"Halloween refers to the Eve of All Hallows Day, a Catholic day in honor of saints. In the 5th century BC, it was also the official end of the summer in Celtic Ireland. According to legend, on that day the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed that all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living." (thanks to The Writer's Almanac)
Well, it's Wednesday, the week is half over and after 5 inches of rain got dumped in my yard the night before last the sun is finally shining and the last two days have been beautiful! It seems that a cold front is coming in and blew away the rain clouds. Supposedly temperatures will start to fall into the 50's and hit the high 40's by Saturday. Unfortunately, thunderstorms are predicted again for Sunday.
I hope the sunshine at least gets a chance to dry up my muddy, wet backyard. My wooden floor in the bedroom has faint muddy pawprints from the girls going in and out the doors in there as they headed out into the swamp to do their business before going to bed. I also recently noticed that the duvet cover is also a little muddy (both dogs sleep in bed with us) - not bad enough for me to have noticed any earlier but I definitely need to throw that in the washing machine tonight as well as all the sheets.
I also hope the yard gets dried up so they can put in a small bed of dirt in the back corner of the yard. As it is now I have no landscaping in the back except grass and a concrete patio. This Saturday I have asked the guy who cuts the yard regularly to come in and place a bed of soil down with some edging so I can begin a small garden. It should be about 75 sq. ft. and have a nice curved L-shape. I will plant the plants myself over the next few weeks but his guys will do the hard part. They will tear up the grass in the area, lay down 4-5 inches of good soil and put in the edging to hold it all in. It was a very reasonable price and well worth it if that means I don't have to dig up the backyard personally - the tools alone would cost me what I am giving this guy to do it. Don't worry, I'll take pictures of the progress and share!
Other than that, life is fine. How are all of you guys?
Well, my day has finally wound down - while a thunderstorm continues to pour rain down in Houston and puts us in a flash flood warning till 2 a.m.
As I said, the weekend was great. The pumpkin carving party drew about 20 guests and some wonderfully creative pumpkins. Here is most of us in the garage carving away... the rest of the pictures can be seen here.
So that was Friday night but Saturday night was E.J. and Sherry's party. It was a good turnout and the costumes were well done. There was Death, a friar (the friar is Mike), Hawkeye Pierce (from M.A.S.H.), a Lord (the Lord is E.J., the doctor is my husband), his Lady (Sherry, the hostess with the mostest), a handful of lusty wenches and a priest (that is me on the left), a couple of Lara Crofts (the older one is our very own Hanna), SWAT Zombies, a Renaissance Man and a witch and her farmer (that's Christine). Throw in a fog machine, chocolate covered insects, my infamous trashcan punch, bobbing for apples and handcuffs and you get quite a mix of slightly scandalous fun!
If you don't want to click through all those pictures to find me, here I am with Kenny in costume.
More pictures can be seen at E.J.'s and Christine's... OK - that is enough links to pictures to keep you busy! Till tomorrow!
Too busy to write at work but will post from home tonight. Suffice it to say that the Pumpkin Carving Party Friday night was loads of fun and very successful, the Halloween Party was even better Saturday night and although we were tired, Hanna and I did walk Sunday afternoon in the 5K charity walk. As for the airshow - it was cancelled Saturday due to rain though but that was OK - we both needed the rest and enjoyed the ability to sleep in, especially while it continued to pour outside.
Pictures, stories and more later on tonight...
The rain continues to fall but it actually stopped for a few hours last night around the time I left work, the sun broke through some clouds and for just a few hours, the skies looked unusually clean and clear - sort of like the rain had cleaned away the haze and gloom. I thought it was perfect rainbow conditions and I was not disappointed. As I got on the freeway heading North, the sun was starting to set in the West and to the right of my car in the East was the most beautiful rainbow I had seen. It was a bright one with vibrant hues and I was able to see the complete semi-circle. For a minute or so, because of where I was on the freeway I was able to see it doubled on one side. This was one time I actually was glad the traffic was bumper-to-bumper so I could enjoy the rainbow as long as possible before I lost the great angle and couldn't see it anymore.
It's interesting because I also saw a faint rainbow late last week from our offices and I saw three on my trip back from Dallas earlier this month. So many rainbows after not having seen any for literally years. I am taking this is a sign that positive things are coming for me and Kenny and maybe our tragedies from this year will be the last ones for a while... and maybe, just maybe, it's our loved ones that we have lost sending us a bright hello!
May you see rainbows in your future!
Thanks for all the sentiments and lovely words, whether you posted in my comments or on your own blog! We had a wonderful time last night. The rain actually stopped for a few hours and we were able to have dinner out on the covered patio at The Daily Review Cafe. We started with their wonderful cheese plate (brie, Manchego, Stilton blue, local honey and fresh berries ) then both had the salmon and I finished the evening with a lemon mousse. Yummy!
Gifts were also exchanged before we left for dinner. Kenny gave me a beautiful 12-pen floaty pen set featuring semi-precious stones. You may be saying that this isn't very romantic but it is if you know that I am an avid floaty pen collector and have over 200 pens in my collection. I fell in love with this set a few months back and pointed it out to Kenny... I guess he took the hint! In turn, I gave him this shirt (since he loves to play pool) but it is on backorder so all he got was a picture of it till it arrives!
Since we had a busy weekend ahead of us we went straight home after dinner to relax. We plopped down on the couch and watched Trading Spaces with the dogs. Overall, a very pleasant evening with my husband!
Today's Theme Thursday is up over at the photolog...
...and my most recent Mirror Project submission with the doggies is up.
I still wanted to send out my love to him!
Today is our 4 year wedding anniversary
and I am proud to be his wife, his partner, his friend.
Thanks Kenny for another wonderful year.
I love you.
** More wedding pictures can be found here. ***
Yep, and the rain keeps falling here in Houston. My grass is squishy and has had no chance to dry out but at least the temperatures haven't been too warm so it hasn't been muggy - just damp and cool. It looks like it will be continuing to rain through the weekend as well which absolutely sucks! This coming weekend is an extremely busy weekend for me:
-- Friday: Pumpkin carving fiesta at our place
-- Saturday afternoon: Wings Over Houston Airshow featuring the Thunderbirds.
-- Saturday night: Halloween party at EJ and Sherry's!
-- Sunday: The Human Race 5 K charity walk. I really want to walk but not if it's pouring! Well, at least I made my sponsorship goal and I'm thrilled about that! After the walk I am having a friend over for an early dinner.
Just thinking about this tires me out... :D
Tuesday's This-or-That by guest host amancay.
1) The Cosby Show or A Different World? The Cosby Show
2) Happy Days or Joanie Loves Chachi? Happy Days
3) Cheers or Frasier? Frasier
4) Beverly Hills, 90210 or Melrose Place? Melrose Place
5) Real World or Road Rules? don't watch them
6) Law & Order: SVU or CI? don't watch them
7) The Osbournes or The Anna Nicole Show? The Osbournes
8) Diff'rent Strokes or The Facts of Life? The Facts of Life
9) VeggieTales or 3-2-1 Penguins!? ??? (I don't have kids)
10) Degrassi or Degrassi: the Next Generation? I used to watch Degrassi Junior High ocassionally...
Well, my day got interesting Friday morning... I small SUV backed up into me in my parking garage at work. She just didn't see me in my little Honda Civic and I just didn't think she would keep going (she had space to back up a little, she just went further than I had anticipated). It was a very minor 5 mph bump but I did get some damage to the hood and to the bumper. Honda's estimate is $900 because of the labor and then I'll need a rental car while it is being repaired. The woman is extremely nice though and I have her insurance information and will be calling in the claim today. I hope her insurance doesn't make this too difficult for me... I didn't get a chance to blog about it last week because I honestly was just too busy during the day...
The weekend wasn't as productive a I was hoping it would be but I got a few things done. I got all of my laundry done, got an oil change, fed my pet snake (yes, she eats live mice) and called my Grandmother. Kenny and I also got some more shopping done. He had some gift certificates he let me use at a bookstore and I bought myself a couple of books.
I was unable to be more productive because it was actually my Mother's birthday Saturday and we spent some time with her. Good family friends of hers were throwing her a dinner and Kenny and I stopped by. It was nice to see some friends I hadn't seen since my wedding. Sunday Kenny and I hosted her birthday dinner, just the three of us. We had steaks cooked on the grill. After she left, we plopped down on the couch and watched No Man's Land, an award winning movie about a fictionalized incident during the Serbian-Bosnian war. We thought it was going to be more lighthearted but it wasn't. It was still good though and I recommend it.
This morning we woke up to a heavy rainstorm. I was up a little earlier than usual since I had to take Kenny's Jeep Liberty in for some warranty work so it was even harder to get up - the rain falling heavy outside, the morning coolness, the lazy dogs asleep at my feet and to my side, the down comforter laying lightly on top of me... I got up though and made it into work.
And that's about it. How was your weekend?
Yesterday's Theme Thursday is up over at the photolog!
(and see, Robert, I didn't disappoint , I was just a day late)
I just walked into my husband's office to kiss him good night and I stopped in my tracks. There he was, sitting in the dark playing a computer game online - all typical - but with a Pixy Stick dangling from his mouth. How cute and geeky, all at the same time! He was intent on his WWII game, both hands on the joystick, a bit of a lean as he flew his plane and chased a German bomber, finally bringing it down...
*sigh* I love my husband, even if I am a year-round "computer widow".
My husband recently posted a link to a great site with some really creepy, artistic gothic Shockwave animations (click on "interactive pieces" at the bottom of the page) but this is one of the more light-hearted ones:
(move your mouse around and near the various figures)
I generally work from 9-6 but for the 2nd day in a row I'm leaving work early - yesterday because the boss said we could (we had survived corporate tax season which was yesterday, October 15th) and today because he is left earlier this afternoon on a business trip to NY (probably on the plane right now) and everyone else the office has left too. No point in me staying so adios!
OK, OK, even more picture links but these are worth it! Here are some cute Picture Yourself submissions, taken with my two nieces: with Claire and with Olivia.
Want to lend a hand? Submit a picture of your hands the Hands Project. I did (you can find me at the bottom of Page 6).
Bad hair day today. How annoying. At least the weather is beautiful!
How is the weather in your part of the world?
Well, I have been trying to be more productive at work so lately I haven't been posting much during the day. I could post in the evenings from home but I am often busy as well, trying to read e-mails, catch up on a bulletin board I participate in, read my favorite blogs and catching up. I have also been feeling guilty about coming home and heading straight to the computer because even though I do not have children that need attention, I do have two dogs that miss me. Lately they have started to whimper when I stay on the computer too long. It's quite pathetic but it has taught me to spend some time with them instead of gluing myself to an impersonal machine. Plus, I've actually noticed that Ginger (my dachshund) really feels the affects of being ignored and that's not fair to her. So, that's my excuse for not being in here as often!
Anyway, back to my overdue weekend update - and boy, were we productive! It'll be easier to just make a list of the things we did:
- We finished organizing the garage and Kenny's workbench - it looks great!!
- We also hung his framed pictures up in his office that hadn't been done since we moved in.
- Then we installed the ceiling fan we bought last month in my office.
- Kenny and Robert put a towing hitch on Kenny's Jeep.
- While they did that I moved and replanted some Mexican heather in the front yard that had gotten hidden by some bigger shrubs.
After all that, I then worked on my office and started cleaning up the paperwork. This is still a work in progress as I found even more piles of stuff to organize last night but now I think I have everything and will start actually filing tonight. So, right now my office floor is covered with about a dozen piles of papers Heidi couldn't resist walking over last night since she just wanted to be near me but I closed the doors so she couldn't do this while I was gone today.
During this clean-up I realized I had no idea where my passport was so I spent an hour looking everywhere for it. I was getting really nervous until I looked in one last place - the backpack I took on our trip to Spain in March of last year. It was in zippered bag inside this backpack, still where I left it after returning from that trip - a year and a half ago! This is so unlike me. It is of course now locked away in our safe!
For Kenny I think he had the most fun setting up a corner of the workbench for his new found plastic model building hobby. He used to make those build-yourself models (tanks, planes, etc.) when he was younger and he had wanted to start that again now that he had a garage where he could set up a workspace and use an airbrush. So, we went out and he spent several hundred dollars buying what he needed and he has spent hours reading up on tips. His 1st project will be a Blue Angel fighter jet for my office (my request). Last night he spent several hours on it, gluing, sanding and painting pieces. I am glad he started this because a) it keeps him off the computer for a little bit and b) it keeps his mind off smoking. It was nice to walk out and see him working away at the kitchen table when usually he would be in the back of the house in the dark playing a computer game.
As you can see, we spent a great weekend together, staying in Saturday night and just being domestic. Kenny and I really needed it!
1. DisneyLand or DisneyWorld? I've only been to Disneyworld in Orlando, FL and I was 12 at that time so it's been a while!
2. Amusement park or Themed park? Either or.
3. Seashore or Mountains? Mountains!
4. Hotel/Motel or rental house? Hotel
5. Guided tour or aimless meandering? Aimless meandering is where you see the best sites and get an opportunity to see the true culture of the place.
6. Drive or Fly or Boat? Fly!
7. Close or far away from home? Far away...
8. Daytrip or by the week? Preferably by the week or long weekend.
9. Camping in a tent or the Holiday Inn? Holiday Inn
10. Rent a car or drive your own? Rent once we have flown there.
Did lots of stuff this weekend so I'll write more later but for now I wanted to share with you pictures of my house plants. Before moving into the house, I had had bad luck with all plants (OK, except with my Chia Pet) but I tried anyway with some beautifully painted pots my Mother gave me and some $2.99 plants from Target and lo and behold, I have found I actually have a little bit of a green thumb! Below is a picture of some of my pretty plants (click on picture for a bigger image). Here are a couple more plants that are on the edge of the box window.
I think the trick has been the subtle light that comes into the breakfast nook. It's not too harsh but seems to be enough. I leave the slats opened slightly downward towards the plants and water them weekly. I recently started using plant food at each watering and that seems to have helped even more. I actually noticed a growth spurt! I know it sounds silly to blog about stupid old house plants but to me, who is not traditionally domestic, this is a big accomplishment!
Sent a couple more shots in to the Mirror Project (here and here- don't I look smug in this one?) as well as another one to Picture Yourself (click here) featuring Hanna and Robert.
(to see the rest of my entries, look in the left-side bar under the Mirror Project and Picture Yourself buttons... )
Sorry for the pink disaster yesterday regarding the link colors. I've returned it to a gray-blue... not perfect but the best I can do (and I've tried tons of colors)! It's extremely difficult to find a color that will show up decently on orange, purple and white...
Today's Theme Thursday is up over at the photolog!
and help a good cause!
Hanna and I will be walking in this charity 5K benefiting local Houston community outreach programs. It is sponsored by The Holocaust Museum Houston and emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance from a local community standpoint.
Please read a little more on why you should sponsor me on my sponsorship page. You can also donate on-line in my name. Please help me reach my goal! Any amount will make a difference! Thank you...
(I will keep a permanent link in the left-hand column till the weekend of the event...)
I heard on the radio this morning that the forecast for today is 100% rain. Yuck. Kathy and I were going to walk down to the sushi restaurant to meet today (I owed her a birthday lunch) but we decided to go to Cafe Express instead to avoid getting rained on...
In other news, Kenny will be going out to West Texas today after work so he can appear in court and have the Will probated and be officially installed as Executor. This will make things a little easier for him since the banks and insurance companies don't really want to give him any help until he is. He might also finally close on the sale of the farm - if and only if - the title company has their crap together which unfortunately doesn't look like they will. He'll stay longer if they can close this weekend. If not, he comes home Friday without a completed contract and yet another trip will need to be planned. *sigh* I am so glad his friend Spencer is going with him on this trip. It will make the driving easier and I feel better knowing he won't be falling asleep on the road those long 6 1/2 hours there and back.
Well, work has been extremely busy as we have another deadline today in regards to that project I have been working on. I started this post earlier this morning and am now finally getting a chance to finish it and post it! And you guessed it - I must hurry back! Later alligator...
Tuesday's This-or-That: The magic of Disney!
1. Heroines: Ariel (Little Mermaid) or Belle (Beauty & the Beast)? Belle
2. More heroines: Mulan or Pocahontas? Mulan
3. Princesses: Snow White or Cinderella? Snow White
4. Toy Story: Buzz or Woody? Buzz
5. Animals: Simba (Lion King) or Bambi? Can't decide because I've never seen Lion King...
6. Naughty boys: Peter Pan or Pinocchio? Peter Pan was naughtier but I prefer Pinocchio.
7. Sidekicks: Sebastian the Crab (Little Mermaid) or Jiminy Cricket (Pinocchio)? Definitely Sebastian!
8. Villians: Wicked Queen (Snow White) or Cruella DeVil (101 Dalmations)? Cruella was much more evil...
9. Classics: Goofy or Pluto? Pluto!
10. And of course: Mickey or Donald? Hmm, can't decide...
Despite a long ride home from Dallas, I did want to say that I saw three - 3! - rainbows on the way home. I don't think I've seen one in years and I had the pleasure of seeing three in one day... *wow* Maybe it's a sign of better things to come? Let's all hope! :D
I also want to acknowledge that my husband has successfully quit smoking for 1 week and 2 days as of today. He quit Saturday before last (September 28th) and although this past Friday was really rough for him (friends, several rum and cokes and night of pool), he resisted! I'm so proud of you Honey!
Again, sorry for the long absence. I just don't seem to find the time to sit down and blog lately, especially if I keep going out of town on the weekends...
So, where to begin? Well, Thursday has come and gone but I did want to mention I had a wonderful time meeting Jish that night. Some of the local bloggers met him Downtown since he was in the city on business. Matt and Kymberlie (go to October 4th) have pictures up and Kathy, Christine and Hanna write about the evening...
Friday I had friends come over and we ordered pizza and talked. A handful stayed around afterwards and watched Panic Room. Rather disappointing movie. Glad I didn't see it in the theater.
Saturday we were off to Dallas (er, Rockwall) where we worked on going through boxes and boxes and boxes of MaMa and PaPa's stuff. We were able to divvy up items between Kenny and his Mom and we soon figured out that there was no way we were getting even a 1/3 of the stuff home we wanted. It's mostly paperwork, old photos (some over a 100 years old), some china and glassware, a small antique marble top table and an antique console radio from the 1930's (this style although this is *not* it). It was a tiring weekend and we didn't complete our goal but that's OK. We will rent a closed trailer next month, hook it up to the Jeep and get the rest at Thanksgiving.
We did arrive last night around 8:30 PM after another long trip back. Similar to our last trip up there where we drove by a fatal road accident, we again drove by the scene of another fatal incident, this time involving the shooting death of local police officer. It was right off the highway but I think because of the rubber-necking, a truck and 18-wheeler had a separate accident on the overpass near the shooting. When we drove by that as well you could see the 18-wheeler's cab had been on fire and the pick-up truck was smashed. Don't know about the injuries there because I couldn't find any information. What horrible driving experiences each time we go home from Dallas...
As you can see, it was good to be home though. We unloaded, unpacked a few things and settled down to watch High Crimes starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd. It was OK but rather predictable. Finally slipped into our cozy bed around 2 AM and fell right asleep!! Did I tell you how good it felt to be home?? :D
Hello everyone - yes, I'm still here and I've been missing the blogworld. This project at work has kept me off-line and I haven't had a chance to write an entry or read any of your blogs! I still won't get much time till next week either since we will be heading to Dallas this weekend for some family stuff. So, things are fine here in Houston. We didn't get a single drop of rain from Lili even though we were very worried for a few days that it might hit near us.
On a personal level, I had a small set-back in the exercise program this week too - due to some Happy Hour plans tonight (a group of Houston Bloggers is meeting Jish tonight at a local bar), I went to class Monday night instead of my usual Tuesday. Well, the Monday instructor is super-nice but he is the toughest one and he had us do a strength-training class where we emphasized leg and arm muscle work. It was extremely difficult and I pushed myself too hard on the leg work only to suffer from horrible muscle soreness that until today had me wincing every time I sat down, got up or got near stairs. Needless to say, it was recommended that I skip last night's class and let my torn muscles heal. Today is the 1st day where I am a little less sore (each day the pain had gotten worse) and I should be back up to speed for my Tuesday class next week. Still working on getting the diet routine in place though. I finally have my own Weight Watchers Points Plan kit and plan to start counting point on a serious basis as of Monday (after we get back from Dallas).
No other news really except to say that I am very glad that the Fall is finally here. It's my favorite season, if you want to even pretend Houston has seasons. October & November will be busy months - a trip to the Texas Renaissance Festival, a Halloween party, our 4-year wedding anniversary, my mother's birthday and a possible trip to Aggieland for a football game are all in store. And then the holidays! I am already planning things for that since it seems that we will be staying in town for Christmas. I'm so excited! We have never stayed home for the holidays before (we always went to West Texas) and I never had much room to decorate so this year I am going to have fun with the new home. I know where I want the Christmas tree and I'm thinking about how to decorate my huge mantle already (fresh tree branches laid out with candles?)...
Ooh - lunch is over and a spreadsheet is waiting for me so I must run! Catch you soon, I promise!
I added a couple more pictures to Christine's Picture Yourself site... here is EJ's daughter Gelli and me and another one of Kenny and me in Spain...
Hanna also added one on the same day...
(to see the rest of mine, look in the left-hand column and click on the numbers below the Picture Yourself! button)
1. Front or rear wheel drive? Front-wheel (Honda Civic)
2. Car or truck or van? Car
3. Fancy or utilitarian? A little of both but more utilitarian.
4. Power or manual windows/locks? Power windows and locks.
5. Small econobox or giant luxo cruiser? Econobox (remember, it's a Civic?)
6. Factory or aftermarket radio? Aftermarket CD player (surprise gift from my hubby)
7. Lease or buy? Buy (about a year left)!
8. Perform own maintenance or farm it out? Farm it out - although the husband wants to start doing the oil changes.
9. Hi-test brand name or cheap-o fuel? With these prices? Cheap-o!
10. Run-it-till-the-wheels-fall-off or a new one every two years? This is my first car owned by me and I am going to run it down so I can get what I really want in a couple of years - A BMW 3-series sedan! Aren't Hondas suppose to be made to be run down anyway?
By the way - I really do love my Honda!! It has been very good to me despite the 80,000 miles I've put on it in 5 years (I drove it off the dealer's lot with 7 miles).