Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dresser before... and after!

We found this white dresser on craigslist. It was the right size and super cheap. But it was a bit mussed up, had a broken drawer, and needed three drawers put back on track.

Before...

Here she is, 3 coats of paint later, new rail alignment (yay home depot for $2), and new hardware!

After!

She's going in our closet, so we were a-ok with the bright color. We don't own anything else this color, and so what!? It adds a bright splash to the closet and makes us both happy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cat update and still sick

Paddington went to the vet, and he has inflamed gums. It may be from his two teeth, but right now, those aren't the main issue. He's on some strong meds (started off with an injection tonight) to cause the inflammation to go down (poor thing-- his gums are cherry red). The vet likened it to if a human had badly burnt his/her entire mouth.

So, his kibble causes irritation because it's hard and scratchy. But wet food could cause irritation too because of the high salt content (think lemon juice in a cut). I think I'm going to try wet food tonight, mostly because he thinks it's so special (it's true, he hardly ever gets it) and that may overwhelm any salty pain.

The other kitties will hate him though, as he gets "special" treatment and they get dry food.

I think Pads was already feeling better today. Strange how sometimes animals understand, isn't it? Or at least they act like they do? He was very sullen and quiet at the vet's. Let the vet do anything he want. Very scared cat. And then about three hours after we got home? He was noticeably happier than he has been. Very vocal and twittery. Maybe it's the drugs working their magic. I hope so.

On another note, I wish the vet could issue human medication. I'm still sick. It's like there's a semi in my head and it's honking. Ugh.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Paddington to the vet

My cuddlebug, Paddington, is off to the vet tomorrow. He's my delightful 24-toed, cream-colored polydactyl cat (7 toes on each front paw, 5 on each back-- as evidenced in the photo).
Seriously? The vet?

I'm worried and anxious about him. A year ago, he was overweight; almost 19 lbs. Now? I'm guessing he's around 12. Now, most of that weight loss was intentional. He was a BIIIIG boy. When we got him, he was so excited to have a supply of kibble that he ate himself nutty. We've been careful, and thus, the weightloss.

I was not happy about the limiting kibble nonsense.

But.

Now he's become a bit too thin. In March or April, he went to the vet, where he was diagnosed with having two bad teeth. The vet pushed on them and Pads shivered. I melted. My poor boy! BUT, we were at a boutique vet, who wanted WAY too much to pull them out (grr), but she also told us that it wasn't really necessary to pull them out since he doesn't really use them (yay).

However, in the past month, I've become more worried. His breath, aside from normal cat breath, has become pretty rancid, and I'm concerned that the bad tooth has become bad. And even if he doesn't use the tooth, I'm worried that it is hurting him, as a toothache hurts a human even when they aren't chewing.

So, I made an appointment. I'm glad I did; just now he was sitting in my lap. B gave the other two kitties and the dog a treat, so he gave one to me to give to Pads too. It was so heartbreaking. Pads popped the treat into his mouth, and then spat it out into my palm. He did this about three times, and then let out a sharp, sad yelp. He just couldn't eat the treat. It was too hard for him to divide, and too big for him to swallow. I immediately found something and broke it into pieces, but it must have hurt him badly, because he wouldn't even sniff it.

Now, he is not walking around in pain. He is our older man, so he does sleep for a hefty portion of the day. He's not wincing when you pet him (just if you poke him on the side of the mouth). He's the cuddlebug of the three cats. He will jump up to be with you and then find a place (often awkward for us humans to continue doing what we're doing) to sit and purr. And he has a purr that sounds like he's swallowed both a hummingbird (shrill sighs) and an outboard motor (you can hear the rattle from across the room).

So, he's content, but I think he's not comfortable. Thus, to the vet he goes. My poor boy. Fingers crossed the news is within the spectrum we expect, not a disastrous unforeseen diagnosis from left field.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

Christmas morning is a time of amazement. Especially for little puppies (look at her eyes).

"HOLY CRUD, THAT'S FOR ME???"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Kaisers!

(headin' to work with mom)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fun projects!

My delightful husband has kidnapped my camera at his work, so I still remain photoless. SOON!

Life has settled down, and projects have been accomplished. Now I'm enjoying things without the stress.

Today's list?
* Go to work and get some work done (it's been SLOOOOOW with the holidays)
* Bake cookies for B's work.

Those are the only two things that HAVE to get done. Honestly? I'd love to work on two more projects too:

1) Planter boxes on the deck railing for strawberries
2) COLD FRAME for the garden!!!

I am so excited about my cold frame. When we got the cottage, the big backyard came with a ton of remnants from the previous tenant, including this huge, 10'(L)x7' (W)x6' (H) white, PVC pipe frame. I think she had used it for vines. Anyway, it's out there all abandoned, and I thought: Why not turn it into a cold frame? Arugula, cabbage, kale, and carrots grow well right now, and then we could use it eventually for our seedlings.

I think the best place to put it is on our deck. It'd make the whole thing warmer and less exposed. The wind tends to enter the backyard at one location, and on the deck, the frame would be sheltered. Plus, we could better keep the moisture out from rain.

The cold frame is not really a greenhouse. It protects plants to a point, but it's not like you can grow summertime things in there. Cold frames just give the hardy plants a boost. Upping it to being warmer during the day and keeping the cold from biting quite as much during the day.

I think the lower 3' of the frame, all around, will be dark and solid. Wood, plastic YOU NAME IT. Why? Because you don't really need it, and the more you can insulate, the better the frame will help your veggies. And hard surfaces insulate better than flimsy plastic.

The top 3' of the frame will be clear. It has to be for the plants to get any sunlight! We will see.... hmm hmmm.....

Anyway, photos to come, I promise. The cold frame project hasn't started yet, so hopefully, the camera will come home by the time it does. I also really need to take some "before" photos of the backyard. That way, if the garden does actually take off this summer, I will have the photos to prove it. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Money Oddities.

I'm met with a few odd statements today from people I know... so I thought I'd post (they don't read the blog). Yes, the underlying issue is money, but I thought it was amusing.

I've determined everyone wants to complain about money.

Person #1:
"I don't have enough money! Why am I always waiting for my paycheck! Wah!"

Then person #1 goes and hires movers for their short move. And moves into a nice rental house, not apartment.

Is it just me? B and I have a decent income, but since we don't have a house (and thus, more heavy furniture) and we don't have any children (that would make moving yourself more difficult), we couldn't really justify the cost of not moving ourselves. And, I'm not talking about a move across the country. These people a) were not moving from a house, b) have no children, and c) were not moving far. It just strikes me as wrong... I dunno. Thoughts?

Person #2:
"I never buy anything for myself. Ever. There just isn't the money for it."

This person is going on a tropical vacation in a few weeks.

Maybe it's just me. We live well, a little stingily at times, but well. Not too stingily as to not enjoy ourselves. We tell ourselves that planning now will mean more things to enjoy later on. Is that the right method to live by? We do splurge, just not on tropical vacations or movers.

It just seems like right now, there are similar folks all around us that are not doing the things we are money-wise. I'm not tempted to "keep up with the joneses" or be a lemming, but still.

Maybe this all boils down to that I wanna go on vacation....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Santa...

I would like a wheelbarrow for Christmas. Not a 3" deep one. Like 8-12" deep one. Please?

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not enough time

So, we're in our house. And we've unpacked the essentials and squirreled everything else away so the house looks 100% unpacked. It's lovely. And we're tired.

I'm a bit sad though. Why did this all have to go down at Christmastime? I had grand plans, GRAND plans, I tell you. I knew what everyone was getting, and I knew what homemade presents I wanted to tackle.

I wanted to make cookies. I wanted to make soaps, lotions, bathsalts and slippers. I wanted handmade dough ornaments on our tree that B and I would treasure for years as reminders of our first Christmas together.

But DASH that all. The doggone move. A whirlwind of packing in 2.5 days, followed by what we thought would be 5 days of homelessness that turned out to be 8. A cold weather spell that chilled us to the bone and prompted the buying of ridiculous (but warm) puffy jackets. And now, rain that won't let up and a front walkway that was not raked this fall, so the leaves are decomposing and makes our feet leave muddy footprints on our beautiful wood floors. And my garlic needs to be planted. And all our coats are on our table because I don't have hooks for our coatrack.

SIGH.

So right now, I'm at work, quickly typing out this message. And also right now, my house is invaded with fixers and plumbers, fixing up various things that the landlord and we discovered were not right. We'll finally have a working kitchen sink, which means all the nasty dishes can get washed and I can actually USE the kitchen. The dog is in her kennel, probably looking all woeful that she cannot play with her workman friends. And the cats are in the car. Again.

I swear to you, my car may never be clean again. BOTH our cars look like they've been through a few rounds of teenagers. UGH! Stuff everywhere. Gum wrappers. B even has part of a spilled milkshake on his automatic shifter (I know... who spills something like that and doesn't clean it up? Ew, yuck, disgusting, but I still love him.). It's gross. Gross and nasty.

And, my car still smells like vinegar due to the horrible day I had last week when a HALF GALLON OF WHITE VINEGAR SPILLED in the backseat of my car. It's gross. HOW do you get that smell out?! You can't use baking powder, unless you want a gigantic foaming volcano in the backseat. I've already doused it with some other smells, but I'm at a bit of a loss on this one.

I JUST WANT CHRISTMAS, DARN IT! The Christmas I had been hoping for. The one where I make Martha Stewart-quality labels for gifts and delightfulness. The joyful one, NOT the stressed out one.

Oh and? It's my birthday on Thursday, not that any of my friends are going to remember because the last month? Too crazy to plan or do anything. Ok, that was a bit of self-serving mopiness. Sorry. I'm just grumpy. And really tired of running around like a headless, homeless, cold chicken covered in cat fur.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Thankful Thursday

One of my blogger friends does a Thankful Thursday post every week. I don't always comment, but I love that she does that. This week, I'm stealing her idea. We're ending a bunch of chaos (hopefully) today, so there's a lot for which to be thankful. SO here they are, in no particular order:

1) As of 11am this morning: NO MORE HOTEL STAY!
2) No double rent.
3) A lovely new place of our own with a huge backyard for a massive garden.
4) A patient husband who loves me.
5) Finally having our human and critter family back together in one place.
6) Two jobs (and mine is picking up speed).
7) B's recent grant to help pay off a portion of his student loans.
8) HEAT-- it was 10 degrees at 8am this morning.
9) Helpful friends. We love them dearly and they have been so supportive. We are so happy to be back in a town with many of them in it.
10) Perspective. It's better to work a job you love and be happy than work a job that pays a little more and makes you miserable. Things really do happen for a reason.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

COLD.

It was 13 degrees today when I got up and 19 when I left the hotel.

I know... there are probably those of you out there who are saying "big deal. Those temps hit our area in September. You are a wimp."

Well, yes, I am a wimp. Generally speaking? I love the cold. This unusual cold snap (it gets down to those temps, but usually a) warms up in the day and b) is only for a day or two at most) would generally thrill me.

But.

We're in a freakin' hotel! There's a constant in and out that has to occur. Our things? They're on a moving truck, and I woke up this morning scared that all my canning jars and vinegars and and and... had frozen and thus exploded.

Oh gosh. Oh gosh. Oh gosh.

There's nothing I can do about it right now. I mean, what are my options? Unpack the whole truck and then keep the canned goods in our hotel room? Not worth the time, effort, or the resulting lack of space.

And all of our clothing? On the truck as well. I'm pretty sure a human can weather anything with the right gear. We loaded ourselves up with a coat or two, but it was, you know, about 30-35 degree weather gear. So far, I have bought 2 sweaters (yay second hand store for $5), mittens and a head wrap ($3, yay Walmart), and a big puffy jacket (on sale at Walmart for $7). I know that's not too bad, but I still hate that I've had to buy things when I have things ON A TRUCK!

Both B and I did not sleep well last night. I think we're both restless and exhausted. We just want to have our things, be moved in and be DONE with everything.

The cats are sneezy. We hope it's just the dryness in the air (it's super cold and dry. If it was rainy it'd be snowing big time). Regardless, now we have to be extra careful in moving them due to them possibly having colds. We are generally careful, but you know what I mean.

BIG SIGH. And with that, I'll finish whining and get to work ....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No Move....

Well doggone it!

Long story short, there was a misunderstanding between me and the new landlords, resulting in us not being able to move into our new place yesterday. DRAT!

Initially, we were going to move in this upcoming weekend, so we wanted to actually start paying rent around 12/10 or 11. The landlords said "well, it will be available come the 7th, so why don't we do a walk-through and give you the keys at that time?" They interpreted it as us still wanting to move in around the 10th or 11th, and we interpreted that as we could get the house on the 7th.

Well, we arrived yesterday to find the house not cleaned and not painted. ARG! The landlords thought they had more time, so they took more time. In retrospect, yea, I should have called them to absolutely positively confirm the unit's availability of the 7th, but I didn't. We had to pack and move in basically two days' time, so there were other concerns.

So, we called off the moving crew (a group of friends and coworkers to help us unload the truck), and hopefully, we can reconvene later this week. The painting is happening today, so hopefully they'll FINISH today and we can move in tomorrow. If not, Thursday it is.

Our dog is still at our friends' house, as is our moving truck. The cats are with us in the hotel room. We have a few baskets of clothing (which we are beginning to quickly run out of clean ones...) and our bathroom-type supplies.

My hand is healing nicely; the cat jumped off my hand and sliced open one of my fingers. It swelled up pretty badly and the doctor even thought it was a few days old (in reality: 9 hours old). They decided no stitches, but they put me on antibiotics to reduce the swelling. Right now? I can bend it and everything, but it does itch. I can live through that though. I guess another few days without moving is an ok thing... it gives me more of a chance to heal and then be able to help move more.

After seeing the cottage yesterday, we still love it. The closet is much smaller than we remember, but we found out there's an additional storage area on the side of the house. Woo! We'll figure out something. We really pared down our clothing, so we'll see what happens. Maybe we'll just use the closet for clothing that needs to be hung up? We'll see...

And yes yes, photos soon, I promise. We kind of have to get into the house first, you know.... :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Garlic!

We unload and move into our new home TODAY, but that didn't stop me from ordering my first garden supplies: GARLIC!

They need to be planted ASAP. The ground doesn't REALLY freeze here (doesn't stay super cold for super long), but they need to get planted before it stays cold for really long. If all works out, I'll have Red German Garlic around next September! If not, then, well, shoulda planted a few weeks earlier.

I think I'm going to put the batch in a bed near the deck. Luckily, I had a bag of organic mulch, and we actually moved with it, so I'm quasi-set. I will need to get some more mulch though, to protect my little "clovelings" from the cold. Nine months! Long time to grow. But at least they don't require much work other than planting, protecting, and then wedding in the spring.

Monday, November 30, 2009

New JOB, new HOME, new CITY!!!

I have a new job. I'm doing contract work with a firm in the city I want. I've worked for them before, and they are a fabulous group of people. If maybe eventually it becomes a non-contract and instead a permanent gig, that'd be great. But they also know I'm going to be looking at other options, so I can look but not have to feel weird about looking.

Our new home is a cottage! It is right near downtown, but it's 1.5 blocks from the river and it has a half acre backyard! We're moving from a 3-bedroom house to a lofted bedroom. So, I've been going through our things and downsizing. It's cathartic. Cleansing. And the cottage is stinking cute.

Yesterday, our house where we currently live likely got rented. We'll find out for sure today. We have to rent our old place out in order for that rent to go away. Yes, we were going to live with two rents for a while (no commuting expenses and safety having no long commute was worth it). But now, no possible second rent! Fabulous!

So that's what's been going on over here. Things are coming around.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The waiting game

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I just haven't felt up to it. Ugh, that sounds so morose, but it's true.

I feel like I should have SOMETHING to post about. But really, I want to post about either job prospects or moving, both of which I'm playing the waiting game with right now.

Job-wise, I have applications out there, but no word positive or negative. Ugh! I suppose nothing is also good, but sigh. I'm networking too, but that takes effort that is more complicated because we live about an hour away.

Moving-wise, we have some serious nibbles on the house. We have to find a replacement tenant (we had a year-long lease, and we're breaking it, so we have to find a replacement tenant). We could move, but then we'd be responsible for both the lease here and at the new place, and we really don't want that much rent right now. Moving is especially frustrating since we really want this fabulous cottage we found, but we can't agree to it unless we find someone here. So our cozy cottage may slip away to another renter because the nibblers here can't decide.

Sigh.

Anyway.

Meanwhile, I'm at home, and trying to keep busy. Yes, there's the job hunt, but there's only so much one person can do a day. So, I'm also preparing for a move, sorta... I'm going through our stuff and eliminating the things we really do not need. That way, we'll only move the stuff we need to move. Everything else? Goodwill, craigslist, used bookstores, etc.

It does actually feel really good to simplify our lives, and it's something I think we'd need to do even if we stayed here 5 more years. So, at least I'm being somewhat productive...

Here's hoping and praying though that the waiting game ends soon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Moving?

We got permission this morning to move out of our house once a replacement tenant is found. No punishments other than that. That's in accordance with Oregon law, but sometimes landlords to pickle-y things. 

We really love our current home. It's wonderful. Unfortunately, it's in the wrong town. It's an hour drive for B to work, and I'm looking for work in B's town. The rent will also be cheaper in B's town, and he won't have to drive far in bad weather. I will also be in the town I need to be in for networking and interviews.

I can't believe we are possibly moving, AGAIN. Hopefully, the next place we're in will be a decent month-to-month place. We can stay there, I can get a new job down there, we can save up, and our next move will be to a home of our own. 

Still. Oy. Moving. 

Right now though, I have to prep this house up like crazy. CLEANING! It's generally pretty clean, but there's a difference between clean and staged house clean. So to work I go.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New hair, new start!

Gosh, I feel good.  I needed a change. So I hacked off 10 inches of hair!
I actually went back to a haircut I had a few years ago (see photo of old haircut, below... ignore the lizard on my head), so it wasn't a HUGE shock. 
 
I LOVE IT. So easy, so light! I feel better and more professional.
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Bring it on, job search.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Insanely Grumpy.

I do NOT want to be at work right now. I'd much prefer to be in bed snuggling with my sweetie. Two weekend days this past week and neither resulted in any sleep in time.

Yes, I know. Once we have kids, goodbye to the weekend sleep-ins. But we do not have kids so we appreciate the sleep-in days, ok?

Saturday morning I realized I had forgotten the darn dog vaccination records AT WORK. I made it there and back (just over 2 hours total) in time for the appointment, but I was STRESSED out and in a grumpy mood. B had to pack up everything for our weekend overnight trip down south.

Vet visit went well. I felt like a horrible person for wanting a corgi with pointy ears. Seriously. Give me a break. I'm not talking about cutting the darn dog's ears or causing her pain. I'm talking about putting non-stick tape on her ears for 3 days. No pain. They are SUPPOSED to go up naturally, but our dog happens to have Dumbo ears and they (though they are TRYING HARD) cannot get up on their own. Dammit vet, answer my questions. And B was silent, so this provoked grumpiness from me.

Sigh.

We had an hour drive to our friends to get over said grumpiness, which we mostly did. The afternoon got better from there. Went to the winery we liked and got this executive tasting thing for our friend's birthday. YOWZA. Too much wine for me.

Found a picture of me from the trip though, and ugh, elephant thighs. I swear. I splurge a little and it's like they get the get-out-of-jail-free card. And I should add: My friend chooses to post THAT picture of me on facebook, despite the other, better ones of me out there. Motivation, I guess, since this week I start my lunchtime workouts.

We went out to dinner, which was fun. Myhusband accidentally ordered 2 expensive things, which I wasn't too happy about, but it was a legit mistake. Grumble, but nothing you can do about that.

Sunday woke up early. Our friends have a 20-month old, so sleep there is for the weak. And may I just say DANG it was cold! It's October and it was 32 degrees outside. Brrrrr. I had left my coat at the winery, so I had to scrounge in my car and borrow a coat from my friend. Breakfast was good, then we went to clayfest where I ended up getting interviewed by the local news station. Woot! B was laughing at me getting all miked up and then he was all for it when we found out I got a free pot for my efforts. HA!

We stopped by an old friend's house to see her remodel, and we were reminded again how much we want to buy a house. SIGH. Now is such a good time to buy, and it's sad we cannot. Our jobs just don't permit us to buy a house where we live. THe commutes aren't permanent, so why buy a house in a non-permanent area?

We walked Maddie for a long time in the park, went to the fancy grocery store where I went hog wild in the bulk bin and candle sections, visited another old friend, and then went home. Yawn!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

You've got to be kidding me...

Right after I wrote that last post, I checked my credit card. My cell company I just switched us to? DOUBLE billed! And it may be 2 unnecessary bills.

Dang it, you have to be vigilant!

Auto pay or go nuts?

Adulthood.

TheNest has a really nice income calculator. I have been using it for the past few months and LOVE it. So nice because it a) automatically calculates and b) thinks of a lot of things we forget accidentally when calculating budgets.

When paying bills, I don't like the offered auto-pay feature that most companies offer. First off, I've had 2 companies NOT stop auto-deducting when they were supposed to. I had my old electric company deduct some weird crazy amount that resulted in a huge surplus on my account. And, worst of all, Comcast messed up my bill so atrociously and I didn't realize it because it was autodeducted. That got taken care of, but what. a. mess.

I think it's important to separate credit cards and utilities. The Comcast experience aside, most utilities don't screw you over. But credit cards, you have to check that darn statement every month.

That said about utilities, there are things to watch for with them nonetheless. Did you know that if someone imputs your cell number into a ring tone site, it automatically bills your cell phone plan? I got nearly $100 billed on one cell bill because that happened. Nasty.

So what to do? The ease of autopay and avoid the risk of missing a payment? Or trying to get it all done yourself?

Hm.

We have student loans to worry about, all our house stuff, and all our job stuff. No kids to throw into the worries yet, but now's the time to build a good foundation to work from right? Hm.

Maybe I should auto pay everything except for credit cards and then schedule a day a month where I have a list and I review all the utility statements.

This is all prompted by the fact that every month one small thing slips by me. No, not the big stuff like credit cards or student loans. But one small thing. Gotta build a better system.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Goals and changes.

Does anyone ever feel like life is a series of leaps from one quest to the next? Once you meet one goal, another one pops up?
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I suppose that's a good thing. It means you're constantly challenging yourself, setting new goals, and striving to achieve what you want.
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But it's exhausting.
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This past weekend, when I was sitting out in the countryside with B and Maddie, I thought:
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"This is life. Life is good."
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I've been thinking about that. Life IS good right now. But there are things we want to get to that will still involve change. At some point, we will move. We will buy a house. We will change professionally, and because of that, our jobs may change. We will have children.
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Part of me wishes I was better able to predict at this point when those changes will occur. When will we buy a house? Well, that depends upon when we're both in the same approximate geographic place job-wise to be able to buy a house. When will we have kids? That depends upon when we are in the same geographic area job-wise (and hopefully house too). But, right now, those are unknown. We both like our jobs and we don't want to change. And right now, we work 55 miles (in opposite directions) from home.
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I'm glad I have B. He and I are constants for each other. No matter what happens in changes to come, we will have each other's support.
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But... sometimes I wish I was better able to at least outline a 5ish year plan. But right now, we'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Would you like some puppy with your wine?

B and I went wine tasting on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day. We mixed in some pumpkin patch visiting with our wanderings too. 2 orange carving pumpkins, 3 decorative pumpkins and one gourd later, we were off to Yamhill county.
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We found out that there are 395 wineries in Oregon. WOW! We love the countryside where the vines are. Actually, I think meeting new people and playing outside are our favorite parts of visiting wineries. It is so pretty. Even if you don't like wine, I think you would have loved to come with us. It is so idyllic.

Here is the view from one winery.
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And the view at another winery. They had frisbee golf baskets set up and you could play around. Maddie romped in this field and everyone came out and played with her!
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We brought Maddie with us and she was a very good girl in the back seat. Most of the time, she just SIGHED dramatically when we looked back at her. I think cars are boring if you have to really stretch yourself to see out the window. Just wait till you get a little bigger, pup. The day was pretty cool out, so she got to stay in the car sometimes, sleeping. She was SOO tired by the day's end.


On one of the back roads, we let Maddie into the front seat to look out the window. She was SOO excited.
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B took a picture of her bottom. SIGH. Her little stub tail was wagging happily as she balanced on his leg... and then....

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Whups! I slipped down!
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When we got home, Maddie instantly began playing with her favorite friend, Rumpole. He is such a motherly cat. He watches out for her and lets her pounce on him, chew his ears, you name it. We have a back room for the cats that they can get to and Maddie cannot. Plus, if they're on the couch or on a chair, they're out of her reach. So, it's not like they HAVE to interact with her. But Rumpole, he asks for it.

Cat abuse? Nope. He asks for it. He also enjoys batting her (non claws out) on top the head just to rile her up to get her to tackle him.
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More cat abuse? Nope. Still just playing.
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We've also been entertained by Maddie's ears. We knew they'd go up and down until they finally stay all up all the time. But seriously. Every day it is different. At the wineries? One ear up, one down. With my parents last weekend? Both ears up. Last night: Both ears down.

You making fun of my ears AGAIN?
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Little girly pup sitting on her favorite rug, both ears down, WAITING for Rumpole to come over and play.
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But what she really loves, is B. LOVES him. I like trying to catch them hanging out together. I swear she imitates him. But maybe I'm looking too much into things....

Pup and B, chillin'...
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Sleepin'...
***


So that was basically our weekend. Out and about on Saturday, enjoying the weather. Sunday dawned rainy, so we had a fun day doing nothing indoors. And the pup? So good. No accidents this weekend! We still have to monitor her (she hasn't gotten the "go to the door when you need to be let out" thing), but she was so good this weekend.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mercy! Mercy!

That's it, week. It was a good haul.

But in the end? You whupped my behind.

So now, I'm crying out like a 5th grader playing thumb war. Mercy! Mercy!

Please let me go home, put on my pjs and do nothing.

Please end.

Please?

I've squashed all you've tossed my way. I've handled stressed-out people and refrained from biting off their heads back. I've been a good girl and gotten all my jobs taken care of, on time, and without errors.

So now you need to go. You've been conquered.

And when you return next week, please be better behaved. This week was a doozy and totally uncalled for.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

End of the month scramble

Whoo!

This past month, I took off the Friday before Labor Day. Then, obviously without advance notice, I took off Monday and Tuesday last week.

Result? Minor panic attack at month's end.

I have a certain number of hours to get in every month, and the 2 days last week threw things into a disarray. But, after working long hours last Wednesday through yesterday, I came out more than ok.

But, I'm left exhausted. Is it Friday yet?

We have "let's see and what happens" plans this weekend. Besides a tentative dinner with friends on Sunday evening, NOTHING is planned. I could spend all Saturday in my PJs.

I think B may want to go wine tasting... or maybe we'll head to the coast. Maddie is still not vaccinated (we have to wait until a week from Saturday, augh!), so we have to be careful where we take her so that she doesn't catch any doggie diseases.

Can't wait till tomorrow afternoon... Sigh!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall and Rain...

It's raining today in Portland...
I LOVE it.
I see these hills out of my window at work. The closest ones point at the Willamette River, and the ones in the distance point to the Columbia River. Right now, their tops are clinging to these gray puffy mist clouds. Pretty soon, it will become too much and the rain clouds will slide down the foothills' sides and drench downtown.

It is cozy and exciting.

The leaves are beginning to turn colors, but only their tips. Soon it will be a full explosion of color.

I have plans to save some leaves this fall. Last fall they were gorgeous reds, purples, oranges and yellows. They looked like butterflies when the wind swept them up.
We have these gigantic windows at home. The couch and fireplace are right inside. I can't wait for the rain to come down and to bundle up with my sweetie on the couch, all cozy and indoors.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dog door bell

I love this idea, and I'm wondering if it will work...
I've heard of putting a rope with bells on the door so that the dog bonks the rope, bells ring, and you know the dog needs to.. ahem... go outside. My friend does this with her dog with good results.

But my worry is that it will get annoying, having that bell ring every time we go in and out the door. I wanted something only Maddie would do, so she could really associate BELL with OUTSIDE (though she may associate it with WALK, and then we'd hear BELLS all the time).

Then I found this little bell. The idea is adorable.



Too cute.....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sister update!

Good news-- she's better!

They determined that the initial symptoms were a severe migraine. She now has a neurologist, and they get to determine if something in particular triggers her migraines. I didn't know a migraine could cause body numbness and slurred speech, but apparently, they can. And even temporary blindness (yow).

So that was the cause of the morning ER visit. The afternoon ER visit was caused, most likely, by a torn back muscle. Again, didn't realize one could be in so much pain from that... the pain was likely amplified by the back procedures done earlier in the day. I've never seen anyone in so much pain though, and it was truly terrifying.

Monday through Thursday, she was unable to sit upright (or get beyond lying down) without dizziness, nausea, and a thumping headache. Cause? A spinal headache, which is rare, but can happen from a spinal tap. Basically, your body didn't patch the hole created when the spinal fluid was taken, and spinal fluid leaked as fast as your body made it. Your brain, as a result, does not have as much spinal fluid around it, and your brain sits lower, causing the dizziness, nausea, and thumping headache.

They took blood from her and put it by her spine around the leak. The blood clotted, stopped the leak, and she's all better! Well, she said she felt like a horse kicked her in the back... but otherwise fine.

Damn that horse.

But now, she gets to deal with a friend of hers (whom she's in the past said "no" to being her boyfriend) who thinks because he helped her out during this trying time, that now he has possibly the opening to be her boyfriend. Oy!

Have I mentioned I'm glad I don't have to date anymore?

Thank you for all your worries. I'm so glad she's doing better! It was really a horrible week for her last week.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mom, meet Granddog

My mom with Maddie...
Let's just say the dog was almost smuggled home with my mom in her sweater. She didn't want to let her go. :)
And Maddie? Um, based on the photo above, she was very content with her new friend.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Judgmental Cat


Judgmental Cat... is judgmental.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Cat mob

I'm beginning this post in the bathroom this morning because I am classy like that. As in, I'm talking about the bathroom, I'm not writing this in the bathroom. Sigh.

So I'm in the bathroom this morning and what do I see? A little gray fur paw under the door. It was moving around, back and forth and wrapped around the bottom of the door (so the paw owner must have been on his back to do that acrobatic stunt).

What was he thinking? That'd he'd catch me? We've done this trick before... paw under door, and the moment you touch it WHOOOSH! paw gone. He's been on the other side of the bathroom door lots of times, so what does he think he's going to find? It's like an odd fishing expedition.

So I open the bathroom door and I find....

three cat monsters staring. I felt teamed up on. Like I had no choice but to offer food and abide by cat mob wishes. Really, I knew they were hungry, but the cat mob... and they all were looking at me like a human would with one eyebrow raised.

"Oh really? Have you REALLY not fed us yet? Tisk tisk tisk..."

My life in the mornings has become an exercise in agility. Avoid dog crate. Step over pet gates. Lift food, don't spill. We have the cat set-up in a room with a small pet door on it because Fluffybutt loves to scarf down cat food. Seriously. Scarf down. WOLFS that food down. I wish they could put whatever's in that cat food in her dog chow. I'd have the largest pup on the block.

So I grab the cat food scoop, walk into the cat set-up room, pour the food in and get fresh water for the monsters.

When all is said and done, do you think they are eating? Nope. They look smug, the beasts, as if they're thinking "boo ya, told you we could get her to do it."

Cat mob: 1, Me: 0.

On an unrelated note, I ate too many pear tomatoes that one of my secretaries brought in yesterday. Gurgle gurgle stomach is not good. But they were oh-so delicious.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

New addition! Meet Maddie!

I had to wait until I told my sister. But, now that she knows...

Meet Madeline "Maddie" Fluffybutt (that name changes) Kaiser! Maddie is a tri-colored fluffy corgi, and we just love her. Very smart. She understands "NO" (whew), she has about an 85% success rate with the bathroom, and she Looooves her tummy scratched. She's 11.5 weeks old.
Right now, one ear is up but a little floppy. The other ear has some uumph to it, but hasn't quite gotten up.

Her head will eventually be all red, and there will be some red on her legs as well. She'll look like a german shepherd (color-wise and ears) but with short legs and no tail.

And, of course, she has a CORGI BUTT! Love it.

And she's a ham. And very curious. This is also a good shot of the one ear up, one ear down.


"Why you lock me in heres? I'm in the car... I can ride on your lap, right?"


Asleep, in the car, on her back, on the ride home. No sweat for this little puppy.

LOVE the tummy scratches!


If her water bowl is more than half full, she will plop her front paws in it and dig. It's really funny to watch. And, since she doesn't mind being wrapped up in a towel afterwards, it's fun and non-messy.


She LOVES Rumpole. LOVES him. That cat has the patience of 1000 monks. Seriously. She will run across the room and TACKLE him. Full-on tackle. Bite his toes, chew his ear, lick his face. And he puts up with it. If he bats her, he's playing and there are no claws. We have heaped praise on this cat because we are SO impressed with him.










Sister news

She's doing a little better, but still not at work. Poor thing! My folks are still there with her, so she's in good hands. :)

Thank you all for the thoughts and well-wishes!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oy.

What a last couple of days.

Minor thing: Whacked my foot against the wall by accident. Two very bruised, very sad looking toes. I don't think they're broken, but ouch.

Major thing: My sister was in the ER twice on Monday. Early monday, just after I had carpooled work, I got news that my sister was in the emergency room. She woke up at 3am to a headache that felt like someone was stabbing her head with a knife. She gets migranes, and she said this was 1000s of times worse. She called the advice nurse, who said for her to go to the ER immediately. She called a friend to drive her, and then called my parents while she waited because she was freaked out.

While she was talking with them, her left side went numb and she started to slur her words together. She got off the phone and immediately called 911.

The ER did an MRI, CAT can, and a spinal tap. That's when I got the news, and I immediately hopped in a rental car and drove up to see her. She was released before I got there, but then, in the afternoon, new symptoms presented themselves and we had to rush her back to the ER again.

Her pain for the headache was listed as a 9/10 on the pain scale, and in the afternoon, she was a 10/10. This from the kiddo who had teeth pulled WITHOUT anesthesia (she has a HIGH pain tolerance).

On Tuesday she could not walk-- the moment she went from horizontal to even sitting up she'd get dizzy and throw up. This made the trip to the neurologist and doctor interesting on Tuesday. She's still in a lot of pain and the nausea and dizziness have continued. She's on a lot of vicodin and IB profen. My parents flew up on Tuesday, so I was able to get back to work. But I am so tired. They're continuing to update me.

I now have a little understanding of how husbands feel when their wives are in labor. Yes, the wife has the physical pain. But it is tolling, exhausting, and horrifying to have someone you love in immense pain and not be able to do ANYTHING about it except to be there with them.

So keep her in your prayers. She's a bit better today then Tuesday, and a bit better on Tuesday than on Monday, but she's still not herself.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Heidi Klum...

My husband does NOT like Heidi Klum. I've never heard someone describe someone else's attire so much as "hookerish." I'm not quite sure what brought on this dislike, but he does NOT like her.

We watched Project Runway last night and the discontent was obvious. Her hair, her dresses. This is a common occurrence when we watch the show, much to my delight. And the comments he has on the pieces created range from "that's butt ugly!" to "that's quite lovely." The ugly ones get many more curse words, as do the contestants that are annoying.

My favorite though last night? When Heidi gave the two cheek goodbye kiss? B says "ugh. If i were a contestant I wouldn't let her kiss me. I'd get a bunch of diseases."

Hilarious.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rationalization

I just told myself that if there was a fun new blog post to read on one of my fav blogger's websites, then that would justify getting a lunch burrito.

That is sad.

But, there was a new post, so now I'm telling myself it's ok... but it's still really not. But they're suuuuch good burritos!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Clean home and student debt.

Our house is clean. It's an amazing feeling.

Quite honestly, the living room and bedroom are a bit empty, but I'm certain they'll eventually find things and become less blank.

But blank, in it's own way? Quite fabulous.

Everything has its place. Yes, some kitchen items have yet to find a home, and yes, the office needs organizing. But overall... if I need to find a drill? I know where it's at. Pencil? Check. It's blissful.

Now that things are slowing down, I have time to think about other stuff. We're trying to balance our expenditures versus having fun. We're trying to increase our safety net cushion while paying off our sole debt: Student loans. And we're tryign to save up for a future home while making sure we're investing properly.

So far, so good. Sometimes I think I get too caught up in the SAVE! SAVE! mentality, and it morphs into "we can't have fun." Luckily, I married B, who is very good at having fun but not having it cost a lot of money. Really.

I know we're more fortunate than most. I konw people who have triple the amount of student debt that B and I have COMBINED. Oy. I worked hard in grad school to only take out the minimum, and B got a couple scholarships, so he's about in the same boat.

If B keeps his job for 9 years, his student loans will be forgiven. So we've put him on the lowest payment option and we'll see how the next year or two goes to determine our desired path. I'm on a 10-year plan.

I didn't consolidate because I have two loans at different interest rates; one low and one high. The monthly payment covers part of each loan (spread out over 10 years). But, if I want to make more than that monthly payment, I can direct a check towards the higher interest rate account ONLY. Wooo!

I'm trying to be better about things and make those additional payments. It takes effort to remember things and plan things, and, well, my money is B's money too. So, it's a joint effort.

But I'm always wondering... is this normal? Do others fret as much as we do about what our money is doing for us and where it's being placed?

Luckily, with the wedding over, the moves over, one rent payment a month, our cars recently fully checked out, and our upcoming trips out of town paid for, the only big expenditures for a while should only be pleasant ones (fun purchases and trips, not car mechanic fees). But still, I wonder... are we doing all we can?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Staying busy and paying people

B's car ended up not costing us a TON, mostly because we went to a different mechanic. Note to self: always take notes on what needs to be done and then get quotes from other people. Wow! Our total cost went from a quote of $800 to a final bill of $325. The mechanic we ended up going to is awesome. I've taken Goldie there before. He spent over 30 minutes with us going over how we can be checking our own systems at home, saving us time and money. He says yes, other mechanics would charge for things, but their idea is that if they go over things with their clients, then their clients will know they're not getting ripped off, will know when others try to rip them off, and so will return to the good mechanic. I like that philosophy.

Saturday I cleaned cleaned cleaned. B came home around 3:30 and then he cleaned too. The garage, which a few days ago we could not easily walk through, is now passable! In fact, we can almost park BOTH cars in there, although we plan on parking only one.

I discovered I have a lot of shoes. Some weeding needs to occur.

We created these massive laundry piles, partially because we just needed to get organized, and partially because we weren't quite sure what was clean and what wasn't.

And then, halfway through the laundry, the washer refused to drain and rinse.

NOOO!!!!

After some quick researching revealed the fix was outside of our expertise, I managed to get a repair guy out on a Sunday afternoon. It wasn't that expensive of a fix, whew, BUT!!! he also checked out our AC system.

If you recall, we were having some difficulties with our AC... and we wanted to get it fixed, but we were worried about 2 things: 1) the cats, and 2) calling the landlord out for possibly a situation that was stupid (ie: oh, you forgot to flip a switch).

The technician found the problem: the motor in our furnace was a goner. Which means nothing was working the way it should. No hot air going out, no cool air going in, etc etc.

Our LL, is super happy that we have already diagnosed the problem (go us), AND we avoid him having to come over for a visit. The technician is getting me a quote today, and then I'm forwarding that to our LL for approval. So, the whole problem could be fixed by early this week. Which is great, because it does get stuffy. Yes, I can survive without AC, but heating, as it turns into fall... that'd be nice to have. And, well, we agreed to rent this place becuase it has AC! It should work. :)

So yea, all in all, it was a boring weekend. But we feel a lot better since the place LOOKS a lot better.

I'm still not sure why it's taken us so long to get things together in this place. Maybe it's because we're TRYING really hard to be organized? EVERYTHING I unpack is analyzed to determine whether to keep or send to donationville. I like that we're not just stuffing things places. But, it does certainly take time. I also like that we're taking that time because that's a good indication that we like it here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The man I'm married to...

borrows my car for the day and leaves an uneaten box of biscuits and gravy in my back seat. 

and

when I leave to go to the grocery store and he stays home to meet a repair man, he takes a shower. Glad I got home before the repair man.

But oh, I love that husband of mine so!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dog pic

We're looking at various breeders. The thought is, find a good, non-puppy-mill, non-backyard breeder, develop a game plan, and then approach the homeowners association and our landlord. 

There are other dogs in the neighborhood, so we're not too worried. But with our landlord, we'd like to have more than 3 months of rental history with him. 

So, we're trying to wait. But, when you receive pictures like this one from a breeder, oy. Waiting is hard. 
And by the way, we are also looking on petfinder. Our cat monsters are all shelter or abandon adoptees, and we're very much pro-humane society. But, we're limited in many ways. The dog has to be a certain size, since we don't own. The dog has to have a pretty predictable personality, since we're renting and since we have work schedules. I know puppies don't always live up to their breed or parents, but it's a good indicator. Finally, it has to be young so we can give the best shot at him/her getting along with the cat monsters. Anyway, just to make sure I don't get any hate mail about humane society dogs. Believe me, our house woudl be full if we could.

But, to be certain, we're also being very careful with the breeders we look at. We'd prefer to get dogs whose breeders only produce a litter or two a year. We want breeders who are first looking for themselves, and then for maybe selling. We want breeders who know about their dogs and love them. No lets-try-to-make-a-buck-and-be-backyard-breeders. We met one of those last weekend and were disgusted. A breeder who loves the breed and breeds rarely only to improve the breed will not be making money on the sale of pups. So, while we may not get a society dog, we also don't want to be supporting the "evil" side. 

And with photos like the above? My heart melts. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bagels.

B: We should get a bagel cutter.

Me: What? Why? What a waste! 

B: Oh sure. Just because it's ME who likes bagels...

Me: You can't cut a bagel?

B: I'm sensing a dislike for bagels. Because I'M the one in the relationship who likes bagels...

Me: ok, we can get a bagel cutter.

B: Oh really? I don't actually want a bagel cutter. A knife's perfectly fine.

Mechanic results-- sleazeballs!

HA!

The good news is that B's car is mostly ok. There are a few things though that he'll need to get done sooner rather than later since he's passed the 60k mileage mark on maintenance (the car has 65k).

So the mechanic B took the car to said to replace 2 belts and change the fluids. They said the one belt and labor woudl cost $600. This isn't unheard of, but still, choke cough. But, if that belt breaks, it would cause massive problems and expense. So, the belt, recommended to be replaced at 60k miles, needs to be changed, especially with B getting to 75k miles by the end of 2009.

On a whim, I called my mechanic up here, explained what needed to be done, etc. The cost (including labor) quoted by him? $300. And, he will throw in the other belt and replace that one ($35) for free. They're also REALLY reasonable on fluid changes (changed my transmission fluid for $30, whereas other places wanted $120). And, they do a good job.

Really? I immediately called B and told him to put a hold on ordering ANYTHING from his mechanic. I don't know if it's the economy or what, but he's jacked up the price. Jerk.

So tomorrow, we'll be gettin' B's car taken care of up here. It works out well; B has to come to my work town anyway for a presentation. Hurray for ease.

And super hooray for second opinions.

Waiting for the mechanic...

B TOOK HIS CAR INTO THE SHOP!

I'm so happy. Granted, I may not be happy if the mechanic comes back with a list of things wrong, but it's so much better to have the MECHANIC say that rather than for B to discover that after his transmission fell out on the freeway.

I know earlier in the week I sounded pretty grumpy. It was just a rough day or two. I'm trying to do thinks at work so that I have more energy when I get home. And that seems to be helping! Plus, there are fewer and fewer things (logistically) that have to get done. The name change is about done, the move and old apartments are about finished, we've combined phone plans, etc etc. For a while there was so much that HAD to get done.

So keep your fingers crossed that all goes well at the mechanic!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quick TY to blogger friends...

Thank you for living in other time zones or getting up earlier than I do. It is so lovely to have all your fabulous  posts on your blogs waiting for me to read! 

I really do look forward to this. 

To do: Spaghetti sauce...

I just realized that we're almost out of spaghetti sauce! And with fall quickly approaching, the crock-pot season (for me) is about to swing into full gear. Eek!

Oh, so delicious. B is gone on Saturday, so maybe, while cleaning the house and organizing, this can be simmering on the stove.... With no oil and enough acidity, waterbaths will be in order, not the prolonged pressure cooker. Excellent!

Movin' forward!

I'm ok! PROMISE. It's just an adjustment phase. We've been doing pretty darn well on the overall adjustment from single to married. Just small things catch you by surprise. Like one of us unpacks a box and then the other is left clueless as to where anything's at. Oh, that's right... two of us now live here!

On other news, I can't plug in my memory chip into my computer. Darn, I know. But I love my camera, so it's ok. I need a cord. My memory chip is about 1"x1", and my computer just won't support that. My means of connecting is a cable to the camera from the computer. And I don't know where that cable is. I may sneak up and borrow one from tech support at work...

Almost a massive scare! our photographer's computer crashed and she lost all our photos. THANK GOODNESS she send us the CD last week!!! I think she may need another form of back-up.

We went to Ikea and got some things for the house. A new coat stand , a plain white rug for in the office/craft room, a pot rack, and some CHEAP pillow covers for the couch and shams for the bed. Oh, and a new chair for me to use in the home office!!! I love that it doesn't have arms. Arms on desk chairs are overrated unless you do a lot of LEANING back and contemplating. My office desk chair has arms which bump my table. So, my chair sits lower so they don't bump... and my back hurts. This chair? Awesome.

Our AC is confusing. This morning I walked outside and the fan was on! What? I thought you were broken? So it may just be the AC.... Idon't know. The cats are going to go stay with a friend sometime this week and then folks will come over and check it out. I'm worried about the cats getting outside.

So, we're moving forward. B has a class all day Saturday, and I'm looking forward to getting things taken care of. Blissful.

Sunday, we may be visiting a breeder. No, we're not buying anything. We're just visiting....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In a pit.

First off, let me say our short trip away was wonderful. Photos to come when I get the camera cable cord (have the camera but not the cord, doggone it).

But yesterday, the closer we got to home, the grumpier I got. I had been rested, but suddenly, I felt exhausted.

Home recently has meant tiredness and frustration. Up early, home late, then too tired to do much of anything before going to bed and repeating.

I'm in a pit. A rut. A hold pattern. And I don't like it. It's made me mopey, sad, and just depressing to be around. B is baffled, and despite his attempts, I still remain gloomy in the evenings.

Any suggestions?

I think I just need to suck it up and finish the jobs at hand. Make it so the garage is not a pit. Clean up the house. Open blinds and let the light in.

I'm not upset with B. I love him dearly and I love my life with him. So, that's not it.

I think I have the habit of building up expectations. Things will be a certain way! I know it. And then B does something different or things don't turn out or we don't finish a project. It leaves me having to adjust my expectations.

I'm just sick of being a mope. It really makes me no fun to be around.

But what did come abundantly clear this weekend is: It's not B. It's something we've done near home. It was the most fun of weekends. I am so in love with my husband. But as we got closer to home, the grumpiness returned.

So new goal: this has to get turned around!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cereal and Procrastination

B's picking me up from work tonight in the already-packed bigger car. Which meant that last night, we had to pack the car, prepare notes for the person checking on the cat monsters, clean up a little, and pack.

The night started off with no leftovers looking good. So we had cereal. Apparently we had been flung back to college years, but I'm not complaining. I was not going to cook when we would be gone for 4 days!

7pm rolls around. 8pm rolls around. 9pm rolls around...

B's asleep. I'm tired. The cats found some ridiculous bell toy and are batting it around.

Need to pack....

So I woke B up. He unloaded the car (which had been packed with stuff from his place from over the weekend... yes, we're SO on top of things), I packed.

He lives dangerously-- he let me pack for him.

I packed the little suitcase for both of us. Decided to plop all our shoes in a box. That's simple. The few things we had picked up for our friends we put in a rubbermaid container.

I think one of our problems is we get the attitude of "I'll get that in the morning." B said this a few times.... It worried me. We both do NOT like to get up early in the morning and I know that procrastination (I mean, look at us, we're packing at 10pm) would just result in a LOT of things getting left behind. No sweetie, let's get those now, please?

So now I'm sitting here at work, going through lists in my mind. What did we forget? Poor B is getting emails about camera cable and cell phone chargers soon.

Besides the wedding (I took off 3 days, he took off 2), the last place we went away to was last Christmas to see his family in Cincinnati. While that was fun, the blizzard of the NW hit as we were flying out, resulting in a 1.5 day stay at the airport, hurridly packed bags, a broken car chain, 1.5" of ice on the car, and two VERY VERY cold, grumpy people. The wedding was wonderful, but there was chaos before of must-get-SO-much-done and then finding a new place to live.

This is a vacation. Well, a 4-day one, but nonetheless, a vacation.

Bliss.

Many, many photos to be posted. And yes, I do have my camera. I've checked three times.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Broken AC...

Drat!

It's not like we live in Phoenix where we would DIE without air conditioner, but doggone it, it's sure awfully nice to have an AC house. But then last week there was a power outage. And, well, the unit has not worked since then.

It does NOT help that the control panel was made by someone with a SICK sense of humor. It is the most confusing instrument panel I've read. I finally pulled instructions up online last night, and really, it's HORRIBLE. Circle A says push panel B. WHAT?

I almost killed myself several times last night as I messed with the panel and then jumped up on the bathroom counter to feel the AC vent. Nope, nothing. Run outside to see if the unit's working?... nope, nothing. Drat.

I was in the middle of a complex series of buttons, trying hard to focus on the programming. And B comes over and pushes a button. Hell hath no fury like a woman whose AC programming has been interrupted.

"Do you really think pushing a button in the middle of my series of buttons would make this work!?" I asked. "Um, no, but I was trying to help..." Sweetie, this is not a nuclear missle silo where (I imagine, at least from cartoons) the two separate keys need to be turned at the same time and buttons pushed simultaneously. AUGH!

SO I was frustrated, and forgot to say "hey thanks B for unpacking the office." Geez, I'm a lovely wife.

I should add that I had just come from Walmart, so I was already in world-brace-yourself mood. I was really annoyed that the woman with four children under the age of 7 could not GET OFF THE PHONE. Instead, she was shopping, and her kids were running around wild. This was not a quick phone call; she was on the phone for at least 35+ minutes because I saw her a few times. And then, insult to injury, as I was standing in line for 30+ minutes (no joke), I saw that she made it through another line before me.

Karma, where are you when I need you?

Then I had to wait again to pay for my car's oil change (in preparation for our upcoming weekend). I think if you go into a store and you spend more time in line than you do shopping, your purchases should be free. Or at least a percentage off.

Regardless, I left WallyWorld hating a significant portion of humanity, missed a meeting that B ended up handling with the person who will watch our cat monsters while we're away, and the AC? Broken.

Drat.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Please don't (or do?) touch my clothes.

I dreamed all day yesterday of going home and washing our light comforter, bedsheet, and sheets. Blissss, right? Clean sheets!

Step 1: Spot treat. But there's no stain spot treater. "B, where's the stain spritzer?" He has no idea, which, I admit (or maybe the girl admits) is mind-boggling since he just did 2 loads of laundry. Did he not spot treat first? Gasp.

Spend 30 minutes searching, in vain, for the spot treater. Resort to using detergent and rubbing in by hand on spots.

Step 2: Load into laundry. But there is laundry in the washer. Wet. Well, more like warm moist. Ew.
Me: B, when did you last do a load of laundry?
B: Um, a couple days ago...
Me: Well you forgot to um, load it into the dryer.
B: Oh crap!
Me: I dont' think you ruined your clothes... but we gotta remember because we don't want to leave the water on.
B: Oh, I turned off the water.

What? He turned off the water? If you turn off the water, isn't that acknowledging that the load was ready to put into the dryer?

So confused. Go to unload the warm moist clothes and put them in the dryer when...

Step 3: There are clothes in the dryer.
Me: B, why are there clothes in the dryer??
B: Oh, those are clean.

Ok.... I had to bite my lip from saying the closet is not in the dryer, but we all forget right? So I go to grab the laundry basket to pour the wrinkled clean clothes in there when...

Step 4: There are clothes in the laundry basket.
Me: B, what are these clothes in the basket?
B: Oh they're dirty.
Me: What's the pile in the bedroom?
B: Oh those are dirty too.

Frustrated at this point that the comforter is not halfway through its wash cycle, the dirty bin of clothes gets dumped out on the floor, much to the delight of the cats who immediately burrow in the socks. Ignore the fact that they also apparently have another play apparatus of clothes in the bedroom.

Bin dumped, clean clothes in.

So long and the short... comforter finally goes in. B's clean clothes are drying, and clean clothes are also in the bin. Cats are playing.

Then I look AT the clothes that B cleaned. They range the fantastic spectrum of clothes, from my underwear to his nice dress shirts, from darks to whites, delicates to roughs. At least 2 pieces of plastic. All wrinkled.

Now, I don't want to rain on the parade that is B DOING LAUNDRY. This is a habit I want to encourage, truly. I do not stake claim to the laundry. It is not a "girl task" or unmanly. I think it's very manly. But really? No dividing clothes by type or color? And no spot treats?

Still trying to figure out how to work this out.

On top of all this, B got it into his head two days ago that he wanted to organize our clothing in the closet. Or, also known as, let's unpack all the winter clothes that my wife painstakingly separated, that way there will be fewer boxes.

Result: I can't find any of my clothes. I have two skirts I wear a LOT to work, and those cannot be found anywhere. Half my cardigans are missing, presumably having escaped this season-smushing wardrobe event in our closet. And now there are coats intermingled with my summer dresses. And those clothes that don't quite fit that I painstakingly separated into a separate box? Those are now hanging up in my other clothes too.

We had a chat. It involved CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT STUFF??? YOU'RE IMPACTING ME TOO!!!, but of course in a less yelling tone...

I question how he survived before me. Or why all his clothes are not grey tones...

But this too we will overcome. Meanwhile, the cats play in the laundry piles. The non-spot-treated, non-separated, non-color sorted laundry piles. And me? We slept in sheets and the bedspread last night because all the clothing drama resulted in the comforter not drying on time.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I worry...

I worry about B's car. He hasn't taken it in for a check up in a while and that worries me. It has a rattle that is either its typical engine or a sick sputter.

I worry about us and our commutes. 210 miles between two people is a lot of road to cover every day.

I worry about saving money.

I worry about our student loans. They're like parasites on my back. Juggling paying them off ASAP with saving is driving me crazy. I know people with 4x the amount of student debt as me. How do they function?!

I worry about B. He's been really tired recently.

I fret about unpacking a house and making it look decent while trying to keep the expenses down.

I think about what would happen if one of us lost our job. We can make it on one salary, but it would not be pleasant.

I think about the unexpected. Would that expense put us in trouble? We need to build up a better financial cushion.

I think about what I should be doing now to prepare for the future. I know we all look backwards and have our woulda-coulda-shouldas, but it'd be nice to not have huge ones.

I think about my friends. Sometimes they're not as good to me as I want, and sometimes they're better to me than I deserve.

I worry our landlord won't let us get a dog. It's not the end of the world, but it'd be a massive disappointment.

Sometimes I think I think about things too much... and other times I worry I don't think about them enough.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two months married!

It's been two months, already! Wow. So I thought today would be a good day for wedding reflection.

My favorite part of the wedding, honestly, was the ceremony. I knew my favorite moment would be actually MARRYING B, but how much I loved the ceremony was surprising. In my humble opinion, it was perfectly us. Church, solemn but sweet, our family and friends as witnesses, and it wasn't 5 seconds long. It was about 35-40 minutes, which, to me, was a good length of time. B and I, I feel, really had a chance to soak it in... which is saying something, considering how fast the rest of the night flew by.

The rest of the wedding, I felt like there wasn't enough time to do anything. Talk with people outside the church? Nope nope, have to run and take photos. Want to take more photos? Nope nope, have to get to the reception where people are waiting. Seriously, if I had ever needed a "pause life" button...

I have a few regrets. They by NO MEANS ruined anything. But, hindsight is 20/20, and I figured I'd finally write them down for all 2 people that may happen to get lost and read my blog.

1) I wish I had better designated a MC for the night. I had asked my sister, but I think something got lost in the translation. It's neither her nor my fault. I feel like if we had one, then it would have been more designated that this comes, then this, then that. As it was, we had toasts after dinner, and it just felt out of place, and I wish they had happened sooner.

2) I wish the wedding had been at 4 or 5 pm. Now, this would have caused problems, because hotels in town were booked due to a HUGE track event (note to world: Do not plan a wedding in town the same weekend as a big event). But, 4-5 pm means it's beginning to get dark after dinner. It felt sort of strange to be dancing and having TONS of light pour in through the windows. I also feel like more people would have made plans to stay later if the wedding had begun at 4-5 rather than 2... people came to the wedding, ate, talked for a bit, and then left 6:30/7. I wanted to get my boogie on, and that just wasn't happening.

3) Fewer people. I still have anger against a number of people who RSVP'd yes and then didn't show. It's made me question who I count as my friends, and really made me evaluate how other people treated us. We are blessed with many good friends, and, though our wedding wasn't huge to begin with, I think it could have been smaller, easily.

4) Do less. This really goes with #3, above. I really didn't mind the projects B and I took on, but I dont' like how much time things took to set up the day before as well as take down the night of the wedding. Our family and a few friends were so devoted and wonderful and giving and just helped in any way they could. While that was TOUCHING beyond belief, I wish that B and I had planned a little differently to have things be less crazy.

5) I think B and I should have created a better budget. We stayed within budget, but sometimes I think money was spent somewhere when it shoudl have been spent elsewhere. I don't know if this was possible though; we were in two different towns!

6)I wish we would have gotten outside shots of us with our families. I don't think we did. And I dont' like that. I wish I had been more forceful with the photographer that it's not just about artsy shots; it's also about family.

7) I wish we had spent less money on something else and instead hired someone to make the food go more smoothly. It did (we hired people for the actual reception), but the morning was a little crazy. I also with I had just plunked the money down for the cheapo catering dishes rather than getting different types. It worked, but there was a lot of "where'd x piece for y dish go!?" stress.

Don't get me wrong. All in all? I LOVED our wedding. Loved it. I never lost sight of the fact that it wasn't about the party; it was about marrying B. And while I wasn't STRESSED, there are things we could have done to make it more enjoyable.

I see pictures of friends, etc.... who are relaxed and just in the moment, the DAY before the wedding. They saunter to the rehearsal. Then waltz over to the rehearsal dinner. Maybe they even had a spa day. I wish we had that aspect.

Now, I realize that a lot of these people whom I'm looking up to either have family paying or debt from their wedding. And I'm REALLY glad we didn't have the debt. As for family, well, our families supported B and I through SEVEN years of post-high school education. SEVEN. EACH. Yes, we still have student loans, but not nearly as many as we would have had if we had not had our families. We are both so grateful for that, and that's why we did not want our families to pay for our wedding. We wanted that to be a thank you from us. A realization of what they did for us.

There's a new show on TV that I happened to catch an episode of two nights ago: Masters of Reception. It's this family or group that owns this gorgeous estate where weddings are held. GORGEOUS. But I don't long for that. I love where we had our ceremony, and I love where we had our reception. Not only would a place like that cost an arm and a leg (seriously: $100+ a person for food alone), but how many people before you had the same exact type of wedding? At least ours was unique.

I guess I just envy the attitude of "I get to relax because I paid x number of people to take care of stuff." But you know what? I got my man. And he's wonderful. And together we do not have the added burden of paying off our wedding. And the wedding? It was wonderful.

So long story short: I loved it. And I love him. Yes, in retrospect, there were a few things I'd change, but that's not saying i didn't enjoy myself. There's just always room for improvement. Maybe we'll have a 10-year anniversary bash!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sticky Chicken Coma and paneer...

I made sticky chicken last night. Well, I made it technically the night before and then had it on warm all day. Next time, I'll just cook it throughout the day, but since it was a new recipe, I didn't want to not be in the house with it in the crock pot.

But, long story short: YUM.

I actually de-skinned the chicken prior to cooking. It was still pretty moist, probably because I had most of the white meat in the bottom of the pot (breast down chicken!).

I made simple mashed potatoes to go with it, and then I combined a can of turkey gravy with the drippings to make a tasty gravy (yes, I cheated a little with the can; deal with it).

B wolfed down a plate of the food and then promptly fell asleep. At 7:30. He was tired to begin with so I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. It was nice for him to say he was well-rested this morning though.

In my B-less time last night, I decided to try a new paneer recipe. It looks like it worked! I haven't tried any yet though. It's still in a pressed form but now it's in the fridge. I had great aspirations of cutting it up and tasting it this morning, but I decided to squeeze in a few extra minutes of sleep instead. Will let you know how it turns out...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Adventures last weekend

Last weekend, we were in Eugene.


My handsome husband

Eugene has a fabulous Saturday Market that we LOVE to go to and we go there every chance we get. There's always something new, something happening. Always different.


Random quartet playing.


It was the perfect day. Not too hot, not too cold, not breezy. The fish fountain looked so nice and cool, and the trickle of water could be heard throughout the booth tents.

Fish fountain (see the sculpture of the school of fish?), Eugene.

B got very creative and took this neat picture of a close-up of where the water falls over the side in the fountain.

Mini-waterfalls in fish fountain.

And, of course, it's Eugene, so you will find your odder fares too. Like TDTP-- Tie-dyed toilet paper! Yes, it's been "butt used around the world." Funny thing is, I actually bought one for B's mom as a gag gift last Christmas.
TDTP!

And, in case you're lacking, you can also buy brains, apparently. I must admit, they were quite cute, but still a little creepy for me to have as a paperweight (that size was labeled "pea brains." Cute....).
Brains for sale.

After the market, we went by a few small antique-y stores. But we didn't buy anything; they can just be SOO overpriced.
So we made our way then to our favorite restaurant: The Bierstein. It's our version of Cheers.
The staff there are all so nice. We didn't realize it, but one of the staff, Mad Dog, was just diagnosed with cancer. We happened on in at the right time: They were having a 4-hour benefit fundraiser to help fund his treatment. And look at the crowd!

Mad Dog's Cancer Fundraiser at the Beirstein
Since it was for Mad Dog, we splurged a little bit. I got a Framboise Lambic, and B got a Silver Moon Heff. Yum (my lambic, not B's heff). I'm not a big beer drinker, but I like the sweet stuff. But, Beirstein also has wine, and has the most generous pours I've ever witnessed.

Delicious cold lambic and heff at Bierstein.

The Bierstein is well-known for their WIDE selection of beers. Over 900! Too bad I don't like beer that much. I go there for their yummy paninis and wine (and occassionally their sweet beer). But, B likes beer, as you can see him here examining one of the cases. And the picture also is a good example of the countless beer...

Bierstein beer selection (and my husband intently concentrating)...

So that was our weekend in Eugene. As I get better about taking photos, I'll post more. I wolfed down my GORGEOUS caprese salad at the market before I remembered to take a photo. Alas. But it was SO good, trust me. We also went to Red Barn and got their naked coconut ice cream (yes, I splurged a LITTLE this weekend), but again, whups on the photo.

But, as a finisher, here are two pictures of Frankie and Paddington. They were all snuggled next to each other in-between the blinds and the sliding door. It was adorable. So, I snuck outside to take a photo, but doggone it-- they saw me. I think they look quite relaxed though.

Frankie and Pads, chillin' in their hiding place.

Apparently there's no privacy in this house.
Too bad guys.
You were just being too cute!