Friday, September 30, 2005

Bent Spaghetti, Katrina's Gator, Good TV and Strep Throat

The sickness is subsiding. I did have strep, and on Tuesday I had to go to the doctor to get antibiotics. Then on Wednesday I wasn’t allowed back at work yet, because I had not been on the antibiotics for 24 hours. So Thursday I was back to work. I am feeling much better, I still have a cough and a stuffy nose, but my throat isn’t really sore anymore. Unless I am coughing that is.

Work has been fine. House has been fine. Our bedroom has drywall, and some mud and tape, they are sanding today. My new Ribbon and Craft Organizers came Wednesday evening and Jimmy and Brad hung them on Thursday. That was cool. I am excited. It cleared up tons of space on my table for a bigger work area. Of course now I have had 3 days off work, without pay because I have no PTO since the wedding, so that stinks…. But at least Evan is in the field so that means extra money. My check next week will be meager and small. Icky.

My sister sent me an email yesterday with the 21 foot alligator that they supposedly found swimming the streets of New Orleans after Katrina. Yeah right. So I looked it up on Snopes, and it was really found 3 years ago in the Republic of the Congo, and it wasn’t the size the email claimed it was. So if you get that email, don’t believe it.

Another thing you might not believe. Bent Spaghetti. Spaghetti “bent” in half to the breaking point does not break in half, but in fact, into three or more pieces. Don’t believe it? Check out the video and the supporting facts.

Watched some great TV last night. Starting with the season premiere of the OC, and then onto the new show Reunion which was AWESOME. The cast is phenomenal, They have all been in other great shows and or movies. It’s amazing the differing roles they play. Evan and Mom even liked that Reunion. Then we watched Tuesday’s episode of “My Name is Earl” and I laughed so much. Totally worth it. I love how they all drive el Caminos and have 1970’s sofas, wood paneling, and those trailer park kitchen tables and chairs- priceless.

This weekend will be the rescheduled dog walk (tomorrow morning) and then I will work on Sunday. This past week Evan made big plans for us this weekend, he promised to take me to Tanner’s Orchard and then we would get his dad’s truck to take my dad his thatcher that Evan’s dad borrowed, and Evan and I would get a corn shock for the yard and put up the scarecrow. Well, then he got a call from Bones, whose bachelor party “golfing” is this Saturday, so all those plans got cancelled. My fun day with my husband- all gone. Boo-Hoo. SO he said we will do all that next weekend, but I will be gone to Angela’s and to Chicago for the weekend, and so we will not get to do it then either. SO I might be going to Tanner’s by myself this year, or not at all. That is so sad. Although I did just read that they are open till 8pm on weeknights. That’s a thought. But with Evan in the fields I will still have to go alone.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Two Stinky Dogs and a Cough

Today, I am sick. I have been sick for 1 week and non-functionable for exactly 1.75 days. Ick. I am thinking it is strep but I am not going to take antibiotics and go to the Doctor, partly because of my $1000 deductible and partly because I don't want to waste half a day driving there and back when I feel crappy. While I doubt you want to hear the details of my lost voice and raw throat, I will note that I slept for 3 hours on Saturday afternoon and for 5 hours on Sunday afternoon... and I presently feel a mixture of fever, coughing up a lung, and like my head is a giant cement block with nostrils the size of pin holes through which I attempt to breathe.

I am home today, from sheer exhaustion and my need to be medicated and soothed by cough drops, water, breathe right strips, and sleep. Today I will relax, between loads of laundry and organizing my desk. I can't just lie in bed all day for one more day, in case I get bedsores, and When I put on my wedding ring today I noted that the sickness may have robbed me of some weight and or water. Ugh. Must move forward.

I am in the office as my bedroom is currently located in the living room and they are putting up drywall 5 feet from my bed, in what was formerly known as our bedroom and we hope will be known as such again someday soon. The dogs are here on their beds, which need badly washed, and they are unaccustomed to being in this room with their beds, but they are gated in to leave the drywalling process alone.

The Strut Your Mutt dog walk got rained out on Saturday, but not until we had stood in the rain with our umbrellas for about 30 minutes. We have rescheduled for this weekend and it is supposed to be nice and sunny- but I think being out in that rain, and having the house open and all damp and humid, is what accelerated my disase and finally pushed me over the edge to "sick and incapable" versus "sick and functioning."

Well, I am already exhausted and it is only 9:215, which puts me awake for about 1.25 hours and bathed, dressed, and coughing ferociously. My voice is half present at this time.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Animals of Katrina...

I ran across this MSN Blog today.... I really love it. And most everything is interesting and well written, whether you agree upon it or not. This post, and it's comments, about the animal survivors of Katrina, interested me greatly, and I would like to share, and encourage you to read it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Golf Ball Sized Hail in Wyanet Today...

I took these photos in my front yard, about 10 minutes after the storm had stopped hailing. These are golf ball sized and larger hailstones. Keep in mind they had been sitting on the ground for about 10 minutes in the 85 degree weather before I took photos, so they have melted a bit.

Embellishments Organized! Tuna Packets!

Well, I had a nice day today. The highlight of my day was my lunch. I recently bought Tuna Creations by Star Kist, packets of pre-drained, pre-seasoned tuna. I love tuna. Today I had the Lemon Pepper and tomorrow I will eat Garlic Herb. YUM! I just keep them in my fridge at work, so they are cold. Then I tear off the top and mix it with mayo (I Have a squeeze jar at work, and we also have those mayo packets in the cafe) and make me some Tuna salad. 1 packet makes a hearty round sandwich, I usually have mine on hawaiian sandwich rolls with colby jack deli cheese. It was FABULOUS. I need to go buy more, and some for home, that's how good it was.

Last night the Close to My Heart Show arrived at my door for the 10-15 club that we have going. I was super lucky to be the first ever hostess. I got $40 in free merchandise, so I picked out three marker sets... Harvest, Spring Harmong, and The Basic Colors. Awesome. Plus I had ordered a My Accents Organizer and enough craft jars to fill it. So last night my mom and I took all of my eyelets, brads, clips, buttons, flowers, etc and put them into craft jars. We labeled the colors on the stampin up and close to my heart eyelets, put labels from my label maker right on the lids. It is so cool. I love it, and it is perfect with the My Acrylix block organizer that I already use all the time. And even better they will fit nicely down inside the rolling crate I have so that when I travel I am all packed up!

So tonight I hope to test out my markers. They are so pretty. I am still waiting for my ribbon organizer and craft organizers I bought from - I mailed a check like September 10th and They haven't even received it yet. Argh. I should have used a credit card but the bank had mine as they were changing my name on it, and it wasn't working until they got the name changed and got it all reissued.

We went to sleep at 3:30 am and I got up at 7am. Icky. Then I was ready for work by 8, but I had a headache, and didn't have to be at work till 9:30, so I laid around for a while on my bed until Jimmy came in with the air compressor and the nail gun... then I went and took some aspirin, took the dogs out for the morning, and Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's off to work I go.

Husband has been a very good man this week... and He has been duly rewarded. I was mildly upset yesterday. He was going to shovel corn and beans out of the grain bins. We have been through this before, so the night before I made a comment that he would not be wearing his good tennis shoes.... and he said "Of course not, I will wear my work boots" and when he arrived home the following day, his good tennis shoes, $50 sketchers that were once white/grey/and black, were now stinking like corn and covered in dust. Ick. He said "I forgot which shoes when I left I was in a hurry" and I was like ARGH!!!!!!! Angry. Angry Angry. Shoes, especially sketchers, do not grow on trees, and neither does the money that it takes to buy them. Men.

OHHH! I just checked my email and my craft locker order has shipped! My check must have arrived! It looks like it will be here soon! I can't wait. Now if I just purchase my wall mounted ink storage shelves, I can put all those goodies on the walls and be ready to work up a storm! How exciting!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Ready for Rita?

Here's Red Rita!

I find it interesting how officials are saying "Get out of Rita's path, this is your warning and you have plenty of time." It is also so interesting to watch how the hurricane picks up speed and power and has been upgraded from twopical storm to hurricane and from a category 3 to a category 4. I hope everyone heeds warnings this time. Also, all the rain out to the west is heading our way and we will have rain starting tonight with predicted thunderstorms, and continuing through at least Monday, according to our local forecast. We will see breaks on Saturday and Sunday it seems, with rain every other day and most nights. I wonder what will happen when Rita hits landfall and weather associated with the hurricane clashes with the clouds coming from out west? It will be interesting I am sure. I forgot my cell phone AGAIN today, how stupid can you be? That's what happens when you get up 1 hour early and leave over an hour early for work- your brain doesn't function! Ugh! So I need to run to Wal-mart to get some bottled water, milk, bread, and some of those cool orange swirled halloween chocolate chips. I also need some fiber choice chewables, I Hear that they are great for IBS. I sure hope so! That's all for now!

Tweezers that won't tweeze - and Harvest Time

Wednesday. Halfway there! This weekend will be kind of eventful. Evan and I will take the dogs to the Strut your Mutt Dog Walk on Saturday, and then on Sunday I will work.

I am convinced at this point that I have IBS. If I am super careful what I eat, it's not bad... but two nights ago I broke down and ate curly fries, oh my god. I have been paying for it for two days. It's like cramping constantly. It just makes you feel terrible. I have discovered I can eat a cheeseburger without much problem, but if you deep fry it anything or season it heavily, it's a different story.

Last night I was at Brad and Anya's for a while. a co-worker and I took some maternity clothes over for Anya to try on, and she found some cute ones and I think she was really pleased. She's on bedrest for another 4 weeks. I know she is bored. Poor girl.

Nothing definite planned for the rest of the week. It is payroll week for me, which is nice, but Also the end of the month, so there are LOTS of bills due, 3 loan payments, power bill, cell phone bill.... etc. And the cingular bill was SOOOOO high last month- $211.00 because of our new phone "upgrade" charges, and then roaming from Canada (ouch) and of course we bought some ringtones for our new phones. Ugh. Oh well. I was really hoping for groceries this week but that may need to wait a week or so. Everything in the fridge is dead. It needs cleaned out. I hate that job. Thank god for a garbage disposal and dishwasher.

My pet peeve of the day: Tweezers that won't tweeze. I have 3 pair that I bought from Avon and I love them. But one pair just won't tweeze! It's like the ends don't squeeze together tight enough. I needed to tweeze eyebrows this morning and I have been putting it off a bit, but all I have been able to find is the pair that won't tweeze, so I am like trying to inspect the ends but they LOOK normal. What a strange defect. SO finally I found a pair of older ones that did the job, but it looked like someone had dipped them in a candle, cuz I think there was wax on them? Strange. I should run all my tweezers through the dishwasher- once I find them!

Besides that I guess that everything is normal. Evan is getting started for harvest, yesterday he moved augers and today he shovels corn out of bins to get them cleaned out and ready for harvest. I love it when harvest comes. It is my favorite time of year for one. It all stems back to my ag background, and the grain elevator, but even back since I was a kid, it was very exciting.

Once a year Pete DeMarlie, grandma's cousin, would come out to the farm with his gleaner. I remember going to grandmas to help her make lunches and deliver them to the field. I remember they always got a banana. And I would get to climb the backs of the old Osage wagons and taste the soybeans from inside.

After being neck deep in harvest for years, especially at the grain elevator, it's a thing I really miss. I remember the overtime, the great paychecks they brought with them, and the farmers just before dawn and just after dark, pulling in with their loads and looking for a hot cup of coffee. Everyone loved the rush. I miss that.

It makes me feel good to see Evan involved in it, to see them in the field, to sit with grandpa bob in the truck while he "supervises" the auger and sneaks a piece of cake that he isn't supposed to have. I am glad that someday my kids will get to be part of harvest, even if it only means taking a ride in the tractor with their dad or grandpa, and maybe watching them unload the grain carts into the bin, or loading on the run from the combine.

It's like football weather, and halloween, and the crinkle of leaves when you walk through them. Hot chocolate ar a fresh apple... sweatshirts and jeans and tennis shoes. That fall breeze and even the way that leaves stick to the ground after it rains. Fat orange pumpkins and corn stalks with scarecrows. It is by far the best part of the year.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pat Robertson's Weather Forcast-

Can you believe this guy? What a nutcase. Do you suppose he has started building his ark yet? I have a hard time believing that god is vengeful. I suppose that is why he blames it on the devil, and that god has simply "lifted his protection." I also have a hard time believing that a book (such as the bible) that was written thousands of years ago by pompous old white men supposedly is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, not to mention that it has been translated, and re-translated over the years to fit each person's liking. Anyone has the right to believe in the bible, in it's entirety, or in the points that they agree with, and they also have the right not to believe in it at all. I hardly think you can list the bible as "fact." I don't suppose we will be seeing this guy on the weather channel anytime soon?

Text below was Posted by John Bill on August 27, 2005 12:13 PM (See all posts by John Bill)

Noted Climatologist Pat Robertson said at a recent Intelligent Design Weather Symposium that he believes that Florida's hurricane problems are due to the devil.

"We have insulted God with legal abortion and restrictions on religion in public places. Then we say 'why does this happen?' Well, why it's happening is that God Almighty is lifting his protection from us. Florida is just seething with Godless Cubans and Satan worshipping Catholic Mexicans. By turning our backs on Jesus, we have let God unleash the Devil down there."

Mr. Robertson was heckled by protesters who were claiming "Global Warming" to be the cause. They were written off by Mr. Robertson as liberals and Satan loving homosexuals off the record.

On the record Mr. Robertson said:
”Their science couldn’t possible be right. Their computer model shows that the Earth is billions of years old and every Christian knows that’s a Commie lie. Look, God only made the universe and the Earth which it revolves around about 6,000 years ago. It is a proven fact, just look in Genesis.”Mr. Robertson is set to release his findings in more detail later this year at the conference for The National Christian Science Foundation.

Good Luck With Rita, Ebay, and Other junk

Today at work we had a power outage. That was exciting, especially when you are in the IT department. But I can't blog more on that or I may be a victim of "Blogger filed for discussing company business" so I will steer clear of that discussion entirely.

Over all it has been a good day, although there are still a few hours left before I call it time to sleep.... so there is still time for it to get all fucked up I guess.

I did receive my Creative Memories Order, I bought some refill pages for my 7x7 album, and some protectors for the pages, and some other little goodies- but BEST OF ALL was the power sort box. It is SOOOO Fabulous, I can't wait to get started. I also bought some extra divider tabs for it, And I can't wait to get home to my stack of pictures that is filling up a whole container, and sort them by occasion and pages. Then when I sit down to scrapbook, hopefully I can look at things one page at a time instead of being overwhelmed by what I have to get done. Hopefully.

For some reason eBay was freaky today. When I logged into my ebay, I got lots of errors that "not all of my information was available at this time" and couldn't see items I was bidding on, paid for, or had recently won, etc etc. How frustrating is that? Got me worried about where eBay is located and all that. But I logged in an hour later and all was back to normal. On September 7th I paid for 4 items via payapal, and on the 13th I received 3 of those 4 items via USPS Priority Mail. 2 weeks later, there is one item that I have not received. I emailed today as I am a bit concerned about what may have happened. The seller is located in California, so probably not affected by Katrina or Rita or whoever else (hurricane wise) might show up.

Speaking of hurricane's good luck to all those about to face up with Rita. And if we have learned anything about hurricane's lately..... Please evacuate. Possessions mean nothing if you aren't alive.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Husband enter their final fantasy

Why is it that husbands can be so nice one moment and so mean the next. Husbands new gig is camping out it the living room playing Final Fantasy Online. His friends play also, but 2 of them work second shift. So Husband doesn't get to play "with them" until 11pm.

So, our house is crazy right now to begin with, we are like "mid-remodel" and our bedroom is in the living room, approximately 8 feet from the TV and 5 feet from the clicking final fantasy keyboarding.

We recently got cable, so I have some shows that I like to watch at night, after we have had supper and cleaned up our mess. Last night was dog kennel night, so I went straight from work to the kennels, and didn't get home until about 7:30. We ate at like 8:15 (typical eating time at our house is anywhere between 6pm and 10pm) and then Evan was already settled into Final Fantasy. Well- that pretty much ensures that I can't watch any TV, because the only one in the house with an antenna and/or cable is the one he is in front of.

So I think I might read, but I am kinda tired so I take a bath at go to bed at about 10:30. Well, Previously we had discussed that the game playing would end at midnight each night, so that we could both get up and so that we could both sleep - I figure it is only courtesy because he is about 5 feet from my head. Thankfully he does turn the sound down and the lights off, so the glow from the TV and the dogs still awake is all I deal with. Well at 1:18 he is still playing strong and I had been woke up about 500 times and I was so ticked!

He expresses that this will be what he does every single night of the week. In some ways, I support this, because I would rather have him be at home than somewhere else. But at the same time, I an not sure that playing a video game all night every night is entirely healthy for a relationship. Not to mention that I can't watch any TV, and that there are house chores to get done too. So we will see. I am hoping that this game will eventually get old.

One of his friends calls from his cell phone at work during breaks so that he can ask "who is online" and what is going on. Keep in mind these are 25 and 16 year olds, not 15-17 year olds.

I enjoy games, but as an addition to my life- not as my life. I love Simpsons Hit and Run and Sims and Mario. But I can rarely play games for more than an hour, and the only ones I can recall playing for longer were the pokemon games for Gameboy Color and the Sims for PC.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Wiley Wiggins and Mr Yuk

So today, the strangest thing happened. I was online and I ran across a blog posting about the AMC Special "The Making of Dazed and Confused" that aired LAST NIGHT. Damn. I was ticked that I missed it! So I then ran across a posting about the new (FINALLY) DVD release in 2006 of Dazed and Confused with all kinds of extras. Of course there has been talk about that for so long, I pretty much went "whatever, I will believe it when I see it" and then the blogger linked their source as Wiley Wiggins. I was like NO way. So anyway, I happened across his blog, also on, and then happened upon his personal/professional website

I was pretty thrilled about this. How often do actors/filmographers design and maintain their own website, and a blog? Especially one not entirely related to themselves? I guess it impresses upon me the reality - that as an actor, he is still a reachable person. I was also enthused that he works for Apple in Texas. So he is a computer geek like me, and although we have differing interests, we have some similar. It was incredibly refreshing. You may not know him, but he was "Mitch Kramer" in Dazed and Confused. I sent him an email and it was cool to read his reply, although it was short.

One of the things on his site that really made me laugh was an icon for Mr. Yuk. Now I don't know how to better describe Mr. Yuk than the round green sticker from the poison control center that was on all the rotary phones in our house in the late 70's and early 80's. And he also had a scrubbing bubbles icon that was awesome. So check it out if you have the time.

Storms by the Devil and Super Undies

I really don't like Mondays. Who does? Icky. It stormed big last night, leading me to have a reoccuring dream that up until last night I never realized that I had ever had before, but now that I woke up immediately after having it, it was so fresh in my mind I remember having had it many times before. The strange thing with me, is I tend to dream about what is actually going on while I am sleeping. Sounds and things that happen around me while I sleep are almost always translated into dreams. When the storm was coming through, I was sleeping and didn't even realize it was coming, but in my dream there was a storm coming. Evan came in and it woke me up, and I told him I was having a bad dream and he said something about a "storm coming" and I couldn't figure out how he knew about the storm in my dream, but a storm really was coming. So we closed some windows.

In the dream, I am at my parents house (I think that is because that is where I lived when I started having this dream) and There are a bunch of people there, out in the backyard and kinda towards grandpa's house, where the clothesline was. There is a storm coming in, so everyone picks up their stuff and goes inside. Everyone is in the living room, and they are talking and laughing (it's late, dark) and The phone rings. No one else hears it ring. So I go answer it, depending on the dream, I either go down a level to the family room in the closet, or up a level to my parent's room, and when I pick up the phone, there is a bad man on the other end. I don't mean like a pervert, heavy breather man. I don't even mean a real man. I mean like the devil. Evan laughs at me when I say that. But He controls the storm, and his voice is really creepy and dead sounding. And then I can't talk to him, and no one knows that he is calling, and no one knows he is making a bad storm come.... except me.

Strange? Definitely.

In other news, household is doing fairly well. Laundry is proceeding nicely, I completed several loads last night and one more this morning. I will probably need to go home at lunch to switch more loads around, and to get clothes for the kennel tonight. Kitchen is clean, keeping up with the dishes in the dishwasher and had husband help me load it last night. It is so nice to have help, I can not even believe it. It's like living a whole different life, where I can scrapbook and read a book and relax. Like taking the dogs for a ride and on a picnic. Free time! When he helps, I have some! It's a revelation! When I think about it, I can be wonder woman, sure. But Wonder woman is certain to be a much better crime fighter with the Justice League there to back her up, right? So Wonder woman could fight crime by herself, but she would be such a happier lady if she didn't have to fight evil alone. Plus I am sure she would be much nicer to Superman if he were around once in a while. If he was off screwing off, and she did all the crime fighting, and then he shows up at the end and is like "Hey, where's my socks" Most likely wonder woman would be pissed. Like she doesn't have better things to do than wash his socks and underwear and keep track of where they are, right?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Your closet is not a gym locker.... and other Towel tales

I really wish there were such a thing as Self-Laundering Clothing. I have to say that while I get a positive feeling from having clean clothes, from a fluffy stack of freshly-folded towels, and the colorful swirls of a basketful of clean underwear... I hate laundry. I hate that I have to gather it, carry it, sort it, wash it, dry it, fold it, hang it, carry it upstairs and cram it into drawers and closets. 98% of the time by MYSELF. I hate that I have to buy $14 family sized jugs of laundry detergent and fabric softener and that the lint trap is always being emptied into the garbage that is overflowing with lint. Ugh. We have so much laundry here, we could be FIVE people.

The husband was appalled when we first moved in together 5 years ago, at the thought of using a bath towel more than once before washing it again. Appalled. I tried to explain to him the concept that when you USE a bath towel you are freshly showered and AS CLEAN AS YOU CAN BE so there is not really towel contamination. When he was at home with mom, I know he grabbed a fresh towel from the shelf, and hung it on a towel hook, and the next time he came back, that towel had magically walked down to the washer, laundered itself, dried itself, refolded itself, and added itself to the pile of fresh folded towels on the shelf. So now in my house we go about a week (sometimes shorter, depending) with 1 set of 2 towels. At least I do. Husband isn't so clever- and to think I don't notice that he only uses the same towel twice. I am reminding myself right now that I will teach my sons the proper care of towels.

Firstly, he never excercises the proper hanging of a towel, so that when you return, it is dried and ready for re use. His method involves grasping the towel into a bundle, and lying the entire width of the towel bundled up over the towel hook. He has done this for so long that the paint is has peeled and is completely gone from the area where his towel hangs. Every day when he would leave for work, I would follow behind him, pick up his socks and boxers from theh floor behind the bathroom door, shut the shower curtain that he was trying to grow mold on, and re-hang his towels on the towel hook. After 5 years, I am really not so into that anymore. I figure that anyone should be able to handle their own towel hanging.

Another towel pet peeve- WET TOWELS in the hamper. No no!!! How many clothing items have been ruined by the bleeding of colors due to a wet towel? Not to mention, How wonderfully does a hamper smell when 1 week later, when you take it to the basement to sort laundry... there has been wet towel smooshed in the center all week? Ugh. I also hate the "multi-hang" when he hangs multiple (2-3) towels on the same towel hook. HOW IN THE WORLD do you think that will help?? tell me that. How will they dry sitting on top of each other?

And the other thing- DIRTY CLOTHES being put on the floor of your closet instead of the hamper. I tried and tried to break that habit, and my main explanation is that your closet is not a GYM LOCKER to be smelling like stinky socks and sweaty shorts. Gross! Why would you like your clean clothes and your dress shirts to smell like you just pulled them out of a gym locker? Not attractive! And the husband HAS good hygeine! It's unvbelievable that this could happen! Yet we go over this phenomenon of Closet does not equal locker about a ZILLLLLION times!

Oh, and I ran across this blog posting on the frequency of washing sheets and towels. I would say I wash sheets every two weeks. Sometimes sooner. But usually every other Sunday I strip the bed, and wash and change the quilt to, I have three quilts and a comforter that I cycle between. So that's the DOWN and DIRTY! What's your opinion?

Family Guy...

It's Sunday evening and I am watching family guy on Fox, and waiting for laundry. Boyd and Hadley and I went on a "Sunday Drive" Today and took some pictures that turned out pretty good. We stopped off at City County Park and had a picnic- Sausage Pizza Bread on our red striped picnic blanket. Then this afternoon I went to the Friends of Strays Open house and helped introduce people to dogs.

When I got home, Boyd and I took a nap and then Evan came home and made supper. He had done several loads of laundry, cleaned the dog's kennel (really well) and their houses, and taken their "outside beds" to the laundry mat in Buda. Fabulous. What a fabulous husband. 4 stars. We had cheese ravioli and texas toast garlic bread with cheese (Evan the chef) and then we watched Simpsons, and Family Guy, and all that.

This episode Stewie is on the floor playing with Simon Says. Stewie said "Simon Do Your Worst." It's the episode where Peter goes out to sea and they think he dies so Lois marries Brian. Then Peter comes back. This show Is hilarious. So when Brian tells Lois that he thinks they should break up and she can go back with Peter, Stewie is hiding on the stairs. When Brian tells Lois, Stewie Says from the stairs- "Ha ha Bitch, you got jacked bitch." Hilarious.

I can't believe that this weekend is almost over and tomorrow is Monday. Ick. I dont WANT to go back to work!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Power Nap from Hell

Wow! Talk about a power nap! I fell asleep at about 5:15pm. I woke up at 8:45pm. I really didn't even feel that tired, just a little cranky and I didn't want to do any of the tasks at hand. I thought "Wouldn't a nap be nice?" SO i lay down just for a second and BAM I wake up and it is dark.

But you know, the recommendation is that a power nap last no longer than 20-30 minutes, because "Longer naps can make you groggy and tired." I assume that they mean that once you go past 30 minutes, if you don't let your body wake itself up (meaning sleep for that full 3 hours until you feel rested and wake up naturally) that when you wake up (unnaturally in an hour or so) you will be more cranky than before.

I agree that initially I am a bit cranky if not allowed to nap to my desired extent. But that doesn't mean I break off in nap time in 30 minutes. I had always believed that those people who can nap for just 30 minutes either ARE NOT TIRED enough to really NEED a nap, or they are those type of people who can sleep anywhere at anytime (husband) and are known to fall asleep in the car, in the chair, on a bus, airplane, etc... whenever they are sitting for a period of time longer than 1 hour, etc. I am NOT one of those people. I only sleep on trips in excess of 2-4 hours and sometimes not even then. Even as an avid taker of Dramamine to control motion sickness, I have stayed awake the whole time on a 4 hour flight.... Just because I am alert and can't sleep, despite trying.

So I started to look online for information about power napping, and discovered that anything beyond 30 minutes is not considered power napping. So what DO we call a 3 hour nap? I googled "really long nap" and found lots of information on paint rollers and a story about a dinosaur that died and was fossillized while sleeping. Yikes. So I know that if I sleep longer than 30 minutes I may become fossillized. Oh and in my searches I also founf out that NIN cancelled it's two upcoming concerts because their drummer Jerome is hospitalized with chest pains and an irregular heartbeat. Wow. Being a NIN Fan, I didn't even know that and was surprised. I checked the nin Website and found that he is better and the Monday show will go on as usual (Pheonix, Arizona.) All this over a "long nap."

Husband is Nice.

So today the husband is super nice. It's spinning from yesterday, (See black hole) which ended quite nicely considering. Last night I finally got the Disney scrapbook started and finished from our Disney trip in 2001 (behind much?) and I was very pleased to sit and scrapbook all night. Husband played some online PS2 game while I scrapbooked. I started around 7pm and finished at precisely 12:59am. Slept well. Today, I haven't done too much. I cleaned up my scrapbook mess, and sat in the scrapbook room and stared at all the other pictures I should be scrapbooking- Like will I ever be able to scrapbook wedding photos?

Right now I have Two VERY LARGE wedding albums. Between Bachelorette Spa Day/ 2 Bridal Showers/ Trip to Vancounver and Wedding, Honeymoon/and then reception. Ugh. Then opening gifts. Were talking hundreds of dollars to print those pictures (they are all digital) and I have them all in ablums and I am thinking Scrapbook? All of these? Ugh.

Dogs and I are just around home. Candles all lit, smelling like Pumpkin Pie, Apple Crisp, Hazelnut, and Mulled Cider around here, Combines driving by as people start to open up the end rows and consider harvesting. It's beautiful weather. I actually feel like taking a nap. It's 5:15 and I just took a nice hot bath. Slacker! Oh well, it is my weekend!

Enjoy yours!

Dear Printer's Box, Princeton, Illinois-

Please, for the love of god, restock your "tombo mono-adhesive" Permanent Bond Refills. Who in the scrapbooking community can continue to scrapbook without adhesive? What good is all this crap I buy from you if I can't stick it on a damn piece of paper. Adhesive should be TOP PRIORITY on your list of products to keep in stock. That removeable crap doesn't work, so get some of the permanent stuff on your shelves. I have been in your store 5 times in the last two months and you haven't had any in stock. Just an empty place where it goes. I feel frustrated, and betrayed. I don't want to have to drive to Michael's 45 minutes away for my refills. When you are finished with the refills, start working on your website. Thank you very much from an avid scrapbooker and supporter of your store. I am glad my voice is being heard.

Coonhound don't appreciate that ol' car

Well, It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It's so nice and sunny out, we have had the windows open for a few days now. Hadley (the handsome hound) has finally been able to forget about my neighbor's motor revving. Poor Gary, he's probably the best neighbor I have got and I think he's a great guy. He's got himself an old car over there that he is trying to get running and all day he's been alternately working on it and starting and revving the motor. I think he might be getting somewhere. What cracks me up is that Hadley is practically standing guard trying to get out there and bark at him. He's finally calmed down enough to lay down on the floor in that square of sunlight coming in through the window. I sure hope Gary gets it fixed soon.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Feel better now.

Well, I feel better now. Just vocalizing all that made me feel better. Just one of those overwhelming moments. Hopefully everything will work out.

Who the hell is Cindy Sheehan?

Who died and made her Queen of New Orleans? Not to mention that she is showing up on Michael Moore's Website- is there anyone out there who takes Michael Moore Seriously?

Let's face it, I am not a republican. I am not a George Bush fan. But everywhere GW goes, there must be a slimy trail behind him where the Michael Moore's and Cindy Sheenan's of the world have followed. Don't they have JOBS? How respected would I be if my job was to follow around the president of the United States and talk trash about him? No matter what the man does, those two are right behind him taking the exact opposite side as he does.

All I can say, is that if I enrolled in the Army or any military force, and I was killed in action, and my mother ran around TV and the whole USA blaming The president and claiming that I didn't fight for freedom, I think I would come back from the grave and kick her ass! Her son knew that if and when he re-enlisted he would be going to Iraq. And here she stands blaming GW himself. Ugh. I would honestly say that if my mom did that I would be ashamed of her. I don't know her from adam, but is it not entirely possible that her eagle scout, altar boy, son wanted to get away from her and go be a man? To fight for his country and what he believed in, and to work side by side with people who believed what he believed in? Is it possible that he was doing (for once) what he wanted, and not what his mommy wanted? He actually volunteered for the rescue mission in which he was killed. Does that sound like a man who didn't know or disagreed with what he was doing?

And now suddenly she is on Michael Moore's website telling us what supplies we can send to her in New Orleans? Why is this California woman in New Orleans? Trying to talk us out of putting troops in New Orleans to help evacuate people, control order, and get supplies out? Who does this woman think she is?

Just after her meeting with President Bush in June of 2004, she told a reporter President Bush was "...sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis...I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith." and then 1 year and 10 days later in an interview she described her meeting with President Bush as "one of the most disgusting experiences I ever had and it took me almost a year to even talk about it." She described President Bush as being "detached from humanity" and said that "his mouth kept moving, but there was nothing in his eyes or anything else about him that showed me he really cared or had any real compassion at all." WTF??? Contradict yourself much lady? Ugh. Publicity stunt or something?

Give it up and go home to California. Of course now that her husband has filed for divorce, I suppose she doesn't have much to go back to.

On 11 August 2005 Matt Drudge made public an email he had received from Sheehan's sister-in-law (and Casey's paternal aunt), Cherie Quartarolo, in which she was quoted as saying:
"We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son's good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect." Quartarolo signs the email "Casey Sheehan's grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins.

Linda Ryan, mother of Corporal Marc T. Ryan, a Marine who was killed in Ramadi, says of Sheehan: "She's going about this not realizing how many people she's hurting. When she refers to anyone killed in Iraq, she's referring to my son. She doesn't have anything to say about what happened to my son."

On August 15, 2005, Matt and Toni Matula, parents of Matthew Matula, a Texas Marine killed in Iraq, requested that the white cross representing their dead son as a victim of the war in Iraq be removed, stating that they did not wish their son's name to be part of an anti-war demonstration. Mr. Matula said: "It's fine for people to grieve their own way. It aggravates me to see them using other people's names to further their cause."

Natalie Healy, mother of Dan Healy, a Navy SEAL who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq, organized a rally on August 20, 2005 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in order to counteract Sheehan's message, stating: "We just want to let the fellas know that we’re supporting them and that we’re not going to wimp out on them."

Gary Qualls, whose son, Marine Corporal Louis Wayne Qualls, died in Iraq, started what was dubbed "Fort Qualls" in Crawford, Texas to counter the "Camp Casey" protests. Qualls has repeatedly removed the white cross bearing his son's name from the Arlington West display set up by "Camp Casey."

Is this Black Hole Sucking me In?

Today is one of those days. You know that feeling that you get when someone you loved dearly leaves, or your dog is missing, or someone you love breaks up with you? That heartbroken, nauseous, weight in your stomach, don't want to talk about it, Can't help but be on the verge of tears every single second- feeling? I have it. My husband has made me incredibly incredibly angry, sad, disappointed and desperate. We have been together 9 years, but after just one short month of marraige he has succeeded in letting me down and making me feel this way. Do I blame him? Yes. Is some of it my fault? Probably. Why did I wait 9 years to decide that this thing needs to change? Why didn't I stop this way back in the beginning?

So why blog about it? Why put it out there for everyone to see and read? Why not pretend like you feel fine, pick yourself up, go one with your day. You know, eat your lunch even though you are so nauseous, answer your phone happily even though you want to cry. Well, because I feel that all to often, people candy coat things. They pretend like nothing unhappy ever goes on. They look for the best in every situation. They lead young people like us to believe that there is no downside, no sadness in love and marraige. They are so wrong.

Having been in the same relationship for 9 years, I feel that I am able to comment that things are not always perfect, and that there is no worse feeling than having to put your foot down. There is nothing worse than telling someone politely or angrily 500 thousand times how you feel about something and having them do the same thing to you over and over again, 499 thousand more times, and then suddenly realizing that you really can't take this anymore, that you deserve better, and that you have to put a stop to it because the other person won't. If you let it go on, it will keep going on. That's the bottom line.

It's the harsh realization, that no matter what people promise or vow, no one else will ever take care of you like you will take care of you. It's unnerving. It's maddening. It makes you feel helpless, and like you are the bad guy. Like "if you could just deal with this and not let it bother you, it would be fine." It makes you feel like you have no control over what will happen to you and like you will have to ruin your entire life, that you have worked SO HARD for, in order to build it back up again. It makes me wonder, why would you ever put someone that you love through this feeling? Is it because you don't understand the severity of the problem? Is it because you are selfish? Is it because you are oblivious to the pain of others?

Or is it because you have had everything handed to you and have never HAD that feeling. You have never had it and dealt with it and done everything you can to go back to how you felt before it, and then had to live with it until the dull in your stomach just lessened and lessened and until you can just look back and remember what it USED to feel like? And usualy it is all over something that (from my end at least) looks to be so trivial. Something that is nothing in the face of losing someone that you love dearly, someone that you feel you NEED to survive.

But what else can you do.

I am at that place so often referred to as "My wit's end." I get so frustrated being the responsible one. But in order to get out of this cycle, do I have to bow out? Do I have to lose my material posessions, to move to a new location, to be penniless and without someone that I love? Do I need to reinvent myself? Do I need to live in someone else's home and abandon my own? Do I need to worry about where my dogs will sleep and where will they do while I am at work? Where will I sleep? What will I do about all the bills that are in our name, about the checking account? How will I pay for the things that I am responsible for?

I start to think that the only way to make someone else realize how this feeling feels, is to give them this feeling right back. But that can't be right? Surely if you love someone you don't want them to feel this way? Surely there must be a better way. I more noble and right way to handle it. A better way to get them to understand how you feel than making yourself feel worse and giving them the exact same feeling?

Does anyone know of a better way?

I visualize a black hole. One that you fight and fight not to get close to, and then you realize as you get closer and closer that all this fighting has got you worn out, and you aren't even feeling like yourself anymore, and that maybe if you would just let go and let it pull you in, and slip through it.... and then as you start to get sucked in you panic again and your fear is the worst feeling. What am I doing?! Isn't it better to pretend like it doesn't bother you and fight it out than lose everything? You go through pain, not physical pain so much as emotional pain. Watching everything that you loved just slipping away, and not knowing what is on the other side, and then when you get through, and you are on the other side, you look at your hands, your feet- you touch your face and you realize that it's all still there. You made it. You are through the worst, but here you are on the other side, that looks similar to where you were, but you have lost the people you love, and that you have nothing. No possessions. But you are still kicking. And then you are overwhelmed with the feeling of where to start, what to do, and how can you possibly do it with that dull ache that you have in your stomach. You never realized that it is possible to have your heart in your stomach.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Be prepared... Umbrellaminder

I Have two umbrellas. About 4 or 5 years ago I bought an Eeyore Umbrella at the Disney Store. A Classic Umbrella, blue, printed with many small gloomy looking eeyores and rainy clouds above his head. I love it. I have loved that Umbrella to death. It has some bent wires and such, so it is in okay shape, but I decided to purchase another. I really wanted one of those MINI umbrellas that are like 2" x 6" so that I could put one in my purse. Well I ended up buying a pink and white breast cancer one, and I love it because it has a breathable mesh bag to cover it, and the bag has a wrist strap AND shoulder straps so I can just sling it over my shoulder with my purse- convenient and hands free. It also has the "auto open" feature that is so cool, it makes you feel like a super hero. So today, I plan it all out. I watch the weather at home. 30% chance of showers and a slight chance of a scattered thundershower. I dress accordingly, I apply my umbrella to my shoulder. I take it to work. I hang it on the doorknob of my office. At lunch, I leave without it, and it rains all over me the whole lunch hour and I Have to walk to 15.7 miles to my car in the parking lot, and back, in the rain. Fabulous. Way to "be prepared"

Fill a Scratchy Throat with Peanut Butter, burn the jar.

My throat is scratchy today! The weather has been changing, much cooler air, which is fabulous, but my allergies instantly started responding, when I haven't had problems all year. I took my claritin, and my nose stopped being stuffy, instead it's just constantly draining down the back of my throat. Yum. SO this morning I thought maybe some peanut butter on a whole wheat english muffin would help. In my mind, I visualized that the peanut butter would just stick there and fill in the scratches, making a smooth and soothed throat. Didn't work. Oh well, it sounded good in theory.

Last night I was just able to be home, which was so nice. Especially after running all weekend, and then again on Monday and Tuesday. I cleaned in the kitchen, and took down the curtains because I plan on washing them again.

Someone was burning some seriously offensive garbage (not the carboard and paper we are allowed to burn) and it must have smoldered all night, because from 10pm until this morning when I left it smelled like something icky burning, and we had the windows open. Evan said it was giving him a headache, I think it probably contributed to my sore throat, like I slept with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. Think like Marge's sisters on The Simpsons. Patty and Selma. Although Patty is the lesbian (even though there was that tango with Principal Skinner.) I guess I never really thought about it, but the woman who does Marge's voice also does the voices of both sisters. She is good- eh?

Did you know there is a site called Interesting. Dioxin, Clean Burns, etc. Who would have known. There is a site for everything. Bless the person who woke up and said "Today, I will build a website about burn barrels!" Something for thought "Open burning of household waste in barrels is potentially one of the largest sources of airborne dioxin and furan emissions in the United States"-US EPA Hmm. Well I know that we are only supposed to burn things like cardboard, wood, and paper. Not plastic and other household waste. Which we do, but not all our neighbors do apparently. Although one time a while back, I decided to burn an old dog bed, not realizing how toxic is was (inside) until I got it burning and all this black smoke came choking out of the barrell and I was like NO! @$&*($( But it was too late. So I learned my lesson. Maybe that person last night learned their lesson. Or maybe not because all the chemicals blew straight into my lungs and they didn't even smell it. "When plastic refuse or paper is burned in burn barrels, dioxin, a toxic by-product, is released into the air. Burn barrels often emit acid vapors, carcinogenic tars and "heavy metals" such as lead, cadmium and chromium, as well as unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide." So basically burning could be cauising cancer. I was born on a farm, we burned everything we could. Or we used to. But I can see how it isn't good. I will remember this next time I am choking down cancer causing agents whilst burning cardboard in my burn barrel.

Remodeling Update

How can one NOT be desperately in love with Pottery Barn Kids? It hurts me!
Since we remodeled the spare bedroom, we went ahead and painted it like a nursery, and I chose a crisp, pale apple green for the bottom 3/4 of the room, and a pretty yellow for the top 1/4, and then blue ceilings. We painted white clouds on the ceiling and put up a white ceiling fan with lights, but kept the original woorwork around the windows and the doors, and the baseboards. Then we added a yellow chair rail about 3/4 of the way up. It's great. I love that room. Right now it is my "closet" as they work on gutting our bedroom. I found an old Pottery Barn Kids pattern, "blue dog" that I just LOVE and I have been gathering items from eBay. Of course, they aren't cheap, but I am getting them gently used for a FRACTION of the original price, which is my game. Right now I have:

  • 2 crib bumpers
  • crib/toddler bed quilt
  • puppy dog mobile
  • crib ruffle
  • bassinett sheets (6)
  • crib sheets (2)
  • receiving blankets, clothes, shoes, socks, bibs
  • Stuffed puppies Like Gund's Spunky puppy, and several Boyd's Bears Dogs with long soft fur and big floppy ears.
  • Rollover Rover Duvet Cover for the twin bed that we will leave in the room
  • White Wall Shelf that holds white baskets with blue and white liners
  • White baskets with blue liners for the rest of the room
  • White photo frame/stork photo frame
  • Apple green roman shades (too cool!)
  • White wall letters that spell "HUSH"
  • and a white lamp base with yellow shade

So the room will be so neat when I finish it! And the office and scrapbook room have been combined into one room. The room is painted an eggshell white and all the woodwork was left original. We installed recessed lighting in the ceilings over the computer desk and scrapbook table areas. I have moved just about everything back into there and have gotten the red roman shades installed and have the words "avant'garde" in red to install above the windows. The room is red, pink, orange, and yellow and is decorated with coordinating shasta daisies. The scrapbook furniture is white and the computer desk matches the newly finished wood floors, so it ites together fairly well. The desk accessories and scrapbook storage accessories are satin silver mesh.

We are moved into those rooms, although not everything has a permanent home just yet. Our bedroom has just begun, the trim is down and the furniture is moved out- our bedroom is in the living room (interesting) except my closet and dressig table are in the future "baby room" for now. So things are still awfully up in the air, but we have been doing this for 2 months, so I think that at this point "normal" would feel strange. Who would have thought that you would remodel your house and plan a wedding/vacation/reception at the same time?

To check out the remodeling pictures:
July Remodeling Photos
August Remodeling Photos

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sandman Comes... Sit's Upon Your Nose...

Sprinkles sand in your eyes. I don't see that sand in your eyes is soothing. But I am awfully sleepy. It's Jay Leno on TV but I have it turned down so all I can hear is muffled laughter of the crowd. I got the checkbooks balanced and all the bills written out for Friday, I always dread doing that. There are just weeks when there isn't QUITE enough cash to pay everything that is due. Ick. I have all the candles in the house lit, and it is nice to have opened the place up today since it has cooled off considerably. There is a nice cool breeze outside. Only bad thing- all the neighbors opened up their windows too, and the dogs can hear everything going on and feel like they need to bark at every little noise. And after 10pm they get all onry and want to go outside and bark at things, and they can't because it's late and everyone is sleeping, and if you leave them in then they bark because they want to be outside, but the windows are open so the neighbors can still hear them, and then they can hear me yelling at them to shut up. It's neverending. That's why we leave the windows closed most of the time. Our living room is on the same side as their bedrooms, and we stay up late. So if the TV is one I feel like we are disturbing them or whatever. Oh well. What can you do? We lived here first anyway.

Hug a Crabby Stranger Day

Today, September 14th, is "Hug a Crabby Stranger Day." Seriously. I can't think of a single crabby stranger that I would like to hug. Ewww... germs. I also saw that it is "Eat a Hoagie Day." Well, I can handle that. Now to just convince the husband. Actually I had a subway sub yesterday and a turkey sandwich for lunch. Do I really NEED to eat another sandwich?

Pet Peeves of the Day

1. People who cannot bag groceries.
My theory: I know that maybe bagging groceries does not fulfill your lifetime of desires. But I, as a busy woman, am trying to get groceries on my lunch, before a meeting, on my way to work, anything to fit the task in. I generally go home and unload and put them all away by myself. I don't enjoy getting groceries any more than you enjoy bagging them. Yet I still find the time and courtesy to strategically line them up on the belt so that they are situated JUST SO. Hoping that this flow will continue right into the grocery bags. Cold Items together, Freezer items together, cans together, jars together, boxed items together, bread, chips, and eggs at the end. Heavy items like laundry detergent, bottled water, and milk at the beginning. Yet you go and do something like package my fragile fresh kiwi with cans of vegetables and jars of olives. (today) And the occasionally bizarre combination like Raw chicken in the same bag as raw hamburger and raw fish, and then the even more bizarre combination of ice cream with deoderant, or rice a roni with toilet paper, or stranger still... tampons with dog treats. Whatever. I have learned that you never EVER put a bag of non-perishable items aside to be dealt with later. Like if I bought craft ribbons at wal-mart and put the bag into my craft room, and then went back 2 days later to melted cheese and ribbons. It's just one of those things. And if you EVER get home and think "didn't I buy milk?" go check your car immediately, not two days later when the backseat smells funny. I always tie bags shut before leaving the store, because more often than not I have lost a can of green beans in the parking lot, or after my nascar trip home, had to climb into the trunk and crawl into the back to retreive things that rolled all over in there (I have a big trunk in my car, you can't reach it from outside.)

2. Falling Sequins.
This is the year of beads and sequins. On flip flops, purses, dresses, skirts, shirts.... the indian/bohemian look is in. I Have LOTS of beaded and sequined things to wear... all of the above, and also an adorable layered nightgown. If I forget and actually SLEEP in it, I wake up in a bed full of loose beads. What do you expect I guess. But as I sit here looking at my purse across the room, I see sequins sagging. It bothers me. I guess for the cheap prices I pay for my clothes, I might as well just realize that they aren't going to last forever. But still- falling sequins and beads make me incredibly sad.

3. Dry Clean Only Items
Not that I wish evil on dry cleaners, it's just frustrating to try something on that is so cute and then you look at the tag (if you are smart) and read "dry clean only." then you realize (if you have my mentality) that it is cheaper to purchase a whole new outfit instead of clean the one professionally. Plus, who has time to run to the dry cleaner all the time? I am pretty proud of myself for making it to the dry cleaner on Tuesday morning at 7:30 am when I usually don't even get UP until 8am. I once bought a pair of black pants for work, and the next day I took them back because I hadn't known they were dry clean only. And I mean, I have dryel for those fabulous items that I clean myself, but I don't even have time to finish my regular laundry, let alone get to laundry with special needs and desires. Ugh. Plus, it costs more to dry clean a leather or suede coat than it does to purchase a new one. Seriously. Especially with the low cost of leather jackets in discount stores. And a down comforter or featherbed? Just buy a new one. Did you know they have to remove all the feathers and clean them and then replace them all? It is WAYYYYY Expensive.

The Media Loves Traditional...

This morning I woke up with ideas to blog today. Now- they have disapparated (HP Word) and I can't get them back! What a shame!

Everyone has been seeing our wedding announcements in the papers and so for about a week that has been the start of about 70% of conversations I have had. Plus I have lots of copies. It's interesting, the Prairie Review is the only one who printed our photo uncropped and who printed our article unrearranged and uncut. The Bureau County Republican took what was once a really cool mini-cooper photo of us, and cropped most of the photo out to concentrate on our pumpkin heads, because that is "tradition" and of course they had to rearrange my article, to put the "bride" first, and instead of calling me by name as I had in my article, they replaced almost every instance of "Meagan" with "the bride" and every instance of Evan with "the groom." aw how traditional. I hate it. I almost don't want to link to their site because of it. And then they had to twist it around to make it sound like we got married and then honeymooned for 10 days, when really we were in Vancouver for 5 days, then got married, then honeymooned for 5 more days. But they needed it to sound traditional, so they put in that we got married and then spent 10 days afterwards honeymooning. Whatever. Very frustrating. But most people won't even know. Of course not. They probably wanted to crop me out because I wasn't wearing a "wedding dress" in their most traditional sense of the word. Fabulously, the Prarie Review printed a nice big photo that didn't crop out the beautiful surroundings. And people are constantly commenting on how much they enjoyed a "different picture." Good for the Prairie Review. Three Cheers! No hesitation in linking to the Prairie Review's website, as theirs just blows the BCR out of the water.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Viggo Everywhere

Does this happen to anyone else? This sort of thing happens to me all the time. Example: Viggo Mortensen. Never heard of the man. Not even once noticed him nor paid attention to him.

Let me start at the long beginning. I love Italy. Tuscany to be exact. wanted to get married there but it was WAY expensive. Vow to go there someday. Love wine. Love baking my own bread and making my own tortelini. In response to my love of Tuscany, My dining room is decorated in this way, with grapes and wine corks and other italian inspired. I watch Under the Tuscan Sun so many times. I am currently reading A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena DeBlasi, and have already been staring at A Thousand Days in Tuscany (also by DeBlasi) Which I intend to read next. So I have found this love of Diane Lane, and how she is such a wonderful actor and I feel that I can connect to her so well, like she is so REAL. And I happen to run across a movie on cable, starring Diane Lane- A Walk on the Moon, and intrigued by her, and life in the 1950's and 1960's, I stay tuned... to find her having an affair with Viggo's character, the blouse man. His character interests me. I am a hippy at heart I believe, my mom always said born in the wrong era. So I watch. I take note of Viggo's name. Two days later, Viggo shows up in A Perfect Murder with Gweneth Paltrow as her "affair"- I think to myself- He must be the "go to guy" for movie affairs. Then just a day later he comes up in a conversation with a friend and we mention his marraige to who I am told was Cindy Lauper (although that has been disputed by my husband and I have yet to investigate) and I am SHOCKED that I could have gone so long without hearing his name or noticing him, as in 1 week he just appears EVERYWHERE! I find he was in Lord of the Rings and I never really noticed him. Then I find out he was in 28 Days with Sandra Bullock, and I never really knew his name- but I have the DVD! Wild. Then tonight as I click on my customary NEXT BLOG link I find him again, in photo form.

So this happens to me from time to time, with someone or something that I have never noted even once before, and in like a week's time they are everywhere. Anyone else with this phenomenon in their lives?

Update: Research shows Viggo is also a jazz musician and has already released 3 CD's. Speaks fluent English, Spanish and Danish, but he also speaks Swedish and Norwegian reasonably well. He was married for about 1 year (although they did not seperate for 5 yeras) to Exene Cervenka, the singer of the punk band "X", and they have a son Henry, who was also in Lord of the Rings. He owns a publishing company and has had a book of poetry published. He is a photographer, and his photos have been displayed in an exhibit in NYC. Grew up in Argentina. Is a Danish Citizen. He purchased the horses that he rode in the Lord of the Rings Triology and also in Hidalgo, as he is a horseman in his spare time.
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You know, usually....

before I log off of my blog to move on with my life, I always go to "next blog" a few times to see what else is out there. I always get a few interesting people. Those who I call real people, and sometimes REAL interesting people. They have something to say, even about the little nothings of everyday life. And then I run across these STUPID people that blog and I am just thinking WHO reads this? And I am answered when I read their comments and find that there are none. Or that all their blogs are like droning on about the same exact topic. I guess that in the end, all that I want is to not be one of THEM. The boring repetitive annoying blog population. Those who have nothing remotely interesting to say and I am so glad that I am not stuck somewhere with them. But hey, even if I am one of THEM, and I don't know it, and even if you TELL me I am, I probably still won't stop. Oh the irony.

Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo More Blabber for You...

Bored. You know that feeling where you have 100 thousand things you could be doing but you are stuck in a situation or place that stops you from doing them? That is like the feeling I have every single day of my life. Have you ever seen that Adult ADHD commercial? The one with the woman who is sitting at work, in the boardroom, and they show what is going on in her head? It flashes through like the laundry, the dishes, the kids, the dog, what she has going on tonight, this weekend, next month. The grocery list, etc etc. Her boss calls her name and asks her a question and she was spacing. Then this "special smart announcer man" says something like "Is this what your day is like" and I think to myself... what the hell? Isn't this what every working woman's life is like? Don't we all have 50 thousand things on our minds at once, and we can't get any of them done because we are stuck in some MEETING? Hello? I thought that was how every woman is- that doesn't mean I have ADHD?!?! It means I am one of those women who has to remember everything for everyone else, has something going on every night, does laundry, dishes, cleans, organizes. It's not easy being Cheesy!

I am lying in bed watching some cheap home improvement show where the woman with an english accent is making them paint all their woodwork. It sickens me. Sure it looks nice, but so does the woodwork, and I can't believe that they are painting it all. Ugh. I have a passion for conserving woodwork.

Tonight we took the dogs to the vet. They got Kennel Cough Nasal "boosters" that work like a vaccination without the needle. Preventative. Then we got them Heartworm pills and advantage flea/tick treatment, and Annual Exams with DPC vaccines. And we put Boyd on Hydroxyzine and Theo-Dur, one as an anti-histimine for allergies, and another for relaxing his throat area, which appears to be irritated (perhaps from drainage) and this might help with his "reverse cough attacks" that seem to have increased with his allergies. Hopefully. Otherwise they have recommended a "nose scope" to check for infection or foreign objects in the nasal passages. Oy.

Then I flew to Sheffield for a cardmaking get together, which was fun. Then to Mineral to put Photos in my wedding album which Liz is posessing at this moment, then home to let the dogs in. They are all sleepy. I gave them each a heartworm tablet (note to self, 13th of every month now) and gave Boyd the first of his new medicines. And of course I made a chart where we can mark off when we give it to him, so that Evan and I don't OD him accidentally between the two of us with miscommunication. Now I am so pooped, and it's after 11pm, and I was up at 6:30 today (thanks husband) and then at the Dry cleaners at 7:30 to drop off curtains, and at work and clocked in by 7:40. Ahhhh.... Tired. So enough blogging and off to bed.

New and Updated Pages

I have been doing alot of updating on the site recently, trying to slowly get all these pictures that I have been putting off.

I Have just updated the following pages and content on my website...

Coming Soon:

  • Vancouver Honeymoon Photos (by the hundreds- will probably need to buy more web space for these) August 5th-14th
  • Reception Photos from Shallowbrook Farm August 19th & 20th
  • Home Improvement Pictures (July-September 2005)

Manlius High School

A website for the "deactivated high schools of Illinois," Illinois Glory Days Website is run out of Chicago Illinois, and chronicles the timelines, photographs, academic and sports accomplishments of such local school districts as Manlius (where I attended until 1995), Buda/Sheffield/Western (where hubby attended until 1995), and other schools like Walnut, Wyanet (where we live now), Mineral, Neponset, Bradford, etc.

This is a great nostaglic site to visit, their listing of Illinois High Schools is Extensive, and they accept information submissions and photographs.

Check it out in your spare time!

Macomb Balloon Rally 2005

We spent this past weekend (Sept 9th-11th) in Macomb visiting Evan's brother Kyle (my Brother-In-Law) and we had a great time. When we arrived on Friday evening, the balloons were just leaving campus, launching into the air. It was the 2005 Macomb Balloon Rally, just starting. Please view our balloon rally photos and a video clip of the night glow HERE. I was pretty excited. I had seen the balloons taking off from the field there once before.

Evan and I, and Kyle and Rebecca went out to eat at Vitale's Friday night, and the next day we shopped the square. I found some new neat stores that I had never been in. Then they took to to Colchester to the Scrapbook Nook, which is BY FAR the best scrapbook store I have ever been in. I met Peggy and it was such a GREAT Place! I will definately go back!

That afternoon Evan's parents arrived and we went to the field to watch the balloons come in. They all launch at the same time, but from different locations. The goal is for them to drop their "marker" onto the giant X they have mowed into the grass at the field, and then to land on the field with the other balloons. So they have to strategically pick their launch site, using the weather as a factor, in order to "land" at the appropriate spot. This showcases their ballooning skills. They were fabulous, there were something like 35 total balloons. Then after they all land and tether, we got to walk amongst them. Once it got dark, they had a "balloon glow" for about an hour, where all the balloons use their propane to simultaneously light up the balloons. I took loads of pictures (hopefully to be online soon) and some really cool videos. The videos really captured the essence of the balloon glow. Very cool and totally worth the time.

That night we met Evan's cousin Amy, and her husband Mike and Son Zachary- and we ate at Rocky's. The next day (Sunday) I went shopping with Susan and then boys went golfing, and then we all met and Amy and Mike's for a cookout. It was great. Amy is so much like me, and her house is so neat! She has great taste! I got a belated wedding gift from her, an ivory Longaberger sauce pitcher, which I am totally excited about. Then Sunday night I drove home while Evan stayed in Macomb with his parents to golf in an outing on Monday. Kyle was supposed to take photos of that for me, so hopefully soon.

Wedding, Vancouver Vacation, and Day of the Dogs!

Today I am testing out my New Blog, and in addition to my new blog, I am testing out the word blogger, an add-on for word that allows you to blog and publish right from word. Hmmm… Wonder how I will like it?

Today is the day of the dogs! Our dogs Boyd and Hadley have vet appointments this evening at 4:30. Shots, flea/tick treatment, check-ups. Should be interesting. I also need to wash their beds, clean their kennel, and wash their OUTSIDE beds, but I don’t think that will happen tonight seeing as how I am due at Carol’s house at 6:30pm for a Close to My Heart Demonstration. I am excited about that, but I also think I need to go pickup Anya (bedrest) and take her, so I hope it doesn’t take too long at the vet. We recently moved over to the Animal Care Clinic.

Although the Prices are much higher than at Bureau Valley Veterinary, I feel that the care and concern for the dogs, and the actual treatment is much better. I also found that the receptionist at Bureau Valley wasn’t very polite, she almost never smiled. This for some reason really bugged me. At the Animal Care Clinic, I am always greeted with a smile, and conversation. It’s feels like a more positive environment. I was also very pleased when Boyd was not feeling well, from the calcification he has in his spine, he was lame in the back end, and the Vet Tech picked Boyd up and put him on the table. She also soothed and petted him during all his checkup. At Bureau Valley, I get my work clothes covered in dog hair from picking up, holding, and soothing my own dog, and the vet techs are usually nowhere to be found. I was very surprised when the Animal Care Tech (Ms. Mansnerus) said “Let me do that for you, it’s my job.” It’s worth the extra price I pay. Dr. Mark Maxwell is also very helpful and explains his thoughts, the course of treatment, the possibilities, and the cost involved.

Oh did I mention we did get married? Ha ha. The blog sort of halted on June 29th, and then on August 5th we left for Vancouver. We got married on August 9th by Karen Ell on the rocky beach just below “lookout point” in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. We were just around the corner from Third Beach. Our Photographers were Chris and Lynn Jaksa and they were wonderful people, lots of fun, and took fabulous photos. It was worth every dime and now we have all the photos on CD so we can make prints as we desire. I can also post them on the site for you all to see! Yeah! We also took some of our own photos in the Parks’ Rose Garden.

We spent 10 days in Vancouver. We visited:

We have SOOO many pictures, it is mind boggling. Soon to be shared here. Too bad I couldn’t BLOG during that time, but things were hectic!

Our reception was on August 19th at Shallowbrook Farm in Bradford, and we had a wonderful time, although it was ungodly hot and humid. And then, back to work!

Just Because...

Okay, the numbering is all messed up on this, like there are numbers missing and it gets to 69 and then starts over at 1 again. I don't know. I just am filling it out and don't feel like taking the time to renumber the bleeping thing.

1. Spell your first name backwards: nagaem

2. Story behind your name: Not really one. My dad wanted to name me Roxy. Mom won. Otherwise I would be Roxy Rodgers.

3. How old are you: 26. 27 in 2 months.

4. Where do you live: Wyanet, Illinois USA

5. Wallet - Black. Roots Canada Leather. Many Many pockets, holds two checkbooks.

6. Hairbrush - old and black and silver. coated in hairspray. I really need a new one.

7. Toothbrush - green and white- Oral B.

8. Jewelry worn daily - Wedding ring. Usually some earrings. Occasionally a necklace and if I am not at work and it is summer, a toe ring.

9. Pillow cover - lavendar.

10. Sunglasses - brown tortoise or green with rhinestones (Big frames like celebs)

11. Favorite shirt - sweatshirt. Roots Canada Hoodie.

12. Cologne/Perfume - I usually have three or four. Victoria's Secret Pink. Burberry for Women. Abercrombie Women. and Pink Martini by Good Scents Ltd.

13. CD in stereo right now -Gwen Stefani- Love Angel Music Baby (LAMB)

14. Piercings - 2 in each ear, hole where my nose was pierced when I was 17 (could that BE 10 years ago already?)

15. What you are wearing now - navy and white capris, white tennis shoes, mandatory socks, and navy blue shirt (work attire)

16. Wishing - for new furniture for the house and no debt!

17. Wanting - our house to get done soon and my dogs to live forever

18. What will you be doing for the remainder of the day - work

20. Person you wish you could see right now - Mom.

21. Some of your favorite movies - Dazed and Confused. Footloose.

22. Something you're looking forward to in the coming month? - Strut Your Mutt

23. The last thing you ate - Double Chocloate Dream Cookies last night at midnight as a snack.

24. Something that you are deathly afraid of - Well, it was flying, but now that I have flown twice, I would have to say I am afraid of my husband dying and afraid of deep water cuz I can't swim.

25. Do you like candles - Yes, especially Banana nut, Hazelnut, French Vanilla, Buttercream, Pumpkin, and Mulled Cider.

26. Do you like incense - not really anymore.

27. Do you like the taste of blood - uh- No.

28. Do you believe in love - yes

29. Do you believe in soul mates - yes

30. Do you believe in love at first sight - maybe

31. Do you believe in Heaven - Yes - because all dogs go there. I also believe in the rainbow bridge.

32. Do you believe in God - Yes but not the god that others want us to believe in.

33. What do you want done with your body when you die - donate my organs. But I would really have a hard time with someone walking around seeing out of my eyes, and I am struggling with that... so I may be selfish and keep them.

34. If you could have any animal for a pet, what would it be? - dog

35. What is the longest you've ever stayed up? - probably 24-30 hours. I need my beauty sleep.

36. Can you eat with chopsticks - not if I want to get full!

37. What's your favorite coin - I love that Canada has a $1 and $2 coin. I also love the new US Quarters with one for each state. Such a great idea.

38. What are some of your favorite candies - Peanut M&M's and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups or Reese Sticks.

39. What's something that you wish people would understand about you? - That I hate people who lie

40. What's something you wish you could understand better? - Physics and why men do not feel the need to help their wives with anything relating to home improvement, cleaning, and washing dishes and laundry. They are much more content to sit on their asses in front of the TV.

41. Who is someone that you really wish was still around? - Carrie. But I don't hold a grudge. I understand and it's okay. I just really miss her. I am very glad that she is happy where she is and I just need to make an effort to get to her as often as possible.


42. Who is/are your best friend/s? - Carrie and Angie

43. Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? - No but I have a husband.

44. Longest relationship? -9 years

45. How many actual relationships have you been in? - 2

46. How many people have you kissed? - 5 or 6

47. Are you shy around your crush? - I am never shy.

48. Still have feelings for anyone you've been in a past relationship? -Feelings of Hatred? Disgust? Resentment? Dislike? Certainly. But I would never change the fun times or the experiences I have had because they are part of what makes me who I am.

49. Do you know what it feels like to be in love? - yes.

50. Would you sacrifice your favorite possession for your best friends? - I don't have just one favorite.


51. Where is your favorite place to shop? - Online, mostly eBay

53. What is your favorite thing to wear? -pajamas

54. What is a must have accessory? -- iPod

55. How much is the most you've ever spent on a single item of clothing? - probably my prom dress for Evan's Junior Prom, which mom bought for like $200, or my Victoria's Secret grey wool peacoat that I have outgrown and is still in my closet like brand new- $200.00

56. Who is the least fashionable person you know? - Well, in Macomb last weekend I ran into a woman I didn't know. She was so so cute, lovely face and long straight hair. And she was wearing those horrific plastic garden clogs with straps on the back, that have holes in them. And they were PINK. Then she had on RED athletic pants and an ORANGE T-shirt. I felt terrible for her. But she was oblivious. It would have to be her.

57. Do you match your belt with your hair color? - Don't you mean "do your curtains match your drapes?"

58. How many pairs of shoes do you own? - around 50. And I just threw away 5 pair.

59. What is the worst trend you see today? - those stupid ballet flats. Why would you want your feet to look like pontoon boats?

60. Do you do drugs? - No

62. What kind of shampoo do you use? - Redken Color Care, Thanks to Kelly at Guys and Gals. Otherwise it would be Dove.

64. Who was the last person that you called? - Ummm... Evan last night. Although Cari B. called me today.

65. Where do you want to get married? - Beach and I already did it!

67. What would you change about yourself? - weight. I am gearing up for it. I need to eat better and excercise. Ugh.

68. What are essentials in your life? -In No Particular Order: Internet. Letter Opener. COLD Bottled water and NOT Aquafina cuz it tastes like worms. Probably Dasani water. My dogs. Evan. Food for my dogs. Food for Evan and Me. My mom, dad, and sister Liz. Food for my mom dad and sister. My car. My green Fish Pencil Cup. Hairspray. Toothpaste and Toothbrush.

69. Do you send out holiday cards each year? - Yes, but each year the approved list of recipients dwindles down because more and more people do not reciprocate.


1. Given someone a bath? my dogs and lots of kids I babysat

2. Bungee jumped? no way in hell.

4. Skinny dipped? yes

6. Cried when someone died? yes

7. Fallen for your best friend? No

8. Been rejected? I usually get what I want.

9. Rejected someone? Yes... and felt terrible about it. Still to this day.

10. Used someone? I am pretty self sufficient. I don't do that intentionally.

11. Been used? Yes.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Back Blog

In light of creating a new blog, I will copy all my "backposts" from my old blog and attempt to paste them here:

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005-Wednesday. It appears I have broken free from the Thursday Blog pattern. Fabulous. But only by 1 day! Well, Last week was hectic, Carrie's wedding was Saturday the 25th, and the week prior was filled with preparations. Her shower, then followed by endless spray tans, pedicure, manicure, dress alterations, etc. The wedding was very nice and you can see pictures of me looking like a giant compared to all other 5 foot tall 100-120 pound bridesmaids. Like a Cow in heels. Oh well. The camera adds 50 pounds, right? At least I look more in proportion next to Evan, and it will be just me and him in our wedding pictures. Same height. That way as long as there are no skinny people in the background, I will probably look okay. I keep meaning to get skinnier, but I have so much to do, like eat cheeseburgers and pizza and ice cream.

I am officially finishing up Pampered Chef. I made the decision, July 31st I am finished. This allows me to sell many supplies and try to recuperate the cost of what I dumped into the business. It also enables me to not have to pack up my kitchen 2-5 times per month and drag to and from a stranger's house. Of course I am exaggerating, it was fun, but now I am not having as much fun as I originally was, so I am done.

It's been hotter than a whore in church this week, especially with the humidity, around 95-100 every day, it was 99 on Sunday evening, when I went to the Quad Cities to spend some gift cards and exchange some clothes because apparently I HAD No jean shorts, and 1 pair of nike shorts, so I needed some cool weather clothes. It was such a desperate situation, I had to wear a sweater shopping! (kidding)

As I type this, I am eating a piece of delicious birthday cake that should probably gain me 5 pounds. Oy. Fat and happy.

Thursday, June 16th, 2005-Wow, this is becoming a Thursday Blog. Unintentionally of course. Today I went to work at 6am. 3 to 3.5 hours early, for no particular reason, except that Evan woke me up at 4:30 and then I had to go to the bathroom, Then my foot itched, and eventually, I was taking a shower and getting ready for work on 5 hours of sleep. Of course, when I got to Princeton even Casey's wasn't open yet. Wow. So I waited and then got gas and then got breakfast. It was SUPER quiet at work, I got the first parking spot, and it was all eerily empty. It was also incredibly freezing. And I don't mean "chilly" as in "Just meagan thinks it is cold" I mean absolutely freezing, like Meagan's huddles at her desk wearing a sweater and a blanket from her boss's office freezing. As in Meagan puts on spare socks from her LL Bean Boat tote bag and turns up the heat in the office. As in TOO COLD to sit on the toilet seat in the bathroom. I can already feel the downward slide as I progress into exhaustion and basically a big pile of worthless crap from lack of sleep and early rising.

Last night I picked up my car from Kevin Blanford at Auto Brite Detailing. WOW. My car looks better than the day I drove it off the lot- and that was about 4 years ago. Fabulous! Shiny! Waxed! Buffed! And the inside looks and smells so clean! Yippee! I feel like I just bought a new car. And the price was WAY right. So if you ever need a detail, call Kevin!

So I have half the scrapbook room moved, in anticipation of upcoming home improvements, consisting of converting plaster and lathe walls and floors to drywall and tearing up carpet to either finish the hardwood floors underneath or install laminate hardwood look floors, like Pergo or Armstrong. Tonight we evacuate the living room furniture. If I can stay awake that long.

Thursday, June 9th, 2005- It is not easy being opinionated. I constantly feel myself looking at things in the light of "The only reason THIS hasn't changed is because I haven't been given the chance to tell him/her/them my opinion!" I find at least one thing daily that makes me want to write a giant letter of debate that explains why something that is happening is WRONG!

Today, the topic is spawned by an article on MSN about how Identity theft is so rare in Europe. A big reason... Social Security Numbers are just that- SSN's! They aren't used as your identifier for every freaking thing under the sun! I HATE that when I call my insurance company, I can't give them my name and address, but I must give them my SSN! I refuse! It's MINE! Why is the insurance company giving out my SSN to every dumbass who answers the phone?? I DON'T WANT THEM TO HAVE IT! But if I need to give it to them so that they can match it, obviously they already have it! Give it back! May your company erase your mind like the Matrix and give back my SSN! I want a new one! It's too late! My security has been compromised, my identity stolen, my DNA Duplicated! I am In DANGER! I need to go into witness protection over my SSN!

It's like silly putty. I love silly putty, yet I fear what it could do to me. It's very substance compromises my safety. My DNA Is left all over it, my fingerprints... it's insane! Plumbers putty. Chewing gum. Cigarette Butts. Plastic Cups. I am NOT SAFE! If I could just remember, I would clean my keyboard and mouse after each use to eliminate the possibility of DNA Transfer and fingerprint residue. Just kidding.

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005- Wow. Talk about miles behind on the blog! Bad blogger! Well, that's life, and the beauty of being able to do whatever I please. This weekend is my bachelorette/spa Day and my shower at my mom's- AND Carrie will arrive home tonight! I am so excited! I can't wait to have lunch with her and Angela tomorrow! Tonight I will pick up my new Burberry eyeglasses, I got them from Lifetime Eyecare in Geneseo. They have a fabulous new office and the Dr. there is very polite and thorough. The girls are nice and the selection of designer frames is great. I can't wait to get my new glasses!

Wedding plans are moving right along, today we are 2 months and 1 week away from the actual wedding date. Exciting. Stressful. SO much more to do. So much more money to spend! I did get my dress for Carrie's wedding and It fits well, just needs one alteration. Mary will do the alterations for me. I should also mention here that there is a benefit/draw down in memory of Tracy Oaks (mary's daughter) on August 20th, the day AFTER our wedding reception. Tracy was diagnosed of cancer at the age of 32 and she passed away less than two months after being diagnosed. The benefit will be held at the Princeton Moose Lodge on the 20th and the funds will help cover medical and burial costs for Tracy's family.

Another thing to mention, check out and look for a group in your area, there is one in Bureau County and I have already given away some curtains I didn't use anymore. There is always great stuff listed to give and take there.

Let's see, what else is new.... Went to the Memories Expo at Pheasant Run Conference Center and Resort in St. Charles on May 20th. Had a fab time with Cari, Lori, and Theresa... spent way too much money but had a BLAST doing it!

Closed out my month with PC, having $4165.78 in sales for the month of may, selling over 40 Help Whip Cancer Items, Raising $150 for a Relay for Life Team, and earning myself a $1000+ Paycheck along with a new stars and stripes tablecloth, and my HWC charm for my bracelet! Fabulous! What a great month! Also welcomed a new consultant to my team and promoted to Future Director again!

I need to call a DJ and order the cakes for sure. I also need to check on tables and get invitations out. I tried to print some Tuesday night and my printer made me feed each piece of paper through by hand. What a crock. So anyway, I need some more patience, some more time, more vacation, and more hands. Then all will be well.

Sunday, March 20th, 2005- Boyd had a seizure yesterday at about 7:20 am. He had just been outside and came in, he was sleeping between Evan and I. He started kicking at me. He was pushing against me and I told him to stop and he didn't listen (he always listens) and when I sat up to stop him he was thrashing all over and his entire body was rigid and his muscles were all tense. his front paws were out in front of him and he was kicking to the left and then to the right, fast and scary. His eyes were all blank, glazed, and bulging, they looked fake and I thought at first that he had gone blind and was panicking, it was like he wasn't even behind his eyes, and he certainly couldn't see us or respond to anything we did or said. He thrashed around for about 2 or 3 minutes. I thought he was having a heart attack, I thought he might be dying. It was very scary. Then I was pretty sure he was having a seizure, which also scared me.

When it was over, he sat up and looked at us, his regular eyes came back, and he was smiling and panting like he had been running for miles. Then he lay back down to go to sleep. It was freaky. Vet said that it is most likely epilepsy and asked me to write down and keep track of seizures. They can medicate if he has them repeatedly, like on a weekly, daily, monthly basis. But if he has them rarely, like once every 3 or six months, than they don't medicate because the side effects of the medicine are worse than the seizures. There is a possibility that it could be a brain tumor or brain bleed but she said that he appears healthy and he has no other signs of illness, so what it actually IS will be determined by if he has them again and how frequently. Then they can do blood tests, cat scans, etc etc to determine the cause. Scary. Very very scary. Luckily dogs can't swallow their tongues so they don't recommend you put your hands in their mouths as they may bite during a seizure, and sometimes they may bite their own tongues.

Got Evan's wedding ring on layaway and $100 paid on that, bought the paper, envelopes, sticker seals, and reply cards for our wedding invitations... $100 at Staples. Got my iPod shuffle! Yippee! I got the 1 Gig model (of COURSE) at Target for $149.99 and I have not been separated from it yet. It is by far one of the best investments I have ever made. It's fabulous. I love the shuffle feature! It's so great to not know what is next! I worked this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) and was at Mom's Saturday night for some "computer lessons" and installing their new all in one printer. They bought the HP PSC1311 All-In One. It is currently on sale for $78 at Wal-Mart and it is a nice, inexpensive all in one that will probably serve their purposes well.

Today I have a Close To My Heart Scrapbooking Party to attend from 2-4pm, and I can't WAIT! Anya will drive and she and Karen will meet at my house soon. I love to stamp and scrapbook. I need to get pictures of my spa day invites that we just finished, and put them on the site.

Wednesday, March 16th, 2005- Joined DSP (Digital Scrapbook Place) and Two Peas- designed myself a signature.

Monday, March 14th, 2005- Just another Manic Monday. I wish it were Sunday. Here we go again. Start Your Engines. Fasten Your Seatbelts. The exciting life of the girl who isn't allowed to use her on discretion when building her company's website. The girl who has a dog that refuses to be potty trained. The girl who thinks her dogs and her fiance have pink eye. The girl with laundry out the wazoo. The girl with heartburn and an old office chair. I need a full time maid. I need Amelia Bedelia. Who knows what made me think of Amelia Bedelia. She worked for Mr and Mrs Rogers (unfortunately no close relation to me) and she made a sponge cake by cutting up real sponges and putting them in the cake. They asked for a chicken dinner and she served them cracked corn (is that not a chicken's dinner?) Idioms.

Monday, March 7th, 2005- Today, I covet the Longaberger Large Picnic Basket with Sunny Days Striped Liner. Now I have never bought a piece of longaberger in my life. I have nothing against it, except maybe the price. There are things that I like and that I would like to have but I recoil when I see the prices. I did purchase an address basket for Anya's shower present, and Lisa and I went together on it. But I own no longaberger. I once owned the 2000 Noel Bell (given as a gift) but it wasn't my style. I didn't know what to do with it so I put it in the attic, and the next Christmas I sold it on eBay for close to $100. I have a longaberger place mat, that my fax machine sits on. Someone gave it to me. That's what I did with it. But suddenly, I see the Large Picnic basket. I wanted one so badly, and now they came out with the new Sunny days liner and the melamine dishes to match- I WILL Have that picnic basket. Piece by piece I will buy it. It will be mine. I will have fabulous potlucks, reunions, picnics, fishing trips. It will be mine.

This weekend we went to the 2nd Annual Pajama party at the Clover Club in Mark. We weren't in our pajamas, but others were. We didn't leave the bar until 3:45am and then we ate breakfast at the truck stop, so I slid into bed at 5:30am. Then I slept till 1:30 and took a shower, took the dogs for a walk (it was a record high of 73 degrees on Sunday) and we all went to mom's where the dogs played with Roxy (mom's chocolate lab)

Then I spent about 3 hours in Wal-mart. I got all my shopping done and then I realized that I hadn't gone back to print out my digital pictures- which are MUCH cheaper if you have them done 1 hour than if you use the kodak printer thing. So I had 155 reprints done and I had to wait another hour, so I killed more time in the baby aisles, the gardening area, toys, housewares, etc. I got some new pajamas and some herbs (seeds) that I planted last night for a kitchen herb garden. I am most excited about the chives! I watched the Oprah movie "Their Eyes were Watching God" with Halle Berry. That was really a good movie. Then I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, and vacuumed. Busy day! Got my taxes dropped off at the accountant on Saturday. Feel very productive! Also got 15 Spa Day invites ALMOST finished and handed out two of them.

Thursday, March 3rd, 2005- I am super "in-step" with the blog these days. Could it be Boredom? NOoooooo. It is Thursday. Evan went to Peoria and I have busied myself all day. "entertainment" that's me! Tonight I will do the dog kennels at Friends of Strays and then go to my home. Laundry and supper probably.

Well, that's all folks, who said it has to be long.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005- Hump Day. halfway there! I have lots I can do tonight but more than anything I just want to go to Ricky's and have a drink. Ugh. What a day! Made it through possibly the very best Princeton Computer User Group meeting, our guest speaker was Rob Rosenberger from

Got home from my meeting at 9:15 last night, brought the Evil Hadley in from outside (he peed on Boyd's bed right before lunch yesterday, sending Boyd into a torrent of anger and bewilderment. So he had to stay out in the kennel yesterday and today, and today a bigger comfier dog house arrived for him. I talked to my mom last night and finished book two of the sisterhood of the traveling pants series, which I HIGHLY Recommend. I will be mailing books one and two to Carrie soon so she can read them. I have to say that the Lena and Kostos thing really got to me, more than anything else in the books. Must be past experiences.

Today I had to wear a dress to work because I am out of pants. Oh the Irony of pants. I must read every book just before I find out it will be a movie. I swear, It's like a sixth sense thing, the irony. I must have good taste in books.

Monday, February 28th, 2005- Ahhh, Monday. Isn't it what we all look forward to? It has been an okay day. I had to go let the dogs out for lunch, which was okay too. I bought Hadley a personalized collar, a doghouse, and tags today. Thinking ahead I also ordered a new tag for Boyd and changed the owner from "Meagan Rodgers" to "Evan and Meagan Johnson." Last night I was up until 2:30 am. Working on pampered chef hostess packets. I got 2 for march done and got lots of printing done on the 2 for april and 2 for May. I called and booked all those shows last night. I have got to get back into the swing of things, even though I have preferred lately to become a slacker. I get so tired of being on the ball and wearing myself out.

I found out that I need to order more new catalogs, and I balanced my checkbook. Ick. I created a wedding expense category so I can see how much all this actually costs me. I purchased my potential "wedding" dress online. I paid my internet service bill and my car insurance bill. I fixed our networked printer that wasn't working properly. I was such the busy little bee.

Tomorrow is the PCUG Meeting and I have NOTHING done in our 8 page newsletter that I pull together. Luckily Dorene has sent me some filler articles so that I can maybe get that done tonight. I will go to the kennels tonight and that will be fun, I always enjoy it, like a way to unwind. It's such a great cause. Look at how lucky Hadley is - with a new home! He will be micro-chipped and fully adopted by the end of the week.

Saturday, February 26th, 2005- Relaxed. Finally. I won my professional housecleaning through my PC director, and it was done by All About Clean (Jerry and Michelle Newman) of Manlius. They did a FABULOUS job and I can't even begin to give them a good enough recommendation. Everything was done perfectly, cleaned and clean-smelling. It was one of the best gifts I have ever gotten, although Evan said that for Valentine's Day I get a professional massage somewhere. I need to pick a place I guess, I heard of a good one in Princeton in the Clark House.

So my house is clean. And Picked up. We got a new dog, Hadley the Hound, and we are loving him already. Boyd has to get used t sharing affection, but there is more than enough to go around. Hadley is aged at a year and a half, and was a resident of the new Friends of Strays Shelter until Thursday evening, February 24th. See pictures of Hadley on his page, Hadley the Hound. Potty training is in our future.

This was my weekend to work, and it is BEAUTIFUL outside. My dearest sister came to see me and brought me Subway for lunch, how sweet of her. I got a wedding scrapbook finally, I am very excited about that. It is blue and yellow daisies. Fabulous. There is a company in Iowa called Album Outfitters and they make linen albums- with removable covers that are dry cleanable. I am very pleased with the quality of this 3" postbound album, which cost me $24.00 plus $6 shipping. What a fabulous but! 3" postbound is VERY accommodating and should fit pictures of engagement, showers, spa day, wedding, honeymoon, and reception. I also have purchased cardstock, Background and Texture Paper, Eyelets, and ink in Dutch Blue and Sunny Yellow from my Close to My Heart Representative Michele Jorge-Trzcinski. AND I bought the "Whoops-A-Daisy" stamp Set to help with page decor!

Friday, February 18th, 2005- Somehow I am still behind. Last weekend Carrie and Angela were home. I hosted a Girl's Night Out Party and 26 guests showed up, it reached $1300 in sales and I got $140 in free merchandise and 2 half priced items. One girl was drunk when she got there and ended her night by falling flat on her face and then throwing up on herself, which was a little crazy. But we made it through. Got a little wild. Then on Saturday, Carrie, Angela, and I went shopping for dresses at David's in Davenport. I found three wedding dresses that I liked, but then decided this week that I really don't WANT a wedding dress that badly. We picked out bridesmaids dresses for Carrie's wedding and also got Morgan's flower girl dress and Carrie's Dress Fitting taken care of. We ate Lunch at Happy Joe's in Bettendorf.

That night we met Heather at Amici's in LaSalle/Peru. The food was fabulous, but the wait was NOT. We had 7:30pm reservations and we finally got seated at 9pm. We stood the entire time we waited and then once we did get seated, our main course did not arrive until 11pm. Luckily we were so glad to be together, we chatted so much that the time flew by, but it was a horrendous wait. The woman greeting guests was not polite and appeared incompetent. She first told us we didn't have a reservation, but as we had just called 10 minutes earlier and confirmed it, we knew that wasn't true. Once she found our reservation we stood crowded by the door with frustrated couples. The waitress Melinda was wonderful, and pleasant and polite. I felt bad for the wait staff because they should not have to deal with people so angry over double-booked reservations. The food was fabulous. I had bruchetta and minestrone followed by cheese and spinach ravioli in a cream sauce with a glass of Pino Grigio- and we split a chocolate dessert. It was good to be with the girls again!

This week I did my first volunteer and Friends of Strays and I am really excited about going back next week. It's definitely work but It's a good way to de-stress after work, and once you see those pooches who need you desperately, it's hard not to take every one home. I found a beagle/hound mix that is my favorite- I really want to bring him home!

I did get a check mailed for half down on the reception site and half down on the tent for the reception. I have a caterer picked and a cake person picked and all the guest list is all in a database that I built, now we just need to add addresses to the database. I have invitations designed but I am not happy with them. Need to revise some things I guess. I have one bridal shower scheduled and just need to work on getting my "spa day" scheduled.

Now that the weekend is here again, I face more tasks to complete. Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, February 7th, 2005- Ugh. Last weekend was icky. I was sick feeling and cranky. I tried everything I could think of to make myself feel better. I got my nails done. I got my hair cut. I got my diamond ring cleaned. We shopped for Evan's wedding ring. I made goulash (the ultimate comfort food) and homemade vegetable beef stew. I put clean sheets and blankets and a fresh quilt on our bed. I took 2-3 hour naps each day. I took bubble baths. I cleaned my office (that took an entire day) I organized my bulletin board. I got rid of two unwanted pieces of furniture. I bought 5 pair of new cute underwear. Nothing. Still cranky. Must be PMS or mounting frustrations from too much stuff going on. I have to say that Evan was most supportive of my crankiness. He stayed home today to clean the house. Tonight we will go get groceries. Tomorrow Carrie will be here and Friday Angela will be home. This should make for a nice week if I can just shake the crankiness.

Friday, February 4th, 2005- Valentine's Day is Upon us! I have been so busy this past week! We got Evan's laptop and I got it up and on the home network, I closed two Pampered Chef shows, had the Princeton Computer User Group, and also a Bio-Terrorism Meeting, and a conference call for Pampered Chef. And I worked every day, including last Saturday Ugh. SO GLAD this week is over. So we officially announced the date of the wedding reception and the dates we will be away from work. I officially ate too much fast food (I mostly tried cramming in grilled chicken) because I have eaten almost every meal in my car on my way somewhere and you can NOT eat a salad and drive. So although I had lost 9 pounds in the month of January, I think I gained2 pounds back this week (seriously.) Attended a "girl's only" party last Saturday and had a great time, the one I booked from Beth is scheduled Friday the 11th, right before Valentine's Day.

This weekend we are going to go shopping to pick out Evan's wedding ring. We also need to clean at home and get the office organized so I can do my business taxes. AND need to take down the Christmas Tree. That damn thing!

Boyd has become a latch-key beagle this week- poor pooch! The front porch is his daytime home. I also volunteered to do some dog care at the New Friends of Strays Shelter in Princeton. I am excited about that!

Evan's goal this week is to get down payments for the reception site and the reception tent. I am working on invitations. I had a really little card designed and now I am just trying to convert it to a much larger card that can handle all of our information. The less "inserts" the better. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 23rd, 2005- Burnt out. That's it. That's me. I have just been feeling ready to scream! I figured it out finally, I have worked 12 days straight. By the time I finish January I will have worked 20 days straight with 1 day off. Egads. This on top of working the Christmas and New Year's weekends. It's just too much. Every time I am going to work on the weekends, Evan says "again? Isn't there anyone else in your department?" Oh there is. The on the only time I have had off, I have been either wedding dress shopping (stress) or having P Chef parties (work) so I feel like I never have time to do anything, let alone time to do nothing. Yesterday, I was off work. I had a PC show but it got cancelled. I slept 14 hours straight, until 1:15pm and then I scrapbooked all afternoon and evening. I got seven pages made. It was so much fun, relaxing, and productive. Fabulous.

Now it's Sunday and I am "back to work" as usual. I am hosting a "girls night out" party on February 11th, and I am starting to find out that the girls all have other plans. UGH! I need badly to take down my Christmas Tree and Christmas Decorations, and put up Valentine's Decorations. Badly. I have this coming Friday off work so I can clean and take down decorations then. I am hoping that Evan is at home today doing a few things otherwise I may have to kill him (figuratively.)

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005- This is becoming like a weekly blog these days. I....must....not...get...behind! Last night I had a mental breakdown over wedding reception. Evan was very supportive and could tell I was stressing. We did an instant guest list cut. Everything was looking like $5000-$7000 to feed, house, seat, etc the 350 people on our guest list. So we cut the guest list almost in half. Hopefully no one will be offended but we narrowed it way down to close family and friends. That means 194 on the guest list and if 20% don't attend, that leaves us at about 150, which will cost us about HALF of what our original plan would have cost. So that meant that relatives beyond first cousins may have been cut, some of Evan's great aunts and uncles were cut, we did our best. Luckily my family is small. Evan did fabulously with calming my nerves. He has also been great at trip planning. The honeymoon is looking like a "best of the northwest" vacation with 4 days in Vancouver, 1 in Victoria, 1 in San Juan Islands, and 1 in Seattle. Train, plane, bus, and boat, all in one trip. I am getting excited although I am a little worried about flying. The rest of life is plugging along. Last Thursday I had lost 10 pounds since January 3rd, so that's 5 pounds in less than 2 weeks. This week has been stressful and I spent the weekend at work with our new IP Conversion so I ate whatever they brought me, which included pizza and chinese. Ugh. I didn't even WANT to eat it. I just want to eat cereal and yogurt mostly, with a banana and a turkey sandwich in there every once and a while. I have been averaging 1-2 yogurts a day. Yum. Like Ice cream but not.

Tuesday, January 11th, 2005- Wedding. Everything is wedding. wedding this wedding that. Ugh. It's exciting and stressful and tedious. I tried on dresses last weekend, and it was a nightmare. Nothing fit. Nothing looked good. Everything was either too big or too small. I was smooshed and squeezed and pushed and clipped and pinned into everything from tops and skirts to bona fide 75 pound glam dresses. I think I am steered clear of a "wedding dress." and will be going with the more "non-traditional" as they all said- skirt and top. We also toured Shallowbrook and it is, of course, exactly what I want. Mom even loved it. Dad is in total denial and refuses to offer more than $1000 total. Of course, I am sure I can pull off the whole reception, 350 people, for $5000. So at least $1000 makes a dent. There's just so much to consider. So that's what my brain is filled with these days. I picked the colors to decorate with and now I will be searching for a dress and booking things once we make our decisions.

We are getting our new servers at work this week, so I plan on working the weekend. I also have a Pampered Chef show this Friday and I Had one on Sunday afternoon that lasted THREE HOURS and I was there for FOUR HOURS. That's probably the longest one I have ever had. It was fun though, and the ladies were very nice.

Liz and Evan and I went out for supper last night and then hung out at our house. Liz and I picked out new shoes to buy for when we go to the Met. Mine are pink and although liz can't make up her mind, hers are currently purple. Identical models in different colors.

Evan's parents will be home from FLorida today, which is nice. I bet they had a great time. It snowed and sleeted and rained here, so I can't wait to see how tan they are and how much golfing they did. I will just save my antsyness for Vancouver In August.

Thursday, January 6th, 2005- Snow! Yep. Lots of it. Ice and Sleet and Snow. This morning our snowplower was very on the ball. I heard him plowing our drive at about 4:40am and I was AWAKE. I let the dog out. I ate cereal. I took a bath. Then I came to work at 6:15 when I usually work at 9am. I have a Bio-terrorism committee meeting at 2pm and then I am OUTTA HERE! I have no more clothes left to wear to work. None. I have to do the 54 loads of laundry that have been piling up.

Last night PG came over and I made supper. Chicken Fusilli Pasta Toss and cheese stuffed breadsticks. It was yummy. But today I just don't feel very well. I just hope to god it is not this stomach flu that is flying around here. I will remain as positive as possible that it is NOT that stomach flu- although Dorene has it as well and I worry about her. I ate a few slices of cheese and a banana and I feel better. It might be because I ate breakfast at 5am instead of 8am, so I feel kinda hungry but kinda icky.

I've Been feverishly working on a website at work. The one that we have now is icky and I didn't build it. I am working on building a new one. I got the index designed in Photoshop CS then sliced it and put it into dreamweaver. I have a tiny white space between the top and left frames that is driving me BONKERS and I can't get rid of it- argh! And I need some classes on connecting Websites to databases, I have the database built but don't know how to connect or query the database properly.

I can't wait to go home today and start some laundry and take a nap! Tonight I will have to be sure to do 2 miles. I neglected the past two days. I did lose 1/2 pound since Monday, that's 1/2 pound in 3 days, so it's not all bad, but others in the WLPC Weight Loss Challenge have lost 2 and one girl has lost NINE! Good Lord! I wish Evan would get on that membership to the Metro Center. I would like to go there.

Tuesday, January 4th, 2005!- HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I am slightly behind but I have been either busy or lazy. I have started my "lose 57 pounds by July" program. The goal is 10 pounds a month. Saturday and Sunday I did two miles (each day) with the Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds Express DVD. Monday (last night) i did strength training with the medicine ball, ankle weights, and resistance cords/tubing. I am TRYING to record everything I eat and weigh my progress each Thursday. I found an awesome excel spreadsheet with graphs that automatically calculates your BMI and percent body fat and tracks your pounds and measurements over a 13 week period. It then graphs your progress. Looks like we may be getting a membership for Evan and I to the Bureau County Metro Center. Baby steps.

Still trying to work with Shallowbrook Farms, although their initial pricing is above budget, we will see where we show up at once I discuss things with them. Bob seems extremely nice to work with. Mom and I have an appointment at Shallowbrook this Saturday morning to take the tour and then at David's Bridal in Peoria at noon to shop for wedding dresses. If we could JUST nail down a RECEPTION PLACE!

I just put up pictures from Christmas and New Year's today. To check them out, click on the Pictures Link to the Left. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 30th, 2004- the year is nearing a close. Today I want to talk about McDonalds. The world is right when you can use your credit card at the McDonalds Drive through! I will sleep so much better with that task completed- and with the big mac in my belly. I must be storing up food for the new year, when I will attempt to lose 55 pounds by July. But the reason for my concern: The french fries in the bottom of the bag. You know how it goes, a few fries always seem to fall into the bag. I always thought that it was annoying, but I did like that just when you thought the meal was all over, you can reach into that bag and find a morsel or two of residual fries. Delicious!

Now today, when I went fishing into the bag for the extra 2 (or maybe 5 if you are lucky) fries in the bottom, amidst the salty napkins, I was extremely surprised to find that NO FRIES had fallen! Oh my god! At first, Shock! Then disbelief! I double checked. I removed the napkins- NO FRIES! Then the pain, the anguish, the despair! The feeling of defeat! To know that I had eaten the last of my french fries without even KNOWING that they were the last of the french fries. I recalled tipping the fry carton up to let the last of the crunchy little fries slide into my mouth- and I never knew- that those were the last fries. I was devastated. I have come to the realization today that the "fallen fries" in the bottom of the bag are no mistake. They are no burden, no frustration. They are a blessing in disguise, and I hope that your new year is filled with those pesky fries in the bottom of the bag.

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004- Ahhh Yes, wedding brain. It's a fabulous thing. Today I added a new section about our house decor/colors. I had a co-worker who purchased a Christmas present for me and she commented on having a terrible time picking one out because she had no idea what colors our home was decorated with. I can understand that. I remember thinking in the past that I wanted to purchase a unique wedding gift for a friend and didn't know what color to choose. So hopefully this will help some guests and also give everyone a little "tour" of our home, and our tastes. Although if Evan was in charge we would have an all blue Christmas Tree and green glassware in the cupboards. Ahh, men.

Yesterday I had the morning off (from working Sunday) and I got my teeth cleaned and my hair cut. So of course I look smashing good now (lol.) Last night I cleaned our bedroom. We hung our new picture and I organized all of my drawers- socks, underwear, pajamas, exercise clothing. Whew what a job! I was exhausted!

It was really hot at work today! wow! The plumber came and fixed our toilet (thank the lord) and I finally got the mail after about a week of not getting it. Everything else is mostly normal.

Monday, December 27th, 2004- I would give anything to be at home today. I can't wait till this weekend, I vow that I will relax. I have plans only to snuggle up with Evan and do little or nothing if I can help it. Renting Movies sounds like fun. Of course, I have new year's eve (Friday) off work but I will have to come in and swap tapes at some point. Evan got me a new board game on Sunday called "Battle of the Sexes" and I got a 94 cent camera case for my new Kodak Easy Share Digital Camera. I just wanted a tiny one that would protect the camera in my purse, I have a larger one already to carry the camera and accessories in- like if I were going on vacation. I also used cash that I received at Christmas for a card for my camera. I decided on 256, Evan wanted to buy a 512 but that would hold like 600 pictures, which I did not need, 300 pictures is plenty, especially with my having a "card reader on every corner" and a laptop that I don't like to leave home without. (I use the PCI Card slot to read camera cards as I have all the adapters that came with my Epson photo printer, which also reads PCI Cards.

So I got lots of good stuff for Christmas, my mom did awesome. I got the nicely framed picture for our bedroom that I have wanted for YEARS- Andrew Wyeth's "Master Bedroom." I also got baskets, basket liners, table runner, and throw that are all coordinating in sage green, plum, and ivory plaid....From Homemakers Idea Company. They match the living/dining room (which will go into the dining room once we tear up the carpet and finish the hardwood floors underneath- and we get the dining room table/chairs and matching sideboard that we want- from JC Penney's) Poor Evan says that I have a never ending list of wants and ideas- but what woman Doesn't? Besides, if I have to work every single day, and have multiple jobs, I would like to have things to show for it and things that make life comfortable and pleasant. I would like to replace my 1948 mixer with a new Kitchen Aid in Onyx Black and I am being FABULOUSLY Patient if you ask me.

So I received lots of nice gifts, an adorable terra cotta painted snowman from Evan's mom- that holds tea lights and has stars cut out of his belly. Some neat socks from mom and other neat things- too many to even mention. So it was nice. Now it is all sitting in my house waiting to be given a home.

Sunday, December 26th, 2004- Well, I am behind again. I can't help it! It's difficult sometimes I guess.... especially with all the Christmas Things going on... But now that is over, which is evident with the crashing reality that I have to work for 4 hours on a Sunday, not just any sunday, but the day AFTER Christmas. Of course I also came into work for 30 minutes on Christmas Eve and for 30 minutes on Christmas Day, to change our backup tapes. That (although not fun) was tolerable, but this 4 hours the day after Christmas on a Sunday crap is making me angry. What's a girl to do??

I successfully (and slightly crankily) drug my ass through 4 Christmas celebrations in a 30 hour period. It ends up being more of a nightmare than a celebration or a day off work. Why must we ALL try to have our celebrations within 2 days? Between Evan's family and my family it made my Christmas feel like as much work as work, and then throw in some time AT work between all those celebrations, and I am sick and tired of other people telling me what to do. I know that family will read this, and I am sorry if they are offended, (kind of sorry) but I do not want to run from house to house stuffing myself with food and fighting for a seat on the couch. I would rather be at home in my underwear eating Christmas cookies.

However, My mom's, was fun. I may be partial, but instead of everyone sitting around or sleeping, there was a FABULOUS gift exchange, great food, followed by zip zap RC Cars that we put together and raced around (a red mazda and the Starsky and Hutch 76 Ford Grand Turino), followed by some great DVD watching (Badder Santa and The Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again. No one slept but Liz, and she had been up for probably 20+ hours from working 3rd shift on Christmas Eve, so she was probably entitled. What do we do different? We open gifts- QUICKLY. None of the horse assing around you see everywhere else. We pay attention to what other people open- partially from kindness but mostly because we give kick ass gifts that you don't want to miss. We put lots of thought into what we give and we like to know what the person WANTS instead of just buying whatever we see on the shelf.

I have sworn that I am adult now. I am going to show some balls and I am not going to let you family people tell me what time I will be everywhere- especially if it means that I get home at 2am and have to be up and to eat brunch in Princeton at 10. Who wants to set their alarm on their only two days "off work" in the last month? Do any of us want to eat brunch at 10 am when we have a lunch we are supposed to go to, and then our diabetic father has a crash because we don't eat "lunch" until 5pm? Things are poorly coordinated and not one of us cares what the other people have to endure when racing from grandmother's house to grandmother's house.

What makes it miserable- ?? Evan and I can't even spend Christmas Eve together because our families consistently schedule conflicting gatherings. We are both threatened with bodily harm if we miss one or the never-ending "guilt trip" where they say We know you are busy but could you please just STOP BY? Okay- that never ever happens. It reminds me of the Will and Grace episode where they set the kitchen timer and try to make it to all the Christmas celebrations. When we complain about the poor scheduling- The answer we get from each side? "We have had Christmas Eve in this family for over 20 years and we aren't going to change it now!" God forbid anything changes. Grueling traditions are fabulous, aren't they? What about today, the Sunday AFTER Christmas. Or what about last Sunday, the Sunday before Christmas?

Okay, I give with the Christmas Rant. I can't win. But I Tell you, when I have kids, this running around will STOP. Enough. I can't take it as it is with food and gifts and shuttling and dragging things here and there. But with kids? nope. Sorry Family. You lose. If you want to see the kids- and me, it will be compromise. Evan will give in because he likes to please people, he likes everyone happy. But I am Stubborn and this has to stop sometime. Take this as a declaration- the WAR of Christmas Celebrations will be coming, whether it's tradition or not!

Thursday, December 16th, 2004- Back in the Saddle Again! Last night I was slightly lazy. I did make supper and Clean the kitchen, load the dishwasher, and run the dishwasher. Oh and I printed Labels for all 60 Christmas Letters and After Evan folded them, I put address and return address labels on all of them, so we are ready to go with those, just need the paycheck to roll in so we can buy stamps. $22.20 in stamps to send out Christmas Cards. Not to mention probably $15 in "pretty paper" and labels. Almost $40! Good Lord. Merry Christmahanukwanza!

So after those few tasks, I started a game of Sims "Bustin Out" on the game cube, and played from about 8 to about 11 when I had to FORCE myself to stop. I was exhausted myself, tired of cleaning up after either "MOM" or roommates who don't do jack, and tired of not having infinite money, as we can't get the cheat to work. I did build myself a giant room on the back of mom's house and included a bed, a sitting area, a fireplace, and a desk. And an in ground pool and some landscaping out back, but the worst is that I had to sell some of mom's possessions (namely the grandfather clock and a piece of artwork) in order to complete my construction. Poor mom. But she is constantly whining and crying and she pees all over the floor when she forgets to go to the bathroom, so I am CONSTANTLY taking care of her, so my own room is the least I could have. And I did build it with money that I got as a lingerie model, so who can complain about that? But mom's art had to go when it came to having a couch and fireplace, oh and that moose head on the wall.

Enough about the sim counterpart Meagan. The REAL Meagan can't wait for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004- I may have already gotten slightly behind on my blogging. Must be the holiday season. Let's see, what have we done since last blog? Ahhh Yes.

Spent Tuesday the 7th in Peoria for HTML Level 3 Class and then on to the Princeton Computer User Group Meeting. On Wednesday the 8th I went to Peru and picked up my ring, so as of today I have had it on for 1 week! Yippee! Friday night I went to Ricky's (Short Track Tap in Wyanet) and on Saturday I shopped for a new outfit for the work Christmas Party, which I found, pants, sweater and shirt to match, earrings, and pink purse. Then We went to the Christmas party and followed up with a night at Ricky's where everyone seemed to be. Then overnight the blustery winds seemed to roll in and we had 65 mph winds until Monday night.

Sunday I went to Anya and Brad's and Josh and Lisa and Tim and his son Logan (Sayler) came over. We had Pizza and cheese sticks, courtesy of Brad and Anya- to celebrate Lisa and My Birthday's (November) and then we played "Trivial Pursuit 90's" which we royally sucked at. It took almost 5 hours for someone to get all the colors and even then it was a struggle. We did have good fun and Logan was very entertaining.

Tuesday night (last night) we went to a co-worker's house for a Christmas Party. Evan and I. We had a great time. I think I may have drank a little bit too much wine. "TD" gave me a great bottle of Pino Grigio and I drank 3/4 of the bottle myself- in two hours. "PG" also brought blue cheese stuffed olives (a recipe to make your own!). They were tasty, but still not as tasty as Club Lucky's Olives! "PG" Gave me a Jump Drive! WOW! 512 mb! I was so excited! and co-worker got me a neat ornament that matches my tree perfectly. Evan hung it last night. I will write more tomorrow, when I don't have so much catching up to do!

Monday, December 6th, 2004- It is past my bedtime! After my late sleep on Sunday, I was still up at 2am this morning. ICK! 8 came really early this morning! Now it's 10:30 and I am READY to sleep! I have gotten lots done tonight... Prepared for the computer user group, making 35 copies of our 10 page December newsletter and stapling them. I also made binders for myself and the chairperson. I balanced my checkbook, called PC twice, popped into the WLPC Message board, and now I am sleepy! almost 10:30pm. Evan was kind enough to sign our names on 25 of our 60 Christmas Cards, and he made supper. One step closer to bedtime! Boyd is home from Bob and Sue's and snoring in Evan's recliner as I type. I am seeing rain forecast tonight and SNOW for Friday/Saturday! Yippee! Tomorrow night is the PCUG meeting, after I spend the day at New Horizons in Peoria for a HTML 4.0 Level 4 class. I have to go to sleep now. Goodnight!

Sunday, December 5th, 2004- The weekend is almost over. It was a fun one. A relaxing weekend. Evan had insurance classes in Oakbrook Terrace, and I decided to tag along. Evan arranged for Boyd to go to his parents for the weekend, and settled him into puppy paradise in the little kennel/garage combo. Evan and I set off towards Chicago when I finished with work on Friday. We stopped in Hardees in Dixon for a not so fabulous quick meal, and arrived in Oakbrook terrace at about 8:45pm.

We had some trouble checking in but our hotel room was FABULOUS. we stayed at the Oakbrook Terrace Courtyard Marriott. This had to have been the cleanest hotel that I have been in recently. The courtyard was beautiful, even in the winter. Our bed was HUGE and the bathroom was nicely sized with a separate area to get ready with two big mirrors and a nice closet. The desk was my favorite. There was a HUGE desk, part of which rolled around the room, and free broadband internet in the room. HEAVEN!

So I got some work done over the weekend, and was lazy while Evan was at class. I slept till 10:30 on Saturday and till NOON on Sunday. I took TWO baths on Saturday. It was fabulous. A great big comfy (not your typical hotel "rock") bed with 5 pillows... fabulous. I got a powerpoint presentation built for a customer and reviewed the presentation that I will give to the PCUG this week, an intel presentation on the "Intel Digital Home Experience." I also chatted with other PC consultants online and got to opportunity to visit the PC home office in Addison, only 15 minutes from our hotel room.

Saturday night was the BEST though, Evan and I went into the city to meet my friend "PG", and we found his place in Logan Square, had some great white wine and Evan had some Goose Christmas Ale. "PG" called for a cab but when he found out I hadn't ever been in a cab or on the "L", he called and cancelled the cab and then we walked to the train station, like a block away. So I got to ride the L for the first time, a few stops and then we walked to Club Lucky. We had drinks, and "PG" got me to try my first REAL Olive, stuffed with blue cheese. "A salad on a stick" and it was AWESOME! I didn't even know that real olives existed!

It was PACKED and We had to wait quite a while to eat, but the atmosphere was great and we had fun, so it sped right by. There must have been 1000 giant sparkling snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, and everything was a retro 50's style, it was an old diner all revamped. Awesome. Then we had dinner, (an engagement celebration, courtesy of "PG") and Evan had spinach and ricotta lasagna, I had chicken Alfredo, and PG had some penne pasta. The red sauce on Evan's lasagna was wonderful! We had bread dipped in olive oil and for dessert, PG ordered a GIANT piece of ginger carrot cake, which was the best... and was served with vanilla ice cream. The waitress brought 3 forks, and we were so stuffed! It was such a great time.

Then we walked to a local tobacco shop and PG and Evan got cigars, I got Mandarin Mint Camels. I had never smoked a menthol before, and it was wild, because it was so cold out, breathing in made my teeth feel sharp, which gave Evan and PG a good laugh. Then we went to a neat little bar that PG calls his own, which must remain unnamed as a promise to PG. He'd like to keep it "his" spot. I got asked to pass the tip jar for the band, and ended up agreeing and talking to about 60-75 people I did not know and would never meet again. But I got some cash for the band and a free drink for myself. So it was a neat experience.

Then I got my first "cab ride" and we went past some SERIOUS Christmas lights at someone's home. Evan and I thanked PG and took the ride back to our hotel. It took us almost an hour and 20 minutes to get there (bad traffic) and only 25 minutes to get back to the hotel after midnight. We got into bed at 1am. What a great experience and a fun time. I will never forget that and I hope we get to do it again sometime! A special thanks to "PG" for providing such a great experience!

Friday, December 3rd, 2004- Well, I revamped the whole website. As my skills have increased and my tastes have changed, I decided that it was time to just bite the bullet and do it. I also had so any old pictures on the site and hadn't put any new ones on in a while, and the site costs more to run with all those photos taking up space and data transfer, this is like a fresh beginning. I hadn't changed the site for about 2-4 years really, and that's a long time! As you may no, I HAD a blog, but got a wee bit behind and decided "out with the old... in with the new!"

With the new "engagement" I wanted to be sure that I could put wedding information online for guests and also put pictures online of all the new places we go and gatherings we have, so I Started cleaning up the cobwebs around here. I am considering today starting with a new guest book, I have two old ones which are full, and I hate to get RID of them but I really need to do SOMETHING. What a pain.

My ring had to go to the jewelers to be sized. I haven't even gotten to WEAR it yet and it's so beautiful! I went out to Mi Margaritas and to see The Polar Express with Mom, Dad, and Liz, and dropped my ring off at Zales last Saturday to have it sized. I was thinking they would take away the box and everything but they just put the ring in a ziploc bag. It was a tragic scene. I wanted to moan "Oh, my precious jewels" but I refrained. Now I will get them back this Thursday evening, December 9th and for the first time I can WEAR the ring! I am SO excited. Especially because the entire hospital has been wanting to SEE it and the employee Christmas Party is next Saturday at the galleria, so I can show off the ring! Excited!

Preparing for Christmas, although the only presents I will be wrapping are homemade ones. Cash is tight around here and I have been making gifts. With Evan not "quite" working and me having "expensive tastes" there is a bit of a gap between the money I have and the money I need to make even the basic ends meet. This week the shortage is of foundation and film processing, next week I will be in need of bread, water, and laundry detergent... but there will be no cash to cover. Time for some quick thinking! Have a nice weekend, I know I will. M :)
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