Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cleaning House

Usually I don't start the serious cleaning, organizing, dumping out of drawers until, oh I don't know, July.

Lately I have had plenty of time to sit on my little keister and read, play video games, and generally while away the hours. It has been blissful, restful and altogether healing to body and mind.

One of the best things about so much free time is that when it's over I have all this pent-up energy for working and doing. Generally, when I get into an organizational mode, it gets a lot worse before it gets remotely better.

At the moment, Cammie is guarding the mess of papers to be gone through, filed or thrown away. Closets are getting an overhaul, many loads of laundry are washing, the budget is being rewritten and rededicated, Christmas wrapping leftovers are getting put away, etc and so forth.


I hope you are having an equally productive day today! Of course, here I am blogging about my work instead of actually doing the work, but it's all the same, right?

Oh, and I just want it to be known that the fantastic speakers that my fabulous husband bought me for Christmas for my laptop are indeed Fantastic. Man, I don't think I'll be able to turn the music off now...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What'd Ya Get?

I have to say I was immensely pleased with Christmas this year. Now don't get me wrong, I have been striving to pull myself out of a materialistic hit I'd been struggling through. I asked for very little this year and only when pressured.

What do I need? As a happy, healthy American, pretty much nothing at all.

I asked for books. And I got more than I really could deserve. Besides my much-coveted books I also got a couple card games, a movie and some fabulous speakers for my laptop.

However, my favorite gift of all, the piece de resistance if you will, was nothing truly material. It's not something I can sell on ebay (well...maybe I could, but I doubt anyone would buy it) and it's definitely not something you could find in a store.

I was still sick on Christmas. On a day usually spent enjoying family and reflecting over the birth of our Lord, well, I still did both of those things. But I did them from the comfort of my couch and my glass of Sprite. Really, it's one of the worst holidays to be sick.

My husband gave me the gift of laughter. He always knows just how to make me smile, to show he cares in the most effective manner possible. He drew me cartoons to go with each of the gifts he gave me. Small gifts, but made so huge by his creative efforts.

If I showed them to you, you probably wouldn't think they were funny at all. But I was laughing so hard when I first read them that I was positively crying. Every time I look at them again I am just filled with love for him and I just keep giggling.

Thank you, my husband for your love. For your creativity and generosity of heart. You are God's gift to me and you show me His love in so many ways. I will never be able to deserve you. :)


What was your favorite this year?

The Great Cat Move of Oh-Six

It was a quiet afternoon.

A day for anticipation, cleaning, and endless finishing touches. The holidays were approaching, guests would be arriving with all haste.

There was some trepidation in the decision. For many months the learning had gone without a hitch. Progress was inevitably made, the accomplishments indeed were great.

Yet would The Great Cat Move of Oh-Six go smoothly? Were the most carefully-laid plans sure to succeed?

Yea verily, oh faithful readers, The Move was put into motion with much thought, preparation and the knowledge that all would indeed go well.

It has been five days now and nary a whiff of the disaster that would be but a portent of evil. May your prayers be with us now as we continue on a journey of discovery and, dare I say it, prevention.

My great wish for us all now in these times is for an ever lingering hope. A hope that there will be no relapse, no failings, no succumbing to peer pressure. Nay, that instead there will be rebirth, growth and sustainable happiness in the days ahead for all who reside in this abode.


And please, no peeing on the floors. Is that really so much to ask?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Why Me...

I seem to have an uncanny ability to get horribly sick at the worse possible times.

Back in June when I had a fever for three days...on the weekend of our big kids event that I always run.

On Christmas Eve when I am supposed to play in the band for five services. Yuck.

But I suppose it's going around and it was bound to hit me sometime. I guess I will console myself with the fact that it's a really easy (though nasty) way to lose weight, right? Ugh.

Here's hoping I will be up and about for Christmas!

And that you are healthy, happy and enjoying the season!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Of Pillows and Purses and Aprons


This year, being on a tighter Christmas budget, I decided I would make a lot more of my Christmas gifts. (The ones I didn't make, I bought using coupons and gift cards!!)

Now, I don't claim to be an amazing seamstress, nor do I assert that there is an excessive amount of creativity in my bones. There are many others who posess so much more than I. However, I am quite proud of my little gifty creations. I had fun, did a splendid job and am looking forward to putting some joy on people's faces!




Anyone who is interested in having me make them an apron or purse or pillow, just let me know! I've got it down to an art!






Oh, and I made a bunch of cinnamon ornaments as gift ties. They smell so great and are really cute!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Three: Another Book Review

I love finding a book that I just have to devour. A long, wordy text that I am physically unable to put down.

Ted Dekker had been a novelist that I was hesitant to read, if simply for the fact that he's a 'Christian' writer as opposed to being a 'writer who is a Christian.' Trust me, there's a difference. Anyway, I got this book for free yesterday donated at the office and available for anyone to grab. So I grabbed it and I just couldn't put it down.



I won't tell you what other stories it rather reminds me of, because that would ruin it for you, but it was a great blend of suspense, action and mind games.

It was a great, fun read and well worth my time curled up on the couch!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dumb

I do dumb things all the time. Walk into walls, babble through my words nonsensically (sometimes it's a dain bramage issue) or write teh instead of the. *ahem*

Not that I'm necessarily absent-minded, or flaky (I hope?) or whatever, but I am definitely impulsive and often act without thinking.

Or I could have been distracted. Who knows.

Last week I sold quite a few things on eBay. Very excitedly and as soon as payment would come in, I'd pack it up and ship it off.

A couple of the items didn't sell and so I immediately re listed them. You may have found me wandering aimlessly through my house looking for more things to sell...

At this point, I would like to clarify. I am normally a very organized person. However, somehow or somewhere I got all confused. Yet I didn't realize my mistake until days later.

Today while checking my current listings, I noticed something really dumb. Not just "Ah gee, I just locked my keys in my car" dumb. But embarrassingly and problematically dumb.

I shipped the wrong thing out. I shipped out an item that hasn't even sold to someone who bought something completely different. Com-freaking-pletely different. Now really, to my credit, they look a lot alike, have similar manuals and are about the same size, etc. The husband claims that he knew I was doing it wrong at the time but I assured him I wasn't. Of course, I don't recollect this conversation at all.

So I had to swallow my pride today and email my buyer and inform him that he was about to receive an incorrect item, and would he please send it back to me so I can mail out the right thing? No, this isn't the end of the world, but I created a huge pain for myself and now I'm hoping that one of my items (the one I mistakenly sent out) doesn't actually sell.

Sheesh.

Please tell me you've done something dumb recently? I would like to salvage just a little bit of my pride...

Playing Peekaboo

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Hate Money

Seriously. $$ causes problems no matter how you look at it. If you ("you" meaning "me" in this instance...but it's easier to place the blame off of myself, so bear with me/you) have a lot of $$ then you are consumed with buying things with it and if you don't have enough of it you are still consumed with buying things but you can't, so you are just consumed with what you can't buy.

I have been pretty good about buying less since I now make less.
It was fabulous back when I made more. I would shop whenever I wanted, while still saving a good amount. But over the summer, a good deal of "house" things crept up that I easily paid for on my pretty pink credit card. (with a credit card that cute, who doesn't want to shop!?) Our shed, paint, plants, pots, dirt, fabric, light bulbs, wiring, curtains, mud plaster, venting fan, etc, etc, etc. All necessary at the time, but horrifyingly painful to look at the bill now.

Then I was saving up faithfully for a new car. About which time, the old car got smashed and we had to get a new car right away and we used other savings for that and had to get another loan. Joy of all joys. So the car savings (which was smaller) got used for my fabulous new camera. I had been wanting said camera for a very long time and justified it since I had the savings and also because I plan to use it for future business ventures.

The very next week the hot water heater went out and what money I spent on the camera could have/should have/would have been saved for that expense.

In the meanwhile, I have been busily ebay-ing to make up for many of these losses. And as most of my auctions end today I have been checking my stats every three minutes. I never really realized that sellers would check the info as much as buyers would!

And the hard part is going to be deciding where to put the money. I'm thinking about the "saving for the expensive car fix that will be coming up before we drive to visit family in Florida in February." But there's also the "saving for driving to Florida in February" that I have to think about. Not to mention the previously mentioned "seemingly insurmountable ever-looming credit card debt that has mounted over the past 7 months that I'd really prefer not to think about at all but it looms so I have to think about it."

I really enjoy budgeting and organizing the bills and getting everything paid early (kind of like Monica who assumes everyone pays their bills as soon as they come in the mail) but I also am a horrible compulsive shopper.

When will I ever learn!? I don't need half of the things I have and sometimes when I open my closet(s) I am sickened by the amount. But I want, I want, I want.

We have already decided it would be a small Christmas this year. When asked what is on my list, I usually just say books. Surely I don't need anything else. At least a book can increase my brain more than just being a possession.

I should be/I need to be/I want to be giving money and things to church and charity this year, but sadly I can't even do that. Again, sickened by what I have and by what I wish I could give. Time, I can give, and I will, but that just doesn't seem to make up for it.

I don't know what I hope to accomplish by this telling blog post. Maybe I just needed to get my problem out for the world to see for my own accountability. Maybe I really need someone to tell me to quit buying things. Some days it's so easy when I'm in my right mind, and other days I find myself in the mall or any other store and the pink car fairly flies out of my hand. At least now, I leave it at home. In a drawer. It should probably be under lock & key.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Always Love a Good Poll

You can vote for more than one, but hurry! I need to get my shopping done!









Top Three Albums



Which Three Should I Buy?






"truth, soul, rock & roll" by The Elms
"Don't Wait" by Adie Camp
"Matt Mays & El Torpedo"
"Drunkard's Prayer & Ohio" by Over the Rhine
"Room Noises" by Eisely
"The Golden Hum" by Remy Zero
"Let Go" by Nada Surf
"Long Trip Alone" by Dierks Bentley
"Fewer Moving Parts EP" by David Bazan
"The Crane Wife" by The Decemberists
Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony
"Songs for Christmas" by Sufjan Stevens
"Wintersong" by Sarah Maclachlan
"Keep No Score" by Sleeping At Last
"Into the Blue Again" by The Album Leaf

Current Results



Monday, December 11, 2006

DVFX Christmas 2006

Every month, the big event for our Children's Ministry is called DVFX. And every month, we spend tons of time planning, rehearsing and setting up all the parts that go together for said event.


D
iscovery Village (the name of our kids' programs/classes/etc) Family Experience. It's fabulous. Kids can bring their parents, siblings or whomever they choose to experience what we do on a regular basis on Sunday mornings. Singing, stories, activities, and lots of silliness.








Since it's December, this month it was our annual Christmas event. Hundreds of families, lots of different crafts, cookie making, storytelling, service projects, and music everywhere along with a little bit of dancing.

Each class of kids gets a chance to perform (aka: shout Christmas carols while picking their noses) for their families and friends as well as providing numerous photo opportunities.



As you may or may not know, I lead a group of kids called the Half Notes. They're kind of like a choir, but a lot louder and with a bit more nonsense. Along with the singing kids, I also have a band. And I may have said this before, but they rock. (This may or may not have anything to do with the fact that Hubby is the leader of the band...)




Anyway, all of this to say we had this event last Saturday and it was amazing. The kids performed spectacularly, families had a blast, we had plenty of volunteers to pull it all off and chalked the whole thing up to another great year.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Need Some Help Here

Ok folks, the time has come for another of the "You Recommend" posts.

If one were to purchase only three CDs this season (excluding the new Switchfoot album that will be purchased first thing on the day after Christmas) what CDs would one purchase?

They need not necessarily be brand new albums. Just your top three ever. Or current. Cuz, I have some old ones, but do need some new.

Thanks as always for the help.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

14 Hours


That's all it took to watch the last season of Alias. 14 hours. Not straight through of course. At least not entirely. We stopped at 2am and then got back up at nine the next day. And obviously there were a couple food and bathroom breaks.

I have to say, the last season did not disappoint me in the least. Nosirree. I'm sure it made a difference to watch it all back to back and without commercials. The finale was perfectly satisfying as well. There were a couple cheesy moments, but all in all an excellent ending to an excellent show.

It was so fun to snuggle down indoors yesterday and get so involved with something exciting like that, while the snow fell endlessly and freezingly outside. We have over a foot now I believe, and it's beautiful.

So there's my confession for this week. I truly watched 14 hours of tv in two days. And I'm not sorry.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Legion



Other working titles for this post:

"All the Little People (Where Do They All Come From?)"

"I Never Claimed to be A Professional Cookie Decorator"

"Don't Look Too Closely"

"Add Your Own Clever Title Here"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Alive & Dry

Since it's a good day for bullet points:

*The basement is dry and the water is hot. Very hot.

*My cold has progressed to the point where now I just cough incessently. And wake everyone up at night. Vicks VapoRub to the rescue!

*Hubby & I are seriously looking forward to the mounds of snow we are supposed to accumulate tomorrow. The Sube is ready to go.

*I have to work on Saturday. Phooey.

*It's a dance rehearsal so it won't be all bad. I do need some exercise.

*Last night I exercised. My belly is sore. I must do more pushups.

*Cooking has seriously fallen to the wayside for me. I love to cook, and I love some of my favorite meals, but when all you want to eat is soup and someone else has already gone to the trouble of making that for you, what do you expect? However, cookies will be baked tomorrow. Mocha Fudgies. That's right, I know you want some.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Bit of A Gloom

If it weren't enough that I'm sick and hacking up all kinds of unfavorable items, there's a flood in my basement. Anyone adept at installing new hot water heaters?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Currently Reading

Just starting to get into this book. But I have to say that it already feels like my heart is aching with it. I long for real passion for Christ. I've been living so long in the same place that I am both disgusted with myself and also completely complacent. Not that this book is all I'm hanging my hat on, but maybe it will be a little bit of a kick start. Laziness is often so overwhelming.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

In My Neighborhood

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

~Jane Austin









It has to be said that there is little better for a Saturday afternoon than for it to be spent with wonderful girlfriends, tea, and Pride & Prejudice.

It's an annual occurance now. Last year we watched the new, shorter version, and while it was a good movie to fill some time, it just doesn't have the same, oh I don't know, the same something as the BBC original. Not to mention, it lacked Colin and that alone should cause us to take exception with the film.

Regardless, all I really have to say is that this movie always gives me warm fuzzies. I know, I know. That sounds rather silly and flippant. But I cannot deny it any longer. No, wait, I've never denied it. At any rate, it was a beautiful day.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Other Thing

You know what else is really horrible about a great book?

The inability to accomplish anything else in one's life until the book is finished.

For a while I hadn't been reading at all, not sure why but I just hadn't been picking up anything new. And now I seem to be stuck in the, "I'll do it when I'm done reading" phase...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Birth of a Kitty

Since the cats have been quarantined upstairs, they have all been growing rather, um, chubby. Less running around, more sleeping and thus, more belly. This is a story of what happens to a kitty with a chubby belly.

In our home cat toys find their way inevitably under the closest piece of furniture and currently there are at least ten under the entertainment center. Along with many dust bunnies of course.

Cammie is often found peering furtively underneath in hopes that one of her favorites will be close enough to snag with her little clawless paw. Once every few months, she is so determined that she manages to squeeze herself all the way under.

We never notice the crawling in, it's the crawling out that is so conspicuous. Namely, the squeaking of her paws as she attempts frantically to pull herself out.

Squeak, squeak.

Squeeeeak. Squeak.

Squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak.

Pause.

Squeaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueak.


I've tried helping. I"ll grab a paw or two and squish her belly down while pulling at the same time. Somehow that never quite works. She just twists around and backwards and gets more stuck. So we usually just sit back, watch, and laugh until our sides hurt. At the expense of our sad, stuck kitty. But she always makes it out. I swear.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Less Than Optimal

Oh faithful readers, my words to you have been few and faithless. My thoughts given to brighten your day have been limited and lacking.

But I will claim business. Seriously.

Friday I had a breakfast meeting with a good friend to catch up and hang out. Good food & good company. Then I rushed home for a lunch meeting with one of the girls on my kids' music team to work on motions for a bunch of new songs we want to introduce. Basically a working-workout-lunch. After I cleaned up from lunch, I made creme brulee and spinach dip for a party I hosted in the evening. Ah... girls night in.

Saturday we had a breakfast meeting for the music leaders for all of our church services. After that I went shopping...which can take up much more of a day than you expect it to at first glance. Hubby came home for a relaxing dinner together and the watching of much Arrested Development on DVD.

Sunday was a regular busy day. Morning services, napping, practice, evening service. Oh, and of course after that was DHW.

Today there was no excuse for my lack of posting. We slept in, watched more AD (hysterical show, especially when watched all in a row) and then had lunch and browsed about on the internet for a while.

I think I'm out of interesting topics. Really, you don't want to hear about the random things I'm doing in my life. I'm bored reading it all. Whoop dee doo, I do stuff.

What is it about ourselves that no matter what, we are the most important person in the story? Or we somehow find a way to become the pivotal role in the story. We wait with bated breath as we listen to the story being told to us, in anticipation of inserting our part right in the middle.

Ugh. I am such a bad listener. I want to make people feel imporant, to know that their story is the only thing I want to hear. I don't even like anything I'm typing tonight. I'm not making sense to myself. Maybe I should just go to bed and try again tomorrow.

Peace out, peeps. Hugs and kisses to you all.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

And the Winner Is....

Cheri, Kat & Kerrianne! Kerrianne wins double-time since she not only tied for second in the "Name That Car" game, but she also guessed correctly in the "Truth or Lies" game. What a week it has been!

Cheri's car name came in first place with "Ferriswheels;" Kerrianne's trailing close behind with "Stan," and tied with Kat's "Lulu."

I did lie. It was #1. I have never dressed as Raggedy Ann for Halloween. Wasn't it just too obvious?

Way to go everyone! Girls, I need your addresses to send out your fabulous prizes! They are even more amazing than I have hyped them up to be, don't you worry!

Oh, and we'll be christening the car this week so stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.


There's nothing better than reading a good book. Especially when you have the chance to devour the entire thing in one day.

Dan recommended this book to me yesterday. It's one of those books that I think I may now have to purchase.

The worst part of a great book is the last page.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Playing Fair

There are a few games that I really like to play. Card games, Monopoly, Battleship. Games that are good to play with friends, family, sometimes even strangers. And there are a few that I really hate to play. Stratego, Risk, Chess. Strategy really isn't my strong suit. Usually the ones I hate are the ones I'm not very good at. They are the ones that I commonly lose. And in reverse, the games I really love are the ones that I am exceptionally good at.


Speaking of games I am really good at, tonight I played Dutch Blitz with a bunch of friends. And I won. It's the one game that not only am I really good, but I also never cheat at. Yup, you heard that right. Now I'm not saying I cheat at every game, nor that I cheat in mean ways. Nosirree, I only cheat fairly.

Of course, I can't tell you exactly how I cheat so fairly, because then you'd know all my tricks. And that just wouldn't be fair at all.

What are your most and least favorite games?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Truth or Lies?


V posted this meme last week and I was thoroughly intrigued.

The hardest part for me is coming up with things that people who actually know me will really have to think about to figure out.

Give it your best shot. Four truths & a lie. Which is which?


1. For Halloween over the years I have dressed as Laura Ingalls, a witch, Mrs. Zorro, a goddess & Raggedy Ann

2. I have seven piercings. But I'm thinking of taking one out and getting another somewhere else.

3. In my library are 900 books. Give or take a few. I've read about 65%.

4. I've been to Kenya, Egypt, The Netherlands, Jordan, Switzerland, Israel & Canada.

5. My favorite video games are: Zelda, Mario (Kart/Party/etc), James Bond, Hydro Thunder & Star Wars Legos.


A prize will be awarded to the winner.

Oh, and speaking of prizes, if you submitted a name for the car voting contest, email me your name & address. Prizes for that contest are forthcoming!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Shooting From the Hip

Can you believe Desperate Housewives tonight!?! Unbelievable!! If you missed it, go now to abc.com and watch the most recent episode. Then tell me in the comments what you thought.

On a more normal note, today was a very busy day. I love Sundays but I also look forward to them being over.

We got to church at about 8, prepped and setup for our various services, rehearsed & sound checked.

After the two morning services, we had to rush into one of the main rooms to reset the stage and rehearse for our Baby Dedication. For a room that normally seats about 300 to 350, we found a way to cram in almost 500 family members. It was a beautiful service, ending with cake and family photos.

We cleaned up and got reset for the evening service. I informed hubby that I needed to leave the church just for a little while and we went out to pick up coffee and rest in the afternoon sunshine for a bit. Then back for our evening rehearsal and service. I get to sing in the "big church" services in the evening; mostly because I am there and they often don't have any other girls on the schedule for the evening. And really, having a girl on stage adds a good deal of stage presence, right?!

The worship music portion of the service over, I run over to our children's classroom and do their music also. This week was rather difficult for me as there seemed to be a lot of high-attention kids in attendance. Many of the teachers don't know how or aren't able to keep them focused when there are people on the main stage so I feel like I have to be the leader as well as the crowd controller. But it still went over all right. I do love those kiddos.

Worn out, we still hung around after the service to chat with friends we don't see very often. Then had a couple friends over for leftover Blimpie subs (that were fantastic after being toasted on our Foreman grill) and watched DHW & Brothers and Sisters. Again, please tune into abc.com if you have missed this week's episode!

A long day, but a good one as usual. And tomorrow I will have a case of the Monday's. (that means I get to sleep in, make a late breakfast and spend some time on the computer before doing any 'real' work) Man I love Mondays...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

New Hair, New Outfit


I know boys, doesn't that just sound like a post you are absolutely DYING to read!? Well, if I'm trying to post every day, you're just going to understand that girly stuff is going to come out. I promise to get in a couple good "boy" posts too, just so you don't feel left out.

There is nothing better than a day at the salon. The atmosphere, the smells, the piles of magazines--it all cries out to soothe.

A brighter color, a fresh cut and a quick blow dry somehow makes me feel like a new person. I get a fresh start on how I view myself, let alone how anyone else might view me.

Not to mention how much I love a cute new outfit. Most of the components aren't actually new, but it's a new combination nonetheless.

I'd love to stay and chat, but looking like I do, I had better get out and live it up. It's jeans and a t-shirt again tomorrow.

Friday, November 03, 2006

On Why You Need to Finish What You Start

First of all, I have to proclaim that I successfully made apple pies this week. And not just one, but two. Unfortunately, I was only intent on taking pictures of the process and not the finished product. And now they are eaten. There were even very cute little cut-out kitties on top. Tasty little kitties, too.

I used to bake a lot more than I do now. Which is really rather weird because I work less now than I used to. However, while peeling all the apples I remembered why I don't do apple pie as much. Luckily, I was able to cart the laptop into the kitchen to turn on ABC.com and watch some telly that I haven't yet caught up on.

This morning it is quite chilly. And we can't find the little space heater for the bathroom. So every time you get out of the shower, all the drops of water on your body immediately freeze. Not a pleasant situation for anyone involved. I tell you this because I want you to understand why I didn't take a shower today. I mean really, who wants their tushes frozen over? Not I, said the mouse.

Here I sit on my cozy warm couch under my cozy warm blanket with my cozy warm laptop on my lap. Sipping hot cider. With donuts for breakfast.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Day 2

Today I:

Sat in on a meeting discussing plans for Christmas events in a room highly decorated for Christmas. Normally this would irritate me to no end, but somehow it was quite nice. The snow gently falling outside the window. I still don't like to hear Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, but since my job requires me to find and choose said music for said Christmas events, I don't really get to avoid that.

Transposed music and made a lead guitar player. Sometimes at my band rehearsals I feel so overwhelmed by how much I don't know that I could quit from my inadequacy. I run back and forth to the office getting things I have forgotten, and we spend half of our time trying to make the sound board produce the sounds we actually want. But then there are a few moments where I just love learning what is best. Taking that guitar player and teaching him how to pick out the solo. Helping each individual to find what key they need to be in so that I can actually sing the song. It was a fun night in spite of my insufficiencies.

Ate Butternut Bisque Soup. Quite tasty, I must tell you. Especially with some asiago cheese grated over the top and a slight squeeze of lemon. Friends who make dinner for you every week becausee they know you don't have a chance to go home are amazing. I can't even tell you how thankful and comforted I am every week by your generosity.

Missed Grey's Anatomy. Big Brother usually records it for me, but I forgot to ask and he forgot to remember. So no one ruin the plot, ok!? Thank goodness for ABC.com.

Went to bed late.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

In the Meanwhile...


We got our Christmas lights up!!

I know, it's only November. I can hardly believe it's November. But Monday was a very warm day and I would much rather get them all hung up before my roof freezes and I am more likely to slide right off.

We still need to buy a couple more strands to make it all the way around, as well as a few for the porch railing. But it's one good fall job down and very few left to go! All the flowers are in, the gardens are cleared. I think all I really have to do is rake the leaves over the gardens and put a bit more dirt on top for some good mulching.



I'm trying to rig the votes on our car-naming-poll. To get the one we want to win. I mean, I'm not going to call my car something that I don't like, right? So, we're trying to rig it. Except that I set it up so that you can only vote once. If you haven't voted yet, be sure to vote for one we like, ok?


It's supposed to snow tomorrow. I think I would really prefer it didn't. But winter is coming and it must be embraced. Gloves, hats and sweaters must be worn. Boots must be pulled out, shovels must be by the door, and our breath will freeze. Monday I planted several pots worth of tulip and hyacinth bulbs. To wait quietly in the cold basement. To be brought up in the middle of winter, when there are no flowers to be found. They will brighten the house. They will give me a bright spot to make it through to the end of the cold season. I am hunkering down, burrowing in.

Maybe I should live in California.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Cast Your Votes!

You may vote for more than one name, but you can only vote one time. So don't go clicking on yours a millions times. (Ok, Nate?)





A New Name for a New Car




Ferriswheels
Urabus
Roo
Scooby
Fred
Frederu
T-Bone
Sue Baroo
Silver Bullet
Ace
Charlie
Buckley
Stan
Lulu

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Car We've All Been Waiting For

NOTE: All suggestions for car names must be in by midnight eastern time to qualify.

Surely you all are wondering. Assumedly everyone wants to know. Likely there are questions to be answered. So here's the story. It's a little long, but we all know how I like a good saga so read on!


Last Monday our car was hit. My stomach dropped as soon as I heard. We knew eventually we would have to buy a new car, but we were hoping to get the most out of our Cavalier that we possibly could.

The timetable now moved up considerably, we started shopping. AutoTrader.com is a life saver. We immediately found several cars that seemed like viable options and I started calling around to get information as soon as I could.

Friday night we stopped at several dealerships. We wanted to see all of our options, find out more information about several of the cars we had been reading up on. Most of the lots were closing as we came in and it was very cold. But we did get to test drive a couple and got some good ideas about many.

Pretty much everyone we know and everyone who knows someone we know, agreed that Subaru was an excellent choice. They're dependable, we heard. From the pictures of all we looked at, we could tell that it would be perfect for the hauling we would require from it.

I found a private seller who had a fairly new Subaru Legacy for a very reasonable price. We played phone tag a few times and finally set up a time to meet on Sunday after church. In the meanwhile, we did a few more drive-bys through small and large car lots and also stopped at another private seller's to do a test drive.

But I was holding my breath. My fingers were crossed. I was hoping against all hopes that this would be the car. The specs looked perfect on paper: sunroof, manual transmission, bike rack on top, sweet stereo, tons of storage, back seats fold down flat, low price, cruise control, a/c that worked, a very loud horn, and only three years old.

Sunday afternoon came. We met at Matt's* house. He seemed like a very nice, friendly guy and gave us a few details on the car before we took it for a spin. Before I even pulled out of the driveway (Yes, can you believe Andy let me drive it first!? I am one spoiled lady.) I said to my hubby, "Can we get it?"

The only stipulation was that we needed to take it to a garage and have a mechanic look it over. I was so sure this would be the car for us, I hardly wanted to even bother, I just wanted to take the car home! Monday we met Matt's wife and as we gave her our loan approval letter from the bank she gave us the keys to take the car to The Garage. (Really, that's the name of the shop!) The mechanic came out and looked it over, took it for a test drive and determined that we absolutely needed to have the brakes done very soon (we had been noticing the squeaky brake situation anyway) as well as the wheel bearings. He printed out an estimate for us and we went back to the seller's house.

Matt's wife took the estimate and said Matt would give us a call and let us know how much he would be willing to come down in price. We decided as we drove away that we would keep looking, just to be safe.

Though I didn't want to keep looking. I just wanted Matt to take off the amount of the repairs and we would be good to go. I was ready to take it home then and there. We had bonded, you see.

After more phone tag back and forth we agreed on a very reasonable price and set a time to meet at the bank the next day. On the way to the bank I called to let him know we were on the way and to make sure he had the title with him. He didn't, but his bank had said they'd mail it and that he wouldn't need it for closing. Our loan officer didn't agree with this. In fact, she said that we couldn't possibly close until we had it. After several phone calls, being on hold for quite a while, and many differing opinions, Matt decided to go back to check at his parents place and also at his place. Just to be sure.

Finally, finally, it was all settled. The title was found, we signed off on it, he paid the remaining balance due on his loan (we really bought it for less than he currently owed!) and I drove away in my new sube.

We are sube owners. Members belonging to an elite sube club. Waving at other subes as we drive by, we feel like we brought home a new family member. And in a way, we did.

But what to call him? Or her?! Any suggestions for a good name for our new addition? A fabulous prize is promised to whoever recommends the best name!



*We decided that Matt was a new friend and we could refer to him by first name. It was great to work with such a flexible and friendly guy.

See Stage Right

You may or may not have noticed the buttons I have added on the right sidebar over there. Take a moment now and look...

They look silly and random, right? Well, they are.


The top button you see is a link to a bunch of fun little bloggy awards for you to nominate me for. Heather Anne is hosting these awards, mostly for her own entertainment. She never fails to entertain everyone else, so she might as well get some fun back from the blogosphere. Here is the site to go to for more information and the categories for which to nominate me for. Feel free to select each of them. And feel free to nominate yourself while you're at it. I'm sure not going to stop you. I already nominated myself anyway.

I'll wait a moment while you go over and submit your ballot. Go ahead, get moving!


The second new button is for my own motivation. The month of November is National Blog Posting Month. I have already been trying to up my posting quotient lately. Not just for your amusement, though that is one of the reasons to be sure. But also for myself. So I will take more pictures of my life, and document my own goings-on. I am not very good at journaling regularly, but blogging has helped me analyze a lot of my thoughts, the things that go on in my life, and it is generally good for one's sanity to just get it all out. So, if you feel like you'd like to encourage yourself to post more, feel free to join in on NaBloPoMo. It'll be a good time.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

10.22.06 Portrait of a Sweet Deal


Yesterday I went shopping.

This isn't really a huge monumental event or anything. But I haven't gone shopping, (really shopping, fun shopping) in quite a while.

One of the hardest things for me in deciding to quit my full-time job and only work my other part-time job, was knowing I would have to give up shopping.

I'm an excellent shopper. Not only do I enjoy it immensely, but I am also proficient at finding bargains.

Yesterday I went hunting.

Armed with several gift cards, free item coupons, and a few percentage discount coupons I went in. With all of these discounts, I still head directly back to the clearance section, browsing past the sale racks on my way.

Altogether, I got free lipstick, free knee socks & workout capris for $1.97! You can't beat that kind of shopping!

The very cute shoes you see pictured above aren't very practical. Nor are they appropriate for our current weather conditions. And I won't likely be able to wear them for at least 7 or 8 months. But I couldn't pass them up. They are so very adorable. Even better, they were only $8.53.

I've had my shopping fix. Hopefully, I'll be able to make it for a few more months.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mr. Met

I watched a baseball game tonight. The crucial game of the year.

It has been a very long time since the NY Mets had any sort of winning season.

And they almost made it to the World Series. It's been decades since that happened.


I'm surprised there weren't more tears in the basement. Maybe next year, Mr. Met. Maybe next year.

10.19.06

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Recommendations

There it is. Shortly after I first bought it. She was a good little car. I had a Garfield in the back window, and my Israel sticker on the rear window. Many trips, both near and far. Many years of good service. We commend you to the junk yard.


Now. Moving on. I am always willing to give my personal opinion about practically anything. And today I need your opinions.

In all of your years of driving cars, which have you loved most? Which have you hated the most? What should we be watching out for? Any tips for dealing with the tricksy car salesman?

Here is what we're ideally hoping for:

1. Four doors
2. Hatchback/Wagon/fold down back seats (we always have a lot of things to haul about including, but not limited to: huge guitar amps, guitars, keyboards, drywall, bags of dirt, plants, other people, bikes, etc)
3. A/C
4. Excellent gas mileage. This means 28 mpg or higher. At the very least.
5. Low price. This means less than $8000. Much less if possible.
6. 2000 or newer.
7. No need for any repairs in the near future.
8. Someone to give us some money. (oops, sorry about that. Internal monologue coming out.)
9. Good cupholders that our coffee cups don't fall out of.
10. Cruise control
11. Manual transmission. This isn't really a requirement, but I do prefer the manual.
12. Someone to give us a brand new car. Or we could win one. Either way is fine.


Some of these things are very silly, I know. And not all of them are absolutes. But our car is out there waiting for us. We have just to find it...and find the money somewhere in there too!

Ok, ready to hear what you all have to recommend.