Right click and take this Baby New Year 2003,
leave a comment letting me know where you're taking him
and if you feel comfortable with it,
leave your location...city, state, or country.
Let's see who's celebrating 2003 and New Friends!
The last This-or-That of the year 2002!
1. Stay in or go out on New Year's Eve? I've done both but this year we are throwing our own party!
2. If you stay home, do you stay up to ring in the new year, or fall asleep earlier? Stay up!
3. If you go out, do you prefer to attend a party at someone's home, or go to a bar/nightclub/restaurant? Either, as long it's with good friends.
4. Make resolutions, or do you not bother? Don't really bother.
5. Ever been to Times Square (New York City) on New Year's Eve, or just watched the ball drop on TV? Not on New Year's Eve but have seen the ball drop on TV.
6. Toast the New Year with champagne or a soft drink? Champagne and a kiss!
7. Do you have a special New Year's dinner or not? Nope.
8. Do you already have your 2003 calendar, or do you wait to buy one until the stores mark them down? Typically I wait but I got one for Christmas this year.
9. Take down Christmas decorations: before or after New Year's? After.
10. Funny hats and noisemakers, or a quieter celebration? Some noise!
What a nice weekend in San Antonio! Kenny and I enjoyed our time there. A few highlights:
(click on photo for larger image)
- Afternoon at the museum with our friend Spencer.
- Lunch with Spencer's family (wonderful hospitality).
- Coffee and Italian ice on the Riverwalk in the glow of the beautiful twinkling Christmas lights.
- Cow hunting in Downtown San Antonio.
- Lunch on the Riverwalk at Manduca's.
- Fun shopping finds such as two new coconut masks to add to my collection, a new Cow Parade figurine, new floaty pens and floaty keychains and even a cute frog figurine that Kenny found for me!
Here is the rest of the photo album.
A wonderful weekend was had even if the weather was a bit cloudy on Sunday. It was nice to get back home to the dogs though, who missed us and were thrilled to have us back. Now I am back to the grind here at work, trying to keep my mind on work while thinking about what I have left to do for our New Year's Eve party...
This is the weekend Kenny and I go to San Antonio... I'll be back Sunday night with lots of pictures!
If you are stuck at work today like me and Kathy and Hanna (who actually has work to do!), maybe this can help pass the time...
(link thanks to Kathy)
By the way, most of the pictures linked below were taken with the Pencam. I've started a new folder in my Fotki albums for the Pencam shots and the Christmas Day album is here including my latest Mirror Project submission...
Well, Christmas has come and gone and it was enjoyable but exhausting! Kenny's Uncle Don flew in from Florida the evening of Christmas Eve and after picking him up from the airport, we gathered around the kitchen table and ate chips and salsa and tamales, in keeping with a tradition MaMa and PaPa started. As usual, we all caught up with each other, told random stories and this year took some time to remember MaMa and PaPa as well. This is one of the few holiday traditions Kenny's family had and it was great to be able to continue it.
Christmas morning I left Kenny and Don sleeping and went to pick up my Mother. Once I returned with her, we all opened presents (more on that later). Afterwards Mom started getting our early Christmas dinner ready. I helped as much as I could but she soon had taken over the kitchen. At 2:30 our guests arrived (Robert and his family as well as their roommate and girlfriend), making the group complete at eleven people. Dinner was served an hour later when we feasted on Mom's wonderful cooking! We ate lamb, turkey, black beans and rice, yams and salad. With that many people you can imagine the mess! There are still plates needing to be cleaned (several more dishwasher loads) but Kenny said he would try to work on it today since he took the rest of the week off from work (I am stuck here at work).
Now the good stuff - presents! Let me just say that Kenny spoiled me this year. I kept opening gifts from him! He gave me:
- an Aiptek Trio VGA pencam
- a 1 year subscription to People magazine
- a pretty pearl pendant
- a down throw for the couch
- a pretty bag to take stuff to work
- a hand painted froggy votive holder
- a mirrored vanity tray to hold my perfumes
- a new calendar for the kitchen
From friends and family I received:
- an Italian blown glass frog figurine (from Hanna)
- a gorgeous kaleidoscope
- 20 Years of NY Salsa CD
- Chocolat DVD
- a purse and address book from my Mom
- a beautiful Christmas musical snow globe from Kenny's uncle
- a Pier 1 gift set with bath gel and candles, also from Kenny's uncle
- several books including a book on Houston gardening and some books on Cuban issues
Hope I didn't forget anything! So, yes, I admitit. I was spoiled this year! Thanks everyone, especially my hubby!
Well, I stayed away form the PC these last few days but now I have to catch up! I've made all my rounds and left holiday greetings at my regular reads listed on my Blogroll and now I just have to write up an actual entry for my faithful readers.
I was caught up till Monday... which is when I joined Hanna after work and went to my 1st ever NBA game. I saw our Houston Rockets play the Utah Jazz (thanks for the free ticket). We lost in the last quarter but we still had a blast. Afterwards, Hanna and I were "rescued" from the rainstorm by a friend of Hanna's (we had parked our car a few blocks away and would have gotten soaked in the chilling rain) and we went to a nearby pool hall where I watched them play a few games. Hanna has my favorite pic of the night posted over at her photolog...
I'll get back to you soon with a Christmas update, I promise!
This past Friday I had a wonderful time at Robert's party. We celebrated Oskar's birthday (also 29 like me but a week younger), shared the holiday spirit and exchanged Secret Santa gifts.
It was wonderfully planned and the hosts were gracious as always. Thanks Robert! That was a great party! And to my Secret Santa EJ - thank you! I loved the frog lamp...
See the rest of the silly pictures here.
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Well, last night's company dinner at Cafe Annie was nice. There were 3 tables with about 8 people each. Kenny and I somehow ended up with my boss (the managing partner of the firm) and his wife as well as one of the other partners and another accountant and their respective wives. We were the youngest and the ones earning much less income! LOL! Everyone was very nice though and it was interesting to see another side of my boss. The food was excellent as well.
Since I am talking about company parties, I realized I never mentioned Kenny's company party. It was last Saturday at the local horse track. They did this last year too and it was such a success they just booked it again. Last year though we couldn't stay the entire night because we had another party to skip to but this time we thoroughly enjoyed the suite and stayed through till the last race. We started betting on the 3rd race and didn't stop till the end. I only came out about $6 behind when it was all said and done (I was helped by a $9 and $17 win) while Kenny, who bet bigger, came out even after winning a $50 bet. Two of our close friends (EJ being one of them) won $100 on a single bet.
I didn't take many pictures but here is the photo album with pictures from both evenings.
UPS just picked up the box with my nieces gifts. I used 2-day air so it should arrive before Christmas. I also sent 6 more cards out and am finally done with them! Woo-hoo! The domestic ones should hopefully arrive before or right at Christmas, the international ones, well... that's another story. Oh well. :P
Now I'm just waiting for the work day to end. If possible, I want to go home to change clothes for the dinner tonight and also go in one car with Kenny but if the boss needs me to stay, I'll just have to change here. I brought everything I need but really would prefer to go home. I'll try to take a couple of pictures tonight!
My gift shopping for Kenny is essentially done... I have one more gift to get for a Secret Santa party I have tomorrow night and then I'll be officially done shopping... I *just* mailed 57 Christmas cards and have about 5 left (I missed them on my list - they'll go out this afternoon)... I woke up 45 minutes early today to wrap and package my nieces gifts... these will hopefully get shipped today via UPS... and I have my company holiday dinner tonight after work at a really nice restaurant.
Oh, and sometime this weekend I have to clean up the house before Tuesday when Kenny's uncle flies in from Florida to spend Christmas with us...Aaahh!!! When will this all be over???
Well, last night, with the help of Kenny, the majority of the gifts were wrapped. I still have to wrap his (and he has to wrap mine) but it shouldn't be too bad. Still haven't finished with the Christmas cards but I made the return address labels on my computer and finished printing out the holiday letter. Kenny will be buying more stamps this afternoon for me and tonight I'll be finishing them up!!
Tonight after work (while Kenny is at pool league) I also plan on buying the last couple of gifts on my list which are mostly for him... hope I can find everything!!
I just swallowed a cherry seed. Those things aren't that small either and they don't dissolve, do they? Hope a cherry tree doesn't take root in my stomach...
Thanks for patiently waiting on the re-cap! Let's start with my birthday this past Friday.
Thanks to everyone who came over to help me celebrate. The fridge is still full of beer so you guys have to come back and help us clear it out! Anyway, the food was delicious (soup by EJ, green bean casserole by Kathy, sausage on the grill by Kenny and cake by Sherry) and the conversations were varied as usual! I got some nice loot too from both friends who were in attendance and others who weren't including:
-- beautiful glass garden globe from Kenny
-- movie tickets to Landmark Theater from Daniel (who came in from Galveston)
-- Sudsalicious soaps by Christine (they smell yummy)
-- pretty blue necklace from Michelle (who came in from College Station)
-- an amber frog figurine and frog pendant with amber belly brought back from Poland by Robert and his brother
-- cool stuff from Moshi Moshi (including Pucca stuff) from Kathy
-- Bride of the Wind DVD from EJ & Sherry
-- Sunday matinee tickets to the Nutcracker from Hanna (we went this past Sunday - it was wonderful!)
-- box of Godiva chocolates and a book I wanted from CJ & Susan
-- a rectangular pewter tray with a frog design from Julie (love it - thanks!)
-- perfumes from my Mom
(hope I didn't forget anybody or anything)
I have posted a few pictures and so did Kathy (click on her name) and Hanna (her personal albums are password protected though). It sure was a silly and fun night! Thanks again everyone!!
Time for Tuesday's This-or-That:
1. Christmas dinner: turkey or ham (or something else)? both
2. Candy canes or chocolate? chocolate
3. Fruit basket or fruitcake? fruit basket
4. Mulled cider or mulled wine? mulled cider
5. Eggnog or hot chocolate? hot chocolate
6. Holiday cookies: homemade or store-bought? store-bought
7. Roasting chestnuts or popping corn? popping corn
8. On the buffet table: veggie platter or cheese tray? cheese tray
9. Apple or pumpkin pie? apple pie
10. Christmas Day breakfast: before or after gift-opening? Breakfast?? What's breakfast? We open gifts before and then have lunch.
I've been busy, busy, busy here at work... I promise to post a weekend re-cap but it may not happen till later this evening!!!
In 1862, Union forces suffered a major defeat to the Confederates at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
In 1944, during WWII, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze suicide attack that claimed 138 lives.
In 1978, the Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into circulation the following July.
In 2000, Republican George W. Bush claimed the presidency a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ( news - web sites) shut down further recounts of disputed ballots in Florida. Democrat Al Gore ( news - web sites) conceded, delivering a call for national unity.
- Actor-comedian Jamie Foxx is 35.
- Actor Steve Buscemi is 45.
- Singer Ted Nugent is 54.
- Actor-comedian Dick Van Dyke is 77.
(info above selected from Yahoo! birthday pages)
Today is also Santa Lucia Day. Santa Lucia, or Saint Lucy, lived in Sicily in the fourth century. Her name means light, and she became the patron saint of sight, and of the blind. By the year 1000, the veneration of Saint Lucy had reached as far as Sweden, where her feast day became the start of the Christmas season. In Sweden, it's a tradition on Santa Lucia Day for the eldest daughter of the house to usher in the Christmas season by putting on a white dress and wearing an evergreen wreath with seven lighted candles as a crown. In the old Julian calendar, December 13 was the winter solstice. (from The Writer's Almanac)
Do you know why Friday the 13th is unlucky?
Another interesting tidbet:
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th.
I just wanted to send out a warm "Thank you" to several of you guys out there for wishing me a happy birthday this morning... Karen, Ked, Tenika (all from the Birthday Blog), Hanna, Shirl, Julie, Pamela, Cass, Kymberlie and Robert.
Looking forward to my birthday party tonight too!
Edited to add:
Extra special thanks to Traveling Women Club, an on-line community I am a member of. They created a beautiful birthday page!
Also, thanks go to Lynn as well (and welcome back to the blog world)!
*Wow!* I walked in the door last night to find the Christmas lights on and a fire roaring in the fireplace. My husband had gotten home before me and thought I would appreciate that - which I did (he knows how I love to have the Christmas lights on as soon as I get home but he usually waits for me to do it).
He also bought me an early Christmas present - a new Samsung N400 cell phone! My old one - which I had had for a couple of years now - was having issues with the speaker (it was fading in our and out during calls and it was not related to signal reception) so we went to Costco and got the best deal in town on my new phone.
It's a beautiful phone with a color screen and neat little features you can download like screensavers and games (it already has Space Invaders on it). Today I need to spend some time programming it... thanks Honey!!
Oh - and as you can see from the list below, we also managed to get a lot done. Just a couple of things to do tonight when I get home!
Yes, I finished the tree last night. It is lit and decorated and all incident free! I'll take a picture soon when I've got a few presents underneath.
I am still extremely busy though. I haven't even touched the Christmas cards yet. My goal is to get those out early next week. I have more pressing things right now though. Tomorrow night I have two good friends coming in from out of town for my birthday. The actual birthday celebration will also be taking place at our house. Consequently, I need to get the house in order for both the out-of-town guests as well as for about a dozen birthday revelers. In order to get a little more organized, I'm posting the to-do list I am sharing with Kenny here:
-- Get rid of dog hair on couch (since one of my friends will be sleeping on it).
-- Wrap gifts and
-- Prepare gift box to mail to my sister's this Saturday.
-- Clean up my office so it looks presentable (I can't see the keyboard on my desk anymore).
-- Put away my clothes and clean up our bathroom.
Once again, Kenny is being a great help and will be taking care of cleaning up the lounge and getting groceries. He has been extremely sweet these past few days and made it a point to stop me last night in my frenzy to give me a hug and tell me that the holiday decorations I've put up around the house look great.
I still have more to do once the weekend is over but this is it for now!
I have had such a difficult time decorating for the holidays this year! Here is my pathetic story of the "Tree That Did Not Want To Be Decorated". Grab your box of tissues:
-- The tree is in place after an agonizing search through two tree lots Sunday evening. Monday night I was ready to decorate so I pull out the lights only to discover that one of my favorite light strands had two colors not working (red and blue). The green and yellow worked fine though. Ack! This is discovered at 10:30 PM Monday night. Do you know how difficult it was to find comparable lights (the chaser kind where the lights can made to flash slower or quicker)? We went to three places (Target, Wal-Mart and Home Depot) before finding any. We bought the last two boxes at Home Depot (the *last two*)! By this point it is midnight and I was cranky so I decide to wait one more night to hang the lights.
-- It's Tuesday night (last night) and once again, I am ready to decorate. I check the water level in the tree's plastic basin first though before putting on the lights only to discover it's empty. Lo and behold, the cheap plastic basin we had paid for when we bought the tree had a slow leak and all the water had drained out over the previous 24 hours into the towel we had fortunately put underneath to protect the hardwoods. Since it was a slow leak, I never saw a puddle to warn me. Oh - and guess what time it was when I make the discovery? 11 PM. This essentially meant I couldn't decorate until we either a) fixed the plastic basin or b) bought a new tree-stand. We picked option b.
At this point I am about to cry. I am tired but if we don't replace the basin tonight, the tree goes without water and I won't be able to decorate for another two days... (Kenny has pool league Wednesday nights and wouldn't be home to replace the basin so I would have to wait an extra day)!
This is where "Why my husband is wonderful Reason" #568 comes into play. Since I am so pathetically frustrated, Kenny takes pity on me and offers to go out and get us a tree stand (yes, at 11 PM). He says I can stay home and he'll take care of it. Yay! Isn't he wonderful?? To make a long story short, Kenny ended up going to 3 different stores last night before finally finding us a tree stand! Poor thing... all for me.
With the new tree stand in hand, I help Kenny put the tree in and we are *finally* in business... at 12:30 AM and 2 days after buying the tree! On principle, I went ahead and stayed up a little longer to hang the lights. Ornaments will go on tonight - hopefully! Cross your fingers!
In happier news, I had no problems putting out the exterior lights! I had that done in less than 30 minutes!!
Please take a second and mark from where in the world you are visiting!
-- thank you --
1. Real or artificial tree? Always real!!
2. Real or artificial wreath? Artificial wreath.
3. Open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (or do you do another holiday such as Hannukkah)? Christmas day.
4. "It's A Wonderful Life" or "Miracle on 34th Street"? "It's A Wonderful Life"
5. Outdoor decorations, or just indoors? Both
6. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" or "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"? Rudolph
7. Miniature lights or the larger ones? Miniature
8. Store-bought or hand-made ornaments? Typically store-bought.
9. TV Specials: The Grinch or Charlie Brown? Neither really.
10. Will you be staying at home for the holiday, or going visiting? We will be staying home this year, the 1st time in about 5 years.
...but I got most of it accomplished!
- Dentist appointment: No cavities! Yay!
- Dropping off recycling: Done! (and the trunk was packed I had so much)
- Dropping off some clothes to Star of Hope: Not yet - I didn't get a chance to clean out the master bedroom closet and thought I should just wait so I don't make two trips.
And the fun stuff...
- Kathy's Home Interiors party: This was a lot of fun and the food was dee-lish (thanks Tom). I ordered a few things including a gardenia candle for myself and some cute bookends for my nieces new room.
- Brunch and baby shower: No brunch (the husband was sick) but the shower was wonderful. I also got to catch up with my friend after the shower for a few minutes at her in-laws. Jeanne looks beautiful and I wish her and Mike the best... their little girl is due February 14th.
- Christmas tree buying and decorating: Well the tree is bought (tall and skinny, but a little scrawnier than I would have preferred) but the decorations will have to wait till tonight!
- Put some exterior lights up Sunday evening: Nope. Just ran out of time. Kenny also thinks we should do the lighting along the gables and we need to borrow an extension ladder from a friend in order to do this.
Houston is rainy and a bit chilly today - wish I was still at home under the covers - but I have a lot of work today. Gotta get back to it!
Woo-hoo! I just bought tickets for Alegria. They are coming to Houston in March of next year and the shows get sold out very quickly! I am able to get tickets before they go on sale to the public because I am on their mailing list but the deadline was tomorrow so I had to get my order in!
Hanna and Robert will be joining us for the evening and I am really looking forward to it. This will be the third Cirque du Soleil show Kenny and I attend. Our first was Quidam, which is our favorite and which turned us on to Cirque du Soleil in general and last year we saw Dralion. We hope to see as many as we can, including the ones in Las Vegas at some point in the future...
Well - I have a busy weekend ahead of me which includes a dentist appointment, dropping off recycling as well as some clothes to Star of Hope, a Home Interiors party at Kathy's, a brunch and baby shower and Christmas tree buying and decorating. I may even try to put some exterior lights up Sunday evening (or not).
I also have things to do around the house and I had good intentions last night to get some done. I even made a list at work. Did it even come out of my purse? No. Did anything get done? No. Did I get to snuggle cozily under the covers with my hubby and 2 puppies to watched TiVo-recorded episodes of Ground Force and Changing Rooms? Yes. I think the choice was obvious, don't you?
The only thing missing was a fire but I was too comfortable on the couch to get off my butt and light one and Kenny was too busy cooking dinner... :D
"Robert Burck, a street performer known as the 'Naked Cowboy,' pauses to warm his hands in Times Square in New York on December 5, 2002 as a snow storm hit the city. Burck, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who sings in Times Square throughout the year, said he was not cold because he was 'burning with desire.' Snow, sleet, and freezing rain from the region's first major storm of the season played havoc with the morning rush hour along the U.S. east coast, snarling commuters in traffic accidents and flight delays, and forcing schools to close. REUTERS/Peter Morgan"
Photo thanks to Yahoo! News.
Hee, hee - with my birthday being about a week away I decided to add myself to the Birthday Blog.
Go add yourself! (link thanks to Chris)
It also sort of reflects the dichotomy in my household:
Honda produces the least-polluting vehicle fleet in the U.S. market while DaimlerChrysler is at the bottom of the list of automakers, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Why the relevance? I drive a 1997 Honda Civic (#1 on the list). My husband drives a 2002 Jeep Liberty (built by DaimlerChrysler - the bottom of the list). And if you know us personally, you'll also know that the difference in our cars parallels our differences in political views. I am the liberal recycling tree-hugger, he is the conservative Republican NRA member.
As he says, we are both closer in thought than the labels make us out to be but we do fall on opposite sides of the moderate line.
Now don't get me wrong - I love the Jeep and I do appreciate the fact that it gets one of the better gas mileage out there for an SUV - my husband researched the options and choose what was best for his realistic needs and the Jeep is perfect. Plus, it's not a huge vehicle (it's actually about as long as my Civic when you compare them in the garage).
This is by no means a comment on my husband's choice of vehicles - I just thought it was an interesting article! Now if I can only convince him that we can afford one of the new hybrids in the long-run (they are more expensive to maintain overall)...
Good morning... I am sitting here at work munching on some of Kenny's Mom's Texas Trash snack mix. Kenny says it's not as spicy as usual but I actually think it's just right (usually it's too spicy for me)!
By the way - the recipe I linked to is just one variation. Everyone has their preferences. For example, Vickie doesn't use Cheerios but throws in goldfish crackers instead. The goldfish are toasted just right and melt in your mouth! I hope I don't spoil my appetite for lunch (leftover spaghetti cooked by Kenny)...
Well, I just found some time to put together a quick update of the Thanksgiving holidays!
This year we piled the dogs and ourselves into the car and went to Rockwall (near Dallas) to visit Kenny's mother, her husband, his half-brother and wife and their two boys. Since we won't be seeing them at Christmas, we also made this an early Christmas celebration and gifts were exchanged. Bob the Builder was big hit with Devin, the 2 year old. Jeremy was looking forward to opening his Octoblast Hot Wheels track when he got home... I also received some nice gifts from everyone including some frog statues for my garden. Afterwards we had fried turkey (cooked by Randy, Kenny's mom's husband) and lots of yummy side-dishes.
(Christmas in November and Doggie Harmony)
Here is a link to the rest of the Thanksgiving photo album...
The rest of the week we lounged around the house talking or going through some of Kenny's grandparents' things. We need to empty out a storage unit by the end of this month and wanted to sort through the boxes and see who wanted want. We returned to Houston Saturday night with a small trailer and a few boxes of the more important physical reminders of MaMa and PaPa.
Sunday Kenny spent it at home while I took my Mother out to lunch. I also picked up her 12 piece china set for our Christmas dinner. She said I could go ahead and keep it as well since I do all the entertaining so now I have to find the space in my cabinets! Sunday night I went with Kenny and played pool. He had been wanting to go all day but none of his friends were available so I told him I would go. We had a good time playing for about an hour as he practiced with his new cue stick. He had traded sticks with his half-brother because he loved the way his brother's felt and how it improved his game so he was eager to try it on the tables he plays league.
Now I am just wrapping up some Christmas decorating, expecting to get the tree by this weekend and trying to figure out what to do with the exterior... I'll worry about cleaning house later!
1. Go out and buy gifts, or shop online/mail order? Combination but I've been moving towards catalogs and on-line more and more each year....
2. Gift cards/certificates or pick out gifts? Pick-out gifts.
3. Pay cash or charge holiday gifts? Er, charge.
4. Are most of your gifts mailed or given in person? Both.
5. Are you an early-bird or last-minute holiday shopper? Early-bird.
6. If you shop in stores...big chain stores or smaller specialty stores? Big chain stores ( I love Target but hate department stores).
7. Wrap gifts yourself or have them wrapped at the store or mall? Wrap myself.
8. Shopping on *Black Friday* (day after Thanksgiving)...did you or didn't you? Nope, never have.
9. Is your holiday gift list large or small? Medium.
10. Is it better to give or to receive? Both, of course!
After I have a sushi lunch with Kathy...