Wednesday, December 30, 2009

TranSiberian Orchestra Concert

I went to the TSO concert on Monday and it was awesome. Hubby was too sick to go with me, so my neighbor joined me. She had no idea what to expect since she has only heard their music on the radio, but thoroughly enjoyed the show. It had been 3 years since I went the last time, so it was almost like seeing them for the first time all over again. This is a concert that I believe everyone should see at least once in their life. It has a rock concert feel with a Christmas inspired story. There are no intermissions, so it is almost 3 hours of non-stop entertainment. By the time we got home and unwound enough to go to bed, it was almost 2am. I am not as young as I used to be, so I am still tired and my body aches from the chairs we sat in, but it was so worth it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Papa Murphy's Pizza

I have discovered Papa Murphy's pizza. I know it has been around a while, but I have never given it a try before. Since we live outside of town now, our food options for things quick are pretty limited. So, I decided to pick one up a few weeks ago and give it a try. I was fantastic! The ingredients were fresh and the taste was much better than one of those chain pizza places. All I had to do was turn on the oven and pop it in for a bit. Now we have started having Papa Murphy's night once a week.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Feliz Navidad

We are celebrating our first Christmas in our own home. The dogs are having a blast. Riley tore in to the presents from Katreader's kids (she has been sniffing them since they were put under the tree). She was so quick at getting them open that I didn't even have time to get the camera. Then I tossed them outside with a ham bone that hubby bought for them. For the human meal, the duck is done and smells yummy, the dressing is cooking now, and I will make the green beans, gravy, and potatoes next. The dressing is our own special recipe. We took things from my grandmother's recipe, things from hubby's mom recipe, and added our own twist. In a couple of hours we will be in a carb induced sleep, but we will be happy.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is finally here and a cold front blew in last night so it feels a little more like Christmas time today. The day has started off great; I have the day off and the dogs actually let me sleep 2 hours extra. Today, I have a few errands to run, but we will do a few or as many has hubby feels up to doing. The only thing I have to do is go get Abbie's meds and drop some bills in the mail. Everything else could wait. When I get home I am going to make some pumpkin bread for our Christmas meal and check the duck to make sure it is thawing properly. We won't be cooking duck for Christmas if it is still frozen. I have tons of other things that I could be doing (studying, catching up on work, filing my paperwork, etc.), but since it is Christmas Eve, I am not going to do anything that isn't relaxing and enjoyable.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Gracefulness Strikes Again

A few nights ago I stubbed my toe really hard and stumbled almost to the point of falling. I was half asleep and can't really tell you how it happened. I didn't hurt my toe as you would expect, instead it seemed to twist and make my back hurt. It is just that nagging kind of pain, no sharp "somethings wrong" kind of pain. I haven't had to deal with this in such a long time that I am having a hard time blocking it out. Thankfully today is my last day of work this week and I can rest my back a little. I have to be full strength and ready to go for Monday for the TSO concert!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Errand Day

Today was full of errands and we actually managed to get the all done. First to one bank to close a safe deposit box and then to another bank to open up a new box (the old bank is too far away now). I didn't realize we had so much stuff in the safe deposit box! Next to the grocery store to get the last bits of groceries before the holidays, then home to unload groceries and load up the items that needed to go to Goodwill. After Goodwill we stopped by Lowe's to see if they still had any of their clearance plants. They did, so we rescued 2 of the (they were 25 cents each - we couldn't pass them up). Then back home to start making cookies and do some laundry. We finished laundry, made 5 dozen cookies, and some muffins; took cookies to each of the neighbors, and then I will take the rest of the goodies to work tomorrow. We got a lot done today, so now it is time to sit down and have a bite to eat.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Did Someone Say Treats?


Riley loves to smile and show you her pearly white teeth. She is always such a happy dog, even when little Nash is biting on her and swinging from her tail. She has a fierce bark that will scare you to death, but she is really a 45 pound snuggle bunny. This is her showing off her best smile while waiting for a treat.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Package Mix Up

This year I got all of my Christmas cards out in plenty of time; I got all of my packages mailed on Monday of this week so they would have plenty of time to reach their destination, and I wrapped all of the gifts that were staying here and put them under the tree. I was so proud of myself to have gotten all of this done with a week to spare. Then last night when I went to turn on the lights to the tree, I noticed a package that didn't look right. It was a package for my nephew in California. Why is his package still here? I put that in the mail on Monday along with the package to my parents and one to a friend in New York. Then I realized that the package to Buddy, my sister in laws dog, was missing. Oh no! Surely I didn't mix up up those two packages and send my nephew a package of dog treats? So, I quickly picked up the phone to call my brother figuring I would leave a message (he never answers the phone). He was actually there and as soon as I began to explain what I thought had happened, my brother started to laugh. He had already gotten the package. You see, they call my nephew Bubby and thought that I had just spelled it wrong. Then he began to get curious about the shape and feel of the package so he opened it..... and found dog treats. We both had a big laugh at my goof and today I am heading to the post office to mail the correct gift to my nephew. I also need to prep another package of goodies for Buddy whose original gift is now being enjoyed by Roxy and Jasmine in sunny California.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Traditions

Growing up my grandmothers house was always the gathering place for holidays. This was the time of year when we would see cousins that we hadn't seen since the summer and everyone forgot all of their responsibilities for several days. My grandmothers house didn't have TV reception and phone service was spotty at best, but no one cared. We all enjoyed being there with each other and having fun. My grandparents would sit on the porch and play music while everyone else sat around catching up on what had been happening. We would stay up late playing board games or cards - a rowdy game of Spades or Spoons was almost certain to happen (the good spoons were always off limits). As I got older, I loved being able to help my grandmother cook and hearing stories about holidays past. Then when the cooking was done, we would all revert back to being kids again.

My grandparents have been gone for several years now and unfortunately no one else in the family has filled that slot of being the family gathering place. Our grandparents were the glue that held us together and now we are so spread apart that we rarely keep in touch. As I get older, this bothers me more and more. There are times when I miss that overwhelming family craziness; trying to figure out how to sleep 20 people in 6 beds or figuring out how to navigate the maze of sleeping bags on the living room floor during your rush to the 1 and only bathroom.

The solution that hubby and I came up with is this.... since this is our first year in our own home, we are going to start making our own traditions. We have no idea what that looks like, but hopefully over time it will all come together. Who knows, over time maybe we will become the family gathering place.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Good Days and Bad Days

I have always been the type of person that likes a routine and although I can adapt to change, I really like my routine. With hubby's new diagnosis of Meniere's Disease and now with my arthritis, I am learning that I need to be a bit less routine oriented. Right now life is about good days and bad days. When we are having good days, we can tackle the things that need to get done and if some things don't get done then that is okay. When we are having bad days, then we just don't get some things done. I think hubby is adapting to the good day/bad day philosophy better than I am, but I will get there too.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Angry at Solicitors

Very rarely do I let something that a solicitor does get me angry, but today I made an exception. I went out through my neighborhood to take some photos of holiday lights and when I came by, I noticed something looked odd about the wreath on my front door. Crammed in the middle of my wreath was a flyer asking me to vote for John Gordon. This made me so angry that I looked up his website and sent him an email. I know he personally did not place the flyer there, but someone representing him did and I find that to be very rude. There were plenty of other places to put the flyer instead of in my wreath. I doubt I will get a response, but at least I feel better for letting him know I was mad.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Arthritis

My knees had been killing me for a while now and I was getting really frustrated with the normal ortho that I had been seeing. After x-rays and a MRI, he kept telling me "I think" and "I guess" when he would tell me what was going on. During the 6 months while he was busy guessing and thinking, my knees were getting worse and I was growing a but irritated. In fact, when I started going to him it was only one knee, but during it process it progressed to both knees. Yesterday, I went to see a new ortho and really liked him. He didn't have to "guess" or "think" about what was going on; he looked at my x-rays (new ones he took) and the MRI results I had provided and instantly told me it was old fashioned arthritis - but in advanced stages. It is not common for someone my age and I am not thrilled with the news, but at least I know what is going on. We came up with a treatment game plan and I feel much better about what is going on. I wasn't crazy about the cortisone shot, but it is part of the plan.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TranSiberian Orchestra Tickets

The TSO tickets have arrived! I am so excited. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who can't wait to open then gifts. This concert was fantastic the first time I saw them 2 years ago and I can't wait to see them again. Now that I have the tickets, the countdown has begun - only 18 days to go!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Motivation

I need some motivation. I need to get my Christmas decorations up and do some tidying around the house, but I have no motivation. My knees are really hurting and that seems to be zapping all my focus and energy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow Today?

Today we have a chance of snow. Of course, snow is Texas is nothing like snow for those of you up north. In Texas, we absolutely love to see the white stuff, but native Texans absolutely do not know how to drive in it. We panic because there is something on our roads and our already crazy ways of driving become even worse. If we do get some snow, I will take a picture and post. Now, off to get ready for work. TGIF.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thunderclouds Turkey Trot


On Thanksgiving Day, hubby and I volunteered at the 19th Annual Thunderclouds Turkey Trot. It was a really early morning, we got there at 6:20am, and lasted until around 1pm. Although we were exhausted when we finished, we had a really good time. We helped with setting up the volunteer booth, hubby helped hang banners since he is so tall, we made sure the port-a-potties had plenty of toilet paper, handed out water, helped crowd control at the start/finish lines, and helped clean up. They were expecting about 10,000 runners this year, but ended up having well over 14,000 attend. It was a lot of fun and we will definitely volunteer to help again. This picture is from the start/finish line before well before the crowd arrived.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mentally Beaten

Do you ever have those days where you are just mentally beaten? Even more than exhausted, you are simply beaten to the point of feeling battered almost. I am having one of those days. I just feel mentally done. No emotion, no thinking - just done.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. Although there are times when my life seems more difficult than I would like, I truly do have a lot to be thankful for..... a great husband, a house, a good job, and of course my friends and family.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Learning Spanish

My husband is fluent in Spanish, but I can't seem to remember it to save my life (at least not the words that are useful in every day life). Since I am a very visual person, hubby came up with a fantastic way for me to learn Spanish. He has put sticky notes all around the house on everyday items with a word in English, the Spanish version and the the pronunciation. I think I might have a chance of learning Spanish now!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NCIS and Bones

While finally getting around to watching the latest episode of Bones, I realized that Seely Booth on Bones and Jethro Gibbs on NCIS must be related (in tv life, not real life). Here is how I came to that conclusion.... The man who plays the father to Jethro Gibbs (who also played John Walton by the way), is the same person who plays the grandfather to Seely Booth. That would mean that Gibbs would be Booth's uncle.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nash

Every morning when I am getting ready for work, Nash comes up and scratches the back of my leg so I will pick him up and hold him. Of course I pick up him and hold him for a couple of minutes. I am thinking that he must just love me so much that he wants me to love on him a little each day. He is thinking...... "Look at the handsome little doggie in the mirror." This whole time, he has been snuggling me and crawling up on my shoulder to get a glimpse of himself in the mirror!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Temperature Change

The temperature has finally dropped down to something other than shorts and t-shirt weather. I am so happy. Yesterday and today the highs are in the 60's and the lows in the 40's. I even had frost on the windows yesterday. I know it won't last, but I am liking it while it is here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Time to Pick Peppers

Today was the day to pick peppers again. We got 14 bell peppers and 2 finger peppers. We still have tons more in various stages of readiness. These pepper plants are amazing. They are very sturdy and take little care. We did notice today that it looked like an animal of some kind had also helped themselves to a few peppers.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Project Completed

I finished one of my two projects that is due for school. I had to complete a workbook about me and my leadership style and abilities. It had to be bound and is due on Tuesday. Now I just need to complete my self-running PowerPoint presentation with audio on..... wait for it..... me. The preliminary is due on 12/1 and the final is due on 12/8.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Suicide

I found out yesterday that a family member committed suicide. It was a cousin that I hadn't kept in contact with and honestly hadn't seen her since I was a kid. I kept up with what was going on in her life through my mother. I knew her life had not been the easiest, but from what I had last heard, things were okay. She was married and had 2 great kids. Then yesterday, I got a call from my mom that she had taken her own life. I simply don't understand what drives a person to such deep despair that they feel like the only way out is death. This is something that I have always struggled with and would honestly like to understand. My cousin left behind two children (both under age 10) who will now have to live with the trauma of losing their mother at an early age.

I know she had her issues she was dealing with, but I honestly don't understand why suicide would seem like the appropriate answer.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Forgotten

Have you seen the new show called "The Forgotten"? It is a new series on ABC with Christian Slater about the volunteers who search to find the identities for cold cases. I think it would be so rewarding to be a volunteer in a group like that. Does anyone know if such a network truly does exist?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Irritable Mood

Today I am on edge and in an irritable mood. It is nothing in particular, just everything in general that is irritating me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Celtic Festival

This weekend is the annual Celtic Festival at Fiesta Gardens. I have had this marked on my calendar for a couple of months now. There will be great music, cool little booths, demonstrations, mini highland games, and of course festival food. If you are in the Austin area this weekend you should come to Fiesta Gardens and check it out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Tomato Plant That Refuses to Die

During the summer I had a beautiful tomato plant that produced a lot of really tasty tomatoes. After it stopped producing fruit, I decided to stop watering it and let it die. I set it to the side of the porch for several weeks and watched it slowly dry up. Just about the time I was going to pull the plant out of the pot to discard it, I noticed some green spots on the plant. I was a little shocked because I had not given this plant water for weeks and it had been really hot during that time. A few days went by and I noticed more green spots, so I pointed it out to hubby. His response was "sometimes I toss the left over dogs water in that pot". Seriously? This plant came back to life with a little bit of left over dogs water? Trust me when I say little bits; my dogs rarely leave any water in the bowl.

After that I decided that if it could survive the hot Texas sun on small amount of left over dogs water from time to time, then perhaps it deserved to live after all. About that time, we started getting some rain so I still never watered the poor thing. After a few more weeks of surviving on left over dogs water and now a little rain, I noticed the plant was putting out blooms. Low and behold, over this past weekend, this little plant now has a small tomato. I cannot believe this poor neglected plant is actually producing more fruit. Clearly this plant is meant to live. Now I will have to start giving it more attention.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Gutters

Yesterday we had someone come out and give us an estimate on putting gutters on the house. We ended up going ahead and purchasing them. Every place we lived before had gutters already so we never really had to think about them. Without gutters there are already little valleys starting to form around the house where it runs off the roof. We don't have any trees tall enough to worry about leaves getting in the gutters, but it will definitely help the rain run off. We will also be able to get a rain barrel now to capture water for the plants. They are set to be installed the last week of November.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sleep Walking

Lately my sleep walking activity has increased. The doctor wants me to get a sleep study done, and I am open to doing it but, I am having difficulty finding a place that is covered by my insurance. All I want is quality sleep and the peace of mind that I am not going to hurt myself in the middle of the night.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

School

Grad school started this week. It has been a while since I have been in the study habit and getting back in to the grove has been tough. My game plan is to get up at 4:30am and study until 6am when it is time to get ready for work. Then study for an hour around 5:30pm or 6pm when I get home from work. Hubby has been extremely supportive and makes sure I have all of the quiet time I need. Now, I will have to get the others in my life used to the fact that I don't have my evenings free anymore for unplanned visits.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hutto Olde Tyme Days

Hutto had the annual Olde Tyme Days Festival over the weekend. It was the first time hubby and I went and we actually volunteered to help out at the festival. We were placed at one of the beer and water stations for a couple of hours. It was actually pretty fun. We were placed right next to a tent with the Texas & OU game playing, so hubby was able to see some of the game.

We also walked around the festival for a while and I was able to pick up a bulb of our city flower, the Orange Crush Daylily, from the Keep Hutto Beautiful group. Hubby bought a turkey leg that was huge, but very tasty while I had a chicken suovlaki for lunch. I bought some kettle corn that reminded me of the popcorn we had as a kid; and I bought a t-shirt to support the local Hutto Hippos Athletic group.

The festival had live music, lots of vendors, a petting zoo, horse rides, and a climbing wall. There was face painting, cartoon drawings, and so much more.

All in all it was a really fun day and by the time we got home that evening we were exhausted.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Photo Phriday - Peppers Galore


My pepper plants (bell peppers and hot peppers) have been going absolutely nuts. The fresh ones on the left are the ones we picked today. The bowl on the right is completely full of frozen diced and chopped bell peppers that came from my plants over the past several weeks.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Missing Ear Plugs

My hubby has a pair of ear plugs that have gone missing. They are not just any ear plugs, they were custom molded to the shape of his ear canal so they would be more comfortable, and are reasonably expensive. He has had them for 2 years and wears them every single day. He is extremely careful where he puts them, but yesterday they came up missing. We have looked literally everywhere imaginable and some places where they could not have possibly ended up. We have come to the conclusion that Riley, the lab, must have eaten them. She has never shown an interest in them before, but that is our only explanation left.

So, I have been doing the Marley routine for a couple of days and hosing down her poop. So far, no ear plugs. Hubby says if I find them in her poop, he absolutely will NOT put them back in his ears.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tired

Today I am tired. Work is really busy right now. Our region needs to hire 200 new employees in the next 6 weeks which means my team has to process all of their backgrounds. In order to actually clear 200 new people, we will have to process about 250. This is with a team of 3 and one of them will be on vacation for 2 weeks. Of course, we have the normal end of the year activities such as open enrollment, performance reviews, annual bonus processing, and merit increases for 7200 people. Normally this would not be a big deal, but today my energy level is drained so it seems like a lot. I still need to schedule myself to take 100 hours of vacation before 12/31 or I will lose it - and I worked way too hard to just lose the time.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lucky Dog Chicago Style Dogs

There used to be a place in Northwest Austin called Lucky Dog. They sold Chicago style hot dogs and were fantastic. When we moved to our house, we were excited because there was going to be a Lucky Dog near us again. Unfortunately, when we drove by, there were not there. Then out of the blue I spotted the Lucky Dog sign in a strip center as I was out running errands one day. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to stop in there for lunch. Our mouths were watering just thinking about those Chicago style dogs. When our food finally arrived, neither of us were terribly excited, but we didn't say anything. Finally, I spoke up and said, these aren't as good as I remember them. Hubby agreed and we both continued to eat our lunch in disappointment. We both looked at the menu at about the same time and noticed that it didn't say "Lucky Dog"; instead, it said "Lucky's Dogs". Was this a case of our eyes seeing one thing and our stomach translating it to another? When we left, we look at the sign outside and it clearly said "Lucky Dog" and not "Lucky's Dogs". We were both feeling a bit duped. Come to find out, there is no more Luck Dog Chicago Style Dogs. They went out of business. Very sad for us because they had the best hot dogs around.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tired

Today I am really tired. I worked from home today and had a pretty hefty to do list. I managed to get through the to do list and handled a couple of other items as well. The list would have normally taken me 2 days in the office to complete. Now I am prepping dinner and chasing a very active puppy. He can now get out of his basket that we keep him in, so he needs a constant watchful eye. I am ready to call it a day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ceiling Fan

The ceiling fan in our master bedroom seized up Friday evening and it was only 6 months old. We decided to go ahead and take it down Friday night. The fan was so hot when we took it down that it actually burned a blister on one of my fingers. Thank goodness it did not cause any damage to the ceiling. I looked up the warranty on the fan and it has a "limited" warranty for 12 months. I tried to call Friday but Harbor Breeze was already closed, so I will call on Monday and see what they can do for me. In the meantime, we purchased and installed the new fan on Saturday so we would not have to do without a fan while they decided if it would be covered under warranty. It is still in the 90's here, so we couldn't do without the a fan. For the new fan, we went with a Hunter brand since we have other Hunter products and have been satisfied with the quality.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New TV Season

I am so happy that the new season of my favorite shows has started. The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, House, NCIS, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, this means I spend a fairly large amount of time in front of the television.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bad Patient

I really stink at being sick. I hate not being able to do my normal routine, but when I am sick I just want to sleep; and I want someone to pamper me, but I have a hard time sitting back and letting someone else do everything for me. All in all, this makes me a really bad patient. I have been struggling with my allergies for over a week now and today they have finally kicked me in the pants. I stayed home from work to try to rest and feel a little better. I am also trying to stay away from my neighbor since she announced last night that her daughter was in bed with a fever of 102 and had what they believed to be the flu.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Green Thumb

I never really considered myself as having a green thumb, but recently I have been growing things rather well. I have a tomato plant that I intentionally did not water after the growing season and it is perking up and becoming green again; I have several pepper plants that I just tossed under a tree and they now have 8 or 9 Bell Peppers; and I have another pepper plant (possible Finger Peppers) that also has several peppers growing. This weekend I purchased some snow pea seeds and I am going to try growing those.

The plants I have been intentionally taking care of are my Stella de Oro Day Lilies. They are doing great. I would like to add some Orange Crush Day Lilies to my flowers if I can find some.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm Back

It has been a while since I did a posting. I went to pick up Nash and had forgotten how demanding a new puppy can be on your time. With work has also been busier than normal and trying to get in to a routine with Nash, my computer time has been. He is now 8 weeks old and a bundle of personality(or attitude - however you want to see it) and energy. Of course, with all Yorkie's he has no idea how small he really is. He weighs a whopping 1.2 pounds and to get an idea of his size, he is sitting on a 1 foot square tile. The other two dogs get along great with him and have learned to play very gentle.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Love Triangle

My dogs are involved in a love triangle. My lab mix, Riley, it just over 1 year old and is totally in love with the neighbor dog, Rocky. Rocky is a mix breed as well and looks to be about 3 years old. Every time we let Riley outside she runs to the fence and goes nuts trying to get Rocky's attention. Unfortunately, he has zero interest in Riley. He totally ignores her whines and attempts to get his attention. Of course, the more he ignores her the more she tries to get his attention. We have a little knot hole in one of the fence slats and she sticks her nose in there to get a glimpse of him.

Rocky, on the other hand, likes my 6 year old Rat Terrier, Abbie. Anytime he hears her he will go to the fence and try to get her attention, but she could care less about Rocky. In fact, every time she hears him, she runs up to the fence and acts like she wants to tear him apart. Abbie likes the yellow lab puppy, Max, that belongs to the neighbor on the opposite side. Max, does not like Abbie, but is madly in love with Riley - who won't give him the time of day.

Every day this sad little love triangle plays out in my back yard.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nash

I get to go pick up Nash next weekend (yes, I am a Nash Bridges fan). My mom has already been calling him by his name and says he has quite the attitude. He is still very small as you can see him in comparison to the medicine bottle, but I have no doubt he will be a good addition to our crew and will be the boss of the house in no time.





Saturday, August 22, 2009

Winning the Lottery

I often think about what I would do if I won the lottery. I would keep working, at least for a while; I would pay off all of our bills, including the house: I would either fix up my parents home or buy them a new one; I would make all of the upgrades to our home that we have been wanting; hubby and I would take a trip to Ireland; and finally we would open some kind of small business in an area that we want to eventually retire. Not sure where that area is right now or what that business would be, but that is what I would do if I won the lottery.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kia Soul

I used to never see the new Kia Soul, but over the past week I have begun seeing one every morning on my way to work. I don't particularly like the vehicle, but it makes me think of my friend Katreader. When I see the vehicle, I think of that commercial where the mice are jamming out in their Kia Soul. The mice are acting cool and having a good time. That then makes me think of Katreader who raises really cool mice who are well cared for and spoiled.

Okay, so my mind wanders a little when I am stuck in traffic, but at least I am not talking on my cell phone or sending text messages.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

I am so excited, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is coming to Austin in December. Tickets go on sale in September and I already have my calendar marked. I made sure I didn't have any meetings or conference calls planned for the morning they go on sale so I can go get our tickets.

They put on one of the best concerts and light shows you will ever see. There is nothing better for putting you in the holiday spirit.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Knee Pain

I went to the doctor about 2 months ago and they told me the knee pain I was having was arthritis. Although not thrilled, I accepted the info and agreed to try to meds in hopes that it would help the swelling and pain. After 30-days on the meds and no results (it was actually getting worse), I went back. This time they did an MRI and determined I have torn cartilage. Okay, that make more sense, but it still hurts like hell. Since I am not keen on surgery, I have agreed to do a Synvisc shot on Wednesday. I really hope that it helps with the swelling and the pain so I can get back to normal activity with my knee. Even walking is painful and since I am walking with a limp, it is making my back hurt a little.

I don't feel extremely comfortable with this doctor, but I am willing to give him a try. Think good thoughts for me on Wednesday.

Friday, August 14, 2009

TGIF

This week has seemed really long and I am glad it is at an end. Tonight hubby and I will volunteer at Movies in the Park (they are showing Igor) and then hopefully we will have a couple of relatively quiet days.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Interview Tips

Interviewing is one of those things that very few people actually like to do and I am no exception. I find that you can get a better feel for a person from their body language rather than the actual answers to their questions. When I interview someone, I prefer to do it as a panel and I only ask a couple of questions then sit back and watch the candidate as someone else asks questions.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been interviewing candidates to fill a slot on my team and I have gathered a list of tips for those who may be going on an interview soon.

Show up on time. Don't show up late and don't show up too early; 30 minutes it too early unless they have asked you to arrive that early to complete additional paperwork. Try showing up about 10-15 minutes early, they are typically ready for you at that time.

Dress appropriately. If you are not sure what the attire is for that company, dress as though you were going out on a nice dinner date. Don't wear clothes with holes, t-shirts with inappropriate wording, and definitely no flip flops.

Make eye contact. No matter how uncomfortable, look at the person who is asking the questions. Playing with items on the interviewers desk, look at the ceiling, or looking at the floor is not appropriate.

Send a thank you note. Believe it or not, this really does make a difference. In today's society, a thank you email is acceptable, but you should definitely send something.

Hopefully these tips will help someone who is out there interviewing. I know a few candidates that I spoke with sure could have used these tips!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hita, Japan

One of my team members will be leaving in September and moving to Hita, Japan. Her husband got a job teaching English in Hita for a year through an exchange program at the University of Texas at Austin. She is going to go and spend the year learning about and enjoying the culture. She will be one of only 5 people in the village that speaks English. I am very sad to be losing her from my team, but utterly thrilled at the opportunity she and her husband have. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and it couldn't have happened to a more deserving couple.

Now, I have to come up with some kind of going away get together and a going away gift. I am terrible at these kind of things and need some help with ideas. I know you all are very creative, so please send me some suggestions; September 10th will be here in no time.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bargains

Today we needed to go to Lowe's and pick up some salt for our water softener. While we were out, we decided to go by the Goodwill to see if they had anything interesting. As it turned out, today was a day of bargains. At Goodwill, they had a swing arm lamp for $12 that will look great beside the bed and will be perfect for reading. We also found a set some Pfaltzgraff soup bowls for $1.99 and a tea ball for $.99. The we went to Lowe's and I found a hibiscus plant on clearance for $3 (normally $19) and then they had our salt on sale for $3.97 a bag (normally $5.97). I also had a coupon for $1 off each bag of the salt and a coupon for 10% off the total purchase. All in all it was a good day for bargains.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Addition to the Family

We have decided to take the plunge and add a new member to our family. He is a Yorkie born on 7/22 out of a forbidden love affair. His mother is a CKC registered Yorkie named Cassie and his father is an AKC registered Yorkie named Rooney. The two were not supposed to "hook up" since they are from different registration groups, but they found a way to make it happen when no one was watching. As a result, Cassie had a litter of 5 but only 2 survived; a male and a female. When they were taken to the vet for their initial check up, the vet said he had never seen a puppy as small as the little male (the one on the right). We have decided that he will fit perfectly in to our family and can't wait to bring him home. He should be ready to come home around Labor Day weekend. Now we just have to come up with a name.



Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blue Cheese Guacamole

Last night hubby created for dinner (I love it when he does creations). He made shrimp and buffalo chicken kabobs with blue cheese guacamole dip. It was extremely good. Today I decided to google "blue cheese guacamole" to see if anyone else had ever combined blue cheese and avocados and Nigella apparently tried it first. She calls hers Roquamole.

If you have never tried blue cheese guacamole (or roquamole), give it a try. Take your avocados, add some blue cheese dressing, and a little salsa. Viola, you're done. You can leave out the salsa if you don't want the spicy kick and it is still very good.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Home for the Holidays

My brother called and they are planning to come home for Thanksgiving (or around that time). Maybe they will come stay with us while they are here. I can't wait to see my handsome little nephew. I can't believe he is already 8 months old. Here is the latest picture I have of him. He likes playing with his mothers stethoscope.




Saturday, July 25, 2009

Anniversary

Today is our 21st anniversary. We have been married for 21 years and together for 22 years. It is amazing how quickly the time flies. We had kind of a low key day and it was really nice. Yesterday we bought ourselves a grill, so this morning we spent time putting it together. After we finished that, we went to eat lunch at a local cafe and then came home.

Having a low key anniversary seems kind of fitting since we had a pretty low key wedding. We went to the JP and got married in front of our witnesses, then came home and went to the mall. After we got home from the mall, his sister dropped off her 4 kids for us to babysit for a week while she went on vacation. Yes we really spent out honey moon babysitting his sisters 4 kids.

I am looking forward to number 25; we hope to be able to visit Ireland for that anniversary.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Expensive Trip to Chili's

On July 3rd, neither of us felt like cooking and a Chili's burger sounded really good, so off to Chili's we went. Hubby ordered his normal medium burger and I had the little baby burgers. The service was a little slow and his burger arrived slightly undercooked in the very middle, but it wasn't too bad so he ate it anyway.

A couple of days later he started feeling like he had the flu. After about a week, he went to the doctor and found out that he had food poisoning and the doctor felt 100% certain it was from the undercooked burger he had at Chili's (there had apparently been some warnings about tainted beef in the area). He took his week of Cipro for the food poisoning and still wasn't feeling very good, so the doctor called in some additional medicine. This week he finally began to feel a little better, but still not back to 100%.

Yesterday I stopped to pick up the mail and noticed an envelope from our local police department. It was from the Automated Red Light Enforcement department, so I opened it immediately. It was a fine for $75. This had to be a mistake. I went home and we looked over the video at the link they provided. When hubby was turning in to the strip center where the Chili's was located, he had to make a right hand turn. Unfortunately, he did not come to a full stop at the red light before making the turn.

Adding in the cost of the meal, the cost of the doctor visits, the cost of the medications, and now the cost of the fine, this meal has easily cost us over $200 - for 2 burgers and 2 glasses of tea. Chili's is off limits for a long while!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Superstars - Brandi & Julio

My favorite team went home tonight on The Superstars - Brandi Chastain and Julio Iglesias Jr. They made such a great team that I really thought they would be in the finals, but couldn't quite pull it out. Tonight they competed on the jet ski's, archery, and the climbing wall. Unfortunately, those weren't their best events. They were a great team to watch and I really wished they had made it to the finals.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dream about Blogging

Last night I was having a dream that I was blogging. In my dream, I was typing away and started to get hot. I couldn't believe how hot it was and thought I should get up an turn on a fan. Then all of a sudden I wake up and I am really disoriented. I am not in my bed. Instead, I am sitting on the floor in our hallway using the top of a small fan as my "keyboard". I have no idea how long I had been sitting on the floor typing on the fan, but every part of my body ached as I got up. I went back to bed, and slept the remaining hour until my alarm went off.

Needless to say, I never finished the blog in my dream and today at work I was very tired.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hunter Fan Company

About 3 weeks ago we purchased a Hunter humidifier for our bedroom. We spent the little extra and got the Hunter brand in hopes that we wouldn't be disappointed. Hubby and I both have terrible allergies and the humidifier makes it so much easier to sleep at night. Today the humidifier started making a really terrible noise. Remember as a kid when you would stick something in the spokes on the tire and it made that really cool sound. That's what it was sounding like - only it is not so cool when you are trying to sleep.

I pulled out my paperwork and called the company to see what could be done. I was fully expecting to have to send it in, wait for them to tell me that whatever was wrong wasn't covered under the warranty, and then we would have to pay to purchase another one. Thankfully, that was not the case at all. The young lady took my information, apologized that their product caused me an inconvenience and promised to ship me a brand new unit of the same model to my home within 7-14 days. WOW! That never happens! Not only that, I don't have to go to the hassle of sending them back the damaged unit. All they want back is the label from the machine and the cut power cord from the old unit. I haven't had such great customer service in a really long time.

Kudos to Hunter Fan Company!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Abbie Update

Abbie had her follow up appointment with the vet yesterday. She was able to get her cast and stitches removed, but she still has all of her restrictions. No running, jumping, playing, or walking off leash. Her little scar runs about half the length of her leg, but she doesn't care. She was just happy to be able to lick her leg again. She is using the leg as if nothing happened - I am amazed.

She goes back on August 10th and they will do another x-ray to see if the bone has healed properly. If it has, they will lift some of her restrictions at that time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cornbread

Today I was making cornbread to go with our soup and it made me think about my great grandmother, Little Mama. I grew up in a multi-generational house so there was always people around and almost always someone in the kitchen cooking. I remember this one time when I was about 5, Little Mama was in the kitchen with my grandmother, Nanny. Little Mama was mixing something in a bowl with her electric mixer and I was certain it was one of the cakes she always made. My great grandfather,Papa had a huge sweet tooth. Whenever she made cake, I liked to lick the beaters. This time when I asked for the beaters, Little Mama told me no. I got really upset and decided I would go pester her from outside the kitchen window. The window was open and she was looking out the window, so I felt this was the best way to pester her in to giving me the beaters. As I was approaching my spot outside, I got distracted by a bee in the dogs water. I decided to be nice to the dog and take the bee out. Of course, I didn't stop there, I had to squish the bee with my bare feet. The bee promptly stung the crap out of me sending me back inside the house crying. When I got back inside, Nanny fixed up my bee sting and I immediately went back to pestering Little Mama about the beaters. Finally she was tired of telling me no, so she gave me a beater. As she handed it to me I will never forget her words. She said, "you aren't going to like this, but just remember that you asked for it". I proceeded to take a big lick off of the beater and realized she was right; that was the nastiest tasting cake ever. It was not sweet and was very gritty. That's when she told me she was making cornbread.

I wish I could say that I learned my lesson that day, but I didn't. I had many more such lessons to come. I was always the child who was very head strong and had to learn the hard way.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lawn Aerator Sandals

Our lawn is really compacted so we decided to buy some lawn aerator sandals. We couldn't find any locally, so we purchased them online. They finally came in the mail yesterday. It seems like a pretty easy concept; put them on over your shoes and walk around the yard. The spikes in the bottom of the shoes help the aerate the yard.

I put them on over my crocs, stood up to begin walking around the lawn and fell flat on my face. The spikes stuck in the ground so deep that I couldn't get them out. My feet were firmly planted in the ground and I couldn't get enough leverage to get myself up or to pull the spikes out of the ground. The dog is outside with me and she wanders over and begins licking me. Although very sweet, it is no help to me at all. I was about to call for hubby to come get me unstuck when I decided to give it one more try; that time did the trick. I took the sandals off and went inside. After hubby stopped laughing at the story I had just told him, he helped me give it another try. This time I was more successful and was able to walk around the yard. I focused on the more compacted areas since it was really hot outside.

If you are looking for a good work out, this will definitely work your legs and butt. After finishing the yard, I could definitely feel the muscles I had worked. I really noticed how much they hurt after I had finished taking a shower and relaxed a bit.

Overall the lawn sandals were a good idea, but are going to take some work to get the hang of how to operate them.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Balancing the Checkbook

Ever have those tasks that you just seem to put off for no particular reason? I do and it is balancing the checkbook. It isn't hard and really isn't time consuming, but I just seem to put it off until it becomes one big task. I blame my procrastination on my Dad. He used to save his bank statements for several months and then bring me all of his statements and check registers so I could balance them. Now I find myself doing the same thing. Yesterday hubby helped me get caught up; I hate to admit it, but I was 6 months behind.

What task do you have that you procrastinate about? Come on, you know you have one.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Air Conditioner

Thank goodness for our home warranty. Last night about 9pm our air conditioner started blowing hot air. I called the service company and they sent someone out last night. They were able to do a temporary repair so it would cool the house and are coming back out on Thursday to check it out. Today the temp wasn't too bad - no triple digits. The temp is supposed to be back in the 100+ starting in Wednesday, so we definitely need our A/C.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Patience

I had a co-worker once tell me that I should never wish for patience because the only way to tell if you have patience is for you to be tested over and over. Well, my Abbie has decided today that my patience needs to be tested. Today, she kept escaping out of her kennel and going to her sisters kennel. Then, when we weren't watching, she decided to chew on her cast (it is a soft cast). She only has 8 more days in the cast; which I am sure seems like a lifetime to her.

We actually can't wait for the cast to come off either, but we don't know what comes next. We believe it may just be a bandage of some sort to cover the surgery site, but we are not sure. I know it is no fun for her to watch her sister run free and play ball. All she can do is sit or lay on a soft bed and do nothing. Even when she goes outside to potty, she is not allowed to roam around the yard. She goes out to do her business and then right back inside. No playing and no sunbathing.

So, I am afraid to ask for patience to make it the next 8 days; so ho about a little strength and tolerance?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! Today we spent most of the day at home, but ventured out briefly to our neighbors house to celebrate her birthday. We made guacamole and took some chips as our contribution to the pot luck. Most of the people at our neighbors were her friends and family (all German speaking) and there were also some of the other neighbors from the community. Hubby ran home a grab a bottle of wine when he noticed that Abbie had one again flipped her kennel and had also soiled her bed. We only stayed at the party for a couple of hours then we came home to clean up the mess the little one had created.

After getting everything cleaned up, the rest of the evening was relatively quiet - until the fireworks started. This was Riley's first 4th of July and she had never heard fireworks before. She did okay as long as she was out in the yard and could see what was causing the noise; when she would go inside, they would startle her and she would begin to bark. Hopefully they don't last too long past midnight. I really hope people of being very careful, it is so dry here that one spark could cause a really nasty fire. Even though fireworks are not allowed within the city limits, people are still using them anyway.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saving A Turtle

Yesterday evening hubby and I decided to get out of the house and go to Target. Just after we pulled out of our subdivision, we saw a large turtle in one lane of the road. It had a bright red spot on the top and we thought it must have been dead. We decided to turn around and go check anyway. As we got closer, we saw that he (or maybe it was a she) wasn't dead and was actually trying to get across the road. He was bleeding where one of the cars had clipped the top of his shell, but he was still very much alive. I pulled off of the road as much as possible and put my hazard lights on so the traffic whizzing by at 60+ mph would at least see me while hubby went to move the turtle off of the road.

As hubby bent down to pick him up, he realized this wasn't just any turtle, it was a big snapping turtle and he was not happy. I am watching from the car and hubby turns the turtle toward me; all I can see is his huge mouth open and he is looking for something to bite. As traffic clears, hubby runs him across the road and puts him in some tall grass near the pond. As they were running across the road, the turtle made one last effort at trying to get away and peed on my hubby.

With the turtle safely out of harms way we headed on to Target. Once there, hubby immediately went to the bathroom to clean off the turtle pee and I stayed outside for a few minutes cleaning it off of a few places in my car. It was worth having to clean up a little urine to save the turtle from getting killed.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Abbie Gets Gold Star

Abbie had her first post-op visit today. It is hard to believe it has only been 2 weeks since she broke her leg and had surgery. It seems so much longer. She is doing great and got a gold star; they didn't even have to change the wrap on her splint. She goes back in 2 more weeks and will get her splint off as long as she continues doing well.

I can't say enough good things about the vet who did her surgery, Dr. Bill Dudley. He has been absolutely fantastic. Abbie ended up with a sore on her side after surgery; we figured it was most likely from some type of monitoring pad. We showed it to him in today's visit and he seemed very concerned. About 4pm he had his vet tech call back and ask more questions because he was concerned she could get such a mark while in their care (it is about 1.5 inches long and the width of a dime). He says they would not have had any kind of pad in that area and wants to get to the bottom of what happened so it would not happen to anyone else. I would highly recommend him and his team to anyone needing orthopedic services for their pet.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Heat

This heat really sucks. It is currently 9:15pm and the temperature on my front porch is 96 degrees! The high for today was 106, but felt like 110. The radio was warning people to stay inside if you did not absolutely need to go outside. This is just the end of June and anyone who has spent any time in Texas knows it doesn't really get hot around here until August.

I am a little afraid to see what August brings our way.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Terrell Owens and Joanna Krupa

Last night I watched "The Superstars" which is very similar to "Battle of the Network Stars" that used to air many years ago. On this show an athlete and a model/actor/actress is paired together and they compete is various events; then the two bottom teams have to run an obstacle course to see who gets to stay and who gets eliminated. I have never been a T.O. fan because I think he is very overrated and a drama king. Well, last night, after losing the kayaking event, he threw a mini tantrum and did not want to speak to the cameras. Then his partner, Joanna Krupa started being a diva too. She was throwing f-bombs constantly and commenting on T.O.'s athletic ability.

During the obstacle course, T.O. got hung up on the cargo net which ultimately led to them losing. Again, Joanna started being a diva and throwing a tantrum. After losing, T.O. actually took a bit the high road and congratulated the winners, but Joanna was too self-absorbed to do anything but curse and through a tantrum.

They both behaved so badly, that I was actually cheering when they lost. Good riddance to the cry babies.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tillie, Carl and the Pepito's

Tillie, Carl and the Pepito's are my plants. Yes, my plants have names. I know I am a little strange - that is nothing new.

Tillie is my tomato plant. She has three tomatoes that are growing nicely, but are not yet ready to be picked. I can't wait until they ripen and we can pick them.

Carl is my cucumber plant. He has lots of flowers, but no cucumbers yet. He is planted in a 2-3 foot long planter and he extends about 2 feet on each side of the planter making him about 6 feet long. He is trying to attach himself to everything - except the wire and posts I gave him to attach to.

The Pepito's are my pepper plants. There are hot peppers, an assortment of sweet peppers, and some bell peppers. The hot and sweet peppers are looking nice, but they don't have any peppers on them yet. The bell pepper has 3 little peppers on it that are growing nicely. Hopefully in a couple of weeks they will be big enough to pick.

This is my first attempt at having a garden in pots, so it will be cool to see how well they do this year.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer is Officially Here

Although we have been having summer weather for a while, summer was officially here as of yesterday. At least the weatherman has changed the forecast and we are only expected to hit 100+ a few days this week and not all week long.

I have really got to work on getting some type of shade in my back yard. Right now there is no shading, so you absolutely burn to death when you try to go in the back between 1pm and 7pm.

Ahhh, the joys of summer in Texas.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Egg Genie

Have you seen the commercial for The Egg Genie? It can cook up to 7 eggs at the same time and make them either hard boiled, medium boiled, or soft boiled. It can even do poached eggs. The commercial does a good job of making it sound simple, but it leaves out a few details.

Does it magically know what type of egg you want (hard boiled, soft boiled, or poached)? It never shows you how to make the selection.

How does the thing get its power? It doesn't mention anything about putting it in the microwave, there is no mention of batteries, and they never show a power cord.

All they tell you to do is put water in, poke the eggs with the little tool, put them in the Egg Genie (up to 7 eggs at one time), and then you take them out when the time goes off.

This made me so curious that I decided to look at the infomercial on the Internet, and it never answers the questions either.

Check out The Egg Genie infomercial and let me know you what you think.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Escape Artist

Abbie had surgery on Sunday and we brought her home on Monday (with a serious chunk taken out of our wallet). She has restrictions for at least 8 weeks - no running, jumping, playing, etc. Have you ever tried to keep a hyper rat terrier still? To keep an eye on her, we are essentially taking shifts, with the hubby taking the bulk of the baby sitting duties. She has been doing okay, but last night she decided to escape from her kennel.

We are using a soft travel kennel to make sure she doesn't snag her leg on the side of the kennel. At night when we are not able to watch her she has to wear the e-collar; which she does pretty well. Last night she apparently decided she didn't want to stay in her kennel and used her good leg to unzip the zipper. I found out she was loose because her sister started barking about 5am. Apparently, Riley was jealous that Abbie was out and she was still in a kennel. She didn't appear to do any damage to her bandage and actually seemed quite happy with herself. I put her back in the kennel and used a zip tie to keep the zipper closed until the hubby was ready to get up. There was no sense in me going back to bed because the alarm was going to go off any minute now.

Three days behind us and only 7 and 1/2 weeks to go. Here is a picture of my little escape artist. As you can see, the pain meds are working well.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Birthday, A Dentist, A Busted Lip, and A Broken Leg

A birthday, a dentist, a busted lip, and a broken leg. What do all of these things have in common? They are all events that have preoccupied my time for the last 2 weeks.

A birthday: Riley turned 1 year old on June 1st. We made her a Peanut Butter Carrot Cake and she loved every bite of it. It is amazing that the little 6 pound fluff ball that we brought home is now a 50 pound fur machine. She has become a really good dog and gets better every day.

A dentist: On my last routine cleaning, the dentist discovered that what we thought was a stain was actually a cavity and had to do a filling. I don't handle dental work well, but this had to be done so I put on my big girl pants and scheduled the appointment. It really hurt the remainder of that day and part of the next, but it is all better now.

A busted lip & a broken leg: This past Friday (6/12), Riley and Abbie were playing in the yard while I watered plants. All of a sudden I hear a really loud snap, and then one of the dogs yelping. When I turned to look, little Abbie was holding her left leg up and I could see her little foot was dangling. Her leg was broken. I ran over to her to scoop her up and in her panic, she bit me on the lip and gave me a busted lip. As I was heading to the front yard, hubby was coming to the back yard to see what the commotion was and then he saw her little leg. We grabbed the bare essentials and rushed her to the emergency vet. They confirmed her leg was indeed broken. Both bones just above her little wrist were broken all the way through. They were able to put a splint on her and give her pain meds, but they were not able to fix it. On Saturday, we took her to our regular vet who also was not able to fix it and gave us the names of some surgeons that could possibly assist. We were able to get in touch with one of them and he was willing to take a look and see what he could do; he even asked us to come in today (Sunday) even though his office was closed. Based on what I had told him over the phone, he had two of his vet techs come in as well and they actually did the surgery today. She had to have a metal plate and several screws put in her leg and will have a 9-12 month recovery period. She is not going to be happy because she will have to have limited activity for at least the next 8 weeks. She stays in the ICU at the hospital tonight and we should be able to pick her up in the morning.

I know some people will think I am nuts because of the expense of the emergency visit and the surgery; but this is my baby and I would do the same thing over and over again.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Smooth Away

I recently purchased one of the "As Seen on TV" products called Smooth Away. I really dislike shaving my legs and this seemed like it would be a quick and painless replacement for shaving - at least that's what the commercial said. I bought it at Walgreens about a week ago, but hadn't tried it until today. Hubby pulled it out several days ago and actually removed hair from his chest, so I was really hopeful that this would work. I have tried lots of other options (Nair, Veet, waxing, etc) and none seem to work for me.

It said the hair should be about 1/4 inches long for best results. Done. Then it said your legs needed to be freshly cleaned and dried. Done. So I proceeded to rub the spot clockwise three times and then counter clockwise three times, pressing gently but not to hard. Hmm, nothing came off. I read the instructions again to make sure I understood and being very careful to following the instructions exactly, I tried it again. Still no hair came off. I decided the try a spot on my arm and see what happens. This time it spot came out nice and smooth. Okay, it is time to go back to the legs now that I have ruled out user. Still no hair is coming off. Okay, this time I tried a spot on the face - very smooth. A small tingling feeling like carpet burn, but it was really smooth. I gave it one more try on the legs and you guessed it, still no hair came off. Each time I went back to the same spot on my legs, but that darn hair refused to budge. Determined to leave the bathroom with smooth legs, I grabbed my trusty razor and made quick work of the small forest that had begun to grow. Ugh. Guess it is just going to have to be me and the razor - like it or not.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ceiling Fan

Our ceiling fan had been making a weird rubbing/grinding sound off and on for several weeks. We couldn't figure out why. The fan was the same brand as another one we installed and it was working just fine. Finally after not being able to figure it out, I called Lowe's to see if we could still return it even though it was about 60-days old. I spoke to a manager who eventually agreed as long as I could find the receipt and I had to bring it in before the 90-day mark.

I was actually able to find the receipt and now all we needed to do was take it down. Taking it was going to be the hard part. Due to the location, it meant taking the bed partially apart in order to reach the fan. We thought about it for a couple of days and decided that this was such an ordeal that we weren't going to return the fan, we were just going to live with the noise.

The fan seemed fine for a couple of more days and then it started making the noise again. Hubby got up on the bed one more time to see if he could tell what was causing the noise. He was able to see something this time that looked like it might be causing the issue, so he used some tweezers to pull it out. When we turned the ceiling fan back on - problem solved.

What did he pull out? A plastic coated label that had fallen and was causing the noise. Ironically, the label happened to be the info on the number to call for service!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Thanks

I wanted to say thanks to all those who currently serve our military and especially to those who have served and lost their lives. They signed on to protect our country, and all of us, knowing all of the dangers it held. Although we all have an opinion about war and the military; the reality is, we would not be able to express those opinions if it weren't for those who fought to give us that right.

Many of my family members have served in the military and my sister-in-law is still active Navy. They signed on because they believe in what this country stands for and want to serve in whatever capacity they can.

Next time you are out and see someone in uniform, walk over an tell them Thank You. They deserve much more, but at least we can offer them thanks.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Maybe It's the Eyes

My neighbor recently got a yellow lab puppy, Max, and we have let our dogs meet a couple of times. The neighbor really likes Riley, but is scared of Abbie. She just says "there is something about that little one". Riley is 50 pounds now and still doesn't understand she is not a lap dog. Abbie is the drama queen; she can make tears roll down her face when she doesn't get her way. I couldn't understand how she could be scared of my sweet little Abbie, then I took these pictures....

Here is Riley smiling and posing for the camera.



Here is Abbie giving her best pose too.



Okay, well I guess those eyes could scare you a little.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

American Idol

I was so certain that I knew who was going to win that I almost fast forwarded through the show just to see the results and move on to something else. Hubby convinced me to watch the show to see who else performed. I am so glad I did; that was one of their better finales. I only fast forwarded through the performances of one person - Adam Lambert. All of the others were really good. Although, I think Fergie really needs to go back to her red hair. That darker color was not flattering for her.

I was surprised and extremely happy to see that Kris Allen won. I don't think he will be as popular as Carrie Underwood, but I think he will do very well.

Now that Idol is over, we get to start So You Think You Can Dance. If only we could figure out how to keep that one judge from screaming all the time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Birthday & Happy Anniversary

Today is birthday number 43. I took the day off of work and have no special plans other than to work in my yard. I know most people would not consider that a fun way to spend their birthday; however, I am very grateful that I actually can.

You see, on my birthday last year I had a hole in the small of my back the diameter of a quarter and about 2 inches deep from an infection; was having wound care 7 days a week to remove the necrotic tissue ( sometimes by doctors and sometimes by hubby); was on yet another round of antibiotics that was not working; and was not able to walk more than a few steps without the assistance of a cane or walker and extreme pain. As it turned out, the infection continued to worsen and 5 days later I was admitted to the hospital to have it surgically removed.

Now I am able to walk unassisted and mostly pain free. So, considering where I was a year ago, I am thrilled to be able to work in my yard on my birthday.

Most memorable birthday gift.... a new Dad for birthday number 7. What was your most memorable birthday gift?

Happy 36th Anniversary Mom & Dad.

Friday, May 15, 2009

6 Months Old

I can't believe my nephew is already 6 months old. Here he is eating his first piece of celery and this past weekend he cut his first tooth. They are supposed to be visiting during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday this year. I can't wait to see him in person for the first time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Recruiting

I read an article in Time Magazine this morning about military recruiting that really made me angry. The article was talking about the high rate of suicide among military recruiters especially in one Texas location. It was discussing that many of the recruiters are decorated soldiers who are no longer out in the field for one reason or another. They are not at the end of the career, so they assign them to become recruiters. Unfortunately, the pressure put on them by their commanding officers to recruit new members is harsh and unrealistic. Some are encouraged to have the potential new recruits lie to be signed up. Then, if they are not able to meet their quota, they are humiliated in front of their peers. They are asked to work unbelievable hours to accomplish their goals and called in on scheduled days off. One person was expected to work from 7am to 10pm on a consistent basis - including weekends. It wasn't until after he and several others from one general recruiting location committed suicide that there was an investigation launched.

These are the people who willingly signed up to defend our country and then they are humiliated to the extent that they felt they had no option left but to commit suicide. Having members of my family in the military and hearing stories like this really angers me at great deal. The commanding officers of those posts involved should be relieved of duty and disciplined ot the greatest extent possible.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all mom's of both human and animal children. I am spending the day with my 4 legged children. We got them a plastic swimming pool so they can play outside and still stay cool from this crazy Texas heat. Riley has discovered how much fun it can be, but Abbie still isn't on board yet.

I hope your Mother's Day turns out exactly as you hope.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

High School Reunion

I received a reminder a couple of days ago that our high school reunion is going to be held in September over Homecoming weekend. This will be number 25! Man that makes me feel old and the grey hair peeking at me in the mirror doesn't help.

In the invitation there was names and email addresses of several other classmates. I tried to see if I could figure out what they are doing now based on their email address. One of the had a road runner email account so she was here in Austin somewhere, another one is an attorney in Austin working for Travis County, one is some kind of consultant based here in Austin, and one works for an international law firm, but most of the email accounts were general email addresses like gmail or yahoo.

I have not attended any of my other reunions, but I am going to make an effort to go to this one. It will be nice to see who has gained extra pounds or see who has no hair left. Maybe seem some of the less popular group who became knockouts as they matured. I know several people stayed in or around Stephenville, but most of the group I hung out with moved on as quickly as possible. One is an Orchestra Director at a school in the Dallas area; one is a science teacher, and won Teacher of the Year, in Mississippi last year; and the other two married each other, moved around a couple of times and then landed back in the Stephenville area. Not sure if they are still together; rumor has it that they parted ways.

It will be interesting to see how many people attend and to see what everyone is up to these days.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Going Deaf

For those of you who have never been around anyone who is going deaf, that process can sometimes be very painful. I used to think that it was just not being able to hear things any longer, but it is not that simple. While it is difficult watching our loved ones and learning how to deal with the situation, it can be very painful for the person going deaf. Literally painful.

In the case of my loved one, he hears low bass tones better than any other tones. So certain noises like the thrum of a diesel vehicle passing or of an air conditioner running, we are able to filter out and don't even notice. He is not able to do that. On a good day he ends up with a headache from all of the normal day to day sounds around him that we are simply able to ignore. By early afternoon he puts in earplugs to help block out some of those sounds and make the headache pain manageable. Going out to the store or a restaurant is even more difficult. There are so many sounds that he is not able to focus on a conversation. Again, something most of us take for granted. If the sounds get too overwhelming, it makes him dizzy and nauseous. This is all just part of his normal day.

When his hearing is changing, it is even worse. He has severe headaches, dizziness, earaches, and nausea. If you have ever had a really bad ear infection, you know how dizzy and crummy that can make you feel. If you have never had a bad ear infection.....think about how wobbly and unbalanced you feel when you are really tipsy and then combine that with a hangover. However, in this case, that feeling doesn't end until the hearing changes have stopped - sometimes several weeks later. He only has two choices when this happens; he can take his medicine which knocks him out for about 6-8 hours and then makes him feel really out of it the next day or he can just deal with the pain. Neither choice is great.

If you see someone who is having going through a hearing loss or perhaps is already deaf, don't get upset that they can't hear you; show them a little compassion and know that getting to where they are now was probably not an easy road for them or their loved ones.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Recycling Tip??

We received our quarterly newsletter today from the homeowners association filled with lots of great tips on recycling. One of them I am going to chose to ignore.....

"Participate in a pain collection and reuse program."

Sorry, but I am not going to be participating in this program. Now, if someone would like to collect my pain, I will gladly allow them to take and reuse as much as they would like.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Adam Lambert

I am an American Idol fan and have faithfully watched every season. Each year there is one contestant that the judges really like and I just don't understand why. This year that contestant is Adam Lambert. I admit he does have a good voice and he is original, but I am not a fan. Some of the changes he has made to the songs are just too much of a change for me. I think he would be really good in theater, but I don't see him as a recording artist.

My favorites are Allison and Danny.

Who is your favorite American Idol contestant left?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stay in Bed

Ever have those day when you wish you could just stay in bed or at least stay in your pajamas? Today is one of those days for me. There was no particular reason, I was just so comfortable and didn't want to get up. Then I thought, maybe I can work from home today - then I could at least stay in my pajamas. Nope, that won't work either. I have goal meetings with 3 of my team members. Darn. So, I made myself get up and let the doggies out to potty.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Twang Beer Salt


Have you ever heard of Twang Beer Salt? I personally am not a fan, but hubby loves the stuff. He buys 2 of the lemon lime ones every couple of weeks and eats it straight - never with his beer. Well, now my dog is hooked on the stuff. Any time Riley sees hubby pick up the container, she comes running over wanting some. She will eat as much as you will give her and keep coming back for more. The other dog, Abbie, smells it and backs away. It is too tart for her.
Do any of your pets have crazy food habits?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Possessed Microwave

Our microwave has been randomly giving us a message to "call for service," so about 2 weeks ago I called and had the service folks come out. The repair man was really nice and quickly said it was a loose wire in the control panel. He fixed the wire and was on his way. The microwave worked perfectly for about 5 days and then mysteriously started telling us to "call for service" again. A different person from the same company came out today to look at the microwave. Of course, it is like a car that needs service, it never acts up in front of the repair person. He couldn't make it recreate the error. He checked and tightened everything, put it all back together and tested it about 6 or 7 times. On test number 8, it decided it would only work for 3 seconds and then shut down. It did this several times in a row and then went back to working perfectly.

The repair man turned to me and asked if we have noticed any paranormal activity in our house or if it was built on some kind of sacred burial ground. Since the answer to both of those questions was no, he then determined our microwave must be possessed.

He decided to order a whole new control panel and that should take care of our crazy microwave. The microwave still works in the meantime, you just have to open and close the door from time to time to clear the message.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Fun in the Yard

This afternoon was really productive. I can home and finished planting the rest of the ground cover around the trees and in the small flower bed. Now I have Irish Moss, Liriope, and Fiery Dianthus as the ground cover. Thanks to Katreader who helped me to identify my flowers as Daylily. We are almost done with the front yard. We just need to put down the edging, put dillo dirt in all of the beds, and put down the red rubber mulch.

After finishing the planting, we went to the back yard and checked on my sweet peppers and cayenne peppers. The cayenne are not doing very well, but the sweet peppers are coming up nicely. After that we enjoy a game of fetch and chase with the dogs. Everyone is worn out and we are working on making a quick supper so we can kick back and watch American Idol.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Marigolds?






These flowers are in my front flower bed and I am not sure what they are; marigolds perhaps? They have a really pretty yellow flower and the blooms only last a day or two. Since we didn't put them in, I drove around our neighborhood to see how many other houses had flowers like these and no one has them. That actually makes me a little happy because I really don't like it when all of the houses look the same; unfortunately, I can't ask anyone what they are.
Do one of you know what kind of flower this is?


Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm Back

I've have been taking a break from blogging, but now I'm back. I took some time to get things in our new house organized and in place and now I am back and ready to go. Here is a quick update since the last time I wrote.

My Mom's phone call was not an April Fool's joke. In fact, she is set to have 4 litters of puppies in May and June (2 Yorkie litters, 1 blue lacy litter, and 1 coyote litter). My Mom was planning to take the summer off and relax; so much for her relaxing!

We have the house mostly organized and settled in, we just need to finish hanging pictures and get a bed for the guest room.

We spend a lot of time outside. The dogs love their backyard and we play fetch every afternoon. I have almost all of the flowers planted in the front. I still need to plant the Irish Moss (I couldn't resist, it was Irish). The flowers in the flower beds are blooming and look beautiful; although I have no idea what they are. The were planted by the builder. I will post a picture later this week and maybe some of you will know what they are called.

Work is going great. My team is getting great reviews and accolades. We have been able to surpass the expectations of our Regional VP. Now that he can see what we are capable of, he has given me pretty much and open door to take on whatever new functions we want. My territory has already expanded to include all of Texas and part of New York, so we are really doing well. Unfortunately, with the stinky economy, we haven't been able to increase the pay for any of us to show how well we are doing. They have agree to look at the during the second 1/2 of the year.

Oh, and I applied to start Grad school again in the fall. I am waiting to get my official confirmation that I can register for classes.

That pretty much sums up what I have been up to for the last couple of weeks. I look forward to reading all of your blogs to see what you have been doing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool's Joke???

I got a call tonight from my mother that started off "I just wanted to tell you that your father has officially gone crazy." She then proceeded to tell me they were going in to the dog business. They have apparently purchased all of the dogs and equipment from a lady near them who breeds Yorkie's. They purchased 8 dogs along with all of the kennel's and equipment. Wow - that was a lot to absorb. That means their animal count now stands at, you better sit down for this..... 15 dogs (some inside, some outside), 2 coyotes, 2 cats, and 2 really obnoxious parrots. My parent house has officially turned in to a zoo.

Part of me is thinking they will call tomorrow and tell me it was an April Fool's joke, but part of me knows this is not a joke.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hail in Austin Area

Yesterday we had a crazy hail storm here in Austin. Unfortunately, I wasn't at home when it happened. I was tucked safely in one of the bays at a car wash in Pflugerville. When I heard the first hail stone hit my car, I quickly got out of the line at Popeye's where I was hoping to grab some dinner and headed for the nearest cover. By the time I managed to get across the street and in to one of the bays it started coming down like crazy. The size of the hail ranged from pea size to ping pong size in my area, but some areas reported as large as golf ball size hail.

This was Riley's first storm like this and she handled it just fine. In fact, after it was over we let her outside to see what was going on and she thought those cute little white balls were for her to play with and eat.

I didn't get any pictures of the storm, but here is a link to see some pictures around the Austin area.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spotted Dick

Have you ever tried Spotted Dick?

Okay, now that you have pulled your mind out of the gutter and stopped laughing; it is a bread pudding from the UK. When we were in World Market the name caught my attention so I had to purchase one. It is made by the Heinz company and comes in a can. It was really easy to make in the microwave - just pull it out and steam it briefly. It is not like the bread pudding my grandmother used to make; which I honestly never liked. This has a strong cinnamon flavor and overall was really good. The can was a little too much for two people, but it didn't look like it would store well so we were forced to eat it all.

If you have never had it before, you should give it a try.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

No More Pansies

The home builder put pansies all around our house, but I am not a fan of pansies. I spent too many years in apartment management looking at pansies every day and just don't want to look at them any more. Every day when I would pull in to the drive way I would think to myself how much I disliked those flowers. Today was the day I liberated the flower beds of those pansies. It felt so good to see them gone. Now I just need to decide what should go in their place. I'm not a fan of delicate looking flowering plants, but am not sure what I should put in. I really like the sago palms and found some really cool looking grass plant that is a deep red color.

What type of plants do you think makes a house look nice when you drive by? If you could plant anything you wanted in your front yard, what would it be?