Friday, December 02, 2011

I'm (Kinda) Back

I've loooooooooooooong been absent from this blog, despite the fact that I promised you updates way back in August. And there's one solidly good reason for that.

Friday, August 05, 2011


Well. I guess I kinda disappeared there, didn't I? Sorry about that. I'm back now though so you better watch out. I have lots and lots of things to post about. This is all you get for today, but check back over the weekend for the start of a string of posts about the Bahamas. We had the most wonderful time and we have the pictures to prove it!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Much-needed R&R

Today I'm headed out on a little late spring mini-vacay with the hubby. Never fear, the house and the critters will be happy little clams since their pal (and my terrific business partner) Whitney is coming to stay for the week. We'll be cruising the Bahamas. Nothing says relaxation like sunscreen, the beach, the ocean, a drink with an umbrella, and the iPad! Perhaps I'll make a post or two from the boat. We shall see if it fits into the busy schedule. *snicker*

See ya on the flipside!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Things: Installment 63

Several times recently, some of my favorite childhood songs have come up in conversation. Or, I suppose you could say, I worked them in to conversations. LOL! I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the songs that still randomly pop into my head. The good ones just don't fade, do they?? I can't wait to teach them to my nephew!!!

Things That I Can Still Work Into Conversations
(a/k/a Favorite Songs from My Childhood)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Happy Celiac Awareness Month

Hellooooooooooooooooo, May! So nice to see you. We've definitely experienced April Showers and now I'm waiting on those May Flowers. What about you?

Now that we're welcoming in the month of May, it is also time to celebrate Celiac Awareness Month. For those of you who are new to the blog, my mom was diagnosed with celiac disease in June 2008 and I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity in May 2010. Aside from personal experience, both mom and I have a number of friends who also share our gluten problems. And so this "holiday," should you wish to call it such, hits very close to home. And all of us in this "community" feel a real desire and dedication to educate others in the hopes that they can help themselves or others who may be unknowingly and needlessly suffering.

There are SO many wonderful websites out there, from researchers to practicianers to parents to chefs, that are chock full of fantastic education and information on the subject, not to mention food reviews and recipes and restaurant guides and lists of retailers and ... the list goes on. And it's in this vein that I have decided to share with you some of the helpful and insightful websites that I go to most often. A glass menagerie of everything gluten free, if you will. If you have any helpful links not shown here, please share them in the Comments so that others who happen upon this post might enjoy them, as well.
  • HealthNOW Medical Center - an absolute wealth of scientific information put into terms that any lay person can understand. Dr. Petersen has a blog dedicated to gluten sensitivities and celiac disease.
  • The Gluten Free Blog - a good place for recipes but also a few editorials that I find interesting.
  • Gluten Free Blog from Triumph Dining - the popular publisher of The Gluten-Free Dining and Restaurant Guides has a blog that provides wonderful recipes, product reviews, and news affecting the celiac community.
  • Gluten-Free Goddess - a fantastic place for creative and easy gluten-free recipes.
  • Official Blog of Glutenfreeda - the online source for this well-known cooking magazine.
  • Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free - a local N. Texas blogger who has wonderful recipes and recently published a cookbook.
  • Gluten Free Mom - "insights from a mom on living gluten free." I enjoy this blog b/c she addresses the challenges of a household where not everyone is gluten free, which is much like going out to eat where the kitchens aren't gluten free.
  • Lone Star Celiac Support Group - this great group hosts meetings and gatherings to educate newly diagnosed celiacs, as well as those who have been living and coping with the disease for many years. Their website is a wealth of information.
  • Live Gluten Freely - a terrific site begun in conjunction with General Mills' launch of its gluten-free line of products. The site has grown exponentially over the last year and now includes a blog, a store, an information section, as well as recipes and loads of other useful tools and information.
  • North Texas GIG - the N. Texas Chapter of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). This fantastic group hosts monthly meetings, as well as dine-outs and other wonderful events. This group sponsored last year's Gluten Free Expo at the Gaylord Texan.
This list is merely a drop in the bucket. And I think you'll find that they're great sites whether you have gluten issues or not. If you think you may be gluten intolerant, I encourage you to do a two-week gluten-free trial. With so many mainstream products now on the market, I think you'll find that it's not as difficult as it once was, and you just might feel better!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Things: Installment 62

Do you ever have fleeting thoughts? Ones that make you go "hmmmmm?" It's okay. You're not alone. I often sit around and ponder things that may or may not have a solid answer. Regardless, it's fun to ponder them.

Things I Sit Around and Think About
  • Do you think there was road kill back in the days when the central mode of transportation was horses?
  • Do you think that animals have real conversations ... like we do?
  • Do you ever wonder if we see colors exactly the same way? Like is the red I see the same red you see?
  • Do you ever give much thought to the incredible gift that composers possess? How do they hear and imagine so much going on at once? How does it all come together? Amazing!
  • Do you ever wonder if progress for progress' sake will lead to our unraveling? Or has it already?
  • Why do I find myself doing and saying the same things my parents did or said when they were my age?
  • Is every generation of children worse than the last?
  • Do you ever wonder what it was like to live on the prairies of N. Texas back when it was first settled?
  • Why are Mockingbirds so annoying and who thought it was a good idea to make them the State Bird of Texas?!
  • What do you think goes through a bug's mind before it slams head-on into your windshield? Oh $h!t??
  • Why is it that stupid people can reproduce like bunnies but smart people have to resort to modern medicine?
  • Is there really life on Mars? Or anywhere else in the vast expanses of the universe, like the Stargate series suggests?
  • Do you think insects break wind?
  • What's really whispering in the trees?
  • What would it be like to be a royal or someone with great power? Are they really just like everybody else?
  • Why do squirrels and bunnies have The Suicide Club when their greatest chances of survival would be won by standing still?
What do you sit around and think about?? I'd love to hear!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Did You Hug Your Admin?

So yesterday was Administrative Professionals Day, formerly known as Administrative Assistants Day formerly known as Secretaries Day. (Honestly, I do not understand the hang-up on what you call your secretary. I mean, really. Whether I'm a secretary or an assistant, my job functions remain the same: I'm a phone answerin', paper pushin', calendar managin', travel coordinatin' diva!) Did you do something spectacular for your assistant?

I may or may not have mentioned before that I happen to be an assistant. Actually, I have five bosses, if we want to get really technical about it. Sure, it sounds like a lot, but I have it down to a science. Or perhaps my bosses just don't require that much of me. Take your pick.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeenyway, some of my wonderful co-workers/staff brought me THE bestest gifts EVAH today - shoe crack. Oh yes. I admit it. I have a problem. A high-heeled, open-toed, b-e-a-utiful problem called shoes. Shoes, shoes, glorious shoes! And I am now the proud owner of $170 worth of plastic, cue-the-angelic-choir, pure heaven in my wallet, shoe-purchase-enabling, do the happy shoe dance, glorious cold plastic shoe cash. And I will soon be the proud owner of some sparkly, smell-that-faux-leather, new collectible beauties for my shoe cabinet.

For you see, aside from the plastic-glorious-plastic shoe cash, I've recently retired a number of pairs of My Pretties. Some are going to better homes and a few were sent to a tearful grave as I literally wore them out. But as an eternal optimist of the shoeless mind, I have merely begun my search for the next set of Pretties to fill the voids on the shelves. And filled, my friends, those voids shall be come Friday night when I join My Girls for a fantastic evening that we so lovingly have coined Margaritas and Shoes.

But this week, rather than sneaking my shoes in the door at home one pair at a time, I will proudly prance in and put them on display in runway fashion as a) I didn't spend our money, honey and b) babe, I'm not banning any of your shoes to the hiding place under the stairs this time b/c I have roooooooooom to fill on my shelves!

Now everyone say a little prayer that my favorite shoe store doesn't fail me like it did the last time the girls met for Margaritas and Shoes when I left with NONE...uh...ONE!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Knowing What to Say

I don't know about you, but I've been known to have the What the Hell Do I Say to THAT problem, especially lately. I don't recall always having this ineptitude for comforting social interaction, but apparently, the older I've gotten the more awkward these situations have become for me. Am I losing touch with my softer side? Or have I just forgotten how to be a real friend to someone?

Lately, it seems like my go-to response to bad news is "I'm sorry. I'll be thinking of you." Seems so ... I don't know, COLD or something. Not that I don't mean that I'm really sorry for whatever has happened or that I'm not really thinking of the person as they deal with whatever bit of bad news they're facing. But seriously, people, surely I can formulate a better array of go-to responses that aren't so .... cliche?!

So I'm throwin' it out to you, interwebs, what do YOU do or say to comfort your friends in their times of need?

Monday, April 25, 2011

In a Nutshell

(ETA: For those of you following me in Google Reader, I began this post the Monday after Easter but have not had time to finish it, so it will publish with today's date even though it will appear on the blog back in April.)

This last several weeks has been a little nuts. I've said that before. Probably many times. But I had no idea just HOW crazy it would ultimately be! With the big Palm Sunday performance out of the way, I really thought that I would coast through the remainder of Holy Week at Ye Olde Church Job. Boy, was I ever wrong on that one!

We had a rehearsal on the Saturday before Easter to go over the big pieces that we would be presenting during Easter worship services. We were pulling a movement from a piece that we sang several years ago (mvt 1 from Rutter's Gloria). Honestly, we had not worked on it very much b/c we were SO focused on the Chilcott. Our Wednesday rehearsal went pretty well, so we felt confident that, even though we hadn't rehearsed this piece very much, we would still be able to do it justice at the baton of our Fearless Leader on Sunday morning.

Well, that was fine and dandy until .... I arrive at Saturday's rehearsal to a flurry of activity and some BIG news. Our Fearless Leader was in the hospital AND her husband had been diagnosed that week with squamous cell carcinoma!! Her husband is our tenor section leader and by far the coat tails that the men ride on each week. A double whammy, to say the least, this news was. (Hello, Master Yoda.) That left us scrambling to pull of this rehearsal and tentatively make plans in the event she was not able to be released and join us for Sunday morning worship. Talk about running around like a chicken with one's head cut off!! Oh my.

To say that Saturday's rehearsal was one step short of disaster is an understatement. We split up conducting duty between two of our most capable members. (And in the end, I'm SO thankful this duty did NOT fall to me b/c it would have been absolutely disasterous on Sunday! Seriously!) Our confidence in that one difficult piece that we hadn't rehearsed much pretty much went down the tubes. We labored most of rehearsal on that one piece. And it was certainly a struggle. There were many grumblings about cutting it ... except that we had no suitable replacement AND we'd hired a brass quartet specifically for this particular ball-buster! Oy.

I received a phone call towards the end of rehearsal that our director would NOT be with us on Easter Sunday morning, that she was being held in the hospital for observation. She and I talked through all of the logistical things that would need to be put in order between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. These duties DID fall to me. Needless to say, Saturday afternoon turned into a busy one for me. I had set-up to take care of, phone calls to be made, checks to be found, emails to be sent, and signs to be made. AND I had a dinner party to give at my house that evening.

Sunday morning came really early. I had to be to church by 6:30 a.m. (!) to get all of the ducks in a row before the good folks of the choir arrived to begin rehearsing at 7 a.m. We ran a tight ship that morning out of necessity. Our schedule allowed no wiggle room. Early worship was at 8 a.m. The brass arrived as scheduled at 8:30 (right in the middle of early morning worship) and we had a very brief rehearsal between early service and late service, which began at 9:30.

To say that we were all just a leeeeeetle bit stressed about music is an understatement. But when all was said and done, it went pretty well. Could it have gone better? Sure. But given the circumstances, I think we were all rock stars. Am I glad that it's all over? Absolutely.

Our director was released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon after a battery of tests and no definitive answer. She developed severe double vision on Saturday morning, and they believed it could be a stroke. However, all tests ruled out that possibility, but none of them were definitive in explaining what happened. It could very well be related to stress. This last week, with her husband's diagnosis, it would certainly make sense, not to mention in addition to the stress of preparing for Holy Week. She'll be on bed rest this week and go to several doctor appointments to try to determine the cause.

ETA: After another round of double vision this weekend (May 8th), the doctors believe that she is experiencing a new kind of migraine. She has suffered from severe migraines for more than 20 years and apparently this is a new manifestation.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Did It

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, I recently posed the question "have you ever had a bikini wax??" I asked this b/c a friend of mine (hey, Daon) and I were talking about it and how neither of us had ever been brave enough to get it done. (I'm not sure that I've mentioned on ye olde blog that Derek and I are taking a quick little cruise to the Bahamas in the middle of May. No matter how quick the cruise, it's still too many days for repeated shaving of sensitive areas, IYKWIM. And I'd rather not skip any beach days simply b/c I've got a case of the stubbles. So that's kinda the evolution of this whole conversation.)

Eeeenyway, I got some good responses on the FB post - from general encouragement to things to make it a more positive experience. *ahem* And I also got a referral for a local spa and most importantly a person to see. I've had the info for a good week or two, and I've just been sitting on it. B/c you know, I'm still a little nervous about the whole thing. But today I finally worked up the nerve to call and book an appointment for a bikini wax (somebody still needs to explain to me the real difference between a bikini and a Brazilian. I know what I think it is, but the spa's description didn't seem to match up). I opted to get it done a week before we leave just in case I have any kind of adverse reaction (there should be time for it to settle down before I have to don a swimsuit).

I shall let you know how this adventure unfolds. I hope it's quick and painless, not to mention worth my fretting (and my moolah)!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Open Letter

Dear Listerine:

While your product may actually make mouths cleaner, though I believe this to be an arguable point, I would beg to differ about whether it kills bad breath germs. Quite frankly, in my opinion, I believe your product is single-handedly responsible for bad breath. In fact, it causes a very distinct kind of bad breath. Something I like to call The Breath of Death. B/c seriously, that's some stanky skank you leave behind. Downright horrible, in fact.

What's sadder still is that Death Breath comes completely unbeknownst to the Listerine user. Like somehow your product manages to strip away the user's ability to smell the green cloud that is emitted from their own mouths. And how do you tell someone that Whoa...Dude...DUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE...your. breath. is. horrible??!! Yeah. Not that easy. Instead, you do your best not to breathe around them and find the quickest escape route to the nearest gas mask and/or nose salve!

So please, do me a favor. Take a cue from all of the other mouth washes out there and find a way to kill the germs without killing everyone around the Listerine user!


Monday, April 18, 2011

From Disaster to a Masterpiece

It is nice to have the busiest part of the spring over and out of the way. It should be a smooth and quiet coast into summer and a much-needed respite.

This weekend's Palm Sunday program went from a potential cancellation to a wonderful masterpiece in just a week's time. Our last-minute tenor was a wonderful addition to the program. Honestly, I'm in awe of what he was able to do in such a short time. And I'm certainly indebted to him for affording us the opportunity to perform this beautiful work by Bob Chilcott.

Monday, April 11, 2011

When Disaster Strikes

This is the time of year that is insanely busy for me, particularly at Ye Olde Church Job. It pretty much just sucks the life right out of me, as a matter of fact. Don't get me wrong, I love the music and the opportunity to sing! But .... Lent is the time of year when lots of things are happening in the music program all at once.

The children's choir musical was last weekend. The big slog up to the show is always a difficult one. It's hard to keep the attention of 30+ 5-10 year olds, particularly for two hours at a time! I can (and will) write a whole other post about the frustrations with working with kids these days. But after all of the frustration and feelings of "we're aren't gonna be able to do this," the musical was a tremendous success. And if you ask me how, I still can't tell you!

At the same time, the adult choir is preparing for Holy Week activities, which kicks off with Palm Sunday. In particular, we have been working on a new piece. Not only is it new to us, it is actually hot off the presses. Last year, Preston Hollow Presbyterian premiered Bob Chilcott's Requiem. We are fortunate enough to be among the first Dallas-area churches to perform this work since the premiere. To my knowledge, we will be precisely the third choir (stateside anyway) to sing it. It's a beautiful work written for orchestra, soloists, and chorus with soaring melodies and intricate, dissonant harmonies. It truly is a masterpiece!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cutie Head Moment #1598763165198984

Brought to you by Can You Hear Me Now....Good!

So I got a new cell phone a little while ago. Yep. I wasn't really planning to. I was perfectly happy with my old one. I had just figured out how to work the damn thing, so why would I want a new one? But the hubby decided he HAD to switch providers and get in on some iCrack. And that meant that his virtually brand NEW, fancy iCrack(ish) android would go the way of all the other has-beens in his vast collection of technology trash.


Susan to the rescue! I'll take one for the team and learn how to use yet another complicated piece of portable technology that will make me scream profanities every time I try to use it to do something 'simple.' B/c, let's face it, people, ain't nothin' simple about Simple Technology these days!

So we get me switched over to this new fandangled piece of purse clutter and I play around with some of the basic settings, like ringtone and stuff. Fast forward a couple of hours to an after-dinner conversation with some girlfriends around the dining room table. *groovy dance tune* starts playing. We all look around at each other, like we've never heard this noise before. Then everyone takes out their phones one-by-one to see, "is that me??" All the while, I'm sitting at the table saying, "that's definitely not mine."

One by one, everyone declares that it's not theirs. And then it hits me. I have a new phone! I've never heard it ring! And as fate would have it, it was mine after all.

Is this one of those times that can be dubbed "eating crow??" Well, at least it tasted good!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Things: Installment 61

I recently tagged along on one of Derek's business trips. This one happened to be to Fort Lauderdale. It was eventful(ish) so I thought it worthy of a Things post.

Things About the Fort Lauderdale Trip
  • Sometimes it's worth the extra price on airfare to AVOID red-eye flights. My flight left DFW at 6:25 a.m., which meant that I had to be to the airport for oh-dark-thirty which meant that I had to leave my house at the butt crack. The roosters weren't even up yet!
  • My friend/business partner Whitney (hey, girl) was kind enough to not only house sit but to volunteer to take me to the airport for said red-eye flight. What. a. saint!
  • When traveling during spring break season, it is wise to pay the extra $9 for the Priority Upgrade. For one, you get on the plane first. For two, you are guaranteed a space in the overhead for your one and only bag. Otherwise ... womp-womp ... you have to check said carry-on at the gate and then go to baggage claim at the airport rather than straight to your taxi!
  • On the upside, because I took the early flight, I dodged the crazy weather in Fort Lauderdale and was tucked snug-as-a-bug in my hotel room when the hurricane-like wind and rain pelted and whirled outside the sliding glass door of my hotel room.
  • On the downside, room service was TOO busy to answer the phone during said storm. I guess everyone else was hungry and avoiding going outside, too.
  • Staying at a hotel with a private beach during the beginning of the spring break season is GENIUS! The beach was never ridiculously crowded. There were plenty of chairs, plenty of umbrellas, and plenty of cold beverages. Just the way I like it!
  • Downside to only taking one form of entertainment to the beach: iPads overheat in direct sunlight. I thought I was going to be smart and catch up on the 800+ posts in my Google Reader. WRONG! I got about 30 min. of surfing in before it shut down and gave me the finger. "Too hot. Try again later." It took a good hour for that puppy to cool down enough for me to be able to turn it back on. I opted to leave it playing some tunes in the shade rather than entertaining me on the sunny beach chair. Whatever, dude.
  • The seafood was amazing!
  • Most of the restaurants we visited actually knew what I was talking about when I quizzed them about gluten-free menu items. And many were more than happy to talk to the chef for me.
  • Traveling with doctors is like traveling with movie stars. They don't give a rats @$$ about anyone but themselves!!!! So note to self: eat where YOU want to and make your own travel itinerary rather than syncing up return flights with everybody else.
  • Traveling with a gimp has its privileges - hello priority boarding for the spouse!
  • It wasn't the most ideal time to travel. I had just returned from tending to the patient after his knee surgery. But I sure as hell wasn't going to let him travel by himself while he was still barely hobbling around. (Thanks, doc, for telling him that he could do whatever he felt up to doing!) All in all, it was a nice trip. Gimp was basically ungimpy by the time we came home.
  • SPF5000 works in Florida too! *grin*

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Monumental February

It's hard to believe that two years has flown by. Like that. It was two years ago in February that Derek had his cancer surgery and was declared cancer-free. Make it to the two-year mark with no recurrence and you're pretty much golden. The likelihood of recurrence drops to less than 5%. We were on schedule to get the Official Word that he remains cancer free when life was rudely interrupted by a golf-ball size knot on the front of his right knee.

X-rays revealed that there were bony fragments loose in his knee - one of which appeared to be quite large. Apparently, Derek had Osgood-Schlatter as a child. This causes extra bone growth on the top of the tibia. While this often resolves on its own with no medical intervention, a small percentage of kids take the extra bone growth with them into adulthood. Derek is one of those lucky few. And some of that extra growth had broken off and was free-floating in the knee with the largest fragment being lodged beneath his patellar tendon.

So on the day that he would have seen the oncologist for his two-year check-up, he had knee surgery instead. The fragments were even larger than they appeared on x-ray. In fact, they were so sizable that the doctor had to bring them out to show us on his post-op-everything-is-a-okay visit. The largest one was the size of a large marble; there were two that were small marble sized; and then there were a bunch of little fragments that looked like jacks. It's no wonder he had a huge knot on his knee!

The surgery went fine and I spent a week and a half at home taking care of him. Pain management was our biggest obstacle since the doctor filed off the remaining bony growths on the top of the tibia. *shudder* Biggest RX obstacle: he's allergic to hydrocodone and #2 choice Darvocet is off the market. It took us several days and several phone calls to the doctor to get the right combo of his pain med cocktail. But we eventually got him some relief so he could rest.

We're now a month out and he's doing just fine. He's been on TWO business trips to FL and had his first physical therapy session this week, in fact. He has 120 degrees of motion right now with about 15 degrees more to go. Not bad. Hopefully he's faithful enough to p/t to get his back worked on too!

So what about that two-year follow-up? It's on the schedule for April. We're looking forward to getting some good news!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Little R&R

As I sit here with my months-old list of things to blog about, I am, quite surprisingly to most, really at a loss for words. I have enjoyed the last 4+ weeks of my blogging hiatus. I'm sure that some of you have wondered, at least in fleeting moments, what happened to take me away from the blogosphere. Well, quite simply, a lot and not much at all. It's certainly not for lack of blog-worthy material. That is clearly evidenced by the long list of potential topics currently staring me in the face. I think it generally boils down to an overall lack of enthusiasm for anything. Just a general state of the blahs. But the trees are budding (achoo, anyone?) and the birds are tweeting and one can't help but find the spring in the step return. And so I'll bore you all with the myriad of ridiculous thoughts that have been buzzing around my brain like that pesky fly that whizzes about stalking your first bites of your favorite summer fruits. (How's that for a colorful analogy?! Take that, caseoftheblahs!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Karma, Baby!

On Friday afternoon, I ventured out in the neighborhood to check out the winter wonderland. I set out on foot, camera in hand, since the streets certainly weren't passable by car. A quick pass around the cul-de-sac and I headed back to the house to drop off the camera. I didn't want to risk falling down with it any more times than I already had. I picked up Kelli on this stop and we headed out for a little walk.

First stop: the gas easement that runs close to our house. Kelli & I were curious whether the snow collected more here than in other places since it's basically a big hill with gullies running along each side. We tiptoed up the slope to the top to find that it was actually shallower than in our own front yards. A bit surprising to me actually. It was, however, much more slippery since the layer of sleet and ice was not covered with as much snow.

Having come away with the information we sought to find atop the hill, we made our way back down the little incline to the sidewalk. Kelli went first. And as she was oh-so-carefully tiptoeing back down the hill, she slipped, did a little bobble & arm flop, and caught her balance as she dismounted the hill successfully onto the sidewalk. I, of course, found this hilarious and laughed as it all unfolded.

"Nice save," I said in a chuckle as I began my own descent down the mini-mountain.

I was on the steeper part of the hill - not smart enough to go down the flatter side like Kelli did. I took no more than two steps when I, myself, found my footing unsure, slipped, did my own little bobble & arm flap, and proceeded to fall squarely on my arse with a resounding *thud*! Kelli absolutely burst out laughing. And I fell over on the snowy bank and had quite the guffaw myself.

And that, my friends, is why you should never laugh at your friend until you, yourself, have safely dismounted the slippery slope yourself! It's karma, baby!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Snow-pocalypse 2.0

Howdy from a blustery, f-f-f-f-freeeeeeezing N. Texas! We're now into our second round of wintry weather as sleet fell heavily this morning and it is currently snowing like nobody's business here. C-RAZY to say the least!

As promised, I did actually venture out in the snow last week ... with the Husky, of course. But I realized today, after signing onto the ol' blog to figure out where I left off last week, that I never posted pictures (or stories) from our little trek. Shame, shame! So, as I sit here in the craft room watching the snow breeze by (it really IS pretty, even if it makes a mess of things) and pile up once again, I decided to edit some photos AND video from last week's Snow-pocalypse (thanks, Gayla, for that one!) and make a little movie montage for you to enjoy. The stories will come in separate posts this week b/c they're good enough to stand on their own. Oh, and while I'm on the subject of separate posts, I'll have a really fun one about photos that I found in the office while cleaning in there. Some real jewels, let me tell ya. You won't want to miss 'em! *grin* But for now, on to that montage....

And now that I'm done with that morning time-suck (tho it was fun), I must now do something productive. What, you may ask? Well, I've got two choices: make cards or clean the office. Which one do you think I'll choose? *snicker*

Friday, February 04, 2011

I Wish....

I was a weather person. I would only have to be right 2% of the time and I could still keep my job!!! Talk about missing the mark ... again. That "light dusting" we were going to receive overnight turned into over SIX INCHES. And guess what??? It's snowing again. And they're speculating that we'll receive another 1-2 inches before it stops. I'm home from work a FOURTH day this week. Can anyone remember the last time we had weather like this? Back in the 80s maybe?? CRA-ZY!

But since today we have snow, rather remaining cooped up in the house another day, we're actually gonna venture out later and maybe take Dori for a walk. After all, she's a Husky and she's BEGGING to go outside. She beats on the blinds on the back door at least once an hour and then we have to bundle up to go get her to come back inside. I'm sure she'll love the opportunity to go for a stroll with us through the neighborhood. We'll see if we're actually able to stay upright first tho. There's a solid sheet of ice lurking underneath that 6" of fluffy stuff!

Stay safe & warm, everybody!!!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Rude Awakening

I had intended to sleep in a little today, but my plans were thwarted when I was rudely awakened at 0545! Oy! I neglected to complain about mention that we've been having some issues with the smoke detectors that came with our house.

You: what other smoke detectors would you be talking about? Smoke detectors are required, Grasshoppa!
Me: I know. Let me explain.

We have two sets of smoke detectors: the six originals that were installed throughout the house as part of new construction and the two high-tech heat/smoke detectors that were installed and are monitored by our alarm company. The originals are powered two ways - direct wiring and 9V batteries. The other two are powered by the alarm system.

Several weeks ago, we were rudely awakened in the middle of the night by the originals. And for the record, how in the WORLD do people sleep through their smoke alarms going off? B/c let me tell you, there just ain't no way!!!!

Aaaaaanywho, we do a quick assessment and determine it is indeed a false alarm. And then they stopped. All by themselves. Alrighty. Back to bed then. We-he-hell, that would have been a good idea EXCEPT the stupid alarms went off randomly all. night. long. So what did we do? We unhooked the damn things. Yes, we did. Every single one AND took their batteries out. B/c you don't turn them off just by de-batterying them or just by unhooking them from the direct wiring. You have to do BOTH to silence those little screamers.

We decided that it had to be a battery causing the problem. And so they remained unhooked until just this last weekend when we replaced the batteries and then hooked them back up. All was quiet so we assumed that we'd solved the problem. Until this morning. When they started screaming. Given the bitter cold we're experiencing and the extra heat we're running, I really thought it was for real this time. But a quick inspection of the other two told me that it was a false alarm. Again. So I scaled the ladder and took all but one down. I think I've figured out that we have at least one bad unit and THAT'S causing the middle-of-the-night rude wake-up calls. Until I know for sure, those puppies are not going back up!

Oh, and to make this story better???? I was doing all of this in the DARK this morning b/c we had our 15 min. of rolling blackout right after the damn things starting eeking. Nice!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Jack Frost

is definitely nipping at my nose! Let me just say BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

For those of you who live in my area, have you had the unfortunate happenstance of going outside today? Oh. My. Lord. When the weathermen said it was going to be bitterly cold, they were NOT kidding. That wind eats through every conceivable layer you can pack on to prevent its icy fingertips from poking you prickily. If I don't have to go outside again until it thaws, well, that'd suit me just fine!

Unlike the last winter weather system that blew through here a coupla weeks ago, this one left no doubt that we'd all be home today. When I got up this morning at oh-dark-thirty and turned on the tv to check out the weather, the first thing I heard was "All school districts in the DFW area are closed today." Wha? DISD actually made a decision before 7 a.m.?? Shocking!

And shortly after that, I got my glorious phone call from the office telling me that we were indeed closed (we base our closure decision on a bifurcated standard in which we assess DISD's decision and weigh it against the County's decision). So I began making my phone calls to my designated folks plus a few extras. I actually started with the group I like to refer to as The Early Birds b/c they get to the office when I do. Early. Then I moved down the list from there. All done before 7!

Once that was all done, I made a mental list of everything I would accomplish today.

  1. First things first, start a fire. 
  2. Change into footed fleece pajamas. 
  3. Make coffee. 
  4. Christen the new waffle maker.
  5. Check email.
  6. Fill some High Notes Ink orders.
  7. Skype w/ Whit about HNI stuff.
  8. Put in some laundry.
  9. Make some cards for fun / new product lines.
  10. Catch up on blogging.
  11. Check email.
  12. Make lunch.
  13. Put in some more laundry.
  14. Think about whether or not it's time to shower/brush the fuzz off the teeth. (Nah! LOL)
  15. Contemplate whether or not I might tackle the long-neglected hell hole we call The Home Office. (No, it's STILL not cleaned up & organized, thankyouverymuchforaskingpfffffft!)
  16. Send the hubby off to work (boo-hiss!).
  17. More blogging. (There's a LOT to catch up on!)
  18. Grab the phone in case work calls with an early decision about tomorrow.
  19. Gaze out the window at the still-falling snow flurries, which, BTW, were NOT supposed to be falling anymore.
  20. Time to fold some laundry.
What's on your agenda??

P.S. Remember my mental note a coupla weeks ago about not riding the bus on bad weather days and riding the train instead? Yeah. Well. Today the train is shut down b/c of high wind & ice on the cables. Go figure!

What Would You Do ....

With a freebie day off from work??? Well, lucky for you, I'm planning to catch up on my blogging. Believe it or not, I actually have a number of posts still saved as drafts. Just in case you thought I'd given up blogging altogether. *snicker* Things have just been crazy-busy and I could never get a post finished & ready to publish. So, since it looks like I'm gonna be iced in for a better part of this week, I can actually get those all wrapped up. (For all you Google Reader followers out there, the sequence of posts may not make as much sense since the publish date will be in real time rather than when I originally intended for the post to publish.)

But for right now, I'm off to whip up some homemade waffles. And that's something you don't hear every day, especially around here. Since I haven't yet christened my new waffle maker (thanks, D&O) and I've clearly got a lot of time on my hands, seems like a good way to start the day. Hot coffee & waffles, here I come!

EDITED TO ADD: For those of you who don't follow me in Google Reader, you'll have to click Older Posts at the bottom of the page (waaaaaaay down there at the bottom) to get to all of the posts that I'm catching up on for the month of January. If you don't, you'll surely miss something! (Not that it's earth-shattering, but still. I make a funny every once in a while. *wink*)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guess What I Did???

Anybody?? Who guessed cleaned up the office? Show of hands out there. *insert the EH Jeopardy buzzer* And my answer to that is .... I WISH!

For anybody who follows me on Facebook, I posted waaaaaaay back on Jan. 18 that "it's time again to bid adieu to the christmas decorations...." Well, I didn't exactly get around to doing anything about that. And so there they all sat, staring me in the face. No more excuses. They had to go.

So I got up and got started early yesterday. And when it was all said and done, the decorations came down, replaced with winter ones, of course. (Hello, snowmen!) And the house is de-sparkled, tho sparkling ... after a thorough vacuuming. It's nice to have that done. Finally.

So I could definitely enjoy the rest of the weekend. We had the neighbors over for dinner last night and they're coming over again tonight. We haven't seen them in a while, so it'll be good to have the gang back together. Great blog material, though most of it not suitable for public viewing. *wink*

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Today, while I was in training for my office's new e-filing system, I got a phone call from my voice teacher. It's unusual for her to call me during the day, unless she's calling to reschedule a lesson. But I knew quickly after hearing her voicemail that it was unlikely that she was calling about my next lesson. So while on our first break for the training session, I called her back.

As I feared, she was not calling with good news. In fact, her first words were, "I wish I was calling you with good news." Instead, she was calling to tell me that one of our friends had been killed in a car accident  early Tuesday morning. I had actually heard about the accident on the news on Tuesday morning and thought "how awful" after hearing the story.

Rick was a Type I diabetic and he had a devil of a time managing it. It was not unusual for him to have "episodes." Having traveled with him on a number of choir tours, you learned very quickly how to recognize the signs of one of his episodes. And it was a "quick, give me a peppermint" before everything was under control again. It is believed that he had one of these while driving on Monday night, got lost, and then crashed after failing to make a necessary turn at a dead-end road. Unfortunately, rescue workers were unable to get to him after the crash b/c the car was already engulfed in flames by the time they arrived.

Cortni (Rick's daughter), Rick, and Me in Ireland
Naturally, we are all in shock. Rick was so kind, a fantastic musician, and just an all-around nice guy who would give you the shirt off his back if you asked him for it. And his loss will certainly be felt by many. I will cherish the few occasions I got to sing with him. It was truly an honor!

And I will be equally as honored to sing him home at his memorial service, along with many, many others of his musician friends!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We Made Our Milestone!

Howdy, folks! I told you I was gonna be busy last week, and I wasn't kiddin'. My house & my husband are none too worse for the wear, but they're definitely glad to have me back into a more relaxed schedule.

High Notes Ink's official launch went smashingly well, if I do say so myself! The in-home show was very well-attended, and our product flew out the door like hotcakes. We couldn't be more thrilled! Aaaaaand, according to our business plan, we've hit our first milestone which means that we have enough money in the bank to make this baby official. *giggling with glee* Somebody pinch me! *OUCH*

Seriously though, now I have to work on getting all the legal ducks in a row, which means a lot of research, a lot of paperwork, and some moolah. But it's such a nice place to be in and we certainly didn't think we'd get here as quickly as we have. So thanks to ALL of you who have been a part of High Notes Ink's launch! We wouldn't be here without you!

With that big thing out of the way, I now have some time to actually get some stuff done. I've long-neglected some housework. (Hello, Christmas decorations!) So I'll move that to the top of the list. Whitney, my super-awesome business partner, has even volunteered herself to help me do a complete reorg of my house. I know, right?! AWESOME! I keep telling her that she's crazy, but she keeps telling me that she loves to clean & organize and that it's easier to toss stuff when someone ELSE tells you that youreallyneedtothrowthatcrapout! LOL!

So now we should be back to regular programming. As in, gee, is she EVER gonna post anything?!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Busy Week

There won't be much posting this week, folks. I know, I know. Don't be TOO disappointed. LOL!

In all seriousness, there are lots o' things on the plate this week. First and foremost, High Notes Ink is making its official launch at an in-home show on Sunday afternoon, and we have some last-minute product to finish up. Not to mention, updating our website and brochure. So I'll be busy behind the crafting table and/or the iMac.

And secondly, I finally have my music for the big performance on Palm Sunday! *commencing happy dance* I cannot TELL you how excited I am about this piece! It was premiered in Dallas last spring and is now available on the market. While we're not the only ones to jump on board for local performances this year, we're certainly the smallest group of accomplished musicians to do so. AND we're gonna have the players required for the orchestrated score thanks to a generous donation from a faithful patron. ((hugs)) This is a very challenging work. And I'm very much looking forward to digging into the score. My work is certainly cut out for me!

So ... I'll see you on the flipside of this crazy week!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Ummmm. What?! I know, I know. Christmas is long over.

Except when you're a Foster. Many moons ago, it became a family tradition to have our holiday gathering over MLK weekend. Why? Well, mostly b/c all of the kiddos were out of school for a long weekend which made travel for everyone much easier. You see, we're all spread out, so it can be a chore to get us all in one place. And now that we're all grown & out on our own, it still remains a good weekend since we have work holidays that afford us the same long weekend.

This year, we descended upon my brother & his new house since it offers the most room for all 25+ of us to be in one place. We enjoyed good food, good fellowship, and good times. As usual, the Chinese gift exchange was loads of fun and full of much intrigue / conniving. LOL!

Looking forward to next year!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Open Letter

Dear Subway:

Thank you for listening to your patrons who begged asked you to consider adding a gluten-free menu. I was thrilled to hear that Dallas would be a test market for your new gluten-free options. I decided to try out the store by my office today since I didn't have anything for lunch. I called first since I wasn't sure every restaurant would be participating and was pleased to hear that they were a part of the test group. When I came in, the on-duty manager was very courteous and walked the sandwich-ista through the process step-by-step. It was apparent that you've had training in safe handling of gluten-free food. (There are still some things I could suggest to you, but I suspect that others will take care of that for me. Or perhaps I will mention it on my next visit.) Everyone at your store was kind and courteous. And they were thrilled to have their first request for gluten-free.

Thank you for making it a very pleasant experience. I WILL be back for more!

P.S. That gluten-free brownie is sinfully delicious and worth ALL 350 glorious Calories!!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Open Letter

Dear Facebook:

The new profile that you've FORCED upon me really sucks! Hate isn't a strong enough word to describe the deep loathing I have for it actually.

Not that you care.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cutie Head Moment #4098723140752

After yesterday's nightmare commute, one might think that things couldn't get any worse. And yet ...

So here I was walking to work from the bus stop like any other day. It's really bloody cold, and I'm all bundled up to protect myself from the whipping wind and frigid temps - complete with Under Armor and tabbogan. Never leave home without 'em! But I digress.

So I'm walking and get to the last crosswalk before getting to my office building. And *WHAM* just as happy as you please, I'm not walking anymore. No. Seriously. I was walking ... and then I wasn't. Instead, I was falling. Face first into the crosswalk. Somehow I managed to catch my wits enough to brace myself for the *kersplat* that was sure to follow. And follow it did. I went skidding across the crosswalk on my hands and knees. I quickly hop up and try to look cool. You know, like, NOYOUDIDNOTSEETHATHAPPEN. Took a quick assessment: everything's moving (check), clothes not ripped (check), get to office as quickly as possible (double check).

TTL I had on all those layers b/c I'm pretty sure that's the only thing that saved me from some serious injury, not to mention holes in my pants. When I finally get to my office (remember, we have ridiculous security to clear every morning), I head straight to the bathroom to REALLY assess the damage/remove the Under Armor b/c who leaves that on the whole day?! And that's when it became quite clear that I did not escape my latest little Cutie Head Moment unscathed. Nosirree. My knee was bloody like you read about. And there's no doubt that it's gonna HURT tomorrow!

And for those of you who may be wondering,

  • no, I didn't have on a pair of my crazy, ridiculous shoes,
  • no, there was no ice in the crosswalk,
  • and no, I didn't trip.
So here's yet another story to add to my ever-growing list of Embarrassing Things That Happen to Me on My Way to Work.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Weather in North Texas is unpredictable at best. Today is a perfect example of what a cluster the weather really is.

So the weather forecasters talk about the latest winter weather system headed our way ALL WEEKEND. And whaddya know, I come out of church yesterday to snow falling like nobody's business & accumulations already on the ground. Lovely. So now the question is: what does this mean for Monday's commute?? That, my friends, turned out to be a million dollar question that ended up being worth way more than that in insurance claims!

I get up today at my regular time - oh dark thirty - and turn on the tv ... hopeful that we at least have a delay. I mean, we still have STUFF on the ground for pete's sake. DISD insists that they're opening on time. So I did what any good employee would do, I got ready for work. Still secretly hoping that I'd get that phone call telling me not to worry about it.

As I'm getting ready for work, road conditions are going from bad to worse after freezing fog moved in & began coating all of the road surfaces in a thin sheet of ice. But it's WAY past the time that my office makes the call about closing so I hop in my car and go to the bus stop.

My first clue to turn around and go home should have come when my 5-minute commute to the park-n-ride turned into a 20-minute commute. That short bridge over Ray Hubbard that I cross every morning was quite slippery and was causing quite the traffic snarl. So I knew that I was going to miss the bus that I usually take and probably the one after that too.

I get to the park-n-ride to find a long line of folks waiting on the bus. Clearly more than one bus was a no-show that morning b/c this was way more folks than should be waiting at this hour. Sure enough, the bus I was aiming for hadn't come and the one after it was, at this point, 5 minutes late. Great. Do I go get in my car & try the train or wait and see if a bus shows?? Keep in mind that I'm standing out in the bitter cold & whipping wind as I make this decision. But I was saved by the arrival of a bus. Bus it is then!

Oh how I would live to regret that decision! Little did I know that the HOV lane isn't open on inclement weather days. So that meant that we were forced to drive the highway like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry. And it tweren't pretty! It took us more than 30 min. to go 3/4 mi. Oh yeah, you read that right. So what is ordinarily a 60-minute door-to-door commute for me turned into 2.5 HOURS!!!

Lesson learned, my friends. On winter weather days, take the train!!!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Things: Installment 60

Well, hell's bells. I've spent the better part of two days writing this dang post only to manage to lose more than half of it just b/c Blogger saves changes every 30 seconds on my home computer and I had the unfortunate mishap of accidentally deleting my post right as it was autosaving. And if I could figure out how to change the intervals between autosaves, I would. Grrrrrrr! So let's see if I can recreate this thing. It won't be as witty as the first go-around, but I'm giving it a whirl.

In honor of our cross-country trek to attend the Rose Bowl festivities, you get to enjoy a complete run-down on the trip in this issue of Things. Excited? Well, if you scroll down and realize how loooooooooong this sucker is, you might not be! (And so this lovely post doesn't take up sooooooooooo much room on the homepage of the ol' blog, I'm gonna insert a little "click here" page break right here, which means absolutely zippo to the Google Reader followers out there.)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Rose Bowl in Brief

Flight, hotel, parade/game tickets: $5000
Parade/game ticket upgrade: $1200
Food & fun: $750
TCU wins the Rose Bowl: priceless

Thanks for the memories, Frogs....they will indeed last a lifetime!

(Tune in on Friday for a Things dedicated to all things Rose Bowl)