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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Found this quote on a blog I read... thought it appropriate...

“It is often said that something may survive of a person after his death if that person was an artist and put a little of himself into his work. It is perhaps in the same way that a sort of cutting taken from one person and grafted onto the heart of another continues to carry on its existence even when the person from whom it had been detached has perished.” -Marcel Proust
Sing with the angels, Dan.

I know I've been incommunicado for a while, it's just that time of year when there are not enough days in the week, hours in the day, or minutes in the hour, but I had to take some time for this.

On Sunday we lost Dan Fogelberg. He was a poet who set his words to music. He's been a part of my life since 1978, when a friend from college introduced me to his music. He's comforted me, excited me, showed me love and strength and pain and loss. His music has been the backdrop to my life since first I heard him sing.

I've gone to concerts, joined fan clubs, written notes of support when he announced he was suffering from prostate cancer, and this morning, I had to write a note of condolence to his family. I know it was the right thing to do. I know, having lost many special people in my life, that knowing how others loved him will help his wife. But that note of condolence? It helped me, too.

I cried yesterday. I cried for him. For his wife. For his family. And I cried for me. I cried because there will never be a minute I can hope and pray he will recover. There will never be another concert, or another new CD. As selfish as that sounds, he has brought me such joy through his words and his music that I am diminished with his passing. I have lost something and someone so special, so much a part of me.

When I hear Leader of the Band, I think of my dad. When I hear A Love Like This, I think of my husband (this was our wedding song). When I hear Auld Lang Syne, I think of all those many people who used to be a part of my life, who are gone, in any definition of the word.

When I listen to his music, I think that he wrote for an orchestra, but he played it on a guitar. His acoustical tour was incredible. To see him sitting on the stage with a guitar, just a guitar, to hear that music, and that voice. Incredible.

I have a funny feeling that every CD I listen to for the foreseeable future will be his. And I have a funny feeling that I will love every note and every word even more.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Okay, I owe you.

"What do I owe you?" you might ask.

I owe you some blogging and some photos. What with Turkey Day and working my a$$ off at the lake on weekends, I've fallen horribly behind on keeping up with the bloggers, so here's a brief update, with lots more stories to come...

I did pretty darn well over Thanksgiving. In fact, when I went to Weight Watchers on the Saturday after the holiday, I was down 1.6 pounds! I said, "down," not "up." Yay, me!

Although I didn't spend the holiday with my mom (she went to my sister's boyfriend's house this year), she was home, which means a lot to me. My poor mom has to alternate holidays between the East Coast and Arizona, where my sister lives. Since Mom doesn't fly, she alternates the holiday season every other year... DH and I weren't invited to Tim's house. After dinner Mom and I talked. She seems to think it wasn't a deliberate slap, that because of the limited size of his apartment, C didn't invite us (all two of us!). Apparently the kids and the grandmas sat and ate, and when one (anyone) left the table, then either C or T sat down and ate. Now, I own more than one card table, and we have snack tables she could have borrowed. There's always a way to make room for family, IMHO. I guess I'm just different from her...

Jack and I went to his sister's house. We walked in to his niece on the phone with her aunt (on her dad's side) telling her it was okay to come but that she couldn't kiss anyone or touch anyone or touch the kittens... It turns out she had shingles! And at the end of the night, when she was leaving, who do you think she came up to from behind and hugged goodbye?!? That's right: yours truly!!! (Thank goodness I've had chicken pox before, and thank goodness our skin didn't touch, or I'd probably stress myself into a great case of them!)

There were 17 of us at dinner. We had turkey with most of the trimmings: my delicious salad, mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows, stuffing, turkey, meatballs, manicotti, cranberry sauce, rolls, and all the desserts known to man - pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, coconut cream pie, cannolis, chocolate cake, brownies, blueberry pie, rice pudding with whipped cream, cream puffs, pumpkin cheesecake, Italian pastries - need I say more? A feast fit for a king! (But there was no green stuff or mashed potatoes or cole slaw so it most definitely wasn't our family Thanksgiving!)

We spent the rest of the weekend at the lake. Everything is painted. The heat works on both floors. The house is totally hooked up for propane (we're just waiting on the gas fireplace to get wired up and fired up - current due date: December 28th). The attic stairs are in.

California Closets came on this past Saturday. $2358, less 10% if we sign before 12/21, no tax (it's a capital improvement to the home), materials AND installation. Were it up to me, I'd sign on the dotted line, but Jack and I will be jerry-rigging it with Home Depot and/or Lowes product in a similar fashion. 'Cause we like to do it cheaper. Sorry: 'cause we can save bucketloads of $$$ doing it ourselves!

This past Sunday was the 48th Annual Nigro Christmas Party. We had SOOO much fun! Pictures to come! The kiddies are growing up so fast that they're unrecognizable from last Christmas! There are new babies galore, with more on the way! Just LOVE these family get togethers...

More later this week...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Better late than never... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I have quite a bit to be thankful for this year: my husband and children, my mom and sisters, the rest of my extended family, a good job, two beautiful homes, and most of all, my faith. My faith has gotten me through a lot these past 46 years.

I find I am praying to God more regularly. I pray for my stepchildren, my husband, my mom and my sisters, my nephew and my niece, my cousin and his family, and my in-laws. I find myself asking for help and guidance.

I'm not a bad person. But I want to be a better person. I will be praying for God's help and I hope you will keep me in your prayers as well. I want to be a better daughter, a better wife, a better mother, a better sister, a better aunt, a better employee.

[Later this week I'll post some updated lake photos. We have painted walls downstairs, and heat, and floors in our new closets, a closet organizer in the guest room closet, an appointment with California Closets this Saturday for my walk-in, and window trim upstairs. I have to pick out tile for the bathroom and hardwood floors for the rest of the addition. I'm going to do this in between cleaning my house, decorating my house and Christmas shopping. I'm going to be praying for a "time-turner" so I can be in two places at once!]

Monday, November 19, 2007

Believe it or not, I'm not dead. My typing/blogging hands were not amputated. I haven't relocated to a part of the world that is computer-less. My computer hasn't even imploded.

I've been busy.

Busy traveling.

Yuk.

Here you go...

Monday, Nov. 5 - Wednesday, Nov. 7 - Hubby and I went to Atlantic City for "Strategic Planning Sessions." These sessions were supposed to keep him busy for part of the three days so that I could lose the $83.60 I'd saved to lose at the casino. The trip was sponsored (paid for) by the credit union; he's a director on the Board. Well, I did lose the $83.60. I won $100 while I was playing with the $83.60, then I put the $100 back in, and for good measure, I lost another $40, just to be sure I was on a real losing streak, not just fooled into thinking I was losing 'cause I was out the $83.60 and the $100... How's this for bending the truth a bit??? I'm only down $40. Here's how I figured this out: The $83.60 was change in a coffe cup that I'd been saving specifically to lose in A.C., so it wasn't taken out of my children's mouths, or from the rent money, so I don't count that as a loss, even though I didn't come home with it. And the $100 I won with that $83.60? It wasn't mine to begin with; it was the casino's money and if I chose to throw that back into the slot machine, well, it wasn't mine anyway! Now, the $40? I took that out of my wallet, so that's really money that was earmarked for lunch or shoes or the electric bill, so that's the amount I'm really down.

Can you spell J-U-S-T-I-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N??? (Needless to say, it's a good thing I don't go to a casino very often - although I don't play the slots to win big. I just truly enjoy them for some unknown, unexplainable reason. If they had machines I could play with tokens, I'd be just as happy!!!)

Thursday, Nov. 8 - Friday, Nov. 9 - I worked. I had 100+ emails at work and 100+ emails on my personal account. That's too many darn emails! I deleted jokes, ads and stuff that didn't look all that important, so if you're waiting for a response and it doesn't come, you might want to send that email along again...

Saturday, Nov. 10 - Sunday, Nov. 11 - We painted. We painted the whole first floor of the lake house Cottage White, except for the dining room which we painted Melted Butter. I originally wanted Spiced Pumpkin for the dining room, but the nice man at the Home Depot told me that other customers who had used that color likened it to living inside or next to a school bus! He recommended Melted Butter, and we're very happy with the way it turned out! (Pictures next week, since I didn't bring my cable to download them today!) I also put up some lace curtains in the dining room; don't really like seeing the curtain rod when they're open so I'll be buying some floral garlands to loop along the rod.

Monday, Nov. 12 - Wednesday, Nov. 14 - I was traveling in Alexandria, VA, and Arlington, VA, with my boss, on business. We had 5 meetings over three days, not too much, probably not really enough, but I had reserved some time for another account I'd hoped to meet with and they bailed at the last minute. And another one had to cancel a dinner meeting...

Here's a great one... One of our editors was supposed to meet us at a meeting on Monday afternoon. He never showed up. After the meeting, I called his home office (in Alexandria!) and left a message saying we'd missed him, that I hoped he hadn't confused the Monday meeting with the Tuesday dinner (with the same account). On Tuesday, we had a morning meeting in Arlington, and an afternoon one in the same city. I was able to move the afternoon one up so that we didn't have to hang around town for 4 hours (thanks, Julie!). We went back to the hotel. My boss said he was going to check phone messages, then go to Starbucks to use the wireless internet and return some emails. I went to the hotel gym. (Get up off the floor - I really did!) While I was walking and sweating on the treadmill, my cell phone rang and I answered it. It was X, the editor, apologizing for missing the meeting. "We've had 14 years together, and they were great years," I heard. "She had seizures yesterday and I had to take her to the hospital, " I heard. "She's at a meeting now and we have an appointment with an oncologist at 4pm today; I don't think I'll be able to make dinner."

Of course I responded appropriately: "Don't even think of dinner. Just stay home, do what you have to do. You don't need to come out to some boring business dinner..." At dinner that night, they asked about X and I told them what had happened.

When I got back to the office on Thursday of last week, I dropped X and email, asking how the oncologist's meeting went. Here's his response: "Hi Krys, well, she's riddled with cancer and there's not much we can do about it. She had surgery to remove some tumors last year about this time and a few sessions of chemo, but she won't be able to handle that again. We'll have her for a little longer, trying to make her comfortable, making sure she's not in pain (tough to do with cats). Thanks so much for asking and again I'm really sorry to flake on the SHRM meetings this year. How'd it go anyway? Warm regards...mcds"
Stop laughing at me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mea culpa, mea culpa!

It's been a while, I know.

BUT, I have lots to share!!

WE HAVE WALLS! The Sheetrockers came and put up a ceiling on the first floor (BONUS: the ceiling is about 3" higher than the previous one!) and walls in the staircase and on the entire 2nd floor! Only a couple of tweaks: we have to finish the wall under the new fireplace 'cause the installers need access when they hook us up to check for gas leaks (ok, I can understand that) and we have to adjust the guides on one of the pocket doors (it's tight with walls up and the door doesn't glide as easily as it did).

I was afraid the rooms would seem much smaller with walls, but not really. A bit, but not horribly so. Of course, when furniture gets placed the rooms will shrink around me but I'm going to try my darndest to keep a lot of clutter out of the new space...

Looking from the kitchen, down the hall to the new staircase (1st floor bathroom on your left).









From the base of the stairs, looking upstairs. I'm trying to find a nice chandelier to hang just low enough so you can see it from the outside...







At the top of the stairs is our sitting room. We will install floor to ceiling bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. The fireplace is 2-sided so we can see it from our bedroom on the other side of that wall... Jack's standing in our mini-hallway. If he turns 90 degrees to his left, our bedroom door will be on his left, the bathroom door on his right, and the spare room door directly in front of him.

This is one side of our new bathroom, with tub and big shower! I have to find a vanity and some tile in the next week or two... I'm stressed!






I'm on vacation next week for 3 days, in Atlantic City, then traveling 3 days the following week to Alexandria, VA - SWAMPED with work prepping for the trip... so if I'm missing a week or so in my blog, I promise to return, post trips, pre-holiday...

Monday, October 22, 2007

We're so sore.

Our backs hurt, his legs hurt, my blister hurts (a new one, on my hand), and we're darn tired.

This weekend we moved everything that we have on the first floor of the lake house into the basement. The Sheetrocker told DH that he wanted to start this week, rather than the week of Nov. 5, which is what we had planned.

And instead of saying, "No, sorry, we won't be ready for you this soon. How about maybe next week?", DH said, "Ok, we'll get the house ready this weekend." Keep in mind that this means two less weekends than we thought we had to do this, PLUS we had rewiring to do on several fixtures, phone lines to run, some framing to fix...

For the record, don't try this. Ever.

We moved (until we stopped counting!) two dressers (10 drawers total, filled), two bookshelves (12 shelves total, filled, which had to be unshelved and reshelved), two sofas, one bed, one quilt rack, one table, six chairs, two lamps, the entire contents of four open kitchen shelves, the microwave, the coffee pot, the paper towel holder, the box of miscellaneous stuff that accumulates on your counter when you don't have a junk drawer, two glass containers filled with dog biscuits for the dog we don't own (but we have a neighborhood dog that visits us!), the dish drainer, the cutting board, nine framed pictures, two handmade wreaths, a computer table, a computer monitor, two speakers, two CPUs, a coffee table, plus all the assorted crap we've managed to either accumulate over the past six years or relocate from our primary residence to the lake house 'cause there was room there, room to fill...

Remember. It all has to get moved back.

That sound you hear? That's me, crying. That other sound? My bones, creaking.

We've both decided "WE ARE NOT MOVING ALL THIS STUFF BACK UPSTAIRS." We've decided we will take this opportunity to sort through the junk before we move it back upstairs. We will either "keep it," trash it" or "donate it."

I want the clean look. I want a house that can receive visitors without being cleaned first. A house that doesn't need all the crap on the dining room table shoved into a closet or a drawer while we run to answer the doorbell. A house that I could take a picture of and not be embarrassed by if I chose to post it on a blog.

Here's an example of what I mean:

When we decided to get married, I spoke with our photographer and told her that I wasn't interested in all the cliche photos of the bride posing in front of a mirror, looking off into the distance, contemplating the massive life change she's about to experience... The photographer agreed.

When the day arrived, and the photographer did, too, she suggested she just take a few of those shots. That didn't mean I'd have to pay for them to be printed, blown up, included in our album, but I'd have the proofs. After all, what if one of them turned out to be my favorite picture of myself? (First of all, there are very few photos of myself that I actually like...)

I got carried away in the moment. I let her take the darn pictures.

The one I didn't want? The one of me looking into the mirror at my coiffed head, complete with veil? In the background, on the dresser, my husband-to-be's nose spray.

Obviously we never put anything away...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Creative.

Not a word generally associated with me.

Not by me, anyway.

Lately, though, I've been feeling the urge to create. To try something artistic. Believe it or not, to paint.

I bought 2 packages of mini-canvases at AC Moore the other day: 3 of them are about 4"x8" and 3 of them are maybe 8"x10" (?). I have some acrylic paints and bought a few disposable foam brushes. I need to just get some regular brushes, look up what I need to know about medium, etc., that will help it all remain on the canvas, and soon I'll be able to start.

I read a blog by Donna Downey regularly (http://donnadowney.typepad.com/). Today she loaded it chock full of product info. I'll read it, absorb it, and get what I have to get. I was going to bring the stuff to the crop tomorrow, but I think I'll put together what I need and do it at the lake next week. That way I can dedicate my time to this new pursuit, instead of trying to squeeze it in with some scrapbooking and even more socializing.

Maybe there's an artist inside, after all...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I guess minor injuries are going to be a part of my immediate future...

This weekend I hit my thumb with a hammer. Darn, it hurt! That's what I get for actually helping, rather than supervising... Thankfully it's just a bit stiff and a bit bruised, no broken bones or blood blisters or anything like that...

We put in the pocket doors, the french closet doors, the bathroom door (which still needs to be shimmed), and bought the basement door (which will hopefully be installed this weekend).

We passed our insulation inspection so we can call the Sheetrockers. We have no more inspections until the final. The fireplace is in. The propane tanks are in; we passed the air pressure check. I just have to arrange to have them filled.

No time to explain a lot now, but here are some pictures:


Monday, October 15, 2007

Found this quiz on a blog I read pretty regularly, http://www.mookarama.com/megan/
1. Who is your man? Jack
2. How long have you been married? 8 years this past July
3. How long dated? From April 1990 to July 1999 (engaged for one year of that)
4. How old is your man? 56
5. Who eats more? Me.
6. Who said "I love you" first? I did.
7. Who is taller? We're the same height (although I always used to think, I will admit, that my Mr. Right would be taller than me)
8. Who sings better? Neither of us is any good, but he's a bit more tone deaf than I am
9. Who is smarter? We both do okay in the brains department, although he always says I am
10. Whose temper is worse? Definitely mine; he has decided not to lose his temper - he keeps it all in - I rant and rave (not at him, though - I take it out on my mom, then apologize to her! After all, if you can't lose it in front of mom...)
11. Who does the laundry? Whoever wants something dirty clean
12. Who takes out the garbage? Jack, unless he's away for a Special Olympics function, then I do
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Jack
14. Who pays the bills? We both pay different ones
15. Who is better with the computer? I am - he doesn't turn his work computer off so he doesn't have to learn to turn it back on!
16. Who mows the lawn? Jack
17. Who cooks dinner? This chore is split 50/50 - we eat out a lot 'cause I hate to cook...
18. Who drives when you are together? Usually Jack, but sometimes me
19. Who pays when you go out? Jack
20. Who is most stubborn? We are both pretty stubborn.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Since I'm almost never wrong, I'll go with Jack for this question!
22. Whose parents do you see the most? My mom is the only parent left - although when his mom was alive, we saw them equally. Now, between my mom and his sister, it's even-Steven!
23. Who kissed who first? He kissed me first, after about a couple of months of dating - what a gentleman!
24. Who asked who out? He asked me out. I didn't know how to say "no, thanks," so the rest is history! (I wasn't really interested at the time...)
25. Who proposed? Jack - I woke up with the ring on my finger. He usually gets up way before me but he was afraid I'd go to the bathroom and drop it in the toilet while I was half asleep (it was a surprise so the band was a bit too large!)
26. Who is more sensitive? Me, for sure
27. Who has more friends? I think we have the same number of close friends
28. Who has more siblings? Me. I have 2 sisters and he has 1 sister
29. Who wears the pants in the family? We split this one 50/50, too!

This was fun! I'll update my blog with some construction stuff later this week!

Monday, October 08, 2007

There's a light at the end of this construction tunnel!

Insulation - done.
Propane tanks - installed.
Fireplace - being installed Wednesday.
Insulation inspection - hopefully Wednesday; if not, Friday.
Pocket Doors - hopefully being installed this weekend.
Basement door - ditto.
SheetRock - first week of November.

If these things go as planned, we can turn the heat on after that, install the floors, install tile and fixtures in the bathroom, paint the walls, install lights, and start moving into the space.

Imagine - actually using the space to live in, having it almost finished...

The mind boggles at the thought...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Pinkie toe update

My work pal went and got me some Adidas flip flops from Foot Locker. She tried CVS - they're a seasonal item. She went to Foot Locker - they were $19.99. She went to Fabco, a local show store - they were red with sequins and beads.

I chose brown and pink floral flip flops from Foot Locker, despite the price ($20 flip flops!?!?) I was wearing brown that day, and have been wearing brown quite a bit this year...

I went home to pick up mom to go food shopping. By the time I got there, my toes were so swollen that I asked if I should go to the Immedicenter. I felt silly, but I was scared. My toes had NEVER looked like that before!

At first Mom laughed. Then she looked at my toes.

We went to the Immedicenter.

Without going into all the detail about the 1-1/2 hour wait, and all the patients who came in after me but went in before me ("They're here to see the nurse," her voice drops, "for drug tests. You're next to see the doctor!"), apparently current medical protocol frowns on lancing blisters because that could allow germs easier access. After a consultation with "all the doctors here," they decided that since I'd most likely lance it at home anyway, the on call should do it for me.

NOT!!! I would NOT lance it at home! Are you NUTS???

Once that was done, she put these two little Band Aids on my toes. "Are you for real? Not a cast? Not a splint? Not even a pair of crutches? I'm gonna get zip-zero-zilch in the way of sympathy from my husband with two Band Aids!" (Heck, I got no sympathy from the doctor!)

Needless to say, I didn't get casts, splints or crutches. But I did get me some sympathy from DH! When he heard that I went to the Immedicenter, he thought car accident, or blood and gore (well, he wasn't far off there!). When I tossed the covers off my toes - suffice it to say he didn't laugh at me, and he went and got me some iced tea. (I'm sure he laughed all the way to the kitchen, but he didn't laugh in my face!)

Not too much else is happening in my life right now... DH has off on Monday, and I don't, so perhaps on Sunday night, when I'm home alone, I can do some cleaning/straightening that I can't do when he's around...

Our propane tanks are being installed on Monday. We might be air tested on Tuesday. Our gas fireplace is being installed on Wednesday. Our insulation inspection is on Friday. Hopefully we'll be Sheetrocked the first week in November. Then we can actually turn on the heat/ac. Keep your fingers crossed for us, okay?!? Thanks!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ow! Ow! Ow!

I'd take a picture and post it here, but I don't want to gross anyone out!

Today was my first day this year as a reading volunteer at W School. My partner (we alternate weeks in the same class) met me there to observe. The school kindly provides a school bus to take us all back to work after the reading hour is up, but we missed the bus (it left early). So we walked. One mile. Not very far, but he was moving, and I was determined to keep up, despite the fact that I was wearing heels and trouser socks for the first time since, well, May! (I'm a flip flop/sandal kind of girl in the summer!)

I was thinking, when we reached 7th street (en route to 1st from 11th) that my pinkie toes hurt a bit, but I assumed it was because I was probably building up those pinkie calluses that I always have in the winter when I wear closed-in shoes.

I was wrong.

I got to work, almost crippled. Not that anything other than a smile was plastered on this face! No grimace of pain, no tears, no clenched teeth.

While talking to E, my cubicle neighbor, I commented that my toes really hurt and took my socks off to see the callus. (BTW, that word just looks wrong! I changed it to callous, and that didn't look right either!)

I don't have calluses on my pinkie toes. I HAVE BLOOD BLISTERS! BIG, HONKIN' BLOOD BLISTERS! And my toes are HOT! They feel tingly. E just went to CVS to get me flip flops to wear for the rest of the day. (An attractive look, I'm sure, with my tall jeans that need heels - I'll roll them up and look like a farmer today!)

So for now, I'm trapped at my desk, shoeless, sockless, waiting for my flip flops. (And I really don't need to share this, but I will - NOW's the time I really have to go to the bathroom! And I can't 'cause I'm not walking through the entire 4th floor in bare feet!! To say nothing of I'm NOT going into that public restroom in bare feet!!!)

Guess I won't be wearing closed-in shoes for a while... And to close...

Ow! Ow! Ow!

Monday, October 01, 2007

LOTS 'O NEWS!!! This was one heck of a weekend, I must say! Here you go:

Friday, Sept. 28

I left work early, at 11:20am, to catch the 11:47 train, only to arrive at the train station to find that I looked at an old schedule and the train was boarding and departing at 11:38 and they wouldn't let me on it! So I sat with the pigeons in the waiting room until the 12:38 train left.

I went and got my toes done - I must say I DO love a pedicure! Then I went to the salon for a hair cut and blow-out (no, Mary Ann, I did NOT ask for a blowj-b, as you did when we went on a hair date together!!!). It looked really nice for the wedding that night! Whilst I was being cut, the stylist said something along the lines of "where's the wedding?" When I told her, she froze in place and then slowly asked whose wedding I was attending. Knowing full well she couldn't possibly know Lesley, I explained that it was our best man's daughter's wedding. "Where is it being held?" "At the Tides Estate." "Are you going to Elaine's daughter's wedding? Elaine was just in here, getting her hair done!!!" WARNING: IT'S A SMALL WORLD. WATCH WHAT YOU SAY AND WHO YOU SAY IT TO 'CAUSE IT WILL ALL COME BACK TO BITE YOU IN THE BUTT!!!

I decided to wear silky black pants and a sparkly black and silver top, with black bugle beads, rather than a gown, and BOY, HOWDY! Am I glad I did! No one but the mother of the bride and the bride herself had on a gown! Everyone was wearing either a cocktail dress or a work dress. Lesley looked beautiful and they're going to Netherlands and Paris for their honeymoon! How exciting for them!





Here's Elaine, mother of the bride.








Here's the groom, rushing to the altar!









Here's the bride with her dad, our best man.










Saturday, September 29

We moved DSD to her new apt. We loaded up my truck, loaded up her dad's truck, and then she went to get "one last thing" and said she would meet us at the new place. Dad left. I left. All of a sudden, half a block away, a truck that was coming toward me beeped and the drive waved and shouted, "Stop!" So I did. I looked in my rear view mirror, instinctively, but couldn't see for the sofa cushions that were piled to the roof. I looked in my right side-view mirror and saw nothing. I looked in my left side-view mirror and saw nothing. I leaned out of the window a bit and out of the corner of my eye, I see DSD running full out until she collapsed on the rear of the truck! She opened the door, shouting, "You.Have.My.Keys." With a full gasp-for-life-giving-air between every word. "Why didn't you call me on the cell?" I asked, rather reasonably. "You.Have.My.Cell.Phone.Too." (Again with the gasps.) Apparently she left them in the back of the truck and I took off for the new apt. It couldn't have been that big a deal; she didn't jump on it when I offered to drive her home... She's in, and all unpacked. Not a box or bag left to unpack. Just stuff to move around until she finds "just the right spot for it." Here are some pictures of the new apt.
















Sunday, September 30

We went to an engagement party for my niece T and her fiance K. Had a great time! Here are a few photos from that happy occasion!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Let's play catch up...

Lots has been going on but I just haven't had enough time to write about it... For instance...
  1. DSD M is moving this weekend. Not far, but it still requires packing up one apartment and unpacking it in another. She's moving from a town where her ex-boyfriend used to live to a town where her father used to live. Ex-BF's friends have been really treating her poorly - she ran into Ex's former roommate in a bar and decided to say hi. "Do I know you?" And he turned his back on her. WHAT??? AND to top it all off, you all don't even know the background: Ex cheated on DSD with his best friend's wife, who left her husband to move in with Ex, and now is getting a divorce, BUT apparently Ex isn't real happy in this relationship either; he's looking to get out... You cheat on me and your friends are rude to me??? I don't get it. DSD has been really hurt and thankfully has found some new friends and the mental strength to just move away from the crap...
  2. [entry removed 09/11/11]
  3. We insulated about 90% of our new second floor this weekend (photos to come at a later date). I tried using a mask - it made my glasses steam up. My legs hurt so much from squatting down, standing up, squatting down, standing up... I'm still a bit itchy from the fiberglass - mostly on my right hand - but for the most part, it was much easier than I thought it would be.
  4. We cancelled our propane installation 'cause we didn't get to finish the pad the tanks are to stand on. When I called to cancel, I found out that they install the block and the pad when they install the tanks. We didn't know that. We cancelled 'cause we didn't know that. Can't wait to tell DH tonight - if you hear about a husband's head just spontaneously blowing up off his shoulders in NJ tonight, that would be my DH!!!
  5. My nephew's car is laid up - something to do with the fuel intake, we think, or the fuel pump. He's had it a grand, whopping 1 month, gotten a ticket, run out of gas... What next? DO NOT MENTION THE WORD ACC-DENT!!!
  6. We're going to Las Vegas, Baby, in February! Yay! And Atlantic City this November! Yay! And DH wants to take a cruise to recover from the renovation migraines - whenever he's ready to go, I'm ready to go!!! I'll also be heading out to San Diego in March or April, and will try to coordinate a visit with someone I know in the SW at the same time. I love to travel...
Well, those were a few mini headlines - you're a bit more caught up in what's been going on in my life. Some arbitrary comments: I really wish I could be scrapping more. I had a productive reading weekend (You've Been Warned, by James Patterson; The Bone Garden, by Tess Gerritsen; and another, to be named when I remember it!!!). I just started Power to the People, by Laura Ingraham.
Someone I'm related to and I made a list of 10 books we'd like to read this calendar year. After a somewhat iffy start, I've totally gone off track and am reading what strikes my fancy, be it mindless fiction or political-oriented essays that are as right-handed as I am. My mind is not made of mush, but my willpower seems to be - not stickin' to that list! (Maybe next year we should make the list shorter - 6 books, 1 every other month. Now THAT I could handle...)

Monday, September 17, 2007

We passed our initial framing inspection.

Yay. Thank God. I asked the Zoning/Construction secretary if she could ask Mr. O'C to arrive after 1:30 so that I could work a 1/2 day on Friday. Nope. She could ask him to arrive somewhere between 1 and 4, though...

So I went to work Friday morning and left at 11am. Nothing is easy in my life, you see. I had forgotten to print out the photos we needed to prove that we'd insulated the soffets correctly, so I had to order them online in the morning. Now, had I walked into Costco at 10am, I could have the pictures within an hour. Ordering on line, though, they gave me 3pm as the ready time.

So I called and begged and the very nice man behind the Costco photo counter said, "Sure, they'll be done for 11:15am today." And they were (Thank you, very nice man behind the Costco photo counter!). Then I BOOKED up Route 3, to Route 46, to Route 80, to Route 15, to Route 181, and then onto all those teeny lake roads until I got to my house at 12:38.

And Mr. O'C arrived at 1pm. On the dot. Not a minute earlier, not a minute later. (Good thing I got there on time/early!)

He was there about a 1/2 hour, 45 minutes. WE PASSED. That's all that matters, in the grand scheme of things, but there were a few things we had to promise to do (more nails, insulation around the condensate trap, etc.), but he passed us. THANK YOU, MR. O'C!

THEN I had hours to kill until DH was going to arrive, so I went to the mall.

And even though I'm not a shoe girl, I spent $185 on shoes. On 3 pairs of shoes. On 3 pairs of Aerosoles. I can't copy the pix in from their website, but I bought Matter of Fact in black leather and in black patent leather and Kitty Kap in black patent leather. Then, 'cause I wasn't broke enough, I went and spent $45 on a pair of black pants, 'cause we all know I need another pair of black pants...

I've got a ride to school today so I'm outta here!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I just don't understand how people can live without a faith system. I'm Roman Catholic, but everyone doesn't have to be. You can be Jewish, Methodist, Buddhist, Islamic, Presbyterian, etc. I don't care. But I just feel, in my heart, that life is easier when you believe in something.

When you look into the eyes of a brand new baby, how can you not believe?

When your dad is dying and hasn't been lucid in weeks, and he looks you in the eyes and you KNOW he can understand you when you're saying goodbye to him and you're given your dad back for those few moments, how can you not believe?

When you spend a year with your mother-in-law, every night except two, spending time with her and caring for her because she's sick and dying and you're with her when she passes, peacefully and quietly and happily, how can you not believe?

I have a friend, a close friend, who's having a difficult life. She's not ill, or living in poverty, or starving, but she does have a somewhat dysfunctional family, severe financial difficulties, and she suffers from depression (which I suppose you could blame, in part, on her dysfunctional family). She's a very rational, analytical person. Every word, situation, glance is analyzed and analyzed again, in search of some hidden meaning. Nothing is just accepted at face value, sloughed off if it's annoying or unimportant. She has to think about it, stew over it, analyze it, until it festers in her soul. Sometimes I want to just say to her, "Your life sucks 'cause you don't believe in anything. Not in God. Not in a god. Not in mankind. Not in anything." Maybe if she'd find something to put some faith into, some way to believe in something, she'd find her way to a bit more happiness...

Yesterday was my Aunt Eleanor's funeral. I stopped to speak with A & J, her son and daugther-in-law. They couldn't WAIT to talk with me. Apparently at the very end, Aunt Eleanor was fading, not talking very much, but she began to call out to people. She began to say hello. Hello to Sal (her brother who had died a couple of years ago) AND HELLO TO VIRGINIA. Virginia was my mother-in-law. She died in 2001. She and Aunt Eleanor were thisclose. Aunt Eleanor was married to my mother-in-law's brother, Modestino (Uncle Mozzie to those of us who loved him!).

I believe with all my heart that Sal and Mom were there for Aunt Eleanor, there to help her, to welcome her, to make it easier for her so that she wasn't scared or alone during the passing from this life to the next. And it makes me happy. It brings me comfort. Rest in peace, Aunt Eleanor.

On the same topic, but a little off center, I have had a private reading with psychic John Edward. I've worked with him at one of his book signings, been an audience member for his television show Crossing Over, attended a seminar he gave, and stood on line to get his second book signed at a local B&N. Trust me, I'm not a stalker, but I am a believer.

He was right on the money with my reading. My dad, my grandparents, my fiance of 3 months, my cousin, my aunt. Right on the money. Again, I believe. It's reassuring to know that there is something after. Something more. That you aren't just not anymore.

Intellectually, I know that all of this could be simply 'cause that's what I've been taught, what I've lived for 46-1/2 years. But when I think about it, intellectually, trying my best to separate myself from emotion and history and "what I know," I STILL believe. With all my heart.

Another Virginia story: When she was newly married, my mother-in-law's mother-in-law came to stay. DH's grandmother had breast cancer. My MIL cared for her MIL for many years. But Mom was afraid of death, apparently, afraid of dying. When it came to the end for her MIL, my MIL wasn't there, in the room. But my DH's aunt was there. And she swears that the last words out of the mouth of her mother were: "Tell Virginia it's beautiful here. The harps are playing and the angels are singing."

Enough said.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Some bad news: Aunt Eleanor died this past weekend. She was 91. The wake is tonight, and the funeral tomorrow. I ordered flowers from John...

Aunt Emeline called from her new cell phone to tell Patty and this is how the conversation went:

Aunt Em: Patty! Annie and I are going to Pal's! (An aside: a nice restaurant here in NE NJ)
Patty: That's great, Aunt Em! How are things?
Aunt Em: Good, good. We're going to Pal's now, for lunch.
Patty: Great, Aunt Em! How's Aunt Annie?
Aunt Em: She's the same. You know how she is. I'm calling from my new cell phone!
Patty: You got a cell phone? That's great, Aunt Em! When did you get it?
Aunt Em: We're here at Pal's, I have to go. Oh, before I forget, Uncle Mozzie called Aunt Eleanor.
Patty: What? (An aside: Uncle Mozzie has been dead for easily 12 or 14 years.)
Aunt Em: Aunt Eleanor, she died down the shore this morning, at Tony & Joan's. We're at Pal's. I'll call you later with the details. Eleanor (An aside: Little Eleanor - Aunt Eleanor's granddaughter) called Aunt Sara and she's calling us all to tell us (about Aunt Eleanor's death). I'll talk to you later, Patty.

That's really how a conversation with Aunt Em goes - I love her with all my heart, but you're definitely pulling out a few hairs by the end of a conversation with her. And by the way, she's in her late 80s now, too, so this whole conversation is at your loudest voice! And now we have to factor in a cell phone!!!

House update:


We are sided. Completely. And it looks SOOO nice! See? (Sorry about the two cars in the lower right-hand corner - that doesn't look so nice!)





And I will add a few more pictures here so you can see some detail not quite obvious in the whole-house picture...


We added a little decorative fan to the largest peak so it wouldn't look so blah...











This is our front door light.









And here are some handcrafted-by-Jack motion detector lights. He actually bought them at Costco, then took them apart and put them back together so that we could have light on three sides of the house, rather than just one. He split the light fixture, rewired it, and mounted them so that there are two individual lights on the front of the house, one at either end, and one on each of the sides of the house, facing the ramp and the boat/propane tanks.

The weekend was rather quiet. Got a little sun on Sunday. Made a ham when we got home last night (cooking 'til midnight!) but that's good eatin' for the rest of the week! (Just have to figure out what recipes on what days)

Okay, J got his first parking ticket. And he's mad at the meter maid! Let's ignore the fact that he was parked for more than two hours in a restricted spot (parking for 2 hours, max) AND that he was parked there under the sign that said "2 hour parking." I could slap him silly! And he got it within the first week of having his license! I suppose it was to be expected - you can't tell him anything, even though we try ("Don't drive to school, J, there's no parking and you'll get a ticket!")...

That's about it for today... I think I'll give myself a few days off from blogging, since it's quite apparent I have little to say... I don't want to bore you all to tears so I'll wait to see if anything really cool happens in the next day or so...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Baby Shower!!!
We had an office baby shower for our assistant, F, yesterday at lunch. We had a nice time. Good food, lots of laughter, happy wishes for the expectant mom! I would include other pictures but no one knows about my blog and I don't want pictures of people floating out there in cyberspace without their permission...

We picked up a couple dozen white roses to decorate the conference room, piled all the gifts in the corner, set up the food on the counter, and waited to surprise F. She was surprised! She's due November 20th. E and I got her a stroller/carseat combo. Here's a picture:


I liked the neutral color, not too boyish or too girlish, the darker color to show less dirt (although spit-up milk will show, and so will crumbs!), the cute little jungle animals on the print... It's a Graco, so it's good quality. I would have bought a Chicco but it was totally out of our price range (pay attention here, Cuz!!!). She also got some clothes, some bath stuff, a Diaper Genie II, a stuffed bear that makes sounds like a mother's womb, some onesies, a bib or two, and some money with a couple of board books. She wasn't registered anywhere (!?) so we had to wing it, not knowing what she already had or didn't have. E and I gave her the gift receipt, so if she wants to, she can exchange the stroller for whatever else she needs or wants...

Off the topic of babies... I'm in the mood to scrap and I can't do it - there is no room in my house and my stuff is just all jumbled up into a big mess, spread across two rooms and two houses... I think I'm going to sign up for a crop soon, perhaps the one we're looking to do in October... I'll have to work my butt off organizing some page kits and project kits, but it will be worth it...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Construction Update

The siding guy didn't come Saturday and Monday as promised. Apparently there was an injury/accident at the Sparta site and he wanted his guys to finish that job before OSHA came on-site... Can't say I blame him; I've had to fill out OSHA paperwork before. A real pain in the behind...

But he did send them on Tuesday and the house is almost done! Here are a couple of pictures... After you enjoy them, scroll on down to see the latest our saga...



SO, congratulations to DSD - she is now a fully tenured teacher!!! We went out to Chipotle to celebrate last night.

We drove up to the lake after work to look at the house. I took some pictures. We left. We got home and DH realized he'd left his wallet and his paycheck at the lake. Needless to say, he's a guy, so he was all bent about it. God forbid I drive him around for the next three days!!! He had every intention of turning around and driving back up there alone, blowing off dinner with his daughter, to get his darn wallet. I suggested he wait until after we ate and I could drive up with him; I really didn't want him driving up alone. I could see he was tired and I was afraid, quite frankly, he'd drive off the road! I thought if we drove up together, we could split the driving. To say nothing of the fact that HIS LICENSE IS IN HIS WALLET.

After much whining and muttering under his breath, he agreed. We had a lovely dinner with M to celebrate her tenure. She and I had a great talk about the Boyfriend. He's a bit clingier than she'd like so I suggested to her she simply explain to him that she needs some space. M gives a lot, to everyone, without expecting anything in return. (Just like her dad.) That can be tiring. She just spent an entire weekend watching Ally, the handicapped girl she babysits for once in a while. Ally had several siezures, really bad ones, ones that scared M. And she's used to them. Ally also threw a couple tantrums. It was a really rough weekend for M and the man wanted to be with her. All the time. Just sitting around watching TV, just being with her.

Now, to the untrained eye, this might seem nice. A boyfriend who actually doesn't mind just sitting around, relaxing. Ah, but, no. M needs her own space, her own time, to recharge. And that's okay. She's got her own routine, her own habits, and no one really should get in her way... And I don't mean that in a bad way. But sometimes you just want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over your head, and sleep. Especially after you didn't sleep all weekend! And school was starting the next day! M seems to feel that he might not be able to understand her, but I told her to give him the benefit of the doubt and explain herself to him. Try to make him understand it's not a reflection on him, that it's not that she doesn't want to be with him, it's just that sometimes she just wants to be by herself. That she needs that alone time. That quiet time.

They stopped by the house the other day. He talks. Again, I'm amazed to meet a boyfriend who can carry on a conversation with a parent. Granted, said parent is only 8 years older than the boyfriend, but it's still such a switch! I'm hoping she recognizes the good, tolerates the bad (if it's not too bad) and gives this one a chance.

IF he's not a loser in sheep's clothing...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have beautiful pictures of our fully-sided house! They started last week, and were supposed to finish over the holiday weekend (believe it or not!) but he cancelled on Saturday, something about an accident on another job site and he wanted his guys to finish there so they weren't involved in an OSHA investigation, if one occurred, 'cause they'd be gone...

The siding guy suggested we buy some ornate corbels to support the front door's overhang, but the time frame didn't work. Jack built these. They are sort of farmhouse-y. I like them!

Jack also had to remove all the ceilings from the first floor so that A the framer could put in some "bridges. " Basically they're x-shaped braces between the joists, at intervals of 8'. Because the joists are man-made, they need the extra support. At the end by the cantilevered 2 extra feet, he also had to put in some blocking. Blocking is an extra sheet of plywood nailed to the joists for extra support as they hang over the lower floor.

Friday, August 31, 2007

J gave me a ride in his new car last night. It's impossible. He can't be old enough to drive his Cioci around. It's just not fathomable.

DH is a happy, happy camper. When he got to the house yesterday, the sider had been there, checking out the job site. They will be siding my house on Friday, Saturday, and Monday - at no extra charge. When DH asked him how much extra it would cost to have it done over the weekend, Lance said, "How much more? Nothing more. I quoted you a price, that's your price."

Now THAT'S the way to build a business!

I had pizza with the neighbors last night. And a falafel ball. It was yummy.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend here in NJ - sunny and in the 80s. I plan on sitting outside to get some end-of-summer color (not too much, of course), relaxing and taking some pictures. Maybe I'll read my book on digital photography, a hobby I'd like to take up sometime soon...

Nothing more 'til next week - have a great holiday!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

He doesn't look like a driver, does he? BUT HE IS!!! My J passed his driving test this morning! Look out world, here he comes! (And look out, Broad Street!) He said he didn't ace it (something about a K-turn) but he did great at parallel parking, so YAY, J!!!

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! 17 years ago today I looked at you in the nursery at the hospital, and you stole my heart. There's a place in there that has your name on it, engraved permanently, forever, J. You're my first and only nephew. You're smart, handsome, thoughtful, funny. There's no one who will ever take your place in my heart or in my life. I love you, J.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One more day and I'm officially old. My "baby" nephew J turns 17 tomorrow. He goes for his driver's license tomorrow. The streets aren't safe any longer - tomorrow. (Just kidding! Actually I took him driving 2 or 3 times and he's pretty good.)

I had to dig through some old photos last night to find some pictures of some of our older windows during installation. Although I didn't find what I was looking for, I did find some pictures of J and A when they were small. One in particular moves me. He reminds me of my dad's dad, with the pronounced ears... [I tried to upload it but it's a pdf and Blogger will only take jpgs or tifs. Trust me, he was SO cute!] Both of them were so darned cute when they were little ones; they're still cute to look at, but these teen years... They're hurtin' me!

Looking through old pictures brought back some old memories... Like this one...
Top row from left: Phyllis, Mom, C, me; Bottom row from left: Jeff, A, J, Jack - Jeff and Phyllis were visiting from Colorado; we took them to the lake to show them our house. Had a little family party! So much fun being together! I miss Daddy's side of the family!


Real cute pictures of A and J in 2003, when they were 11 and 12, respectively. And Mom was 39 (again!).


This was DH in Alexandria, VA, sitting in "jail." I think this was their toilet; there was an access door outside to empty the pot!

Fun memories!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

There's a cricket in my living room...

According to DH. It began chirping at around 2:35am this morning, and he's been up ever since. It did quiet down a bit when he went and got the bug zapper noisemaker thingee from the bedroom, but for the most part, he's been up since the cricket found its way into the house.

It must be gone by Friday.

They are the most disgusting looking creatures - although roaches skeeve me out completely, they're not as gross to look at as crickets. I shudder at the thought.

There was one in our bathroom linen closet last spring. I opened the door and there he was, on the floor, just looking at me!

I screamed, jumped back, and yelled for DH to kill it.

I can kill bees, mosquitoes, ants, spiders, roaches, flied, beetles, all sorts of other insects (NOT praying mantises, though, or grasshoppers) - but I CANNOT KILL A CRICKET. I can't go near a cricket. I skeeve crickets.

UUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

And now onto a much more pleasant topic...

We went to our neighbor's Bar Mitzvah this past Saturday. We were there from 8:30am to 4:00pm. We sat through all the prayers and speeches, attended the buffet and the luncheon, and had a blast! We met so many nice people from S's family.

Apparently we're famous, too! Everyone has heard of K & J, and D and S both mentioned us in their speech about their son! What a lovely group of people!!! And poor C - he just couldn't figure out why DH was wearing a yamulka. We tried to explain it was out of respect for A's Bar Mitzvah and that we were in temple... He just didn't get it.

We were the only non-Jewish people there. It made us both feel very loved and very special.

Mazel Tov, A!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007


Potato park planned
Backpackers enjoying gap year travel in Croatia will soon be able to have an especially smashing time at a coming tourist attraction.Officials in the town of Belica have chosen to dedicate a new park to the potato, which mashed competition from proposals for monuments to the two World Wars and the War of Independence.Local mayor Zvonimir Taradi has already erected a potato monument in preparation, which towers over nearby statues commemorating regional war heroes, reports Ananova.He explained the potato theme, which was nominated by the influential local farmers' union."Families in Belica have been living from potatoes for years and when it came to a choice of what to dedicate the new park to, it was an obvious selection," he said.The park is to include a potato-themed play area for children, potato plant flower beds and informative plaques explaining the diversity of the potato. (http://www.hostelbookers.com/info/news/18254770)
I always wanted to include an obscure reference to some thing that would sound so completely unbelievable but that I could include a link to that would prove I'm not crazy. This has hit the news media several times over the past few days... Read it and weep (tears of hysterical laughter!)
I have nothing else today, nothing that can top this.
I love to scrap. I have been attending some Scrapaholic group meetings the past few months and although I think the kits are rather expensive I've been learning some techniques that I can apply to my own scrapping.

Last night we went to a house in Mendham. The owner, B, is a member of our group. OMG! The house is HUGE! She mentioned that it had 4 bedrooms, which in itself could be average, depending on the size of the rooms.

Trust me when I say it's HUGE! You walk into a 2-story foyer, with a shiny marble floor and a sweeping curved staircase to the 2nd floor. The formal LR is on the left and the DR is on the right (that's where we sat to work on our projects). From the foyer you can walk straight back past a powder room on your right, to the kitchen, which you can also access from the DR via a short little hallway with a bar/counter/butler's pantry area. The kitchen has white cabinets, a huge island with a full, deep sink, and along the wall there's a bar sink in that counter. The family room is off the kitchen, as well as an eat-in area (I think - I didn't want to stare!).

I think next month's meeting is at her house, too - I'll stare then! WOW is all I have to say!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We met him.

Believe it or not, I like him the best out of all the boyfriends we've ever met. He's older, has a job, and ordered a Coke at dinner. No showing off that he'll have a beer 'cause he can. His voice is very quiet; I had to strain to hear him. He's composed, and he knows how to talk to people. What a switch! So far, I like him. We'll see how he treats DSD as time goes on.

I asked if her brother would like him. She hesitated and said she didn't know, then followed it up with "probably." Personally I don't think he will. I've come to the conclusion that J doesn't like anyone he doesn't feel superior to, and he won't be able to feel superior to this guy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm so glad I don't have to date anymore. Well, I'm so glad that the only person I have to date now is my husband. Although he can still surprise me once in a while, there's honestly little I don't know about him, if anything, by this time.

My DSD is dating a new guy. They're at the "It's been two months and I think I really like you" stage. Believe it or not he's the one who said that! DSD immediately responded, "Don't mention the F-U-T---R-E word or I'll have to stop seeing you!" She's not ready to commit to a relationship. She's kissed a lot of frogs in her day (3 in particular come to mind!). I'm glad that she doesn't want a ring already...

Not having met the guy yet, I'm just blowing smoke here, but I think part of her reluctance to commit is feeling that she might have to grow up now. She's 29. He's 37. She's never dated a guy older than her before. Her dates have never taken her to restaurants before, only bars. They've not opened car doors for her. They didn't bring flowers to her when they arrived for a date. She's not used to that.

Hopefully he's a nice guy and she can get used to it!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Don't know if I mentioned it but I bought a mini-digital camera to tide me over 'til my "real" one comes back from the repair shop...

Here are some photo updates of this past week's work...
Some of my soon-to-be-completed central heat/AC!
The plumbing for the tub.
Our new front door with a $4.86 curtain from Wal-Mart.
Our new front screen door - what a fiasco to get that installed. We have so many extra holes drilled in the door jamb, the door, the trim molding, etc. It should have been video-taped for America's Funniest Home Videos! Considering my DH is VERY handy and is helping put this addition together, you'd think he could install a screen door in his sleep. After all, it's far from the first one he's ever installed...

I guess I distract him too much. And my brain was on siesta all weekend - even with instructions in my hand, we messed this up as much as we possibly could! Thank goodness the mistakes aren't visible on the outside, and they're only noticeable if you know to look for them!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The duck died (see my 08/16/07 post).

The other three sat with her from when she was injured until after she passed away. I just called DH and he broke the news. The other three were quacking away on our property; they didn't leave her side until she left them.

I'm so sad.


Left work early yesterday to go to therapy.

Left therapy early yesterday to go get my hair cut and colored. Or colored and cut, as the case may be.

It looks cute in this picture, no so this morning.

My question of the day: Why is it, no matter how hard you try, you absolutely cannot get your hair to ever look as good the next day as it did when you left the salon the day before? It's just not fair! Sigh.

Ate dinner with E at Tinga, a fresh Mex restaurant on Bellevue Avenue in Montclair. Yum! I had a bar-sized Tinga burrito with grilled chicken. Bar-sized meant it was made with an 8" tortilla, rather than a 12" tortilla. It was so stuffed with rice and beans and chicken that all I can say is it's a good thing I didn't get the normal burrito! It was a lot of food! It came with a salad (some romaine and chopped fresh tomatoes with honey mustand dressing) and you get some chips and salsa to munch on while you're waiting for your food. Mmm, good! The salsa was very yummy - a little tangy, but not so hot you couldn't eat it...

Therapy went well yesterday. I told the therapist that my good left knee was hurting after Monday's session. He adapted the exercises to be more muscle building/strengthening than impact-oriented (read: no treadmill). I thought I liked the original therapist a lot, but I liked yesterday's better! He listened, and paid more attention to me than she did... I have a new one tonight; we'll see what happens...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm so sad.

At the lake there are four very tame ducks that we've been feeding for months now. They were bought as pets for some local kids last Easter, we found out, but they got too big and the kids let them free in the lake at Christmas-time. Christmas-time? In the cold?

They are so tame that they take bread from my hand, they float up to the docks and call me. Quack! Quack! Quack! And I answer them, "Quack! Quack! Quack!" I look and sound like an idiot but they're so pretty... Two of them are white, and two of them are a gorgeous brown. We just determined within the last month or so that there are two males and two females.

The white female has been missing for a few days now, since Monday. DH didn't see her since we fed them on Sunday. He took a walk around our neighbors' properties, looking for her, but until today, she was MIA.

He found her today, sitting out of the water on R's dock, with one leg so badly hurt that you can't tell if it's been hurt in a boat propellor or chomped on by a snapping turtle. We assume it's not the turtle 'cause of how it's dislocated; it's pulled out behind her, all cut and bloodied.

DH thinks she's going to die. The triplets (cousins to the ones who let them go free) put some bread near her so she had food to eat. DH said he picked her up and held her and petted her; she's immobile and lets you pet her now. He's afraid she's going to die soon.

This makes me sad. They are so tame that they float right up to the boats that are moored out in the lake, begging for food. Perhaps someone wasn't as careful as they should be and started their engine while they were too close... I'm sure it was an accident, whatever happened, but now I'm not happy.
Took Mom up to see the house. When you drive down the street and come around the bend, where you can see the neighbor's house - all of a sudden, our house is towering over hers! It's even higher than the other neighbor's house! I'll have to take a picture of it from this angle when I get my camera back from Best Buy...

Talked with G today - she didn't get the Special Ed job she applied for but she seems to be okay with it. M is apparently really p-o'd about it but G says it might be a blessing in disguise. The program is so messed up that 8-4/12 months a year might easily be 6-8/15 months a year! G is a workaholic, and this might kill her! M told DH that it's probably better for G to stay in the school system where she is 'cause she can retire in a couple of years; with this new job she'd probably work it for longer. The money was great, much better than what she's making now, but with $$ comes work...

We're going to try to get together for dinner next Monday or Tuesday. She apologized profusely for not calling and keeping in touch (her mom was in the hospital for a while; she's out and better now), but really wants to go out soon...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

So much of my writing recently has been construction-oriented that you'd almost think there was nothing else going on in my life. Wait a minute. Nothing else IS going on in my life! But I'm going to write about non-construction stuff today.

A sad story...

My sister's cat, George, died last week. When I called P to tell her how sorry I was and how much I loved her, she said something so poignant that I haven't been able to get it out of my head (and I'm paraphrasing): "I heard somewhere that although you might have lots of pets in your life, that there's always going to be one who's your soul mate, and George was mine."

I didn't know George well, but I loved him - he was (I think) a Russian Blue and he was absolutely gorgeous. His sister-of-the-heart, Camille (another of P's cats who died several years ago) had stunning markings; she was gorgeous. But George? I loved the way he looked. I'm not a cat person, but I could have truly enjoyed being owned by George. I don't know what it is I liked so much about him - I only "met" him a few times. There was something about him, though, something that I really liked. I feel so bad for P - it's not easy to lose someone you love, especially someone with whom you've spent almost every day of the past 15 years or more...

I asked P to send me a picture or two of George, or of George and Camille. I like what I can create on a scrapbook page, even though I'd never describe myself as artistic, and I offered to make a page for George that I could frame (or she could frame) for her wall.

He will be missed.

On to other topics...

I went to Best Buy yesterday to drop off my camera for repair. The little door that holds the batteries in broke when I dropped the camera. Yes, the damage was my fault. But I paid for an extended warranty and by God, I will try to get it fixed without having to pay for it! I picked up my nephew (he jumped at the chance to go to BB) and we went.

Now I didn't go in cold-turkey. I called first. I sat on hold for 2o minutes, only to hang up, sit on hold for another 10 minutes, then talk to someone not from the Repair Center, and finally got in touch with Customer Service. CS told me that it's okay if I don't have my receipt; I'm registered online so they can look me up with my phone number. She told me to come in and go to the camera department.

So in we went, right to the camera department. She sent me to Customer Service. There was one line, roped off and marked with a sign that read "Returns and Exchanges." There were two other registers marked "In Store Pick Up" and "Customer Service," and there were lines of people in front of each.

So I got on line in front of the Customer Service sign, behind two Spanish guys who had an HP printer in an unopened box. There was a woman talking to the clerk in front of them. CS finished with the woman, then the two men approached the girl. They spoke briefly, then the guys picked up their box and went their merry way.

AND THE WOMAN ON LINE IN THE "RETURNS AND EXCHANGES" LINE CUT IN FRONT OF ME.

Okay. That set me off, I admit. So I walked up behind this woman who made a return and waited my turn there so no one else from the Returns and Exchanges line could cut in front of me.

They sent me to stand on line at the Geek Squad counter, after pulling my extended warranty number up on the computer, asking me if I had any other Canon camera under warranty with them "'cause the numbers don't match." No. And I don't have any other camera under warrantly with them either, thank you very much.

So I stood on line. Four registers opened, people at each, with one guy standing at the counter with no one helping him. Some guy walked in carrying a PC and he proceeded to walk up to the counter in front of me. When the Geek finished helping the person in front of me, he started to wait on this guy instead of asking "Who's next?"

My head exploded.

I threw my hands in the air and started huffing and puffing. "Oh, were you next?"

Duh... Yes.

The guy with the PC apologized and nicely chatted with me while the Geek took his sweet time taking my info. I felt bad and apologized for overreacting, but I was on my 2nd or 3rd line and had been waiting... He was very nice and we talked for a few moments, while the Geek confirmed what, when, where, why and how...

So again, sorry, mister, for being such a bee-atch.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Photos, Part Deux!!
Looking upstairs from the dining-room-to-be, I will be picking out a chandelier to hang in the staircase, rather than just some wall sconces - I think it will look nice leaving that light on upstairs when we're out...
This is some of the piping Plumber J installed last week. It reminds me of that screensaver...
Here's the road leading to our house. It almost looks sort of funny without lumber and trucks filling the space...
Here are our newly installed French doors, between what is now the living room and what will be the dining room (our current bedroom).
The same doors, looking from the bedroom/dining room into the living room...
If you add a little Tyvek to the second floor, this is pretty much what the house looks like right now.
They had to extend the chimney and the two fireplace liners above the new second floor. We were really tempted to start the fire the other day (it was 51 degrees in the morning! After 97+ days, that felt really cold! BUT we didn't - I don't know if we have to get an inspection on the chimney...)
Here's a shot of our newly installed stairs - the lake is at your back, and at the top of the staircase there's a landing and you turn 180 degrees. When you enter the sitting room on the 2nd floor, you're facing the lake, with a view to die for! Also, you can see that 2"x4" supporting the landing - picture a wall alongside the stairs where it's started to get framed out, making a right angle to the 2"x4", then another right angle to the front of the house. The left window will remain visible, but there will be a door there to enter the lower staircase, to access the basement. Those stairs will go from front to back, into the basement, coming out facing the walk out door to the lake.
From the sitting room, this is one side of our double-sided-fireplace-to-be; the other side will be in our bedroom.
Here are our new sliding glass doors and windows in the living room, with all the grids finally installed!
Since I can't figure out how to add more than 5 pictures at a time (I don't think I can), I'm making two separate entries this morning, to catch you all up to date on the construction.