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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Crashmas!

I haven't blogged in 10 days not because I had nothing to say, but because there was much to be done before the holidays so blogging got shoved to the back burner. What also got shoved to the back (though to the engine and not the burner) was the radiator in my car. On the Tuesday before Christmas, my car decided that it wanted to rearrange the engine compartment by hydroplaning and crashing into the car in front of me. Just a quick note - that is a good way to rearrange the engine compartment should you need to do that.

The hood of my car was dented, the lights pulled out, and the radiator pushed in toward the engine. I am grateful that the hydroplaning occurred after I had braked at a light so there wasn't a great deal of speed involved. I am also grateful that I was not hurt at all and that the car in front of me wasn't damaged nor was the driver injured at all. I have wonderful family and friends, all of whom checked up on me after I posted about the accident on Facebook. Thank you all!

I was cited for failure to control speed and my car was towed. Dear Husband picked me up and I returned home to concentrate on the upcoming holiday. Christmas was low-key and a lot of fun. We spent Christmas Eve with the in-laws and then Christmas Day found us at home with my Dad, who had come from San Antonio on Wednesday. We opened gifts in the morning. The doggers received coats from my mother in Oregon. They wore them all day and loved it because it was cold out so it was like having a permanent blanket for them.

Later in the afternoon, we had a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Dear Husband's friend, Brad, came over to enjoy the dinner with us and my friend, Angel, joined us later in the evening. We had a fun night of dessert and games. We played Apples to Apples, and Scruples. Both games were a lot of fun and a great way to spend the evening with friends and family.

Saturday found Dear Husband helping a friend so Dad and I headed to the movies to see Sherlock Holmes. It was FANTASTIC! Dad and I are both huge fans of Sherlock Holmes and all mysteries really so it was awesome to see the movie with him. We finished the afternoon with lunch at WhatABurger and Dad then headed home to San Antonio. It was so nice to have him here for the holidays. I enjoy spending time with my Dad.

Since Saturday, I've been slowly returning the house to its pre-holiday state. I am putting away decorations, gifts, etc. I didn't put up a lot of decorations this year so that makes clean-up a little easier. We are getting ready for a wonderful new year and I cannot wait!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Random Thoughts: Round II

As promised in my last blog, here are Random Thoughts: Round II.

Last night, I was listening to a CD on my portable DVD player. It cut off at one point and I didn't understand why. I turned it off and back on - you know, the standard solution for any electronics problem - and that didn't work. So I took the CD out and put it back in, still nothing. I was thinking it was broken. That's when I realized the problem. It wasn't plugged in. Yeah...it had been working off the battery, which had died. Not being plugged in...I hear that's a common problem. :)

Yesterday morning when I woke up, I had to pee, which is usually the case in the morning. I didn't want to get out of the cozy, warm bed to go to the bathroom so I figured I could just hold it and catch an hour or so more of sleep. Yeah...that has never, ever worked in the past. Why is it that every single morning I have that exact same thought like somehow my body is finally going to say "Sure, hold it for awhile, no problem."

I find it interesting how a group of strangers can find solidarity while waiting in line at the post office. One guy will mention that more postal workers are needed to deal with the line and the rest of the group will pipe up and join the crusade. Before you know it, you have 14 people of all different ages, nationalities, and religions joining in the fight. This also occurs at banks and in airport lines.

I think it should be an unwritten rule of the universe that no one is allowed to die on major holidays or on their family members' birthdays. How much would it suck to have Uncle Gary keel over on Christmas Day? Sort of removes the whole peace on earth, joy to the world theme, you know? I once read a story about a man whose young daughter was murdered on his birthday. I'm thinking that day has lost all meaning for that man, which is very sad.

With the advent of cell phones, Facebook, and e-mail, it amazes me how many people still have trouble communicating with others in a timely manner. This happens in business and personal relationships. Is it really so hard to send even a one or two line e-mail acknowledging receipt of something? I was talking to a friend of mine who said she had sent some questions to a business associate who expects her to have a project completed by a certain deadline, but apparently the business associate can't bother to answer her e-mail in a timely manner. I don't get it. At least acknowledge you've received the questions and give a time line of when you can answer them or something. A message in a bottle has a faster delivery than some people with access to computers and Blackberries.

That is all, for now. I am sure Random Thoughts: Round III will make an appearance before the year is out or shortly thereafter.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Random

Welcome to another round of Random Thoughts! These are things I occasionally think about or that occur to me out of the blue. There are no transitions between the thoughts, hence it being called "Random."

I need to take the annual Christmas picture of our family. I should have done it before now and gotten the cards made and mailed, but I didn't. So our friends/family will be receiving Christmas cards pretty close to the actual date of the holiday. I'm OK with that.

I finished my final final exam for the semester today. I am REALLY glad to be done with classes so I can stop feeling guilty about procrastinating on my school work. I wonder if there really is a cure for procrastination. I always feel better when I get something done in advance, but I never seem to remember that feeling when it comes to completing projects. Something about the realization that "OH MY GOD, I need to finish this by tomorrow" produces adrenaline that allows me to get it done. Maybe I'm an academic adrenaline junkie? Oh well, we all have our issues.

It annoys me when Dear Husband asks me if he can pick up something from the store for me and I tell him and then he questions me about it. For example, I asked him to pick up Band-Aids tonight and he said "Didn't I just do that? Have you used all the Band-Aids?" Um, you know what? You asked and I answered so just get the Band-Aids, OK? The third degree is annoying.

Along with the above is when he asks me for my opinion on what he is going to wear. I refuse to give my thoughts on that anymore because he will invariably say "Really, I like this one (whichever one I did not choose)." Don't ask me then. If you know what you like, wear it.

I wish people would take it seriously when I tell them what I want for Christmas. I do not care if you buy me a gift at all, but if you're going to, please get me something useful like stamps. Seriously, stamps would be great. I use a lot of them so they would be appreciated. Gift cards, donations to an animal charity in my name, or food products are good too. I don't expect gifts and like I said, I don't care if I get them, but if you are going to give them, then follow the recommendations of the person you are planning on giving to.

I find it really sad that people who work very hard and put in long hours beyond what they are paid for are the ones who feel guilty when they are sick and can't come in or when they have to take some time off for personal/family reasons. The boss then starts watching them like a hawk and "reminding" them about personal time in a snotty voice when said person has only taken 10 minutes off in the last two years. Meanwhile, the jerks who call in "sick" every single week and who come in two hours late and leave two hours early are the ones who get promoted. And people wonder why there are workplace shootings?

That's all for now. But Randomness: Round II is already in the making. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Heat is On

It's officially winter in Houston. Friday, it snowed. Yes, snow in Houston. This has happened before, but it is rare. Amazing to see white flurries coming down in Texas anywhere. It stuck in some places and not in others. We just got the flurries and the frozen ground. Some friends of mine further south got actual snow sticking to the ground. Even without the snow, the heater has been turned on in the house. The official switching from air conditioning to heat is sort of a seminal moment for most people in Houston. Every year, we know it's really winter when we all do that.

Since it is winter now, that must mean Christmas is coming. It's 19 days away and I haven't really done anything to get ready for it. I will start my Christmas cards next week and that is pretty much all I'm going to do. There will be no big gifts this year for anyone because we are tightening our budget. It's just a necessity with the recession we've been through this year. I'm really hoping to have a full-time job by January. It's in God's hands and I know that He has reasons for all that He does so worry has been replaced by faith.

I'm looking forward to the holidays because we will be staying home. Christmas Eve will be spent with my in-laws and Christmas Day, my dad, the hubs, and I will be hosting a "Riff-Raff Christmas Dinner." We're inviting people who don't have anywhere else to go for Christmas Day. It's fun to get a group of people together and have a good time. No one should be alone on the holidays.

Before the holidays come around, I have two exams to complete for school. I'm looking forward to finishing my classes and enjoying a school break.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beyond Thankful

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The hubs and I traveled to San Antonio to spend the holiday with my father and his side of the family. We left Houston on Tuesday night and spent Wednesday hanging out at my dad's house, catching up on sleep, watching TV and just generally relaxing. We also had some fantastic Chinese food at The Fortune Cookie. I worked on a difficult paper for school so that took up some of the evening for me.

Thanksgiving morning found us traveling to the home of my dad's cousin, BG, for the feast. I saw some people I hadn't seen for awhile and I met some new people too. There were four very special guests at the meal that I spent a great deal of time with. Four of the Air Force recruits going through basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio joined us. The base has a program called Operation Homecooking where they match Air Force recruits with local families for holidays so the recruits aren't alone on the holiday. All four of the recruits I met were lovely young women who were so mature and so friendly.

My brother, Kelly, has spent 19 years in the Air Force and he started his career in basic training at Lackland Air Force Base so having those four recruits there was like having a proxy for my brother. Kelly is stationed in Japan right now and has been there for almost four years so we haven't seen him for holidays in quite awhile. It will be nice to have him back in the states next year.

After Thanksgiving, we headed back to my dad's house for much needed rest and relaxation. We watched a movie and I continued to work on my paper. We had planned to leave Friday afternoon. My dad and the hubs went to the shooting range on Friday morning and I ended up sleeping for quite awhile after they left. I really needed that long nap. When they returned, we decided to stay one more night and leave on Saturday. We made it home around 7 on Saturday evening and the hubs went out with his cousin, who was in town. I stayed home to work some more on my paper. Sunday found us at the in-laws house to have dinner and visit with the hubs's aunt and uncle who were here from Maryland.

It was a holiday of traveling, eating, talking, laughing, and having a wonderful time with wonderful people - nothing could be better.

Today, we are celebrating again, but this time it's a birthday. Our precious Peanut turns 3 today. Peanut has been the love and joy of our lives ever since we got her at 8 weeks old. She brings such life and happiness to our home and her birthday is always cause for celebration. She and her brothers, Chip and Norman, will be getting Milk Bones covered in peanut butter as a special birthday treat. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PEANUT!