Monday, December 29, 2008

I Switched - Have You?

Now this is a good story. And since I've already told it to my family (who may have read it out of context & been a wee bit offended), I thought I'd share it with you. B/c it always gives the listener a good chuckle.

So we're sitting at the dinner table with The Neighbors enjoying Thanksgiving dinner - more like the long conversation after but you get the idea. For those of you who don't know The Neighbors, well, you're missing out on something pretty spectacular. And the story might not be quite as good. But I'll do my best. Let's just say, they're two colorful people who never fail to keep us in stitches. And they're also some of the dearest people we know. But I won't go all sappy. Mostly, they keep us laughing our obligatory arses off b/c they're so dang funny. In totally inappropriate ways, of course. But I digress. Back to the story.

So we're sitting at the table. Yacking. Yacking. Derek gets up & leaves the room. For what reason? I don't know. Probably to powder his nose. But none of us was keeping tabs. Anyway. He comes back into the dining room & proclaims, "I've switched to dicks."



Uh. Yeah. We did the same thing. For about ten seconds. Until we *burst* into uproarious laughter. B/c. I don't care who ya are. That's just pretty damn funny! The conversation tanked from there and went a little something like the jumbled mess below:

Oh really?!

You did?!

Well, that's news to me.

Haha - so did we.

We always knew it would happen sooner or later.

Well, Susan, I guess you'll be needing a Leroy.


And so on.

He, of course, tried to defend himself by stating rather lamely that "I swear I just quoted a Dick's Sporting Goods commercial." To which we all replied, in unison, I might add, "yeah right!"

And scene. (To totally steal a favorite line of Daon's. But hey - it works here.)

Okay. So it's maybe not as funny on the re-telling. Cause, you know, it's all lost in translation & whatnot. But I swear. It was hilarious at the time. And it's still our favorite punch line to throw out at inopportune moments. Like Christmas dinner. No kidding! You should have seen his face! Priceless. And still really. freaking. funny!!!!

Nothing Here

Do you ever go back & read a string of your own posts? Yeah. That's never a good idea. Then you realize how you've been kinda lame lately. Clearly the entertaining part of my life doesn't make it to the blog anymore. Wait. Maybe I'm just not entertaining anymore ..... that's a sad turn of events right there.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fun with Photobooth

Today we got to sleep late. Finally. Except that thunder rumbled us right out of bed at the wee hour of 7 am. But we all managed to roll over for another few hours ... until the next round of storms blew in about 10. We finally gave up & got up. And accomplished a whole lotta nothin'. Except some fun photos with the Mac. Enjoy the fruits of our labors. *grin*

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Nap?

Whew. Well, the whirlwind is just about finished spinning through. We have just one (informal) Christmas party left.

After the (major) meltdown of Tuesday when I realized that I had company coming the next day and was completely not ready, all things worked out in the end. Namely: Derek had to work & we had to reschedule our Wednesday event. So....I ended up with the extra day that I so desperately needed to prepare for two days of company.

Wednesday church services went splendidly, tho I must admit that I was skeptical that the kids' pageant was going to go off without a hitch. But in the end, it did just that. Everyone commented on how polished the kids looked/acted & how beautifully they sang. *pats self on back* The kids were well-behaved to boot. So it was a win-win for all. And, of course, the traditional (mostly adult) service at 9 pm went beautifully, as well.

We hosted two family Christmases - one Thursday & one today. And both went well. The food was good, the company was fine, and a great time was had by all. The loot wasn't half bad either. *wink*

The weather is, once again, at its finest with temps in the 80s today. I have the a/c on today after running the patio heaters last night. No kidding! But ... never fear, Old Man Winter will soon reappear as an arctic front is pushing its way south & should arrive by Sunday (in time for dad's birthday party where I think we'll be running the patio heaters again!).

And now, I think it's time for a nap!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh...That Mouse Is Stirring!

"Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse . . . ." YEAH RIGHT! I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I was in WalMart at 5 am b/c I couldn't sleep. Did you know that no one shops at WalMart at 5 am? Yeah. Me either. But it sure was nice. And quiet. Altho, it was a little hard to get around b/c the employees were stocking which meant huge pallets were everywhere. Still. I got everything I went for & still made it to work by 6:45 am!

I really wish I wasn't working today, speaking of which, b/c I really don't know how to get everything done before company comes at 11ish tomorrow. It would be one thing if my evening was my own, but I have two rehearsals tonight. *sigh*

So ... here I sit. Making my lists. And checking them twice. Gonna find out whether things turn out naughty or nice. (Things may turn out nice in the end but will I be nice when it's all said & done? Judging by the conversation I just nixed with Derek ... likely not. (Don't even talk to me about what all you have to do. What a load of crap!) Uh. Sorry. Clearly I need a nap.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Countdown Begins

Oi! It's been quite a whirlwind of a weekend. I've been going non-stop since last weekend with no end in sight for any kind of real rest. 'Tis the season.

Thursday the staff took the boss out for one last hoorah - he's retiring on December 31st. We ate at this great little restaurant in Addison. I highly recommend Canary Cafe if you happen to be in the area - good prices & great food. And a nice time was had by all.

Friday was Derek's company party at Sambuca. I was a little grumpy about going, but I'd forced him to go to the dinner the night before so I was kind of obligated to go. I did have a nice time once I was there - despite the fact that we go stuck in horrible traffic getting there. We had heavy hors'derves instead of dinner this year, and while I was initially worried about getting enough to eat, there was plenty & I filled up fine. (Hey, I get grumpy when I'm hungry. Believe me, everyone thanked me for eating!) We stayed later than intended & got home later (yet more traffic on the way home - how is that possible at almost midnight?!) than we intended.

I slept in Saturday morning (hey, 9am is late for me!). Spent the morning in the craft room before heading off to rehearsal for the big program (Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio) at my paid church job. Rehearsal went pretty well. Lasted longer than we anticipated, but that's usually how those kinds of things go. We got the rough spots ironed out and that's what was important. I went back home to the craft room. I'm bound & determined to get these crazy Christmas gifts finished! I hit the hay early tho b/c I had to be up super early.

Today, my day began at the rude hour of 5AM! That's just not right, I tell you. But ... duty calls sometimes. And we weren't able to rehearse with orchestra/harp yesterday (tough economy = tight budget) so we had a 45 min. rehearsal before worship/performance. It was the most efficient rehearsal we've ever had. But it helps when everyone, singers & orchestra alike, are well-prepared. Both services went smashingly well! Musicians & singers were all right on & really did the piece justice. My director, who heard me solo this very work 5 yrs ago, said it was the best she's ever heard me sing/sound - "it was spectacularly perfect."

No rest for the weary, though, b/c I had a rehearsal with the kids after church to prepare for their Christmas pageant on Wednesday. *sigh* All I really wanted to do was lay my head down & take a nap! But we trudged through & now have a better idea of what to expect at dress rehearsal on Tuesday. Trust me, we needed that reassurance b/c last week's rehearsal was HORRENDOUS!

Now ... well, now I'm back in the craft room & working on those silly Christmas projects! Nevermind I still have grocery shopping to do & a house to finish decorating ... not to mention get clean! But somehow everything manages to get done. At this point, I'm not really sure how. But I'm going with the "everything manages to get done" theory & hoping for the best. Derek's been helpful this weekend tho - he coerced some "help" into hanging the outside lights for me. Now if I can just persuade him to vacuum! lol

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Only in Texas

So, for those of you who haven't already heard, Sunday, it was a balmy 78 degrees in N. Texas. A cold front moved in overnight. Yesterday, temps hovered in the upper 20s and we had a stiff north wind. Brrrrrrrr! It wasn't supposed to rain until today, but Old Man Winter had other ideas. It sprinkled & misted most of yesterday (at least around the area of home, tho downtown stayed drier until later in the afternoon) and overnight. This morning, everything is coated in a fine sheet of ice - the infamous Black Ice, to be exact. I attempted to go to work. It took me 20 min to drive my usual 5 min route to the bus station. Temps are still in the upper 20s, the wind is blowing (though lighter today), and a heavy mist is falling. On my way, I hear that Rockwall ISD has closed. No surprise after my slippery trek to the bus station! Once at the bus station, I decide that conditions are likely going to get worse & getting home is going to be an even more heroic journey than the trip I've just made to get there. And home I went (much to the delight of my bosses (and family) who were concerned that I would brave the slippery roadways).

The last two days brings to mind the familiar Texas phrase, "if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute." Indeed. End-of-week forecasts put us back in the upper 70s. And early next week, they're projecting another round of slippery stuff. Only in Texas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Size Charts??

So I mentioned that I went shopping this weekend for some new threads for some parties this week. And once again, I'm reminded why I hate, hate, HATE shopping for clothes. You know, guys have it soooo easy. They have to know two simple measurements - waist & inseam or neck & sleeve - and no dressing room is required. I don't know about you but, for me, finding clothes that fit is an arduous task requiring innumerable trips back & forth from racks to the dressing room with the on & off of shoes & pants & top countless times until I have a statically charged fro going on & about as much patience as a toddler on Christmas morning! *throws up hands & sighs in disgust* You can't just shop by manufacturer knowing that everything they make is universal - so a size 5 this week is a size 5 next week. Oh no. Because every time they make a pair of pants or a skirt or a top, they line up a completely different set of Chinese sample models & thus a size 3 on Tuesday may be a size 1 on Wednesday or a size 5 on Friday. *ahhhhhhhhhhh* Enough already! Ladies, why do we insist upon being so difficult? Do we really have to see some crazy, inconsistent number on the label to feel okay about our clothes? Wouldn't it be SO much easier if we adapted the guys' idea & shopped by inches instead? No more trying on unless we wanted to see whether the color or style was right for us??!! *sigh* For me, that would be a dream come true!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up

So...this was a crazy weekend, to say the least! Lots & lots & lots to do and definitely not enough hours to do it all in. The crazy scampering began Friday afternoon when I got a phone call as I was leaving the hair salon in far N. Plano.

"Uh, yes, this is so-and-so with xyz delivery company and we are about 10 min. from your house if you could call us as soon as you get this message."

I immediately went into panic mode b/c the furniture's scheduled for delivery on Monday. So I call the guy back, and to make a very long story short, I found a neighbor to sign for the furniture.

Saturday, I got up early for a rehearsal in Irving. Then I headed home to work on decorations & to assemble the patio furniture & heaters with help from Derek & Frank. Everything looks wonderful, and those heaters keep things nice & toasty. Then it was off to dinner & the opera with my friend Rhonda. As usual, it was quite an adventure. We were diverted from our usual route to the Music Hall & ended up snaking through a (very scary/shady) neighborhood in the heart of Fair Park to get to Malcolm X Blvd for a turn onto MLK. There were cops everywhere. I cannot think of a time when I've seen so many. I'll bet we saw more than 50 patrol cars. We ended up being very late for the opera, but thankfully, they had held the curtain b/c lots of patrons had been stuck in the traffic snarl. We ran to our seats just in time for the overture. And it was a fabulous show! We avoided a big traffic snarl on the way home b/c we'd turned on the radio hoping to hear about whatever made us late to the opera in the first place & ended up hearing a preliminary report on that plus a traffic report. The next day we heard that there had been a big brawl after a Kwanzaa event in Fair Park & the Dallas PD Riot Unit was called out. So that explains that.

I got up early Sunday to do some Christmas shopping. Needed something for dad & something for myself for two parties. Success on all counts. I spent the rest of the day baking goodies to bring to work today. Then it was off to sing a little show in Irving. I came home & finished packaging up the goodies b/c you know they just had to have custom packaging. *grin* And now I have to hit the hay so I can get up early & drive to work with the goodies in tow.

Going to State!

Congrats to the SS Wildcats who beat Everman last night at Texas Stadium to snag their long-awaited spot in the Class 4A Div. II Championship game. In their first bid for a state title, the Wildcats will face Dayton at 2 p.m. next Saturday at the San Antonio Alamo Dome. {Doggonit, I can't go!!!!!!!!!} Go, Wildcats!
Photo from SSISD website

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vote for HS Player of the Week

I'm not sure I've blogged about this recently. So now's a good time. After a 14-yr absence, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats are back in the hunt for the Class 4A Div. 2 State Football Championship. They play Everman this Saturday at Texas Stadium in the Semi-Finals. Go, Wildcats!

Please, head over here to vote for Tyrick Rollison for Texas Football's Player of the Week (at the bottom of the left sidebar)!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Let It Snow!

So we're sitting here finishing up the movie we started last night (is it just me or is Michael Clayton not THE WEIRDEST movie you've ever seen?! I'm still not sure whether I like it or not. It's gonna take me days just to wrap my head around it.) - Derek doing his back exercises in the floor & me putting the accoutrements on one of the many Christmas garlands that will be going up. Anywho. I start hearing this weird noise. Honestly, I panicked at first thinking that my fireplace was the source of the noise. But then I realized it was coming from the direction of the patio door. And whadda ya know ... it's snowing BIG, HUGE snowflakes (can you call those things flakes? they look more like cotton balls!). And the odd noise I was hearing was sleet pellets.

Sorry I didn't take any photos myself b/c I was too lazy to dig out the camera & then use the brain power to figure out what camera setting would work best. So instead, you get someone else's photos (Rochas from Rowlett).

Friday, December 05, 2008

Tahdah! {edited}

Before the make-over (old photos - last spring, maybe?)

After the make-over

P.S. Dori loves the new patio, too!

Recession? What Recession?

Does anyone else find it funny that "the powers that be" are finally, after at least a year, acknowledging the economic downturn? I guess the elephant grew too large to ignore. We're both thankful to be in industries that do not feel the deep impact of the ups and downs of our global economy - people continue to file appeals and continue to break bones.

And with that, we move on to the ways in which we have directly stimulated the economy this week. *wink* The patio project is taking longer than anticipated, though we are not at all surprised. We figured it would b/c ... well, it's a very large space, particularly with the addition of seatable square footage, and it's a very big drainage problem being addressed. They finished laying the flagstone yesterday, and I have to say that it looks absolutely stunning. Everything is due for completion today - when they install the flowerbeds and walkways. *does the happy dance* I will, of course, post before & after photos. Next week, the patio gets its first test as we have a frontal system moving in that is due to bring rain. We expect a patio free of standing water for the first time in 5 1/2 yrs. And Dori will be grateful for dry paws!

In anticipation of our patio's inaugural soiree, we bought Home Depot's last two patio heaters. And yesterday, we ordered the most beautiful patio furniture. Incidentally, do you know how expensive that stuff is? Geez - we might have to start selling off organs at this rate. *LOL* But after much shopping around, we found a reasonably priced, name-brand set (surprise -surprise-surprise...I sure was!) on the Sam's website, which should arrive sometime before New Year's if all goes according to the quoted delivery schedule.

We're still on schedule for tomorrow's "mac daddy" surround sound installation. How I get talked into these things I'll never know... We'll now be able to watch our movies in true digital, hi-def, Blu-Ray sound. I'm so excited, can't you tell? Or is it obvious that this type of thing is completely lost on me? *wink* Whatever. What this will actually mean is more of "can you turn that down?!" *hahaha*

In other news, Derek went to his first physical therapy appointment on Wednesday, which turned out to be an interesting visit indeed. Apparently, he has absolutely no muscular structure on one side of his back (which one escapes me now). Who knows what ultimately caused the atrophy on the one side. Could be congenital. Could have been an injury. Essentially, this allows his spine to go all willy nilly b/c there's nothing to hold it in its proper place. And in turn, that movement puts pressure on surrounding tissues, which ultimately leads to the muscle spasms. The p/t said it was going to be a long road to recovery (like, better than six weeks and more like six months) b/c they're starting from ground zero on building good core support. Derek's committed to resolving the problem and hopefully, in the end, living a life free of back pain, which will allow him to resume activities that he enjoys, like golf, and activities that his wife enjoys, like mowing the lawn. *LOL*

Is anyone else excited about this cold weather? Mmmm. I love it! Roaring fires in the fireplace & a toasty cup of coffee. Yessiree. Best time of year! Now I think I just might be ready to deck the halls. If only I had the time...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Things: Installment 9

My friend Jana sent me this terrific little list, and I thought it would be an excellent entry in the Things Series. Enjoy!

25 Things about Christmas

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I use both. Some gifts are too large for bags while some are too small for boxes. More often I use boxes b/c I like the way wrapped boxes look under the tree …. and I like to keep the curious noses of four-paws out of the bags!
2. Real tree or Artificial? Unfortunately, real trees and I don’t agree – achoo! So we have an artificial tree.
3. When do you put up the tree? If it’s not our year for Christmas houseguests, then we don’t put up the tree. But when we do, the tree gets put up when we have the time to devote to decorating the whole house b/c I like to get it ALL done at the same time – inside and out.
4. When do you take the tree down? Usually New Years’ Day.
5. Do you like eggnog? I’ve never tried it. I just can’t get over the texture, which reminds me of buttermilk and I DON’T like buttermilk.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I remember being ecstatic about my Cabbage Patch doll. But all in all, I don't think I have a favorite gift.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My brother.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My mom.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, a very beautiful crystal set we received as a wedding gift.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? While I’m sure I’ve had a doozie or two, I don’t remember them.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Santa Clause.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Traditionally, I begin Black Friday. But I’m not opposed to buying before then if I happen to see something.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Sure. We have a White Elephant gift exchange at work.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Granny’s peanut butter fudge. Yum!
16. Lights on the tree? Definitely. I think I put about 20 strands on ours (properly to avoid overloading the circuits & causing a fire, of course).
17. Favorite Christmas song? Just one? If I had to choose just one, I think it would be “Breath of Heaven.”
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I prefer to stay home, but the holidays always involve traveling.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? I may not be able to name the Beatles, but I can, without a doubt, name ALL of Santa’s reindeer!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither. But we have a beautiful bone china tree topper that I bought the first Christmas we were married.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? The day never matters to me. What's most important is getting to spend ANY time with my family. But Derek and I usually do stockings on Christmas morning. Large family gatherings/package fests usually involve one of the two days, though.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Aside from the fact that retail stores have to start shoving Christmas down my throat before we’ve even had Thanksgiving? It would have to be that people get hung up on tradition in such a way that it sucks the joy right out of the season. Why do we have to be stuck in the traditions of our childhoods? Why can’t we make new traditions?
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? My mom buys my brother & me new ornaments each year and has since we were born. Each ornament is hand-picked especially for us. I love putting those on the tree each year. We also have ornaments that each of our grandparents has given to us. Those are each very special, as well, because they are from the first years of our grandparents’ marriages. How cool is it to hang a 50 year old ornament?
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Dressing. Definitely the dressing.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A Christmas without family drama.