Sunday, December 20, 2009


Was it wrong of us to laugh at poor Percy trying to see out the patio doors or at least figure out what was going on?

Out the same patio doors. The brown bits to the bottom right are the tops of our chairs, folded up and leaning against the table for the winter

Brian wanted to make sure I knew which spot I parked my car in 'cause he wasn't sure he'd be able to tell from a quick look out the front window.

This window is the opposite side of the house to the patio door. And the drifts come up all the way to the sill!

And last, but not least, don't you like my fabulous wrapping job on this present yesterday?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And as of noon today

The flurries have finally started!
Better late than never.

It's kind of fun to do the impossible
- Walt Disney

Friday, December 18, 2009


I know most of my friends just shake their heads and say I'm nuts, but
I am so thrilled. They're forecasting up to 18 inches of snow this
weekend! I don't expect we'll actually get that much, but I'll post
photos if we do, and I am thrilled!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Long Delayed Update

So, have we been busy? Yes. Abnormally so, even for us? Yes. Is this
truly something you didn't expect from me? No.

Going back to school is a great thing (I think) but it certainly has
cut down on the amount of time I have for hobbies, one of which is
updating this blog. I've found I'm spending ~8 hrs/week on the school
stuff just to keep up with lectures. That doesn't include time
reading the textbook, or working on assignments. Speaking of which, I
turned in all three of my term papers yesterday. Yes, you read that
righ, three term papers for one course. All due within a week of the
final. Which I'm taking Monday. Wish me luck. I know I'm better
prepared for it than I was for the midterm, but there is an incredible
amount of detail to be absorbed. In just this half term, we covered
40 techniques. All of which I need to understand how they work, what
they measure, in what range etc. I see a stack of cuecards coming.
Actually, I've started on them, which is how I know there are 40 of
them! The hard part is figuring out what needs the rote
memorization... Remind me again why I wanted to go back to school?

So, with that time sink, there went most of my crafting time. I have
one stitching project going, which is a Christmas gift, and so should
be posted soon, except it's been stashed somewhere from our madcap
trip home*. I'm really hoping I haven't left it at my MIL's house
because if I did, it certainly won't be done! I haven't been taking
time to stitch so I could get school stuff done. I've been so slack
on birthday cards this year it's disgusting. Maybe during term break
(three whole weeks off!) I'll premake a bunch of them. And my Google
Reader is just informing me I have >1000 things awaiting me... I'm
afraid to know how many more!

*Madcap trip home. So, my plan for Thanksgiving weekend was to have 4
days to study, write my term papers, and finish the stitchy gift.
Brian would be working a lot of it and I'd have the place to myself.
Except they've just changed his boss at Gamestop (another long story
there, grrrrrrrr) and Brian wasn't scheduled at all. So suddenly we
had a 4 day weekend, haven't been home since a weekend trip in April,
and wouldn't be able to go home over Christmas. Hrm… Well, I'd have
24ish hours in the car to study… and if I can buy my birthday present
early** I can use it to listen to lectures while driving, adding in
extra review… But we certainly hadn't budgeted for a trip home, and
hotels at home are EXPENSIVE if we want to stay somewhere you don't
have to worry about catching something from the sheets… Enter Mikey,
best friend from highschool and his awesome wife Jan, who out of the
blue offered for us to stay with them and their daughters at their new
house. A trip home, no hotel costs, fabulous downtime with Mikey,
Jan, ,L and M (as opposed to normal quick trips home where we don't
have time to visit with friends) and I was sold. As expected, it was
mostly a mad rush, but we had a great time and are very glad we went.
I even took part of a morning and got one of the three papers half
written at Mike's table. Mean Brian wouldn't let me go to Costco for
the chocolate run until I had. Grr. Not that it surprises me, but
Brian was astounded Mike's daughter L remembered Brian from the last
time we saw them. At Disneyworld two years ago when she was 3. It's
amazing watching them grow up. We were supposed to meet up with them
at WDW again this year, but then had to change the dates of the trip
so we missed them, and we were not happy about that aspect! When I'm
not posting by email, I have photos of all the neices and nephews to
share since we got to see all of them. Brenden seems like he's
finally recovering more fully from his case of H1N1. Fingers crossed.

**Yes, I chose my own birthday present. And bought it, opened it and
started using it before my birthday. Live with it mom! :P We'd
bought an iPod Touch before our last trip to Disney for Brian to use
on the plane. He's so terrified of flying it's nuts, and anything
that distracts is good. But we were already having to haul my
gigantic laptop (silly Florida schools go back in August. AUGUST!)
and didn't want to carry a dvd player along as well. Yes, we could
have used the laptop, but the battery isn't *that* great, even if it
does weigh a ton. Besides, the Touch has games, movies, music,
internet (wifi) and fun! Not to mention a great app with all the
Disney restaurants with menus and meal plan options in it. But then
we started feeling guilty about the cost. And were glad we bought it
from Costco since they (as expected) released new versions the week
after we got back. We returned the original one. And I've missed it
ever since. My lectures this term are all provided online, and
conveniently come in a format designed specifically for iPods. And my
slides are all .pdf's, which can also be accessed on the touch. So I
bought myself a shiny new 8GB iPod Touch for my birthday. I used my
$20 in GC's I'd saved, and a 10% off coupon I'd earned to make it even
more reasonable. Go me! I'd have liked the larger size, but we don't
really need it. As it stands right now, I've got half my term's
lecture videos, all the slides, an 800 page textbook, far too many
games, 1 movie, and ~650 songs on it. So Brian got to listen to all
17 hours of lecture from this half term during the drive to Canada and
back. His main comment: How do I keep the alphabet soup straight? :)

It's kind of fun to do the impossible
- Walt Disney

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Favourite Ever Lecture Quote:

"So you need a nuclear reactor, and not everyone wants to have a
nuclear reactor in their lab..."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On this Veteran's Day

Thank you, to all those who have served.
Thank you, to all those who do serve.
And to paraphrase our good friend Thorin, a marine, remember:
"Plan A is to come home safe. There is no Plan B."

Sunday, November 08, 2009

By 10:30 this morning...

(And with some help from Brian) I had:
Done 5 loads of laundry
Done 2 loads of the dishwasher
Scrubbed 1 shower, 2 toilets, and 3 sinks
Vaccuumed the house
Cleared the countertops
Put away *all* the loose junk everywhere in the living spaces
Moved a bookcase upstairs to my study nook (and packed up the random
junk that had been living on it)
Prep'ed the backyard for winter (including pulling all the dead plants
for compost and moving all the pots)
Fixed the garage and gotten it back organized
... and finally went and had a shower.

The rest of the day is mine to enjoy! I forsee a visit from a good
friend, movies and stitching...

Monday, September 28, 2009


Pardon me for a minute here while I deal with some WTF issues...

I have gout!
In my foot!
And it hurts like hell, and I'm used to living with daily pain...


I'm in my mid-30's and eat meat ~3-4 times/week. I get enough exercise, and for the last 6 months have been consistently getting at least/if not more than my recommended water intake. I have none of the standard risks. It can't be diet induced. I do need to lose weight, but not that much, and I'm working on that one. So WTF? body? I get down to only one thing to deal with and you feel unloved, so you throw something new at me?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that we have Brian's brother James staying with us.
Reconnecting with family is always worthwhile.

I am thankful that James was awesome and grabbed us some Timmy's from
Penn Station on his way through!

I am thankful the Dr. could fit me in to see about my foot. Verdict
is still out on cause though.

I am thankful for the warm weather that means Brian and James will be
BBQing tonight. Yumm, steak!

I am thankful for extended fall hours at the library that mean easier
access to books for me!

I am thankful that today is Make-A-Wish day at Cold Stone Creamery.
Free ice cream *AND* fundraising for Make-A-Wish, what could be

I am thankful that I am swamped at work. Job security is a comforting thing!

It's kind of fun to do the impossible
- Walt Disney

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for warm fleece blankets and a purring cat as I keep my butt on the couch.

I'm thankful I still have sick days to take this year.

I'm thankful for 14 brain cell killing hours of recorded soap opera to keep by brain semi-occupied today.

I'm thankful this week's homework assignment for my course is optional.

I'm thankful that U of Fl is offering this Master's degree.

I'm thankful that we're going to be buying a chest freezer and I can plan regular meals again and won't have to stop at the grocery store 2-3 times/week.

I am thankful that there are still people in this world who take photos like this, after he comes back from the ISS. The world needs that kind of whimsy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Disney Trip Report: Day 1

I don't promise to get all of them done, let alone done in this
detail, but here's a start!

Day 1

Woke up at 3:30am and couldn't get back to sleep. Alarm was set for
4:15 anyways to get hubby up and moving, so I just got up and futzed
around on the computer for a while. Posted on FB that I was up,
excited and ready to go. Had a good friend who works nights respond
with a WTF? What are you up for at this time of night and why are you
so happy about it? *GRIN*

Getting to the airport was quick, easy and painless. Checkin was the
same. Had a quick laugh when I saw security unpacking the bag we'd
checked that was full of very squished pillows. I hope they had fun
stuffing them back in! We had boarding passes A60 and B1 so we
settled in for the wait, and I finally had a little breakfast there.
I was a little nervous leaving Brian behind as I boarded (I'd been
assigned the A60 pass) and hoped he'd make it okay having to talk
himself onto the plane without my "helping hand" behind his back
pushing him onwards. Got on the plane and was astounded to find the
exit row still unoccupied. SCORE! Waited through family boarding,
and then Brian came through like a champ. He was also thrilled with
the seats. We knew it was a full flight, so he opted for the middle
seat and I took the window. The flight was generically boring,
except for getting to fly alongside the tropical storm. That was neat
to look at but even as far off as we were it did cause some
turbulence. Brian looked a little green but did okay. He declared he
preferred that to flying over the hurricane last year! We landed 35
minutes early in Orlando! Off the plane and on the DME bus before we
even were supposed to land!

We'd done the online advance checkin, so once the DME bus got to the
hotel I left Brian to grab our carryon bags from the bottom of the bus
and I hotfooted it to the check-in lines. I managed to be first off
our bus into the line and was happy later when I saw the 30+ people
behind me just for online check-in by the time I was called. Our
package was ready for pickup, they'd honoured our request for a top
floor 50's room, and though there was a slight mixup over the fridge,
it was easily and quickly sorted out. Best part was our room was
already ready for us. I wouldn't have to haul the giant laptop bag to
the park and stash my laptop in a hot locker all day. Wohoo! We
found our room and wow had we lucked out. One room closer to the
front and we'd have been in the "preferred" (and thus more expensive)
rooms. Colour me happy! Ditched our stuff, applied an extra coat of
sunscreen and we were off to the Magic Kingdom!

Arrived at the gates to the Magic Kingdom at 10:45am! Plan at first
was to just hit our favourites, adjusting depending on lines. Hopped
the steam train over to Frontierland. Wait for Splash Mountain was 20
mins, so we grabbed FP's for BTMRR and headed to get wet. After
getting mildly splashed (but the wait was longer than we wanted to go
around again) we headed for PotC, over to Aloha Isle for a Dole Whip
and off on a Jungle Cruise. Our FP's were now ready, so off to BTMRR
grabbing FP's for Splash Mountain on the way. By now it was ~1pm and
we were getting hungry, and I think this was the day we tried Pecos
Bill's. I wish I'd realized when ordering that we could "make our
own" taco salads, I'd have ordered that! I had a burger which was
only so-so, Brian had the pulled pork and enjoyed it. After sitting
down to eat lunch, the early morning hit us both and we crashed. So
back to the room for us and a no guilt nap (for Brian at least) in the

We were back up and running by about 4:30 and headed back to the MK.
Used the earlier FP's for Splash Mountain to get wet then headed for
the Haunted Mansion, grabbing BTMRR FP's for later.

We were hungry for dinner, so off to Cosmic Rays for Chicken and Ribs,
our favourite meal in the MK. Discover that TTC was still down for
repairs despite being supposed to reopen today. Oh well, we've
another 10 days left! During dinner, the skies opened up and it
poured as only South Florida can. Except that unlike in past years,
it kept pouring! Did some shopping in the stores around Cosmic Rays
and rode Buzz Lightyear. My blaster was broken, but Brian's score was
respectable. After about 90 mins of pouring down rain we decided to
just head back early and call it a night. We had plenty more time to
do it all and see it all. I worked VERY hard this trip to overcome my
Type A go-go-go personality and slow down and take things as they
come. Off to the hotel by bus, during which, of course, it stopped
raining. So a quick dip in the pool (in which I actually got *cold*)
and off to bed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I know I chose this, and I know it's the right decision. But man doing schoolwork every evening after a full day of work is taking it out of me. Especially when combined with my attempts to be good and develop some sort of exercise routine. I'm going to try talking to my boss and see if I can change my hours slightly away from the "company norm". There are others who do so, even more extremely than I want to, so I'm hopeful. But I know there have been others in our area who have abused it in the past so it may not fly. But yesterday I got home early, spent my half hour on the treadmill and completed 2 lectures before dinner. It felt sooo good! And then there's days like today where my insomnia had acted up last night so I didn't get to sleep until 4am. So I was late into work, late home from work, and here it is 8:15 and I've only just finished dinner. (Yummy, yummy dinner that Brian BBQ'd again...) And dessert is chocolate ice cream and homemade chocolate chip cookies* once I've written the first page of this week's homework assignment... And ONLY once that first page is written. Then it's another 50ish pages of reading and off to bed.

*Yes, I'm still on a diet, yes I'm losing weight/inches, yes this is not the best choice. But it'll be a small quantity of ice cream, 2 small cookies (I made them deliberately so) and is coming out of my "bonus" points for the week. I've (almost) earned it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful that I'm well employed and was able to take a great
vacation this year.

I'm thankful my husband enjoys Walt Disney World as much as I do.

I'm thankful my cat still loves me dearly and wants snuggles.

I'm thankful for more fresh tomatoes from my garden.

I'm thankful Brian is getting a promotion at work.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

I'm going the fundraising walk again this year and would love if anyone out there could support me. It's an important cause that everyone has been touched by.

The American Cancer Society:

Shared via AddThis

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that in 38 hours, my vacation starts, baring any delays
from possible hurricane Danny. Or, look at it another way, noon
tomorrow vacation starts!

I am thankful that my not-quite boss is very understanding when other
sections of the company screw up my timing/sample planning.

I am VERY thankful the safety committee meeting for this afternoon is
cancelled. I might finish everything up before I go away!

I am thankful that Percy is still being a complete snugglebug. It's
different behaviour for him, which concerns me a little bit, but I'll
take the snuggles for now.

I'm thankful for Michelle who is willing to stop by while we're away
and spoil Percy rotten. We may get told to just leave again by him
when we get home...

I'm thankful for cooler weather that means we've been able to sit at
home in the evenings the last two nights with all the windows open
enjoying the breezes.

I'm absurdly thankful for the great writing in Leverage that has Brian
and I having to pause it so we can finish laughing before continuing.
Deep laughs like that do wonders for a person.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Official!

I'm a student again. I'm registered (phew!) for my class that starts Monday morning, and I've paid my tuition (whimper!). I'm excited about it but a little nervous about finding the time to balance everything without short changing Brian.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for the opportunity to learn new techniques at work, even
when it means 13 hour days now and then.

I'm thankful that the registrar at U of Fl is being very helpful with
all the problems occurring with my attempts to register for my course
this fall. You know, the one that starts Monday...

I'm thankful that Percy still wants loads of snuggles. Until Brian
gets home, of course! :)

I'm thankful Brian doesn't start at 5:30am every day.

I'm thankful for the yummy cherry tomatoes from the garden.

I'm very thankful that the *cough actual, not at top of blog*
countdown to Disneyworld is in single digits!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for a job that I love, even if it does sometimes require
12 hour days.

I'm thankful for my husband, who is willing to spoil me rotten after a
rough day.

I'm thankful that the heat has broken so we can make yummy, yummy spice cake.

I'm thankful for the purring cat that's demanding my attention.

I'm thankful my vacation starts in 2 more weeks.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Last night on the way home there was a rather large accident on one of
the main roads (Rt. 25 for locals) involving downed wires. Brian and
I encountered it shortly after it had occurred. All we could see was
about a dozen emergency vehicles spread over about a half mile of
road. While crawling through an improvised local laneway detour I
heard what is possibly the scariest traffic report I've ever heard,
even after living in NJ/NY for almost 10 years. The radio traffic
reports were advising people to turn around, go back to Rt 347 and
take it south to Portion Rd to go around.

For those local to me, you'll understand the full horror of this. For
those of you not on Long Island, think of the worst, most congested
road in your area and make it twice as bad. Then double that. If you
take 347 during regular rush hours (3:30pm-7pm), expect a travel speed
of roughly 6 miles/hour. On a normal night… For those of you in NJ,
it's worse than Route 1. By a fair margin. And they were advising
people who have finally, blissfully gotten off Rt 347 to get right
back on and go back ~ 3 miles. I think if I'd been crawling on 347
and heard that I'd have just pulled in some place and gone for dinner.
Though as it turns out, that wouldn't have helped much. The accident
and repairs were serious enough that they still hadn't reopened Rt. 25
this morning when I left for work.

On the flip side of that, however, was my drive into work today. I've
started getting up really early so I can miss most of the traffic.
Given that Rt. 25 was still closed this morning, I expected my normal
route to have more traffic than normal. So I left ~15 minutes early.
Apparently, no-one else had that idea. I'm bombing down the leftmost
lane on the Long Island Expressway (another road deservedly notorious
for its traffic nightmares) in fairly light traffic and realize that
I'm just not keeping up with the cars in my lane. And I *think* I'm
going fast enough that I shouldn't be acting like a cork in the left
lane. (Cork, as in bottleneck, as in everyone is pulling into the
middle lane to blow past me…) I look down at my speedometer to double
check and discover that I'm doing 80mph. And being left behind like
I'm standing still. On the LIE. Which is a 55mph highway…

Monday, August 03, 2009

August Update (almost on the 1st!)

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
Fall of Atlantis (three books in one combined volume)
2 more "Bones" mysteries

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Royal Pains (cute but forgettable)
Warehouse 13 (see above…)
Zombie Strippers (you don't want to know)

What special days did I celebrate and how?
None particularly, but our anniversary is coming up this week.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
Lots more birthday cards/calls.
Baby card for Ciara.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Same lingering sinus infection from last update.  I'm going back to
the Dr. on the 5th again about it.  I do not want to still have it
when we head to Disney.  Ruptured eardrums are no fun.
Brian got his custom orthotics from the podiatrist, so he's getting
adjusted to them.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Loads of card/games with the Henagans.
Made reverse/resist dyed shirts for Disney.
Finished Fantasy Triptych!

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
New citrus marinade for chicken on the bbq.  Yum.
Grilled Mahi-Mahi in my ongoing attempt to work more seafood into our
diet.  Not so yum…

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
See next question down…

What were this month's disappointments?
Brian's DM being a complete jerk about vacation time.  He's had the
same week booked off for Disney since April 1st.  We leave Sept. 19th.
The new restaurant is now scheduled to open Sept. 15th.  Guess who
just had his vacation time effectively cancelled?  So we've had to
rebook the trip and are now going earlier.  But we had less than 3
days to replan everything or be charged change fees.  Thankfully, we
pressed DM for an answer so we could avoid them.  Once I actually
remember to do so from home (no access from work) I'll update the
ticker above to show the correct date.

What were my accomplishments this month?
Rebooking our entire Disney trip on no notice and managing to even get
most of our dining reservations that we'd had with the original trip.
Having FANTASTIC Disney customer service even allow us to keep the
free dining on the trip even though that promotion is now over.  That
phone call deserves it's own blog post!  And, because of the change in
airfare over the long weekend, it was actually cheaper to stay two
more nights than to come back after 9 days like originally planned.
And since it incorporates the long weekend, I *just* have enough days
off to do it.  I'd been saving one in reserve for unplanned

Anything else noteworthy to record?
Not that comes to mind immediately…

What made me smile this month?
Fresh peas from the garden.
Realizing that because of the rebooking, I'd be at my Happiest Place
on Earth in exactly a month.  (Can you tell I've been living for this
Surpassing the 10 pound mark on my weight loss goals.
Holding Ciara and managing both to get her to burp (twice!) and have
her fall asleep in my arms.

Monday, July 27, 2009

He he he

I just made a Disney reservation specialist think I was completely insane. COMPLETELY. The hardest dining reservation to get at any time of year, let alone during Free Dining is Le Cellier. And I just called to cancel not one, but two Le Cellier reservations. TWO! She made me confirm repeatedly that yes, this was what I wanted to do. Yes, I knew how hard they were to get. Yes, I wanted to cancel them. And yes, I was me. (But in my defense, the reason I was calling to cancel them was because I'd finally gotten a dinner reservation for one of the days I actually wanted, so it's not like we won't be eating there at all.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The bounty of my BBQ floweth over

Tonight I called Brian as I was ready to leave work to request he BBQ something for dinner. I wasn't feeling picky, so long as there was a source of protein, I'd be happy. This is the fabulous dinner he BBQ'd for me. :) Yum!

Steak, shrimp, corn on the cob and mushrooms. Dessert (?) was a full bowl of sugar snap peas from my garden.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


First up: "The Aftermath"

And now: "The Payoff"

Teresa Wentzler's Fantasy Triptych
Completed July 19, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

How to completely make a bad weekend better!

We were supposed to be going up to NH to stay with friends for the weekend. Unfortunately, I'm still pretty sick, and Brian got sick yesterday. So we've had to cancel. While a quiet weekend at home is what we need, it's not what we'd looked forward to for weeks. I wasn't exactly happy about giving it up. But it needed to be done. And then, this afternoon, I get this from my friend Helen. Suddenly a $19 train fare into the city doesn't sound too bad... (Oh, and we had already planned our Timmy stops in CT on the way to NH.)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Not-So Monthly Update

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?


Many, I've actually been on a reading binge lately.  I went back through some old favourites and have started getting into some of the "Bones" mystery novels.  It's been ages since I've done a real mystery run so it seems to be time again.  Nothing fabulous enough to recommend, but nothing horrid.



What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?

Loads of catch-up stuff.  Our DVR actually showed as only having two things left on it as of Monday night.  (And those two are old F1 races I won't delete as they relax me and help me sleep when the insomnia is getting really bad.  Something soothing in the sound of those engines!)  We haven't watched any "recent" movies in a while.  A few are coming out that I'd like to see, but nothing I'm dying to.



What special days did I celebrate and how?

Vin's birthday BBQ was a blast.  We've missed the last two years for one reason and another so it was really nice to get to go this year.

Ciara Mary Rose was born on June 30th, happy, healthy and loved.

Canada Day and July 4th!  (I love getting to celebrate both and so close together.)  Fairly typical stuff was planned, but most didn't happen*.  Had a blast at the Toronto/Yankee game on July 3rd though.



What gifts did I give and/or receive?

I haven't given it yet, but I have a special card for CMR.  I also made a card and castle cake for Vin's birthday BBQ.  Several other birthday cards, though not nearly all.  Do you know I have 28 friend and family birthdays between June 6th and July 15th?



What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

*I got sick on July 2nd with a severe (of course!) ear infection which progressed to throat, sinuses and lungs.  I'm still not well, but am back at work.  Yick!  I'll survive, but I'm just praying that I don't rupture the eardrum again.  Once/year is plenty, thanks.



What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?

Vin's birthday BBQ, several evenings of good food and cards/games/wii with the Henagans and the Toronto/Yankee game with Brian.  (Wow, this sounds repetitive!)  We also finally managed to co-ordinate schedules to meet up with Jess and Jay to congratulate them on getting engaged.



What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?

Ummm… none?  I'm pretty boring actually.  And I'm skipping a new restaurant today with work due to my food allergies.  I'm okay with it though, it's just my life as normal. :)  I did venture outside my comfort zone though for Brian's request to try new places at Disney this year.  I got almost all the reservations I wanted, and only one of them is a repeat from prior trips!  On top of the Food and Wine Festival, we're going to be "eating our way around the world" restaurants at Epcot.  We've reservations for 4 of them!



What special or unusual purchases did I make?

A new laptop!  I'm going back to school and needed something newer than my 5.5 year old mac laptop to handle all the streaming video etc.  Poor thing has had (and will continue to have) a great life, but it just can't handle the video stuff anymore.  And since the course is delivered online…



What were this month's disappointments?

Being sick when we had a big weekend planned!  Why is it that whenever I get time off work I get sick?  My strawberry crop has been ruined by the weather.  I *may* get two strawberries out of the whole patch.  OTOH, at least I'm not a commercial strawberry farmer.  Official numbers for the region are in, and they lost over 70% of the crop this year.
Not getting to go see CMR when she was born because of being sick.



What were my accomplishments this month?

Finalized plans to go back to school and figured out how we're going to pay for it all.  Not easy, but I've got it figured out for the next year of classes at least.

Getting the garage cleaned out to the point where we could park a car in it.  And realizing that it's really not worth the trade off.  And putting a bunch of stuff back into the garage again… :)



Anything else noteworthy to record?

Brian now has two restaurants trying to steal him away from his current one.  The one closer to home may actually manage to, we'll see.  I think he should, he's just not sure. 



What made me smile this month?

Seeing my peas finally bloom.  On July 3rd!  I'm just hoping we get to actually eat them this year…

Hearing Ciara was born healthy and happy.

Getting time to stitch and read.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

A Sad Day for me...

I'm going back to school this fall (no, that's not the sad part).  I need a new laptop to be able to handle everything I'll need to do while we're traveling, which we'll be doing several times during my course.  I *love* my macs.  We've been a mac only household for several years now.  But I just can't justify the cost for a new mac laptop over a PC.  Money is tight to be able to go back to school and keep our vacation plans.  And I am NOT giving up Disney if there's any way to save it.  So the sad day has come, and I've just bought a new PC laptop. :(  And between holiday weekend sales and corporate discount through work, I'm getting a steal on the system.  As in a $1200 laptop for $600... So I'll get to deal with the joy that is Vista sometime later this month for the first time.  I would like to have held out until Windows 7 comes out in October, but Disney is in September.  Though at least I did get a free upgrade to Windows 7 once it comes out.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Reason # 52234 why my new dentist is awesome

Brian had dental surgery this morning.  And the dentist himself just called us, at home, at 9:15pm to see how Brian was doing.  Checked on his pain level to see if he needed to have a prescription called in.  Make sure the bleeding had (finally!) stopped.  How awesome is that?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wow, is that what I think it is?

Yup!  3/4 inch hail bouncing off everything in sight. 

I really do love thunderstorms, but I'm less thrilled with ones that risk property damage...  Then again, with the storms this morning, we had 3 power outages at work before I finished my half day!  And the afternoon was gloriously sunny, and for the first time in the month of June, we broke 80F/27C. 

Of course, today was also the day I was baking for the fundraiser we are helping out with on Sunday.  6 dozen cookies baked and the central air gets my seal of approval. 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Who says inanimate objects don't have a sense of humour?

Today at work was rough.  Extra rough.  I've just gotten in the door after a 13+ hr day, and my samples still aren't running.  I'm learning a new instrument technique at work.  It's not working.  And the person with 10+ years experience with it can't figure out why either.  No idea.  We've just spent quite a lot of time trying... So you get the idea.  The sort of day you just want to forget.

Anywho, I get on the highway and have my iPod on random shuffle.  I was skipping a fair number of songs 'cause I was looking for something with a nice beat to sing along with.  Last three songs before I turn into my driveway?

She works hard for the money
Under pressure
9 to 5

Who says inanimate objects have no sense of humour?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My smile for today

While on hold trying to change some of my dining plans for Walt Disney World in September, I was treated to the full soundtrack for Splash Mountain.  It just kept making me grin!
(And who says technology is the best?  The online reservation system was down, which is why I ended up calling them, and got the unexpected surprise!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

To all the dads out there, I hope you have a great day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Checking in

No, we haven't fallen off the face of the planet.  We're still alive and kicking.  Our health is overall good, and we're both still employed.
I've just not particularly been in the blogging mood, and I need to get back to it.
We've been up to loads, and I keep thinking I need to post about X,Y,Z and all the other things, but then I feel guilty for not posting about A,B and C.  So I'm just going to give up and start from here...
Weight loss is going well, I'm down 8 lbs.
Summer isn't really summer yet.  We've not broken 80F/26C yet this month.  And it's rained every day but one.*  So much for global warming! :)  They've also changed how our summer hours work at work, and they're not nearly as useful/worthwhile to me any more.  I now work an extra hour Mon-Thurs and only work a half day Friday.  By the time I'm done running errands on the way home, I'm still stuck in Friday afternoon traffic!  (*For reference, by mid June in an average year we'd have had 4 days with temps above 95F/35C, and we've already received double the monthly average rainfall.)
I'm going back to school this fall.  I'm excited but a bit scared.  And man is it expensive here in the US.  I'm going to end up paying more for one course for one semester than I did for my first full year of tuition in Canada.  OUCH!  And because of that, we're not doing anything splurgy that wasn't already booked and paid for before this opportunity came about. 
Disney in September is still absolutely a go though!  It has been fully paid off for months, and all we'll need $$ wise is just pocket money.  All our travel/lodgings/food is already paid for!  I think excitement about this trip is all that keeps me at work some days.
We prevailed with the IRS.  Stupid #@$#%$# Scottrade had reported stuff wrongly for our 2007 taxes.  And apparently we were far from the only ones.  One big relief having that done.  We still haven't settled with the ex-landlords.  And at this point, I'm starting to wonder if it's worth it.  If I pursue it much further, they could come after us for the full amount of rent for the rest of the lease we cancelled.  And frankly, we don't have anything close to that amount of $$ available in the 1:1million chance they win.  But those who know me, know how well I do when there are strange odds about...  I also won with my employer on the contract issue.  Not sure I posted anything about that (and blogging about work is banned anyways), but they were trying to modify terms of something that had been in place since I joined the company.  Retroactively.  I don't think so...
So what's up with everyone else out there?
(Presuming anyone still reads this thing that is...)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weightloss update: 4/15/09

Food: horrible. I was going high on points before getting home, starving while sitting in traffic, so I snacked from the emergency supplies and then we ended up going out to dinner with Dina. (Which was awesome and so worth it!)

Exercise: good, 20 minutes moderate!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today's Weight Update

Feel free to skip these posts folks, I promise to put something about weight in the title. I need to post them to make myself accountable to me.

Eating: Great, within points even before exercise
Exercise: No walk due to the rain and Brian early to bed. (Starting at 5am sucks!)
25 pushups (sore after yesterday)
30 minutes yoga video

Monday, April 13, 2009

Time for an ugly reality check...

I weight 230 lbs. I can't believe I let it creep back up that high. And I can't let it continue, I have to send it in the opposite direction. So I'm going to go public, and try to make myself accountable, publicly. I need to stop procrastinating because my arm chair is so comfy and the heating pad feels good on my back. I need to stop snacking from the vending machine at work. If I pack healthy snacks, I eat them. I *LIKE* healthy food. I'm just too lazy. The plan is to pay more attention to what I'm eating and why I'm eating it, to have healthier snacks on hand, and to do something in the way of exercise for a minimum of 15 minutes/day. Weigh ins will be ~ once/week as I remember to do them. I always start out strong but lose steam. If I'm doing well and manage the exercise up every day for the next two weeks, I'm going to sign up for the online Weight Watchers tools. I know I do well when I have the geekiness of tracking online each and every time I eat. I know I can do it, all I need is the motivation...

Today's Report:
Food: So-so. No snacking from the vending machine, but hotdogs for dinner. No evening snacks though!
Exercise: 50 pushups, 20 crunches and a 1 mile walk with Brian

Extermicake! Extermicake!

Originally uploaded by Heather Eberhardt
Brian's Unbirthday party was Saturday night, and this was his cake... :)

March Monthly Report (only a *little* late)

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
First three Valdemar books (How did I miss these?)
Two trashies
One SF about what would happen if there were no petro based products
(title completely escaping me)

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
TV: Usual silly forensics shows, Doctor Who Easter special, Castle, Dollhouse
Movies: Monsters Vs Aliens, Coraline

What special days did I celebrate and how?
Nothing too special, but Brian's birthday is coming.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Ear/throat/sinus infection for me as well as another migrane, and the
increase in frequency of them is starting to concern me.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Ruth and Dave came down from NH and brought 7 month old Ben for us to
ooh and ahh over. We had friends over for BBQ that turned into
lasagna because of the weather. Becca came and visited for part of
her March Break.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
Rice pudding (and ICK, the texture is as bad as I was always afraid it
would be. Gag!)

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
None, we're trying to save money

What were this month's disappointments?
Traffic court (over a bad parking ticket) was pushed back into May. I
want it done with already.
Springhill Nurseries sending me three trees (which I can't plant)
instead of the 75 Stargazer Lily bulbs I'd ordered. And telling me
they couldn't send me the bulbs now but would do so spring of 2010.
No, you'll be giving me my money back, now.

What were my accomplishments this month?
Gathered all the paperwork to sue the old landlords to get our deposit back!
Brian survived his 6 weeks of hellish hours and horrid commutes
training staff for two new restaurant openings.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
Not really. I finally started stitching again a little, so I suppose
that would count.

What made me smile this month?
Baby toes! Nom nom nom nom
Booking Disney for September

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Quiet Sunday

Brian has his first day off in two weeks. He's just finished his six week stint of training staff for two new restaurant openings. So we're having a quiet day and it's wonderful. We went out and dealt with some bank stuff, shopped for BBQ's (looking for recommendations on gas ones <$250) for Brian's birthday, grabbed groceries and necessities and had lunch out. We're home now and watching today's Formula One race. Taking it easy and not even making Brian get a start on his honey do list. The sun is shining and it's gorgeous out. I even let Percy go out for the first time on his new harness. He didn't fight too badly getting into the harness, but he's going to require a lot of supervision. Idiot still tried to choke himself with it.

Yesterday was spent with Michelle and Dina. Michelle is going to be moving in the next month (or so) so we finally got her to come out and see the various apartment/townhouse options in the area here. She found one that's fabulous and I expect she'll take it Monday morning. We spent hours just being girls, hanging out and gabbing. It was so much fun. Next weekend we'll have Ruth and Dave and their 7 month old Ben coming to stay with us and I'm really excited about it. We had a great time with them last year, so we're planning a BBQ again this year. (And that's why I'm looking to buy Brian's present early.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random Photo Explosion...

This is my gateleg table out in the snow at the new place.
And this was taken before the snow finished falling...

This is a shot of the desk in my new craft room!

And since I now have a craft room, I'm actually (sometimes) making time to stitch! This is a shot of Fantasy Triptych. Colours are horribly washed out, but you get the idea... If I actually make time to stitch this weekend, I think I'll have everything done up to the bottom of the knight's feet...

A photo for Randi and certain other gamers (inside joke...).
Does that reindeer look scared to you?

As promised, this is the photo of my favourite Valentine's Day gift ever.
Even if I bought it for myself! :)
I've been doing my laundry in a laundromat since I was a teenager, so this is proving to be a huge luxury to me.

And finally, I met Bully!

Spew Warning!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Isn't there supposed to be an upside to behaving like an adult?

I got up early and went into work early so I could leave *on time* for
a date with hubby to go to the movies.
There was a bad crash on the LIE that closed three lanes.
I got home too late for the date...
(But in a count my blessings way, I did get home safe and sound!)

I was good and did three hours of housework this evening.
Unpacked a lot of boxes, vacuumed both floors, made a great, healthy
dinner *and* did two loads of laundry.
I wanted chocolate so I pulled open the chocolate drawer in the
fridge, and then spent 20 minutes organizing it better without
actually eating any actual chocolate (or other treats).
Then cut my leg pretty significantly while trying to load the dishwasher.
(Don't ask, just remember, I *am* that klutzy...)

We decided to do the financially responsible thing and skip several
events that have non-minor costs involved this year.
And a whole lot that do have minor costs.
I'm okay with that decision, and know it's the right one.
Even if I've just discovered that great friends we never see are going
to be at one of them.
But we're trying to do the right thing.
With all the cutting back, saving and Brian working extra hours, we've
paid off over $3000 on the credit card so far this year.
The credit card company just cut our limit by $2850
(And WTF $2850? Could it have been a more random amount?)

To end on a positive note, here are three things that make me happy:
1) Spring bulbs lead to fabulous flowers (one splurge before the
responsible gene kicked in, I've got 75 Stargazer Lily bulbs coming my
way, they shipped over the weekend! Wohoo!)
2) Reconnecting with old friends through the wonders of the internet
3) My heating pad-adapted chair. After all the bending, stretching
and reaching, little feels as good as to curl up in my chair with the
heat on!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Holy Shit!

Am I ever extra glad we moved...,0,7360795.story

This is the complex we moved out of last month...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Wow, did we get snow. 15 inches of it! And just Friday I'd been hearing Becca complain about all their snow and telling her she could send it my way! Needless to say, I'm happy about it. Not so happy about having to shovel the driveway myself, four times over the course of the storm, but I'll live! I've got photos but still haven't unpacked the cable to get them off the card. Rest assured, once I do, I'll be posting a ton of photos! We've had visitors at the new place already, and I need to post photos of said new place! Also, I want to show off my Valentine's gift. Favourite one ever!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reminder to stupid children

I don't care if you can't be bothered to actually work with the sash
down on the fume hood.
I get that you're tall and it irritates you.
I get that the alarm tone doesn't give you headaches like it does me.
But if you're leaving the lab, shut the fing hood already.
And when I politely remind you as safety commitee member that you
should, don't all but tell me to f myself using gestures.


Friday, February 13, 2009

The right way to start the day

I pulled into the parking lot at work this morning after a
particularly rough morning.
And saw the most gorgeous rainbow in the sky over the building.
It changed my whole outlook for the day in the most wonderful way.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

mutter mutter, grumble, grumble

Stupid drivers who don't know how to safely drive in snow.

Stupid plow drivers who only plow down the middle of two lanes of
traffic. On one of the busiest roads in the region.

Stupid car that wouldn't start after I'd cleaned it off.

Stupid Cablevision that still hasn't fixed my phone so I had to call
Hyundai on my cell.

Silly husband (silly, not stupid) who caused the problem with the car
so it wouldn't start.

Stupid me for not just staying in bed! :P

But now I'm at work, safe, sound and warm. And grateful for all three.