Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mission Complete

I did it. Last night I completed 50,000 words for the challenge of NaNoWriMo. I had a few set backs, but it's done. I have officially decided my writing program is being thrown out and I am now looking for a new one. My program said I had already reached 50k about 2500 words early. Just to be safe, I went over my presumed estimate. I'm not finished with the novel yet. Maybe another chapter or two and I'll wrap it up. I spent a good part of today proof reading and made some adjustments. Kind of hard to write at the moment since I'm not scrambling to reach a word count in the few hours remaining to November. It was fun, and exhausting, maybe even a little depressing at times. I'd do it all over again. Hopefully next time I'll be able to start with the full calender month instead of only half of it. Wow. And goodnight.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30k

I finally have reached 30k on my word count. It wasn't nearly as exciting as 25k. Passing the halfway point was a relief. This new mile marker was terrible. I had the worst writer block EVER. I seriously sat there and stared at the screen until my head throbbed. But I couldn't quit. I had set a goal and I knew I could do it. The remedy probably will come back to bite me later. I skipped through my plot. Yep, jumped forward and bypassed a huge chunk of my story line. It was weird. I found myself explaining more than what was needed just to figure out where I was. I don't know how I'm going to fill the void, but I'll have to face it sooner than later. For now, I'm still flowing with advanced portion. Still, I reached the suggested daily goal NaNo set for me to accomplish the deadline, and I stopped right on my own set goal. Promptly went to bed there after. Er, it was early this morning. I'm paying for it now. I'm either a zombie or a cylon at this point.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Technical Difficulties

I suffered a temporary setback in my NaNo adventure today. Apparently, my writing program counts each tab, or new line, as a word. So, I had the privilege of backtracking through my 120 some odd pages and remove each tab and line break. This cost me nearly 600 words from my count. That was frustrating. I didn't cry, but I sure wanted to. Instead, I sat down and typed with the aim to make my incompetent program feel my pain. The result, I increased my word count by over 5k words today. My current standing is 26802. That felt really good. Well, I'm exhausted and I don't want to look at my computer for about another year, but it was encouraging to see my progress bar actually progress.

I'm seriously wondering if I'm going to accomplish the 50k goal, but I'm definitely trying. It has been harder than I thought it would have been. Home life hasn't suffered too much for it. I somehow managed to house a celebration party yesterday to Colt's earning a new certification, Mac Tech now. Laundry is mostly caught up, kind of. The cats are as fat as usual. The tort and bunny are probably overfed. I've even taken time to make sure the evil lovebird isn't too bored. All in all, I think I'm balancing this challenge with my ordinary tasks. Maybe...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Over My Head

So, like I said earlier: I signed up for the National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. I'm having fun. It's a bit of a challenge. The story is coming together, but I can't sit still long enough to do any writing. I just knew I could do it, 50k words in 30 days, but I only had 16 days since I had a late start. It didn't sound too bad. But, here I am with 12 days to go and I'm sitting with 12014 words. That means I have 37986 more to go. That's a lot. The recommended words per day to finish on time is 3166. Considering I've been writing for four days, I've actually covered quite a bit of ground. What is daunting is how quickly time is running out. I start to get overwhelmed, then remember next week is a holiday, thus I will have five days straight to work on it. That helps. Then I realize that if I don't nearly finish it in those five days, I'm really out of time. That's what gets me. I guess my point is that I'm having fun and really enjoying this challenge, writing marathon if you would, but I'm also freaked that the month is almost up. Hopefully next year I'll be more prepared. Their website has been encouraging, I'm not the only one who got aboard late, and I'm not the only one with a dwindling word count. But everyone finds the bright side and shares their excitement. All around a good deal, I think.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Diving In Head First

I have been 'officially' working on writing for a little over a year now. I have one novel that has been my project for longer than that. I've rewritten it so many times I've quit keeping track. It could easily be stretched into a series type novel. There is a second manuscript I've been working on for a few months now and it is much closer to being finished than my first. I had hoped to have it done by the end of the year, but it's not looking so hot. I get rolling on these stories, then hit a block and freeze up. Juggling two actually helped. I'll work on one till I don't want to look at it any longer then switch to the other and revamp or progress. I am also my biggest critic. I'll love the way it is forming, then want to tear it up the next time I look it over. Hopefully I'm growing in my 'craft' and will eventually finish one of them.

This is where I'm jumping in....
November is apparently National Novel Writing Month. This is news to me. I found out this weekend, just as I started a third manuscript. So, I signed up and have accepted the challenge of writing a 50k word novel in 30 days. I've shorted myself 13 days with the late entry, but hey, why not.

So, here goes nothing. I'll try to keep you posted as I go mad with writing!

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Why not you try, too!?!

It'll be fun.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Unfinished

No, I haven't finished painting the kitchen. I had an 'incident' while painting and have not finished yet. There are 1 and 1/2 walls left. I don't know when I'll get to it, hopefully soon. Colt was planning to have it done before this weekend, but I don't think it's going to happen. We have a friend coming in to stay for a long weekend. Odds are, we will all be goofing off rather than any house work or anything closely related to it. But, it will be finished one day, and it will look great. It's kind of a bold color scheme for such a small space, but I like it. After that, a friend donated a really neat track light that will go wonderfully with the stainless steel and black.

Nothing new to tell of. Work has been slow, but it's still going. The weather has cooled off, which is very nice. Mom and Dillon are both preparing to go on trips. Mom is leaving for NY, Dillon for Moab. Haven't seen any new movies. I've got to get out more!!!

PS - I hate painting.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Long Weekend

I had good intentions for this four day weekend. Friday was spent in preparation of what I hoped to be a productive mini-vacation. But, I don't recall 'painting' in the definition of vacation. That is because it isn't.

Anyway, Friday was full. I had lunch with Mom and Gwen at Ye Old English Bakery. We all had chicken salad sandwiches and pie. We went a little over on Mom's lunch time, but it was fun. The first time we have been able to get together, just the three of us, in I don't know how long. Gwen and I were off, and Gwen was childless. Another first in quite some time.

After lunch, I dropped Mom off at her work and ran home to drop off my leftovers. Then I met up with Gwen at Home Depot for a 'quick trip'. Yeah right. We spent hours in that dreamy store. Most of it was in the paint department. Picking colors and paint types was quite entertaining, and not just for us. We had the young man working in the department hopping, and he kept up with our joking and musing very well. I couldn't decide on a color (for the kitchen) after scouring through the color tabs, then noticed the display to have the shade I thought I wanted. He was kind enough to partially disassemble the display to get the piece with the desired shade and put it in the 'color match machine'. I asked for a gallon of the color, but he would only give me a sample, telling me that if I liked it, he would have the gallon here waiting. After a few more goofy exchanges, he convinced me to take the sample. Gwen got a few gallons of her decided colors, and I picked up a gallon of the 'ozone blue' for the upstairs bathroom. After filling our cart with a variety of painting tools and must-haves, we said "Goodbye" to our cheery helper and moved on the rest of the store. Much more time went by before Gwen realized she had to get home to get the kids off the bus, and I had a few more errands to run. We wrestled with the self-check out, Gwen won, I failed, and we went our separate ways.

By the time I got home, I was ready for dinner, but we had a nearly empty pantry and fridge. Settling with a few tiny frozen pizzas, Colt and I went back to our own projects. He worked on his Cherokee for most of the night, I taped off a bunch of the kitchen and applied a coat of the sample paint. I literally watched the paint dry. So exciting, and disappointing. Colt made a visit to the kitchen and studied the drying paint, kind enough not to voice his opinion when he noticed me frowning at the less-than-desired color. It was too rose-ish, or burgundy. Either way, not what I had in mind. I gave it another coat just to be sure, then was more than sure. Good thing I followed the young man's advice and stuck with the sample size instead of committing to the gallon. Bedtime was too late, after a midnight run to the grocery store.

Saturday fell short of my expectations. Colt was gone all day on a job in Austin. I had planned to get up EARLY and get another sample paint to try out. After a long, long morning, I was back at Home Depot after lunch. I took a Starbuck's mug that I liked the coloring of to 'match'. They were super busy. When my turn finally came, I related my sad shade issue to the lady working with the paint. She tried a few tabs and agreed that we were out to find a 'unique' color. After passing the trinket around to the other workers, she popped it in the machine and let it have a shot at matching it. Because the mug was round and shiny, the machine had a few problems, but put out a code in the end. She whipped up a sample batch and I went off to try it out, with a few more 'tools'.

I threw on a coat right away and didn't watch it dry this time, getting busy taking all the face plates off the walls and finishing the taping and placing the massive drop cloths. After chasing the cats off (they were rolling under the drop cloths and trying to eat the blue taping) I checked the progress of the sample. It still looked pinkish, so I gave another coat and took a nap. Nap went over time, and I got a headache as a result. Ugh. The shade was perfect though. Thus, I made yet another trip to Home Depot, with a mental note to pick up Advil on the way home.

The last run to Home Depot put me over budget. There was a wait on getting the paint mixed, so I walked around the store, and found more must-haves. So, needless to say, I went straight home and sent in for rebates right off. Forgetting the Advil in the process. I started painting after reassembling the drop cloths (the cats apparently had much fun while I was away). I had a helper planned to come, but he had a project take longer than expected. I went on anyway, knowing I would have to have at least two coats of this paint before I would be pleased with the shading. After one and three quarters of a wall, my head was pounding. I took a long break and had a TV dinner. Then back to painting. I pretty much concentrated on edging and trimming, and called it a night.

Sunday morning started out rough. I got up with the same headache I went to bed with, still no Advil. I didn't hear Colt come in, but he got home around 2 or 3 in the morning, sick from choosing Taco Bell as a 1am meal. He and I both had a very late start to the day as a result. I think he was up and about much more quickly and cheery than I. I stared at my behind-schedule-project as I ate a late breakfast and wished for a nap already. Colt set up my music corner (the macbook 'Bumpy' set to Pandora Radio and some speakers) as I dragged myself to the paint can started back to work.

I had an early lunch just to excuse myself from painting long. Colt bounced around the house all morning and afternoon. I don't know what he was working on, but he was having more fun than I, and he knew it. He spent some time chasing the cats out of the kitchen, noticing that what I had 'claimed' them to be doing, they were actually doing. Scooter was licking the paint off the wall and chewing on the tape, Oliver was tunneling under the plastic sheet I had down to protect the tile and threatening to smoother himself in it. As much comic relief as they were, it wasn't the best of activities for the kitties. Colt called it 'Darwinism', I agreed.

By the end of this evening, I have a bit more of the painting of the kitchen done. I called it a day after my fourth failed attempt of falling off the counter and into the sink. The kitchen is looking not as bad as I had thought, and I just might get this finished tomorrow. So, I plan to get up early and have at it again. That is, if I make myself get up. I might bribe myself with Starbucks, maybe. Ugh, I hate painting. So tempted to pay someone to come in and finish it. That would be a vacation. I need a vacation from this vacation. I'm off this next Friday, maybe I'll try to make up for it then.

When (If) I finish this project in the kitchen, I'll post some pictures on my Picasa page. It's only a start of what we hope to do to the kitchen, but it will help, I hope. No, I haven't painted the bathroom yet like I had planned to, but it will happen, eventually.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Quiet Weekend

This is a four day weekend, finally. I had planned a quiet weekend for last week, but it didn't happen. Colt was scheduled to meet up with a friend in Colorado for the Rally to the Clouds at Pikes Peak. He left last Friday morning, planning to return the following Monday. I worked Friday morning, after spending the night packing Colt and cleaning (couldn't sleep). I called him shortly before 9am and he was leaving Fort Worth, stating that the traffic was great. He was making good time. He had spent the week prior making needed repairs on the Audi to make it worthy of the lengthy drive. His work ended up being rushed, so he had some doubts about the car, yet went nonetheless. Can't blame him, he had planned this trip for some time. He dealt with several obstacles, still determined to go. Anyway, after lunch Friday, I received a call from him. He was just shy of Amarillo and the Audi had given out. He believed it to be the flywheel, and had already had it towed to the nearest service station. They only took cash, which he never has, so he was walking back to town to find an ATM. Long story short, he finally locates the rare ATM and pays the tow people, got a room at the local hotel, and ended up waiting for his dad to make the drive with his car hauler to pick up the gimp Audi. Trip cancelled. He stopped in Clarendon, Texas. The plan was to leave as soon as hid dad got there, ETA Clarendon 8pm. Yet, again can't blame them, they stayed the night.

I didn't know they were staying, so I expected them back here super early on Saturday, so I scrapped my plans for doing some stuff around the house (Hobby Lobby stuff), figuring we were going to need the money for that to get a flywheel for the Audi. Friday night was another sleepless night. One, I stayed up way later than usual, waiting to hear from someone, but that's another story. After deciding the call wasn't coming, I went to bed, doing my usual reading until I could no longer stay awake. It was the around 1 am that I finally put the book down and turned off the lights. I was just nodding off when I heard a weird noise. I listened for it again, but didn't hear it, so I blamed it on being tired. As I was settling back in, I heard it again. It sounded like the cats tromping up the stairs, fat noisy cats. But it kept going, and Scooter was next to me and not on the stairs. Needless to say, I was pretty well freaked. What ever it was, it was running across the roof, rather heavily. I had heard squirrels up there before, but this sounded like a bunch of them. It ran past the bedroom window, the full moon's light not helping my nervousness. I think it was cats fighting on the roof, but my imagination told me it was the chupacabra we tease about living in our unkept backyard. I considered calling Dillon to see if he would come over, but I knew he would laugh at me, chicken sister. So I stared out the window until the adrenaline calmed, ignoring Scooter sitting by the bedroom door growling like he was Mr. Tough Kitty. Fatty was downstairs by the front door squeaking (his meow is a squeak) his fuzzy head off. So, Friday night was another sleepless night.

Saturday morning I checked to see where Colt was on his way back. I first ran the locator program on our phones, but it said he was still in Clarendon. I called to make sure, and they were indeed still there. They had decided to stay the night, wanting a good dinner and breakfast before the trip back. They did get to take a better look at the Audi and found that the drive shaft had come loose and then the exhaust. So they strapped the car to the trailer and headed home. They came into town about 6 in the evening. I drove out to Salado to pick up Colt from his parents' house where the car would be staying until he could put it back together. Poor Colt. He was bummed.

He still took Monday off, so he went out and worked on his car. It didn't take long to fix it up. Dillon came over and 'baled' the backyard for us. I'm so happy to have that tamed once again. It was beyond sad, and is now much better. The chupacabra will have to find another yard to reside in.

It has rained off and on for the past several days and the temperature has been bearable. It is supposed to rain for a few more days, and it is welcomed. I'm finally opening the blinds again, now that the sun won't kill my electric bill and the yard is actually nice to look at. The house doesn't feel so much like a cave.

So, I now get my weekend. I have accomplished multiple things, yet have plenty more to do. I even found time to watch a few episodes of Bones on Netflix, am now ready to start season 3. Loving the series, though I have learned not to eat while watching it, blah. I'm not quite done with the laundry, but that can wait a bit more. I've been working on my project for most of the weekend. I had expected to have reached a certain point by the end of this long weekend, but I'm not so sure I'll get that far. Maybe by the next. But for now, I figured I'd catch up on the blog that I've been horribly neglecting and then read the Watchtower for tomorrow's leason.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Good Juug

My Jeep came back last week. Twice. The first time was only for a day. It was still acting up. They changed the transmission temperature sensor. It was reading 4 points off (what ever that means). They tested it while the engine was warm, so it didn't give the usual trouble. So, it went back. They "toiled" over it for another day, then replaced the transmission control module. That did the trick. All better. I'm so happy to have my Juug back. Then the stray tom cat peed on the roof, and it got all over the Wrangler. So my Jeep smelled like a mechanic and cat box for a little while. That's all better now, too. That was rough. And gross. Bad cat.

I planned on writing more, but Colt and Chad just came in. They are 'making' me watch "Talladega Nights". I've never seen it, and did a poor job of playing along with the impressions they were doing from the movie. I've avoided watching it, and was doing pretty well, until now...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Poor Juug

My poor Juug started acting up Thursday morning. The transmission wasn't wanting to work right. It felt like a newbee was trying to shift (and it is an auto trans). Shifting from 1st to 2nd, and sometimes 2nd to 3rd was rough. It only did this for a short time, but since I live and work in town, I was constantly cringing as I pulled away from a stop sign on the drive to work. It wasn't as bad on the way home, but it was there. Colt took it out later in the evening and it did it again. No check lights and the fluids were good, so I called on my warranty yesterday (Friday) to see if they could recommend a Jeep place to take it to. I refuse to take it to the local dealer, I've yet to hear anything good about them. My dealer closed down long ago. Jeep gave me two other dealers in the area. One in Killeen, Freedom Jeep, which I've used for an oil change before. I couldn't get a hold of them, either getting a busy signal or hung up on, so I called the second dealer. They are in Cameron, 30ish miles away. They said I could drop it off as soon as I wanted to, so I followed Dillon out and left Juug, bumming a ride in the Mini back to town. So I am without my Jeep, and I miss it. They called this morning to tell us they looked at it and are having to wait for the transmission guy to come in on Monday to find out what's up with it. Bittersweet. Bitter: Another day without my MilkJuug. Sweet: I wasn't imagining the issue with the transmission, or overreacting. One big "How's that for timing", my powertrain warranty expires the 10th of this month. I had less than 1 week left on my warranty!!! Wow, that was close. Hate that there is a problem with Juug (something Mopar, I'm sure), but glad it didn't wait another week or so to act up. This was one of our arguments about buying a new Jeep over an used, I didn't want to get stuck with issues that a warranty would handle. So Juug is in the Jeep hospital, waiting on the tranie doc to come in. Out there in tiny little Cameron, Texas, with strange Jeeps and garage. Poor Juug.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Up 'Till Now

It's been too long since my last posting, sorry about that. Not much going on. Two weekends ago (I think) Colt and I escaped to Austin for the night. We stayed at the Aloft in the Domain. It was nice, and we had fun. Not much shopping, surprise. We pretty much drove around to see what we could see. It was a nice get-a-way. Came home to laundry and hungry cats. But it was still worth it. Hope to make it a regular thing. Just hide out now and again. No schedules, and have a cheap adventure.

Here are the pictures we managed to take, I kept leaving the camera in the Jeep.
http://picasaweb.google.com/milkjuug2/HidingOut#

Last weekend was busy, kind of. Thursday was Jeep Night @ Plucker's. We took Dillon's Jeep. It was Justin (who came in his Wrangler), Jered, Dillon, and me. It was nice out, perfect for eating out.

After Plucker's, we caught the late showing of Clash of the Titans. It wasn't bad. I'd watch it again, maybe. Now I'm waiting for a chance to go see How to Train Your Dragon. It looks good, hope to catch a matinee for that one.

Saturday we went out to the Sherricks' for some fun in the Jeeps. I went to dig up some Texas safe plants for my flowerbed. I ended up staying longer than I had planned. Dillon and Justin cleared some trails. After that, Dillon took his Jeep through the new trail and ran into some issues. We spent the rest of the day getting the huge beast of a Jeep out of the small 'canyon' it was lodged in. We had to make a new trail, used a come-a-long, pulled some with Justin's Wrangler, and finally towed him the rest of the way out with my Wrangler. It was exhusting. He ended up with a flat, and the lift gate ripped in half. Easy fixes, so far.

Lots more pictures and videos of that event.
http://picasaweb.google.com/milkjuug2/431002#

That's all I have for now. Here's to looking forward to a quiet, uneventful weekend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow Day!

Not much snow left now. It melted pretty quick once the sun was out this morning. We had a winter weather warning for Tuesday morning until Tuesday night. When I woke up Tuesday morning, I checked the radar. It looked like we might get some sleet or snow later in the morning. I peeked out the window before I started getting ready for work, just clouds, cold clouds. It was around 7:30 when I heard sleet hitting the bathroom window. I ignored it for a little while and finished getting ready. About 7:45 I checked out the front window upstairs, and the picture to the left is what I saw. I opened the window, not just the blind, but the window and let the cats check it out. Scooter stayed back, he can be a bit of a stick in the mud. Oliver, on the other hand, was more than willing to dart out the window to chase snow flakes and sleet. I snatched him back quickly and closed the window. He sat and watched out the window for some time after that, leaving nose prints all over the glass.

I went on to work, despite my threat of not coming if I saw a single snow flake before 8am. There were lots of them, big, fat, fluffy flakes. The kids on the school buses had their noses stuck to the windows at the stop light, not something they get to see much around here. At first, it was snow and sleet mixed together. Later in the morning, it switched to just snow. Huge flakes fell all morning. Our first patients showed up for their appointments, but after that, it got really slow at the office. It was a long morning. It was fun to watch everyone's reactions. I tested the sidewalk several times to be sure it wasn't freezing. It was fine. Doc teased that I was going to slip, and that it wouldn't be covered as a loss time accident. We watched everything pile up with snow. It was stacking up so quickly, chunks of it would fall off tree limbs or the roof under the weight. The pavement was too warm for it to stick to, but traffic slowed anyway. Texans on ice, not a good thing.

School closures started to be announced on the radio and on the TDT website. Temple schools had Monday off because of unused weather days. They and the other schools in the area were to have early dismissals. Each school had a different time, starting from 11:45 on up to 12:45. I don't understand the reasoning, but that's how it went.

Our schedule was quickly falling apart. By 10am, the afternoon had cleared except for 1:00 patients. We finished up the morning, between gawking out the windows and dashing out to snatch a handful of snow. The flakes fell nonstop. Our cars were covered when we left for lunch. The picture to the right was taken at noon, and the one below. The snow was blowing and sticking to road signs and such. I put the Jeep in 4wd, just because. I wasn't sliding, but I had a good enough excuse.

Tuesdays is lunch at Ole English Bakery for cheese soup. I don't get the soup, but the dessert is always good. They were unusually slow, but the weather was unusual as well. They had the curtains pulled back so we could all watch the snow fall. There was one draw back... the roof there has a heavy slant, it would randomly dump a load of snow off onto any unfortunate person who might be stepping out to their vehicle. Several people received the surprise while we were there. When it came time for us to go, we darted out into the parking lot to avoid being pelted with a falling snow drift. The drive back to work was uneventful, thank goodness. I did see one traffic accident, but I think they were watching the snow and not the road.

Back at work, I run and check the schedule. Another cancelation. Only one patient left. We had started to confirm Wednesday's appointments, and the morning fell apart. I stepped back outside and started building a miniature snowman on the dumpster. I didn't hear the Doc pull up, and he got me with a snow ball. He claimed he thought I was making snow balls to throw at him, and he was only defending himself. I let him pass, and I had packed the balls too hard to use as a nice snow ball. I finished my tiny snowman and went back inside.

We decided to set the schedule and open late Wednesday. We got out Tuesday afternoon a little after 2. The snow had slowed, but it was still falling. I didn't get anymore pictures. I had to laugh going home, there were so many kids out playing, and not one of them had true winter clothes. They were sledding down the hill at Stratford and Hickory with jackets and jeans. They had to be freezing! I thought to go join them, but once I was inside where it was warm, I stayed.

There was still snow on the ground this morning. It was melting quickly, but it was there. Our main op room at the office has a large window on one wall that overlooks the back lot. Just outside the window is a small rose bush and some other shrubs. It is hidden most of the day in the shade, so there was a patch of snow that remained after the rest had melted away. I had to laugh when the only two people to mention it were grown men. They came in and sat down, looked out the window, and pointed with huge smiles, "You still have snow!" Now, all that is left is that patch and the remnants of snowmen.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Loaded Weekend

I finally accomplished something! I had the whole weekend to myself and actually put it to use. Colt left with Dillon Thursday for Albuquerque (they are on their way home as I write), and I was off Friday. I already mentioned Friday's activities in the earlier posting (just add tons of laundry), so I'll skip to Saturday. I went to the Dollar Store and loaded up on plastic bins and attacked all the closets and the pantry. It took two trash bags and a couple of boxes of junk before I was satisfied with my work. I guess I skipped spring cleaning last year and this weekend paid for it. So the closets and the kitchen pantry now have floors and room for any more items that may find their way into the house. I scrubbed shelves and floors alike, until they sparkled and smelled of Greenworks and Clorox.

My trip to Hobby Lobby was productive. They had baskets and frames on 50% off, so I stocked up, naturally. Saturday late afternoon and early evening was spent pouring through photo albums and picture boxes to find the best pictures to use. After much deliberation, five pictures were chosen to go along the staircase, and four others for different frames. I may have to make another trip to HL for more frames! The trick was to find pictures to go in the frames tall wise, most of my favorites were long wise. That means I'll just have to get some horizontal frames on the next trip. It took me longer than it should have to hang the ones on the wall, over the stairs. I measured too many times, always getting a different result. I ended up counting the stairs and using them as markers. It was easy after that. Then, when I turned on the light downstairs, the shadow of the railing worked as a level (which I had already used my trusty level). The cats helped, of course, as comic relief. I locked the tape measure to the length I needed and set it on the stairs. Scooter and Oliver entertained themselves with it, knocking it down the stairs, chasing it the whole way. I was an absolute dork and retrieved it each time and returned it to the stair I was working on, only to have to go and get it again once the kitties attacked it. Such goobers.

Saturday night was pizza with Mom & Dad, and then watching Dad install the new hood vent. This is the one we bought some time ago but never put in. I had gotten ready to do it myself several times, then chickened out after realizing it required messing with electrical wires. I'm such a klutz, I just picture myself getting fried and burning the house down with all my grace (or lack there of). So, Dad came and put it in for me. It looks so much better than the nasty old ugly one that is now waiting for the garbage man. It is so pretty, I might just use my kitchen! Hooray for the nice hood vent and Dad's hard work. Such a trooper.

Sunday was mainly spent cleaning the rest of the house from top to bottom. The vacuum made multiple appearances and the Roomba kept busy as well. I watched Prince Caspian during a snack break, eating the cinnamon rolls before they went bad. Made a meal of them! Dinner was soup with pb & honey sandwich since I had cleaned out the fridge and left little behind to choose from.

So the weekend flew by, and the house is nearly spotless. Let's see how long it will stay that way. Now is time for dinner, leaning towards the local BBQ place. I'm off tomorrow. I hope to sit still for a day. Not likely! So many ideas, so little time.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Whole Lotta Nothing

It's been a long time since I last blogged. It wasn't that I was busy, just nothing worth writing about. It's been cold a wet out. We were under a winter weather advisory Thursday and Friday, but only got slushy rain. It's still cold, anyways. So, I've spent the majority of my time reading and watching movies. I was loaned "The Eye of the World" some time back, but had trouble getting into it. It is by Robert Jordan. I had never heard of him or the series of novels, but, when I carried the book with me to different places, I got several comments about it from people who had read it. I finally sat down with it last Friday and put effort into keeping to it. After that, I couldn't put it down. I finished it Wednesday night, and was ready for more. It was a very good story, great details, and interesting characters. I now have the rest of the series on CD, so I hope to load it before too long and continue the reading. I don't know how many books there are, but there is a lot.

Several movies happened while I've kept myself out of the cold. Netflix has been busy. Too many movies to remember the titles, and many more in line to go. Last night was Golden Boys, with Mom and Dad over. It was good, funny. Last Chance Harvey was Thursday night. That was better than I thought it would be. I liked it, would watch it again. Watched Shopaholic again, still funny. Ramen Girl, with Brittany Murphy, it was really cute. Romeo + Juliet made it into my movie slot, the one with Leonardo Dicaprio. I don't like him, and usually skip over his movies. He's a good actor, but still don't care for him. I watched it in high school while we were studying Shakespeare. I remember that they stuck to the original writing, and that impressed me. So I watched it again this week, and liked it. So many more movies, but I can't think of their titles.

I went with Beth and saw Percy Jackson and the Olympians yesterday. That was a good movie, again, better than I expected. I'd watch it again. We ate at Jokers in Killeen for lunch with Kevin. I never would have stopped there on my own accord. It is in an old garage type shop. Kind of a biker place. Kevin had been there several times, and told us of the building's history. It was some of the best lunch I've had in a long time. Smokey inside, but great food. It's a seat-yourself, pay-when-you-order place, but it was good. I wouldn't go on a evening or weekend, I bet it gets 'busy', but lunch was worth it. Beth and I spent most of lunch talking about Eye of the World, she has read nearly all the books. Kevin did a good job of keeping in the conversation, it think he knows as much as we do about it since we're always comparing notes.

Plans for today... Get out in the cold and get some organizing supplies. Big rubbermaid boxes and drawers. I'm going to attempt to organize a few closets and the pantry. I have a walk in pantry that has gotten cluttered, and that's not good. I may swing by Hobby Lobby and see what they have for picture frames. I have a bunch of black and whites from last fall that I hoped to have up by now, along the staircase, but I haven't.

Monday, January 25, 2010

@Work

This will be short, I'm 'working'. Got my keys back yesterday! A girl scout found them. That made me so happy. We didn't get to go on the Jeep trip Saturday because the Jeep got sick, so I went to Austin. I went to the Coach store and asked about finding a new key ring. They were so helpful, but that key ring was clearanced after X-mas, so it was gone. They took down my number and sent out a request to other stores. If they found one, they were going to let me know. But my turtle is home safe, and I'm excited to have it back. If Coach calls, I may go get one just for back up. How sad is that? Not much else happened over the weekend. Now it's Monday, and it's a slow day at the office. I'm eating my weight in Twix bars and Wheat Thins. Almost time to go, so that's all for now.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cats, Keys, & Puppies

The cats have been keeping me on my toes lately. Fatty (Oliver) has decided the tort's home (pool) is his napping quarters. This is not good for many reasons. One- It's the tort's house, she leaves tort messes at random in it, so that is just gross for Fatty to be in. Two- He picks on the tort so she hides most of the day. Three- He eats her greens, so she doesn't get to eat, and then Fatty barfs it up later for me to pick up and scrub the carpet (because cats barf on carpet). Four- When he gets out, he tracks tort bedding through the house. Another Fatty moment, he must have had a nightmare or nap-mare while sleeping on our bed. (when he is scared pretty well, he throws up) I'm guessing this because he left a nasty present all over the foot of the bed and on the floor. I find this after a LONG day at work, and I had just washed all the bedding, so I was very excited to clean it up. But just when I'm about to get mad at him, he does that adorable cuddle-purr-purr thing, and I get over it. He's still my baby.

That same day, I washed the Jeep, lots. I went over it with the brush twice and a rag once. Rinsed it many times in between. Even the wheels and tires got loads of attention. Juug spot free, then comes the shammy to be sure. I made several rounds before giving up. Two and a half hours of cleaning, and the Jeep looks like new. I stand back to admire the piece of art in the light of the street lamp, and the stray cat jumps on the hood and puts tracks across the front. I think the cats are out to get me. I ran her off, but had to touch up the Jeep a bit. The shine only lasted a short time, birds found it the next day at work. I'm glad I washed it finally, it was nice to take the top off without getting dust and dirt in my face as the top folded up when I pulled it down. The days are nice, but had to wear a jacket home and put the top and windows back on.

Dottie had to have surgery this week. Mom took her in Wednesday because she has been having trouble walking. After taking x-rays, the Doc said her knees on both hind legs needed replacing. She is only one year old, so it was a breeding issue, most likely the work of a puppy mill. Needless to say, Dottie was scheduled for Thursday. I was on the phone with Mom when she pulled into the vet's parking lot. Dottie was quiet, then I heard the blinker, Dottie went nuts, barking and growling. Poor Little Bit, she knew it wouldn't be fun. When Mom picked her up after 4pm (all day surgery), she looked terrible. They shaved her from hip to ankle, so she looks goofy with think black hair from nose to tail, except her back legs. She is stitched from hip to ankle as well. She was good at first, the drugs still in her system from the operation, then the meds began to wear off. That was sad. She has the best demeanor, hardly ever gets upset, loves everyone, but then was a different story. You could pet her head, but nothing else. Mom gave her some puppy drugs, and she was much happier. I stopped by the store before going to see her, picked up a new collar, fancy harness-shirt set up, and a pretty name tag. I also got her a little pink elephant, and grabbed Pheobe a yellow wacky squeaky toy (since you can't bring one dog something and not the other, unless you want to see a fight). I took everything over to Mom's and gave Pheobe her toy first thing. Dottie wasn't up to her new clothes, so I just set the elephant in her bed with her and sat back. After a little while, Pheobe came over. I thought she was going to check on Dottie, so I gave her some space. Turns out, she just wanted the elephant. She stuck her nose in Dottie's bed and snatched the toy by it's ear, and bolted. Mom, Dad, and I cornered her and took it back. Pheobe is determined to get it though. Dad found one just like it and gave it to her, but that only worked for about 30 seconds. Dottie growled at her a couple times when she came for it, and Pheobe backed off each time. Mom said this morning that Dottie was rough, and Mom and Dad were busy helping her when Pheobe jumped up and grabbed the elephant and dashed off with it. Once they had Dottie settled, they ran Pheobe down and took the toy back. Pheobe is still working to get it, sneaking around and acting like she is trying to check on Dottie. It's funny to watch, when everyone is paying attention to Dottie, Pheobe will jump and dance and yelp for anyone to just look at her, such a drama queen.

While I was at Mom and Dad's last night, I lost my keys. I must have dropped them when I got out of the Jeep. We looked EVERYWHERE in the house, digging through the couch and chairs, under rugs, even went through the trash, no keys. I retraced my steps outside, but still no keys. I thought maybe I locked them in the Jeep, I've done it before. So I crawled through the back window. I had the top open in the front, but am too short to climb in that way. The window worked fine, but no keys inside either. I ended up having to call Colt to bring my spare Jeep key so I could go home. Thank goodness I found a spare house key, too. It's ugly, but it works. The most depressing part is the key ring that held the keys, it was my coach turtle ring. I loved that key ring, and I can't find anymore on line. I hope one of the stores will have it, but it's been more than two years since I bought it, I bet they're all gone. I want it back, my turtle! I would love to have the keys back too, but they can be remade easily. Their neighbor kid is kind of a pack rat, so I'm thinking he found it. I'll show him a picture of it and offer him a reward if he 'finds' it. Hoping that works. Until then, I have a chunky spare set on a long leather strap to hold me over. Hope the turtle is safe. Yes, I know it's just a key chain, but I really really liked it.

Time for bed. I'm supposed to get up at 4am to meet Dillon at 5am to go on a Jeep trip tomorrow. I don't know where, but I know it's a 3hr drive. We're taking his because the trails are too hard core for my short Jeep. I'll let you know how it goes. Until next time....

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year

So it's 2010. I didn't stay up and watch the ball drop. Yep, I went to bed. It was a long day yesterday with early work and cleaning for house guests and getting dinner together. No, I didn't cook, but it still took effort. Full morning of service, that was good. Then I went to lunch with Mom and Dillon at Chili's. Salad was great. Mom teased me since the blue rails on Juug are now covered with chat mud, so my Jeep looks like all the others right now. She said she couldn't pick me out of the crowd anymore. I could use this to my advantage. I then went home and started cleaning. Colt had friends coming over for a night of Star Trek and Xbox. The house was rough, mainly picking up after the hairy cats. Lots of vacuuming and dusting, laundry, the kitchen needed attention, and the bathrooms are always an adventure. After all that, I finally attacked the massive stack of mail on the coffee table. I have a bad habit of picking up the mail and opening it, but not actually giving any notice to anything that we receive. The stack was pathetically huge, so I sorted through it. Loads of junk mail that went straight into the fireplace, the rest was organized by dates received and due. Boring!

I did come across, however, a notice from a movie rental place I haven't used for a long time. It was a bill that had been sent to a collections agency for $46. So I called the store and checked on it. Turns out, it wasn't me. There has been someone who has managed to steal my identity and it's been less than fun trying to get all this garbage under control. But, I now have her address! The movie place gave it to me, and I also received an update from my credit watch company asking if I ordered a change of address. Hmmm, busted chica. So I called my credit people and let them know what I had found out. Turns out, she has also opened another account at a jewelry store and a Sprint account. Of course, all of them are overly delinquent. I had to laugh, she has been hard to catch, but this was a dumb mistake. I just might have to forward the new address to Lack's so they quit trying to repo furniture from my house that I don't have. Hopefully this will all be settled within the next couple of months.

After a few hours of chasing my id thief, I had to return a movie I found while cleaning. It was from a different movie place, totally my bad this time. Who puts rented movies behind the TV? Really people! That took too long. Traffic was busy, I had waited too long to go. It was 5pm and everyone was getting off, so 31st was packed. I just turned up the radio and rolled along until my turn finally came. The parking lot was packed at the movie store, and I usually just pull up to the sidewalk and run to the box, but there wasn't any chance of getting close to the store. So I parked for the whole 20 seconds it takes to run across the parking lot, dodge traffic, and drop the movie in the slot. Mission complete, now pick up dinner. Pizza of course. So I cross the Loop and come to Papa Murphy's Take And Bake. Love that stuff. They too were packed. I keep forgetting it's a holiday. It took a while to order, and I kept giving up my place in line to others who are visibly more hurried than I. Had a good chat with a lady there who is moving to Michigan in a few weeks. She gave me her points on my free pizza card since she wasn't going to be able to use them. So it pays to let others cut in front in line! Pizzas and cinnamon wheel in hand, time for the long 2 mile trip home. I don't know really how far it is, but it's not far at all, just holiday and after work traffic. One of the guest are already at the house when I pull up. Colt had already gotten home, so they didn't have to wait long. Then again, it was Adam, so I don't think he would have minded much. He's Colt's older brother, so he's used to Colt's 'timing'. I somehow manage to open the door without dropping dinner, hooray! Yet, Scooter tried to dart out the door to fight the stray who has adopted us, and I totally stepped on him. That was the worst noise that cat has ever made. He still didn't get out from under my feet. So I kick the door shut and still retain dinner while waiting for Scooter to realize he is smaller than me. He eventually gets out of the way and sits under the coffee table to sulk. Brat of a cat.

I get the pizzas baking and tend to the cranky cat. He pouts for most of the night, mainly avoiding me. He sticks to Colt and Adam as if to tattle on me being mean to him. It was funny. I burned one pizza for no reason other than playing solitaire on my phone, the second was perfect. I put the cinnamon wheel in while we eat the pizzas, mostly. It's done in time for dessert. Adam had never had Papa Murphy's and I think he liked it. There wasn't much left for the later schedule guests. Colt and Adam return to the TV room, and I cleaned up the kitchen and go to my 'office' for awhile before the next one arrives. Dillon comes bearing goodies. Doritoes and Oreos, he always gets the best. They eat more and play more Xbox until Seth comes after 9:30. More eating, then movie time. They put in Star Trek and stay put for the duration of the movie. The TV room is right below my office, so I felt every explosion, warp jump, and bass note in the music. Monster boom boom speaker (sub, whatever). Before the movie is over, I've already gone to bed. Because of years of experience, I am able to sleep despite the racket going on down stairs.

The only reason I knew the New Year had arrived is because the neighbors set off fire works. That got my attention. Hope all went well with their short display, there was a lot of wind last night. Scooter then decides he's not mad at me and curls up on my feet so I can protect him from the noisy people all around. Just as I'm about to fall back to sleep, my phone starts to receive texts from bunches of friends and co-workers. I'm only able to respond to a few before I nod of mid-text. So if I didn't respond to anyone, I meant well!

Didn't sleep in much this morning. Set the Roomba to work and had breakfast. They guys are back on the Xbox and discussing going to a matinee. I'll head to the store here in a bit for bunny food and paper towels, short shopping list. Bath & Bodyworks started their sale today, so that may require a visit.