Collections. I love not having to reinvent the wheel everytime, and being able to learn from others.

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In other news, I completed all but one of my daily goals yesterday. I forgot my multivitamin, so I need to come up with a system to remember to take it. I might put a few vitamins in a small case to carry in my purse. My "bag" is so full and heavy already, one more thing shouldn't hurt!

Also, the dentist went fairly well yesterday. My regular dentist really does quite a bit to try and alleviate my anxiety, which makes the whole experience less nerve-wracking for me. He's also pretty quick, which helps a lot!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mocha half-caff skim with no whip

Well, not exactly.

Today I am super thankful for coffee. More specifically, Dunkin' Donuts Hazelnut coffee. There is really no other coffee that can compare. (I love you, Dunkin' Donuts.)

And it has to be bought in the bag at Dunkin' Donuts, but made at home. When you buy a cup at the store (restaurant?) they use regular coffee and add a flavor syrup. It's just not the same.

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Also, it tastes better at the office than at home. Interesting.

Regardless, two cups of DD Hazelnut coffee with Splenda and fat-free French Vanilla creamer really makes my day. I feel like I need that little burst in order to focus in the morning. Seriously, ask anyone who has called me at 8:15 on a Monday.

I need it the most on Mondays, when I am super tired from the weekend. Sometimes two cups is just not enough, and I need a third. Actually, it's kind of scary how much caffeine I put into my body on a weekly basis. Writing this down has made me feel a little bit like a junkie. Good thing I'm cutting out soda.

Speaking of my challenge, I have been doing well so far. I completed all five of my goals yesterday, and am already one down for today. Off to a good start, I guess.

My extra special goal for today is to get through my dentist visit with out any new catastrophes. I have a cavity filling today with my regular dentist, but don't worry, I have some meds for the appointment to keep me nice and relaxed. Plus Novacaine, which makes my entire face numb for about five hours. Totally fine, because my pain tolerance is about the same as my tolerance for talking about needles.
Pretty minimal.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grateful...

Today I am grateful that my husband let me sleep in.

Living in the now.

I've been doing some thinking about my worries and concerns and stress, and I think I've come to an important conclusion. Some bad things have happened, but I can't change them. Nothing I do will change the past, and I can't affect other people's presents. I need to learn to let go and focus on my life and what I can do in my own life.



I also want to stop worrying so much about my future and what part my father will or will not play in it. I need to stop comparing what I thought my future would be like to what it realistically will be like. Again, there are things I can't change.



Letting go is going to be hard for me. I like to be in control and I like to have solutions for problems. But there are some things too big for me to fix. And there are other things that can't be fixed, period. No amount of wishing or worrying will change the situation.



So I am focusing on me and my life. Learning to appreciate what is good right now, and realizing that I have a lot to be grateful for. I live a good life.



I want to let go of the negative. I feel that there are some chapters in my life that I am finally ready to close, or at least begin closing. It will take some time, but I know I need to move forward. I want to move forward.



I am living in the now, focusing on all the good parts of my life. Not breaking down over events in the past, or driving myself crazy worrying about the future. All I can do is live my life the best way I can, right now. In the now.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

September 13, 2008

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Today I'm grateful for my sisters and little surprises.



My youngest sister is currently on a school trip in Massachusetts. I normally don't hear from her unless I call her, mostly because she's 17 and has more important things to do than call her big sis.







But today, out of the blue, she calls to find out if I would like her to pick up something for me on her trip. So sweet, right? She is at the age where she can be thoughtless, selfish, and completely unbearable. But then she does something like call because she was thinking about me, and I know that she's going to turn out alright. We're all three going to be alright, despite some trying times right now. We are slowly learning to play the hand we have been dealt and living our lives for ourselves.







Makes me feel good about family.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I like a challenge.

I am participating in a goal challenge with my fitness club. We each picked five small goals that could be reached daily. The program runs for three weeks, the average time it takes to make something a habit. The official start is Sunday, but I want to psyche myself up a little first! I think that this might be just the kick I need, as I have been feeling kind of blah lately about some things in my life.

My five goals are:

1-No soda! I love Coke, so this one is going to be tricky, but I know I can do it! One of the suggestions at the club was to limit caffeine, but there is just no way I am getting through the workday without at least one cup of coffee. So for now, just no soda.

2-Walk or run half a mile daily. This one should be easy. My driveway is just over a quarter mile long, so I will start walking to get the mail everyday instead of stopping in my car on my way home from work. I am in no way a runner, so I am going to have to build up to this part of the goal.

3-Straighten my kitchen and living room. I’m fairly neat, but sometimes I let things pile up on the counter or couch. I will make sure that all the blankets are folded, pillows are on the couch, and folded clothes are taken to the bedroom to keep the living room neat. In the kitchen, I will clear the counters every night and make sure the floor stays swept.

4-Take a multi-vitamin. Easy-peasy.

5-Find something new everyday for which I am thankful. I really want to appreciate all the good in my life, and this is definitely my favorite goal. To keep me honest, I am going to try and post everyday regarding my appreciation for something in my little world. I have decided it can be something serious or silly, just anything that gets me through my day, especially those items I normally take for granted.

Might as well start today!

Today I am grateful for soap operas. Watching The Young & The Restless during my lunch break provides me with a great escape from my own problems. I look at some of the fictional issues the writers dream up, and the stories make my own life seem incredibly manageable in comparison. Plus, they’re fun to watch.

OK, wish me luck on the rest of my goals!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dazed & Confused: A Story of Perpetual Lateness

I am habitually late.

This might be hereditary, as my mother never seems to be anywhere on time, either. It just seems that no matter how hard I try, I cannot get to places on time (or, Lord forbid, early).

I was thinking the other day about all the reasons I am punctually-challenged, and I came up with a plethora of factors for my lateness:

I tend to think it takes less time to drive somewhere than it actually does. If it really takes half an hour to drive to my hair appointment, I am sure that last time I got there in twenty-five minutes.

I forget that "grabbing stuff as I run out the door" takes time. I need to pack my lunch, can't find my shoes/purse/sunglasses, or really need to throw a load of laundry in the washer. How can it possibly be 7:25 in my bedroom and 7:33 by the time I get in the car?

I love to sleep. Five more minutes will most assuredly turn into twenty.

I also have a deep-seated fear of being the first person to arrive. Being early and having to make small talk with strangers at an event makes me nervous. I prefer to slip in right as the presentation or dinner starts. I'm beginning to think I'm a little anti-social.

Today, I was able to add one more item to my "ways to justify my tardiness" list.

I apparently do not always pay attention when I'm driving.

Now, I do pay attention to the road. If a deer ran out in front of me, I would be able to slam on my brakes in time. No, my issue is that I get into a zone, and I just drive.

This morning, as I was driving to work, I slipped out of my zone and thought, "Where the heck am I?"

Nothing on the side of the road looked familiar. I wasn't sure when I had turned (or hadn't turned) or what street I was currently driving down, but I knew with absolute certainty that this was not my usual route. I kept driving for a few minutes to find a road sign, figuring that I could just find an alternate course.

No such luck. I recognized the road I was on, but had no idea which direction I was travelling. In hindsight, I realize I was heading east, toward the sun, but that thought really did not cross my mind even once in my state of stupidity.

I turned around, drove for four miles (yes, it actually took me four miles before I realized that I wasn't driving to work) and finally figured out where I made my error.

I made a left turn instead of a right. Why? No clue. Especially as this was a side of the road I had never turned down, and would have no reason to. It's not as if I started to go one place and my muscle memory took me somewhere else.

Sometimes I am actually embarrassed for myself. I frequently tell people that my brain doesn't really work until after nine o'clock or a cup of coffee, and clearly I know myself pretty well.

The ironic part? If not for my detour, I would have been on time this morning. Figures.

Sometimes the road less traveled should remain so.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

September 9, 2008

Yesterday was sort of traumatic.

I am extremely squeamish when it comes to the dentist, needles, and (apparently) the prospect of surgery. I frequently feel dizzy and anxious when it comes to these topics. My dentist even has to prescribe an anti-anxiety medicine for me when I have a cleaning.

On to the trauma . . .

Yesterday I had a “consultation” with an oral surgeon to talk about having my wisdom teeth removed. I am very nervous about the prospect of surgery, as I have never had to have anesthesia, and am, in general, skittish about the idea. I knew this going in to the office, and explained as much to the hygienist and the doctor. I did not realize how anxious I actually was until later.

The hygienist gave me some information to read about the surgery while I waited for my doctor to come speak with me. I started feeling a little queasy right around this point. The room felt a little warm, my mouth was dry, and I wanted a can of Coke so badly I could taste the carbonation. I stopped reading, turned the paper face down, and tried to think of something else. Of course, I couldn’t, because I’m in a dentist chair, looking at pictures of teeth on the wall.

Still, I persevered! When the dentist/oral surgeon spoke with me about the surgery, I tried my best to remain calm. Even when he explained how they would give me an IV, and how I would probably be “in & out” and could possibly wake up during the surgery, I truly tried my best to focus and look him in the eyes. I fought my dizziness and ignored the fact that he seemed to be just a little out of focus.

Next, the hygienist came back in to take me for a panoramic x-ray of my teeth. Still dizzy, but extremely glad to be out of that tiny room full of instruments, I followed her down the hall to the x-ray room. For a panoramic x-ray, you stand up and bite down on a little piece of plastic while the machine actually circles your head. I have had this done before, with absolutely no problem whatsoever.

So I bit down and she started this machine. All of a sudden, my dizziness was back full force. I remember thinking to myself, “OK, almost done, then I can sit down. Almost over. Hang on.”

Next thing I know, I’m waking up, and I feel carpet beneath my hands. Huh, I don’t remember lying down on the floor. My first thought was, “What the hell?” Actually, those were my first words, too. Obviously my internal brain-to-mouth censor needs a reboot period after I faint. Yep, I fainted. This is a historic first for me. I’ve come close before, but have never actually fallen and hit the ground.

This is a good time to point out that the hygienist helping me was about 5 feet tall and all of 115 pounds soaking wet. How she managed to catch me, I have no idea. After telling me what happened, she says, “Good thing you weren’t 6’3” and 185 pounds, or we would have both gone down!” She’s super cheerful too, as if it’s totally ok that I just blacked out during an x-ray.

She slowly sits me up, and asks how I feel. My answer?

“Uh, kind of stupid.”

Still waiting on that censor.

Truly, I felt a little better after “the incident,” as I plan to call it. I was embarrassed, but apparently, this is a weekly occurrence at the oral surgeon’s office. That’s right, once a week, someone faints/blacks out at this office. FYI to the hygienist, this information does nothing to make me feel better about my situation. Neither did the dentist telling me, “It’s just all in your head.”

Really? I wasn’t aware. So all this time I’ve just been playing some mind game with myself? Funny, the physical signs of dizziness, sweating, and, uh, FAINTING say otherwise. Yes, I realize that the anxiety is based on a mental perception of the dentist, but don’t you think I would stop it if I could? I tried not to think about the needles, and the anesthesia, and the surgery, but I failed. Miserably, apparently.

Long story short, I was totally embarrassed.

But my surgeon prescribed some really good meds for next month, when I actually have the surgery.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dirty Hands


I grew up on a farm. I now live on a farm with my husband.

And I cannot stand to have dirty hands.

I just don't like how it feels. My husband makes fun of me, but I try not to let him bother me.

I think the root of this problem is that I hate the feeling of dirt under my fingernails, and have therefore projected that dislike to the other parts of my hands. I'm not too sure. I just know I will freak out if I do not get to a sink within minutes of acquiring said dirt. Oddly enough, I am not nearly this much of a neat freak when it comes to other parts of my life. Hmm…

The biggest hurdle for a clean-hands person such as myself in this household would have to be our garden.


My husband lovingly tills, plants, and weeds this beautiful piece of land until it resembles something out of Better Homes & Gardens. My job is to pick the vegetables. Most of the time I do not mind. I love taking care of the watermelon (quite possibly the best food on earth) and the cantaloupe vines. I hate picking beans and peas because it causes my back to ache for days. Picking our squash, zucchini, and cucumbers fall somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

So how does a clean-hand-a-phobe tackle the garden?

With the help of these babies:






I love these garden gloves.

They're cute (or they were, anyway) and they keep that irritating dirt off my hands. I got these last year at Wal-Mart, and don't quite know what I would do without them. Well, I suppose I would buy another pair, but there would always be a special place in my heart for my pink garden gloves.

The new pair would definitely have to coordinate with my boots.


Did I not mention I hate dirty feet?








Friday, July 11, 2008

Live your life . . .

Recently I came across the saying, "Live your life as a story worth telling." This really struck a chord with me, because I would like to think that my story really is worth telling. Maybe not in the "she's famous, let's write a book" sort of way, but in the sense that one day my grandchildren will be interested to hear how I lived.

I want to be able to share my story, not necessarily for others, but so that I learn to appreciate my life for what it is and to truly live it to the fullest. I want to be able to look back one day and know that I did live my life as a story worth telling.

My main goal with this blog is just to record my life as an expression of the way I live. If I can make someone laugh or provide a little inspiration down the road, then I will be tickled pink. If anyone actually reads this, well that would be pretty neat too.

I just feel inspired today and ready to try something new.

Adventurously,

Cara