Category Archives: Blogabilities

Blogabilities – Week of 05/22/2011

* It’s been a bit of a rough week for me at work. I know I’ve mentioned how glad I am when both of my bosses are in the office. A main reason for that is, I have one boss who seems to have the worst travel luck I’ve ever seen. Delays, cancellations and other bizarre happenings always, without fail, seem to happen to him. He started traveling this past Monday for a two week journey. This week he happened to be right in the middle of all the tornadoes, hail storms, heavy rains and winds… (sigh) You can pretty much guess what happened. Not looking forward to next week, either.

* A couple nights ago, we were all comfy, watching a movie. Tug was curled up on my lap, happily soaking up some human time. All of a sudden, we heard a HUGE yowling noise. One of our other cats (Ripper) had jumped the little black cat (Snug, also known as Tug’s cat) in an attempt to play. The huge noise was Snug making a scene since he didn’t want to play. Tug leaped out of my lap and bounded to Snug’s defense and we immediately had to act as referees (anything with Tug involves refereeing). An hour later, I got up to go to bed and saw blood spots all over the entryway (where the huge fight happened). There was a trail of blood out to the cat run, another one out to the garage, trails of blood everywhere. So much blood. It was unbelievable, really.
A small sample of all the blood…

We spent the next 20 minutes herding cats so we could inspect them and, of course, the last one to be inspected (Tug) was the culprit. And it was just a torn ear. Look at all that blood splattered inside his ear, too. Stupid head wounds.

* Next month, auto insurance and home insurance come due. That’s always a huge chunk of money that pains me greatly when I have to write the check. I have to say that the bill paying, money spending part of being a grown-up is a big incentive to want to stay a kid forever.

* There are two tree shrubs over by our community pool that bloom the most gorgeous, scented pink flowers every year. Last year, I took a picture of them a day before the gardeners heavily pruned them back, making them look like immodest sticks. This year, I missed the initial blooming, but tonight I noticed there were two renegade stalks of flowers. I picked one of them and brought it home, justified by the suspicion that I just know the gardeners are waiting, watching, and will snip them off and discard them tomorrow.

* Lap swimming. God, how I love lap swimming. It makes me feel good all over. I swear, I should have been born a mermaid.

* I’ve always loved lemonade, and when at restaurants can be found inquiring, “Do you have lemonade from a mix or squeezed from lemons?” If it’s fresh squeezed, I’m all over it. (Side note: Chick-Fil-A makes their own real lemonade, in case you were wondering. So does Lucille’s BBQ, but theirs is really sweet.) I found a recipe online that uses fresh lemons and Splenda. I customized it a bit, and now I just make my own lemonade.

* I called the lady who cuts my hair this week to see how she’s doing. I’ve been praying for her, because she had surgery to eradicate a cancerous tumor from her intestines back in March. She’s doing chemotherapy and sounds somewhat upbeat, if a bit confused at how quickly it all happened. In the course of our conversation, she suggested that I go see “Dalia, the lady who worked at the station next to me” for my hair trimming needs. Today I worked up the nerve to do so and am so happy with my freshly trimmed hair. Swishy, swishy. Loving it!

* Facing a three day weekend. Also, tomorrow is a “work 6 hours, get paid for 8” day at work. Seems fair to me, so that’s what I’ll be doing!

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Filed under Blogabilities, Kid Substitutes, Mermaid Envy, Money Hump Building

Blogabilities – Week of 05/15/2011

* Remember the cat barf on my car I mentioned a couple weeks ago? i wasn’t sure how the barfer could top getting barf down in my gas filler area, but I am now able to tell you. For Friday the 13th last week, the Barfer barfed on the side mirror… and my hood, but the side mirror is the one that mystifies me. Trying to figure that one out… like, if it were bird crap, I could totally understand how it happened, but a cat? Mystifying.

* Also, on Friday the 13th, the coffee maker at work went out. Our Facilities Manager created this sign for the occasion and vehemently denied it being a Friday the 13th gag. I finally believed him when I saw the coffee machine fixing man out on Monday working on it.

* Did you know there are people whose job it is to go around to companies and restock their first aid kits with band-aids and Tylenols? I sure didn’t, at least not until I saw some dude in a uniform restocking ours at work. I’m still pondering what the guy puts on his resume as his official title. Also, what his qualifications have to be and how would one go about landing that kind of gig?

* Given my love for watermelon, and all melons in general, I have to say this story made me really, really sad.

* The owner of a company who partners with my company told someone pretty high up at my company that I am one of the nicest, most helpful people he’s ever worked with. He phrased the compliment in such a way that it sounded like he’s worked with me for years, although he hasn’t. Just goes to show that things do go through the grapevine, both good and bad. I’m glad this one was good.

* LivingSocial.com offered a deal with Fandango, 2 movie tickets for $9. Of course, I was all over that! We’re presently scheduled to see the new Pirates movie on Saturday morning and I can’t wait! Per Tony’s Movie Rules of Conduct, if the movie we’re going to see is a series, we have to watch all previous movies prior to seeing the new one… so, we’ve been watching all the previous Pirate movies this week. It’s a good thing I’ve been in a movie mood lately.

* Update on the washing machine fix… Tony determined that the broken part was actually a $30 part that we could buy at Sears. Once it was in, tested, and proven to be working, I called the company from whom I had ordered the $100 Brain/timer and asked to return it. In the course of the conversation, they learned that the part had actually been delivered slightly damaged. I told her it wouldn’t affect the operation at all, it’s just one of the four clips that hold it in place, the other three are just fine. She said not to worry, just go ahead and discard the part (umm, right, that will be happening) since they can’t sell it damaged and she would process the refund to my credit card.

* Last week, Tony’s parents went up to the family cabin in the mountains. For breakfast, they went to our favorite restaurant, pointed at our picture on the wall, and said they wanted one of “those messes for her” (“her” being me). The waitress knew exactly what order to put in for that (the Mess, no cheese, extra jalapenos), and then that night, my in-laws delivered said Mess to me at home. To say I was astounded and touched at their thoughtfulness would be an understatement. Then, when I opened the bag and saw these messages from the crew at the restaurant, I nearly cried. You guys, sometimes (a lot of the time), I either forget or don’t believe it, but I am so very loved.

Also, in case you were wondering, the breakfast is delicious. I separated it up into tortillas and rolled them up into “breakfast burritos” and froze them. There was enough for six of them. First time doing that, and it won’t be the last.

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Filed under Best Husband, Blogabilities, Entertainment can be Cheap, I have Family, Kid Substitutes, Money Hump Building

Blogabilities – Week of 05-08-2011

* On Saturday, I put a load of laundry in the washer and figured it’d be done in an hour and I’d then put it in the dryer and then I would have freshly clean laundry. That’s what usually happens in my happy little world. That is not, however, what happened. No. Apparently the timer/brain control part stopped working and it refuses to go into the rinse or spin cycle. So, instead, it fills, agitates and then soaks and never drains. Which means if I had any stains at all on my clothes, they have now been suitably pre-treated. God bless my in-laws who allowed us to rinse and spin my load of laundry in their washer. And my wonderful husband who transported it from here to there and back again for the drying. Now, I’ve just gotta cough up the spare $100 I always have lying around (ha ha) to buy the washer a new brain.

* While I was researching washer parts at 10pm on Saturday night, I went to print out a couple of “finds” on my “wonderful” HP C7250 printer that I bought a couple years ago. It refused to print and gave me a printer cartridge error instead. So, I changed out the printer cartridge it indicated and reset it… but the error didn’t clear. Despite re-inserting the cartridge, and all manner of acrobatics, the error refuses to clear and so the printer won’t print. I have had problem after problem with this printer and am at about my wits end with it. While searching for a resolution online I came across hundreds of bad reviews for this thing that weren’t out there when I bought it (guess it was too new?). The best one of all was something along the lines of, “This piece of crap isn’t even worthy of being a boat anchor.” I laughed because that about sums up how I feel I about it, too.

* This was my hamburger on Monday, and just before I took my next bite I saw the frowny face made out of seeds (if only it were the face of Jesus, I could have sold it on eBay for a fortune!) which pretty much shows what my face was like after the washer part breaking and my printer having an unresolvable error.

* Say hello to WATERMELON! I held off buying them, even though they were there, because last year I bought some at this time of the year and was soooo disappointed. The rind was over an inch thick and the fruit was like eating pithy, tasteless water. I guessed it was too early in the season. I finally gave in this year, because I could hear them taunting me, “Jammie — come buy and try us….” And, lo, they are very good. I am waiting impatiently until blueberries drop in price and then I shall have my mostest favoritist seasonal snack ever … watermelon and blueberries, together. I live for this time of year!

* It was so hot last week, I was searching out anything and everything that was cold… have to say, these Dreyer fruit bars are pretty good. Even on a cold day (like we’ve had this week).

* When we were over at Fish Whisperer’s house a couple weekends ago, I noticed that in his cichlid tank he had some big, plastic pipes that he’d bought at Home Depot for a couple bucks. The cichlids LOVED them, and used them as tunnels, even going out of their way to swim through them. A light bulb went off in my head, and Tony went and bought a couple of them, which I added to my cichlid’s tank. At first they were scared, but after a day or so, they were swimming through them and it is so fun to watch them do that!

* I saw it coming a couple weeks ago, and this week it finally happened. The star jasmine that is everywhere alongside the street where I exit the freeway to all around the building where I work, and in the parking lot at work, has just exploded. The scent from that jasmine is like a drug to me, it smells so sweet and good. I’m savoring that scent because I just know the gardeners will come through and cut them all back… probably in a couple more days. They always do that, you know.

* The street I take home from work is lined with magnolia trees. It goes on for several miles, and I tried to count the trees but lost count after 30… I would guess there’s maybe 100 on that street? I don’t really know, but they are all preparing to bloom (again) this season. The huge blossoms are still green and closed, lifted straight up in the air like fancy light bulbs in a candelabra, just waiting for someone to illuminate them for unfolding. It’s quite magnificent, and I am really looking forward to their blossoming. The scent will be amazing.

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Blogabilities – Week of 05/01/2011

* Loved discovering that my favorite vitamin, which I thought had been discontinued (the recurring theme of my life, it often seems) because I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE, was actually just re-branded/re-named, not discontinued.

* Love my goofy cat. I took a short nap Sunday afternoon (that’s what Sunday afternoons are for, right?). When I woke up, I went to uncurl myself and found that my cat had wedged himself but good between my bottom and the edge of the chair. Not being a cat, I can’t rightly figure what he was thinking, but to me it didn’t look like the most comfortable of places to wedge…

* It was forecast to be around 90° on Monday (as well as the rest of this week) and when I pulled into the parking lot at work that morning, I lucked out and got a parking spot under a huge tree. I smirked to myself when I pulled my little red car into that spot, because it also happened to be right next to the most enormous vehicle in the lot — a raised 4×4 truck with an extended cab. I took this picture at the end of the day (sadly, the guy lost his parking spot next to me when he left for lunch, but you can kind of get a picture of the actual size difference).

* I’m not too happy with this crazy weather (heat and winds) we’re having out here. I mean, come ON — it’s only MAY! The Summer Savings Program with my electricity company doesn’t start until June, so air conditioning at home is prohibitively expensive and the winds are totally jacking with my sinuses (say hello to sinus headaches)… and apparently, based on the glassy-eyed looks of everyone around me, their sinuses, too. Misery. Although, the optimist in me would like to point out how grateful I am that I don’t have the flu (with a fever) right now.

* Tony found a water pump on clearance a couple weeks ago and bought it. Now, instead of lugging multiple gallons of water from my cycle tanks to my fish tanks every week to do water changes, I simply hook a hose to the pump, drop it into the cycle tank, string the other end of the hose into the fish tank and sit down to watch the water magically transfer itself. It’s not really a beautiful thing to look at, per se, but to me it is. Less work = beauty.

* Over the weekend, we finally, after all these years, made it over to Fish Whisperer’s house to see his collection of fish. I completely fell in love with his pair of breeding Discus — they are such peaceful fish (especially when compared to my Cichlids). Discus babies obtain their nourishment by feeding off their parents’ slime coat (all fish have a protective coating on their scales called slime coat). As the one parent’s slime coat gets eaten off by the babies, the other parent will swim by and take the babies for awhile. It’s really a fascinating thing to watch. While I was at Fish Whisperer’s place, I pulled up a chair and watched the babies feed off their dad. Tony and Fish Whisperer came over to also watch, and in response, the mom swam in front of the dad and attempted to block him (and the babies) from our view, while alternately pushing him backwards… she was being protective! It was just incredible. I found this video (not my friend’s) on YouTube to give you an idea of what these fish look like.

* Loving my newest salad concoction of artichoke hearts, baby spinach and arugula with a bit of Italian dressing. It was inspired by my finding both the spinach and arugula on sale at the grocery store. Plus, ummm, not hot (see above). It’s quite delicious, with just the right amount of zing. Also, simple to make and healthy!

Those things, and just the daily grind of work, pretty much concludes what’s been on my mind this week so far…

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Blogabilities – Week of 04-17-11

* There was a kid in Target the other day, sitting in a stroller beside his sister, and he was crying up a storm. Wailing, actually, might be a more accurate description. Their mom was pushing them and was just kind of ignoring the whole situation, which I guess is the thing to do these days. I glanced at the little boy — all that crying and screaming had turned his face a mottled pinkish-red and I thought to myself, “Wow, he’s kind of ugly.” Now I know you’re not supposed to think that about people, really, especially a poor kid, but… he was. I suddenly found myself avoiding another little kid who was running amok. I have no idea where the Amok kid’s parent was, but Amok swerved right in front of me coming to a dead stop in front of a display of bags of Easter marshmallows. The Wailer’s watery eyes followed Amok’s activity and all of a sudden his wailing stopped. His eyes got HUGE. He sniffled, hiccupped and said in a voice equally as loud as his wailing had been, “Mom? Does EVERYONE in the WHOLE world love marshmallows?” All of a sudden “kind of ugly” turned into “adorably cute.”

* Flowers are blooming. My Double Delight rose shrub (which I really, really need to learn how to properly prune, because I know it could produce SO MANY MORE ROSES) came out with the first rose of the season. A real beauty, with two more on the way.

* My first gardenia of the season made its appearance this weekend as well. It’s now on my desk at work, in front of the mini fan I’m running because the sick auditors are back in the building. Yes, that last sentence was unrelated to the happiness of flowers blooming, but it is so aggravating to have people who are sick come in the building and spread their germs.

* The star jasmine in my work’s parking lot, as well as all along the street where I work is gearing up for the spring show. I cannot wait!

* Fields of yellow flowers contrasted against a stormy dark blue sky.

* Greek Yogurt. I read somewhere that it’s actually healthier for you, with less sugar, than many of the other brand name yogurts out there. I tried a couple brands of Greek yogurt and found that I like The Greek Gods yogurt best of all. It’s thick, with the consistency of custard, and so incredibly delicious. Bonus: It hasn’t yet given me any adverse effects, not even a little. Maybe because it has probiotics?

* Not so thrilled with gas prices. You guys, my car is little. It has a gas tank that’s just over 11 gallons. This is how much I spent on gas the other day for my little bitty car at Costco – the cheapest place to get gas in these parts. I cannot even imagine how painful this would be if I had a big SUV.

A story in senses:

It was warm and dreamy, the weather was, this past weekend. We went over to Tony’s parent’s house for a bit of time on Sunday afternoon. After awhile, I went outside and the green grass beckoned me. Particularly a spot just on the other side of the big tree where the nephews were swinging back and forth with Tony’s strong pushes.

I twisted my hair up into a knot and laid down, using that hair knot for a pillow, and closed my eyes and just felt. I felt the sun on my skin, I felt the breeze, just as quickly, cooling my skin.

My ears became attuned and I heard cheering from a great mass of people, and laughter at a higher volume than the cheering… a game, then, down the hill at the high school. I became aware of the sound of a daisy wheel, the plastic clattering as it tried to spin as fast as the wind was blowing it… and then the sound of leaves, pattering against each other in the trees, all the way to the top.

Then, the sounds of various birds chirping and singing at each other added to the instruments that nature was playing, punctuated by the sharp chatters of hummingbirds.

And, finally, the begging of little nephew, Milo, to Uncle Tony, “Push me at Super Speed!” and his laughter as his request was granted.

Sun, laughter, cheering, breezes, leaves and birds… sometimes the best orchestra is one that nature creates.

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Blogabilities – Week of 04-10-11

* I’ve started doing a new thing, a simple thing, that I plan to make a new habit. When I get home, I go out into the back yard and sit down for about 5 minutes. Tony comes out and joins his hand in mine and we just sit there, quietly, together, and soak up the beauty of the plants, flowers, and the birds chirping. It’s a great way to decompress and gain some peace after a day at work and a stressful drive home in traffic.

* I really dislike it when cats purge themselves on my car. Ummm, cat barf, or stomach bile in general, is just not good for automobile paint. The really whacked out part of this is, you know that rule about how cats will go to great lengths to find the softest surface in the house, like a rug, carpet or couch, and avoid the 90% of the home that is hard, shiny surfaces like tile or hardwood floors when barfing? Yeah, that rule doesn’t apply to my car. Nope. Apparently, the rule about barfing on cars is to do it on the hard, painted surface, specifically, over the edge of the trunk so it gets into the crevices of the blinker cover and down the bumper, even into the gas tank filler area, avoiding the car cover completely. Egads.

* In the mornings while I take my shower, I put our little bird on her perch and turn the radio on for her. The entire time I’m showering, she sits there and chirps along to the beat. One chirp per beat. It really is one of the cutest things that happens in my mornings.

* I switched to Google Chrome on my computer that runs Windows Vista. I know, I know. I feel like I’ve crossed over to the dark side or something, but I’ve dealt with Firefox crashing and freezing for over a year when it encounters a YouTube video or Flash ads on websites. Downloaded updates that are supposed to fix it, all to no avail. I’m over it. Moving on. Google Chrome better do me right.

* Still loving that my hospital fish tank is empty.

* Keeping it generic here … I’ll just say that anxiety is hell; God is peace. I’m countering my anxiety about tomorrow by praying ceaselessly for it to go well. As always, my prayer warriors, please keep us in your prayers.

xoxo

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Blogabilities – Week of 04-03-11

* Chivalry is still alive. When I was at Costco earlier this week, I purchased a large box of bottled water. Knowing that I’m not supposed to lift heavy things right now, I turned to two guys who were walking past me and said, “Can you do me a favor and help me put this in my car. I’m not supposed to lift…” The dude had the water in my car before I could even finish my sentence. Chivalry rocks!

* Got a call from my former bosses who are trying to recruit me to come work for their company. Not sure it will be a good fit for me, given all that’s going on right now, but I’m meeting with them tomorrow to find out more information. Under the heading of when it rains it pours, I also got two calls from a publicly traded company who wanted to conduct a phone interview. Their first call I kind of blew off, and was surprised as all heck that they actually called again. Turns out, the position isn’t a good fit for me (not enough money), but the conversation went really well. Since my attitude isn’t one of entitlement, I go to work every day with a grateful heart. That I’m getting calls for jobs I haven’t pursued, well, I’m feeling very complimented right now.

* It is so nice to have my mom back in the U.S. again. Even though she’s not near me, she’s not really all that far away either. That is pretty cool. Just knowing that my mom is on the same continent as me makes me so very happy.

* I figured out how to stop my phone from changing its lock screen wallpaper back to the default setting. I like MY picture, not Samsung’s picture. That was incredibly annoying. Also, this bullet point probably makes no sense to anyone but me.

* Easter is coming! Easter is coming!

* When I was driving to work this morning, a woman in a SUV merged into my lane and totally cut me off, without matching the speed of the lane I was in.  I flashed my high beams at her (rather than honking, she was just rude, not dangerous), and she gave me “a look” as I passed her after I changed lanes to get around her. A couple miles up on the freeway, a CHP got on and switched over 3 lanes and then started doing a traffic break right behind me… and that rude woman was behind him, so she had to come to a complete stop.  I was like, wow, karma!  I have no idea how long the traffic break lasted or what it was for.  There was a large tire tread on the freeway that someone in front of me flipped up causing me to swerve just before I exited.  Maybe it was for that?  But the timing of that traffic break totally made me laugh… and I was sooooo glad I was in front of that cop. Probably the first time anyone has ever said that!

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