Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Recap

My trip to California has already come and gone. The last week or so has just flown by. The new heater was done being installed at 9pm the night before we left. Phew! Then we were off in the early morning darkness for the airport the next day. The flight seemed long and uncomfortable for some reason, but we arrived without any problems and met my family for lunch. They followed my instructions and had a table waiting for us in the restaurant. =) I only asked them to do this because they tend to lolly gag and I knew we would be hungry when we got there. Each day consisted of going back and forth between my family's house and my in-laws' house and having one meal with each. We ate so much that I haven't really been hungry since we got back. I eat just because it seems like I should now, rather than when I'm hungry. The weather was much warmer the 60's and sunny, so I spent part of each day sitting in my dad's front yard in a camping chair just enjoying the sun and watching my nieces play. It was 13 degrees when we left Virginia so 65 felt like the beach. We were only there for a short time, but I was ready to come home to my own bed. The flight back was uneventful. We got to the airport way too early since weren't sure if the attempted attack on a plane on Christmas day was going to slow things down. We did not have any lines so we were at the gate about 2.5 hours early. The flight back seemed short and was much more comfortable. I could have gone another 2 hours without a problem. Not sure why some flights feel more uncomfortable than others. The worst part was when we got back to the car in the airport garage...and had a flat tire. Not entirely unexpected since I knew it was leaking and was filling it up at the gas station once a week. I meant to take care of it, but with the snow storm and the broken heater, I didn't get to it and it was completely flat. My husband was upset with me for not taking care of it, but knew I had a lot going on lately. He wanted to use this as an opportunity for me to learn how to do it in case I ever needed to if I were by myself (although I would just call AAA). He had problem though because the jack would not get the car high enough. After trying a few things, he finally gave up and let me go get the airport assistance guy, who knew that Toyota changed things a few years back and the jack had to go in a specific place under the front of the car to get the SUV to go up high enough. All this took about 1.5 hours instead of 15 minutes due to the jack problems, but we made it home at about 10pm. The house was still intact, the cats were alive, the basement was not flooded and the heater was working. I was happy for all that.

Here are my favorite gifts this amethyst ring and a Kindle! Thank you to Dad and my in laws!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just When I Thought I Had Things Under Control

I really did my best this year to keep holiday stress away. I had done all my shopping and everything is already wrapped and shipped. I thought I had done well and left me my 3 days at work this week to focus on work and make sure I get a lot done so I won't need to work much (from home) the week between Christmas and New Year's. I was feeling in control and not stressed. Well...then we got 2 feet of snow which this area is not equipped for..then our heater broke. It's been below freezing for days and not expected to get warmer for a while. "Warmer" being a relative term. I think the high today was 37 and it was in the teens last night. BRRRRRRR!!!!!!! I used to have a contract with a HVAC company that included emergency service, but that ran out a month ago and I wanted to get signed up with a new place. Nobody would come look at it yesterday without having one of these contracts so we had a very cold night. Our house has lots of windows so it doesn't hold heat well. I got up early today to call the HVAC places again to get on their schedule for today. Henry arrived at about 11:30am and was able to "jump start" the heater, but he had no idea how long it would last. Our choice was spend $800 on repairs or buy a new furnace. I wanted this done before we leave for CA so I wouldn't have to worry about it breaking again while we are gone. Of course it will take days to get the part, but they can do a new furnace on Wednesday. We need a new furnace anyway so I just bought it. We usually try to buy appliances in the off season and before they break but today we were in a bad position. It will give me piece of mind that it won't break again when it's cold. Me and the kitties were just miserable. Let's hope it stays working until the new furnace gets here.


I have added a new feature to my blog called "reactions". At the end of each post you can mark if you thought the post was "funny", "interesting" or "cool". I really enjoy feedback so let me know which posts you like. And for people who don't like to leave comments...this is completely anonymous so all you have to do is click a box.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

In The Purple

I live in the purple part of this map. We are expected to get 10 to 20 inches of snow. Funny how the ranges change as they get higher. Usually we are told 1 to 3 or 3 to 5. Now it's 10 to 20...those two numbers make pretty big differences. It's now crazy outside as people are trying to get their holiday shopping done and stock up on supplies (???) for the weekend snow storm. I don't understand why so many people need to go out and buy a snow shovel? What happened to the shovels they used last year?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Awkward Christmas

Here is the Kardashian family's Christmas card. Why is Ryan Seacrest in their picture???

So You Think You Can Dance

The season finale of So You Think You Can Dance was amazing tonite! About half way through the season Kathryn became my favorite. She had a great night so I hope she wins. I believe Jakob is by far the best dancer, but he has Juilliard to go back to and I'm sure a career in a dance company. All the others will likely live the life of a struggling dancer so my vote is for Kathryn! The routine Kathryn and Jakob did together tonite stole the show. Good luck!

Sleepy Sleepy Update

I'm still sleepy. The CPAP was awful..beyond awful. I couldn't fall asleep at all with it on. I tried two different kinds of masks (see pictures) and ended up even more sleep deprived than usual because I would try for about 2 hours to use it and then just give up and take it off. Then I started dreading going to bed and would read until 1am, then fight with the CPAP for 1.5 to 2 hours, then get barely any of my usual less than restful sleep. I was even sleeping in a different room for a while so I wouldn't disturb my husband. CPAP stands for "continuous positive airway pressure" and is basically air being blown up my nose that then goes down my throat to force the airway to stay open. The masks smell weird, leak air all over my face and I never figured out what to do with the long tube. My cats were scared of the thing. So, I gave up on it and now I'm going to try a dental appliance that pulls the jaw forward to keep the airway open. I just received it today so I'll try tonite. I'm used to sleeping with a night guard so I don't think it will bother me to use this, although it is an upper AND lower...and they hook together. How am I supposed to babble in my sleep now??? It needs to be adjusted over time until it gets to the sweet spot of what will work for me. Since I have problems with the muscles in my jaw, I need to take this slowly.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa's Workshop is Closed

I finished all the gift wrapping today and brought it to UPS to get to get shipped to California. All the paper and bows and boxes are put away...much to the cats' dismay. I feel good having all this done. There are a couple loose ends, like a gift card I need to get and mail and one of my dad's gifts has an unknown arrival date, but I will just put that in my luggage with a gift bag. I got everything shipped to be able to send it "ground" which was my goal since last year I was utterly shocked at how expensive it was to ship "air".

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger Watch

How can I not comment on Tiger Woods??? I don't find all his cheating unbelievable, but what does puzzle me is how it was kept secret for so long! These days with the internet, gossip blogs, paparazzi, text messaging, email and camera phones, how did this not come out sooner??? I feel badly for his wife and I'm really hoping she leaves him to show that men with power and money cannot buy whatever they want. I'm tired of hearing about rich powerful men cheating and their wives staying. Clearly there is something wrong with Tiger's marriage. At least he hasn't paraded her in front of the media a la Kobe Bryant when his wife sat next to him at a press conference regarding him being accused of rape. My prediction is that Tiger is going to announce he has some kind of, prescription pain pills, or alcohol and then go to "rehab" to try to save his image. My bet is on sex addiction. The other thing about infidelity that I don't understand is why the wife gets mad at the other women? These other women, although not the classiest of ladies, owe nothing to Mrs. Woods. It is her husband she should take it out on...and clearly she did just that on Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Ditto

Glitterbug Ballerina

Anyone looking for a holiday present for the little girl in their life should check out Glitterbug Ballerina who makes custom tutus, t-shirts, leotards and accessories. I got entire outfits for my nieces last year and they loved them! Friends of mine own and operate Glitterbug and I can tell you that the tulle is extremely soft and high quality. Adult sizes are available too. They are located in the Northern Virginia area, but can also ship all over the US.

Here are a couple examples and there are many others to choose from as well.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gut Check

Have you ever thought you really wanted some kind of big change...then when it becomes a real possibility, you're not sure??? I'm going thru something like that now. I've had a range of emotions over the last two days from excited to nervous to just plain unsure about what I want. One thing I've learned in life is to trust my gut, so that's what I'm going to do once I know if it is really a possibility or not.

Maybe Next Year

I've decided not to write a holiday letter this year. Given the year I have had, I didn't want to write about it and also didn't want to lie and pretend it was a fabulous year. I did get out my cards though and I think they are really nice so I'm happy about that. Maybe next year will be better and I'll have happier news to write about. I have been feeling relatively good the last couple days so I'm hopeful.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Real Recession of Orange County

The Real Housewives of Orange County are back for another season. The recession has hit Orange County and the housewives have not been immune. My last trip to out there was this past June and I could definitely feel it there...mostly from the large vacant stores and empty car dealerships.

Tamara's house is currently on the market as a short sale. She fired a nanny and maid and now is seen cleaning her own house (the horror!). She made statement about how they should have saved money. Uh, yeah...and tell your husband to go back to work and give up his tequila business.

Jeana received notices of default on all four of her properties, but was able to modify the loans to avoid foreclosure. I wonder if she went into default to qualify for a program though or if she was really in trouble? She even asked Vicki for a loan...and Vicki said no.

Gretchen had a garage sale with Slade (ugh...Slade), who gossip blogs say owes close to $80K in back child support for his son...who has a brain tumor! Slade lost his house to a foreclosure last year. Rumor has it that Jeff left Gretchen about $1.5M...don't know if it's true or not. She is only 31 years old though and $1.5M isn't going to last her forever.

Lynne cannot even afford her house rental which her family was evicted from, but she is shown getting a face lift for herself and a nose job for her daughter. Nice priorities!

They do get paid a decent amount of money for doing the show...rumored to be around $30K per episode, but clearly they either need more income or need to downsize their lifestyles. Vicki excluded for now since she works hard and is still able to finance her lifestyle.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Unhappy Anniversary

One year ago today my life changed. I was in a seemingly minor car accident...and have been in pain ever since. It's been a year of frustration and many many medical appointments. I have written about this a little bit, but I mostly hide my pain. I try to suck it up when I'm around other people and only my husband really sees me suffer. I had been doing quite a bit better but took an unexpected turn for the worse last week...but nobody around me will really know it. I know there are things in life a lot worse than this so I try to keep positive.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No Smoking

Smoking is no longer allowed in restaurants in Virginia! There are a few exceptions, such as it is allowed in outdoor areas or if there is a separate room entirely enclosed with a separate ventilation system, but I doubt many restaurants will go to the expense to allow this. What about bars you ask??? Virginia does not have any stand alone bars! This is all quite shocking to me given Virginia's history in the tobacco industry. I was in college when California enacted the same ban so to move here and have smokers in restaurants was quite disgusting to me. Only a few that I go to actually allow smoking at all, but it really does drift throughout the restaurant. I'm all for people doing whatever they want as long as it doesn't hurt other people...but smoking in public DOES hurt other people, so just do it by yourself or only around other smokers. Thank you.