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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

BEA tomorrow...
I will be working the opening ceremonies at the balloon drop in the Crystal Palace at the Javits Center. My company is sponsoring the balloon drop and giving stuff away (can't tell you what since I'm surprising my sisters with one each! Watch your b'day package, P!). Then I have the rest of the day to wander around the show floor, looking for reps I haven't seen in four years. Then friend E and I are leaving early and going to lunch somewhere, then I'll go home and see DH before he leaves for the weekend.

Special Olympics State Finals - here he comes! And since he won't carry a cell phone and since G isn't attending, we will be basically incommunicado for the entire weekend. I think that will be the first time we've gone so long without speaking to each other. When I travel, we talk every morning and every dinnertime, then again before I go to sleep. I will miss him a lot.

The family picnic is this weekend. I will attend (007 that I am) to see what they did and how they did it, since next year is our turn to sponsor it! (Not that we had a choice, you understand, all the Xmas parties were taken before they even opened it up for volunteers - you N family members know exactly what I mean!)

I will also shop some this weekend, mostly for work clothes that fit, and I will also CLEAN MY HOUSE. It needs it desperately. I have scrapping stuff all over, and I want to get that organized and put in one place, and I have to dust and vacuum and put things away.

And maybe I will try to scrap a little - this is a big "if" since all my scrapping supplies are topsy-turvy. Perhaps post-housecleaning....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I shouldn't be surprised that there are honest people out there, people who's primary goal in life is NOT to screw someone else, but I am. Surprised, that it.

We met with one of the framers last night, one of the two we're considering. [And the one DH is going to go with, if he has his way with anything...] Now I know that it's totally coincidental that the framer, A, is Polish. But he is. And he's not a native to this country. And the way he does business is the way everyone should do business.

According to DH, the quality of his work is outstanding. DH saw it at a house in Passaic Park that A was building. He's not afraid to travel; he's done work in Seaside Heights, upper NY State, and will most likely be doing it in H, NJ, as well. He quoted us a price in April. We've made a few changes, minor ones for sure, but still there were changes. And a perfect opportunity for him to up the price a little bit, even a couple hundred dollars. He and his partner stood there in our dining room last night and didn't raise their price, even though there were changes and adjustments to the plans. They could have taken advantage and said, "Yes, it's a small change, but instead of $8260, it's $8480." He could have made some dollars for his time stopping by the house and talking with us. But he didn't. He stood by his initial estimate. It's a small thing, but I'm amazed.

Mom came for dinner last night, in case we needed her Polish translating skills. We didn't. She liked him, too, for as much as we spoke with him. (This reminds me of the plumber we met with - I said he had "honest eyes.") These guys seem really honest and hard-working.

This other framer, the one highly recommended by our plumber J, just hasn't called me back. And we want to make a decision. I left him a message yesterday saying we were meeting with his competitor - still no return call. I guess he's a "no go." If he can't return a phone call, how can I really, deep down inside, believe he'll show up for work every day?? J said he did wonderful work and he was a stickler for perfection, but so far, I'm a bit disappointed...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Memorial Day (one day late)!

After a few days off, away from the computer, I'm back, baked and breathless to catch you up on the weekend...

First and foremost - we had weather. Good weather. Great weather! Weather that no one could complain about. Three days of it. Sun, warmth, more sun. I'm sunburned (not as badly as DH but good enough that I don't look like a beached whale) but not so burned that it will all begin peeling the night before the family wedding we have to attend in two weeks... Our mini weather station (a holiday gift for DH a couple of years ago) said "rain" all weekend, and we never got a drop! I've never been so happy for it to be wrong!

We took the rowboat out a few times. We really do need to buy ourselves a little motor. Even though I'm dieting and losing some weight, it's tough on DH to have to row us everywhere. (The motorboat will not go into the lake this year either; the dock isn't ready for it, and frankly, between the construction and the cost of gas these days...)

We had some surprise guests at the lake on Friday night. C, J and Mom came up. C was rather insistent that they come, even though the trip was two hours long instead of the 45 minutes it should take thanks to traffic and two horses loose on Route 80! J spent some quality man-to-man time with DH. They talked cars, of course, but J confessed to a D in chemistry. DH gave him the talk about how smart his family is, on both sides, that there's no excuse for him to be anything but an A student, that he should be in the top 25 of the school, with his brains... They talked about the need for J to get a job doing something, anything, and saving his money for a car. They talked about how C is under no obligation to buy him one, that the Honda was intended for him but that the decision to sell it was the right one. You sell it when it's saleable. You don't throw good money into it when you won't get it back when it's time to sell. I hope that it all sunk in, since it wasn't coming from his mom, his aunt or his grandmother... DH also mentioned that insurance companies aren't under any obligation to give him insurance and will justifiably say "no" if he, as a new 17 year old male drive buys a $5000 Porsche. DH put it to him this way: If they insure you and you have an accident that costs the insurance company $50000, was that a good business decision for them? No? Then you get it. You understand that they have to insure you for what they're willing to risk, and they have to charge you enough to be able to pay it out when (not if) they have to...

Some more news... At my WW meeting on Saturday morning, she said I gained .4 pounds. But I weighed in at .4 pounds LESS. I spent a few days a bit depressed 'cause I had been sticking to the program. Today I noticed my actual weigh-in number was lower than the week before. That means I lost weight, weigher-inner! So take that!!! (In case you hadn't noticed - not depressed any more!!!)

Had a BBQ last night with Mom and DH. We had corn on the cob, baked beans, homemade (by Mom) macaroni salad, sausage patties on potato rolls, potato salad (not homemade by me, but bought all by my lonesome at the local Shop Rite!), blueberry pie, two SR muffins (a banana nut muffin and a burstin' with blueberries muffin), and some Swiss Chocolate Almond coffee. Mmm, mmm, good!

I'm back in the office for a short week - today, tomorrow and Thursday here, Friday in NYC for BEA. We're sponsoring the big balloon drop at the opening of the convention, and I have to be there to distribute some company bags (bags are always a big take-home item at our shows) and then I can walk around, see people I haven't seen in years, then go home early and shop 'til I drop.

DH is away this weekend for the Special Olympics' state event and won't be home 'til Sunday afternoon. So on Sunday morning, I'll go to SR and buy something really good for dinner and when he comes home, I'll have it ready so he can go right to bed. This will be a weekend of No-Doze for him... And I'm going to be twenty times as worried as usual since he'll be driving himself home from Trenton after a long weekend without any sleep... G won't be there this year so she won't force him to "phone home" using her cell phone... I already want him home safe and sound...

On Saturday it's our family picnic. I'll be the only one attending. I'm just going to stop by to see all the aunts, say hi, see who showed up, take some notes for next year's event (that our family is sponsoring then!) and then I'll go on to my own weekend. If I can, E and I will be shopping; if not, what a GREAT weekend to clean up, throw some things out, and organize the rest!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Teachers gone wild!

We found out one of the teachers involved in the brouhaha was M's ex!!! But we know nothing else - DH is on a mission to get the details or G will be on his case!

We have a 12:30 dismissal today - 1/2 an hour earlier than DH, so E and I will walk over to the school. I offered to drive her to her car at the train station since the next train for her after 12:30 is at 2:30 and it's a local; she'd be getting home at 4pm-ish. That's NOT the time to get home when you have a 1/2 day!!!

We're off to the lake for the long weekend - I really need to come up with a name for the lakehouse... Other homes have cool names: Sunset Point, Cow Tongue Point, Air Castle Isles,... I want something a bit more exotic than "the lakehouse" but not so pretentious as to sound snooty... I'm taking suggestions...

I'll be sans computer 'til Tuesday, later in the morning. I'm volunteering at the school on Tuesday so that means a late arrival.

Eat lots of healthy BBQ (is there really such a thing?!?) and enjoy the holiday!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dinner took 4-1/2 hours last night!

We went to dinner with G & M. They're such wonderful people - I can't say enough about them! I met them through DH. He worked Special Olympics with G and he's on the Board with M. We went to Houlihan's - no big gourmet meal, no special local restaurant - in their infinite wisdom, the town held their Memorial Day parade last night. The town is only 1 mile square - there wasn't a place you could go that wasn't packed, so we left town. Besides, dinner wasn't important; the company was. We talked and laughed and laughed and talked. Then we drove them back to their house, and it was like a sign: there was a parking spot in front of their house! There's never a parking spot to be found when you need one! So we went in and sat and talked for a while. According to our sources (M's son), two politicians (or politicians' relatives) came to blows at the parade, actual fisticuffs! There you go - another reason to vote Democrat! Those are a couple of classy mayors...

We're trying to coordinate a mini vacation this summer, a long weekend away somewhere, anywhere, just the four of us. That will be a lot of fun!

DH took the permit applications up to the lake yesterday. They were filled out correctly. Yes! I was a bit nervous. And most importantly, they told DH 7 to 10 days!! Not 2 to 3 weeks! Even if the 7 to 10 days are business days, that's a week-and-a-half to two weeks! We might be able to get things rolling for the end of June/beginning of July, God (and framers) willing!

I had a good month at work, better than I expected, considering I kind of pushed for stocking orders from my customers in April, pre-end-of-fiscal-year. I'm at about $114K in net sales now, with more than a week's billing left. And I know of at least one invoice that will be around $12250, on top of my already $114K! And another $12250 to start June off with a bang! Thanks, SHRM!

We were invited to our neighbor's engagement party this Sunday night. Unfortunately we won't be able to go; we'll be at the lake. I have to think of something nice to get her/them. We haven't met him yet. She's divorced and only recently started dating again. She dated a few (several?!) frogs, then met T. And she said that she was expecting to find someone who was just nice to her and her kids, someone with a good heart. She also said she never expected to find someone better than her first (loser!) husband! Someone she really loves, who loves her back. I'm so happy for you, SL! (I must admit, though, I just don't get it. We live in a very Orthodox neighborhood - we're the token Catholics on our block! - so I've learned a lot about their traditions and culture and holidays. This wham-bam!-thank-you-ma'am! kind of courting is beyond me! They got engaged last Friday, the engagement party is this Sunday, and they'll be married by the end of the summer. I JUST DON'T GET IT. I admit it.

I didn't love DH within the first two or three months of dating. Yes, I liked him, I liked him a lot. But I didn't "know" him. I didn't know his history, what makes him tick, what he thinks about this-that-and-everything, how he'd react to whatever, how he felt about me, his politics, his religion, etc., etc. And that's the tip of the iceberg! Sure, you can be attracted to someone but YOU CANNOT KNOW THEM until you KNOW THEM.

And that's the bottom line. And no one will ever convince me I'm wrong. Ever. No way. Don't even try!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Permits - hopefully...

DH is going to town this afternoon to submit our permit applications for the addition on our house. We went through the paperwork last night and I think we have everything ready. He just has to double check with them on the square footage and the volume of the addition. Math - not our strong suit, that's for sure. I think we have it right, but just in case, I'd rather he check with them before filling it out; that's better than having the permits denied for incorrect information, doncha think?

My nephew is being inducted into the National Honor Society! Yay! I'm so proud of him! J - you rock!!! I think I want to try to come up with something special for him as a reward - maybe we can take him to a car show or something, and out to dinner, just us, just him... I'll think about it...

So we bought some bee-killer. We went to Mom's house and DH sprayed the entire can on the numerous hives we spotted near the front door. The can said to spray at sundown so they're sleeping and what is DH's first comment? "I don't see any bees." Duh! You're not supposed to and you don't want to! The idea is to spray 'em and kill 'em, not spot 'em, spray 'em, and run like h-ll 'cause you pissed 'em off!!! I may not be allergic to them, but I really don't want to get bitten!

I donated to the vampires yesterday. The technician was great! I mentioned to her that I don't have good veins. She put a tourniquet on my arm, tapped my inner arm a couple of times, and - voila! A little pin-prick and I was a test tube down! Hopefully they won't find anything wrong with me. The Mobic seems to be helping; my hips don't hurt as much when I sit at work for a while then get up to walk to the copier. I wonder if it's the meds, or I'm just growing out of it... I'm thinking it's the meds...

This weekend is a long weekend. We were invited to an engagement party for our neighbor. The party is Sunday night at her brother's house. We'll be away so we won't be able to go, but it was nice to be included. I think I'll make her a card this weekend. I wonder what I can give them for a present...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Smitten Kitchen - recommended to me by P. Love it! I quote her: "She's very funny to read, she loves good food as much as I do, but she writes about it so much better than I ever could." And the photos - mm mm, good! (Sorry, Campbell's!) They are so vibrant and bright - even if you don't like green beans, you'll want to dive right in!!! Even though I don't cook (well), I get Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, Simple and Delicious, and Everyday with Rachael Ray delivered to my doorstep - and I read them cover to cover - and I rip out recipe after recipe, fulling intending to try to make them someday soon...
I've had my 15 minutes of fame. I was on the Martha Stewart Living show on May 11, and last night I got to watch it. And while TV didn't add the 40 pounds I was expecting it to add to my not-so-thin-but-on-the-way-to-thinner body, I do have to pay more attention to the expressions on my face. I make some funny faces, that's for sure!

And - BIG NEWS! Our niece and nephew-in-law have bought a house! They're still in attorney review ('til tomorrow, I believe) but they have a tentative closing date for July 11 and they're really excited! It's a townhouse in Wayne, which is better for them since the maintenance of the property will not be J's responsibility. He's not the handiest tool in the shed right now. Of course you can learn and I'm sure he will, but for starters, it's good that they're looking for less work rather than more. Anyone can learn - my sister had to take her house on herself. She does what she can do, but when it's something beyond her capabilities (DH - working with electric, for example!), she farms it out just like she should. J would, in my humble opinion, try to do it himself, possibly mess it up, then have to pay more to fix and repair what could have just been done cheaper had they called someone first...

I had my x-ray done last night (BTW, why am I all of a sudden typing "ex" when starting to type x-ray? I've done it several times recently...) - 4 x-rays, to be precise. "The doctor will have the results in 2 or 3 days and will contact you then." Tonight I go to donate some blood for testing - to check for rheumatoid arthritis or some other joint problem. We'll see. I'm sure I'm healthy, but I'd rather be safe than sorry! And I want to get a jump on any potential osteo problems before I have to take medicine like my mom... If I have to take a calcium supplement or drink a bit more milk now, I'd rather do that... I started the Mobic (7.5mg) last night; I don't know if it's my imagination, but my hands seemed to ache a bit less this morning.

Tonight we're going to rescue mom from the Invasion of the Bees, and spray her front yard. She's been so patient, waiting for us to come and do it - thanks, Mom!

Monday, May 21, 2007

It was a nice weekend... it rained a little, but we got to sit on the dock on Sunday for an hour or two, just soaking up the sun...

Happy B'day (one day late!), SIL! You are the best!! Hope it's the best b'day ever!!! See you tonight!!!

I LOST 1.8 POUNDS THIS WEEK. WW really does work, when you follow the plan. I journaled, drank my water, and I think the walking finally caught up with me and, to quote another favorite blogger, "that glorious time of the month" has passed (sorry, T.M.I.). That 1.8 pound loss, though, no matter how I got it, has fired up all my cylinders! I'm eager again to stay on plan, to lose more, to exercise more, to try harder, to succeed at my weight loss plan. And I will do this. (With, most likely, a few more setbacks, but still...)

Mom has bees. Either wasps or yellowjackets or hornets - DH and I have to stop at HD and pick up some spray of some kind. Mom was going to purchase some yesterday at the SR and spray it herself, but I pointed out that she'd have to run like h-e-double-hockeysticks back around the front door... Could she? No. So it's back to being our job, most likely for tomorrow.

I went to the dr. on Friday. I'm going to get an x-ray of my knee today, pick up a prescription for some heavy-duty anti-inflammatory, and find out when I can have some blood work done to rule out rheumatoid arthritis, gout, etc. I guess then they'll check the osteo-stuff. When I wake up in the morning, my hands are sore, they just ache. They're not physically swollen, but the joints feel like they are. And when I sit for a 1/2 hour, blogging, or working (ha!), and I try to get up - whoa! My hips are so sore that it takes the distance of 2 cubicles for me to be upright and homo sapiens again. And let's not forget to mention the first of these special aches and pains - the clicking knee. If I walk a certain way, rotate a teeny bit, there's an audible click. Not real "pain," per se, but if I lean on my right knee in just the right spot, there's some point tenderness and if I hyperextend my right leg, there's significant tightness in my hamstring.

This is what comes from being 46 and on the slippery slope of the downhill side of "over the hill."

Friday, May 18, 2007

I can't wait to retire.

One of the first things I'll do is convert all of DH's bill paying to online status - I've already saved $15 on stamps!!! I just figured it out! God knows I can use that $15 elsewhere...

To pay for last night's scrapbooking purchases, perhaps? We had a SB Garage Sale at the Days Inn. I believe there were 7 people selling; I bought from 4 of them... I got a nice Creative Memories cropping bag from AM for $20 - I'll sell the two smaller ones I have that are not working for me. This one stands upright and is large enough for albums and paper. I like it! I also got a small trimmer and some adhesive from AM, some SU stamps from JP, some doodads from MB, and a stamp from DR.

I spent $55.50 - AND I got some FREE kids videos from SR. Despite my current almost-deep-and-abiding loathing for all things Lindsay Lohan, I used to like her when she was young and cute and relatively innocent. I got a copy of her version of Parent Trap!!! I could watch that - or the original with Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith - every day!

Actually there are several movies that fall into that I'll-never-get-sick-of-them-no-matter-how-many-times-I-watch-them-in-one-day category (in no particular order): Gone with the Wind, Dirty Dancing, While You Were Sleeping, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Parent Trap (either version), Pretty Woman, The Sound of Music, any Clint movie, Ghost, to name but a few...

I got a little off topic... When I retire, I also want to take cooking lessons, learn how to digitally scrapbook, travel, learn (again!) how to swim, keep a clean house (still haven't figured that out - I'm too much of a clutter person/packrat, and I have a high tolerance for "stuff"), and loads of other things...

What do you want to do when you retire? Or grow up, whichever is applicable... *wink, wink*

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Books - delivered to your house.
Left on the front step, just inside the screen door.
Books about scrapbooking - Ali Edwards' A Designer's Eye for Scrapbooking and Denise Pauley's Organization Tips for Scrapbookers. Of course, you could drop off books about almost anything and it would make me a happy camper...
I love books. I love to read. I would rather read than, well, do almost anything else.

Is there anything better than the book fairy just dropping them on your doorstep? It's like magic! All of a sudden I have new books to read, pictures to browse through, ideas to steal (copy!), and without an ounce of expended energy! No driving to the bookstore, searching for a parking space, waiting for a seat in the cafe (which involves stalking innocent readers until they feel guilty for taking up seats that could be providing this middle-aged-but-in-denial-about-it-woman with a place to rest her weary bones), standing on line for long minutes only to be served by a child who's 1/3 your age and has never read a book in his or her life...

Nope, I like it much better when the book fairy drops them off at the house... Hmmm... If it was December, I'd think it was Santa, but it's May... (If it's May, it must be the Book Fairy!)

We met with J the plumber last night (K's friend) and he had to estimate a price for the permit application: $3500. That's $300 cheaper than the other plumber, and DH says he's a fanatic about his work so it will be worth it. Obviously he'll give us a little bit of a break... so that was a financially sound move, deciding to go with him. Which is good - he found more work that has to be done or we won't pass inspection - for instance, your kitchen sink must be vented. Guess what. That "construction" guy who built it? Uh-uh, no vent. Oh, I forgot - he was a cheap construction guy... Ahhhh...

Tonight DH will call L the electrician (and one of our 2 best men). I know he'll help us out, too, with a price and I think DH should call his cousin A about the wiring for cable and phone... Just so we have everything we need done while the walls are open. I don't need the house wired for sound, but cable and computer and phone? Yes. For sure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I was reading on a favorite blog of mine that some readers seem to feel that the author's writings are 150% true. Okay. She addressed the fact that she's a writer, that this is her writing blog. Writers don't just write the truth. Sometimes she includes truth, stories from her life, and sometimes they're just writing exercises. If you've read her more than once, you can figure it out quite easily.

My blog is basically an online diary. What I write here happens or happened to me. Yes, I live a boring, quiet, tedious life. You're not going to read about serial killers and wild orgies. You're going to read about the trials and tribulations of adding a second level to our home. You're going to read stories about my college years (stories which are, well, boring, quiet and tedious, but might make for some almost fun reading now, 26+ years later!). You're going to read about things that are going on in my life, in my family's lives (names changed to protect the innocent and the embarrassed!). No lies, no tales, no writing exercises. The actual accounting of these mini episodes of not very much (an homage to Jerry Seinfeld) is my writing exercise. I would like to try to make them a little less boring than they were in real life, but without deceitful embellishment and lies. Let me know if I succeed.

My DSD gave me a little ornament-sized, hand-carved angel for Mother's Day, and mentioned that she thought I might like to keep it on my desk. (http://www.demdaco.com/detail.aspx?ID=10285 This is the one she gave me.) With my renewed determination to stick to my WW diet and exercise at least a bit more than I've been doing, the health and happiness angel is the one for me!

Last night DH had a Board Meeting to attend. (Update: They approved his After-School Program, but didn't hire any instructors or approve the budget. Go figure.) He met me at his sister's house, where we were both invited to dinner. (Thanks, DSIL!) It's our usual Monday night routine, with a twist. Usually we have dinner and go there for dessert, every Monday, without fail, unless derailed by illness or other plans. We watch Dancing with the Stars (well, it's on in the background and we usually wind up transfixed!) and talk. Talking is good. I heard some rather entertaining stories about some non-family members and ex-family members last night. Stories that would curl your hair if I repeated them here, but they are too unique - there would be no way to protect the guilty and I don't want to be responsible for putting these out in cyberspace for all to see and judge. Suffice it to say, there's a really good reason my SIL loves me and hates DH's ex!!! Aside from being a vindictive witch, she's malicious and mean, too.

Okay, I'll tell you the story... There was a girl, long ago, who had a crush on my DH (before he was my DH!) and he really didn't have anything to do with her. Years went by. Eventually he met and married his ex. The ex knew about the crush somehow, or just guessed; the girl was a friend of an in-law. The girl got engaged and then she was dumped. The ex sent a copy of her own wedding invitation to the girl, with a note scrawled on it: "The best girl won."

WHAT???!!! WHY on EARTH would you do ANYTHING so MEAN and ROTTEN???!!! 'Cause she's who she is. That's why. 'Nough said.

And that's a true story. Not part of my immediate life, but once or twice removed. But it does make good reading, I think...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mom's Day, one day late!!!

I spent Mom's Day at my SIL's. As always, I had a lovely time. To top it off, my own mom got to come, too, and I love it when she can come with me. Family is so very important to me; my first choice of anything to do would be to spend time with my family. My family includes my family, DH's family, our friends - anyone we care about and anyone who holds a special place in my heart. It doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't have to cost a lot. In fact, DH got me the most beautiful card - but you know what meant the most to me? When I opened it, before I even had a chance to read it, he told me that the "words were special," that he liked what the card said.

Words are important to me. I don't know what you mean, I know what you said. I can't tell you how many times I've said this to someone! Reading. Books. Words. Me. We go together.

To hear DH tell me that the words meant something to him, that they expressed what he wanted to say to me, what he thinks he can't express himself - that was my gift from him. The best gift in the world. He loves me. And I love him. And that rocks!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Martha and I, we're like this! (Picture thumb and forefinger, close together!)

Yesterday I called out sick and went to a taping of the Martha Stewart Show. The set was so cool. I could live on that set and be happy - she has a beautiful industrial kitchen, done all in stainless steel, behind closed glass doors and windows. She has a craft corner, all neat and organized and colorful and coordinated. I could be creative there! She has a fake greenhouse with all sorts of leafy green plants and some beautiful flower arrangements scattered throughout the studio... Yes, I could live there. Not a lot of privacy, I'll grant you, but nice? Yes siree, Bob!

The guest was supposed to be Lindsay Lohan, who unfortunately couldn't come to publicize her new movie, Georgia Rule (with Felicity Huffman and Jane Fonda). She'd been videotaped snorting a line of cocaine the night before, apparently; perhaps she was a bit busy with the authorities... She was supposed to come to the studio (today) to film her portion of Friday's show.

Which brings me to my 2nd television appearance of all time: Friday, on Martha's show, they'll be airing what we taped yesterday. And I was there, in the audience, clapping and cheering like a Stepford Wife! But I had fun, and that's what counts! I was there with my scrapping group, a great bunch of creative women - so creative that even my pride in my own creativeness (what little there is!) pales before their talent! We had fun. We brought our scrapbooks and got to sit with them opened to our favorite page(s) and the camera scanned past us several time. I was wearing a pink, 3/4 length sleeved, v-necked T-shirt with a sparkly pink pin at the V. Hopefully the 10 pounds the camera adds to Martha (she's much thinner in person than I expected!) will not look like 40 on an already plump me!!!

I went into school this morning to read to the little first graders. I love being hugged by cute little kids who are genuinely happy to see me come in 'cause it means that they get to spend time on the library rug, listening to me read them a book or two. We read two books about Mother's Day, and did a couple of projects - a decorated frame and a Mother's Day coupon promising something nice for Mom. My favorite was from little Michael N - "I promise to never behave!"

What a week at work this is - Monday, work, left 3:30 w/ a ride from Eva; Tuesday, "sick"/Martha; Wednesday, work, leaving 3:30 w/ a ride from Eva; Thursday, out of office, visiting USDC with Estelle; Friday, work (leaving on the 4:17 train at the latest - hair color appointment at 5:45!). This job is going to make me gray! (Oh, wait - you'd never know 'cause I'm getting my roots done Friday!)

I have to say, I'm so happy I have no gray hairs yet. I'm 46 years old. Officially middle-aged, according to Star magazine, who mentioned "middle-aged" actresses Kirstie Alley (56) and Valerie Bertinelli (46) and their Jenny Craig affiliations in a recent article...

I don't feel middle-aged. Except for a bum knee (Oh! I have to call the doctor and make an appointment to have my knee x-rayed!) and a few minor aches and pains, I feel exactly the same as I did 20 years ago, or more! Granted, I have a lot more self-confidence, and I think, except for a few extra pounds, I've done nothing but improve with age. You know when it hits me? When I have to figure out how old my "little" sisters are: 41 going on 42 and 40 going on 41. WOW! THAT'S utterly unbelievable to me! They're my baby sisters! They can't possibly be in their 40s!!! That makes me... hmmm... NO EFFIN' WAY!!!

'nough said...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Saturday was National Scrapbooking Day. I sb'd for 6 straight hours (I couldn't stay for the whole crop) and on Sunday, I couldn't figure out why the fingers on my right hand were so stiff and achy. Dummy! DH had to remind me I scrapped all day on Saturday!

The weather was beautiful outside - sunny and warm - the first real day of summer, even though it's only spring! I could have gotten a wonderful tan, had I not spent the day at my 3' of table space, under flourescent lights, with the a/c blasting! But I had a good time! And I accomplished some things - finished one partial page, finished two pages entirely, and started four other pages.

I'm still suffering from "I-packed-too-much-but-I-still-don't-have-everything-I-need" syndrome! This was better than last time, but I have a way to go to be efficient and prepared!

DH was coaching for Special Olympics on Saturday. He got home at 4:30-ish, much later then he or I thought he'd be home. He took the motorcycle to the lake (along with my helmet, which I forgot to load in the car in the morning). On Sunday, though, it was 43 degrees and neither of us was prepared clothes-wise for a ride in that weather, so I didn't get to ride with him. We went home early, I went to Shop-Rite and then took Mom to AC Moore. DH bought me a few embellishments as a present. (I must have been a good wife lately!)

When I got home, I baked eggplant, made dinner (sausage patties on the George Forman grill with corn on the cob), cut up my cantaloupe and my fresh pineapple. I have the strawberries and the blueberries left to wash and dry, then I'll be ready for my healthy snack week! I'm going to try to stay away from junk food this week entirely, and see how that affects my weight next week - healthy snacks all the time, instead of most of the time, without any fun snacks at all. We'll see if it makes a difference. And I'm going to do my best to get all my water in daily, too; I've been slacking off a bit.

We've been walking; I just have to get into the basement to start on my arms. Still haven't done that! But I will. Maybe even today, before we go to my SIL's house for dessert - um, no - for healthy snacks!!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Dealing with DH can be stressful. He doesn't know how to deal with stress himself, so he shuts down, stops talking, and pisses me off.

If things don't go the way he thinks they should, if things are temporarily out of his control, if he doesn't get the answer he wants - the little vein on the side of his head starts to throb and his voice gets really quiet and I get pissed.

Two nights ago his friend said something about the construction DH didn't want to hear. Even unnamed friend noticed and called last night to go out to get a snack. We went, and before snacks were served, he asked DH, "So. What happened to upset you last night?" Now we couldn't tell him that he said something DH didn't want to hear, so DH just started blabbing on about how "this one didn't" and "that one wouldn't" and "I thought" and "we should have" and on and on and on and on...

As he talked he calmed down and became more reasonable, he understood that it's not our fault, that things will work out in the long run and that you have to kiss a few frogs - wait, wrong metaphor. But you understand where I'm going with this. He got human again.

When he went to pay for our snacks, unnamed friend asked me what happened. Again, I couldn't tell him he was the one who upset DH, so I just vaguely mentioned he was annoyed by people not doing what he thought they should do when he thought they should do it... So when DH came back to the table, unnamed friend kind of directed the conversation back to what had happened and calmed DH down some more.

Thanks, unnamed friend!

This morning, en route to work, we were even able to discuss the construction situation calmly and rationally even though we were talking about how we didn't get what we thought we were going to get and how I was going to call the architect and, well, demand it anyway.

Keep your fingers crossed for me - I'm not that good at demanding...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

It was a bright sunny day. I left work early because in their infinite wisdom, the town requires I pick up my permit applications in person. So I picked up Mom and we left for the lake. I was in the Zoning Office for literally 5 minutes. 5 minutes!! That's how long it took for them to hand me 4 permit applications and mark each one of them up in exactly the same places to show me what I had to fill in and what the contractor had to complete. I am not stupid. I can read. If it says "Homeowner" I have to fill it out. If it says, "Contractor stamp/seal here," the contractor has to complete that part. Duh!

Then we went to QuickChek for lunch - I was starving. Then we went to Target, en route to the dentist. I bought another acrylic stamp set - doodle-style lower case alphabet. Then we went to Dr. M. Chris told me my teeth looked great - clean, very little build up - I'm doing a good job taking care of them. Yay!

I have a story from Sunday... When we got home from the lake, I picked up Mom and we went to Shop Rite. At one point, 3/4 through my shopping, I was near the bakery department. I was pushing my cart slowly behind an older gentleman (and I take that word back later on!!!). He was carrying his basket behind his back, perpendicular to his body. All of a sudden, without warning, he stopped! I tapped the basket. Literally. Not bumped, tapped. I didn't knock him over to the floor, or snap a bone or push him off balance. I directed my cart around him to the left and as I passed him, I looked him in the eye, smiled, and said, "I'm sorry!"

As I got in front of him, I hear him say, "What an idiot!"

I lost it. I turned around and confronted him. "I apologized. What more can I do?"

He said, "You're still an idiot."

So that was it. I replied with, "I'm not as idiotic and rude as you are, thank goodness! At least I didn't stop in the middle of the aisle for no reason!" Then as I walked off, I was muttering under my breath about how some people are so rude...

There was no reason for that. Had I pushed past him without apologizing, and I spoke to him - I didn't just apologetically grimace or nod in his direction. I said the words out loud, to his face, meeting his eyes. "I'm so sorry." What part of an apology don't you get, old man? How rude!!! That literally set me off for the remainder of the afternoon!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I'm taking a 1/2 day off from work today to run some errands, not the least of which is picking up permits from the boro for building, plumbing, electric and propane.

Permits which they can't send via the USPS or fax to me. Permits I have to pick up in person. Permits which I can't fill out until I get the memorialization from the upcoming Board meeting (which means I'll have them way earlier than necessary to fill them out). Permits I can't pay for 'cause they don't know how much they will be ("somewhere between $46 and $2000, depending on the work you have done").

It just seems to me that this little batch of bureaucracy could run a bit smoother. Can you say "red tape"?

Mom is going for the ride with me. We have Dr. M. appointments this afternoon, at 5pm and 5:15pm. I just have a cleaning. They're finishing Mom's root canal (we hope!). When we're done, I'll call DH and see if he wants to go out to dinner, rather than cook something which won't be ready for who-knows-how-long 'cause he'll be getting in just as we're leaving the Dr's office. He did take soup out of the freezer last night and we put it in the microwave to defrost. And we left it there. Rats! Completely forgot to put it in the refrigerator!

We went for another 2+-mile walk last night. But this time, we went DOWN the Allwood Road hill, instead of up it! I was much less dead when we got home! We saw a couple of our neighbors going the other way (yes, they were heading uphill!). Tonight is arms in the basement - I've mentioned it too many times to try to get out of it... Double rats!!

Well, 'tis time to work...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I'm cropping this weekend. I'm going to try as hard as I can NOT to overpack, to bring what I need, and only what I need (with just a little bit extra 'cause Lord knows I can't go cold turkey from over-packing!). It's National Scrapbooking Day, and I'm lucky enough to be able to spend the day with my Morris County Scrapbooking MeetUp Group friends. The event runs from 9am through 10pm, but I'll be leaving around 4-ish. DH has a track and field event for Special Olympics so he'll be gone all day. What a nice co-inky-dink!

I am feeling the need for a haircut. I'm going to try to grow my hair into a longer style, perhaps something from slightly less than shoulder length to perhaps shoulder length. It means cuts and trims more often to urge my hair into a semblance of a style, rather than the "blah" that it is. I've been so bored with my hair for so long that I'm so looking forward to this! I hope that my new hairdresser (recommended by my friend E) can do the trick. She sure sounded like she understood when I went there last month... I will be calling today for a haircut, and I hope she can fit me in on Thursday night...

Tomorrow I will be taking a 1/2 day so that I can go up to the lake and pick up the permit applications we need to begin working on the house. I found out yesterday that
(a) they frown on faxing or mailing applications - they really prefer you to have to take a day off from work and go in person,
(b) the permits will cost somewhere between $46 and $2000, depending on the type of work we're doing (HEY, town! We're not putting in a road, for cryin' out loud!!!),
(c) I have to get a permit for building, electrical, plumbing, propane installation (which I absolutely insist on so I can have, at some time in my near future, a gas stove there - I can't even boil water on that electrical stovetop!), and
(d) we have to make a decision about a builder SOON.

We went on a 2.5 mile walk the other day, including going up the Allwood Road hill between Main Avenue and Passaic Avenue (while on my cell phone - this could have contributed to my early demise if the hill was much longer!). While walking we saw another contractor. We took the number. I did make the point that the longer we keep waiting for and getting estimates, the longer it will take to make a decision and the longer it will be before they can start construction. In the ideal world, I'd like to have the shell up and windowed and roofed and Tyvek'd by the end of August... Please, God...

The weather has begun to change. Yesterday it got to 80 degrees, but the wind rushing through the streets of town as I walked to the bus stop and to the school was incredible! It about took my head off! It was a warm wind, but the dust and pollen was blown into your eyes and ears, and every other exposed orifice! It was very uncomfortable, I must say. I had to stop a couple of times to let my eyes tear and clear the dust. And I hadn't taken my allergy medicine, so thank goodness it was more dust than pollen!

We took the motorcycle to my SIL's house last night. I felt a little silly on the way there, in the sun, wearing my light down jacket (it was, after all, April 30!) but on the way home, I was glad I had it zippered up to my chin! The wind was cool, not winter cold, but cool enough for me to appreciate the jacket. I hope DH is listening - we need gas in the motorcycle! We will run out on the next trip. I'm going on record.

Tonight is walk/exercise time. Yuk. But it must be done. I have literally one month to do something with my fat arms. Everyone says I can make a difference in a month, as long as I exercise. (I wonder how long recovery from liposuction takes... hmmm...)