Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Summary

I have been dragging my feet about posting our Christmas happenings...not because Christmas wasn't great...but because we did SO much and I was dreading writing a really long post. But, here I am, and I think instead of telling a VERY long story (in traditional Sally fashion), I'll just hit the highlights.

* Day before Christmas Eve - dinner with MIL and FIL as well as all siblings and their families -- we were VERY glad we got to go home to sleep in our own beds!

* Christmas Eve - we stayed away from the in-laws until after we went to our evening service at church (I really wanted to participate in the candlelight service at the church we've been attending, and ILs church doesn't do that), but we headed over there for homemade Mexican food (that the Colorado siblings brought) after church...and AGAIN, we were glad we weren't spending the night there

* DONUTS - this gets its OWN bullet -- MIL is FAMOUS for making HOMEMADE donuts...this is the first year in a while she's made them, and the first time I've tasted them. They are AMAZING! MIL and SIL set up a little assembly line where they fried and glazed the donuts (they had cut and raised them earlier in the day), and the rest of us just sat around drooling until the first pan was set on the table in front of us (there was no worry that you wouldn't get enough because they made 6 dozen, but none of them made it past Christmas afternoon!).

* At the ILs house, we end up spending most of our time in an area about 800 square feet -- that's 10 adults and 4 kids....and the kids NEVER put toys away so you have to stumble over toys and clothes and mattresses (because there aren't enough bedrooms for everyone)'s amazing that no one got hurt! *smile*

* Christmas Day - B and I got up about 8:30, drank hot chocolate with our leftover donuts, opened our stockings to each other (I got a Chi flat iron and yummy jammies and some DVDs that I wanted - not bad!!), then headed BACK to the ILs for presents with the siblings and kids.

* Assigned seats?? - for opening gifts?? Well, apparently that's so at the SIL (married to B's youngest brother. who I love dearly) just about DRAGGED me off the couch because I was in HER spot. What?? So, in this family, they have been sitting in EXACTLY the same spots to open gifts for YEARA...and MY spot is on the floor! Let's not forget to mention that I'm about 6 years older than aforementioned SIL (whom I love). I was ready to have a knock-down-drag-out, but B told me to forget it and get on the floor. We did manage to outrank my BIL and his fiance, since they aren't married yet...but they were on the floor right next to us! Whatever! I guess maybe it has something to do with the fact that this is the first Christmas we've actually been there for.

* Wrapping paper drama - So, the ILs open gifts a little differently than I'm used to. My family opens one per person at a time so we can all see what each other received...and while we do that, Mom makes a list so we can all remember in 2 weeks and so we can write thank you notes. Well, at the ILs, it's just a MAD dash to open all the gifts as fast as possible. FIL passes them all out and then people just start tearing into them - kids, adults, it doesn't matter, it's all the same. AND all the paper and boxes and tissue paper just gets thrown all around. I freaked out! At one point, I got up and started picking up paper from all over the place (This particular obsession is 2 fold - 1 is I can't stand things to be unorganized, and 2 is that at my 7th birthday party, I lost a favorite gift because it was thrown out in the wrapping paper).

* Mom and Dad arrive! B and I left the ILs mid-afternoon to go pick up my parents from the airport. Once we had claimed all their luggage, we headed home to give them a tour of the house, drive them past the house they bought down the street from us (that Mom has never seen) and walk around the neighborhood. Then I made dinner (meatloaf, potatoes, corn, green beans, and rolls), and we opened gifts (for the 3rd time that day!).

* Mom and Dad are staying until New Year's Day, so we've been shopping and eating out and seeing movies and doing all kinds of fun stuff. M&D are moving here in a year or so after they retire, so we have to show them the town!

Well, my theory that bullets would take the place of a long post was obviously wrong, but there ya go...that's our Christmas. AND, I'm still off work until January 2, so let the fun continue!

Thursday, December 21, 2006 works

Finally! I am getting pictures to upload to, here are some pictures from our trek to Kansas City a couple months ago. This photo was taken from our seats in the 4th row...look at all that red!

This is me getting a little silly...havin' fun!

And here we are with our friends that went to the game with us.

Now I can post all kinds of pictures...I love it!

Bear Left

Ok, this post was written AGES ago, but until I switched to beta blogger, I had all kinds of problems posting photos, so I didn't want to post this until I could include the pictures...We had a BLAST!!

I just stumbled on all the pictures we took on our family trip to Disneyland this summer. What a riot!

Dad’s birthday coincided with Father’s Day this year, and his only birthday wish was for the WHOLE family to take a trip together. He chose Disneyland and California Adventure.

So, my sis and her hubby flew out from Alabama. My bro and his wife came from Wisconsin. B and I were still in CA, so we drove down with Mom and Dad and we met my niece and nephew in L.A.

Do you have ANY idea what it’s like for 10 people to decide which ride to go to next?? The purpose of the trip was to spend time together, so we didn’t exactly want to split up, but it was tough to make decisions.

We started out the trip with dinner for Dad’s bday. My nephew, I, was the entertainment. He really likes ice cream!

We wandered around California Adventure (which, by the way, is WAY better than Disneyland if you’re over 3 years old). B won the kids a bunch of stuffed animals playing basketball (the term “won” is used loosely since each animal ended up costing about $5! But, he did make all those baskets!).

Sis and I HAD to take a picture in front of the “BEAR LEFT” sign…there’s a story behind that…in college, she came to visit me right after I moved away. We were following the directions of someone in the car who told me to “turn left”. Well, we were at a weird intersection where about 3 roads came together. So, I turned left…but that was the wrong thing. I should have taken the middle road, and I had taken the left road (hellooo, they said TURN left). After we got back on the right road, I informed the crew in my car that they should have told me to BEAR left…which sent them into uproarious laughter…I don’t see what’s so funny…Anyway, Sis and I had to relive the whole story by the sign.

We had a blast, and we fought, and we wore ourselves out, but it was a wonderful trip! I hope it starts a tradition…of course, we’ve already decided the next trip will be to somewhere relaxing!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you in blogland! Every year, my very creative hubby writes our family letter (family consists of hubby, me, and our 2 mini schnauzer "kids"). Friends and family alike chomp at the bit until our letter arrives in their mailbox. B has a way of making our antics throughout the year humorous and interesting...below is this year's installment...I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Land of Ah’s

If you’re looking to lose a little weight, try a quick trip to Ireland. In March we took a seven-day trip to attend a real Irish wedding. B promptly went on a hunger strike for the first 72 hours, refusing to partake in blood pudding and mutton. The Irish wedding (in a castle!) was cool and the links golf was cooler (50 degrees!) and the photo taken beside the only statue in the world of slick Willy Clinton was, well, odd. But not as odd as driving on the left side of the road all week. Watch out for those side mirrors, Sally! Watch out for knackers!

In June the "S" family reunion was at every child’s (and Papa Joe’s) favorite place – Disneyland. While at Disneyland we learned that you can fit 10 tired people in the cab of a Ford F-350. We also learned that Sally will NOT buy cheap ice cream and that B has not lost his basketball shooting skills. Sally finally put her buffet prejudice aside (“I will NOT eat at any buffet restaurants!”) and we had a great buffet family dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen. While at dinner Dan and Jana® educated us on the ‘greatest sport in the world – soccer!’ and on the evils of a mafia-run organization called Young Life.

In July our dreams of moving to Kansas came true – more on that later. But first, a final shopping trip to old Mexico. During our day-trip (we refuse to be in Tijuana after dark) we made many new friends (“Come into my shop, Gringo, I will rip you off less!”) ate some questionable food (“Yes, Gringo, this is real beef!”) and spent our hard-earned American dollars on hard-to-find items like leather belts, cheap jewelry and real Cuban cigars (“Just like Castro smokes, Gringo!”).

Ah, yes, the move to Wichita. Why Kansas? B has a top ten list of reasons why – just ask him. (No smog, quality golf, English-only -- to name a few.) Three days of driving was all it took. We are only slightly scarred from the hotel-on-the-wrong-side–of-the-tracks disaster in Gallup, N.M. Ask Sally about this. And we are only slightly upset about the road-under-construction-rocks-cracking-windshield experience in Amarillo. Ask B about this. And we are only slightly perturbed about the no-pets-allowed-in-this-hotel fiasco in Weatherford, OK. Ask Rerun and Lucy about this. Otherwise, a fine trip.

We cannot end this letter without a Chiefs update. Two weeks ago we visited Arrowhead Stadium to see the mighty Chiefs triumph over the hapless Raiders. That makes it seven victories in a row over the ‘Raider Nation’. Giddy-up. Now that’s a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

One more week!

One week til Christmas! I'm done with my shopping, all but a couple small gifts are wrapped, and I even did a little art project today. I painted some wood frame ornaments that I'll put our Christmas picture in and give away. I NEVER do things like that, but I got some creative urge or something.

I also attempted to make my first pot roast today - in my crock pot. It ended up tasting ok, but it looked kind of shriveled sure didn't look like my mom's!

I have to work all week, and I'm not looking forward to that! Not only do I have to work, but I can't just hang out at my desk and have a relaxing week - I got volunteered to help with an inventory. Our plant is shut down and most people will be on vacation, but since I'm pretty new to the company, I don't have any vacation to use, so I have to work -- and take inventory!! I was hoping for easy, short days...but that won't happen for the first half of the week...maybe by Thursday.

At least I'm off from Christmas until after New Year's...something to look forward to.

Fun in the sun!

Your Summer Ride is a Beetle Convertible

Fun, funky, and a little bit euro.
You love your summers to be full of style and sun!

Must be right, since my real life car is a Saab Convertible - which is also fun, funky and a little bit Euro! Now, if the weather would only allow me to put the top down and cruise around today!

Actually, the weather doesn't stop me - last Christmas Eve, my mom, cousin and I bundled up, put the top down and went cruisin' to look at all the Christmas lights! Oh what fun!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What flavor are you??

You Are A Blueberry Martini

You are a eclectic drink - liking to change drinks and venues often.
You are usually the first of your friends to find a cool new dive bar or cocktail.

You should never: Drink mystery drinks strangers hand you. Unless you want to wind up in foreign country.

Your ideal party: Is mobile, hopping from party to party.

Your drinking soulmates: Those with an Orange Martini personality.

Your drinking rivals: Those with a Chocolate Martini personality.

Ok, Angel, sounds like we should party together sometime!

A Different Christmas Poem

I got this poem via email from't forget about all our troops who won't get to spend Christmas with their loved ones.

I'm so proud of my hubby for serving in the USMC, and I'm proud of ALL our Armed Forces who are fighting for our freedom!

A Different Christmas Poem
Author Unknown

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,
"Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,"
Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Monday, December 11, 2006


Just a couple updates...

I talked to my mom last night, and she told me that my brother and his wife lost their baby. SIL went in for her 12 week appointment, and they couldn't find a heart beat. They say the baby just stopped developing. I haven't talked to bro and SIL, but I'm sure they're heartbroken. SIL really wants a baby, and she's a year older than me. Mom told me that she's known several people in the last year, in their 30's, who have miscarried around the 12th week. Now I'm scared...

On to better news...

I FOUND my Irish Friendship ring! I had lost it right after Thanksgiving, but while I was wrapping gifts last night, I found it in the bottom of a shopping bag! I have NO idea how it got there, but I'm so glad to have it back!

Our CA house is in escrow! We're supposed to close on it by Christmas...that is, if our buyers stop freaking out about the sidewalk in the front of the house that has settled a little bit. They're insisting that we pay for a soils engineer to come out and do a compaction test (we're talking BIG money for this test). C'mon people! It's not the house that's messed up, it's a SIDEWALK! I could sure use everyone's prayers that this deal goes through!

AND, I'm DONE with my Christmas shopping! Yes, it's December 11, and I'M DONE! Of course, I still have to wrap everything, and since I still have 14 days until Christmas, I will probably still continue to BUY things that I don't really need, but at least my list is complete!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Be Bold...

What things have you done? Feel free to try this one yourself. Just BOLD the items you've done before, and post it to your own blog, or email it to everyone you know... or...on my blog it's really hard to tell if it's bold or not, so I'm going to put an * before the items I've done...

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
* 03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
* 06. Held a tarantula
* 07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
* 08. Said “I love you” and meant it
* 09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
* 11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
* 13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
* 14. Seen the Northern Lights
* 15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
* 17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
* 19. Slept under the stars
* 20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
* 22. Watched a meteor shower
* 23. Gotten drunk on champagne
* 24. Given more than you can afford to charity
* 25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
* 26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
* 27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
* 30. Had a snowball fight
* 31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
* 34. Ridden a roller coaster
* 35. Hit a home run
* 36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
* 38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
* 40. Visited all 50 states - this is kinda bold -- i've been to 40!
* 41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
* 42. Had/Have amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
* 44. Watched whales
* 45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
* 47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
* 49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
* 51. Visited Ireland
* 52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
* 56. Alphabetized your cds
* 57. Pretended to be a superhero
* 58. Sung karaoke
* 59. Lounged around in bed all day
* 60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
* 62. Kissed in the rain
* 63. Played in the mud
* 64. Played in the rain
* 65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
* 68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
* 70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours
* 72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
* 74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
* 77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
* 81. Rafted the snake river
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
* 83. Gotten flowers for no reason
* 84. Performed on stage
* 85. Been to Las Vegas
* 86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
* 88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
* 90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
* 93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in a Rocky Horror Picture Show
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
* 98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
* 100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
* 101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge - OK, so I drove. Tough luck.
* 102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds.
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
* 109. Touched a stingray
* 110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
* 113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
* 116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
* 118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
* 122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
* 128. Had your picture in the newspaper
* 129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
* 132. Touched a cockroach
* 133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
* 134. Read “The Iliad”
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
* 138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
* 142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
* 146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Buddy Weekend

My annual Buddy Weekend is over for the year…it’s sad, really. I look forward to this weekend so much, and then it comes and is gone and over so quickly. I LOVE my buddies, and I had a great weekend, but it went by way too fast! And I felt like I was under such a time crunch the whole time…

I not only felt I was under a time crunch, I really was. In the course of about 66 hours (that’s how long I was in CA), I spent 20 hours sleeping, 6 hours driving, 3 hours getting my hair done, 3 hours eating 2 different meals with my family, 2 hours visiting with another friend, and the rest relaxing at Shaver Lake with the girls.

We chatted and read magazines and played cards and ate and opened gifts and ate and ate…oh, I already said that! We ALWAYS eat a TON of junk food!

This year we did something a little different. We participated in a friendship building activity. It sounds kind of dry when you say it that way, but it ended up to be really good for all of us. See, we’ve all been friends for years and years, some of us for almost our whole lives, but lately we’ve realized that we don’t know everyone very deeply. We have plenty to talk about when we get together, but it’s all kind of on the surface. Sure, a few of us have been closer than that at different times in our lives, but overall, we kind of glaze over the deep feelings and struggles we all have. We can’t exactly pinpoint why we have done that, other than it could stem from us becoming close while we were in high school. Y’know, back in those days when you don’t want anyone to know you’re scared or insecure or having problems…you just want to fit in and have fun.

But as we’ve gotten older, we’ve faced all kinds of trials that we need each other to help us get through – health issues, fertility issues, marital problems, family concerns – we’ve realized we’re not 18 anymore where the biggest concern was what to do on Friday night.

One analogy that came out of the weekend was that we are like a family -- the commitment that we’ve made to our group of “buddies” is like that of a family or a marriage. We may not always have time to get together or want to get together for these annual trips, but we’ve committed our hearts and friendships to each other, so we make it a priority.

I recently read a story in a book called Girl Time by Laura Jensen Walker. It describes my “buddies” perfectly…who knew there were more groups like us out there...

An excerpt from Girl Time by Laura Jensen Walker:

My pal Jan’s friend Mary Gail has been getting together with the same group of ten girlfriends for decades.

“Two of us met in kindergarten in 1949,” said Mary Gail, “and out of the ten, seven of us married high school sweethearts. We were all in each other’s weddings, and we have a lot of history together.”

The girls first met in high school in southern California, where once a month they’d rotate houses for a slumber party. After they got married, they all still got together once a month at someone’s house for lunch, and then, once the kids were born, they got together once a month in the park.

Eventually, however, the responsibilities of families, careers, moves, and other major life events interrupted the regular girlfriend get-togethers for a few seasons.

But about fifteen years ago, Sheila, one of the friends who had a house in Palm Springs, invited all the others over for a “girlfriend reunion.” The women had so much fun together that they pledged then and there to make it a yearly tradition. In time, the house became a condo in Palm Desert, and now every April the ten women meet there for a five-day getaway.

Mostly, the women lay by the pool and visit, but they’ll also read and play ‘50’s songs from high school and often get up and dance.

“We act the same as when we were in high school,” Mary Gail said with a laugh. “We relax and take turns fixing dinner. Most of the time we like to cook in, but we usually go out to dinner one night. We do a lot of talking. We’ve been through a lot over the years – divorces and things with our kids – and we’re all a wonderful support group for each other. We’re like the Ya-Ya Sisterhood – we’ve just really, really been there for one another. We’ve all made other friends along the way, but there’s just something real special we have together.”

That was evidenced last year when Mary Gail had heart surgery and Pam, her girlfriend since kindergarten, flew up to be with her and take care of her.

“She wouldn’t take no for an answer,” Mary Gail said.

The other friends have all done the same – in different ways – for each other at one time or another.

Nine of the women still live in California, but when Melinda, their Oregon friend, suddenly lost her fifty-six-year-old high school sweetheart husband to a heart attack a couple years ago, the girlfriends visited her in Oregon that year. “Our trip to see her was the most emotional yet,” Mary Gail said.

The ten are now talking about taking a short cruise together the year they turn sixty – which is right around the corner.

“We’re extremely close,” said Mary Gail. “And as we get older, we get more emotional about it, because some of us have health problems and we don’t know how much more time we’ll all have. We feel like we’re closer today that ever. When you get to be this age, you realize life is short.”

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Meme

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Wrapping paper, usually, but bags are SO much easier! I do not like wrapping gifts…too much pressure to have a cute package, and I have other things to spend my time on – is that scroogish?? Actually, it’s not the paper I have a problem with – it’s the ribbon!

2. Real tree or artificial?

Artificial now. I grew up with a real tree, and I LOVED going shopping for it with my mom (Dad hated it because we dragged him ALL over town looking for The Perfect Tree), but 3 years ago, Mom and I caved in and we both bought fake trees. I made a list of the pros and cons (yes, that’s the anal part of me coming out), and the only thing on the pro side was the smell of the tree – I hate the needles falling on the floor, I hate the cost of a real tree every year, I hate the critters that come out of the tree, and I hate having to dispose of the tree at the end of the season. So, I buy pine scented candles to burn while I put up my 9-foot fake tree with the lights already attached. Wonderful!

3. When do you put up the tree?

As soon as possible after Thanksgiving – either Friday or Saturday (Saturday this year)

4. When do you take the tree down?

As late as possible…usually at the end of January. The reason is two-fold – I hate to see the Christmas season end and my house go back to everyday, and it’s such a pain to pack everything back up.

5. Do you like eggnog?

NO WAY!! Not even a little bit!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

My dad refurbished a Schwinn bike for me one year. He stayed up all night finishing it. It was a white bike with a banana seat with flowers on it, and those big handlebars. It was my first 2 wheel bike, and I loved it!

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

Yes! And it’s one of my favorite things. I got it for Christmas from my mom last year. It’s a Willow Tree set, and it’s gorgeous (check out the picture)! I also have a smaller wood set that we got as a wedding gift from some of our favorite Texas people. AND, I have several nativity scene tree ornaments…after all, The Nativity is what Christmas is all about!

8. Hardest person to buy for?

Mom, Dad, hubby, sister, brother, in-laws…

9. Easiest person to buy for?

NO ONE is easy! The smaller stocking stuffers for my husband are pretty easy.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Email?? What’s up with that? Actually, we send a letter and a picture, I guess that could go into an email, but we always mail them…and I need to get started. Hubby always writes the letter and people look forward to it every year…maybe that sounds weird, but he has a way of writing a short funny letter about our year that people love!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

I can’t really think of one for me, but my Aunt got a horrendous gift about 17 years ago…her hubby (my uncle) got her what he thought was the rain coat she wanted…what it really was was a TENT of a rain slicker in this ugly green/brown color. She burst into tears while the rest of us rolled on the floor laughing! I will NEVER forget that Christmas.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" and "White Christmas"

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

As soon as I start to see things I think would be good for Christmas. This year I bought my first Christmas gift in August. We used to open Christmas gifts with B’s family on Thanksgiving since we never saw them on Christmas, so I had to be ready by then.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Oh yeah…why let it go to waste?? =)

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Homemade English Toffee!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

Clear lights. I used to be dead set against colored lights, but as I get older, I could probably be convinced to try colored – except that our lights are already on the tree and they’re clear.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

“Mary’s Boy Child” (check out the lyrics) and “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Santa Baby”

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Christmas Day we’ll go to the in-laws about 20 minutes away, then pick up my parents from the airport that afternoon. My bro and his preggers wife are coming down from WI, but I’m not sure when.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Actually, we have nothing right now…I need to find one, and I’m leaning towards star.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Christmas morning…but not because of Santa – I never believed in Santa…Mom and Dad worked hard to give us the gifts they did, and we’ll teach our kids the same thing.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?

Long lines and crowds

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?

Red and gold tones…sentimental family ornaments are the best!

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?

We stopped the traditional Christmas dinner thing several years ago. We usually have a nice brunch, and then snack all afternoon while we play games and check out our gifts. I love it! We probably won’t do that at my in-laws, and I’m disappointed about that…we’ll probably have the turkey thing going on.

25. Do you have Jesus in your heart this Christmas?

Absolutely! That’s what Christmas is all about…celebrating the birth of our Savior!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Still snowing...

It started snowing at's 2:30pm now, and it's still snowing...even harder now! The puppies were afraid to go out, so at 2, we went out with them - plus I wanted to play in it for a while...that's me above holding Rerun.

This is what the street in front of our house looks like.

Here's the back of our house...the snow in the backyard is about 4-5" deep already.

Here's Lucy looking down at me from the deck...she's covered in snow!! The pups had a blast running around and prancing through the snow...they didn't want to come back inside even though they were soaking wet and shivering!

It's snowing!

My post yesterday may have sounded like I hate the snow and winter weather. I actually don't...I just don't like having to go out in it, especially driving.'s snowing here, and I'm so excited!! I've only seen it snow in real life a handful of times, so this is kind of a treat for me. And it helps that I'm at home...yes, I wimped out and stayed home from work, and I'm so glad I did. I woke up with a scratchy throat and a little congestion, and I REALLY don't want to be sick for my girls weekend (which starts in less than 24 hours by the way). I have my laptop out, my coffee on the table next to me, and a perfect view of the blowing snow's great!

I'm hoping that it snows enough so that we can take our Christmas pictures the snow..but I don't want it to snow so much that it hinders my flight out tomorrow morning. I don't ask for much, do I?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I made it home...alive!

I am home safely, that's the important thing...and the roads were not as bad as I expected.

BUT, it was still NOT FUN. I walked out of the building at 3:30pm, with my BRAND NEW ice scraper that our receptionist was kind enough to run out and buy for me at lunch. I was wearing my new puffy down coat, so I was warm, and I started my car and proceeded to start scraping the thick layer on ice that was ALL OVER my car.

Ok, I've never scraped ICE off of a car...I've scraped frost back when I was in high school and didn't have a garage to park in, but this is NOTHING like frost. I finished half of the windshield and started on the passenger window, while I'm sliding all over the place because the parking lot was iced over...that's when my scraper BROKE!! See the picture above...actual ice scraper from Dollar General. At first I tried to use the broken end, but I couldn't get enough leverage, so then I wanted to cry...and running through my mind was why on earth did we move to a place where it snows and rains ice!!

I sucked it up and went back inside to bum another scraper...not only did I bum a scraper, but one of my co-workers helped me finish the job. So I climbed inside and started my journey home. Our receptionist had recommended I take the surface streets instead of the freeway I normally take because it goes over several bridges and here I am foraging my way home through the less than desirable part of town where all I can think about is that if someone hits me in this part of town, they won't have insurance...

The roads were fine...our parking lot was the worst that I saw...and I made it home fine. Of course, my soft top vehicle is now a hard top as it's frozen solid...and I'm not looking forward to the next time we get ice or snow...but at least I survived today!

Once I arrived home and told my sad story to B, I immediately put on my full-body, footed, soft and fuzzy jammies...yes, you know what I'm talking about...all of you moms out there put your toddlers in these every night, and I have an adult sized pair! They will be my staple throughout the winter.

Feels like 8 degrees

That's what says right now for Wichita. It's 26 degrees, but feels like 8.

And if I look out the window of our office, I see cars covered in ice, and the ground is shiny...and as the KS natives explained to this CA girl...that means there's ice on the ground!

I didn't own an ice scraper until our receptionist braved the weather at lunch and went out and bought me one. As I sit here typing this, I can hear the ice pellets (I'm told it's not hail...there's a difference, who knew??) hitting the sky light above my head...I'm FREAKING out about having to drive home in this...I don't know how to drive in ice and snow...have I said that before??

I will be leaving VERY early to try to avoid the traffic rush to get home...and I predict I will be sick tomorrow when it's snowing non-stop...I can check email and work from home just as easily as I can from the office!

Back to the 3rd grade, you go!

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Check this out! If bad grammar bothers you (it DRIVES me crazy), then check this out.

Now, I understand trying to shortcut when you're blogging or sending an IM or a text message, or just plain having a typo that you miss, but there is NO excuse for those people who have MAJOR grammar errors in a professional presentation or letter or email. C'mon!

Christmas is just around the corner!

Last night I FINALLY finished decorating my house for Christmas, and I have to admit that it was way more fun to decorate this house than the last house we had. I think I have more surfaces to set stuff on, so I didn't have to think as hard about where to put things...except my nativity set. I LOVE my nativity parents got it for me for Christmas last year, and I think it so beautiful, and it really portrays the TRUE meaning of Christmas wonderfully!

I was even able to display my Christmas dishes (which I have to admit RARELY get used, but they look so pretty). This house has a built in hutch kinda thing with glass shelves and glass doors, so my dishes are displayed proudly!

About 3 years ago, I gave in to B and got a fake tree...and I have to admit, I love it even more than real trees! The only thing I miss about a real tree is the smell, so I just buy candles now. Our tree is 9 feet tall and pre-lit with tons of gorgeous white lights...but I don't have enough ornaments to fill it up...Must.Go.Shopping!

There are 4 stockings hung on our mantle. We have no children. We have dogs, though, and they get their own stockings...don't they look cute? The stockings (actually, they're sacks) for B and I are custom made by my mom and I. B and I usually only give each other stockings for Christmas, so we had to made sure our stockings were big enough for all those gifts. I have my buddy Amy to thank for the's what her family has, too.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wacky Weather

I think my warm welcome to Kansas is about to be up.

There are winter storm warnings for our area from tonight through Thursday night.

Yesterday it didn't get over 50 degrees, but last night while we tried to sleep through the rain, hail, thunder, and lightening, it somehow warmed up to 60 degrees. Yes, it was 60 when I left for work this morning.

It's supposed to get up to 70 degrees today, and then all hell will break loose. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be in the 30's with freezing rain and thunderstorms...and it only gets worse from there. Thursday, the high will be in the 20's with SNOW.

I have NO CLUE how to drive in snow or ice or sleet or anything else like that. I don't even like driving in the rain! Hellooo! I grew up in the central valley of California...give me some fog, will ya? I can drive in that!

Besides the fact that I may have to call in sick Wednesday and Thursday (or else I may end up in the hospital anyway from sliding off the icy roads), I am supposed to board a plane and fly away to sunny California on Friday morning at 6am!

Please, God, clear up this weather by then...I REALLY want to make it to my Buddy Weekend on time and in one piece!

Monday, November 27, 2006

What a week!

It’s Monday, and it’s back to work…and that stinks! I don’t feel like I had a holiday at all.

I had a big list of things that I wanted to get done last week before Thanksgiving, and I think I did 3 of them. I came back from Michigan with a hurt back. I swear it was the bed in the hotel (it was a Hilton, mind you) that jacked me up. Anyway, the middle of my back was killing me, and I couldn’t stand up for more than 10 minutes before I was in terrible pain and had to lay down flat on my back. Luckily, we had changed Turkey Day dinner to my MIL’s house, so I didn’t have to worry about getting the house ready for that.

I struggled through 3 days of work (all right, I’ll admit to it…it was really 2 ½ days because I left early on Wednesday), made my jello salad and bought the snacks for Thursday, and then it was Thanksgiving.

We had a great Thanksgiving Day at the ILs. We ate turkey and mashed potatoes and jello….and some people ate stuffing and sweet potatoes, but B and I NEVER touch that stuff – yuck! B’s brother and fiancé came from Colorado and it was fun to hang out with them. My other BIL was with his ILs, so it was kind of quiet…no kids. Thursday night we headed back to our house to watch the Chiefs beat the Broncos – much to the dismay of my BIL and fiancé…so sorry!

Oh, funny story about the bread for Thanksgiving dinner. Apparently, B and I were supposed to bring it, but I claim I was never told that…so we show up in Small Town, KS, on Turkey Day with NO bread. MIL asks if we have it and B and I just look at each other and then at her and say “No”…well, she thinks we’re playing some sort of joke on her, so she just laughs until she realizes we’re serious. The little grocery store they have in town is closed for the day, so we have to call my BIL who is still driving down from Colorado and ask him to find a grocery store somewhere. He ends up finding one so we had cheesy garlic Texas toast for Thanksgiving dinner…at B’s request. Disaster averted!

Friday we slept in while maniacs like my SIL got up at 4am to hit the stores. B had to go to work, so Kim (the fiancé) and my BIL and I took our time getting up and getting breakfast, and then we headed out to shop at a nice leisurely pace. We still got some great deals, but we didn’t have to wait in line for hours and hours. I even had time to start dragging out all of our Christmas decorations and the tree was up by dinner time! When B got home from work, we all went out to Italian food …and that’s where the good weekend ENDS…

Somewhere between the restaurant and home I lost my Irish Friendship ring that I got in Ireland this spring. It wasn’t very expensive, but I loved it, and it reminded me of our trip. Besides that, neither B nor I got ANY sleep on Friday night because he was sicker than a dog! He woke up at 1am with big time stomach pain…he spent most of the night moaning and groaning on the floor of our bedroom…until he puked at 5am…then he felt better for a few hours so we got a little sleep…until the next puking episode. Poor guy, he felt so terrible, and I couldn’t do anything for him. We thought at first it was food poisoning since it came on so quickly, but his mom and dad had just had the stomach bug so it looks like it was the flu. His bro ran to the store to get some remedies to help him, and Kim and I went out shopping again. By the time we got back, B was feeling hungry, so I went and got him some chicken noodle soup and saltines.

Saturday night we got a lot more sleep. We were in bed by 10pm and didn’t get up until 9am Sunday…and there was only one bout of moaning and groaning through the night. Sunday, B took his spot on the basement couch again with football on the big screen, while I went to the in-laws for lunch and to say goodbye to the Colorado gang. After that I attempted to do some Christmas shopping, but I got so frustrated with the way the roads around some of the stores are set up that I gave up and went home. There are a couple of strip malls in Wichita that front the freeway…and there are only a couple ways you can get to them. You can come in from behind them or you can drive up the frontage road – which only goes one way – in front of them. Either way, you’re never quite sure where you’ll pop out, and if you’re too far west of the place you want to go, you have to turn around and try it all over again. What the heck??

I actually was quite productive last night after I got home from the horrible shopping endeavor…I paid all the bills, cleaned up the kitchen, got some more Christmas stuff up, worked out, and put away the laundry…all so I could go to bed and wake up for work this morning…isn’t it the life?

I do have wonderful things to look forward to this week, though…Friday I leave for CA and my annual Buddy Weekend. I can’t wait! Now, I just have to make sure I don’t get the flu bug that B had…

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And the Chiefs send the Raiders home crying!

The game was awesome!! Our seats were awesome!! We had so much fun...we started out the day by dropping off M&R’s son at my SIL so she could watch him for the day. Then we stopped at the gas station to load up on snacks for the drive to KC. We saw several other groups who were on their way to the game – everyone was wearing red!

We decided to give our extra 2 tickets to my sis’s BIL and his oldest son, who live in KC. So, here we are wandering around a sea of red outside Arrowhead Stadium trying to find David and Caleb – who we have only met once about 2 ½ years ago. B called him while we were walking and told him to look for a guy on the phone wearing a red poncho and a red hard hat – yes, that’s what B was wearing. He painted a hard hat red and added Chiefs logos and the phrase “Raider Hater” to it. We found David and Caleb and gave them their tickets, and then we headed to our own seats.

Our seats were great – we were right on the 20 yard line, 4 rows up, right behind the Raiders bench. When the ball was right in front of us, it was awesome! But, I think overall, I would rather sit higher up…it was hard to see what was going on when the ball was at the opposite end of the field. And some of the fans where we sat were pretty foul. I mean, I’m a raider hater with the rest of them, but I don’t think it’s very cool to yell the “F” word at the players or flip them off as they come towards us. We didn’t see stuff like that at the club level!

It was so warm on Sunday! I didn’t need my coat or scarf or gloves or beanie hat…all I needed was a baseball hat and my sunglasses! I hadn’t brought a hat with a brim, so I ended up wearing the hard hat the whole game to shade my face.

The game was pretty slow for the first half, but the second half definitely kicked it up a bit…in fact, we only won the game in the last minute when we caught an interception that stopped the Raiders from scoring…and the crowd went wild!

After the game, we met up with B’s best buddy from high school and his wife and we all ate BBQ at our favorite place – Jack Stack. Of course, by this time we were exhausted and we still had to drive home, so after dinner we hit the road. We got home late – tired, a little hoarse, and ready to fall into bed!

Ok, I have some GREAT pictures from the game, but I can't get them attached...what's wrong with blogger??? How come sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't?? I'm going crazy here trying to figure out what's going on...until then, you'll have to imagine what I look like wearing a Fan Face mask and a hard hat!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

CORRECTIONS to my list

Apparently I should always proof read before I post...and I usually do, but that stinkin' list was so long that I just posted it...all that to say, there are a couple of corrections I need to make:

43. My dad is a genius...I couldn't live with OUT him...he helps us so much.

I really hope no one thought I meant I couldn't live WITH him.

100. I DID NOT wreck my friend's car in high was COLLEGE. I did not drive when I was a sophomore in high school, I was only 15!

20 yard line – 4th row!

That’s where I’ll be on Sunday. At Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, on the 20 yard line, in the 4th row! Tony Gonzalez will be LIFE SIZE!! I’m so excited!

Ok, let me catch you up… I’ve had tickets to the Chiefs v. Raiders game on Sunday since August. My former employees gave them to me, and B and I have been looking forward to the game for months! I love my gang for thinking of me and giving me such a great gift. Those tickets are in the upper section over the end zone…great seats…there are NO bad seats at Arrowhead…but…

This morning, the owner of the company where B works came to him and handed him 4 tickets to Sunday’s game and a parking permit (which is HUGE in itself). The tickets are in the 4th row on the 20 yard line – have I mentioned that yet????

This is so cool. Now we can take our friends M&R, and meet our friends from St. Louis who are also going to be there, AND we can take 2 more people!

I’m so excited I could scream! But I can’t scream because I’m sitting in the Detroit airport and people will freak out if I start screaming. I’m about to get on the plane and head home after a long and draining week…this is a GREAT end to it. B is in a GREAT mood now…he’ll pick me up at 5pm in KS, and a wonderful weekend will begin!

Oh yeah, and our quarterback, Trent Green, has been given medical clearance to play again – after a big nasty Bengels player knocked him out in Game 1…and they're saying that he will start on Sunday.

As soon as I get home, I’ve got to get out my red sweater and my red coat and my red hat and my red scarf and my red mittens. I’m ready!!

Go Chiefs!

Ok, I wrote this while I was sitting in the Detroit airport yesterday, but the stupid place doesn't have wireless, so I'm not posting it until right now...AND, in the meantime I've found out that Tony Gonzalez is injured and will not play tomorrow - it will be the first game he's missed in 7 years! C'mon Chiefs, don't let me down tomorrow!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

100 Things That you Never Wanted to Know

Ok, DramaMama, here's my list...a prize to you if you read it all the way will probably take me all night to complete...of course, you'll have to read it to find the similarities between you, me and Angel.

1. I was born in California, on an Air Force Base, in 1974.
2. I've never done one of these lists, and I have no idea where to start.
3. I'm an engineer, and I'm anal -- but that's where the stereotype for engineers ends with me.
4. I knew when I was 16 that I wanted to become an engineer -- my aunt encouraged me because she works with engineers, and she knew I loved math and science.
5. I'm not a dork (see #4), well, maybe a little, but I'm a lovable dork.
6. I was VERY shy in high school, until I got to know someone.
7. I'm COMPLETELY over being shy now -- college cured me.
8. I LOVE people -- love to meet new people, love to make fun of people I don't know, love to hang out with people.
9. I love Diet Dr. Pepper.
10. I love Diet Coke with cherry syrup in it.
11. I love iced tea with sweet-n-low...I treat myself w/ Sweet Tea from McAllister's sometimes. My glas has to be FILLED with ice before my tea is poured.
12. I love nonfat milk.
13. I can't stand regular soda anymore...too sweet!
14. I have no children...maybe someday soon?
15. I have 2 dogs (mini schnauzers) who are spoiled as though they were children.
16. Rerun and Lucy (the "kids") are 4 1/2 years old.
17. My hubby and I had Linus (also mini schnauzer) when we got married. He got hit by a car the night before Thanksgiving 5 years ago. He got out and we found him 10 minutes later...on the side of the road...we both were devastated.
18. I had a dog growing up (also mini schnauzer) named Schroeder. He lived to be 16 years old.
19. All my dogs have been named after Peanuts' characters...Rerun and Lucy are Linus' brother and sister in the comic strip, in case you didn't know.
20. I met my hubby at work...we were both working 2nd shift.
21. I thought he wasn't very nice when I first met him...I found out he's just quiet.
22. Hubby moved to Texas 3 days after he proposed.
23. We got married 3 months later, and I moved to TX with him.
24. He's my dream guy -- inside and out...tall, blond, blue eyes, tan, cute butt, strong arms...must stop now...he's not here.
25. We've been married 6 years last Saturday, Veteran's Day.
26. I love to travel.
27. My goal is to visit all 50 states in our country -- I've been to 40.
28. I've been to 6 other countries besides ours - Ireland, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Canada, and Mexico.
29. I went to Paris, France, and HATED it. The french are rude people.
30. Amsterdam is AWESOME - great food, great sights, and I didn't even go to the Red Light district.
31. I'm the oldest of 3 younger sis, one younger bro.
32. I've lived in 3 states - CA, TX (2 different times), and KS
33. I have 4 nieces, 2 nephews, and either a niece or nephew on the way, and I love them all so much!
34. I didn't care much about football until I met my hubby.
35. I'm a DIE HARD KC Chiefs fan now. I yell at the TV or at the field when we're at a game.
36. My first in-person NFL game was about 4 years ago...I've been to at least one KC game every year since.
37. I will watch my Chiefs play at Arrowhead on Sunday. Raiders are going down!
38. Hubby is patient and explains the rules of the game when I ask. I learn more and more every game I watch. And we watch every week!
39. My dad made me learn to drive a stick shift when I was starting to drive. I hated it then, but now I love to drive a stick.
40. I love cars. I've owned 3 hondas, a camaro, and now I have my Saab. Only one of them was an automatic...I'm back to a stick now. yay!
41. I'm nicer to people I don't love than to people I DO love...I'm working on that. I am a nice person, really I am.
42. I'm afraid for my parents to get old. I watched my dad deal with his parents when they got sick and died...I'm not ready for that.
43. My dad is a genius...I couldn't live without him...he helps us so much.
44. My mom is a great friend. I miss her very much since we left CA.
45. I have 10 girlfriends who have been my buddies for 15 life wouldn't be the same without them.
46. I love email...real email...not spam...why does spam have to exist??
47. I became a scrapbooker about 3 years ago, and I've spent a ton of money on it since.
48. I've made scrapbooks for my oldest niece and nephew, from vacations w/ hubby, of our dogs, of my sis's wedding, of my post-college trip, of the building of our on the list is our trip to Ireland last spring.
49. I love the beach and look at...I don't like to just lie on the beach or to swim in the ocean.
50. I went to college 15 minutes from the Pacific Ocean. It was gorgeous!
51. I can't believe I'm only halfway done!
52. I love to read.
53. A couple years ago I started reading mostly novels by Christian authors...there's some good (and clean) stuff out there.
54. I'm a virgo...and it's pretty right on.
55. I'm only 5'2", and I love to wear high heels so I'm
56. The boys in 6th grade called me Himalayas...because I was an early developer...I hated those boys.
57. I played the clarinet until my junior year in high school (I started in 4th grade).
58. I marched in the band in high school until we moved back to CA where it wasn't fun anymore.
59. I never once went to a school dance with a boy (see #6)
60. My first real boyfriend was a guy I met my first year in didn't last long.
61. My hubby is the first guy I really loved.
62. My hubby was a US Marine before I met him, and I'm very proud of him for serving our country.
63. Hubby is 5 years and 2 days older than me.
64. I LOVE car is red, my dining room is red...I wear red...I dye my hair red.
65. I color my and blond highlights...I've been coloring it since I got out of college.
66. I've worn glasses or contacts since I was 16 and realized I couldn't see the chalkboard in calculus. I got contacts after I graduated college and could afford it.
67. I drank way too much in college...I'm thankful to God that he let me survive it!
68. I only keep in touch with 2 friends from college...but about 20 from high school...mostly friends I met in church youth group.
69. I love old black and white movies and old musicals.
70. On Sunday mornings (before football starts and I'm getting ready for church) I watch whatever old movie is on TCM.
71. Audrey Hepburn is one of my favorite actresses...I also love Judy Garland.
72. I love mushrooms...grilled, sauteed, stuffed...but hubby hates them!
73. I collect shot glasses...I have them from everywhere I've visited and from a lot of places friends and family have visited.
74. I have NO idea how many shot glasses I have, but it fills up 3 big display cases.
75. I hate moving, and I never want to do it again. It's too much work!
76. I like my house to be clean, but I don't like to do it myself...I have other things I'd rather do.
77. I'll clean when I have to, but it sucks! I want a housekeeper!
78. I love ethnic food (anything but fish).
79. I love to try new restaurants - especially Greek, Indian, Thai, Mexican.
80. I lean FAR to the right, and I CAN NOT understand the view on the other side.
81. I have a low tolerance for ignorance and plain stupidity (this one goes with #80).
82. I don't understand why people who would make great parents have a hard time getting pregnant and terrible parents have a zillion kids.
83. I want twins, deparately! I pray for twins.
84. I love the new show Brothers and Sisters (I loved Ally McBeal also).
85. I also like the show 6 Degrees but I hear it's being cancelled...not cool.
86. I'm still addicted to Survivor and ER, although Survivor is getting very old.
87. I love to play board games...well, mostly card games...Canasta, Nertz, Cribbage, SkipBo...anything.
88. I've worked for 6 companies since I graduated from college 9 years ago.
89. I've only been promoted one time, but I worked really hard to earn it.
90. I can't picture myself staying home full time when I have kids...but I would love to work part time and stay home part time.
91. I usually stop for loose dogs and try to find their home.
92. I picked up a puppy I found on the street one time, and my friend adopted her (the vet thought she'd been hit by a car and that we rescued her).
93. I called animal control one time when I saw a mama duck trying to lead her ducklings across a busy one would come out and help her.
94. I'm afraid of cancer...but I truly believe God won't give me more than I can handle...not sure I could handle cancer.
95. When I was younger, I wanted to be an attorney - mom thinks it's because I liked to argue.
96. I was a great student...I think it was because I was afraid to do something wrong. I was always trying to please people.
97. I graduated high school with a 4.2 of 10 valedictorians in my class.
98. I broke my arm in 1st grade...jumping off of a bench.
99. I had to write with my left hand while my right arm was in a was terrible!
100. I flipped my best friend's (and roomie) car when we were sophomores in car had broken down the day before...yes, we're still friends.

Whew...I can't believe I did it. I'm exhausted now! But there you have it...100 things about me.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I'm in Michigan. My honey is in Kansas. He's far away. And he's sick. I feel helpless.

I called B this afternoon to ask him to pick up my new contacts from the optometrist while I'm out of town this week. He sounded terrible when he answered the phone! I thought he had gotten over this post-flu-shot sickness thing. He sounded pretty good on the phone on Monday night, but today was BAD!

He said his head was killing him. He didn't really sound coherent, and he was at work...trying to work. He had no drugs (advil) on him, and I doubt he's eaten much today. I don't know if the headache is from being sick or from being stressed about work (work is enough to do it!).

I talked to him a couple hours later and he sounded just as bad. He said he was getting ready to go home, but he didn't feel well enough to drive. Then I was really worried! He promised to rest in his car until he could drive home...I haven't heard from him since, I hope he is at home now, sleeping w/ the puppies on the couch in the basement.

He would kill me if he knew I called our friends M&R and his dad and asked them to call and check on him. B hates going to the doctor, and he always says, "the body has an amazing ability to heal itself," so he doesn't always recognize when going to the doctor is the best choice.

I wasn't trying to bring other people into our business...I just needed some help. I feel so bad that I'm not there to help him! Why do things like this always happen when you're far away? He never gets sick! Well, very rarely, anyway.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The World According to ME

I know what’s wrong with Kansas…it’s the typical mode of thinking that “we’ve always done it this way, so it HAS to be the right way”. They don’t know what it’s like to have choices between more than one cable company, or more than one utility company, or more than one lane to drive in…they also don’t realize that they’re being raked over the coals by every Tom, Dick and Harry that signs you up for new service anywhere…that’s why they are blissfully happy with the way they do things here.

I, on the other hand, having lived in the land of milk and honey, or at least the land of CHOICES, can see IMMEDIATELY what they need to do differently.

Does it make sense to anyone why I should pay $12 each and every month to my gas company to cover THEIR overhead?? If I use $2 of gas for the month or $200 of gas for the month, I pay $12 for overhead…what?? Last month, my gas usage was $16, and I paid $12 (that’s 75% of my total!) for OVERHEAD. Hellooo….what the heck is going on here??

Or how about the fact that there is only one cable company in town (die Cox Communcations!) and so they think it is perfectly acceptable to charge me $50 for installation AND make me buy my own cable modem AND charge me to come see why my cable doesn’t work right??

And I bet you think that your taxes pay for a public education, right? I mean, the illegals can send their kids to public schools, even…but NO, my friend sent her son to public kindergarten here in KS, and she got a bill for $100! What??

Who taught these people how to drive? They have NO idea what to do at a 4-way stop…they just sit there, and then they inch forward, but the guy across from them also inched forward, so they stop and wait and wait and wait some more until someone finally crawls through the intersection. Are you kidding me! The first one to the intersection goes first…if you get there at the same time, the person to the right goes first…c’mon, I learned this when I was 15! And don’t get me started on the fact that if you’re in the fast lane and someone behind you wants around you, YOU MOVE OVER, no matter how fast the guy behind you is going.

Oh yeah, one more thing…supposedly I’ve moved back to the land where people have family values and lean to the right…but that DOES NOT explain why we RE-elected a liberal, baby-killing, tax-hiking woman as governor of Kansas.

What is this world coming to? I think I need to create my OWN state, the state of CALIFORNIASISTER. In CASIS (for short), we will drive properly, we will not elect idiots into office, we will not charge ridiculous fees for utilities, and we will make sure we have competent hair stylists…oh yeah, and drive through coffee shops on every corner…and Sam’s Clubs that aren’t the size of a Taco Bell…and decent Mexican food…and no ice storms…and weathermen who DON’T cross their fingers for rain (what is wrong with him??). I think that’s enough to get us started…who’s moving to CASIS?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thai food and good weather to the rescue...

I'm feeling least better than I was feeling earlier today.

It is Kansas...and it's 80 degrees outside! I took full advantage of it...the top came off the Saab today! I cruised around town with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. I found a small anniversary gift for my honey, and then I went to the Thai place I found a few weeks ago. I ordered the yummiest spicy Thai plate and a Thai Iced Tea, and I read aboutall the latest Jessica Simpson news while I drowned my sorrows in red chili sauce. It was great!

I'm back at work now, and I think I can make it through the afternoon now.

I feel "sick" today

"Sick" is in quotes because I'm sick of work and sick of B being sick and sick of being unmotivated...and that's enough...I almost stayed home from work today, but I felt guilty and got my butt out of bed anyway, so here I am at work.

Right now I'm on a conference call...with the phone on mute...and I have NO idea what they're talking about. I'm going back to Michigan next week for Part 2 of my training, so we're supposed to be talking about our "homework" on this call, but we haven't really done ours yet, so I'm just trying to get turn is over now...whew!

B is SICK -- real sick! He had a flu shot last week, it's the first time he's EVER had a flu shot, and he's been sick ever since. The news said that it's just a myth that you get sick from the flu shot, but IT'S NOT A MYTH. B is VERY sick! He's been coughing and feverish and congested for 6 days -- ever since he had the shot. And he won't stay home from work and get better. I do not understand why he is being so PIG HEADED. Hello! If you're sick, stay home and get better - don't go to work and infect everyone else and drag out your sickness because you won't let your body fight it off! I WILL NOT be having a flu shot!

Oh, and to top it off, it's our 6th anniversary on Saturday, and I was hoping to be able to go out and celebrate before I leave town on Sunday, but we can't go out if B is still sick.

It's Hump there are still 2 more days for this week to redeem itself..c'mon!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Busy Day

Whew! What a day! Tomorrow is my Holiday Bazaar with my friend Monica. We now have 11 groups/companies represented for the event. My hubby with his cigars makes the 11th. I have NO idea how many people will show...I hope it's a lot though. Not too many so it's too crowded to shop, but a nice steady stream of chicks who want to spend money would be fine with me.

Anyway, Monica and I spent ALL day shopping for stuff for tomorrow. Well, we didn't spend all of our time shopping for tomorrow...that's why we were out for so long...we got distracted. We started off ok by going to Dollar Tree (the one in Wichita sucks! the one we had in CA was 4 times bigger), but then we headed over to SIL's new place. We piled into 2 cars (3 adults, 3 kids) and headed to lunch, then to the little shop where SIL works. She had called me a couple days ago to tell me about these really cute Christmas ornaments they had just gotten in -- they are Chick ornaments -- they have pictures of girls drinking coffee together, and girls at a cocktail party. The goal was to buy these ornaments ONLY, but Monica and walked out of there with a TON more stuff, luckily it was all either 50% or 75% off, so we didn't spend as much as we could have.

Next, we HAD to stop for ice cream...the day had turned into a beautiful fall afternoon - about 65 degrees! So, we lugged all three kids in for Cold this time it was after 3pm, and we really hadn't done much to prepare for tomorrow. We said goodbye to SIL and her girls, and then we headed on to do the rest of our errands. Monica's poor son was SO done with us by the time we finished and got home at 5:30pm. He had spent ALL day with a bunch of "chicas" as his dad would say. We got all of our stuff unloaded, I dropped off Monica and her son, and now I'm sitting on the couch relaxing as I watch OU play A&M...crazy day!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Chain Letter

Remember those chain letters from when we were growing up - where you were supposed to send letters to some person you didn't know, and the whole point was to see how many letters you would get? Then as we got older, the chain letters turned into something where you were supposed to send items to people - dish towels or recipes or something like that.

Did you ever actually do one of these? I never did...I guess you can always use dish towels, but I like to pick out my own. And I don't cook much, so I don't need more recipes.

But, I got a chain letter last week that got me all excited. It was a BOOK chain letter! You are supposed to send a book that you recently read to one person, and then you send the letter to 6 other people, and if they follow through, then you should get 36 books!

I love to read! And since the weather will probably have me hiding out this winter, what could be better than hot coffee, a warm fire, and a great book?

I tried to pick carefully when I chose who to send the letter to. I have a lot of friends, but not all of them are readers like I am. I hope I picked well....and I hope they pick well so that I get a bunch of cool books!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My kids will never...

Ok, so I don't have kids yet, but when I do, we will teach them how to behave, and if they don't behave there WILL be consequences.

My husband dressed up as a monster this year for Halloween...he does this EVERY Halloween. He sits on the porch and acts like a dummy and as the kids are walking away, he moves and scares them. He's very sensitive to the kids' ages...if it's a small child, he just moves his hand, if it's an older child, he moves faster...and if it's some 10 year old hoodlum who kicks him in the face, he lunges and chases him off the porch...with ME right behind him.

Yes, that happened twice tonight. First a junior high age girl kicked him in the ribs...he jumped at the whole pack of them forcing them to run right for the corner of my porch...all of us watching from inside rolled on the floor laughing. We hadn't seen the rib jab. Later in the night, a punk 10 year old walked right up to him and kicked him in the face!

You might be saying, well, the kids thought he was a dummy. True, but do you teach your kids it's ok to kick someone else's property, whether it's breathing or not? C'mon, show a little respect. B handled it better than I did. I grabbed the kid by the back of the neck and forced him off my porch. We turned the lights off right after that, but B has a red mark on his cheek to remind him.

Other than the kicking incidents, we had a GREAT night. My SIL, her mom, and her 2 precious girls (Little Red Riding Hood and Tinkerbell) came over, along w/ 2 more of our friends and their little ones (a cow and Superman). We went trick-or-treating for about 10 houses until we were all so cold we couldn't feel our hands, then headed back to the house to eat pizza and hand out candy. Imagine 6 adults, 4 kids, 1 monster, and 2 dogs making their way down the street together...we were quite a sight!

The best part of Trick-or-Treating was walking up to a house with a pumpkin carved with the UTexas logo and watching my friend's son yell, "Go OU," as the lady opened the door. Classic! She teased us back by going back inside and taking the candy with her...but she came back.

Since Halloween is now over, that means November is almost here...I can't believe it!

"Welcome to Kansas"

This greeting was yelled to me from a passing minivan as I got out of my car at work yesterday morning…let me back up…during my drive to work yesterday morning, I noticed that my lips were chapped, so I dug into my purse and pulled out my handy dandy MAC lip gloss. As I titled the rear view mirror to expertly apply my lip gloss, I thought – it’s really windy outside and when I get out of the car, my hair is going to blow and stick to my lips…but I HATE having dry lips, so I kept going. So, back to the parking lot at work…I got out of the car, and IMMEDIATELY my hair is blowing everywhere! I couldn’t see, and I couldn’t push my hair out of my face because my hands were full of all my junk. That’s when I heard the voice…”Welcome to Kansas!” I realized as the car drove away that it was my plant manager who shouted to me. I waved as best I could and tried to see through my messy hair to find the door to the office.

The wind is INSANE here….it blows and blows and makes a mess. I was so excited to move away from Desert California so I would have less dust in my house. Man, was I wrong! It is MORE dusty here than where we came from…I guess because of how much the wind blows.


There are a bunch of train tracks that I have to cross to get to work. There are 3 places down this road where I can cross them to get to work. There’s usually a long line to turn at the first crossing, so I don’t take that one very much. The 2nd crossing is the one I usually use, and it’s a pretty rough road, but I only have to cross 3 tracks. If there is a train blocking the tracks (which happens OFTEN), then I pass by that crossing and go to the next crossing, where there are 14 tracks to cross – I counted them this morning! These tracks are so rough that I have to drive over them in 1st gear, going so slow that my car almost stalls. My poor Saab!


This is the first time that I have lived somewhere where the geese actually fly south for the winter – actually, the first time I’ve lived where geese live (or that I’ve noticed them). When we first go to town, the puppies and I were surprised by a strange squawking sound heard from the sky. We didn’t know what it was at first! The dogs barked and ran around the yard, and I just stared at the sky in awe. It’s the coolest thing to see them flying in a “V” across the sky.


My MIL scared the crap out of me last night. We go to bed early because we get up early. So, when she called at 9:52 pm last night, we had already been asleep for about 20 minutes. We don’t have a phone in our room, so when I woke up (with my heart pounding as always happens when the phone rings and I’m asleep), I had to run into the living room to grab the phone. She told me she had just talked to Uncle John and she needed to talk to B. I freaked out…I thought something was wrong, someone was in the hospital or someone was dead! I went back to our room, woke up B, and told him his mom wanted to talk to him. He was on the phone for about 1 minute, and then he hung up. I asked him what was wrong, and he said…”mom wanted me to play golf on Friday”…what???

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'll give in...

Ok, I've never done one of these MEME things (I don't even really know what MEME means), but this one seemed more interesting than others, so here goes...

I'M AMAZED…at how quickly I am settling into life as a Kansan (I still can not comprehend why they do some of the things that they do though - like not sell liquor on Sundays or in grocery stores)

I DOUBT…that Bill Clinton didn't inhale.

I CAN’T SEE…how people can think that illegal immigrants should be given the same priviledges as citizens or LEGAL immigrants.

I WANT TO BEAT WITH A SOCK FULL OF QUARTERS…the claims adjustor for my moving company who thinks I'm only owed $400 for all of the damage done to my things.

I'M ADDICTED…to email, my cell phone, and grabbing my hubby's butt (it's so cute!)

I FEEL BADLY…for a friend of a friend who just lost a baby (full term) due to Trisomy 18.

I WATCH…too much TV (but it doesn't take nearly as long to get through a show w/ my trusty DVR).

I LISTEN… to my friends' rants and raves and victories and losses and love that they share with me.

IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS…I would NOT go to a 50-hour a week job every day.

I WANT…my house in California to sell, and I want to start my family, and I want my immediate family to be close, and I want there to be NO ice storms this winter, and...(I could keep going, but I'll spare you)

I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT… B (my hubby of almost 6 years).

I'M OBSESSED… with checking my email.

I THINK CHILDREN…will change my life forever.

I CAN’T WAIT…for the Buddy Weekend (only 5 weeks and 2 days to go)

I'M PROUD...of my Buddy Marge for recently realizing what I've ALWAYS known about her -- she is a strong and beautiful woman!

I HAVE A DREAM…that I will live happily ever after.

I ALWAYS WEAR…foundation AND mascara.

I FEAR…losing my loved ones.

I WISH…I would become pregnant with twins! (I pray for that, too)

I ONCE ACCIDENTALLY…ran smack into a plate glass window in a restaurant (I was walking back to my table on the patio and I wasn't looking where I was going -- I thought I was walking through an open door, but NO, it was glass). I was SO embarrassed.

I NEVER…thought I would live in Kansas.

I’D KILL TO…(well, not really) keep my standard of living what it is, without having to work every day.

I MISS…lots about California -- my Buddies, my family, good pizza, George's Specials from Dewar's, coffee shops on every corner, and beer and wine from World Market

I'M LOATHE TO ADMIT…that I could live on popcorn, potato chips, and chocolate

I’LL NEVER FORGIVE… myself for choosing the worst moving company in the world (CALIFORNIA COAST VAN LINES aka HORIZON VAN LINES)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Victory has never been so sweet

Well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but it sure feels good to beat those Chargers!!

I have to admit, it got pretty tense there for a while, but my boys stayed strong, and victory is ours!

Granted, our record is still not the greatest, but today's win will help.

Let's go Chiefs!

GREAT Weekend

Wow! This weekend is completly 180 degrees from last weekend!

I'm having a GREAT weekend, and it's still not over!

It started on Friday afternoon when I stopped to get the mail. Now, I LOVE's so convenient and it really helps me stay in touch with my friends and family...but there really is something to be said for good old fashioned USPS mail. In my mailbox on Fridaywas a big box from my college buddy who lives in NorCal. Inside were 4 Chick Lit books AND some yummy chocolates (I'm going to go eat one right now). How fun is that?? Shell, thank you so much! I can't wait to start reading!

Then on Friday night, we went to the football game at the high school that B graduated from. His buddy Jay and his girlfriend went with us. It was so much fun, and SO hilarious. Those silly boys got all puffed up when we got there, talking about how maybe they would be asked to make an appearance on the field at half time, and they could not stop telling stories about "that game where..." We sent them to buy us snacks and they came back wearing CHS jerseys! AND, to top it off, CHS won! It's the first game they've won this season! Their last game of the season is this Thursday, and we've already decided that we're going. Small town life at its best!

Saturday morning, I got up much too early, and my friend and I drove a couple hours to OKC to attend the BIGGEST craft fair I've EVER been to. It was at the state fair grounds, and there were 5 HUGE buildings filled with crafts, and food, and furniture, and clothes and jewelry, and all kinds of fun things. We shopped and shopped until our feet couldn't take it anymore, and we were running into people with all the bags we were carrying. I bought a few Christmas gifts, several soup and dip mixes, some Christmas ornaments, and some really fun headbands. This is going to be a new tradition for me. I'm going EVERY year from now on! Our poor hubbies stayed home and planned on playing golf but it was rainy and cold here at home. My friend's hubby wimped out, and decided to stay home and watch football...but B braved the cold (he said it didn't rain on him), and he played 18 holes. There were only 3 cars in the parking lot!

Even though it was rainy and overcast yesterday, today is beautiful! The sky is blue, there's not a cloud in the sky, and it's cool enough that I was able to wear a turtleneck, my Ann Taylor skirt, boots, and a wool coat to church this morning. We ate at yummy McAllister's for lunch, and I'm still sipping on my sweet tea as I watch the Chiefs ROMP ALL OVER the Chargers! Sorry KK! My Buddy KK (who lives in San Diego) called at the start of the game to give me grief because my boys weren't performing...but as we chatted through the first half of the game, things turned around. Does it get any better than this??

C'mon, did the Chargers really expect to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead?? Of course, anything can happen in the 14 minutes that are left in the game, but my weekend is going so great, I'm going to remain optimistic! Ok, as I typed this, those stinky Chargers scored again...but we'll hold 'em...Go Chiefs!

So, here I sit, watching the game, sipping sweet tea, catching up on email and blogging, doing my laundry, and looking out the window at the blue skies and green grass...oh yeah, and I'm in the middle of planning an Open House where I'll bring in a bunch of direct marketing companies to sell all of us girls a bunch of fun stuff -- jewelry, make-up, cookware, candles, scrapping stuff...and I will get free stuff from all the sales so I can do my own shopping!

When the game ends, I'm going to call my SIL, who moved yesterday and couldn't go to OKC with us, to see if she wants me to go help her unpack in her new place. Maybe I'll stop for a latte on the way...

Not a bad weekend, 'eh?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Good things do happen

But not to me...

Well, that's not entirely just feels like that.

So, B's younger brother (who's my age) called us last week to tell us that he proposed to his girlfriend (about time!). We had been teasing him for almost a year to not let her get away. B's youngest brother's wife and I are excited about another SIL, and B's older sis could definitely use more chicas around with all these brothers! We will be heading up to Colorado around tax time next year for their wedding.

On Sunday, my brother called to say that he and his wife are expecting! They got married earlier this year, and his wife was anxious to get started in the kid department. B and I will become aunt and uncle again. Between the 2 of us, we have 4 nieces and 2 it our turn yet?

We are celebrating with our family members at their good news this week. It was nice news to hear after our "miserable" weekend...maybe this trend will for sale...hint, hint...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Miserable is the word of the day

It's gloomy, rainy and cold outside today. Actually, it's been a pretty miserable weekend overall.

I have now spent more than 6 hours sitting in a salon chair this week. I got my hair "fixed" yesterday. "Fixed" is in quotes because I still hate it -- but at least I don't look like I got my hair done by a 5 year old anymore. This SUPPOSED stylist made me wait for 30 minutes before she started on me, so I was pretty hot by the time I got in that chair. I had already asked for my money back and had been told that they don't do I had to allow A to work on my hair again. While I was arguing with the receptionist about how I had NO confidence that "A" could fix my hair, another girl overheard us and said that she had to come back next week to get her hair fixed because the girl in the red sweater had messed up her color...hmm, A was the one in the red sweater. Let's just say that I am not a blonde anymore. In order to not make my hair fall out, we had to color red over all of her mistakes. Oh well, dark hair matches my mood.

B worked 16 hours yesterday doing inventory at work. His partner at work, in his infinite wisdom (note the sarcasm), told half of the guys that they wouldn't be needed for inventory, even though B INSISTED that there was too much to count without, the small group that showed up attempted to count the entire place...for 16 hours. Oh yeah, it's Sunday afternoon and B is back at work again...recounting all the stuff that was counted wrong last night...because people start to make mistakes after working for over 12 hours.

Since B worked today, I tagged along to my company picnic with Monica and her family. Yes, I said company picnic, and I also mentioned earlier that it's raining. That's where the miserable really kicks it up a notch. We trudged out to the park, where thankfully there was some cover in the form of a bingo hall and a wrap around porch. We took their son to the animal farm, let him ride down the wet slide one time, and then we beat it out of there. We were wet, cold, and still hungry (since they hadn't served the food yet).

From there we headed to the local Buffalo Wings place to eat and catch the beginning of my Boys' game. By halftime, we were full of wings, and I was ready to punch the idiot behind me who was cheering for the OTHER team. I came home, changed into my comfy clothes, and plopped down to see if my Boys could turn it around...but it didn't here I sit recounting my weekend to you.

Oh yeah, don't let me forget about the letter I got yesterday. The claims company who my moving company uses sent me a letter saying that they don't see where CALIFORNIA COAST VAN LINES, aka HORIZON VAN LINES, did me any wrong. And they also said that they will be so kind as to insist that CALIFORNIA COAST VAN LINES, aka HORIZON VAN LINES, pay me $0.60 per pound for my damaged items that I DID NOT pack -- that works out to $400 by their calcluations. How generous of them.

B and I were supposed to enjoy a nice meal, cooked by me, tonight...but it looks like unless we wait for a midnight snack, it ain't happening.

So, as my boys leave the stadium with their heads hung low after losing miserably, I will sign off, and pray for a better week...where the word of the day is NOT miserable.