I resisted the temptation to edit out those lines under my eyes. I also did not whiten my teeth, or use the blemish remover tool. Less flattering, more honest. (Seriously, though, once you use that blemish remover tool under your eyes, you never want to go back. Sigh.) This is as good as it gets at 7 am.
I was going to give you all a present on my birthday, but I didn’t have time to finish it. So you just get my smile. It could be worse.
33 looks like it will be an eventful year for me, with finishing up classes, student teaching, and then graduating. Ideally that would also include getting a new job, but given the economic climate, we’ll just have to wait and see on that. I will be happy to be finished with the program before I’m 35.
Birthday plans tonight are quite small – juicy lucys at a local restaurant (haven’t picked which one yet), opening presents. Though I received some quality liquor last night (the theme of my gift from was margaritas), I will not be testing any of it out, as I will be waking up very early in the morning for an airport run. We will be spending the weekend cleaning the house and getting it ready for guests, including a wee baby. and are coming over on Sunday, and is planning on picking up some more furniture for the family room that day too. I should be able to have some decent pics of the “furnished” family room by Wednesday after the carpets are cleaned and dried.
Everything else seems to be up in the air until our elected officials figure out the budget. Will I have a 4 day week next week or a 5 day week? Who knows. I’m not worried… just tired of getting emails regarding and making preparations for the possible shutdown. My boss is on vacation next week, which means added responsibilities, especially with the shutdown (there’s a lot to do if that happens…). Let’s just say that if we end up shutting down, I’ll be very happy to sleep in on the 1st of July, because I’ll be tired.
And… I think that’s all I have to say today. I’m trying to welcome 33, emphasis on the trying. Maybe I’ll pick up some stronger under-eye concealer this weekend. 🙂
[Editor’s note: I totally took a picture of myself this morning to share with y’all, and left the memory card at home. Bummer. So, I’ve included a photo montage of strange pictures of myself at ‘s wedding. Also, since I had so very many parenthetical thoughts, I’ve italicized them to help you keep the train of thought. You know, as much as possible. 🙂 ]
I am 32 today. And, I think I’m OK with that. Let’s see… yes, yes, life is pretty good. I have more bad hair days than good, my skin finally cleared up, I’m the same weight I was at 22 (I weighed myself yesterday to see how much damage my uncontrolled love of Caramel Nut Clusters had done, and the answer was none – I’m totally wedding day weight still – high five!), I have a job and a husband and a house… I think there’s nothing to complain about.
My father-in-law gave me a gift certificate to a fancy seafood restaurant downtown, so that’s fun. doesn’t like seafood, so my consumption of it dropped dramatically upon marrying him (it’s OK, his consumption of spaghetti and Manwich dropped too). Fun to have a night out (plus, don’t good seafood places usually serve steak too? no one will starve). My mother-in-law made me a necklace, which I have not photographed, but it is lovely.
gave me a cutting board (a replacement for an earlier one that was warped by the dishwasher) and bird seed (in the hopes, or perhaps knowledge, that someone would be getting me a bird feeder).
gave me a hummingbird feeder (so exciting!), an iTunes app store gift card, and a pair of socks. Yesterday several birthday cards came in the mail. I’m feeling pretty good about myself. 🙂 (I should totally share with you some of the comments in cards I’ve gotten lately, because they’re awe.some.)
We’re going out to dinner tonight (Don Pablos – I had a craving – there will be a margarita), then pulling up part of our deck, and I have a massage scheduled at 9 (they keep calling because I have 7 massages saved up, and getting one on my birthday sounded like a fabulous idea). We’re going over to ‘s for dinner and a party tomorrow night (celebrating ‘s birthday* as well as mine). The fun never stops. Oh, you don’t usually spend your birthday working on your deck? Bummer for you. As it is, we have a plumber coming out tomorrow to install a backflow preventer, so that we can make progress on our in-ground sprinkler system. We’re DIY-ing, and I’ll probably photo-document the whole thing and share it with you when we’re all done. At any rate, in order for the plumber to be able to do his job, we need to pull up some boards on the deck so he can get to the faucet. Since Monday and Tuesday night I spent writing a paper, and Wednesday night I had class, so this is the only time to do it.
Since there’s no time between now and then to get some Coldstone (with cake in it, of course), do you think I can pull off a “birthday visit” on Saturday?
* – you may or may not be getting a gift from me tomorrow. Things have been ordered, but I only one has arrived, and I got a shipping confirmation today, so I’m guessing that one won’t be here by tomorrow; no shipping info on the rest. Sorry! I was indecisive and didn’t order your gift until Monday.
I have absolutely nothing of interest to blog about.
Hence the multi-day hiatus.
It’s ‘s birthday today. And one of my aunts is in town for the week, visiting her. They’ll be stopping by our house at some point, but I don’t know when, and I don’t know if we’re supposed to be serving them dinner, or how long they’re staying.
But really, I’ve got nothing. I’m even boring myself right now.
That training I was at yesterday and today? I didn’t have to go to this afternoon’s portion. I cannot appropriately express how happy this makes me (while still trying to keep my blog safe in case someone from work finds it).
After staying late at work yesterday for afore-mentioned training, I came home to this:
Words cannot express how happy I am about this. arranged for my piano to be moved to our house (from ‘s, where it has lived… forever) while I was at work. How sweet is that? And totally awesome.
Though my 9-5 yesterday was less than pleasant, the rest of the day was lovely. called early and left me a message, singing Happy Birthday. I received lots of thoughtful gifts. We went out to Olive Garden for dinner, and then for a walk in our neighborhood.
I’m quite thankful for 30, actually. It was a great age, and a good year. (I am not quite coping with being 31 yet, though. I’ll try to work on that. As a plus, I got carded last night at OG, that’s cool.)
and will be here this weekend, and I don’t get to see them very often. seems quite excited for the visit. They are coming up in their RV, bringing their 4 dogs. Lots of details to be worked out, like getting the right kind of power so they can run the A/C, and is our driveway long enough…. Still, totally excited (and thankful) for their visit.
We also cleaned house last night, and most of the boxes in the main living areas of the main floor are gone or hidden! It looks much more moved-in than it did before, and not just because of the piano. Did I mention I have a piano?
I don’t have to stay late today at work. Quite thankful for that.
I’m leaving work early tomorrow. I have half an hour from yesterday that I worked, and I think I’m just going to take an extra hour or two of paid leave, to make sure that all the details for the weekend are taken care of (house cleaned again…) and to relax before the circus arrives (3 large dogs plus 1 small yippy dog = circus, even if they are well-bred, well-trained, prize-winning dogs). Leaving work early on a Friday? Thankful.
I called her to wish her a happy birthday, and we had a lovely conversation. She wanted to know all about the new house, and was just so excited. She’d had a great few weeks, between her surprise party on the 3rd (that we couldn’t attend, because we were moving and in no condition to take a trip to Chicago), Mother’s Day, and then her actual birthday.
Her phone has been ringing off the hook!
She’s so much fun. Her favorite word is “neat.” Honestly. Everything is neat. Called Grandma to tell her I was engaged. “Oh, that’s so neat. That’s just neat. Oh, oh.”
Can’t beat that.
She’s married to my grandpa (obviously), and together, they make Christmas so much fun, if only to watch them eagerly open gifts. Seriously, if you can still get excited about a book when you’re 90+, you deserve some sort of prize.
She’s also famous (in my small circle, at least), for wearing these:
I’m realizing now that it looks like she’s not smiling very much in those pictures, but don’t be fooled. She smiles a lot, and is a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of gal. Hard, tough (she was a school bus driver for the Aurora School District, if that means anything to you), and a workhorse (she’s also the creator of the infamous Christmas Eve meals featuring the same menu for the last few decades, which we love, even if we do make fun of it sometimes). I’m so lucky to have her around! Grandpa turns 95 this year (I think), in June. I’ll spare you the cute stories she told me while we were on the phone.
When I came home from work, I saw that this beast:
which had removed on Sunday night, and which was given to someone from Craigslist because they needed it, and it still works (it’s just small, and, well, ugly),
was replaced with this one:
Ain’t she a beauty? There was some confusion with Sears about how many dishwashers we ordered and/or wanted to pay for, but in the end, just the one was delivered and had nearly finished installing it by the time I got home. It works perfectly (we ran it last night), and matches the other stainless steel appliances much better than the old one did.
While browsing through my Amazon wishlist (and then Amazon gift guides, because apparently even I find myself hard to shop for right now) in an attempt to find a birthday gift idea for myself (beyond a subscription to This Old House and a bird feeder, which people apparently don’t find interesting enough, though it should be noted that last year I received three ginormous encyclopedia-like books on gardening from , and found them at least slightly amusing, and for years I keep asking my sister for kitchen products, so please, lower your standards), I came across this beauty:
I think I want to use it to finally figure out the color scheme of my office. I do best when I have inspiration like this (like the time that and I painted our apartment based on a placemat I owned). The other option is to find a can of Oops paint from Home Depot, and I’m just not feeling that right now (though the last time, that lovely yellow I painted my old bedroom, back when I was single, was just perfect). I was wanting to go blue and brown, and this little figurine is kind of blue and brown.
Now how do I translate that to a decorating scheme of a 9×11 room with two windows, one smallish closet, beech-colored woodwork, hardwood floors, a desk (with a sewing machine) and a large shelving unit full of fabric? Anyone? I am not really sure why I can’t figure this out myself. I am usually excellent at “interior design.” Really, I am. will vouch for me, having seen me in action with an enormous stack of paint samples before. I really wanted to do one of the “techniques” that Ralph Lauren Paints have, but the ones I like involve a lot of work and apparently there will be “seams” (I like the linen look, which is similar to all the other fabric-y ones), and I don’t want that. Hrm. I might just have to do… plain paint on walls. Or maybe half and half? With a chair rail? (Let’s be clear that a chair rail doesn’t mean wainscoting or bead board, nor does it mean a picture rail. Just Google those terms to get some idea of what they mean if you don’t know.) It doesn’t have to be traditional. Apartment Therapy thinks that the actual chair rail (wood) isn’t necessary [link removed], but that I could just go from one color to the other with a nice, clean tape line. I am not doing stripes.
With some birdy embellishment? ( should like that.) Some examples: birdcage [link removed], bird on a branch [link removed], bird flourish [link removed]. Also, while I was searching for those images, I found this vinyl wall decal [link removed], which is too awesome for words. I can hear reaching for his wallet now….
As was making dinner last night, I told him, “my plan is to mostly finish or finish the ‘s quilt.” And then I promptly hid in my sweater, because that seemed like a huge undertaking for one evening. I already had the binding sewn on one long side and two corners, so I figured I should be able to make it across a short side and another long side. So after dinner, I pulled it out (it’s so lovely to work on binding a quilt in winter, because you’ve got a built-in lap warmer – who would ever want to do that in the summer without copious amounts of air conditioning?) and got to work. Two hours later, there was some squealing. Seriously. Sorority-girl-reunion-type squealing.
Short of having to throw it in the wash (at the very least, all the cat hair needs to be removed, since is allergic), I actually finished it, days ahead of when it needed to be!
Lots of pictures were taken, but I’ll spare you. If you want, you can hop on over to my Flickr photostream to see them.
Most excitingly, while the binding looks fabulous, my corners are perfect! All 4 (8) of them (they have two sides, you know)!
There are two leftover squares of patchwork, and some of the green used on the front, so I’m going to try to make a pillow sham with those, and see what I can find to make a pillowcase out of. I had originally planned on a bed skirt too, but decided that wouldn’t like it that much, and so it wasn’t important. Then, whatever I have left (I have a 2″ pile of strips used to make the patchwork), I’ll sell on Etsy.
Yay! Hopefully I’ll get some better photos this weekend, or at some later date. Sunlight doesn’t happen much these days, so good photo-taking opportunities are few and far between.
Yes, well, welcome to the season of birthdays. Most of the birthdays of my friends and family (and family-in-law) occur in the summer. There’s a birthday about once every week or two. Today’s birthday is…
And, since Susan reads this blog regularly, maybe she’ll get this message! (And friendly reminder that I need her mailing address, which I also just requested via email.)
Sadly, I just checked Flickr and I have only 7 photos from college in there (ah, the days before digital cameras), and none of them have Susan in them, so I can’t embarrass her with any pictures. Oh well.
In other news…
It’s quite boring here today, as expected. Prince Charming has the day off, and will be picking Alison up at the airport later today. Our plans for the weekend include going to St Joe’s for a parade (there will also be a Charming Family Reunion, but we’re not going to that), and then spending the rest of our spare time ripping the carpeting off the stairs, patching and painting, and then moving all the furniture in the upstairs of our house. The new carpeting is getting installed Monday. (Still no word from the window people regarding our order, which is sad, but not crucial to getting the house on the market.)
Last night, I got a skirt nearly finished. Basically, I re-seamed the sides (since I’d made it a little too big) and installed the zipper (didn’t go as smoothly as the other one that Mom helped me with, but looks acceptable), and hook and eye. I also pinned it to hem it, but didn’t actually do that part. I could have, but decided to go for a walk instead. So, the black skirt is nearly done, and the green skirt is technically done but I think I’m going to have to take it apart and modify it, because I’m not happy with how parts turned out. Also, it is still too big, even though Mom and I altered it quite a bit when she was helping me with the zipper. That is the joy/problem of cutting out a few sizes too big. (I’d rather it be too big than too small.)
I need to get a few more projects knocked out (there’s another skirt that’s nearly done except for the zipper install and hemming, and quite a few that I’ve cut out), because wouldn’t you know it, I’ve gone and bought more fabric (I envision Prince Charming cringing as he reads this, if he does). It’s all JCarolineCreative’s fault, I tell you. They keep putting things on sale and I’m powerless to resist! Some of what I bought were remnants (less than a yard), and may only be used for odd little things or embellishing, but some were, in fact, full yardages or more, with specific projects in mind. I try to do that now, really I do. I also bought some more fabric on Etsy, also with a specific purpose. I’m making a blanket for Grant, and this could end up being more of an undertaking than I’m prepared for. We’ll see how it turns out. (Yes, I’ve all but abandoned my knitting projects. I do really enjoy knitting, but it takes so many man hours for a project to be completed, whereas sewing items, especially easy clothing or home decorating items like pillows can be finished in a couple of hours.)
My second class starts on Monday, so I’ll be busy Monday and Wednesday nights for the next 6 weeks. And yes, my other class is still in session (meeting Wednesday afternoons), so it looks like things will continue to be busy. I haven’t seen Amanda in forever. Liz and I are going to the Taste this weekend sometime, a tradition of ours that has been well documented on this site as being full of … incidents. Last year, however, went off without any glitches, so perhaps we’ve turned a corner.
I have a crap-ton of links and recipes to share, but I don’t want to overwhelm, so I’ll try to dispense them gradually over the next few weeks, assuming I find the time to write them up.
Yes, yes, I’m finally getting around to talking about my birthday that was a whole week ago. Whatever. It’s been weirdly busy and then not, and when it hasn’t been, I’ve been without pictures to post. And what good is a birthday post without pictures?
gave me LEGO Star Wars [link removed] (and I have a love-hate relationship with that game right now), a hammock stand, and a knick-knack (there might have been other things, like a really sweet card, which I didn’t photograph).
Everything was inside and undamaged, but still plans on talking to the company so they know how their products are being treated while in transit.
I asked ‘s dad for a sewing mat, thinking that he probably couldn’t go overboard with the restriction of “it can’t be bigger than our table.”
‘s mom gave me a Starbucks gift card, which I’ve been plowing through (lately I’ve been drinking a lot more coffee).
gave me this odd collection of gardening books (“one for every decade!”), of which some are new and some are used.
gave me a cute book about a little redheaded girl with freckles, some chocolate (30 pieces) and some coffee. She had apparently wanted to give me a coffee grinder, but asked and he told her that I already own one, which is true, so she just bought me some whole bean coffee instead.
Also, yesterday was ‘s 58th birthday, and his present arrived on time (for $12 shipping, it should!). He got a cookie jar that we found at Marshall’s for a ridiculously cheap price, along with a batch of Ginger cookies.
Last night I had look at my sewing machine to see if he saw what I was seeing, where the thread is getting caught, if there was a way to fix that, etc. Basically we came up with a whole lotta nothin’. The end result is that tonight I am going to attempt, again, to re-thread the machine and check the tension in all possible places of error, and then when that doesn’t fix it (because I’m quite sure it won’t), I will call Singer on Friday morning and complain about the piece of crap they sold me. I am well after my 30 days for their return policy, but I don’t care. As far as I’m concerned they need to do something about this situation. Ideally we can get them to take it back and we’ll just buy a different brand entirely. For that, I will go to the place that fixed my machine and get some good advice, and then buy from them (because their warranty will be different and separate and they’ll care a lot more about making me happy).
All I wanted was a simple machine to make some clothes and pillows with. Forward and reverse stitching. I don’t even actually need it to be able to do fancy stuff, though button-holes would be nice. Why is this so hard? I’ve got even more clothes cut out and waiting now, and more fabric that I could cut out and prep. At least I have interfacing now, so I can do that small part of the projects.
My back doesn’t itch that much today, so that probably means I only have a few sensitivities and no actual allergies. Oh well. It’ll still give me something to go on and maybe I can find some soaps and lotions that don’t irritate me. I am looking forward to my shower this afternoon when I get home. Actually, I’m going to start making dinner first (because it’s a bread thing and the dough has to rise for 60 seconds), so I’ll have to wait a bit. It’s a better plan than showering first, then cooking, and then taking a nap while the dough rises, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t wake up from the timer and then dinner would somehow end up ruined. That’s no good.
I did get some good sleep last night, which only served to point out exactly how little sleep I’d gotten the previous two nights. So I’m still quite tired.
WebMD wanted me to know that one of the reasons I may have gained weight is that I’m not getting enough sleep [link removed]. Or I’m going through menopause [link removed]. I vote on the first one. I do get significantly less sleep than I used to (you know, back when I was single and lived 2 miles from work and was a slacker when it came to morning work schedules). They also want me to eat yogurt, but that’s not related to weight gain.
So basically, while I haven’t finished reading all my books yet on insulin resistance and PCOS and so forth, what I’ve come up with so far is that 1) my diet needs to change, though I’m not exactly sure in what ways yet, 2) I need to exercise regularly or I’ll die, and 3) I need to find some willpower, somehow, because I don’t want to do either #1 or #2 and I’m pretty sure it’ll be hard to accomplish them without any willpower.
Oh, and I’ve switched hairdressers. Sad, I know, because I’d just started going back to Kerry, but it’s not exactly convenient for me to get to the Midway and really hard to get an appointment with her these days. So I walked into the Salon that’s in the mall where the Transit Center is and they got me an appointment for Monday (could have gotten one for tonight, but I didn’t want to cut into date night, even if we don’t have plans) for a cut and style, and for a pedicure (birthday present to myself). Problem solved. Now that my hair is long, I don’t need a stylist to be all that talented, seeing as how there’s only so much damage she can do (unless she cuts it too short, in which case that will be the last I see of her).
And… I’m bored at work. And sleepy. Not as sleepy as yesterday, when I could have actually put my head on on the desk and fallen asleep, soundly.
Birthday dinner with is finally all scheduled and planned. What a hassle. I will remember this and demand to do nothing next year, because seriously, more than I wanted to deal with. On the menu is BBQ chicken and asparagus on the grill, strawberry shortcake for desert, and whatever is bringing as a salad and to drink and . And everyone is bringing presents for me! That’s always exciting. I’ve already gotten birthday cards from my two aunts (OK, I have 3, but the last one almost always forgets to send a card and when she does remember, she sends it on my sister’s birthday and then forgets hers instead). I was briefly sad last night when I realized that I wasn’t going to be getting another birthday card from my Aunt Shirley. Perhaps Uncle Bob will remember to send a card, but maybe not.
I may be staying home tomorrow just to get some sleep. I haven’t gotten much work done this week, and while part of it has been there hasn’t been much to do, another part is that I’ve found it hard to motivate myself because I’m so tired. It might be healthy for me to spend a day at home relaxing. I definitely have the sick leave available.
Today is my grandpa’s 95th birthday! called me about two weeks ago to remind me, so I verified the date with him and then sent out a card (at the same time I sent out his Father’s Day card, since conveniently all the men in my life of any importance have birthdays within 5 weeks of Father’s Day – seriously, check the notes at the end of this post).
So this morning, my cell phone rang at 7:36, which never happens (we’ve talked about how my cell phone almost never rings, and when it does, it’s , right?). It was , which, of course, causes me to panic. Unscheduled, unexpected, unsolicited calls from make me think that something horrible has happened, specifically that someone has died (it’s a short list of who that might be, but life-altering and panicking and why exactly is this my first thought when he calls and does that mean I need therapy?). No, was just calling to remind me that it is Grandpa’s birthday.
I told him I mailed a card. He said that my uncle was taking him out for breakfast (husband of my aunt who died in October) and that was taking him out for lunch. Sunday, they’re having his sisters over for an informal birthday party (Grandpa is the oldest of about a billion siblings, or six or something, and several of his siblings are also still alive, including 3 sisters). It was suggested that tonight I give Grandpa a happy birthday phone call. This isn’t a problem, since he will probably be talkative enough to eat up 1 or 2 minutes of our monthly plan minutes.
So I’ll try to let go of the “slightly annoyed” feeling I now have about being unnecessarily panicked about the death of a loved one and being reminded of something I remembered… and just say…
I’ve reorganized my cubicle (slightly, but enough to throw me off balance temporarily), I wiped down all the surfaces in my cube, and I even cleaned up a ton of bookmarks in Firefox. I got around to setting up a bunch of “linkfest” posts (divided up into smaller, easier-to-consumer chunks since the last time I had a big post it wasn’t helpful in the end) that will be posted over the next couple of days.
Apparently, it’s spring cleaning time in the office. Now if only I made myself get around to dealing with the stack of papers that’s “filed” (and by filed, I mean generally in the area where the files are, but not in anything more than a large pile) in our office area at home. I need to get that done some time in the next few weeks, since it will need to be taken care of before putting the house on the market.
I can’t believe now near we are to June, our proposed time for putting the house up for sale. We’ve made some definite progress, and have been working what seems like “all the time,” but there are still plenty of things to do still and not that much time. Hopefully we won’t just blow by the June deadline, since lots of people think that August is a good time to buy a house and I’d like to capitalize on that.
In case you were interested in what got for his birthday on Tuesday, here’s what I gave him:
The sewing machine place called yesterday and got ahold of them today. Singer (not the place that it’s at for repairs, though it’s at an authorized repair center, but the manufacturer of said machine) wanted to know if I still had the box it came in, because it has to be sent to them for repair (as in, they can’t fix it here in the repair center). So I will be without my machine for several more weeks. Thankfully, to the best of my knowledge, everything is covered under the 90-day warranty and I won’t have to pay for anything. I shouldn’t, since it came to me refurbished directly by Singer and didn’t work from the start. I guess this means that I will have a lot of projects cut out and ready to sew by the time it is returned.
I need a haircut, but I also need my hair dyed first. I haven’t scheduled a time to do either yet.
Lastly, if you try the new Starbucks summer drink (Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino), you should know that its proper name is actually Death-By-Chocolate (with a hint of mint). It’s a mocha frappuccino with chunks of chocolate cookie in it and a hint of mint (just the way I like it, not too much), and then topped with chocolate whipped topping and chocolate sauce. Yeah. But it’s good. Way too many calories (haven’t looked it up, I’m just guessing) for any sort of regular enjoyment, but a nice treat for a particularly stressful day. I think it has extra caffeine in it, because I’m feelin’ it a bit strongly.