Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Well, that was fun!

Always nice to have a fun end to a year (or almost end of a year)...New Year's Eve Eve. :)

I finally made it to another contra dance last night...and perhaps will be making it to more, because I think I've got my friend hooked on it now too. :D I asked my friend Laura if she'd like to go because it seemed like her sort of thing, and I thought she'd probably be pretty good at it. She's part Puerto Rican, so she should have a little more natural rhythm than me, right? :D Well, whether she does or not, she did great and really enjoyed it and wants to go back next week. lol! And she was also the perfect person to take with me, because she knows how to get home from downtown without looking at directions every turn! I know almost every other part of town pretty well, but I get lost downtown, so I'd printed out directions to and from the dance. :p

That is, it was all fun apart from one of the new guys bothering Laura. He had no concept of the etiquette of contra dancing, and didn't seem to grasp that it wasn't a club kind of atmosphere where you just pick up a girl. I didn't realize he was bothering her, and I thought she'd just made a friend awfully fast. If I'd known that I would have helped her out a little...although I did kind of glare at him a couple times anyway because I was finding him annoying. :p But then on the way out, after he'd left, she started complaining. "I wasn't interested in him, and I certainly didn't want his number!!!" etc., etc. He gave her his number right before he left, and I did see her face at that point and realized she wasn't happy with him. I apologized for not helping her out any and asked if she still wanted to go back again. She said she did, but he'd better leave her alone. ;)

But everyone else was nice and we had a great time. And I got spun so many times I still felt like I was spinning when I went to bed last night! :D I wore the skirt I made, and it was totally awesome for dancing! I do need to hem it because I was in danger of stepping on it all night, but other than that it was great. It twirled really well on spins, and at one point one of my partners said "Wow! Did you see that twirl? Your skirt went all the way around and then sort of twisted in reverse!" Yep...it was pretty awesome.

I also decided not to mess with shoes, although I brought my Converse and tape for them. I just danced in my socks, which was about the same slipperiness as the Converse, but I was able to feel the floor better. I did slip and fall once, which was a tiny bit embarrassing, but other than that the socks worked fine, and it kept me from getting blisters. I'm thinking something like ballet slippers would be nice though. Or one of the girls had some flats she found at Target, so I may see if I can find those, because they had a nice wide elastic band on them and looked like they might actually be a style that would stay on my feet.

I've got a few pictures from last night...I told Laura I probably looked awful after dancing, because I was all sweaty and everything. She told me that oh, no! I looked fine! Hmph...I don't know about that, but I guess I didn't look much worse than I usually do in pictures. :p Yes, my earrings are little snowflakes, if you were wondering.








And here's Laura looking cute before the dance :)











So, a fun way to end the year! Then tonight for New Year's Eve, my family and I are going to watch a movie and eat Chinese food. Yum! So I'm looking forward to that too! :) Because I need to stay up late another night.... no, actually I was in bed before midnight last night. :)

I have a year-end-review post hopefully planned for tomorrow, so I'll see you in 2009! (And I apologize for my excessive use of exclamation points.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Shuffle part 2

I've already done this on Facebook, but I'll do it again on here. :) A different one.

1. Put your iPod on shuffle
2. Post the first line from the first 20 songs that play, not skipping any (well, I cheated...some songs were too obscure)
3. Bold over the songs that someone guesses correctly (yes, y'all get to guess!)
4. Looking up the lyrics is not allowed! (except when you're done guessing and want to know what the songs actually were)

1. I was dancing with my darlin' to the Tennessee Waltz (Tennessee Waltz-Eva Cassidy)

2. Walk with me quiet, walk with me slow

3. We delight in the law of your word

4. I see a red door and I want it painted black (Paint it black-Rolling Stones)

5. Little sister don't you worry about a thing today

6. Hey there, how are 'ya? it's been a long time

7. They say You live in hospitals and trenches, and towers in the sky

8. Well, I've seen my chances come and go, and come back round again

9. It wasn't really sad the way they said good-bye

10. Are you going to Scarborough Fair (Scarborough Fair-Simon & Garfunkle)

11. I read your letter, darlin', tears filled my eyes

12. Loving you, isn't the right thing to do (Go Your Own Way-Fleetwood Mac)

13. I want a trip inside your head

14. Well we all have a face, that we hide away forever

15. A winter's day, In a deep and dark December (I Am a Rock-Simon & Garfunkle)

16. I am just a poor boy, though my story is seldom told (The Boxer-Simon & Garfunkle)

17. Tough, you think you've got the stuff

18. And his hand it fell behind her, as his arm it reached around

19. Hello darkness, my old friend, I've come to talk with you again (Sound of Silence-Simon & Garfunkle)

20. When you're weary, feeling small (Bridge Over Troubled Water-Simon & Garfunkle)

Why is it when I shuffle for something like this I get a ton of the same artists? Any other time my ipod shuffles quite nicely.

In other news, I made pecan tarts! Mmm... They're for the people I work for...I was planning on making them last Monday, but I was kind of... sick. :P









I also finally finished the fingerless mitts I've been working on for...oh, about a month.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Five days left

So, we had a wonderful Christmas...even though the rest of my family now has the cold and was sick for Christmas. I'm so sorry!! :( I didn't sleep well Christmas Eve, so I almost fell asleep before we opened presents even. Yep, I must be getting old, I would have been quite happy to take a nap and then open presents later. :P

I was feeling well enough to go to church Christmas Eve though, so that was nice. :)

I got lots of neat things, and Colin was quite thrilled with his presents. Among other things he got some "Building Big" DVDs, and I got him Legos.





















I got Dad new mats for the car and had quite a struggle wrapping them. I wanted to disguise them somewhat so I sort of folded them in half, wrapped them in bubble wrap, and then wrapped the whole thing with a black trash bag, and tied it with ribbon. It was...interesting.

"She got me bubble wrap, but I don't know why it's so heavy..."
























I got some nifty socks!:









And the Chronicle of Narnia, hardcover books!:









Colin and I:









Rebecca got me this book, which I haven't ever read, but I think I'd heard of it and it looks very interesting!

So, my family is all sick now...or rather Mom and Dad feel awful and Colin is happily playing and seems to be fine except for coughing, but he claims he feels terrible too. :) I'm pretty much all better except I'm coughing like I've been smoking or something! lol So today I'm drinking massive amounts of water in an attempt to ditch this cough. We'll see if it works...
I went to the grocery store yesterday to get stuff for the sickies...we were almost out of kleenex! I'm glad I'm feeling better in time to take care of them at least...otherwise we'd all be down at the same time and pretty pitiful! :(

Only five days till next year! I can hardy believe it!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We sing lots of wonderful hymns around Christmas time, and I simply can't share all of them, but this is one that I don't remember ever having heard before this year and I really like it.

Gentle Mary laid her Child
Lowly in a manger;
There he lay, the Undefiled,
To the world a stranger.
Such a babe in such a place,
Can he be the Savior?
Ask the saved of all the race
Who have found His favor.

Angels sang about His birth,
Wise men sought and found Him;
Heaven's star shone brightly forth
Glory all around Him.
Shepherds saw the wondrous sight,
Heard the angels singing;
All the plains were lit that night,
All the hills were ringing.

Gentle Mary laid her Child
Lowly in a manger;
He is still the undefiled,
But no more a Stranger.
Son of God of humble birth,
Beautiful the story;
Praise His Name in all the earth,
Hail! the King of Glory!

"He is still the Undefiled, but no more a stranger" I love that!
He wasn't any less perfect when He came to earth, but was able to die for our sins because of being born as a baby on earth. We don't deserve the mercy and grace that God showed us by sending His son to earth, but he bore the punishment for our sins. And that's the reason to celebrate Christmas!
"Can he be the Savior? Ask the saved of all the race, who have found His favor."

Luke 2:1-14:
1
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David:

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas! It's a lovely sunny day here, although no snow. :) I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas whatever the weather is where you are!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gracie is searching for the meaning of Christmas...

...by crushing the presents under the tree. :P









And no, that's not actually under the tree...she's sitting on my lap in that picture...courtesy of the camera on my laptop, but she was under the tree a moment ago.

Since I'm lying on the couch with my laptop, Mom suggested I could write a blog post...except it might be whiny. Well, I'll try not to whine. :)

I thought I was getting better, I didn't feel too bad when I got home from work yesterday, but after supper I got started coughing again and then this morning I had stuff to do, but my stomach was hurting inside and out and my head hurt too. Basically I felt like I'd coughed myself sick and sore. My stomach is rather sensitive and all the cough medicine and cough drops and tea just took it's toll, and then all my stomach muscles are sore from coughing. Ugh...I don't WANT to be lying around...I do tend to feel sorry for myself when I'm sick, but I want to be up and doing stuff.

I'm feeling a little better now though. Mom made me some cheese toast for lunch and I managed to swallow some sinus medicine and Tylenol so my head feels better. I should probably get up soon and try to get something done. I might be able to make it to church tonight even...and since we're meeting at someone's house surely I can find a comfy spot to sit. :)

Yesterday at work was interesting. :D The baby was still congested from her cold, so she and I mostly sat there coughing (in stereo, the cleaning lady said) while her aunt and uncle were in and out and her dad came home to find something and everyone but us seemed rather spazzed and stressed. I would have just preferred to see fewer people that day, but oh well...I survived. :P

Yeah, I should probably get up and go clean my room...it looks like a tornado went through it. A tornado with a cold.

I'm rather upset about getting sick mostly because I thought maybe I could make it all season without getting sick. Ha-ha, silly me! Wishful thinking! I've been washing my hands obsessively and everything, but I guess there wasn't any way to keep from getting it from a baby. Oh well...I probably would have gotten it elsewhere if not from her, and at least I didn't have to worry about infecting her.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Christmas tomorrow! :) Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Not too bad for a Monday

I am already tired of blowing my nose! Or rather, my nose is tired of it. But I think that's a good sign...means my body's fighting off the virus and all, right? *thinks about what she remembers re: white blood cells and colds, etc.*

My mom's friend came over here this morning because she had some pants she wanted me to hem for her and a couple other mending projects. I tried very, very hard not to sneeze or cough on the poor lady! "Yeah sure, I can hem your pants, you'll just get a cold in the process..." :P

I was debating for a while whether I should call her back this morning and tell her she'd better come another day, because I was really feeling awful for a while this morning. I slept fairly well last night, apart from waking up every hour or so to blow my nose and try to pull my covers back over me. I must have been thrashing like crazy when I was asleep, because the covers were terribly tangled and I was all sore and achy this morning. The aching might have been part of being sick though, because even sleeping a strange position couldn't have left me sore all the way from my shoulders to my toes. But I felt better after eating some breakfast and taking a Tylenol. Now I'm just coughing and lying in bed with my box of kleenex.

Colin was going around this morning tidying things and wiping down doorknobs and stuff with disinfectant wipes... Yep, I'm down, so he suddenly turns efficient. :P Dad also pointed out that Colin probably doesn't want to be sick for Christmas.

Oh, as a side note to my cousins, I got your package in the mail today. Thanks! :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hazards of the job

Hmm...in the comments on my last post Jessica said it sounded like I was full of Christmas cheer. Well, I am I suppose, but when I was writing that (Thursday) I was having a tough day at work because the baby had a cold and needed extra attention because of that, so I wasn't feeling particularly festive. :D Then I also babysat for about three hours on Friday.

Now guess what I have? Yep...a cold. I was fine almost all day yesterday except for my throat being a little tickly. Then about the time we were leaving for the holiday concert I was feeling tired, like sick-tired, not just worn-out tired. And by the time I went to bed last night I was ready to crash for a good night's sleep. Which I didn't get. So I wasn't in any shape to go to church this morning, and I missed the Christmas service. And the potluck. :(

On the other hand I'm starting to feel a little bit better. Mom told me this morning that as soon as she could get to the store to get carrots and celery she could make me chicken soup. I pointed out that I'd probably be well by then, but thanks anyway. :) But I've been drinking tea, which might be why I'm feeling so...alert. :P It's been watered-down tea, but it's still caffeinated.

Anyway, I read and slept and messed around on the computer this morning until I felt well enough to get up. Then in a burst of energy I started laundry and Swiffered the floor because it was driving me crazy and I hadn't gotten to it yesterday. After I got that done I felt well enough to doctor a can of chicken soup...I cooked some garlic in olive oil, dumped in the soup, added a chicken bouillon cube, red pepper flakes, and a ton of dried parsley flakes. Yum!

So I'm feeling a lot better, except my throat is still sore and I'm coughing. I should be well enough in time for work on Tuesday, and if I have energy for anything else, my friend asked me to come over for a sleepover that night. I'm thinking I should be fine by then, apart from coughing. I have a feeling this is going to be one of my colds that turns into a cough, so while I may be feeling better, I might not be too quiet this week! :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The risk of sounding trite

...or at least shallow. I'm afraid my blog posts recently (actually, maybe longer than that, you tell me) have been a rather shallow and rushed and pretty much pointless. Granted, this isn't meant to be a super-sober, analytical sort of blog all the time, but I haven't been taking much time to think. In general, actually, not just about blog posts. My thoughtful posts are usually scattered amid stuff about life and posts of things I find funny, but I've been so busy lately (and still blogging!) that it's all been kind of insipid. Funny perhaps, but not exactly sensible...and now I'm sounding stiff and priggish. :D I think you know what I mean though... Or maybe not.

All in all I've been feeling a lack of time to think and it's affected the blogging some as well. Or rather, I have been thinking, but it's all been about what I need to get done, and work, and Christmas plans, and planning for this and planning for that, and whatever else can squeeze into my consciousness has been trivial. I think it will be better after Christmas though...we have about three more things coming up, and then Christmas, and then I should have time to think! Which will be nice.

I try thinking after I get in bed at night but...well, it puts me to sleep thoroughly. ;) To quote from one of Agatha Christie's mysteries:

'You never realize that by lying back in an arm-chair with the eyes closed one can come nearer to the solution of any problem. One sees then with the eyes of the mind.'

'I don't,' I said. 'When I lie back in an arm-chair with my eyes closed one thing happens to me and one thing only!'

So yeah. I've been busy. We have a holiday concert to go to on Saturday, the Christmas service at church with a potluck afterwards, Christmas Eve service, and then Christmas. Which reminds me, I should probably get going on wrapping presents sometime soon this week because I'm not going to have a lot of time! And it's only oh, 6.5 days till Christmas. :) Yay!

And here's the pictures of our Christmas decorations. :) Although some of you have probably seen these already.

Tree before decorating:







See how real it looks?:







After decorating:







Aw, little Petunia:














Nativity scene:









My grandma made these paper cuttings when she worked at Old Salem, and I just thought of mounting them on cardstock this year.











Gracie does not approve of Christmas trees:











Colin asked if the hat helped me decorate faster...well, I was kinda hyper. I scurried around like a...a...an overgrown elf! That's it! ...um, yeah...













Anyway, that's that. Hopefully my blog posts will make more sense when I have more time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Toothpaste overload?

Okay, I know I'm weird, but I'm not sure what level of weirdness is indicated by having a favorite kind of toothpaste. Maybe that's more like, um, being picky. :P

On the other hand, why would they have 33 different varieties of toothpaste if there weren't people who didn't like one kind or the other? I mean, surely there's a somewhat reasonable explanation for why we need that many choices? And that's only in one brand.

So while it is daunting to go to the store and be confronted by a huge display of toothpastes, I would argue that there is reason for at least a few choices. And presumably other people have even more requirements from their toothpaste, so they need even more varieties to choose from.

All that to say that I realized I have a favorite toothpaste. Colgate Sparkling White Mint Zing to be exact. It meets the requirements for my toothpaste: paste, not gel...gel leaves a nasty slippery feeling in your mouth, baking soda for extra grit, and mint, but not a sweet mint...a good sharp mint flavor.

Okay, so how weird is that? :P Although I figure it's something I'm putting in my mouth, and if I have a right to be picky about anything, it's what goes in my mouth!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Amazon: 1, UPS: -1

Okay, so I like UPS. They're awesome, they get your packages to you on time and quickly and all that...they have a good tracking system, etc. And the UPS guys always pet the cat when she's outside on the porch...well, okay, she flings herself at them (the shameless hussy) but they pet her. One of the delivery men even took a picture of her because he collects pictures of unusual things. Hmm...I guess she is a little strange. We've gotten used to her coloring, but when you first see a tortoiseshell cat they do look different!

Anyway, I'm usually quite happy with UPS, but I ordered some books from Amazon the other day and got them on Friday. The box was all bashed on one corner (not good!), and when I opened it up, one of the books was all scraped up because of that. When I inspected the box, I realized that not only had it been dropped, it had apparently been dropped in a puddle. Or put in a puddle and then dropped...something like that. The cardboard was disintegrating at any rate.

So I got on Amazon.com and got a replacement processing...really quickly, I didn't have to talk to anyone even, just filled out the form and sent it in, packaged up the damaged book and sent it back. And I got my replacement today!

Now that's good service! So, points for Amazon...even though their web page drives my dad crazy. :P

It was a kid's book I ordered for a Christmas present...it's called Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy and it cracked me up when I was looking through it...


























That would be the point I lost it and burst out laughing. :D If you can't tell, that pig has shiny green shades...and is so "smoooooooth". LOL

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don't mind me...breakdown makes me hyper

Whooof...my feet hurt. But other than that I'm extremely hyper.

We had our church dinner tonight at Fair Oaks, and it went really well. :) Quite a few Fair Oaks-ians came and we got started only...oh, a half hour late. We had plenty of food, way too much dessert, and didn't run out of coffee or cups.

(Hmm...apparently Colin is hyper too...I just heard him say to Dad, "I'm tired! Aren't you?!!" in a super-perky voice.)

I certainly started out the evening wonderfully by teasing my friend that she was taking all the ham...and then saying, "Oh, go ahead, hog the ham!" Then I groaned as I realized my unintentional pun and she giggled helplessly. "Hello, my name is Natalie and I've been way too busy today."

I made a pound cake and creamed corn for tonight. Both of them have tons of butter and cream cheese in them...so they tasted awesome, if I do say so myself. lol No, really, not trying to be vain, I'm just saying anything with cream cheese and butter has got to be yummy. I don't really like creamed corn that well, but my mom said this was one kind that actually tastes good, so I looked up the recipe online and made it....and it was delish! I think it's going to be my thing to bring to church dinners now, because everyone ate it all up and loved it. Even one of the elderly people from Fair Oaks was telling my dad it was really good, so if a southerner thought it was good then I guess I did something right. :D

Mom made hash brown casserole and green bean casserole (my favorite vegetable ever!!!). And there was sweet potato casserole and all sorts of good food. Oh, Mom fixed the ham too...Costco ham, very good deal, very good ham.

Then when it was all over we cleaned everything up super well...I think we probably left the place cleaner than we found it...which is not a bad thing. :) That's part of why I'm hyper...clearing tables and breaking down tables, and getting stuff rounded up and put away, and all that makes me energetic. Yes, I'm weird. Hmm...I'd probably make a good roadie. Although I certainly wasn't the only hyper person there...two of the guys were getting a table folded up, and since they'd just flipped it over and I was right there, I kicked the table legs shut (the best way to do it) and Amanda's husband was like, "You go girl!" and something else equally random and hyper. :D Too much caffeine?? Wait, I only had water and I'm hyper. Seriously though, that's the best way to break down a folding table...like kicking someone in the back of the knees...not that I've ever done that. :P

Anyway... :D A good time was had by all, and the place is nice and clean now, and one of the guys from our church managed to get two bags of leftover ham and a plate of cookies to take home. Both of these things had been sitting out for quite awhile, but he didn't want us to throw them away I guess. I'm not sure what his wife's going to think about it. :P We managed to dispose of most of the food in one way or another...the unopened sodas went home with the family that's having the church fellowship next week, and I was getting ready to get rid of three opened bottles of soda when one of the ladies asked if she could help.

"Well," I started, "I was just going to get rid of these...so I don't think there's anything..." and that's as far as I got before she quickly divested me of the two diet sodas. "Oh, those have been opened," I said. "Yes!! I love flat diet coke!" she replied, "Do you understand?!" And I stood there with my remaining bottle of soda and shook my head saying that no, I didn't understand, but if she wanted them, that was great, they weren't wasted. :D

And I also want a new camera now after seeing Amanda's new camera. :) Ooo....nice camera.... :P

Friday, December 12, 2008

How does that look?

I think the color is fairly accurate on my laptop, but if there's anything glaringly wrong with this color scheme, please let me know! :D

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How about...something that makes sense?

Okay, I think this post should make more sense than my last one. Sorry about that...that was one of those moments when I felt like blogging but probably should have waited. :p I've been a little bit tired all week and couldn't really think straight. Tuesday I was working, and Wednesday I was in (as I described to my cousin) a "harrummph" sort of mood...which has a facial expression that goes with it and makes it clearer. Basically I was feeling sorry for myself because of several things, and feeling like nothing was going right, etc. I'm pretty much better now. :)

Anyway...the weather around here has been really weird! It's been warm and raining. I don't mind not being frozen, but this is just strange.

I'm off work for a week now, because I'm off next Tuesday, so I need to make sure I accomplish something this week. I am going to be busy this weekend, because our church dinner for the Fair Oaks people is this Saturday night. I also have just a few more things to buy for Christmas gifts, and I should probably get those this weekend. I keep thinking I've finished my Christmas shopping and then remembering that I haven't gotten something for somebody, or I got something that won't work and need to get a different item. :P

I'm really enjoying my Christmas shopping this year, since I have plenty of money to get some nice things for people...not that there's anything wrong with a budget (and I'm trying to get good deals still...but that's just how I shop most of the time). But it's just nice to not have to worry about a budget so much. :)

I worked today and one of the things I did to amuse the baby was to play some contra dance music I have on my laptop and dance with her (well, holding her) around the living room (which has nice wood floors!) and she loved it! Her mom has said they dance with her some, and she really enjoys it...I've never seen that little baby laugh so much! :D So I got my exercise for the day...and she got about as much as usual. lol We usually go for a walk, in which case, she's just sitting in the stroller, but we weren't able to go for a walk because it never stopped raining today.

There are only 13 days till Christmas! Where...what...? WHERE HAS THIS YEAR GONE??!!!! And out of that I have about 7 completely free days. You know what I want for Christmas? Perhaps a slightly slower year next year! Maybe it's schoolwork that makes a year go slowly? Should I study something next year to make the year slow down? :D

Ah, what else has been going on? I got our tree set up and other Christmas decorations...I'll post pictures later.

Annnd...I think that's about all for now. So, short post...but hopefully it was a little clearer than my last one. :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

It's Monday and apparently my brain doesn't work

Um...hmm... I was thinking I was going to blog, but my head seems to have gone blank. Ah... It's the weather I tell you. Something about winter freezes the brain cells, so they don't always work right or only work intermittently. :D

Oh, I went to hear Handel's "Messiah" Sunday afternoon. It was very, very good! I've somehow never heard it, even on CD, so it was neat to get to hear it live the first time. I would say that the sound wasn't very good in the auditorium though...it wasn't really designed to project sound very well. But it was still wonderful...even though it was long! I was having trouble staying awake and at one point almost fell asleep. oops.... :( I was up late the night before and it was dark in there!

Quite a few people from church were there, and my friend Jessica told me later that one of the pastor's daughters (7 year-old) was looking at the conductor and asked, "Is that the guy who wrote it?!" :) Um....not quite. :)

We got our tree set up. Dad put together the two bottom pieces and got them fluffed out this weekend, and I put the top piece on this afternoon...it really looks real! I need to get a picture of it to post on here. We haven't decorated it yet, but it's pre-lit so it looks pretty nice as it is. :) And SO much less hassle. The lights are such a pain to install, getting them all wrapped around a sticky tree. This one isn't sticky of course, but it's still nice to not have to fight with the lights. :P

I went to a birthday party Saturday night, which was lots of fun. We played a game called Encore...where you have to come up with song lyrics. Which was pretty cool for a music junkie like me. :) We also played Cranium, which I hadn't ever played before...even though it's one of those games that it seems like everyone's played.

Oh wow...I'm going to wrap this up. I keep typing things and then deleting them because they don't make any sense. Maybe I'm still low on sleep.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas shopping and more

Well, my shopping the other day was successful, though a bit annoying. Almost every store I went to had some sort of music blaring, either Christmas or otherwise, and I really don't like to have to try to think about what I'm buying over all the noise. Argh. Yeah, that's probably the point...don't think, just buy. Unfortunately that doesn't make me buy, it makes me want to scream in the middle of a crowded mall and then beat my head repeatedly on...something. Perhaps on the carousel. Hmm...they have some sort of bouncing/bungee thing for kids...I wonder what the height and weight limit is for that? Looks like good stress relief...

But I got pretty much all the stuff I was looking for. I got a cranberry-colored cardigan from Delias and a couple of t-shirts to use of the rest of the gift card. I was in there forever trying to find something that I even liked! It wasn't even a matter of, well, that's not worth paying $30 for or something. It was more like, that doesn't fit me, and I don't like any of that stuff...and that's flat ugly. But anyway, I found some things.

I got some of my Christmas shopping done too, although I bought one thing for Mom and one for Dad and after I looked at reviews online, I think both will be going back. *sigh*

I stopped in at Barnes and Noble to look for something and got distracted by the display of Barnes and Noble classics....they look so pretty! I didn't buy anything, but I took a picture. :P And also managed to get a bad angle, so you can't see the titles of the books. oops.









I'm going to be busy this weekend...I've got a birthday party to go to Saturday night, church on Sunday, and then there's a performance of Handel's Messiah that I'm planning on going to Sunday afternoon. Several people from church are going, and then we're not having an evening service because it goes till 6:00.

I'm not real fond of opera, but as far as classical music goes, Handel would be one of my top two favorite composers. Plus I love the "Hallelujah Chorus" and some of it will be similar to that..including of course, the chorus itself. :) And the conductor will be the Conductor Emeritus of the Winston-Salem Symphony, Peter Perret...he used to conduct the holiday concert at the coliseum, but last year their new conductor did instead. I don't like the new guy's style as well. He tries to be "relevant" and funny or something, and it's eh...it's okay, but not that good. But Perret is a very good conductor, so that will be nice. :)

So that's what I'm doing this weekend. Then next Saturday evening is going to be our church dinner at Fair Oaks.

Wow...is that not the definition of comfortable? Spoiled cat!









My we're a hard lot to shop for! lol Mom was trying to figure out what to get me for Christmas and anything I need I've either bought, or would have to pick out myself. I finally figured out some stuff to put on my Amazon wishlist, including a bunch of books, some kitchen stuff, and some other misc. things. But none of that is stuff that I need.
We're not sure what to get Dad...he's got specific things he wants as well, and I'm not sure we can figure out how to buy them for him. And Mom's trying to find jeans for Grandpa in 40 x 29. Could there be a harder size to find?! :D I understand, it's certainly hard to find pants to fit right...I was stepping on the hems of my jeans the other day, and I just hemmed four pairs of pants for Colin, because they were about 5 inches too long.

We got our Christmas tree this morning...it's not real. :( But it's a very nice-looking faux one! And it was only $75 because all the trees are on clearance at Lowes. It has three different kinds of needles on it...the molded ones that look real, some somewhat molded, but made out of cheaper plastic ones, and then the flat plastic ones that all the trees used to be made out of. So it should look pretty nice! I'm excited about setting it up...actually, I think I'm more excited about having a tree that needs to be put-together and installed than I am about having it decorated. :P Weird.

Cinnamon Breakfast Biscuits

I made breakfast for supper last night and made egg & hashbrown casserole and cinnamon biscuits.
These are a whole lot faster than making cinnamon rolls and they taste as good, if not better!

Biscuits:
2 cups flour
1/2 t. salt
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cream of tartar
2 t. cinnamon
4 T. sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter-very cold
2/3 cups milk

Combine all dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture has small crumbs. Add milk and stir with a fork until it all holds together, then knead 12-14 times. On a piece of floured waxed paper, pat out the dough to about 1" thick and cut out biscuits. Put biscuits on baking sheet and bake @ 425' for 12-15 minutes.

Buttercream frosting:
1 stick butter softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1-1 1/2 T. milk
1/2 t. vanilla

Combine ingredients, beating well, add more milk as necessary. Put the frosting in a ziploc bag and cut the corner off for easy spreading. When the biscuits are done, squeeze the frosting onto them while they're still hot, then set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Makes 12-14 biscuits, depending on size...mine are about 3 inches across.

You could probably make a simpler glaze, but the buttercream tastes really, really yummy! And if you want regular biscuits, just use half the sugar and leave out the cinnamon, and that's my basic biscuit recipe.

I'm afraid I don't have any pictures because they disappeared pretty fast. :D

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Macbook

My new laptop came on Tuesday! :) It's in very good condition, works perfectly, and it's a whole lot faster than my old computer. My old one is a G4, and I thought it was fairly fast, but compared to this it's not. :p Firefox starts up fast, YouTube videos look better, and I can actually see the videos on Facebook.

So far Dad's gotten my email and Firefox set up, but he hasn't transferred my other files yet. But that's all I really need at the moment, all my email and my bookmarks. I took it to work with me on Wednesday and after lots of trial and error got it connected to the cable modem. First I did all the stuff I thought was supposed to work, and when that didn't work I was luckily able to find an unprotected wireless network in the neighborhood so I could do some Google searching and find out what to do. I finally found on the Apple support page that I needed to reboot the modem after I plugged the ethernet cable into the laptop, so that the other computer didn't already take the DHCP lease. Next week when I'm working I need to see if it will work to just restart the computer after I plug it in, but I'm thinking that won't do it.

So I got it connected, and it was so nice to be able to use a computer that wasn't freezing up every 5-10 minutes and running slow. The lady I work for has a IBM Thinkpad (or stinkpad, as my Dad started calling them about the time the school began issuing them as the student laptops). Anyway, she got it when she was in med school and it's now probably got a virus, or too new of programs for it, or it needs to be completely cleared and have Windows reinstalled, or something.

I know I didn't have to use a computer at work, so I didn't have to deal with that one and all it's problems, but it's more like if I'm using a computer I expect it to work, whether I need to use it or not! So it will be nice to be able to use a computer at work without continual restarting and no more annoying ctr-alt-del! Hurrah! lol

(Although, I guess since some of Dad's job is fixing computers I should be happy that computers don't always work... :P )






























The apple glows when the computer is on and open:









It came with a very nice laptop bag too! (It does say Dell on it, but oh well.)












At prayer meeting last night I was telling my friend Jess that I'd gotten a new computer and she asked what kind it was. When I told her, she raised her eyebrows and said something like "Ohh my..." And then told me how her brother has a Mac and as she put it, has an almost cult-ish obsession that Macs are the best, and how she's had to hear his lectures about Macs. At which I grinned and told her that, yes, Macs really are awesome and work a lot better than PCs, but I wouldn't be giving her a big lecture about it. ;)

The keyboard and track pad are taking a little getting used to, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of them. The only problem now is that I keep hitting the caps lock key instead of the "a" because my finger is going over too far. Plus I'd gotten used to the scroll wheel on my mouse, and the "home", "page up/down", and "end" keys on my keyboard. I actually have those keys on here, but I have to press the "fn" (function?) key to get them to do that, because they're on what are normally the arrow keys.

Oh, and the finish on this isn't smooth hard plastic, it's that kind of slightly matte/fuzzy finish...which is what it looked like in the pictures, but Dad thought it would be smooth plastic. So I really like that! It's not really fuzzy...I'm not sure how to describe it. If you've ever seen anything with a finish like this, you should be able to tell from the picture what I mean.

This is also wonderfully quiet! I knew my other computer made a lot of noise (even more so because it has to be open), but my Macbook is silent. It's great to not have the whirring noise in your ears! :)

So, all in all, I'm very pleased! :) (Which I expected.) Now I'm just going to buy another power adapter so that I can keep one plugged in at home and keep one in the laptop bag. That's one thing I'm a little disappointed in...the power adapter seems badly designed, although it does have the magnetic connection so that your computer doesn't get hurt.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Another tag...a picture this time

Annabeth tagged me. The rules are:

Go to your Picture file, go to the 5th folder, open up the 5th picture, post it, and then tag 5 people.

I didn't have anything in the 5th folder (why was there a folder even??) so I went to the 6th instead, and picked the 5th photo.

A Petunia pretzel...how exciting! :p :














And I'm going to tag: Rebecca, Ana, Jen, Leah, and Sarah.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Scheduling

Let me just start out by wondering why, if my laptop is currently in Greensboro (got there yesterday afternoon) UPS isn't going to deliver it until Wednesday? I could drive to G-boro, pick up the package (if one were allowed to do that), and be back in under two hours, and yet it's not going to be here for three days. *looks frustrated*

Secondly, why don't any of the stores I want to go to open before nine? I'm not working tomorrow morning, so I'm planning on taking Dad to work, getting some breakfast, and then doing some shopping, but I guess I'll have to eat a leisurely breakfast because all the stores open at nine.

I was hoping Barnes and Noble would be open at 8 or 8:30, so I could hang out there for a while, but no...not open till nine. I need to get a birthday present for a friend's birthday party, and I was originally thinking of getting it from the mall, but that depends on what I find at another store. I'm still going to go to the mall though and see if I can find anything at Delia's to use my gift card on! Luckily, all the stores I had in mind to go to are in the same general area, so that won't be too bad. Unless I decide I need to look somewhere else...hopefully not. (I'm not real fond of the mall, if you couldn't tell...) :p

So anyway, shopping tomorrow (but not before nine!) ...ooo, Colin just reminded me what I can do before nine...I can go to Lowes Hardware and get some ceiling fan light bulbs, because we're out of them and I need one in my ceiling fan! Okay...that'll work. Breakfast, Lowes, Homegoods, mall. And then I'm working in the afternoon.

I put my hair in curlers last night...I haven't tried that for a long time, like, not at all since I got layers in my hair last year. It didn't come out quite how I expected. :p There doesn't seem to be any way to get the hair curly all the way to the scalp, so it was very curly on the ends, but flat on the top of my head.










Then I combed the curls out with my fingers and pulled it back:

































It's a bit frizzier than I wanted. :p

Sunday, November 30, 2008

End of a busy weekend

Well, my cousins and aunt and uncle left yesterday morning. After which I lay on my bed reading and trying not to fall asleep and then we all went to Costco. I about fell asleep in the car on the way home though, so when we got home I helped carry stuff in and then headed to bed. Pulled the blanket out from under the very peeved cat and curled up and slept for almost four hours. I didn't really feel better when I woke up because I woke up with a horrific sinus headache and had to take some Tylenol and sinus medicine and take a shower, all of which helped some. I finally felt better after sitting on the couch and eating some roast beef sandwiches...I hadn't really had any lunch so I probably needed to eat.

Here are a few pictures from when my cousins were here, I didn't take as many pictures as I sometimes do. For one thing I don't have any extra batteries for my camera so I didn't want to run down the ones that were in there. They're the fancy Energizer e2 lithium AA's, but they do run down fairly fast if I have my camera on a lot!

They were racing going down the slide...which was so short that it was usually a tie:








They look a bit squished:








What's wrong with your hands, Rebecca? :p :








Playing tic-tac-toe...from left to right: Alex, Rebecca, Andrea, and John:





















It was kind of different this time, because only Rebecca stayed here with me, Andrea wanted to stay in the hotel with everyone else...something about not wanting to have to sleep under the table like last time they were here. :p So I'm not sure if we got more sleep or less this way...there weren't any late-night Dutch Blitz games, but we did play chess one night and talked the next night, and then Friday night we just read until we decided we'd probably better go to bed.

So we had a pretty fun Thanksgiving weekend! I apparently missed a big political discussion, and something else controversial like that too, I think... I didn't miss my uncle offering to give my dad a shotgun with one of his reasons being that Dad should have a shotgun to be cleaning when any young man came to see me. To which I said that he'd probably have plenty of time to get one with the ways things are right now, and my uncle and my mom said in unison "You never know when someone might show up!" at which point I looked slightly freaked out and muttered something about, "Hopefully sooner rather than later!!"...like, before I start doing that too... ;)

So anyway, we had a good weekend, and after I had my nap and supper and felt better last night, I was weirdly happy...I guess because I felt so much better, and my room is fairly clean, I have a fairly light week of work coming up, a birthday party to go to on Saturday, and not much in the way of big chores to do this week. I should mop the floor though, because between the root beer and people going in and out, the kitchen floor isn't exactly clean. :)

Tomorrow's December already! I wish the months wouldn't keep sneaking up on me like this...I don't even remember this summer...it's weird. I remember Easter and I remember my cousins coming in June, but I guess I was so busy with getting work stuff figured out and everything that the rest just faded away. I should go read my blog...see, this is why I blog, so I can remember what I did! :p Well, not really, I blog because...well, because people will read it I guess. I don't know! Because I enjoy blogging, and reading other people's blogs. :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Woo-hoo! It's tomorrow....I mean today...

...I mean, I had coffee!

Ha-ha, my cousins and I went to Starbucks and my dad kind of suggested I get decaf because I was very, very hyper before we left. So I got decaf and then when I got home started falling apart because I was tired, plus I had caffeine last night, so I was in withdrawal. I was stumbling around the kitchen trying to get stuff cleaned up and accidentally putting the napkins in the fridge, so I asked Rebecca if she could put a small cup of coffee in the microwave for me. :D I drank that and it helped a lot, and now I'm definitely awake, and I'm also drinking down a travel mug of water to counteract all the coffee. :) I don't know if getting caffeinated coffee at Starbucks would have helped anyway...Andrea was sitting there drinking her coffee and saying: "I don't...think...this is...working..." Although when we got home John was spazzing about "did his coffee have caffeine in it? Because he felt very awake! And he didn't think he'd go to sleep for a while. And then about how nice the Starbucks employees are, because the guy was polite and took his order and actually talked to him and told him to have a good day or something. Yeah, they're kinda paid to be polite to the customers... :P

Anyways, this morning we all went next door to Grandma and Grandpa's and ate breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and pancakes...except I'm really picky about how my eggs are cooked and if they're cooked wrong I can't stand to eat them. So I ate about three bites of egg, two pancakes, and a lot of bacon. Bacon is delicious. After we got done eating we went to the bookstore and I found four books and only paid about $12 for them. I got a very nice Everyman's Library edition hardcover w/dust jacket Bleak House. The Adventures of Robin Hood, hardcover with color illustrations. Fahrenheit 451, paperback. And The Man Who was Thursday, paperback. Everyone else found books too. And the people who work there were very nice, and they were showing us some really neat books they had, and the lady was going on about how she was so happy we were buying her cute little books. Her husband said that she is more like foster mom to the books, and we weren't buying them, we were adopting them! :D (They were joking, they weren't really that crazy... :p) And they were so happy that we were buying classics, while the adults that come in there want James Patterson and stuff. :) So anyway, that was a lot of fun, and I'll definitely be going back.

When we got home the adults were still next door, so we started digging out leftovers for lunch and in the process of getting his food John managed to spread mashed potatoes all over the counter and then asked me if that was a problem. Um....kind of. And Rebecca had an unfortunate freak accident with the root beer, which although it had been sitting quietly by itself decided to explode when she opened it and she went running outside with the root beer fizzing as she went, and there was root beer on the wall even. lol! So we had to mop it all up off of the many surface it was on, and then go over the floor several times with wet rags because it kept feeling sticky, and in the middle of all this Colin came in and demanded that I get him some lunch. At which point I kind of lost it and said something about mashed potatoes and root beer everywhere, and don't step in that puddle, and do I look like I can get you lunch this instant?!!!

I think it was just after we got done cleaning it all up that our parents came back over and wanted to know why the rug was outside. I explained that it was outside because it had root beer on it, and that they had missed all the excitement. (That rug's still out on the patio actually, I forgot to throw it in the wash.) Sheesh, I knew there was a reason I don't like root beer!

After lunch we went up to the church and played around for a while, and on the way back scared off a flock of those stupid Canadian geese that were hanging around down by the pond nearby. That was really fun! They just kind of looked at us at first, like geese do, as if to say "You're not really serious are you?", and then they started hustling a little faster, then they decided we were serious and they all took flight with a big "Whoooosh!" of flapping.

Rebecca and I got supper ready when we got back, Rebecca mixed up the fruit salad and I cooked and put together the pasta and meatballs and popped it in the oven, then went and tried to remember how to play rummy. And found out that the deck of cards I have is not only warped (they got wet because they were in my coat pocket) but there are also cards missing...hmmm...I was not aware of that. I guess I need a pack of cards for Christmas. :p

Oh wow, last night Rebecca and I were a little slap-happy and for some reason we got started talking about how we hog covers, or if we have stuffed animals they end up being flung across the room (actually, I just realized I don't do that, I usually end up squishing the stuffed animals by rolling over on top of them)...anyway, we started cracking up, and wondering what we are going to do when we get married and have to not steal the covers from our poor husbands and/or kick them in the process of rolling over and taking the covers with us. We didn't really come up with any good solution, other than that maybe a king-size bed would fix the problem, or I thought maybe a queen bed but with king-size sheets would work.

I guess there's also the possibility of marrying someone who's as much of a cover-hog as yourself and just always fighting for the covers. :D Because seriously, does anyone just lie down in bed like a log and never move the entire night? I mean, I sleep like a log, but more like a log in an earthquake... So anyway, we got to laughing about that and had trouble calming down. Yeah, the covers would be the problem...Andrea and I managed to share a bed when we were all out in Oregon and we didn't kick each other, but there was lots of pulling the covers back and forth, and it's certainly a strange sensation to be used to pulling the covers over to your side, but then suddenly feel them pulled tight across your neck and dragged back. :)

So...we were a little...tired last night. And that was very funny then... *sees her blog readers raising their eyebrows and looking slightly doubtful of her sanity*

And I'm a little tired now, plus I've finished my mug of water, so I think I'll go...sleep maybe. Maybe. It would probably be the sensible thing to do anyway. Ha.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

How...eventful... :D

Oof, I'm frozen. My hands finally thawed but my toes feel somewhat less than all there...my cousins and I were just out playing kick-the-can (or bucket) and it's a wee bit chilly outside. But it was fun, and I now have grass stuck to my hat and mud on my jeans because I was lying on the ground...which is a pretty good way of hiding. Until you realize that maybe 19 is really too old to be doing this because you feel stiff and sore. lol!

Rebecca and I stayed up late last night playing chess and they were certainly very interesting games of chess. I think maybe I wasn't quite awake, because I'd suddenly see something that I should or shouldn't have done and that should have been very obvious. We finally decided to go to bed, but then I stayed up probably another hour reading because I'd had that short nap and was not really ready to sleep yet! :)

So today we:

Ate breakfast...spilled milk on the table, discussed the strange milk jugs from Costco, and cereal-eating methods, and threw coffee about. Okay, so my uncle threw me a bag of coffee, it wasn't quite a free-for-all with liquid coffee, but that sounded more exciting. :p

Then my cousins and I went outside and went for a walk before lunch.

Then we ate lunch, lots of lunch, and I lay down on the couch and fell asleep. I think some people were playing chess. Yeah, that's right, they were playing when I woke up. :)

After I was awake and they finished their game, we all walked up to the church playground on the corner and swung on the swings for a while and then I attempted to teach them how to contra dance in the picnic shelter. Unfortunately I have no idea how to dance the guy's part, so it pretty much didn't work too well. I realized that I rely on my partner knowing what he's doing and then I know what I'm doing and that works. What doesn't work is one girl who doesn't know how to dance the guy's part trying to teach another girl who doesn't yet know how to dance the girl's part. Pretty dismal. Not satisfactory at all. And it's totally not my cousins' fault, I'm just disappointed that it wasn't more fun. :( Darn, I wish there was a nearer contra dance tomorrow, Carrboro's a bit far away.

Anyways, after we gave up on that we came back home and ate dessert, and Alex and I played probably the longest game of chess I've ever played, even without counting the half-hour break after Colin knocked a glass off the table and we had to meticulously sweep, vacuum, re-vacuum, and Swiffer the floor. Glass really slides far on a hard surface... So that was...exciting. :P

And it was after that we all, except for Rebecca, went outside. Rebecca shooed us out of the room and blogged...so you can read her blog post too.

So...I don't know what we have planned to do tonight...other than I'm going to shower and see if I can get my toes to thaw. Converse are not any good at keeping your feet warm...even with two pairs of socks on. I'm just finally actually feeling my feet a little bit more.

Oh, and we're going next door to Grandma's for breakfast at nine tomorrow, so I guess we should be planning on getting up in time.

I think tomorrow we're going to go to a few used book stores! Fun!!! There's one on Stratford Road that I've heard is pretty good, and that there are interesting people working there....which is cool, I like interesting people. :) But I'm not sure if we want to brave going to that end of town (near the mall) with all the shopping crowds tomorrow. But we'll at least try to hit the store on Reynolda and see if it's any good, and maybe go to the other one after all the people are shopped out? Do they get shopped out? Surely all the awesome deals are gone pretty fast and then they can all go home! Or maybe not.

Then I think we're going to go to Starbucks sometime and have coffee. Which sounds really nice and warm right now...mmm... A nice caramel macchiato sounds yummy.

So, fun tomorrow and...leftovers probably. :) And I can't think of anything more to say, other than that we had a great Thanksgiving...so, I'm out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quick post

Okay...I got all my chores done today...and my back didn't go out. Yes, it felt in danger of doing so. After this weekend, I need to focus on fitting exercise in and doing something about this. The two sides of my back don't feel like they're even aligned....and that can't be good. :P I got a book from the library about pilates exercises for back pain, and that sounds like it might be the best thing, so I'll see how that goes. Plus I need to take time for lifting weights because that will help as well. *sigh* So many necessary things that take time. In the meantime...no heavy lifting and also: ow.

I thought I wasn't tired, but I lay down on the couch and promptly fell asleep for almost an hour. Okay...I guess I was tired. :)

My cousins will be here in about...two hours, I think? I'm very excited! :)
And I think that's all I have to say right now. lol
Rebecca and I will be blogging this weekend though, so stay tuned for craziness. ;)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hmm...my calendar's filling up

Well, I felt like last year wasn't very festive, so this should help at any rate. In a "Charlie Brown Christmas" sort of way at least... I need involvement!!! :D I need a schedule that's rapidly filling up. No, not really...ah, too late. I think part of the reason last Christmas didn't feel very Christmasy is because we left to go up to Illinois right after Christmas, and while it was fun to see my relatives up there it was all a bit of a rush at home before we left.
But anyway, whether it will help or not, it seems like there are going to be a good number of things going on this next month.

  • First, my cousins are coming this Wednesday night through Saturday for Thanksgiving. Yay! :)
  • There's a fellowship after church next Sunday. (I was thinking there was something going on the first week of December, but I'm not sure what it was now.)
  • On the 13th or 14th our church will probably be having a Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner at Fair Oaks Chapel for the elderly people there...although we haven't heard back from them yet, so it's up in the air still. (That's where our church meets in the evening...they have a very small group of mostly old people so they don't have an evening service.)
  • The 20th is the holiday concert at the coliseum...sorry, Winston-Salem Entertainment-Sports Complex is what they're calling it now...in which case they should change their URL. Anyways, the Sealy/Fox 8 holiday concert, which is always fun to go to. The Salvation Army collects canned goods and that's the entrance fee.
  • Then on the 21st we're having a Christmas service at church, followed by a fellowship lunch.
  • On the 24th we're having a Christmas Eve service (no, we don't usually have this many services! lol) either at Fair Oaks or at someone's house...with maybe the possibility of snacks afterwards at someone's house if we're not at a house already? I'm not even quite sure on the details of all this! And I just said "house" three times in that sentence...

Okay, so that's six different things I guess...so not that much, but still quite a few things. We could have gone to a cookie exchange last week and an open house this week also. And of course I'm working next month too.

Sometime we'll put our Christmas tree up...if we get one. Mom and Colin had trouble with their allergies from the real tree last year, so we were thinking of getting a fake one, but waiting until they're on sale cheaper. Which might be after Christmas. :P I don't mind either way, I like having a tree and decorating it, but I don't mind if we don't have one. Hmm...I do like all the decorating though... ah, whatever.

Let's see what else...I went and got my hair trimmed Sunday afternoon...I don't see that it was really necessary for the lady to cut off quite as much as she did, since I did say to cut as little as possible. I guess that's as little as it was possible for her to cut off! I just wanted the split-ends trimmed, because it was getting all frizzy. I realized the other day that I don't do much with my hair anymore...I used to braid it a lot and stuff like that, but since I got it "styled" with layers, I've just been wearing it down, or clipped up to be out of the way. So I tried braiding it Sunday and realized that I've also been taking better care of it than I used to, because it's even more slippery than it used to be! "Silky" is how the lady at Great Clips kindly put it after my hair slipped out of her fingers for the third or fourth time. :D Anyway, I should try messing with it some more and see if I can get it to do anything in its current "silky" condition.

Oh, that reminds me, the little baby I take care of has started petting my hair. Sometimes she'll actually grab it and I have to tell her "No, ouch, don't do that, that hurts" and she'll let go, but she likes to just pet my hair when it's hanging over my shoulder. It's so cute! :)

Ah, little kids crack me up. We were at our pastor's house for lunch yesterday and I'd made a chocolate cake to take. Their littlest kid is one and they don't really want their kids to have a bunch of sugar until they're two...so he couldn't have any of the cake. But I was standing next to his high-chair while I was cutting the cake and he started out by going "Mmmm...mmmmm!!!" when he saw the cake and making various other noises indicating he wanted some, then he started head-butting me on the hip to get my attention, and when that didn't work put both hands out and pushed! My laughing was causing me more trouble cutting the cake than his pushing was, because I was just cracking up! It felt like a little goat or something bumping into me wanting food. :D What I really don't get is how he knew that that was the really good stuff and that's what he wanted? I finally got done slicing the cake and walked away, at which point he looked extremely peeved that I had not given him any cake! His mom told him he could have a graham cracker, but he was just not buying it. He knew that graham cracker wasn't going to be anywhere near as good as cake! Oh boy...he's going to be a character when he gets older...

Well, I got a bunch of cleaning done today, I'm working tomorrow, and then I'll have more cleaning to do Wednesday...some things just have to wait till the last minute. But I got quite a lot done, and I'll be able to rest my back tomorrow. I was vacuuming the couches off and all the bending over was starting to get to me. I also found an amazing number of things in one of the chairs! I just kept pulling stuff out...I didn't even think we sat in that chair much, but most of it was Colin's stuff, so I guess he sits there. I found one embroidery needle (mine), three large rubber bands for a rubber band gun (Colin's), two Lego pieces (Colin's), a cotton ball (?), the instructions for some toy of Colin's, and a little electronic calender/PDA thing he used to play with. And a bunch of cat hair...and I think I know who that belongs to. Colin thought he didn't have the PDA thing anymore, so he went around all the rest of the day making the thing beep. Argh...I wish I'd left it in the chair!!!

Oh, I bought a laptop today too. It should be here in about a week. I got a really great deal and it comes with a very nice leather carrying case too. I'm quite happy about it. Okay, really, really happy about it! :D
I'm going to have to start getting this computer cleaned up so there aren't so many things to transfer. I've got a ton of files I need to sort through, and bookmarks to clear out of Firefox, and I should probably clean out a bunch of old emails. I have trouble deleting old emails and I bookmark something almost every day, so both of those things are a mess. It's not really necessary before moving, but I need to do it anyway.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Well, that actually fits me

We got Chinese take-out for supper tonight (mmmm!) and this was my fortune in my fortune cookie...well, okay, the piece of paper in my fortune cookie. They're usually more statements rather than fortunes. :) "Your way of doing what other people do their way is what makes you special".










Special...well, that could be taken a couple different ways, but I certainly often do things differently from the way other people do them. :) Colin's was "A human being is a deciding being"...so was that one left over from around election time, or what?

It snowed today, and while I was disappointed that it melted so fast, I was thinking later that really this is awfully early for snow! So maybe it'll snow more this winter. I certainly hope so! :) I want to play in the snow! When I was little though, I would have leaped out of bed this morning when Dad said it had snowed...as it was, I thought "snow, that's neat", sat up and looked out the window, then lay back down, burrowed deeper in the blankets and slept in. :D

Mom was looking on Lands End clearance for some jeans for Grandpa for Christmas, because Grandma said that was one thing he needed...well, she didn't find any, but she was going through the various fits looking for the relaxed fit and one of the cuts they have is "bootcut". "Uh," I asked, "what is bootcut in men's jeans?" So Mom was saying that bootcut used to be narrow at the ankle and supposed to fit inside your boots, so that's probably what these were, not flared like the women's bootcut...but no:

"Original Fit Boot Cut Jeans sit on the hip, run slim through the knee and then widen — subtly — at the leg opening."

Okaaaay....that's just weird.

I almost bought a computer today. There was a MacBook Pro on my eBay watchlist and it was a really good deal, plus we've got a 10% coupon, so I was going to bid on it. Well, I tried except I waited till 20 seconds to snipe it and then it asked me to confirm that we had a Paypal account and I didn't have time to get that done before the auction ended...for $760. Rats!
So now I'm looking at others (I had been looking at just local ones, but the shipping's not much for a laptop so that's not a problem) and I discovered the black MacBooks that have the Intel processor and they aren't going for as much as I would have expected, so one of those might be a possibility. Plus the black looks pretty sleek...I really don't want one of the white ones because they get awfully grubby. The titanium or aluminum would also be better than the white, but most of the MacBook Pros go for a lot. Unfortunately there are LOTS of the black MacBooks on eBay...oh dear, I don't do well with too many choices.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wow...I do read fast!

I like to do a lot of things fast...unless it's something I really don't want to do, in which case I procrastinate. :) But other things I do fast...walking, eating, driving, and reading for example. Especially the reading; which is sometimes good, and sometimes not. As is speed in most things, I guess.

I didn't realize quite how fast I read though! I took several speed tests online and I'm in the 350-500 range for fiction and 200-250 for study reading. Ha, big difference there. I kind of expected that...I'm not sure why I have more trouble with study reading but I do.
But the 350-500 (and it was usually closer to the 500 and one was over that) really surprises me! I guess mostly I'm thinking, "do other people really read that slow?!" And I don't mean that disparagingly, I'm just so used to reading fast that it seems normal. :) What's more, I read slower from a computer screen, so presumably when I'm reading a book I'm going even faster than that. Wow. Well, that would be one reason books don't last me very long. :)

Here's one of the websites: this one has the best system, plus you get to read about the Titanic, so if you were lacking in knowledge about the Titanic, you can learn about it on here. :)

Unfortunately, I sometimes also have a problem with reading comprehension. Not usually with fiction, but with studying, which is when you need to...um, especially comprehend what you're reading. :p I think that's part of the reason I have trouble with that, because I'm really working on slowing down and taking in everything that I'm reading and that ends up causing a lot of "regression" as these speed reading websites call it. And I have trouble concentrating and have to have quiet to read. I just really don't get why I don't have that problem when I'm reading fiction. I remember what I read from a fiction book, so it's not that I'm not retaining the information. But even the most interesting...history book for example...is a lot harder for me to read. Hmm...strange.

Actually I think I'm getting better at slowing down and reading things at a little more leisurely pace, so that's good. But I'm probably still reading pretty fast. :D

Oh, in other news, I feel much better! My right hip was really hurting me last night and this morning and I thought it was just really sore, but at some point this afternoon I felt something sort of pop back into place *shudders*...and it felt a whole lot better. I really could have done without the popping, but oh well, it's better than being in pain. It's so wonderful to be able to step sideways, or in any direction other than just forward and back, without it being extremely painful! (And you don't realize how much you do that until you can't.) It is still sore, but that will go away soon and it doesn't interfere with walking. I'm quite, quite happy about that! Especially since I need to get to work helping Mom get ready for Thanksgiving.

My cousins are coming on Wednesday, and I'm working Tuesday, so we don't have a whole lot of time really. And my room is a disaster, as usual. :( I've definitely got some cleaning to do...
I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving though. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I think the stairs won

(Note: that's a stock photo...not a staircase in any house I've ever been in.) :)
Okay...I have a slight problem. I'm normally not a clumsy person at all, I'd say I have very good balance in fact and am fairly graceful...but...I have issues with stairs. I just...really have trouble with stairs sometimes. I guess it's because I've never lived in a house with stairs. Well, we may have had an upstairs apartment, but I was probably either not walking or an age where I was either being helped up the steps, or at least taking them very slowly, and that's not the same as running up and down them all day.

I know I've always had problems because I remember going up stairs at friends' houses and finding myself putting my hands on the steps in front of me...so, sort of climbing up the stairs like a cat or something. Yes, this is really sad. And anyone who knows me well and knows my fondness for hiking and mountain climbing sort of stuff, and my propensity for scaring my mom and grandma by climbing dangerous things, would probably be surprised to hear this. Except, that is....for my cousins, who have witnessed a few of my stair incidents. :P

So anyway, I've gotten over the climbing up the stairs, I'm quite capable (and have been for several years, thank you) of going up stairs. Going up quite quickly in fact. Unfortunately, I generally forget that I do not have quite the same skill in going down stairs...and I'll usually take them down just as quickly. And that is what has led to problems, and I've had a quite a few spectacular slips. I generally have more trouble on carpeted stairs...in fact I can't remember ever having slipped on hard stairs...I mean, not carpeted. Most of the stairs have been hard, VERY hard, as I've slipped/bumped down them. :p I also sprained my ankle once from jumping down stairs.

And now that I've said all that...guess what happened today? I slid down some stairs? How'd you guess?! :D

Yeah, I was at work today, and while going downstairs (in sock feet...darn it, I need to get some slippers) I slipped...in slow motion it felt like. I had plenty of time to realize I was falling, and that I needed to do something about it, but that most of all, I needed to make sure the baby didn't get hurt. Yes, I was carrying the baby when this happened. *everyone gasps* But don't worry, she's fine! :)

I was able to get her out in front of me so that she didn't bump her head on anything, or end up underneath me when I landed. She started crying of course, because the fall scared her, but then she looked up at me and I probably had some agonized look on my face and that scared her more! :D Thankfully she's a pretty calm baby, so I got her calmed down quickly and checked her over to make sure she wasn't hurt. I'm just really glad nothing happened to her...I didn't fair fare (oops!!) so well, but I'm bigger and I've also done this before....ha.

Somehow in the middle of all that, I managed to move or something so that I didn't hit so hard, and of course right away I had to make sure the baby was okay, and the adrenaline kind of kept me moving...wonderful the way that works! And I've kept moving most of the day, so I thought I was pretty much okay...but as I'm sitting here, I can feel that my spine feels jarred, my shoulder blades ache, my arms ache, my neck's sore, and since it's all along my spine, of course my head hurts. Oh, and I'm also glad this chair I'm sitting in is padded. ;)

So, yeah...stairs and I don't get along...at all.

Oh, and when the dad got home this evening, I was telling him what happened and he pointed out that the stairs I slipped on are all different heights. (!!!!) And he said that if you look underneath they don't look like they're stabilized very well either...ah, that's reassuring. As he said, anyone who watches "This Old House" would know how to install better stairs! lol! So I think they're going to get the stairs redone sometime....in the meantime I'm going to be super-careful going down them, especially when I'm carrying the baby.

In the more present meantime...as in, tonight and tomorrow...I think I'll go take some Tylenol! There was a possibility I might go dancing tonight...I'm thinking maybe it's good that didn't work out. Oww.....