Welcome December!

November 30, 2006

I am glad I decided to jump into this blogging thing, and to do it with the commitment of posting every day for a month.  It has been a great experience so far.  I plan to keep up with it.  Probably not everyday, but that is probably a good thing.   I have enjoyed getting out there using the Randomizer and finding other people to read and being found.   Also it got my hubby to update his nearly year old blog! 

In honor of December, Illinois has decided to celebrate with a snow storm.  It is currently sleet/snowing out and it is supposed to continue tonight and into tomorrow.   Today at work I decided that I should plan to work from home tomorrow, just in case it is too dangerous to get the car out and drive to the train.  Planned ‘snow days’ rock! 

I will take some pictures of whatever we end up with tomorrow.

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Sometimes we forget to slow down and actually notice the things around us on a daily basis. Sure we are all pretty good at looking at all the buildings and people when we are on vacation or somewhere new. But what about that drive or walk that we take everyday? As I drive to and from the train, as I walk to and from my office, and I walk around other parts of Chicago, as I sit on the train I try to open my eyes, look up, and observe. A lot of times I just see normal things and nothing of beauty jumps out at me. But other times something will just catch my eye.

  • The huge deep eyes of a little boy with crazy hair standing with his mom at a bus stop (seen from a cab in Philadelphia).
  • The contrast of the edge of a building with blue sky behind it.
  • The collection of items in a window seen from the street.
  • The wrinkle filled face of a homeless man wearing a fishing hat in the park by the lake.
  • The joy or frustration on someone’s face.

Sometimes I am lucky enough to have my camera along so I can capture these moments, other times I just have to remember them. I also have to remember to go back to them and “look” at them. And I always need to remember to slow down and take the world in.

Nothing

November 28, 2006

It is late (OK so not that late – but I am a wuss).  I am tired.  The dog is hyper.  I really need to start these posts earlier in the day.  Good Night.  Also I really cannot stand the sound of ice being scrapped off of a windshield.  In fact I cannot even watch it.  My husband is eating a popsicle thing and making the same noise.  I have the shivers.

Christmas Crafts

November 27, 2006

I love the Christmas season.  I love being crafty and stuff.  I love combining the two into Christmas crafts.  However, I always seem to wait too long to get started on my Christmas crafts.  Every year I say I am going to start earlier and give myself more time to be creative.  Again, it is the beginning of December and I am still trying to figure out what my craft is going to be.

Several years ago my mom had the idea for me, my younger sister, my older sister (and two nieces) , and her to exchange Christmas crafts each year.  I am pretty sure am the only one who has come through with a handmade craft each year.  The others have done it nearly every year.  It is fun, but hard (especially because of the procrastination problems I have). 

  •  
    • The first year I made some really neat and intricate santas (only two though – mom and older sister got one) and some hanging snowmen for my other sister and nieces.

    • The second year I was taking a pottery class – so everyone got some sort of pottery.

    • The third year I painted three large gourds into santas.

    • The fourth year I made snowmen ornaments out of baby socks.  

    •  This year… like I said – I am still working on coming up with an idea

Long Weekend

November 26, 2006

  • Wow this has been a long 4 days.

Wednesday night:  

  • dealt with the mice issue in the basement.

 Thursday:

  • dealt with the mice issue in the garage.
  • dinner with B’s family on Thursday.

 Friday:

  • cleaned the house.
  • B’s parents and grandma dropped by for lunch.
  • went out and got a Christmas tree and lights to decorate outside.
  • decorated the trees outside and the tree inside.

Saturday:

  • Brunch in Chicago with my sister, parents, and cousin.
  • Picked up out of town friends from Chicago.
  • Hung out with out of town friends.
  • Out of town friends stayed the night.

Sunday:

  • Lunch with out of town friends and out of town friend’s dad.
  • Nap.
  • went to see Happy Feet at the IMAX.

See…. long weekend.  But very fun!

Deal #1

November 25, 2006

I enjoy exercising.  I know I should do it more often.  It is hard to find the time.  A couple years ago I made a bet with the guy I shared an office with on who could loose the most weight in 2 months.  The winner got the window desk.  I had the window desk at the time, but was so confident that I was willing to put it on the line.  I figured either I lost the most and got to keep the desk, or I lost the desk by trying really hard (and even though I lost the desk, I was sure to lose weight also).  So I worked really hard and dieted and exercised 4-5 times a week.  I got to keep the desk.  Basically I rocked.  Well that was a couple years ago and I have not been as good at keeping up with the exercising.  We moved and I now have a longer commute.  We got a dog and now I spend my extra time in the morning with him.  We take a walk, but it is a very slow walk because he has to sniff and pee on everything.   So I figured I needed a new form of competition or motivation to get myself back on the exercising track.  Earlier this week I made a deal with myself.  If I exercise at least 4 times a week for the next 5 weeks I am going to buy myself some new pajama pants.  I LOVE pajama pants, but I have lots of them and don’t really need any.  I figured this would be a good motivator.   I am not through the first week yet and laar night I nearly forgot that I had to exercise.  But I remembered and so far I am on track.  I am also working up a longer term deal that involves building out some blah closets in our house.  I already have the plans drawn up, just have to convince B that it is a good idea and I figured ‘earning’ it would be more fun. 

I am thankful for opportunities.  I am fortunate to have many opportunities available to me.  Opportunities to change things in my life because I want to, not because I have to. I am thankful for circumstances.  My grandfather was killed in an accident earlier this year.  I miss him and wish it had not happened, but I am thankful that he was not sick for a period of time before he died.  I am glad that he and my grandma did not have to go through all the pain and suffering that an illness can cause.  Granted we did not get to “say goodbye”, but would rather it happen the way it did than someway that could have been even more painful. I am thankful for support.  My husband supports me in everything.  He pushes me to be a better person.  He loves me for all my quirks (there are many).   Over the past 4 years he has been there for me through so much, good and bad.  I am thankful for experiences.  I grew up in the country, have lived in the city, have learned to love the outdoors, I have milked goats, I have traveled, I have been a vegetarian, I am married, I own a house, I went college, I am part of a large family, I work in a corporate job, I love, and I learned.  I have had many different experiences in my life that have built me up to be who I am today.  Granted there are a lot of things that I have not experienced, and I am also looking to take the opportunity. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2006

We had a great day – mouse proofing our garage and basement and then had a nice dinner with B’s family!

And I tried a new Tuscan flatbread recipe and it turned out to be pretty good!

We have a mouse

November 22, 2006

UPDATE:  Confirmed – mice.  Or we did…. caught two in the traps overnight.  Hope that was all.

Or mice… I am not sure.  I guess we will find out by how many we catch in the traps.  We were in the basement and noticed that there was a bunch of sawdust and concrete dust on one of the tables along the wall.  I poked into the insulation above the table near wear the basement attaches to the garage… and I saw a little mouse tail.  By the time I got the insulation pulled out mr. mouse was not there anymore.  I am pretty sure he ran into the garage.  My husband (the one who does not do bugs or critters) got the ladder and would only bring it half way across the basement and then almost wouldn’t go into the garage to get to the car to go to the store to get the traps.  We I pulled down all the insulation along the walls that touch the garage and we realized that there were a couple places where the basement was not sealed off from the garage.  We filled the gaps with “great stuff” the expanding spray stuff.  Then we set a couple traps in the basement (although I am sure the mouse is not in there) and several in the garage.  Unfortunately I have had quite a few experiences with mice, growing up in older houses in the country you are bound too.  Granted I will squeal and jump if one jumps out at me or startles me, but I can handle mice.

Overheard on the train today:  A woman talking about someone else complaining about her husband not helping to do anything around the house to get ready for the holidays.  The woman on the train’s comment was “What husband does?  What husband does help around the house, especially to get ready for the holidays?  She continued to talk about how she didn’t even think that her husband would even know how to turn the vacuum on, let alone change the bag.”

Well I have an answer to that… my husband does.  My dad does (provided he has specific tasks).  My grandfather did. 

I do also know that there are a lot of men out there who feel like the housework and preparing for company is the wife’s responsibility.  I am lucky enough to have a relationship where we are very equal.  Because of our situation (B works at home and I work away from the house with a 1.5 hour commute each way) B does a lot of the housework – cleaning – laundry – etc.  I am VERY willing and interested in helping fix things or do the yard work or do the home improvement things around the house.  (Plus I do the bugs or other critters).   I am amazed at hearing comments like this and seeing how other relationships work.  I guess this come from how I was raised.  I spent a lot of time working on construction type projects with my father.  He was always willing to teach me things that were traditionally not “girl” things.  I was raised with the mantra “ you can be or do anything you want to, if you put your mind to it”