Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Clock's a'Ticking

Ach! Quick post.

First off, Ouiser had her baby! Beautiful, lucky girl. So many people love you already.

This is a lame post because I've been so busy cleaning and copy editing and otherwise nesting. My mom is coming into town Tuesday night, which I am so excited about, but there's a lot to get done. We had the carpet and couch/chair cleaned this weekend. The furniture hadn't been cleaned ever and is about three years old, so it seemed overdue. And we've lived here with a puppy about six months now, so the carpet was ready, too.

The guest bedroom and bathroom are not quite ready yet, but won't need much because we're rarely in those rooms. I need to go grocery shopping. I'm excited that I actually have some meals I can cook now! I don't think I've ever cooked anything more complicated than macaroni and cheese for my mom. God, I'm turning into Ouiser. Thank God. :)

The husband has been a huge help this weekend while I've been up to my ears in copy editing. He's supervised the aforementioned cleaning, done laundry, washed Chewy, made some phone calls on my behalf, etc. He was a good investment, turned out to be quite useful.

I've sewn the binding strips for Chewy's mat to each other, but haven't pressed it yet. So I don't think the progress there could be any more minimal. But he had a great Saturday at doggie day camp. We had a free coupon and needed him out of the house for the carpet cleaning.

I must to bed now. The 5:00 am wake up call looms and there's a spinning bike with my name on it. By the way, strongly recommend this book: The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine. It's great if you're remotely interested in neurology. It's at a layman's level, don't worry.

Mom, care to join me for all the errands I won't be able to get done before you get here? Oil change, Bob to vet, old clothes to thrift store, birthday present for friends' girl, grocery shopping, return curtains to Linens 'n' Things, etc...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

What's Cookin'?

I know, I know, it's been two weeks. A new low. But I was out of town for a dear friend's wedding last weekend and it's been impossible to blog on weeknights lately.

The wedding was in Philly and it was lovely. We had a big ol' 'Gate reunion after over a year of not seeing my dozen or so closest friends (and spouses/SOs) from college, and my best friend from high school, who is an adopted member of the group. And old and precious friends from Philly. And did I mention two of the above people are also my B- and SIL? We all partied like it was 1999 and it was fabulous. Tragically, Ouiser could not be there, as she is busy with a bun in the oven, who should be showing her face any day now. We're hoping to see them both in April at another 'Gate wedding.

Upon my return, I launched headlong into spinning and water aerobics classes every morning and cooking (yes, cooking! Moi!) dinner every night. I ditched the old, within-walking-distance-but-without-classes gym and joined LA Fitness after all. I don't know what I was thinking before when that seemed like such a bad idea. It's actually slightly cheaper, I get to have classes, which are my favorite workout strategy, and I have an hour to kill by the time I've showered and dressed for work before I have to show up at the hospital. So the new routine is to head to Starbucks for breakfast, where I spend the zillions of dollars in Starbucks giftcards I have*, and sit and read for an hour. This has turned out to be very treasured, valuable me-time that actually helps get my butt out of bed at 5 am for the gym.

I think my hesitancy with them stems from having been burned by Bally's (who don't deserve a link) in the past. The big corporate gyms make me wrinkle up my nose. But everyone at this gym is very friendly. In fact, the old ladies in my water aerobics class (because those are the only people who take water aerobics, really: old ladies and chumps with busted up knees) have tried to become my new best friends and invite me to breakfast with them and want me on their e-mailing list so we can all share birthday wishes and sing to each other in the pool. It's a bit much, but sweet.

As for the cooking, I've already tried three new recipes, two of which we'll keep. All from Weight Watchers, so they're so not gourmet, but I find they're actually quick enough for me to manage before I starve to death upon getting home from work. And the husband and I have agreed that it's nice to be eating real food for once. He, until now, has mostly lived on quesadillas and I on crackers and peanut butter or Costco chicken meatballs. It's been a sad existence, so anything requiring actual ingredients is an improvement.

On the crafting front, I've made very little progress. I decided I needed some cotton twill tape to tie Chewy's mat to his crate, to hold it in place. Why don't they sell that stuff in the big fabric chain stores? I had to order it online. So I've cut the fabric to make the binding and ordered the ties. And that's about it. But I also finally hung the bulletin board above my sewing machine. The next patterned project I tackle will be made easier, I hope, by hanging the instructions right in front of my face. Then I'll have no excuses.

Everyone send healthy, speedy, easy birth thoughts Ouiser's way!

*I don't quite have a zillion dollars to spend at Starbucks. But I do have a couple hundred. The husband's company holiday party this year was a casino night at the boss's house, where a blackjack dealer tutored me all night and helped me turn $500 worth of chips into $6,000. These were then cashed in for raffle tickets with gift cards to various restaurants/stores as prizes. I won all the Starbucks ones. And then got more from friends for my Birthmas (that's SIL-speak for birthday/Christmas, as those with December birthdays will understand). Anyway, I have a lot of money to spend at Starbucks.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pampered Pets

I've started the lining for Chewy's crate. The husband thinks I am mean and heartless because it's not fluffy enough for a proper crate lining. I love Chewy, but he's a dog. I think he'll be fine. It's just regular, low-loft quilt batting straight-line quilted between a couple layers of some home decor fabric from JoAnn's. Lita tested it out and she thought it was very satisfactory. In fact, I won't be surprised to see the cats sleeping in there once it's in place, when Chewy's not using it, of course.

I need to figure out a way to insert some ties on the four corners to secure it in place. The husband thinks, otherwise, it will slide around and get bunched up in one corner of the crate. I'd like to use some twill tape, but JoAnn's and Hancock's both came up short last time I was looking for some. They had the thin kind that's carried in the section with the thread and scissors and binding, etc. But I want that heavy-duty cotton stuff. May have to be ordered on-line as I'd rather just suck it up and pay shipping than search all over town. Then I think I can just stitch it in with the binding and be done with it.

Okay, I know this is weird lighting, but I hope you can make out these little ornaments the husband's Aunt L gave me for Christmas. I love them. They're the tiny little Advent calendar-sized ornaments, all wooden and smiley and primitive looking. They're so perfect and mini. Christmas has otherwise ended around here. The lights came down yesterday. The indoor decorations and gifts are not yet 100% put away, but are disassembled enough to no longer resemble decor so much as clutter.

Chewy decided long ago that he loved to get into the shower with us. Now it's apparently a second den, too.

Happy New Year, from Bob

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's/30th Year To-Do List

...decidedly not to be confused with resolutions, which are generally doomed from inception. I turned 29 last month and decided to set forth some goals for this year. I tend to be a pretty goal-oriented person (do y'all remember the shape I was in at my wedding? Eh?), so this has a good chance of working out well for me. Especially after making it public.

  1. Go to the gym at least four days per week.
  2. Walk Chewy once per day, when knee is not hurting.
  3. Post something I am working on sewing-/crafty-wise once per week. Which means I must therefore be actually working on something at all times and I must also post once per week. See how clever I am with my two birds?
  4. Eat one fruit and/or veggie per day. Those green superfood veggie powders you mix with juice count. Regular juice does not. And the husband has to do it, too.
  5. Make "mattress" for in dog's crate.
  6. Make crate cover.
  7. Make beds for cats.
  8. Make quilt for bed.
  9. Make curtains for bedroom.
  10. Make advent calendar for next year.
  11. Learn five simple recipes that don't require a lot of special trips to the grocery store or complicated preparation instructions.
  12. Make Christmas stockings for next year.
  13. Make Christmas tree skirt.
  14. Make Christmas ornaments/decorations.
  15. Go camping three times.
  16. Go hiking three times.
  17. Do a real spring cleaning.
  18. Make the husband help.
  19. Get my Amazon wish list down to only 100 items, whether it's from reading books at the library, deleting old books I don't really want to read anymore, or actually buying the damn books.
  20. Learn to alter unisex t-shirts to fit women.
  21. Complete five more scrapbook pages for my wedding scrapbook.
  22. Frame and hang pictures of our families.
  23. Finish my clinical fellowship year and get certified by my professional association.
  24. Get my front teeth fixed. I've already started this by getting a retainer in December. The left front tooth has creeped forward over the years, slightly overlapping the other one. It's not that bad, but has gotten worse with time and I fear that it will bother me increasingly as I age, so better to take care of it now while it's not bad enough to need full-blown braces again. I have a lisp with it, though. Can't wear it at work. It's really a bad joke: a speech-language pathologist with a speech disorder...
  25. Make more summer skirts.
  26. Tackle a shirt.
  27. Tackle the freezer-paper method of fabric painting.
  28. Work on posture at least once per day.
  29. Sew the cover for the back roll that I'm supposed to be using to improve my posture.

That's 29. An appropriate place to stop.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Chewy Montage

The dog park/spa. Yeah, right. This is our attempt to clean him up at the dog park after he spent the morning rolling in a mud puddle. The husband calls it the "power wash."

Pajama pants made for the husband. He was the only one not in pajamas Christmas morning, mainly because I had the fabric sitting around the house for about a year now waiting for me to make them. Hey, better late than never.

Did I mention he's fond of the mud? This is his abstract/impressionist self-portrait. Made by carefully jumping up just so on the patio door, after covering himself in a very special mud mixture designed specifically to create an opaque film on the glass. It's a technique he's honed.

A couple of roses from the bushes in our yard...

Chewy and a Christmas present...

Before we got the collar (that he's laying on in this pic--not sure why), Chewy spent a few hours in some comfy boxers to keep him away from his surgical site, post-"fixing." He didn't seem to mind much.

An action shot: Chewy in pursuit of ball.

I'll try to write a real entry tomorrow. For now, thought some pics would suffice.