Friday, July 31, 2009

I Am Happy to be HOME !!!

For a variety of reasons, this past week has not been the best.

I spent the majority of the time waiting for a specific discussion to occur (which never did) and fretting over some other things. Things over which I have absolutely no control. I was EXTREMELY happy to arrive home Thursday evening. Tough times always seem less tough and more managable at home.

And, to add to my delight of being home, my new peacock necklace was waiting for me.

I've been coveting this necklace ever since the artist posted it on her blog, Sunny Rising Leather. I finally took the plunge and ordered it. May I just say it is gorgeous? Thanks to Allison for creating the necklace. It has jumped to the top of my favorites list already!

For those of you who have not found Allison previously in the internet world, take a a few moments to visit her blog and her two Etsy shops:


It is time well spent.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blah

I seem to have lost my mojo. I'll be back as soon as it returns.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"100 Thing Challenge"

This article struck a chord with me.

I'm not ready to downsize my treasures just yet, but there are probably many things in the house that just take up space. My challenge to myself will be to identify those things and donate them, as appropriate. I've got to start somewhere, right?

As a companion to my earlier post on "super downsizing", I present you with a link to the "100 Thing Challenge."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Typical Babysitting Saturday

Princess is a good and patient dog.

I have something on my nose?

Swimming with Shamu

Swimming with Ariel


What a great Saturday afternoon!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Super Downsizing

I confess, I'm a collector. I have five or six categories of things, of which I own many variations. I don't spend lots of money on purchasing additional items because the fun is in the hunt for a deal, plus finding something I don't already own.

At this time, I'm not ready to quit using, displaying, or even adding to my collections. I have fun with them and that is what is important. However, The Husband is always teasing me about downsizing. He says to me: "Honey, we need to start planning now to move to a much smaller house." I usually just roll my eyes at him.

I just read an article about "super downsizing."

Let me just say, here and now, there is no way I could downsize from 2400 square feet to 336 square feet.

No. Way.

Now, don't get me wrong. The tiny houses are cute. Really cute. Would be terribly cute on a nice piece of property in the mountains of New Mexico or Colorado. Would be a great vacation spot for a month or two every year.

But to live in? Year round? 24/7/365? I don't think so.

Click here and here to view more about the houses and then tell me what you think!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Patio Project - Status Report # 3

Our house is 94 years young. One of the joys of owning a "young" house, is you never know what you will uncover when you remodel in an area that has been previously remodeled.

When the deck was removed, one of the basement window wells was uncovered. Yesterday, the window was bricked in and the well filled, in preparation for having the concrete slab poured.


The second window well that had been covered previously was also found. It happened to be under the concrete steps that were poured sometime before the deck project. I imagine it happened in the 70's when the kitchen/pantry/breakfast room was remodeled into a large kitchen and 1/2 bath.

There was a mysterious concrete slab exposed when the deck was removed last week. It was broken up and (surprise!) the slab was covering either a cistern or, perhaps a coal chute.

Update: Current thinking is an old septic tank.



Fun and games!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Romance Novels

Early in my life, I read romance novels. Lots of them. You know the kind...the best...the historical bodice rippers and Harlequins!

I haven't read many romance novels in the last 15-20 years.

Now, I mainly read mystery or horror or end of world by armageddon, meteor, aliens, plague, etc. Oh, yes, and spy novels...love me a spy novel. I can't forget science fiction or fantasy either. Fantasy with dragons is the best!

But, back to the topic of this post - there was a interesting USA Today article recently about some of the current writers of romance novels. My favorite line in the story is the very first:

"Thirty years ago, "Ivy League romance writer" was like "jumbo shrimp" — an oxymoron."

I may have to pick up a new romance novel or two in the near future...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Break Up

We broke up with old friends last week. Our bed pillows.

You know how attached you can get to your pillow? I was very attached to mine.

Conventional wisdom indicates you should change your pillows every six months to two years. I will not tell you how long it has been since we replaced ours. I'm too ashamed!

The whole process of selecting new pillows is very trying. There are questions to answer and decisions to be made. Are you a back sleeper? A stomach sleeper? Perhaps a side sleeper? What filling do you prefer? Down or synthetic? How about a combination?

Once you have your new pillows, there's the exciting experience of sleeping with them for the first time. Will you like them? Will they like you? Will you be invigorated when you awake the next day? Or, will be you sleepy and tired because you miss your old friend?

I'm happy to report our adjustment to the new pillows went well.

My advice? Buy new pillows!

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20, 1981

What did you do on that day in history?

I walked through the doors of an office building in downtown Tulsa, OK to begin my new job as an experienced secretary at a major US oil company.

I had no idea how much my life would change as a result.

I was a secretary for 5 years and then moved into an assistant role, where I was given ever increasing responsibilities. After a change in my personal circumstances, opportunities presented themselves to transfer to Calgary, Chicago and Houston, where I worked in a number of professional roles.

I have learned a lot, about a lot!

I have worked for and with many talented, smart, interesting women and men. People who took the time to mentor me. I will be forever grateful to them for helping me develop my job into a CAREER.

Who would have thought that the secretary of long ago would end up the manager of a global website? Certainly, not me.

So, here is a "shout out" to 28 years of corporate experience, enhanced by priceless mentoring.

It will be interesting to see what happens next...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Am So Very Sad...

I had no intentions, what so ever, to write YET ANOTHER death post on my blog until absolutely required.

I just, however, logged on to the internet and found that Walter Cronkite died.


He is why I watch the CBS Evening News to this very day.

Please, Make It Stop

In the early 1970's, The Husband "ran away from home." Which is how his Mother, until the day she died, jokingly referred to it. Of course, he was in his early 20's and "it was the 70's, for gawd's sake!"

He lived in Connecticut a number of years and made quite a few good friends. Friends who he maintains contact with to this day.

Unfortunately, this week The Husband received an e-mail from one of these friends, advising that his wife had unexpectedly passed away. The Husband, of course, got on the phone with him that day. They had a very good, but very sad, conversation.

I have only met this couple in person two or three times since The Husband and I married. Each time these folks welcomed us into their beautiful home and they reminisced about funny times with The Husband and their extended circle of friends.

The wife was so gracious and elegant. She made everything seem effortless and nothing was a problem or too much trouble for her guests.

I know her husband, children, family and friends will miss her very much.

The past 11 months have been difficult for The Husband in terms of loss. His mother, his cousin-in-law, his sister and, now, a very dear friend.

Death comes in cycles, I know. But, please, can this cycle stop for us now...for just a while?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Patio Project - Status Report # 2

The deck is now gone. (Apologies for the thumb in the pic, I'll correct it when I return home.)




The plan is to bury all the lines hanging over our backyard and connecting to the box on the back of the house. I cannot tell you how much I dislike that ug-lee box!

Next step(s) are to coordinate the electrician to install our new box in a less visible location, the digging of a trench in the yard and the arrival of guys (or gals!) from the cable, phone and electric company to lay the new lines and make the connections to the new box.

I'm glad The Husband is managing this project. He's done this before at another house, so he has experience. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hey! What Are You Doing To My Deck?

Look...our patio project started Monday.



The Husband has wanted to do this since we moved into the house 6 years ago.



I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Family Saturday

Saturday was an easy day. We both slept late and had a leisurely morning at home.

We then went to Sapulpa for a birthday dinner for our nephew. When I married The Husband 15 years ago, The Nephew was 9 years old. He's now a handsome young man with a lovely wife, living just outside Kansas City and working as an electrical engineer. When did that happen?!?!

My S-i-L is a great cook, and I mean great! This is what we had:
  • Appetizers (summer sausage, cheese, crackers, dips, etc.)
  • The Pioneer Woman's beef brisket
  • Cheesy potatoes (sooo good and sooo bad, if you know what I mean!)
  • Baked beans
  • Corn
  • Deviled Eggs, Tomatoes, Pickles, Jalapenos, Onions, etc.
  • Birthday cake (of course!)
Mmmm good food and a great time!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Family Friday

Friday morning I was my Mom's driver. She had an out patient procedure at a local hospital. Everything went well and my most important duty turned out to be taking her for a late brunch.

Phill's Diner at 32nd & Harvard is a family favorite, so there we went. I had her home by 1:30pm and she snoozed the afternoon away.

Friday night, the sister and her family came over for dinner. Oh my, did we have fun with the girls!

The minute they arrived, the girls were looking for our new fairy neighbors. They immediately knocked on the door and waited to see if she (it was assumed the new neighbor was a girl, like Tinkerbell) would come out.

Big Sister A was cute knocking on the door, but Baby L was hysterical. She knocked and then yelled, "HELLO. HELLO. IS ANYONE IN THERE?" Of course, no one answered the "door."

We went into the house to visit and prepare dinner.

Aunt Cindy had bought oversize coloring pages for the girls. Big Sister A colored a beautiful picture of Snow White and said "I want to put it outside for the fairy. Can we hang it on the tree for her?" Aunt Cindy and Mom took the girls outside and secured the drawing to the tree. The girls were happy and continued playing both inside and outside the house.

We had a great dinner:

Appetizer:
Grapes
Dinner:
The Husbands's Special Salad (loved by the B-i-L)
Grilled trout
(stuffed w/mini shrimp, shallots, bread crumbs
& home grown parsley)
Snow Peas
Dessert:
Strawberry Shortcake

After dinner we went on a second fairy hunt, with flashlights. That is when we realized she had been outside the tree.

She took the picture Big Sister A colored for her!

And, outside her front door, on our porch steps, on the porch post and on the window ledge, looking into our living room, was PIXIE DUST!

I say, PIXIE DUST, people!

It was multi colored and glittery and shiny in the flashlight beam.

What more proof do you need of the existence of fairies? None, I would say!

The nieces were sad she did not show herself, but we told them she was probably a bit shy and would have to get to know us.

As they were leaving, the girls gave me all kinds of advice of what to do if the fairy showed herself.

Aunt Cindy is going to have fun with this for a while and, hopefully, create wonderful memories for the nieces.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Unhealthy Love of Laundry

What can I say?

Everyone who knows me well, knows it to be true. I love taking dirty clothes and making them clean. I can't help myself. And, don't let an item have a spot on it or be dingy. At that point, the Spray-n-Wash and Biz come out with a vengence.

As readers of this blog know, I've been commuting to Houston for a while and have not been working as a virtual employee. One of the advantages of working at home (unspoken, of course) is being able to keep current on your laundry. Before I started traveling every week, I never had laundry piled up. I washed everything in the hamper on Monday. On Thursday or Friday, I'd again wash everything in the hamper so at the beginning of the weekend all of our clothes were clean. I was able to do this by taking breaks between responding to e-mails and in between conference calls.

Since I now return home on Thursday evenings, I start laundry Friday morning and frequently am not focused enough to finish it until Sunday afternoon when I have to pack for the next week. This change in my schedule caused an unfortunate circumstance for The Husband recently.

Because it is just the two of us and we own plenty of towels, I made the decision to skip laundering the dirty towels one weekend.

I forgot I did his briefs at the same time.

When I returned home the second week, we went out to run errands on Saturday morning.

As we left the house, he said "I guess we need to go to Wal-mart."

I said, "What for?"

He said, "I only have one more pair of briefs. If you don't do the towels, I'll have to wear boxers."

I said, "MR. MAN (see Stephen King's book, Misery), you know how to do laundry!"

He said, "I wouldn't dare!"

Perhaps I "own" the laundry process too strongly in our home. I need to work on letting go!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Where's George?

Have you ever tracked a piece of paper currency on the Where's George website? If you are not familiar with this currency tracking project, read about it here.

In my change Tuesday morning at Sonic (I confess to loving their breakfast croissant), I received a dollar bill that had been stamped with the message:

"Track this bill at www.wheresgeorge.com".

Later in the morning, I logged onto the website and followed the instructions to log the bill. I found the dollar had traveled 145 miles to the zip code where I received it. I input the information about where I received the bill and in the afternoon put it back into circulation at the Exxon gas station a mile or so from my office.

When I first read about this project a few years ago, I considered purchasing a stamp and marking some bills and sending them out in circulation. I priced stamps, but never bought one. But after today, I'll probably go on-line and order one. A couple of the sites where you can order stamps are here and here .

I guess you don't need a stamp, if you want to write on the bill you can, but that could be kinda time consuming.

I don't think I'll ever be a serious "Georger," but it could be amusing. It speaks to the inner nerd in me.

Are you a "Georger?"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Neck Ties

Last week when I was on the bus to the rental car center at the Houston airport, a couple stepped up to board and I noted they had something on the handles of their new, black suitcases. I realized it was braided NECK TIES! I came home and tried to re-create their look. It was something like this (theirs was better):

Since I have for years had a curly shoe lace tied to my suitcase for identification, I laughed and thought "What an inventive way to mark their bags and a great re-use of an existing piece of material."

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Neighbors!

Look...the fairies have moved into our tree.

I can't wait to get to know them better!


Friday, July 3, 2009

First Fruits

I returned home this afternoon from Houston. I was excited to see The Husband and he was excited to see me.

We arrived home and The Husband carted my luggage and brief case upstairs, while I checked my home e-mail and relaxed. After a bit, he said to me "Would like to check the garden?" Of course, I said "Yes."

We fixed a cocktail and went to the garden. Look at what we found!
The first cucumber (14 inches) of the season! Whoo hoo!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy July 1st...

Can you believe 2009 is half over? I can not!!!

Before you know it, we will be saying good-bye to summer and the heat, (oh my goodness, the heat!) and welcoming beautiful fall days, as well as chilly winter days.

Take time to savor the remaining days of summer 2009...they will be gone before we know it!