Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happiness is....

...having two happy ideas to post! I do this happiness thing because I want to be sure to put some focus on happy things in my life. Too often I can get bogged down in the sad things that have happened, so every week, I try to think of something that has made me happy over the past week and that is my "Happiness is" blog. So, this week I have two that I was trying to decide between and said "Hey, it's my blog, I can do both." So..

A) Happiness is...your husband stepping up to the plate and getting the "guests are coming cleaning" done when you can't. On Monday, I got informed that I would have a BOF sub-committee meeting early Tuesday, then a full Board meeting that night. There went my plans for leaving work at noon for a trip to the storage unit, trip to the mall and finishing up the cleaning before Mom & big sister arrive on Wednesday. Well, A really stepped up. He cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed the whole house. When I got home from work Tuesday night, all I had to do was dust, put away some laundry and do some general tidying up.

B) Happiness excited greeting from my puppy dog when I get home from work. I got home last night and was greeted by a wagging tail and excited doggie kisses. I think that dogs were one of God's greatest creations. Boomer is nothing but a love bucket - giving and taking love as needed. He provides entertainment and solace. And when you've had a long day at work, it's so nice to come home to see that whole little body wagging with happiness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Dog and his toys

My dog loves his toys. We've seen a remarkable change in him as we attempted to control his dominant nature. He no longer destroys his toys. Oh - he'll put holes in them and kill the squeakers and occasionally pull out the stuffing. But it's different now, where he used to destroy them - I mean pull out all the stuffing, rip apart the fabric, pull out the squeakers all within about 30 minutes - now his toys last for months. So - he's getting to have a lot of them. It's our fault. We buy them. We love to see him with his new toys. He's cute with how he likes to carry them around. He's got a bunch in his bed. Another group in his spot in the attic and then another bunch in a basket downstairs. He knows how to get them out of the basket. Unfortunately, he hasn't got the trick of putting them back yet. He just loves toys. He loves them so much, that we have to limit his trips to the pet store. We took him on Sunday to buy a new coat. (He gets cold in the winter and is a short haired dog, so he needs the coat.) All that dog did at the store was cry. It wasn't because he could see other dogs there - he wasn't much interested in them. He could see the toys. After picking out a coat, we headed over to the toys to "let him pick one out". HA! That dog was in doggie heaven. He was bopping all sorts of toys with his nose, pulling A from one section to the next. We finally decided on George the Gingerbread Man. (I name his toys.) George has a couple of love bites, but he still has all his appendages and both his eyes. This time last year, George would be in the garbage by now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I think I'm ready?

We still have to do some shopping, but I think I'm ready for Thanksgiving. The regular cleaning we've engaged in the last month or so has paid off. Tonight, we'll clean the kitchen. Tomorrow the bathroom. I'll vacuum tomorrow night or Wednesday night - or both. The guest room is ready to go, just needs a dusting. The bulk of the work in the office/den/guest room is done, it just needs a vacuum pass and some incidental tidying. Now, it's not necessarily "Aunt Alice" clean - which is clean beyond belief, nothing unnecessary out on a table or shelf, etc - but it will be presentable for guests, which is my goal. Oh - except for the master bedroom. That's the room that we leave to the last and I think the door may need to stay shut. Oh well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Please say a prayer

A member of the FDNY died today fighting a fire on Staten Island. Please say a prayer for his family and his fellow firefighters. As the wife of a firefighter, you know that everytime you kiss your loved one goodbye before a tour, that may be the last time you do so. We all have our ways of dealing with it. I wear a St. Florian's medal whenever A is on duty and I don't listen to the scanner. I trust in the men with whom A works. They are highly skilled and devoted to their jobs, but I know things happen. It's a dangerous job. So again, please say a prayer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Busy Saturday

Not much time to blog today. I've got lots to do. There's laundry, vacuuming, dusting, general tidying up and walking the dog. Which he wants me to do right now. Do you know how hard it is to type with a doggies nose stuck in between your hands? He wants what he wants! And he's getting it. See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Photos

These are some shots I took one day recently while A and I walked the dog.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I'm just not ready for it - but it was here this morning. Someone needs to tell Mother Nature that winter is still a month off. I won't linger - but really - I just wasn't ready to see snow when I walked out the door this morning. Couldn't it wait at least until after Thanksgiving? And along those same lines - do radio stations really need to be playing Christmas music already? Someone in my neighborhood already has a creche out. I'm just not ready. Give me at least until Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happiness is...

...a new vanity/sink in my bathroom. Silly right? Nope. It really has made me very happy that we replaced the sink and put a new one in that is part of a vanity. YAY! Here are pics of the old and the new.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday, November 18th

Twenty-seven years ago today, my life changed dramatically. My father died suddenly that day. I was in college. The memories of that day haven't faded, despite the passage of time. The pain has eased, although it pops up at times. Mostly what I'm left with is loving memories and a hope that he knows we're okay and that he approves of where we've gone with our lives. My dad was a very good man. He was honest. He was loyal. He was smart and quirky. He was driven - a real type A. He was the son of Irish immigrants who lost his own father when he was only nine. He never finished college, having been called into the service during his college years. He was a very hard worker. He didn't cook much, but he would come home at lunchtime even during the winter to cook himself hot dogs on the grill. He tried to be the tough guy, but we knew he came home to check on the dog when he was sick. He cried when my mother's cancer was diagnosed. He was easily manipulated by a pouting daughter. He taught us to drive - maybe not a good thing for other drivers out there! He loved my mother and was proud of what she accomplished in her work life. He never made as much money as my mother, but was never bothered by that. He fixed things around the house and built things around the house. He saved the pumps and engines from every appliance that we tossed. He loved sports - baseball and football especially. He learned to play golf - but was not that good at it. He tried to teach us to dance. He loved Julie Andrews. He had bad taste in furniture and was pretty much color blind when it came to clothes. He loved his old Cadillac. He was particular about food. He liked to tease and was not above being teased himself. He loved us and we loved him. He is missed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Even if I didn't know it was Monday...

...I would know. It started off with me looking for my house keys. They were not by the door where I normally leave them. They were not in the coat I wore to the store yesterday. They were not in the jeans I wore yesterday. Not in my bedroom, not in the car, not in my purse, not in the basket with the spare car keys. It was looking like doggie was not getting his morning walk, when I realized it was Monday. I did something smart and then promptly forgot. I had already put my winter coat on because it was barely above freezing. This coat has a multitude of pockets. So, as I loaded up with poopie bags, I also put my house keys in one of the pockets where I thought they would be safest - least likely to fall out when picking up poops. I zipped up the pocket and forgot I had done it.

Then of course - still being Monday - we run into the animal I lovingly refer to as the Fucking Dachshund. (Apologies to my friends/readers who have adorable dachshunds.) We seem to always cross paths around the same spot on our morning walks. As I approach the end of S Avenue, I look through this one yard down M Street to see if the damn dog is coming. Well, he was. Boomer and I quickly cross the street, but the dachshund starts barking at him, getting Boomer all excited. I just really didn't need that.

Then, get to work. I know I have one staff member who needs to be out soon for surgery. I've been trying to balance his needs with the one who wants to be with her daughter when she has her baby. I was hoping that the dates would coordinate a little so I could accommodate the one to some extent since I have no choice with the other and do this all while not placing too large a burden on myself and the one other staff member who is going to want time off in January when her daughter gives birth. Well, I got the surgery date today and it won't be easy. Oh - and did I mention that December is when I have to wrap up the audit filing, send my audits off to a dozen places and file for the coveted CAFR award, start working on not just my budget but helping other people with theirs? We'll have to see what we can manage. ARRGH! Is it Friday yet?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This is a catty blog post

I went to a wedding last night. It was fun. I love weddings. I love dancing and watching others dance. I'm not that good a dancer - but what the heck I have fun dancing and I don't think I look as bad at it as some others do. There's generally some coordination to my movement. Not too many people out there last night were good either. My worst dancing move of the night? Well two worst - tipped over a little when going low doing the twist and - really bad - at one point, I caught myself starting to do the White Man's Overbight. EEEK! It can be really funny - if you are sober - to watch the drunker guests dance with abandon, but not much skill. It was enjoyable, seriously, to watch this cute little 3 or 4 year old flower girl dance with abandon but not much skill. She was so cute and having such a grand time!

So - here comes the cattiness. Ladies - Foundation garments! Seriously. That tight dress does nothing for your little tummy pooch. You may be thin, but you still have a pooch honey. And you over there - well - a comparison to a sausage would be unkind - to the sausage. Dresses that give you four boobs are never attractive. Black stockings with a silver dress? I don't know. I suppose some fashion insider may tell me it's in, but I just don't like it. Me?
The hanger straps on my dress kept slipping out. I need to cut those off - terribly tacky when they are peeking out the side of your dress.

There were a couple of women there who did not have great bodies - but their dresses were fabulous and totally appropriate for them. There was one in particular who accessorized fabulously as well. And she was a good dancer. I wanted to ask her what the secret was! It really goes to show that you don't have to have the best body to look the best.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nature or Nurture?

I know where I got my brown hair from and my brown/hazel nearsighted eyes and the big boobs. But where did I get my tendency to procrastinate from? And my lack of enthusiasm for housecleaning? Are we born that way or do we become that way? Do I have a gene for procrastination like I do for straight hair? I seriously don't think that either of my parents were procrastinators. Why am I? Is it something about the birth order?
Sometimes, I wish I had been born a neatnik - not obsessively so, but I do wish that I were more inclined to be a more diligent housekeeper. Was it because I was potty trained too late? Nah - not going for that theory that if you are potty trained early, you'll become an anal neat freak. My brother is living proof. Anyway, it's not that our house is dirty, but we have a lot of stuff and we don't seem to be good about putting it away or tossing it. My mother was definitely more relaxed about housecleaning than her sister. Maybe that's it - being like Mom? But my dad could be kind of obsessive about it - so why am I not like Dad? I think that my father would be horrified if he could see my office! Because I am a creature of habit, I believe that I can work organization into my life if I make it a habit. The problem is making it a habit. Sometimes life and work just get in the way. I was going good for a while there at work where I would file things away promptly and I would take an hour at the end of the day to clear out the clutter on my desk. Then, I got overloaded with work for a while and 'poof' that habit vanished. I'm trying now with the house to be in the habit of doing minor cleaning of some sort each night, to avoid the buildup of major cleaning needs. I just have to keep at it until it becomes a habit and then I think I can do it. And hey! That's another nature or nurture question - why am I such a creature of habit? Was my mom that way? or my dad? or maybe it's that I'm a Virgo? eh - who knows. Saturday's chores are to do the linens and dust. I better get on it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Photos

I took a photography class recently. It turned out to be more about fixing photos in photoshop rather than about how to take photos and use the settings on my camera. That was disappointing. But, I must say it was very cool to learn how to fix the photos - remove color casts, remove objects, improve the image - like thin up a person, etc. So - here are a couple of shots I took with the wrong white balance setting - giving them a blue cast. And then you can see how they look fixed up. And for those of you who are observant - I changed something else in the second set (the 2 men at the grill). Let me know if you can tell what it was.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

a yucky Thursday

It's grey and dismal and wet out. This is the kind of day that is made for staying inside by a fire with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book to read. Instead, I had to be at work early for a meeting with the big shots to decide how to close our anticipated budget gap. We also discussed what to expect in the coming budget. So - not a fun topic. We are not at the point of layoffs. We are delaying projects though. That has turned one of my favorite department heads into a whiny little boy. Hey - we're just doing what needs to be done.
Anyway - life is good in other areas. I need to do some tidying up around the house today, but in general the regular cleaning schedule is really working. I am managing to stay under my goal weight. It will be a challenge with all of the holidays and associated parties coming up - not to mention two weddings and A's high school reunion. Yes - I am going. He wised up and invited me. I'm having fun with my camera. I'll be showing off some more pictures tomorrow. The Boom Doggie is as entertaining as ever - like last night when he was trying to figure out how to navigate the stairs with a big stuffed animal in his mouth. He ended up giving up!
So - onto tomorrow - Friday! My favorite day of the week!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happiness is...

...sleeping in your own bed. I love my bed. I sleep well in my bed. I have difficulty sleeping in strange beds. Usually after a night or two in a strange bed, I sleep okay. The one exception is my mother's house. I think it's something to do with being on the Cape, something in the air that just makes me always sleep well there. Come to think about it, I always sleep well at my sister's house on the Cape too - so it must be the air. I am envious of people who can fall asleep anywhere - in the car, on a train, on a plane. I can't. I'll sometimes fall asleep in the car or on a plane, but not easily, certainly not quickly. The first night back from a trip - sleep always feels better, back in my own bed with my very comfortable mattress. Definitely a happy thing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Two for Tuesday

Well - it's really Three for Tuesday. That's how many times I've been to Home Depot today. This all started with both of us being off, so some projects needed to get done. One was to level the fridge. The fact that it wasn't level was causing us to not have a seal on the freezer, which caused problems. The second project was to replace the faucet on the bathroom sink. This turned into replacing the sink itself. After we - well Aron - got started, it turned into one of those experiences that only people who own old homes can really truly appreciate. So - three trips to Home Depot, but it's finally in, working and beautiful. Now, back to the fridge. While Aron's been doing his thing, I've been trying to rein in the paper explosion in the attic office/guest room. I really need to find out how long I should save bills and such, because I think I keep way more than I need to keep. The other thing I need to do is set myself the task of once per month, sorting through the bills and paperwork and toss, shred and file as appropriate. It's my best shot at keeping it under control.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Morning Quarterback

Okay - I'm not really being a Monday Morning Quarterback - but I am blogging about football. Last night, my beloved NY Giants beat the hated Philadelphia Iggles. I hate night games though. It messes with my bedtime. I do admit that I will sometimes turn the Giants off if a night game is going really late - but usually only if they have the game in hand or it's out of hand. I can't do that when they are playing the Iggles though. Remember The Fumble? I do. Joe Pisarcik to Larry Csonka to Herman Edwards for a touchdown. Only problem is - the last guy on the play was not a Giant. All they had to do was take a knee. Somethings we just never get over. Anyway - last night, the Giants controlled the game. They also beat a couple of challenges - one because of a quirky rule - that the QB is not over the line of scrimmage if one part of his body remains behind the line. Last night, that one part was Eli Manning's heel. Yup - his heel. Hey - we'll take it. I had two concerns last night - the defensive secondary gave up a few too many long passes for my liking and we had to settle for field goals twice when down in the red zone. But - we won the game. I'm a little tired, but happy.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Reality TV for dogs

Today's blog is inspired by a comment on my Friday Photos. The doggie in the doorway is, of course, my beloved Boomer. He is an endless source of amusement for me. And the door business is a good example. We were at the Cape, staying at my sister's house. The dog was just beside himself - 2 doors to look out. We have none at home that he can look out. So, this was his routine...look out the front door for 5 minutes, trot to the back door and look out that one for 5 minutes, back to the front door, back to the back door and so on. He just loves to stand there and watch the world. I think it must be like "Reality TV for dogs". I could probably do a photographic series entitled "Doggie at the Door." :)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I miss my paperman

We have a paperman - well, could be a paperwoman, but it's definitely an adult because they drive to deliver. Anyway, our regular paperperson seems to be missing or on vacation or - gulp - moved on. I've gotten quite used to having our paper delivered before 6 am on weekdays and before 7 on weekends. I love to read the paper while eating breakfast. It's a habit I developed in college when I often ate breakfast alone. I needed something to occupy me. Today, the papers came late again - although interestingly, the paperperson was talented enough to land the papers on our front porch! All in all, I would rather have them early though.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Photos

Well - I forgot to upload my latest photos. I was going to show you some of the magic of Photoshop. So - here are some oldies but goodies. - well except for the one with the polka dots - that's me as a ghost on Halloween.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Unvoiced Expectations

We all have expectations. Many times, we do not voice them. That can lead to disappointment, hurt feelings and anger. If your expectations are important to you, you need to voice them. You can not simply assume that others know what you want and will comply.

As you might guess, this is the subject of my blog today because it's happened in my world. My in-laws will be celebrating their 40th anniversary soon. They want to celebrate with their children. What a happy event to be a part of, and with two lovely people - what could be the problem? Unvoiced expectations would be the problem.

To make a long story short - all we were aware was happening this weekend was dinner with A's family Saturday night. Apparently A's parents expected more of a two day affair, including us spending the night on Saturday. We are not doing this. A already had committed to teach a class on Saturday and Sunday when the invitation to dinner was extended. As this didn't impact our ability to go to dinner, he did not back out of the class. We didn't know there were expectatons that we would be with the family for more than dinner. There may now be some hurt on the part of his parents that we are not falling in with all the plans they had, but how could we, when they never voiced those expectations to us. It's just really sad, because they really are such nice people and this is a special occasion. I want it to be a happy one. I hate to think that any kind of damper has been put on the celebration because of unvoiced - and now unfulfilled - expectations.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Happiness is...

... a good win. I'm pleased with the election results. Obama was not my first choice, that person was not on the ballot. He was the candidate whose positions best aligned with mine. I might have to pay higher taxes under him - we're in that bubble area that's not assured of more or less. I'm a little concerned about his lack of experience, but I think he was the best choice for me and for the country. I hope he does a good job. I think he has a heavier burden than most incoming presidents. He has to be better than the average. As the first black man elected president, he has to really not suck, or it may be generations before we see another black man - or see a black woman - elected. I am happy with the apparent indication that this country looked beyond race in voting yesterday.

I feel badly for those McCain supporters who supported him because they agreed with his policies. I want to send a big raspberry to hate mongers who, in support of McCain, told lies and tried to stir fear in Americans. I wish that I could believe these people might someday open their minds, but I don't see that happening. I was saddened by McCain's descent to the low road towards the end of the campaign, but I really feel that he redeemed himself last night. He showed himself to be gracious in losing. He is a fine man, a fine American. He has served his country and his constituents well and I hope he continues to do so in the years to come.

I am happy that 01/20/09 is in sight! Goodbye George. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

Get out and vote. It's important. It's both a right and a responsibility.

And then - rejoice - the campaign ads will be done, newspaper reports, tv reports - all of that done - for two years anyway. I think there ought to be some kind of law prohibiting campaigning more than one year before the election.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Monday, Monday

Some people I know - friends, bloggers - are doing NaBloPoMo. I'm not sure I'm up for it, so I'm not committing. And I've missed two days already anyway, but we'll see if I can do it for the rest of the month.

I have been thinking about what to blog today. I had thought about doing a political endorsement. But I have other thoughts running through my head - so you're getting one of those random thought posts.

First the endorsement. I am voting for Barack Obama. He's not my ideal candidate, but of my options, his plans, policies, positions, etc coordinate best with my views. I had given John McCain serious consideration, but his choice of running mates made it impossible for me to vote for him. My decision to go with Obama has only been strengthened since. Sadly though, it's not so much what Obama has said since the conventions, but rather what McCain has said. I am saddened by the tone McCain has taken. I really feel that he has gone for the low road. There have been times when he has tried to move away from that, but for the most part, he and Palin have stayed down there. So, it's Obama for me. That's all rather brief and simplistic - trust me I could go on for paragraphs, but I have other stuff to say.

Next - A's high school reunion is coming up the weekend of Thanksgiving. A told me this weekend that he is thinking of going. I asked "are you planning to take me?" He said "no, you would be bored." Well, yeah maybe. But I'm your freakin' wife buddy. You should at least ask me to go with you. Let me make the choice. You should be wanting to show me off at the reunion, not ditch me at home so you can have fun without me.

The good and the bad of the weekend - UCONN lost, NY Giants won. UCONN could have beaten West Virginia, but they made too many mistakes to beat a good WVU team. The Giants played pretty well - with the exception of a couple of Eli turnovers - and they beat the evil Cowboys. Back to college football for a moment...I have a real dislike for these teams who run a flag around the end zone as part of their "we scored" ritual. I have no rational reason for it, just don't like it.

Last - I've been sticking below my goal weight pretty well. Halloween is a challenging time. The candy is so tempting. It took real effort for me yesterday to not over indulge. I had two pieces and then had to STAY AWAY because it could very easily have turned to twenty-two pieces very quickly.

Okay - I think I'm done for the day. Maybe I'll see you tomorrow. Don't forget to vote!