Monday, December 31, 2007

The Final Countdown

Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve written.  Life has been a bit crazy and I’ve been a bit lazy when there is nothing pressing me. 

Work was crazy last week.  There was a lot of catching up and a lot of trying to locate annuity writing bankers who were on vacation and in their stead, trying to resolve issues.  When I got home, all I wanted to do was sleep…so I did.  I think the darkness, snow, and cold are not helping the general malaise I find myself in these days.

I don’t know what we are doing tonight, if anything.  Bob hasn’t been feeling well.  We missed a family wedding on Saturday due to his illness and he has given me the OK to go out tonight if I so desire.  I don’t know that I DO desire.

I ordered my professional graduation photos today.  Holy Schnikees they were pricey.  I ordered 3 5x7’s and 1 small portrait package and it came to $75 including shipping and handling.  Crazy. 

I meant to take our Christmas decorations down yesterday but I got caught up in movie nostalgia thanks to the ABC Family network.  It began with My Girl, continued with A League of Their Own, and finished with Steel Magnolias.  I only moved from the couch to eat lunch and dinner.  Nice.

I can’t believe it’s a new year.  Last year I was so excited for 2007, I could barely stand it.  As the year wound down with no pregnancy, I began to hate 2007.  Now, with plans to most likely move to Florida, I am begrudgingly looking forward to 2008.  Bob and I talked about it a little bit last night and if I don’t get a job interview or offer before our lease is up October 1st, we are looking at moving down there, finding me a temp job and just starting the fall off right in Florida.  Not sure if that will work or not, but we are talking about it.  Bob is kind of scared because our cruise is from Sept 11th to 22nd and he doesn’t think I can get us packed and moved in 2 weeks.  I think I can.  Especially if I work to the 10th and then am done at Big Bank Co.  It’s scary to think of doing it that way but if we don’t, we will never leave and I can’t live through another year of broken dreams and disappointment.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Where in the world did this weekend go? I had 5 days off and it seems like I need another 5 just to catch my breath.

Friday was graduation, of course. It was awesome. I shared photos and thoughts on the day in my last post. There is one thing I will regret for a good long time and that is that we didn't take any family photos with me and my folks, grandma, brother, sister-in-law, or nephews. None. None of them with me before or after the ceremony. None of me in my graduation finery with my family. I am so bummed about this and wish we could go back in time and redo at least that much.

Saturday morning I ran errands and took some photos. It had snowed over night and there was a beautiful frosty coating on everything. After that, I met my mom, dad, and grandma at my grandma's place and caravaned with them to my uncle's house for our family Christmas. It was a nice time of family togetherness. There were a couple of dampers in that my dad had a health issue and my grandma is so very hard of hearing. But for those, the day was lovely. I got home around 11!

Sunday morning I got up and did our laundry. While at the laundromat, the weather turned and it began to snow. It was snowy, swirly, and windy. My mom called to say they were on their way back to southern WI in hopes of getting home before the weather got too bad.

Once laundry was done, I headed back for home to pack for our mini weekend away. Bob and I drove to downtown Minneapolis amidst the snowy, swirly, windy weather. What would normally would take us 10 or 15 minutes took us 40. We checked in and got settled into our room. It was a 2 room suite with a large bathroom. We were on the 9th floor and had a nice view southwest. Once we were settled, we decided to get a bite to eat at Britts Pub. While there I found out my brother and his family were driving south to their home. This worried me due to the nastiness of the weather but my brother was not to be deterred.After dinner we walked down Nicollet Mall and enjoyed the sights. The parade didn't start for another hour so we ducked into Target to look around. The downtown Target was crazy busy and the Mall was actually pretty hustle-y and bustle-y. At 6:30, we were ready for the Hollidazzle parade to start. It was so nice. Though it was really cold and blustery and snowy, it certainly made for a festive atmosphere. I took a lot of photos and had a great time.By the time we got back to the hotel, both Bob and I were about frozen solid. We stood by the fireplace in the hotel lobby for a while. When we got to our room, I turned the heat up and called down for an extra blanket. The blanket never arrived but we found ways to stay warm. Watching the Vikings lose was one way to stay hot under the collar!
On Monday we got up and went to a local place for brunch. It was delicious. The weather was better too. It was still cold but it was no longer snowing and the sun was out.
After brunch we went to Macy's to see their Christmas display. (Along with everyone else in the free world.) We took the skyway and I was actually surprised at the amount of people out and about. I was REALLY surprised at the amount of people shopping at Macy's and Target. Bob and I went to Target to get each other stocking stuffers and we had a hard time finding things for each other from the picked over shelves. We did NOT have a hard time finding Valentine's things though. Weird.
The rest of the day was spent just hanging out and relaxing. We ordered Chinese food delivered to the hotel and enjoyed a kick back evening at the hotel. We slept in this morning, checked out, and headed for home.

I vacuumed our home, put our gifts away, and unpacked. I plan on going to bed early. Tomorrow I go back to work and I can't figure out where all my time off went.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Guess who graduated from college today? Give up? Here's a hint:
Here's me with my classmates:
And here's me with my amazing husband, Bob:
There were only 2 dampers on the day. 1.) I got a major runner in my Spanx about 30 seconds after I put them on, and 2.) I found out that I had the grade point average to graduate Magna Cum Laude but I did not get the official label because I did not earn enough credits at this particular institution. It's kind of a bummer because I worked so hard and the work should all transfer, not just what I do at this particular school. It took me 21 years to get this degree and I had the GPA for the MCL. Bummer. But over all, a great day.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

As Old as Video Games

After nearly a week of being 40 I have to say it's...OK. The other night I was lying in bed thinking about it and it just feels so wrong. In my head 40 sounds so old. I don't feel as old as 40 sounds to me. In my head I still feel 24. It is hard for me to believe that I'm not still the same person I was at 24. (OK, thank God I'm not, but where in the world did the time go?) I also can't believe that this May I will have lived here in MN for 10 years! Just let this be a warning to you all, do not spend your time in bed trying to fall asleep contemplating your birthdays because there is nothing that will wake you up faster than realizing you are now the same age as the ATM, the Big Mac, and the Israeli Occupation.

I do have to share that things at work have been going much better. My manager is a fan of working with people's strengths and walking them patiently through their...not so strong traits. She approved a move for me from my cube to another with more space and higher "walls". Today she came and asked me to look through the resumes of the 5 strongest candidates applying for our open position. That's pretty good. I haven't heard from the position I interviewed for last week but I can honestly say that at this point I don't even care.

I actually heard from the orthopedist today. I am seeing a guy who is an actual foot and ankle specialist. Of course I can't get in to see him until after the holidays, but January 2nd, I am there. This also means that tomorrow at graduation I will be walking across the stage in a boot/walking cast and photographed in it for all posterity. Sweet. I actually tried to walk in my new shoes and the broken ankle can't take it. So it will have to be cute new shoe on the right foot and big, black, bulky, boot on the left. Oh well, it will make for an interesting story.

Bob and I are actually looking at moving to Florida when our lease is up on our place in '08. Not sure how that would work out, but we decided to think about it and we are going to talk more about it this weekend when we're at the hotel. Sitting through another Minnesota winter just doesn't sound as appealing as it once used to.

Tomorrow is GRADUATION! It's a full day of grad festivities and I can't wait. I am more excited than a kid at Christmas. I don't know what pleases me more, the graduation and all the pomp and circumstance and tradition of it all or the fact that my entire family will be there to celebrate with me. Squeeee! I hope I can sleep tonight.

And just because I am stuck in a rut of pondering all that 40 means, here is a list of famous people that also turned 40 this year:
Pamela Anderson,

Boris Becker

Lisa Bonet

Toni Braxton

Tia Carrere

Carrot Top

Kurt Cobain

Harry Connick, Jr.

Anderson Cooper

Billy Corgan

Olivia d’Abo

Laura Dern

Benicio del Toro

Vin Diesel

Will Ferrell

Joely Fisher

Jamie Foxx

Lauren Graham

Paul Giamatti

Faith Hill

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Melina Kanakaredes

Nicole Kidman

Jimmy Kimmel

Matt LeBlanc

Dave Matthews

Tim McGraw

Dave Navarro

Liz Phair

Guy Pearce

Julie Roberts

Joe Rogan

Mark Ruffalo

Andrew Shue

Miro Sorvino

Sherry Stringfield

Lili Taylor

Keith Urban

Kate Walsh

Steve Zahn

Moon Unit Zappa

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


We don't "tip" the people that park next to us as much as we thank them. We have a handicapped accessible van with a ramp and need all the space we park in and then some. The people that park next to us park as far over to the opposite side as they can in order to allow Bob access to his van. They don't have to but they do because they know it makes things easier for Bob. So, to thank them, we bought them $10 gas cards and put them in Christmas cards. Not a big deal but something nice because they've been nice to us.

I got the referral to the orthopedist. I will be calling their office tomorrow. My ankle doesn't really hurt. But for some reason, my right hand is killing me and I don't know why. Maybe I laid on it one night but I've had to take Aleve 2 days in a row just to get through the day.

Tomorrow is my last day at work before a well needed and most anticipated 5 day break. I can't wait. Oh, and only 2 more days to graduation!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm Fffffffforty...Gulp

So my birthday was kind of a bummer but I'm doing better. Bob took me out to eat on Friday night and we had a nice time. Bob asked if I wanted to do anything else when we were done but I didn't so we just went home.

Saturday I was to meet my girlfriends for brunch. I've been a little bit angsty about my friends lately because we have all become so bad and lazy about communicating with each other. Out of 10 friends invited, only 4 showed up and NO ONE called to say they wouldn't be making it. It really wouldn't have been a big deal except the restaurant wouldn't seat us until everyone in the party had arrived so we ended up having to call everyone to see if they were coming or not. Thank god for cell phones or we would have had to locate a pay phone and a bunch of quarters. Brunch was nice anyway and my friends did chip in and get me a nice gift which was a nice surprise.

Following brunch, I ran some errands, braving the holiday crowds at Target...GAH! Then I swung by home to pick up Bob so we could go to Sam's. We wanted to pick out a fun gift basket to give to our apartment management office. We found a nice one AND I was able to place orders for my grad/birthday party cake and party trays.

Speaking of the grad/birthday party, I have to say I'm not very excited about it any more. I've received more regrets than accepts and it's bumming me out. I guess I'll just host the party and have fun with the people that do show up and save the real celebrating for the cruise in September.

Anyway, the rest of the weekend was spent vegging, doing laundry, and trying to recover from a horrendous headache. Oh! And watching Working Girl for the thousandth time. It doesn't matter how many times they show that movie, I will stop whatever it is I'm doing to watch it again.

So things at work have become a bit better. I think it's partially because New Manager is all about working with your strengths and giving you responsibilities that play up the strengths. But the new responsibilities as well as the loss of another co-worker means that the work load has increased exponentially. It's crazy. Today I didn't get a lunch break and I worked an extra hour over my regular time. I am off on Friday and I am panicking about getting everything done that needs to be done by now. I don't know what's worse, being bored at work and not having enough to do or being so busy that no matter how much you do, you can't get everything done. I think I like the latter and say "nyah" to the former.

Something weird and annoying happened to me on Monday. I went down to the cafeteria to get my morning egg. The fry cook that makes my food is the guy who kind of dressed me down not so long ago for not wearing a wedding ring to let him know I'm married. Anyway, he greeted me by saying, "This is the week that everyone needs to tip their service workers this week because Christmas is next week." I laughed but he seemed serious. Bob and I had already tipped everyone we planned on tipping. We gave the mailman some cash, a gift basket to our management office, and gas cards to the people that park on either side of our van in the parking garage. I brought a plate of cookies to my favorite coffee place and didn't think I had to do something for the fry cook at my building cafeteria. It still irks me that he said this.

Only 3 more days to graduation. I. Can't. Wait. I am off Friday, the weekend (of course), Monday, and Tuesday. And reason #127 why I love my husband? When he realized I had all this time off, he suggested we look for a hotel deal in town and stay there Sunday and Monday night as a treat (read distraction) for us this holiday. I found a downtown hotel for $65 per night. We will check in, eat dinner, and then catch the last night of the Hollidazzle. The rest of our time will be spent exploring downtown and enjoying each other's company.

Another reason why my husband rocks? He came up to me today and said, "Yes, let's explore moving to Florida." Yes! Let's.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry if I Want to

So the past 48 hours haven't been all that great. It might be the day I turn 40 but it might as well have been any old crappy day. Mostly it's little stupid stuff that piled up but just the fact that it all happened around such a momentous birthday really sucks.

Crappy Stuff that Happened on my Birthday
  • Was told broken bone wasn't healing. Put back into walking cast.
  • Made cookies last night from a new recipe that didn't really work out.
  • Told my regular coffee shop people it was my birthday...didn't get free drink even though I always did in years past.
  • Headlight went out on my car.
  • Bob sent my name in to local radio station to be read during their "Best Day Ever" segment...they didn't read it.
  • Decided to pamper myself with a brow wax. Got new girl. She kept jamming her thumbs in my eyes and when it was done, she didn't offer me a mirror. Oh! And she told me to stop squinting all the time.
  • Called my doctor to see if I could get a referral to an orthopedist sooner rather than later and was told by the nurse that now that I'm 40 I'm just not going to heal as fast and I should learn some patience. Sheesh, I JUST turned 40.
I know it doesn't sound like a lot and it may seem that I'm just a whining baby but I've been down so long and just wanted a nice day today.

In thinking about it, I think that what has me down is that I'm 40. I'm no longer in my 30's. Now I have to say I'm in my 40's. And the 40's lead to 50. Plus, for some reason, I had it in my head that 2007 was going to be some amazing magical year for us/me. Then it wasn't. At all. In fact, with each passing month I could feel my youthful optimism and hopefulness slip away. I can feel myself get more and more negative and jaded as the year winds down. I used to be the first one to believe in miracles, fantasies and fairy tales. I used to believe dreams and wishes came true. Until this year. Now I just see how hard life is. How much it sucks and drains the life from a person until the day they die.

Although I guess it's not all bad. When I look back over the 10 years that was my 30's, I can see some good things happened. I got my Associate's Degree. I moved to the Twin Cities. I met and married Bob. I got my job at Big Bank Co. I finished college (barely). Still, there is so much more that I wanted for me/us that didn't happen it's hard for me to believe it ever will. I really am not looking forward to the future for the first time since...I can remember. Even this big birthday/graduation party I'm throwing in January isn't looking good. I've received so many regrets RSVPs that I'm wondering if anyone will show. It's like turning 40 has turned me into Debbie Downer.

So far, the 40's are not fabulous.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another Ankle Update

I hate to post and move the picture of my pretty, pretty Kate Spade handbag from its prominent position, but I have an ankle update.  The bone is not healing.  I have been relegated once again to the walking cast/boot for 2 more weeks.  I DID get the OK to leave off the boot for graduation but with an admonishment to wear it every waking moment before and after.  I got back for another x-ray and follow-up on December 31 and if it’s still not healing I will be referred to an orthopedic surgeon who will look at it and say it’s just the little knobbly bone on my outer ankle and there’s nothing he can do.  Or so I hope. 

Other than that, not much is going on.  Work is busy because we are short staffed.  I am moving from one cube with half walls to a new cube across the aisle with tall walls and more storage space. I am looking forward to the move because I will no longer be next to our noisy phone team.  That takes place on Tuesday.

Tonight I’m going to go home and make some fudge and peanut butter blossom cookies.  I like to bring treats to work on my birthday.  I also bring some in to my favorite coffee place…just because.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


OK, I know this isn't technically an ornament but I had to post it. I stopped by the consignment store on my way to my work holiday party. I had some items to drop off and I wanted to check my store credit balance. Turns out I had $15 in store credit. Of course I couldn't leave without picking up a little something. Today that "little something" turned out to be this super cute Kate Spade evening bag. It perfectly matches my dress and though I've never been a purse person, it called out to me and I could not resist. It cost $10. I've never owned a designer handbag and never thought I would. It's probably 10 seasons old, but I don't care. I love it. It's perfect. Consignment stores are amazing.

Pomp and Circumstance

I got my cap and gown!  I got my cap and gown!  Wheeee!  I left work early to head to my school for the Grad Expo.  When I got there, there was one other guy ahead of me and 2 girls behind me and that was it.  I hope there was a larger turn out earlier in the day.  Anyway, I got my alumni card and info on career development.  I found out that I dont have any overdue library fines and I entered my name for a drawing.  I got my graduation tickets (including 1 wheelchair/accessible ticket) and my cap and gown.  They made me try on my cap right away but I had to wait until I got home to try on my gown.  Everything is black.  The cap is black.  The gown is black.  Even the tassel is black.  At least it all goes with my new dress.  I cant wait until next Friday!

I had an interview this morning.  I think it went well but I can never tell with these things.  I was a few minutes late because I had intended to park on the street but couldnt find street parking over 15 minutes in length so I had to park in a ramp.  The ramp I chose had prominent signs stating they did not accept checks and since I only had $8 on me, I made a mental note to stop at an ATM on my way back to my car. Anyway, I met the manager and her 3 employees and then we got down to it.  She was nice, funny, and a little saucy.  She asked me the dreaded, what is your greatest strength and greatest weakness? question.  I dont think I nailed it, but I came away with a good feeling.  The way I see it, its all experience that helps with the next thing to come along so even if Im not offered the position, it wasnt a wasted effort.  Oh, and I had to pay $11 for the ONE HOUR I was parked down town.  If I do get the job, I will be procuring a monthly bus pass post haste.

Tonight is my work holiday party.  I dont really know what to expect.  Our BIG manager is going to be here from California.  We have a new manager and less people than previous years.  The restaurant we are going to has some yummy food and drinks are free so it should be a good time in that regard anyway.  On the way I am stopping at the consignment shop to drop off a couple of things. Dont know if they will accept them, but its worth a shot.  I also have to see if I have any money on account.  If so, I can pick up something for store credit.  Yay.

So Friday is the big day.  The day I turn 40.  Ive been so busy that it hasnt really registered but Im kind of dreading it.  So much stuff was to have happened before I turned 40.  We were to have either had a baby or I was to be pregnant.  We were to have a house.  I was to have found a better paying job in a field I enjoy.  None of that has happened yet.  At least I finished school before I turned 40.  I got that item checked off my to-do list anyway.  I have to work on Friday but then Bob is picking me up and we are going downtown for dinner and the Hollidazzle Parade.  Its supposed to be the coldest day of the week but my new parka arrived from L.L. Bean so I should be snuggly in that.  Bob and I have never seen the Hollidazzle together so it should be interesting if nothing else.  I do have a big party planned to celebrate the 4-0 and my graduation but I scheduled it for January, after all the holiday hoopla.  Oh, and youre invited.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ornament of the day, Tuesday, December 11

This is an ornament my friend Holly sent me from Russia. She moved there in 1997, met a man, fell in love, had a couple of kids, and now resides in Novosibirsk, Siberia. I'm not sure if there is any real symbolism or if this ornament means anything, I just like her. She reminds me of Holly and her family every year. She is placed in a prominent place on our tree in honor of our friends in Russia.

Hustle and Bustle

You know what I need NOT to do?  I need NOT to watch Paranormal State right before bed.  It freaked me right the hell out and I couldn’t fall asleep for fear of some demon or ghost “getting” me.  I used to suffer horrible night terrors and had fear of the dark until I got married. Last night brought it all back with a vengeance.  As fascinating a show as PS is, I gotta say no to the show.

I leave in a little over and hour for the Grad Expo.  I will be picking up my cap and gown and graduation tickets.  I can’t wait.  I’m giddy with anticipation.  Hee.

Tomorrow I have an interview downtown AND our holiday party after work.  It is just hustle and bustle here at Big Bank Co.  Speaking of, work it piling up due to low staff.  Gotta go.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I think I mentioned a while back that I fell in love with a ring in a local jewelry store and was hoping Bob would get it for me for graduation. Well, we talked about it and since we are scaling back Christmas and sacrificing all things in life for our cruise in September, I agreed that the cruise is enough and don’t really need any new bling.  So, no new ring for graduation.  Still, we will have a lovely vacation in September. (I may be getting a new vacuum for Christmas though!  Bissell makes a new pet hair vacuum and I’ve heard/read good things about it.  It’s much more affordable than the Dyson and our current vacuum is slowly dying.)

I just got a call (a ring) for an interview.  Wednesday morning I will be heading downtown to the hustle-y and bustle-y center of commerce to interview at a new department.  I’m kind of looking forward to it because the woman who called me was so funny and open.  She stated right away that the job entailed some filing and since everyone in the office hated filing, it kind of fell to this open position.  I said I have to file now and while it’s not on the list of my favorite things to do, I don’t mind it so much.  She also said there was room for growth and advancement and said it’s a fun place to work.  After the call, I went to my manager to tell her I would be going on this interview but I told her that during the interview I would be sure to tell the interviewer about how we’ve lost so many people in a short amount of time and I would probably need more than the requisite two weeks notice if offered the job.  My boss appreciated that.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


This fat squirrel was sitting on our deck railing today. He has been partaking of our seed and suet as though it was the local squirrel food shelf. I suspect he is also the guilty party that stole our seed ball. Bob said one afternoon a squirrel ran off with the whole ball. Greedy little buggers. Still, isn't he cute and bunchy? I just want to snuggle and squeeze and snorfle him.


Yesterday we hosted Bob's family Christmas gathering. It wasn't a great time. Bob's mom and step dad didn't come. Unbeknownst to us, they are not doing well health-wise. I guess the walk up to our building is hard on Bob's mom. We did not know that. We host family things here because it's accessible for Bob. None of our family live in homes that Bob can get into to. So Bob's family had to choose...go somewhere Bob can go or go somewhere their Mom can go. That sucks. Bob's brother said something about meeting somewhere neutral that is both accessible and easy to get to for Mom. I don't know where that would be unless we rent a hotel room or something.

Another difficult moment was when my sister-in-law brought pictures of her baby granddaughters to show me. She had photo after photo and she put each one in front of me and asked me again and again how cute I thought they were. They are cute but having those babies shoved in front of me like that was like waving a steak dinner in front of a starving man but telling him he can't eat it, he an only appreciate it's scent and appearance.

All Bob's siblings have kids and some of those kids have kids. Hearing them talk about their own family traditions and how they were going to spend Christmas was killing me. I told Bob I was going back to the apartment and I just cried. Bob came to see if I was OK and when I told him what was bothering me he finally asked me the question I'd been fearing for some time. He asked, "Aren't you and I enough?" I said no. As much as I love Bob and as much as I love being married to him, it's not enough. And then I cried some more.

Thinking ahead to what the future holds is scary. We don't have kids so we won't get the joy and pleaure of seeing them grow. We won't share holiday traditions with them. We won't get to see them grow up and get married and have their own families. We will just be alone. Just us...forever. And it's not like we can just go to other people's homes and join them for holiday happenings. See above in regards to accessibility concerns.

In thinking about this today, I realized I seem to be sad all the time. Right now is especially difficult. God, who knew the holidays could suck so much? Anyway, I hate that Bob has to have the saddest wife in all the land so I started think about what could change (Other than the obvious children thing) in order to make things better. What did I come up with? Moving.

See, Bob and I have always wanted to live in a warmer locale, especially by the ocean. If we can't make our dream of parenthood a reality, maybe we can make our ocean-side living dream come true. We talked a little bit about it tonight. We agreed to think about it. I saw a couple of jobs held by Big Bank Co in Florida and will consider applying later in the week. There is still a lot to work through if this is something we're going to do. It's only in the thinking/talking stage if anything but it's better than what we've been doing lately.

In happier news, I met with
Kathy today. I wanted some cool, fun, jewelery to wear with my new graduation dress and Kathy is going to make it for me. Cool, huh?

Ornament of the Day, Sunday, December 9

When I went to college (the first time), I became the recipient of several Holstein cow ornaments and decorations. I guess it's because I came from The Dairy State. At one time I had so many cow ornaments that I could fill a 3 or 4 foot table top Christmas tree. Actually, I still have all of these ornaments, I just haven't put them all on the tree. These milk bottles represent a tiny fraction of the many, many, many cow ornaments I still have.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ornament of the Day, Saturday, December 8

This is not just one ornament, but a bunch of different ornaments. Actually, they aren't ornaments as much as decorations that have grown somewhat into a collection. It started with our wedding gifts. Who knew that a late September wedding could prompt at least 4 separate families to gift us snowmen decorations? That's what happened. Then others began to give us snowmen decorations and our collection has grown to this. Granted it's not a huge collection but given that the snowmen count for me and Bob before we were married was 0 and now it's...well nearing a dozen, I think it classifies as a collection.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ornament of the day Friday, December 7

As I've mentioned previously, having a December birthday is fortuitous in so many ways. One of them being that people often give you ornaments for gifts. So while I have tons and tons of ornaments that were given to me over the course of my 18-22 years before leaving my parents' home, my husband was not as fortunate. So this fish ornament is one of the first ones I purchased for him soon after we were married. Bob is a fisherman and loves all things fishing. Once I saw this blown glass fish ornament, I knew he would love it. And love it he did. Our tree is now an amalgamation of old ornaments from my youth, new ornaments I've purchased as an adult, and Bob's manly ornaments. I love it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mixed Bag of an Entry

My eldest nephew turns 13 today.  How is it that just yesterday he was blowing raspberries and eating his toes, carrying Matchbox cars in both fists and all his pockets, starting school, loving musical chairs and now he’s a teenager?  I still remember the birthday when he turned 7.  I called him in the morning before he left for school to wish him a happy birthday.  I asked him what they were planning on doing at his party and he said, “Playing musical chairs that’s for sure!”  He was so excited though I think it was reported back that musical chairs didn’t end up in the party game plan.  Anyway, happy birthday Nephew!  Have fun with your limo ride bowling party.

Yesterday I took the holiday photograph of one of our departments.  There were 11 people.  Of the 11, 3 had dark skin, 2 had lighter dark skin, and the rest had variations of MN winter white pasty skin.  I had a hard time setting the white balance to get everyone’s skin tone correct.  THEN there was the problem with eyes being closed or half closed, someone standing in front of someone else, someone not smiling, etc.  I was not happy with the end result but I handed the photo CD in this morning.  If I had my way, I would ask them to do it over but I guess it was the manager’s idea to do it in the first place and his employees weren’t thrilled with the idea to begin with.  So, hopefully they will find one to use in their holiday greetings.  It’s hard to take a photo that all 11 people are happy with.  I think I will stick to candid/family/event photography.  Posed group shots are NOT my thing.

I am learning to live with one less molar in my mouth.  The pain and discomfort of the former tooth was horrible and I couldn’t wait to get it out but now that it’s out…it’s weird.  It feels like there’s a huge hole in my head.  The oral surgeon didn’t stitch the opening together so there’s a gaping hole where the tooth used to be as well.  I swish with warm, salty water after every meal or beverage (other than water) so that little crater stays empty and heals.  I hope it heals without the gaping.

More snow today.  That makes 3 times since Saturday.  This is the snowiest December I remember in a while.  Bob doesn’t like it because it means he is confined to home unless the plows/shovelers have been out.  Even then, there needs to be a packed, even surface for him to ride on and that hasn’t been the case for several days now.  Poor buddy.  We’ve been spoiled with mild, not so snowy winters lately and are just not used to the white stuff.

Speaking of Bob I am worried about his health.  He caught that respitory crap that was going around and got really sick.  Thanks to some antibiotics and lots of rest he got better but he still isn’t back 100%.  And now he’s having trouble with some aspects of his health and makes mention of it but won’t go to the doctor.  I can’t make him go but I tell him he better go.  He says he will make an appointment but every day I come home and he still hasn’t done it.  Arg.  What is it with men and the doctor?

Ornament of the Day Thursday, December 6

Happy 13th Birthday Jensen Noel!

This ornament is from high school days as well. It's a little gnome in a nut. In high school I was actively involved in an organization called Campus Life. The leader/director of the group had a crafty wife who made all kinds of neat things. One of the things she made was the gnome in the nut. She sold these things at craft shows so she made lots and lots. One year she needed help so she paid me to help her make these. She had all the pieces and parts laid out like an assembly line and we worked on assembling the little gnomes. This gnome was my favorite so she let me keep him.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ornament of the day Wednesday, December 5

Because my birthday is in December, Christmas ornaments were always given to me as gifts. Either from relatives or my parents. I got this scooter from my mom when I was a senior in high school. That was the year I saved all my money and bought myself a Honda Spree scooter. My Spree was black, and this little Christmas ornament scooter, though red, still became one of my favorite ornaments. It's still one of the first ones I hang on the tree every year. I no longer have my Spree but I still have the little red scooter my mom gave me that Christmas.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ornament of the day, Tuesday, December 4

Bob ordered this ornament for me our first Christmas as a married couple. He took one of our favorite photos from our wedding, sent it into this ornament company, and got this back. It's a nice memento of the day we got married.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Orment of the Day, Monday, December 3

I'm a little behind, but here is the ornament of the day for Monday, December 3rd:
This is the first ornament I have purchased this year. I found it at Wild Birds Unlimited for $1.99. I just thought it was cute, but it serves double duty as a bell/warning. I hung it on one of the lower branches of our tree and if the cats are bothering the tree, the bell rings alerting me. Cute and functional...I can live with that.

Call 1-800-Get-Clue

If I said “What is your 800 number?” or “Call our 800 number”, would you automatically expect the number to start with 8-0-0 or would you know that I am speaking of a toll free number that might start with 8-0-0. 8-6-6, or 8-7-7?  I sent out an email to my co-workers today asking them to give our bankers the correct fax number and I called it our “800 number” even though it is actually an 8-6-6 number.  One of my co-workers then emailed me back and said, “I thought our fax number was an 8-6-6 number, not an 8-0-0 number.  I had to email everyone back and explain that “800” can be generally or loosely interpreted as the same thing as saying “toll free”.  Sheesh, if it’s not one thing, it’s another around this place.

Speaking of work, last week I actually had an offer for an interview within another department.  For a position that had more responsibility, more money, and a better title.  I was so excited.  Until 3 hours later when I got the email telling me that the higher ups in that department had re-evaluated things and decided not to fill that position.  Crap.  This was my first interview offer in months and then it’s yanked away.  Curses.

Yes, I ended up putting up our tree and Christmas decorations last night.  I originally went to our storage room just to get our door wreath, more lights, and put the fall/Halloween stuff away.  Once there I thought, “as long as I’m here, I might as well grab the tree too.”  Once I grabbed the tree, it didn’t make sense to leave the decorations behind so I just pulled it all out and started the decorating process.  So far, the cats have left everything alone but Miss Zoe is too curious for her own good and gets close enough to the tree to bump into one of many bells I’ve hung around the bottom of the tree.  After all was said and done I think it looks quite nice.  In the spirit of the holiday, 3 of our 4 cats even settled in together on the loveseat for a nap.  There is a photo in yesterday’s photo entry.  The surprising thing was Miss Maisey, our unfriendly cat was one of the three!  I even managed to get a photo of all 4 of them in the same frame without Photoshop!

One of Bob’s aunts died last night.  We weren’t close to her but she was his dad’s sister.  Of the 6 siblings in that family, 3 have died and they have all died near the holidays.  Bob’s dad died last Christmas Eve.  Bob’s uncle died around Christmas in 2004 or 2005.  It’s a sad time of year for this family.  However, we do have a wedding of one of the cousins coming up so we look ahead to better times together.

My parents are in Jamaica right now.  They left in the midst of the swirly snowstorm that hit us this weekend.  More snow is expected tomorrow and over the weekend.  I could use a little white sand and sun right now myself.  Lucky parents.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Photo Post

Guess What I Did Today

Snowy Sunday

I'm not sure how many inches of snow we got yesterday but it was alot. It snowed steadily all day, turned to sleety-rain, then back to snow again. Right now it is sunny and bright and cold outside which makes all the snow look like white frosting on a winter wonderland.

I stopped by the bird food store and got some suet, new seed, and a seed ball. The birds were eating from the feeder yesterday during the storm but since putting out the new food, seed ball, and suet...nothing. Silly birdies.

I tried on the dress again last night to show Bob. I didn't take a photo of me in it yet because my hair was a mess and I didn't have any make-up on but I will post a picture from graduation. Only 20 more days to graduation and 12 days until I turn 40.

As I was walking to the parking garage this morning, my walking cast/boot snapped in half. So I guess I'm not supposed to wear it any more. I do have an ankle brace thing and I ordered some TEDS socks so I should have enough support on the healing ankle.

I was going to decorate for Christmas this weekend but next Saturday is Bob's family Christmas so I think I might wait until Saturday morning before the shindig to decorate. Or not. I could still get a bug up my butt and decorate today. It certainly feels more like Christmas with all the snow.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Snowing Shopping Day

We got our first snow storm of the winter season. The weather people said to expect the snow after noon today. It actually started around 9 a.m. This is how it looked outside Target at around 10 a.m.

This is how it looked around 11 a.m. on the road near my house. I had shopping to do and the weather was not co-operating.

My first stop was the pet food store to get cat food. I don't understand the pet food store. We buy the same thing every month. I get the largest bag of lite cat food they sell and yet it never costs the same. It's advertised price is usually $34.99. Lots of times it's on sale for $29.99. Today it was full price yet I had a $3 off coupon. With tax I still ended up paying $34. I don't understand it.

After the pet food store, I had to go to Target in order to get our white elephant gifts. I found a USB 1 gig external hard drive for $20, a cool picture frame for $10, and a travel Scrabble game for $10. I also picked up some spaghetti sauce that was on sale and some garlic bread to go with it.

After Target, I began my quest to find a graduation dress. I started at Dress Barn. Why oh why do clothes makers think women of larger women want dresses that make them look matronly? Gah. Of course the cuter dresses were all in small sizes or they were out of my size. I found one dress that I kind of liked but I wasn't looking for something I kind of liked. So I left Dress Barn and went next door to The Avenue. They had a cute dress hanging in the window but it was a size 14. When I asked if they had other dresses in the store, they said no that the dress in the window was just to advertise the dresses they had on their website. I said I didn't want to get the dress from the web because it's hard to size/fit them and then if it doesn't fit, I don't have enough time to exchange it. They said that maybe the Burnsville store might have dresses in stock. I laughed and asked if they had seen the weather outside? I wasn't going to drive to Burnsville today.

I decided to drive to the Eden Prairie Mall to see what Lane Bryant might have. One of the girls at The Avenue also suggested Sears and Kohls. I took to the streets and driving slowly and carefully made it to the Eden Prairie Mall in one piece.

I started at Sears. Sears had all their special occasion dresses in one area and again, all the cute ones were the smaller sized dresses. The larger sizes were once again matronly. Arg! I left Sears and headed to Lane Bryant. I struck out there as they didn't have ANY dresses at all. The Lane Bryant worker said the Mall of America store carried dresses but they were the only one. I laughed again and said I would not be driving to the MOA. She said she hadn't been out of the store since she got there at 7 this morning and was it bad. I just laughed again and told her to drive slow and safe on her way home.

My next stop was Kohls. Nothing. On my way to JC Penney's I thought I would stop in Van Maur just to see what they had. Von Maur is kind of hit or miss for me. It's super pricey and very hoity toity. I often find some good deals on clearance but I wasn't holding my breath. I walked to the women's section and asked the clerk where they might have dresses. She said they had some dresses on the clearance rack but that they mostly were selling separates right now. I went to the clearance rack. They had 6 dresses in my size. I took them all. The first two were OK and would work if I really needed them to, but I didn't fall in love. The third one was cute but a tad small. The fourth and fifth one, while marked my size, were too small and I couldn't get the zipped. While trying them on, the clerk brought a black shrug thinking it would be cute with the sleeveless dress I had in my group. That was the sixth dress. I have to say, the sixth dress was my dream dress and I tried it on last hoping it would fit and be my graduation dress. You know where this is fit, the shrug was cute with it and it was on sale! Normally $190, I got the dress for $45. The shrug was $50! I got them both plus a pair of black Spanx nylons. Behold, the dress that makes me feel like a fairy princess:
It's a beautiful midnight blue with black netting and bow. There are little sparkly sparkles on it that makes it look like the midnight sky on a clear night. I love it.

I needed shoes. I didn't even look at Von Maur because I couldn't expect to find such a super deal twice. I tried Payless and Kohl's without luck. I stopped in JC Penney's and found a pair of shoes on the clearance rack. They were normally $40 dollars but marked to $20 with an extra 20% off. Score!

Once I found my dress and shoes, I took back to the snowy streets for home. I got home by 1:30 and showed Bob my treasures. He was suitably impressed (for a man) and told me how pretty my dress was.

The rest of the day I will spend putting up our Christmas decorations. I had hoped to get to a fellow blogger's home to partake in her jewelery sale. I was hoping to find a necklace and earrings to go with the new dress. That might have to be special ordered. I didn't want to drive more than necessary in today's wild and woolly weather.

I am so happy with my dress. I can't wait for graduation.