Sunday, November 30, 2008

Austin Skyline

Today we went downtown for the City Wide Garage Sale. On the way there, I noticed something very disappointing in the Austin skyline - it was full of cranes. Not the bird kind of crane, but construction cranes. I saw at least 5 cranes working on different construction projects. More and more buildings going up even though the economy is in a downturn. This just means more buildings to either be left unoccupied or worse yet, stopped in mid construction. It used to be nice to go to Auditorium Shores and you could see the lake and all the people walking their pets. Today I was just drawn to all of the construction projects and it just looked sad. I am all for progress, but I am not sure that is really what is happening.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More Days Like Today

I wish there could be more days like today.

I was technically on vacation today, but I went to work for a couple of hours to help out one of the girls on my team process in 30 new hires so she could go home and enjoy her long weekend. After that, I went to run a few errands. While I was out, my sister-in-law called saying they were coming over. Hubby doesn't hear so well on the phone and thought they were coming over later in the evening when in fact they were on their way right then. So I dashed home and we did a fire drill house cleaning. When she and her husband arrived, the guys began cooking lunch while we worked on her resume. Well, actually, only my hubby took care of lunch. My brother-in-law is not very handy in the kitchen so we put him in charge of the tv remote.

We had a great lunch and just kicked backed for a while. Talking with them is very relaxed because no subject is off limits. We are both very open with each other, but we don't share anything with the other siblings about each other. Unlike some of the family who just want an update so they can gossip with everyone else.

When they left, I cleaned the kitchen and we watched a little television. It was very relaxing and nice to hang out with family. Our house is going to be near my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, so maybe we will be able to have more days like today.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I grew up in a family where Thanksgiving was not so much about the food, but about the time spent together. The time spent together making the food and catching up with everyone. It was the one time of the year that everyone gathered in one location, usually my grandmothers house. There was never enough places for everyone to sleep and never enough bathrooms for everyone to use, but none of that mattered because we were all together just having fun. We would stay up late talking or playing a rowdy game of spoons.

My grandmother has long since passed and the family has gone in separate directions, but I am still thankful for the memories she created and the sense of family she instilled in all of us. I am also very thankful for a wonderful husband, a good job, and a great family (both mine and my in-laws).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Errand Day

Today was errand day. We started our day going by the post office to buy stamps, then off to a store I really love called Things Celtic. I was hoping to find a pewter St. Bridget's Cross for our new house. It is supposed to bless and bring luck to anyone who crosses the threshold. They didn't have what I was looking for, but we still spent a good bit of time looking at everything there. They import most of their stuff from Ireland and Scotland. The store is super packed, but feels very relaxing. Their store cat is beautiful and he likes to stare at himself in the mirror.

Next was a stop by Walgreen's to get meds for the dog, then we were off to the mall. The mall was total chaos. People were already in full swing with their holiday shopping. The place was completely packed. We went straight to Macy's to pick up the item we were after and then back out. Unfortunately, we were in such a hurry to get out of the mall that we didn't realize until we got home that we purchased the wrong item. So, back to the mall I headed to exchange it for the right item this time.

I really like the holiday season, especially when it is cool and misty like it was today. Unfortunately, it seems to bring out the worst in other people. Hopefully they will catch the holiday spirit too and leave their Grinch selves at home.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Photo Phriday

I absolutely hate to clean; if it weren't for my husband my house would be a total mess all the time. However, I do really like my broom vac. This is the best invention ever. Hubby bought this for me in April when I had back surgery. I wanted to feel like I was helping out, but I couldn't push the vacuum and I couldn't bend to use a dust pan. This lovely gadget lets me do both. Now, even though I can use a vacuum and a dust pan, I still go for my handy broom vac.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I really like playing games on Pogo. It is a way to unwind for me and to talk to people from other places around the world. Sometimes in the middle of the night when I can't sleep, I will sign on and play games. I have such a competitive personality, that some of the games get really addictive. If you've never checked out Pogo, give it a try ( You can play games without paying a membership fee, but there are extra games if you do become a member.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bond, James Bond

My favorite James Bond was always Sean Connery, but now he has moved to number 2. He is being replaced as number one by Daniel Craig. There is something about his personality that seems to really capture the dark side of Bond that is very appealing.

Who is your favorite Bond?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas Carols.....Seriously?

Last night I turned on the radio to fall asleep as normal, but the music playing was not the normal tunes - it was Christmas Carols. Christmas Carols, like Christmas trees and lights should come on the day AFTER Thanksgiving. Now, don't get me wrong, I love holiday music as much as the next person. Dominic the Donkey, Christmas Shoes, and Transiberian Orchestra are among my favorites; but if they play them constantly, it begins to ruin the fun of the song.

I guess for now I will have to change my radio station until after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We Did It!

Well, hubby and I have finally taken the first step in to home ownership. We signed the contract on a house. We were very specific in what we wanted and what we were willing to do for a house. We wanted no down payment and no closing costs. We had a fantastic realtor who understood our needs and got us exactly what we wanted. He found us a new build spec house with LOTS of upgrades. It has all appliances (even washer and dryer), fully sodded yard front and back, covered back patio, upgraded tile, island kitchen, separate shower/tub and an over-sized yard for the dogs. Since he found it in one of the rural communities, it qualifies for the USDA loan which will give us the 100% financing we are wanting. As a bonus, USDA does not require mortgage insurance.

The only requirement is that we cannot close until late January when the USDA changes their income restrictions (we make too much for the 2008 limitations). Waiting until January actually works well for us and gives us plenty of time to pack and prepare.

We have already completed the pre-qualification, now we just need to go through the formal approval process. There should not be any last minute surprises, but we will wait until the close date to celebrate.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

House or No House

Hubby and I have decided to move forward with the possibility of becoming homeowners. We look last weekend and found a house that we liked and should know tomorrow if we are going to move forward with a contract or if we are going to postpone home ownership for a little while longer.

I can completely understand why they say this process is ranked as one of the top 5 things that cause stress. When I took my paperwork to the finance people the first question they asked was - "Are you going to be putting down the standard 30%?" After I finished laughing, I informed them that I would not be putting down 30%. In fact, I would not be interested in moving forward unless they could find me 100% financing. I want a total move in cost of $0.00. Thankfully, hubby and I are on the same page with regards to what we want; and if we cannot get what we want at the price we want, we are prepared to walk away and continue being renters.

We absolutely need the tax deduction, but I refuse to spend all of my disposal cash to get in to a home and I refuse to get more house that I can afford.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Photo Phriday

Introducing.....Seth Steven. Born November 3, 2008. His Mommy and Daddy tried a long time to bring him in to this world and I can't wait to meet him for the first time. Yes, I am a very proud Aunt.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

He's Here

Weighing in at 7 pounds 6 ounces, little Seth made his debut performance on Monday, November 3rd at 4:01 am. Of course, my brother forgot to call or text that he had arrived! Since he was tired from being up at the hospital for 24 hours straight, I will cut him a little slack this time. Mother and baby are doing great and went home from the hospital today. I should have a picture to share for photo phriday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Did you Vote?

This morning I got up early so I could get to the polling place as they opened. Thankfully it was literally next door to where I live. When I arrived at 2 minutes after they opened, there was already about 45-50 people ahead of me - guess everyone else wanted to go before work too. Sadly, the polling place where I went only had one electronic booth and the box for the manual ballots was having technical difficulties - yes the manual box was having technical difficulties. It took me forever to get to the front of the line, but I eventually made my selection and went on my merry way to work.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bad Leg

You know how some dogs like to chase their tails? Well, Riley gets very angry at her back leg. She will be scratching and then next thing you know she is growling and fighting with her back leg. It's as if it didn't scratch her ear in exactly the right way. She grumbles, growls, and actually bites her back leg. When she feels it has been sufficiently scolded, she leaves it alone. She could care less what her tail does, but that leg is not allowed to get out of line.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Baby Watch

We went out looking for a home today and when we got home we heard that my sister in law is in the hospital. Her water broke some time this morning and now we are on baby watch. My brother feels like it should be within the next couple of days. When I spoke to him on Friday, he was telling me about her latest visit. He was telling me in medical terms (he is a nurse), but basically she and baby are doing well. I can't wait to see the first pictures of little Seth. Hopefully he will not have my brothers ears!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bar Flies

I am convinced that my parents have become bar flies. Growing up my parents rarely, if ever, went out alone. Now when I call, my brother answers (that is a story for another post) and tells me they are at the bar. This happens about three times per week. My mother was never a drinker and can not hold her alcohol. Two beers and she is tipsy. They get bored at home so they go out. Since all, well most, of their kids have left home; they go out to visit with friends in the same situation. It just sounds strange to hear that your parents are at the bar - again.