Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A new hobby? (Like we need another one!)

OK, I've found another hobby that sounds like fun. And this one can be done year round...can't have too many of those!!!

Drum roll please...........Disc Golf!!!!!!!!

{crickets chirping}

Don't everyone speak up at once now!!!

Come on, it sounds like fun!!! Throwing Frisbees, of which I'm as good at as swinging an actual golf club. Which means = I stink at it. But that's beside the point.....it soooo sounds like fun! I can practice this sport in my own yard...with targets placed around and about...for target practice.

I will say, I'm a little better at Frisbee tossing than I used to be. We started throwing one, instead of a ball, for Rowan (our diabetic Scottish Terrier)...because it's larger, and she could see it. (she's almost 100% blind now).

And, before I go any further, I know - someone is probably going to get after me for calling the discs Frisbees. I understand there is a difference, please no hate mail. :-)

I played a little Ultimate Frisbee in high school. It seems a sport that is primarily played by college kids, usually good looking dudes without shirts. Now, I'm not going to complain about good looking dudes going shirtless and playing Ultimate. No sir! But, as I am not in college, not a male (good looking or otherwise), and AM NOT going around in public without a shirt....I think I'll leave that sport alone.

This probably sounds like it's going against my "women can do anything they want" rants, but it's really not. I'm not saying that I can'
t play Ultimate...I'm just saying that my Frisbee throwing skills are horrible. Throwing them, for my own score in disc golf is one thing...but throwing them for (and to) other people who would be on my team - that's just cruel and unusual punishment for them.

It's also another sport/hobby that has it's own bag associated with the gear. Mot and I are bag people. There's a bag for every sport, every hobby, every occasion. His middle brother has moc
ked us horribly for this many times over.....and even bought us a bag for Christmas one year. We have golf bags, a badminton bag, a racquetball ball bag, a softball bag, shooting and hunting bags galore, backpacking bags.....the list goes on and on.

I'm reading a forum about playing disc golf in the winter. I need more winter sports!!! There isn't enough snow here to justify buying cross country skis or snow shoes, but I can play disc golf whether there's snow on the ground or not.

On this same forum, people are posting the ways that they keep track of their discs in the snow. There are some that affix wrapping paper ribbon onto them....one gent
leman puts an old cassette tape on it, and pulls out some of the ribbon....one person even goes as far as putting a flare onto his disc. Like a flare....a "Coast Guard, please come save me" flare!! I can think of two problems with hif idea...#1 - doesn't that affect the flight of the disc #2 - those discs are plastic and those flares are hot...do you see where I'm going with this???

From what I can tell...the city park that's near us had a course. They also had a lake....a rather large one at that. I say had because they drained it for restructuring, and also to re-grow fish habitat. It's supposed to be filled back up by now...but it isn't...yet.

(hint, hint...Omaha Park and Rec dept!!!)

hen they closed the park for draining and remodeling, they also took the disc golf course down for work as well. They are saying that it's to be available and open, as soon as the park gates are opened.

What can be more fun....walking around in the fresh air.....talking and having fun with your friends and love
d ones....while throwing plastic discs at metal baskets?!?!?!?!?!

Photo found online www.coolchaser.com

Photo found online www.ci.bremerton.wa.us

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another weekend bites the dust! (Sunday)

Sunday was supposed to be MUCH more relaxing. Right??? Wrong!!

Sunday am, 2:30....I'm taken out of my deep sleep by a sound. I wasn't for sure what it was. I sleep really deep, but, when it's a strange sound...I'm awake. Somehow I was born with the ability to determine whether it's a sound I should wake up to or not. It's a gift, it's a curse!!! :-)

I laid there for a number of minutes, not hearing anything. As I was just about to fall asleep, I heard it again. One of my dogs. We keep them in their kennels at night - it's their choice, if we don't, they through a fit, seriously! But anyway, their kennels are on the other side of the house from the bedroom, the a/c is still turned on...they are on the other side of the door to the breezeway, between the house and the garage. And I could just BARELY hear it, as I lay there awake. For Pete's sake, how did that wake me up??? It's a gift, it's a curse!!!

I shuffled myself out to see what was wrong....all the while, trying not to wake up too much. The less you wake up, the easier it is to get to sleep, right?? (hehehe)

Well.....she had urinated in her kennel....but it's a diabetic urination. By that, I mean tons and tons of fluid. Diabetes makes you thirstier than heck, and that, of course, makes you need to pee like the proverbial race horse. Ugh!!!

I opened all three kennels and ushered them out into the back yard. And went back to bed. Heck yes, you heard me. I'd clean it up at a more normal time!! Darn it!

At 7:10, Mot comes home from work. He comes in the front door and shuts it behind him (not quietly)...walks across the living room floor (not quietly)...comes into the bedroom and dumps his work clothes (he's a fireman) down the laundry chute (not quietly) - oh, and don't forget to just let the lid to the chute fall closed, instead of setting it down nicely. Then he lays down in bed beside me....and take all the covers. I was good with all the noise, knowing that he'd eventually lay down and become quiet. But my warm covers were pulled off, quite hastily I might add....that's just going to far.

I yanked them back, and mumbled something along the lines of "what the heck are you doing?" He sighed (as only a hubby can) and stomped out of the bedroom....and into the bathroom for a shower.

So I get up, and shuffle into the bathroom right behind him and b*tch him out (as only a wife can do). What a way to start the day, right??????? After his shower, I shower - why not, I'm up now. When I get out of the shower, he has all his motorcycle riding gear on, and is ready to leave. We proceed to fight for about 30 minutes or so (as only a married couple can do). Then decide to go to breakfast. (our arguments never last long - I firmly believe in getting the situation handled right then, life is too short to dink around with the small stuff!!) He changed into shorts and a t-shirt, I put on similar garb...and we head out.

We hit Bruegger's for some bagels and ate them at a nearby park. We had an order to pick up at Cabela's, so needed to waste time until 10 when they opened. I found a product line of scent free shampoos, conditioners, etc for women, for hunting....and it was waiting for us to pick it up. Can't wait to see if it's any better than that stuff that Mot uses.

From there, we went to the grocery store to get supplies for the day. Mom was throwing a small get together for my dad and uncles birthdays (09/11 and 09/16). She tried a couple weeks ago, but everyone was sick or couldn't make it.

I soon found myself driving BAC
K to the state park (where I spent most of my day the day before). It was nice. Grandma was there....and a couple of friends of mom and dad's stopped by. They were camping a few sites down...and had also entered the dutch oven cook off on Saturday.

The boys hanging out at the campsite after lunch.

My cousin playing peekaboo with the camera. :-)

Tom started getting antsy after we'd been there a couple hours. I took a bike ride with my sister and mom, then we left. (I had left my bike there from Saturday, and came prepared with bungee cords for the transport home - it worked perfectly!!!).

You'll never guess what we did on the way home? No, really, go ahead...guess!!! We went to the grocery store. (For those of you keeping track, this will be my third stop.) Tom decided, on the way home, he wanted to make meatloaf for dinner...but we needed a few things. I waited in the car, with my bike on the bike rack. I used the time to see if I could find some fun new games to download onto my blackberry. :-)

When we got home, Tom started dinner, and I ran to Target for a few supplies. My current project, should I ever have time to get to it, is cleaning and organizing the basement. I bought two or three shelving systems, and got to work on them when I got home, before dinner was ready.

I pretty much worked on that until I went to bed. I'm no where near done, by any means....but it's starting to look better. And I can walk around down there without kicking the assorted box of stuff we haven't touched since we moved. Yeah, I know. I hate keeping that stuff around. But, you just never know what's in there...and when I may need it. Come on!! Give me a break here!!! :-)

Another weekend bites the dust! (Saturday)

My alarm went off at 7:30 am. Why up so early on a weekend, you ask? (well, you may not have actually asked, but play along with me) I had a 9:00 appointment with my Director of Aesthetics (i.e. the lady that cuts my hair) for my bi-monthly eyebrow ripping. I'm Italian and Native American, my eyebrows resemble Eugene Levy's (the father in the movie American Pie) if I don't get them contained every couple of weeks!!! :-)

So, I hauled myself out of bed, and into the shower. Why is it, that when you have an appointment to get your hair cut, you have to make sure it's perfectly styled before you go? It ranks right up there with hiring a housekeeper, and picking the place up before she arrives. Granted, I didn't have a hair cut scheduled today, but the logic (or lack there of) still applies.

After the torturous eyebrow session, I hit a Burger King drive through for breakfast. Seriously, they must lace that stuff with some kind of drug! There's no way that grease and man-made chemicals should taste that good.

Once home, I started making a list of things I'd need from the grocery store. The state park my mom and dad camp host in all summer has a Friends group...this is the group I took RAGBRAI pictures for earlier in the summer. This same friends group was hosting a dutch oven campfire cook-off as a fund raiser that evening, and I had no idea what I was going to make. Mot, as anyone who knows me knows, is the cook/chef of the family. I'm a baker, but cooking just isn't my thing.

The plan was to load up the car with all the dutch ovens, charcoal, and assorted utensils and supplies needed, a cooler for the perishables I was about to buy at the store, and my bike on the bike rack on the back of my car...and head out.

As I was pulling out of the garage, shopping list in hand and car packed...I realized I was going to be hitting a grocery store in the city. (You'd think that after living here for well over a year and a half now, I wouldn't have to keep reminding myself....but you'd think wrong!) My bike is merely fastened to the car so it won't fly off while driving down the interstate....it is not going to keep it from being stolen while I'm in the store shopping.

No, I'm not shopping in a rough part of town. But, my bike, hanging off of my car while I'm shopping is a target for any bored teenager in a 20 miles radius. So, I put the car in park, put my bike in the garage, and left for the store. After shopping, I had to drive by my house to get to the interstate anyway (kinda), so I picked it up on the way out of town.

As I'm driving on the interstate, I'm keeping a constant watch in my rear view mirror. My bike seems to want to be superman when it grows up...I kid you not. The rack it's on, holds it on two points along the frame...and it hangs from there. 80 miles per hour, was pushing the wheels straight out....so much, that the bike was basically horizontal to the ground. And, on top of that, the wheels were turning, so the pedals were turning. Please, please, please.....may those spinning pedals not hurt my brand new bumper!!!

I stopped once along the way, to make sure everything was OK. Everyone passing me on the interstate (yes, I had slowed down to almost 60 miles per hour - it hurt my soul to drive so slow on the interstate), anyway, everyone passing me spent the time it took to get around me, staring at me. I can only imagine what me and my bike looked like! :-)

I finally arrived (bike safe and still attached, no apparent scratches on the car) at about 1:45 or so. The competition started at 4:00, but I went over to the staging area to help get things set up. I started getting my charcoal going at about 3:30, and started cooking as soon as it was ready. While I was at the grocery store, I still couldn't decide what to make. Dessert or real food?? I finally decided on both. I have a tendency to take on more than I need to, but oh well!!!

These three won the for best dessert. Apple crisp

The munchkins (my niece and nephew) licking the bowl of my Death by Chocolate entry.

Looking down one row of dutch ovens, in the middle of cooking.

My pizza bake and Death by Chocolate dishes both came out really well. We had almost 80 people come to the dutch oven demo, held by a local couple who are freakishly 'into' dutch oven cooking. The friends group sold tickets so you could vote on your favorite entry. I didn't win, didn't expect to win. There are people out there that don't understand it. Why enter when you don't care if you win. #1 it was a fund raiser, without food to vote on, the whole purpose is lost #2 it's fun!!!!! What more of reason do you need then that????

We ran out of food.....no one expected that many people to show up. One lady entered this sauerkraut dish and a turtle cake, someone entered apple crisp, we had a pork chops with rice and broccoli dish, peach cobbler and my two dishes. Plus, the people that put on the demo cooked 6 or 7 things....and we STILL ran out of food!!

After the competition, and getting everything cleaned up and put away...dad took the 5 of us (mom, dad, the munchkins and me) out to eat. Out to eat?? Are we crazy? Heck, none of us got to eat at the competition, we wanted to leave food for the people who came to watch!

We took our food to the city park.....and ate it, while the mosquitoes ate us. Ugh!!!!

From there I went home, fed the cat and dogs, shot Rowan (our dog with diabetes needs two shots a day), and popped in a movie while the dogs ate.

All in all, a fun filled (I stress FILLED) day. Sunday was to be much more relaxed - or so I thought. :-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday moments....

5:30 am
Alarm goes off. After my conversation with one of my best buds from Des Moines last night...I decided today was the day I am going to wake up early and work out. Down with front butt! It was then that Mot rolls over and puts his arms around me, I'm done for!! I turned off my alarm, and I went back to bed. Darn it...I was soooo close!!! Mot works tomorrow, I'll have to start then.

7:56 am
I'm at work. Staring at my computer screen as it logs on. I'm listening to the co-worker around the corner jabber on and on. I wrote about her before, she's the one that always has a bigger and better thing to add to your conversations. If you've done it, she's done it bigger and better. I think I'll call her Jabber Jaw. Have you ever seen the movie Joe vs The Volcano?? You know how he goes to work, and the fluorescent lights over him hum incessantly while blinking off and on? Jabber Jaw is my fluorescent light.

8:46 am
Oh god!!!! The male version of Jabber Jaw just walked into her area. They are feeding off of each other. Maybe, if I just start screaming it will distract them? Maybe it will get them to shut up? Maybe, it will make someone call someone else, and that someone will come take me away? One can only hope!!!

They're coming to take me away, ha ha.
They're coming to take me away, ho ho.

9:26 am
If your boss limits your internet access to only sites that have something to do with your job...would you go to the IT person and ask him for access for MySpace? People here crack me up!!! :-)

9:40 am
DES MOINES, Iowa - The president of an Iowa college says he's sorry about an unfortunate and offensive typo in a school handbook.

A calendar entry for Feb. 16, 2009, was supposed to read "Black History Lunch and Learn." Instead, it says "Black History Linch and Learn."

9:51 am
WATERBURY, Vt. - Mooove over, Holsteins. PETA wants world-famous Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream to tap nursing moms, rather than cows, for the milk used in its ice cream.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is asking the ice cream maker to begin using breast milk in its products instead of cow's milk, saying it would reduce the suffering of cows and calves and give ice cream lovers a healthier product.

10:45 am
Sometimes, to aid in my Friday "get me the heck out of here" doldrums, I will wander away from my desk to see what's going on elsewhere in the building. I'm easily bored by sitting at my desk, staring at a computer monitor for 8-9 hours a day. I compare it to being an insomniac. All you want to do is sleep, but you can't. I just sit here, thinking. Thinking is a dangerous thing, when you have nothing better to do. It's not long before you're making a list of things that you could be doing at home, were you not sitting where you are.

Today, I delivered some components, for a customer build, to our assembly plant. UPS delivered them, and my wandering happened to put me on the receiving dock when they arrived. I thought, what the heck...this will get me out of the building for a few minutes!!

The boxes (there were two of them) are really light, but awkward to carry. If you've ever dealt with things shipped via UPS, you know not to let them touch your clothes, unless you are itching for a big brown unidentifiable smudge. So, here I am, trying to carry the awkward boxes, that require two hands to carry.....while opening doors, the trunk of my car, etc. All while trying to keep the boxes at least an inch or two from my body. Cirque de Sole, here I come. :-)

11:36 am
The company president is having knee replacement surgery next week, so those of us in the office decided to get some pizzas from his favorite place for a 'group lunch' of sorts. Really, we all love pizza, and what better a reason to get it? We'll take any excuse.

I just heard the person in charge of ordering the pizzas on the phone. It's 11:36, we need at least 8 pizzas....she told everyone she'd get them at noon. She just gave those poor pizza people 24 minutes to prepare and bake 8 pizzas....right before the lunch rush. Maybe we should inspect them for foreign objects before consuming??

1:25 pm
Large amounts of pizza consumed. Entire lunch hour spent discussing business. Isn't there a law against that?

2:10 pm
169 minutes and counting!!

3:39 pm
"Calgon, take me away."

It never fails!!! Big issues, problems and general all out mahem occur when I have 15 minutes left in my day. I've been counting down to 5:00...when I should actually be counting down to 5:10. Ugh!!

6:00 pm
Quartet gals show up. I love singing with these women, but Friday night rehearsals are going to take some time to get used to. My brain shuts down at 5:00 (or rather, 5:10 on Fridays). :-)

8:23 pm
Free at last, free at last!!! I'm on my couch, sitting back with a glass of cranberry juice and some Ghost Hunter dvr episodes. Yeah!!!!

8:24 pm
OK folks, what little wit and humor I had in me today (and I do mean LITTLE) is completely drained and used up.

Good night, sweet dreams, catch ya on the flip side!!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why I Could Never Have Kids (Reason 762)

I have two cats and three dogs. One dog has diabetes and is blind....one dog is getting older and more stubborn every day.....one dog is just dumb, he's a sweetheart, but he's not bright...one cat hates me...and one cat....well, one cat should be dead. But for some reason, she's not. Don't ask me why!!!!

I came home with every intention of getting something done. But, it just wasn't in the cards. I made my favorite "Mot isn't home" meal - Mac and Cheese!!!

After eating, I watched a dvr'd episode of NCIS, then turned on The Biggest Loser....and decided that I could accomplish allot during the commercial breaks. First break, dishes. Second break, feed the dogs. Third break, down in the basement to do laundry.

As I'm folding clothes, Morgan (the 'should be' dead cat) keeps jumping up on the piles of folded clothes....which is nothing new. She's in a mood though, you can just tell. After getting the clothes that have been in the dryer for days (and are wrinkled beyond recognition) folded, I go over the baskets at the bottom of the laundry chute. Morgan jumps in the baskets, as usual......but, this is where is we deviate from the normal. She looks up at me, squats down, and proceeds to pee in the basket, on top of all the dirty clothes.

At first I just stared at her. I mean, there's no way she's doing that. This is the cat that is religious about using her litter box. What the f*ck!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Finally, I jolt myself out of a trance, and start screaming at her. She just looks up at me, and continues on. I start throwing the clothes I have in my hand at her. The only thing that accomplished, was adding to the targets she had to pee on. She continued on. How much liquid can this cat possibly expel from her body in one sitting?? Holy hell?!?!?!?!?!?!

I pick her up, and do everything I can to not THROW her AT the litter box right around the corner. I may not have thrown her at it, but I dropped her, heavily, into it none the less.

What do you do when your kid purposefully acts up like this, right in front of you?? You can't pick them up and throw them at the toilet. :-( She hasn't shown herself since I've come upstairs....maybe she's not as stupid as she looks???

How can something so cute be so d*mned evil??

Skin Cancer vs Seasonal Affective Disorder??

Yesterday was the first day of autumn....everyone out of your chairs. A little 'happy dance' action is in order!!!!!!!

I love the fall!!! Actually, I love the winter just as much!! The leaves turning colors, and eventually falling to cover the ground in a crunchy carpet. Cooler days and chilly nights. Halloween candy on the grocery store display shelves. Being able to have a campfire, and actually standing around it for the warmth. Waking up when you've left your windows open during the night, and feeling the chill in the air outside the warmth of your blankets. Blue jeans and sweatshirts....eventually giving way to coats, and gloves. The absolute quiet that exists when you go outside after the sun has gone down...and it's snowing.

I love it all!!!!

Most of the people I hang out with, on the other hand, can't stand it. I wish we got enough snow to make buying a pair of snow shoes worth it. Wish we got enough, to justify buying a set of cross country skies. My friends wish for 80 degree days and shorts. They hope we have snow on the ground Christmas morning, only to disappear in time to drive to grandma's house for dinner later that night.

I also love that we don't get too much snow...because it means I can still get out and do allot of the things I love to do. I can still hike the trails of the Loess Hills and, actually, see quite a bit MORE without leaves on the trees.

But.....the one thing I hate about the fall and winter.......darkness. I hate sitting at work, watching the sun go down before I leave. I hate having to use the headlights of my car on the way to AND from work. I hate never seeing my house in color....only seeing it in the "black and white" of darkness.

There are people that take advantage of the winter months, to accomplish things inside their homes. I would love to be one of those people. But, as the sun goes down, so does any motivation I might possess during the day. Imagine my 'spunk' being measured on the fuel gauge of a car. As the sun goes below "E", so does my yearning to accomplish anything...other than eating, sleeping, and dreaming it was light out.

First thing I do when I get up in the morning, start turning on lights. First thing I do when I get home at night, start turning on all the lights and closing all the shades. I don't care if I'm not in the room, the light needs to be on. If I'm in the kitchen, and see the living room in darkness, I'm instantly tired. If I can look out the window of the bathroom and see only my reflection, I just want to go hide under a blanket.

Seasonal Affective Disorder????? A form of it, yeah, probably. I'm not saying a Valium prescription is in my future, that I want to slit my wrists, or hide in my house 24/7. It's nothing that bad....but it is really, really high on the "annoying the crap out of myself meter"!

I've heard that people with the same issue, will take to tanning during the winter season. I took a stab at tanning booths a number of years ago before a vacation. I went in three times a week, for 4 weeks...and came out looking just as pale as when I went in. So, I've never felt the need to waste my money in search of the sought after winter (or heck, even summer) tan. My skin just won't cooperate! As I said in my sunless tanning entry, even in the middle of summer, if I'm wearing socks...you can't see where the legs end and the socks begin.

But now I ponder....maybe I want to risk skin cancer and leathery skin just so I can stay awake at night long enough to do the dishes??? Or, maybe not. Can you really get that leathery skin, if you don't actually ever get a tan?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Corporate Cup Run 2008

Starting last year, our company has sponsored a team for the event. There were quite a few of us that decided to participate this year. In celebration of the larger numbers of people going...they had shirts made. Pretty snazzy, ain't they?

The goal, to be able to spot each other from miles away. I think they accomplished that just fine!!!

All in all, there were 24 of us signed up for the event. Not too shabby a turn out.

The race started at 8:15. Here are pictures about 15 minutes before it began. The view from behind us, and then in front of us. I'm not sure on the total number of participants they were expected to have this year...but there were thousands!!! There were literally people as far as the eye could see in both directions.

Our group had runners, walkers and people doing a little of both. There were five of us that stuck together the entire way...walking, laughing, and having a good time. People watching is always the most fun thing you can do at something like this. Although, as loud as our group was, I'm sure WE were being watched by others. We are not a quiet, subdued bunch..that's for sure!!

I was also having a good time checking out all the team tshirts. Here are a couple of the winners.

Run, walk, run, jog, walk, stop, pant, walk, pant, walk, lie down....can I shop now? Gordmans

The pair of lungs on this shirt were actually shoe prints....awesome idea!

And then there was this one....Lord of the Lungs. (if you hadn't figured it out already, the American Lung Association sponsors the event each year)

There were quite a few characters along the route. They brought the local arena football team mascot and cheerleaders to stand along the route and cheer you on.

And we walked through some pretty fun neighborhoods. Notice the gargoyles on the top.

You could sign up for the 2 mile run/walk....or the 10K run. We signed up for the 10K walk...which wasn't an option, but we didn't care. :-)

The five of us crossed the finish line at just over 1 hour 55 minutes. I figured we'd be walking for 2 hours, you can't guess much closer than that!!!

Aaric (one of the crazy ones that decided to run) joined the other five of us for brunch at Stokes Bar and Grill. Heavy food and mimosas!!!

I have blisters on the bottoms of both of my feet, in the same spot. Has to be the socks. Darn it!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

4:30 am....alarm goes off. Mot rolls out of bed and into the shower. Is he working today? Nope...we're deer hunting! After my shower in "scent removing, the deer can still smell you, but don't know what the heck they're smelling" shampoo/body wash, we load up the Jeep and head out. Mot's parents own a nice parcel of land, that harbors quite a few of the intended target.

We change out of our clothes, into our "scent removed" hunting type camo clothing in the driveway. My camo choice of the day was an actual camo shirt....but paint splattered blue jeans. The tree stand we're sitting in today has a camo netting around it....the deer don't care if I'm wearing jeans. :-)

Mot knows his parent's property very well...he should, he grew up there. I, on the other hand, do not. I know the general lay of the land, but general is as good as it gets. After climbing over a gate that leads into the wooded portion of their land, and me showing exactly how uncoordinated I can be...Mot takes off like a shot. Not only does he know where we're going, he has a light. Guess what, I don't. I could have counted the number of times that he turned around and gave me that "oh my gosh, can you walk any slower, you silly women" look. He FINALLY figured out my slowness might have something to do with not possessing a light - or the power to see in the dark. So, he walked back to where I was and gave me his....and then took off like a shot. Hello! You are only as fast as the slowest member of your team...slow your butt down and walk with me!!! :-)

At one point, we had to cross over a barbed-wire fence.....man, I hate barbed wire!!!!! I made it over without ripping a hole in my jeans...yeah! Those are my favorite jeans!!!!

Next test in this little exam called "hunting for deer with your hubby"..............ladder stand. Not only do I not like heights, but once you get to the top, you have to climb over the edge and into this 'box' on top of the stand. Holy crap!!! OK..I made it...I'm alive...and I am NOT going to think about having to come DOWN OUT OF THIS THING!!!!

Once I got settled into my perch a million miles off of the ground....I started to listen to the wilderness coming to life and waking up. As the sun started to rise, this was the view to our left and in front.

Mot and I are not riddled with patience. The skill to wait does not course through our veins.

I started taking odd pictures with my camera.

It had actually gotten cooler out since we arrived. The fog was rolling through the hills, and the sun was very red.

Sometimes he doesn't know what to make of me. Come on Mot!! The corn is still in the fields, it's just way early in the season. Don't' worry....we'll fill the freezer. Today is a gorgeous day for sitting and listening to the woods wake up, let's enjoy it and laugh. (don't mind my thumb in the shot...I was just happy that I got us both in the picture!)

He finally gave in and smiled. Enjoy life, make every moment count!!

In the middle of a whispered discussion of what style of gutter guards we want to put on the house...yes, you heard me....we're in a tree stand, talking about gutter guards. Anyway!!!! He shussshed me...and grabbed my arm. Doing his best ventriloquist impression and not moving his lips while speaking, "Jen, the deer are staring right at us." If it hadn't been for him going completely still...I would have laughed out loud. My response (out of the corner of my mouth) "Yeah right."

He didn't respond...oh holy hell...there must be something actually there. I slowly turn my head....and yep, there they are. Mama and baby. Standing there.....sniffing the air. Mama knows that we're different, and she knows that we shouldn't be there...but she has no clue what we are. She walked around, sniffing and sniffing. Somewhat spooked, but not totally. She walked all around us.....right under the stand. Checking us out...ready to run, but getting more and more relaxed with us being there.

Eventually she wanders away, chewing at things, sniffing the air....just wandering. We let her go, she was young. Finally her little one gets brave enough to move. She comes over and goes through the exact same motions her mom just went through. Classic mimicking....how funny!!!

Eventually, the little one wandered away in her mother's footsteps. Mot and I just started giggling under our breaths. Dang gutter guards. :-) hehehehehe

After we gave them enough time to wander away fully...we decided to call it a day. It was still pretty early in hunting time, but we were ready to head out.

Tom went down first. I tied the bows onto the rope and lowered them down one by one. Then I detached myself from the tree (I was wearing a harness...Mot is very adamant about me wearing one....not just because it's the thing you should do....but because I've been known to fall asleep while hunting. If it gets warm, I get sleepy. I have slept in some of the smallest, most uncomfortable turkey blinds imaginable. I just don't care....I can nap anywhere it seems. :-)

I couldn't put it off any longer, I had to come down. Crap, crap, crap. I swung one leg over the outside of the blind...and just stood there. I couldn't move. Deep breath Nej, just do it. No wussing out!!!! I swung the second leg over, and went for it.

The rest of the day was actually pretty uneventful. We washed and detailed my car and the Jeep. Watched a little TV. I did a little Saturday afternoon napping, and Mot played a game or two on the computer.

At 8:00, Mot headed to the gym....for kayak rolling instruction, and I'm now watching a documentary about the University of Nebraska volleyball team. I think I'm heading to bed here soon though. Busy day tomorrow.

Night folks!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why Can't ALL Spiders be More Like Charolette?

I drove my newly repaired car to work today. When I bought it, the previous owner was a smoker. After a few weeks of dryer sheet and Febreeze, I was finally able to get most of the smoke smell out...that is, until I parked it for a week in my garage waiting for the bumper repair. After that first week, I went out to get my iPod, and just opening the door about knocked me over. The smoke smell was back, with a vengeance. Grrrrrr. So....I opened the sun roof, allowing it to air out as it sat and waited some more.

Skip ahead two weeks (to this morning).....the smoke smell is still there, but it's not as bad. Guess it's back to dryer sheet and Febreeze - unless anyone has a better idea?? As I'm pulling out of the garage, I notice cobwebs....lots of them. It seems as though 'someone' decided to take up temporary residence in my car....spinning its webs from the radio, to the gear shift, down to the cup holder. I stopped the car....and scanned the area for those pesky web spinner(s). My visual search turned up zilch. I don't know what I was expecting to see....little beady eyes staring at me with hatred....maybe eight sets of brass knuckles clicking for intimidation....heck I don't know. But since I saw nothing, I knocked the webs down, gathered my wits (I HATE spiders) and drove to work.

I have this rule in life...if you're a spider and you're outside my house (and my car, thank you very much)...you are free to live. If you enter my house (or car), you are fair game. You are trespassing!!!! I have, in the past, had a tendency to smash such trespassers on the wall, and leave them there are a warning to others. Anymore, I just try to catch you and take you outside. The first week that we lived in our house, I was watching TV. All of a sudden, this spider comes down from the ceiling, right into my eyesight path to the TV. Scared the crap out of me. It was like 2 feet in front of my face, just hanging there. Then it would climb back up it's web for a little while....only to come back down again a few minutes later. No one was home, so I was free to squeal like a girl.....slink off of the couch, and devise a plan for removal. With Tupperware container in hand, I went in for the capture...but it jumped a little when I tried to get it. Which only made me hit the web, without capturing the beast. So now...there's a SWINGING spider in my living room. I did eventually catch the dang thing and throw it outside. Ugh!!!

When I was in high school....and still living at home...there was one spider weekend I'll never forget. I could hear my mom in her bedroom, calling for me to come see her. As I got nearer to her room, she stopped talking, mid sentence. As I step into the room to see what was wrong...I see she's frozen in place, standing in the middle of the bedroom...staring into space. More specifically, staring into the space above my head. She was white as a sheet, and kinda pointing. I decided standing under whatever it was, wasn't a good idea...so I ducked into the bedroom with her.

When I turned around to see what she was looking at...I was...well....confused at first. What the HECK is that thing????? On the ceiling, immediately above where I had just been standing, was a very large spider.....dragging something along with her. Mom was still frozen, and obviously not going to be take action....so I stepped in for a closer inspection. OH MY GOD!!!!! It's a egg sack....baseball sized....gross looking....and it was squirming. You heard me...squirming!!! That thing was FULL of babies...and ready to explode any second. Yikes!! Now what????

I ran into the bathroom - because there was NO WAY I was leaving the bedroom. I'd have to walk under it...it's right inside the door, we were trapped in here! Anyway, I'm in the bathroom...looking for weapons. I came running out of the bathroom with a can large can of aerosol hairspray. AquaNet to be exact.

As I stepped forward to commence saturation, the baseball sized bag of terror starting to open. Tiny little spiders were coming out. Oh hell no!!!!! I started spraying anything that moved. Mama wasn't happy, the babies were sticking to the ceiling....I was squealing like a girl. Mom just stood there with a look of horror on her face.

About that time, Dad walks in the front door. He comes running down the hallway, to see what the source of the noise was. He stops in the doorway, staring from the ceiling.....to us....back to the ceiling. I can only imagine what we looked like!!!!

He took off his shoe, and against my pleading him to stop....SMASHED the egg sack thing against the ceiling. In my mind, I can see his shoe connect and little spiders flying everywhere!!! I see that thing exploding like a hedge apple shot with a .17 rifle.

In reality, the thick layer of AquaNet slime saved us. Everything was stuck together in a large mass...and came crashing to the carpeted floor with a thud. As quick as I could, I hurdled over the mess...ran for the broom closet....grabbed the dust pan and came back to the wreckage. Dad used his shoe to scrap up the mess into the dustpan, and we threw it all out the backdoor. We then sprayed the carpet with every can of bug killer we could find. Carpet is replaceable, sleeping in that room without nightmares was our goal!!! Poor mom! Poor mama spider....had she known that two raving lunatics were about to attack her and all her young, she would have picked a better place to drag that little sack of horrors. (hehe)

OK, no more spider talk...it's giving me the willies! :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

Thursdays are the roughest day of the week...I mean, it's so close to the weekend, you can smell the fresh cut grass...yet there are still two days of the week to muddle through. On a good note, I felt much better this morning. I think it's the first morning I haven't had a horrible sore throat when I woke up. So, that's a plus!!

Work was stupid..I mean it...just stupid. It stunk!!!! Rotten egg in wet dog hair stink!!!!

After lunch, things finally calmed down. Mot called, to tell me my car is ready to be picked up from the auto shop. The damage, that evil car wash caused, has FINALLY been repaired. I love the Jeep and all...but it's a beast compared to driving my car. The car is so much more nimble, and fun to drive. I told Robin today, I will own a real sports scar when I grow up!! :-) :-)

When I got home from work, we ran to get my car. Once back home, we grabbed the bows and shot a little. My arm wore out quicker today than usual, so we went inside for supper...or dinner...depending on what part of the country you're from. My arm fatigued quicker than usual because Mot cranked up the weight on my bow a little. I'm curious to see how much he actually increased it. Before eating, I changed out of my work clothes...yes, I was outside shooting my bow with dress clothes and heels. My niece takes after me...she's such a tomboy...but she does it while wearing pink. Granted, I'm not wearing pink...but it's the same mind set. I want to do boyish things, but looking decent when you do it isn't a crime. :-)

Mot grilled out some Italian sausage links we bought at our local HyVee. For dessert, he fixed us each a margarita. This is where we parted ways: he headed upstairs to play some WoW, and I sat on the couch and started scanning pictures....while simultaneously watching the second of my train wreck TV shows. This is the show I actually call 'train wreck.' America's Next Top Model

Train wreck TV at it's worst, admittedly...I can't help but watch it. It starts with 13 or 14 women, and works it's way down to one. I think this is the 11th 'cycle'...I've watched maybe three of four of those 11. Each week the ladies have an instructional challenge, and then the final photo shoot challenge. From those final pictures, one person is eliminated each week.

SPOILER ALERT: Avert your eyes if you don't' want to know who was picked as the winning picture for the week. I won't spoil who was sent home. I prefer to accentuate the positive today = who's picture was picked first.

Yeah Elina!!! The red hair suits you just fine!!!!!

Picture courtesy of the CW television network.

And So It Begins....

My scanner arrived on my front porch yesterday afternoon. I was home sick, and happened to glance at the front window. The shadow of someone moving away from the door catching my attention. I instantly jumped up to see what was going on....and instantly sat back down again. Man, I hate it when you get up too fast, and get all dizzy and about pass out!!!! What's the medical term for that anyway??

So, once I got my bearings straight, I went to the front door, just in time to see the back end of a large truck pulling around the corner, down the street. Sitting on my front porch, is a box. Yeah, my scanner is here!!!!!

Of all the reviews I read about this nifty little thing, the one negative was always getting it installed. People have had all kinds of issues getting it to work with their systems. Whether they are running XP, Vista, or whatever others there are. So....I open the box, take all that clear protective tape off of the product, set it down on the coffee table next to my laptop....take a deep breath and dove in. I put in the driver CD when it asked me to. My screen said it would take 10-20 minutes to fully install. After 16 minutes, everything was working OK. I plugged the scanner in, and all was well with the world. How do people have such a hard time with this stuff? I'm not computer illiterate, but I totally only know enough to get myself in trouble most of the time.

Time for the moment of truth. Mot bought a new xBox game, so I grabbed the booklet from the case, slapped it on the scanner....and hit the magic button.

Let's just say I was less than impressed with the quality of the image. In fact, so unhappy, that I just shut the lid of my laptop and went back to daytime TV. (No wonder housewives have to take Valium....daytime TV is horrible!!!) When Mot got home that night, he was excited to see the scanner out, and asked me how I liked it. After showing him the image I got from the video game booklet, he seemed just as frustrated as I was. And then a light bulb came on behind those gorgeous eyes of his. He asked me if I'd tried to scan a picture, a real picture? I told him I hadn't been upstairs to get the boxes out.

He smiled, and recommended that I do so. So I did. Wow, night and day difference....the picture scanned beautifully. What the *^&#???? Again he smiled, mumbled something about scanning a document that was printed via an ink jet printer....and then walked away. Men! :-)

So, I spend the rest of the evening, switching pictures for scanning every 30 or so seconds. (I wasn't timing it, so don't use that time as a judgement upon my cute little scanner.) I started with our vacation to South Dakota in 2001, my very first blog entry. Now I have pictures to add!

For those of you that care...it's a Canon CanoScanLiDE90. It runs off of USB power from my laptop, so there aren't a bunch of cords in the living room...just the one between it and the computer. I had read some reviews that said it was loud. I was watching TV at a normal volume level.....and couldn't hear it at all. After muting the TV, I could hear it....but barely.

To all of you who couldn't get this thing installed, AND think it's loud............your computer skills stink, but don't feel bad, you're hearing is superstar! :-)

And so it begins.....I've got boxes and boxes of pictures that need scanned....so I can get rid of those boxes and boxes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Holy Crap....

I weighed that much once? OK, not as much as most of them.....but the lighter ones on the show and I have shared the same weight at one point in time or another.

I'm sitting here on the couch, watching the first episode of this season's The Biggest Loser. I've finally figured out why I've been so 'down' for the last week or so. I'm fighting a losing battle.....bring on the summer cold. Is it technically still summer? You know what, I don't care....I'm still calling it a summer cold. I've been battling this for at least a week. Waking up with a sore throat, more and more sneezing each day, feeling horribly tired every day, even though I get a full night's sleep. I finally couldn't take it anymore today. I waved the proverbial white flag....I threw in the towel.....I'm down for the count. I left work today at about noon. The only thing I could think about was falling asleep, and sleeping all day. It's 7:43 and still wide awake. I've tried sleeping in the quietest, darkest room in the house. I've tried sleeping on the couch with the TV on, I've tried drinking glasses of milk.....but here I sit, wide awake. Argh!!! Going from freezing cold, to sweating to death.

But, I didn't get on here to talk about being sick. I got on to talk about one of my TV addictions....The Biggest Loser.

It's on my list of train wreck TV shows. These people are at their wit's end about losing weight and getting healthy. They put themselves in front of millions of people, weighing an insane amount of weight....the guys weighing in shirtless and the women wearing sports bras.

Feeling like crap with a cold, wearing yoga pants, a huge tshirt......this is NOT the show to watch while in this physical and mental state. Holy hell.....not but two years ago, I weighed as much as some of these women. I lost 40 pounds....and have gained roughly 8-10 of it back. I'm terrified I'll end up the putting it all back on. Damn it! I redid that home gym, I took one month of boot camp hell......all so I can come home and sit on the friggin' couch (no offense couch, I still love you!!!).

I will say, this show always motivates me to do something. But, this motivation is hitting in the middle of a summer cold. Man, that's just not fair.

One of the first commercial breaks.....it's an ad for WalMart. What about it makes me shake my head? It's shots of different LARGE women, serving up food for football game parties. Helmets full of Doritos, plates and plates of fattening glop....literal towers of carbonated beverages. It's no freaking wonder America looks like they do. Next in the commercial line up, Arbys. 99 cent sauce dripping sandwiches. Then a commercial for a place that allows you to pick 5..yes I said FIVE items from their 'value menu' for some absurdly small amount of money.

Have you seen the commercial where the people drive up to a fast food drive through, and the lady orders thunder thighs, and the dude orders love handles with a side of double chins??? Yeah, talk about truth in advertising!!!! Or the Nutrigrain commercial where the lady is eating a danish for breakfast, and when she turns around, there are two huge danishes stragically placed on each of her butt cheeks?? These are the commercials they need to play!

The show comes back on, and the contestants are in a race...straight up a fairly steep hill. First and second teams to the top win something. It DOES make me feel a little better....I mean, I was climbing mountains with three torn calf muscles this summer....and I wasn't dying as badly as these people are. So, maybe I'm not as big of a lost cause as I think I am???

OK.....the few people that read this, that know me....need to give me complete and total shit for not working out. Robin - you and me girl....our bikes, local trails. Starting next week....you hear me???? If we can't motivate ourselves...we're motivating each other. And just talking ain't gonna cut it!!!!!

Next commercial break, Lipitor....to reduce high cholesterol. Now, that's more like it. Let's take drugs to control something, that just getting up off the couch, or putting the bag of chips down can do. Not for everyone, I understand that. But, come on....in most cases....it's true!

Final weigh in time. Answer me this......how can someone possibly lose 17 pounds in one week?? I mean #1 - how can losing that much weight all at once be healthy? #2 - the guy that lost 17 pounds is in such bad shape, he can only workout for 30 minutes per day...how much was this guy eating to have lost 17 pounds, and only be able to work out for 30 minutes per day???? Seriously!!!!!!!!!!!

Every single commercial break today has had a DIFFERENT drug ad. Bipolar, high cholesterol, allergies, some sort of bladder or kidney issue....if Mel's swimmer's ear drops cost $120 ($45 after insurance), then what the heck do these drugs cost people???

As the weigh in continues, you see 24 pounds lost, 23, another 17, 16, 18.....come on!! There is NO WAY these people didn't water load before their initial weigh in. No way!!!

CAUTION: SHOW SPOILER: avert your eyes if you don't want to hear who went home!!!

Well folks, the green team went home. She lost 9 pounds, he lost 19. To lose 19 pounds in one week, and be sent home...craziness!!!!

I'm off to bed. Maybe I can get some sleep finally. My sinuses hurt so bad right now, it feels like my teeth are falling out. I swear that three of them are loose. The human body is quite a strange thing, don't you think?? :-)

Just Another Manic Monday

You're humming that song now, aren't you?? It's OK, you can admit it. :-)

Monday was one of those roller coaster days. Nothing horrible, mind you, but still just strange.

I, of course, set my alarm to get up and work out....and didn't. Again!!!

Once I got to work, there was a very....disturbing....email from the director of the local women's barbershop chorus. She has a 'way with words' and completely upset everyone in my quartet. None of us wanted to send her a response, for fear of what would be said. Our tenor (the only one still a member in said chorus) was the person that ended up sending the email. The other three of us will agree that it was WAY too nice...but oh well. There are times when people need put in their place. There are times when they need to be reminded that they should treat others with respect. Yesterday, I guess, was not that time.....but I don't agree. I understand our tenor still has to deal with her on a daily/weekly basis, so I'm not going to say anything. I told her yesterday, that only because of the respect I have for her, I would keep my mouth shut. But I have completely bit THROUGH my tongue, from holding it so hard.

I....CANNOT....be nice just to get something. It's not in my nature. I ask that people treat me with the same respect I give them. If they chose to be, as in this case, a complete b*tch...well then, I will completely cut them off. I DO NOT want to surround myself with people who surrounded by this negativity. Just because she puts some sweet sappy ending to her emails (Hugs!), doesn't mean that it erases all of the negativity in the email. I'm sure that I'M now sounding like the wicked witch...but come on!!!! Why should I put the fate of my hobby (something I love to do) in the hands of someone like that???

Argh - Robin - you have to know, now, how much I love singing with you and keeping you as a close friend....to have kept my mouth shut...and to agree to audition in front of that woman...right??? It's hurting every fiber of my being!!!

But, besides the email that started the day off on a total low note....the rest of the day went pretty well. Before I knew it, it was 5:00, and time to leave. I love days like that!!! :-)

I met a friend of mine for dinner and a little gabbing. She's still a member of the above chorus as well, so we meet after work on Mondays, before she has rehearsal. After dinner, I ran (OK, drove) home just in time to meet the rest of the quartet. We had decided that an impromptu rehearsal was a good idea.

I don't really know how much we accomplished, if anything. I HATE getting together to get this audition ready. I'm not big into the "let's show her by singing really well" attitude. Do you know why? Because it never happens that way. One of two things happens....#1 - she doesn't even notice that we sang well, I mean, if we know we sing well...why do we have to 'show her' #2 - when it comes time to audition we DON'T sing well, because we're so fired up. I mean, this is a case of singing for the wrong reason. We're no longer singing because it makes us happy...we're not performing for a group of people that want to hear us. We're singing to 'show her'....and we're singing for a bunch of people that she has given false information to. They are all....OK, not all, but a very good portion of them.....are waiting for us to fall on our faces.

Mot was a little bummed that we had a rehearsal last night. Seems he had plans for the two of us. He ended up calling a friend, and they went to dinner and riding on their motorcycles around the area. See, another reason why getting fired up to crank out this audition isn't good....it starts consuming you. Our tenor skipped chorus for it as well. All because of this director, that if I ever see again, will be too soon.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Homage to a couch, and other trivial babble.

OK, admittedly, today was nowhere nearly as exciting or active as yesterday....but, it WAS still the weekend. Which means no work, no phones, no clients, no lunch hours, no bosses....and yes, no showering!!!!! TMI? Too bad!

I woke up when Mot was getting around for work. The little stinker left the kitchen light on, and thanks to Mr. Edison and his damn light bulb invention....I was never fully able to get back to sleep. But, I did doze in and out of consciousness for a few hours. At 8:00 I hauled my lazy rear our of bed and to my second home on lazy Sunday afternoons....you all know what I'm talking about by now...say it with me.....the couch!!!!!!

Yeah, I love my couch. It may not be much to look at...I mean it's green, and comfy, but nothing spectacular. What makes it wonderful is that it's mine. It's really the first official adult furniture Mot and I have purchased in our ten years together. Moving into this house finally brought about the removing of the dorm room and goodwill furniture. It's about time, huh?

I sat on said couch from 8:00 ish to a little after noon. USA had a NCIS marathon on not too long ago. I've seen quite a few, but not all....so I still have the good ole' DVR set to record repeats. I deleted quite a few previously viewed episodes, but came upon a block of them that I hadn't seen yet. So, there I sat until noonish...in my most favorite comfy robe (Mot's xmas gift to me this year), watching reruns and being completely lazy. A girl has to have her vices, right?

Now, are you asking yourself what could have possibly gotten me away from 'heaven on couch' at noon? Probably not, but I'll go ahead and tell you. "Inny" (little sis) and I had a racquetball court time reserved for 1:30. I was to meet her at her house at 1:00. I got there early, and in true Inny fashion, her house is never boring. It seems today was the day to purge earthly possessions. There were bags of garbage, and boxes of goodwill items everywhere!!!! If it wasn't for having 2 kids, she could rival Robin in the OCD organization of a house. But, with the two squirts running around, she hasn't a chance. And because she knows it as well as the rest of us, she has surrendered her organizational prowess for the time being.

Anyway, my nephew had his yoga class to attend, and my niece and bro-in law were going to hit the rock climbing wall...so we all piled into my Jeep...and off we went.

Since my aunts early passing from this earth, Inny and I have vocally and non-vocally communicated a need to repair our relationship. It's not that it's horrible or anything....well.....yeah...it kinda was. Really, really horrible. But - it's getting soooo much better, and it's really nice. I'm making a conscious effort not to let her piss me off as much or get away with as much....and she's making a conscious effort to tone the attitude and competitiveness down. (she used to steal my clothes and bury them in the backyard...so I couldn't wear them...it was ugly in our house as kids!!) So....4 racquetball games later (I won them all....man, that really feels good....mom and dad babied the crap out of her as a kid...I tell them to this day, if they had just let me smack her ONCE, she would have been such a better behaved kid! hehehehehe).....but I digress....after 4 winning games later (yeah me!), we load up the vehicle and head back to her house. I dropped them off, then headed home.

My second lazy Sunday favorite - Mac and Cheese!!! Ate some, fed the dogs, shot Rowan, fed the cats....then headed back to where???????????? Come on, say it with me.....the couch!!!!

It's 8:45, I'm going to finish off this entry, bring the dogs in for bed, grab the current book I'm reading and try to get it finished. After our book store tour yesterday, I have SOOO many new ones I'd like to try out.

Sweet dreams everyone!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Aren't weekends just the bomb??

The 'kids' (i.e. my friggin' cats) made sure that I was to NOT sleep in today. Not one minute more than I get to due the week...under no circumstances am I to sleep past my weekday wakey wakey time!!! Ugh!!!!!

Anyway, I got up, fed the freaks, fed the dogs, and as I walking back inside Mot walked in the door. HUMONGOUS container of Vault energy drink from the gas station next to his fire station in hand. OMG! I'm doomed. (hehehehe)

After showering, we set off through town. First stop, breakfast. Neither of us felt like our usual bagel...so we opted for the new Hollywood Diner near home. The food was typical, average, nothing to write home about....but what I did notice was the age of the clientele on Saturday morning. We were the youngest by a good 40 years. I was afraid we would have to show our medicaid card to walk in the door.

The weather this morning was very rainy and drizzly, the third day of it in a row. Love it!!!! (by the way, lots of pics today, trying out the new point and shoot!)

Next stop, Half Price Books. Our favorite book store, and now that there's one in Omaha, our addiction has been increased greatly. BUT, on the way to our favorite book store, we drove past our favorite book sale. Yes, the Omaha Public Library is hosting their quarterly book sale this weekend, and we drove right past the building.....then turned around and came back. I'm not sure how long we were there....maybe an hour or so. Miraculously, we only left with 10 books. That's actually pretty impressive for the two of us....but, I will say this. The sale starts on Wednesday night, so by Saturday am, the place is pretty well cleaned out of the books we're looking for. I did, however, find the first 4 books of a series Sheila recommended this last weekend. Actually, she didn't recommend it, as much as find a computer game for it....and seemed pretty excited. For a buck a book, I thought I'd grab the first 4 hardcovers of the series. If I don't like it...I spent a whopping $4 on it. :-)

From there, we continued on our way to HPB. I think we ended up with at least 5 or 6 books from there as well. One of our missions at HPB was to find books for Mot's mom's birthday. They didn't have what we were looking for, so after paying our tab we headed to the Barnes and Nobles nearby. (if you're keeping track, this is the third book related stop so far!!). Barnes and Nobles has every book in the series we were looking for....except the first one. Argh. But, they called another location and had them hold a copy for us.

Our next destination was Cabelas. (yes, going there again this week) I need a safety harness when hunting in the tree stands this year. We found what we needed and left....ONLY buying the harness...can you believe that???

From there we headed downtown to the second Barnes and Nobles (4th stop on the Mot and Nej book tour today). We purchased the first three of the series....plus the first book of another series by the same author.....plus a book that I had been looking at, and we couldn't resist.

When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? Gregory Maquire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man become a victim of domestic violence.

When we got home, we went insides and grabbed the bows and target. Archery deer season opens next week, and I haven't had mine out to shoot since last fall. Not very bright, I know! Anyway...30 minutes later, we'd shot a number of arrows (only one missing the target - yeah Nej!), and it was starting to get really warm outside. We filled up half a plastic grocery bag with tomatoes from the garden, and headed inside.

By the way...LOVE my new bow. Actually, it's a year old...but still new to me. :-)

At 5:45, I changed into my designated quartet outfit for the night, grabbed a NutriGrain bar, and ran a brush through my hair. The other three quartet members starting arriving at 6:00. The Omaha chorus (that I used to sing with, until recently) had a coach flying in from Colorado Springs, and our quartet signed up for a 2 hour coaching session Saturday evening, when the chorus was done.

The coaching went fine. We recently had a shake up with the group, so all in all, it went OK. You see, our bass's heart wasn't into the group. She has allot of family and personal issues in her life. All of those things (and there are many...drama, drama, drama - ugh!) take a very high priority to her. Now, I'm not saying that they shouldn't...but I am saying that not putting any effort into the quartet is NOT a good or productive thing. After trying to a year to schedule everything around HER schedule, the three of us decided that it would be better to look for another bass. If we continued on this way much longer, we were all going to quit. We didn't have another bass in mind, and holding open auditions was the next step. But - our lead's daughter confronted her about possibly singing with the group. I have ALWAYS wanted to sing bass (kinda like I always wanted to play percussion in high school, but never did). So....our new quartet has me singing bass and her daughter singing baritone. In the last week, the two of us have learned (or relearned in a different part, in my case) one song. ONE FRIGGIN' WEEK.

The coaching session went well. But, I left with a really sour, depressed taste in my mouth. I want us to be the best we can be...and we just aren't even close to that yet. Yes, insta
ntaneous gratification is my goal!!! So, to rid ourselves of the negative energy circling around our heads, we met at a restaurant right around the corner....for a couple of hours, and a couple of drinks.

Here's our tenor (excited to hear a Billy Joel song start playing just as I was taking the pic), our lead (not pleased about the camera being around), and our new bartione (yeah, she's even less happy about the camera). :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Self Motivation

It's a dying art form with me. I just don't have any left in me these days. It's been two weeks since boot camp finished. I spent a weekend getting the home gym all ready to go. (see blog entry Fresh Slate in August for pics )

I haven't used it once. Not once!!!!! I haven't gotten up before work to workout ONCE since the camp ended. My alarm is set....and I hit snooze every morning! EVERY MORNING!!!! What is wrong with me???


Day two of solid rain. I love this weather, I really do!!! We turned our a/c back on last night though. It was downright humid inside - with no breeze.

Sitting here at work, looking out the window.....everything is so lush. One of the most depressing parts of summer (to me), is how everything looks hot. Not only is it actually hot out....but the trees and grass look sick of the heat too. The leaves are a little curled up on the sides, as if they are flinching at the warmth of the sun. But this week....everything is green and wet. The trunks of trees are 3 shades darker than usual, from the moisture. The air smells clean and fresh. It's impossible to keep your car, or kitchen floor clean. And the dogs are a sloppy mess 24/7. But the positive energy in the air is amazing!!!!!! Some people find themselves getting depressed or cranky when it rains like this...but I am just the opposite. Happy, full of energy.....yet sleepy and ready for a nap at the same time. :-)

I had to run up to my home town (about 45 minutes away) to sign some papers today...and stopped at the house on the way back to work. Grabbed a chocolate chip cookie...ate it...grabbed another one (yes, I'm still trying to get rid of the cookies I baked this weekend.....actually, I'd forgotten about them in the microwave - cat proofing - until Mot got them out last night - darn him!!!).

As I was getting ready to walk out the door, I noticed a dude walking up my front steps. Hmmmm.....wonder who he is?? I opened the door, realized who it was and why he was there, and about gave him a hug. It was the Fedex dude...with my new waterproof, crush proof, freeze proof, drop proof camera!!!!!!!! I opened the box, and took it out of it's plastic and cardboard straight jacket. Be free, new toy for Nej...be free!!!!! Of course, the battery needs charged, and I need to get a memory card for it, (it arrived a week early) but that's OK. I plugged the charger in the wall....then looked at the fingerprints on the housing. I got a smokin' deal by getting it in black, instead of silver. OCD sufferers unite - this thing shows some serious fingerprints!!!!! It was then I decided I'd better get back to work.

I had two very good pieces of news at my desk when I arrived.

#1 good news - The shower houses and modern bathrooms will not be closing early at Springbrook this fall. Every year, since 1968 (minus one year, the park was flooded, so we all met at the Guthrie Center, IA city park) we've held a family reunion at Springbrook State Park, the 2nd weekend in October. As the family grows up and moves away, the reunion gets smaller and smaller. (plus, we're not that big a family to start with) For the last few years, we've all begun inviting friends and such....the more the merrier. The reunion started as a picnic on Sunday (grandpa worked at the grain elevator, and it was his only day off during the fall). It has since grown to camping for the whole weekend....if not part of the week as well. This year, is the 40th anniversary...so we're inviting anyone who's ever attended. I'm also inviting more new people - what better a time to start a new tradition, then on the anniversary of an old one???!!!!????!!!! My friends ARE my family....so inviting them to this event only seemed logical. It's also a way to introduce my friends to each other...and get to see them all one more time each year. :-)

Anyway, back to why I'm telling you all this. As I was surfing online this week, I noticed that the shower houses and modern (flush) bathroom were going to be closed early this year. It seems the state had to slash budgets, because of the flooding in Eastern and Central Iowa earlier this spring. Well....news spread throughout the family like wildfire. No sooner had he found out, but Dad was on the phone and email with people in the DNR (Dept of Natural Resources), trying to get to the bottom of the problem. This has been going on all week. When I got back from lunch today, there was an email from him...saying that the state MANDATED that all Southwest Iowa parks keep their shower and modern bathrooms open. Three cheers for indoor plumbing!!!! Yes, I'm an outdoors-woman...but, come one!! Who out there would NOT chose flush over outhouse???? And a nice warm shower, in October, to wash away the campfire smell (if you want)...heaven on earth!!!! :-)

#2 good news - My scanner has shipped. I'm trying to get all of our physical pictures scanned and stored electronically. The boxes and boxes of photos that I never go through, need to be eliminated. The closet space isn't really needed....but those boxes are bugging me!!!!

I finally bit the bullet and ordered the scanner I'm going to use for the project. It's not the biggest, bestest, fastest and quietest model out there. I know after this project is complete, the scanner is going to collect dust, or find itself on a garage sale table. So I picked one that received good reviews, and had a decent pricetag. Soon, I will be able to watch TV and not feel guilty...because I'll be scanning photos and accomplishing something at the same time!!!! :-)

Woot woot to multi-tasking!!!!! What a good winter project this is going to be!!!!!! Plus, how much fun is going through pictures from junior high and high school. Laughing at yourself, your haircut, your clothes.....those huge zits on your adolescent face. What could be better???

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you???

Yes, every blog in the known universe is posting something similar. But, when in Rome...............

You've all been inundated with 09/11 references, new stories and such today.

So.....where were you?? When the shit hit the fan.....what were you doing???

I was home from work that day, due to a sick dog. Yes, you heard me, a sick dog. In fact, the dog that is now suffering from diabetes is the dog in question. She had parvo....was horribly dehydrated, and on her death bed. We had to physical force fluids into her every half hour for a couple of days. A couple of very long, sleepy, discouraging days. It turns out I really didn't need to call in, my hubby had the day off from work. But heck, when given an actual excuse...you HAVE to use it. You are required by law to take advantage of it. Didn't you know that????

Mot was out on the couch, watching TV...which really isn't like him. If he's home, he's either reading, on the computer or cooking. But for some reason, that morning, he was watching TV. I heard him call my name from the living room. You could tell by the sound of his voice, something just wasn't right. So out I went. His eyes were glued to the screen...and he had this dumbfounded look on his face. I arrived just in time to see the second plane hit. He sat there watching TV in half hour blocks, in between trips to the master bathroom. That poor dog!!!!!

Just one of those days......

Even though it's against everything I stand for...I laid in bed this morning, with the phone in my hand. What I was going to say, mulling around in my brain. If I tell them I'm sick...I'll get sick.....it's why I don't call in sick. I can't call in broken vehicle or ill family member for the same reason. Darn it!!!!! I promised Rich that I'd have the last of the Magnum quotes to him today. I promised Dave that I'd be there for one last training session so I can take over his duties of backing up the servers tomorrow...our IT guy is gone for the week. There are days when I really HATE having a work ethic. But you know, the more I think about it....it's really just a fear of Karma...not the work ethic, that made me come into work today.

Traffic was ridiculous. Yes folks, it's raining. It's a nice gentle rain...not a downpour....but for some reason, this means drive 10 miles per hour. They brake for no reason...and I can't believe I made it here without rear ending them. No one in front of them.....and they brake....hard!!!! What's with that???? You're finally able to pass them....they're mid 20's, both hands on the wheels, scared to death. My 96 year old grandmother drives better than that in the rain!!! For crying out loud. It's just rain!!!!!

Then I get to work....there's this lady that sits around the corner from my office area. Technically she's an accounting assistant, but to fill her time, she helps multiple people with small jobs. But none of this really matters...what matters is that she's one of those "one up you" people. NO MATTER what the conversation (that she's not included in) is about, she has to chime in with some story to show that she's done it bigger, smaller, better, worse....or knows someone who has. If you went somewhere to eat last night, she knows the person that owns the place......or she had the best (or worst) experience there ever. If you participated in an activity the night before...she knows the person that invented the sport. This morning, we were talking about dogs doing gross stuff. And no more had the conversation started, she had a story to tell. Her childhood dog ate a dead squirrel with maggots on it. So I told her about my childhood dog, our St. Bernard. When we were kids, ate a 4 foot long bull snake (alive).....slurped it up like spaghetti. She says - and I quote - "Oh yeah, well the bull snake was alive and not covered in maggots." I physically bit my tongue and walked out of the room. What makes her think this is a competition. Why does she has to be that way????

Seriously, today it's affecting me more...but I can literally hear her RIGHT NOW.....invading on someone else's conversation with a story about live traps. God only knows what they were talking about that made her feel she needed to be a part of the conversation!!!!!

On days when I'm in a better mindset, I will actually find things to talk about....that are so outlandish...to see what she comes up with. What story she can tell to fit into the conversation.

She truly should be on a Leave it to Beaver television show. Her speech and mannerisms are very 1940's or so. If it wasn't for her wearing jeans, I'd say she should actually be on Little House on the Prairie.

It's 9:09 am....and black as night outside. Raining!!! Darn it, I could be home right now....with a fake illness or mock vehicular distress to deal with. There are always "woman issues"......man, I could have said that. No one EVER questions when people use that one. In fact, it also eliminates the "feeling better" questions the next day. Now, if it wasn't for my strong women's lib gene, I would use that one. Something about admitting a weakness that only women have, I just can't do it. :-)

I can tell it's going to be one of those days. :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Weekend Guests

Woke up Saturday am ready to go. Fed the dogs, gave Rowan her shot, fed the cats, took a shower. Tom took Rowan up to the vet for another round of testing - her diabetes is getting worse and worse. I finished up cleaning the house. Took the top couple layers of dust off of things, put new sheets on the guest room bed, picked up Tom's "lair" (i.e. the den/office). I then decided to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies to pass the time.

When Tom got back, we ran out for lunch...worst lunch ever!!!! We've been to this little hole in the wall Mexican place a number of times, and each time...it gets worse and worse. We keep going back, with the thoughts of what the food CAN taste like, only to be disappointed each time. We won't be going back again. On the way back we stopped at the Farmer's Market for some cucumbers and onion. Tom decided he wanted to make a nice tomato and cucumber salad to go with his lasagna. Here's the picture of it (he's so proud of his food), he sent it to me on my phone Friday afternoon after completing it.

When we got home, we made the salad, and our guests arrived just as we were finishing it up.

I had received a handful of free tickets to the Greek festival on the downtown Riverfront. The festival is normally a pretty big affair, so we thought we'd go check it out. Besides getting Mel and Tom some baklava...we really got nothing out of it. Well...besides a really annoying blue star stamp on our hands. There was a total of 1 food tent, 1 pastry tent, 1 boutique tent, 1 history of the Greek Orthodox Church tent...and a stage for performers. That's it. Not so impressive.

But, never fear...that is one of the best things about the four of us...we can have a good time doing just about anything. So, off we went!!! We decided to head towards Nebraska Brewing Company to get a couple growlers of beer for dinner. After a nice 'driving tour' of a small section of Omaha - we arrived. Not only did we pick up a couple growlers, we had to sit down and order a sampler round of their beer...along with some snacks. The buffalo wings about melted Mel's face off....she looked as though she was in some serious pain...and true to the rest of our natures, we just tried vehemently to not laugh at her predicament. :-) Sheila and I split an order of their version of cheese sticks...Tom calls them lumps of heart attack. He's so funny.

From there, we left for home. Tom put the lasagna in the oven to cook....and the four of us then sat down to watch the season premier of Ghost Hunter. Yes, the three of us are complete addicts to the show. Tom, even though he won't admit it, finds it entertaining as well. :-)

Dinner was very nice. Tom, as usual, complained about how horrible his food was.....and I, as usual, told him to knock it off. (hehehe) No Mel...we'd secretly feed you no deer. Although, trust me, if it's fixed correctly, it tastes wonderful. There are two main factors to good deer....#1, it's all corn fed around us, so it's mighty tasty...NOT gamy, as in some areas of the US. #2, we hunt it and clean it ourselves, so we know it's done right. :-)

At some point in the evening, Sheila and I found out that we, yet again, have more in common than we thought. She has books and such that I totally have to see next time we go to her house....and there's a store she needs to take me to...that's all I'll say about that. :-) :-) But, having said that....I called and found out my favorite store (of the same genre - do stores have genres??)...anyway, my store was open until 10:00. So we all loaded up in the Jeep and drove to the Old Market. Even with it raining, the vibe down there is just so fun. We'll need to take them back, when it's not 9:00 and everything is closed!!!! :-)

After our trip to New Realities and a couple art studios on the way back to the car, we decided to call it a night. Half our of group was buzzed on good beer, and the other half was so full from lasagna....well...we were all a little lethargic, let's just say that!!!

But wait, on the way home we passed ConAgra's large corporate 'campus.' So we parked (illegally, I might add) and walked out to see the fountain running in the middle of the lake...no, pond...no, small body of water on site. When they run it at night, they also have it lighted with changing colors. It's actually quite nice. The weather gave us a break in the rain, so we could walk along the path and around a bend to get a closer look. Of course, because it had been raining, I didn't bring my camera. Darn it! This is another reason why I finally placed the order for my waterproof (freeze-proof, drop-proof, crush-proof) camera!!!

Once back to the house, we all sat on the front porch, enjoying the gentle rain, the wonderfully cool weather for a little while.....but you could see everyone starting to nod off. Tom was the first to hit the sack....I went upstairs to show the gals where the extra pillows and such could be found. And, as usual, the three of us found ourselves gabbing it up again. We really need to live closer to each other. :-)

The next morning, I think all 4 of us were doing the same thing. Laying in bed, awake, wondering if anyone else was up yet. No one wanted to get up, yet we all wanted to get up and hang out some more. I got up about 6:30, fed the animals, made some coffee, and sat on the front porch reading...Tom joined me not too long after, with coffee and the morning paper. Mel came out to the porch, just as I was coming inside, and scared the crap out of me, then took a shower...and Sheila wasn't far behind.

The morning was wonderfully foggy.....so we thought we'd do some sight seeing driving.....and see where the road would take us. But first, Tom's biscuits and gravy!!! He seemed fairly happy with this batch, can you believe that????

Leaving all dishes from breakfast on the counter (dishwasher was running the lasagna dinner bath), we headed out in the direction of one of the local lakes. I'd heard it was much prettier than it actually seemed to be. A good kayaking lake though, the area was nice...it was just a city lake, nothing special. But - close to this city lake....Cabelas!!! I'm not sure how long we were there....well, let's see. I called and they opened at 10:00, it was 10:00 just then, so it was perfect.....we left there to go eat at 11:30....so we were there an hour and a half. At first we broke off into pairs, switching back and forth to who we were walking with, what departments we were walking in.....it was nice. Picked up some shoes for Mel, some shirts for Sheila and I ( I put my chamois flannel on over my t-shirt right there at the store...and am wearing it to work today)....Tom had his HANDS ON two belts that were exactly what he was looking for...for cheaper than we'd been able to find...and didn't get them. Silly boy!!!!

From Cabela's, back to NE Brewing Company for lunch....and also so Sheila could buy herself a growler to take back to Des Moines. She's hooked. Our waiter (the same kid from the day before) mentioned a new computer game just released that day. It piqued everyone's interest....so much so with Mel, that she literally left the table just then, and ran over to Best Buy to get it. Our food arrived, we ate after waiting for her for a little while. The waiter had just left to get a box for her food, when she walked in the door. HUGE smile on her face! After seeing the smile, I KNEW we were going to have to get it as well. So, when lunch was done...we all went over to the store. Sheila and I both bought a copy.

We got home at about 1:30, they packed up the car and left. Tom went with Aaric to hang a tree stand at his folk's house (of which they forgot a piece, and didn't get to hang it anyway).....and I sat on the couch playing Spore all afternoon. When Tom got home, he took the laptop, and played it the rest of the day, evening, and well into the night. He's such an addictive personality!! The look in his eyes while playing, told me that I was going to have to talk to him about me buying that laptop so I wouldn't have to ASK to get onto a computer. (hehehehe)