Monday, December 17, 2007

Just a little perspective for my day.

I seem to think I am the center of the universe when really, I am the tiniest of atoms in comparison. And yet, am still loved, remembered, and known. Amazing, isn't it.

The Fairy of Eagle Nebula
Credit: The Hubble Heritage Team, (STScI/AURA), ESA, NASA

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The monster tree takes over and the psychedelic snowman joins in

So last week we set off into the wild world of Christmas trees to find one of our very own. I mentioned our fruitless trip to the tree farm which brought us to Green Hills. Normally I avoid Green Hills. Just a trip PAST the mall there makes me poorer. Danger! Plus the traffic generally sucks. This area was not meant to be a major retail center. There is only one road in and out of it and it goes through a neighborhood which has already been encroached upon as far as it will allow! Any more road and they'll have to tear down houses. I don't see that happening and yet, it expands. I digress... So off we went to choose a tree...

Lots to choose from

Our tree!
After wandering awhile, I chose this one. I like em FAT! We wrestled it into the car, recovering from sticker shock, wrestled it into the house (the Geek pulled his back out!) and after several days, and having to re-arrange the ENTIRE living room, it's all done. I thought I'd share.

So happy to find a tree

A forest?

I made this! Trimmings are faboooo

This was Matt's from before. I have to say I hated it on sight and was all for pitching it out with the trash, but he pleaded for it's survival and so now it has joined the holiday tradition. Cause nothing says Christmas like a fiber optic snowman!

It's mostly good for getting stoned and looking at. Man...look a the pretty colors...
But I don't do that any more...wait!

Taking up the living room - aint it beeyootiful?!

What? Dis Mah tree now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Special men...

I put a photo up of the Geek and his furball and he got invited to join this group.
Special Men - who love animals
What more is there to say. I am at the office so I have to laugh very quietly, but I am about to bust! I think it's the use of 'special' in the title and the fact that it's these big burly guys with their cats and/or dogs etc. The guy with no shirt is my fav so far. WOW.

Christmas time is here....happiness and cheer...

Time for all that children call, their favorite time of year...Snowflakes in the air...carols everywhere...

Thanks Vince. I needed that.

After an unsuccessful trip to the tree farm this past weekend, we are still in need of a tree. We had a great time with our neighbors on the way there, but all of the trees were a little TOO Charlie Brown for my taste. The drought this year really took a toll on them, all brown and skinny. So we are opting for my favorite place, Hillsboro High School. Every year they have a Christmas tree 'store' in front of their school and we procure my personal favorite kind of tree...a Fraser Fir. While this is not the tree of my youth, I am not so sure I long for that kind of tree. Mama usually took a hatchet or hack saw out into the woods one day shortly after Thanksgiving and dragged back whatever the East Texas woods on Grampa's land would offer up in the relative shape of a Christmas tree. Generally a pine of some sort or occasionally a fir tree of some kind, they got the job done and were covered in enough tinsel as to make them appear festive and fun. Mama let us get crazy. The tree was practically choked with the stuff and we vacuumed it up until June! Plus, if you put a strand through your two front teeth like dental floss then blow...oh the crazy fun!!! Those were the days.

But I've grown up since then and have decided that if I am to be grown up and have to actually PAY for a tree (we live too far from Grampa's land, plus he sold it last year), I am going to get exactly what I want for a tree. Thus the selecting of big FAT Fraser Fir. The first year I got one I lived in

THE COOLEST downtown loft EVAAAR.

My windows faced the Cumberland river and we watched many a concert at the Riverfront Park. I watched a building burn the night Cake played the park. There were thousands of people...but I digress. So I bought this big fat tree and the threw a party and had all my friends make or bring an ornament for my tree. It was so lovely. So the tradition began and so it shall continue with a trip to Hillsboro High School tonight.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

suffering the slings and arrows....stupid puck

A brisk walk through downtown as we headed to the Solmelia Center for the Predators Hockey game was probably the best part of the night tonight on the arm of my big, burly, handsome geek. The Christmas lights were twinkling on the trees around the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and we had found SWEET free parking. It was all downhill from there and I blame my overly competitive nature for that. (sigh) Another thing to let go of if it causes me stress.

After a rousing opening period, the Preds suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks, culminating with a goal that skittered the length of the entire rink to gently land in our own undefended goal as we had sent all of our men forward to try and narrow the lead that the Canucks had over us. Even as one of the players nearly sacrificed his life in a effort to prevent it by skating the length of the rink after it, diving and colliding with the post and then wall of the rink. To no avail. It made the score 2 to 5, decidedly not in our favor. Most people walked out at that point, but there were a few more minutes so we stayed 'till the end. I am not even the biggest hockey fan and STILL it burns me up. A bright spot though, we had a small boy behind us during the game that had lots of questions for his mommy that she didn't know the answer to. We supplied most of those details for him, but the best question I overheard was "Mommy, why do they mop the ice?" I love the way kids see things in terms of their own small world! I explained about a Zamboni and he was much impressed. I'm big with the 6 year old crowd.

Back to work tomorrow. This is an all new position for the same large institution type university. I think I'll be answering phones. Fun.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Adventures in homeowning and Basement treasure

After months of ignoring our home inspection report, I finally printed it out and got in my grubbies to make the rounds. I began in the basement. It seemed a logical place. I'd been reading about foundations lately and so wanted to apply my newly gained knowledge to my own house. I began looking for moisture and soon figured out that I could not do that with all the junk down there. So basement hunting ended up being basement cleaning. Fogged up goggles and face mask in place, I swept and hauled and swept and RAKED and gathered all the rubble, for rubble it was, into the middle of the floor.

The Rubble...
Before it ended up in the trash bin, I decided to sift through it, just in case there were any little treasures hidden in that mess. Good thing I did! My archaeologist friend Lorraine would be so proud!! Look what turned up.

Former Residents (now deceased)
I wore gloves, don't worry.

Signs of life
Rubber bands, an old kitchen knife, a cymbal pad, a hacky sack from a sounds game that a rat or a mouse stole the fluff out of, shiny bits of glass and mirror, my bungee cord!! (hey, I thought I lost that!) picks (not mine), snail shell, pens, the leg off some sort of furniture (the ball thing), golf tees and last but not least, a crocheted wash rag. (someone's Gramma spent a LOT OF TIME on that thing and they just left it in the basement! Oh the guilt trip they might have gotten...)

Children lived here
Christmas ornaments, train set electric poles, a tiny red cell phone(didn't make it into the photo), part of a porcelain figure

Five old Marbles (how did my house know I love marbles!?)
Plus that thing with a number. What IS that thing. Was it bingo night at my house?

House bits and bobs
The knob to the basement door!! Lucky I found that or I'd have had to wait for The Geek to come home and let me out. I accidentally pulled the door all the way shut behind me.
Various washers and bits of copper piping, (hmmm extra cash?), some old, some new, wire, nail, a bolt that held the boiler down to the slab, a tin light switch cover staring back at me like a robot face!!

Odd hunks of wood
You never know when you'll need these!!

Signs of things to come
Why are their pieces of field stone rubble loose in the basement?! It's time to fix things.

I squealed over each one like a five year old! Each one of these things, I'm sure, is bound to 'land you in the hospital', 'take or shoot your eye out', give you tetanus' or what ever other 'mommy isms' I'm sure mine had in store for me and I will, in turn, visit upon the currently unborn (and un-concieved) but for now, it was lots of fun.

Back to business...So the basement does have a smidge of seepage and after a tour of the outside, I can see why. We'll start with a gutter repair and if that doesn't dry out the ground on the north side of the house, we may have to dig a drainage pipe, or figure out where the currently unused, but present terra cotta pipe leads. I had many more fabulous adventures in the basement today, but they will keep till another day.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Stay at home dog mom - strikes back!!

Still no job, but I can't say I'm sad. I spent most of yesterday in PJ's reconciling our bank statements and monitoring the dog, who, the night before last, threw up a plastic Kroger bag...I know...the life of luxury! Can't say that I miss filing or sorting paper clips or anything remotely like that. I am finishing Christmas cards, meeting a friend for lunch and in general, getting the home life back up and running. No word yet from my recruiter, but if I don't hear from him soon, I'll start looking for something to do with my time.

Lots of crazy life is coming down the pike. My parents might be coming for the holidays, and after 8 years of asking, nay, begging them to visit I have to say I am a smidge unprepared. I guess I never thought they'd actually come! Silly me. So now, we have 1 bed (ours), a couch that is not great for sleeping on, and have just abandoned the upstairs of our house in preparation for renovation. I guess we have to move things around again! Plus, it looks like we'll be eating Christmas dinner around the coffee table if I don't lay my hands on some cheap seating. Other than that, bring it on. We are going this weekend to the tree farm to cut a tree and have lots of fun with new friends. I am very excited about it!

As for being a stay at home dog mom, I have a Freckles on a mission. She has the trash buzz and we can't seem to barricade the garbage secure enough to keep her out of it. She breaks chain, bends steel...(just kidding about the steel part) It's like those bears that get hold of people food and the have to be re-located because there is no breaking them of it. No matter that it'll kill her, she doesn't care. So for now, she is restricted and I am off to home depot to get some stronger chain. (not to chain her up on BTW, just to chain the door shut so the cat can still get in, do his business and get out. And she CAN'T get in. That's the plan anyway.
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