Friday, December 31, 2010

Expressing

I took my lab mix, Riley, to the vet this morning to have her anal glands expressed.  I asked the vet to show me so that I could do it at home.  I had watched some videos online and thought I had a pretty good idea of what they were going to do.  Well, I was wrong.  Expressing the glands is definitely a messy and smelly job that is meant for the vets office.  They did one gland and I did the other, so I actually know how to do it now, but I'm not sure I want to continue doing it at home.  Letting them do it is worth the $19 fee. Plus they have the supply of gloves, lube, and sanitizer required.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Navigator

I got so involved with being the navigator for hubby while he plays Final Fantasy, that I forgot to blog yesterday.  Since most of our TV shows are taking vacation for the holidays, we will be playing more Final Fantasy this evening.  Actually, only hubby plays.  Those games seem way too complicated to me, but I can be his navigator through the challenges.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pet's in the Grocery Store

I love my dogs as much as anyone, but there are some places they do not belong.  The grocery store is one of those places.  I was in the grocery store today when a family walked in with their new puppy.  It was definitely cute and couldn't have been more than 8-10 weeks old, but I don't want to see their dog, or any dog, near the open olive bar or the produce or any food which I am planning to buy.  I understand taking guide animals in to stores, but this was clearly no guide animal.  I told the store manager, who nicely asked them to take the dog outside. 

I just wonder what makes a person think it is okay to bring their pet grocery shopping with them?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope your day is filled with Joy & Happiness and may all your holiday wishes come true.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve

I heard on the radio today that Christmas Eve is the one day of the year that every kid goes to bed when their parents tell them to without fussing.  I totally believe that.  Hope your stockings are all hung and they get filled with all the goodies you have been wanting.

Happy Christmas Eve.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

No Ordinary Family

No Ordinary Family is a new show that came out this year and I have really enjoyed watching.  If you haven't seen the show, the premise is the family was just an ordinary family until their plane crashed when they were on vacation in South America.  After the plane crash, they managed to each now have super powers.  The mother is super fast, the dad is extremely strong, the daughter can hear other peoples thoughts, and the son is super smart at pretty much anything.  Hubby asked me the other day which super power would I like to have.  At first I said I would like to have the daughters powers, but then hearing other peoples thoughts would get really old after a while.  It would be cool to be super strong and would definitely be cool to be really fast, but I finally settled on the sons powers.  I would like to just automatically know how to do anything I tried.

What super power would you like to have?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Snack Distracts Burglar"

Stupid criminal stories always amuse me and here is one from our community newspaper today.  The headline was "Snack Distracts Burglar" 

Apparently a young man, we'll just call him JV, broke in to the City National Bank in Taylor at about 3am on Monday morning.   When the police arrived on the scene, JV had apparently never made it past the first teller booth.  When walking past the booth, he got distracted by a bowl of M&Ms and was still there eating them when the police arrived and arrested him.  He is being charged with a third degree felony burglary of a building along with a class b misdemeanor for the small amount of marijuana in his possession.  I can just hear the jailhouse banter now... "So what are you in for man?"  "Oh, I broke in to a bank and stole some M&Ms.  I couldn't help myself; just as I got inside, I started getting the munchies from the marijuana I smoked." 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Back to Work

The Monday after vacation is always hard.  It was really busy today and I had a hard time getting in to "work" mode.  I finally delegated more duties to my assistant, so that helped my work load a little.  Tomorrow should be easier, plus this is a short week due to the holiday.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Inconsiderate Parking

Lately I have come across tons of people who are taking up multiple parking spaces in prime parking area for no good reason.  I have actually watched a couple of them and when they come back to their vehicle, it was as if it was no big deal and perfectly okay.  So, for all of you out there who think it is okay to park in multiple parking spaces, here are a few tips.
  1. If you have to park in more than one space because your vehicle is too big, then get a smaller vehicle.  Just because we are in Texas,  the "bigger is better" motto doesn't have to apply to everything.  In fact, try getting a Smart car or a Honda Fit, you can easily park them in any normal parking space.
  2. If you are parking in more than one space because you don't want anyone to mess with your new car; you are very mistaken.  People are more likely to leave you nasty notes, block you in, or do something mean to your car simply because you are being a jerk.  If you park in a normal space, people are more likely to be careful not to hit your vehicle.
  3. If you absolutely cannot park in one space, then go park on the outside perimeter of the parking lot.  Out there, no one cares if you take up 2 spaces to park your pickup that is 4 times the size of a normal vehicle.
  4. Lastly, if you are parking there because you are a jerk and refuse to park nicely, then you have no right to complain if something happens to your car.
This is such a pet peeve of mine and with all of the over-sized vehicles we have here in Texas, this happens all the time.  UGH!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Dinner

Tonight is our holiday dinner with friends.  Several of us get together, have dinner, and catch up on what has been going on since the last time we saw each other.  The group size ranges from 6 to 10 depending on who can make it each year and there are no expectations of gift exchanges.  It's just friends having dinner and hanging out.  Tonight is will most likely just be 5 or 6 of us (the core group).  That's okay because we are the ones that have the most in common and always have a great time together.  To me, this is what the holidays are all about. Spending time with friends and family.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pyrex and Anchor Hocking Glass Baking Dishes

I am a big fan of glass baking dishes and learned something very disturbing in this month's Consumer Reports magazine.  The formula for the Pyrex and Anchor Hocking glass baking dishes changed in the mid 80's and the new formula doesn't hold up as well as the original formula.  If you have ever had a glass baking dish shatter, it might not have been something you did, it could have been because you have one of the dishes made with the new formula.  Consumer Reports tested dishes by placing them in a 450 degree oven for 80 minutes and then taking them out and placing them on a marble counter.  Every single one shattered.  When placed on a towel which buffered the cool surface, they did not break.  Essentially, you have to read the instructions and follow them closely.  The newer formula is not as sturdy as the older formula.  Now, I am going to be leery about using my glass baking dishes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pampas Grass

Today we cut back our pampas grass and while working with it, hubby and I decided this would be perfect to use as a security measure.  We have two and each one was about 6 feet tall and at least 4 feet in diameter.  If you were to plant these right outside each of your windows, no burglars would be able to get in for fear of being cut and scratched by this plant.  It would also be great to keep teenagers from sneaking out. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Aloe Vera Flower

Our Aloe Vera plant is flowering.  We have had a plant previously that flowered and made a pretty white bloom.  This one appears to be more of a peach color.

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Camera

Today we tried taking a picture with our new camera by setting it for a 10 second delay.  It was really easy ad worked great.  Now we can actually take a picture of both of us without having someone else take the photo.  The hardest part was getting both hubby and I in the picture without cutting off his head (he is 6'4" and I am 5'1").

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shiner Bock

This is my "middle child", Riley.  She absolutely loves Shiner Beer; well, any beer really.  Hubby had a small amount left in the bottom of his bottle and was heading to the kitchen to rinse the bottle.  She followed him whining until he gave in and let her have the last sip.  What have we created here?!?!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Busted

This is Abbie; she is the oldest of my three monsters.  She is in hubby's recliner snuggled in the blanket that is off limits.  It is a down filled throw that we use in the winter when it gets a little chilly and she loves it.  We don't let the dogs get on it because it is hard to clean their dog hair out of it.  I had gone to the back to get ready for work and came out to find her snuggled up and completely unaware that I had returned to the room.

Friday, December 10, 2010

TGIF

I am so glad it is finally Friday.  This has felt like a really long week and I am glad it is coming to an end.

Hope you have a great weekend planned.  I am just planning to take it easy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Buried Boat

In the news here in Austin recently was a story about an 8 year old cold case that finally had a break.  Eight years ago a high school senior was killed in a hit and run boating accident.  The driver never stopped and was never found.  Well, the week of Thanksgiving, the police received a tip that they knew the driver of the speed boat and they knew where the boat was located.  The boat was buried on this guys property.  The police went out this week to search for the boat and actually found it.  The boat was cut in to pieces and buried waist high in various places on this guys property.

I think cutting up and burying a boat is a bit over the top.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cinnamon for Dogs

I receive an email newsletter from Dogster periodically and they always have some useful tips or tidbits I didn't know.  The one I received today was about how cinnamon is beneficial to dogs.  Check out the article.  I may give it a try since all of my dogs could be prone to joint issues.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cool River

Our boss is taking the team out for our holiday lunch next week.  The team decided on Cool River as the place to go this year.  We pick the place partly because it is our bosses favorite place (and he is paying), but also because it is a nice place to do our gift exchange and has a quieter atmosphere than where we went last year.  Two weeks ago when I made the reservation, I sent out a calendar reminder to everyone so they would block that time on their calendar.  That same day my boss came over really excited that the team chose Cool River as the place for the lunch.  Last week, he came over and said he really wished that our lunch was that day, because he was super excited about going to the restaurant.  Today he pops over all excited and said "Only 8 more days until we go to Cool River."  He is so excited about our lunch he can barely contain himself.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

H2Orange

H2Orange us a bottled water where the proceeds go toward scholarship funds for the University of Texas.  The bottle is shaped like the UT Tower.  We had purchased a bottle and have had it around for a while.  I was going to send it to my brother in California, but the postal service frowns on liquids being sent through the mail.  I walked in to the kitchen just as hubby was adding a drink mix to the bottle of water.  He didn't realize the mix he had chosen was an orange drink and made the bottle look just like the UT Tower when it is lit up for special occasions.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holiday Spirit

This year I am having a hard time getting in to the holiday spirit. Normally listening to holiday music puts me in the spirit, but it is not working this year. My neighbors are all decorating their houses and I haven't even pulled out my boxes of decorations.

What puts you in the holiday spirit?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lazy Day

Today I was on vacation and it has been a lazy day. My company has a use it or lose it policy and I refuse to lose my vacation time. Today I slept in until about 8:30am, then I got up and signed on to my work computer to approve my teams payroll. I know I am on vacation, but they need to be paid. I got it all done with about 7 minutes to spare and was just about to shut down the computer when I realized I didn't submit my own payroll. So, I signed back in really quick and did mine before the deadline. After that, we just watched TV and have been somewhat lazy today. In about an hour I am heading to the TransSiberian Orchestra concert with my sister-in-law (hubby isn't able to go), so I will fill you in on the great concert tomorrow. There are no cameras allowed, but maybe I can snap a pic with my phone.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bump It

You know how some people bump fists instead of giving each other a high five? Well, hubby and I are teaching our lab to "bump it". When we give her the bump it command, she touches her nose to our fist. She already knows how to give a high 5, but this is something she can do from a standing position instead of the sitting position. She is catching on really quickly.

Do your pets have any new tricks you want to share?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Studying

Today I spent my spare time doing last minute studying. I have the hardest of my two exams tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Routine

They say routines are really good, especially for children and pets, so our dogs are on a pretty set routine. Up at roughly the same time, the ones who need medication get it at the same time each day, they eat at roughly the same time, go outside to potty, go to bed, etc. They even have certain areas of the house where they are not allowed. Well, while I was on vacation, I varied their routine some and now I am regretting that. They are being whiny and just generally not behaving. I have vacation coming again in the next few weeks, I definitely won't be changing their routine again!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Gift for My Nephew

Cost of Leapster Explorer: $75.76
Cost of the Power Transistor that went out on my car on the way home from buying the Leapster: $285.65
Shipping to get the Leapster to my nephew: ??
Getting the Christmas gift my nephew really wanted: Priceless

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leapster Explorer

I texted my brother and asked him to give me some ideas for Christmas gifts for the boys. I am tired of just buying them clothes, although as fast as they grow they can always use clothes. Since little Maddox is only 6 months old, it will be clothes and soft toys he can play with on the floor. For Seth, my brother suggested the Leapster Explorer or any kind of balls. I always send him balls, so a Leapster Explorer it is. One nephew done!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pacman Killed Inky

Remember the arcade game Pacman and the character named Inky? Well, the dogs had a stuffed Inky that they had been playing with. This morning they got too quiet, so I turned around to find Inky had met a violent death.


And here is the pint sized "Pacman" who took him out.

When I asked Nash what he had done, I got the innocent "who me" look.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Back-up Date

Next Friday is the TransSiberian Orchestra concert. Since hubby's Meniere's disease usually strikes without warning, I wanted to look for a back up date to the concert just in case he doesn't feel well enough to go. I have two possibilities lined up, so now I just have to see if either of them confirm and wait to see how hubby feels that day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is a day to reflect on all of the things that you are thankful for i your life. There are many things on my list, but the main one is having the love, support, and friendship of my hubby of 22 years and having made good friends all around the world. I hope all of you have a fun filled and safe Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Home Energy Monitor

Our electric company asked us if we would participate in a test of their new In Home Energy Monitor. The monitor is a piece of equipment that works in conjunction with our smart meter and shows us how much electricity we are using in real time (well, actually a 3 second delay). It has lots of features, but the one we like the most is the one that tells you how much your electricity is costing you per hour at your current consumption level. It has a back light on the display that changes colors based on your usage. It displays green if you are in the low usage group, amber for the moderate usage group, and red for the high usage group. The idea behind the monitor is if you can see how much you are using, you will adjust your usage. So far we have only had it connected a few days, but it works. If I walk by the room and see the display on red, it makes me think about what all we have running. Sadly, we have not been able to get it to display green yet, but we are trying.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Paper Jamz

Have you seen those paper guitars that come with pre-recorded songs you can learn to play along with? They are called Paper Jamz and they are pretty cool. They come in several different designs and each design has different song selections. I actually bought one about a week ago just to see what it was like. Hubby and I have both been having fun with it. You can play along with Sweet Home Alabama or My Maria, or you can just free play. It shows you how to make chords and the whole works. It is pretty cool for $25. We won't be turning pro any time soon, but we are having fun.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chrismas Cards

Normally by this time each year I have all of my Christmas cards addressed and ready to be mailed the day after Thanksgiving. This year, I am so far behind that I haven't even put together my address list yet. I have got to get that together and to go purchase some cards. I was going to purchase some nice Irish Blessing Christmas cards last week, but instead I managed to drop the box of cards and smash a display of very delicate ornaments that had been imported from Ireland. So, instead of purchasing the cards, I purchased my broken ornament with my other goodies and left before I did any more damage. Anyway, today I need to get my stamps and cards and get myself moving. The decorations? I still have to pull them down from the garage and sort through them too.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vacation

I am on vacation for the next several days and I am really happy to be off of work. I don't have anything exciting planned - just happy to be away from the office. Nash needs to go for his annual check up and all of the people at want me to stop by so they can see him since we will be in town. I may have to take hubby to the doctor. He has been suffering with allergies that just won't shake loose, so we don't want it to turn in to some kind of infection. I will probably tidy the house some and then of course study. I have a final coming up in 2 weeks. It's all essay, so I need to make sure I am really familiar with all of the concepts we discussed this semester. Then I have a research paper due in January. I was hoping I would get away from research papers in grad school, but I guess not.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Photo Phriday

This is a picture of my nephew, Seth, playing with his Home Depot work bench he got for his 2nd birthday. I love this shot. This look definitely says....."Hey, I'm working here."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving

This year hubby and I are going to volunteer at the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning and then we will come home and prepare for dinner at our house. We were going to have a big event at our house with my brothers family, my parents, and hubby's sister, but the plans have changed. My brother and his family were not able to make it in this year, so it will just be the sister-in-law and her husband along with hubby and I. My parents may come down, but it is quite a drive for them so most likely they will stay and celebrate with their friends. The menu is not finalized yet, but will be soon.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TSO Tickets Have Arrived

Our tickets to the TransSiberian Orchestra concert have arrived. I am so exicted. Only 16 days until the concert!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nerves

This afternoon I go back to the dentist to have my tooth taken care of - finally. I always get super anxious about going to the dentist and even though I have been in paid, today is no exception. Thankfully, work has been very busy today, so it is distracting me a little, but not busy enough to completely distract me from the upcoming appointment.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wizard World Comic Con

Hubby has been volunteering all weekend at the Austin Wizard World Comic Con. Today is his last day and he seems to be having lots of fun. He is exhausted, but having fun. He is getting to meet lots of the celebrity guests like Lee Majors, Lou Ferrigno, Kevin Nash, and the guy who played Zander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (can't remember his name).
He has always wanted to go to a Comic Con and now he gets to see one from the inside. He said he thought it would be fun to volunteer at other locations. I am glad he is having fun - this is his kind of thing. All I want is an autograph from Lou Ferrigno, so hopefully he will be able to get me one.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Does it Hurt?

On Thursday, one of my teeth started acting up. I called the dentist and his first opening was on 11/30. I took the appointment, but had my doubts if I could wait that long. By Friday morning my face was so swollen on the right side that I could only see out of my left eye. I was supposed to go to a training class all day on Friday, but that wasn't going to happen now. Instead, I decided to just show up at the dentist office instead of calling. If I was standing there in front of them, they couldn't put me off. One look at my face and the receptionist immediately went to get the dentist. In fact, the whole office came to take a peek at my face. The only thing he could do was give me antibiotics and pain meds, but his schedule magically opened up and he had an appointment on 11/16. I got the meds and stayed at home on the sofa all day yesterday.

Today I was feeling a little better and the swelling had gone down enough that I could see out of both eyes, so I decided to go to the grocery store. I never received so many stares in my life. Every single person I passed stared at me like I was some kind of circus side show. One little old lady actually came up to me and asked if it hurt. I told her yes and she just said she was sorry. But, what I was thinking on the inside is that all of the stares are hurting a lot more than the actual pain in my face. Hubby said I should have told them that I was contagious.

I was just shocked at the number of people staring. What if I did have a disfiguring disease or if I had been born that way - that was so rude. You would think in this day and age people would not behave that way. I was taught that you treat everyone nicely regardless of what they look like and if someone looks different, you don't stare. Needless to say, I wrapped up my shopping as quickly as possible and went home. At least the dogs don't care what I look like.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Laser

My dogs have tons of toys to play with. In fact, they have a toy chest in side the house full of toys (when they aren't spread all over the floor) and about 20 toys scattered all over the back yard. Abbie (the rat terrier) loves to play soccer with an over sized tennis ball that is about 1 foot in diameter, Nash (the Yorkie) loves to tug on anything soft enough to get in his mouth, and Riley (the lab mix), what do you think she wants to play with? Absolutely nothing in the yard. She wants to play with a laser. Yep, one of those little laser pointers. When it gets dark enough for her to see it, we take it outside and she will run around the yard for hours chasing that darn laser. She gets so focused, she has even ran in to fences and people. It is almost like it puts her in a trance and she has to chase it. Unfortunately, she hasn't learned to tell the difference between the laser and a regular flashlight. So, when you pull out a flashlight, she comes and sits in front of you and won't move. What is your animals favorite toy?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Semester is Almost Over

Thank goodness the semester is almost over - only 4 more weeks to go. Unfortunately, with the semester ending soon and all of our work due combined with things heating up at work, is making for some busy days. This morning I woke up about 3-ish thinking about all of the things I had going on. I finally got out of bed shortly after 4 and worked on a paper that is due Friday. Thankfully I have 10 days of vacation planned over the next 2 months.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Decisions Decisions

Hubby has been saving aside some money to do whatever he wants with it. Usually he spends it on us, but sometimes he buys items for himself. He came to me the other day and offered me a choice on some items to buy. The choices are..... a new deck box (our current one is breaking), get the windows on his car tinted, or buy me a mini laptop. I said no to the deck box. That is an item for the house and we can buy that from the house account or budget for it later. His car spends the majority of the time in the garage, but he has wanted his windows tinted since he got the car almost 2 years ago. I would love a mini laptop, but it seems selfish to ask him to spend his money on me. I have been in a school slump lately and maybe he is thinking this will pull me out of the slump. I don't know if it will or it won't. What do I do? Should I be selfish and go for the laptop or should I tell him to get his windows tinted. This decision shouldn't be this hard.

The Fence

Hubby and I are slowly power washing and putting Thompson's Water Seal on our fence. We have already done all of the portions that are visible from the street and today we put the water seal on one side of the fence in the back yard. We like to put it on with a roller so it takes a little longer, but looks much nicer. Plus, it is kind of peaceful out there just rolling on the stuff. Hubby told me I could watch, but that is no fair to him and no fun for me. He did the majority of the work, but I help too. Now, my legs and butt are so sore since I did most of the low portions He's 6'3" so the low areas are tough for him. Since I'm only 5'2", those are a little easier for me. Next we have to decide when to do the back portion of the fence. We have to speak to the neighbors first because when we power wash it just stuff in their yard. We go and clean it up, but we want them to know first.

Although I didn't get any of my inside chores done, I feel good that we got that portion done.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Austin Celtic Festival 2010

Today we went to the Celtic Festival and had so much fun. We got there a little before the doors opened and were able to catch the Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums group while they were practicing. I love listening to pipes and drums. There is something about that music that triggers a very emotional response in me. It is beautiful to listen to and even more beautiful to watch.



During our first walk around the venue, I tasted haggis and some Irish Whiskey cake. Both were really good. We made our way to the bake sale and purchased some scones and soda bread for later. We also bought a couple of t-shirts and hubby bought a really pretty knife to display. We went to see if the Vikings and Romans were ready to do their demo. They just warming up, so no fighting. The people participating in the Highland Games were also just warming up, so nothing to see there.

As we were coming back to the start of the venue, it was time for The Roux Crew to do their herding demonstration. The dogs herded sheep, geese, and Indian Runner ducks. I was so in to watching the presentation that I didn't take too many pictures. Below are a couple of pictures of the dogs working. My favorite dog was Rain. He is an 11 month old border collie that is a bit of a goof ball and still learning the commands. Rain is the black and white collie. See is the other collie and she was about 3 years old and handled the stock like a pro. I was amazed at how quietly they gave the commands to the dogs and the dogs instantly (well everyone but Rain) followed the command. They had several dogs, but these are the only photos I took.

We made our way around the venue a second time to see if we missed anything and this time around I found a wooden figure of my school mascot, so I had to get that. We also snagged some onion strings with garlic sauce to nibble on (yummy). We decided we really liked the Irish Whiskey Cake, so we went back and grabbed one of those for later. We stopped by the Things Celtic table one more time and then decided to leave. Things Celtic is a local store and the owner is the director of the festival. She is so easy to talk to and all of her items are hand picked or special made just for her and shipped over from Ireland or Scotland.
After the festival, hubby took me to Joe's Bakery to grab some pink bread since we were already in that area of town. Pink bread is like a yellow cake, but not as sweet, and has pink icing. You can only find it in hispanic bakeries. Well, at least those are the only places that make it properly. Hubby also picked up some other goodies while he was there. By this time, we were getting pretty tired, so we headed home.
It was a great day and the festival was so much fun. I even almost had hubby convinced to buy a kilt!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Celtic Festival

Tomorrow is the Celtic Festival at Fiesta Gardens. We didn't get to go last year and are so excited to go this year. I have my tickets and can't wait to tell you all about it.

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

TransSiberian Orchestra


The official winter tour for TransSiberian Orchestra starts tomorrow. They will be in Austin on December 3rd and I already have my tickets. I can't wait!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Scarecrow and Dracula



Here are my little nephews in their costumes. The top picture is 6 month old Maddox and the bottom picture is almost 2 year old Seth. If you look closely, you can see Dracula's mohawk and the scarecrows two bottom teeth.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Hubby surprised me and put up the halloween decor on Friday before I got home from work. Here is a daytime shot, complete with the zombie guarding his graveyard.


Here is the nighttime view. It is hard to see, but there are skull lights in the hedge and strobe lights with spooky music behind them. Tonight we will add a fog machine to finish out the spooky graveyard look. I will sit outside dressed as the zombie handing out candy to the kids.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Decor

Today when I got home from work hubby had almost completed decorating the house and yard. The graveyard looks really nice and the spooky films are on the windows and the door, the skull lights are in the bushes, and all was left for me to do was make the ghosts to line the driveway. When it gets dark we will have to turn everything on and take pictures. Hopefully the wind cooperates and doesn't blow over all of the tombstones.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grandmother

Do you believe that your loved ones who have died still watch over you and visit you from time to time? I definitely do. Specifically my grandmother. There are times when I dream about my grandmother, but when I wake up it feels very real. Usually this happens when I am really stressed or need someone to smack me on the back of the head about something. My grandmother visited me last night and it felt so real, it was like we were truly sitting at her kitchen table talking. When that happens, I wake up feeling both happy and sad at the same time. Happy because I got to visit with her, but sad because it makes me miss her even more.

Do you have someone that watches over and visits you?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's on your iPod?

No matter what season or what kind of mood I am in, my iPod always has to have 4 items on my iPod....the soundtrack from Rent, TransSiberian Orchestra, Trace Adkins, and Bon Jovi. So what does my iPod say about me? I think it says that I have very eclectic musical tastes. What is always on your iPod?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Public Welfare and Health Policy

I have a presentation and paper due on the topic of Public Welfare and Health Policy. I can be as broad or as specific as I would like and can be on anything related to these topics. I just don't know what to write about.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Last year we decorated the yard as a graveyard and it went over really well. We are going to do the same thing again this year, but just add more stuff. This year we have a fog machine to add to the spooky look and we are making a fence to go around part of the yard. I am going to set outside and hand out candy dressed as a zombie and one of the dogs, Nash, will also be in costume. He will have the headless horseman riding on his back. It should be fun.

Friday, October 22, 2010

How Many Calories Should Your Dog Eat?

Dogster has this cool link on their site where you can complete profile information about your dog (breed, weight, age, activity level, etc) and it will tell you a recommended number of calories for your pet. I was concerned that we weren't feeding Riley the proper portion, but as it turns out, we were spot on.

Check it out.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Yard

We had our yard aerated a couple of days ago. When hubby called to tell me it was done, I had this mental picture of our yard with hundreds of baby gopher holes all over. Well, it doesn't quiet look like that. You can see the holes in some places, but mostly you see the plugs of dirt that were pulled out of the ground just laying on top. It actually looks like hundreds of little dog turds laying all over the yard. The only bad thing is that in the back yard, it is hard to tell which one are the little pieces of dirt and which ones really are dog turds. That makes picking up the yard a bit more of a challenge. In a few more days, the little clods of dirt should break down and go away, but for now it makes for an interesting time walking in the yard.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hectic Day

Today is going to be somewhat of a hectic day. We have an all day meeting in our office with our new "big boss". I met her yesterday and she is a really sweet lady, but a very large portion of the people attending will be meeting her for the first time today. They all have to do a presentation, so it will be interesting to see what kind of show they put on for her. They like to do fancy power point presentations with a nice dog and pony show; however, I heard she does not like that, so it should be fun to watch. Normally on Thursday's I leave early to head to class, but today the meeting runs past the time I typically leave by an hour (if we stay on schedule). Running late to class would not be a big deal, but today I have to give a presentation in class. I already made the professor and my team mates aware I would be late, but late last night one of my team mates sent an email saying she had an emergency. She needs to present first and wants us to present early because she has to be back at her office by 6pm (class isn't over until 7). I am not sure how this is going to work, but we will see. I am ready for my presentation, I just don't want our team disfunction to affect our grades.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cholesterol

I continue to have issues with my cholesterol. It is much higher than it should be and I couldn't tolerate the meds they wanted me to take, Simcor. They put my back on Crestor, but a higher dose and added in a prescription strength fish oil. All in all today was a decent check up and I didn't hear anything I wasn't expecting. Tomorrow..... the flu shot!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Homemade Chili

A big pot of homemade chili sounds really good today. I bought the stuff to make it yesterday, but by the time we got home from the store, it was too late. My aunt used to make it with venison and it was so good. Since I don't have any venison, mine chili will be a turkey chili. What do you like to make your chili with?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Out of Balance

Everything seems really out of balance right now. Home, work, school - all out of balance.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

XXX Vitamin Water

When my brother and nephew were down, they bought some XXX Vitamin Water to drink and left one behind. One day I decided to give it a try and am now hooked. It is acai-blueberry-pomegranate flavored. I have tried other Vitamin Water flavors, but none are as good as this one. Thankfully they are not expensive. They are usually about $1 per bottle - except at school where they charge $2.50 per bottle.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Got My Computer Back

Mr. Notebook called this morning to let me know my computer part was in and if they were not busy when I came in, they would install the fans while I wait. I was so excited. We headed out to Mr. Notebook and an hour later, my computer is back up and running.

I am so happy to have my computer back!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Computer Issues

I have an HP laptop that I absolutely love. Hubby bought it for me in 2005 as a gift when I was getting close to finishing my bachelor's degree. It weighs a ton because it has a 17 inch screen and has such a short battery life that you really can't take it anywhere, but I love it anyway. On Thursday hubby calls me at work and said he had some good news and some bad news (I hate those, the bad always outweighs the good). He said he wasn't going to purchase the window tint for his car just yet so we were going to say that money; however, my computer has started making a horrible squeal, so we may need to buy me a new computer. He said it sounded like the fans and had apparently woke him up because it sent the dogs in to a howling frenzy. NOOOOOO not my baby. I called Mr. Notebook and he is going to order the part (it is a special order since she is 5 years old) and it should be here within a week. I am going to have to come to terms with the fact that I will need to part with my baby soon. If, no make that when, the time comes, I think I want to go back to a desktop. At least hubby can work on a desktop. Or maybe he will get a new computer and I will take his laptop. I don't know yet. I still haven't come to terms with the idea that she will need to be replaced. I know it sounds silly to get so attached to a computer, but I am.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shingles

Ever heard of Shingles? And I am not talking about the ones on your roof. Shingles is the chickenpox virus that can break out after you have had the chickenpox. Well, I am lucky enough to have an outbreak almost every year and have done so for the past 5 years. I have found for me that large amounts of stress cause the outbreak. I have gotten so good at identifying them, that even my doctor doesn't question it anymore. Well, yesterday I noticed a small outbreak. This time on the pad of one of my fingers. That is such and odd place. It is easy to keep covered with a bandage so I don't smoosh the bump, but just such a weird place for me. I have not considered getting the shot previously because they say that is something you get when you are older. I guess I need to face the fact that I am now "older" and should probably get the shot.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Wish I Were An Oscar Mayer Weiner

Remember the jingle for Oscar Mayer that was on the radio and TV. You know the one.... "I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener, that is what I would really like to be." Well, I woke up this morning with this jingle stuck in my head. I have no idea why. "Cause if I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener, every one would take a bite of me."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Exhausted

I worked pretty much all weekend trying to get somewhat caught up at work. I am hoping I have only 1 or 2 more hard weeks and then I can get back to a normal pace. With my assistant leaving, I have been working really hard to clear up the backlog of work that she was stashing without telling anyone. This weekend, I brought a ton of stuff home and managed to get 2/3 of it done. Yesterday, I got up and worked either doing stuff around the house or on my work stuff from 7:30am to 11:45pm; except for the couple of hours I paused to watch a movie, Death at a Funeral, which was hilarious. This morning, I hit the snooze button more times that I ever have. In fact, I even debated calling in to work late, but then I remembered I needed to tidy the yard for the landscapers and that woke me up. Thank goodness I only have a few meetings/conference calls for today; otherwise, I just might fall asleep while the talk.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Getting Older Sucks

Have you ever noticed as you get older that your brain and your body are not on the same page? You brain is saying "let's do it" and your body is screaming "are you crazy". I noticed that over the weekend. Mentally I feel like I am in my late 20's, but physically I feel like I am in my late 60's. Realistically, I am in my early - okay getting closer to mid - 40's. When the heck did this happen?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

TransSiberian Orchestra Tickets

Hubby and I plan to see TSO in December and thought it would be a nice gesture to purchase a second pair of tickets to donate to the local high school band. We think the show is a phenomenal experience and would be great if an aspiring young musician could also go to the concert. I reached out to the band director via email to introduce myself and make the offer to donate the tickets. I allowed plenty of time before the ticket pre-sale to give the band director a chance to respond. Sadly, they never responded. The ticket purchase date was last Thursday and since I never heard back, I only purchased two tickets for hubby and I. We are excited about the show and got great floor seats.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Life

Yikes! I can't believe it has been a week since I blogged. Work has been making me very stressed. Work that I had been under the impression was getting done, wasn't happening; therefore, making my workload crazy right now (the joys of being the boss). School just started and I found out that I either misunderstood or was given bad information about how my masters program and the certification I am trying to obtain will work together. This has caused me to miss out on having completed several courses already. Then just to complicate things, I found out that I have a "raging infection" in one of my teeth. My jaw has been swollen like someone punched me in the face and the pain has been unbelievable. According to the new dentist (my old one retired without notice), apparently this has been building for several months even though I had been telling the old dentist something wasn't right with those fillings. The new dentist gave me some antibiotics and pain meds, so that is getting much better.

But, on a positive note..... TransSiberian Orchestra tickets go on sale tomorrow. I already have it marked on my calendar and have marked myself as being in a meeting for a hour while I purchase tickets. I am so excited that they will be coming to Austin again this year.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to School

Today is back to school day for me. I am taking Organizational Theory as a traditional weekly classroom course and I haven't done that in a while. The course starts at 4, but thankfully my boss was nice enough to work with my schedule on Thursday's so I could take the class (it helps that he is in school too). I am actually not nervous about the course at all. I am really looking forward to some of the reading material and to see what the course holds.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lawn Care Service

We have a fairly large yard, so it takes us almost a full day every week to make our lawn look nice. I am not that good with the weed eater and I struggle with the extension cord on the lawnmower (we have all electric tools), so unfortunately that means that hubby takes on the brunt of all of the work. With hubby not feeling well last week and the temps hitting 108 a couple of days this week, we decided to look in to paying someone to do the mowing and edging for us. ABC Lawn Services came out yesterday and gave us an estimate; the price was right, so we signed a contract. I feel so much better knowing that I am not going to be at work worrying about hubby cutting the lawn in this crazy heat. Instead we can spend our time doing other projects around the house - like putting up pictures or painting the garage or pulling weeds out of the flower beds or a hundred other things on the list. Now on lawn day, all we have to remember to do is pick up the dog toys from the back yard and make sure the yard is free of dog pooh.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wounded by a Frog

We have this frog that hangs out by our water hose. He isn't a baby, but he isn't yet full grown either. Every Thursday and Sunday when we water the grass, he tries to get in to our garage. We have to keep an eye on him because if we accidentally close him in, he will not be able to get back out and he will die from the heat of the garage. Last night while I was watering the grass, I thought I would outsmart Mr. Frog - I didn't open the garage door to go in and out while watering. Well, on the next to the last movement of the sprinklers as I am rounding the corner of the house to turn off the water, Mr. Frog jumps out at me. The garage door wasn't open, so I wasn't on the look out for him. I see him and quickly realize that he is going to land in the exact same spot as my foot. I don't want to squish this from, so I do a little stutter step to miss him and in the process I twisted the crap out of my knee. The knee was already swollen and achy because of my arthritis acting up, but for the rest of the night it was even more swollen and painful. The frog? He was fine and just hopped away as if nothing ever happened. I am sure he will be back again on Thursday.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Glasses

Today I went to get new glasses. I had been putting it off, for no good reason, and decided today was the day. To me the worst part about getting new glasses is trying on new frames. How the heck do they expect you to see how you look in the new frames when you can't see without your glasses. I always have to take hubby with me so he can help me pick them out. I know he won't pick at pair that makes me look dorky. If he did, he would get stuck looking at me wearing them. With the new frames all picked out, I went to select all of the goodies I wanted on them. Transition lenses are a must and this time I added the anti-glare coating. When the clerk was putting my order together, she said I actually hadn't gotten new glasses since 2004. Wow, I had no idea it has been that long. She said my prescription has changed significantly, so that is probably why I am having a hard time focusing on things and am getting headaches. Since it was my astigmatism that has changed the most, they will take a few days of adjustment when I finally get them. They had to order my lenses this time, so it will take 10-14 days before I get my new glasses. I am looking forward to a new look and to being able to see better.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Big C

The Big C is a new program on Showtime about a lady that learns she has cancer and the way she chooses to deal with the situation. I watched the first episode today and that show is going to be great. This far she has chosen not to share her news with anyone; not her husband, son, brother, or friends. The only one who knows is her doctor. I think I would probably do the same thing. With the exception that I would tell my husband. We have a pact that should either of us come down with a terminal illness, we would chose not to have treatment and just have a blast with whatever time we have left.

You should check out The Big C, it is really quite good.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baked Eggs

I saw one of the cooks on Masterchef bake an egg and it looked like a neat idea. Then a couple of days later I saw a recipe for baked eggs on allrecipes.com. The recipe sounded very simple, so I decided to give it a try for breakfast today. Unfortunately, they didn't come out tasting very good. The texture was somewhat chewy and it was almost like eating a hard boiled egg. Although I like hard boiled eggs, I was more in the mood for sunny side up eggs. I am not sure if I will try that one again.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Niacin Flushing

The doctor changed my cholesterol medicine to Simcor since the Crestor was not having the desired impact. He told me that people sometimes experience some "flushing" when taking Simcor, but it was nothing serious. I also took the time to read about it online before starting the medication.

Well, last night was the first time I had experienced one of these while I was awake. I have been having them at night and I would wake up when it is almost over. It was very uncomfortable. I literally felt like I was out in the sun baking. Hubby said that is exactly what my face and arms looked like too. My skin felt prickly all over. It was both achy and itchy at the same time. Had I not taken the time to read about Niacin Flushing online before starting this medication, I would not have known to link what I was feeling to the medication. I remembered someone online saying that drinking milk helped his feelings subside, but by the time I thought of that the episode was going away. In all it lasted about 30-45 minutes. Although they are definitely not life threatening, they certainly are not comfortable. When the episode started I had just finished having a vodkarita. I wonder if the alcohol had any impact? Does anyone out there know about the affect alcohol has on niacin flushing?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Clowns

I am not a fan of clowns. Actually they kind of creep me out. I know that people are supposed to love clowns because they are so much fun, but not me. The only place where I think clowns are okay is at the rodeo. But I certainly don't want the clown coming up to me, I will look at him or her from a distance. Clowns are just bad news..... haven't you seen Killer Clowns from Outer Space?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

American Idol

The radio and news today is full of info about the American Idol tryouts. They are in Austin today picking contestants for the next season. I am done with Idol. I stuck it out with them for 9 years, but I am finding something else to fill that TV slot. Last year I stuck it out, but honestly fast forwarded through the majority of the shows because they were so bad. I love reality shows, but this one is coming off of the list for me.

What about you? Are you going to stick it out another year or tune in to something else?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blog Design

I thought I would like the rain drop look for the blog, but honestly it seemed a little dark and depressing. Maybe because we don't see too much rain here these days. I picked a new design that seems a little lighter and cheerier. What do you think of the new design?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sleep

I found the source of my back spasms and that is definitely the way I am sleeping. Saturday night, hubby found me sleeping on my stomach while propped up on my elbows. He said it looked like some kind of yoga pose. When I woke up Sunday, I could tell I had slept weird because my back was killing me.

Last night I made an effort to make sure I didn't sleep on my stomach. It was tough because I instinctively wanted to roll over on my stomach. I tossed and turned a lot moving from my back to my sides, but I stayed off of my stomach. When I woke up this morning, I was tired but no back spasms.

I wish I was one of those people who could sleep any time, any place, and in any position. I would so love to get good quality sleep on a regular basis.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Back Spasms

Wednesday night I went to bed feeling fine, but when I woke up Thursday morning I could barely move. My lower back was hurting and the spasms were so bad they took my breath away. It feels like I had pinched a nerve. But how? All I did was sleep. The muscle relaxer I took yesterday made it feel a little better, but I had not taken them in so long that it totally kicked my butt.

This morning it was one of the spasms that woke me up. They are not as bad as yesterday, but they are still really painful. The only thing that makes sense is that I slept wrong.

Thankfully, I have the option to work at home if needed. So yesterday and today I opted to work from home so I can relax my back as much as possible.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Time to Refocus

I have spent the past few years (since 2006) focusing primarily on my career and not so much on completing my master's degree. Well, it is time to refocus. I have a total of 10 classes left to complete my degree and I am enrolled in 1 of them now. If I really buckle down and take more than 1 class per semester (even if it means adjusting my degree plan), then I should be able to complete this in 1 to 1.5 years.

Time to refocus and put my education first. This will open up more opportunities for me and my family.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Toaster Update

Well, you aren't going to believe this.... I broke another toaster today. We actually had a toaster oven and when I got home from work I decided to try to use it (we have owned it for a little over a month and only used it 2 or 3 times). Katreader said she loved hers and I never really tried doing toast or bagels in ours, so I gace it a try. I plugged it in, put in my Asiago bagel and waited for it to finish. I pulled my bagel out before the time went off because it had gotten as dark as I wanted. Just as I finished pulling the bagel out, I hear a loud pop coming from the toaster oven. Whatever that was scared the crap out of me and also ended up tripping a breaker in the house. Needless to say, my luck with toasters seems to extend to toaster ovens too.

Since it was so new, I called Black & Decker and reported the issue. They are going to be sending me a new one, but in the meantime, I am back to the same toaster dilemma. Tomorrow I am going on a hunt for a T-Fal toaster. They are a little more expensive, but as much as I have spent on toasters lately it will be worth it in the long run.

Toaster's

What gives with toaster's these days? I mean seriously, it shouldn't be that hard to find a toaster that will toast consistently at the same level. We have purchased 3 toasters in the past year and we are about ready to toss number 3. It is an Oster and I thought it would be a pretty good brand, but sadly, it is just like the others. At first, your toast is too light, so when you turn it up, it becomes so dark it is unrecognizable. We had a T-Fal toaster a few years ago that we loved. We used that one until it died, unfortunately you can't find them anymore.

Does anybody have a brand of toaster that they just love?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Charlotte, NC

I have been in Charlotte since Sunday night (7/25). I had meetings all day on Monday (7/26) and then had a pretty light day today with just a couple of meetings in the middle of the day. For the next two days, I will be in a training class and then headed back to Austin.

Ironically, the one thing I was looking forward to on this trip (vegging out on the sofa and watching TV), is not as much fun as I had imagined. I am by myself, so I want to talk to someone about the show and there is no one there. I am ready to go home and be with hubby and the doggies, so hopefully the next two days goes by quickly.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Packing

Today I am packing and getting ready for my trip to Charlotte. I leave tomorrow afternoon and will be there for business until Thursday evening. I am going with mixed feelings. This will be a really good trip for me career wise because I will be able to meet several of the corporate people who will have a hand in what happens to me during our reorganization. The fact that I have been asked to make the trip is good in itself. But, on a personal note, I am having to leave town on our 22nd anniversary. Even though we haven't always done anything special on our anniversary, we have always spent the day together. Hubby is being so supportive and knows this trip will be good in the long run. I am thankful to have such a supportive and understanding hubby.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kudos to Caregivers

Yesterday hubby cut his finger while changing out the lawnmower blade and needed to go get a couple of stitches. When he called out to me to tell me what had happened (thankfully I was working from home), I went in to a bit of a mini panic mode. He was waiting for me to get out the gauze and help him make a temporary bandage to help stop the bleeding, but my brain just simply wasn't thinking about what needed to be done. We finally got him to the ER and they were somewhat busy so it took a bit for them to call him back. He needed a couple of stitches and they put on a splint to keep his finger straight for a couple of days. While we were in the waiting room, hubby pointed out what a terrible nurse I would have made and he is correct. I am good with the helping out (opening things, helping him dry off after a shower, etc.), but actually putting bandages on and the like is not my forte. I don't get weirded out by the wound, I just simply can't dress a wound very well.

So kudos to my brother, sister-in-law, and all those in the caregiver profession. I am glad you are there and are good at what you do - it is just not my cup of tea.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stephen King

I found this cool link on Katreader's blog that analyzes your writing style and tells you who you write like. I took one of my latest blog entries and used that for the sample. The results....

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



Thanks Katreader for a really cook link.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ross Store

I have never been in to a Ross store before today. I am going to be going to Charlotte, NC on a business trip for 4 days and needed a pair of shoes. I originally went to Rack Room Shoes, but ever thing they had came with bows on them. Since I am not a frilly bows kind of person, that just wouldn't work. The Ross store is just next door, so hubby convinced me to pop in and see if they had shoes. My neighbor raves about Ross, but I honestly had no idea what kind of stuff they had. Needless to say $120 later, I think I am actually a fan of Ross. They even had the DC shoes that my brother loves for my nephew - and $20 less than they paid for them in the mall. We ended up with my new shoes, 2 suits for work, 2 shirts for hubby, a new knife block with knives, a toy for the dogs, a bottle to make me some gin and raisins, a neck pillow for hubby, and some new kitchen towels (ours have seen better days). I can definitely see myself going back to Ross in the future.

Friday, July 16, 2010

TGIF

This has been a very long and exhausting week. I am soooooo glad it is Friday.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Off to Coppell

This morning I am off to Coppell for our quarterly regional meeting. After being on vacation for a week, it was really tough to roll out of bed at my normal time. Even the dogs looked at my like I had gone crazy when I woke them up 5am. Thankfully, someone else is driving today so maybe I can nap a bit on the way.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

For the past few days I have been having a blast with my nephew, brother, and my Mom. They came down on Thursday and we have spent the past several days swimming in the neighborhood swimming pool, going to the Texas History Museum, going to the mall, and just hanging out. My nephew has settled in to being around almost everyone. He is still kind of shy around my Mom. My nephew is just learning to talk, so anyone who isn't Mommy or Daddy is called Nanny. All of the dogs are called pup pup and he loves crawling in the dog kennels - go figure.

Last night Mom and I went to HEB for a few groceries and took him with us. Seth wanted to ride in one of those carts that has to race car attached. I have learned that it takes a special skill to drive one of those things and I apparently still need to work on that skill.

They will be heading back to my Mom's house today and then my brother and nephew will meet me in Dallas tomorrow night. I have a business meeting in Coppell for a couple of days and they are going to come spend the night with me Monday night so they will be closer to the airport on Tuesday.

If all goes as planned, the whole family will be back in November for Thanksgiving. On that trip I will get to meet baby Maddox who is only 3 months old right now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Locked Out and Bit by a Spider

Yesterday was a crazy day. My brother and nephew headed to my mothers house for the day, so hubby and I took advantage of that and decided to mow the lawn. I also had a conference call for work that I needed to participate in, so it worked out well. The conference call was at 1:30pm, so about 1pm I had gone in the house to check the time and refill our water bottle. I stepped outside to take hubby the water and tell him that I needed to go prep for the call. Just as I was headed back inside, I realized that I had locked the door behind me. I was now completely locked out of the house. I went next door to use the phone (of course my phone was locked in the house too) and call my sister-in-law who has a spare key. Thankfully my brother-in-law was home and was able to bring over the key quickly (they only live a couple of miles away). I was able to get in the house just in the nick of time for the conference call.

After the lawn was done, we went to the back to trim back a tomato plant that was totally out of control. At some point during this process, I got bit on the wrist by what we think may have been a spider. We are not sure what bit me, but it was all red and puffy and hurt like crazy. Our garden does have wolf spiders, so we think it may have been one of those. This morning, my wrist is just sore like I sprained it, but the majority of the redness is gone and you can see the spot where the bite was. Oddly, there is only one little hole and not two as I would have expected from a spider, so maybe it was something else that got me. I am allergic to most insect bites, so who knows what it may have been.

Today, my brother and nephew return and they are bringing my Mom with them to visit. They will all be here for a few days and then they will take her back home. We are going to take Mom to the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum while she is here. I think she and my brother will both enjoy the museum.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Early Arrival

My brother and nephew arrived 3 days earlier than expected. We weren't expecting them to come down until the 7th, but they showed up late on the 4th. Seth wasn't really settling in at my parents cabin (they go camping every 4th of July), so they came to my house early. It took my dogs to get him to settle in. My dogs have never been around children, but they have been fantastic around Seth. All three dogs really love him. In fact, I was playing with him and he squealed really loud. All of a sudden all three dogs were growling at me because they thought he was hurt. Yesterday we went to the pool and then went to have Tex Mex for lunch. We also stopped and bought some pool toys for Seth. The rest of the day we just hung out around the house. Today we will head back to the pool for a while and then we are going to head to Taylor for some barbecue.

Tomorrow, John and Seth are going to go pick up my Mom and bring her down for a visit. While they are away, I will go get some blood work done that is due this week - yuck. I also have to participate in a conference call for a project team that I am on at work. I could miss it, but it is the initial call and is a really important one.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone.

I can't believe a whole week has flown by and I barely blogged. Our house is normally pretty quiet, but this week has been pretty busy. On Tuesday, we had the carpets cleaned, on Wednesday we had furniture delivered, Thursday the lawn company was supposed to mow the lawn, but it never stopped raining, and on Friday we had a mattress delivered and played taxi for a friend heading to the airport. Then on Saturday we replaced my printer that died and spent the majority of the afternoon getting it hooked up to all of the computers in the house.

Primarily we have been making sure we have everything in place for when my family visits this coming week. My brother and nephew landed in Texas yesterday and should be heading to our house with my mother on Tuesday or Wednesday. It is going to be a bit of a busy week, but I am looking forward to finally meeting my nephew in person.

Today, is going to be low key. We are having some family over later in the evening and we are going to cook out on the grill. Other than that, we are just going to enjoy a low key July 4th.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vacation Countdown

My brother and nephew are coming next week and I have taken a few days off to visit with them. I am really excited to see them, but more importantly I am excited to just be away from work for a few days. This past month has been really busy and I am ready for a break.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Busy Weekend

This weekend was busy, but we got a lot accomplished. We cleaned out the spare bedroom which had become a collecting place for everything we didn't know where to put. We moved a bed frame in that room and we rearranged my office to accommodate a futon.

My brother and nephew will be coming down in a couple of weeks, so we wanted to be sure we had the bed set up for them. We also finally broke down and purchased new furniture which will be delivered next week. With the new furniture coming, the futon will be moved to my office. This will allow space for someone else to sleep when everyone comes to our place for Thanksgiving.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gotta Love Texas

At 9:30 this morning it was already 93 degrees. We haven't really gotten in to the heat of the summer yet. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't so humid. After being outside only 10 minutes, you are drenched with sweat because of the humidity. I wish Fall would hurry up and get here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the father's out there. Especially to my Dad, my brother, and my hubby. You all do a fantastic job of taking care of your families all year long and deserve this special day.

To all the other father's out there (traditional and non-traditional), I hope your day was just the way you wanted it to be.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Milk - It Does a Doggie Good

I love milk. I have a medium to large glass of milk every night. Well, Nash is always curious about my milk, so one night hubby stuck his finger in my glass and gave Nash a taste. That was a huge mistake. Nash loves milk too. Every night when I get my glass, he instantly goes to it and wants a drink. If I don't watch him carefully, he gets on the end table and helps himself. He will even get in my face and try to get the taste of it from my lips. He is quite the crazy little boy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beer, Tomatoes, and Jalapenos

Beer, tomatoes, and jalapenos. What do these three things have in common? My dog, Riley, loves them. Yesterday after work I went outside with a beer and kicked around in the yard a bit before checking out the garden. Instantly when hubby or I picked up the beer, she did a "sit" and "watch me" (this is what she was trained to do before she could get a treat). She was so intent on getting a drink, nothing could break her focus. So, hubby have her a little of beer and she was in heaven. Then when we went to the garden, there were lots of jalapenos to be picked. As soon as she saw the first jalapeno, she instantly did her commands. She was very disappointed as there were no jalapenos to be shared. Then on to the beans and cucumbers which she has no interest in, but was almost drooling on herself when we got to the tomatoes. Hubby gave her one of the tomatoes and she was a happy doggy. It is a good thing I have my garden fenced or she would be out there eating all of my veggies.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Long Week

This week had seemed like a really long week and I am glad it is coming to an end. All week I have been tired and can't seem to get enough sleep. I think my body still hadn't caught up from spending the past weekend at my parents house.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yellow Pear Heirloom Tomato Plant

One of the plants is my garden is a yellow pear heirloom tomato plant. I have no experience with these plants, but decided to give it a shot this year. Well, I had no idea how large it would get. This plant is over 5 feet tall and about 4 feet wide (it would be wider if I didn't have it caged in). This plant is crowding out the other tomato plant and 2 of my jalapeno plants. I don't think I will plant this one again next year. We finally got some ripe tomatoes off of this plant and they are okay, but not fantastic.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Riley

Yesterday was Riley's 2nd birthday. Instead of just celebrating her birthday, she had an extended birthday celebration that started on Sunday. On Sunday morning, we took all of the kids to PetsMart and Riley picked out a raw hide that she wanted. She got to eat that treat on Sunday. Then on Monday, we gave her a big meaty knuckle bone that we picked up for her. She loves bones and is the only one of our three that has the jaws to break them down. Then on Tuesday, I popped out and picked her up some cookies. Of course, all day on her actual birthday she got special treatment so she would know it was her special day. By 11:00 pm we had put the all in their kennels for the night and she was still laying there smiling. You could tell she had a good birthday.

And for all of you reading this shaking your heads thinking I am crazy. Yes, I celebrate each of my doggie's birthdays and have no intention of stopping.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I know most people think of Memorial Day as a holiday away from work and possibly filled with barbecue and partying, but don't forget to take a minute to thank those who made all of this possible - the men and women who have and are serving our country. Many have given their lives so that we can have this day away from work to barbecue and have fun.

A special thanks to my brother, sister-in-law, and all of my family who have and are still serving our country.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Catch Up

I can't believe I haven't posted since Monday. This week has been a mini-whirlwind.
On Tuesday I had a really big meeting at work that lasted all day so I came home wiped out. Spent some time with my garden, went to feed Joe and just chilled for the rest of the evening. On Wednesday it was lawn day so I helped hubby finish up mowing the lawn and then we relaxed for the evening. On Thursday it was super busy at work and then we went out to Snuffy's after work to have a burger and beer. After that we had to go grab some groceries to avoid shopping during the holiday weekend. Then yesterday, hubby took me to get an ingrown toenail removed and we just chilled around the house. Today... we will just have to see what today brings.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Little Man Goes to the Vet

Today I took Nash to the vet to have his teeth looked at. His baby canine teeth did not fall out and his permanent teeth have already come in, so it is really crowding his mouth and making his other teeth come in all weird. At first they weren't going to do anything except check him out, but since I had done the fasting routine (just in case) they went ahead and pulled his two teeth. He came through like a champ and is enjoying the special soft food he gets for the next couple of days. Now maybe his other teeth can come through like they should.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Orange Crush Daylily

Last year at the local town festival, I purchased a bulb of the official town flower - Orange Crush Daylily. I wasn't sure if it would bloom this year or not, but it did. Here is a photo I took from my cell phone, so the quality is not the best. The petals are a pretty yellowish orange and the center is a brighter orange. Hopefully I can get some better pictures of the blooms as the season goes on.



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back to Work

Vacation is over and I am headed back to work today. This morning I woke up before the alarm went off with a nasty headache. Then I remembered that I had been dreaming about work all night long (I have someone specific on the team who is causing unnecessary stress for the whole team). There was a slight twist to the dream.....all of my staff was ducks who just wanted to eat constantly. To bad the issues with my real staff can't be handled by just giving them some food.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday

Today is my parents 37th anniversary, so Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad. Today is also my birthday. Today I spent the day doing whatever I wanted. I woke up and went to the pond to feed the ducks. There is a white one and a black one, but only the white one has been coming out lately. I named the white one Joe (not sure if it is male or female, so hopefully I picked correctly). I couldn't get him to come out so I went back home. After hubby got out of bed we went back to the pond and Joe finally came out for his breakfast. He is gentle enough he even ate out of my hand. After that we went home and headed to Best Buy to see if we could find a few movies we liked. No luck there so we headed to PetsMart and got some goodies for the kids (we can always find something to buy there). After that we headed to Academy to get hubby some new flip flops and I even found a couple of pair of shoes too. One pair was too cheap to pass up ($4) and they are cute little flats that will be perfect for wearing at work with summer dresses or slacks. After that we headed to eat lunch at Pluckers. The food was okay but our waitress was a real snit. From there we headed to a different Best Buy (still determined to find a movie since I have $20 in reward bucks to use). Still no luck so on to Wal-Mart to get gas and then went in there to look at movies. We actually found some movies there and then headed home. Now we will relax a bit until time to grill the steaks for dinner.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nurnburg Brauhaus

On Friday we went to a German restaurant with my neighbor, not the one in Walberg as we had originally planned, but one on Pflugerville called Nurnburg Brauhaus. It was a small place and I had the daily special, which was Sauerbraten (Beef roast marinated and slow cooked in a sweet and sour style gravy served with German potato ball). Hubby had the Wiener Schnitzel and our friend had the daily special. Since my neighbor is from Germany, she could attest to the authenticity of the food and said it was definitely like the food back home. Since two of us didn't eat off of the lunch menu, it was a little more expensive that your normal lunch prices, but it was really good. There was a good atmosphere and the people were really nice. I would go back again, maybe to try the evening meal and some beer next time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

First Day of Vacation

Today is the first day of my 4 days of vacation. Today we are headed to Wahlberg to try out a German Restaurant there with my neighbor who is from Germany. Over the next several days, we also plan to go to the World War II museum at Camp Mabry and also possibly do some research at the State Library. Mostly though, I am happy that I am getting a few days away from work.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Double Edge Sword

I work in the field of Human Resources and even though I love it, it can be a double edge sword at times. For example, it is great because you are usually in on the ground floor of changes for the company. You can put your stamp on the way things are done. You tend to know the direction the company is going before most of the other staff. Unfortunately, that last part can also be the double edge sword part. If there is something happening that is going to have a negative impact, you have advance notice. Many times those things are going to happen to people or departments you are working with and you cannot say anything.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nephew

I received the official birth announcement for my newest nephew, Maddox, in the mail over the weekend (he was born April 3rd). When I read the announcement, I got a really nice surprise. My brother had originally told me that the middle name would be Ryan; however, when I read the announcement, they had actually made his middle name McCoy. McCoy is my family name and I know both of my grandparents would have been extremely honored that my brother is keeping the name going.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mother's out there. Hope you have a very special day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jalapeno Peppers

I have several jalapeno pepper plants and they seem to be struggling and until today I couldn't figure out why. They continually looked like they were being eaten, but they had no bugs on them, they have been getting plenty water, have lots of blooms, but never any baby jalapeno peppers. Today I was outside checking my garden and was so excited because there was a baby pepper plant about 3/4 of an inch long. Two seconds later - literally - I hear this crunching sound and look over to see Riley eating my baby jalapeno! I scolded her, which I rarely do - hubby is the disciplinarian, and now I am off to Lowe's to get some fencing to go around my plants.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

World War II Book

I am trying to find out the name of a book that a friend of the family wrote about his experience as a POW in World War II. Unfortunately, he has a common last name, Williams, so searching for the book is difficult to say the least. My grandfather is now deceased and no one else in the family knows the name of the book. I am planning to go to a local museum on my days off in the next couple of week. Supposedly there is a copy of the book there and I can at least get the title of the book.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Garden: Before and After


This was my garden when I first planted it.


This is my garden now. There are two tomato plants, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, lima beans, snow peas, cucumbers, and green beans. All growing nicely.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Drama at the Dentist

Today I went to the dentist for these fillings that were still hurting. He adjusting the fillings and hopefully this is the last visit. Although I am not a fan of the dentist, one of the nice things about our dentist is that he always runs on schedule. Unfortunately today, that was not the case. Apparently while I was in the waiting room, his dental assistant "walked out in a snit" as he put it and left them in a bit of a bind. The dentist was having to call his wife and ask her to come fill in as his dental assistant until he could get things sorted out.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Vegetables & Flowers

I got my first vegetables from my garden today. I was able to pick 6 snow pea pods. Everything is looking great and I think in the next few weeks I will see lots of veggies. Also my first daylily bloomed today. They are looking so pretty and there are lots more that are close to opening. My neighbor really wants me to give her a cutting off of the daylily next year, but I am going to have to think about it - I kind of like being the only one on the block with daylilies.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Exhausted

We have had a very productive, but busy weekend. On Saturday we got up early and planned to reorganize the garage to fit the new shelving we had purchased. The temp was nice outside and before we knew it that turned in to cleaning and reorganizing the whole garage. Then we stepped out to go grab a bite to eat and buy groceries. After that, we still had a little energy, so we mowed the front lawn including edging and trimming the bushes. We were officially exhausted, so we called it a day around 8pm and went in to have leftovers for dinner. Today, we got up and mowed, edged, and seeded the back yard. That didn't take long, but considering we were still tired from yesterday it took longer that normal. After that we went to Snuffy's to have a burger then to Lowe's (our official second home these days) and back to the house. Now I still need to finish laundry and finish my paper for school. My portion of the paper is done, I just need one of my team mates to add his portion and it is ready to submit. A very busy and exhausting weekend, but very productive.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What an Idiot

You have all heard me complain about my idiot professor and I promise this will be the last time. Yesterday he sent us an email letting us know that our last in-class meeting will be on 5/14 instead of 4/30 and that we should be prepared to do our in class presentations on that day. In addition, he will make our final available online 4/30 and we have to turn it in to him no later than 5/14. Now, most people would be thrilled at a 2 week extension, but there are a few problems with this situation. First, according to the academic calendar, the last official class lecture is to be held on 5/3. Then finals week is scheduled for 5/4 to 5/11 so that grades can be sent to the registrar no later than 5/12. No problem that he gives us a final early, but if we turn it in on 5/14 that is 2 days after the official grades are due to the registrar. Oh, and by the way, the classrooms and the campus are officially closed that day. Lastly, we are supposed to meet at 6:30pm on 5/14; however, the commencement exercises (for which at least 2 people in my class should be participating) begin at 6pm on that same day.

Several of us have reached out to him about this bizarre email. To no one's surprise, he has not responded. Today I plan to call the head of the department to find out what is going on. This guy is a total idiot. Thankfully, he is just an adjunct professor at my school; however, he works full time at a very high profile school in our area.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Last Meeting

Thankfully tonight it is last team meeting for my school project. This has been a tough class. Not because of the work, writing papers is actually pretty easy; it has been tough because of the overall class experience. My professor (it is really hard to call him that) put himself to sleep during one of his lectures, his presentation material has another instructors name and he says he is not changing it out of respect for that professor (what a load of crap), he won't return phone calls or emails when you need assistance, all of our work is in a group project (so we can learn how to figure things out as a team) and he still hasn't graded some of our work that was turned in back in mid February. What are the lessons that I have learned from this class? I have learned what professor never to select again!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Our Yard

Hubby and I spend a great deal of time working in our yard. He is very diligent about doing weed and feed, he walks the yard daily looking for unwanted weeds and pulls them by hand; when we mow the lawn, I always over seed to make sure any sparse areas fill in. We have one neighbor that asked what we do because she really wanted her yard to be as green as ours (hers was really brown). Now today, I heard the neighbor on the other side talking to her husband and asking why our yard was green and theirs was brown. They don't spend a lot of time working on their yards and that is okay; they spend their time doing other things. We find it relaxing to be outside drinking a beer, doing little things to the yard while the dogs are running and playing. That's just our thing.

Who knows, maybe this year we will even win yard of the month and the nice Lowe's gift card that goes along with it!