Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An update on things...

Okay, an update. First of all, we got a call back on the townhome I liked best.  (the one with the garage.)  The bank came back with a counter offer and we have accepted it.  Now we need to get the earnest money to them and get the financing taken care of and we have our Florida home.  Yay!

Second, I got a call from (wait for it...)  Delta Airlines for a flight attendant position.  Yes, first a few preliminary qualifying questions.  Mostly to see if I would follow FAA rules and regulations.  I passed those so I was offered a phone interview.  I may be offered an interview in Atlanta.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  The odds are still tough, of course.  There were a thousand positions and over a hundred thousand applicants. But hey, not everyone got a phone interview, and I got that much so at least I can say I got that far, right?  And that much of it was fun.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A mouse visit with an ulterior motive...

Okay, so last week we were in Orlando to visit the mouse, but we had an ulterior motive...  We were actually there to scout out a second home.  We saw several townhomes that we really liked and ended up putting offers on two of them.  They're both "short sales" which sounds like they'll be settled quickly but the opposite is actually true.  A short sale actually takes a lot longer than a regular sale.  Our realtor (a really great realtor, by the way.  If anyone needs a good realtor in the Orlando area, contact "In Touch Real Estate" and ask for D'Anne Kincannon or Mary Henderson) said she's never seen one settled in less than three months and they usually take a lot longer than that.

A short sale is one where the asking price is actually less than the bank is owed.  But the owners are about to be foreclosed on and they're desperate to sell and they're hoping the bank will allow them to sell the property at the lower price to enable them to have a sale and avoid the foreclosure.  Many times it's in the bank's best interest to accept the short sale because a foreclosure costs the bank money too, but if the short sale is too low, the bank won't accept it.  It takes a lot of negotiating, which is why it takes so long for a short sale to go through.  Anyway, we'll see what happens.

The first one is the one I hope we actually get.  It has three bedrooms.  One of them is downstairs as you come in the front door.  It's a decent size.  There is a full bath downstairs as well.  There's a dining area (pretty large), a living room area, and a decent sized kitchen.  There's a one-car attached garage.  There's also a small screened porch.  Upstairs has two bedrooms and two baths.  There's also a balcony that's accessible by both bedrooms and a laundry closet with a stacked washer and dryer.  The place is in good condition but will need some pretty thorough cleaning.  The location is good, about 15 minutes away from Disney, and at the opening of a small cul-de-sac that's gated and has a pool.  The view behind the house (from the screened porch and from the balcony on the second floor) is of a wooded area that probably won't be built on for a long time, if ever.

The other one is also very nice and I would be fine if we got that one, too.  It has four bedrooms with the master bedroom and master bath on the main floor (which Gary likes, since he's starting to not love stairs so much.)  The master bath has a jetted tub, which would be fun.  The living area is a little on the compact size, but not unlivable.  The kitchen is small, but nice and open to the rest of the living are so you don't feel closed in.  Upstairs has three more bedrooms with another full bath.  The real plus for this particular townhome is that the complex has a lot of amenities.  There are several playgrounds and four pools.  There's also a theater and they play movies a couple times a week.  And the security is excellent.  This location is 95% vacation homes and short term rentals, so they make sure that only people who are supposed to be there get through the gate.  It was very impressive.  Oh, and there's a fitness area as well.

There were also several houses we saw that were nice, but I feel like a house is more than I want right now.  For the next ten years we won't actually live there, we'll only be vacationing there and I will be there without Gary a lot of the time since I visit Mickey more often than he does.  I felt I would be a lot safer in a gated community than I would be in the houses.

Anyway, that's how we spent the week.  And between realtor visits we visited with Mickey, so we had a good time.  It was good to be in Florida again, with my sweetheart.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A bolt out of the blue...

I have applied for a job.  And of all the jobs I have applied for, this is the first one that I really, REALLY want.  Of course, I have no idea how many openings there are.  And I know that for every opening there are probably a thousand applicants.  But that's okay, even applying for it has been fun and imagining the possibilities has been a blast.  Want to know what I applied for?

I applied to be a flight attendant with Delta Airlines.  :)

As soon as I applied I texted Dad, and he called almost immediately.  I answered the phone with, "I figured that'd get a call out of you."  He was laughing with a really delighted laugh, which made me happy.  I didn't know at first if I would need to talk him into this or what.  Shoot, for that matter I didn't know if I would have to talk MYSELF into this kind of thing or not.  But Gary's been super supportive, which I appreciate more than I can express. Gary's always been supportive, it's one of the things that I love most about him.

Like I said before, I don't know if this will actually go anywhere because flight attendant jobs are not easy to get, but the more I think about it the more I really want to do this.  My last baby is in college, for Pete's sake. Michael and Melissa will be moving out soon.  What better time is there to take on a brand new kind of life?

If I am successful, there will be 8 weeks of training in Atlanta, GA, and I'm not sure when it would start but the sooner the better.  Room and board is provided, and I'll get a small salary in addition.  After that, I'd be assigned to one of Delta's hubs.  I'm not certain which it would be, but I assume that it would be one of the following:  Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis, or New York City (JFK).  (I would be hoping to be assigned to SLC, or course.)

Anyway, I'd have to stay in the area where I'd be assigned, so I'd have to have an apartment, most likely shared with other flight attendants.  These are called "crash pads."  Flight attendants work 3-4 days per week.  The rest of the time I could be at home.  Flying home would be on a space available basis, but as a flight attendant I would have the option of using an unoccupied jump seat if the passenger seats on the flight were full so it would be somewhat easier to get on a plane.

Anyway, in other news I just got back from a wonderful trip to Vacaville where I spent over a week with Mona.  She treated me to an early birthday gift, we went to see a production of "Wicked," which is the story of the Wizard of Oz told from the witch's point of view.  It was absolutely amazing and the music is memorable.  We also had a wonderful dinner afterwards and I tasted veal for the first time.  Delicious.  (For a couple of days of that week I house- and kitty- sat for Mona while she was on a business trip to the Reno area.)  I also cooked a couple of times and filled up Mona's freezer with some meals she can pop out when she's in the mood for some home cooking.  It was fun.  Mona has a great house and her back yard is a little slice of heaven.  I could stay back there for hours and watch the play of shadows across her little plants and statues.  So peaceful and comfortable.

Well, I suppose I should get this posted.  I probably should have some dinner since it's nearly 8:00.  Oh, and Mona and I saw both Inception and Toy Story 3.  :)  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Even the tomatoes know...

Even the TOMATOES know about hidden mickeys!

See that?  It's a hidden mickey in my very own garden!  I love it!  I saw it when I was watering the garden this morning.  Amazing.

On another note, I have now seen Toy Story 3 10 times.  I don't want to call it pathetic but I believe that some of you have used that exact term.  Oh well.  There's just something about that movie, and yes I cry every single time I see it.  And I plan to see it again tomorrow.  Milk duds, pop corn, and coke zero included.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The job hunt...

Okay, the job hunt goes on and on... Now how do I describe this?  On one hand, I feel kind of pampered and spoiled that I can stay home and look for a job, not necessarily snagging the first thing out of desperation.  I haven't had to resort to working at McDonald's or whatever. I apply for 5 jobs a week unless something looks REALLY tempting, then I'll go ahead and apply for that too.  (Five is the number of job contacts I need to make in order to qualify for unemployment.)  Once I make my five contacts, I pretty much don't worry about applying again until the next week.

On the other hand, It's now been nearly 9 months since I lost my job and I have had only two real nibbles job-wise.  The first nibble was a phone interview followed by an in-person interview that I thought went pretty well.  Unfortunately I got a "thanks but no thanks" letter about a week later.  The second nibble was this last week, an email requesting a phone interview, which led to some computer testing, which in turn led to an in-person interview (today.)  The interview went pretty well, I think, and if I do NOT get the job I am pretty sure it will be because I have some travel plans coming up for the remainder of the year (Carebear's baby, and the family vacation in November) that will make me a less-desirable candidate than whomever else they are considering.  Other than that I think my skills are what they're looking for.

So now I'm trying to figure out exactly how I feel about this.  I kind of want the job for a couple of reasons. First of all, the pay is okay.  It's not spectacular.  It's about what I was getting at United.  The problem with that is, airlines pay notoriously low because they can get away with that due to their benefits (mostly travel benefits.)  So here I'm going to be getting about the same thing, but for a company that isn't going to offer something spectacular like free flight.  (Yes, I still have that from United, but even so.)  But at least it's decent pay, not LESS than I was making before.  There are so many jobs out there offering in the $10 to $12 range for what seems like a whole shopping list of requirements.  Getting a job that pays about the same is almost a relief.  The second reason I kind of want the job is because I'm starting to feel like Gary is really, REALLY the only one who thinks my skill set is amazing.  If it were all he thought it was, wouldn't I have a job by NOW?  It's hard not to doubt your worth when no one has beat a path to your door and you've been available for 9 months.  The jobs I've applied for I have been very qualified for, and yet very little interest has been shown.

Okay, so why do I NOT want the job?  I was hoping for a part time job and this is definitely full time.  Also, it's further away than I wanted it to be, but it's not horribly far so that's workable I suppose.  Also, it offers only 2 weeks vacation and I was up to 4 weeks vacation with United.  It'll be hard to slide back to the beginning again, especially with my travel benefits.  Most of my traveling hinges on being pretty flexible since it's standby travel.  I've been pretty spoiled for the last 9 months, being able to look at a flight and not having to worry about not being back in Denver to get to work.  If a flight has looked full, I've been able to say, "Eh, I'll wait till the next day."  That will come to a screeching halt.  And I haven't traveled nearly as much as I would like to.  I planned to do it, I just didn't get around to it.

If I do get the job, I will miss being at home, keeping things clean and keeping all the laundry caught up all the time.  It's actually been nice to be on top of things again.  I think Gary will miss that too.

Well, no sense counting my chicks before they're hatched.  But I think if I am offered the job I will counter with an additional week of vacation.  I don't even care about whether or not it's a paid week, I just want to be able to have the time off if I need it.  We'll see.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I still need a girl's lawnmower...

I can finally start the lawnmower by myself, which makes me proud of myself, but even though Michael has discovered there is a way to keep it running even when you don't want the wheels to turn by letting the "dead man" thingie go about halfway, that only works for men or women with longer fingers than mine. That means that when I need to turn corners I still have to try to drag the lawnmower backwards a little bit so I don't miss great big hunks of lawn. This is not easy considering the lawnmower is already trying to go forward much faster than I am comfortable with. (And this is on the slowest speed.) In fact, this last time I mowed the lawn, the lawnmower was absolutely determined to get away from me and nearly escaped to the street on two occasions.

The Wizard has pronounced it painful to watch me mow the lawn. Well, he can call it painful if he wants to but judging by the twitching of his lips I would say he laughs in the face of pain.

I also got the flower bed all weeded, and my zinnias are beginning to bloom. That makes me happy. That plus I am about 1/3 of the way through with cleaning out my closet. I love de-junking the house. The Wizard hates it when I get into this kind of mood. :)

Monday, May 31, 2010


I got back a few days ago from a funeral. My brother, Gary, called several weeks ago to let us know that his wife (I don't know if they were actually married technically, but they've been together for 26 years so at the very least they were common-law husband and wife) had passed away. She was diagnosed in January with lung cancer that had already metastasized to her liver and bones, so they knew she was not long for this world.

I hadn't seen Vicki for many years, but my memories of her were that of a very kind, courteous woman who brought out the best in my brother and allowed him to let go of the more difficult parts of himself. He would be the first to admit that because of her he became the best he could be. He has said that he hadn't realized, until she was gone, how much they were connected soul to soul. When they were together they were always very kind and considerate to each other, and that always impressed me. You never saw one of them go into the kitchen to get something only for themselves, they always asked if the other wanted something as well. And of course that extended to anyone else who happened to be nearby as well. Anyway, it always struck me that they were thoughtful of one another's needs...

After a little considering, I decided to go to her memorial service, and of course Dad went with me. He is always so supportive and I appreciate that so much about him. I didn't know if my brother would really want me there, since we don't always see eye to eye on things. In fact, we often tend to take offense at the things we say to each other so I worried that maybe it wouldn't be a good thing to go, but I wanted to show my support and to be honest I wanted to bury the hatchet, if there was one to be buried.

I shouldn't have worried about it. Gary was grateful to see us. Dad and I stayed with Mona (thanks Mona!) in her new house in Vacaville. (more on that later, it's the first time I've been there and I want to talk about that.) We drove to Sacramento about an hour before the services were to start and when we arrived most of the people were waiting outside since the weather was nice. We got out of the car (a rented new beetle) and saw Gary right away. He was standing with my step sister, Barb (who I also hadn't seen in a very long time) and daughter Grace. As soon as I saw him we hugged and of course I cried and told him I loved him and that I was very sorry for his loss. He and Vicki were very much in love and I hated to see him hurting. I asked him if the two of us could just start over and forgive and forget any past offenses and he said yes we could.

After chatting for a few moments with Gary and also Barb, and being introduced to her daughter Grace, we headed into the church for the service. The service itself was short, and Barb's son Mack (we called him Mackie when he was a toddler) read scripture for part of the service. He looks a lot like his father, Mack, who we also got to talk to for a little while. After the service there were some refreshments served for those who attended.

Gary didn't want to keep the flowers from the service so Barb and her family and Dad, Mona, and I drove to the cemetery and left some of the flowers on my dad's grave. It's actually the first time I've been to his grave, he died when I was pregnant with Carolyn. I'll see if I can figure out how to post a couple of the pictures I took with my phone.

Anyway, later that day we had dinner with Mona, Grandma Marilyn (my dad's widow), her daughter Sherri, and Sherri's husband Ashley. It was nice to see them and get re-connected. Dad left to fly home early the next morning but I decided to stay a few extra days to visit with Mona. Her home is a wonderful place. There are three bedrooms, the master bedroom, a bedroom Mona has set up as a home office, and a guest room. There is a "great room" downstairs that consists of a really nice kitchen with upgraded appliances, a dining area, and the living area. There's a 2-car garage, and the best part is a backyard that's small but perfectly designed to be a retreat from the real world. My favorite part of the yard is a solar fountain that's a mermaid. Plus there are all kinds of tiny little succulents and perfect little plants and a few small statues... Everywhere you look you discover something else. It gave me a lot of ideas for a tiny yard in Florida. :)

Well, anyway, that's what I was up to for the last week. Now let's see if I can get the pictures posted. Oh,, look... I did it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Male Chauvinist pig Lawnmower

Okay, so I have become more interested in gardening since I have been home and that has led naturally to being more interested in the appearance of the front yard. I refuse to take on the back yard, I have my limits after all. So with all the rain we've had the front yard has managed to become all green and has those funny lumps of green grass that have grown more than the rest of the lawn (crab crass, I think) and it needs mowing. Since Dad is sick (some sort of flu bug or maybe food poisoning) I decided to mow the lawn myself. Actually, I have toyed with the idea for several days now, but to be honest I am a little scared of the lawn mower.

Lawn mowers are not friendly machines. For one thing, they're smelly. Also, they are noisy. And they don't turn on with a gentle turn of a key. No, you have to yank on a cord. And you can't use both hands to yank on it because you have to hold some bar down while you yank the cord so that the lawn mower will know you are not dead or something like that. Supposedly if you let go of this bar the lawn mower will assume you have died and it will stop. I don't know who dreamed up this "dead man" switch but I don't like it. Anyway, so here I am yanking on the cord and holding down this bar. I get "putt putt putt." I am yanking with all my might and I get "putt putt putt." I open up the gas hole and it is not only empty it is DRY. I get the gas can and pour some inside. I yank the cord again and I get "putt putt putt." I try yanking it with my other hand (my first hand is getting tired) and since my non-tired hand is my LEFT hand, this time I get only "putt putt." So now I rope an innocent observer (my home teacher Colin) into holding down the bar so I can yank with both hands and I am rewarded with "putt putt putt putt." Oh goody.

Now I rope my innocent observer into trying to yank the cord. He gives a half-hearted yank and what does HE get? "ROAR!!!!" I am only a little annoyed that my lawnmower obviously knew a MALE had touched the cord and therefore decided to roar into life. I move the switch from the "N" (which I assume is neutral) into the "1" position (which I assume is the slowest) and the lawnmower takes off at what feels like 10 miles per hour. I am leaning backwards with all my strength as the lawnmower pulls me all over the lawn and I trot along after it, trying to guide it to the hairiest parts of the lawn. I am finally able to steer it around the outside of the lawn twice before my other home teacher shows up, Colin's father. Colin's father decides that Colin can read a short story to the Wizard and me from the porch (no one wanted to go into the house because no one wanted to catch the Wizard's flu bug) and then Colin could help me learn the other intricacies of the lawn mower (like, what's the difference between throttle and choke? Does the little picture of the turtle and the rabbit give me a clue?) while he finishes mowing the middle part of the lawn. Why is it that Colin is able to mow without throwing his entire weight backwards against the pull of that lawnmower? I mean, yes I think Colin out-weighs me a little bit, but as near as I can tell we were in the same gear...

Anyway, after a few moments he was done. I am claiming credit for mowing, however, because I mowed around the outside of the lawn and that was the hardest part. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Afterwards, it was getting dark and I had Dad show me how to work the weed whacker. I used it to edge as well as I could, but I wasn't very pleased with the result around the sidewalk. The weed whacker did okay around the rose bed, but it looks like part of our lawn has slid over the sidewalk and I think tomorrow I might get a steak knife or something and edge the sidewalk edge of the lawn. (The wizard says we have a special shovel for this, and I will try that first, but I think a steak knife will work better.)

Once this is done I have a flat of snap dragons to plant and a flat of something else too. I don't remember what they are called but they have pretty little blue flowers on them. Plus I have some flower seeds to scatter. I just want our front yard to have some pretty flowers. Oh, and I ordered a tool to help dig out some dandelions.

Dad's happy that I am getting excited about the yard's appearance. But like I said, I draw the line at doing the back yard. That's for someone else.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The let down...

Okay, so Elli was scheduled to return home this coming Monday, but today after school Bridget was checking her email on my netbook and I heard her say, "Oh, no..." I said, "What?" She said, "Elli's going home tomorrow."

Yep, less than a day's notice. The kids are all supposed to take their packed luggage with them to school tomorrow and they're all leaving at 2:30 to get to the airport by 3, for their flight which leaves at 6:00 p.m.

I know I got to keep her for several days longer than I was supposed to so I have no business feeling cheated, but that's exactly how I feel, cheated. Bridget had already made all these plans for a giant sleepover on Friday, and I'm sure there were other things that were going to happen too. And Elli has an American boyfriend now, too. Allen, a friend of Bridget's, who is a really nice guy. Of course they are both really hurting right now.

I've listed myself and checked in for a flight tomorrow so I can go to the gate and wait with Elli. One of the perks of working for the airline. Also, MJ is working tomorrow so she might be able to pop over to the gate and say goodbye.

I would definitely do this again if I had the chance. Elli has been a joy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Volcanos and German Exchange Students

Okay, so for the last three weeks we have had a German exchange student. When Bridget first asked if we could participate, I thought "Sure, why not..." We've had Japanese exchange students in the past and it's been fun so this was okay with me. And actually this has been easier because I've been a stay-at-home mom and I've been able to cook breakfast and make lunches for the the girls, plus I make dinners now so the brunt of it hasn't fallen on Gary at all.

Anyway, about three weeks ago we met Elli. She is quiet, but not necessarily shy. She observes us and then pretty much just steps right in and does what we do. Bridget has made sure that Elli has had a nice mix of activities so that her time here was a good blend of "regular teenager" stuff to do, like going to movies and going to the mall, typical tourist stuff like going to Cave of the Winds (and we saw some nice Anasazi ruins in Manitu Springs since we were close but we couldn't quite squeeze in Garden of the Gods), and she has left in plenty of just plain family time, too. Elli speaks English very well, much better than our Japanese exchange students did, so communication has been very easy. She speaks it well enough that she has been able to watch movies in English and enjoy them, which to me is a real test of knowing a language. She even laughs at the jokes, and I think humor would be one of the last things you would be able to get in a foreign language.

Anyway, Elli's three-week program was supposed to be over yesterday. Due to the volanic activity that has shut down air travel all over Europe, though, her stay has been extended for a little over a week. (Who knows if it'll be extended any further?) Anyway, we're glad to get to keep her for a little longer, she's really a sweet girl and the three weeks pretty much flew by.

I wonder if Bridget is going to want me to keep making lunches for her after Elli is gone home? I never did that before Elli came, I've only been doing breakfast.

In other news, I had a job interview (phone) for a part-time job and it must have gone reasonably well (I thought it had but what I mean is, the interviewer must have thought so too) because I have a 2nd interview a week from tomorrow. It's for a software company and they want a part-time office administrator to take care of basic administrative tasks that have been piling up. It's pretty much downtown and they're flexible with the hours, five days and 20 hours a week. I have to say I've got mixed feelings because I've gotten used to staying home and getting stuff done around here, but I'd rather be part time than full time so maybe this is the way to go. And anyway, there are probably a LOT of people who are wanting this so the odds of my getting it are probably about one in 50 or so.

Also, I have been having fun poking around with gardening. So far I have experimented with one of those topsy turvy things for strawberry plants. I also have one for tomato plants, but my tomato plants aren't big enough yet to put in there so that will have to wait a bit longer. I also have four pots to use for a couple more tomatoes, a few peppers, and some basil. And last time Michael and I were at Sam's Club, I saw a kit for a raised garden that was only $39 for 3.5 feet by 8 feet, so I got it and I'm hoping to get it put together this week and get it filled up with potting soil. Then I want to get some cucumbers and more tomatoes and other stuff in there. On my patio I have some trays that mount on the railing that have lettuce and spinach. Hopefully I won't kill them. I'm hoping to be able to go out and snip salad though the summer time. (The front was the only place we have that doesn't get too much sun, apparently lettuce and spinach don't like full sun.)

Also, I planted a new blackberry plant, pruned down all of the overgrown raspberry plants, and cleaned up all of the overgrown rosebushes and re-planted a couple of rosebushes where our old ones didn't make it. So far I have managed to not kill anything, we'll see how the rest of the summer goes.

Gary is out of town for the week. That means I get the whole bed to myself, but it means I have no one to chat with at night. I'd rather chat at night than have a whole bed to myself. I miss him already.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stupid decisions make for good stories...

Okay, so I was cleaning up the kitchen right before we were going to go to Costco today and I like to clean Aidan's sippy cup lids by hand because they don't get clean enough in the dishwasher. The spouts in particular get schmutz in them that can be kind of hard to get out.

After soaking the lids in some hot soapy water they usually clean up pretty easily with the dish brush, but one of the sippy cups must have been lying on its side with a trace of Aidan's favorite drink, chocky milk, in it. There was some particularly stubborn residue in the very tip of the drinking spout. I couldn't quite reach it with the dish brush so I broke out the bottle brush and couldn't get it with that either. I glanced up at the knife holder (magnetic) on the side of the cupboard and there was the perfect instrument to get out the last little bit of schmutz: a paring knife.

I took the paring knife and used the tip to scrape out the schmutz. I got it except for a tiny little speck of it right at the very corner of the spout so I decided to push harder with the knife to gouge out that stuck schmutz when WHOOSH! The blade of the knife (which I had no idea was that sharp) sliced RIGHT through the sippy cup lid and also through the tender flesh between my thumb and forefinger.

It's the kind of cut that opens every time you move your hand. Oh, and bleeds every time you move your hand, too. I hollered for Gary, twice, to come down to the kitchen and when he saw my hand he got sort of a cross between a "concerned for his wife" look and an "oh boy, now I can use my spiffy first aid kit" look as he trotted out to his car for his "3 by 3's." I thought to myself, "3 by 3's? I know what a 2 by 4 is, a hunk of wood. What is a 3 by 3?" Okay, I found out it is a piece of gauze. If he had said he wanted a piece of gauze I would have told him to get it from under the bathroom sink but then he wouldn't have had the joy of opening up his spiffy first aid kit.

Anyway, Michael took a look at it and tried applying some steri strips but due to the location of the cut he figured I would need a stitch or two because the cut kept opening up and doing that annoying bleeding thing, so off I went to the emergency room. But first I had to go upstairs and dry my hair because I had just washed it a short time ago and I was NOT going to the ER looking like white trash. Of course once I had blown it dry I needed to curl it. I managed to do my bangs but there again I found out that dang it, each time I used my hand it did that annoying bleeding thing again so I asked Carolyn to curl the rest of it so I didn't look like a witch doctor. I didn't take the time to put on makeup, though, Gary was having too much fun making fun of me for doing my hair before I left.

It took three hours for the poor overworked, understaffed ER folks to get me stitched up. I ended up with four stitches which have to stay in for 10-12 days (again, due to the location and how long it'll take to heal there.) Oh, and I was specifically told not to do dishes. To be honest, I was pretty peeved at the thought of not being able to keep my kitchen clean, and Bridget reminded me that she has the week off because of Spring break. She is such a sweetie.

Not exactly the way I wanted to spend my Saturday. And the very moment I felt that knife slice through my hand I realized cleaning the sippy cup lid with the paring knife was not one of my better ideas...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A weird experience...

Yesterday I had a weird experience.

About a month ago, when Samara turned 18, she had a birthday party and a bunch of her friends played "bigger or better." She described it in her blog, and if you remember the winning team came home with a mini fridge. (traded up from a fax machine, which was amazing. All started from a freakin' clothes pin!) Anyway, what a harmless game for a bunch of teen agers to play!

So she had another chance to play with a whole bunch of her friends last night. She told me about it a few weeks ago, no big deal, right? Well, yesterday the Wizard asks me out on a date and I thought Woo Hoo, I will even change my shirt and put on makeup because he is worth it. Anyway, we went to Outback, and promised Samara the leftovers. As we are waiting for our table, I had a strange feeling of foreboding come over me regarding this activity. Not the activity itself, I know it's harmless and there is nothing wrong with it. But I had a bad feeling about the night itself and that Samara should not go. I texted her to tell her that I felt funny about it, and she called me. Since she called me, I stepped out of the restaurant (too noisy to talk) and told her how I felt, and because she is who she is, she said that she would stay home.

I don't even know how to express how grateful I am for her attitude. She can't have been very happy about that. I mean, for all she knew it was just me being a worry wart, but I know it wasn't that. I tried dismissing the feeling I had as just a whim, but I couldn't. Dad stepped out of the restaurant a few moments after I did, and as soon as I hung up the phone I started to cry tears of relief. As soon as I explained to Dad what had happened his entire countenance changed. It's as if he knew just from my telling him what I had experienced, that I had done the right thing.

I have no idea what would have happened if Bridget had gone to her "bigger or better" activity with her friends. That's the thing about promptings. If you obey, you will probably never know what would have happened. But I would rather live with the curiosity than be plagued with regrets if I had NOT listened.

And thank you, Bridget, for loving me enough to allow me the peace I needed last night. I love you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A few random things...

1. Those of you living in the Denver area need to go to Cafe Rio (located at 610 S. Colorado Blvd) to do your civic duty and make sure that place not only survives but THRIVES so that they will open up many more Cafe Rios in the area, and hopefully one further north so we don't have to drive so darn far to eat there. Seriously, the food is that good. They make their own tortillas there, and once you eat one you will never be satisfied with anyone else's tortillas again. Yummy.

2. If you have never heard anything by Jim Gaffigan (comic) you should listen to him. I watched a video with Sharon M. called "King Baby" and it was hilarious. The man can talk for fifteen minutes about bacon, and it's a scream. I thought of Michael and Jason the entire time. (You two are also hilarious.) Anyway, find something by him and watch him.

3. I actually slept last night WITHOUT a decongestant. And I breathed through my nose. I am so happy.

4. I am always amazed that the weather seems to know when February is over and all of a sudden we have days where the temperature gets up to 50 degrees. It seems to happen every year. We're supposed to get several more days like this for the rest of the week.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My dream

Okay, so I know you are all tired of hearing me say this, but I have the most wonderful husband in the world. For years now I have told him that when he retires I want to have a condo in Orlando and a condo in Salt Lake City so that we can live half the year in Florida (cold weather makes my feet and hands really hurt, due to the neuropathy) and the other half of the year in SLC so Dad can be happy doing all that genealogy. Then I realized that if we live in SLC we'd have to fly to Denver whenever we wanted to travel because SLC's airport is fairly small and is not a hub for United. Since United is MY airline, it makes sense to live in a city that is a hub, so I amended my dream so that we'd live half the year in Florida (the winter half, summers there are unbearable) and the other half of the year here in Denver, and then Dad can just fly to SLC whenever he was in the mood to do family history stuff.

Well, since the real estate market in Orlando is so depressed right now, Dad's thinking that it's a good time to be looking and perhaps getting some property there. It's not a good time to be selling, so we'll be keeping our home here for the time being (probably another ten years or so) but buying a place in Florida makes good sense since the prices are so low.

Dad's looked online and there are 3 bedroom/2 bathroom condos for as low as $12,000 (although there's probably a good reason they're that low) and it's not unreasonable to expect to get something decent for $25,000 or so. How cool is that?

Anyway, the fact that Dad is taking my dream seriously enough to actually pursue it means the world to me. Not every spouse would do the same. When I asked him something about that, why he would try to make my dream come true, he said, "Making you happy makes me happy." Who wouldn't fall head over heals in love with a man who says stuff like that? Makes me love him even more than I did before.

Anyway, I suppose that's enough corny stuff for now.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Woo Hoo!

One of my all-time favorite restaurants is Carrabba's. And one of my favorite things to eat there is the Sausage Lentil soup. I have searched all over the internet and found about 6 recipes for it, none are identical so I took bits and pieces of all six of them and created my OWN recipe out of the lot of them. And it tastes JUST like that soup, so now I don't have to wait till we go out for dinner, I can make it whenever I am craving it. Of course, it makes a pan big enough to feed an army so we'll be eating it all week, but since it seems like everyone in the whole family likes it that shouldn't be too difficult. In case anyone is interested, I'll post it here. You may want to cut it in half to make a more reasonable sized pan full.


  • 4 Tbs. Olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 ½ cup grated carrot
  • 4 stalks chopped celery
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 lbs bulk Italian sausage, spicy hot
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 lbs lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 tbs. vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

Heat olive oil in large soup pot. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and sausage to the pot. Saute, stirring often, until sausage is cooked through. Break up sausage into small bits as it cooks. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Remove bay leaves. Puree slightly with stick blender. If no stick blender is available, remove 1/3 of soup and puree in blender and return to pot.

Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve with a thick slice of crusty bread.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Okay, first of all let me say that I am WAY too young to be retired. And it wasn't my choice, either. But other than that, there's a lot to be said for staying home.

First of all, I am re-discovering the joy of having a clean kitchen. And by clean kitchen I mean that we don't run out of clean silverware. And most of the time I don't let more than ONE sink get full of dishes. If both sinks have dishes in them, I am going nuts and I HAVE to get them done. I have NO qualms about running the dishwasher even if it's not all the way full. I simply don't care if I am using a soap biscuit and a little hot water without the dishwasher being completely packed. I want a clean kitchen. One day after I got home from a trip I was in the kitchen with Michael. I mentioned that the kitchen was trashed and I needed to get it cleaned up. He kind of rolled his eyes and threw his arms around me for a big hug. I said, "What was that for?" (Not that I was complaining, mind you.) He said something like, "While you were gone we would have killed to have the kitchen look this GOOD." It's NICE to be that appreciated.

Second, I am enjoying making meals for my family again. Not just dinners, though that's nice. I have compromised and have decided to cook 4 dinners a week. That way we can have leftovers a few times and folks can forage for themselves now and again (cheese and crackers, that sort of thing.) Plus a trip to Taco Bell on occasion never hurt anyone. But it's nice to have a good, home-cooked meal on occasion, and knowing that I made it myself means I'll like the way it tastes. And knowing that Gary will be sniffing the air appreciatively when he walks in the door after a long day makes me happy too. I have also enjoyed making the occasional breakfast for those who are around to eat it. Blueberry pancakes are a favorite and I know I'm bragging, but I make awesome blueberry pancakes.

Third, I have a "to do" list but I am in no hurry to complete it. I have a bunch of stuff on there that I've wanted to get done for years, and since it's taken years to pile up there's no rush to get it done. But there's a lot of satisfaction in getting the stuff crossed off the list. Some of it is tough to do, and some isn't. Some days I cross off one thing, some days I cross off two. Some days I add another item, and some days (most, actually) the list doesn't change at all but just stays on the fridge where I can look at it and decide if I'm going to work on it at all that day.

Fourth, I don't have to panic if I am visiting family out of town and I get sick and can't travel back to work. Last month I was visiting David and Sarah and then Carolyn and Erik and ended up with the flu. I had to stay for a lot longer than I had intended but I didn't have to worry about using up sick time or missing any work deadlines at all. It was so much easier.

Fifth, when it's cold, snowy, and nasty outside, I can look out the window and decide that there's nothing I need to do so badly that I need to venture out there to do.

Sixth, when a friend of mine wants to go to lunch, I can stop what I'm doing and go with her. Or if I want to go and kidnap Gary and go to lunch with him, I can do that too.

Seventh, there is NEVER more than a load of laundry or two to do at any given time. Usually it's a stretch to even do that much at once. It's been years since I've been able to say that.

Eighth, I think I am caught up on sleep. (Will a lighting bolt strike me down for thinking this?)

Ninth, and this is a biggie: I get to see Aidan and Asher SO much more.

Tenth, I get to do things with my family (taking a certain birthday girl to the Grizzly Rose) that I just wouldn't have had the energy to do if I were doing the 2 1/2 jobs I was doing before.

I guess to sum it up, I still don't like what happened to me. I don't like how the circumstances forced me to make the choices I did. I don't know if I will ever get to the point where I will consider some of those people "friends" again. But I am at least at a point where I am content. I still miss the paycheck, it was very tangible proof of my worth and I often need some sort of proof that I am worth something. Maybe at some point in the future I can find a happy medium.

Something new...

You may have noticed something new here, my blog is now "private." That's so I can post whatever I want and now maybe I'll actually update instead of waiting until I only have something to post that can be seen by anyone in the world. :)