Thursday, November 29, 2007

For My Brother

For those of you who may not recall, my brother is a State Trooper. I saw this article on CNN today & thought he might nod along in agreement & get a chuckle too. I'm sure he's encountered one or two stops like these. In fact, I've heard the stories. And this is information we can all use anyway.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Whirlwind

We're now at midweek of what will certainly be a whirlwind when it's all said & done. This week is crazy busy for me with rehearsals and then concerts. I have one evening to stay home & that will likely be consumed with preparations for being gone all weekend (i.e. house chores, packing, etc.). Thankfully, as the month of December rolls in, it will get progressively quieter as my singing engagements begin tapering (opposed to the usual gathering of steam leading up to Christmas Eve).

Derek is also busy this week. Business has been painfully slow this month, but such is sales when year-end approaches & hospitals are out of budget. Cases have picked up, as have appointments, so he's kind-of chasing his tail. I know, for him, this is a welcome change. For one, he hates feeling idle. For another, it's last quarter crunch time for quota. We're still waiting for those big sales to go through. Talk about a nail biter!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Survived

Well, Turkey Day is over. And I've officially eaten my way through two days of family gatherings. I shudder to think what the scale might have to say about that ... which is precisely why I'm not going to ask it anything until the middle of next week! We had a nice two days visiting with family & reflecting on all we have to be thankful for. The list is quite extensive, to say the least. We are truly blessed.

We've also survived our traditional day-after shopping excursions. It gets harder & harder each year to buys Christmas gifts. We're all in a place where we tend to buy things for ourselves as we need them, so our wish lists seem to shrink smaller & smaller. But we managed to get a few things and enjoy a day out.

The rest of the weekend is set aside for R&R. In fact, Derek is still snoozing as I write this. =) The house is all clean--I had to do that Thursday morning in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner. All that really needs attention is laundry--we did manage to dirty quite a few towels in keeping the kitchen tidy while we cooked & then after dinner when we cleaned up. Otherwise, I really do intend to start on my Christmas cards. I'm eyeing all of the supplies right now, as a matter of fact. So without further ado....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day we’re thankful for
Our blessings all year through,
For family we dearly love,
For good friends old and new.

For sun to light and warm our days,
For stars that glow at night,
For trees of green and skies of blue,
And puffy clouds of white.

We’re grateful for our eyes that see
The beauty all around,
For arms to hug, and legs to walk,
And ears to hear each sound.

The list of all we’re grateful for
Would fill a great big book;
Our thankful hearts find new delights
Everywhere we look!

By Joanna Fuchs

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Preparing

While this weekend should have been filled with all kinds of chores, I really spent most of it resting. I'm so tired. My allergies are giving me fits & that means that I'm not sleeping as well. Something about my allergy flare-ups affects my REM cycle. It's really annoying b/c I'm never rested no matter how much sleep I get.

I can't say I didn't accomplish anything this weekend though. I went to the opera with my girlfriend. Ugh. We left at intermission. It wasn't that we hated it. We just weren't enthralled enough by it to stick around for the second half. I hope the rest of the season is better! I did get my hair done. And it's about time too. The grey was really showing! And I managed to get all of the grocery shopping done. So we're all ready to have Thanksgiving dinner now.

I'm excited about dinner too. We're back to traditional fare--turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, etc. Mmm. Mmm. We're going to the in-law's on Thursday & then having my family over Friday. Mom & I will do our usual day-after shopping at the wee hours of the morning, come home for lunch & a brief nap, and then cook dinner. But that's easier this year since we're leaving the turkey & ham to the HoneyBaked Ham Co.

Tomorrow we're picking up the meat and the beautiful table centerpiece that mom ordered for us and Dori's food & meds. And then I'm cleaning house. I decided not to do it this weekend b/c I would just have to do it again closer to Friday. Why do it twice?!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finally...Rest

This has been another crazy week. Rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals. I'm one tired chick! This is the first night I've been able to stay home and do nothing. And I'm taking full advantage of it! Derek's gone to Ft. Lauderdale for another meeting--the last one of the year. I'm enjoying control of the remote and being able to make what I want for dinner. Curried pumpkin soup. Yum. Aside from that, there's really nothing new to report.

The weather has finally turned cool & feels fall-ish. In theory, we may get a real "Arctic blast" this weekend. I'm not holding my breath! I'm enjoying the cooler weather and so is Dori. The heater is serviced, so we're ready to go. I just hope it finally stays cool!

With the hot weather, it really doesn't feel like Thanksgiving. Can you believe it's next week?! Man. And I was reminded by one of my shopping sites today that it's "only 32 days until Christmas." Gee. Thanks for the reminder. I'm so not in the mood. I have a phrase to go along with that. But it's totally inappropriate & would certainly get my mouth washed out with soap by my Granny. I'll let all of you ponder what that might be. (If you've heard the alternative form of "Jingle Bells" from the elves' perspective, well, you get the drift.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cute Critters

It's been a very welcomed lazy weekend. Naturally, I did the usual cleaning. But I've mostly enjoyed relaxing. It's been soooo nice! Dori & I have enjoyed many good walks. She's begging for them at least twice a day. She comes wherever I am & gives me "the face."



It looks a little something like this.





And while I'm sharing cute pet photos, here's one of Meeko chillin'. He's grown so much since we rescued him six months ago. He's gone from a mere 9 lbs to a whopping 14! He's a big boy now!




Yo! Curiosity's good for the abs!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Vegas Adventure

So I worked a full day Tuesday--a very early day, I might add. We caught our 6 pm flight & got to Vegas about 6:30 pm. We checked into The Paris. Derek decided to upgrade to a penthouse b/c midweek rates allowed us to get a great rate. We were on the thirty-second floor overlooking the Bellagio fountains. Talk about a bird's eye view! And the room was insanely large--complete with guest bath, huge living/dining, and a master suite. It was really something. The first thing we did after dropping off the luggage was find something to eat. We opted for the buffet. At $26/pp, I'm not sure it was really worth it. But, hey, it was there & it was easiest. We hit the hay early, by Vegas time anyway. Derek had to be ready to go by 6:45 the next morning.

Wednesday, I was on my own. I had the luxury of sleeping in. But, still being on Dallas time, I was up before 8. I had breakfast in the concierge lounge & then hit The Strip on foot. I took a little tour of my own hotel before heading out for the Bellagio, Caesar's, and then the Mile Mall (or something like that--it was an entire mile of shopping). For any of you who are shopping fanatics, Vegas is your city. There's tons of shopping. Most of the shops are high-end, but you'll find plenty of run-of-the-mill stores too. Vegas is also one of the greatest places to people watch--one of my favorite past-times. Man, the things you see! I think I most enjoyed how over-the-top Vegas is. The decorations, the architecture, the sculptures, the art, the fountains--you name it, it's bigger & better in Vegas. By mid-afternoon, my dogs were barking and I had spent way more than I had really intended, so I headed back to the room to veg until dinner. I was fortunate to be able to tag along on the company dinner at Del Frisco's. So that meant I didn't get to see any shows on this trip, but there's always next time for that!

Thursday was another on-my-own day. I decided to walk down to the MGM b/c Derek had talked so much about it. I did a little last-minute souvenir shopping along the way. Even with the browsing, I got to the MGM before the lions were out in their exhibit--yes, they have real, live lions in the hotel. So I wandered around the hotel for a bit, and then dashed back to our hotel to check out, check my bags with the porter, and then headed back to the MGM. By the time I got back, the lions had been out about 15 min and already they were napping. I realize cats sleep about 20 hours a day but I would have thought the trainers would have kept them awake a little longer than 15 minutes! Anyway, I was able to get some great photos even if it was just of them sleeping. I headed back to The Paris to meet my driver to head to the airport, where I would meet Derek for lunch. Our flight left on time & we got back to DFW early.

So what did Derek do this whole time? Well, poor guy, he spent all day Wednesday (6:45 am - 5:30 pm) and all morning Thursday (6:45 am - noon) in a cadaver lab. This was an upper extremity hands-on education class for Stryker Trauma reps. So this trip was all about education for him. He had no time for taking in Vegas, but I don't think he cared all that much.

I had a great time on my own, but I do recommend that you take a buddy with you if you're thinking about a trip to Vegas. It's much more fun to people-watch that way!

Here's a slideshow to enjoy!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Vegas, Baby

This has been a hectic week. I had to stay home part of the morning Monday. Derek had to go to work, so I was stuck waiting on the security company. They came, it was an easy repair, and the system is now back up & running. So check that one off the list.

Monday evening was hectic b/c I had to get everything packed & ready to go for the Vegas trip. I went to work for 6:45 am Tuesday so I could get in a full day before leaving for the late afternoon flight. Derek took care of the luggage & picked me up on his way to the airport. All in all, it was a great trip--I'll go into more detail in another post later this weekend, including synopsis & photos.

So, if you've noticed an absence from blogging, that's why. We went to Vegas sans laptop. Who had time to blog anyway? There was way too much fun to be had!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fall Back

Have I mentioned how much I love fall? I'm reminded of another one of the many reasons why it's my favorite season: the fall time change. Oh how I do love gaining an hour!

We've had a productive weekend. Went by the tire place to get the hubcap ordered. (One of the many reasons we'll continue to do business with Discount Tire.) I actually got Derek into some stores to shop. He really needed some new jeans, and we were actually successful in finding his size in the store! We usually have to order them--Mr. Long Legs. Dori has been a happy girl--the weather is just how she likes it. She's spent lots of time outside & we've been on many walks (good for all of us!). The house is clean. The laundry is almost finished. I'm caught up on all my shows.

Mom and dad came by last night. Derek went to the early-morning Wal-Mart sale on Friday and found mom a laptop. He got it all set up, including updates, virus protection, accessories, and extra programs. So she picked that up last night. She's having a great time surfing...in front of the tv.

In family news, my grandfather has taken a little turn. Early in the week, the nurse found him on his bathroom floor in the middle of the night. He had fallen. They, of course, checked him out completely to be sure he hadn't hurt himself. That's when they discovered he was running a really high temp. They're still not exactly sure what caused the high temp, but the tests did show that his liver numbers are really out of kilter (and it sounds a lot like what we went through with Dori, oddly enough). So they're running more tests in hopes of finding out the culprit that's compromising the liver. Please do keep him in your prayers this week.

Friday, November 02, 2007

TGIF

Wow, this was one of the longest weeks. I ran, ran, ran this week. Maybe that's why. Had very productive rehearsals, albeit lots of them. Finally got to run through my solo piece with the director of NETCS, so I'm not as worried about that concert. I do have some nuances to work on, but it's really just down to that. I came home with two solos for that concert, so I'm very pleased. Most of these people (from my hometown) haven't heard me sing in ... oh, I don't know ... six years, I guess. Everyone at rehearsal was impressed at my sound; it's grown a lot in that time.

Had a good lesson Tuesday. I still have a lot of work to do on the Rutter. While the music is oh-so beautiful, it is truly difficult. It requires such a long line, which means lots of laryngeal strength and breath support. And that makes for one tired singer by the time a rehearsal is up! But it's so worth it when you hear the end product. I'm still amazed at the recording from the March Chorale concert. (If I can get my DVD drive to cooperate, I'll upload a snippet of the video for you guys to hear.)

Naturally, I had choir on Wednesday so I missed all of the Halloween festivities. I'm glad I made bags and as many as I did. Every single one of them was gone by the end of the evening. That's a lot of candy!

In other news, we bought a new vehicle this week. (Pictures soon) Derek's work vehicle was due for a stint in the shop. We had hoped to make it to '08 with it, but we just couldn't risk driving it that long without major work. So we opted to trade it in instead. The problems weren't bad enough to reduce the value of the vehicle, so we got a good trade-in value. And this time we were able to get him a new ride instead of a used one. It's really nice. We hope it's as good as the last one, which only required routine maintenance & care. Here's to another 105K miles!

Our security system is on the fritz. We got a call from our monitoring service that the battery was sending a signal. We opted to buy the battery & install it ourselves to save some bucks. When we came home Wednesday, the house smelled terrible. We both assumed it was the trash. But upon further investigation discovered the horrible smell was coming from the closet with the system box. Yep, definitely rotten eggs. So clearly the battery's bad. But I was also concerned about what turned out to be the power source for the box. It clearly needs to be replaced, as well. So our monitoring service will be coming to do system maintenance on Monday. We hope they'll install the battery we bought, too.

Oh yeah, and Wednesday afternoon I somehow managed to download a Trojan horse onto my work computer. Can you say that I'm not my IT guy's favorite office gal right now? Yeah. Understatement. Because my machine is 100% not repairable without a system wipe. I guess the good thing for me is that our new computers are in. Bad news is that I haven't a clue when I'll have a computer. Can you say long days?

And another thing. On my way home from rehearsal in E. Texas on Monday, I lost one of my hubcaps. Apparently, when the tire place replaced the one tire & rotated all of the others, they didn't get my hubcaps back on properly. Good news though. They're going to replace the one that flew off & check all of the others. I just have to find the time to get up there for them to get the part number. Bad news. I have to drive my car with a hubcap missing. How embarrassing!

I hope to spend some time playing with the new printer this weekend. I have tons of projects to work on in the scraproom--namely, the handmade Christmas cards. If I don't get started on those, Christmas will be here & they won't be done!