Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 was not "my year" in any astounding way like I had tried to claim it to be at the end of 2012, but all things considered, I can at least say it wasn't a bad or horrifying year.  Sometimes that's enough.

So what did happen this year of note?
- The couple I mentioned last year had set a date did in fact get married, and they're fabulous and fantastic together.
- I'm fully prepared to share Vixen's 15th birthday with her in two short months, she remains blessed to be pretty darn healthy for her age.
- Dani has been doing better with her medicine too, allowing her to not move like she's 120 years old.
- I had a date.  Yeah, one.  *laugh*
- I made it yet another year at work.  Somedays that just seems shocking.  I've seen quite a few more people leave of their own choice and otherwise this year too, while others have one foot down the highway... so I'm happy to have a continued income.
- I attended my 20 year high school class reunion, and while it was kind of lame, that happened, it's been that long, I think that's noteworthy.
- While my mortgage is not yet paid off I did make some major strides this year, enough that I'm HOPING to cross it off when I turn 39, not just "before I turn 40" as I had stated last year.  Now, of course, that is all on contingency, so as long as I continue to be blessed and able to do so I'll be keeping up a good pace.
- I have found new joy in my ancestry hunt by adding the quest to photograph local cemetaries and add listings to FindaGrave.
- I have renewed my faith and vigor.  I know these things ebb and wane, but I am hoping to keep my eyes focused upward more than in the past.  He's too good to me to not do so.
- It's funny that as I reflect, after stating it wasn't a horrific or catastrophic year I am reminded of the fire in May and how easily things could have been very different.  That's an example of how good to me he is if ever there was one.

Where have I missed the mark?
- I still need to find my motivation to get healthy again.  I wanted to start running and aim for a 5k before my 40th birthday and while that seems insurmountable with my lack of motivation, I do still have (some) time.  But I'm tired of being heavy, despite loving food and not wanting always on my mind while being forced to deny every desire.
- I have not taken actions to move towards my other goals, for example the whole one date thing mentioned above, but I'm not quite sure how to take action on some of these things, nor am I ready to assume certain destinies that would send me barreling after some other goals.

What else have I been up to since my last post?
- I caught the new Hunger Games movie, which was decent.
- I saw Miss Tonya before she leaves us for another state in a few days.
- I hit the hockey game this fine evening (yay for a set of free tickets).
- I also got to see the Law family, which never happens often enough.  I marvel at how completely their son is a young man now.  True to my thoughts as I generate this post in general and with respect to how grown he is I ask - where DOES the time go?

Now, it's time for me to crash.  Yes, it's only a little after 10pm on New Years Eve, but I just can't make it.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I'm ready for a nap.  I got my butt to the apartment this morning and spent until mid-afternoon there.  The windows are wiped down (quickly, it may have been pretty nice out today but it was still too cold to fully wash the windows), the curtains ironed and rehung, everything accounted for, and general cleaning accomplished.  I'll probably still go do a little more dusting (once everything I kicked up today settles) and scrub the floors, but I'd say it's pretty done.  I wish someone had done the cleaning over here for me in the mean time.

My washer and dryer has been running a good bit in the past 24 hours, 4 loads to cover the linens, towels, curtains, comforter, and blankets for the apartment, then a couple of loads for myself.  This just gets me thinking that I prb need to pull the dryer connection to clear lint at some point.

I did have a very lovely gal stop by while I was cleaning, you know how you just get a feel for some people, so I'm hopeful.  Well, actually I had a couple of other gals stop by too - Heidi and Miss Ella!  Which was a very welcome little break.

I ran to Altmeyers to get a new table cloth for the table since the old one was just too big and ended up buying myself a new shower caddy, so I can move the old one to the apartment to give a little more flexibility in the bathroom.  Then to Iggle so I could snag my pork to cook for New Years.

Maybe a fruity with Mithy tonight?  Maybe.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Well here I am, finally, washing linens for the apartment and preparing to spend some time there tomorrow to turn it over.  I don't really have time to, but I have to.  Gah.  So much for trying to catch a little extra sleep this weekend.

Keeping with the busy theme, last night I was able to catch up with Casey and Vanessa, Phil and Christine, Beff, and Rex for some Lube.  I haven't seen C&V in quite a while, so that was a nice catch up.

I also finally remembered to peek at my Verizon bill for the past month.  Remember how my phone line (and thus internet) was out for a full week over Thanksgiving?  Remember how they said I would get credited for the time I did not have service?

So I had to make a call.  That's $11 back in my pocket, thank you very much.  Yes, I'm cheap, but it's for a greater cause!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas cyber-friends!  The weather has been cold, but clear, so that was a blessing for today.  We did get a dusting of snow yesterday as to give us a slightly white Christmas.  I crossed off a significant amount of my wish list, which is just ridiculous.  I put TOO much on there on purpose folks!  Mom was also very pleased that I didn't squabble about the jacket or sweater she bought me.  Hopefully I can keep myself from sullying the antique white of the sweater in the first couple wearings.  One thing that disappeared from the stores before it could be snagged was a delightful smelling hand soap from Bath and Body Works.  Since it is out of the store already I treated myself by placing an order on ebay.

I slept in yesterday trying to squash what is left of the mess going on from my neck up.  I think at this point I've knocked out the heft of the cough and I may have escaped it from settling in my chest.  In the mean time my sinuses and eyes continue to burn like crazy.  I don't think there is infection involved as all is clear so to speak, but this is not pleasant.  If I'm in lights the burn in my eyes intensifies and it drives me to sneezing.

The girls unwrapped their gifts on Christmas eve before I headed to our 11pm church service.  They absolutely loved their presents from Aunt Jackie.  Santa and I have taken to only bringing treats to get us through a significant part of the upcoming year.  Yes, I also give the fuzzy equivalent of socks and underwear:  a new collar for Saffy and heartworm preventative for all

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Another very full day today.  I headed to the 8:30 service this morning as to avoid the Messiah cantata at the 11am.  From there I did a little shopping, more k-cups from Bed Bath and Beyond, a cute shirt from TJ Maxx, a couple other little things for mom to unwrap here and there.  Then I was back at Rey's to catch up with folks from my recent bible study.

On my way to church I made a point to note if the rain would just clear the rest of the way the weather would be simply perfect to go take more photos in a local cemetery.  So, by this point, when I realized it looked all clear for the afternoon my time home with the girls was short and I was back out the door.  500+ photos later I was home again to catch Beff.  She gave the girls a Christmas gift and we headed out to meet Slips at Off the Rak for our yearly celebration.  I didn't get back until after 9, so yea, one heck of a busy day.

I guess I should fold the laundry in the basket on my bed before I allow myself to crash out.  Work tomorrow?  *sigh*

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I can't believe we're only a couple of days from Christmas.  Again I repeat, where did this year go?  The past 24 hours are a good blur too.  I had a headache start to set in after lunch on Friday.  With the weather so nice, despite the pain I pulled myself off of the couch to make sure I made it to SS's annual holiday shindig last evening, but only after I caught up with my Aunt and Uncle for Rey's.  Note that Rey's was not a cure for the headache, nor was the tylenol sinus/allergy I took around 2pm, or the excedrin tension I took around 7, or the axert (way to freaking expensive prescription migraine medicine) that I took before attempting sleep around 1:30 in the morning.

I already wasn't going to get much sleep, but when I did wipe out I didn't rest well thanks to the pain, it was definitely one of the worst ones of the year, those that you simply cannot find a comfortable position and the only thing you can do to sooth yourself is to moan and whine while rubbing your skull.

This morning I did it, I took the very last excedrin sinus that I had, which to my knowledge is STILL not back out on shelves.  This to me spells doom for the next huge shift in weather.  Yes, I'll take the pain to give us a jump into the 50 degree temps (but I'll pass on all of this rain), but in the midst of said pain should this product not be back on shelves when I need it again, expect me to be really whiny about it for a couple of days until it passes.

I needed to get moving today to head to mom's.  She made me a quick breakfast and she was ready for a nap, so while I still had a little bit of residual pain dancing behind my eyes I too closed my lids for a few minutes.  Then it was time to head to my Aunt on my father's side as my cousin is in from CT.  We had a great visit, for which I am very thankful.  So, that brings me here.  I'm trying to get some laundry done as I know the next few days will be busier than I realize and I need to get a jump start to stay barely behind.

Friday, December 20, 2013

No matter what, Christmas does make an attempt at being depressing.  The weather should be decent and safe to drive, so I'm happy about that, but it's the little things that make it less than awesome.  Some tidbits:
- People who take the whole week off to spend it with family, I know you don't mean to, but when you're all shocked that I wouldn't also take the whole week off because, well, it's Christmas, think about it.  I go ON Christmas and celebrate, and then, that's done.  There aren't kids home from school at my house or tons of family coming and going, and frankly, not even alot of plans to catch up with people.  So, blah.
- In the same vein, I know you're busy and I'm not, but it still sucks when you try to make plans to see me around Christmas and they are presented with "this day/time, but maybe this one if the first one ends up not working out for us due to this laundry list of reasons".  What I mind ends up with is "Judy, reserve two time slots for me, and if something better comes up I'll bump you from the first one at a moment's notice leaving you sitting at home at that point in time bummed because you were mentally geared up to go out and have a little fun."  Yes, yes, I know the weather is a legitimate factor.  If your caveat is only "unless the weather is really bad" I'm with you all the way and I am totally not talking about you here.
- Sure seems like every OTHER group at work is having little parties, get togethers, and luncheons.  Yeah.  In the mean time, the ppl I typically eat lunch with are unavailable because they're invited to those... and I get to eat alone.  For some reason, that does not make me festive at all.
I really don't want to be grumpy, but it's hard.  Those moments when I feel alone or "second best" as detailed above, yes my mind does go to Christmases past and the losses I've felt then.  I had claimed 2013 for me, it was going to be a good year.  Here it is a week and a half from being over and all it did was pass (quickly).  What of it?  So, how do I go about making the change that is so desperately needed to not feel this way again next year?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Autumn (the Durango) headed to Wagner's today.  Turns out it is a wheel bearing, which they had and were able to replace, however the bolts they had to remove as part of that assembly (my phrasing, might not be a good way to say it) were quite rusted and not going to go back in.  That would be the part that no one in town had, yep, the closest ones are in Cleveland, go figure.  They are ordered and if the weather cooperates they should be here tomorrow.  This means I had to rely on the kindness of Beff to bring me home from work and to take me there tomorrow.

They are also going to do whatever they said (resealing?) the tires as I've been having a hard time keeping air in 3 out of 4.  Probably another victim of corrosion exacerbated by the evil stuff they spray on the roads in the winter.  I know I should just appreciate that it clears the roads, but the fact is, around here, they don't really clean the roads, so really, why throw crap on them if you're not going to remove the snow and slop first?

Wait, they do clean one road rather well... the one in front of my house.  Richland seems to be excited that my vehicle isn't here, so they don't even need to slow down as they turn the corner throwing the slop up onto my property.  There were huge ice masses chucked into my parking area.  Thanks.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Any desires to head to Altoona this weekend were dashed by a displeased Durango long before the weather became a factor.  There are some noises and vibrations happening, couple that with an issue keeping air in the front driver's side tire and I have an appointment Monday morning to see what's up.

When I woke at 7ish the snow had not started yet, even though it was suppose to start around 1 or 2am, but by 9am it was coming down at a pretty good clip.  So, I made sure to make my grocery run quickly after I got moving, as I knew I wouldn't want to leave the house again.  At this point, waking from my afternoon nap *grin*, I'd say I have a solid 5" of new snow.  This is way too much for December already, I hope the pace doesn't amplify in January and February.  I would just go pretend and gawk at houses by my sister, but even they had ice and couldn't go anywhere last weekend or so.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

So, tomorrow is that time of year, again.  First time it landed on a Friday since way back when too.  Meh.  You best believe I want to stop and buy a lottery ticket tomorrow.  Cosmically I am "owed".

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Move over Betty Crocker, it's cold out and I'm nesting.  Monday night I made my stuffed shells (finally) with a small twist as I wanted to see what a wee bit of pumpkin in the stuffing mix would do.  They're decent, not a ton of pumpkin flavor, perhaps I could have used a little more.
Since I then had a partial can of pumpkin I went hunting for recipes to use it, preferrably with some cream cheese, and came out with a bread mix.  Despite the cook time being a good bit longer than the recipe called for they turned out quite yummy, they being one regular loaf shape and 12 cute little pumpkin top shaped muffins.
Last night I totally should have just ate leftover stuffed shells, but I also had a container of brussel sprouts that needed to get cooked up before bad things happened to them, and an Alton recipe I had been eager to try.  I'm simplifying a wee bit but:  pecans, not a whole ton of butter, brussel sprouts, and cranberries with salt and pepper.  Frickin yum.  So today's leftover lunch is a bit eclectic, but I remain well fed.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Here I sit on the first Sunday night w/o the Walking Dead (at least til February) or a bible study group to go to.  While I want the activity I sure have no desire to leave the house as cold as it is today.  At least I can say I got a good bit of cleaning done, caught up on my java class (again), and a few more birth records for relatives located this weekend.

Last night was the work Christmas party.  I have to admit, I feel like that was a closing chapter... be it for me or on a larger scale, I cannot say, but it felt like the end of an era.  With very little sleep last night as a result... I think I'm heading to crash pretty soon.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Dear fast food workers,
You need to understand, you cannot make $15 an hour.  I know you want to, everyone does, but it is simply not feasible, at least not as a fast food worker.  Recognize that if your salary jumps as such the prices in your store will jump, and those of us NOT granted a 100% pay increase would stop coming to your store completely, meaning you would have a 100% pay cut (you'd lose your job).  If we press the minimum wage up it drives up other prices, basically putting you back at square one and dragging others that were doing a little better down (because they don't get a boost in pay to compensate for the increase in prices).
Heck that might happen anyhow.  I know if I owned one of your stores and had 10 employees at $7.25 an hour and I was forced to increase that to $15 an hour, you best believe I'll be doing my best to see what I can shift around to get by with only 5 or 6 to minimize that loss of revenue on paying my employees.  What can I do to automate or make more efficient?  What jobs can I double up?  Who can be pressed to add one more task to their to do list and alleviate it from someone else.  You can also trust that you will find a great deal more competition for the position you hold, and you best be concerned if you don't consider yourself good at math or fast in completing the tasks at hand.
You can however choose to work towards a skilled labor position that does in fact make the kind of money you're requesting.  Understand that your current position is one that many people consider to be positions for high school students, short term work, part time jobs, a starting point, not a career.  If you truly love the work that is fantastic, but I hope that there are opportunities for you to advance there such that you can assume a management role making and justifying the wages in question.
If I don't like my job or the salary they give me I can ask for more (not mandate that you pay me more even if I'm not qualified) or I can look for another job.  I'm pretty sure someone else would love to have my job at my current salary.  This is the concept of supply and demand.  If I had some awesome knowledge or unique skill set the chances of them replacing me easily are low, so I have a better chance of getting a pay raise to stick around.  Are you confident that no one else would want your job for what you currently make?  Hell, if I lost my current job and your position paid $15 an hour, that might make it onto my short list of temporary positions to keep my bills paid. You're on notice.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Today is the big day.  My access should be restored by 9:15pm.  Hopefully I'll still go to bed at a reasonable hour.  There really is a long list of things I need to do online at this point.
Last night I drug the Beff along with me to a women's dinner at Rizzo's.  I am in an eat like a fiend mode at the moment, so the meal was extra enjoyable.
This morning I was woke way too early by a chirping noise, which I quickly assumed was the smoke detector bitching about the battery.  You'd think these things would have light sensors and not have their hissy fit in the middle of the night.  So I was up to pull the battery.  Yes, yes, I also did a quick inspection in the house and down the basement stairs just to make sure.  Shortly thereafter, more chirping.  Back up to find it was actually the battery in the carbon monoxide detector.  Mind you, this thing plugs in, so why exactly does it have a battery?  Everything unplugged and battery free Saffy was happy (the chirps from those things send her into a tissy) and I returned to bed for my last hour.  This of course means the alarm scared the crap out of me this morning and I woke tired just from things being a bit off kilter.
The good news here is that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I'd hear these going off in the middle of the night!  The bad news is that it also made me think about other things such as:  should I put a smoke detector in the stair well coming up the basement too?  Then I also realized that with the current set up of my bedroom my immediate escape route in a fire with the girls is not very convenient.  Oh how quickly my mind gets drawn into processing.

Monday, December 02, 2013

I can't believe my super long weekend is over already and I'm back to it.  Without internet access I'll admit there were some moments of anxiety over the weekend.  So many things were scribbled down that I need to do as soon as I regain access.  It's rather shocking how much I rely on my access.  Heck, even getting ready to call my Aunt on Saturday, when I realized I didn't save her number in my phone.  Now what?!  So, I used a little of my data plan to get the info I needed.
That accomplished I did head back down the mountain on Saturday, primarily to go to my class reunion, but I stopped in at my Aunt's before to give her copies of the information I've found on our ancestors on dad's side.  It was interesting to see her reaction to some of it as it surprised her as well.  Hopefully Pap won't be waiting for me when my day comes asking "why did you dig that up and share it?!"
So, the class reunion... well, it was disappointing.  Only 53 people reserved for Saturday night (that includes guests) and there remained a full table and other seats sitting empty.  I sat with Jill, whom I had reconnected with earlier in the year due to a hospitalization on her part, and chatted for a while with one classmate that I went to school with from elementary up, that was nice, but other than that, there really wasn't much going on there.  I guess there was 3x as many folks there the night before, at the bar.  *rolls eyes*  I did get a shock with one of the folks who never spoke to me being pleasant, but other than that, nothing has changed in 20 years.  I really wish some of my old friends that aren't very technologically savvy had been there.
Sunday night was not only the mid-season finale for Walking Dead, but it was also the last night in my bible study, so that's kind of sad.  I really enjoyed getting together with everyone each week. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

I'm officially loosing my mind.  I am without internet access at home.  Wednesday afternoon I headed home to do a little bit of reading for work and march into my long holiday weekend.  Well, I couldn't get a connection and restarted the modem a couple of times as I am use to needing to do.  It is 9 years old after all.
I then decided to call Verizon to see if there was a known issue.  They tested my line and told me they believe it was my modem, that they'd order me a new one.  Ok.  Time to receive:  two business days.  But wait, it's Wed before Thanksgiving, so that's Friday... Monday.  GAH!  For your little blast of comedy here, I sat down on the couch in a bit of a huff at one point that evening and riiiiip.  My favorite flannely around the house pink comfy pants split at the ass.  Nice.  Mind you this is pre-Thanksgiving meal.  *shakes head*
But wait, it gets worse.  Early the next morning I thought about it.  After returning from Tgiving dinner I decided to dig out a phone and plug it in.  I still am able to make calls, so I was curious.  No dial tone.  So I called back Thanksgiving evening and they were able to say that they now recognize that there is a voice outage that effects me.  So, wait, you "tested my line" and didn't see that there was a problem w/ the phone on Wed night?  Whatever, I've got a new modem on the way, but the line might come back up sooner, awesome... until they say that it should be resolved by Wednesday December 4.  A WEEK?  The phone line will be down for a week?  How is that slow of repair acceptable in this day and age?  *sigh*  I am definitely in withdrawal already, thus I stopped at work on a day off to read through what I'm missing.
So to end on a positive note.  I just want to say that I am still calling my Thanksgiving blessed.  Not only did the roads stay clear, allowing me to spend another Thanksgiving with my mother, but also I got to see two cousins that I have not seen in a very long time since we spent it at my Aunt A's.  It was also interesting to meet my cousin's significant other, who is an artist.  As we spoke and I asked about his work he showed me some images on his ipad and they instantly looked recognizable to me.  I'm pretty sure this is the stuff they sell at the one local country-type store, which he said was very likely.  I can't wait to pop in there and check out the names at the bottom right.  How neat!
I hope everyone had a good holiday blessed with their families and friends.  I also hope you laughed off a few calories reading this post.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

One batch of premixed/frozen puppy treats made (that counts as my first batch of holiday cookies, right?) and 80% of the gifts I already have purchased wrapped.  It was a successful afternoon.  The living room is a mess, but why put it away?  I will have more to wrap very soon.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I ventured out three times today and each trip was colder than the one before it.  The first to church to cover my time slot commitment in the prayer vigil.  The second to get some groceries, which let me tell you is no easy feat when also in the midst of a fast with my church (I did mine a day behind everyone else, well, because I'm a slacker and had my days all mixed up).  The last was to head to Eburg for the viewing of the old friend from college who passed.

I got part way there and the flakes had begun to fly.  I just knew that wasn't a good thing.  By the time I was at the funeral home it was laying, but I was still hoping it would stay to just eburg.  Oh no.  The trip home was rather unpleasant and was full of my flashers and prayers.  I passed overturned vehicles and saw many other lights flashing on the opposing side of the highway.  I know some folks behind me slowed down significantly after I gave them a bit of a demonstration as to how icy the road was.

I decided to stop and eat once I arrived in Richland as I was shaking a good bit from the cold, but I suspect because I hadn't eaten it was exacerbated.  I had only planned to keep my fast to sundown, so around 8pm is well with me  By the time I left there there were more lights all over the place on the one busy road near my house.  This is a spot that I always worry about because, while it's not steep or sharp curves it is ALWAYS slick if the roads have anything on them.  So, I came in through the bank parking lot to avoid it entirely.  I'm home... and once again pouting that here I am still in Johnstown.  I really and truly hate the weather here, it terrifies me.  It's time to hibernate for a few months.

I pray everyone else got home safely.  While the circumstances were not pleasant it was good to see some old friends.  It's funny how time changes nothing and everything all at the same time.  I would say tonight was a warm up for my upcoming class reunion, but rest assured if there is a chance of crappy weather I'll be taking the monetary loss and staying home.  Right now I might be willing to miss Thanksgiving too.

Friday, November 22, 2013

After some confusion midweek on ancestry records I think I have some accurate stuff now, but there remains some confusion as it looks like my Greatgrandmother had my Grandfather and he was reported to the records by a midwife, but she didn't "claim" him until quite a few years later.  It also shows her father w/ the same last name, so, I assume she was unwed?  Is the last name he was given in the birth record his father's last name?  Very very interesting.
Enough about me and what I've been spending (wasting) too many cycles on lately.
While I've seen/heard of quite a few folks I graduated from high school with passing away, yesterday I was shocked to hear of a friend from college's sudden passing.  Even with other medical issues, this death was truly untimely.  Much love and prayers to his family.
In my other world things went down once again.  It's quite sad that bad things happen to some good people, but it's especially heartbreaking right before the holidays.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Score!  I created an account on an Italian Genealogy site late last evening.  Figuring what the heck I posted some information I know and boom.  This morning I had several replies including ones that showed me the handwritten record of my grandmother's birth in Bonefro and of her parents' marriage... which listed both of their parents names!

I'll tell you this, my family is notorious for passing down names.  Michele had Francesco, who had a Michele, who had a Francesco.  In the same family on the opposite side Maria had a Lucia who had a Maria who had a Lucy... oh, but the one Michele's Frank also had a Lucy.  Then there is dad, Anthony, who is most likely named for his grandmother Antoinette, and his sister had the same middle name.   GGGrandfather Giuseppe?  Uncle Joe.  Grandpa Nicola, my dad's son Nicholas and oh, that one Frank had a Nicholas too.

Either way good stuff, especially since this is the first real progress on my father's side.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'm proud of me today.  I managed to sleep in a little, but then forced myself onto the to do list.  So, there is a good deal cleaned up around the house (again I point out that this never ends, so why even do it, but I did).  I also crossed off a few more name on the Christmas shopping list.  I also got through 2 weeks worth of my online java class (I forgot to bring home the computer I'm doing this on last weekend).

I meant to bathe Saf today, and the weather would have been ideal for it too, but I forgot to do so earlier in the day (read:  with enough time for her to dry completely before bed).  Actually, the weather was so nice today I had to pull out a claritin.  Not complaining, just saying.  I guess I shouldn't have skipped out on my allergy shot at the three week mark (this past Wednesday).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's officially winter in Jingletown.  Visiting with mom yesterday my cousin asked mom if she was ready for the snow... and sure enough.  I could tell before I even turned the corner in the kitchen from the bright glow coming in the house.  I have about two inches on the deck.  I know Richland is "special" like that and it is likely to be gone in no time, but I'll start complaining now.  I really dislike needing to clean my vehicle, stepping in the snow, and having some brush off into my clothing.  Nevermind opening the car door and how they're all perfectly designed so a big puff of snow plops squarely on your seat.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

An amazing hit last night expanded one branch in the family tree to a set of GGGGGGGGGGGGGGrandparents.  I feel distrustful of the information somehow, it's just crazy to think about.  We're talking born in the late 1400's!

With this progress the desire to keep digging is amplified.  But I also want to stay active on FindaGrave and I need to get Christmas shopping done.  Feels like there is so much to get done with so few hours in the evenings.  So, as soon as this coffee is in me I'll be getting to something... and the cleaning will wait.  Thank goodness it's a long weekend.

Oh, and my Royal Caribbean account updated already - it's official, I'm diamond plus!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Last night a friend contacted me with information of change.  It's no surprise but I guess the phrase from Type O "the end my friend is not near, the hour, in fact is quite here" applies.  Changes are afoot and they benefit none of us, signalling only the creep towards demise we've all been anticipating.  Should we be use to this by now?  Maybe.  It's interesting how some tidbits this person didn't realize they had aligned w/ other rumors I've heard and other things I've been waiting for (things I'd do if it were my bottom line).

Monday, November 04, 2013

While it did cool down quickly over the weekend it was still sunny and the skies were blue, so I figured I would take advantage.  On Saturday I cleaned up the yard to prepare for winter.  The wildflowers are all out, the gladiolus bulbs are planted, and, most importantly, the evil hedges are trimmed back as to avoid them getting bent over with piles of snow.  My guy mowed too so it really looked polished at the end of the day.

Sunday after all of the church-type activities in the morning I headed to eat since Hoss was doing a fundraiser for a group.  While in line I started talking with a woman and her mother and, stepping out of my comfort zone I accepted an invitation to dine with them.  It was a lovely experience and I'm so pleased to have gotten to sit down and chat with them.  I definitely believe in destiny and I am working on learning to accept invitations and opportunities, so I'm glad I stepped up (for once).  This got me out on the road a little later than I would have otherwise gone, but I still managed to get out to a few cemeteries to hunt for graves of relatives.

First I headed to Carrolltown where I quickly realized there is only about 6 different last names that were prolific in the area and believe me, the Strittmatters were one of them.  I was able to walk straight up to some that I was seeking, which means I now have visited and photographed the graves of my GGGrandparents and GGGGrandparents.  I didn't find the other set of GGGGrandparents located here, but I will, don't worry.

I then headed to Loretto, and while it was starting to get dark quickly I did manage to find my great grandparent's Tomlinson, and a few other Illigs and Strittmatters, but I'm not sure where they tie in if at all at this point.  I also didn't find the GGGrandparents that are located here, yet.  At least now I know where the cemeteries are.

I look forward to the spring so I can take a ton more photos and log them in FindAGrave.  In the mean time I guess I'll have to focus on online hunting, because it's getting way too chilly out there way too fast.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Back on dry land once again... after a week onboard Grandeur of the Seas.  Yes, the very same ship we were on in May, the one that caught fire.  She is beautiful once again and treated us very well, minus a water main break that had us without water in the wee hours on one night (I wouldn't have noticed if they hadn't sent letters to each room about it).  This time we went the inexpensive route and did an interior guarantee, so we ended up down on the second floor, but very near the larger bank of elevators (perfect).  We booked this sailing after learning a couple we were adopted by last fall prompted us to.  Then we started gathering those that would join along and ended up filling a table of 8 total.

It was interesting to see some new things happening like the use of the seapass for all of the C&A coupons, a daily half off happy hour special on drinks, and the automatic charging of gratuities (instead of listening to the schpeal about putting them on your card all week).  We kept busy going to karaoke, trivia, shows, and the Halloween activities!  Yes, they decorated - some - and added a special party with a costume parade and candy and did a group Thriller dance.

We arrived mid-afternoon one day, so we stuck close to the port heading along the South shore to Horseshoe Bay, where we had some fun in the water and walked along the beach a bit.  The full day we headed to St George's via a ferry to Hamilton and a bus up to BAMZ, which was nicer and more enjoyable than I expected, and had a nice lunch at the Tavern by the Sea (which was fantastic) before taking a walk to the Unfinished Church.  For our last partial day we headed to Hamilton for a little bit of shopping.

The weather in Bermuda was incredible.  They were calling for rain all three days we were to be there, but only saw showers on the last partial day.  The first full day and part of the last sea day after departing Bermuda were also unseasonably pleasant.  But the biggest shocker was coming in to a little rain that had passed and a gorgeous sunny ride home, even into PA.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Yesterday there were just a few flakes attempting to form in the falling rain.  Today, just in time for my drive to work there was little snowballs falling.  It wasn't quite hail, but truly tiny little snowballs.  Meh.  Winter is here.  Time for me to want to curl up in a bed and sleep for 4 months.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Go figure.  This says I belong in North Carolina.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I neglected to report that I went to see Carrie yesterday afternoon.  I do love Stephen King's stories, but I'm not a great reader, so often his books take me quite a while to get through.  That was not the case with Carrie.  I remember powering through the book on a weekend while living in NC while the boys were together gaming.  I did enjoy the movie even if it does upset me to see what those girls did to Carrie... yes, I was cheering her on a bit, is that wrong?
I had a very full weekend and the weather was rather agreeable, so I won't complain (for once) that it is over.  Saturday I headed to visit w/ mum for a while, but not until after the laundry was well under way.  Since it was decent out I was able to pull her garden plants.  I can't believe how many tomatoes she still had growing and shifting to red.  Sunday was a good deal focused on churchy stuff, but I also found time to go grave hunting/photographing before church and before bible study.
You see, I've discovered the wonders of findagrave.com while doing my heritage research.  Given the joy it brought me in finding information that will take me to locate other ancestors graves and how quickly a volunteer acted in CA to take a photo in response to my request I'm sold.  My first venture out was to hunt for a gravesite that also had a request for photo here in Jtown.  Surprisingly I found it pretty quickly and was able to pay it forward.  I figured a little exercise and some time in the reasonable temps was a good idea so I headed to another cemetery later in the day.  I had one name on my list, but my goal was to take a slew of photos so I could start supplying images even without requests.  Me and my weird hobbies, but at least I warmed my camera back up since it has been a while.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Yesterday my mail included an item marked postage due and an envelope demanding the money from me.  Isn't that the person who mailed its responsibility?  Unbelievable.  I think the next time I am forced to do his job for him (marking things that don't belong here for forwarding or delivering mail to neighbors) I'll leave an envelope for him demanding pay for my services.

It's been a long week, and I so needed the massage I had scheduled yesterday.  I cranked out my classwork last night, so at least I can focus more of my weekend on relaxing and a bit of cleaning.  The last of the laundry is already tumbling, so at least I started off on the right foot.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Each time I've looked out my back door today there has been no less than three squirrels working their booties off out there (peak of 6 at once).  Needless to say, Safyre is about ready to loose her mind.

BTW... vendors, how about you just send me a coupon, not one that says "happy anniversary" on it?  Um... not sure how you even know today is my antiversary.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I feel bad that I cancelled out on mom today, not that we had anything set, but I was due to head down.  Between people being in town and the rain last night that I thought was going to continue today I figured it was for the best and would allow me to get more done around here.

I was up early, go figure after going to bed early, and cranked through my weekly online class lessons then somehow got a burr in my butt. I gathered up everything that was slated to go to Goodwill, made a list so I could enter it in to ItsDeductible, and hauled it all off, but not before I was inspired to put everything away in the display cases in the dining room.  I guess you can say I've officially given up on the guy coming back to do the trim.  The trim isn't bad, but not having a transition that matches between the rooms is a little sad, and I'll have to figure out how to cut a little off on some of the trim to get the vent covers in.  I also did some dusting and other smaller activities that I am surprised I accomplished today.

I didn't hear from anyone that was in until it was a bit too late, but at least I did get to go have a meal with the Schmou family.  It's been a long time since I've seen the kids.  The sushi was yummy, but the prices for a single martini have jumped up a good bit since the last time I ordered one there.  I guess that's the last time I'll do that.  I'm also rocking a bit of a headache... so what's in sushi that would pre-migraine me?

One more day until the Walking Dead!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The week went pretty fast and as beautiful as last weekend was, this weekend looks to be rainy.  Since I last checked in we did manage to get the flight booked (without that fee *smile*) and a few other details worked out.  I'm starting to panic since it is technically the middle of October and Christmas will be here before I know it.  I'm more ill prepared than I have ever been for the holidays this year and the ideas for most simply are not coming.  I did pick up another gift this evening, a hand made one from the most talented lady owner at Everyone Drinks.

It is also to that time of year where, as it grows dark so much earlier, I am ready for bed way too early.  Last night I could have crawled into bed at 8 had my sister not called and tonight here I am ready again, before 8.  To think I already did that gift pick up and stopped at a happy hour briefly.  Yes, another friend is departing the area.  What's the count for the past two years now?

I've been pondering longer term exit strategies to make it less painful when the time comes.  As I get closer on paying off the mortgage I can consider other options.  Maybe buying land, but then there is the upkeep from a distance or the press to build immediately, maybe just stockpiling so much cash that to hell w/ needing a mortgage at the next place... yeah, I don't want to be here that long, but you get my point.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Yay for the weekend.  The weather was absolutely beautiful (minus a bit of an unexpected downpour on Friday night).  Johnstown made it near if not into the 80s today.  Beff and I headed towards Greensburg on Saturday with designs on stopping at the Latrobe airport to book a flight with Spirit Airlines.  We were quite disappointed to see that they only sell tickets there at the airport from 9am-5pm M-F.  Gee, how convenient.  So, there is no way you can reduce your cost by $34 ($16.99 fee each direction) unless you don't work, which means you can't afford a flight in the first place.  Boo. Maybe booking with them just isn't meant to be, I guess we'll see.

Granted, it wouldn't be worth it to drive out there just for that, so we had planned on some shopping.  I didn't find a single Christmas gift however, go figure.  I should know better than to try mall type areas for holiday shopping, I always strike out.  After returning back to the Jingle we headed to my first Tomahawks game since a coworker gave me a set of tickets he had won.

I also tried to use the $5 gift "card" (credit card) I got for purchasing paint from Home Depot for the second time and AGAIN had issues.  Seriously, just send me a regular gift card or a check that I can deposit.  A credit card that is supposedly worth only $5 but runs and processes for more than that simply confuses the hell out of companies and results in an inability to use the damn thing.

Today was all about church, vacuuming, brushing dogs, scraping old stickers off of car windows, and grocery shopping.  Exciting, right?  I really need to get some other cleaning done.  One more week until the Walking Dead season premiere!  You know I can't wait.

Friday, October 04, 2013

3 rawhides = silence.  Why don't I give them big treats more often?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I am so tired of listening to the whining of our elected leaders.  I wonder could they even form a sentence if they were forbidden from mentioning or referencing the "other side".  Stop it.  Quit telling me what "those other guys" want or don't want and tell me what you're going to do.  This is bullcrap.  I also detest having a president that throws himself on the floor like a child having a temper tantrum if he doesn't have his way.  "I'll just veto it or sign another executive order!" ~= "I'm taking my toys and going home!"
What part of the people do not want Obamacare, it is not what you painted it to be, and it is unconstitutional (I don't care what the current 'ruling' is) to FORCE people to purchase something do you not understand?  Oh, I know, you understand perfectly.  Welcome to the last death throws of our country.
At least I see a few people who were bowing and scraping at the president's name starting to see the light via posts on facebook.  It's entertaining to see the die-hard "I love O" people starting to realize how much this will cost THEM.  God, save us from ourselves.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My body is quite weary.  I worked outside a while this morning, after fighting with Eclipse a little longer (unsuccessfully to get things working properly on my machine) and for quite a few hours this afternoon.  It's looked like rain could have happened at any point, so I'm calling myself blessed that it held off.
  • There are 4 garbage bags and one dog food bag full of pulled plants, raked walnut shells, trimmed rose bushes, and other shrubs.
  • The red hibiscus is in the ground out back with a few of the gladiolus bulbs I pulled a few weeks back and some hostas that I got on clearance at one of the dollar store.  I know it's not the right time of year to plant them, but if just one takes along the left side of the deck it will be worth it for the price I paid.
  • I even leveled out the caves that Saffy has created under the deck.  Of course, while doing that I spotted another instance of the idiocy of the previous owners of this house.  I'm not going into details, I'll just say that it supports my theory on the lifespan of the deck.
  • I also wrapped up the boundary fencing from the garden and put it, along with the tomato cages and sticks away.  The garage is mostly in order for the Tib too, so when the time comes that won't be too painful.
Sadly there is plenty more that still needs done outside before the snow starts flying.  Some I can accomplish, some I will struggle to do reaching from a ladder on uneven ground, and even more that I simply cannot handle due to the height or pitch of the roof.

I did pause long enough today to have lunch with Beff and Slips.  Since this was on the schedule I knew I couldn't head to Altoona, as I probably should have today.  If I'm going to stay here, the above is the least I could accomplish.

Now what... maybe I'll fight w/ java more, or at least watch the videos/lessons and get that out of the way.  There is Christmas shopping on my mind lately too.  But right now, I think it's time for a nice hot shower.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First frost for 2013 this morning.  I sat and waited for the defroster to do its job this morning, there was no way I wanted to scrape before the end of September.  Last year we made it to October 8th.  Is this a sign for this winter?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Today we celebrated the marriage of P and C.  The rain came, the curls fell out of the hair, but it was still a lovely ceremony.  I didn't get a ton else done today, but I did make my run through Fritz's, Big Lots, and Ollies this morning, then to Iggle this afternoon between the ceremony and reception.  I guess I have to clean tomorrow.  Meh.  All but 1 item has shipped from the pile of ebay items.  Glad it's almost done and the house is mostly cleared out.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blogger is fixed - yay!  Tonight ends a whole slew of Miche items up on eBay.  So far, so awesome.  Feeling a bit blessed - again!  At this point it is not just my fun money for my next cruise, but, well, it's more than paid for my cruise and tips onboard, and I bet there is still some left to buy a few drinks.  Ok, ok, I didn't see how much I'll owe in fees, but I'm very very happy.  Anyone want to help carry boxes into the post office?  :)

Let's see, what else is going on.  I've been keeping up on my online free class and readings for the bible study, well, maybe it isn't really a bible study per se, but you get what I'm saying.  The bee guy was back earlier this week.  He felt the hive behind the retaining wall has been around for a while longer and might require another treatment.  I haven't seen anything out there, but it hasn't been super warm, so who knows.

The Wild One convinced me to start up on the 17-day diet again at the beginning of this week, so I've been eating yogurts and way more fruit and veggies than any human should.  I'm waiting for my protein to come out of the oven.  At least then I'll have some left over chicken for tomorrow's spinach and strawberry salad.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

So, on Friday I had to pick up the Tiburon from getting more clear coat repainted, this time on the passenger door handle.  I was a bit fretty about that cash going out, but it's something that needed done to keep Drake going strong for years to come, so I sucked it up.  While there to drop it off I saw a sign for their detailing, which runs nearly $80.  He needed cleaned, but that definitely was something I could (eventually) do myself, so I didn't say a word.  Imagine my surprise when I pick the car up and they've cleaned out the inside, vacuuming and wiping things down with protectant!  YAY!

I probably would have been a little more psyched about it in that moment had I not spotted yet ANOTHER bees nest while waiting to be picked up to go get the car.  Yep.  Now they're coming in on the side of the dining room window out front.  Ridiculous, isn't it?!  Oh, and pots of boiling water didn't finish the ones behind the retaining wall either.  Sad and half sick of the thought of the costs I called the pest control place to ask about what all is covered in the warranty.  Well, it sounds like I shouldn't have to pay more and he's coming on Monday.  Talk about feeling blessed.  If it warms up today I guess I should stand around outside like a creeper and pay attention at each window to see if there are any other areas that need taken care of.

I spent a bit of yesterday at mom's, so I didn't get much done, but I did stop back in at my Aunts to return her photos and ask a few other quick questions. I guess that means I need to get some maintenance cleaning done today.  Gah.  I'm too lazy for this.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Once again blogger is being contrary.  Gee, I'm so glad that they;re now owned by google... so reliable.  :/

Anyhow.  Today was quite the interesting day.  I am not at liberty to talk about it, but if you know me and have a finger on the pulse around Jingletown you know what went down today.  I guess it's kind of wrong to have the point of view of it being a good day?  I have been up way too late the past few nights and behind on things, so I used today to get caught up on several things and to run to deal with a few other things that had been put off.  Feeling caught up definitely eases my stress a little, so thus it was a good day.  Back to the normal tomorrow.

It was a very warm day today, warmest in a while, so I popped out to peek where the bees were.  Keep in mind I tried to plug the holes this past weekend because I thought they were dead after the spray into the hole w/ the nozzle.  Yeah, not so lucky.  So the opposite that now they're instead coming up through the ground (somewhere).  Not surprising, but frustrating.  Since you cannot buy the professional powder and the other options are around $50 for a full gallon of the powder (dear God why would I need that much), I am trying some home remedies and we'll see how they fare.

Tonight after the sun went down I tried the most basic:  hot soapy water, a whole bucket full.  I wrapped myself up in long pants and a hoodie sweatshirt tightened around my head just in case I pissed something off.  I have very little hope for this, but I might give it two nights worth of passes - tomorrow with boiling water.  It works on ants. :)

Saturday, September 07, 2013

I got a good bit done today, although it doesn't really feel like it.  The basics are accomplished (you know... vacuuming, laundry) but it's the less tangible things that are crossed off that feel bigger like hauling all of the remaining Miche stuff out back into the sun to take photos and creating ebay listings that are set to go live mid-next week.  Fingers crossed for quick processing of transactions and clearing these out of the house and into my bank account.

I'm presently wheezing like I use to do after mowing the lawn.  I am a bit concerned as the only thing I can think to blame it on is that I pulled out my tomato plants.  Why so early?  Because it was very obvious I had blight.  So I plucked the tomatoes that do not (yet) look infected and removed the plants.  I guess we'll see in five days how many of the green tomatoes that cover my counters and plastic containers remain green (or start to turn red rather than brown).  Given that blight is spread via spores, I think I just discovered something else I'm allergic to.

Last night after spending some time around a cookout with my tenant and a few of his friends I fought with my computer to get java compiling (later than I wanted to).  Ended up needing to download Eclipse instead, but at least I'm back on track with the stuff I'm working on.  The night before that was later than I wanted trying to pull together a free Shutterfly photo book (which I probably will work on for a little while now too).  Then there is vacation planning to research.  There is so much to do on the computer.  It is no wonder this thing is always on and in my lap if I'm sitting in the living room.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Bunny update....
Saf:  3 1/2
Dani:  1/2
Vix:  0

Java won't work on my home machine.  Chaps my butt.  That is all.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Well, I'm getting tomatoes.  Kind of.  I've had 4 green as green could be early girls plop to the ground in the past two days.  There is two more starting to turn on the plants.  I pulled two black krell, one of which looks like it may be chewed up pretty good by something.  The rest of the plants are flopping over under the weight of the laden limbs (despite being tethered the best I can to poles etc) and some of them are starting to dry up like they're done.  Not a good year at all, sadly.

I think the bees bailed after two bottles of spray at and around the entrance, but I did still spray in the hole w/ the stuff that had a nozzle last night.  I need to go back out when I don't think we have rain imminent and seal up that hole w/ the gray hardening agent Home Depot sold  me.  I did get two more bags full of weeds, clippings, and the start of removing my jungle of nasturtiums out yesterday.  I also got the rest of my corn (that I waited for in line for a half an hour for) cooked, cut, bagged, and into the freezer too.

I'm in a bit of a mood today.  Other people seem to be too, so they've fed my issues a bit.  Maybe I'll just go to bed early tonight.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Ok, no overnight company this weekend but Mithy and Miss Addie stopped in, so I guess it's good that it was in a slightly improved state.  Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day at Saint Michael festival volunteering at one of the food stands from the Portage Summerfest.  I met some nice folks, people watched, and got a bit of sun - I had a good time, but I was tuckered out last night, so it took a bit of effort to get up at a reasonable hour today.  Needed to be done in order to get to Altoona and return my sister to the State College airport.  I hung around at mom's for a little while after, but then headed back up the mountain.

I was feeling feisty so I got outside and pulled out the gladiolus bulbs, cutting them off, and gathering up the stalks for trash.  Let me tell you how many freaking bulbs there were - holy man.  To think I started with a bag of 10-15 a few years ago, it is just insane how many bulbs I have out there ready to replant out back somewhere.

I then started to pull a few weeds near the apartment, pulling out some of the crazy nasturtium plants and gathering seeds, even though I planned on really going at that tomorrow.  Well, I didn't get super far before I ended up with a bee by my hair.  As I flipped my hair about to try and deter him I saw the others coming out.  Fortunately I only got one sting - in my hair.  The kicker is I thought I had him dealt with before I headed in the house at a quick pace, but apparently he was still in there.  I felt the need to brush my hair to try and purge at the thought of bees in my hair.  That's when he stung me just back from my bangs and the he flew up in the bedroom towards the light.  By the time I came back in with the fly swatter he was AWOL.  So, now there is a bee somewhere in my bedroom.  Great.  Just great.  That won't create any anxiety or horrendous dreams this evening, now will it?

So, yea, I have bees (or some type of wasp - these looked more like the smaller bee-like ones that were near my door a month or so ago, not the yellow jackets) behind my retaining wall now too.  I spent over $200 to get rid of bees once this summer.  I highly doubt a different location will be covered on the warranty, but you know I'll call and try.  We'll see.  If not I'll be buying what I can get (now that I know the tactic they use is some type of powder) at Home Depot tomorrow.  I guess I won't be getting as much weeding done as I would have liked tomorrow, at least, not over there.  The weeds seem to be extra crazy this year.

Then there is out back, where I keep ending up with a sludge of mud washed down behind the basement door.  I suspect when the heavy rains hit it's just washing out over the back of the house, not into the gutter.  So, let me guess, it's time to pay someone to clean that again, right?  Well the leaves are just changing, so why bother.  Home ownership often results in me demonstrating I'm insane.  I guess I don't expect different results, but it sure would be nice.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The week went pretty fast what with working slightly longer days early in the week to facilitate taking off Thursday without using vacation time.  Since my sister was in it was a good excuse.  The weather has been pretty agreeable too, so it was nice to get to enjoy some of it.  Mom's living room looks great in the newly painted colors, the border in the kitchen is nice... and we finally got her bathroom sink faucets changed out too, which is perfect for there.  It was good to have the help, I'm glad I saved that job for when sis was in.

Convinced mom to go out for dinner, so we had Red Lobster and buzzed into Ross before I hauled back up the mountain to head back into work today.  I went in early and worked through lunch so I could head to my massage appointment.  It almost felt like two weekends in one week.. good thing too, since this weekend is pretty jam packed.

I may or may not have a house guest for the third weekend in a row.  How shocking is that?  I'm doing a wee bit of tidying and washing sheets tonight in case it happens.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Buckle in, this is going to be a long one... and it's all really good stuff!  I'll start by saying this weekend was so full and awesome, with the exception of the typical cleaning I needed to do Friday into Saturday.

Saturday evening I picked up my sister at the Jingletown airport and we headed for a bite to eat before settling in for the night.  The girls were so excited: Last weekend Grammy, this weekend Aunt Jackie!  We decided to try and surprise mom, so she wasn't aware that she was coming, but I had plans to head to Altoona on Sunday, so after church we headed down the mountain.  I sent Jackie around front, told to wait a few minutes and ring the doorbell, and I headed to the back.  When the bell rang mom's response was 'oh shit, who's selling what.'  When she peered out the door and figured out who it was she was QUITE surprised!

As is typical on a Sunday at mom's there was a big meal.  We didn't worry about there not being enough food, heaven knows the woman cooks for an army when I come.  While mom napped Jackie and I washed down the walls in the living room, preparing it for repainting.

Mom had contacted my dad's last living sister for me last week, and set up a time for me to go visit for a while.  She seemed as happy to see me as I was to be there, see her and my uncle, and get all of the information she had to share.  After several hours of hearing some great tidbits, learning some medical information that is good to know, confirming some things I had found, learning more I hadn't pieced together, I left with a bundle of her photos to scan (and return - I refused to take any to keep).  Needless to say I was up way too late last night getting these scanned in and the originals into my fire safe until I can return them.

I hadn't expected the treasure trove she would share with me by any stretch.  I now have several more photos of my grandparents, aunts/uncles, and father, but bigger still... I have photos of both of my great grandmothers!  Since then I was also able to find the sailing information for my Great Uncle coming into Ellis Island a few years after my grandmother (I had found hat I knew had to be her information last week).

I have more questions to ask now that some things have settled in my mind, I guess I should start documenting them clearly, so I don't get so off track and just wanting whatever comes to her mind.  I'm hoping to spend more time with my Aunt to get these answers and more information soon.

All of this carried over in my mood today, making my Monday very tolerable.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I forgot to mention that last night I also pulled the first tomato from the "early girl" plants.  I suspect half of it will need cut away to eat it as it's a bit deformed and brown in that area.  Fingers crossed I start to get a bounty soon.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Major score tonight - I found the ship's manifest for my grandmother!  The trick was using her middle name as given (Grazia) and realizing she came over while still under her maiden name.  So there are two further interesting twists here.

She arrived February 13, 1917...
First:  The Immigration Act of 1917 passed on February 5, and some of the extra questions they then were to ask are on the paperwork for my grandmother.  This tells me at least that she could read and write her own name, or they'd likely have sent her back.
Second:  She also arrived unmarried and she had my dad December 18, 1917.  I'm guessing I'll eventually find information that shows she was coming here to get hitched (she did state she was heading straight to Altoona).

Reading what I am right now, a book about the cruise ship industry (which of course launches into the history of immigration ships), it has really driven home what they went through.  Sure, everyone recognizes that third class passengers didn't have it that great, but 5-7 days by yourself with limited English, arriving to the confusion of Ellis Island with their tests and questions? 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why is it we can't remember someone's voice the way we can remember a face?  If it's a song/singer, sure we can come close... but I mean people that have left your life/passed away. Worse still why do those people sound so foreign and wrong to you if/when there is opportunity to hear the voice again?

Yes, yes, I'm being pensive again.  It's been a very slow start to the week, the clock is ticking by way too slowly during the day and my dreams are vivid and strange by night.  Which came first the pensive or the crazy dreams?  This one featured me being on an airline flight that basically banked upward and did a loop.  During the loop I realized the plane was going to crash and we were all doomed.  Surprisingly I started to pray in the dream.  I can honestly say I don't remember ever dreaming of prayer.

On Sunday I ran out and picked up two movies that I wanted to report on:
1).  Despicable Me, which I did enjoy.  I admit I enjoy Steve Carell's work.  It was interesting how some of the faces that Gru made I could see as Carell's facial expressions. Of course, now that I've seen this, I can try to catch Despicable Me 2 at Westwood.

2).  Sinister, which was also a pleasant enough surprise.  I needed a small dose of horror to counterbalance the comedy.  It was, however, pretty obvious what the deal was right off the bat in the movie, at least with respect to who did it if not the behind the scenes.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I forced myself out of the house after mom left, which means I did some shopping.  I've been itching for two different shirts, one with a cross type print, and one with an anchor or nautical theme.  I found the cross one while out, a really cute feminine red frilly top, and a navy wrap that seems to match the navy and coral dress I bought a while back spot on!

Since our local store will be closed for just over a month for remodeling starting on the 19th I also headed to Aldi.  The pickings were pretty slim, I suspect they won't make it to 7pm tomorrow, but I still managed to stock up on some nice inexpensive fruit, chicken, eggs, butter, and even some frozen chicken parm patties (let's see if they're half as good as the parm crusted frozen chicken tenders I bought from there a while back).
Last weekend while at my mom's I asked if she was going to make a trip up to my place to see my new dining room floor once the weather held cooler.  I had end of September or October in my mind... so when she called on Wednesday wanting to come up the next day I was floored.  I asked her to hold off a day to give myself a chance to clean and get it a little closer to mother-presentable and so I could convince her to stay the night into the weekend.

Surprise, suprirse, I spent most of Thursday night cleaning.  After work on Friday I came home and got dinner started before mom arrived.  So far we've eaten, slept, eaten, and she's sleeping again.  The girls were very excited to see Grammy, so much so that Saffy did catch her requiring a band aid.  I still maintain that my desire to hang tight and keep Saffy at bay was necessary, but given where I get my stubbornness from, someone kept telling me she was fine and could handle if Saffy was being spunky.  So I had stepped away to finish cooking last night's dinner when it happened.  Since then Saf has been chilled out, fortunately, the last thing I want is for anyone to inadvertently hurt mom.

The girls each got their own egg this morning (again- surprise, surprise) and are also sleeping out in the sun on the deck.  I'm also happy to report that mom said she can't smell dog, which means that the combination of removing the dining room carpet and employing the ozone generator to negate the caught odors has worked!  Not sure what her plans are for the rest of the day.  That said I may or may not get down there to scrub down living room walls as I had originally planned to do before she called with her intentions to visit.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happy birthday to my Miss Danika Nicole.  We've spent just over 6 years together of her 8 years in this world, and I can't believe it's been that long - time flies.  She remains my most mellow and laid back fuzzy child.  Her thyroid medication continues to keep her moving well enough.  At some point I'm going to stop citing what we did for an individual dog birthday, as it is our tradition to go to PetSmart and then to get some ice cream.  Dani also got a new dog bed for the living room last weekend.  The previous one was a bit small for her, but she always crammed into it, demonstrating her love for the bolster style bed.

On a bright note, it looks like the first of my "Early Girl" tomatoes are starting to ripen.  I really think they need to all hurry... for those not in the area I'll just state that it is presently 59 degrees and we didn't hit 70 today.  Autumn is truly already here.  I can hope for a nice burst of warm to help more turn quickly, but I suspect I'll be loosing a lot of the small tomatoes or those that are still but blossoms.  Amusingly, several of the plants are taller than I am.  Is there a way to get a tomato plant to stop growing upward and to get on the fruit making earlier?  I suppose I'll have to do a little reading.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I headed to mom's yesterday and did a little more weeding and trimming (2 more bags full).  Then I tried to get myself in trouble by ripping down the wallpaper border in the living room and leading up the stairs.  I'll need to head back to removed the backing that didn't peel off easily and wash down the walls so they're ready for when we can get it repainted.

I didn't get much done around here, just some general upkeep (cleaning in the bathroom and vacuuming), but that's okay.  I really don't want to kick up any more dust since my hives are still popping out.  Today I have two on the palm of my hand.  Want to talk about uncomfortable?

Friday, August 09, 2013

This week has flown, mostly because I had a whirlwind bit of travel here in the past few days.  I worked part of the day Tuesday before heading out to spend time with the girls before taking them to camp.  Then I hit the road to Pburgh where I caught up w/ Eggs for dinner (got my BBQ fix on) and to a hotel for the night before flying out in the morning.  PIT to Phoenix and then on to Oakland.  That in and of itself is a full days worth, but I was then picked up by folks who went a day or two earlier and we headed to afternoon meetings at Berkeley (admittedly that was kind of cool).

Got to spend the night at their guest house.  Wow the views!  They're basically built climbing up the side of the hill, which will let me tell you, allow even your most comfortable heels to create a blister pretty quick.  Next day a few more discussions on campus and then a meeting off campus towards San Francisco.  Since we were over there and had a few hours before our red-eye back we went across the Golden Gate Bridge, drove down the windy street, and spent a short period of time at Pier 39.  If RC were sailing out from around there, it would be a nice place to spend a day or to.  I'd love to go tour Alcatraz.

I got back into PA this morning, and after our drive back was home by 1.  Snagged the girls at 5 and I'm ready to drop into a coma tonight.

I also have to say that I make fun of California for the hippies, and it's a little painfully true.  Examples:
- Burgers everywhere.... turkey, veggie, some other type... none you and I are thinking of.
- Everything is marked as organic, hand fed, humanely raised, blah blah.  Heck, the tuna sammie listing even said it was 'dolphin free'.  I get what they're trying to say there, but it made me chuckle.
- We weren't sure how to dispose of our trays after lunch... the garbage was split into too many options.  Fortunately, when we got up and went to the garbage area everything was marked as to what went where.

I will also say that I wish I had a desire to be in CA.  There were a lot of young and good looking (also incredibly intelligent) guys there, including the one with a delightful french accent.

So the hives are still here... my face and neck has cleared, but I have spots still on my hands, arms, and legs, the legs are quite itchy I might add, my legs are scratched a bit raw.  I decided to look back to when I had a burst of hives before, at that point I had attributed it to a new birth control pill that had iron in them.  Today I look back and see that happened at the end of August last year.  With us heading into cooler weather seemingly early this year, could it be something local?  They didn't taper off while I was away, so does that mean it has nothing to do with something local? Fortunately, I can ask the allergist more questions at my appointment at the end of the month.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

I didn't get a ton accomplished today but it felt like quite the long day.  I had to be up right at 7 so Vixen's medicine was on time for her 11:15am blood draw.  Which, by the way, she put Satin's screams of torture to shame all because she didn't want to be restrained for the draw.  Nothing breaks my heart more than hearing one of them crying.

Prior to heading to the appointment the bug guy came.  Too much money later there is powder squirted at the entrances where we saw bees.  He believed it had to be two different hives.  Doesn't make a ton of sense since what I read said that yellow jackets wouldn't build anywhere near another hive of the same?

A few short hours later I headed to church to put in my hour volunteering as a greeter for the Block Party.  Not much greeting to do since it was the last hour of the event, so I helped tear down a little before I took off.

Back home for a while and desperate for human interaction I tried (unsuccessfully as normal) to lure someone (via facebook) into going to do something this evening.  With no prospects I decided to attempt to entertain myself.  I went and found a little grub at Perkins, ran through Aldi's to score a bit of fresh fruit at their hella good prices, and then did something I haven't done in years and years... I stopped to rent a movie.  I'll admit, I had a bit of apprehension.  I mean, what if I went in there and they didn't even have DVDs anymore.  I dunno, it's possible all would blu-ray now, right?  Fortunately Johnstown is a bit slow, so I was able to walk out with a disc.  I would have loved to snag Despicable Me (the first one), a comedy was what I really wanted, but their DVD copy was out.  Instead I snagged The Host.  Now, it's been a while since I finished reading this book, but I'm content with the movie.  Yeah, they dropped some pieces regarding the medicine and procedures that left me appreciating the book more, but it was a reasonably good way to pass my evening.

Friday, August 02, 2013

The latest saga in home ownership... BEES!  Ok, they're not really bees, wasps really, yellow jackets, the most cuddly of all bees-type critters, right?  I've been spraying trying to deal with it for a couple of days since I first noticed them making their entry around the bedroom window behind the siding.  At best the spray makes them hover around looking pretty pissed off for less than 24 hours, then they are back to business as normal.  Now I'm seeing a couple coming and going around the front door on the same side where the window is.  Greeeeeat.

I gave in and made a few calls after reading more about the beloved little creatures.  I'm set for someone to come tomorrow morning.  $225.  Eeesh.  Not cool.  To think I laughed a little to myself this morning (it's pay day) to see all but $300 of what appeared in my account during the night get escorted out to the mortgage and other obligations (including some savings mind you).  Now who's laughing?  I'm up $75 for my 2 weeks worth of work.  Look at me go.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

During my hunt for a rug for under the dining room table that I liked all I found that appealed were $600-1000, which is simply too expensive for my taste.  Imagine my surprise when I found one rug I had completely fallen for listed on Amazon for an incredibly lower price than anywhere else ($129 vs $699)!  Yes, it's technically suppose to be for a kid's room, but please... just because it's cute doesn't mean it's for kids.

I was showing a friend/coworker and mentioning I was considering purchasing this one when she noticed an error on the page.  The title read 8' x 10', but the description said it was 3' x 5'.  Saddened a bit I wrote the company that had it listed to point out the error and how disappointed I would have been had I ordered.  When I received the reply assuring me the rug was actually the larger size... I ordered, immediately.  Of course, I half expected the smaller rug to arrive or to get an email saying "I'm sorry, there has been an error".

Today, guess what came!  Yes, it really is the larger size.  I can't even believe it.  It's mine, all mine!  I quickly unrolled it under the table and pinned the corners to get them to stay down.  It's just lovely, and plush, and I couldn't be happier.  Yay for the dining room coming together!

On another note, I have quite the rash going on.  It's all over my right cheek, on both sides of my neck, and over one clavicle.  I also have little spots on my fingers popping back out (which a friend pointed out is probably eczema, which can be stress triggered), this time a whole cluster on my one thumb of itchy little sore bumps that if I didn't know better I'd think I had fleas.  Did I eat something new?  No.  Use a different soap or something?  No.  My allergy shot injection site isn't still puffed and sore, so it's not a reaction there.  Maybe it's stress.  Who knows.  Funny how different new oddities show up as you get older.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A quick allergy shot after work, and down over the hill to get a few things I needed to have enough supplies to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies and a double batch of no bakes.  I'll be taking these to my church for the block party this Saturday.  All turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.  It's probably a good thing most all got bagged up to be handed over.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Today I rode to Altoona with my Aunt Donna and Uncle Leo to attend services for my Uncle Paul.  I guess we're lucky we made it down there given the crazy woman on Scalp who ran out into traffic.  I can't believe we managed to avoid her.  A small blessing for sure.

No one enjoys funerals, I get this, but for me it's a mix of thoughts that leads down different paths.  I'm sure everyone with intellect feels this way too as they start to ponder the typical questions (especially when your mom, aunts, and uncles are all getting up in age), such as "who is next".  I also look at my cousins and I truly feel for them all while thinking how blessed they are to have had both parents for so very long, and how impossible it is to be prepared for how it feels to loose a parent.  At the same time, I acknowledge too the fortune of a quick passing.  It is, all I ask for when my time comes. I am a bit sad of the reminder that while I may recognize most of my cousins, I don't really know them, I haven't seen some of them in quite a few years.  It's driven home when you see their kids and their youngest is taller than you are!

Then there is Altoona in general:  heading to churches I frequented with my mother when I was young, going to the cemetery where my father is buried, having a lunch at the Bavarian Hall (where my father took me most every Saturday night after church for a soda and french fries).  I made it through most of the day with only one person calling me Jackie too!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rest in peace Uncle Paul.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I'm going to have to travel for work in the near term.  Can't say I'm excited about it, but I'll try to make the best of it.  I guess the destination is better than where I have had to go in the past, but if the earth starts quaking while I'm there I will NOT be pleased.

So, last night I rocked out the worst headache I've had in a very long time.  The worst is that it came on pretty fast and heavy and seems to have been all sinus/allergy, not a migraine.  I did get a few things dusted off and put back into the dining room last night, but a little dust never freaked my head out this much before.  I had a majorly itchy nose bout, followed by my head plugging up so fast it felt like someone poured concrete in there.  My neck damn felt stiff and tense, I couldn't get air through my nose, and my face felt like it wanted to pop off.  A couple of Excedrin sinus later and it cleared up a bit in the middle of the night, so at least I got some sleep.  More perplexing is that now that I'm out in the living room again this morning I am immediately feeling sneezy and sniffy again.

I'm down to my last couple excedrin sinus... which means I need to research if it has made its way back onto the market yet, if not and I have resurgences of this I could be in deep.  I have plenty of the tension variety and restocked up when I saw the migraine pills on the shelves again, but each one doesn't do much for the other types of headaches.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm told I do good work, but at the same time told about the flaws in my personality with a rather ... abrasive choice of words to match.  I just don't know how I'm suppose to be someone I'm not, nor do I feel that different from others.  All this does is make me hate myself a bit and leaves me wondering who said what and how they really feel.  Don't be pleasant to my face if you can't stand me.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

This morning Saf took a solid lead... another bunny bites the dust at 7:30am
Saf:  2 1/2
Dani:  1/2
Vix:  0

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Yesterday and today a coat was put on the dining room floor.  Now, we wait for it to dry.  He said to not move anything in there until Wednesday, so I have a few more days of climbing over things.  He also decided to put the trim in for me, which is fortunate, since I was ready to cancel the trim to avoid having it sitting around unattached for a couple of years.  At least we're in the final stages.  Now I really wish I could find a rug for under the table I like (and am willing to spend the money on).  Fortunately, the temps dropped quickly and significantly yesterday, so I wasn't dying without the AC on, but I still didn't sleep well last night.

I think that didn't help my mood today, but heaven knows I was going to be foul today no matter what.  Maybe a wee bit o'Shakespeare, a spot of fermented grapes, and some wingies will help that.  Oh, got two cards from my mother, one a very sweet one that made me cry today, and one yesterday that was signed Big Midge.  She's insane.  This is what I will become.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I hate the feeling when you are struggling to be happy for someone else.  I mean, you're happy for them, but you're too sad for yourself (read:  jealous) to genuinely be happy.  You'd swear I'm PMSing yesterday and today with the thoughts floating through my mind.  Everything seems to come back to how much easier things would be with help, that assumed other person to assist in every day things, the other half.

Let's look at the dining room floor:  I managed to get everything out of there but the table and my secretary by myself.  The guy doing the work helped me lift the top half off of the secretary and carry it into the kitchen, then we slid the bottom half (together it was too tall to go through the doorway).  After it is sealed it needs to sit for a couple of days and then I can move things back in.  Needless to say the last thing you want to do is slide anything across that floor, right?  Yeah.  Great.  I had similar realizations of additional challenges last night too, so this just compounded my frustration, now there are the posts on FB that spawned the "I want to be happy for you but I can't be" thoughts.

This can't be the way things will be for the next 40 years.  Someone around here has to know someone who is awesome (and single, and more than just someone to lift heavy stuff).

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I did my grocery run yesterday and a few things around the house before I headed to Eggs' to help him finish up the cleaning so his place can go on the market.  Let me tell you how achy my lower legs are from going up and down his stairs and ladder.  This is another bittersweet time for me, as his house goes on the market today, and I prepare to see another friend move away from the area.  On the other hand things look good for him and, I have to admit, it gives me hope for my own departure (someday).

Today I allowed myself a stop at TJ Maxx, Ross, and Bed Bath and Beyond after church, then to the normal Ollies and Big Lots stop.  I successfully didn't really buy much for myself, but started my Christmas shopping!  Shockingly one of the harder people to buy for is one that I managed to pick something up for, my sister's husband, so that's a huge score in my book.  The other is someone I could probably find 100 things for if I allowed myself to keep shopping.  Oh, and part of a birthday gift was acquired... the rest was locked up today, darn blue laws, so I'll need to swing past the liquor store one night this week.

It's rather warm out there today, so I was sweating it up pretty good when I headed out to pull some weeds (a whole huge garbage bag full).  I sprayed down all along the back fence line with puppy safe weed killer too, let's see how much of it dries up as desired.  A quick peek at the tomato plants and I'm a day or two from picking my 5th cherry tomato!  Of course, if I look closer at the early girl plants they've shot up quickly in the past two weeks growing tremendously, but not a single piece of fruit starting to grow.  If you recall, I planted just before Memorial day, so you'd think the 45 day to fruit would be taking place pretty darn soon.  In the mean time, the roma plant definitely has some starting to form.  I bet they are ready to eat first.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Last night was a bit of an impropmtu decision to head out with the Beff.  She had heard about a ladies' night wine tasting at a local, new, brewery.  Our whistles whetted for wine tastings this past weekend we decided to go and make more of a night of it by having dinner first.  Since B&L is in the west end and we had the excuse of our birthdays we went to the Backdoor Cafe before the tasting.  The tasting was nice, with the exception of the crowd of obnoxiously loud women (go figure).  I really enjoyed several of their brews and ended up purchasing a few bottles.  We also sat and enjoyed a glass after tasting a variety.  I pointed out to the one owner that we want invited back for the men's night.  I needed the bit of a cheer up I guess, so that was good.
Follow up to running ozone generator in the bedroom the other night, I'm not catching scent when I walk in there, but clearly, it would be easy for me to miss it, so I sent Beth in who said "I smell nothing in here".  Perfect, that's exactly what I want.  So, I will be closing us off in the bedroom tonight and running it in the main portion of the house for a while.  I need to give a deep scrub on the basement floor again and maybe run it downstairs as well to see if it can zap the dog odor there too.  *fingers crossed*  It's too bad mom isn't much for heading to the Jingle anymore, I'd love to get her take.  Heaven knows it would be a (brutally) honest assessment.
Today I'll run home over lunch to meet someone for an estimate on finishing the dining room floor.  Here's hoping I can just have him crank it out because the delays in trying to get a sander has just built frustration in me.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My air purifier came today, so I ran it with the ozone generator for a little while in the closed up bedroom. We'll see if that zaps some lingering dog odor. (Yes, I'm embarrassed by it, but I have three dogs, for God's sake, what does anyone expect?) 

Heck, since we're on the topic of embarrassing, how about this?  When you're desperate enough to give eHarmony another try... if you complete the registration and get this message, what does that say about you?  Yes, I sat and cried for a while.  It's just depressing.  What am I suppose to do?  How am I crazy to think there is something wrong with me?

Sunday, July 07, 2013

I didn't have a productive weekend, but we knew that the second the sander wasn't available.  I still managed to have a quality weekend however, in that I spent today with Slips and Beff in celebration of our collective birthday.  We headed north to Smicksburg, first stop the winery, then a few stores, and finally dinner and gift exchange at Ruby Tuesdays.  I bought a bottle of each of the following:  blackberry, blueberry, chocolate covered cherry, and ice wine.  I also came home with an awesome haul of goodies to read, listen to, wear, and aim for!  I can't believe how many buggies we saw on the roads today.  Needless to say I didn't forget to watch Breaking Amish tonight!

I'm feeling a little off this weekend.  It might be the lack of progress being made, I don't know, I just feel anxious.  So what's my mental case issue now?

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Well, since I couldn't work in the dining room today I ended up doing some running and shopping.  Yep, famous last words.  Suffice it to say the air purifier and tree trimming aren't really my birthday gift to myself as planned.  After I headed to see the progress at Eggs' place and to play with the newly named Pearl - so named for the byproduct of the sand that gets in who-ha.  Yep, she's grumpy... and I've not even had her for 6 months or 200 "uses".  Displeased.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Yeah, so the orbital sander I need to rent was out today and still wasn't returned shortly before they closed.  I'm to call again tomorrow morning and see if it's back.  Well doesn't that just put a kink in my game plans?  I've got my check from my vacation pay out and it's burning a hole in my pocket.  Fortunately the necessary expenditures (such as renting a sander) would make me feel like I spent some and tame me back down.  Yay for a little more cushion to help me continue making advanced payments on the mortgage.  Finishing in 2014... yes.  YES.  Must.  Or... ya know if I could win a small chunk on a lottery ticket I wouldn't mind paying it off in 2013 either.
I neglected to report that I cut my three scapes (that finally grew) yesterday after seeing the ones at mom's ready to bloom.  Yep, she has a ton,that she didn't even plant, out by the parking area.  So it looks like I'll be harvesting more garlic than the few that decided to grow to this point for me this year.
I had a decent 4th.  Went to the mall for the first time ever while living here to watch the local fireworks display on the 3rd.  For the 4th, as previously hinted I headed to moms for a light lunch and nap.  Then I headed back up the hill and partook of some grill time with my tenant and his coworkers out on the front lawn.  Of course, not a single one of his coworkers are single.  I know how rediculous that sounds, but it's true, even if I step out of my norm and meet new ppl there isn't viable options there either.  Jtown you suck sometimes.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Overstock came through, sending me a 10% off coupon, that's $20, I'll take it.  So, my hepa filter/air purifier is ordered.  Happy birthday me?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Saffy and Dani are freshly bathed.  See that?  See what I did there?  I stepped it up.  There's nothing chill about taking beasts to the tub.  This weekend is officially over-achieved.
Wow, just wow.  I can't believe how dark and in need of brightening the paint in the dining room was.  All is painted after a long, hot day yesterday.  Finally the different color of white around the ceiling fan is remedied and the last of the whitewashed green we did 14 years ago is completely covered.  I think this is what was making the cream that was there look a bit dingy and dark.  Between the ceiling and stair well I took a break and had a bit of froyo w/ Tonya and then I finished up the main walls just in time to join her and Eggs for a bite of dinner at Reys.  Good thing too because 7pm and exhausted is not a good point to try and make a meal.

I cranked out a couple loads of laundry last night too, of course, that is waiting for me to put it away today.  I'm seeing the joy in the pattern I've created of busting butt on Saturday so I can relax, feeling accomplished on Sunday.  Good thing too, because I am once again popping sinus pills to deal with an ache.  What else is on the agenda for today?  Me thinks a nap... but maybe then I'll do some vacation planning type work on the computer.  Like I said, mellow Sunday.