Friday, December 28, 2007


Colds stink. Especially when I can't really take anything. Not like I've had much success with things in the past. Oh well. Mint tea, while not a favorite of mine does clear the sinuses a bit... and the warm helps the cough. That and since it's only mint leaves, I can drink as much as I want. (That is unless I put too much sugar in it...)
Both yesterday and today I "worked" from home. I was actually quite productive, just not with work related things so much. I didn't get any less than usual done, but definitely no more. It looks like I'm actually going to get my annual New Year's letter out this year. It's been two years since I've sent one out. Hopefully I still have every one's addresses. (If you're in doubt and want to make sure I've got it, drop me an email...) I'm just finishing up printing it out now. Now to stop at Staples and pick up envelopes. Oh, yeah, I guess I need stamps too. I got so spoiled when Gak was working at the UPS Store because he took care of the mailings. That and I don't actually mail out any bills any more. They're all either electronically submitted, walked over to the Borough hall across the street or handed to my landlady who's office is downstairs.
I also got some crochet work done. I finally found my missing hoddie I was working on. I may still be able to wear it when I finish. I'm almost done the front now, so it's just the sleeves and hood yet. Yes, of course you'll get to see pictures when I'm done.

And speaking of crochet, here's a picture of the as yet unblocked piece I made Mom. I really can't wait for it to be blocked so I can finish the pillow for it I'm so happy with it. I'm just impressed I stuck with something that used such fine thread. And this wasn't fine compared to some I've seen. I've seen very beautiful pieces done with sewing thread. That's right, sewing thread.
Ok, back to the topic I was originally posting about... today.
Today my cold has all but settled into my chest but my sinuses are still clogged. Luckily most of the drainage isn't down my throat any more. This means I was actually able to sleep a bit. I'm feeling pretty good if I drink enough to keep the cough under control.
Today Boo and I also had another doctor's appointment. This was with a different doctor in the practice. She's nice enough and friendly. She didn't want to adjust my due date even though I'm about 99% sure I'm right. Oh well, its OK. Everything looks great and listening to Boo's heart will never get old. Gak couldn't come today because of his schedule. Hopefully he'll be able to make the next one in four weeks. He should be if he can get the closing shift (or off). I just can't wait for the 14th for the next ultrasound. So very exciting.
Well, I've got to wrap up here because I've taken enough time writing this that I've got to get moving to go pick up Gak from work. (Ew, now there's a run-on for ya!) He's doing Mike a favor and closing over at UPS so he can get home in time.
Peace to all and may you avoid the bugs.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Coughing

Well, Christmas Eve was an interesting gathering. We couldn't get a hold of Joanie to bug her about showing up, so she never did. That annoys me. She's always complaining we never get together, and when we try, we can't find her! Ed, Buffie, Katie and Nik were there, as were Aunt Ellen and Uncle Jerry. Al and his daughter were a no-show, but that's OK, I'm sure that his schedule is a mess. We had a good evening, even though I was fighting off a cold.
By Tuesday morning I had been hit hard. At first, I wasn't going to go down to my parents' house. But after a shower and another short nap, I was feeling quite a bit better. Mind you, not 100%, but not like death warmed over. That and my fever had appeared to be broken, so I felt like I could afford to go out.
Gak and I exchanged gifts in the morning. He got me this really cool digital photo frame. Biggest problem is it doesn't have internal memory, so I've got to pick up another card. No big deal, they're pretty cheap these days. He also picked up the Zelda for the Wii and three crochet pattern books. Yes, my dear, sweet, wonderful husband braved either JoAnn's or Michael's and bought me patterns. Yes, he broke his own rule and bought me baby patterns, but he figured they were for me as much as for Boo. I got him a couple of new non-video games and I'll let you know how fun they are once we've played them. It looks like this was a game-oriented Christmas. I also got him a subscription to White Dwarf, to feed his Warhammer addiction. It works out great in the long run since we don't always make it out to the store to pick it up and it'll actually save the cost of an issue or two over the course of the year. That's always a nice thing. He was thrilled with that.
We got down to Mom and Dad's just in time to go out for lunch. We'd been to this place a few times before in the past when t hey had a buffet kind of setup. It was good and the service was good. Not this year. Last year they switched to a seated dinner (and I think the price per person went up at least $5-10 by doing this). The food was good but not outstanding (what I could taste, my sinuses are clogged and running down the back of my throat) and the service, well, there's no other way of putting it other than it stank. It was down right horrible. Next year we'll go somewhere else or maybe, if I can convince GradmaSue to watch Boo, we might try having it here.
After our lunch we went back to the house to do presents all over again. Mom, Dad, Becca and Jon had all done presents in the morning, now it was time for Gak and I to get the goodies they had for us. I honestly wasn't expecting anything else from Jon and Becca. I figured the game was plenty. They had all kinds of neat little goodies. I got more warm fuzzy socks! I love them. They're blue and have penguins on them. So cute. Jon gave Gak this great Lego catapult. I laughingly chided Jon for giving my husband something that could throw projectiles at me. (Knowing full well that I'd end up stealing it and tossing them right back!) Mom gave us some framed work that she'd done for us. The most special to me was the one she did of Gram's Girl Scout stuff. It will get a place of honor when I redo the family wall. (I've still got a handful of pictures from Gram's apartment waiting for me at Mom and Dad's.) Mom also gave to me the matching angle music box to the one Jon and I had when we were little for Boo. I always thought it was mine, but Mom thinks it was Jon's. Gram had bought two at the time and kept one. That and the angles she chose for us from Gram's collection were wonderful and touching. Dad, of course, gave me a new Michael Chrichton book with homework. I love that he gives me these assignments. Yes, I really am nerdy that way.
I ended up giving Becca another gift myself. Sunday when she and Jon came up she was going on about the blue scarf/wrap that I'd made Gram two years ago. Mom had it in a basket in the living room. Well, with a little prompting from Mom because my brain wasn't firing on all cylinders, I gave it to her yesterday. You should have seen the look on her face! You'd have thought I'd just given her the winning lottery ticket or something. She all but ripped the scarf she was wearing off and wrapped up in the one I'd made. It even matched what she was wearing. It really made me smile to see how much she really loved it. I know she'll enjoy it for quite some time. I always get a smile when I see someone enjoying my work.
I also gave something special to my mom. I have pictures, I just haven't downloaded them yet. My friend Michelle over at Crochetville was kind enough to design a thread pattern for me. It's an angel with my Gram's initials underneath. It's about 10 inches square. I gave it to mom with "some assembly required". The actual crochet bit is done. It needs to be blocked though. I figured she not only has the setup to do it right, but much, much more practice than I do. I also told her my original plan was to attach it to a pillow, but that it would look nice framed too. She decided that the angel definitely needs to go onto a pillow. I'll try and post the picture I have of the unblocked piece tomorrow.
We played Apples to Apples for a little bit yesterday afternoon and then Gak and I came home. I was beginning to feel crappy again. My fever didn't return, but not only do I have gunk running down the back of my throat, but my sinuses have closed up, my ears are clogged and it's begun to settle in my chest. Thankfully I had today as a vacation day to begin with. I'm not going to push myself very hard tomorrow and Friday I've got a baby appointment around 1 and am working from home in the afternoon. Gak's got to work, or he'd go with me. He's been so very good about actually wanting to go with me. I told him it was OK if he didn't go to every appointment. There will be plenty. I just told him that if he didn't make the big ultrasound appointment on the 14th, I'd kill him and his boss and the other (insert favorite curse word here) ASM .
Only, now I don't have to kill the PIMA of an ASM. She quit.
The day after Christmas.
Leaving Gak and Tallon high and dry.
I don't have enough bad words in my vocabulary to describe her and what she's done to these two and the store. She's been nothing but trouble, and lazy trouble at that.
Ok, that was an interesting little detour.
Anyhow, yesterday went well, even if I didn't feel all that great. Today has been mostly useless, but that's OK. I wasn't planning on getting much done other than my New Year's letter printed and maybe some crocheting. Instead I've been playing that stupid Puzzle Quest until the silly DS needed charging. Yes, that's about as motivated as I've been. Of course, I haven't even put it down long enough to take a nap. Silly game.
Well, I'm off to go stand in a warm shower and see if that loosens everything up a bit. I can only take Tylenol and cough drops at the moment. I think I can take normal (non-DM) Robitussin, but I don't have any and I'd have to check the lists again. That doesn't usually do much for me on a good day anyhow. Not much does when I'm feeling like this. Lots of liquids (including warm, not hot, tea), plenty of naps and a warm shower seems to work best.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas Day no matter what you celebrated.
Peace to all and may the cold bugs leave you alone and you have wonderful family around.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Family Fun

Well, yesterday was a great day. I spent most of the day cooking, playing on the computer and well... cooking some more. Then I got to hang out with Jon and Becca and my husband! All in the same place at the same time!
I made a big batch of mac and cheese for lunch. Actually, I made 1/3 for lunch and 2/3 for tonight's get together. It was quite yummy and hit the spot. I also had a loaf of bread in the bread maker. I need to put another loaf in soon, again for tonight. What is it about fresh, warm bread that is soooo irresistible? Especially with just a little butter or honey (or both)?
Anyhow, the main part of dinner was a nice, small briscut I picked up at the farmer's market last weekend. I'd had it in the freezer and was actually smart enough to pull it out Saturday morning! It wasn't a meat-sicle by the time I wanted to start cooking it. I was impressed. I cooked it in one of those oven bags with some carrots, onions and potatoes. The other sides were corn and kugel. I had no idea if Becca would like it or not, or even if she'd know what it was. Well, she does and she did. Her eyes lit up and her voice was full of awe and appreciation when she asked "is that kugel??" Needless to say, the whole thing disappeared, no leftovers of that. Everything else was gobbled up mostly too. Gak's got a nice dish full of goodies for lunch later this week. (That's all that was left!)
Jon and Becca brought Gak and I a wonderful new game. It's called Apples to Apples. I'd heard of it before and I'd even looked at it. It works best with lots of people. So, with only 4, we changed the rules a bit and each played two cards instead of one. Basically, you take turns judging which combination 'wins'. The green card in play is an adjective. The red cards you have in your hand are nouns and can be almost anything, including famous (or infamous) people. It was a lot of fun and we had lots of laughs. Of course, after a couple rounds of that, Gak and I introduced Jon and Becca to the wonders of Killer Bunnies. The best was when Becca declared "I have no bunnies, I don't know what I'm doing". It became the quote of the evening. Gak pretty much dominated the game from round one and won. We had a good time.
It was very nice to have an evening hanging out with Jon, Becca and Gak. I truly like my brother. And Becca is fun too. (Of course, I'm biased, but I think Gak's the greatest...)
Tonight is the gathering over at Kat's. I'm looking forward to that. Hopefully everyone will be able to make it, at least for a little bit. I still have one gift to wrap for one of the kids and again, remember to get the bread into the bread machine. Gak's at work until about 6:30 or so and then we're heading over. It's not supposed to be until 7:30, because Kat and Zoe (I think) will be at church. That's OK. I can let myself in and make sure every thing's good to go.
This really has been a great holiday so far. I've gotten to spend time with some wonderful people I never get to see and just hang out. No stress, no pressure, no anxiety or forces politeness. (I skipped my company's holiday party... I really don't enjoy those stupid things...)
Well, I'm off to make bread and then kill some things in Norrath. I guess I should have some lunch too while I'm at it.
Peace to all and may your holiday be stress free and full of fun and family.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Well, so far this weekend has been a good one.
Abi came up Saturday noontime. We got a chance to all go out to lunch before Gak had to go to work. Then Abi and I mostly hung out and caught up. Sure, we went to the grocery store and came back and wrapped presents. Hey, this was my last chance really with Gak out of the house.
I then taught her Killer Bunnies. Even with just the two of us, it took quite a while to play. Of course, I was teaching someone new, we have almost all the expansion sets and 20 carrots to go through. Once she got into the swing of the game and realized exactly how evil it is, she had a blast. Hopefully next time we get together we'll be able to get everyone together to play. That'll be a ton of fun.
Gak and I also introduced her to Norrath. She was quite fascinated by it. We had fun and I managed to keep Gak from going splut all over the place.
She left about 11:00 this morning to go back to her parents' house. It was a wonderful visit. She appreciated the scarf I made her and she brought me some really great books, including one for the baby.
Right now I'm waiting for Becca and Jon to get up here. They should be here soon. Hopefully their arrival and dinner being finished will happen at the same time. I'm looking forward to their visit. I'll let you know about it later.
Ok. I'm just rambling and trying to take up time. I'm going to go check on dinner and try and figure out something to keep me occupied until they get here. (The DS is on the charger... stupid Puzzle League game...)
Peace to all and may your family gatherings be fun.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I'm Bored

I think I know what my problem is.
I'm bored.
Ok. Let me back up a minute here. I'm sitting here at work at 4:45 on the last work day before the holiday break. I realize that I've gotten just about zero done and this was one of my more productive days this week. I'm trying to figure out why.
Then it hit me.
I'm bored.
I was helping someone in service Wednesday with a few problems and I was enjoying it so much. There truly are days when I miss that job. I don't miss my boss mind you, but the job. It was always different. There was always something new to learn, something else to figure out and to fix.
Now, my biggest challenges are pinning down a customer to a training date, shuffling around the training materials a bit and trying to get information out of people that don't have any. Oh, don't forget navigating across the country through backed up airports and through unknown cities relying only on Mapquest. I can (and probably have) trained in my sleep. I've had very few negative comments about training, and most of those were things that were out of my control, such as functioning connection to their system, wrong people signed up for the course, that kind of thing. I can't control who the customer sends to the course or fix their networks.
I don't want to be bored with my job. I enjoy interacting with the customers and training. I still enjoy seeing that ah-ha! moment. I'm just not challenged any more.
And the few challenges that are left (modularizing the materials, getting clearance and $$ and someone to develop web based content, the Big Book of Knowledge) just don't interest me. They're not very hands on. They don't make me thing hard or challenge me to push my boundaries. They all feel like busy work. Admittedly, some of it is self-assigned busy work. I think that makes it worse. I mean, I totally came up with some of those things just so I'd have something to keep me occupied in the office. I hate when teachers and bosses do that, when I do it I really want to scream.
The sad part is I have no idea how to fix it.
I feel like I've specialized myself into a corner. I know a lot about a very specific product in a very specific segment of a very specific industry. I don't want to go to work for one of the competitors. First off, none of them are local and I really don't feel like moving right now. That and I'm kinda bored with the whole industry.
Not that I know everything about it, far from it. It's just that, well, I want out of air. I want out of the power industry. I want something that I can be challenged by on a regular basis and go home feeling like I've accomplished something. I don't even always come home from a training session feeling like I accomplished much. Some days I think you could use a video recording and be about as affective. (Or is that effective, I'm a science major and I still have problems with those two words! Affect is the action, effect is the result... hmm... not sure that helped any... OK, enough grammar!)
Now, you ask, what would my ideal job be.
I haven't a clue.
It needs to pay as much or more than I'm making now, preferably good benefits too.
It needs to challenge me on an intellectual basis, and, I'm not trying to brag, but that can be tough...
I'd love it to be science related in some way, shape or form. I know my degree is useless at this point because I haven't kept much of the knowledge in my head, but still, it's something I'm interested in.
Working with people would be a bonus. I'm shy and timid and hate social gatherings as a whole, but I enjoy interacting with people in a business fashion. (Yes, that's me, blatant contradictions...)
Anyone have any suggestions?

Oh well, it's almost 5 now and I can escape. Gak and I are going to the movies this evening. I'm looking forward to that. Jon, Becca and Abi all get in this evening. That reminds me, I need to call Abi and see what time she thinks she might be up tomorrow...
Peace to all and may you be challenged enough to keep it interesting without being frustrated.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Madness

Well, it's just about that time. The week of Christmas.
I've got mixed feelings about the holiday. On one hand, I love the family and friendly gatherings, the feasting and the general merriment and a bit of time off work. On the other hand, I think that there is too much pressure to buy everyone you even think you might know something expensive and I don't like having the calendar tell me when to buy someone something. I'm also not sure how crazy I am about the whole religious aspect. Yes, I know, heresy. Christmas is a religious holiday. Personally, I'm a little more into the return of the sun instead of the birth of the Son. Yes, this should be a season of festivities. The days will start getting longer after Saturday. The Christian religion celebrates the birth of their savior. (I have no idea how to classify myself, I'm probably more Christian than anything, but I don't like the feel or fit of any "organized" religion... I have a hard time with any group that thinks anything good "belongs" to them and everyone else is wrong and bad. I see that too often in both religions and political parties.) I've already stated on at least one or two occasions that I do believe in a God... just not all the hype about religion.
Ok. I'm going to stop this train of thought right where it is. It is venturing into areas I don't fully understand or know about myself and isn't what I started this post for. I may come back to this topic at some point, but not today.
What I originally intended this post for was to say how wonderfully busy the next several days are going to be for me and my family.
I'm so supper excited it isn't even funny. Both Jon and Becca as well as my friend Abi arrive in Philly tomorrow. Yes, it's only been a few weeks since I've seen Jon, but I don't get to see him often so any chance is met with great excitement on my part. This will be the first time I've seen Abi since oh... 1994 or 1995? I've missed her boat loads too. Jon and Becca are staying with out parents, Abi with hers.
Saturday Abi is going to come up and visit me. She's probably going to stay the night. I'm so excited I can't stand it. The only downer is that Gak has to work from 2-10:30pm. Oh well. We'll just have to swing by and harass him. (Not like the general public won't be doing enough of that...) I have no idea what we'll be doing, other than me panicking that the house isn't clean and trying to run out and get all the last minute groceries and stuff. Organization is not my strong suit (somehow my boss seems to think otherwise...) at the best of times, but right now, my brain is frazzled.
Jon and Becca are coming up Sunday for dinner and games. I'm not sure what time they're coming up or anything, but hey, it'll be fun. It will be good to have us "kids" together for the evening. I don't get to hang out with my brother much any more. I kinda miss it. It'll also be great because Gak hasn't met Becca yet. I'm just hoping I (well... mostly Gak) get the house cleaned up enough and I don't mess up dinner. I've made what we're having several times before, but that doesn't mean I can't have a bad night and make a mess of things. I'm getting good at that actually. If all else fails, there's a pizza shop within walking distance. *laugh*
Monday is Christmas Eve. After talking to Kat last night, it looks like that's when we're going to have the friends gathering. Actually, they're my "other family". This means a house full of kids and big kids. We're doing it pot-luck style this year. I'm supposed to make bread. (I'll probably make something else as well, just because.) I can't wait, I haven't seen all my "nieces" and "nephews" in the same place in ages. There will be 6 in total ranging in age from just over 1 year to 10. (Well, I guess you can add one more at 15 weeks gestation.... *grin*) I have gifts for all the kiddos, but nothing for the parents. I don't really expect things from my friends, and I'd rather spend my meager Christmas money on the kids. That's not to say if I don't see something when I'm shopping over the next few days that screams out to be purchased for one of my friends, I won't get it.
Tuesday is Christmas day itself. Gak has off and so do I. I actually have Monday off as well, which is nice because it gives me time to bake the bread (i.e. put everything into the bread machine) and finish up any odds and ends that need to be done. Mom has "dinner" reservations for sometime around noon. Don't ask, I don't remember what she told me, it was after noon but before 1:30. Therefore, Gak and I will drive down fairly early to spend the morning with the family. It should be nice and low-key. Again, it is always nice when the family can all get together in one place. We don't have a huge family, but we enjoy each other. Of course, we'll have to remember to call Gak's mom. I'm sure it'll be a tough day for her. Hopefully Brian won't have to work and he'll spend some time with her. I know it'll be odd in some ways for us. Even when we didn't go visit Gram for Christmas, we'd always at least talk to her on the phone. Like I said, it'll be odd.
So, do you think I have enough planned for the next 5 days? Maybe I can squeeze in another gathering somewhere? No? Ok. I won't push it.
Peace to all and may your holidays be filled with the happy chaos of friends and family.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Well, I finally got around to uploading the pictures of some of the decorations. (I'm working from home this afternoon and needed a quick break from staring at the manual I'm trying to rework... Shhh... I also managed to make a batch of cookies between edits and emails...)
Here is our cute little tree. It's a 4.5' tall one. It is standing on a chest/seat thing I got from Ikea. It holds all the spare blankets and such. Putting it on here makes it almost as tall as Gak. No, I don't have a picture for comparison. You can see the tree skirt I made. Luckily, all of the messy bits are near the back and at the edge. I thought this "Christmas Bandanna" pattern was pretty cool. (That and it was on super-duper sale!)

This is what made me pause and tear up when I first opened my box of decorations. This is the stocking that Gram originally made for Mom, but is now mine, back when I was little. I had to have been less than 7 or 8, probably more like 5. When I packed up this box of Christmas about 4 years ago now, I wasn't expecting the first time I opened it back up to be just a few weeks after Gram passed. There were several things in this box that reminded me of her.
Looking at it, I think I can create another one. I just have to figure out how to make half granny squares. I'm sure I can figure it out though. I'm not sure if she was following the pattern or disliked joining squares as much as I did, since she slip-stitched them together instead of whip stitched.

Here is one of the apples that are hanging on my tree. Mom bought this ages ago. I guess when we were going through ornaments I thought they were cute or something. I'm not sure. I like them, though and they look nice on the tree.

Here is my Christmas Mouse candle holder. It's got one of the candles intended for one of those whirlygig things in the holder. I don't have any tapers and forgot to pick some up at the store. He's a real cutie. No, as far as I know, he doesn't have a name. I do believe at one time there was a second one, with the candle on the other side. I may be wrong though.

Just to show you I've been creative for a long time, here is a school project from Kindergarten. We were living in Kansas at the time, so of course it's made out of wheat. Mom has at least one beautiful example of wheat art on her tree, but this is one that I made. I'm still proud of it; I just wish the bow would lay flat better. (Not my fault, the teacher tied that on.)
Well, I'd best be getting back to my editing. Peace to all and may your holiday be filled with good memories and family.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Shopping and Traditions

This weekend was an interesting one.
Saturday Gak was supposed to work early and then, depending on the weather, we were going to go see Golden Compass. I loved the books, I'm hoping they did as good a job with the movie. Instead, due to various office politics, he ended up being called in for the closing shift. Oh well.
So, instead of him going to work and me doing stuff around the house, we ran errands. We first went to the Q-Mart (farmer's market) to see what we could get for a collection of old coins that have been pushed around for over 20 years and that none of us really wanted. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount we got for them. This was an added little holiday bonus. We picked up some meat from Frederic's Meats while we were there to stock up the freezer a little bit. Gak also stopped in at the comics shop and picked up several back issues he was missing. We hadn't gone there since September or so. We had lunch at the new Red Robin that just opened up by the new Target and then promptly spent more of our windfall there.
I'd been thinking about trading in my original DS for a new DS Lite. Gak's work is running a promotion right now giving you extra cash back for the trade, and are/were running a contest between stores to see who could get the most trade-ins. Therefore, we took the last little bit of our windfall and traded in the DS and got a brand new one in red. It's shiny. And sparkly. I'm really happy with it.
Originally we were supposed to be moving the last of the stuff from Gram's apartment yesterday. We decided to reschedule for later due to the impending weather. (Saturday couldn't have been more gorgeous! Cold and clear and bright.) Gak still had off, although there was a moment when we thought they might try and get him to come in. We had a mostly lazy day. I was a bit productive though.
A few weeks ago, Gak and I picked up a pre-lit tree from Target. It was on sale and it actually looks pretty good. So, yesterday I made a tree skirt for it (don't look too close at the edges) and Gak assembled it and got the small box of "Christmas" out of the closet. While Gak took a nap I pulled everything out of the box and decorated. There isn't much.
The first thing I pulled out of the box however, made me stop and tear up a bit. It was one of the stockings Gram made for our family well over 23 years ago now. She crocheted stockings for all of us. Mom's and mine matched being made of red, white and green squares just different sizes. Hers matched Jon and Dad's; red, white and green striped in various sizes. I now have the one that was originally Mom's. I'm not sure where the other 4 are, probably in a box at Mom and Dad's. (Yes, Dad had a stocking, even though he celebrates Hanukkah, not Christmas; we all celebrated everything.)
Some of the other ornaments made me tear up a bit. There's one Gram bought me when I was a baby and another she made when I was about 5 or 6. There are the ducks that Jay bought us. There's the pine cone from Avery. I don't have many ornaments, but they all have stories. Even the three red, plastic apples. Those were also from Mom's first tree. She bought them in New Jersey on a shopping trip with Gram, Jay and Bill.
There is a Christmas Mouse candle holder. I only have a vague idea of where the Christmas Mouse tradition started, at least for our family. It started with Mom's first tree in her own place and one of the ornaments she bought at a church craft fair. It's a cute little walnut shell being used as a bed for a sleepy little mouse. We've always had at least one Christmas Mouse floating around. I think they're cute. (Then again, I am a Ratonga in the world of Norrath...)
No, I don't have pictures right now. I'll try and take some tonight and upload them. (I was going to yesterday, but got distracted by a shiny new DS...)
Well, I'd best get back to work.
Peace to all and may you have holiday traditions and good memories.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Florida Wrapup

Well, this week has been a decent one. The weather has been nice. The two guys I had were good people. I was able to wrap up today because I only had one guy left.
Tomorrow I'll probably just wander around a bit and try and stay out of trouble. I hope I can get back OK. The weather at home today is crappy and nasty. It is supposed to be clear tomorrow and then turn nasty again Saturday into Sunday. I'm so not looking forward to that.
I really don't have a whole lot to say today. I haven't been poking around on the net much because I've been checking mail and stuff from the office. I just can't see spending $10 a night on Internet service, when I'm sitting in a company office all day, and that's "free".
Oh, you won't be getting any pictures from this trip, as I left my camera at home. Oh well. That's life.
Well, I've got some emails and stuff to wrap up before I can escape. I hope everyone is having a good week. Like I said, nothing too exciting here.
Oh, I did forget to mention I get to drive a red "New" Beetle this week. It's really kinda fun. It has an amazing amount of headroom for a little car. If I owned it, I would paint the front black, put a black strip down the middle and a few spots. The color is just about lady bug red. I know, cheezy, but hey, I'd know it was mine!
Ok, peace to all and may your week be interesting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


**Note, This was written on Tuesday, but for some reason didn't get posted when I told it to post!**

Well, there were no updates this weekend, because this weekend was just kinda cranky that way.

Saturday was one of those days when nothing went quite right. Gak had to close at a different store, one that I'd been past a while ago, but couldn't quite remember where it was. This lead to lots of fun time in the car with us getting snippy because the directions he had were good, but not quite right.

Saturday night I watched Zoe for Kat. Andy was at his holiday party and was going to pick up Gak on the way home. Kat was out with a few other friends to a concert. Gak and I just couldn't afford to go and besides, I was leaving in the morning for Tampa. Zoe was a major handful. It was almost like her ADD meds weren't working 100%. She was somewhat able to focus and everything, but just not quite. It was just enough to drive me batty. Andy was also about 15 minutes picking up Gak, so that was fun.

Sunday I was supposed to leave for Tampa. My flight was at noon. Gak had to be at work by 1. No problem. Well, about 9am I get an automated call from Delta. My flight's been canceled and they put me on the next one at 5pm. Uh-oh, how am I getting to the airport? Luckily Kat was available and it wasn't an issue. Well, along comes 3pm and I get another call about my flight canceled. This time they put me on a flight at noon Monday. Problem. I have to be in the office by noon Monday.

No problem, there's a flight at 7 out of Philly that will get me in by midnight. Not my idea of fun, but I'll still be there on time. (It turns out there was freezing rain up at Allentown. It was gray but dry at my house...) So, Kat and Scott pick me up and take me down to Philly. I get through security and grab a snack (I hadn't had dinner and didn't have time) and call back Abi. She'd called me as I was going through security. Well, about 5 minutes into the conversation, I look up at the board and see that my flight is delayed. And this delay will make me miss my Tampa connection. Crap.

Well, after waiting in line for a while, I get booked on the 6am (major UGH) flight out of Philly. I am able to convince Dad to come get me and then drop me back off in the morning. They live about 20 minutes closer to the airport than I do. I get up at 3am, head to the airport for my flight and amazingly enough, it all goes well. I manage to get in by 11:30, and to the office by 12:30. Mind you, I haven't had lunch. I've been up since 3am.

I was supposed to have 2.5 people this week. Well, one of them was a no-show. So, it is down to 1.5. The one guy left after today, the other is here through the end of the week. It'll be interesting at any rate. I knew I should have canceled this trip. Oh well. At least it is warm here.

The training itself has gone quite well, despite the guy here for a partial week is a total noob when it comes to our system. (It was only installed last week!) The other guy has been working with it for almost a year and one of our better customers has been teaching him how to do things. Hopefully we'll move through stuff much faster in the next few days.

Oh well. Such is life.

Ok. I just realized what time it is and that I'm hungry. I'm off to find some dinner. (I refuse to pay $10 a day for Internet at the hotel when I'm sitting in a corporate office all day...) Oh, yeah, and I forgot my camera so even though I have the afternoon off tomorrow, you won't be getting any pictures. Sorry.

Peace to all and may you not have any travel trials.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Just a quick little post to tell my friend (an engineer here at the office) Don that he's old!!
Actually, he's not. To me, he's still a kid. He turns 25 today. Several of us from the office were supposed to go out to dinner Tuesday, but with everything else going on in my life, we had to change plans. I have no idea when we'll be able to go out. You may remember my post about this last year. We all went out at about this time and decided we needed to do this more often. Well, it hasn't happened. I tried in March but all hell broke loose then too. I think I'm not the one to plan these things. If I do, something breaks. Oh well.
Other than that, nothing really new since yesterday. I just wanted to laugh at Don publicly.
Peace to all and may you have friends to laugh with.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Yesterday was a long day. Gak and I left here between 8 and 9 and got down to Maryland right about noon. It was a bit of a tough drive because it started snowing. It looks like this is going to be a rough winter. Actually, most of the snow was south, there wasn't much of anything going on up here.
My friend Michelle joined us shortly after we got there. Dad and Jon got there about 45 minutes later. All of us really tried to get as much done around Gram's apartment as possible. We got a lot of stuff packed up and is still sitting in my car. We sorted a lot of stuff to either take to Goodwill or leave for the rummage sale. It was a lot of work, but Michelle helped us sooo much. I need to talk to Kat and see when I can enlist some of our friends to help move some furniture and big stuff up here.
The memorial service was very nice. I'm trying to figure out who Gram didn't know in that place. There were so many residents who came and lots of 'family' who came as well. It was great to see some of them, who I haven't seen in quite a while. It was really nice that pretty much the entire Stradley clan came. Linda's husband had to go back and the 'kids' (my age-ish) didn't come either. There were also several other family members from another part of my family that we don't see much. It was nice of them to come.
It took us until about 7 or shortly there after to get out of there. The snow was still coming down there, but the roads were clear. We didn't get home until about 11:30 though. Because of the weather, traffic was moving slower than usual, but that was expected. What wasn't expected was being stuck on 15 for about an hour as they were cleaning up from a previous accident. There was a tractor trailer that was in the median facing our way. So they were going to pull it out and up the ramp where we were. Therefore we had to sit and wait. It wasn't that bad except I was getting tired.
Well, I guess I've got to get my butt in gear and get into the office. I told my boss on Monday that I'd be in by noon today, so I guess I'd better get moving. It's only 9, but still, I've got stuff to take care of.
Peace to all and may you have friends and family.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Sorry for the lack of posting over the past several days. I just haven't felt like it. I kept thinking I should over the weekend, but I just never did.
Today was a very exciting day in the world of Gak and Addey. We had our first prenatal appointment. Yes, that's right. I'm pregnant again. According to the blood work we had done a few weeks ago, I'm at about 12 weeks. According to the ultrasound, I should be at about 14 weeks. According to my travel schedule, I'm at about 12 weeks. (Besides, have you seen how big Gak is?)
My mom and dad already knew; and Mom told Gram before she passed. After everything that happened in August, Gram kept asking mom if she was for real and not just saying that. No, Gram, she wasn't just saying that to make you smile. It's true, you have a great-grandbaby on the way.
It was a very exciting appointment. The technician doing the ultrasound was the same woman as the last time. She kept looking at the screen, my charts and the little calculator wheel thing and couldn't believe the date it came up with. I know it was an impossibility because I was in Chicago at the time and the next week was the week I barely saw Gak. We're both pretty sure it was the week of his birthday, so Happy Birthday Gak! We have some blurry ultrasound pictures that you can almost see what should be the baby. We got to hear the heartbeat. That was purely a magical moment for both Gak and I. It made it real. For the last several weeks, since I found out I was pregnant, I just haven't had time to focus on it. Mom asked me if I was happy, and I said yes, but in reality I was mostly numb. Sure, I was happy to be pregnant again, but it was more of a "this is nice" as opposed to "Wow! You knew exactly what I wanted for my birthday and it is perfect!" kind of happy.
Ok. I just realized that last paragraph jumped all over the place. That's about as well as my brain is working right this moment. I've had almost no "morning sickness" to report. Just a little bit of general nausea and feeling like I'm bloated/gassy/uncomfortable. (I know, just what you wanted to hear.) Mostly it's been the heartburn. I'm soooo thankful that Tums are safe and allowed. I'll probably be going through lots more in the next few months. The baby is due sometime between May 30th and June 17th, depending on which conception dates you use. (Personally, I'm leaning more towards June than May, but I may be wrong...)
Anyhow, I've got to get going. I've got another doctor's appointment tomorrow and to pick up my brother from the airport, so I've got lots of things to clear off my plate today.
Peace to all and may your lives be filled with pleasant surprises