Monday, April 27, 2009

616 -- Sick and Tired

It started Thursday with a general feeling of not-wellness. Friday I had a terrible and terribly persistent cough. I made the best of Saturday, trying to enjoy our birthday and be a good hostess. Sunday and today have been hands-down awful.

Church is always awkward when you're sick. Spend all of Mass hacking and coughing and blowing your nose and guess how many people want to shake hands with you at the sign of peace -- no matter how carefully you cough into your hankie. My chest, throat, abs, and nose were so sore by Sunday evening that I knew there was no way I'd make it through work on Monday.

While honey, cough drops, and a vaporizer have made some improvements on my well-being, the crud persists. I struggle with taking sick leave now when I am desperately trying to hoard it for later. *sigh* What I wouldn't give for a good strong OTC medication!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

016.394 -- Birthday Festivities

Saturday, to celebrate both our birthdays, Matt and I spent the afternoon at a Cincinnati Reds game. It was a scorcher of a day, so we avoided our seats in full sun and settled in some shady upper deck seats. The game was pretty awful, but the food was good, and the tickets were cheap. To make it even more fun, it was free fleece blanket day!

When the day was over, we crashed back at our house to enjoy good food, great company, a warm campfire, and a breezy starry night. What a great day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

747 -- Trial and Error

Decorating is a whole lot easier when you can visualize what your finished product will look like. I lack the ability to visualize things like this. So instead of putting 46 nail holes in the wall trying to decide where I want pictures and shelving hung, I put it all on the computer. It's a lot easier to change your mind 17 times when all that is involved is clicking and dragging. Here is the computer mock-up of our living room. Notice the shelves on the floor... waiting to be hung.

And when we decided to put a flag pole and Japanese maple in our front yard, I wanted to know exactly what it might look like when the tree grows in. I moved it three times before I really liked it. Can you imagine having to dig up a fully grown tree because you changed your mind?

My house is no showroom, but it would look a whole lot worse without my Paint Shop Pro image editing software to back me up :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

747 -- The To-Do List

It is growing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

694.6 -- Necessity and invention

Our back yard is a good spot for entertaining small groups. And this spring/summer, our birthday/bbq/misc celebration/mini-reunion parties will be made more festive by the really unique tiki torch holders my handy husband devised last year! I was so impressed and overjoyed at what he came up with that I wanted to post a picture here. (Last summer got away from me, so they've been waiting a whole year!)

These got rave reviews at last year's parties, and are perfect (I would think) for raised decking like a balcony where tiki torches would otherwise be impossible (or really dangerous). Cool huh?!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

097 -- Ex Libris

Having cataloged our library, I have been considering how to mark our books. Write our names inside? Use one of the million return address labels we get for donating to charities? A rubber stamp? Then mine eye fell upon the bookplates inside donated library books. I did a little research and found some truly dazzling bookplate designs. I itch to design one of my own... something that incorporates things that are important to my family. Thing is, I'm a little hesitant to glue these into our books. What do you think? Would a bookplate defile the purity of the book? Seriously! This has been eating at me for months!

Here are some bookplates found in a quick Google image search:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

621.815 -- Fantastic Contraption

I have always liked puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, logic puzzles... I like the satisfaction of having figured out the solution to a problem.

For the last month, I have been obsessed with a unique new puzzle game called Fantastic Contraption. I don't even remember who or what turned me on to this addicting game (if it was you, THANK YOU!), but there is no doubt that I am hooked.

There are 20 free levels in Fantastic Contraptions, and the premise is always the same. Get the pink item (ball, square, or rectangle) into the pink Goal area. Sounds easy enough, but I guarantee you'll be stumped at least once.

The contraption I'm proudest of? The puzzle level was called Back and Forth, and let me tell you, it's a toughie! Here is a still of my solution, but click here to see the thing in action.

Spoiler Alert! To see more of my contraptions, click any of the links below. Some are more fantastical than others!
Unpossible | Uturn | Mission to Mars | Mind the Gap | The Wall | Full Up | Around the Bend | Big Ball | Four Balls | Tube | Awash

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

395.22 -- Wedding Memories

The tiara that I wore for my wedding in 2005 has been missing since approximately 10 days after our wedding. When we returned from our honeymoon and made it back to NY, we packed up a lot of stuff and just put it wherever we had room. Our house was pretty tiny up in NY, so there was stuff scattered everywhere.

I thought all was lost when I twice rummaged through everything looking for the tiara -- with no luck. Recently, while digging through the same stuff, it turned up! YAY!

Then and now: The picture on the wall
behind me is from our wedding.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

780.78 -- Piano Men

We got our tickets in the mail awhile ago, but it has just hit me... We are going to see Billy Joel and Elton John in concert!

I have been a huge fan of Billy Joel since I was a kid, and I've wanted to see him in concert for at least the past 5 years. Problem was, I never remembered to check for tickets until it was too late. They sell out fast! Luckily for me, there were three concerts within easy driving distance from me this year. Unluckily for me, Cincinnati was sold out, and Indianapolis only had seats available behind the stage. No good. Although it's on a Tuesday night, the concert we booked in Columbus will be a memorable night I'm sure.

Now to brush up on my Elton standards :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

629.277 -- (mini) Road Trip!

Thanks to a certain handy someone, I now have the perfect accessory for a beautiful spring day -- a new car radio of course! A few weekends ago, while I was busy catching up with the girls, Matt installed a new radio in Little Blue, complete with CD player (goodbye cassettes!) and iPod connection!

I've loved driving to and from work listening to my playlists and 18 presets, but 20 minutes just does not allow for maximum music enjoyment. Luckily, I am heading to Columbus for an FRG Conference this weekend. While I'm a little nervous about sitting through all those seminars, I cannot wait to be out on the road with my new toy. And since Matt's meeting me in Columbus (he's coming from his two-week-long Annual Training on the eastern part of Ohio), I get to listen to whatever I want! And sing as loud as I want!

Just be glad you're not going with me :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

394.2622 -- April Foolishness

I'm not big into college sports. Let's be honest. I'm not really into sports much at all. So until I met my friend Karen, I wasn't even aware of a school called Clemson. Karen's crazy about her alma mater, though, so I now know the logo, the mascot... I think I've even heard the fight song!

Now that I know of Clemson, of course, it pops up everywhere. I notice sports scores, news headlines, and while going through old newspapers for work, I found this clipping from the local Hamilton, Ohio newspaper. (Click to view a larger image. It's readable I promise!)

Of course I forgot to write down the year, but this snippet ran on April 4. Judging from the Clemson Wiki, it may have actually happened in March of 1982. Evidently, they never found out who did it!