Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Next up, Christmas Eve and Day, per our tradition installed at the year prior to our marriage, at home, just the two of us, spent mostly in pajamas. I have a food extravaganza planned, most of which will be pre-prepped so that I only have to put things in the oven or crockpot and then go knit.
Boxing Day will be a trip up to my parents house to spend (relaxing, lazy) time with mom, dad, sis, and Tutu (my maternal grandmother). We will be leaving prior to my mom's-side-of-the-family gathering on Sunday, so as to avoid traffic on our return trip. Prior notice was given that it would be better for us if this gathering was on Saturday, but alas, the logistical aspect didn't work out. But I just saw most of them over Thanksgiving, so no sweat on that.
Don't worry... there will be pictures of the food extravaganza. :-) But to tide you over, here are the recipes I've got planned. Most are thanks to Ree (of Confessions of Pioneer Woman) so avoid if you are shy about butter or heavy cream (I'm not, and hey, it's Christmas!).
Cioppino (my adapted version will be a "Feast of 7 Fishes" version, since Steve's family is Italian)
AM: Strata and Cinnamon rolls
Dinner: roast chicken with chestnut stuffing, corn and wild rice casserole, braised red cabbage, no-knead rolls
p.s. I think I missed my blog-iversary. So Yay for me... my how time flies.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
2. My middle name (Martina) is after my dad's middle name (Martin).
3. I like wearing heels. And pantyhose (if they are comfortable). It makes me feel girly.
4. I will eat raw green peppers til the cows come home, but I don't like cooked ones unless they are on fajitas.
5. I have a light up alarm clock. And even that can't get me out of bed some days. But I do consider myself a morning person.
6. I trained as a classical opera singer in college when I was majoring in Biology.
7. I've broken three arms: right, left, right (again). All were results of rollerskating accidents. But I love to ice skate still!
8. I am obsessive about lists, putting things in a certain order, and arranging things, but my bedroom floor is a MESS of clothes 50% of the time.
9. I like coffee. Black, or with cream and sugar, or with milk. Doesn't matter. It just has to be HOT.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
How to Talk to Girls
Leave it to a fourth-grader to make one of life's complexities look like child's play. With How to Talk to Girls, 9-year-old Alex Greven lays out some elementary principles: comb your hair, dress nicely, try not to act desperate, and don't overdo it with the compliments. With accompanying illustrations, Greven's book makes for some whimsical—and remarkably practical—advice on an age-old dilemma.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I was a mess. Like the whole government. Like, I am sure, 51% of the voting public. *92%* of the voting public in D.C. (uh, WOW)
Why did I cry? I think it was partly relief - that this whole election thing is over. We are starting the process of moving on from Bush and from all the negative things.
I also cried because it means hope. My faith in people (at least 51% of the people voting in the US) has been restored. I think all the talk about how this SHOWS the American dream is possible really hits the nail on the head. I won't try to say it all again, but for me, and for a LOT of other US citizens, I think this means the Dream is starting to come true.
Friday, October 31, 2008
"I keep telling you, this isn't 'a few birds'! These are gulls, crows, swifts...! "
"Why are they doing this? ...
"...They said when you got here the whole thing started. ..."
"...Who are you? What are you? Where did you come from! I think you're evil. EVIL!"
Friday, October 17, 2008
But my life as of late has been consumed with doctor's appointments. What started out as a sinus infection turned into an ear infection and that turned into raging, continuous inflammation in my ears/nose/throat/eustachian tubes. So for the past four months, I've had vertigo - every time I turn, sit, stand, bend over, lean down, lean back. Dizzy spinning, fullness in my hears and sinuses, my vision gets criss-crossy and it's difficult to focus - physically and mentally. I mentioned this to my doctor, and she has sent me for a CT scan, to an allergist, and an ENT. I've had allergy testing, an MRI, bicaloric testing, tracking tests, etc., etc., etc. All this to find out that I have a brain in my head that is (apparently) working fine. They haven't found any central nervous system problems that could be causing balance issues. My ENT doesn't see an ear infection or too much inflamation. (He's not living with my mucous membranes though - I FEEL them as inflammed and have pain in one ear.) The ENT suggests I have my deviated septum fixed to aid in drainage to help with the the recurrent sinus congestion, thereby fixing/preventing the dizziness. He seems to think (now) that the sinuse issues are causing the dizziness (before it was a different issue, but apparently he can change his mind/diagnosis).
I'd like a second opinion, but I'm sick and tired of going to doctors right now. I also don't think getting the inside of my nose straightened out is going to fix this completely either. The allergist switched up my meds, which has been helping the inflammation. At least now the dizziness is not as intense. So I will be sniffing flonase and astelin for the next few months and praying a lot. And trying to figure out how I can do yoga and not pass out from the dizziness/nausea if I move too fast.
Monday, October 06, 2008
What you can do...
- Sign the petition.
- Write a letter to Clorox executives.
- Send us your used filter cartridges.
- Spread the word!
The sample letter I will send:
I have used Brita pitcher filters for many years. Each time I throw a cartridge in the garbage to replace it with a new one, I feel very sad that this amount of plastic will end up in a landfill, where it will last forever in our environment. I use the Brita system in order to avoid the waste of plastic water bottles. I urge you to redesign the filter cartridges so that they can be refilled and/or create a system for us to recycle these plastic filter cartridges instead of sending them to the landfill.
As you know, the Brita company in Europe has developed a comprehensive take-back recycling program for all of its filter cartridges. This program is not dependent on city recycling systems. The Brita Company itself collects, dismantles, and recycles the filter cartridges. Why not use this as a work-around solution to help your consumers to take their environmental conscientiousness a step further, instead of relying on city waste management systems (which are currently not able to recycle the filters in the US)?
I know that Clorox has been making efforts lately to become much more environmentally-friendly with its purchase of the Burt’s Bees line as well as development of Green Works cleaning products and the FilterForGood campaign. It would be wonderful if similar attention could be placed on products that Clorox already manufactures, such as redesigning the Brita filter cartridges so that they can be recycled, as well as creating a take-back program so that they are recycled domestically rather than being shipped overseas, as much of our plastic is these days.
I look forward to hearing your views on this issue.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I realized today a lot of this has to do with the amount of stress I take on. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE volunteering. I do. And most of the stress is from juggling... from trying to keep straight what needs done when for whom and for what. Not necessarily the actual duties involved with volunteering, although the fact that I have no time for housekeeping, sleeping, and spending time with my husband due to how much volunteering I do might ... just *might* be stressing me out too.
How can I fix this? One - adjust my medication (pass the wine please!). Two - adjust the visits to my psychologist (as in, schedule one). Three - get more sleep. Four - Eat better/take my vitamins and meds. Four - exercise more.
Better sleep, food, tagging my support system, and exercise will help me reduce my body's stress response to the stress, while I figure out how to decrease my volunteer involvements. Bonus is that I might not feel so darn lousy in the mean time. Wish me luck.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Now you are probably wondering about the new widget. Well, I am participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Oct. 5 in Columbus, OH. Not a big walk, but... it's a way to raise awareness and a way to raise money. So click on the widget and donate a few bucks. I get exercise - you get to sleep in and do something good - cancer research gets money. We all win.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The wind started really picking up around 2 or 3 PM. We stowed patio furniture and all my plants in the corner of our patio that is more sheltered. Other things we either brought inside, or made sure they were stowed. Luckily, we had no damage to the house (at least none I can see at this point) - which is a miracle as far as I am concerned because of all the trees in our neighborhood. We do have a yard littered with smallish and medium branches, but nothing on our house! One of our neighbors has a broken fence.
Our power went out at 4:02 PM last night. I know the exact time because our stove has a clock on it that is "analog" and so stopped right at that time. We cooked dinner on the grill last night (not what I expected), and tried to keep the fridge closed most of the evening.
We had every candle in the house burning. Luckily for us, we have a battery operated weather radio (that also picks up TV stations) from our camping gear. We also have a few stickup LED lights handy - I keep one on our hall closet frame, so it's easy access to lights up our "emergency gear" - candles, radio, flashlights, meds, first-aid items - so we can get these things in the dark or power outage.
We got most of our maneuvering (cooking, cleaning, stowing of stuff that could blow away or over) done in daylight, so we didn't break out the headlamps, but we may do that today. If power is still out tonight, we may head over to my sister's to have hot water for showers. At the very least, we will be taking our food over there to store and/or cook.
We have T -5 hours to get our perishable food stuffs from the freezer into my sister's freezer. Everything in the fridge is going to either have to get chucked or will be eaten tonight depending on temperatures in the fridge and the nature of the item.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
We live in a house that is near 20 years old. The heating system (a heat pump, with an electric resistor back up heat system) is original to the house. Our compressor is starting to go, so I'm collecting bids for a new system. We want to stick with the heat pump system, because it's more energy efficient and cost efficient to suck heat from the air outside and move it around. Based on the estimates we've gathered so far, it will cost us OVER $4,000. That's a lot of shoes to not buy. And a big honeymoon trip we won't be taking for yet ANOTHER year. And another year of not having extra money to pay a housekeeper (my working woman's dream). [sigh] I *SUPPOSE* I can do my own laundry if it means I'll have heat this winter...
Sunday, July 13, 2008
1) ordering "Delta Gamma" roses that will grow in my zone for my rose garden.
2) designing and pricing out a raised bed garden for the side of the house.
3) pricing out pavers to extend our patio.
4) remembering that cucumbers (although they have a short germination time) still need to be started inside in Ohio.
5) pick a few tomatoes just for seeds (from the heirloom greens I got at the farmers market).
6) get better at growing (i.e. do not kill) tomatoes started from seed.
7) get shelves for garden stuff put back together
8) buy a compost tumbler (I like the EnviroCycle - best buy for the money!) I can't imagine building a worm chalet in my basement, even though it might be easier to build myself than any other composter.
9) make a compost crock for my kitchen.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
My biggest project this year, however, is my roses. When I got married last year, my parents bought us a hydrangea bush, which I promptly killed, and two lovely rose bushes – a Nancy Regan (hybrid tea) and a Cherry Parfait (grandiflora). The roses last year made it through the summer and fall, but did not come back this spring. One has a small sprout, so I didn’t trash it, but I think it might be a sucker, not from the grafted stock.
I set out this year to plant a proper rose bed. So I have a new Nancy Regan and a new Cherry Parfait, and my old “maybe” Cherry Parfait, in a nicely edged bed, with plenty of mulch and sunshine. And both new bushes have multiple buds on them. So I wait. And hope… and try to figure out who I can get to water my garden while we are out of town in the end of June. Or better yet, how can I set it up so it’s easy for them to do?
I think soaker hoses, some multi-hose spouts, and that large-capacity rolling hose cart I’ve been eyeing will be my next investment at Lowe’s.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Surface scrub (to get rid of the rust underneath on the sink), screwdriver, hammer, replacement cover. I didn't mess around. Here's me getting harsh on the rusty monster...
Note that I am cheap. I buy the generic surface scrub.
And again I say Ew.
Scrubbing commence! (no pictures because I have only two hands.)
After shot of the rusty monster.
Hmmm... now that we've gotten this far, perhaps I should read the instructions?
Aw crap, I need plumber's putty? Well luckily I've got
some laying around the house (to fix our sink (which will
follow in another post!).
Okay... let's open this puppy up... ew.
I have to TOUCH that? Eh.
Rolled into little snakes and threaded around the cover
and the putty cap...then set the cap in the hole...
...and crawl under to twist on the nut. (Don't judge by the disposal.)
First attempt didn't work, the whole thing moved. So I stacked
something heavy on top.
Crawl under and try this again... [ugh]
and Ta-DAH!!! Small victory in plumbing. $3.00 piece of mind = obsessing done.
Next week: Fixing the Jiggly Faucet
Friday, April 11, 2008
I think we can now consider "popemobile" to be an actual word.
I mean really... shouldn't being used in the NY Times constitute grounds to be included in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary?
Friday, April 04, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Since our yearly "snow dump" has ended, I figured it was time to start gardening. And now...I haz tomato seedlings! I'll post pics later this week.
Friday, March 07, 2008
I have plenty of food in the pantry and fridge, eggs and milk, things to make bread, and frozen meat. Lots of things to do too. I think we might be housebound for the weekend. Send search parties if you don't hear from us by Tuesday.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Okay, I voted for Hillary yesterday.
Part of me struggled with the idea of voting for her because I wanted to see a woman run for President… to be President. I couldn’t rationalize voting for her JUST because of that. Because, like Maggie said, I didn’t want to answer my daughters “No” when they asked if I voted for our first female President.
So I did a little more research. Business Week. Watched the MTV interviews. Probably could have done more… but I tend to follow my gut and my gut said “vote Hillary”. So I did.
Then I came home and got a phone call from Barack Obama. Sorry dude… I already have a date for the party.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
The back is slowly healing. Less pain, most of my adjustments from Friday held, and today was just minor corrections. I still have annoying shooting pains down the back of my arms - due to dislocated shoulders - but that's nothing compared to Saturday.
Our taxes are done - we got a call from our accountant (ooo, shmancy... really it's for my business and Steve's sanity) that our return is done and we are (thankfully) getting a nice refund. Granted, I would have liked the money last year, but hey, this will work too!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
What did you do?
I didn't DO anything. I went to bed, I woke up, and felt like crap. So I used one of those weird heating pad therma-wrap thingies all day and suffered with some Aleve (c).
So do you feel better?
Yes and no. I feel better than Friday (when I had to call in sick to work for a few hours til I could actually roll out of bed), but I am still in pain.
Is there anything I can do?
Yes. Buy me a massage. Get me a heating pad. Clean my house so I don't feel guilty just sitting on my butt today. I hear Merry Maids is good nationwide cleaning service for hire...
Friday, February 08, 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
They say that busy people get more done, but I feel lately like a lot of my hecticness is due to my OCD. I am constantly having to work on being on time for meetings (at work and after) and to keep focused on a particular task. Example: I went to find the tax information, and then I went to dig for it in the hall way and I remembered I wanted new foundation out of my stock and wanted to find out if it matched and then I saw my computer and wanted to check if the internet was working... and where did I put that tax form?... now where is that compact?... do I need to revise my order tonight? should I just buy samples somewhere else or... do I have enough money in my account to pay my credit card bill... when am I going to make time to make the money... where is my calendar?
See my problem? Luckily, I have an appointment with my psychiatrist next week. And a hair cut. Because both my crazy and my hair are getting on my LAST FREAKING NERVE.