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

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.